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Question about fair use imagesEdit

Could anyone knowledgable help us here ?

As a reminder, we were told that, being hosted on a californian server, we had to respect US law, and not everyone understand american law :-)

Could anyone explain to us what is fair use for images ?

How precisely it applies. On which types of pictures. What it implies. Which are the limits. And when we should consider a picture is fair use and as such may be inserted. Or not.

I am not looking for an extensive discussion over the merit of including fair use images or not :-)

Just on which principles we can base our decision making over keeping or not keeping the images

Anthere


From: "Anthere" <anthere6 at yahoo.com>

Could anyone knowledgable help us here ?

I volunteer to try, but remember this is not legal advice even though IAAL.

As a reminder, we were told that, being hosted on a californian server, we had to respect US law, and not everyone understand american law :-)


There is a page on fair use in the English Wikipedia en:Fair_use

How precisely it applies. On which types of pictures. What it implies. Which are the limits. And when we should consider a picture is fair use and as such may be inserted. Or not.

Fair use is a defense. It applies to _each_ _use_ differently. It depends on the picture and where you got it from and how it is used, i.e. why is it being included in the article.

At the bottom of the Fair Use page is a checklist: from Purdue University: http://www.copyright.iupui.edu/checklist.pdf I think this is a useful checklist for a fair use analysis.

Going through this analysis can give one some comfort about the potential finding of fair use (remember it is only through judicial action that fair use is determined, we can only guess on it). It is my suggestion that such an analysis be put on the page description and added in each article that the image is used (the fair use of an image in one article may not be fair use in a different article). I suggest describing the analysis in the article in hidden text i.e. This will hopefully remain part of the article and anyone who uses the article under the GFDL can determine if their use is different that the use claimed by Wikipedia. It is up to them to make their own determination of fair use. A fair use is not necessarily transferrable under the GFDL.

I am not looking for an extensive discussion over the merit of including fair use images or not :-) Just on which principles we can base our decision making over keeping or not keeping the images

I've recently tried to make sure that the list of the four major factors that apply to fair use determinations is explained to some degree in the fair use article.

Unfortunately Anthere it is not always a clear determination. Not all judges/juries apply the law the same way. It is a factual determination based upon a total appreciation of the evidence as presented during the proceedings. Lawyer may also, when giving an opinion, differ. This is why some prefer to get permission and even pay a small royalty when using something that might even qualify as fair use. It is better to pay that royalty than to pay the costs of defending fair use in court.

I do not mean this to be evasive, but some people talk about fair use as if it can be defined easily. See http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Copyright_issues and http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:Image_use_policy/copyright

I do not agree. I think that it cannot be clearly defined and that it is not a given that fair use on Wikipedia means that any subsequent sublicensee will automatically be able to claim fair use on the GFDL. This is the major problem when it comes to fair use on Wikipedia one cannot say that an image is fair use, one can only say "Use of this image on Wikipedia is fair use, that fair use may not be transferable under the GFDL."

Alex756


c'est horriblement compliqué.
la meilleure chose a faire c'est de:

  • vivre sans l'image en question -- trouver une alternative
  • si c'est indispensable, marquer que c'est "fair use" sur la page

description image.


Tarquin


In answer to another question about what GFDL means...


Given that this is a mailing list used to discuss the matters which arise on a free /encyclopaedia/ I don't think it's remiss of me to say you should perhaps look these terms up first? Since you're using a speech recognition program, I'll presume you require it, and that entering individual URLs may be difficult; I have a bookmarklet set in mozilla (http://www.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?search=%s&go=Go) which allows me to type "wiki term I wish to look up"; this brings me directly to the page, if one exists under that title, otherwise it brings me to the search page. Using this I find: The *fair use* doctrine <http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine> is a body of law <http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law> and court decisions <http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Court_decision> which provide limitations and exceptions to copyright <http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limitations_and_exceptions_to_copyright>.

and:

The *GNU Free Documentation License* (GFDL) is a copyleft <http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyleft> license for free content <http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_content>, designed by the Free Software Foundation <http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Software_Foundation> (FSF) for the GNU <http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU> project.


Jimmy o'regan


Mentionning it is fair use as Alex explained seems a good idea to me. Why is not the english wikipedia doing this as well ?

Good question. I recently added specific information regarding this at: http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Image_description_page#Fair_use_rationale It does not appear that anyone thought that fair use was use specific. I hope people will follow this suggestion. It will make Wikipedia much more useful to third parties that might want to include images in their versions of Wikipedia content.

Alex756


If all the other wikipedias jumped off a cliff, would you too? :) Claiming something is okay just because it's on another wiki doesn't wash; the other one is just as likely to _not_ be okay.

And remember, folks, *no picture* is much better than a picture we can't redistribute. If you didn't make it with your own hands or scan it from a piece of paper older than 1924, and it doesn't have a "public domain" or "GNU Free Documentation License" note on it, think twice.

Don't waste everyone's time copying something that turns up in 3 seconds searching images.google.com; creating original works is better.

....

It was disabled on the English wikipedia, as that's where abuses were occuring (quite frequently). In any case I would discourage_ such linking. And there have been enough crazy court decisions over 'deep linking' and such that I wouldn't rely on "it's just a link to another site, we're not _copying it_" for an image embedded into a web page. (IANAL)

-- brion vibber (brion @ pobox.com)



And remember, folks, *no picture* is much better than a picture we can't redistribute. If you didn't make it with your own hands or scan it from a piece of paper older than 1924, and it doesn't have a "public domain" or "GNU Free Documentation License" note on it, think twice.

Good advice (is prior to January 1, 1923 or January 1, 1924?)

Don't waste everyone's time copying something that turns up in 3 seconds searching images.google.com; creating original works is better.

There may be the _rare_ occasion when an image is so publically well known (i.e. a famous photo of something that is very _news_ worthy) that practically any informational use may be covered by fair use, but that will be _very rare_. Most fair uses will not be 100% compatible with the GNU FDL.

But when I go on w.es.kissinger, I see an image...which is not an internal image, but rather an external link to another web site (but is displayed in wikipedia frame as well). ant

It was disabled on the English wikipedia, as that's where abuses were occuring (quite frequently). In any case I would _discourage_ such linking. And there have been enough crazy court decisions over 'deep linking' and such that I wouldn't rely on "it's just a link to another site, we're not _copying it_" for an image embedded into a web page. (IANAL)

This is a good point. Even if you don't keep a copy, it is still being copied automatically when it is being displayed on the Wikipedia page. Someone does not have to click on it to go to another web page. Therefore some jury or judge can easily make a legal finding that the deep link is a copy on Wikipedia (never know what judges or juries will do until the law becomes well settled).

Alex756 (IAAL, but it's NALO [not a legal opinion]!)



There may be the _rare_ occasion when an image is so publically well known (i.e. a famous photo of something that is very _news_worthy) that practically any informational use may be covered by fair use, but that will be _very rare_. Most fair uses will not be 100% compatible with the GNU FDL.

IOW: The crux of the biscuit is the apostrophe (not Legalese)...Fair use is a ubiquitous legal plugin that tries to keep molehill issues from become mountains of suits over nonsense.

Im not sure what Brion was saying about resolution--IF you understand how printing works, you know that you generally need twice the dpi for a screen print-- (printing is dots of color right--used to be done with "dot screens", now done on 'puters). So to properly render a magazine photo of a Kalvin Klein ad--mimicking the quality of the original photo (which is impossible -- a cameras ultimate resolution is way higher than print, which is way higher than web.) youd basically need to copy the thing purty durn well. (Also not legalese)

Consider an album cover -- the value of which is in part based on its quality of rendering -- aethethic qualities that cannot be reproduced from a tiny little web picture --even a "large" pic at only at 72dpi (ie. standard)-- roughly a quarter of that necessary to properly render it as a print, and this doesnt come close to having something that someone can make a poster out of and sell.

So, it seems that the image use policy is generally made null by the mere fact that these images are web-based, and therefore low resolution. Granted the web is well-used, and print reproduceability is no longer a standard (was it ever?) but where uniqueness of images is protected, it seems that its impossible to sincerely fault a diminished-quality rendering for the crime of imposing itself as a substitute for the original.

This is a good point. Even if you don't keep a copy, it is still being copied automatically when it is being displayed on the Wikipedia page. Someone does not have to click on it to go to another web page. Therefore some jury or judge can easily make a legal finding that the deep link is a copy on Wikipedia (never know what judges or juries will do until the law becomes well settled).

But its reasonable that display issues may simply break down as "fair use" standards do-- a case-by-case look at the pertinent factors -whats it for? was there credit to the source? is it high-quality? was it used in print? profit? etc...

What is clear in all of this is that there needs to be a better, more centralized cross-languages way of handling images, perhaps an images domain -- so that highband users can attempt to manage these better--copyright issues can be dealt with more swiftly and therefore the intelligencia doesnt have to trip too much about the potential possibility of things they only suspect. Having separate imagelists for each seem silly.

~S~

IANAL, but not a very good one.

Stevertigo


Brion Vibber wrote:

And remember, folks, *no picture* is much better than a picture we can't redistribute. If you didn't make it with your own hands or scan it from a piece of paper older than 1924, and it doesn't have a "public domain" or "GNU Free Documentation License" note on it, think twice.

I agree completely with this sentiment. I think we should not be pushing any boundaries with respect to fair use, because of the redistribution issue.

As Alex has been patiently teaching us, fair use is a defense, a defense that depends on the use, and for that reason, and because of our interest in free redistribution, we should take care that when we do rely on fair use, we do so in such a way that almost anyone could rely on a fair use defense for any plausible re-use of our content.

To take the easiest possible example, a quote of a few sentences of a copyrighted novel in an article about the author of that novel. This is fair use for us, and it's also going to be fair use for just about any plausible re-use of our content.

It was disabled on the English wikipedia, as that's where abuses were occuring (quite frequently). In any case I would _discourage_ such linking. And there have been enough crazy court decisions over 'deep linking' and such that I wouldn't rely on "it's just a link to another site, we're not _copying it_" for an image embedded into a web page. (IANAL)

Yes, and it's pretty rude to the other webmaster. People often refer to it as 'stealing bandwidth', which may be an overly bold claim, but still, it's not good etiquette to embed an image in that way.

--Jimbo


Jimmy-

Brion Vibber wrote: And remember, folks, *no picture* is much better than a picture we can't redistribute. If you didn't make it with your own hands or scan it from a piece of paper older than 1924, and it doesn't have a "public domain" or "GNU Free Documentation License" note on it, think twice.

I agree completely with this sentiment. I think we should not be pushing any boundaries with respect to fair use, because of the redistribution issue.

The image use policy is fairly clear on which fair use is allowed and generally discourages it. Bringing the fair use issue up again and again on the mailing list and writing long winded messages why we shouldn't do it only will generate fear, uncertainty and doubt about fair use in general, and potentially triggers unproductive flamewars.

As a strong proponent of fair use rights, and as a believer in the necessity of fair use on Wikipedia in certain cases (you won't get Don Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein to pose for another handshake), I do not think this is the right approach. Instead, we should correct mistakes where they occur and educate users about the limits.

The next time someone brings up fair use, please just point them to the relevant pages on Wikipedia. These are Wikipedia:Copyrights, [[fair use]], copyright, Wikipedia:Image use policy.

Regards,

Erik


Brion Vibber wrote:

And remember, folks, *no picture* is much better than a picture we can't redistribute. If you didn't make it with your own hands or scan it from a piece of paper older than 1924, and it doesn't have a "public domain" or "GNU Free Documentation License" note on it, think twice.

I'd just like to point out that US law is *pre-1923* not 1924.

Imran



From: "Anthere" <anthere6 at yahoo.com>

However, our users should be given the copyright status of the information provided. Text is gfdl. Images...not always so. They may prefer not to use fair use images, or cp pictures, with author permission to wikipedia. The problem of inline linking, is that the user have no easy access to that information. He could look for the internet link. See the image displayed, and now what ? How could he know how to tweak the link to get to the image description

If this is going to be done it is all the more reason for the image description page to be completed with specific information. Remember that the image use page can never be "fair use" it is the use of that image that is fair use, thus all images that are used as fair use must have copyright information, i.e. where it was from, who took the photo, etc., otherwise a subsequent editor will never be able to determine if their use of the image will be fair use. If the copyright owner appears and says, yes you can use the image in this article but we do not agree with using it in that article, it would be easier if both articles () explained the rationale for fair use, then if Wikipedia wanted to say that it could use the images it would have some idea why the uses are fair use. Otherwise the material will just have to be deleted.

Alex756


--- "Alex R." <alex756 at nyc.rr.com> wrote:

If this is going to be done it is all the more reason for the image description page to be completed with specific information.

There there needs to be a form to fill out (upon upload ) thats more than just a comment line-- something to remind people of the basic info they should get in the habit of including.

~S~

Stevertigo


From: "Steve Vertigum" <utilitymuffinresearch2 at yahoo.com>

> --- "Alex R." <alex756 at nyc.rr.com> wrote:

If this is going to be done it is all the more reason for the image description page to be completed with specific information. There there needs to be a form to fill out (upon upload ) thats more than just a comment line-- something to remind people of the basic info they should get in the habit of including.

This is a good idea and it is something that Anthere has also suggested elsewhere (do you remember where you brought this up Anthere?).

However, that does not solve the problem that each fair use must be specifically described, i.e. when one uploads an image it is available to use on many encyclopedia pages, what is needed is information _about_each_use_ that will help show that the kind of fair use is the kind that Jimbo has talked about, fair use that covers just about any GFDL downstream application of the image in an encyclopedic, informational context.

Otherwise we are going to get as crazy on the English Wikipedia about deleting images as we have become on the French Wikipedia (and perhaps elsewhere that I am unaware).

Alex756


--- "Alex R." <alex756 at nyc.rr.com> wrote:

However, that does not solve the problem that each fair use must be specifically described, i.e. when one uploads an image it is available to use on many encyclopedia pages, what is needed is information _about_each_use_

Each use?? IANAL -- but I know when man's "law" starts contradicting God's Law.. Reason, reasonability, etc. No wonder you guys are turned off to "fair use" -- its almost untenable with that standard.

If there was (years from now) an image.wikipedia.org, that *centralized* dealing with images across all wikis, it would be easier to deal with images as a whole -- upon input. But you're saying this ideality would still not satisfy fair use--that each use of those images must be justified?

Wow. ~S~


That means it would be interesting to add some "fields" in the upload page,

  • perhaps one field explicitely for the cp status,

public domain, gfdl, cp with permission, cp without permission, field that would be mandatory

  • one field for author name
  • perhaps one for source

If the image is cp, that means the one linking the image to a page would have to respect a certain process when linking it to a page perhaps ?

If standard inline linking is used, all that information won't be available, but perhaps the user could hide information in the page.

Anthere


I see two possibilities

Either we decide it is enough to indicate the image is copyrighted on the description page, but might fit with fair use doctrine. Then, we see the article pages to which the image is linked. in these articles, we mention in hidden text the fact the use might be said "fair use".

Pb is that the user will not necessarily look at the source, so will miss the info

Or the image description mention it is cp, but might be fair use, and try to describe which use are possible

As for the central database, it would make sense perhaps, that it contains only gfdl and public domain images. not cp ones, that would remain on local wikipedias. This would favor use of free images.


From: "Anthere" <anthere6 at yahoo.com>

Pb is that the user will not necessarily look at the source, so will miss the info

I think any user who is a downstream licencee will be lookiing for any due dilligence that they can rely upon or verify independently. This is important as we cannot forsee all future fair use scenarios. A downstream licensee will have to check this out, already WP states that all text is released under the GFDL. Someone can verify the edits and the collaborative authoring process for the text by looking into the page histories and analyzing all the contributions on a page (yes this is why IMO the IBM/MIT research project can be important to the future of the GFDL) and they will be able to make a decision about the authorship of texts. For images it will be more a question of public domain or trying to understand the relationship between their use of the GFDL materials vs. the Wikipedia use and see if their use is also a "fair use". If not, they either delete the image, or they ask permission (something that even we can do). If they are going to make money using GFDL materials I do not see any contradiction with that and our use of fair use materials here on Wikipedia. If it is a photo, for a biography, well, then can hire an artist to make

a sketch of the person depicted if they cannot get

permission. At least they have an image to work from. For people who might want to create their own native encyclopedia, their use is probably fair use as well. Why worry so much about that? There is no reason to get hysterical about it here. Wikipedias are non-commercial (different from non-profit) and educational. The amount of material that the photo represents is relatively minor and with the small size of the thumbnails used, how can anyone suggest that the image is anything more than providing some basic information, i.e. what a person looks like or what a whale looks like. No one is going to sue Wikipedia for that (and even then there is the DCMA OCILLA sec. 512 procedure anyone can follow).

Alex756


Inline linkingEdit

Loo run a query to list all the inline links. There were quite a bunch. There were also a certain nomber of inline links made from the other wikipedia sites, especially meta.

This is probably due to the fact it is a bit painful to "tranfer" a pict from one wikipedia to another, and for some resources (such as flags) it make sense to have a common source of images, not to copy and copy again from the others wikipedias.

I would like to support making impossible to make some inline links on all wikipedias; not english only.

I understood the en took that decision because of goatce.However, as you say, it is not nice for the webmaster and the other web site. Besides, the link may die. Plus, the reader does not know whether he may benefit the ressource. He might come to believe he can just copy the image, and that one be GFDL. It is misleading and dangerous to other one.

Finally, Alex and http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly_v._Arriba_Soft_Corporation indicated that it was not necessarily a good idea to use this type of linkage.

Anthere


On Thu, 25 Sep 2003, Anthere wrote:

So...Brion...could you please remove the possibility of making online linking from the international wikipedias please ? It is a consensus reached by those who worked clearing up the topic these past 10 days. With no opposing voices. Thanks.

If you just make them impossible, it would break quite a numer of pages. So IF you do this, and I do not agree with Anthere that the fact that noone said anything means that we all agree, then I think it will be better to keep the possibility to have this inter-Wikipedia, and just forbid such links to the outside world.

Andre Engels


Hi André

Glad you answered :-) If you do not, how could I know you disagree ? :-)

To the point : you appear to agree with forbidding links from outside world. Are you aware of some people disagreeing with this, and if so, for which reasons ?

I agree with you it would be interesting to allow inwiki linking. Uploading really is a pain, and that make sense to share a common resource.

However, our users should be given the copyright status of the information provided. Text is gfdl. Images...not always so. They may prefer not to use fair use images, or cp pictures, with author permission to wikipedia. The problem of inline linking, is that the user have no easy access to that information. He could look for the internet link. See the image displayed, and now what ? How could he know how to tweak the link to get to the image description ?

If we keep inwiki linking, the user should have a way to access the description file of the image. Do you have a suggestion to do so ? I myself do not know.

Anthere



On going discussionEdit

The German Wikipedians decided not to allow any "fair use" pictures on de.wikipedia. Keep in mind that fair use only applies in the USA. There's no equivalent in Germany. Allowing fair use would make things very complicated:

  1. visitors will be disturbed because they think all content is free, but it isn't; they have to check twice before reusing an image from Wikipedia.
  2. editors are disturbed because they may use a picture on one page, but may not copy it to another one. Also keep in mind that most users are even too lazy to add source / license information when they upload an image.
  3. no one would understand why we had posters/covers of all US movies, but none for non-US ones.
  4. as soon as there is a fair use image, nobody will care to look for a free one.
  5. you won't be able to publish the Wikipedia in Europe (think of that "Wikipedia v1.0 CD-ROM") --Head 00:53, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Understood. Is it a "final" general decision or just a couple of people decision ? I am surprised, because I think Eloquence is in favor of fair use, and I have the feeling he would have rejected this opinion. User:Anthere
Discussion was started on the wikide-l mailinglist [1], and most users heavily opposed the en.wiki fair use policy. A poll was started here, results:
"All pictures have to be GFDL, pd or otherwise free, non-free images will be deleted"
pro: 22, contra: 3;
"Most pictures should be free, exceptions (e.g. historically important pictures) are possible according to German law, but they must be marked as non-free and it must be possible to automatically filter them"
pro: 16, contra: 4;
"It is OK to use the same policy as the english WP regarding copyrighted images. What's allowed there should also be allowed here, the German WP is hosted from the USA"
pro: 1, contra: 23 --Head 10:16, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)~
In any case, if you decided to reject fair use (so, to reject any copyrighted images obtained without permission) why is at the same time the german wiki willing to accept inline linking from other wikipedias, when these images are likely to be cp, and might be under fair use defense ? User:Anthere
Inline linking isn't accepted, see [2] which says: "Bitte nicht auf Bilder von externen Internet-Seiten verweisen, statt dessen hier hochladen!" (don't link to external websites, but upload them here). By the way, the German WP also rejects copyrighted images obtained with permission because it still limits their reusability. --Head 10:16, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)

So...if I understand well, the german wikipedia makes no opposition to what I suggest, since it already respects much tighter standards.

I might have been wrong...I thought Andre Hegels was editing on the german wikipedia, and when he said If you just make them impossible, it would break quite a numer of pages. So IF you do this, and I do not agree with Anthere that the fact that noone said anything means that we all agree, then I think it will be better to keep the possibility to have this inter-Wikipedia, and just forbid such links to the outside world., I thought he was somehow giving an opinion quite followed on the german wikipedia. In this comment, he states he disagrees with the removal of possibility of inline linking, or at least, wanted to preserve interwikipedia inline linking.

This position is not consistent with what you tell me.

Perhaps I made a mistake, and Andre is not a german editor. I will check. Thanks for the explanation.

Current situation

english

  • accept free, gfdl, fair use, and cp with permission
  • no inline linking (done)

german

  • accept free and gfdl
  • refuse fair use and cp with permission
  • no inline linking

french

  • accept free, gfdl, fair use, and cp with permission
    • currently, we are trying to understand and clarify the status of fair use, and cp with permission. -- Looxix 23:06, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)
  • no inline linking (no software control)

81.248.0.250

Andre Engels

I'm not sure what's "inline linking". Is it placing an image like this?
http://de.wikipedia.org/upload/2/2c/Arctic_Hare_kl.jpg
I just noticed that this isn't possible on en.wp, but it still is possible on de.wp. Anyway, when we see something like that on de.wp, we remove it and ask the user to upload it to the de server. It would be nice if someone disabled that "feature" on de.wp. BTW, I don't know Andre Hegels. --Head 23:38, 29 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Yes that is "inline linking" the link causes the image to appear on this page while it is stored on a different server or site. Alex756 05:04, 3 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Images_on_WikipediaEdit

These page seems to be really similar with this one... Schiste 23:41, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Both should be merged into a new page that covers every type of license (NC/fair use/free but non-GFDL), cover non-free texts as well as images (Simple English), and can also include the non-pedia projects like Commons, Wikinews, Wikiquote, and Wikisource. How about Wikimedia project license restrictions or Licenses used on Wikimedia projects? — Omegatron 19:37, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
Return to "Non-free content/archive" page.