[WikiEN-l] Fair use redux; the second coming of hell; Are we a free content or aren't we?

WikipediaEditor Durin wikidurin at gmail.com
Thu Jul 19 15:22:23 UTC 2007

On 7/19/07, Stan Shebs <stanshebs at earthlink.net> wrote:
> So as imperfect as it is, we don't
> have any superior alternatives to adopt,

I disagree. There are alternatives; but nobody seems to want to do
anything substantiative about it.

and the "free only" stance has
> such radical consequences that most people recoil from it.

That is one possible route, yes. As you note (in text not quoted
here), other projects have no fair use allowed. Maybe there are
lots of people that come to en.wikipedia for the fair use pictures,
but those projects continue on despite having no fair use allowed.

While people might recoil in horror at the idea of no fair use
at all, it is a solution that will not cause en.wikipedia to collapse.
I personally am not in favor of the stance, but it at least provides
a bright line defense.

There is no
> magic wand to wave, nobody to issue a diktat that will solve the problem
> all at once.

I tend to disagree. Maybe I'm naive, but we've had diktats that have been
enforced before. Right now, as noted in the prior thread, we have a
badly muddled situation that is ultimately untenable. There ARE

Occasional grumbles notwithstanding, I'm personally quite pleased with
> how much better we're handling non-free content these days, and I'm
> confident that continued steady effort will improve it even further.

We've gotten better, but facing 500 thousand fair use images over
the next year and calling ourselves "free content" is a joke.

en.wikipedia is utterly failing at executing the Foundation's mission, and
it is
THE flagship project.

In any organization, it is a right and good thing to evaluate progress
the mission and vision of the organization. We might be further along
the goal of properly managing non-free content than we were four years ago.
But, the goal is not to properly manage non-free content.

It's almost like we're a professional sports team. We lose, year after year
after year. Our defense to this? "We're not losing as much as we have in
the past, and our marketing seems to be doing ok" The point of a team is
to win.

Wikipedia's mission is to provide neutral educational content under a
free license.

We've failed, in so far as images are concerned, and there's no ignoring
that or trying to make it better by saying we're doing a better job of
managing the failure.

When is too much too much? Are we going to allow ourselves to get
to a situation where we have 50 million non-free images and be happy
about it because they are properly sourced, tagged, and have
rationales in line with our policies? That's not what Wikipedia is
supposed to be. If people really think that's an acceptable situation,
then en.Wikipedia has utterly lost its way.

Somebody pass me a free beer...


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