[Foundation-l] Banning Fair Use (was Re: Foundation Licensing Policy)

Pedro Sanchez pdsanchez at gmail.com
Wed Mar 28 15:14:01 UTC 2007

On 3/28/07, Robert Horning <robert_horning at netzero.net> wrote:
> As I feared would be the case, this new foundation policy has become a
> call to arms by deletionists to institute a massive removal of all fair
> use content on all Wikimedia projects.

No, only for content claimed to be fair use but which actually is not.
The resolution explictly acknowledges that projects can host fair use,
but only if they develop an specific policy and show that an image is
covered by it.

So if it's claimed to be fair use, and it actually qualifies for fair
use, content won't be removed.

> I don't know if this was the
> intent, but on at least en.wikibooks, the most active bureaucrat there
> has demanded that all fair use content be eliminated from Wikibooks. And
> has used this policy to strength his own counter claim that we should
> never have allowed fair use onto that project in the first place.

Each project can take its own decisions. But arguing in general is no
good, can you provide specific examples of images you think they are
needed, and that fair use is justified, so we can analyze the

> With statements like "By March 23, 2008, all existing files under an
> unacceptable license as per the above must either be accepted under an
> EDP, or shall be deleted." seem to imply that unless you have already
> "approved" an EDP (whatever that means.... and the process of approval
> is certainly vague here) that all fair use can be retroactively deleted.

It means each project has 1 year to develop its exemption policy, and
check that images will be covered under it. There¡s plenty of time to
work on it.

> Wikibooks has had an unofficial policy about fair use for more than a
> year now, and it has been used as a guideline.  Because of the earlier
> discussion about fair use that was started by Kat (before this policy
> was written), this same bureaucrat on Wikibooks also deleted and rewrote
> the fair use policy to simply say that fair use was banned, presuming
> authority on the part of the WMF.

Yes, the resolution says that now, an specific policy has to be
developed. THat's the new thing.
Notice that some projects have policy exemptions of the form "we dont'
want exemptions" and that's right, as long as each project can decide
its own

> If this really is the intent of the WMF, I wish you would have just come
> out and said it simply:  "All fair use is banned."  I know that if this
> tactic were to be tried on Wikipedia that you would have an uproar from
> many users like has never been seen before.  But because this is a
> smallish project with only a handful of users who set policy, it makes
> it easier for some users to wildly mis-interpret what has been said.
> -- Robert Horning

The resolution is meant to provide a way to have fair use, not to ban
it. However, it also states that things should be done right. Have an
explicit policy, and have images matched to that policy.

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