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

Omegatron omegatron+wikienl at gmail.com
Thu Jul 19 16:12:54 UTC 2007

On 7/19/07, WikipediaEditor Durin <wikidurin at gmail.com> wrote:
> We need a culture change. We need it now.
> The English Wikipedia is no longer a free content encyclopedia and is
> not working towards our mission of providing neutral educational content
> under a free content license.

Are you sure that using only free images is part of Wikipedia's mission to
be a free content encyclopedia?

Images weren't even part of the project until a year(?) after it was
founded.  (We used to just link to images on third-party websites!)  And
when we did add images and other media to the site, there were no qualms
about using copyrighted ones, as long as it was legally permitted (fair use,
with permission, etc.)  I don't understand why this has changed.

Either we need to drop the charade that we are a free content encyclopedia,

What does the uploading of non-free images have to do with the fact that we
are a free content encyclopedia?  All of our encyclopedic content is free,
and always will be.  I don't see this changing because of our use of
non-free images.

(And our use of non-free images is only *decreasing* over time, as our
ability to use certain types of images is restricted further and further by
agenda-pushing policy makers.  It's a far different situation now than it
was when I started editing four years ago.)

If the people are on this mailing list are unable to make decisions on
> this, who should I take this matter to? I'm of the understanding that
> Jimbo
> wanted this list to be the main source of business work, so to speak.

Mailing lists only attract a small percentage of Wikipedia's
(technically-oriented) user base, and don't represent the community very
well.  I, for example, have strong feelings about our use of non-free
content, but think that mailing lists suck, and try to avoid reading and
posting in most cases.  (I only noticed this post by accident.)  The mail
interface is clunky and outdated, and the social aspects generate too much
noise with not enough signal.

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