Wikipedia:Fair use/Amendment/Fair use images in portals2

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This amendment is meant to supersede the current WP:FUC#9 by allowing Fair-use images to be used within the Portal namespace. Wikipedia fair use does not currently allow the use of fair use images in portals. However, it is believed that this restriction prevents the addition of valuable content to portals, a resource designed for the reader.

Proposal[edit]

The current policy:

9. Fair use images may be used only in the article namespace. Used outside article space, they are not covered under the fair use doctrine. They should never be used on templates (including stub templates and navigation boxes) or on user pages.... This is because it is the policy of the Wikimedia Foundation to allow an unfree image only if no free alternative exists and only if it significantly improves the article it is included on. All other uses, even if legal under the fair use clauses of copyright law, should be avoided to keep the use of unfree images to a minimum. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis if there is a broad consensus that doing so is necessary to the goal of creating a free encyclopedia (like the templates used as part of the Main Page).

Proposed changes (changes are bolded and italicized):

9. Fair use images may be used only in the article and portal namespaces. Used outside of these spaces they are unlikely to be used in the context that justifies fair use. They should never be used on templates (including stub templates and navigation boxes) or on user pages.... This is because it is the policy of the Wikimedia Foundation to allow an unfree image only if no free alternative exists and only if it significantly improves the article it is included on. All other uses, even if legal under the fair use clauses of copyright law, should be avoided to keep the use of unfree images to a minimum. Exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis if there is a broad consensus that doing so is necessary to the goal of creating a free encyclopedia (like the templates used as part of the Main Page).

Guidelines[edit]

As with all policies it will be necessary to agree upon and implement new guidelines to accommodate fair use images in portal so that use remains within the law and current policies, these guidelines would be laid out at the appropriate page.

Guidelines
  • No free alternatives available.
  • The image must be used in at least one article outside portal namespace. If the image is used in a "selected article" or a similar section, the article being linked to must contain the image.
  • The image must satisfy all criteria at WP:FUC for use within its respective article(s). e.g. Fair use rationale, relevant, non-decorative, proper documentation, etc.
  • The section containing the fair use image must have at least one substantial paragraph or a brief summary directly related to the image, thus fair use images are still not allowed in the "Featured Picture" box.
  • The article the image is used on must be related to the portal.
  • Archival pages are not to utilize images, but may instead provide a link.

History[edit]

This amendment was originally proposed at Wikipedia:Fair use/Amendment/Fair use images in portals, however that discussion waned and became inactive as of December 13, 2006. A straw poll was conducted on October 10 which ran until November 1, the results showing that a majority of editors were in favor of this change - it should be pointed out that Wikipedia is not a democracy and this poll is merely meant to be used as a tool for discussion. Below is a list of relevant discussions that had been brought up at Wikipedia talk:Fair use:

Rationales[edit]

Supporting[edit]

  • A portal is the equivalent of an article in the main namespace. However, the namespace is the only difference. They are an important part of the encyclopedia, aiding in navigation and encouraging exploratory browsing.
  • Use of fair use images in portals are legal according the same laws that allow them in articles (relevant note).
  • Portals need to include content and media in order to attract the reader to explore, then navigate them to different articles where they can find even more information.
  • Fair use images are allowed on the Main Page, an informational page in the main namespace, and is similar to Portals in both format and purpose. Portals serve as Main Pages for specific subjects.
  • Although Wikipedia's aim is to build a free encyclopedia, quality shouldn't be sacrificed when it is a legitimate option.

Against[edit]

  • Portals are considered navigational pages and not actual articles, thus Wikipedia's fair use criteria do not currently apply.
  • The Main Page technically falls under the article namespace, and two wrongs don't make a right.
  • Portals can still achieve their purpose of helping readers navigate through articles under a related topic without the need of non-free images.
  • Increases the scope for fair use abuses.
  • Increases the sheer number of non-free images to manage project wise. A must-use-elsewhere requirement will only cause people to find places to add their preferred non-free images.
  • By allowing non-free images in portals, we begin to slide on a slippery slope. Allowing this may serve as a precedent for allowing non-free images in templates, user pages, etc.
  • Even without a precedent created in policy, portals are our face to the outside world and the use of non-free images in them creates an incorrect impression of our mission.