Wikipedia talk:External links/YouTube 2

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Sorry...I need a current YouTube Policy clarification

I thought Jimmy Wales had stated some time back that the DMCA was the proper vehicle for resolving issues including music videos on Wikipedia, rather than Wikipedia editorial judgment, and that was Wikipedia Policy until further notice. I have reviewed what I can find on the subject at the Pump, etc., and am looking for Policy on this issue. Thank you. Tvccs 22:55, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

The current state of policy is that any YouTube links will end up being removed by one of about six or so editors in a periodic AWB trawl, based on the mistaken notion that all YouTube links are inherently unreliable or copyvio. If you complain to the editor who removed it, and can justify retention of the link based on the link's relevance, reliability, and copyright status, one of two things will happen. Most of the editors involved will be ok with you putting it back. Two or three of them will tell you, rather rudely, that no YouTube link is ever appropriate in Wikipedia, will revert you when you replace the link, call you a troll and threaten to block you for 3RR violations if you persist. There's no getting around this, as one of those editors is an ArbCom member, and the other, much ruder one, is an admin. Argyriou (talk) 19:22, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for that update and clarification. Amazing. If you could post, or e-mail me the list of the editors in question, I'd be most grateful. Thank you. Tvccs 15:31, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to see the list as well but I'd like to see it posted not e-mailed. --Spartaz 16:47, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Yea, I think a claim like that is going to require some evidence like diffs and contribution history. Which editors are you speaking of? L0b0t 16:52, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Where to ask questions?

Hi! I'm new with this editing thing. I went to the Help page and said it would be better to post questions in the dicussion page of an article. I cannot find any senior Wiki editors to ask so I just want to ask, how many YouTube links should there be in a particular article? For example, Sana Maulit Muli has 4 of them: 2 trailers and 2 music videos.

I would also like to ask, what if the TV station where the TV series is being aired has an official trailer from their website but the quality of YouTube is much better and larger. Which one should we use?

Thanks! 12:00, 12 February 2007 (UTC) Michael Natividad, Quezon City

Hola Michael, I would always suggest to use the best quality. There's no official ban on Youtube (yet) so use the best option available. We're writing Wikipedia not for lawyers or other justice people, but for our readers and they're helped more with good links and high quality. Chao, Torero 16:30, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
This page is an archive at this point any any further discussion should be moved to Wikipedia talk:External links... In any case Torero is right. If the video is legally uploaded to YouTube then it's ok to link to. (I'm not sure in this case, it doesn't really look legal). In any event, if your not sure if it's legal, go with the one you know for sure is legit. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 16:38, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Small note

Under section 1.1 of recommendations, it should also note that some TV networks etc. put up videos on YouTube. I've seen CBS do this.--Drat (Talk) 05:30, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree, youtube is well into mainstream with a lot of major media companies (and other non-media industry companies) using youtube extensively. Mathmo Talk 12:26, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Then again it didn't get consensus so there is no great need to edit the page to include in any more information at this point in time. Mathmo Talk 12:28, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Clarification of rich media section

The rich media section as it is now is not well-written, as it talks about avoiding direct links to rich media then giving such a link (the PDF file) as an example of proper layout of links to rich media. The definition of a "direct link" is also not given - this has caused problems at user talk:requestion #The original source for those links (as I linked above), but this time my question is more related to the external links guideline so I'm bringing it up on the talk page. My definition of a "direct" link to rich media is based on the original version of the rich media section (which was subsequently [moved then clarified slightly. I define a direct link as one where the rich media is activated as soon as the browser window is opened by default (PDF files and many streaming media files being an example). Direct links to rich media cannot always be avoided (for example in PDF files, with links to YouTube videos and some audio files, an example being the first one in the article Der Erlkönig as there is no other way to conveniently get the audio). Therefore, the wording should be softened to "try to avoid" or something. That would be easy as long as there is consensus. A big problem for me is trying to figure out how to clarify what a "direct link" is because the wording has obviously caused confusion. Also the guideline to explicitly name the file format of the rich media seems to be rarely enforced. To be honest I think it is much more useful on direct links to rich media than indirect ones. Inadvertently clicking on a link and having the computer crash trying to load a large PDF file or load a poorly composed Java animation is much worse than going to some HTML page and finding that you haven't yet installed anything to play a .ogg file that you wanted to download. Graham87 08:42, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

I disagree with Graham87's interpretation of the rich media section. WP:EL says to "avoid directly linking to any content that requires special software." I interpret this literally to mean no external links to flash, java, pdf, audio, or video. I also extend my interpretation to stub html pages whose sole purpose is to be a launch pad for the rich media. I believe the intent is two fold; one is for Wikipedia to link to pages that have content that is viewable in a web browser, second is for non-discrimination of codecs and operating system operability. For example; I am a Linux user and I cannot legally view Microsoft Media and QuickTime video. I don't have problems with a web page having rich media links on it but those links must be auxiliary to the useful content on the page. (Requestion 22:30, 14 April 2007 (UTC))
There is at least some content on some of those stub html pages - for example with there is a further information section with links to more information about the program/subject. Rich media often *is* useful content (for example many articles are only available in PDF format so Wikipedia needs to link to them (often in a "References" section these days). Audio that can't be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons but is available free of charge can make an excellent external link. This radio show is about the most relevant link possible to add to Heart and Soul (song) (note: I didn't add it, I just clarified its content). I believe we disagree because we are both taking different approaches: you are interpreting the guideline literally as the last word on everything where as I am interpreting the guideline as a nutshell in terms of adding useful, accessible and tasteful links. Here is the very first external links guideline I know of which is about as close as you're going to get to the original intentions of anyone. Here is the guideline as it was in May 2004 (the only change after that was to add a navigation template in October 2004 which is meaningless in the context of this discussion). There is nothing there about forbidding rich media - just that it's a good idea to state the format of the rich media. I will ask user:Jmabel for his opinion about this conversation as he wrote the section which you are quoting to justify your position. Graham87 07:34, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
The only content I see on the pages is a brief description of a video that I can't play. From my perspective the page has zero content and the links are broken. I'm all for rich media but I have a huge problem when Wikipedia links to content that I cannot legally view. Wikipedia has a policy not to link to known copyright violations. Isn't this in a similar vein? (Requestion 19:44, 15 April 2007 (UTC))
It's not similar to the copyright issue. The copyright issue is about linking to sites that are breaking copyright and the legal and ethical issues involved in encouraging that. You may not be able to legally view the media with the equipment you run, but there are no laws broken by the media being there and us linking to it and the vast majority of our readers are able to legally view the media. -- Siobhan Hansa 14:51, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

The idea is that when possible — when you are aware of an HTML page on a site that describes and is, in turn linked to — the rich media, you should link to that page. When a link goes directly to rich media, you should indicate the format (because, for example, someone with a slow connection and not too much memory on their system should not find themself sitting there with their system frozen for five minutes because they clicked on a link that happens to be a video or a PDF). Similarly, if there is a page describing an image, we should usually link that instead of externally linking an image.

Other than that: I don't particularly like PDFs, because they add overhead without really adding much information; they are often the only available format for a document, but when an HTML form is available, it should be preferred (or both should be offered). I'm all for linking truly rich media: for music and language-related matters, audio when available is irreplaceable (e.g. we should certainly link things things like KEXP's enormous and unique collection of live recordings, the Yiddish Radio Project, etc.). And, in general, many people will find audio and video more accessible than text. I'm all for linking a good English-language audio interview with the subject of a biography if one is available online, or an NPR or BBC story on the topic at hand: these are great resources for people who are less text-oriented than the people who tend to write Wikipedia. However, nearly always that should mean linking the HTML page that, in turn, links to the rich media. - Jmabel | Talk 18:47, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

OK, I have tried to clarify the section per that message. I have replaced the first link to a page with links to rich media with one where the rich media is imbedded - i.e. a link from Ride of the Valkyries as that is a well-known piece where the audio link is fitting. I have also added reasons for not directly linking to rich media and a link to the category containing rich media icons. To Requestion: linking to files in formats that happen to be patented and therefore cannot be played on all systems is *not* a copyright violation - the whole point of the external links section is to link to files that can never be on a Wikimedia project. The problems playing these files through linux are an issue (they can be played but the legal status of that varies by country, see FFmpeg for details) but that means that there should be other external links in more conventional formats for finding out about the subject. That is why in the article Tito Mukhopadhyay, I also linked to a page with the transcript of the video - the transcript happens to be in PDF format but we can't have everything. I would welcome application of the bold, revert, discuss cycle if anyone feels so inclined - this is a wiki after all. Graham87 04:25, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I fear your edits might be premature. Consensus really hasn't been reached yet and I believe there are some problems created by your edit. #1: The copyright status of the audio you link. It appears to be hosted by a private person on their personal website. There is inadequate information about the recording and as far as I can tell, it's a pretty flagrant abuse. #2: "Only link directly to content that requires special software or an add-on to a browser if ..." Only is the wrong word in this instance since WP:EL is a guideline, not a policy. Nposs 04:37, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
As for the first objection, copyright is an interesting point but the site says "©1997-2007, Charles K. Moss" so I'd assume he has permission from the relevant authorities about the recordings. There are recordings there that clearly come from his piano students, but if needed I could try to find another example. As for the second one, "only" is probably a bad choice of words - I'll think about changing that. I've also replaced the carolinaclassical link with a link to the Fantaisie-Impromptu because having thought about it, it seems ironic to have a link to a piece by Richard Wagner followed by an article about Yiddish. Graham87 04:46, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I have a feeling that Angela Lear (the pianist featured in the recording) is not one of his students. So even if he does have recordings of his students, it would appear that he is also posting the recordings of others without their permission. I would recommend against any links to the site. I think this highlights another problem with rich-media links: copyright status. I realize there are a number of differing opinions about linking to material of dubious use, but rich media does pose a new set of problems for identifying ownership. Perhaps this should be mentioned in the guideline, as well. Nposs 05:06, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I have answered your second objection with my latest edit. Graham87 05:05, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Wow how do you know who the pianist is? Perhaps my screen reader isn't reading the details or I should download the file to find out. I will send an email enquiring about this - if it is a copyright violation then it definitely should not be linked. I highly doubt it is though - this seems to be a well-respected piano teacher. Graham87 05:17, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Looking at the html source, the file has not been uploaded to his server and is being hosted by what looks like Angela Lear's personal website. I shall dig further ... Graham87 05:21, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think you have consensus yet for watering down the guideline in this way. I certainly do not agree that we should be more liberal about linking to rich media content. As it is, you are seeking to allow this when the guideline previously said Avoid directly linking to any content that requires special software, or an add-on to a browser. This is a major step away from the concept of an open project as we will be encouraging non-free formats. I have reverted back to the previous version subject to further clarification of concensus here. Spartaz Humbug! 05:24, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
And you can get that exact recording and more by following the downloads link from her website (sorry can't paste the URL because it uses frames), so it is not a copyright violation. The link uses the recording for streaming. Graham87 05:25, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Nope that is only a 1-minute sample. Graham87 05:27, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Graham87 - the sever path for this doens't resolve to a proper website. Can you clarify exactly what link you are following? I suggest that you find a different example - I'm sure its possible to find one that has no doubts about its status. In this case it seems likely that the rights remain with the performer but unless we know the exact circumstances in which the recording was made we don't actually know that. --Spartaz Humbug! 05:40, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
OK - on further investigation is the hosting service used by to host its media and is not a website - in fact appears to be blocked by Google. I'll remove that as an example for now. Graham87 05:46, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

<deindent> all we need now is clarification on whether there is consensus to waterdown the wording on the guideline to encourage more use of links to rich media. For that we need further editors to weigh in. Spartaz Humbug! 05:57, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I was probably a bit hasty in making my edits after the comment by Jmabel; I certainly won't change anything on the page now without consensus. Some of what I wrote changes the guideline about when the format of rich media should be specified and probably needs more discussion here. In some cases (as I have said above) it is impossible not to link directly to rich media (i.e. in the case of PDF's) so the wording should be softened there; the wording should also be softend from "avoid" because this is just a guideline. I think they were the only significant changes I made and more closely reflect current practice - I invite further discussion. Graham87 06:02, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I'd like to see the guideline point out the reasons that weigh against linking to rich media and outline the alternatives clearly so that editors have knowledge from which to make a decision about whether to link - along the lines of links to rich media can add depth to an article but can cause also problems for readers. The need for additional software (some of which is not available to all users), greater bandwidth requirements, and accessibility issues can make such links useless for some users. When adding a link to content that is not a basic webpage editors should look for equivalent content in html format (for instance a transcript) to add instead or as well as the rich media. Editors must also ensure that any benefits from such a link are significant and outweigh the disadvantages of linking to media that may not be accessible to some readers. In particular, over reliance on rich media links should be avoided. Where possible links should always go to a launching page rather than directly to the media, and the media format should always be specified. -- Siobhan Hansa 15:12, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I like that wording. It's clear and outlines the reasons against linking to rich media, but also acknowledges that there can be benifits of linking to rich media. It doesn't need examples because the wording is self-evident so that guards against linking to copyright violations and link rot. Would there be any objections to using that paragraph in the rich media section? Graham87 01:06, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Actually examples would still be helpful but there would be no need to change the examples currently on the page. Graham87 01:34, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
I object to removing emphasis on the word "avoid" and I also object to ignoring the "special software" accessibility problem that us Linux users suffer from. (Requestion 17:06, 17 April 2007 (UTC))
It's not just Linux users that can have a problem with rich media, and this is why I think the section should be very general - at the moment I read it as implying that all rich media can have accessibility problems to somebody, and that is true. Audio links without transcripts are useless to people who are deaf; images without descriptions are useless to people who are blind. Here's another example to throw in the ring which I just remembered: the official homepage of Tony Attwood that just happens to require Java, and is difficult (sometimes impossible) to use with screen readers. It would be ludicrous for me to remove that link because it's an official website - I have now pointed out that it requires Java. A lot of people use Linux and will have problems with links to proprietary codecs; I'm sure that a similar number of people will be using slow or unstable PC's (probably running Windows) that won't be able to run certain types of rich media. Because of the large variety of circumstances that people are likely to be in in terms of system performance and ability to use non-HTML sites, I think the section should be quite general in case it overflows with people's pet accessibility problems. There must be websites out there that explain the problems with rich media and if I can find a well-written one I'll suggest that it be added as further information. Graham87 03:56, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Those were all excellent reasons why the "avoid" wording should be strengthened. Why would Wikipedia want to encourage such potentially problematic external linking? (Requestion 21:35, 18 April 2007 (UTC))

<deindent> if we have agreed that we don't need to water this down, why not just leave it as it is. Avoid is nice and clear and we need to avoid instruction creep. Spartaz Humbug! 22:25, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

YouTube vs. blogs

Can someone clarify for me why blogs are generally banned, but YouTube videos are not? Both sources seem open to the same problems with reliability. Λυδαcιτγ 23:49, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

we are trying to get rid of YouTube. Betacommand (talkcontribsBot) 00:07, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
Blogs are generally not a valid EL, YouTube is not generally a valid EL. Each has to be considered on their own merits. IN general though, they fail all sorts of WP standards for inclusion. -- Alucard (Dr.) | Talk 00:31, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
OK. I'd be in favor of more moderate standards in both directions: allowing YouTube videos and blogs, but only good ones (in the case of blogs, not necessarily blogs written by experts, but ones written by credible sources). Λυδαcιτγ 22:23, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
That's pretty much the standard right now. The issues tend to be different, with YT the concern is more often copyright, but as long as the material isn't a violation and meets the rest of EL, it's OK. --Minderbinder 22:28, 13 April 2007 (UTC)
What do you think of the use of this blog page in Backmasking? Λυδαcιτγ 19:50, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
As far as policy Blogs and YouTube are on equal footing... Both sometimes host official and reliable material and sometimes they host utter crap. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 06:17, 15 April 2007 (UTC)
WP:EL is a guideline and not a policy. WP:EL says to avoid "links to blogs" and "direct links to documents that require external applications (such as Flash or Java)." I should note that YouTube requires Flash. So I agree that Blogs and YouTube are on "equal footing" in that they both should be avoided. There is a thread over at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Spam/ about how well links have been avoided. (Requestion 21:20, 15 April 2007 (UTC))
Wikipedia now has 23670 links. That is an increase of about 1000 links in the last 3 weeks. (Requestion 06:24, 7 May 2007 (UTC))


This is something which I am sure your talk page will have come across before. After watching a recent edit to the Klaxons page, where all YouTube videos of their music videos were removed, i got slightly confused. What exactly is allowed to be kept on wikipedia in terms of external linking? It says on the project page that situations where links should actually be used are rare, so I was wondering if someone could clear it up for me?
One project which i am currently involved in is Wikipedia:WikiProject_TUGS, I was also wondering what the policy on youtube links would be for the articles contained within the scope of the TV show? --SteelersFan UK06 08:51, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

The main thing is that we are not permitted to link to copyright violations. Unless you have evidence that the copyright holder uploaded the image to YouTube (which is almost never the case for music videos), you cannot link. Even if you do, it would only be appropriate to link in the context of an article about that particular music video only and only if necessary to provide critical commentary. And even then, you'll probably want a warning that the link requires proprietary browser plugins (flash, I think). In summary, linking to YouTube videos is almost never appropriate. --Yamla 14:01, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

External links to notable copyright violations

I understand the guideline of not linking to sites violating copyright law, but what if the violation is a notable violation. I removed a few of these links (both in external links and in references) related to the Dramatic Chipmumk/Dramatic Prairie Dog video. There were references and external links that linked to pages displaying the video, which is admittedly taken from a Japanese TV Show. We should not be allowing these links, correct? Sancho 17:01, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

I've restored the links. I don't think it's up to a single user to claim that a link to an external site is a copyright violation. In many cases it is not. The external site may have a license, fair use right, or some other reason why it is okay. Both Wikipedia and Youtube (for instance) have a notice-and-take-down procedure to deal with this. I also don't know what a "notable" violation means. An editor should not knowingly link to copyright violations, but that does not mean that every other editor is free to delete links if they're not convinced of the copyright status. Wikidemo 18:44, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
By "notable violation" I meant that the derivative work (although a copyright violation... possibly) has attained a notable status. Instead of talking about many cases, what about this single case? The video is a derivative work based on an excerpt from a Japanese TV show. Is this a copyright violation? If so, we shouldn't link to it. What is the correct forum to discuss the appropriateness of this link? Sancho 19:04, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
If it is merely a single case I would talk about it on the talk page of the article; if it is illustrative or raises a broader policy issue, here is good. You present an interesting argument that's a little unusual. Normally, the copyright claim is that a copyrighted excerpt or full video is lifted intact from somewhere and used without permission, e.g. a music video on Youtube. However, that is always murky because google has gone back and not only licensed a lot of stuff that was previously infringing, but secured permission for people to create derivative works on Youtube. Moreover, short excerpts, parodies, commentary, etc., can be fair use on Youtube and particularly on blog sites, newspapers, etc. For that reason, unless you're pretty sure that there is a copyright violation I would not easily infer one just because a video is on what looks like an unauthorized site. That's what notice and take down is for. Here, however, you are saying that it's not the hosting of the video that's infringing but the video itself, inasmuch as it's an unauthorized derivative work. That's hard to say. Some of these derivative works are legitimate parodies themselves. Sometimes, even if the work itself is infringing, there is a fair use right to comment on it. So there too I would hesitate to simply allow people to decide for themselves and then remove links. I would say there as well, it's best to discuss the matter first.
The article in question is a list of Internet phenomena (i.e. memes). A good many of them are copyright infringements in the first place. People take content from somewhere, often modify it, and then they spread all over the Internet. Every once in a while someone does try to squelch them via copyright threats, e.g. in the case of an inadvertent celebrity whose job application, private email, dating behavior gets plastered all over the Internet. As far as I know they always fail because the content is now the subject of critical discussion; once the content is so widespread there is a fair use right to comment on it. Interesting question, though. Wikidemo 19:19, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Clear copyright violations should be removed, whether it's "up to a single user" or not. Certainly in the question of following legalities we should err on the side of caution instead of assuming that something is OK unless lots of editors here complain. Considering that a large number of editors here have no background or interest in copyright -- or even outright oppose the laws and knowingly favor ignoring them -- we're likely to normally be in a situation where it's up to a single editor to take care of it, and we shouldn't set up some committee to go through before these things are acted on, as it's completely against the law, not to mention the policies here. DreamGuy 20:23, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

It's not against the law for us unless we link to what we know is a copyright violation. Err on the side of caution is different than remove links if you personally don't know their copyright status. If you don't know, find out and if you can't figure it out, leave the link be. The policy says you can remove clear copyright violations, not uncertain cases. Many Youtube videos from third party sources are fully licensed, as I said, even derivative works created for Youtube. Wikidemo 20:35, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
And they are clear. Maybe you aren't as familiar with the laws as others, but when "a single user" is, they should go ahead and do so, and if you profess ignorance, then you shouldn't put the link back, otherwise the issue will devolve to the lowest competence level of all editors involved. DreamGuy 14:15, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
What are you claiming is clear? The status of Youtube viral videos is certainly not clear. If someone who knows what they are doing can be sure something is an infringement, that is a fair call. However, armchair lawyering on the subject, and a program of deleting links whenever a user has a doubt, would lead to unnecessary deletion of links.Wikidemo 14:59, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
What about WP:LYRICS? Whether lyrics should be linked to has never been made clear, and I've seen many articles linking to what are clearly copyright violations. Richard001 23:08, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I remove links to copyvio lyrics sites on sight. I've never thought this was unclear. My understanding is that WP:Copyright is clear that we shouldn't link to copyvio sites and full reproductions of copyrighted lyrics have been found to be copyvio in US law. Is there doubt about the copyvio status of the sites, policy that over-rides the copyright policy, or are people just failing to connect the dots between our policy and copyvio lyric sites because the sites are so common? -- SiobhanHansa 23:53, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Feel free to update the lyrics page to say so if you like. Richard001 00:24, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
I don't see anything there that indicates it's OK to link to copyvio lyrics. Which bit do you think leads to ambiguity? -- SiobhanHansa 00:41, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
That's not the point - it needs to say it isn't okay. By the number of times I've seen links to lyrics on pages I think it needs to be made explicit that copyright violations apply to external links as well as article content. Richard001 01:28, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Ah. I see what you mean. Sorry, I didn't mean to be obtuse. I never see that guideline quoted to protest the removal of the links (or justify their inclusion), so I don't see the point in lengthening it. WP:EL is quite clear that you shouldn't link to copyvio sites and WP:LYRICS doesn't contradict it. To me that's sufficient. -- SiobhanHansa 01:45, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
I would disagree. See Wikipedia talk:Lyrics and poetry#External link to lyrics. Someone reading this talk page may be in two minds about whether it is okay, especially if they are referred there by someone telling them it's not allowed. Richard001 09:18, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Richard, the EL document is pretty clear - see the first part of the section called "Restrictions on Linking" - without exception we can not link to sites that violate copyright. I don't think it could get much clearer than that. The link that you provided also says the same thing. I guess I'm not seeing where the ambiguity is... can you help point this out? All lyrics for commercially available songs are copyright, unless they are so old that they have passed into the Public Domain. If it doesn't say explicitly that the lyrics are reproduced with the permission of the owner, then it's safe to assume it's a copyright violation and the link needs to be gone immediately. -- Alucard (Dr.) | Talk 13:09, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
EL policy takes precedence over some sub page on lyrics and poetry. We don't link to them unless they are on an official site who owns the copyright, period. DreamGuy 14:15, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
Just a quick clarification - WP:EL isn't policy, it's a part of the MoS guideline Just like WP:LYRICS. But WP:Copyright is policy, and that is clear that one should not knowingly link to copyright violations. Also, Richard, I disagree with the need to edit WP:LYRICS, but that in no way stops you from being bold if you think it needs updating. I'm not sure why you seem to be trying to convince others to make the change. -- SiobhanHansa 14:29, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
I still disagree that it is adequately covered - external links are only mentioned once in the article and in different context. I've added the following line that should make things clear to people going to that page with concerns about external links: External links to copyrighted lyrics should also be avoided.
This is very concise and links people here for further reading if they should feel the need. I don't believe its creepy given the shortness of the page and the addition, and the fact that it clarifies a point others have been confused about in the past, as evidenced by discussion. It should save those who are unsure from coming here or going to the copyright policy to get an answer, or remaining unsure and adding or not removing such links. Richard001 05:12, 11 August 2007 (UTC)


First of all let the record show that I fully support WP:EL and WP:RS. Having said that, I recently discovered that at least the BBC have now begun to upload news clips themselves as part of YouTube's attempt to co-operate with copyright holders and let them share the ad revenues. An example is here. Maybe we should add a sentence about this to demonstrate how to use YouTube the right way on Wikipedia. EconomicsGuy 11:30, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Wouldn't that be more appropriate at WP:COPY? Since I presume you're talking about the copyright aspect of linking. -- SiobhanHansa 13:22, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
It probably could but given the previous debate about this here I thought this would be the appropriate place to ask since those who have previously held strong opinions on this subject are more likely to respond here than on WP:COPY. EconomicsGuy 15:29, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
We need not add anything special to the guidelines. Official uploads are fine to link to assuming they satisfy other guidelines and have the consensus of the editors of that page. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 18:43, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Google's new knol project

It would be good to think about how to handle knol links before editors start adding them. I've started a discussion to get editors' opinions:

Your inputs there are welcome. --A. B. (talk) 17:06, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Seeking Case Law on links to YouTube

This policy says "Sites that violate the copyrights of others per contributors' rights and obligations should not be linked. Linking to websites that display copyrighted works is acceptable as long as the website has licensed the work. Knowingly directing others to a site that violates copyright may be considered contributory infringement." Can any one cite for me any case law where a website was held liable for contributory infringement for directing others to a site that violates copyright?--MiamiManny (talk) 00:27, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

The leading case at the moment seems to be Perfect 10 v. Google, Inc., full text here. There's nothing wrong per this case and others with innocently linking to a noninfringing part of a site when other parts of the site are known to have infringing content. If that were true then all links to youtube (and google, and Microsoft, etc) would be illegal. The problem - which isn't reached in this case - is if you link to a site, knowing that you are facilitating infringement, or with the purpose of facilitating infringement. In other words, if you know that a youtube video is infringing, you should not send a wikipedia reader to view it there. Even if you don't know, if a subsequent editor believes it to be infringing, they don't have a legal duty to delete it on sight, but as a matter of Wikipedia policy it's reasonable that we encourage them to do so. We can and do go farther than the law does by asking people not to link to sites where the copyright status is questionable at all. Among the reasons, wikipedia doesn't really have a legal budget to be defending copyright claims, we don't want to encourage infringement even if we can get away with it, and finally, we have no way of knowing what an editor was thinking when they posted a link. Rather than getting into the subjective question of whether that editor know or intended to contribute to copyright infringement, we sidestep the legal issue and simply say when in doubt, don't link. Wikidemo (talk) 05:03, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. If this is all there is, then this policy is completely unnecessary and needs a massive re-work. First, in the decision you cite, the court granted the request in part and denied it in part, ruling that the thumbnails were likely to be found infringing but the links were not. However, even the thumbnails part was later reversed on appeal (see Perfect 10, Inc. v., Inc., CV-05-04753-AHM (9th Cir. May 16, 2007). The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion reads: "We conclude that Perfect 10 is unlikely to be able to overcome Google's fair use defense and, accordingly, we vacate the preliminary injunction regarding Google's use of thumbnail images." Frankly, I am shocked at the number of editors who are are eliminating legitimate links and pictures from Wikipedia under the guise of conforming with US copyright law. I hereby wish to revise this Wikipedia policy on external links to reflect current law which permits all such links. I am seeking comments and discussion here before I do so.--MiamiManny (talk) 01:26, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
The case is different because, as you highlight, the thumbnails are fair use. Some YouTube videos are probably not. Really, we can't say what the law is right now, so there's no reason not to be cautious. Intellectual Reserve v. Utah Lighthouse Ministry tells us that contributory infringement for links is at least a possibility. We must not ignore it. Cool Hand Luke 05:43, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Just as I suspected, there is no case law that supports the blanket removal of YouTube links. Too many Wikipedians are being overly anal and deleting perfectly legitimate photos at an alarming rate. If a copyright holder has not raised an issue, I am not sure why a Wikipedian would be so concerned. I only wish those editors who are interested in wikipedia's copyright policies would devote their energy to justify the inclusion of material rather than to aggressively seek its removal.--MiamiManny (talk) 03:28, 25 December 2007 (UTC)

Linking to YouTube, Google Video, and similar sites

Under this heading, please (briefly) list the main guidelines that YouTube & Google Video links would breach. I think that would give a clearer presentation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:22, 20 June 2008 (UTC)

Hmmm...I've just come here now to suggest that section be altered, and I see that another user ( above) also feels that it's lacking.
Anyway, I want to propose that an additional sentence be added to the "Linking to YouTube, Google Video, and similar sites" section. I'm not sure whether what I'm proposing is a shift in policy because, well, to some the policy does not seem clear.
This has come about from a small edit war I've been involved in, detailed here. It was my opinion that Enrique Iglesias's official YouTube channel could be added to the Enrique Iglesias article, but the other editor didn't agree, citing "Linking to YouTube, Google Video, and similar sites".
I've had this sort of battle a few times before over YouTube links. Often I've just let it pass, because there seems to be this general assumption that YouTube links are not allowed. However, it seems absurd to me that links to article subjects' MySpace pages are permissible (there's even a template), but that links to YouTube are deemed not permissible even though they may be much more useful. In the Enrique Iglesias example, his MySpace page is a mish-mash of adverts, a chatroom, personal messages and so on, whereas his YouTube page takes you straight to videos of his songs. As he is after all a singer, to me the YouTube link is much more useful.
So I propose that a sentence be added to the "Linking to YouTube, Google Video, and similar sites" section as follows:
"However, links to pages that belong to the article's subject are usually acceptable. For example, it is acceptable to link to a singer's official YouTube channel."
What do people think?-- (talk) 08:56, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm not clear on the nature of the proposed link. Is this an official site (under Wikipedia:External_links#What_should_be_linked #1)? Or is it basically a "search" on YouTube for anything that's been labeled as involving this performer? (How does a video clip get put into a "channel"?) WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:30, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
First, to be honest, I didn't look at What should be linked #1, and on the basis of that I now reckon that it's already acceptable to link to someone's official YouTube channel. So I'll go ahead now and re-add the Enrique Iglesias. And fifteen seconds later someone else with Huggle will revert me again.
To clarify: On YouTube, a "channel" is essentially someone's account. So in this specific case, "EnriqueIglesiasPlay" is Iglesias's own personal account that he (or more likely his agents/record company) manages. Thus it's not a search query.
In general, if a YouTube channel/account is someone's official channel/account, I think it should acceptable as an external link, and that the policy wording should be adjusted to make it clearer that this is acceptable.-- (talk) 08:40, 23 June 2008 (UTC)
In general, I agree with you, but I don't see the need to change this guideline. It's already permitted under #What should be linked #1. If other editors on the specific page in question disagree with you, then post a note here to ask for support. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:58, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks.-- (talk) 08:25, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
I need some help determining if a play list for a Let's play of La-Mulana is valid in the links section of that article. I've kept it up partly in defense of the topics notability, but several users over the past months have simply taken it down (with little or no explanation).Subanark (talk) 20:33, 5 July 2008 (UTC)

YouTube and Google Video Section

Some of the language on this section should be removed. In fact, the whole section should be removed.

The words "as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page," should be removed, because it goes without saying.

The words "(which would happen infrequently)," should be removed, as it is POV.

The rest, which says, "See also Wikipedia:Copyrights for the prohibition on linking to pages that violate copyrights... Therefore, each instance of allowance is on a case-by-case basis," should be be removed, because it goes without saying.

In fact, the whole section should be removed, because YouTube and Google Video are not sources, they are mediums to host sources. Each source should be taken at face value. Wikipedia should not give up any rights. No US law says that linking to Google Video and YouTube are a violation of copyright, unless the person doing the linking knows for a fact that the site is violating copy right. Under US law, the burden of researching copyright is not on the person or site doing the linking, but once a copyright violation is discover the link must be removed. Under US law, if you are not sure if the copyright is being violated, then the link can stand.

Again, these sites are not sources, but mediums or host for potential sources.

Slipgrid (talk) 22:44, 28 July 2008 (UTC)

I have to agree. Google is fanatical about removing copyrighted videos from YouTube so any that remain can be assumed to be no different than referencing a television program. Especially since the media have no problems with airing YouTube videos themselves. Another point is that videos are on average far more reliable than print media such as newspapers. Wayne (talk) 16:23, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Google is far from fanatical about removing copyright violations. It's trivially easy to find thousands of copyright violations, and most of them stay up for months at a time, some for years already. We don't have any reason to link to YouTube, etc., by Wikipedia standards to begin with. DreamGuy (talk) 22:29, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
On the different points you raise: 1) The words "as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page," were found to help clarify the meaning of this guideline for some readers and were deemed useful. I'm generally in favor of shorter guidelines so I wouldn't be averse to a rewording - but I don't think you can simply remove those words from the guideline without changing the emphasis of the statement. So it needs a more detailed proposal than simply removing that sentence. 2) Our guidelines are allowed to be POV. They aren't articles they're an expression of the way in which the community believes articles should be written. That is in essence a point of view. 3) Wikilinking to other relevant guidelines and policies and putting them in context is generally accepted as a good way to write guidelines. It reminds users that this page does not stand alone, as well as providing for quick and relevant navigation. 4) If you want to argue to change our policy on linking to copyright violations you need to do so at the copyright page. If you do so you might want to consider that our position has historically not been based simply on a desire to avoid being sued but also on a general desire to uphold copyright and a recognition of its role in underpinning many open content licenses (feeding in to an explicit part of Wikipedia's mission - to promote open content). 5) This guideline is about external links not sources. So the point that youtube is a host rather than a source itself (and Wayne's questionable assertion that video is more reliable than print media) is not really relevant. In any case convenience links to hosted copies of documents that do not violate copyright have always been permitted when better than the original. In terms of media there is a general presumption that plain text is preferable to rich media - but this is for accessibility reasons and not specific to the host of the content.
On an historical note - the section was added because there were a lot of inappropriate links to youtube being added at one time. Addressing it specifically was thought to be beneficial. Personally I think a look at xLinkBot's reverts shows that this is still the case, for newer users at least. -- SiobhanHansa 17:35, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
OK, let not say the words "(which would happen infrequently)" are POV, but that they are meaningless. It depends on the edits made.
The words "as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page" is instruction creep. There is absolutely no need for them. Remove them.
Then the worlds "See also Wikipedia:Copyrights for the prohibition on linking to pages that violate copyrights... Therefore, each instance of allowance is on a case-by-case basis," is also instruction creep. It goes without saying. Making pages with instruction creep link to other pages with instruction creep, when the material goes without saying, should be removed.
Furthermore, having a bot to determine the reliability of a source is not good.
You say, "the point that youtube is a host rather than a source itself... is not really relevant," but it is, because the copyright issue is used as a reason to that nonsense like "which would happen infrequently" is added to this.
If this is going to mention YouTube, it only needs to say that sources hosted on YouTube are acceptable. But there is no reason to call out one host.
This policy is complete nonsense that contradicts itself. It seems to be written by people who do not have a basic understanding of the technology they are policing. —Slipgrid (talk) 17:56, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Talking of a basic understanding - the xLinkBot does not "determine the reliability of a source". It reverts - for new users only - against a list of domains decided on by people. It is a dirty and inexact, but ultimately beneficial, way of keeping down inappropriate links of many types. My mention of it was to point out its list of reverts - which when checked by hand show that the vast majority of YouTube links added are still not good links. I did not mean to imply that because the bot reverted they were defacto inappropriate.
You keep using the word "source" and I just want to make sure we understand each other - do you mean a source on which an assertion in an article is based (i.e. a citation or reference). Or are you more generally referring to a source of information?
On instruction creep the article says:
For proposed new instructions, instruction creep can be avoided if all of the following hold:
1. There is a good indication of an actual problem (as opposed to a hypothetical or a perceived problem)
2. The proposed instructions truly solve this problem (as opposed to treating symptoms or making symbolic gestures)
3. The instructions have little or no undesirable side effects (such as false positives, overcomplexity, or unnecessary prohibitions)
I have some sympathy with the CREEP essay but I contend in this case that 1) there was an indication of a problem - many inappropriate links were being added to an extent greater than for most other sites. And that those links were considered to be breaking a policy (copyright).
2) Editors found that changes to this guideline specifically addressing YouTube did make it easier to point users to the community standard without having to discuss ad nauseum how they applied in a particular case. In particular having the link to the copyright policy allowed for users who were sent here to understand the copyright issues without them having to go back and say "I don't get it - I copied this bit of my Starwars DVD especially to link to for this article. It's the real deal why do you think it isn't relevant." (ridiculous example chosen for clarity of meaning only). Pointing to the copyright issue also means that issues about the reliability of a non-official copy did not have to be addressed - an area that can get more heated when editors have provided the copy.
3) There are comparatively few undesirable side effects. I think this is the weakest in respect to the YouTube issue - when the guideline was first added comparatively few official "channels" existed on YouTube and I think for a while some good content was removed before people realized how much non-copyright content was available. But for the most part editors are now aware that copyright holders including mainstream media do host some appropriate content on YouTube and the problems with inappropriate removal on for those have died down.
So I don't agree with your assertion in this case that this is instruction creep. I believe your suggestion of simply removing the section (or the parts of it you've specified) would lead to a greater number of inappropriate links being posted, a harder time for editors trying to clean up those posts, and would not lead to a significant increase in appropriate links being added.
It's also not the case that people don't understand the technology - I don't think anyone who regularly posts to this page is unaware that YouTube simply hosts video uploaded by users. But the focused here isn't on the technology - it's on understanding the community and using wording that works in practice for as large a swathe as possible.
You seem to be focusing on the wording here without attempting to address the intent of the words. And I wonder - especially from the post you linked to in the other conversation - if you are more interested in getting the general meaning and intent behind these guidelines changed. That is, that you would prefer to see external links to YouTube (and presumably blogs) be more generally accepted than they currently are. If this is the case we might have a more productive conversation if you pointed out some examples of links that you think are generally not accepted now that you think should be and tried to summarize what you think Wikipedia has to gain by accepting them. --- SiobhanHansa 19:46, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
I see no good reason to remove the existing guideline as currently stated. Particularly with newbie editors and SPAs, most of the wikilawyering that I've encountered has involved a few types of obviously banned external links. It has been helpful in a few cases to have the guidelines be painfully explicit -- because what seems "unnecessary" and "redundant" to an experienced editor has proven to be "just barely sufficient" for a determined agenda-pusher.
I also support a blanket ban on video links as being inappropriate for our worldwide audience. A person who is reading from a microbrowser over a very slow dialup connection cannot view videos. A general ban (which can, of course, be overridden by WP:IAR in truly important cases) respects the parts of our audience that aren't editing from a high-speed connection. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:02, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
To SiobhanHansa, I'm trying to get the intent changed, or just the whole thing removed. It's so simple. I focusing on the wording, because the wording is complete nonsense. And wording that is nonsense leads to policy that is nonsense, and administrators that quote nonsense policy. The wording is the policy. You change or remove the wording, then the policy is changed or removed.
I'm sure the original intent was pure, but good intent does not make good policy.
And then having robots that edit articles based on this policy is even more baffling. Sure, there is stuff that shouldn't be added, and it should be removed. But, having a bot remove every link to a specific source is not acting in good faith. It is the opposite of acting in good faith. It's not bold, and it's not careful. It is reckless, though I'm sure very efficient.
The wording, the policy, and the bot are all wrong. That leads to administrators who are wrong, and articles which are factually wrong.
Sorry if I seem over dramatic, but I can't imagine who someone can look at this policy, and not collapse at the absurdity of it.
As for examples, less say there is a subset of videos on YouTube that is reliable and good quality, and lets take the subset of reliable and appropriate videos on YouTube as an example. Most administrators will not let them on the articles they administer. Some of them won't even allow sources that have comments on their page. Regardless of intent, it is not good for this site. —Slipgrid (talk) 20:30, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
To WhatamIdoing, a blanket ban of video removes many good sources and for that reason, is a bad idea. There are easy ways to deal with users who have slow connections, or a browsing on a cell phone or other technology. That is, to mark a link as going to a video. You should not only do this for videos, but PDF, and Flash content. —Slipgrid (talk) 20:30, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
The current section isn't creep as it explains a guideline in plain language that needs explaining, which is exactly what is needed because these links are usually added by inexperienced editors. Google is nowhere near fanatical about removing copyvio videos. they aren't even anywhere near adequate. The current wording is very good. It discourages such links without completely prohibiting them. As for the copyvio part, this guideline follows policy so any discussion of that should go on the copyright policy page, but in general Youtube videos are either made by random individuals and thus are not authoritative and thus not meritable external links, or they are copyvio TV show clips. There are a few exceptions, but this guidelibe should be clear that any Youtube links should be scrutinized and meet the criteria of this guideline and copyright policy. 2005 (talk) 22:05, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
I'm forever reading complaints in forums of Google deleting videos after a copyright complaint is made, mostly that they go overboard and delete related videos even if it is not copyright which is why I said fanatical. I doubt the current wording is adequate as in controversial topics they effectively end up completely banned if they favour the "wrong" side. I fully support allowing YouTube if the video is in context and relevant to the article or claim made and is not stand alone in the article. I only have a 28kbps dialup connection so don't check them however, I have no problem accepting what they say/show if it has consensus for inclusion. Wayne (talk) 05:21, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
On controversial topics the issue you're coming up against isn't so much that it's a YouTube video - it's that the provenance can't be rigorously established and hence there is no reputation on which to judge the reliability of the information. One of the problems with YouTube and most user generated content sites is that they have no significant editorial control - they are effectively personal publishing platforms and equivalent to a personal website. And when the identity of a poster cannot be established or where the publisher is not a known expert in the field we cannot consider it a reliable source. When a claim is controversial the reputation of the publisher (i.e. the person/institution posting the information) in the subject area is paramount. This is a problem for non-controversial subjects though it's often overlooked on non-controversial articles when editors agree the content itself is good. But on a controversial subject - video or text - a link to a user generated content site will almost never be acceptable.
Wikipedia is not the place to be trying to include the "wrong" side if that side does not have a respected voice within the accepted experts in the field - that's a well established part of our WP:NPOV policy. If it have a respected voice, use their material. If a respected voice has published a video on YouTube (and you can establish it is that person/institution that has posted the video - some guy from London saying that it's such and such person's video is not sufficient provenance - no one can be sure the video hasn't been doctored) then that might be an acceptable link for a controversial article. -- SiobhanHansa 10:12, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
When speaking about YouTube, you say, "they are effectively personal publishing platforms and equivalent." That's where you are wrong in your beliefs, and this policy is wrong. It is nothing more than a video hosting platform. You say they don't have editorial control. It's not a media outlet! It's a place to host videos; that's it.
Now, many media outlets host their videos there, and they have editorial control. In the US, many local news stations host all their videos from every broadcast on the site. That's a great resource. This contradictory and insanely worded policy says that would happen only very infrequently, but that's not the case. It happens every night at 6PM and 11PM.
This policy has to be changed; it's dribble by people who don't understand the difference between a medium and a content producing media outlet. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Slipgrid (talkcontribs) 12:49, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree that there are respected sources who publish through places like YouTube which is why I pointed out that "If a respected voice has published a video on YouTube (and you can establish it is that person/institution that has posted the video - some guy from London saying that it's such and such person's video is not sufficient provenance - no one can be sure the video hasn't been doctored) then that might be an acceptable link for a controversial article." This will need to be decided on on a case by case basis - it will be dependent on the actual link being suggested. -- SiobhanHansa 14:04, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
That's fine. So, lets remove the disjointed policy, and decide on a case by case basis, as we do for every other source. —Slipgrid (talk) 15:46, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Remember, this is for "External Links". If we are using YouTube/Google video as a reference (knowing as stated that the submitter of the video is the person they claim to be, have the right to release that material, and so forth), then we can cite that appropriately. That's an issue at WP:V, WP:RS, and WP:CITE.
When it comes to External Links, however, I find it very hard pressed to find a situation where a video link needs to be included if not already located in the references for the article. If per all other aspects of what External Links should be about, the video is important to include, it should be included via referencing, being that it is a "single" piece of information where typically ELs are sites with many pages of information. --MASEM 15:55, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Slipgrid - All links are decided on a case by case basis. This is a guideline that assists editors by pointing out the common issues the community has already confronted and developed a consensus on. Any link that is in contravention of these guidelines can still be recommended for the page - all you need is to gain a consensus from editors of the page that it makes the article better. That's the case for all our article content. We have found that few YouTube (and similar) links meet the requirements and that is explicitly stated for editors' benefit. The guideline specifically states that they are blanket banned - it just emphasizes the need to apply our standard requirements because we have found that useful. You haven't countered this point or pointed out instances where good links have been rejected because of the guideline. And until you do you're unlikely to gain any traction in an attempt to change it. -- SiobhanHansa 20:37, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

(Undent) Slipgrid, the word source is a term of the art. If you're trying to assert that YouTube links should be permitted as references for the purposes of satisfying WP:V, then you are in the wrong place entirely.

I'm with User:2005 on YouTube's failure to enforce copyrights. This whole discussion reminded me of my only use for YouTube: watching Apple Inc.'s advertisements. Dozens of them are posted, and have been for at least two years. This is hardly "fanatical" enforcement of obviously copyrighted material.

Contrary to Slipgrid's assertion, YouTube really is the video equivalent of or Anybody -- not just reliable sources, not just named people or companies -- can upload whatever they want. If we exclude copyright violations, then what's left is largely amateur videos. Amateur, as in "not made by a notable person or reliable source". Those YouTube-hosted videos which are published by professionals are typically linked from official sites maintained by said professionals, and we can link to the official site instead. I do not support removing this blanket statement against YouTube videos in external links.

Slipgrid has not shown a single benefit to Wikipedia by allowing YouTube videos -- just his personal pet peeve that an entire class of media has been found wanting by so many editors for such a long time. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:36, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

I don't think anyone is asking for open slather on amateur videos. As I said before...context and relevance. One area that YouTube shines is the "he said, she said" arguements. Someone makes a statement then denies what he said or says it was out of context and this denial gets put in the article as fact because the source said it was. Along comes YouTube with either video proof he was taken out of context or that he is lying his A off. It doesn't matter how professional or legitimate the video is (or even if it's from a RS), atm it wouldn't be allowed. Wayne (talk) 03:56, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
As I said before...context and relevance. Which is what our guideline says: Therefore, each instance of allowance is on a case-by-case basis. Do you have any examples of external links that would otherwise be acceptable being excluded simply because they are hosted by YouTube?
As to One area that YouTube shines is the "he said, she said" arguements. Someone makes a statement then denies what he said or says it was out of context and this denial gets put in the article as fact because the source said it was. Along comes YouTube with either video proof he was taken out of context or that he is lying his A off. It doesn't matter how professional or legitimate the video is (or even if it's from a RS), atm [?] it wouldn't be allowed. That is specifically about verifiability and this guideline does not apply to such links. Use of published video as a source is not banned under our verifiability policy so long as it is reliable, though there are additional issues (such as interpretation) that can make their use inappropriate in some contexts. There is a reliable sources noticeboard for help with individual cases. -- SiobhanHansa 11:16, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

The YouTube section stays as is, because it's been bult with a clear consensus, as the complaints baout the way it's currently written are anemic at best and completely bogus at worst. DreamGuy (talk) 22:29, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Linking to Songs on YouTube that are uploaded to YouTube by the copyright holder

Hi! I linked songs on YouTube to their corresponding artist page on Wikipedia. I was careful to make sure that the version of the song was one that was uploaded to YouTube by the record company or artist that (I thought) owned copright to those songs. My links were reverted nevertheless. I'm discouraged. Please help me understand how to proceed on this. I believe it really strengthens an artist page on Wikipedia when there are direct links to that artist's songs. Are songs directly uploaded to YouTube by an artist or record company not legal to link to? If yes, am I okay to revert the reverts?  :-[ (Whose responsibility would that be? I'm sad at all the time I've wasted if I was operating under the wrong impression.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by RichLindvall (talkcontribs) 10:19, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

As long as you are 100% confident that the copyright holder put the work up on YouTube, you can link to it; however, it is generally the case that such songs are linked only from the individual song articles. If you only have the artist's page on WP, you may want to link to the provide that contains all their submissions instead of individual songs. --MASEM 12:25, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm not seeing a purpose to link to a video, and I don't feel comfortable with people off the street deciding that the group uploaded it (because most everybody would just choose to assume they did... it'd open ourselves up to massive copyright violations). Better to link to an official site with the video, if at all. DreamGuy (talk) 20:53, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

You got an example? rootology (C)(T) 23:27, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Australian copyright and YouTube questions

Mark of the Year is at WP:FLC now. It has multiple links to YouTube videos of the different marks (spectacular catches in Australian Football League games). The question is whether these links are allowed, but their copyrtight status is unclear. Could someone who knows more about Australian copyright please take a look at the article and provide feedback on the video links at Wikipedia:Featured list candidates/Mark of the Year? Thanks in advance, Ruhrfisch ><>°° 02:50, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

External links don't go in the body of an article. These are references or nothing at all, so you should ask at WP:V or WP:RS. 2005 (talk) 03:55, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
OK, thanks, I will ask there. I am a reviewer, not the main author. Ruhrfisch ><>°° 04:21, 29 November 2008 (UTC)


Please see:

Please update this WP:EL section:

This sentence: This is particularly relevant when linking to sites such as YouTube, where due care should be taken to avoid linking to material that violates its creator's copyright.

It should be clarified and rewritten to incorporate the other info. --Timeshifter (talk) 06:12, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Even if YouTube has permission for most of its copyrighted videos, it is still appropriate for editors to exercise due care. I therefore don't see any need to change this statement. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:33, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
As someone familiar with the realities of YouTube, I also think we should limit the statement to advising editors to exercise due care. The claim that "YouTube has permission for most of its copyrighted videos"[1] is somewhat naive according to my experience with the site. Moreover, the material you recently added to the guideline appears to encourage people to think that any video upload which can be attributed to a major label is not an infringement,[2] not something that is advisable if we want to avoid linking to copyright violations. – The Parting Glass 10:34, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
OK, that sounds alright. People should exercise due care. I think the problem was in another section that said "which would happen infrequently". See this section: WP:YOUTUBE. "There is no blanket ban on linking to these sites as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page (which would happen infrequently - see Restrictions on Linking)."
YouTube removes videos all the time that have material from labels it does not have agreements with. So we shouldn't make blanket statements either way about linking or not linking. "Due care" is reasonable and responsible. I removed "which would happen infrequently." --Timeshifter (talk) 05:46, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
"YouTube removes videos all the time that have material from labels it does not have agreements with." Yes, and stuff doesn't get removed, at least not immediately (and in some cases, not for some years). And then there's the stuff where the uploader knows not to hoast it for too long – pulling it from the channel after it's reached its audience – or those uploads which are the user's own conversions/adaptations from pre-digital formats (Hello, vinyl!), not as likely to register with any library the copyright owner might have access to. And so on.
Look, I'm not coming at this merely as someone who's a bit of a hardass where external links are concerned. I come at this as someone who has used YouTube for several years precisely because it offers a wide selection of "black market" goodies which I otherwise couldn't afford. An anti-discrimination campaign for "underprivileged" sites is a fine thing in principle, but, in practice, it's going to end up as advocacy for those uploaders trying to attract traffic to their channels using illicit means – who aren't, by any means, an insignificant minority who get stamped on within minutes of their first copyright infringement. – The Parting Glass 10:47, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
The existing line says exactly what we want. Editors should use care. 2005 (talk) 11:06, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

The idea that YouTube has permission for most of its content is naive -- the content most people would WANT to link to is quite often without permission. The existence of a bunch of personal videas nobody here would ever try to link to in the first place proves nothing. And, hell, it's not like there's even a reason to link to YouTube most of the time anyway even if it were with permission. We aren't a web directory. DreamGuy (talk) 14:57, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

I would also generally discourage links to rich media/video pages because of the number of readers with dial-up or slow connections. Those of us with supercomputers and high-speed internet access everywhere we go have probably forgotten what it's like to attempt to use an underpowered computer and a slow modem. (I talked to someone a few weeks ago who's running a Macintosh Quadra. Imagine YouTube on a 68040 chip.) Video has its place, but in an effort to provide a reasonably level playing field for all of our readers, it needs to be a small place. Also, clips that are essentially entertainment e.g., ("Highlights from my favorite TV show") are unacceptable. I think that "discouraged, but definitely not banned" is the right balance for Wikipedia articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:37, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Comment. Several of the people commenting here do little but remove external links from articles. So they do not represent the majority of Wikipedia editors. Spam fighters camp out here at WP:EL. I could name names but anyone can tell by going to their user pages. Their opinion is valuable too, but their numbers and loudness here are not a basis for consensus. They are the ones continually adding back "which would happen infrequently" as a way to make a form of almost blanket prohibition of linking to YouTube videos. This goes against the reasonable standard of "due care." There are many totally legal YouTube videos. For example; there are many official YouTube channels for the major labels. The videos on those channels are without question totally legal. Many of the popular videos elsewhere on YouTube with tens of thousands of views are also legal. The questionable videos are the ones with few views that YouTube may not have screened yet with its video ID tools. There is a vast middle ground too that requires due care. For more info on Google/YouTube's video ID tools see Wikipedia talk:Copyrights#YouTube has permission for most of its copyrighted videos. The Internet Archive (Wayback Machine) is another vast archive. It also has to frequently remove sites that owners don't want archived. We allow linking to the Internet Archive. See Wikipedia:Using the Wayback Machine. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:38, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

The Internet Way Back Machine is used for references, not external links. This guideline doesn't care what sources are used to support information in articles. If you can write an entire article simply by <ref>ing YouTube articles, then you'll get no objections based on this guideline. This guideline really only cares about what is (or should be) listed under ==External links==. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:08, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Whatever your opinion of the utility of the Internet Archive or YouTube as an external link we shouldn't be adding "which would happen infrequently" to the statement "There is no blanket ban on linking to these sites as long as the links abide by the guidelines on this page." See this diff: [3]. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:11, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Keep wording as is. We must be reasonable in all edits we make, and this wording is eminently reasonable. A blanket prohibition would be unhelpful and highly counterproductive to our encyclopedia. Our editors--that is, editors who actually create and add to articles rather than primarily removing or attempting to remove content or sources--edit with judiciousness and discernment, and are our strongest asset. Let them do their work. Badagnani (talk) 04:06, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Legality of the link is not the only reason why they are (or were) often inappropriate. We are not a linkfarm is another one, and linking to media for which special software may be needed, the several occasions of users having a coi with adding the youtube movies, that external links should add to documents, prefereably used as a reference and to draw content from, or which are inaccessible for slow internet connections are some of the others. I do however concur that a sentence as 'which happens infrequently' is a bit overdone (though probably true!). Taking good care (and quite some of it) with links to youtube (and all other servers with audio/video media) is still in order, and that should be enough. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:21, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Youtube link where we cannot find any copyright info

This Youtube video doesn't contain any copyright information that anyone has yet found. It's being discussed at Talk:Bates_method#Meir_Schneider, where editors suggest that we don't know if it's a copyright violation, so it's fine to link. I'm not so sure. --Ronz (talk) 17:40, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

As has been pointed out in the discussion, the Youtube account hosting the news broadcast in question is verifiably connected to the individual featured therein. So the chances that permission was granted are much higher than if it had just been posted by some random person. PSWG1920 (talk) 18:17, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm inclined to keep the links out when the copyright is in doubt. Wish others would voice their opinions. --Ronz (talk) 00:47, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
In this type of situation, excluding the link due to copyright concerns I believe amounts to an assumption of bad faith. The news broadcast is not posted by some random person. It is hosted on an account verifiably connected to the individual featured therein. If you're concerned why don't you contact Channel 2 in Israel and let them know about the video in case they don't already. PSWG1920 (talk) 01:00, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
If it contains no copyright information, it should not be used unless it is on an official channel by someone affiliated with the video (i.e. vested by YouTube itself to have the right to post the videos). It has nothing to with an "assumption of bad faith" but the reality most videos on YouTube that are not personal videos are copyright violations. That is reality. That said, it is rare that a YouTube video should be used as a source anyway. If its a legitimate broadcast, cite the real broadcast, not its YouTube video which may or may not be legal. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 02:41, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
It was being used as an External link, not a reference. It is on an account verifiably connected to the individual featured in the news broadcast (see the discussion at Talk:Bates method regarding that). So it's not as if it were just a random person who posted it. With that being the case I believe this is largely a matter of assuming good faith or lack thereof. PSWG1920 (talk) 02:48, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
That's even easier, it is not an appropriate EL even if it is legit. I see no added value to that article at all that makes it so important to meet EL guidelines. It doesn't add substantial "meaningful, relevant content that is not suitable for inclusion in an article" as any related info can and should be incorporated into the article itself. -- AnmaFinotera (talk · contribs) 02:51, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
I disagree. It would be very difficult to follow NPOV while referencing that broadcast in-text. We'd end up breaching Undue weight, Impartial tone, or both (following both of those at the same time has been an ongoing problem with that article.) PSWG1920 (talk) 03:20, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Hello, we generally don't link to YouTube anyway, per our rules (see the main page that this talk page is supposed to be discussing). And, generally speaking, anything on YouTube from SHOULD be considered a copyright violation unless we have proof to the contrary, based upon how extensive the copyright problems there are. It'd be different if the video were on some official site, as then we'd have a good faith reason to think it was being used following proper copyright laws... but even there we basically don't link to videos anyway. DreamGuy (talk) 16:44, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

It is on an account verifiably connected to the official site of the individual featured in the news broadcast! See the discussion linked above. PSWG1920 (talk) 16:46, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Link to the official site then. Problem solved. DreamGuy (talk) 16:58, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
You are aware, I hope, that newscasts are copyrighted material? Just because the subject appeared in the broadcast, doesn't make a video of that broadcast cease to be a copyright violation. --Orange Mike | Talk 17:02, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

--Orange Mike | Talk 17:02, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Yes, I'm aware of that. My argument was that he probably got permission to use it, at least the chances of that are much, much higher than if it had appeared on some random account. PSWG1920 (talk) 17:11, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Fair use and Youtube links

Any further discussion of the specific situation above should occur at the talk page on which it started so as to maintain context. However, I'd like to ask in general about how Fair use applies to Youtube links here. [4] If we decide that a Youtube video meets fair use criteria, then can it be considered as a link? PSWG1920 (talk) 20:37, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure that such a condition will ever be met. A link under ==External links== can hardly be, for example, in the context of critical analysis. However, if such a rationale were available, then the copyright would obviously not be the reason for denying the link. (I phrase my answer this way, because linking to Flash-based YouTube is always a prima facie violation of WP:ELNO #8.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:38, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
What I was referring to was whether the reproduction itself adheres to fair use. If it does, then it's not a copyright violation. Wikipedia:EL#Linking_to_YouTube.2C_Google_Video.2C_and_similar_sites says that there is no blanket ban on linking to Youtube. PSWG1920 (talk) 16:58, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
If I'm understanding your question, if a page uses copyrighted material in accordance with fair use, then linking to it is not a copyright violation. For instance, Time uses a still from Watchmen in its review of the film, here. Their use of this still, presuming they don't have permission, would likely meet "fair use." We can link to that review. It contains copyrighted material, but it is not an infringement of copyright. However, it's difficult to imagine a situation where a youtube video conforms to fair use, since youtube videos are generally baldly presented with little to no context and cannot easily be construed as meeting the demands of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship and etc. If a copyrighted segment of a video were inserted for such purposes and otherwise in accordance with fair use in a reputable publication, even if hosted on youtube, the case for linking to said reputable publication would be stronger than linking directly to youtube ourselves. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:01, 8 March 2009 (UTC)