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

effe iets anders effeietsanders at gmail.com
Wed Mar 28 16:03:05 UTC 2007

Although a few people asked, you didnt give examples of when a
Wikibooks should *need* to use Fair Use. Please note that a rationale
is obliged. Could you give a few examples of images where there is
absolutely no possibility that there will come no free substitute of
it? (As you brought it yourself on this list... now i have been made
curious :) ) Thanks.


2007/3/28, Robert Horning <robert_horning op netzero.net>:
> Kat Walsh wrote:
> > On 3/28/07, Robert Horning <robert_horning op 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.
> >>
> >> -- Robert Horning
> >>
> >
> >
> > No, it's not a call to ban all fair use. But it *is* certainly a call
> > to minimize it as much as possible and to treat it as inferior to free
> > content -- and an individual project is more than welcome to decide
> > that it does not want to use fair use at all. If Wikibooks does not
> > need it then by all means it should remove it; most of the Wikibooks I
> > have seen don't need non-free media as illustration, but perhaps there
> > are others that do. (And looking back now Greg has posted -- going by
> > the subject matter of the book is an interesting idea.)
> >
> > Actually I find that people have been reading all sorts of things into
> > the resolution -- I have been throwing up my hands in frustration at
> > some corners of en.wikipedia proclaiming that because fair use was not
> > banned entirely it must mean we wanted more of it. The policy should
> > not actually be much of a change of anything, just set out a bit more
> > formally.
> >
> > The basic idea is that this is what we have adopted as the definition
> > of free content; projects should treat everything else as very much
> > inferior to it, and use things outside that definition only where it
> > is not reasonably possible to avoid it.
> >
> > -Kat
> >
> There are several Wikibooks users who indeed want to keep fair use, and
> I believe this should be something that can be resolved through the
> normal policy building process that already exists within the Wikibooks
> community.  The problem I see here is that radical solutions are being
> suggested on the authority of this new policy, and I want reassurances
> (like you have done here) that this is not intended to be a massive
> change of existing polices and content.  Certainly not giving license to
> eliminate thousands of images (as do exist on Wikibooks) that are
> currently available only under fair-use terms, and have been selected
> for deletion by only a small handful of individuals acting on the
> authority of this policy that has been put forward by the WMF.
> I agree that if we as a community want to move toward eliminating fair
> use, that we can come and decide that for ourselves and move in that
> direction.  I am of the philosophical camp that some fair use ought to
> be permitted and that there are legitimate reasons for including it in
> our projects, but such fair use ought to be significantly restricted and
> encompass what is legally permissible even in countries that don't have
> fair-use legislation or comparable legal concepts.
> I do agree with the general philosophy that more free images ought to be
> sought after, and that Wikimedia project contributors ought to find
> illustrations either in the public domain, available under free content
> licenses, or be able to generate those illustrations themselves when
> possible.  I don't think this is always possible, and that we can find
> some reasonable exceptions that most people can live with that don't
> compromise the basic values of trying to create content that meets the
> basic philosophical principles of the GFDL and other free content builders.
> --Robert Horning
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