NonFreeWiki (2)

This is a proposal for a new WMF sister project.
Status of the proposal
Statusunder discussion
Details of the proposal
Project descriptionSee NonFreeWiki for details
Is it a multilingual wiki?one multilingual wiki
Potential number of languagesmultilingual
New features to requireImprovement in interwiki file transfer and discussion as described below


  • About 4 years ago, the Proposal for NonFreeWiki have been created
  • The proposal received widespread support, but it also generated some noticable concerns
  • Main concerns are, lost of local control in term of files, and the impact on local wiki if local upload is to be disabled
  • This proposal tries to address these concerns


Amendment from previous proposalsEdit

  • Remove the suggestion to disable local image upload
  • The proposed "traffic light" system is for fair use argument. The wiki should also contain other systems that facilitate the use of image due to different copyright laws (length, regulation about issues related to but not directly copyright like patent or database right or right to take photograph of a living person, or regulations regarding pornography and such)
    • Conserve the red and yellow light in the original system, however the blue and green light signal could be replaced by an auto-generated table, with details explained below:
      • First of all, the rule of Non-Free images from each system are collected and convert into criteria in term of codes (For instance, what kind of non-free images are allowed, time from publication, nature, consent from the person being photographed, and such
      • Uploaders should fill in these details in the uploading process (Like the current questionnaire in commons upload wizard). If there are to be person who check for license for images on the wiki, they can check whether these info are filled correctly.
      • And then, the system can determine whether the file is usable on different individual wiki sites based on user-submitted info and predefined rules.
      • It would automate the determination process of whether it an image is suitable for reuse on a certain wiki
        • As such, it would help saving manpower in checking fair use images in different individual wikis
      • The info can then be rendered as a table on file information page for human reuser to determine whether they can use the image in the way they want.

Additional proposalsEdit

  • When an image is proposed to be removed from the NonFreeWiki (And hopefully the process could be expanded to commons later on), discussion should be start on all the wiki that use the file, (as well as wiki that used the file but recently removed, to avoid situation where editor remove an image from local wiki just before proposing to delete the image in order to bypass the notification).
    • The default deletion procedure on the wiki should be to move the file to local wiki if there are any local wiki that disagrees with the deletion or cannot come to a consensus regarding the deletion, and the image should only be truly deleted if no local wiki wants to delete this.
      • It would be analogous to "hard link" in Linux or other unix like operating system where all file names must be deleted before a file would actually be deleted.
    • The proposed NonFreeWiki should also avoid deleting images as much as possible unless local wiki no longer uses them in order to fulfil the role as an image repository.
  • When a copyrighted material gets uploaded onto the NonFreeWiki and the resource is valuable to the wiki, the wiki should preserve the original file size of the uploaded content despite no need to make it available. This way, original data can automatically be made available for access when copyright expires
    • It would also allow the wiki server to use geolocation info from ip address to decide whether the full original image should be served or if the compressed fair use image should be served instead
    • It would also solve the conflict on "How big is enough" regarding thrumbnailing image for fair use purpose
  • The proposal should also be able to host free use images with more restrictive clauses that are thus not suitable on commons and viewers should also be able to access them without compromises.

Other suggestions (Not necessary for the proposal but nice to have?)Edit

  • To complement commons, it could be considered to setup the server in region with less restrictive copyright laws especially in term of copyright protection length, for example in Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Vietnam, so that images on the wiki can be used by wiki for languages of countries with similarly shorter length of copyright protection more easily)
  • Consider integrating with commons to further simplify the process of searching for photo in WMF projects
  • There should be a way to easily migrate images non-compatible with commons to this wiki and images from this wiki to commons if copyright expired
  • When an image is proposed for deletion on such a wiki, there should be a way to notify not just uploader but also people who insert the image onto other wiki as well as post a notification message to a particular discussion page regarding this kind of images in each local wiki


  • There's still a problem in the proposal in the sense that whether it is allowed to store fair use images separate from the original wikipedia article and provide them on a different site.
    • It could also be possible that the file itself is not shown on the NonFreeWiki if copyright is a problem, and the info page for file could contain only the metadata and link to pages where the file is used
  • Staffing would be another problem as mentioned by original proposal
    • Integration with commons could reduce doublework although there are also problem of workload on commons
      • License and fair use clause check could fall onto the responsibility of uploader to reduce problem of such an interlanguage wiki
      • Deletion requests and other discussions about specific files on commmons can also be offloaded onto individual wikis like the first point in the additional proposal above to reduce workload on commons.

People interestedEdit


  1.   Support as proposer for this modified proposal C933103 (talk) 09:03, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  2.   Support as I already voted for NonFreeWiki long times ago, this wii will help reducing the burden on local communities --minhhuy (talk) 04:17, 26 February 2018 (UTC)
  3.   Support This wiki will make things easier.—Asdfugil (talk) 01:39, 15 July 2018 (UTC)
  4.   Support as I already voted for NonFreeWiki, this will make editing for normal users much more easier. --Walter Klosse (talk) 18:25, 18 September 2018 (UTC)
  5.   Strong support - While I see Pi zero's point on centralism, this doesn't prevent me from favoring this proposed project. Indeed, I'm unsure whether to trust local communities on handling non-free content themselves. Their processes, like en-wiki's FFD, have been barely visited. en-wiki's PROD has been extended to apply to files because its FFD was hugely backlogged, so the backlogging was mostly cleared out. However, even FFD still attracts very few visitors lately. Another example is en-WN's insufficient(?) enforcement on copyright; the project has non-free multimedia content, e.g. content released under NC and/or ND licenses. The central project is needed so badly, so copyright should be more enforceable in all (if not most) projects. --George Ho (talk) 20:13, 5 November 2018 (UTC)
    en.wn has good reason for what it does, and rigorously negotiated its fair-use policy with wikimedia legal. The fact that non-locals often don't understand the project is a good illustration of why a central authority would be less qualified to handle this stuff that the local projects. --Pi zero (talk) 02:30, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
    Can fair use apply to such images as this one and that one? George Ho (talk) 09:39, 7 November 2018 (UTC)
    Not a meaningful question. Fair use doesn't apply to this particular image or that one, but to what use in what context and for what purpose any image or other intellectual property is put by a third party without the I-P owner's explicit permission/licensing. And fair use (at least in the US, which is the relevant jurisdiction) is a much broader legal regime than most Wikipedians realize because of how much legitimate fair use is directly suppressed by WMF.  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  22:03, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
  6.   Strong support. Really, why there are no NonFreeWiki in 2k19? 12 years of discussions and strong-supporting, where is the result? Фред-Продавец звёзд (talk) 16:41, 3 May 2019 (UTC)
  7.   Strong support This is a good idea. Local copies should be exterminated. Pi zero is wrong! Calvinkulit (talk) 11:07, 12 September 2019 (UTC)
  8.   Strong support This came up yet again as a solution to a specific need in the Wikimedia movement 2030 Community Conversations: Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia_movement/2018-20/Working_Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/9#NonFreeWiki — Aron M (talk) 19:07, 29 September 2019 (UTC)
  9.   Strong support. Fair use files in one Wikipedia can not used nowadays in another one. It would be similar to Commons, but for Fair Use. Good idea. Also, we have the softare: Commons software, with little change (only a text to say that content is not free). BoldLuis (talk) 23:44, 1 May 2020 (UTC)
  10.   Support --Kitabc12345 (talk) 05:22, 2 May 2020 (UTC)
  11.   Support everything in that direction. I also expect structured metadata and multilingual translation to be massively used since the beginning. In my dream, I aslo hope to see functional deletion procedures where classes of files are under analysis and not single files randomly--Alexmar983 (talk) 17:01, 22 May 2020 (UTC)
  12.   Support Idk why there are oppose comments? There are no contents of world that is fully free, free in one case means that it's non-free in another case. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 08:51, 3 July 2020 (UTC)


  1.   Oppose For similar reasons to my opposition to the earlier proposal. Not disabling local upload doesn't prevent degradation of local control, increase of complexity/bureucracy, and subsequent pressure for further centralization. --Pi zero (talk) 13:08, 28 February 2018 (UTC)
  2. Oppose for the same reasons as Pi zero, and because this is a solution in search of a problem, and because WMF is already way, way too copyright-paranoid and over-restrictive. A whole lot of the US Fair Use Doctrine is denied to us by WMF's legal department for no clear reason; the last thing the Wiki community needs to do is help them do it even more. I have never encountered an organization so keen to bend over backwards to please copyright holders, and I've been working professionally in digital intellectual property policy since the early 1990s (i.e., since before the concept had even really formed).  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  21:57, 23 April 2019 (UTC)
  3. Oppose per reasons stated here.--Eloquence (talk) 06:44, 14 July 2020 (UTC)

Other commentsEdit

See Also Talk:NonFreeWiki (2)
Moved my comment to talk page. --George Ho (talk) 21:21, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
  • There is a related Phabricator task (phab:T148450) probably not directly related to this project, but it shows how currently technically difficult transferring non-free content to local wikis is. George Ho (talk) 11:37, 22 November 2018 (UTC)