Forum:New "ignorable policy" on images

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Forums: Index > Ministry of Love > New "ignorable policy" on images
Note: This topic has been unedited for 2284 days. It is considered archived - the discussion is over. Do not add to unless it really needs a response.


So, I'm looking at our upload log and thinking, "Why are we doing this?". Many of our images have ambiguous copyright status, at best, while others are probably outright copyright violations. Those that are clearly copyright violations often claim "fair use", when it really doesn't pass the test for "fair use".

Not that we need to create some kind of vigilance committee or nazi copyright regime (although we could issue them awesome uniforms modeled after the SS if we get enough donations) since the WMF already does vigilance work and we can reap the rewards. We have access to the entirety of Wikimedia Commons, which is a vast repository of images with clear copyright status and the majority appear to be either public domain, rights-released, or at least licensed with creative communism.

Images on my Mammogram article are the following:

  1. Made by another uncyclopedian (User:Strainj1, modified cave art; the only uncertainty is the base image)
  2. Public domain images from commons.wm and/or were cropped from public domain images. Seriously.
  3. An unambiguously CC-BY-NC-SA licensed image from deviantART. Probably the most legally-ambiguous one, since it is an image of what is probably a copyrighted logo. I'd claim fair use in the article, though, since it satirically pokes fun at the logo itself.
  4. In the near future it will contain an image I'll create myself, to which I'll release all rights for the good of humanity.

Why point this out? Because we really do need to be responsible Internet denizens. Fair Use has a very narrow scope. We can exploit it when it fits, but a huge amount doesn't.

I propose that we should explain and recommend that, where possible, we use commons for all images that do not require editing. Even those that do require editing should exploit commons where possible. There's no reason to re-upload, either, as I just proved with File:AntoniodeUlloa.jpg from Platinum, which I deleted from our server but already exists on commons.

Thoughts? Dawg.gif » Brig Sir Dawg | t | v | c » 2013.02.09.19:02

Well, we don't need anything vs. copyright. If you look at Forum:Legal Question... then you might see that nobody cares about copyright. We're UN. ~Y KUN — 09 February MMXIII 22-19-29
I'm as opposed as the next uncyclopedian to any rules that are set in stone and inhibit creativity, hence my intention to make it an "ignorable policy". Such policies are things uncyclopedians generally agree are good, but nobody cares if they're violated (until/unless they do, but most don't). It'd be nice to either expand UN:IMG into a proper educational page or create something new that can be cited. Dawg.gif » Brig Sir Dawg | t | v | c » 2013.02.10.00:04

Cooking with wild ingredients: An example

Joe User is writing an article on cooking with wild ingredients. He has decided that there will be a few paragraphs on cooking with bison droppings. Knowing that bison are ruminants not unlike cattle and since Joe lives in New York City where no self-respecting ruminant would ever set hoof (as opposed to Hyderabad or Bangalore), he realizes that he's going to need to locate a suitable image on the internet.

In his quest, he tries google where he finds this tasty morsel: Oh, doesn't it look good.

The problem is that the copyright clearly belongs to the owner of the site it came from. The probability that the creator of the image actually cares that he's using their cow pie as a picture of a raw ingredient for his article is slim. I'm sure the matron is quite the freedom-loving hippy farmer sort that really doesn't care, so why should we?

Well, if Joe had looked around, he could have found this delectable morsel...

Now you've found what you're after! A delicious, fresh, fruit of the majestic bison. Note the healthy coloration, gentle marbling, delicate aroma, texture, fiber, and the lush greenery surrounding it. Glorious. You'll be eating well tonight!

It also happens to be released to the public domain (thank you, USDA) and I didn't have to upload anything.

Just saying, it's worth explaining how to do this. Dawg.gif » Brig Sir Dawg | t | v | c » 2013.02.10.00:52

I think that sounds worth it too, so since I have no idea how to do that, how do I use an image from mediawiki commons? -RAHB 01:14, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
It's easy. Just use the filename there and if we don't have a file by that name, it is automatically used. The one above was simply grabbing the name and slapping Image: in front of it. Try it with something in a preview... Dawg.gif » Brig Sir Dawg | t | v | c » 2013.02.10.02:20
But how can someone like me take advantage of this wonderful, limited-time offer? Sir Modusoperandi Boinc! 04:09, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
By sending me 6 easy payments of 525.81, operators are.... Wait, I was channeling Ron Popeil for a second there. Just add the following to your LocalSettings.php:
 $wgUseInstantCommons = true; 
And you should be set. Dawg.gif » Brig Sir Dawg | t | v | c » 2013.02.10.04:20
Sexy. -RAHB 06:56, 10 February 2013 (UTC)