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About Me
Hw-shakespeare.jpgThis user is a professional writer or journalist.
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fireflyThis user thinks Firefly is the greatest television series ever made.
Pirate Flag of Jack Rackham.svgThis user is a Pirate. Arrr!
Moon-Mdf-2005.jpg This user has met at least three of the twelve men who have walked on the moon.


Beagle portrait Camry.jpgThis user loves Beagles.
Commons-emblem-copyright.svg This user finds copyright paranoia disruptive.
GFDL This user would prefer not to use free images if there are better fair use ones available.
Image-request.svgThis user believes that articles are useless without images.
FlexibleThis user deals with edits, deletion, and creation of pages individually instead of unilaterally and encourages others to do so.
enThis user is a native speaker of the English language.
CP SLOThis user attends or attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
This user supports the Democratic Party of the United States.
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inclThis user is an inclusionist.
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Current Wiki Rant[edit]

"Hey, we're writing an encyclopedia. For free. Wanna help?"
"Um, okay."
"Cool! What do you like?"
"Um... baseball?"
"Great! Why don't you work on baseball pages?"
"Sure... but, one problem?"
"What's that?"
"Well, see, I went to the 'encylopedia' page for Mike Schmidt? You know, the Hall of Fame third baseman?"
"You have a picture of him golfing."
"Oh, I know. Weird, huh. See, we had to delete the picture of him playing baseball, and replace it with the picture of him playing golf."
"Ah, I see. Now, why exactly would you do that?"
"You're saying it's the policy of an encyclopedia... to delete a picture of a famous baseball player playing baseball... and replace it with a shot of him playing golf?"
"Yeah. Weird, huh."
"Not really. Good luck with the 'encyclopdia.'"

It is this prioritization of ideology ("free content") over information which will, in the long run, play a major part in Wikipedia's continued downfall.

Oh, that, and the constant game-playing, best seen by this mildly hysterical posting from July 1, 2008 at Wikipedia_talk:Non-free_content, lamenting the wiki-break of a fair use dragon slayer:

"If he's gone (OMG), please advise me of who's also good at grilling people, because I need back-up now..."

Good at grilling people? Is that the skill set we now ask editors to master? Shameful...

Past Wiki Rants[edit]

Quite possibly the most lopsided intellectual debate I've seen in quite some time:

This deletion nomination... which pits Walter Isaacson verus User:Abu badali.

Let's review.

Walter Isaacson is the President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. He has been the Chairman and CEO of CNN and the Managing Editor of Time Magazine. He is the author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003) and of Kissinger: A Biography (1992) and is the coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986). His biography of Albert Einstein - Einstein: His Life and Universe - was released in April 2007. Isaacson was born on May 20, 1952, in New Orleans. He is a graduate of Harvard College and of Pembroke College of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He began his career at the Sunday Times of London and then the New Orleans Times-Picayune/States-Item. He joined Time Magazine in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor and editor of new media before becoming the magazine's 14th managing editor in 1996. He became Chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003. He was appointed after Hurricane Katrina to be the vice-chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. He is on the Board of Directors of United Airlines, Tulane University, the National Constitution Center, and he is chairman of the board of Teach for America.


User:Abu badali -- Now I'm turned into an image cleaner and fair use inquisitor.

It hardly seems fair. Good thing credentials don't count on Wikipedia.

Here are some of the ... well ... odder things people have said during the current fair use controversy.

the issue is that many many users dont want to follow our FU policies, and they use templates that they dont read. Betacommand (talk • contribs • Bot) 14:11, 6 June 2007 (UTC) -- Well, of course! It can't just be that users who try to follow the ever-changing and increasingly complex criteria for fair use... whoops, it just got changed to "Non-free content" .... are unable to keep up with the changes? Or users (hey, me!) who actually worked with admins to get their images properly tagged and justified are annoyed when the "rules" keep changing? Or that Wikipedia's idea of "fair use" is so much stricter than what the law allows, people are understandably confused that LEGALLY they could put up a 300x300 jpg of an album cover, and no one would care? That it's being very poorly explained, if at all, that this is all a PURITY issue, when it comes to the evangelism of free/libre content? Nah...

It's ok, if I make mistakes - I like to them to be on show so I can be laughed at when proven wrong. Well, maybe this time I am wrong so laugh at me! I'm actually not an image expert, never will be one, and think that Betacommand is doing an excellent task with his bot ridding wikipedia of potential copyright infringements - I was just offering a potential solution that obviously now isn't possible. Ryan Postlethwaite 14:50, 6 June 2007 (UTC) -- Well, good, 'cuz you're wrong. FAIR USE IS NOT COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT! They are two, very, very different things.

Only people that know and understand fair use policy should write the rationales, maybe....FloNight 15:50, 6 June 2007 (UTC) Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia you can edit... maybe.

Finally, I have no idea if this guy really is a lawyer (Thanks, Essjay), but I agree with damn near every word of this:

First, whether fair use is not copyright infringement or merely a defense to copyright infringement is not a relevant distinction when deciding how and when images can be used. Either way fair use a copyrighted image is legal, and if a lawsuit were to arise the lawsuit would be non-meritorious and subject to dismissal or Wikipedia's success at trial according to the usual court process. There are a wide variety of contexts, such as reproducing a corporate logo when discussing the corporation, or reproducing an album cover when discussing the album, that are so widely accepted as free use that there is nothing more to say about the matter. Certainly there are few absolutes in law and one can imagine an exception to every rule. But the existence of exceptions does not negate the importance of having a rule. Forcing non-lawyer to write a legal justification for their use in these situations on a case by case basis certainly does not add anything. It won't make the images on Wikipedia any more likely to be legal and it will not help Wikipedia defend any copyright infringement claims. Moreover, it is not good copyright practice. Other institutions that routinely include fair use images do not handle their copyright policies this way. A newspaper, for example, will set out a policy for its editors on how and when they can reproduce corporate logos as part of a story. Once that is decided the reporter does not have to justify the use. He or she merely ascertains that it fits within the policy. It is best to set up a policy, probably at the institutional level for Wikipedia in consultation with its general counsel, on various categories of image uses and then to create uniform templates. For example, one template that encompasses all of the album covers when discussing the album. If there is a sub-distinction, such as articles that comment on the cover art, or discographies, those can be different templates or variables within the template. That way if Wikipedia is ever sued, or the law changes, or Wikipedia changes its mind on the issue, it can quickly sort through and remove images that should not be there instead of having administrators review each one on a case by case basis. Wikidemo 22:33, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

I wrote an article about the current deletion of album covers and logos for the Signpost which was described variously (and perhaps hyperbolically) as "beyond repair," "an absurd piece of editorializing rhetoric," "heavily pov, in the way you interpret the facts and stitch them together" (the horror!), and "(failing) just about every measure of sourcing, objectivity, neutrality, etc." Wow! Judge for yourself, but I think it was a fine and entirely appropriate bit of reporting. Jenolen speak it! 08:11, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

User:Jenolen/What Wikipedia Is Not Addition is also something I'm working on.

User:Jenolen/WP:KATWALSH (proposed) is also also something I'm working on.

Pages I Established[edit]

User:Jenolen/Fair Use Convictions
Tina Dico
Sophie Barker
The Fab Faux
Dianne Holum
Rapperswil-Jona Lakers
Pearl Harbor Survivors Association
The Crazy 8's
Rules of Civility and Decent Behaviour In Company and Conversation

An eclectic bunch!

Places I've Worked[edit]

E! News Daily

Places I've Lived[edit]

Studio City, CA
San Luis Obispo, CA
Washington, D.C.

Images I Contributed To Wikipedia That Have Been Temporarily Removed In A Somewhat Ridiculous Fair Use Dispute[edit]

Image Talk Page
Image:Tina Dico promophoto.jpg Image talk:Tina Dico promophoto.jpg
Image:Sophie barker.jpg Image talk:Sophie barker.jpg
Image:Mikko eloranta.jpg Image talk:Mikko eloranta.jpg
Image:Giuliana.jpg Image talk:Giuliana.jpg
Image:Markandmike.jpg Image talk:Markandmike.jpg
Image:Johnthirkell.jpg Image talk:Johnthirkell.jpg
Image:Swingoutsister.jpg Image talk:Swingoutsister.jpg
Image:The Fab Faux.jpg Image talk:The Fab Faux.jpg

These images were all uploaded and massaged until they met the exacting Wikipedia fair use standards. Then, some people thought the standards had changed, and began mass tagging and deletion of these types of images in order to replace them with "free" images. This caused much anxiety, especially among some editors who seemed to take a certain delight in tracking down some other people's contributions to Wikipedia, and destroying them, either by marking the contributions for deletion under questionable grounds, or by other forms of harassing edits. These people are bad, bad people, and worse, bad Wikipedians. They know who they are. And they'll see... because if you think karma is a bitch, you should meet her cousin, Wikikarma.

Image Thoughts[edit]

I may add more here in the future, but the following was something I wrote for an image talk page. It deserves a better fate. This was in response to the traditional charge that someone, somewhere, at some point in the future could get a professional hockey player to put on his uniform, and pose for a freely-licensed studio portrait. (Strangely, that's a traditional charge in the world of fair use disputes. Who knew?) Anyhow, I wrote in reply...

Acutally, and here's a funny story, 28 different states here in the U.S. have 28 different laws about personality rights. Which is why, here in the U.S., there's this pretty well developed system of press and promotional photos, dependent on a system of fair use.

Gather round, kids, and let me tell you a story about promotional photos. See, people, such as, in this case, Mr. Eloranta, don't want to be harassed by photographers everywhere they go. Tends to get all Lohan-like - photographers tripping over each other, etc. So they sit down and agree to be photographed, with favorable lighting, by a professional photographer, and then release that photo to the media and public for non-commercial use. True! Wacky, but true! As long as the photos are fairly used under a reasonable "fair use" policy, these are the photos that all of the rights holders -- the person depicted, the photographer, and the organization issuing the photograph -- want to be distributed and used. But, apparently, these photos are now not "copy-left enough" to be included in Wikipedia. Weird, huh? I mean, these are the photos they want us to use... and Wikipedians, by the, uh, tens, are saying, "No more! No more of these well shot, nicely lit, professional looking and royalty free photos on OUR on-line encyclopedia! Sure, they may be fair for us to use, and enhance the experience for Wikipedia users, but what about the vaunted Wikipedia REUSER?? What if they actually have to make their own decision about whether or not to use these photos? We can't have that! Wikipedia photos must be free! Free! Free!" And so, these all-but-free photos -- photos that are, from a legal standpoint, barely distinguishable from the most liberal of GFDL interpretations -- are now the subject of a massive seek-and-delete campaign.

It's the kinda thing that makes you cry, just a little bit. But hey... I'm glad you're taking on the true problems facing Wikipedia. Lock-step adherence to poorly worded and contradictory policies led you here. I'll be interested to see what the status of promophotos is on Wikipedia a year from now. Jenolen 08:32, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Image Thoughts - Round 2[edit]

An editor wrote:

Our fair use policy policy forbids using a non-free image if a free image could be created that could be used in its place. See criterion #1 and counter-example #8. In this case, it would be possible to create a free image; therefore this non-free image may not be used. Whether a free replacement image exists or not at this time is not relevant. – Quadell (talk) (random) 18:11, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

And I replied:

Acutally, what's funny about that is, technically, ANYTHING is possible. I mean, Zero 7 COULD show up at my house tomorrow, with a camera, and it's POSSIBLE I could take a photo of them that would show them in as good a light as this promotional photo. Possible... but unlikely. Possible, too, I could get the two of them to agree to come together an pose for another photo -- assuming (and this is by way of example, only) that they're not on a Tears for Fears-like ten year stretch of not speaking to each other over creative differences. I mean, what if that were the case? What if the two band members didn't like each other? Am I supposed to tell them to get over it, and pose for a "free" photo, because of the demands of GFDL? This is the level of ridiculousness we're at these days.

It's obvious to me what the tagging factions want -- they want all promophotos deleted from Wikipedia, usually under some justification such as "to protect future re-users of Wikipedia who may not want to make a decision about their inclusion of fair use material." That's all it is... But if they proposed deleting all {{promophoto}}s from Wikipedia, there would be an outcry, and they'd "lose." I really think that it's become about that -- "winning" and "losing" -- from editors who aren't using, as their primary guiding concern, what's best for the entry in question. Very, very sad. I remain convinced that promophotos have a place in Wikipedia. Under the convoluted and poorly-worded current fair use criteria, you may be able to make a case for this image's deletion. But common sense says keep it. I vote for common sense. Jenolen 19:01, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Disagree with that? See you on my talk page!