The following discussion is an archived debate of the straw poll concerning fair use images. Please do not modify it. Appropriate places to continue the discussing include the talk pages of WP:FU, WP:FUC, or this page's talk page.
Proposal to allow the fair use of promotional photographs of living people
Please note that this is a meaningless page. It now closed and all further discussion moved elsewhere. We do not vote on issues in this manner.
You may visit the history of this page to see what all the fuss was about. But enough is enough. This is not the right way to change policy in Wikipedia, and the proposal listed here is entirely contrary to our fundamental goals. --Jimbo Wales 02:55, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
To be clear, I support the continuation of a healthy and robust discussion of this complex issue. I do not support a premature and heavily biased "vote" or "straw poll" which will only serve to entrench people in various extreme positions. Let's seek common ground.--Jimbo Wales 03:44, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
my god! jimbo wales is really angry. i think this arbitrary "blanking" is going to "entrench people in various extreme positions." but it's ok 'cos that IS a fundamental goal of wikipedia -- just that we don't know, or bever bothered to read up, or imagined otherwise. god bless all. (it's not without a reason that God chooses to speak through prophets and never address the millions directly) -- mowglee 21:54, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
If the proposal made was "entirely contrary to our fundamental goals", and as you had previously indicated a total objection thereto, then I hope you'll also suggest a "common ground", whatever that might be, as I, and others, haven't seen any flexibilty from those who seek to delete and/or not allow nearly any press or promo photos of living persons that might someday be available under a GFDL. Where is the potential common ground? Thank you. Tvccs 14:18, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Indeed so, Jimmy- Are your fundamental principles enforceable policy, because if they are then there is no room whatsoever for fair use. Your principles are unambiguous on this point - where is the 'wiggle room' for debate?--luke 14:27, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Are you saying it is contrary to Wikipedia's fundamental goals because the images are not free? Notice the proposal was only for when no free use alternative could be found. Not including images could be seen against one of the fundamental goals - a complete encyclopædia. Images help complete an encyclopædia.--HamedogTalk|@ 16:29, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
The proposal doesn't prima facie contradict Wikipedia's goals like a proposal saying "we don't like free images" would. The idea that the proposal contradicts Wikipedia's goals is an *interpretation* which requires an *argument*, not something which automatically follows from the proposal itself. If the argument is wrong, then the proposal doesn't contradict Wikipedia's goals. Saying "This proposal contradicts Wikipedia's goals, period" really means "I have an argument, but I won't listen to debate on it".
It's like calling a politician anti-American when what you really mean is that *if someone believes your argument*, they can conclude that the politician's actions hurt America. Ken Arromdee 17:12, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I though the point of this vote was to gain widespread opinion. When discussing the issue at places such as Wikipedia talk:Fair use the discussion is limited to 20 people at most so there is no way to figure out the rest of the wikipedia's opinion. If your opinion is already said by someone, usually few people post messages like "I agree with user above". Now I see nothing wrong in closing a poll when it seems consensus can't be reached but the dissapointing part was Jimbo blanked the page which last time I heard is "vandalism". If Jimbo wants to take the discussion into his own hands, he can also suggest a compromise, since the discussions about the issue already happened and lead nowhere. - Tutmosis 18:38, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Rather than posting a poll which clearly biased the issue in one direction, I propose a process to generate a proper poll... if it proves necessary to do so after a reaosnable period of discussion. The point is, we do not make policy in Wikipedia by popular vote. We make it by building a consensus of reasonable people over a long period of time. If you looked at many of the comments in the poll, you realize that one issue is that many of the people absolutely were saying that they disagree with the fundamental mission of Wikipedia, to create a GNU-free encyclopedia. --Jimbo Wales 15:42, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
No, they were not. They were disagreeing with the idea "making the encyclopedia free always takes precedent over anything else". But even you don't believe that idea (otherwise you wouldn't allow fair use album covers, Star Trek ships, etc.) The only true disagreement between them and you is where to draw the line. Ken Arromdee 21:01, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
If that's the fundamental mission, why not just make it policy that absolutely no copyright-restricted materials whatsoever may be used for any purpose at all? Wikipedia is littered with fairly-used images of things like album covers and videogame box art, all of which are copyrighted and all of which prevent the encyclopedia from being GNU-free.
Not that I'd favor such a policy. I believe it would make the encyclopedia far, far worse... but if keeping the encyclopedia completely free for reuse is paramount, this would be the only way to achieve that. The "replacability" criterion is meaningless in this case; nothing in copyright law that I'm aware of makes exemptions for irreplaceable works. Allowing things like box art while disallowing promotional photos because the later are "replacable" seems like a kludge born of expediency: "we absolutely positively only use completely free content... unless we really would rather not." VoiceOfReason 17:22, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
While there is no direct mention of replaceability in US law a substantial part of the reason fair use exists is because without it copyright holders would have unreasonable power to control critical commentary and the overall public discussion. As such, irreplaceable materials tend to have the strongest positions as fair use legally. Such shortcuts in our policy are important because they make decisions much easier. Often, lawyers trained in copyright law will have a hard time agreeing if something would be fair use. So long as we are clear that we really me irreplaceable and not "easily irreplaceable", we find that regular people fairly easy time coming to a consensus on that point.
Obviously US law isn't the only, or even the primary, factor behind our policy. Lets imagine, for a moment, three possibilities: A Wikipedia which has no non-free content whatsoever, a Wikipedia which includes only free and non-free content that which is truly irreplaceable, and a Wikipedia which includes free as well as non-free material which is permissible by law. With these options we would find that the first could be easily and automatically created by from the second. We know from experience, however, that the presence of non-free materials discourages replacement (and if you'd like I can even point you to links to folks in this discussion claiming that we should not accept free material which isn't as nice as non-free material).. As a result if we were to pass the third option through the filter, we'd get something far lower in quality than the first. We care about quality, but we care about the quality of the totally Free Wikipedia first. --Gmaxwell 19:14, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
The preceding discussion is an archived debate of the straw poll concerning fair use images. Please do not modify it. Appropriate places to continue the discussing include the talk pages of WP:FU, WP:FUC, or this page's talk page.