[Foundation-l] Licensing Policy

Bryan Tong Minh bryan.tongminh at gmail.com
Tue May 22 16:18:26 UTC 2007

Excactly. And that is worrysome. If this was the meaning of the
licensing policy (which I assume was not), a lot of free pictures
should go. I hope that the foundation gives confirmation that this is
not the case.


On 5/22/07, Klaus Graf <klausgraf at googlemail.com> wrote:
> > Following a deletion debate on Commons [1], we are left with the
> > problem whether or not Public domain images that are under other
> > restrictions, such as coats of arms, are allowed under the Foundation
> > Licensing policy. If I quote Erik Moeller, from another thread [2] on
> > the mailing list:
> >
> > '[...]the licensing policy has been specifically formulated to avoid
> > that problem. It requires content to be under a Free Content License,
> > which is defined as "a license which meets the terms of the Definition
> > of Free Cultural Works _specific to licenses_".[...]'
> >
> > However, since we are talking about public domain, this does not apply
> > for this image, since public domain is not a license. This means that
> > another section of the resolution applies:
> >
> > '[...] or which is otherwise free as recognized by the 'Definition of
> > Free Cultural Works' as referenced above.'
> >
> > Which is not the case, this specific image is under more restrictions;
> > see the deletion debate for details. Is this analysis correct? Or
> > should we just treat public domain as a "free content license"?
> >
> > Bryan
> > (cc'd to commons-l)
> >
> > [1] http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:SilaTonga.svg
> > [2] http://lists.wikimedia.org/pipermail/foundation-l/2007-April/029468.html
> I agree with en/Commons user Lupo who has, referring to the discussion at
> http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Urheberrechtsfragen#Grundsatzfragen
> written:
> "Now, the problem is this: freedomdefined.org states that a "free"
> work "must not be covered by legal restrictions (patents, contracts,
> etc.) or limitations (such as privacy rights) which would impede the
> freedoms enumerated above." That would mean that we'd need to look
> beyond copyrights, and that the foundation's licensing policy did not
> consider COAs and the like "free" works, even if they were fine
> copyright-wise, because their use is often restricted by other laws.
> Ugh. Looks like the overarching "free culture" activism expressed at
> freedomdefined.org has some rather drastic and unpleasant consequences
> for us".
> There is a non exhaustive list of non-free content (content which can
> be used for any purpose) in the German Wikipedia at:
> http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hilfe:FAQ_Rechtliches#Sind_alle_Inhalte_der_Wikipedia_unterm_Strich_frei.3F
> According to the free content definition we cannot show at commons
> (nor in the local branches without EDP):
> * pictures of living persons (because according to German law
> commercial use is only allowed with the content of the person AND it
> is strictly forbidden to manipulate pictures, decision of
> Bundesverfassungsgericht)
> * pictures of coat of arms which are used by an institution (because
> there are non-copyright-restrictions in all cases)
> *pictures of Geschmacksmuster-protected objects like cars
> *the Olympic rings
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Olympic_Games
> and so on.
> Klaus Graf
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