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

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Fri Jul 20 04:02:40 UTC 2007

On 7/19/07, WikipediaEditor Durin <wikidurin at gmail.com> wrote:
> This morning, I did a survey of 100 image uploads. The sample size
> with relation to
> the overall quantity of image uploads per month is not statistically
> significant, but
> it is terrifying nonetheless. With that grain of salt in mind;

Is there a survey on the _types_ of fair use images that persist a
month after upload or so? I would be much more interested in that.

I have no problem with thousands of book & album covers, logos &
screenshots. These are cases where there will be no alternative to
fair use for the foreseeable future. Wikipedia is, in some ways, like
a visitor from another planet, trying to document this one's culture:
The fact that _we_ use a free license is very odd, as most
contemporary culture is proprietary.

If there's one area we should focus on purging of any & all fair use,
it's photos of living celebrities. But the mere fact that the quantity
of fair use images is high does not indicate that something is
fundamentally wrong; the quantity of articles documenting pop culture
is also very high, and documenting contemporary works will often
include fair use excerpts.  I would be more open to a rigid approach
if copyright terms weren't so ridiculously high, but there is no
relevant process of contemporary works passing into the public domain
anymore. Making use of the few exemptions the law provides seems
entirely reasonable.

The issue requires a balanced approach, not a binary one. What are we
trying to achieve? Does it help anyone to nuke thousands of album
covers, for example -- does it make it more likely that free
replacements will be added? I don't think so.

Toward Peace, Love & Progress:

DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.

More information about the WikiEN-l mailing list