[Wikimedia-l] Why is not free?

Tobias Oelgarte tobias.oelgarte at googlemail.com
Wed Jul 4 01:03:48 UTC 2012

We have special templates for this case which prominently inform the 
user that the image is free due to reason XYZ but can't be used in any 
context due to additional trademark restrictions.

This concept does not only apply to logos or trademarks, but also for 
public domain cases. Commons hosts images which are public domain in 
some countries (needs to include US) but not in other countries due to 
different copyright laws. The same way some language Wikis host content 
that is free after local law but not after US law. Another case are 
personal rights. For example the German "Recht am eigenen Bild" is very 
restrictive and does not allow any usage of a free image from any person.

What i mean is: We already have such restrictions for various images in 
our collection and the re-user has to be careful to comply with all laws 
aside the copyright law. Releasing the Logos under a free license and 
including a template which mentions the restrictions would be common 
practice. Hosting images with no free license is actual exception.

Am 04.07.2012 02:16, schrieb Birgitte_sb at yahoo.com:
> I can't disagree with your understanding  of the different IP laws, however this not a very commonly understood nuance.  Many people, when seeing the logo listed as "free" regarding copyright, will assume they can use it the same as any other copyleft or PD image.  They will not necessarily understand that trademark protections will interfere with their actually being able to use the symbol as an image. People who mistakenly use the symbol, and receive the required lawyerly letter to stop this, will feel betrayed by the fact it was listed as "free" of copyright.  However strictly accurate the plan to treat the two areas of IP law separately might be, it cannot be executed very well. Those people, misled by their poor understanding of how these separate areas of laws achieve very similar results, will feel burned. Their goodwill will be lost. They may even become convinced they had been intentionally tricked with mixed messages.
> It much more pragmatic to simply reserve the copyright on trademarks. To maintain a consistent message of "Do not use."
> Birgitte SB
> On Jul 3, 2012, at 6:06 PM, Tobias Oelgarte<tobias.oelgarte at googlemail.com>  wrote:
>> You will have to split between trademark laws and copyright laws. Both concepts exist separately from each other. There are a lot of logos that are not copyright protected. For example very simple text logos, depending on country even more complex logos that don't reach the needed threshold of originality or even works that are by now in public domain. Still this logos and it's use is restricted due to trademark laws. So i don't see a true reason why the Wikipedia logos should not be licensed freely, while trademark laws still apply and we promote free content at the same time.
>> Am 04.07.2012 00:06, schrieb Ilario Valdelli:
>>> Again, the logo is a symbol, it's not an image.
>>> I don't agree with your concept because you can move the Commons content in another website also commercial.
>>> So you should split content and repository. The content may be free, the repository may be not free.
>>> Following your concept if a newspaper would use the Commons content, it should release under free license his website, his logo, his content.
>>> On 03.07.2012 23:47, Tobias Oelgarte wrote:
>>>> I don't know how it is handled after US law, but if i consider German law then logos and trademarks are often even in the public domain, but protected as a trademark itself. But i also think that our logo is something to protect while being free at the same time. If we go strictly after the policies the logos aren't free and should be deleted (especially with Commons in mind, because it is violation of the policies ;-) ). This is somehow contradictory to the mission itself. So i can understand the point that Rodrigo put up as well.
>>>> Am 03.07.2012 23:37, schrieb Ilario Valdelli:
>>>>> A mark is not a simple image.
>>>>> A mark it's a symbol.
>>>>> On 03.07.2012 23:32, Rodrigo Tetsuo Argenton wrote:
>>>>>> So in your view, free images can be harmful? So why would I release a
>>>>>> picture?
>>>>>> And you're telling me is more important to believe in the logo, instead of
>>>>>> checking the validity of what you are consuming? But we do not talk to our
>>>>>> volunteers always check the sources and not to believe blindly in a single
>>>>>> source?
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