Wikipedia talk:Non-free content

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Non-free images and SVG[edit]

I notice that there is a category, mostly logos, but I think this is definitely either in violation of WP:IMAGERES or pointless. Vector formats are inherently scalable and the software would automatically generate high-resolution versions of them (not to mention the file itself would be hosted on Wikipedia, even if the scale parameter is default low, it still contains all the information that would be present in a default high-resolution SVG). The page there suggests that one "reduce the detail" of the SVG, but this seems like a much murkier proposition than simply leaving them in a low-resolution raster format.

I think it would be worthwhile to clarify the official policy on vector versions of images and when they would be appropriate. There was some discussion of this 7 years ago at Template_talk:Should_be_SVG#Logos, and it seems to me that in general everyone agrees that vector images are inherently unlikely to meet fair use rationales, but the result of the discussion was simply to warn people that it's probably a waste of time - this might be OK, but the user trying to decide whether or not it's a waste of time would likely come to either WP:NFCC or WP:LOGO to determine whether or not it's acceptable, and vector images are not mentioned in either location. This seems like a point that should be clarified. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 21:38, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

If the image is non-free, the only time we allow SVG if it is the logo as pulled directly from the entity's own distribution channels, as such that there's no misrepresentation of the logo. A recreation of a logo in SVG is not appropriate if the logo doesn't qualify as free/uncopyrightable. --MASEM (t) 21:42, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
I disagree even with this. Consider that if you get a high-resolution logo from an official distribution channel, you still need to scale it down in order to meet WP:IMAGERES. Similarly, rasterizing the SVG should also be part of minimal use. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 21:51, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
If a vectorisation has been taken from a company, then we are potentially not only using someone's copyrighted logo, but also a derivative work of someone else's vectorisation, which may be separately copyrightable as a computer program, independently of the copyright status of the underlying logo. Therefore, we should always seek to obtain permission from the one who created the vectorisation and ensure that the vectorisation isn't derived from a non-free source. --Stefan2 (talk) 22:02, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
As long as we are getting the logo from a company's official channels (like off their website), we are assume that the logo was done as a work-for-hire either within the company or a third party, and as such, even the SVG part of the file would be copyright to the company as a work for hire. That's why the source is important as to verify it's both official and that there's no other special notes about copyright. --MASEM (t) 22:13, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
  • If a non-free SVG file doesn't meet WP:NFCC#3b, then please nominate the file for deletion. Just the fact that an SVG can scale to any size is not the important thing. WP:NFCC#3b is more about image quality, and the quality of an SVG file depends on in which detail you encode it. The quality of a PNG file depends more on the number of pixels, making it easier to determine the quality of a PNG file. I'm not sure how to easily determine if a given SVG file satisfies WP:NFCC#3b or not, but if it has extremely high quality, then it obviously doesn't satisfy WP:NFCC#3b. --Stefan2 (talk) 21:46, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
The fact that the SVG file can scale to any size makes it inherently impossible for it to be minimal use. Resolution is not a meaningful concept in vector files, as that is just a display parameter. The Wikipedia software will automatically generate low and high resolution versions from any SVG, and even if that mechanism were removed on non-free images, you're still hosting what is essentially the full, high-resolution image. The safest bet is to rasterize before uploading. Either way, I think it should be explicitly clarified in the policy, as people may not understand the fundamental difference between raster and vector images. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 21:51, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
Resolution (as in "pixel count") is only meaningful for pixel graphics (e.g. PNG, JPG or OGV). It is not meaningful for sound files (such as MID or OGV) where there are other quality considerations. Similarly, the pixel count is not a useful measurement for telling if an SVG file is big or not. You could render the same logo using either 10 or 10,000 geometric shapes, but if you use 10,000 geometric shapes, the SVG file will be a lot more detailed. One way to determine the size of an SVG file is to count the number of geometric shapes used to render the logo, but it can't be the only requirement as different logos need different numbers of geometric shapes. --Stefan2 (talk) 22:02, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
While I think technically there are direct analogs to resolution in music, I take your general point, but I am having trouble coming up with a situation in which it would be relevant. I can't think of a situation where the most valuable minimum use form factor wouldn't be a low-resolution rasterization of a vector image. At the very least, I think we should prefer minimum-resolution rasters for non-free vector images unless there is a compelling fair-use justification for using an actual vector version. Consider that the standard is "minimum use", which means that if you can use less of the image (i.e. a lower quality), you should. If you can create an SVG version and display it at a useful size, anything higher-resolution than that useful size would be by nature superfluous additional resolution - resolution provided by the SVG (due to infinite scaling) but not by the raster. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 22:15, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
For images, it may be a good idea to combine WP:NFCC#3b with WP:NFCC#7 and require that all parts of the image must be used. If some parts (some pixels or some vector file elements) are not used in an article, then those parts would be removed. However, this solution would maybe cause problems with software screenshots where it sometimes may be required to show more detail on the file information page than in the article. It also does not address sound or video (except the video's pixel count). --Stefan2 (talk) 23:44, 4 October 2014 (UTC)
This argument has come up many times over the years. However logo's have an exact opposite requirement, in that the organisation that uses or supplies them wants the logo to be used as a good quality to avoid tarnishing its image. Some SVG files used as logos have been converted from other forms supplied from the company, or may have been supplied in the form used. In any of these cases where the logo is used to identify the organisation, it is likely to be used according to the organisation's conditions and then used with permission. SO although this is not according to a Wikipedia policy it is still legal and desired by the supplier that the image is used according to its maximum resolution. In this case there should be additional text to say if the logo supplier wants it to be used at high resolution rather than a poor quality version. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:15, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
Again I very strongly disagree with this. There is nothing in Wikipedia policy about using images with restricted permissions. WP:NFCC#3b indicates "minimal use" - that doesn't mean a low quality image, it just means the lowest quality image that conveys the message appropriately. If an image looks bad at the resolution displayed, then using a higher resolution version of it should be acceptable, but nothing will justify hosting, say, a 2048x1024 image of Wal-Mart's logo, when the only articles using it are displaying it at 200x100. Using an SVG version of the logo is effectively using a high-resolution version of the image. Given that this has legal implications, I'm guessing we should get someone from WMF to weigh in on the appropriateness of vector formats in fair use images, to clarify these points, and from there we should clarify the situation in WP:IMAGERES, which is currently providing no guidance with respect to fair use vector images. 0x0077BE [talk/contrib] 15:53, 5 October 2014 (UTC)
Sysop of hy:wp here. I was browsing to understand exactly this - How do we deal with non-free SVG logos on different Wikipedias. So I strongly support idea of reaching out to WMF for legal clarifications. --Aleksey Chalabyan a.k.a. Xelgen (talk) 03:15, 17 October 2014 (UTC)