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

Bryan Derksen bryan.derksen at shaw.ca
Thu Jul 19 16:24:28 UTC 2007

WikipediaEditor Durin wrote:
> en.wikipedia is utterly failing at executing the Foundation's mission, and
> it is THE flagship project.

This is unwarranted hyperbole. If we're utterly failing, why is
Wikipedia a top-10 website that's rapidly gaining cachet as the first
place to look for general information, why is Britannica in terror of
us, and (specifically on the "free" front) why is the Wikipedia database
being used by literally hundreds of mirrors?

Also, bear in mind that "free" is only one half of our fundamental goal.
The other half is "encyclopedia". Adding fair use content may restrict
the "free" half while enhancing the "encyclopedia" half, so it's hardly
an obvious net loss.

The same rationales that we use for fair use images can be used by
others who wish to use Wikipedia's material in the same context (as an
educational encyclopedia), so it's not like the fair use images are
completely useless for people wishing to reuse our content. They just
have to make the judgement for themselves which licences are compatible
with their use and strip out the bits that aren't.

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