[WikiEN-l] BetacommandBot, (currently) centralized discussion

geni geniice at gmail.com
Sun Feb 24 08:16:49 UTC 2008

On 24/02/2008, WJhonson at aol.com <WJhonson at aol.com> wrote:
>  If, in a biography of Patti Smith, we have no free images of Patti Smith,
>  but we have a book cover of her biography writen by John Brown or whatever, and
>  that book cover, is in fact, a photograph of Patti Smith, we can and should
>  use  it in the article.  That photograph enhances the project, harms no one,
>  and  is fair use.  Rejecting it for bureaucratic reasons, making the *rule* more
>   important than the participants, is not in the best interests of the
>  project.  I'm not suggesting we have a rule for not using book  covers.  I'm
>  suggesting that those people who interpret our policy to state  that, are harming the
>  project.

How exactly would you defend that under the doctrine of fair use? I
really can't see a way to do it.

>  Some editors place the rules as gods over the community, without realizing
>  that it is the community which made the rules.  Some editors place such a  high
>  reliance in their personal interpretations of general policy, to fit
>  specific situations, that they cannot comprehend how harmful their actions are  to
>  the project, when they create such a level of internal discord, and when the
>  end-result denigrates the project without creating any enhanced value.

Our copyright policy was for the most part put together by people who
have at least a passing knowledge of copyright law. So fair you have
failed to show that you do.

>  The removal of all fair use photographs does nothing useful for the  project.

The project is to make a free encyclopedia.

>   It does however harm it, by removing useful illustrations from  articles
>  that could use them,

So far for your chosen example this does not  appear to be true.

>replacing their removal with a vacancy filled by  nothing.
>  That isn't progress.
>  Will Johnson

Experience suggests that nothing is more likely to be replaced by a
free image than an image with a really really weak fair use claim.


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