[Foundation-l] deleting old versions of fair-use files

Amir E. Aharoni amir.aharoni at mail.huji.ac.il
Mon May 30 21:32:13 UTC 2011


There's a bit of discussion about deleting old versions of fair-use
files in the Hebrew Wikipedia and it may be interesting to other
projects as well.

The main questions is: Should old versions of fair-use files be
deleted? The two main points that support the deletion are that it
saves space on the server and that keeping a version of a non-free
file violates the fair use policy, because the old version of the
image can be viewed, but is not actually used in any relevant article.

The first point, about saving server space, is probably irrelevant,
because to the best of my understanding, space is a cheap asset in the
first place, and the file is not actually deleted, but only has its
description in the database changed to hide it from non-sysop users,
so the deletion actually adds to the server load, although not much.
(Correct me if i'm wrong.)

But what about fair use validity? Since i am not a copyright lawyer -
and really don't want to be one - this is something that should be
answered by more knowledgeable people.

Also, are there policies about this in other projects? Commons is
irrelevant and i couldn't find anything about it in the English
Wikipedia. If from the legal point of view old versions of non-free
files should be deleted, then it probably should be implemented in all
projects. (I would hate it and i apologize in advance for opening this
Pandora's box.)

Amir Elisha Aharoni · אָמִיר אֱלִישָׁע אַהֲרוֹנִי
"We're living in pieces,
 I want to live in peace." - T. Moore

More information about the foundation-l mailing list