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

George Herbert george.herbert at gmail.com
Fri Jul 20 09:24:20 UTC 2007

On 7/20/07, Todd Allen <toddmallen at gmail.com> wrote:
> To start with, if I see it as decorative, I'll say "decorative". And I
> can see little to no value of any type but decoration in the vast
> majority and cover-shots.

Here's the problem.

You are representative of a large fraction of editors/admin who are
taking your ideological axe to the project.  Your opinion above is
legitimate and sincere, but bad for Wikipedia.

As I stated, these "decorative" images are important visual parts of
the site experience and learning experience for the normal visitor.
This is due to fundamental aspects of how human minds work and learn.

When you call them "decorative" you're betraying an inherent value
judgement which is at odds with human nature, learning, and the value
of the encyclopedia.  It's an irrational attempt to demean some of the
visual content to justify its removal, and it's just not sensible or
justifyable.  The language choice you're insisting on is proving my

I haven't heard anyone speak up against the use of identical content
if the source has open-licensed it.  If there is truly opposition to
album covers or logos for logos and album covers sakes, it's being
very quiet.  In the rare instances where it's been open licensed,
everyone seems happy, not upset.

It's reasonable to say "I wish to balance open content and
encyclopedia content" and discuss where the balance point should be.
It's not reasonable to demean the reader value of specific instances
because their licensing is one way or the other.

-george william herbert
george.herbert at gmail.com

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