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NotCommons-emblem-copyrighted.svg This user respects copyright and other intellectual property rights.
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All that is
This user is Irish-American and Christian and is rather fond of their imaginary friends thank you very much.
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Noia 64 apps karm.svg This user has been on Wikipedia for 9 years, 10 months and 23 days.

I live in the real world most of the time. I also spend far too much time in Wikipedia world which is nothing like the real world.

Lets take copyright for example.

Copyright in the real world is something to take seriously. In the United States if you steal someones work and claim it as your own you can find a lawsuit knocking on your door. In Wikipedia world anyone can take someones photograph and type that they have been given permission to use it by the person who created it, and who also happens to be sitting "right here" as it was being uploaded. In these cases some will ignore all rules and assume good faith on the matter, if a user has made a lot of main space edits that is. Overall consensus shows it is fine to bend a few rules here and there if it is good for the project and if there is a quesiton about the copyright of an image an editor can just change the licensing to fair use and add a FUR.

Because of my background I tend to live in the real world when it comes to things like copyright, and that real world sensibility has grown from being involved in an industry where I.P is taken very seriously. Yes Wikipedia does have an official policy on copyrights as well as how to deal with copyright violations but at times those are ignored in favor of suggestions found in "how-to guides" such as "Requesting copyright permission". The simple bending of the rules to ignore the issue because of statements such as "You should, however, basically assume good faith and judge for yourself whether a claim made appears credible or indeed does warrant following up with an attempt to have it confirmed." seems less harsh than informing the user that "Wikipedia cannot accept copyrighted images obtained from other web sites or printed material, without the permission of the author(s). As a copyright violation, your image appears to qualify for deletion under the speedy deletion criteria."

In some image cases the concept of "assume good faith" may be fine, certainly a novice user may find an image on the internet and feel "Wow, cool. I can put this on that Wikipedia article I am working on" and we inform them that "Wikipedia cannot accept copyrighted images obtained from other web sites or printed material, without the permission of the author(s)" But if they try to game the system by saying it is their own image, or that they are uploading with permission, than there is common sense that should go along with this. For example if the image is blurry and out of focus and unused it may very well be a user created image but, thanks to digital cameras and software such as Adobe Photoshop it is harder to tell the difference between a professional photographers work and an amateurs work. In these cases it is much harder for a person such as myself to assume good faith and let a potential copyright violation slip by.

Many users will only upload one or two images and make no further edits or contributions to Wikipedia. In these cases images that have "Me" as the author that were uploaded by user "MOP" will not help to establish copyright. Unless the image is clearly marked per the "how-to" for image upload an editor viewing that image will have no way of establishing who the rightful copyright owner is. As a general rule of thumb serious and professional photographers will have no problem with leaving that information as they are used to providing it in order to receive photo credit. In other words a professional looking head shot of Christina Aguilera that lists the source as "myself" and lists the author as "me" is probably a copyright violation.

My main focus on Wikipedia grows from my real world work. In film I would never think of not obtaining a signed release form from an actor nor would I would use music without obtaining the needed licenses. As a photographer I am the copyright owner of my own work, even when that work is used on albums, posters and for promotional use. I would never take someone elses' work and use it unless they provided, in writing, a signed release. I have seen my images turn up on websites and had the webmaster tell me "They were given to me for use on the site" and my response is always "Yeah, not by me they weren't". Because of social sites such as MySpace and video sites such as YouTube I have seen my work being posted a lot, even by the artists themselves, without obtaining any permission or giving any credit. This is one of the reasons I oft times have a "take no prisoners" approach here. I strongly believe the actual creator of the work should have the power, not the people who are trying to claim that work as their own or who claim the creator gave them permission.