Wikipedia talk:Image use policy/Archive 12

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 5 Archive 10 Archive 11 Archive 12 Archive 13 Archive 14 Archive 15


When is a source not needed?

The "Requirements" section of the policy states two minimal requirements, one of which is to "Always specify on the description page where the image came from (the source) and information on how this could be verified. Examples include scanning a paper copy, or a URL, or a name/alias and method of contact for the photographer." This would seem to indicate that all images require source data but attempts to request source information for Image:Paterson bridge construction.jpg recently have been thwarted on 3 separate occasions by two different administrators who deleted {{di-no source}} tags[1][2][3], arguing that public domain images don't need source data. Should the policy indicate that PD images are exempt from the source data requirement or was the removal of the tags inappropriate? If the former, this seems to fly in the face of WP:V. --AussieLegend (talk) 07:55, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

I personally will only remove a "no source" tag if the source is self-evident: things like logos, book covers, and the like where you can figure out the source simply by looking at the image. --Carnildo (talk) 00:23, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
If you dont have a source then how can you prove it is public domain. All images must have come from somewhere (even if it is a secondary source like a website). Except as Carnildo says apart from something like a logo or book cover you need to meet WP:V. MilborneOne (talk) 09:24, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Restarting this discussion

The question was asked how one can prove that an image is public domain unless a source is given. The image/picture of a person who died before 1923 is in the public domain is one such example. For example, this image is clearly public domain and the person labeling it with no-source is unwilling to remove the tag even though he acknowledges that it is in the public domain. I can understand the requirement for source information because that is the only way one can verify the license claim; however, where the picture itself is evidence that it is in the public domain, the source information requirement should be waived. --Trödel 22:13, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Is it in the public domain? When was the image published? When did the photographer die? Those are what matter for determining the duration of copyright, not the lifespan of the image's subject. --Carnildo (talk) 23:45, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

CSD discussion - Your feedback is appreciated

Your feedback would be appreciated in the G6 Proposal discussion on the rewording of CSD G6. Thank you. Soundvisions1 (talk) 15:49, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

ALT text

The following sentence was recently added to WP:MOS#IMAGES: "Images, including math-mode equations, should generally include alt text that describes the image for visually impaired readers." We could really use more discussion over at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#ALT text. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 16:23, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Images depicting death

Wikipedia:Options to not see an image says "Wikipedia is not censored, and the community will in general not be prepared to remove content on grounds of being objectionable to some people. Wikipedia will also not use specific disclaimers within articles warning readers of such content.", and suggests that users likely to be offended can either tinker with their browser settings, or .js user account settings, to set up work-arounds for themselves personally - without removing "objectionable" images from the project in any fashion.

Wikipedia:NOT#Wikipedia_is_not_censored likewise says that "However, some articles may include objectionable text, images, or links where they are relevant to the content (such as the articles about the penis or masturbation). Discussion of potentially objectionable content should not focus on its offensiveness, but on whether it is appropriate to include in a given article. Beyond that, "being objectionable" is generally not sufficient grounds for removal of content."

I've hit a stumbling block as people have often removed (black and white, not "over the top gruesome" or anything) images depicting a notable person's death; for example Charles Whitman or the bodies of the soldiers killed in Operation Red Wing; while pictures of dead soldiers from World War I are easily used, as are those of Holocaust victims. I think it's a hypocritical double-standard to allow images of dead Rwandans, but not dead Americans - for example, and would encourage a note on the IUP page noting that WP is not censored, and as long as images are not used solely for shock value (ie, if there is a "nicer" image we could use at Electric Chair than something terribly gruesome, we should use it), they should be included in the article. I don't want to enter an edit-war with people who complain about "Think of the soldier's family!!!", we don't think of the Holocaust victim's family; we show photos of death, it's as simple as that.

Or am I wrong? Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 22:56, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

You are wrong. You are putting graphic images of recently deceased persons published by the killers in the biographical articles of the deceased. This has no correlation to other depictions of death anywhere else in Wikipedia. SJSA 23:18, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
(This is the person currently revert-warring over Operation Red Wing, for the record), SJSA -- why does the recentness of a death make it any less appropriate to include an image? They are of historical value, freely-licensed by as-Sahab (admittedly, an extremist media source), and demonstrate the subject's death. They are not "graphic", there is no twisted detail of a ruptured spleen exploding over their face, they are simply dead bodies lying on the ground following a firefight. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 23:21, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
You are the one engaging in the edit war, but its not about the Operation Red Wing article, I have not been editing that article. I have an issue with you putting the images on the biographical pages of the three men. I warned you on your talk page hoping to prevent it but you seem adamant about undoing my edits. How about you knock it off until there is a discussion. SJSA 23:24, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
This is a touchy issue and context is everything. If the article is primarily about the death itself, then a photograph may be appropriate. If the article is about the person or about another topic that mentions the person such as a company, band, for famous family, the photograph is usually not appropriate in that article. In articles like Charles Whitman, it's a tough call because the article is primarily about his murder spree and the aftermath, which includes his own death. In this case, the decision is best left to the editors of that article, not by policy. Dispute resolution is a better forum than this talk page for handling that particular example. There is also WP:HARM, in particular, as it applies to the families of those depicted. A photo of recently killed soldiers which is likely to cause additional grief to family members is more likely to be opposed by editors of an article about the battle that killed them than a photo of a battle 30 years ago. Again though, this is a matter of the consensus of the editors of that page, not a matter of policy interpretation.
The only image use policy I see coming into play would be copyright/fair use, and in these cases, the policy would be the same if the people depicted were dead or if they were just seriously injured and died of an unrelated cause later.
Oh, on the point of being hypocritical: Different editors edit different articles, and the consensus of the editors of a particular article over the inclusion of a particular image may be different than the consensus of a different set of editors discussing a different but similar picture in a different article. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 00:03, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

On another note: If you do see a consensus evolving across most of the articles regarding the issue of depicting dead people, then write a Wikipedia:Wikipedia essays about it as a subpage of your user page. When the consensus becomes even stronger, move it to "Wikipedia" space and when it becomes stronger still, get it promoted to guideline status. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 00:07, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, rather than writing a whole new guideline however, I thought this might be an issue better piggybacked on the general IUP - similar to WP:NOT Censored, simply stating that Wikipedia does not censor images simply because they depict uncomfortable subjects. It's something that comes up a lot on anatomy-based articles and such - and it would be good to hammer out a guideline to post on this page - for all manner of editors to be able to point and say "You can argue it's unprofessional, or violates WP:HARM, or whatever - but you can't say "such a picture doesn't belong on WP". I'm not looking for a ruling on the specific case I mentioned -- just trying to kickstart some guideline/policy discussion. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 00:10, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
As a matter of personal dignity (as already stated in this policy), presentation matters. For example, how identifiable are the individuals in these photos? A couple of essentially unidentifiable bodies lying on the ground is probably fine for Wikipedia. A close-up of a single face twisted by rigor mortis is probably not.
As for the sweeping assumptions being made about the family's preferences: Not all family members are going to feel the same way. Some won't want any photos of the body anywhere. Others will want them shown to every possible person (perhaps, for example, as an anti-violence campaign). Many will have mixed feelings, or different preferences at different times. We should not base our editorial decisions on an assumption that all "right-feeling" relatives of the deceased will necessarily feel the same way that any individual editor will. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:31, 11 December 2008 (UTC) How many hours ago was it that Craig Ewert's suicide was broadcast on television?
I have to ask something that ties this into other conversations going on around WP. Namely that all this dialog is fine and good, and I do 100% agree that there should be common sense and respect for the family, however, any potential policy we might add aside, would be trumped by "fair use". I may not always agree with some editors opinion that fair use means "Take whatever you want - it is all fair!" but at it's core it is the concept. Any image that is out there can be used to illustrate a point irrguarless of what the author or copyright holder may otherwsie want. Tie that into the fact that Wikipedia is not censored and most of what would be proposed would be shot down. Certainly if we were not allowed to use images would would we have an article on The Falling Man? On the other side, and would seemingly be more blatant use of images such as that, we have the Suicide article which, surprisingly, is fairly absent of death photos. The only ones are located way down and are "historical", military related images. Of course that brings up the issue of images such as Image:Yesenin in coffin.jpg which is very specific, Image:Girl coffin.jpg which is really vuage, or Image:Carol Ann Kelly 12 yrs in her coffin.JPG that is used via "fair use" in an article, not about the actual girl in the photo, but about Emma Groves. I guess a better question is, if we were to adopt a policy specific to "death" images would it be along the exact same lines as the Wikipedia Fair Use policy? And I don't mean specific to free or non free images, I mean should any image depicting death, for example, "meet general Wikipedia content standards and is [be] encyclopedic"? Should an image that depicts death be "used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding"? And then, if used in an article such as Suicide, should there be a limit to how many images depicting death can be used? And would you define human death images vs non-human death images and their uses? Such as Image:800px-White-backed vultures eating a dead wildebeest adjusted.jpg vs Image:Vulturesfeasting.jpg? I think these are all legit issues and questions that for sure would need to be addressed if there were to be discussion on these type of images. Soundvisions1 (talk) 19:47, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Fair use is a completely separate consideration, and it won't always be relevant. Fair use is exclusively a consideration of copyright law. Don't let the "everyday" words in its name mislead you: Fair use is "use that is statutorily permitted under copyright laws without the consent of the copyright holder, and which the politicians decided to call 'fair' because 'copyright exemption in favor of motherhood, apple pie, and all of the members getting re-elected' was unwieldy". It is not "use that is fair". WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:10, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Not sure if you got the gist of what I was saying. I know the concept of fair use is complicated and many Wikipedia editors try to un-complicate it by using the philosophy that we can take any image and claim it under fair use. Because of that no matter what kind of image policy we have it may be pointless because some editors will just cry of "fair use". It really does not matter if it is an invalid use of fair use because if someone said "The image is a violation of our 'death' image policy" there would be vocal crys of "It does not matter because fair use applies to all images". If you want some proof of this look at some of the CSD criteria, in particular i9, which is for any copyright violations, and excludes any image that has a fair use tag on it from being considered a copyvio. So imagine we have a "i15 - Death image" csd worded the same way. In essence it negates the policy it is based on and hands it off to another policy. This is not really meant to be a discussion on FU but I wanted to bring up that it does relate in the long run because if we did adopt a 'death' image policy it could be ignored simply by slapping fair use on it. Agree or disagree is not the issue, it is what happens already with images and will no doubt happen again in the face of any new image policy on one specific form of images. Soundvisions1 (talk) 14:39, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
You seem to be saying that some misguided editors believe that invoking the magic words "fair use" allows them to circumvent every image-related policy or guideline on Wikipedia, from WP:BLP right down to image placement.
I'm saying that whether or not an image should be deleted on copyright grounds has absolutely nothing to do with whether an image is being used in an appropriately encyclopedic way. There is no copyright-based exemption to BLP. There is no copyright-based exemption to WP:IUP#Privacy rights. There is no copyright-based exemption to WP:IUP#Displayed_image_size.
Sure: people will make up stupid excuses to get what they want. Not every wikilawyer is a clever one. But if we write, "We do not care to have any photos of children being murdered anywhere on the encyclopedia, even when the image would not violate someone's copyright" then the fair use argument is utterly irrelevant. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:22, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
You said "You seem to be saying that some misguided editors believe that invoking the magic words "fair use" allows them to circumvent every image-related policy or guideline on Wikipedia, from WP:BLP right down to image placement." And you are correct. That is precisely what I am saying. The key idea with Wikipedia is that there is no "publisher" that was hired who, in turn, hired a main editor who, in turn, brought in a set of sub editors to oversee specific areas. This is all user created content and any editor can edit anything they feel like editing. Likewise Admins can oversee any sort of deletion and add their voice to it so if they feel, for example, an image is useful they can deny a CSD i9 and add a FUR. Combine that with no hard set of "rules" and we end up having all sorts of discussions such as this one. Yes, there are "guidelines" that are trumped, supposedly, by "policy" however even those are tossed aside in two ways - overall we have the "Ignore all rules" policy and for images we have the "Non-free content criteria" policy. I really try to "follow the rules" and have stated that I may disagree with some of them but, because they are "on paper" here they should be followed, and that is in blatant disregard of the "Ignore all rules" policy. Call me a rebel. I am not arguing about the right to privacy at all, I agree with it. But it really does not matter what I think, or what you think. What will ultimately matter is if Wikipedia lays down clearly worded policy that does not "avoid instruction creep" and admits that some parts of this wiki do, indeed have to be a bureaucracy, concepts such as the one being disussed here may not matter. Ok, they will "matter" but the moment someone feels otherwise and they invoke "Ignore all rules" and at that point what is there to say? It is like Pleading the Fifth. Also in reguards to WP:IUP#Privacy rights, at this point it is only a proposed addition and if it is added there will have to be a new CSD created to deal with violations of "Moral issues" and just do not see that getting too far. Straying from the death image topic a bit, but still relating, how would you deal with File:Graner, File:Sabrina-Harman.jpg or File:AbuGhraibScandalBrown55.jpg for example? And despite there being tags such as {{di-no permission}} editors will get asked why that tag is being used because, if the images are uploaded under the "I created this" they are licensed with "I, the creator", "I, the copyright holder" or "I, the author" and that means, as has been suggested to me, "the source is, quite explicitly, the uploader, and all are labeled as free content." So images such as File:Jewish wedding Vienna Jan 2007 003.jpg and File:Wedding at First Baptist Church of Iasi - Buna Vestire.jpg would be above any "Privacy rights" issue as they were "self created" and, assuming good faith of course, must have had permission to take these photos and releases from the people in them. My point is not to say this is not a good idea, I think it is needed. How to enforce it becomes the greater issue. Soundvisions1 (talk) 01:40, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
I do not share your opinion that Wikipedia's existing procedures are inadequate for handling this problem. I do not believe, for example, that when a copyright violation is detected, that admins and other responsible people throw up their hands and say, "Oh, some ignorant person misused the term "fair use", so I guess we'll let that clear copyvio stay right there."
I also do not share your opinion that every single item in a policy or guideline requires a matching criteria for speedy deletion.
I think you are significantly exaggerating the problems involved in giving advice to editors about using images of dead human bodies. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:35, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
It is not an opinion, you need to look at other conversations going on and images overall in order to see the bigger issues at play. Your first comment that starts with "I do not share your opinion..." is your opinon. The facts I discussed can be found at various locations such as: Archive - "Important I9 add needed" (And also Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion#New CSD i9 proposal). A thread I started to clarify use of image from photo agencies and how they would relate to CSD i9 - "Blatant copyright infringement." It became an entire discussion about copyright violations, fair use and how any image tagged with a FUR can not be considered a copyvio. "The source is irrelevant - the images you tagged are clearly labeled as Fair use, and therefore not covered by I9" is one editors comment, but several others express the same. Also the header of this thread is "Images depicting death" not "images of dead human bodies" so my discussion has been based on a more general "death images" concept and how this proposed guideline/policy would be laid out. It would be nice to see a proposal on this. Soundvisions1 (talk) 19:41, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I'll try again: The purpose of this question (please read the four-paragraph-long question, instead of making assumptions based on the header) is to determine whether Wikipedia needs to make a new rule about using images of dead bodies in articles.
For example: A person is violently murdered. A copyright-free image of the dead body is available (NOTE: if an image is copyright-free, then copyright rules, such as fair use, do not apply). The picture was taken by a bystander (NOTE: The image does not come from a stock photo collection). Should a picture of the bloody corpse be placed in a biography about the murdered person? (NOTE: A decision about including the image in a biographical article is different from a decision about deleting the image.) Such an image will offend some readers but not other readers. Shall we provide specific advice about when to include or omit such images, or rely on the existing general advice and editorial judgment?
I looked at the sections you linked. They do not discuss images of dead people. They focus solely on whether or not stock photos should be speedily deleted (that is, should bypass the normal image deletion process) in all cases. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:12, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Last part first - Correct, they are not discussions about "dead people." However your suggestion that it was my opinion that putting a FUR on an image would avoid copyvio issue was the reason I gave that as an example.
The rest: Ok, so now we have narrowed things down. Part of that I have already discussed below and I agree with Sherurcij's overall response: "It's a question of general versus specific subjects..." As you gave a very specif question now I will try and be very specific in response. If "subject" is notable and if "subject" is murdered an image should be used in the article if there is a section on the murder. In answer to the "bloody corpse" issue all I can say is that "it depends". Above I cited The Falling Man article. Pretend for a moment it was not an article on an image entitled "the Falling Man" but it was an article on about "subject" who had committed suicide by jumping form a tall building. Would the image that is currently being used convey the same information as an image that showed the impact? In that case I would be against showing the impact because it would be too specific in regards to a person. However if the article was on "subject" and it was, as you asked, a "biography about the murdered person" and, because the subject had been murdered, there is a section about the murder and the case that may have followed it may be 100% relevant to show the "bloody corpse." Perhaps the key to finding the murderer was the body, the wounds, the blood splatter so if that sort of information is discussed and the image helps to illistrate those fact than, as I say, the image may be fine to use. But before you comment remember that if there is to be a policy proposal on this I think it needs to be a bit more specific - and I did suggest that the NFC Policy format could be used as a guideline. Not the rationale - but the format. (Just making that part clear.) So you could define a set of criteria that would distinguish between, say, an image of a corpse vs an image of a "bloody corpse." You could have criteria that says an image taken by a crime scene photographer (i.e - "official") image is better than a snapshot taken by a passerby. Perhaps you may even want to define use of Public Domain images ("copyright-free image" as you suggested) vs images that are user created and uploaded under a free license.
As much as I am in favor of narrowing certain criteria I think, because of the existence of other non-narrow criteria, it becomes harder to try and formulate new criteria such as this. Take a look a two fairly recent events - The September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attack and Hurricane Katrina - and compare them to older event such as the bombing of Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, The Holocaust or The Battle of Gettysburg. All of these events are "historical" and individual stories of death have come from all of these events. Images of all of these events and images showing the dead and dying as well as the injured exist. The older events have somewhat limited resources as to images - however the newer events do not. The article on the older events all have images showing the dead and/or wounded. To me what is most surprising is the lack of images showing the scope of the destruction, including death and wounded, in the New Orleans area in the Hurricane Katrina article as well as the September 11 attacks article. I bring this up in regards to your scenario that an image "taken by a bystander" showing someones body could be used, or not be used, in an article about an event that resulted in someones (or several "someones") death. That si somehting else that should probably be addressed in any policy about these types of images. Older, "historical" image allowed vs newer "historical" image being not allowed and even defining it more to follow what I said below and what Sherurcij also voiced. An article about a specific person or an overall subject. (and I guess that could even be more refined - an article about a person who died vs an article about a persons death. Soundvisions1 (talk) 23:44, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I find your text difficult to follow and I think, based on your comments, that you are having trouble following mine. For example, I never said that you believed a FUR tag to obviate copyright concerns; I said that you appeared to think that other people believed this, and that you specifically appeared to think that some admins failed to properly enforce our copyright policies as a result of this mistaken belief. (My view: I agree that some editors are ignorant on this point of copyright law. However, I do not believe that our admins are so ignorant.)
Overall, I interpret your actual on-topic comments thus: You believe that the best judgement of a good editor, taking into account all the facts and circumstances, is better than a sweeping rule about using images of dead bodies. Do I summarize your view accurately? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:19, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Short answer - no. slightly longer answer - I never said that "the best judgement of a good editor, taking into account all the facts and circumstances, is better than a sweeping rule about using images of dead bodies." That is the common nature of the Wikipedia policies and guidlines that try to avoid instruction creep. More specific: "best judgment of a good editor" is a general term that would replace specific "rules" that might address something specific like use of a "bloody corpse" image. What I said (below) was "One other very important issue is that this is a wiki - it is user created content and there is no real editorial oversite, no "the buck stops here" person. Because of that the 10 or so users discussing this issue here may not represent the user who will read an article and remove an image because they find it "offensive" in some way. Nor may it represent the users who feel more detailed and explicit images are needed in an article. It may not even represent how admins, faced with IfD/Pui or CSD noms of an image, will read into various policies and guidelines." What I also said (above) was "What will ultimately matter is if Wikipedia lays down clearly worded policy that does not "avoid instruction creep" and admits that some parts of this wiki do, indeed have to be a bureaucracy, concepts such as the one being discussed here may not matter." My viewpoint is that, as I also said, "It would be nice to see a proposal on this." Soundvisions1 (talk) 14:12, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

See Ernie Pyle, Battle of the Tenaru, Battle of Edson's Ridge, Actions along the Matanikau, Battle for Henderson Field, and here for examples of articles using photos of dead bodies, some of which aren't pleasant to look at. It's fine to have such photos in related articles. The issue is WP:RS. Is the source reliable from whence the images comes from? Cla68 (talk) 02:42, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

(copied from here) No objection to pics from me on their own. I think deleting, or preventing, pix of dead risks absence of important information. Can you feature an article on the Holocaust without dead? Or the "Blackhawk Down" story? Or (I haven't looked at it) Bataan Death March? Most of the pages I've looked at are dealing with other issues & there's only so much room (really) for pix without turning the page into a photo gallery. How important is the death to the page? How important is showing it to understanding the issue? Unless it's fairly critical, leave it out. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 07:33, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Well that is part of the discussion overall. I don't think there is a real need to "show" a suicide in an article about suicide because in the larger sense suicide results in death. So the argument for only showing someones grave could be made as ti shows "death" as the aftermath of suicide in the same way an image of a body outside of that coffin could. You might say "dead is dead" and if the object is to illustrate death do you place a limit on how to do that? In articles about specific forms of death, events where mass death occurred, or specific deaths of specific people, an image may very well be needed. One other very important issue is that this is a wiki - it is user created content and there is no real editorial oversite, no "the buck stops here" person. Because of that the 10 or so users discussing this issue here may not represent the user who will read an article and remove an image because they find it "offensive" in some way. Nor may it represent the users who feel more detailed and explicit images are needed in an article. It may not even represent how admins, faced with IfD/Pui or CSD noms of an image, will read into various policies and guidelines. These are just some things to consider. Soundvisions1 (talk) 14:39, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
It's a question of general versus specific subjects, the article suicide should probably be illustrated with a watercolor painting or something similar, just as we have strived to do to minimize controversy over sexual topics quite often. But an article on Virginia Woolf should definitely include a Public Domain photograph of her suicide, regardless of whether it's "patriotic" or "her relatives might suffer mental anguish" - such as is claimed with photographs of dead soldiers (of ANY country). Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 01:45, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

List of Free licenses

Where exactly is the list? All I can find on the Wikipedia:Image copyright tags page are: (a) a list of guidelines, (b) a list tags to use, and (c) a list of things aimed at creators, and which I don't understand. There is not a list of acceptable licences for using pre-existing material. Jubilee♫clipman 04:42, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

For images, any image that the creator has released under one of the licenses on Wikipedia:Image copyright tags/Free licenses is acceptable. --Carnildo (talk) 04:59, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Archiving - is through Sept 30 okay?

I've marked off the beginning and end of a section I want to add to the 2008- archive. I have no objections to shortening this.

Does anyone have any objections to setting up automatic archiving? I'd like to keep at least 90 days' worth of discussion on the main discussion page, but am open to a longer period, say "365 days or 150kb, whichever comes first?" I know it looks hypocritical, but I ended the to-archive section above at Sept. 30 because it's the end of a calendar quarter so it seemed like a nice cut-off point for a manual archive. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 01:04, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Sounds good.--Crossmr (talk) 01:07, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Manual archive done but I want more input/assent before implementing auto-archiving. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 23:54, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Note - the remaining threads, which are less than 3 months worth of discussions, are 146KB. This argues for a higher byte-limit, maybe 200-250KB, if the goal is to keep at least 90 days of active discussion. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 23:56, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I think that auto-archiving on a much shorter date span (60, or even 30, days) would be fine. Auto-archives happen from the date of the last comment, and if there have been no additional comments for a month, there probably won't be. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:51, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
There was at least one thread in 2008 here that went more than 30 days between comments, possibly more than 60. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 18:35, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
That seems like a "hard cases make bad law" situation. Besides, if something gets copied to an archive, and you want to resurrect the conversation, then you can always copy it back. It's not a permanent deletion, after all. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:23, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Is there any objection to automatically archiving threads over 60 days old? If I don't hear any objection in a few days, I'll add it. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 22:29, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

RfC about fair use

This RfC might interest some editors of this page:

  • Talk:Lena Soderberg Should the standard test image "Lenna" be allowed in the "Lena Soderberg" article?

It's listed as a "science and technology" question, but is primarily about whether fair use of a particular image (the one that made the model famous). WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:18, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Image size

I would just like some clarification here. Am I right in assuming that if an image appears distorted or is incredibly difficult to make out at it's default size, it may be given a fixed image size (within the constraints given) to alleviate this? --.:Alex:. 13:38, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes. 300 px is good to try: it is the max default thumb size that can be set in preferences. Ty 08:35, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Edits of "Non-free considerations" on 2009-01-10

The edits I've made aim to clearly show considerations expressed by Collectonian at my talk page. They were a great surprise to me as i didn't notice anything like that while looking through the guideline. Since Collectonian (talk · contribs) monitors content (including images) on a regular basis, I believe that her vision does reflect the community's consensus. — Vano 03:14, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Image use grey areas, confusion, and Photographer rights

Let me preface this by stating that I am a photographer and my images have been used in magazines, records/cds, promotional materials, books, posters and on the internet. I speak from experience and in regards to the topic at hand. While I will try to keep my personal opinion out of this it may be hard for me to not cite examples based on my own work.Also this is long, and it is meant to be to show how many hoops a photographer has to jump trough to use their own work and still protect it.

What had prompted me to post here is the fact an image I released via a Creative Commons License was nominated under the CSD. There is a separate discussion on the CSD issue on that articles talk page so I am going not going address those issues here, although at times they may seem to merge.

The WP:IUP page is in place to set forth guidline/rules as to how images can be used on Wiki:

Before you upload an image, make sure that either:

  • You own the rights to the image (usually meaning that you created the image yourself).
  • You can prove that the copyright holder has licensed the image under an acceptable free license.
  • You can prove that the image is in the public domain.


  • You believe, and state, a fair use rationale for the specific use of the image that you intend.

These basics are clear and it seems to imply that a photographer can use his or her own work, which logically makes perfect sense.

But the statement that follows adds confusion.

Images which are listed as for non-commercial use only, by permission, or which restrict derivatives are unsuitable for Wikipedia and will be deleted on sight, unless they are used under fair use.

This is now telling people that a photographer can not use his or her own photo unless they clearly state that someone else can make money from it or rework the image in any way they want. Now there is an important word added here as well - the word is unless. And the word hints that fair use would work if the photographer wanted to add some restrictions to their work. To read about fair use uploads you are directed that For details as to Wikipedia's policy in regards to fair use, or to ask questions about a specific instance, please see the page at Wikipedia:Non-free content.. At this point the user is taken away from the WP:IUP page.

An overview of the WP:NFC page would seem to allow a photographer to allow his or her work to be used with restrictions. Including, but not limited to, Restrictions on location, Attribution of the source of the material and a copyright tag. One of the biggest "restrictions" is found in the following statement: Such material may be used on the English Wikipedia only where all 10 of the following criteria are met. Lets say a photographers work seems to meet all 10 of these "restrictions". Lets go first to something important - Copyright. Following the trail up to this point the photographer now has to go to WP:ICT/FU for details, another page. There are clearly marked "Categories" and it is logical to feel the photographer will look for a tag that fits his or her work. For discussion lets say the image the photographer wants to upload is of a musical act either offstage (A candid of some sort) or on stage (in concert). There is no direct listing for either one of those so unless the image was used for an album cover (Cover art) or to promote the artists (Promotional material or Publicity photos) there seems to be no way to use this image. Unless it happens to be of the artist at an historical event such as Woodstock. If that were the case the photographer might use the "Non-free historic image" along with the "Non-free with NC" supplemental tag. The other big restriction the mods mention, but is hard to actually locate, is that a photographer may not upload his or her own work and claim "fair use".

So it now seems one of the 10 required "restrictions" is not met thus voiding the Non-free content use. Back to square one - WP:IUP. The photographer now seeks out other options and they look under the header User-created images. There is says: Wikipedia encourages users to upload their own images. All user-created images must be licensed under a free license such as the GFDL and/or an acceptable Creative Commons license. They may also be released into the public domain, which removes all copyright and licensing restrictions. When licensing an image, it is best practice to multi-license under both GFDL and a Creative Commons license.. The photographer now is taken to a page of license tags. Under Creative Commons there are a list of tags however upon reading the actual license all of them contain a musical use term - "Remix". Once can remix music, or a soundtrack to a film, but "remix" a still image? Is this term supposed to translate into "for commercial use, no permission needed to alter content" as it relates to an image? (PO: As a photographer that term is too vague as it relates to images and it is not a Wiki issue directly as Wiki does not create the CCL) Once you get into the 2.5 and 3.0 tags you start to see that there is an option for "Share alike" that says "If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one." If the photographers intent is to allow his or her image to be freely used in relationship to a topic but not to be used for commercial reasons or to be altered than that clearly is not the license for use. So now that leaves the "Attribution" license which leave out the wording about altering the work. It also says that Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.. While this is closer to what the photographer wants it is still not clear enough.

creative commons

Lets look at Attribution 3.0 Unported which is on the list of acceptable licenses. Upon reading the main license there is no mention of allowing for commercial use or derivatives. So when in doubt, read the "fine print". If one reads the Legal Code (the full license) you find no definition of "remix". Nor do you see any wording of "commercial use" used. But for "derivatives" you will see that term used under the definition of "Adaptation" and that is allowed under this license. It also says that a person is allowed to redistribute the work "in a collection" and may do so "royalty free". So if the photographer did not want any alterations done this would not be the license to use.

However: Keeping in mind that this CCL is meant to be a broad stroke of all media much of the wording is not intended for a still image - "Publicly Perform the Work" for example would relate to a musician doing someone else's composition publicly, and per US copyright law this is also where the "Royalty free" issue would come in. Royalties are another topic altogether so I will not discuss them here other than to say "Royalty free" is not the same as "commercial use". To get back on topic of uploading an image, if a photographers only concern was that nobody were to make money from their work either in whole or in part (ie - placing the image in a table top book that was for purchase via Amazon, an advertising company using the image for an advertisement, a label using the image for a CD cover or an artist putting the image on merchandising) than this may well be a valid license for dis-allowing any "commercial use". While this license will allow the photograph to be used in a "collection" and that collection can be "redistributed" it does not say it can be used for any "Commercial use", nor is the wording of "for profit" used. Under the "restrictions" section it says "You may not sublicense the Work". It also states that the person using the image must not distort, mutilate, modify or take other derogatory action in relation to the Work which would be prejudicial to the Original Author's honor or reputation which would clearly "restrict derivatives" as supposedly requires by Wiki. And one final item this license says is LICENSOR OFFERS THE WORK AS-IS.

If you have read this far the question might be 'Ok, so what is really the question/point to all of this?" And I will try to explain it clear terms what that is. The guidelines for uploading an image seem to sometimes go against the accepted licenses, which have changed over the last year. The rules/guideline laid out make it harder to someone who legally owns the image to actually allow for use at Wiki. As one might have gathered already IP Law is complex in this day and age and Wiki tries hard to protect someones work (and their own asses). However in doing so they make it easier for someone who does not have rights to use a photographers work work to be able use their work. How? Wiki allows for fair use of images however the guideline will disallow a claim if it is the original photographer making the claim. As an example - I have taken publicity photos for bands that labels have freely distributed to any and all media for use in relation to articles on the band, but nor for use in commercial ways. As the photographer I would not be allowed to upload that image and say that is was only to be used in relation to the band and was not be used for commercial purposes. However anyone else with access to an internet copy of the image or to a hard copy of that image could freely upload it here under the "Non-free promotional" tag. Likewise anyone could simply upload it claiming they took the photo and they are allowing it to be "public domain". No questions asked. As a recent example I had a photo deleted and was told by a mod that the only way to "prove" I was the original photographer would be too upload a clean copy and release it to public domain. Which leads me to the next "slight" issue.


WP:IUP has an almost throw away paragraph that states: Also, user-created images should not be watermarked, distorted, have any credits in the image itself or anything else that would hamper their free use, unless, of course, the image is intended to demonstrate watermarking, distortion etc. and is used in the related article. All photo credit should be in a summary on the image description page. As you followed along in the above section you saw no mention this. That is because if you follow the steps you would not see it. Even though it is another topic, on another page, when images are deleted the Mods like to site WP:CSD and specific sections as for reasons of deletion. Nowhere on that page does it make any mention of a watermark bing a reason for deletion. Many photographers add watermarks on their images because they want to protect their work further and it is almost common practice now for a photographer to add some sort of watermark on an image before it goes out onto the internet. One of the reasons is because of sites such as Wiki where anyone can grab an image from anywhere and use it without the photographers knowledge. As it stands right now there is selective enforcement about not using watermarked images on Wiki. And it also adds to the confusion becuase it is not often cited. Either the rule needs to be enforced throughout Wiki or there needs to be further refining of what types of watermarking are allowed.


  • More clarification on guidelines for Image upload, especially if they contradict what the license says as well as other Wiki pages on like topics.
  • Less jumps to other pages.
  • More user friendly toward photographers who wish to allow their own work to be used and in what manner.
  • A better system to allow mods to be allowed to use WP:CSD as it relates to images in a way that is proactive and not simply destructive, or lack of knowledge of the subject matter being deleted.
  • Allow fair use to be used by the actual photographer
  • Deletion of 'grey areas' and elimination of conflicts in image licenses.

Soundvisions1 (talk) 20:43, 29 September 2008 (UTC)


Wikipedia is a free encyclopedia. That means both free in terms of no cost, and free in terms of lack of restrictions. The established policy and consensus is that an image which cannot be reused commercially or from which derivative works cannot be made is not free. I don't think this is likely to change.

However, there may be room to consider allowing users to upload their own images as fair use under the non-free content criteria. It seems fairly ludicrous that if I publish a photo that meets those requirements, that someone else can add it to Wikipedia and I can't. Stifle (talk) 11:02, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

If the image was already published somewhere else, the original photographer could add it. The restriction is not about conflict of interest or anything like that. One of the purposes of WP:NFCC#4 is explicitly prevent users from creating images for Wikipedia and then releasing them here under a non-free license (it also has purposes related to copyright law). There is also the 'replaceable' issue (WP:NFCC#1) - if one user made the image to upload, in practice it is probably possible for some other user to make an equivalent image. We don't permit nonfree (fair-use) images if they could be replaced by a free equivalent.
The real solution, I think, is better advocacy and explanation of the role of free images. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:48, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Wow! CBM has hit a huge nail on the head. In my reading and putting this together and beyond I never got the gist of what you just said. And that should for sure should be spelled out as clear on the main WP:IUP page. I feel the wording is very important and I think could solve at least one of issues: "creating images for Wikipedia and then releasing them here under a non-free license." I know there is a blurb somewhere in the fair-use pages about the image has to have been published already however that is not something you would look for if you are the photographer who is trying to upload their own work. So I strongly feel that there should be a distinction between an image "created for Wikipedia" and one that was "Created by the photographer for use [FILL IN THE BLANK]". How to break that down is an issue. To speak from personal work - as of yet I have never "created" any image for sole use on Wikipedia nor have I uploaded any of my work with any restrictions that it be solely used on Wikipedia. Many of my images have been published and many have not but, as I have mentioned here, and elsewhere, there are various "licenses" that exist for my work that has been published. Currently when an image is uploaded by the original photographer there in only one choice: Entirely my own work - I created it, own all the rights to it, and have not used anyone else's work in making it and that puts you directly into a the All user-created images must be released under a free license. For purposes of Wikipedia, "free" does not merely mean that you don't charge for it, but it means that you allow everyone to use, alter, and redistribute your work for any purpose. This release is not revocable phase and goes no further. A person who did not take the photograph is allowed far more options. Many people may have figured out that is what I am against - one size does not fit all creative artist. So what Carl said, if added as options, would perhaps clear up things. What would happen if you went to the upload page and you were still presented with the Entirely my own work... option but then were directed to a sub page that listed options such as Created for Wikipedia, Created for publicity - restriction, Created for publicity - unrestricted, Published elsewhere with restrictions and so on. Now for the "previously published" concept. I like the comment that "If the image was already published somewhere else, the original photographer could add it" because it, again, allows the creator of the work to be involved and not someone else who may have simply scanned the photo from a magazine of taken it from a website. I feel, however, that it should not be assumed that if a publicity photo has been used under 'fair use' and the original photographer wants to upload a better version it automatically means it goes from a "non-free" image to a "free" image.
A few things that are more specific, and part of the current contradictions of uploading images, is that Wikipedia's wording does not agree with the license they allow. I did cite an overall example above but Carl and Stifle bring up a few issues that I would like to expand upon. First would be the Wikipedia rule/license that contains wording of you allow everyone to use, alter, and redistribute your work for any purpose; This release is not revocable and Wikipedia does not accept images that are licensed for "non-commercial" use, licensed only to Wikipedia, for which permission is required for reuse, or that do not permit derivative works to be created yet allow CCL licenses which make slightly contradictory statements such as: You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor; You may not sublicense the Work; You must not distort, mutilate, modify or take other derogatory action in relation to the Work which would be prejudicial to the Original Author's honor or reputation; This License and the rights granted hereunder will terminate automatically upon any breach by You of the terms of this License. and If You Distribute, or Publicly Perform the Work or any Adaptations or Collections, You must, unless a request has been made pursuant to Section 4(a), keep intact all copyright notices for the Work.... I think one can start to see the conflicts here when the actual "hard copy" license says a person has to "attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor" when Wikipedia states that you can not place any restrictions on your images so simply saying, for example, "Photo credit must alway be given" would violate Wikipedia and allow for deletion. Likewise if I uploaded a photograph of, say, an afro-American and I stated that part of the condition was it could never be used for any neo-nazi/racist activity Wikipedia would delete the image even though the acceptable CCL states "You must not distort, mutilate, modify or take other derogatory action in relation to the Work which would be prejudicial to the Original Author's honor or reputation" Soundvisions1 (talk) 17:59, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Also, it might be useful to come up with an idea on what exactly to do with watermarked images. Should they be...

  • discouraged but not prohibited?
  • speedily deleted?
  • deprecated (i.e. deleted if uploaded after a certain date)?
  • liable to be nominated for deletion?

Good discussion to start, by the way, Soundvisions1. Stifle (talk) 11:07, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

I think that right now the practice is the 4th one. This policy is unambiguous:
Also, user-created images should not be watermarked, distorted, have any credits in the image itself or anything else that would hamper their free use, unless, of course, the image is intended to demonstrate watermarking, distortion etc. and is used in the related article. All photo credit should be in a summary on the image description page.
I agree with that policy, since watermarked images tend to look unprofessional and distracting. The issue of attribution is more complex, but as long as article authors are only attributed on another (history) page, it's not unreasonable to credit image authors on another (image description) page as well. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:47, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
My issue with watermarks is multi-level. Yes, of course I have a personal opinion as a photographer but that aside for a bit - If someone took one of those typical "myspace" photos and uploaded for their personal Wikipedia page would it be deleted? Probably not. But what if it had the time/date stamp on it? That is a form of watermarking but would the same rules apply? Now expand on that a bit - say it was a photo of a landscape, building or other item used to illustrate an article on Wikipedia and it had the time/date stamp. Keep or delete? How about a publicity/promo photo where the name of the person/band in the image is embedded in the image? In other words does everything go as suggested above, or do you take it on a case by case basis. Soundvisions1 (talk)

Ok I am going to "blow your mind" with this next item. I had seen it, and even started to use but it did not really seem aimed at images so I removed it. But (!!!) here is a license Wikipedia allows but contradicts with their policy of not allowing any "restrictions" to be placed on a user created image. If I wanted to "upload" text that was from a story that I wrote here is a license that is accepted, and the "blanket" license we all agree to when we work on any Wikipedia page:

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document
under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation;
with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.

Did anyone else register what is going on there? This license allows for certain restrictions - with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. However there is no like worded license for images that is allowed. Yes one could use this same license for an image however it is clearly intended for items that consist of text and would is image considered text unless it was so defined in the "small" print - which it is not. So why is it the written word is allowed to have certain restrictions placed on it, but not a photograph?

~I reworded below this~

Might I suggest a few slightly re-written versions of the above for images:

A cover text is a short piece of text that you insist must be printed on the cover of the manual when the manual is published, even if someone else is publishing it. You can specify a “front-cover text” which has to be printed on the front cover, and you can specify a “back-cover text” which has to be printed on the back cover. You can specify one of each.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this image
under the terms of the Wikipedia Free License, Version 0.1
or any later version published by the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc;
with One front cover text: Photograph by [photographer name]
and no back cover text.
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this image
under the terms of the Wikipedia Free License, Version 0.1
or any later version published by the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc;
with no front cover text and one back cover text:
[location of photo - back cover/front cover] by [photographers name]
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this image
under the terms of the Wikipedia Free License, Version 0.1
or any later version published by the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc;
with no front cover use and no back cover use
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this image
under the terms of the Wikipedia Free License, Version 0.1
or any later version published by the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc;
with no front cover use and back cover use with text:
photograph by [photographers name]

Keep in mind that,again, the intent is to allow/disallow text on a book but you need to translate that to an image. I know this is bordering on "non-commercial" but you would not expect a book to be fully printed on a t-shirt for example. A photograph you could so you could also simply have a "no merchandising" option that would cover any sort of "merchandise" - DVD, CD, book, T-shirt and what not - or you could just remove the word "Text" from the original license so it reads "no Front-Cover and no Back-Cover" and that would imply the image could not be used on anything that could be considered a "front cover" or "back cover". Perhaps instead of thinking in terms of "commercial" use it could be worded similar to the CCL has it worded (You must not distort, mutilate, modify or take other derogatory action...) but word it along the lines of "no exploitation" or "no exploitive use". It is very logical to do this and it would still maintain the "free" concept. Soundvisions1 (talk) 20:02, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Well, the GFDL must be reproduced verbatim with any reuse of the image, so I don't see this as a problem. Stifle (talk) 19:18, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
It has been a while so I am revisiting part of this with a specific change. I mentioned this above but will mention it again and I feel even stronger about it having gone through images here on a daily basis. The current wording is restrictive and selectively enforced as well as not backed up by various guidelines. The current wording: Also, user-created images should not be watermarked, distorted, have any credits in the image itself or anything else that would hamper their free use, unless, of course, the image is intended to demonstrate watermarking, distortion etc. and is used in the related article. All photo credit should be in a summary on the image description page. Suggested re-wording (New text in green) Also, user-created images should not be watermarked, distorted, have any credits text in the image itself, or anything else that would hamper their free use, unless , of course, the text is part of the image, small and/or unobtrusive, intended to demonstrate watermarking or distortion etc. and is used in the a related article. All photo credit should be in a summary on the image description page.
Some of this could be footnoted. Examples of text being "part of the image" would be a date/time stamp, user created logo, promo photo, creative artists work where text is part of that art. Examples of "small and/or unobtrusive" would be a photographers credit that was placed on the image in a small and/or unobtrusive manner. This would also be only allowable via the original photographer uploading the image and/or having an OTRS on file for the image. (This should exclude text of email address's, websites, phone numbers and so on). Other example might be user created CD or DVD covers or "posters". And I am not talking about "fair use", I am talking about cases where the author/creator of the image uploads their own work and licenses that work. Soundvisions1 (talk) 22:23, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
As there seems to be no objection to this I am going to give it another week or so and make the changes. Soundvisions1 (talk) 19:11, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Adding to old discussion: I was involved in discussion of the treatment of watermarked images on Commons. Generally, watermarks that are "part of the image" and are not there to try to give credit to the author are just as distracting and ought to be removed; but this is usually straightforward and there is not a legal issue. Deletion is only warranted in cases where the watermark gives credit, and only then where the author does not consent to the removal of the watermark, because this places unfair restriction on the reuse of the image. Dcoetzee 07:27, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
I do not agree at all with the "Deletion is only warranted in cases where the watermark gives credit" opinion because that does not seem to be what happens here. Overall it is the opposite. From what I have seen, and been told, the deletion practice here is not about deletions of images with "photo by" credit but rather a combination of how the image is licensed and what else is "watermarked" on the image. For example if free images are clearly "blatant advertising" with contact information placed on the image (i.e - website url, email contact or other "buy me" form of wording) they should be, and are, deleted. Images such as File:AW-Movies-Neang-NeathB.jpg would be speedily deleted as a copyvio if it were not fair use. Other examples: File:001-pacoparkrizal.jpg contains a watermark that is descriptive and also unobtrusive and is claimed as public domain. File:BGN.jpg contains a photo credit but also a URL and, based on prior deletions of such images, should be deleted via G11 - not because of the "photo by" but because of the URL. File:CU145Ludlow1999.jpg contains a date/time stamp watermark. File:Rambot MTG Card.png is a user created image for use on their user page. File:Wil high res.jpg is a promotional head shot. File:Graf Zeppelin Polar Flight 1931.jpg is a postcard scan. These are just a few examples that all fall under the current wording and have been tagged with the {{watermark}} based on that wording. I am thinking that it needs to be more clear that images tagged as fair use do not fall under the "watermark" clause. So here is new(er) wording:
(New text in green) Also, user-created images should not be watermarked, distorted, have any credits text in the image itself, or anything else that would hamper their free use, unless , of course, the text is part of the image or is small and unobtrusive and used for descriptive reason or to give a basic source credit, 1 or is intended to demonstrate watermarking or distortion etc. and is used in the a related article. All photo credit should be in a summary on the image description page.The {{watermark}} tag can be placed on images that do not follow this. Note that this tag should not apply to fair use images.
1. Free images with text such as "Source NAME" or "photo by NAME", provided they are small and unobtrusive, artistic images, digital paintings, graphs and images with a digital time/date stamp are allowable. However any free images that contain a website URL, email, phone numbers or other direct contact information or solicitations are not allowable and may be nominated for speedy deletion under G11.
If that is too direct I can leave out the footnote. My opinion has not changed over the last several months in my feeling that the policy is too vague and when I see the images in Category:Images with watermarks my feelings that this policy needs to be made more clear become stronger. Soundvisions1 (talk) 15:58, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Creating portraits of people w/o images?

Hello. While browsing through Wikipedia, I have come across a number of biographical pages which don't have images of the subject. They use the placeholder images shown here.

Image is needed male.svg Replace this image female.svg

I fully understand the reason Wikipedia can't use copyrighted images, even stock publicity headshots, so I'm not asking about that.

But I did have an idea. In lieu of waiting for a user-created and/or a public domain photo of the biographical subject, is it feasible, and is it permissible, to create original art of the subjects.

Let me elaborate, please. There are many talented and artistic Wikipedians out there. Could we not enlist them in a project to draw original sketches or portraits of the people with missing images, to be used at least until a useable photo comes along?

It would be something along the lines of the hedcuts used by The Wall Street Journal (only not in the Journal's style, of course, but in a Wikipedian style all its own). Artistic Wikipedians could draw original portraits of famous people and they could be used to illustrate the biographical articles.

(It could even develop into a WikiProject of its own — "Portraits," perhaps.)

I am not one that could do such work. (My artistic skills are more along the lines of maps and such.) But along those lines, when I do a map, there are undoubtedly others in the world who have drawn nearly identical maps, yet mine is still considered original. Would not the same be true for original portraits created by Wikipedians?

I just wanted to toss this idea out to see (1) if it is legal; (2) if it is possible; and (3) if it is worthwhile.

I don't know if this is a concept that has ever been discussed before. If it is, I apologize for not being aware of previous discussion, and would appreciate a link to such discussion. ... If it has not been discussed in the past, I welcome any comments or critiques on my idea.

Thank you for your time.

Michael J 01:14, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

If this were a faithful drawing of a non-free photo, there might be WP:COPYVIO issues. If it were from memory or were a sketch, there would be original research issues. Why? Suppose a non-faithful reproduction had her face slightly wrong. The image would in effect be claiming that her face looked like something that it did not, in fact, look like. I guess we could take a picture drawn by someone with a photographic memory. All in all, unless the person was never photographed before he died, or the illustration is used to draw him looking like he did at a time when he was not photographed, then it's better to do without an image. Sorry. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 17:30, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
No, even realistic reproductions of people do not violate copyrights, and are always artists own own work. Besides, an artwork can't have original research issues, not as that statute stands. Aditya(talkcontribs) 01:40, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
My only concern would be with people doing historical characters like Hypatia or Nostradamus or Pope Gregory I -- but under the proper circumstances, I think a sketch of John Cusack would be better than no image at all - and people would get an avenue to invest their creativity in the project. I'd definitely like to see it kept within a Wikiproject:Portraits though - so we have people making sure that artists aren't just photoshop-imaging a known photograph into a sketch, or doing completely ass-backwards sketches. But if properly supervised, I think it could be a great piece of fun. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 03:20, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
I'd disagree - I've seen various examples of such sketches, & apart from all the other issues, though in theory they could look ok, in practice the ones I've seen looked terrible and amateurish. Johnbod (talk) 03:34, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, some might turn out very ameturish, and that's probably why it whould come strictly within the perimeters of a portraits project. Aditya(talkcontribs) 03:46, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Original images are not at issue, as OR allows a wide berth for images; the main problems are 1. that it might be considered a derivative work if it follows a copyrighted original too closely; 2. that it would look unprofessional if poorly done. To help prevent it from being considered an original image, the artist could look at many images of the person, and then without reference to any particular one create a drawing (this is relatively easy, for example, for political figures). As for 2, we'd just want to make sure the people drawing these have talent. :-) I don't think BLP is an issue, no more than it would be an issue for users to inadvertantly introduce offensive prose; it gets removed or corrected when it becomes apparent. Dcoetzee 06:43, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

"Could we not enlist "them"..." is a way to push a bright idea for getting someone else to put their own time and effort into doing something that I can't or won't do. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 19:29, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't deny that. I admitted in my initial idea that I don't have the skills to do something like this, that my skills are elsewhere (and I use them as such). That does not preclude me from putting forth the idea. — Michael J 17:07, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Removal of galleries

Crossmr (talk · contribs) has been removing galleries from Korea-related articles as leaving edit summaries like removed per consensus at Wikipedia:Image_use_policy#Photo_galleries galleries are inappropriate for main space articles. Recreate on commons and link. I don't see what consensus have been applied for his unilateral and undiscussed removal of galleries. The guideline does not say that usages of galleries are inappropriate not are prohibited. He also argues that his edits are based on WP:Consensus reached policy, so galleries should be deleted accordingly. However, I could not find any pertinent discussions on WT:KO nor here and he ignored my suggestion for opening a discussion on the matter. So I raise the issue here. I feel that his claim is his POV, not stated policy. Please leave your opinion here. Thanks.--Caspian blue 22:06, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Photo galleries

In general, galleries are discouraged in main article namespace; historically, such galleries are more often deleted than kept. As a result, there are relatively few namespace galleries in the encyclopedia and good reasons must be given for creating them. The determination of whether a gallery should be incorporated into an article or created at the Commons should be discussed on the article's talk page. Consider instead linking to a gallery on Wikimedia Commons – see this page for more details.

Note that it is not recommended to use animated GIFs to display multiple photos. The method is not suitable for printing and also is not user friendly (users can not save individual images and have to wait before being able to view images while other images cycle round).

Fair use images may never be included as part of a photo gallery, as their status as being "fair use" depends on their proper use in the context of an article (as part of criticism or analysis). See Wikipedia:Fair use for more details.

You've been repeatedly informed of this. The policy clearly states that a good reason must be given for inclusion of galleries in mainspace articles. Not a single article had a good reason given for why the images belonged in the article. If you want to keep the galleries you need to make a case on an article by article basis as to why that article truly needs a gallery.--Crossmr (talk) 22:16, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

"The determination of whether a gallery should be incorporated into an article or created at the Commons should be discussed on the article's talk page." This says to me that the person wanting to change the status quo - be it to add a new gallery or remove an existing one - is responsible for starting the discussion before the action happens. This means removing first and responding to angry editors later is not the way to go. Besides, policy is derived from consensus not the other way around, and if the other editors of a given article are in agreement that the gallery should stay, then it is up to you to use logic to convince them it should go or take it to dispute resolution. It is not the time to be WP:BOLD and remove the galleries because they don't follow the guideline. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 22:27, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Crossmr, you've been repeatedly informed that your unilateral deletions without any single discussion are not a consensus from editors who actually contribute to build articles nor from stated policies. Don't dishonestly say that there is no single discussion on talk pages for the inclusion of galleries. You did not even bother to check the talk pages of Patbingsu, and [[Bibimbap] and others. Your threatening comment is also very much absurd.--Caspian blue 22:29, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
It's much easier to get rid of galleries if you do the creating on Commons and linking yourself. --Carnildo (talk) 22:42, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Your comment does not help to solve the different interpretations and enforcement on the image policy. I've been creating gallery pages on Commons, but the current issues are not the matter. --22:45, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
It's fine to be bold and delete a gallery in according with WP:IUP, but if another editor objects to the deletion, then the proposed deletion should be discussion discussed on the talk page. Galleries are discouraged on Wikipedia, mostly because Wikipedia is not a repository of images and because collections of images are usually better handled through a link to a Commons page or gallery. Having said that, there are instances where the use of a gallery is appropriate, usually where a succession of images can demonstrate a concept better than words or a single image. For these reasons, davidwr is correct when he notes that this policy does encourage that the issue be discussed on the article talk page. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 23:57, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
The galleries being removed by Crossmr (talk · contribs) are exactly the kind of galleries the relevant section of this policy is designed to discourage - little photoblogs of subway station interiors, multiple generic external shots of the same building and other images that add no encyclopedic content to the project. There is no "scorched earth" approach to all pictures on these pages here, just removal of superfluous content. I've pointed this out to Caspian Blue, but he seems unwilling or unable to grasp the spirit of this policy, and the reason it is being applied to various Korea-related articles. Deiz talk 00:08, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Those do sound like the type of gallery that belongs over at the Commons, not here, but there still needs to be consensus for the deletion. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 00:34, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Images should be interspersed throughout an article, to illustrate various aspects of the subject. For example, for an article about a castle, there could be photos of the facade, moat, grounds, etc. However, if the article is not long enough, a few representative photos that all illustrate different aspects of the subject rather than all being different shots of the same thing can be quite appropriate. The aggressive removal of galleries seems like a personal thing, something like "revenge" or "teaching another editor a lesson," rather than any kind of effort to improve our content, articles, or project. If an article isn't long enough, let's work together in a positive, collaborative manner to expand it, then intersperse the photos in the article's text, obviating the need for a gallery in the first place. But simply rampaging through WP removing galleries, mostly in Korea-related articles, doesn't send a good signal, and undermines our fundamentally collaborative process. Badagnani (talk) 00:22, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Galleries shouldn't just consist of random images of the subject, and the lack of space in an article is not really a good justification for a gallery. The extra images should all be uploaded to the Commons, and introduced into the article as space permits. As for your allegations of revenge etc., perhaps you could read WP:AGF. Accusations on either side are not helpful. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 00:34, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
An excellent comment. Certainly the photos should not be random, as I stated above, but illustrate various key aspects of the subject of the article. For a castle, for example, there are many aspects, such as the facade, moat, grounds, interior rooms, etc., and the photos may be placed within the article in the various sections of the article. If an article isn't long enough, a few very carefully selected photos (trusting our editors to have good judgment on this) may be used down below, in a gallery. If common sense is exercised at all times, we'll have no problems. Regarding allegations of "revenge," I've been at WP long enough to know what I'm seeing when I see a removal campaign like this one. It's meant to prove a WP:POINT, shown clearly by the lack of participation in the individual discussion pages at each article. Badagnani (talk) 00:55, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Consensus already exists at the policy level. no local article consensus can override that. I'm not required to further seek consensus before editing inline with it. I'll ask you to keep your personal allegations to yourself. Unless you have some evidence in the form of diffs that I've stated I'm going to revenge against korea. Wikipedia is not a photoblog, webhost, travel guide or anything else. I'm still waiting for someone to make a case on the gallery you guys continue to push back in to the article. The policy already dictates how the situation can be resolved. Instead of attempting to resolve the situation some editors have engaged in edit warring against the policy. If you want to include or restore the gallery make a case for it.--Crossmr (talk) 01:08, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I'll repeat it again since some people still seem to be missing the key phrase: good reasons must be given for creating them. None of these galleries were created with good reasons. This is why WP:IAR exists. People were free to be bold and create them, but then they were questioned. My removal was another editor questioning them. Questioning them does not require that I create talk on the article's talk page. Since policy dictates that a good reason should be given before their creation and none was given, the onus is on the person who wants to restore them or add them to an article to give that reason, and that reason would have to be accepted by consensus. Once a gallery is deemed necessary for the article, you can't just go and put any old image in it, since galleries are only added out of necessity for good reasons any picture added to those galleries must adhere to that good reason. On the patbingsu article several editors discussed what images should be in the gallery, but not one of them actually demonstrated why the gallery was necessary to the article. So far the only thing we've heard is "the articles are small", well that isn't a legitimate reason to add a gallery to an article. As far as I'm concerned the only reason to add a gallery to an article would be (as an example) in a situation of a subject having some very unique and special architecture that is very prevalent through the entire site. That is the only kind of situation where a gallery in article is necessary. Making it pretty or filling it up, doesn't count. Random images from a site don't remotely qualify, which is what all of these galleries (except the patbingsu one, as I said, editors talked about the images, but never made a case why it was necessary) were.--Crossmr (talk) 01:03, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Kindly moderate your tone and refrain from using all capital letters. I have stated several times, just above, the reason for including several photos in a single WP article, giving specific examples. Common sense is really a very important fundamental aspect of our project, which we should exercise as much as possible. Badagnani (talk) 01:10, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
All capital letters? What all capital letters? The only thing I put in capitals was the link to IAR. I have no problem with there being several photos in a single article. Plenty of articles have it. However the amount of images needs to be balanced with the prose, and none of these articles had any balance with the prose. Most articles were only a few sentences, if that, and none of those images should be presented in gallery form except in very unique and special circumstances. We don't wall paper and article with images just because we took a trip somewhere. That is what I removed from these articles.--Crossmr (talk) 01:24, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I have stated more than once, just a few inches of text above, that the images are generally carefully selected by our fellow editors. In many cases, using common sense means that we need to trust our fellow editors, in our collegial, collaborative spirit that exemplifies Wikipedia. I agree that we should not use photos as wallpaper, which would mean covering the article from top to bottom with photos, in a purely decorative fashion that does not add demonstratively to the encyclopedic quality of the article or to the understanding of the subject for our readers. Badagnani (talk) 01:25, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I see no evidence that that is the case. Other than the patbingsu article every article had the gallery added in one fell swoop with no discussion. You claim that good faith should be assumed in keeping them but assume bad faith in the removal, as you clearly stated a few inches above. It is a 2 way street. So far you've made 2 unfounded accusations against me and I'll ask that you either support them or retract them.--Crossmr (talk) 01:33, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I think you guys should cut Crossmr some slack. The policy doesn't outright forbid galleries, so this isn't a case where he has license to come in adn remove them en masse in the face of opposition. But neither are these examples of what we would like to see in good articles. Most of the galleries he has removed are of the "I-spy" variety--undifferentiated, unencyclopedic and unrelated to the text. Some, like the bibimbap or other dishes, could be usefull as pictures of variations on a theme. But even those would need to be policed. Sandwich has (though not in a gallery) 4 different types displayed on the page. It seems reasonable that other foods may have a similar proliferation of images. But some of the others (multiple building photos) don't belong in these articles. There is a guideline that suggests their removal. Actually going off and doing the removing shouldn't result in the suspension of WP:AGF or opposition for the sake of opposition. Look at these articles, see which ones benefit markedly from galleries and keep those. The ones that don't, help him remove them or more them to commons. Protonk (talk) 02:12, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Removal of galleries - Arbitrary Break 1

  • To all: Be careful quoting policies as it pertains to material added in the past. The policy at the time the material was added may not be what it is now. If, for example, the "galleries are discouraged" policy wasn't there in 2004, and someone put up a gallery in 2004 without any discussion, then it's hard to argue "policy says this gallery can be deleted without discussion." Besides, other than introducing delay, discussion won't hurt. In general, if a call for discussion is going to lead to anything other than an immediate "um, we all agree with that, what's the point in talking about it" then not discussing first is harmful. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 02:24, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    Which is why I didn't send any of the uploaders nasty notes, or remove them with any kind of bias. If policy changes, articles have to be changed to reflect policy. We don't grandfather in things like that, which is why we often have bots running to make stylistic changes etc when policy does change. I felt this was a task that couldn't be done by a bot (due to the inconsistent nature of the formatting, sometimes html, sometimes wiki, sometimes slightly different headers, etc)--Crossmr (talk) 02:36, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    I think you are missing my point: My reading of the following: "The determination of whether a gallery should be incorporated into an article or created at the Commons should be discussed on the article's talk page," says that in all cases you discuss before you change the status quo. I understand how others could read this to only apply to adding galleries not deleting them on the grounds that those who added them should have discussed first. However, if they were added before the policy changes, then expecting them to discuss first doesn't make sense without a time machine. While a reasonable person might say of a recently-added gallery "the person who added it didn't follow policy, so I'll just remove it without discussion" you can't make that argument for historical material. I guess what I'm saying is: Even if you disagree with me on the meaning of the two sentences in the policy, I hope you agree that if the pictures were there before the policy included that text, the onus is on the next person to make a change - either removing pictures, adding pictures, or removing the gallery - to discuss it before making the change. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 02:52, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    Its unreasonable to expect a user to take a policy page with hundreds of edits dig through to find out when the relevant text was added, then go to an article page and look through the diffs on that page to find out when the gallery was added, compare the two and then edit based on that.--Crossmr (talk) 03:08, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    Perhaps so. So why not err on the side of caution and boldly discuss rather than boldly edit? The former is much more polite and has practically zero risk of running afoul of policy or anyone's interpretation of policy. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 03:32, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    Because my understanding is that policy has community wide consensus. I shouldn't need to get further consensus on something that has consensus. Would you discuss BLP issues on the talk page of an article before reverting them? Or discuss newly added but unsourced text before removing it or even tagging it with a fact tag? I don't think so. It is why we have things such as WP:BOLD. The policy page stated they were inappropriate, I saw no discussion, I removed them. I don't think wikipedia requires I get out charts and graphs or discuss things which I can reasonably assume to have been discussed before editing.--Crossmr (talk) 04:21, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    If the BLP page had something along the lines of "The determination of whether text in an article about a person is harmful or not should be discussed on the article's talk page" then yes, I would say "discuss first, remove later." But that policy doesn't have language like that. This one does. It's my reading that the community-wide consensus specifically argues for discussion before taking action. You read it differently. That's a fair disagreement and something worth discussing, and it points to a need to rephrase, assuming of course we can come to some agreement of what it means as it's written now. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 04:30, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    Except you're still working under the assumption that I had the foresight to consider that the galleries may have been added before the text in the policy. Hence my point above about charts and graphs. I can only take the policy and the pages at face value and not seeing any talk I felt there was no appropriate discussion before hand so didn't feel the need to leave talk on those pages before removing it. If the policy page only had 10 edits and the articles only had 10 edits, sure easy for me to compare..but this policy page has hundreds of edits. I've proposed a rewording below--Crossmr (talk) 04:40, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • The view expressed by Badagnani et al is the concensus (having just been busy creating galleries at Champmol). Pointless galleries should go, but not in a provocative fashion. But the guideline, which was clearly written with now-extinct gallery-only articles mainly in mind, badly needs updating for the current situation. But anyone who thinks Commons is the whole solution here is way wrong - images should go on Commons, but will be jumbled up with all other sorts of images, and out of the control of this project. Gallery pages on Commons cause more problems than they solve, as the images are usually missed. What people want on Commons is the categories. Johnbod (talk) 03:01, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    There is discussion above about clarifying the policy in the summer of this year. How out of date is that? And probably 99% of the galleries removed were pointless galleries and only the one at patbingsu showed any hint of having discussion or thought put in to the photographs there. Champmol has some very unique features though I would discourage any duplication in content between the images and illustrates the time for which a gallery is appropriate. Signs at subway stations, 2 degree angle differences on buildings, and small food variations are in a much different category.--Crossmr (talk) 03:08, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree, but there are ways of doing it. I've seen several discussions on the guideline, but none seem to lead anywhere.... It seems to be much as it always was. We don't I think have any links to the articles being discussed here, do we? Johnbod (talk) 03:21, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Photos with two-degree angle differences on the same building should have the near-duplicate photo removed. I stated that just a few inches above. That instance would fall very much within our common-sense threshold, which should govern most of what we do at WP. Badagnani (talk) 03:23, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes and we still have to deal with the imbalance of images over text. We have another policy dealing with that WP:NOT. Articles with very little text and several images are basically image repositories which wikipedia is not. Galleries are rarely appropriate because of the imbalance in the text created. Champmol is okay because of the uniqueness of what is being shown and the larger text sections it has.--Crossmr (talk) 03:31, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
The first one I find from Crossmr's contributions is Lotte World, where the 3 photos - 2 in a gallery - all give very different views. I must say that doesn't seem an unreasonable way to get photos into a very short stub, though I'd have settled for 1 & 3 myself. Johnbod (talk) 03:27, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Were those removed without discussion and consensus on that article's talk page? Badagnani (talk) 03:29, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Hit my contibs in the link above and you can see most of the articles with the above edit summary. Hopefully we can come to a conclusion here--Crossmr (talk) 03:31, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Look for yourself pal. No 2 World Trade Center Seoul is not a good edit either - he removes both photos of one huge building. I'm not going to look at more, but there are more than 2 degree differences being removed here. Johnbod (talk) 03:33, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, because there are only three sentences in that article and 7 images. Wikipedia is not an image repository which is what that article was being used as. This article has 2 sentences and 9 images [4].--Crossmr (talk) 03:36, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
But just removing all images of one building, because they are in a gallery, and leaving multiple images of another building because they are not, is not the way to do it. Your example is a good one :), but the ones I found myself were not that extreme. Johnbod (talk) 03:40, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
The only images I left in any articles were ones that were interspersed in the article with the text. If the text can't support the sheer volume of images in the article, they shouldn't be there. There is/was text somewhere about moving excessive images to the talk page until such a time that there is sufficient prose to support the inclusion of that many images. People are more then free to do so. The vast majority of galleries I've removed have been subway stations and those were similar to the buildings. 2-3 sentences and 6-7+ images--Crossmr (talk) 03:45, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
These were the majority of galleries removed from articles: [5], [6] even compare the pictures. Is one platform significantly different or unique from the other? No. There are over 200 stations on the seoul lines. Is that ticket machine special to that station? No. How about the information board? other than the local map, no. Heck are the platform images from the 2 different stations really that different? On the other hand the galleries you've worked on in champol show distinct and special images of the subject. The subway stations were having anywhere from 2-9 images in their galleries and all were pretty much of this caliber.--Crossmr (talk) 03:54, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Basically, this seems to boil down to, "I'm going to continue to follow my interpretation of the manual of style and remove all galleries, no matter whether any other editor believes the images are valuable, and, despite having been asked to do so by several editors above, I will not engage in prior 'Discussion' or consensus." I'm uncertain whether further discussion will interest you in engaging in our project's fundamentally collaborative, collegial, and deliberative manner, which is a central part of our "culture." Badagnani (talk) 04:01, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

You still seem to be having some trouble with WP:AGF. Did I say that anywhere? I'm stating my position and defending it by engaging in debate. That is the way policy is formed, reinforced and changed. This is rarely done in a few hours. To this point no one has even proposed any rewording to the relevant section of the policy for further clarification--Crossmr (talk) 04:14, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Rephrasing to clarify needs to wait until there's some agreement about what the existing words mean. You and I seem to be at odds over that very issue, and it's something that needs to be hammered out before it is reworded. The section probably should be tagged though, so people know it's under discussion. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 04:36, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
We can simply form a new consensus here at the policy page if need be. Even if we can't 100% agree about the past wording, we can propose new wording we can agree on and take opinions and consensus over a period of time.--Crossmr (talk) 04:43, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment: One aspect of the "standard" gallery that I find unappealing is the fixed image size, which translates all the gallery images to (ims) 180px thumbs, too small (imo) to do the article much good. Most people don't seem aware that there is a variable-size syntax available:

<:gallery caption="Sample gallery" widths="300px" heights="200px" perrow="2"> (delete the ":" to actually use this), with all "quoted" parameters fully variable. This syntax is still a little clunky, but at least can yield decent-size thumbs.

It would be nice to have a gallery syntax that sized images to the user's preference file.... Best, Pete Tillman (talk) 02:22, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Discussion of samples at different sizes here suggested these did not work well for many peoples screens, plus the syntax used there (seems slightly different) did not increase the size of the actual thumbnails, just their spacing. Johnbod (talk) 03:26, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, darn. Thanks for the reply. Cheers, Pete Tillman (talk) 18:52, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Proposed rewording of policy

Please keep this section specifically to the rewording. Further discussion of the above topics can continue above.--Crossmr (talk) 04:34, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Photos galleries of free images are mainly used on wikipedia to illustrate unique facets of a subject that cannot be easily or adequately described by text alone. Care should be taken to intersperse images through-out the text whenever possible. Editors should also attempt to ensure there is a proper balance between images and text in an article as wikipedia is not an image repository. If an article contains excessive images through the use of a gallery or otherwise, those images may be moved to the talk page if it is felt that they may have good future use.

Examples of good galleries that enhance an article(we should have 2-3 examples here)

Examples of poor galleries that overwhelm an article

Comments on proposal above
  • Oppose rewording - Common sense, as with most other things at WP, should be an important guiding factor, and "Discussion" and consensus building (as many have commented above) should be utilized in favor of the campaign (primarily against Korea-related images) that has recently been conducted by the proposing editor. Badagnani (talk) 04:45, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    This wasn't an oppose/support if you want to change or alter the words, feel free to do so. This proposal was made to build consensus. The policy is obviously unclear. I'll remind you for the fourth time to read WP:AGF as your continued unfounded accusations and insinuations aren't doing anything to further this discussion. Nor does your continually repeating we should discuss and build consensus when all you seem to be doing is making these kinds of unfounded accusations. I'm in Korea, I like Korea (hence why I was editing korean articles, and even expanded the text of several of them) however I don't like unnecessary and excessive clutter in articles (trivia sections, image repositories, etc). Had their been no objections I would have moved well beyond Korea related articles.--Crossmr (talk) 04:55, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment: There are two classes of pictures we are talking about: Free and fair-use. Fair-use images can only live on article pages. They are also subject to deletion if they become orphans, which greatly limits the utility of "storing" them on talk pages as [[:Image]]-links. There will be occasions when a gallery of non-free images is appropriate. For free images, the images should be transwikied to the commons anyways, and while not conventional, there shouldn't be any policy against putting thumbnails of images on talk pages. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 04:52, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    I've updated the text to refer to free images obviously. It is my understanding that non-free images can never be used in galleries as that violates fair use. The text I'd read about putting images on the talk page suggested putting them in a gallery tag on the talk page, that would prevent them from being orphaned.--Crossmr (talk) 05:02, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment: One of the issues of contention above is whether wholesale deleting of galleries without prior discussion is appropriate. I think this can be best answered by the theme of "if there is likely to be any opposition, discuss it first, otherwise, be WP:BOLD," a theme that, with a few exceptions like removing obvious copyright violations, runs throughout Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. Any change to the policy wording should reflect this. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 04:52, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    That is outside the scope of the proposal on new text for the policy. That issue can be covered above where we're already discussing it.--Crossmr (talk) 05:05, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • However much you'd wish it were the case, in fact that issue is at the crux of this matter. If you'd simply agreed to use "Discussion" (as you've been asked to do many times now) there really would be no problem. Badagnani (talk) 05:07, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • We're here discussing aren't we? Show me what mass gallery removals I've partaking in since we started this discussion? Or yet another unfounded accusation? Prior to this only 2 editors asked me to discuss it.The first I showed him the policy and he said, oh okay no problem. The other one (caspian blue) I left him a talk page comment on the 10th of this month and he said nothing until now. I had one editor tell me I was doing a good job. Until now there have been no other objections. Caspian blue didn't follow-up on the comment and said nothing else at the time. As soon as this discussion was started I took place in it.--Crossmr (talk) 05:23, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Discussion after, rather than before the fact of massive removals isn't good (especially when combined with the fact that after over 1 dozen comments, you still refuse to take the friendly advice offered to you, to utilize "Discussion" at the individual articles' talk pages in the future. Regarding this discussion, it seems clear you are looking for an outcome that will solidify the guideline to uphold what you've just done to many articles, which is available in your edit history. Badagnani (talk) 05:42, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not going to go out and start discussions on the various article talk pages until the discussion here is complete if that is what you're waiting for. My proposal more than allows for appropriate galleries in articles and is in fact very similar to the proposal below.--Crossmr (talk) 05:53, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

My version:

In general, articles that are only galleries are discouraged in main article namespace; historically, such articles have mostly been deleted, with a few exceptions such as Gallery of armed forces flags. Gallery sections within articles may be justified if there is a good reason why several images are needed, and there is not enough space alongside text, or the images are best appreciated grouped together. Images should be carefully selected and suitably captioned to explain their relevance. If in doubt, the determination of whether a gallery should be included in an article, removed, reduced or dispersed, or created at the Commons, should be discussed on the article's talk page.

I would point out, btw, that we now have FAs with galleries, like, Robert Peake the Elder. Johnbod (talk) 04:55, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Comment - This seems to be good. Badagnani (talk) 05:02, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment This doesn't address the issue of balance between text and images and in fact seems to encourage image repositories by stating galleries should be created if there is not enough space beside the text.--Crossmr (talk) 05:05, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
That could be added. In my field, which is the visual arts, even long articles run out of space - see Rembrandt or Raphael. Perhaps:" articles that are only, or very largely, galleries are discouraged..." - added bit in bold. Johnbod (talk) 05:08, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
(ec)Yes. I understand that, however I feel there is a big difference between running out of space on Rembrandt and creating a 5 sentence or less article on a subject and then adding 5-10 images to it. I think our versions aren't really that far apart.--Crossmr (talk) 05:15, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
You also have to be careful with too much subjective wording. If we state something like "very largely" you're going to end up with people arguing over what they consider "large". We might consider some kind of rule of thumb (1 image per paragraph except in unusual circumstances) etc. I might consider any images other than the infobox image on an article of 2 sentences to be large, but someone else might think that isn't large.--Crossmr (talk) 05:28, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
This is where common sense and discussion with our fellow editors comes in. It can be very rewarding. Badagnani (talk) 05:39, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm more than willing to discuss with people who can do so without resorting to personal attacks and insinuations every other comment.--Crossmr (talk) 05:53, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
You've already said, more than once, that it's not worth your time or effort to utilize "Discussion," when you already know you are right (except if the discussion leads to the guideline being changed to support what you've just done to so many articles, without prior discussion). Badagnani (talk) 05:56, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Policy, not guideline, and I've repeatedly said that I didn't feel further discussion was needed when a consensus from the policy already existed.I never said it wasn't worth my effort to utilize discussion. I also demonstrated that as soon as there was any serious objection, e.g. more than a passing comment. I stopped and discussed.--Crossmr (talk) 06:08, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment:I'm not in favour of using wording like "there is not enough space alongside text". Very rarely is lack of space a good reason to have a gallery. I can think of some limited examples where it would be appropriate -- to use an example Badagnani used above: in an article on a famous castle renown for certain architectural elements, for example, where there is insufficient space to intersperse images of all of the relevant elements in the article, it could be appropriate to gather all the images of the particular elements into a gallery. But that is an issue that has to be determined in the context of a given article. The general "there is not enough space alongside text" text, even with the caveats proposed above, is just a carte blanche for every editor to shoehorn their favourite holiday pics into an article. Those words will be twisted as justification for galleries in virtually every case imaginable. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 21:17, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
This is very common in articles on art, architecture, fashion & other visual subjects, & in my experience is by far the commonest reason for needing galleries & should be recognised as such. I would rather increase the wording about indiscriminate use of photos. The whole, very good, history of fashion series like 1750-1795 in fashion are other examples of good use of galleries btw. Johnbod (talk) 22:16, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • The good and bad examples that Crossmr picked up make me surprised. I thought he would reject the first gallery at Champmol due to "duplications of tombs". Basically, he would not object gallery as long as texts are many. That means his standard on galleries are not credible. I believe these removals are bad practices of him. His insistence that I've not given a good reason to him strongly insinuates that he is a sole enforcer of the policy. He should've given a notice to the Korean project community first since the galleries are results of many editors' efforts. Currently, his interpretation is not proven right. --Caspian blue 21:39, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Namhansanseong
  • Changgyeonggung
  • Unhyeongung
  • Tapgol Park
  • National Folk Museum of Korea
  • Namdaemun Market
  • N Seoul Tower
  • Jongmyo
  • Gyeongbokgung
  • Deoksugung
I'm not sure that I agree with your assertions of required notice -- WP:BOLD is a well-known practice here at Wikipedia. Obviously, where there are objections, however, the issue should be discussed on the talk page. In any event, I thought we were working towards new wording. I'm not sure rehashing the discussion above gets us anywhere. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 22:06, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Because he denounced at Talk:Patbingsu that I have not provided a "good reason" (only to him) to keep the gallery regardless the extensive previous discussions before he even got to the page. Also, I feel absurd at his choice of "good and bad examples for his POV.--Caspian blue
None of those articles and the images within are remotely on par champol and if you notice when I said the gallleries for champol were good I stated that I felt the duplication of the tombs image should be removed, but otherwise they were good examples of galleries. Most of those articles you listed don't have half the text, and most of the images are not on the same level as those in champol. And no, you still haven't given any good reasoning at patbingsu for keeping those images. In fact I specifically asked you about the picture of the ingredients and why that was so necessary and you never addressed it. A picture of some store bought ingredients is a far cry from the tombs of champol.--Crossmr (talk) 22:11, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Guys, please note that a request was made above to limit the content of this section to suggestions and comments on new wording. If you want to rehash the same arguments you have already made above, be my guest, but please do so in the section above. I would have thought, however, that your efforts would be more valued helping to collaborate on new text rather than in continuing your tit-for-tat exchange. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 22:58, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

As for new text, what about the following. I have tried to maintain the existing text (continuity is a good thing), added new text for additional clarity, taken some sentences from both the suggestions of both Badagnani and Crossmr, and added the requested references to talk page discussions (noting, however, that we can't cancel out the principle set out at WP:BOLD). The last two paragraphs are exactly the same as the current text.

Wikipedia is not an image repository. As such, galleries are generally discouraged in main article namespace; historically, such galleries are more often deleted than kept. As a result, there are relatively few namespace galleries in the encyclopedia and good reasons must be given for creating them (as discussed below). It is usually preferable to create galleries on Wikimedia Commons; links to the Commons galleries can be added to the Wikipedia article using the {{Commons}} template or, where appropriate, using more specific links (e.g. the link in the William Lyon Mackenzie King article to the visual chronology at the Commons). See this page for more details about using the Commons.

Typically, images are interspersed throughout an article (see WP:MOSIMAGES). However, the use of Galleries may be appropriate in Wikipedia articles where a gallery can illustrate aspects of a subject that cannot be easily or adequately described by text or interspersed images. In other words, the images in the gallery collectively have encyclopedic value and add to the reader's understanding of the subject. Images in a gallery should be suitably captioned to explain their relevance both to the subject and to each other, and the gallery should be appropriately titled. One rule of thumb to consider: if, due to its content, a gallery only lends itself to a title along the lines of "Gallery" or "Images of [insert article title]" (rather than a more descriptive title), then the gallery should likely be moved to the Commons.

The determination of whether a gallery should be added to an article, removed from an article, differently scoped or moved to the Commons should be discussed on the article's talk page. Although this policy does not preclude bold edits, the appropriateness of a gallery on Wikipedia should always be determined through consensus on the talk page where there is disagreement over its inclusion, deletion or contents.

Note that it is not recommended to use animated GIFs to display multiple photos. The method is not suitable for printing and also is not user friendly (users can not save individual images and have to wait before being able to view images while other images cycle round).

Fair use images may never be included as part of a photo gallery, as their status as being "fair use" depends on their proper use in the context of an article (as part of criticism or analysis). See Wikipedia:Fair use for more details.

Let me know what you think. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 23:09, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I deleted the sentence "and good reasons must be given for creating them". That particular sentence has given rise to a lot of dispute, and when you think about, it doesn't add anything to the section. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 00:01, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I think we still need stronger language on demonstrating unique facets of the subject. There is a big difference between using an image to detail a unique architectural aspect of a building, and simply taking a photo at night/different angle/photo of the grounds, etc. Otherwise the argument could always be made that image X contains an angle not previously covered therefore it furthers the understanding an illustration of the subject.--Crossmr (talk) 01:03, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Skeezix1000, thank you for the rework of the statement. I support your revision.--Caspian blue 01:14, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose latest version. I am happy to discuss versions, but the distinction between gallery-only articles and galleries within articles must be made clearly. Continuity is not a good thing when the text refers to a situation that has now changed completely - this text was written (2004 was it?) when gallery articles were common, and has now done its job in removing them with a few exceptions. It now badly needs updating, as its ambiguities continue to cause disputes, like this one. I'm also very dubious about the bit about creating galleries on Commons being preferable, & we should not be saying here what to do on Commons. Johnbod (talk) 05:20, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Personally, I find something odd about the line "Although this policy does not preclude bold edits, the appropriateness of a gallery on Wikipedia should always be determined through consensus on the talk page where there is disagreement over its inclusion, deletion or contents." The word "always" here really contradicts the support of WP:BOLD, I think. From what I can tell, the galleries that were removed were done in the Wikipedia spirit, boldly and with an eye toward improving the articles, without malice or recklessness, and would hate to see such edits forbidden in the future. I view photo removals (whether in galleries or otherwise) the same way that I do word removal. If one feels that it improves the article to remove something, because it is distracting, superfluous, against policy, etc., then one should be bold. It is wise to attempt discussion if one feels that the move might be controversial, obviously, but one should not be forced into starting a discussion and then waiting around for someone to reply in order to make the edit. The "always", I think does that. Such wording, I think, discourages editing. I therefore suggest the following wording: "Although this policy does not preclude bold edits, the appropriateness of a gallery on Wikipedia would best be determined through consensus on the talk page to determine if there is disagreement over its inclusion, deletion or contents." KieferFL (talk) 07:13, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • The problem with the above comment is that the mass deletions were indeed reckless. Badagnani (talk) 07:58, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
    You and Caspian Blue are the only two who think they were "reckless". Davidrw only believes discussion before hand would have been better. I think you were calling to improve the encyclopedia and stop all this? Why don't you lead by example?--Crossmr (talk) 08:24, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Is it possible to move on about your prior conduct? At this point, the galleries have been removed, some have been restored and we can discuss the rest. Consensus was in the past to keep them but that's negotiable. As for going forward, check if there's a discussion on the talk page about galleries and otherwise, I'd say it's fair game to reasonable remove some images. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 11:44, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
More than happy too, but the community needs to come to a consensus first on how we're going to word this policy before we make anymore major changes to galleries since there is so much disagreement to it.--Crossmr (talk) 21:55, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Reckless is your opinion. I find the edits in the Wiki spirit and assume good faith, and would hate to shackle editors in the future with wording that requires discussion prior to removal of such unnecessary items. The editor's motives have been explained, and I am not willing to assign further motivation that what has been said. KieferFL (talk) 16:51, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
"Unnecessary" is your opinion. And the tenor of your post is disturbing in its dismissiveness of the community. Badagnani (talk) 16:55, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, "unnecessary" is in the eye of the beholder. You have made edits to things that you feel are unnecessary, as have I, as have other editors. That's part of the editing process.
As for being dismissive, I'm not sure what you mean. How am I being dismissive to the community? KieferFL (talk) 20:05, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Creating galleries should not be discouraged. If there is a need to illustrate the article, than they should be created, without making the process complicated.

If there is not enough space beside the text, or if there is a need for it, that should be enough for a reason. You can hardly represent some subjects without using images, sometimes many of them. Discouraging galleries? I strongly belive that the policy needs rewording. People want to se photos about art, architecture, fashion, birds, plants, sculptures, cars, horses, people, paintings, gemstones, food, whatever. You can not explain things by words- only!. It is a good idea to add galleries to articles, when there are a lot of illustative pictures on the subject, and which are not used in the articles, if you can find them on Commons.

That’s because many readers do not know how to find them there. And art, architecture, fashion & other visual subjects, I belive should show good pictures about the subject. I think this is one of the main reasons why people want to read such articles. I think that pictures are an important part of these articles, which, if you remove the pictures, they became articls which will consist of a large amount of text without any visual documentation. I can not see any real reason why have a restrictive policy about it. Maybe Wikipedia is not an image repository, but Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, and there is no such thing like a good encyclopaedia without images. Just talking about the subject do not explain everything. Articles should be illustrated when possible, that is also a Wikipedia policy. As somebody stated below: It seems to me lots of pictures are cool and fun, and just generally make a good encyclopedia article even more interesting. Seems to me like one more factor that would make Wikipedia even more enjoyable.

Warrington (talk) 21:21, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

WP:ANI discussions

I'm not sure if this is worth a mention but there was a large disagreement at WP:ANI here about this exact policy. I've archived the entire thing as completely unnecessary but outside editors might want to review if there's anything useful. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 11:44, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

(Sorry I'm so new I'm not even sure how I'm suppose to format this, and the "talk pages" page left me uncertain) In the interest of "being bold" and as a wikipedia lover who is just starting to work on articles, I was saddened to see this policy. It seems to me lots of pictures are cool and fun, and just generally make a good encyclopedia article even more interesting. I'd just like to see lots of images in wikipedia articles. Seems to me like one more factor that would make Wikipedia even more enjoyable. A Friendly Nerd (talk) 03:39, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Can one use google map images?

I noticed File:Koreatown_map_highlighted.png, which is a piece of a Google map highlighted - Can one use Google map images, or does he or she have to use a different image source? WhisperToMe (talk) 01:43, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

And I have a feeling this image is actually copyrighted File:NETmap.jpg - I have admin privileges, but I cannot figure out how to delete this, as it already has some deleted revisions and therefore it shows "undelete" instead of "delete." WhisperToMe (talk) 06:24, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

File:Koreatown map highlighted.png is definitely a derivative work that should be deleted. I'm not familiar enough with Florida State law to comment on the second. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 06:31, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
  • For maps, free alternatives are always avialable, unless it is the map itself that we are interested in. The file you linked looks like a derivative work of a copyrighted image, so it should be sent to IfD (I guess someone could delete it as an I9, but the uploader may not understand that his modification of copyrighted images doesn't make it free). Remember, it's not FL state or US law that we are primarily concerned with, but the far more strict copyright policy of the project. Protonk (talk) 06:33, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
  • And you can't delete the second because it is on commons. Protonk (talk) 06:34, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

This should answer the second question but the first definitely falls under copyright and should be deleted as protonk pointed out since it is actually replaceable fair use (a simple google map search for Koreatown Los Angeles proves it is a deriviate and thus falls under copyright) --Jorfer (talk) 08:03, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Automated Image transformation from one wikipedia to another

Hi, Is there any way I can automatically upload the images from one aricle (say for example from English Wikipedia) to another Wikipedia (say for example Tamil) with the same copyright notice by using any automated tools. If so how can I do? Appreciate if some one could help on this issue. Thanks in advance. --Umapathy (உமாபதி) (talk) 15:16, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

No, but you could upload it to Commons where everyone could use it easily. Stifle (talk) 12:51, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

60-day archiving in place

User:MiszaBot/config will now archive threads older than 60 days. If this screws up please remove the MiszaBot template from the top of this talk page and revert MiszaBot's last edit.

It's set to do an ever-growing static archive. Every 3-6 months or so someone will have to manually bump the counter and add a line to the infobox. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 01:30, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

I've changed this to 30 days as the page is too big by far. Stifle (talk) 12:50, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Historically, such galleries are more often deleted than kept . . .

Is this true? How do we know? Does anybody have a Source for this statement? Questioningly, your friend, GeorgeLouis (talk) 06:43, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

See "Removal of galleries" section above; it refers to articles that were only galleries, once common but now nearly extinct. When written this was true, but is now highly misleading, as everyone seems to accept on the passage's regular appearances here. But discussions on how to replace it usually burn out. Johnbod (talk) 12:34, 11 January 2009 (UTC)

Well. that is ... history. Now articles are long and this sentence is old, and needs to be changed. Warrington (talk) 09:42, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure that I agree with the comment on the origins of the sentence (there is a debate up above, or perhaps now archived, about how it originated), but I agree that the sentence needs a rework as it certainly is ambiguous. Johnbod is correct that previous attempts at coming up with something new have fizzled out. I've been reading the recent comments, and am going to try posting some suggested new language for people to consider, hopefully later today. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 16:50, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Somebody somehow need to do something about this policy and reword it because it is unnecessarily strict and troublesome. And the discussion is not archived yet.

Warrington (talk) 21:25, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

Eh, could you guys please

..make it easy to find a comprehensive list of all images licenses that are acceptable for Wikipedia's free-use? Forex, the page currently says "or an acceptable Creative Commons license." Ahem, which ones are acceptable? Thanks... Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 02:53, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

You mean something like Wikipedia:Image copyright tags/Free licenses? --Carnildo (talk) 03:08, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I did see that, but have a question: Are all of the CC's listed there deletion-proof and scolding-template-proof? I seem to recall seeing something somewhere on Commons that said that only one or two of them were OK. Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR)
All of those ones are safe, but there are a large number of CC licenses not listed there, which are counted as non-free. J Milburn (talk) 12:37, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks!! Ling.Nut (talkWP:3IAR) 12:44, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
There is no PD art licence tag there. Is there a reason for this? Johnbod (talk) 13:16, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Why Galleries are useful

I'm an amateur wildlife photographer/videographer and frequently add my media to pages on WP:Birds Project and feel that without such material there would be much less participation in Wikipedia, frequently I find that empty articles soon get populated with text after I've added some material on them. I also use WP pages to search for information regarding differences in appearance of the plumage of species (....sexual, maturity and racial) and find that thumbnail 'Galleries' can be a useful tool for this. Admittedly some 'photographers' are using this to populate pages with unnecessary images but I'm a bit 'puzzled' by the 'zealotry' with which some admins are deleting them.....surely the point of Wikipedia is an online source of information and galleries can be a useful aspect of this? Are there others who feel that image galleries can be a part of an article (though administered wisely?) Aviceda talk 02:38, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

Absolutely agree. Galleries, and the individual images within them, should be examined on a case-by-case basis. -- Quiddity (talk) 03:12, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Why not put the galleries on Commons where any project can link to them? --Carnildo (talk) 03:43, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Take your point, but when I look up a 'species' article for reference I feel that any information ought to be found on that page, (....surely this is true for any other readers?) Most of my images are on the Commons anyway, how would you device adding images to relevant 'galleries' ( Category?). Aviceda talk 05:08, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
Aviceda's comments are well taken. I think, however, the problem that arises with galleries is when they consist of indiscriminate collections of images. For the same reason we discourage indiscriminate lists of facts in articles, these types of galleries really ought to be shifted to the Commons. However, just as some written information is better presented in list form, and some articles benefit from a carefully crafted gallery. I haven't checked, but from the way it sounds, the galleries that Aviceda is discussing add real encyclopedic value to an article. That type of gallery should not be discouraged. We should be as careful and diligent with the galleries in articles as we are with the prose. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 16:57, 9 February 2009 (UTC)
I've seen a few articles with small collections of photographs that are "galleries", but which I think are fine. Typically, these have three carefully selected photos that show important variations in a given thing (markings of air ambulances in different countries, for example). I would approve of a small gallery of birds that shows three side-by-side pictures of similarly posed birds (one juvenile, one adult male, one adult female) to illustrate the differences in the markings. A gallery that replicates Commons' page on wedding dresses, on the other hand, is entirely unencyclopedic. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:10, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
That's a very good way to describe it. The current policy language is not right -- it shouldn't use words like "discouraged", because some articles can benefit immensely from a carefully crafted gallery. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 20:33, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Whiskered_Tern, Wood_Sandpiper I think these are examples of the wrong use of 'Gallery' (seems like the photographer has nowhere else to exhibit his pics!) Aviceda talk 07:05, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

I feel that any information ought to be found on that article page, too, the same as I agree with that words like "discouraged" should not be used, because some articles can benefit immensely from a carefully crafted gallery. Any tools can be used in a wrong way, but there is no need to be overly restrictive with gallery use.

Warrington (talk) 21:34, 11 February 2009 (UTC)

...and on a related note

Has anyone else found Category:Images of musical groups? These are gallery's, mostly of non-free images. They are not directly tied to any one article and they aren't really "mainspace" gallery's (articles) but it seems it may be a cheeky way to circumvent the various image guidelines and policy we have concerning gallery's. I am also posting this on the NFC talk page. Soundvisions1 (talk) 15:05, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

  • There is a flag somewhere to stop those images from being displayed in thumbnail galleries I believe. I think that would be preferable to deleting/changing the cats. Protonk (talk) 15:17, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
    • There is, it is __NOGALLERY__ wich already is in use on (almost) all of these categories. Garion96 (talk) 15:22, 8 February 2009 (UTC)
      • Aha! I couldn't remember the name of the "command" or that it was a magic word. Thanks. Protonk (talk) 15:37, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

One more try with galleries...

I have reread the past discussions on this point, even some of the archived discussions, and there does (happily) appear to be an emerging consensus (I hope). It sounds like people generally support "well-crafted" galleries, but continue to believe that galleries of random images can detract from an article. It is obvious that the current text that discourages all galleries needs to go. I've drafted the following replacement guideline for everyone's consideration (it does not include the paragraphs dealing with animated GIFs or fair use as I assume that no one has a problem with retaining those paragraphs as is). Gone is the old "discouraged" language, over which there was so much debate.

Images are typically interspersed individually throughout an article near the relevant text (see WP:MOSIMAGES). However, the use of galleries (and the gallery tag) may be appropriate in Wikipedia articles where a collection of images can illustrate aspects of a subject that cannot be easily or adequately described by text or individual images. In other words, The images in the gallery collectively must have encyclopedic value and add to the reader's understanding of the subject. Images in a gallery should be suitably captioned to explain their relevance both to the subject and to the theme of the gallery, and the gallery should be appropriately titled (unless the theme of the gallery is clear from the context of the article). Images in a gallery should be carefully selected, avoiding similar or repetitive images, unless a point of contrast or comparison is being made. Just as we seek to ensure that the prose of an article is clear, precise and engaging, galleries should be similarly well-crafted. See 1750-1795 in fashion for an example of a good use of galleries.

However, Wikipedia is not an image repository. The gallery tag is not a tool to shoehorn images into an article, and a gallery consisting of an indiscriminate collection of images of the article subject should generally either be improved in accordance with the above paragraph or moved to the appropriate category at Wikimedia Commons. Links to the Commons galleries and categories can be added to the Wikipedia article using the {{Commons}} and {{Commonscat}} templates. One rule of thumb to consider: if, due to its content, a gallery would only lends itself to a title along the lines of "Gallery" or "Images of [insert article title]", as opposed to a more descriptive title, the gallery should either be revamped or moved to the Commons.

Let me know your thoughts. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 20:48, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

In other words, the images in the gallery collectively have encyclopedic value and add to the reader's understanding of the subject. Completely agree.

Warrington (talk) 22:46, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

  • I strongly support replacing the misleading & outdated current text, & this seems to represent current concensus very well. Go for it! Johnbod (talk) 04:31, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
    • If they are needed in articles then they should be in those articles. Galleries when used correctly are important to articles in which they enhance the understanding of the artist and/or artistic genre or movement. They are especially important to the Visual Arts...and I endorse a more realistic policy, reflective of common sense...Modernist (talk) 04:50, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
  • I like it. though if people think this wording will change the overall thrust of the policy (that articles aren't excuses for image galleries), then they may be in for a shock. Please don't expect to use this new wording to reinstate a spate of galleries previously removed or moved to commons. Protonk (talk) 05:15, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
It is careful to make that clear. Johnbod (talk) 15:34, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Nice wording. So there would be no confusion on the guideline.--Caspian blue 05:18, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
  • The text "One rule of thumb to consider: if, due to its content, a gallery only lends itself to a title along the lines of "Gallery" or "Images of [insert article title]", as opposed to a more descriptive title, the gallery should either be revamped or moved to the Commons." is superflous, as if the main criteria have been met, the heading is not critical, and a simple heading may be appropriate. I am thinking particularly of articles on artists, where a selection of (free) images to show the artist's work will augment the article text, and "gallery" is already in use as a heading. Or do they all have to be retitled? And, if so, with what title? Ty 06:05, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I also generally don't approve of moving galleries to Commons, where unfortunately they show up first on a search, above the category, which is what people should go to first in nearly all cases. Johnbod (talk) 15:34, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
Definitely not (moving galleries to Commons).Warrington (talk) 16:06, 21 February 2009 (UTC)
I agree completely with Johnbod. That was an oversight. We shouldn't be encouraging people to create subpar galleries on the Commons (oops). However, moving images to the Commons is a much more constructive and positive action (and more respectful of the image uploaders) than simply causing it to be an orphan image that will ultimately be deleted from Wikipedia. However, it should be moved to the appropriate Commons category, not to a gallery (the latter is up to the users over at the Commons). I've changed the text above to reflect this (additions underlined, deleted text crossed out).

As for Ty's comment, the sentence you've noted does not require that there be a title. However, when a reader looks at a good gallery, whether it has a title or not, the gallery would naturally lend itself to a title. The visual arts is a good example. The article on the great artist Joe Blow, for example -- if it's a good article, chances are that the galleries lend themselves to titles such as "Self-portraits by Joe Blow" or "Examples of Joe Blows' landscape works" or "evolution of Joe Blow's artistic style" or "Joe Blow works from the 1790s", etc. etc. Whether the galleries actually have those titles or not is immaterial. Heck, one could still call them "gallery" if the editors on that article felt it best. It is hard, however, to give a descriptive title to a ramshackle collection of random images, beyond "gallery" or "images of x", thus the rule of thumb. It's just a way of assessing the contents of a gallery -- not a rule for titles. I did, however, amend the proposed language to make clear that a title is not always required. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 14:32, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Sounds good. Maybe it is time to act soon...Warrington (talk) 15:01, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's better. I'm ambivalent about the "title" sentence, but it is only a suggestion, and I think, given the encouraging amount of support the proposed wording has attracted, it should be substituted in a few days unless a wave of opposition suddenly appears. Johnbod (talk) 17:31, 22 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Suggest I've made a minor grammar correction, but could we add language indicating that galleries should be "limited to the smallest appropriate number of carefully selected images" (or something like that)? In addition to normal images throughout the text, Wedding ceremony participants currently has two galleries and tends to attract vanity photos, and none of us want this section to be abused for image vanispamcruftisement. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:18, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Maybe you should try with a mediator? (also, the problem in this case may be to much text added to the gallery pictures, which is fine in an article but looks a bit weird in a gallery)Warrington (talk) 06:09, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Images are information just the same as text, but in a different form, and the criteria for them should be the same as for text, i.e. if an image shows material which adds to the existing information in an article, then it is valid, and if it essentially duplicates existing information, then it is surplus, just the same as would be the case with text. We don't need to specify that text should be "limited to the smallest appropriate number of carefully selected words", so I don't see the need to specify that for images. WP:UCS applies to the choice of both text and images. See also WP:CREEP. Ty 06:36, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Just as with text, there is a diminishing return for images. We just happen to reach it much more quickly. Obviously we can agree that a page with one well chosen image is better than one with zero. 99% of the time we could agree that two is better than one, etc. When it gets to 10, 20, 30, we probably might find ourselves in some disagreement over whether or not the marginal benefit of that next image is positive or negative. Regardless we will agree that the marginal benefit is significantly less than the first few images. We also do have style guidelines suggesting that editors not be wordy and present topics concisely. Beyond that, the comparison of text to images without regard for their inherent differences is fallacious. We aren't a repository of images. That isn't our job. If you think that someone has a bunch of free artwork and you really want to show it off, then upload it to commons. No part of our goals is concordant with adding every possible image to a page if it isn't explicitly duplicative. An appeal to UCS is unhelpful because we are in a situation where perfectly reasonable editors have completely divergent "common sense" interpretations of the same situation. In that case, some decision has to be made. Just saying "use common sense" will lead to edit wars and more nonsense. This is a reasonable articulation of what we feel image use policy should be. If you would like, we can keep it in the current state: "In general, galleries are discouraged in main article namespace; historically, such galleries are more often deleted than kept. As a result, there are relatively few namespace galleries in the encyclopedia and good reasons must be given for creating them. The determination of whether a gallery should be incorporated into an article or created at the Commons should be discussed on the article's talk page. Consider instead linking to a gallery on Wikimedia Commons – see this page for more details." I'm not sure that is better for anyone. Nor am I sure that maintaining things in their current state is a good way to avoid instruction creep. Protonk (talk) 06:44, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Please avoid straw man arguments. No one is suggesting that we are a repository of images, that it is appropriate to show off a bunch of free artwork, that we should add every possible image to a page if it isn't explicitly duplicative, or that we should keep the existing wording. What I actually said was, "if an image shows material which adds to the existing information in an article, then it is valid, and if it essentially duplicates existing information, then it is surplus." (my bold - not explicitly, but essentially) That is a perfectly valid approach. There is no other, or better reason, for any content than to add to the information which already exists. Ty 13:24, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm avoiding straw man arguments. I'm not limiting the position of those who wish more galleries exist to extremes. I'm simply illustrating that images and text are not interchangeable and that instructing people to use common sense is unhelpful. I'm also not certain that your assertion (that value added primarily determines gallery inclusion) is one which should be represented in policy. I think that the proposed wording above gives a good general and descriptive framework--one which prioritizes context. That is where we should be pointed. Protonk (talk) 23:34, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely not in the present form. One has to rely on that other guidlines also represent criteria for images. the same as for text. Warrington (talk) 12:14, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
I don't mind something on keeping the numbers reasonable, but "the smallest appropriate number" is asking for trouble from many editors - "carefully selected" is fine. Maybe something about avoiding similar or repetitive images, unless a point of contrast or comparison is being made. But don't we have something like this in the guidelines anyway - like Wikipedia:Images#Image_choice_and_placement? Having just looked at Wedding ceremony participants, the problem currently is all in the text photos (at my 300px setting), not the galleries (2 x 4). Johnbod (talk) 13:14, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Yes we do. We are on the right way now changing this really troublesome wording, and that is the most important thing. Warrington (talk) 13:16, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
I know what Protonk is trying to say, and I agree that it is a very real problem. But I also agree that language like "the smallest appropriate number" is problematic. I like Johnbod's suggestion -- maybe we add a sentence that states "Images in a gallery should be carefully selected, avoiding similar or repetitive images." --Skeezix1000 (talk) 13:42, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Or: "Images in a gallery should be carefully selected, avoiding similar or repetitive images, unless a point of contrast or comparison is being made." Johnbod (talk) 14:04, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Good catch. That's great. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 14:25, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
Good points. Ty 14:30, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
OK. Go for it.Warrington (talk) 00:01, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Done. Variations on this wording have been under discussion since mid-December, and we appear to be clear consensus on the revised wording. Well done all of you. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 20:29, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Applaudes and handshake handshakes handshakes handshakes Warrington (talk) 22:26, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Absolutely! Johnbod (talk) 22:40, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Should encourage to upload source file of GFDL/GPL image

  1. When someone upload any images under GFDL/GPL (or any licenses requiring the source code), we should encourage them to upload the corresponding source files (if exists)?
  2. For example, the image Strand Emitter.jpg, is created by Blender, and licensed under GFDL, so its Blender source file should also be uploaded.
  3. Eventhough, it is completely the author's (licensor) right, to not distribute the source file, however we should encourage them to distribute the source to fullfill the spirit of GFDL.
  4. Can we have some guildeline or policy to encourage this?

--Ans (talk) 14:04, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Self-drawn cartoons and caricatures

What is the policy on uploading self-drawn cartoons for cartoon or comic character articles, for example Dilbert does not have a image, and it should be simple to draw one. What about using self-drawn caricatures or sketches for biography articles which do not have a photo image? Jay (talk) 08:12, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

For the first, see derivative work, fanart, and copyright violation. --Carnildo (talk) 09:31, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
The second is also likely to be copyright violation as a derivative work (copying of photos), and has been strongly objected to on aesthetic grounds (ie everyone else thinks they're crap) when people have tried it. There's one guy who actually is a prefessional portraitist, of quite famous people, who uploads his work, & many don't like that. See various sections at this page. Johnbod (talk) 12:26, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
True, how much a sketch resembles the person is subjective really. Caricatures also may not be neutral enough. Perhaps this can be mentioned in the policy page. Regarding self-drawn cartoons, the legal jargon in the articles mentioned by Carnildo was too much for me. Is it OK as per wikipedia to go ahead with cartoons is actually what I wanted to know? Jay (talk) 10:37, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Probably not a good idea and likely to be rejected. Ty 11:35, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

GFDL presumed

If an editor submits uploads their own work to Wikipedia, but fails to supply a copyright tag, are other editors allowed to presume the uploader intended to release the work under the GFDL? I'm specifically talking about recent uploads rather than "legacy" images. --English as tuppence 10:41, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

Only if they provide some indication that that's the case. --Carnildo (talk) 06:11, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Fair use?

What is the proper way to assert fair use of an image copied from the web and uploaded to Wikipedia, and have the matter judged by humans rather than by automated bots threatening to remove the image unless additional information is supplied? I raise this question because of a message left on my talk page about File:Samsung Document Camera.jpg, which I uploaded recently. Michael Hardy (talk) 13:28, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

The bot asked you for a license tag. See Wikipedia:Image copyright tags/Non-free for a list. You also need a non-free use rationale, see Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline. This all actually academic since the image should be deleted. It fails criteria one of the Wikipedia:Non-free content criteria, it is possible to replace it with a free content image. Garion96 (talk) 13:36, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Thank you.
But please: Maybe it fails criterion one, but you shouldn't say "criteria one". Michael Hardy (talk) 14:11, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Where is the free image you've mentioned?
OK, I'm not sure you answered my actual question. When I uploaded the image, I was given a menu of items to choose from. Which should I have picked? Michael Hardy (talk) 14:12, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't think a correct one is there. But that also might be because the image fails criteria one, There is no maybe about it. I tagged the image accordingly. Garion96 (talk) 14:28, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
Why do you repeat your assertion that it fails criterion one while not answering my question about it? I asked: Where is the free image that could be used instead? Michael Hardy (talk) 15:04, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
The criterion does not say that there should be a free image to use right now. To quote: "Non-free content is used only where no free equivalent is available, or could be created". It really is possible that a free content photo of a document camera, or even this specific Samsun document camera, could be created. Garion96 (talk) 15:09, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Maybe a photograph of comparable quality COULD BE CREATED, but not by me.

I've sent an email to an officer of Samsung:

I found the image at and I uploaded it to Wikipedia for use in Wikipedia's article titled "document camera", which is at
I though that under copyright law, this would constitute "fair use". But it is being asserted that Wikipedia policy forbids such use on the grounds that a copyright-free image COULD BE CREATED for use in the article. That could result in a Wikipedia administrator deleting the image. (So it's possible that by the time you read this, the image will not be in the cited Wikipedia article.)
So my question is: could Samsung release this photograph or another just as good under a GNU Free Documentation License, so that it can be used in a Wikipedia article?
(I frequently work with document cameras, but I don't have a camera to photograph one with and even if I did, I think it would inevitably be a picture of quality inferior to the one whose URL I gave above.)
Thank you. -- Mike Hardy

Note: I got a reply saying I will probably get a definitive answer next week. Michael Hardy (talk) 21:18, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

  • It should be noted here that NFCC 1 doesn't exist to maintain compliance w/ copyright law, it exists to ensure that we have an incentive to continue to produce free content. Protonk (talk) 18:36, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
I'd have thought it was mainly to avoid complications. Michael Hardy (talk) 21:19, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
I'd be stunned if any part of the ten non-free content criteria were designed to avoid complication. :) Complications, I'm less sure. Most of the NFCC are much stronger than fair use requires, or even stronger than a reasonable policy would be were the intent of that policy solely to avoid legal exposure. A lot of the policy comes from the standpoint of prioritizing free content. Protonk (talk) 22:11, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Privacy of living people

There is a debate going on on the BLP discussion board, here. Some editors have the opinion that identifiable images of living people used on a page not directly associated with the subject of the image should have to give consent for use of the image on Wikipedia, even if the image was taken in a public place, is not defamatory etc. and is released under a free license. This particularly applies to minors. I oppose this suggestion. Opinions? Fences and windows (talk) 06:43, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Gallery confusion again

I notice that the section of galleries in this article fails to clearly state the difference between "using the gallery tag in an article" and "articles that consists mostly, or solely, of images". In the context of this article, it is referring to the later. However, the language is non-specific, and I've had people claim that the gallery tag breaks policy. Adding some minor clarifying text would be useful. Maury Markowitz (talk) 11:41, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure that distinction is all that relevant any more. It is clear from the lengthy discussions that lead to this new wording that it is intended to refer to all galleries. Having said that, the new wording is also much clearer than the old wording; under the new wording, a gallery tag does not "break policy", and in fact, good galleries are supported by the new wording. The old arguments over whether the policy was intended to apply to all galleries or just galleries that consist of a whole article (or most of one) are not really relevant anymore, because the new wording focuses on the substance, not the form, of the gallery.

However, we did (perhaps unintentionally) do away with the old prohibition against articles that consist mostly, or solely, of images, and that is perhaps a concept that we would want to reinsert. In making clear in the wording that galleries are acceptable, I am not sure whether we went so far as to determine that articles can consist solely of galleries. Any thoughts? --Skeezix1000 (talk) 14:27, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

No response to date. Any objection to wording such as "Articles consisting entirely or primarily of galleries are discouraged, as the Commons is intended for such collections of images." I'm trying to avoid saying that such galleries should automatically be moved to the Commons, for the reasons set out the gallery discussions above. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 19:47, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Just to clarify the improvements that are currently being made to the 'Gallery' policy, I've edited the one on Whiskered Tern, 'thinned-out' superfluous images and made the title a little more descriptive.....would welcome comments to whether this is what we are striving-for. Aviceda talk 19:42, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm with Skeezix1000 on this one, I think the idea was to ensure that the Commons was the repository, not the wiki. I love the gallery tag, personally. Let's not forget that all of this came about because of a single edit back in 2007. The problem arose because of the terminology. The policy originally referred to these sorts of page as "Photo montages". However, someone expressed concern about the term "montage" and asked if "galleries" was a better idea. Without any closure in the discussion page, the policy was changed the term to read "Photo galleries", which you can see here. And confusion reigned! Skeezix1000, I agree that the wording is better than it used to be. What worries me, however, is that the only reason anyone even talks about galleries is because of this poorly worded edit. Does anyone really object to a gallery in the midst of a lengthy article? Probably not. But I'll bet that everyone still objects to "gallery pages". Maury Markowitz (talk) 01:38, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure that I agree with you on the history, and we've had that discussion before, but I'm not sure it matters anymore because we've managed to come up with wording that everyone seems to be content with. As for objecting to a gallery in the midst of an article, I can't imagine why anyone would object to a well-crafted gallery that conveys important points about the article subject. A random collection of images of the article subject, however, would probably detract from the article, much the same way a series of poorly drafted paragraphs full of unorganized thoughts would. But these are issues best resolved in the context of individual articles, not here, as I am sure you'll agree. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 13:54, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
A surprising number of people have objected to galleries in articles, not least because they thought there was a policy against them. It used to be a regular battle at WP:FAC, though they now seem to be accepted for visual subjects like art anyway. But there a quite a few anti- lurking out there still. Johnbod (talk) 03:33, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Composite images

Hello, there is unsolved discussion about composite images for large taxa. I do believe that it is against Wikipedia:Image use policy. Thank you for your comments. For more information see:

--Snek01 (talk) 19:39, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

I would have thought that the decision whether to use a composite image, or a montage, is best left up to the editors of a specific article. I can see why it sometimes makes sense to use one in the infoboxes of articles covering very broad subject matters, such as Animal. I will, however, take a look at the discussions to which you've linked. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 19:49, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
This message is from one of the other editors involved in the discussion. We have a situation where 3 editors think the idea of composite images is basically fine in the places on WikiProject Gastropods where they have been used so far:
And until today, when it was changed: Heterobranchia
The three editors who think these images are a perfectly OK idea, are User:Invertzoo, User:JoJan (who is an admin and founder of WikiProject Gastropods) and User:Anna Frodisiak, who is the person who first created these articles and put together the images.
User:Snek01 feels we do not have a consensus about this, because he strongly objects to the composite images. However, the WP:WHATISCONSENSUS policy page states that:
It would be nice to be able to move forward on this issue rather than having to keep arguing it, as we have a major CopyVio clean-up [7] in progress on WikiProject Gastropods which needs a lot of attention from as many editors as can be spared for it.
Thank you very much for your time and effort towards resolving this discussion. Best wishes, Invertzoo (talk) 01:02, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

The question is not how many people will say "I like it" or how many people will say "I do not like it". The question is if composite images showing only variability are against Wikipedia:Image use policy. And it seems that it is against Wikipedia:Image use policy, because here is a special project for showing variability of images only, it is Wikipedia Commons. In every case mentioned above there can be unreasonable composite image easily replaced by few normal images or with a link to Wikimedia Commons as in every other wikipedia article. --Snek01 (talk) 22:25, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

I understand that you feel certain in good faith that you are correct on this, and I can see it must be frustrating that no-one else agrees with you, especially as you feel very strongly that the image guidelines support your point of view. However, your position is based on your interpretation of the Wp policy guidelines on images (which at the moment do not actually mention composite images at all, only image galleries). Other people you have talked to, including myself, have a different way of interpreting the guidelines on this question, an interpretation which appears to be the majority view.
Your objections on this topic have been stated repeatedly, and sometimes at great length, for 4 or 5 weeks now, and so far no-one else has aligned themselves with your position on this, despite your having raised the issue in several different forums. On the other hand, a small but significant group of us disagree with your position.
As I am sure you know, Pillar number 4 of the Wikipedia:Five pillars is about the Wikipedia code of conduct. Finding consensus is essential to the whole process of Wikipedia. It is against Wp policy on consensus WP:WHATISCONSENSUS to "allow a minority opinion to filibuster the process", which is what appears to be going on now with this issue. And from the same policy page: "it may become necessary to ignore someone or afford them less weight in order to move forward with what the group feels is best. Sometimes a rough consensus is enough to move forward." We do already have a rough consensus on this issue, and so you will need to yield on this point or be ignored on it.
On the other hand, if you feel that the Wikipedia policy on images needs to be more explicit on the question of composite images in taxoboxes or elsewhere, then you are welcome to try to get the policy page changed, but arguing with the other WikiProject Gastropod [8] people who disagree with you is counterproductive at this point.
Best wishes, Invertzoo (talk) 14:59, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I understand that you feel certain in good faith that you are correct on this, and I can see it must be frustrating that only 2 other ones agrees with you, especially as you feel very strongly that the image guidelines support your point of view. LOL. That is not important how many people if they say their opinion without arguments. I understand that statement of Invertzoo and I fully respect it. But there is no need another such long statement about the main wikipedia principles. I am waiting only for discussion to the point. Best wishes, --Snek01 (talk) 18:34, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Photo credit in caption?

An image uploader recently edited Armadillo World Headquarters to include his copyright notice in the image caption, claiming that it was required according to his license. That raises these specific questions that I don't see addressed anywhere:

  • Is such credit required for attribution obligation? (Provided that the attribution is already on the separate media page.)
  • If it is required, should media templates automatically include the attribution?
  • If it is not required, are such caption credits allowed or prohibited?
  • If they are allowed, is there a recommended or required format?

Danorton (talk) 19:07, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

In this particular case, the license simply requires that the image be properly attributed -- not that such attribution be in the caption. In fact, inserting "©1977 Mark Estabrook" in the caption can be misleading to someone who does not click through to the image description page, as it suggests to readers that the image is not freely licensed.

As for the other issue you have raised, credits in a caption are unnecessary and, in my opinion, detract from an article. If there is not already a policy or guideline in respect of this subject, I would support coming up with one. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 19:25, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Fortunately, there is. - Dudesleeper / Talk 22:22, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
That guideline is for situations where the picture itself is a subject of the article, not about pictures that contribute to the description of the article. —Danorton (talk) 23:43, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I think your link was one section off and you intended to refer to WP:Captions#Credits. Yes, that seems to cover it. —Danorton (talk) 23:47, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I try to include the artist's name in the filename itself when I upload pictures - this seems to give the author a sense of proper credit when using their name in the caption is not appropriate - such as "Armadillo World Headquarters by Mark Estabrook.jpg" as the file name. --Trödel 00:44, 7 April 2009 (UTC)


I'm confused about what type of creative commons can be used I'm trying to find an image for the Michael Guy Chislett article I tried an advanced search on Flickr, I know not the watermarked once but there are a couple different types in the search results what images in those can I use? I think I tried asking a quite while ago in the talk page for that article but I don't think anyone checks it or at least that would know what would work Musicobsessed6 (talk) 00:58, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't believe that there is a general answer to your question. You provided a link to a list of over 100 images, so I wouldn't expect an answer. Was there a specific image that you had a question about? Is there something specific in the Image use policy article that's not clear? —Danorton (talk) 04:59, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
oh I am so sorry I didn't realize there were so many. what I am confused about is the creative commons with the some rights reserved which one's make it unusable on here? here are three possible pics that came up in the advanced search with the creative commons box checked (I didn't know about the sub-boxes for that) [9] (these next to have less under that rights reserved and may be more usable here but the first is better of his face) [10] [11] Musicobsessed6 (talk) 18:50, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Those images would not be allowed on Wikipedia or Commons. As this talk page is for discussions on how to improve the Image use policy article, unless you have questions specific to this article, I recommend you follow up at the Wikipedia help desk. —Danorton (talk) 16:46, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
okay thanks, I do think the article needs to be more clear about what kinds of Creative Commons licenses need to be there to be useable on here I think it is to vague. I'll just keep the article as it has been or maybe I look through my photos again but he was on the other side of the stage so I don't think there are well it'd be obvious I cropped myself out of the really good one jk I'd never use that one or even think of it Musicobsessed6 (talk) 22:10, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Missing content discussion

The Content section says: "Please discuss the contents of images used on Wikipedia on the talk page (Wikipedia talk:Image use policy#Content)". But there is no section titled Content on this talk page.

I was interested to know the policy on morphed obscene images. Should they be speedy deleted? Jay (talk) 09:48, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Alternative text

I'm not sure that "Add a good alternative text for images" should be a rule of thumb until this system has more publicity and the rule is generally understood and endorsed. I cannot get more than a line of alternative text to show, and I think all users should be able to see the alternative text. Thoughts, anyone? qp10qp (talk) 17:29, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Guidance required

I came across these two galleries. IMHO both galleries are too large and the photos in each are not varied enough to illustrate the subject of their respective articles. I think that both galleries could do with heavy trimming.

Many the images in the first gallery show random scenery or trees, without any context to show their connection with the subject. For example: a view over a town, and a mountainside, both of which could be in the USA if the filenames didn't suggest otherwise, and images of trees that could be in woods or parks pretty much anywhere in the world.

Many the images in the second gallery show large family groups with all the people quite far from the camera. Would some editing of the images to remove some of the exteraneous background clutter be appropriate? Also, is using photographs of children appropriate in this case?

Thanks. Astronaut (talk) 18:08, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

The first gallery, in the Poonch District article, is terrible. It is precisely the type of gallery that WP:IG seeks to avoid. Even if it were cleaned up, with proper captions added to the images, I'm not sure it would meet the WP:IG threshold, because it would really still just be a collection of photos of random sights in Poonch. I'm not sure the article subject really lends itself to a gallery the way that some subjects really do (although I could be convinced otherwise). My advice would be to make sure there is a Poonch district category at the Commons, make sure that all the images in this gallery are in that category, and then replace this gallery with the {{Commonscat}} template.

As for the gallery in the Sudhun, it verges on inappropriate. It is really just an excuse for persons of Sudhun heritage to insert family snapshots in Wikipedia. In my own opinion, I would delete the gallery and I wouldn't even transfer the images to Commons because I believe they are outside the scope of that project (See Commons:Project scope). --Skeezix1000 (talk) 20:56, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

I trimmed off half of images in the first gallery, but the second one is....beyond "terrible". But I can not find better image for the subject.--Caspian blue 21:32, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

Image galleries

This really is not applicable to short or stub articles on architectural subjects, where as the saying goes "a picture is worth a 1000 words." In such articles it is difficult to intersperse the images in the text. I doubt that most readers will bother to go the commons. clariosophic (talk) 18:55, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Stubs and short articles are subject to the same policies and guidelines as longer articles. There is nothing inherently wrong with a gallery in a stub or short article, as long as it meets the intent of WP:IG (it should be carefully crafted, and not just a vehicle to shoehorn images into an article). Many readers do go to the Commons, and in a stub article the Commons link would be even more prominent. BTW, "a picture is worth a 1000 words" is a very weak rationale for having an image gallery -- we don't accept that kind of thinking for prose ("the more words the better"), but rather we work to improve the text to ensure that it clearly conveys information. The same approach should be applied to image selection. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 22:10, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

File:Man Utd FC .svg


Is it really appropriate for this logo to be in SVG format? The SVG format means that this logo could be resized and used for commercial purposes, making it completely inappropriate for it to be hosted on Wikipedia's servers. I therefore question the 7th rule of thumb that says that SVG format should be used for logos, and I argue that this is completely contrary to Fair Use policy. – PeeJay 20:18, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes it is appropriate. Just because it is an SVG it doesn't mean it can be used for commercial purposes. That's what the fair-use rational is for. No one has the right to reproduce or modify the image whether or not it is an SVG. Yeah, it is resizable which is a good thing, but that doesn't mean it will be used for commercial purposes. ZooFari 20:34, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
I am not 100% sure what Wikipedia policy is on svg's. As far as I can tell the policy only relates to using low res versions of images. A vector format doesn't have a resolution, it is neither high nor low res until it is rendered. So as long as it is not rendered in a high res format then it should comply with that policy. In the real world resolution is of no consequence when claiming fair use. It is all about how you are using the image. Paul  Bradbury 20:47, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia requires that non-free images must be of low resolution. No matter what spin you put on it, no SVG image can possibly be described as being low resolution. ɹəəpıɔnı 20:53, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't think I put any 'spin' on it. A simple statement of fact, an svg (or any other vector format) has no resolution, making it not a low or a high resolution image. However it also seems to be a policy that is not based on any actual sense. Maybe this is the wrong place to debate that, if so please let me know where is. If it is (which it seems to be), then the issue to me is simple, resolution has no bearing on fair use, what is the rational behind it being part of the policy. I don't see why we can't WP:IGNORE Paul  Bradbury 21:01, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
They can't be described as high resolution either, an SVG is composed of codes. Take this for example. It is rendered in small dimensions on purpose per the logo policy. Once again, there is no right, by law, for a fair-use image to be used for any purpose, and same goes for an SVG. ZooFari 21:05, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Nevertheless, it is possible for anyone to download the raw SVG from Wikipedia's servers and use it for a commercial purpose. This is a clear breach of copyright/Fair Use/trademarks/whatever, and therefore Wikipedia should not be hosting SVG versions of copyrighted logos. – PeeJay 23:55, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
@Paul & ZooFari, while SVGs technically have no-resolution, if one were to apply the idea of resolutions to SVGs, one could say they have infinite resolution, which is quite high and NOT low.
The main issue I think is to think realistically about the purpose of the "low resolution" restriction in policy - i.e. when someone wrote that policy, what was their motivation in specifying that, what did they intend. If they were participating in this discussion what would their own interpretation of their own wording be. They would most certainly consider SVGs high resolution image.
The Disney image you link shows a misunderstanding of the concept of resolution - whoever wrote the fair use rationale for it stated that it is of low-resolution, which it clearly can't possibly be. That image should be deleted.
As for suggesting WP:IGNORE, I personally love that rule but good luck convincing anyone that any of Wikipedia's policies on copyrights should be ignored. It's a matter of law, and therefore one that should be handled in the most serious and strict manner, for obvious reasons. ɹəəpıɔnı 03:48, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
As one of the people who advocated for the policy of "low resolution", I can tell you why I was in favor of it: to prevent Wikipedia from becoming a repository of high-resolution album covers that could be applied to pirated albums. For line art such as you find on logos, resolution doesn't matter: you can usually find high-resolution logos on the company's website under "promotional material", and even if you can't, a good adaptive scaler can make the lineart any size you want without pixelation. --Carnildo (talk) 04:56, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I always found the policy requiring low resolution images to be fairly odd from a company's point of view - where one would imagine any company would prefer not to have the quality of their logo degraded, and for it to be represented clearly. However, I assumed it was there for a reason - I have no law qualifications myself so I tend to leave such things up to those who do and follow them.
If this album cover thing genuinely is the only reason behind this, it should really be stated so in some way in policy (either a special stated exclusion for logos, or a special stated inclusion for images likely to be used in the production of pirated material for sale). Either way, assuming this is the case, then all logos should be converted to SVG, but it does need to be written clearly SOMEWHERE in order to preclude further debates such as this. ɹəəpıɔnı 05:37, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Carnildo, that's not the point. Wikipedia shouldn't be making it easier for these counterfeiters by providing them with pre-made easily resizeable logos. – PeeJay 10:47, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually PeeJay, that is the point, Wikipedia is not here to help or hinder pirates, that is the job of the authorities, resolution has no basis in law (I deal with image licensing on a daily basis as part of my job so I am reasonably confident about this). Resolution has far more to do with the medium it is used in than anything else. The point is whether it is fair use or not. In the case of logos on Wikipedia and sepcifically logos used in football articles, it is within the bounds of the fair use law. The policy is arguably wrong (or is being interpreted in such a way). The reason I suggested WP:IGNORE is beacuase this is not a legal issue but one of internal Wikipedia discussion. Paul  Bradbury 20:25, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
My point is that for logos, size is irrelevant: a good image-editing program can make these logo images any size the user wants, regardless of if it's a bitmap or a SVG. --Carnildo (talk) 22:18, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Carnildo, either you've never edited any kind of image, or you don't understand what an SVG is. SVGs can be resized to ANY size, no matter how large without losing a pick of quality. They will look absolutely perfect no matter how much you resize them up or down. "Any good image-editing" most certainly can NOT do that with any raster logo. ɹəəpıɔnı 15:35, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I know exactly what an SVG is. I also know what a good adaptive scaler can do: here's the Manchester United logo, saved at 200px and resized to 1000px. It's a little soft at the tops and bottoms of the curves, but that's because I'm still getting the hang of the software. --Carnildo (talk) 05:45, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Paul Bradbury. — Walloon (talk) 22:09, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
For non-copyrighted logos [08:50, 7 July 2009 (UTC) edit: yeesh, did I write that? Struck the incorrect part.], just export a 100,000 pixel-size (height x width) PNG of the SVG, and delete the SVG. That would solve plenty of issues. Jappalang (talk) 05:54, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Are you aware that there are thousands of SVGified logo out there? It is insane to delete all of them just like that Arteyu ? Blame it on me ! 07:40, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
There are thousands of copyrighted images that are unlikely to qualify for fair use as well, but that is not stopping anyone willing to hunker down and do the job. Unfortunately such tasks tend to wear down the executors... Nonetheless, what is the issue with exporting a PNG of appropriate resolution and deleting the SVG (aside from the magnitude of the task)? Jappalang (talk) 08:50, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
File size for one, svg is an appropriate medium for this type of an image, a large png as suggested above would be much bigger, which not only has storage inmplications but also download implications, even when rendered as a thumbnail it will still need to be downloaded in its entirety. Paul  Bradbury 09:14, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
SVG size is dependent on the number of nodes; a high fidelity SVG would be of large size. A PNG is dependant on display size and colours, but can be optimised (compacted). Using this MU logo, the 305 × 309 SVG is 36kB, but an unoptimised 296 x 300 PNG is 50kB. Using pngcrush, the optimised PNG is 35kB. I fail to see filesize as a factor to advocate for SVGs. Jappalang (talk) 09:36, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Well SVG size is really dependent on a huge number of factors, not only the number of nodes. Also, your example comparison uses an optimised PNG against an unoptimised SVG. Given the age of the respective technologies (and their relative levels of adoption), the optimisation tools available for SVG are quite immature as of yet, but I still got a 24kb file running that MU logo through Scour. And looking at the source of the output, Scour didn't even remove or modify any of the countless inefficient matrix transforms that are adding quite a lot to the filesize - it could be reduced a lot more.
That is all quite beside the point though as I don't think issues of hard disk space override Wikipedia's copyright policies. As Jimbo said: "Hard disks are cheap". ɹəəpıɔnı 16:27, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I don't think it is appropriate for us to hamper ourselves unnecessarily and generate work this way. We render the logos at appropriately-small sizes, complying with fair use. What other people may or may not do with the images isn't up to us. If a user wants to violate copyright using Wikipedia, there are many other possible ways of doing so (not least copying and pasting an article to another site without attribution or license). Stifle (talk) 08:15, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
    • I believe the concern is with the storage of the "infinite-resolution" logos (SVG). If we go with the argument of "rendering the logos at appropriately-small sizes" is okay, would not the same apply to rendering high-definition raster images at appropriately small sizes (thumb and forced sizes)? Jappalang (talk) 08:50, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Again, resolution is not a legal issue and has nothing to do with fair use. Also as mentioned above there are many more issues to consider when storing high resolution raster images (such as pngs) vs storing vector images. Paul  Bradbury 09:14, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Policy for a long time has been that SVGs are fine, but don't include any more details than are needed for rendering at low-fi screen resolution.

Looking at eg the recent discussion at WT:NFC, that was accepted as a given. The concern in that discussion was people creating (badly) their own SVGs, which were not quite true to the original; and that that should be discouraged.

But the "can we or can't we?" discussion about fair-use SVGs is I believe long settled. In some respects it's like the Betamax decision. So long as the SVG contains no more than we need for our acceptable fair use, it's okay (despite other uses the file may be put to). A high-resolution raster image does not pass that test; but an indeterminate-resolution SVG may. However, SVGs should not be created with finer detail than we can show onscreen (unless the detail is from an "official" vector image made available by the mark holder, which then we shouldn't mess about with). Jheald (talk) 10:51, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

WP:NFCC is deliberately stricter than fair use. All this stuff about "SVGs are violating fair use because fair use doesn't mention resolution" is missing the point; our image policies are tougher than fair use and that means that these SVGs are in obvious violation of the mandate that nonfree images be as low-resolution as possible (without misrepresenting the item, so you don't have to worry about logos or any other kinds of images being crushed to such a size as to be unusable.) The SVGs have to be converted to raster and deleted; simple as that. Unless you want to try and trash the NFC policy. Frankly, some of the comments above are misinformed and ignorant about copyright violations. I suggest reading our policies and this as a general primer. --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 13:09, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Jheald said: "Policy for a long time has been that SVGs are fine"
No it has not been policy. SVGs are not mentioned in policy, which is the precise reason for the confusion/disagreement that lead to the discussion, and also the reason so many SVGs of non-free images have been produced. Just because past absence of specific clear well-defined policy on vector graphics has lead to a huge number of these, it is not an argument in itself not to remove each and every one of them. It would not be a huge task as quite a few of them will have non-free templates on them so finding them would be easily automatable. Certainly an easier task than removing all the (many, many) non-free rasters without fair use rationale. ɹəəpıɔnı 16:36, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, maybe "policy" wasn't the word. But there has certainly been standing consensus on this, the result of several rounds of discussions (for example most recently at WT:NFC here and here). That consensus is evidenced for example in the existence of Category:Fairuse images that should be in SVG format, and the guidance presented there. This has been discussed several times, people have made the arguments you're making before, others have rejected them, and the consensus has been as I indicated above.
If you look at the policy contours of WP:NFCC, you will find that the way in which it is "deliberately stricter than fair use" is that it draws the line not at what fair use is legally allowed for Wikipedia, but instead at what would be allowed for a commercial for-profit reuser of our content in the United States recycling the content of our articles verbatim -- i.e. for someone using the content who (unlike Wikipedia) couldn't claim they were non-profit, nor an educational charity. Content must be legally okay for them to use. An SVG logo in the context of one of our articles, so long as it does not include unnecessarily fine detail for the purpose, passes that test. Jheald (talk) 18:01, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Frankly I don't much trust consensus of those discussions, because the number of people who don't understand our content policies is staggering. WP:NFCC does draw a tighter circle than fair use allowed onwiki because it requires all ten of the criteria be filled, including low resolution. How exactly does an SVG that can be scaled to unlimited size meet the low resolution requirement? --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 18:37, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
The discussion at WT:NFC tends to be the most informed about copyright and fair use on all Wikipedia. It's where the policy gets made (and got written in the first place). And it tends to be a key hangout of the copyright hard-liners on WP. So discussion there is likely to be as on target as you will find anywhere. In this case it included at least one U.S. career copyright lawyer. So I suggest you read it, to see why it came to the view it did.
It's true that a scaled-up SVG won't include "jaggies". But it also won't include any high-resolution detail (if this was not included in the file). So for that reason such a low-detail SVG is considered to qualify as including no more than needed to achieve the purpose claimed (the effective requirement both at WP and per U.S. law).
Ultimately, WP:NFCC is there for a purpose: to keep WP and its verbatim downstream reusers legal. These SVG logos, so long as they do not contain excessive detail, are considered by our U.S. copyright experts to be legally okay. Jheald (talk) 19:24, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I went through the WT:NFC archives and found not a single thread where SVG was intelligently discussed to a consensus.[12][13][14] In particular, there's the assertion that since there's no more info in a SVG rendered at 200px or 2000px, it's somehow not falling afoul of NFCC, which seems pretty foolish, considering any person could make greater use of a high-resolution image over a low one. There's so much doublethink and repetition of "it's as finite resolution as PNGs are" that my head is spinning. Where are these fabled copyright experts? --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 19:37, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Now, I don't know how relevant this is (and I'm really not a habitual conspiracy theorist!), but there may be another issue at stake here. SVG is a free, open W3C standard (i.e. nobody makes any money from its increasingly widespread use in general). It is also a direct competitor for some big brands owned by even bigger companies. Search Adobe Flash, Silverlight and Vector Markup Language for 'SVG' to see some of our coverage of that. Now, as I have described here (on a different topic), we know that some people claim to have been offered, and so by now some others possibly receive, pay from such large corporations to try to maintain a commercial bias in WP. Wikipedia is probably the largest single repository of publicly available SVG images on the web (I don't have a figure for that, but I think it's likely). It is certain that some companies would like to see SVG die and be replaced by their privately-owned, commercial alternatives. So, we must be careful: some contributors who just want to see SVG images deleted, replaced by PNGs, or never created in the first place, just may have a motivation closer to strangulation of the format than to the benefit of Wikipedia and its users. --Nigelj (talk) 20:20, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

I've just found out - the practice is called astroturfing and it's cropping up everywhere, apparently. --Nigelj (talk) 21:11, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Arteyu requested I chime in, so here I am. Wikipedia appears to have two conflicting policies:

  • Non-free images should be low-resolution.
  • Logos should be in SVG format.
I'd say the latter, which is more specialized, should take precedence here. Having said this, my vote on this is keep. I also say there needs to be a clarification of the policy around here. Bob the Wikipedian (talkcontribs) 15:58, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I would like to make an comparison. Which of these two images has the highest resolution? File:10px black.png or File:100px black.png AzaToth 17:19, 8 July 2009 (UTC) What I want to point out, is that it's not the resolution that is the essence, but the amount of information which can be extracted from the image/svg; The "resolution" clause is only applicable to bit mapped images, and cannot in most circumstances be applied to an SVG. AzaToth 17:23, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Resolution refers to the number of pixels per square inch. The former has less than the latter example linked. You're absolutely right that for many SVGs, the 200px and the 500px sizes aren't going to have any more detail, but they are still rendered at a higher resolution. The latter would still be more useful for illegal purposes than the smaller resolution. --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 17:29, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
The policy you're trying to argue for, User:David Fuchs, was either written in the days when SVG didn't exist (pre-1999, but did WP write its policies way back then? Maybe, actually, because we can't seem to find out how to contact or interest any real policy-writers here in this discussion!), or by somebody who was unaware of any of the technicalities. One can only assume that 'resolution' was mentioned in the policy as a poor substitute for 'information' in the sense defined by Information theory. In this sense, the two images above contain the same amount of information, and that is the point. 'Reduced detail' may serve the purpose, but only if the original image had areas of fine detail, unlike most commercial logos. --Nigelj (talk) 21:26, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia wasn't around in 1999, and the explicit mandate to use low-resolution has been around since 2005. Why are we trying to throw bizarre rationalizations into what 'resolution' means? A higher-resolution image is always going to be more desireable for illicit uses. SVGs can be used to easily produce high-resolution images. NFCC specifies low resolution and fidelity wherever possible. SVGs can be converted to raster PNGs, thus a lower resolution. I honestly have no clue how you can think that the people who crafted the image policy had no idea what they were writing, or meant something besides the common definition of resolution when they put 'resolution'. The arguments keep getting increasingly bizarre (although the above doesn't top your insinuation that we're all anti-SVG cabalists. Surprise: we're not. ) --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 03:14, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

I was asked to join this discussion. My take on this is this: why is it such a big deal to have logos in SVG. I have made several SVG logos, mainly that have been requested. But why does it have to be in SVG? Why not just have the nice SVG logo converted to PNG at a high enough resolution for it to look good, but not so big that it can be reproduced a high resolution? There is no reason to have an SVG logo that has to stay in a low resolution on an article's page when it would look the exact same as a PNG. --Pbroks13talk? 18:01, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Move request

We need to have a concrete consensus out of this, please do invite some copyright & SVG experts to join this discussion. I simply don't want this matter to reoccur in the near future. And I also need somebody's help to move the above discussion and this to Wikipedia:Copyrights or to Wikipedia:SVG Help or wherever you think is appropriate. Thanks Arteyu ? Blame it on me ! 18:20, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I think probably the place to do this is at WP:MCQ or WT:NFC. Contributors there are used to dealing with issues of non-free image use. I'd incline towards the latter myself, but if you don't get a good answer there, I know there are several active image admins who hang out WP:MCQ. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 18:59, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Can someone move this discussion to WT:NFC? I need it to be moved ASAP. Arteyu ? Blame it on me ! 20:56, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

This subject is not altogether new to WT:NFC... Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/Archive 41#Is it time to explicitly address SVG images?. I suspect it might suffer the same fate of non-global (project wide) participation. Jappalang (talk) 05:48, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I know, that's why we have to solve it as soon as possible. I don't want this discussion to be repeated again in the future Arteyu ? Blame it on me ! 07:40, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Would a RFC (with notifications across the copyrights, graphics, and NFC boards) be a good idea? Jappalang (talk) 08:50, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
At this point I figure it's the best idea, at least to get all the disparate boards et al on the same page and talking about the same issue. --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 16:45, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I take if from the dwindling interest in this debate, the lack of any suggested forum to move it to, and the fact that the same point seems to be debated at least annually with never a decision or conclusion (see this, for example), that there's no point in continuing this discussion. Is that right, or is the fruitful debate going on elsewhere? --Nigelj (talk) 21:15, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that there's never been a fruitful, wide open debate. --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 22:16, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
My interest is still here, however, so far it has not been a discussion, happy to continue it, but as far as I see it at the moment, most people seem to think svg is OK, some (more vocal) users seem to think it is not. My underlying issue is that this policy is not based in law, I don't agree with it and so far, most of the response against it has been 'it's policy so you must follow it' without any actual backup or rationale as to why we should other than it's policy and maybe someone may misuse it. Most of the problem seems to revolve around resolution and most of the arguments seem to fundamentaly misunderstand copyright and fair use law. I think it needs to be discussed, but no one seems to know where or who. I am not going to drive this since as far as I am concerned no-one has presented a reson why WP:IGNORE shouldn't apply. However I will participate if we have a sensible discussion about the facts and issues. Paul  Bradbury 22:45, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
←You know a discussion has reached rock bottom when someone brings out the WP:IAR card... when I have an opportunity, I'll probably draft an RfC. --Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 00:30, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

And for the time being, should I put back these SVGs files (File:Man Utd FC .svg & File:Luton Town.svg to their respective pages? Or should we stick to the PNGs ? Arteyu ? Blame it on me ! 03:21, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes, put them back. Until there is a policy, graphics should continue as before. ZooFari 04:03, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I've reverted the logos back to SVG Arteyu ? Blame it on me ! 05:07, 10 July 2009 (UTC)


I’ve added a note about montages in the gallery section (WP:IG), as that seems tho most relevant section, in this edit. I believe that it reflects common practice and consensus, but of course feel free to correct if it is mistaken.

—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 13:43, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I removed the text you added. The section on image galleries was the result of a lengthy consensus process, so any significant additions to the policy should be similarly discussed on the talk page first. I'm not sure that I have any issue with your proposed language, but I also know that the use of montages has been controversial in some articles (Toronto comes to mind), so I am not sure that the proposed text necessarily represents common practice and consensus. I'm also not sure that we need to insert an actual montage link into the article -- a link would have sufficed, I believe. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 15:38, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Images where it's not obvious its of the article-subject

Gmacnroll (talk · contribs) has uploaded some images of people to Commons where it's not obvious it's actually of the person claimed. Is there a guideline/policy in regards to this? All of his images is supposedly a younger version of the subjects, see his contribs for details. Thanks, --aktsu (t / c) 23:40, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Not that I can think of as such, it would be far to subjective I suspect, someone could alays argue that it's not obvious to them that an image actualy show what the uploader claim it does... If you think the images are "bad" enough that they should be deleted you'll have to nominate them on Commons since that's where the images are. You can also naturaly remove them from any article they are used in if you feel they don't fit in or if need be discuss it on those articles talk pages if others don't agree. --Sherool (talk) 00:42, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Plos journals: use of its article images

Could I please have an opinion clarifying whether images taken from papers in Public Library of Science journals can be uploaded and used in wikipedia articles?

It has

"open access content"; all content is published under the Creative Commons "attribution" license (Lawrence Lessig, of Creative Commons, is also a member of the Advisory Board). The project states (quoting the Budapest Open Access Initiative) that: "The only constraint on reproduction and distribution, and the only role for copyright in this domain, should be to give authors control over the integrity of their work and the right to be properly acknowledged and cited." (from the wikipedia article)

This suggests it would OK. However I cannot find images that originate from this source which may suggest problems. If it is acceptable then it should be widely known since many science articles cannot use appropriate images for illustrating concepts and phenomena because of journal copyright.--LittleHow (talk) 17:13, 2 August 2009 (UTC)

It's clearly OK, and it's been done multiple times. See File:Opening a window to the autistic brain.jpg for an example. Eubulides (talk) 01:28, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Treatment of audio files

There is currently a rather major problem with people using various templates for audio files that link directly to the file itself, bypassing the licensing information. I've started a thread over at Template talk:pronounced#This needs immidate fixing to get a discussion going. {{pronounced}} is a widely templates with numerour language-specific variants that effectively removes licensing information by linking straight to the audio files. I don't believe that such templates would ever be allowed for images, but for audio files, there seems to be a general lack of appreciation for this. Since there's no real difference between visual and audio media, I believe it would be a good idea to include audio file under the same policy as images. It would bring attention about the importance of treating audio as any other type of media and I think it would lead to simpler guidelines for the use of various types of media.

Peter Isotalo 12:19, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

GFDL-only uploads

The GNU Free Documentation License broke new ground when it was first published in 2000. It was the first copyleft license intended to apply specifically to documentation and images, rather than computer programs etc., and was appropriately the primary license of Wikipedia until a few months ago.

However, the GFDL is terrible for images, and even worse again for audio files. It requires that reusers of the content, and those making derivative works from it, reproduce the license in full, all 3600+ words of it. Legally speaking, the license would need to be read out in full at the end of a ten-second excerpt from a GFDLed audio file, and it would need to be printed in full next to any image reused.

As such, as a license for media, the GFDL is less free than even CC-BY-NC-SA, in my opinion, as most reasonable commercial uses complying with the conditions would be impossible.

I therefore propose that all GFDL-only uploads, as of a to-be-determined commencement date, be considered candidates for speedy deletion. There would be an exception for images from Commons which are temporarily uploaded here so that they can be featured on the main page or protected.

To pre-empt some questions:

Why disallow GFDL-1.3 uploads when they can be relicensed to CC-BY-SA?

  • If a work has been previously published before being uploaded here under GFDL-1.3, then it can only be relicensed if it was added to a wiki (strictly, Massively Multiauthor Collaboration Site) prior to 2008-11-01. As this rule would be forward-looking only, it would not apply to such images.
  • If a work has not been previously published, then releasing under the GFDL and adding to a wiki automatically releases the work under CC-BY-SA-3.0 also, so the author can just release under CC-BY-SA-3.0 to begin with.
  • This would also make the rule substantially simpler — rather than messing around with version numbers, there is a bright-line rule.

But Commons still allows GFDL-only uploads!

  • That a decision for Commons to make by itself.

The GFDL is still a free license, what has changed?

  • Wikipedia is a project which aims to be free for all uses.
  • As per above, the GFDL is very close to non-free for images and audio files.
  • We now have plenty of alternatives, including CC licenses, the Free Art License, etc., for images, which are infinitely better than the GFDL.

Please don't rush into voting. I will be advertising this discussion anywhere relevant that I can find; please feel free to advertise it also. Stifle (talk) 10:48, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Comments From the top of my head, isn't the cut-off date for GFDL 1.2+ content 2008-11-01 per GFDL 1.3?
Re "messing around with version numbers", if I'm not mistaken, before switching to dual licensing we licensed under GFDL 1.2 or newer, which means the only content under scrutiny would be GFDL-only added between 2008-11-01 and 2009-06-16? MLauba (talk) 10:59, 28 August 2009 (UTC) irrelevance stricken to avoid mixing issues MLauba (talk) 15:05, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
This relates strictly to images; dual-licensing relates only to text, so what you say isn't altogether relevant. As things stand people can upload images as GFDL only.
You are right about the 2008-11-01; I've changed that above (was previously 2008-01-01). Stifle (talk) 14:43, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
I know this was "answered" above, but seeing as Commons allow GFDL only images (for the time being at least), would it not be better to just "speedily move" such images to Commons (with a bot maybe) instead of simply deleting them? I guess the idea is to "force" unloaders to pick a more "re use friendly" license combination, but I dunno. Seems a tad wasteful and confusing for newcomers to speedy delete such images if we could just have directed the unloader to Commons instead... Have Commons made up it's mind on this or is the issue under debate? Seems to me it would be more useful to join the debate on Commons and lobby for the disallowing of GFDL only there first. I agree that GFDL only should be depreciated, but if it's allowed on Commons might get "messy" to say that the same images must be deleted on sight if uploaded localy... --Sherool (talk) 15:50, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
The discussion on Commons got stalled about what to do about similar licenses. For example, images uploaded under the GPL, Sleepycat, or other licenses not intended for images. Whatever we decide to do, it should probably address those licenses as well. Kaldari (talk) 21:30, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
I understand Commons has not reached a decision on this; whether it will or not is moot in my opinion. Stifle (talk) 15:59, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Do you have a number or good estimate of how many images are involved? The prevalence is very relevant to the process we should adopt and any date to be picked.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 21:45, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
There are no images "involved" — the proposal is that the date will be after "the day that this proposal has consensus to pass". Older images will be grandfathered, at least for the time being. Stifle (talk) 15:57, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't see a point in this rule - if Commons accepts an image, then there is nothing stopping it from being used in an article (or, at least, trying to police it would be unworkable). Also, as was hinted at above, there are a gracious many "free content" licenses that we accept - picking and choosing doesn't make a lot of sense. I'm rather loathe to publish any photos under a CC license and if GFDL is banned, I will probably be inclined to not contribute photos at all or to use some other made up license (eg, "Copyright 2009, User B, All rights reserved. Redistribution in an original or modified form is permitted so long as this notice is retained.") --B (talk) 05:00, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
I would much prefer you to use that made-up license than require downstream users to reproduce 3600 words with any reuse. Commons is drifting away from GFDL, although very slowly. Stifle (talk) 11:13, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't see any reason for our policy not to exactly match Commons in terms of what "free" licenses we will accept. The only place a distinction seems important is that under some circumstances, we will use something that is PD in the US but not in the home country, whereas Commons will not, but even that is disputed. I don't even see a really good reason to allow local uploads of free images except that it lets us catch and deal with copyvios more easily. --B (talk) 01:31, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Must sign over your rights

I would upload some excellent pictures from the North Shore I took on my vacation and place them in the relevant articles (which are currently image deprived) but I DON'T WANT TO CCASL AND GFDL MY IMAGES. I wanted to give specific permission to Wikipedia for the, but retain comercial rights to the image. Your requirements prevent this. Therefore YOU DON'T GET ACCESS TO EXCELLENT IMAGES.

I'm sure I'm not the only person.

Yet another spot where the administration of wikipedia has their collective head up their posterior. Yet another reason that every time I consider becoming an active editor again (yes I have a log in, just not using it) I end up saying "Still the same crappy idiocracy" and not editing.

FIX THIS PROBLEM! (talk) 23:11, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

No. THING IN MY WAY BAD! ME NOT LIKE. ME SMASH! The only "problem" here is that you want to do something we don't allow, so without actually bothering to understand the reason we cannot, within the purpose of our goals, have such images, you simply declare it asinine. It is not a reasonable or thoughtful approach. We cannot accept such images because free redistribution is one of our core policies as a free encyclopedia. It's never going to happen, and we don't want your images if you are not willing to provide them in a manner that fits our mandate.-- (talk) 00:46, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
@164.115 What a typically Wikipedia arrogant way to respond.
@226.113 The Wikipedia policy is not likely to change because it is an important value for us that the information and knowledge stored in Wikipedia be freely available to all - including commercial organizations which may gather the information and redistribute it in a way that adds value (and for which they may charge).
One possible solution would be to include images that would add value to the article but be of such a low resolution that the commercial rights could be maintained by you (say a 1024 x 768 image resolution which would be plenty good for website use but not for print publications). --Trödel 03:34, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
That's fine for print, but the future of commercial use is probably digital. There's also a valid point here for which the foundation has no answer.
The simple answer is CC-BY-SA licensing requires that attribution is always given, and re-use must be under the same terms as those uploaded wikipedia, ie people must be as free to reuse that content as they are ours. This should mean most truly commercial outfits, concerned as they always are to protect their proprietary rights, would need to negotiate a standard license to secure exclusive use of their content, not just yours. It should also mean that most quasi-commercial re-users (blogs and the like) are still providing you with free publicity (attribution) in return for that usage. Finally, the usage of your images here at wikipedia is often extremely good PR, being the 8th most popular site on the net at any given time. It all makes good sense if and only if the terms of the CC license is clear, heavily publicised and well-understood, especially on WIkiMedia websites. The problem is, it isn't understood at all well. Not only do many re-users not understand those terms (and therefore frequently abuse them) but content providers like 162.115 don't get it either, and refuse to supply that content.
That's the way I see it anyway. It's the way I saw it 3 years ago when I first started editing here and it basically hasn't changed in that time. We still get very mediocre image content (in general and compared to standards elsewhere, even Flickr etc) and it'll continue to be this way until the foundation get their fingers out and do something about it. --mikaultalk 07:17, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Wikimedia Commons requires a license, but it is nonexclusive and it is not a transfer of copyright. The copyright holder remains free to license or sell the photo or a derivative elsewhere, under other terms. I have done this myself. The buyer should be made aware of the existence of the photo and its license on Wikimedia Commons; for some buyers this can be a deal-killer, but for others this can actually enhance the value of whatever it is you have to sell. --Una Smith (talk) 19:21, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Privacy rights and model release

Now that I've found and restored the old privacy rights section, I have a question about practical implementation, based on an issue raised at WT:MED (it's part of the Rorschach test scandal, in which several psychologists are picking at every tiny thing done or said by one of the editors who dared to provide complete information about this rather old test):

How exactly do we record the existence of consent by an identifiable subject? Is there a form? A parameter in the template? Does the subject need to go through OTRS or something like that to verify consent? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:20, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

An email from the subject of the image, forwarded to (with a covering note and a link to the file) will be enough to set the OTRS wheels in motion. --mikaultalk 22:01, 22 September 2009 (UTC)


Hi, I just saw that watermarks are only not allowed for user created images, but not for images from third parties. From what I have seen, user created images that have water marks are likely to come from their day job and be licensed by their employer (or self if self-employed) under a CC type license. Are watermarks allowable if you first create a shell company to license the image? PDBailey (talk) 22:36, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure that watermarks are appropriate in any circumstances, except in very few cases (e.g. an non-watermarked image would be impossible to obtain). --Skeezix1000 (talk) 18:07, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Right, but this page suggests that non-watermarked images that are from a company are just fine. I guess I was asking this, should that be changed. PDBailey (talk) 20:52, 18 August 2009 (UTC)
Are you saying that because the reference to watermarking speaks about user-created images? --Skeezix1000 (talk) 20:50, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Proposed Change

I propose requiring no watermarks or other text (similarly to user contributed images) regardless of the source of the image. PDBailey (talk) 17:37, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

  • If you mean that you want to change the policy to state that images with watermarks are not allowed, then I'm behind that. I suspect (but can't prove) that this was the original intent of the policy. Protonk (talk) 20:57, 21 August 2009 (UTC)
The current text reads under "3.1 User-created images"

Also, user-created images should not be watermarked, distorted, have any credits in the image itself or anything else that would hamper their free use, unless, of course, the image is intended to demonstrate watermarking, distortion etc. and is used in the related article. All photo credit should be in a summary on the image description page. These may be tagged {{Watermark}}.

This text appears to me to be specific to user created images. There is no similar text under 3.2 Free licenses, nor 3.3 Public domain. Presumably for fair use we are already in a pickle and can't afford to quibble about the likes of watermarks. PDBailey (talk) 02:12, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
How about we replace "user-created" with "free"? That would solve the problem and still allow for non-free watermarked images (As the NFCC would allow, of course). Protonk (talk) 02:23, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. PDBailey (talk) 16:13, 22 August 2009 (UTC)
I completely support the change that was made -- to me, it's common sense. However, I think the policy is now in the wrong place in the document, as it still under the "User-created images" subheading - given that subheading, the text could arguably still be interpreted as being limited in its scope. Perhaps move the paragraph to the Content section, or something like that, with a new "Watermarks and captions" subheading. Just a thought. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 17:22, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
That thought occurred to me, but your solution did not. Having seen the light, I moved it. Thanks! PDBailey (talk) 19:25, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
In many cases we can slice off the text and still get a usable picture, so should is a good idea, but must may exclude some contributions, such as when the data stamp appears on pictures. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:57, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Typeface screenshot

Is it ok to take a screenshot of a typeface to place it here in wikipedia on an article or list in which such image is absent? - Damërung . -- 01:50, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

For fair use this would be fine if it was an article about the type face. There was spacial copyright law applicable to texts in a font, which I think is that the font copyright does not apply to something that uses that font, so you may be OK to have some free text written in your special typeface. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 07:03, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Diplayed image size

This section is now not entirely consistent with the WP:MOS#Images. After a lengthy discussion at the MoS talk page, the section there covering image sizing has been changed, and certainly does not insist on the default thumbnail size as a norm, as this page appears to.

Can someone advise me why, here, forcing image size via px or upright= methods appears to be relegated to exceptional situations? Tony (talk) 10:51, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

That section started life in 2004 as this, then this. I'm not sure they quite intended it the way it now reads. I suggest we change it to the current text in the MoS. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 12:30, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
A link to that "lengthy discussion" would be appreciated; I was trying to find it the other day but failed. Powers T 14:06, 28 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, the changes were made by User:Eubulides on 9 and 10 August after discussion starting here ("Tiny tiny images" right down to "Humungously long alt text").
I agree with Slim Virgin's observation—the statements about default size here are by now rather elderly and long overdue for modernisation. The MoS has taken the lead on this matter, and if we'd realised there had been an issue here, I'm sure this page would have been brought in on it. Tony (talk) 14:51, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Displayed image size draft change

Here's a proposed change to Displayed image size, along the lines suggested above. I have also taken the liberty of removing the advice about faster loading, which is (a) somewhat obsolescent and (b) out of place in a policy page.

In articles, if you wish to have an image Images beside the text, you should generally use a caption and the "thumb" (thumbnail) option available in the image markup. This ; by default this results in a display 180 pixels wide (140 pixels if the "upright" option is used as well), except for those logged-in users who have set a different default in their user preferences. As a rule images should not be set to a fixed size (i.e. one that overrides this default), but see the Manual of Style for exceptions. A picture may benefit from a size other than the default; see the Manual of Style for guidance. Where size forcing is appropriate, larger images should generally be a maximum of 500 pixels tall and 400 pixels wide, so that they can comfortably be displayed on 800x600 monitors the smallest displays in common use. Since MediaWiki dynamically scales inline images there is no need to reduce file size via scaling or quality reduction when you upload images, although compression of PNGs is useful. Faster page loading can be facilitated by selecting a smaller default size in your user preferences.

Eubulides (talk) 18:57, 28 September 2009 (UTC) Updated in response to comments below 03:05, 29 September 2009 (UTC) and 07:30, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't understand why the tiny default—which is widely regarded as being too small, and which is unlikely to be changed any time soon—is favoured in this wording. The MoS expresses neutrality, and I thought this was one of the more important changes in Auguest:

On Wikipedia, most pictures should be displayed so they are between 100 and 400 pixels wide. The thumbnail option ("thumb") results in a default width of 180 pixels, although logged-in users can set a different default in their user preferences.

As well, I'd have thought "In articles" was redundant; and perhaps now is a good time to drop the "you"? What about this:

Images beside the text can be displayed using the "thumb" (thumbnail) option available in the image markup; this results in a display 180 pixels wide (140 pixels if the "upright" option is used), except for those logged-in users who have set a different default in their user preferences.

How's that? Tony (talk) 01:53, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

That's fine, except that it drops the "should generally", which I don't think was discussed; we should leave in the preference for "thumb". I reworded the above proposal to reflect your suggestion. I also added a "by default" which I hope makes it clear that this page does not favor (or disfavor) the current default of 180 pixels. Eubulides (talk) 03:05, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Generally I agree with the above, but do we not need to explain that using "thumb" is necessary to get captions displayed etc? Is there in fact much guidance in the MoS as to when a "picture may benefit from a size other than the default"? Not really. Having set my prefs to 300px in a worlds of unforced thumbs, I find this is almost always the case, & 180px images generally painful, especially as lead pics, but the MoS hardly addresses this. I'm still trying to find out how many people have set image preferences. There was a reference way above here to (from memory) "about a hundred" people having set date preferences - in fact this turned out to be between 140k & 275k, depending on how you look at it. Is there really big resistance to increasing the default thumb size? Does anyone have refs to sustained discussions on the matter? While we are on the subject, the meaning of "reversed" in "However, images should not be reversed simply to resolve a conflict between these guidelines; doing so misinforms the reader for the sake of our layout preferences.." should be expanded to make it clear we don't just mean moving from right to left aligned, or vice versa. Perhaps:"However, images should not be reversed (made into a mirror image of the original) simply to resolve a conflict between these guidelines..." Johnbod (talk) 07:02, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Johnbod, yes, it should be stated that this is the only way to insert a caption (and it should say that in the MoS, too, don't you think? Eubulides—that looks better. Are we able to change this without turning on flashing red lights at VP and Centralized discussion? We made a big thing of the MoS change, and this change would merely bring Image use policy into harmony with it. How do we go about pushing for the default to be changed? Is 220px too much to ask for? I would frame it as moving on from dial-up days. WP has already been criticised in the high-profile press for being weak on images (mostly as a result of our strict copyright FU policy, which is a must under current laws). Let's not be accused of a dial-up mentality too. Tony (talk) 07:21, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
I added mention of a caption to the draft. MOS:IMAGES already mentions captions. Eubulides (talk) 07:30, 29 September 2009 (UTC)
Regarding earlier discussions, see this from 2007 and an older, (even) longer discussion here. There was consensus for the lead image change in the 2006 discussion but none (in the later one) for bigger default thumb sizes. I was blue in the face for 220px then, and still am. Based on the supporting rationale during that last discussion, I'd say it was long overdue. --mikaultalk 07:44, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

400 pixels (that's more than 4 inches (10 cm) assuming 96 dpi) is way too wide for images shown as thumb, i.e. with text on their left (or right). It looks gawky on 800-pixel-wide display, as well as on 1024-pixel ones if the reader has a sidebox with bookmarks or browsing history. In the rare cases that a picture is not legible unless at such a large size, it'd be better to display it centred on its own line, and even better to edit it so that it's more legible at small sizes, if possible (e.g., compare the current version of File:Beta Negative Decay.svg with the 24 Oct. 2008 one). Consider that there's already "should generally", I think it'd be a good idea to reduce the limit a little. (IIRC, originally it was 300 px, wasn't it?) Maybe something like "... should be no wider than 300 pixels for images displayed beside text. (If an image contains detail which justify a larger size, it should be shown on its own line using the thumb|center option, or even {{Wide image}} for ones larger than about 600 px." ___A. di M. 10:31, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Simple solution

A simple solution, which would be beneficial to all users, would be to add a line to appear at the top of each article, say below or above the "article-discussion-edit this page" tabs, to say "click to set your thumbnail image size", followed by the options: 120px, 150px, 180px, 200px, 250px, 300px. The default size would then not be so crucial. Ty 18:16, 7 October 2009 (UTC)

It would be great to give unregistered visitors a "preferences" option but I think the system needs a login to generate prefs for each visitor session. A fundamental stumbling block with regard to user interaction is the fact that so many visitors come looking for specific information, not interactivity options. Apparently the majority of visitors never click on thumbnails, for example. They arrive, take what's presented at face value, and move on. This is why our default presentation is so important. mikaultalk 07:25, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Agree. And as I mentioned a long way above, it seems logical to make the default thumbnail size the size that is both most appropriate for the typical display resolution (either 1024x768 or 1280x1024). That way, pages will be designed with this thumbnail size in mind. If the default size is small, then images tend to be placed closer together. This is problematic for those who prefer larger thumbnails, as it then means they bunch together and cascade into the wrong article sections. I don't think the argument that the thumbs should be as small as possible to make it as accessible as possible holds water. As mentioned, mobile devices will usually display the page appropriately, which leaves those with a normal browser and a normal computer. A long shot, but could we perhaps have thumbnail scaling based on the resolution of the window? I believe the browser feeds this to the server...? Ðiliff «» (Talk) 13:11, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
I think you struck the heart of the matter way back, as you say. The whole issue lies in page layout, how we position images at largely fixed dimensions, based on the median display resolution: 93% of internet users have at least that screen res range, which never used to be the case. User compensation of some kind will always be necessary for displays outside this range, whether 800x600 sVGA or 2048x1536 qXGA; unsurprisingly, these users are not catered for by modern web developers. Ironically, despite this recent homogeneity, the growing number of variables in user displays probably makes browser-driven scaling impractical; see comments made regarding this proposal. With a default thumb size that editors feel able to respect, articles will inevitably evolve to display all images at consistent, predictable sizes relative to text layout, and individual scaling or altering of these sizes (for unusually-shaped or exceptionally important images) can finally be based on much more objective criteria. --mikaultalk 00:21, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Bugzilla request filed for 180–220px change

Pursuant to the RfC on increasing the default size for thumbnail images: [15]

User:Brion_VIBBER, CTO, has been alerted. Tony (talk) 16:40, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Brion has given the OK: "I think I'd be fine with sticking 220 in as the sitewide default. 180 does indeed feel a bit small these days." Tony (talk) 00:36, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Non-free images in a gallery

An editor made this this edit to the “Image galleries” section, softening the longstanding (since 5 November 2005) policy that “Fair use images may never be included as part of a image gallery”. I am not adverse to a change in this policy, but changing policy requires consensus, and the new wording is much too permissive.

There is a good discussion in this archived discussion. Editors there make a strong case that a gallery is useful for comparing works of graphic art. I propose that any softening of the policy include the following restrictions:

  • The softening should be limited to survey articles on graphic art, explicitly disallowing historical logo galleries.
  • There should be an explicit requirement for sourced critical commentary discussing the similarities and/or differences in the images.
  • There should be an explicit requirement that showing the images be virtually essential for reader understanding of the commentary. In other words, WP:NFCC#8 should be interpreted strongly for a non-free image in a gallery.
  • Inclusion of each non-free image should require consensus. In other words, no consensus should require removal.

teb728 t c 22:45, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

You're trying to solve one problem with too large of a shotgun that you're hurting too much.
Yes, we need to avoid/discourage/outright disallow galleries that are simply all non-free images being used for decorative purposes (eg the company logo issue where this started from).
At the same time, we need to recognized that there are unique cases. For some articles, it is better both in discussion and layout to present several non-frees, possibly alongside one or more frees, in a gallery. This doesn't dismiss the issue of having discussion about each of those images as required per NFCC#8, only that maybe there are several images in a row that are fully justified being on the page but only take a small paragraph of discussion so that it would be impossible to display everything properly without a gallery. A prime example of this case that keeps coming up is Padmé Amidala.
I would say that there is a higher level of confidence needed for any non-frees that appear in galleries than if they were standalone, but exactly what that is is undefinable. At bare minimum, the text immediately before or after the gallery has to discuss the non-free images in context appropriately, and that there is something necessary in the comparing and contrasting of all the images present to make the use of the gallery the best means to display these.
However, does any of this need a change in our policies? No, beyond stronger emphasis on NFCC#8 and NFCC#3a. Let consensus work out when non-frees in galleries are appropriate once NFCC has been met, not before. --MASEM (t) 00:00, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
I can think of more examples of possibly-acceptable non-free images for a gallery than solely the graphic arts. Performance arts are one possibility (something like Positions of the feet in ballet, if we absolutely couldn't get a free image). Various animals are another (e.g., here's the male, the female, the juvenile, and the molting plumage for a bird). Especially for a particularly rare animal, one or more non-free images in that gallery might be the only option. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:27, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Concerning the recent reversion and edit-summary by TEB728: WP:NFCC are indeed policy. In my view, the more flexible NFC line is the proper one to take here, too; if the surrounding text refers to the NFC image(s) displayed in a gallery, in such a way as to satisfy WP:NFCC#8, and the other criteria are also satisfied, there is no reason to rule them out of contention. I find Jheald's version more appropriate. Has someone alerted the NFC people to this discussion? Tony (talk) 05:20, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Galleries are overused already, and nonfree content is inadequately patrolled. With due respect for the intentions of the proposer, the downsides of loosening policy on this point probably exceed the potential benefit. Durova325 05:35, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Its not so much they are inadequetely patrolled, it is that when "sensible" image policy is policed, such as a decorative, all-non-free image gallery, the editors that created it fight tooth and nail to keep it and those trying to uphold the mission are spat upon effectively (ask Hammersoft).
Also to wit, the proposer is trying to keep language with a very narrow exception for no non-free content in galleries. However, it has been shown that we do allow more looser exceptions for that when there is appropriate (and overly obvious) discussion and merit to including the non-free in a gallery as I've outlined above. A staunch "no non-frees in gallery" does not reflect current practice. --MASEM (t) 05:55, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. Galleries are not "overused" in general, but there are some examples of poor galleries, just as there are many examples of poor everything else in WP. Johnbod (talk) 10:57, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree that the goal is to minimize the use of the galleries and to maximize the use of illustrated text for the explanations of works of art whenever possible...Modernist (talk) 12:21, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia hosts many image galleries that are redundant with existing Commons categories even when the article already has a convenience link to the relevant Commons category. Low quality galleries are poorly captioned (if at all) and don't even display the highlights of the material available at Commons. Too many editors mistakenly view purely "decorative" galleries as "sensible". I'm not going to sacrifice more important media work by spending too much time eliminating that cruft, but it's certainly not a direction worth encouraging. Disagree if you must: there's an eighteenth century engraving of Vauxhall Gardens in Photoshop that really ought to get finished on its restoration this morning. Durova325 14:51, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
However bad many galleries are, the commons categories are invariably far worse, and no substitute at all. Johnbod (talk) 15:15, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Respectfully disagreeing: the Commons category usually contains much more material than the local gallery. Commons mission scope is to be an image repository; en:wiki's is explicitly WP:NOT. Yet many readers mistakenly suppose that article galleries carry all of our relevant media. Often they don't even carry the best of what we've got: many editors are very poor at image selection. So except in the rare situations where the material needs to be hosted locally due to US copyright law, there's rarely a compelling reason to maintain a local gallery when a Commons category exists. Durova325 00:04, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm afraid that is complete nonsense. Of course Commons contains more images, including duplicates, useless or hopelessly blurry ones, wrongly categorized ones, ones categorized across a maze of disorganized & badly-titled categories, and so on. The "rare situations" include any article on visual subjects, which is indeed where the most galleries are found, including in a number of FAs. Johnbod (talk) 02:43, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I strongly agree with the above post. Articles should be complete in themselves, not send readers off to another site for essential material. If there is poor use of galleries in articles, the solution is a drive to improve editors' abilities in this area, as we would if there was poor use of text. There seems to be a systemic bias on wiki towards the verbal and against the visual with a blindness to the fact that an image is information, just as much as text is. Some people have a bias towards the rational and the verbal, but for others it is hard to make sense of things through that approach and an image brings everything into focus easily. If something is valid as information in text in an article, then the same information is valid in the different form of an image. Commons categories and galleries are not a suitable substitute for images/galleries placed well in the context of accompanying text. Commons is all-inclusive and contain a melange of pictures; articles need to target which ones are the most useful for the particular subject. Editing is essential for text and images alike, and for their working together to the highest standard. Ty 03:01, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Agreement here too, although (further to the default thumb size discussion above) an awful lot of the validity of these points rests on editors' preparedness (in general) to contest and remove inappropriate media; the "case-by-case" argument rests squarely on the premise that articles are diligently audited for image use and I'm not totally convinced that's the case. There's a couple of good reasons for this: images are very subjective purveyors of information and auditing can result in difficult and protracted discussion – see talk:Twilight#Images for example. There are so many appalling images here (never mind Commons...) that the desire to replace them is often way out of proportion to their replacement value. I also encounter a lot of WP:OWNership issues. It's less of an issue with NF media but does add to an already considerable burden. While I support a relaxing of this policy – NFC is clearly better-thought out and IUP more obviously out of step – I would call for greater diligence in enforcing it. --mikaultalk 08:26, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Ty that articles should be complete in themselves. Wikipedia articles are to have sufficient notability and is to be, ideally, self-contained and stand on its own. I don't believe we can assume that the reader of any particular article is also so on-line and has access to a Commons gallery or category. For example, an article can be printed out, be part of a Wikibook, and/or may have been included as a limited selection of articles on a CD/DVD-Rom. Based on the many provisions in various guidelines and the manual of style that are set up specifically to allow readibility when printed, it would seem that the existence of printed and off-line versions of the articles must be assumed. There seems to be a line of thought where if a link to a relevant Commons category exists in an article, then that is somehow mutually exclusive to an article having its own gallery. However, I think this conflicts with the idea of "article independence". CrazyPaco (talk) 22:25, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
"Inclusion of each non-free image should require consensus. In other words, no consensus should require removal." Disagree. This effectively gives veto power to any editor, no matter how well- or ill-informed. A lot of NFCC are subjective, such as "significance" under NFCC #8. Effectivley, any significant disagreement on such issues will hold up an article promotion. But making this a hard-and-fast rule that there has to be unanimity is too burdensome IMO. BillTunell (talk) 19:12, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Excuse me, but would not 99/100 times a NFCC gallery fall afoul of minimal usage? As I read it the point of NFCC is to use as little non-free content as possible with as much defense per each piece as possible and to ditch non-free content any time a "good enough" free image is available. Can someone point me to a article that does use non-free content appropriately in a gallery format. Admittedly I am fairly new but I have not seen such an occurence, and it might save us some grief if concrete examples were provided. Martin Raybourne (talk) 21:47, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
You will see some if you hunt through the history of Self-portrait, and other articles covering modern art - along with many images in earlier versions that should certainly not have been there. Of course they have since been removed. Johnbod (talk) 23:06, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Martin, you're assuming that the entire gallery is non-free. Imagine a gallery that shows "early", "mid-career", and "late" artwork, with comments that highlight the differences. Now imagine that the early and mid-career artwork is no longer copyrighted, but the timer on the late artwork still has a couple of years to go on before it can be free. Would you exclude the single item simple because it's formatted as a side-by-side gallery instead of three individual images (one of which is non-free) scattered about in the text? WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:13, 14 October 2009 (UTC)
Actually he doesn't appear to be assuming that. If the phases in an artist's career are sufficiently important to merit the use of nonfree images at all, then shouldn't it be possible to write enough text to support the nonfree material outside of gallery format? For that matter, wouldn't a good encyclopedic coverage of the artist's career support all major phases as regular illustrations within the text itself (if something really is major then secondary sources speak of its importance). Wassily Kandinsky is a good example of an artist whose career went through several phases, not all of which are public domain. The article is far more informative by covering the phases in serious depth rather than resorting to gallery format. Durova326 19:00, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Masem, If I understand your first post correctly, you say that for some articles it is better to present non-free images in a gallery, but yet there is no need to change our policies. I don’t understand: The policy WP:IG says, “Fair use images may never be included as part of a image gallery”. Perhaps you mean that non-free images should be allowed in galleries only under IAR? I think that you and I are in agreement about non-free images in galleries, but I am more optimistic than you seem to be about the possibility of defining that in policy.
Tony, I agree that NFCC is policy. But IUP is also policy. Although NFCC says nothing explicit about image galleries, NFCC#6 explicitly recognizes IUP as the media specific policy for images, and IUP says that non-free images may not be used in galleries. NFC, on the other hand, is a guideline not a policy; so it should conform to policy rather than vise verse.
BillTunell, It is not my understanding that consensus (at least as used of the Wikipedia process) means unanimity. —teb728 t c 09:14, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
There is really two issues here: the first is that in practice, we do allow for exception uses of non-free images in galleries. We still strongly discourage them, and almost always outside of some fields a gallery composed of only non-frees will be, for the most part decorative and should be removed. Thus, the language in whatever policy or guideline cannot state "non-frees cannot be used galleries" because that simply isn't true based on practice.
The second issue is that the advice on non-free images is split across too many pages and thus has created this inconsistency about how to handle non-frees. We have WP:NFC, WP:MOSIMAGES, WP:Images, WP:IUP, and probably more floating around somewhere. Given the present way IUP is structured, it is not designed to outline all considerations of non-free images, but of images in general with the necessity of noting that non-frees are handled differently; the rest of IUP still applies per NFCC#6 non-free or not (all images need attribution, free or not, for example). My suggestion is that we need to remove specific advice about non-frees in IUP and limit the specific nature of handling them in WP:NFC.
To that end, that means that what we have in WP:NFC does not need to be changed as I suggested above (as you asked). However, we do need to change IUP as needed to defer all specifics of handling non-free to WP:NFC, so there is a change in policy needed, just not to the NFC policy that I think more people turn to when dealing with non-free images in general. --MASEM (t) 15:09, 15 October 2009 (UTC)

Proposed public-domain versus fair-use explanation

I'd like to insert the following in order to clear up constant confusion over public-domain trademark logos versus fair-use copyright logos. This same topic seems to raise its head on a consistent basis in many different contexts, and so making the policy page more specific might help. Let me know your comments. BillTunell (talk) 18:43, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

  • I think this needs to be shortened and simplified. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:00, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
How? BillTunell (talk) 15:11, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
  • It's your proposal. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:21, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
I would recommend seeing if you work this into WP:LOGO , and then we can refer to it from here. As Hammersoft says, for a rather narrow use of images this is a rather long bulky, but necessary, piece of text. It fills too much on this page, but can find a home elsewhere on WP:LOGO --MASEM (t) 21:45, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. I've drafted a revision. I also noticed you have your own version -- we should look toward consolidating these, I think. BillTunell (talk) 18:49, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm trying to incorporate your version into it, but it may take a bit of time. Perhaps we could start with an outline and work from there. I already have one in the comments of the version I've created. — BQZip01 — talk 19:40, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I think it is a very good start, and much needed, but I also agree with Hammersoft that it would probably benefit if it could be simplified. I don't know how much it can be simplified because of the complexity of the topic, but it is a good start. CrazyPaco (talk) 21:55, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
  • This is a good explanation, but there are still some issues in my mind. Some might call me overly paranoid, but I am still hesitant to say that "in principle, a qualified {{PD-textlogo}} image should be freely usable on wikipedia in any context, as long as it does not misidentify its subject." For example, if we had a page of 2009 NCAA Division I FBS football results (as a complement to 2009 NCAA Division I FBS football season), and logo icons were placed next to the ~750 game results, could that possibly infringe upon a legally licensed user of those trademarks to also create a historical almanac of NCAA game results that was similarly decorated?
    Also, I note that Wikipedia:Manual of Style (trademarks)#The use of graphic logos currently says: Product logos and corporate logos, such as the stylized rendition of the word Dell used by Dell, Inc., whether copyrighted or not, may be used once in the infobox or corner of articles about the related product, service, company, or entity. That would seem to contradict your essay, by prescribing a restriction on the extant and location of usage, even for uncopyrighted logos. But I believe that the "used once" guideline in the MOS is prudent, in my opinion, rather than the free-for-all advocated by some editors. I think we ought to give trademarked images similar respect to copyrighted images for Wikipedia—even though we legally don't have to do that. The consistency across articles, and the elimination of the grey judgement area for whether a particular image is truly a textlogo or not, is worth that extra restriction. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 22:05, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree with this, that one use of one particular logo per article is prudent according to the MOS, and a logo's use should be restricted to articles where it is specifically relevant for identifying the topic of the article or article subsection. It is worth repeating here though that I believe articles are to stand independently and therefore the use of one particular logo might be appropriate for multiple Wikipedia articles. Also, some entities represent themselves with multiple logos (e.g. some universities have a seal, coat of arms, institutional logo, and a "popular/student/athletic" logo) and displaying multiple logos representing the same institution is often useful for identification, especially since one cannot predict the the pre-existing familiarity or perspective of a potential reader with these logos. CrazyPaco (talk) 22:42, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
I quite like the below text. But I would agree that it be an essay rather than policy. The policy is that we comply with the law in the USA, and hopefully the country where the material originates. An this essay expands on it. The reason it does not have to be a policy is that there are other ways to do it, for example by describing the situation in free text, rather than using the template. The template is just the best way to do it. There may be other considerations when using the logo, as organisations will often have their own policy on its use. If we can comply with their policy it is even better, and this may bend some of the fair use rules such as limited resolution, they may want the full resolution to be provided. We may have to give some more examples of what is public domain. For example we have an unusual lettering which was being debated. and a pre-1976 logo would be pretty common. Also we should include information about when it was known to be published so that future people can take advantage of copyright expiry when it happens. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 10:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
As I understand it, the "one use per article" is a self-imposed restiction by wikipedia to comply with fair use policy (relted to WP:NFCC #3 and is not applicable to non-copyrightable works. But referencing the policy probably is a good idea. BillTunell (talk) 15:10, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
I would say that's true about non-free logos, and technically non-copyrightable logos could be used without bounds. However, I would prefer that we avoid the bias that would occur (as I've explained elsewhere; where, I've forgotten off hand..) should we allow uncopyrightable logos to be splattered across numerous pages while non-frees are limited to one or two uses. Take the case of two competition schools or companies, one with a free-use logo, one with a non-free logo; there is going to be implied lack of impartiality should we allow the school/company free logo to be used all over the place, which can lead to edit wars and potential legal problems down the road. Logos need to be treated using the limitations of the lowest-common denominator, that being the non-free, trademarked logo. --MASEM (t) 15:40, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, but WP:TLDR )-: Stifle (talk) 11:33, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

  • My point exactly. No one's going to read this. It needs to be trimmed down, tightly focused, simplified, and very directly to the point. If that can't be done, it needs to be split into several digestible points. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:23, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I'd like to address a few of the points brought up. If you wish to address what I said in a certain section, feel free to split my comments and respond under each.
    "There will be a bias among those with non-copyrightable logos vs those with copyrightable logos". This is a nice academic discussion, but it simply isn't reality. There is NO entity that I can find which doesn't have a non-copyrightable logo. None. If you think you have one, please let me know. As an example, WP:FBS logos is a list of trademarks ineligble for copyright. There isn't a team that doesn't have something that applies. I'm sure the same could be said for companies.
    "...and logo icons were placed next to the ~750 game results, could that possibly infringe upon a legally licensed user of those trademarks to also create a historical almanac of NCAA game results that was similarly decorated?" 1. We shouldn't be using such logos as icons (I think we're pretty much in agreement here. 2. How would that compete with them? We are already a repository of knowledge. If someone else wants to create something similar to Wikipedia, they are free to do so, but that doesn't mean we stop.
    "I think we ought to give trademarked images similar respect to copyrighted images for Wikipedia—even though we legally don't have to do that. The consistency across articles, and the elimination of the grey judgement area for whether a particular image is truly a textlogo or not, is worth that extra restriction." That isn't the case. Moreover, the Commons hosts many of these images. We cannot control others' usage through changing our rules. Furthermore, by adding a further restriction for logos (some of which are 100+ years old) you would have to add a separate rule for just those logos. Even then, it would be hard to control that usage as the licensing information doesn't differ from PD images. I think it is a noble idea (to try and be consistent from a presentation standpoint), but the application of it is far too complex and would require gaining significant support, rewriting our rules, educating the community about the new rules, and implementing them. I don't think it is practical. Like I said, it is a good idea in theory though; my compliments. — BQZip01 — talk 16:50, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    Until you have proven it true for every possible entity, you have to start with the assumption that an entity may have only a non-free logo (for example: File:Orange Bowl 75 years.svg). --MASEM (t) 19:02, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
    I don't have to start with any assumptions. The logo you linked to was a commemorative logo for a specific year; there likely will not be any alternative for that. However, I think there is a viable {{PD-textlogo}} for the Orange Bowl itself. I will see what I can find. It will be much later tonight before I can get anything. — BQZip01 — talk 19:33, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Opposition to the use of images on wikipedia usually focuses on the interpretation of WP:MOSLOGO, the last section of which reads:

"Use of company logos, sports team crests and other copyrighted images in articles can usually only be done on a "fair use" basis (generally as an illustration of the primary subject - eg the IBM logo on the IBM article). Use of such images as icons is nearly always prohibited (see Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline and Wikipedia:Logos)."

This part of WP:MOSLOGO speaks to copyrighted images, as opposed to trademarked images. The standards for use of trademarked images on wikipedia are different than for copyrighted images. Generally speaking, copyright protection is pretty broad, and it prohibits sale, use, manipulation, or even copying of someone else's work (hence the name). One of the narrow exceptions of use is "fair use" – which, in an oversimplified nutshell, allows the use of copyrights in order to identify the subject matter for purposes of public comment.

For purposes of wikipedia policy (which can be, and usually is, more stringent than what U.S. law allows), one of the rules is that a copyrighted image can be used under a claim of "fair use" on wikipedia to identify its subject matter, but it can only be used on "article namespace" pages (i.e., the regular articles on wikipedia, not the behind-the-scenes type pages such as userpages, templates (including userboxes), and the like). See Wikipedia:Fair_use#Policy, Rule #9 (which you will often see referred to as "NFCC #9" for "Non-Free Content Criterion #9).

These rules about copyrights/fair use either may or may not apply to any particular logo you see on wikipedia. Most logos are copyrights. Some are not. Most logos are trademarks, but a few are not. In many cases they will be both. But in a fair amount of cases, a logo is considered a trademark without also being a copyright. This is most often the case for simple logos that only contain letters or simple geometric shapes. The rationale here is that such simple logos do not meet the threshold of originality required under U.S. copyright law. Simple letter/color/font combinations do not qualify for copyright status -- this includes "mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring. Likewise, the arrangement of type on a printed page cannot support a copyright claim." See the U.S. Copyright Office's Compendium of copyright registration standards, Section 506.03. So basically, mere letter or word elements, even if they look fancy, are not copyrights; typically, a logo has to have a "pictorial" element within it to qualify for copyright protection.

These types of simple logos are considered "public domain," meaning that anyone can use it – although the way that people can use a public domain logo may still be restricted by trademark law. Most basically, if a logo is used to identify a business/organization/product, then you are not allowed to use that logo to identify or refer to another business/organization/product. In general, this is not much of an issue on wikipedia. The Coca-Cola logo (the quintessential example of a trademarked but not copyrighted logo) is used on the Coca-Cola page, but not the Pepsi Cola page – so no trademark problems result.

For wikipedia purposes, a "public domain" image does not need a non-free content rationale in order to be used. Among other things, this means that public-domain images can be used in non-article namespace pages – e.g. userpages, templates (including userboxes), and the like – and as icons.

Identifying what is a copyright, trademark, or both has some cues to it. If you see an image bearing the notation ® or ™, that means that someone (but you don't know who) claims that this is a trademark (® denotes a "registered trademark," which many people often confuse as a copyright claim). If you see an image with the notation ©, then that means that someone (again, you don't know who) is claiming this as a copyright. These claims may or not be correct, and people need to use their own judgment. If you see an image without such a notation, that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

On wikipedia, every image, including logos, that you see will have been uploaded to a specific page that describes the picture. These should (but not always do) contain particular templates (or "tags") that describe whether the image is a (fair-use) copyright, is a (public-domain) trademark, or has some other rationale for its use on wikipedia.

The code you would insert on the image page to insert this tag is: {{Non-free logo}}

An example of such an image page would be the Apple Computer logo. Image pages with the {{Non-free logo}} tag should also contain some additional (often lengthy) explanations known as a "non-free media use rationale" that justify their use on wikipedia – this information is required because of Non-free content criterion #10.

Similarly, a trademark image should contain the following tag:

code: {{Trademark}}

And a trademark image that is simple enough that it does not qualify for copyright protection should be tagged:

code: {{PD-textlogo}}

Other potentially-applicable tags for more specific circumstances can be found at Category:Wikipedia_image_copyright_templates.

An example of an image page with these kinds of tags include: the IBM logo image page. Normally the {{Trademark}} and the {{PD-textlogo}} tags are placed together. Also, under normal circumstances, a {{PD-textlogo}} image would not contain any "non-free media use rationale," because as a public-domain image, this explanation is unnecessary for use on wikipedia.

However, just because an image page is tagged as {{Non-free logo}}, {{PD-textlogo}}, or anything else, does not mean that this is determinitive. Like everything else on wikipedia, such tags are subject to change by any editor with an opinion – right or wrong. Often the tags are changed by editors subsequent to their uploading because of a difference of opinion. But in principle, a qualified {{PD-textlogo}} image should be freely usable on wikipedia in any context, as long as it does not misidentify its subject. Images that are tagged as {{PD-textlogo}} which have also been moved to the Wikimedia Commons have an additional indicator of being public-domain ("free") images – although again, this is not determinitive.

If editors have a disagreement about whether an image qualifies under the {{PD-textlogo}} stadard or any other standard, it is highly suggested that, instead of engaging in revert wars, that the editors use each others' talk pages and submit the issue to the relevant noticeboard. Disputes about the qualifications of an allegedly public-domain image can be submitted to the possibly unfree images noticeboard. Disputes about the appropriate use of non-free content can be submitted to the non-free content review noticeboard. In other cases the request for commentary (RFC) procedure can also be used. Any questions can always be directed to the media copyright desk. Use of the incident noticeboard is discouraged unless one of the above processes have been tried first, and/or an editor is clearly acting in bad faith. Referral of an editor to this policy may also help avoid any misunderstandings.

Historical exception to "Watermarks, credits, and distortions"

Minor amendment to bring policy in line with existing practice. A substantial number of historical featured pictures do contain credits, expired copyright notices, etc. Durova326 19:19, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Important debate on the "multiplier" method of sizing images

It's probably easiest to retain it at the MoS at this stage. Please contribute. Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style#The_multiplier_method Tony (talk) 04:48, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

The default thumb size saga

I've raised the recent postponement of the site-wide increase at Jarry's page. Tony (talk) 04:15, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Filename extensions

Sorry if this has been brought up many times before, but I feel that we ought to deprecate including a filename extension in the name by which an image is published. I presume MediaWiki allows this?

Case in point: File:PetSocietylogo.jpg was once a JPEG as its name implies, but this was the wrong choice of format; now a PNG has been put in its place, but it's stuck with this relic in its name (as long as the concept of moving pages doesn't seem to apply to files). If it had been named as simply File:Pet Society logo, then nobody would be misled about the format of the file. While in this case the fault lies in the fact that somebody uploaded a JPEG in the first place, there are some more legitimate cases in which an image may change format:

  • The question of whether a given image should be a JPEG or a PNG is a grey area, and successive versions may vary in format.
  • Sometimes only a JPEG version is available, e.g. of a company logo copied from the company's website, but the company may later mend its ways by putting up a PNG or SVG version (or somebody here may fix the image). (Alternatively, a company may redesign its logo such that the best format for it changes - but then there's the question of whether the new logo should be uploaded to WP under a new name so that an article can show how the logo has changed over time.)
  • An image is created as a PNG pending finding someone with the time/expertise to redo it as an SVG.
  • Some new or long-forgotten format becomes massively supported in browsers, and it turns out to be a good one into which to change a file. (This may apply to video/animated formats and even audio formats and other media, not just images.)

What do people think? -- Smjg (talk) 09:43, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

The software doesn't allow renaming images at present. You already uploaded File:Pet soc halloween.png after you re-made it. What I think you should have done is change the article to use 'File:Pet soc halloween.png' and request deletion of the jpg version. I ought to add that your new image only has 879 colours, so can very easily have its colour depth reduced to 256. The resulting 8-bit palleted PNG is half the filesize and looks identical (to me). As it is used only in an infobox at 200px wide, it is best to shrink it to that size first and then reduce it to an 8-bit PNG. The resultant file (even with transparency) is less than 7 kB, rather than the present version that the wikimedia software renders which is 17 kB. It possibly isn't a big deal for that article, but does add up when articles have multiple images.
There may be multiple versions of an image uploaded: as a vector image (like filename.svg) and an optimised paletted PNG (which would be filename.png). Deprecating the extension would require us to differentiate between those two files in the name (e.g. filename_svg and filename_png), which really defeats the intention of deprecating the extension. --RexxS (talk) 20:43, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Wait, is Smjg saying that somehow a PNG image was uploaded with a JPG filename? Powers T 14:38, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, File:PetSocietylogo.jpg is now a PNG. There's nothing in the software to stop anybody replacing a JPG with an updated version which is not a JPG. *Shrug* --RexxS (talk) 19:19, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
RexxSS - Firstly, I didn't upload any such image. What are you talking about? Secondly, I'm somewhat confused by your second point. What would be the point of having both the SVG version and the PNG version side by side? -- Smjg (talk) 01:36, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
  1. File moves are allowed, so I moved this to File:PetSocietylogo.png
  2. File redirects are allowed, so all existing uses of File:PetSocietylogo.jpg now render from File:PetSocietylogo.png.
  3. The developers plan to make file extensions optional in the future, but this isn't available right now.
  4. For the present, I would encourage people to make sure images live at a location with an extension that makes sense for their file type, otherwise some users may experience bad behavior.

Dragons flight (talk) 19:50, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

Two downsides to this: The image description page now shows no articles linking to the file, and it's a non-free image, so I expect a bot to be marking it for deletion anytime soon; The wikimedia software now delivers a 200px png that is 25.7 kB in size - see Pet Society. --RexxS (talk) 22:50, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Seems odd - why does MediaWiki go out of its way to require an extension if it doesn't check it against the MIME type? Moreover, moving the Halloween logo to File:PetSocietylogo.png seems wrong. That should, if anything, be the regular Pet Society logo, and any special festive logos should have specific names, such as File:Pet soc halloween.png as somebody has taken the liberty to create. -- Smjg (talk) 01:36, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
As far as I can see, the images are stored with a file extension because the originals are directly accessible from the internet (as far as I know, it is conventional that file servers will do this) - for example, the image for the file uploaded at File:Pet soc halloween.png is accessible at I assume that the MIME type is set at the file page when the image is uploaded (rather than checking it every time it is accessed) for performance reasons. So it is possible to upload a PNG to replace a JPG and it will have the .jpg file extension although its MIME type will be correctly set on the page to "image/png".
A further complication is that when the article page is viewed, if a different size is required, the software will resize the image and serve your client with a different image - in the case of the Pet Society. Unfortunately, this is an unoptimised non-paletted PNG and the smaller image served actually has a larger filesize than the original in this case. It's much worse when the original is an SVG, by the way.
As for the Halloween version of File:Pet soc halloween.png, it was uploaded on 5 November 2009 by Jackdyson (talk · contribs). You'd need to ask him/her why he/she replaced the regular logo. He also uploaded File:Pet soc halloween.png on the same day. Hope that helps --RexxS (talk) 18:18, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Your first sentence is bogus - filename extensions are irrelevant under WWW protocols, where MIME type is used instead. Look at Wikipedia article URLs for instance. Why can't names of uploaded files work in the same way? As such, the reaon for setting the MIME type at upload is probably a matter of keeping with the spirit of the protocols. ISTM likely that it uses the MIME type sent by the browser when the file is uploaded, possibly with a few Microsoftism fixes thrown in. Even if it did use filename extensions, I think it would probably use the source rather than target filename. -- Smjg (talk) 09:47, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Isn't 'bogus' a bit harsh? I never said anything about wwww (you mean http) protocols. In the general case, if I access a file using ftp protocol, then the MIME type doesn't come into it. Remember MIME types were actually designed as an extension for emails. In the case of Wikimedia webservers, you're right, they take no notice of the name of the file (or its extension), so we could stop using extensions. But there are downsides. Under your scheme, if I were to download "YourImage" to work on it, I'd have to work out and supply an extension myself, as my OS handles files by their extension. Additionally, at present I can upload "MyImage.svg" (MIME=image/svg+xml) and "MyImage.png" (MIME=image/png). What filename would you use for each of these versions of the image? What do I gain by dropping extensions from filenames? --RexxS (talk) 22:26, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
To address each of your "downsides" in turn:
  1. But for SVG to PNG conversion at least, MediaWiki automatically appends an appropriate extension to form the actual URL of the image. For example, File:Square root of 2 triangle.svg generates the URL "". Now that the one I mentioned has been renamed I can't test it now, but have you checked whether it does the same with images that just have the wrong extension? (And even if it doesn't, browsers should set the right extension on save in any case.)
  2. You still haven't answered me: Why do you want SVG and PNG versions of an image side by side on Wikipedia? Especially given that SVGs are automatically converted to PNGs for display anyway. If somebody uploads a PNG image, and later somebody improves the work by creating an SVG version, the natural thing to do is make the SVG file replace the PNG file.
    Actually, I can think of one example: comparisons of graphic formats. For these, you will likely want versions of the same image in different formats. But these are the exception, and it's easy to deal with by making one. Once the technical restriction is dealt with, how about this general rule: If the choice of format is the whole point of a particular uploaded file, then include a filename extension, otherwise don't.
We probably don't really need to go through renaming existing images. But when/if this change is implemented, the upload UI will want adjusting to it, though going into this topic here probably constitutes getting OT.... -- Smjg (talk) 19:20, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Please don't take this the wrong way, but you're missing some points I made earlier. Sorry if I wasn't clear enough. The file you upload retains its name and extension. When the software serves a page that contains an SVG, it renders an appropriately-sized image as PNG and saves it with an added .png extension. The original is still there at as you can see. But your system would prevent me from having both a PNG and an SVG with the same base name - I couldn't have File:Square root of 2 triangle.png without extensions. How would you solve that?
The real point is that we need both an SVG and a PNG, because the wikimedia software renders SVG into PNG rather dumbly. Take a look at Oxygen toxicity. There's an image there called File:Clark1974.svg which is rendered and served as an unoptimised, full-colour PNG at 700x252 px with a file size of 30 kB ( Now look at File:Clark1974.png - it's 700x252 px and less than 9 kB. That's a saving of 20 kB or 70% in just one image. It is usually easy to optimise an image to reduce its filesize without any noticeable effect on the page viewed. In a big article with many images, that can be a substantial improvement in accessibility for users with limited download speed - and that's a significant number of our viewers.
Until wikimedia software becomes 'cleverer' at rendering the images it serves, we degrade the experience for many readers by slavishly following the advice to use an svg when a well-crafted png is far superior. Until then, I still need SVG and PNG versions. --RexxS (talk) 23:38, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
So the point is to use a paletted PNG in the article, and place a link on the file page to the SVG version so that people can view it if they so desire. I see now. On this basis, I wonder how many of the images tagged with {{Should be SVG}} should actually be or remain PNGs in a colour depth below 24-bit.
Maybe there's a policy out there that would achieve the best of both worlds. The best I can come up with is to keep .svg but do away with .gif/.jp(e)g/.png. But this seems somewhat ad hoc.... -- Smjg (talk) 19:25, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes - also having an SVG version allows others to modify it or resize it, etc. and then create an optimised PNG for their use. Clearly it only gives a big advantage for larger images that don't require full 24/32-bit colouring, but it's something I wish more editors understood. Thanks for the discussion anyway, it's forced me to clarify my thoughts on the issue. I hope that somewhere it could be mentioned in policy as an example of best practice. Happy editing --RexxS (talk) 19:47, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Rule of thumb 9

"Below this brief checklist of image use rules is the detailed reasoning behind them.


9. In general, there is no need to specify thumbnail size. Users can select their ideal size in preferences."

The detailed reasoning for not specifying thumbnail size consists entirely of the observation that less than 10% of viewers can set a different default. I'd suggest it's time to either get rid of that rule of thumb or find a better reasoning. (ref: 29,339,788 registered users vs 166 million unique viewers per month). --RexxS (talk) 02:21, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

There was a lengthy conversation that went from WP:FAC (I think ) though one of the MOS: Long story short: images do not need to be set to "thumb" size, but at the same time, specifying an image outside of "thumb" size should be undertaken when editors think necessary to display more information. That is, for most editors dealing with images, there's really no reason to mess about with image size, so "thumb" is reasonable, but it is not meant to be hard and fast. (Also as a result of the above, we're trying to get the default image size up to 220px instead of 180px).
Thus, I would argue that wording can be changed to :
  • In general, there is no need to specify thumbnail size, as the "thumb" parameter will ensure that all images appear at the same size to the reader. However, as necessary, thumbnail sizes can be specified via the "width" or "upright" parameters to help to show images with more detail or fit images with atypical aspect ratios.
or something like that. --MASEM (t) 02:48, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
The previous comment is right, but the proposed rewording is pretty long for a rule of thumb. How about the following rewording instead?
'Often one can omit thumbnail size, or merely specify "|upright|" if the image is tall. See the manual of style for guidance on other image sizes.'
Eubulides (talk) 02:50, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, maybe for sake of brevity: If unsure, use "thumb" for default image sizes, but this is not required. --MASEM (t) 03:03, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
That goes a bit too far the other way, surely. Also, it's not quite technically right, as "|thumb|" does several things; it doesn't merely select an image size. Eubulides (talk) 03:16, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. I actually followed those debates—and their conclusions—with interest, so I was rather astonished to see us still giving that rule of thumb here. I'm a strong supporter of the view that editors should have the ability to make a decision on image size for legibility and aesthetic reasons (see some of Giano's views on the effort he takes to ensure a good balance in the images he adds to architectural articles). Over-simplified 'rules-of-thumb' lead to Randy in Boise going through articles removing the carefully considered image sizing, on the grounds that 'our policy says so'. I'd also add that a rule-of-thumb containing a "detailed reasoning" is a bit of an oxymoron, in my very humble opinion :) --RexxS (talk) 03:26, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that for every editor that carefully and thoughtfully considers image sizing, there are many more that force image sizing without a lot of thought. And at the end of the day, it's more often than not a subjective preference - what is a good aesthetic choice for some people is completely unnecessary to others.

As for the proposed wording, we should keep it simple and refer people to the MoS. I'd stick with something simple, such as: "In general, there is no need to specify thumbnail size. See the manual of style for more information." --Skeezix1000 (talk) 23:32, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

I completely agree with removing "policy level" advice that says "use thumb size always". However, as I argued there, the last thing we should be doing on WP is pixel-perfect placement because of the numerous possible output devices a page should go for. If you don't know or don't care, thumb works great. If you do know and/or care, set a size. (I'd argue that there's a step here that this is general true for certain images classes like maps and figures and rarely true for most others, but that's not appropriate on this page) But key is no one should be on your back for moving away from "thumb".-
As for wording, then, You may specify an image size per WP:MOSIMAGES, but best left at default if you are unsure. ? --MASEM (t) 23:52, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
Wording along the lines of "you may specify an image size" is too permissive, even with the reference to MoS. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 00:14, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
I hope you can accept that I'd disagree. The phrase "you may specify an image size" is exactly what I'd like to see, as I want to see editors empowered, not circumscribed, when making editing decisions. I accept that guidance should be given in making those decisions and Masem's last suggestion hits just the right note for me. --RexxS (talk) 00:35, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
To turn it upside-down: why are editors being at all encouraged not to determine size on the basis of local conditions, for every pic? Tony (talk) 02:24, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Because editors' local conditions so often differ from readers', and editors are notoriously bad at guessing what readers' conditions will be like. And because messing with trivia like pixel counts (should it be 300px? or 310px?) is so often a waste of editors' time. By the way, Skeezix1000's proposed wording is all right with me (though of course I prefer mine...). Eubulides (talk) 03:38, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
(ec)Agree with that. On the whole I'd prefer a positive recommendation to use thumb except for lead pics or if there is a good reason not to, which I think is what the MOS said last time I looked. Johnbod (talk) 04:02, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Response to first part: yes, and we need to spell out the "window" of standard differences likely to occur, without stooping to ten-year-old computers on bad dial-up connections. Needs negotiation. Response to second part: It's not trivial, or perhaps we're on different planets. I'd say "should it be 220 (impending default) or 260?"; and sometimes I have fiddled by 10 pixels. Are you saying that tweaking grammar is a waste of time? Tony (talk) 03:44, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
(ec)With grammar it is (more or less) either right or wrong for everybody; you can never say that with pictures, with a whole range of different tastes on a whole range of different kit. I can't personally understand those who are really attached to 150 or 180 pics on "normal" modern machines, but I respect their pov. Johnbod (talk) 04:02, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

Images at default should be kept small to avoid cluttering of images made by inexperienced editors that do not yet know about thumbnail size parameters. There are some cases in which the image can go much bigger without cluttering the article, thus can be made as big as the editor's convenience. But I'd argue to keep default size with the exception of diagrams, because readers use different monitors and hence different screen sizes, which can result in negative results in article display that contain inconsistent image thumbs. ZooFari 04:00, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

There's certainly no single right answer: I'm happy with large images on my 1600x1200 Apple Cinema Display, but I want small ones on my 12" laptop. Short of changing my preferences every time I walk from one room to the next, there's no method of getting what I want.
IMO, editors with a good reason for a non-default size should follow their good reason, and without a good reason, they should follow the default-oriented rule of thumb. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:12, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
That's a good way of looking at it. An if in doubt, use defaults approach deters consideration of appropriate forced-sizing, while a policy that suggests sizing merely be defensible, if challenged, is far preferable and pretty much how I read the consensus here. mikaultalk 06:33, 17 November 2009 (UTC)

So to summarize:

  • We want to make sure its clear that default image size is by no means required (we should not be edit warring over it), and probably would fall under "first editor's pick" ala choice of US/Brit English and US/Int'l date format as other MOSes.
  • We want to make sure its clear that there's more exacting advice at MOSIMAGES that talk about maximum size, other parameters, etc. to help with images placement
  • We want to make sure editors are aware they don't have to mess about with the extra parameters if they don't want to
  • We want to make sure editors are aware they can mess about with extra parameters to adjust image size to better resolve the image.

Obviously too much to say for a short line, but trying to make this a positive case towards allowing resizing:

Images should be adjusted in their display size to clearly show their content under a variety of display resolutions within the article context. For many common images, Wikipedia's default image thumbnail size is sufficient for this. More guidance can be found at WP:MOSIMAGES.

This is a bit different from the above suggestions but I think captures the subtle points being made here - thumb is not required but often best, and moving from thumb is a completely allowable adjustment in order to Any more specifics we can toss at MOSIMAGES, but this is the quick and dirty rule of thumb that hopefully prevents the concerns of thumb-size edit warring. --MASEM (t) 19:51, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Thank you Masem. I think anything along those lines would be a much-welcome improvement on the current rule of thumb. If anyone thinks it's too long, it could be pared down a bit at the expense of losing a little precision:
Images should be adjusted in their display size to clearly show their content under a variety of display resolutions within the article context. For many common images, Wikipedia's default image thumbnail size is sufficient for this. More guidance can be found [is] at WP:MOSIMAGES.
I'd really like to see the present text amended, do others now agree? --RexxS (talk) 20:13, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, the idea that we can second-guess readers' display res doesn't gel with the above discussion at all. I'd suggest Image display size may be adjusted according to image content and page layout, however WIkipedia's default size is sufficient in many cases. Or even most cases. mikaultalk 22:59, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Page layout should not come into play, as pointed out above, for how many different end devices WP can be used on, it is a waste of time to achieve pixel-perfect page layouts. Also, I think display resolution is important to keep in mind: a fixed-size map image with fonts will look one way on a 21" monitor and another way on an iPhone screen. --MASEM (t) 23:04, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
The wording should not begin with "Images should be adjusted". That is a recipe for trouble. The wording should start with the non-expert default, which is to not specify sizes (or specify only "upright"), and then should move up to saying that it's OK to adjust sizes if necessary. Eubulides (talk) 00:16, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
@mikaul: The main reason for setting an image size is to ensure that any relevant detail is visible. We don't need to second-guess resolutions because the vast majority of monitors display between 70 and 100 pixels per inch - that's not such a huge range. Most sensible estimates at a reasonable pixel size will be close enough.
@Eubulides: How about:
You do not have to set the thumbnail size, as the default usually works well, but may decide to fix the width of an image if that improves its clarity. More guidance is at WP:MOSIMAGES.''
or 'legibility' or some other way of summarising the guidance given at WP:MOSIMAGES. --RexxS (talk) 01:07, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to increase the default thumbnail dimensions

current suggested lead/infobox size, per MOS: 300px
current default thumbnail size (180px)
proposed default thumbnail image @ 220px
proposed default thumbnail image @ 250px

A perennial proposal, this, one that nonetheless gets more pertinent, the higher the "typical" resolution of our computer screens becomes. I'm posting it here as an RfC because it's more than just a style issue, it affects the substance and usability of the entire project. In brief, it's pretty clear from recent discussions that image display sizes are becoming a big issue, as the number of people using >1250px monitors increases; on the other hand, there may be a substantial, non-vocal majority still using 1024px or less*, who may prefer the status quo. This is the time to speak up, if so.

While there may be a growing consensus for increasing the default thumb size, there's no clear indication as to what, exactly, that size should be. To the right are some reference thumbs, "forced" to their respective sizes. The 300px size at the top is the current guideline default for infoboxes and lead images, included here to put the thumb sizes in perspective. It may be, if we decide that (say) 250px thumbs are the way to go, that this guideline may need to be revised, if only to keep an article's main image suitably prominent on the page. The main contenders, as I see it, are 220px and 250px, examples of which appear here, below the current default of 180px.

I'm sure I'll chip in my 2¢ at some point; for now, it's going to be very useful if people at least skim a couple of archived discussions here and here, to get up to speed with the historical objections and save some time. The recent one over at MOS, and the one immediately above here, are the ones which have resurrected the question of default thumb sizes and consequently this proposal.

A common, unanswered, question in these debates is the viability of implementing any change at all. This has been put to Tim Starling who will hopefully be able to clarify in due course.

mikaultalk 07:23, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

  • *In the course of answering a point in the discussion below I've located a table of current estimated viewer resolution sizes. It broadly supports the assumption that sVGA (800x600) – the "lowest common denominator" on which our 180px thumbnail default is based – is no longer used by a significant number of visitors. While a majority are reported to be using sometihng "higher than 1024×768" and it shouldn't be assumed that this means everyone is upgrading to hi-def 1080p stuff, it's likely that the proliferation of the 720p format is behind the shift. This might be just another assumption, but it's a better benchmark to work to, I think. --mikaultalk 21:19, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • "The 300px size at the top is the current guideline default for infoboxes and lead images" - no it isn't - where does it say that in the guideline? Very few infobox images are that large, though many lead images are. It is also of course the largest default size that can be set in user preferences. Johnbod (talk) 16:14, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
    • About halfway down the list of Examples where adjusting the size may be appropriate it says:

      Lead images, which should usually be no wider than "upright=1.7" ("300px")

      I think most infoboxes default at 250; some (like wine ones) default at 300. As you say, 300 is currently the default maximum in a lot of places. My point was related to the proposal to increase thumb defaults to 250, which could leave many infoboxes (especially those defaulting at 250) looking relatively undersized. --mikaultalk 22:19, 30 September 2009 (UTC)


South Ossetia map is a bad example

Train station with tracks and wires overhead
180px. Yamato-Asakura Station
Same image as before
200px. Yamato-Asakura Station
Same image as before
220px. Yamato-Asakura Station
Same image as before
250px. Yamato-Asakura Station

While I favor increasing the default size, the example image used above (File:2008 South Ossetia war en.svg) is a bad example to base this discussion on, as it's unreadable at all the sizes shown. It's an unrealistic example as well, as its only use in English Wikipedia specifies a fixed pixel width and thus the image would be unaffected by this proposal. Discussion should be based on a realistic example that would be affected by the proposal.

I pressed Special:Random several times, until I found an article (Yamato-Asakura Station) that contained a thumb image that did not specify a size, and include this somewhat-randomly-chosen image at right, to serve as a better example. Eubulides (talk) 08:06, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Ok, whatever rings your bell, although I don't see how actual current use of specific images has any bearing on things. Having spent a frustrating hour or more trawling our featured content for the perfect example, it occurred to me that (a) there's no such thing as a perfect example, nor a realistic one for that matter, as the increase potentially affects every image we use, and (b) a good example might be one which demonstrated that while a modest increase in thumb size has a dramatic aesthetic effect, it has a marginal effect on legibility. Circumstances will be as varied as the content we display, so the best we can hope for is as big a default as possible without inconveniencing users or offending the eye, for want of a better expression. So yeah, random is good. Hopefully without too many examples we will demonstrate that 180px is just too small and anything bigger would be an improvement. mikaultalk 11:54, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
I'd be choosing 250px for the railway station. But 220px has a better chance of succeeding in an RfC. No response yet from Tim Starling. Perhaps John Vandenberg might be the next port of call? Tony (talk) 15:27, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
User_talk:Jarry1250#Increasing_the_default_thumbnail_size. Tony (talk) 15:34, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
I'll get round to deciding my own views later, but for the moment I can comment on the technical feasibility regarding such a change. $wgDefaultUserOptions makes it easy (as far as I can tell) to change the truly default size, and this is what anonymous users and accounts created after the change will see. (Actually, I should interject here that 220px might prove very slighty more difficult than 250px, because 250px is already on the list. But it should be as easy as changing $wgThumbLimits i.e. no bother at all. [Edit: Actually, maybe some bother if the value is stored as a ref number e.g. 3. Then if you hanged the values it would go out of sync, but this could be fixed.]) Then you're left with existing users at 180px (who could just change it themselves if they wanted to), but you are, of course, welcome to remind them that that option exists. It has also just occurred to me that it might not be too hard to force-convert everyone from 180 to the new size, but this may well evoke bad feeling from those who quite like it at 180. - Jarry1250 [ In the UK? Sign the petition! ] 16:45, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Interesting. Are you saying a change in $wgDefaultUserOptions would not affect currently-registered users who hadn't set a thumb size preference other than 180px? From what I can gather based on earlier discussions, the only disgruntled unregistered users might be those who, for reasons of impaired vision, prefer text to be displayed at a relatively large size, making the images look very large. It's this sort of issue that has me tending to prefer a smaller increase to 220px. Having said that, these same hypothetical users viewing our pages on a 720p (HD) monitor have so much screen real estate as to make this irrelevant; they'd barely notice the difference. --mikaultalk 22:46, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, the system has no way of distinguishing between "180px (didn't know I could change it)" and "180px (I extensively test the other sizes and, on balance, much prefered this setting)". So all existing user's preferences would probably remain static throughout. - Jarry1250 [ In the UK? Sign the petition! ] 20:36, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
300px A typical Jan Steen picture (c. 1663); while the housewife sleeps, the household play.
  • The railway station photo, essentially of a wire fence, is surely a pretty terrible shot at any size! Here is a complicated painting (from Dutch Golden Age painting) in rather dark colours & a rather typically low quality source which I think is pretty unreadable at 180, & much better at 220/250, though much better at 300 of course. Also note the effect on the caption. Johnbod (talk) 16:26, 30 September 2009 (UTC)
Train station with tracks and wires overhead
180px. A typical Jan Steen picture (c. 1663); while the housewife sleeps, the household play.
Same image as before
200px. A typical Jan Steen picture (c. 1663); while the housewife sleeps, the household play.
Same image as before
220px. A typical Jan Steen picture (c. 1663); while the housewife sleeps, the household play.
Same image as before
250px. A typical Jan Steen picture (c. 1663); while the housewife sleeps, the household play.

Percentage scaling

(Proposal for dynamic image sizing moved to Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)/Archive 65#Percentage scaling. Cacycle (talk) 02:33, 2 October 2009 (UTC))

Supports and opposes

Since the aim of the RfC is to gauge support or otherwise for the proposal to increase the default thumbnail size upward from 180px (probably to 220px, but MIckStephenson, please correct me if I'm wrong), it would be helpful if people put their cards on the table in an orderly fashion below. Please consider giving a range of the pixel widths that would be acceptable to you, if not a single favoured width.

  • Support. 220–250px (clarifying what I meant by "220px+). The 180px size was probably established in dial-up days. We need to move on. WP is regarded as being weak on images (mostly because of our copyright rules), so let's not make people squint when we actually have the right to use an image. Probably 220px+, although some images still need to be manually adjusted to a larger size, depending on detail, importance, quality, and visual context on the page. Tony (talk) 07:35, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 180px is damn near unreadable and I end up specifying a higher size (I guess contra the MOS, gasp!) when I want the reader to understand an image without clicking on it (which not everyone knows you can do). Protonk (talk) 07:46, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. 180px is ridiculously small on modern displays, and I usually find myself specifying 250px these days. 220px would be a reasonable new default. --Malleus Fatuorum 07:52, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support up to about 220 My primary concern is mobile browsers. The default size should look right on a 320*240 screen without client side resizing. I am aware that Wikipedia sends a different layout to mobile browsers that it can identify, if that is differentiated with image thumbnails (a technical detail I do not know) then higher than 220px might also be a good idea. Miami33139 (talk) 08:08, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • As a technical note, mobile browsers (such as Blackberries) typically ignore image sizes, because specified sizes are so often wrong for mobiles. Mobiles are therefore unaffected by the proposed change. Eubulides (talk) 16:24, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 250px, or 220px at a minimum. The vast majority of displays are capable of 1024x768 resolution, and most can also do 1280x1024. Either of these resolutions can handle 250px thumbnails. I wouldn't want to remove the option to use smaller thumbnails, but it makes it hard to design a layout when the default thumbnailis so small, but you know that many people have (or would if they knew how) set 250px as their default size. In other words, you have to consider two very different sizes. If the default was also the same size as was appropriate for the majority of displays, it would make page layout much easier for editors, and it wouldn't adversely impact users who chose to use smaller thumbnails as they would simply take up less space proportional to text. Diliff | (Talk) (Contribs) 09:09, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 220px+ Personally I use 300px as my default. I'd really like the MOS to specify a uniform image size for infoboxes etc too. Noodle snacks (talk) 09:20, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 250px or at least 220+. I also have a 300 default set, and am more often aware of pics forced too small than being too large. Apparently the mobiles do things differently, so that should not be an issue. Those with vision issues, or very small screens, should still be able to set defaults down to 120px as at present. Johnbod (talk) 11:51, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 220px, and although I wouldn't oppose 250, I'm not sure we're fully appreciating the impact this might have on the relative size of current infobox image defaults and forced-size lead images. If the consensus was for 250, I'd be looking to not only increase the lead image maximum guideline, but attempt a bot-driven upsizing of existing lead and infobox images. At very least a review of those settings would be required as a separate proposal. --mikaultalk 12:26, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 220px+ I haven't set my preferences because I like to see what the majority of our readers see, but I agree that 180 is inadequate in many cases. Dabomb87 (talk) 12:40, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 300px as lead and 250px as default. I like the idea of being able to see images...Modernist (talk) 13:03, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 200px only In many occasions, I've seen this specific forced size set up for images on articles, so I'm choosing the practically used size. 220px is okay. However, 250px is overwhelmingly too big for editors using smaller screens and resolutions.Caspian blue--13:08, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
    After testing the listed image sizes with my sandbox that had a duplicate content of Dutch Golden Age painting, I have to oppose any size greater than 200px. The changed layouts do not look good to me. We should not draw the conclusion with just "one single example per one size at glance.--Caspian blue 17:46, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose 220px I think that 180px is fine, but I would also be okay with 200px. The user can click if they want a larger size, or we can make the size of an individual image larger in an article if it needs to be. But, for most situations, anything over 200px is overkill, and takes over the page. hmwith 15:10, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 220px, probably not 250 though. 180 is just too damn small. I'm surprised it's been kept at that size for so long. Kaldari (talk) 15:14, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose until further study is done. I previously voted "Support 220px but no larger." but (as described below) trying a 250px default hurt the appearance of some high-quality articles, so I would favor making it easy for people to set a 220px default for a while, to see how well it works in practice, before changing the default for everybody. Increasing it to 250px would be too drastic a change, and would affect too many existing layouts adversely. Eubulides (talk) 16:24, 1 October 2009 (UTC) updated 19:34, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support up to 250px. 180px is too small almost all of the time. -Atmoz (talk) 18:48, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 220px took me forever to figure out how to make it lkarger in my preferences anyhow. Martin Raybourne (talk) 18:50, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 250px+ IMO, even 220px is sometimes too small especially when scale bars are involved. --Muhammad(talk) 19:03, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Complete and total support, per nom. --King Öomie 21:05, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support I am really glad this has been proposed with larger screen resolutions this has always seemed to small... RP459 (talk) 23:03, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - A month or two ago, I read that I could set the size in my preferences. I set mine to 300, and I've loved it ever since. I use a notebook with a semi hi resolution, so 220 or 250 is probably good for the default. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 23:59, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 220 through 250 Full disclosure, I have a 1920x1080 monitor. Chillum 01:44, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support at least 220px - 180px is useless most of the time. –Juliancolton | Talk 02:44, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Indifferent oppose I use 150px on screens with 1280 and 1600 px horizontal res and it's just fine (except for pics with very lengthy captions that shouldn't so long anyway). 250px may be convenient on small screens but on higher resolutions bunching of images and edit buttons will be almost unavoidable. For a test, choose a random dozen of FAs. NVO (talk) 08:32, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose anything bigger than 220, no opinion on 200-220 on my 1280x1024 monitor. Thumbs wider than infoboxen (which tend to be in the 220-250 range) make for strange-looking pages. Nifboy (talk) 08:37, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support about 220 Prefer 220, as that is larger, but unlikely to cause trouble on present layouts. Would also be ok with 200 or 250. LK (talk) 10:22, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose I don't see any mention of netbooks above and so the screen-size trend is not proven. Also, thumbnails are supposed to be small - hence the name - and the reader has the option to click on them to see the full size image. Colonel Warden (talk) 10:48, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • If I'm in the middle of reading an article, it would seem a bit of an inconvenience to have to click on every illustration to see what it says. –Juliancolton | Talk 13:49, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Very weak oppose. Changing the default has site-wide impact, and where images actually should be bigger, we can and should specify pixel sizes case-by-case as appropriate. (If MoS still suggests that's bad, that should be addressed.) That said 180->220 is probably OK. Rd232 talk 14:14, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose 220+ The Swedish wiki uses 250 and it's too big, I think 220 should be an upper limit. The images shouldn't be wider than infobox pictures. Hekerui (talk) 16:18, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose anything larger than 220px - While I recognise that 180px is probably on the small side, anything larger than 220px (absent special circumstances justfifying forced sizing) is just excessive. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 16:22, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 220 Looks great on both my machines (23" and 13") and will make the images far more readable and generally appealing to look at. There's very little more annoying than reading a dense article with small images that fail to break it up, and 180 is small. I have no problem with 250 either, but that's because I tend to use the large-screened monitor - 220 is a good starting point. ~ Amory (usertalkcontribs) 16:57, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose anything greater than 200px. I'm not sure I agree with the underlying premise. Devices with small screens (netbooks and smartphones) are becoming increasing popular and people are generally shifting from desktops to notebooks, which typically have lower resolutions than the former. What is the factual basis for claiming our readership is using higher resolutions? There may also be a systematic bias in that regular editors (i.e. those participating here) generally tend to be more interested in technology than the population taken as a whole and, therefore, more likely to have higher end equipment. This is a solution looking for a problem; if a detail in a given image is difficult to discern at the default size, force the size. Эlcobbola talk 17:17, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
    • In previous discussions over the last 4 years or so, the "typical user" debate has been very prominent and, it has to be said, still more uninformed. We still don't really know what the lowest common denominator really is, but I think now, with display technology shifts of the last 3 years or so, it's fair to say that (almost) no-one is viewing wikipedia with an sVGA (800x600) display, the assumption upon which the original 180px thumb was based. We have nothing scientific to support this, but current estimates can be found in this article. I'm also fairly confident in saying the new generation of netbooks and notebooks, despite having a smaller screen, have a greater horizontal resolution than my 2005 Apple Powerbook, on which I view WP with 250px thumb prefs. Using my larger 1080p monitor with 250 set is wonderful but I'm prepared to accept this as "higher end"; the majority are probably using something nearer 720p, and that this makes 220px more viable and eminently viewable. It also makes 180 (or 200) tiny and obsolete. There's a discussion on forced sizes further down the page. --mikaultalk 20:45, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose anything greater than 220px, and weakly oppose anything above 200px, principally agreeing with the reasons mentioned by elcobbola, above. I'd understand a push to go a bit higher than the present default, but think that any more would be in breach of our accessibility aims, and this compromise should be the limit for a good while to come. We'll obviously revisit this every time portable device screen technology takes a leap. But at the end of the day, how hard is it to click on an image and see a much bigger, much better version? Not very. – Kieran T (talk) 18:08, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support up to 220px.—NMajdantalk 20:54, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support up to and including 250px. That's definitely the limit with current technology prevalence, but the days of needing such tiny images are long gone. We have some truly awesome images in our collection; it's almost criminal not to show them off to a better degree. Happymelon 21:40, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 220px — neuro 22:42, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 200px, neutral on 220px, oppose 250px. 180 pixels may be too small, but that's not a good reason to over-react. By their own name, thumbnails are supposed to be small; and this is only about the default; pictures containing text etc. which cannot be easily read at 200px can be shown at a larger size (or tweaked to have a larger font for the text). Another reason to avoid very large thumbnails is that the size of an image, and hence the time to download it, is roughly proportional to the area and hence scales quadratically with the length; if they are enlarged from 180px to 250px, that'd translate to a 93% increase in their download time, and Wikipedia articles already take excruciatingly long to load on 56 kbps connections, which are far from being extinct (for example, more than 30% of Italians don't have access to any faster connection, including me as recently as three months ago.) --___A. di M. 15:57, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 250px, because even phones have higher resolutions these days, and internet connection is good. My only concern is if the Wikipedia foundation can afford the increase in traffic. --HappyInGeneral (talk) 17:08, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 250px The en.-version of Wikipedia needs to begin better supporting modern hardware platforms. The standard window width that webmasters design for is 1024 pixels across before a scroll bar appears at the bottom of the window. Along with these new standard practices comes pictures that are bigger than a default 180 pixels for our regular I.P. viewers. CNN’s main page has main picture measuring 265 pixels wide. It’s long been time for an upward tweak to catch up with the rest of the world. Greg L (talk) 18:37, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 200px, weak support 220px – With my widescreen monitor and network connection, I love the look of the larger photos, especially where 180px cuts a lot of detail out. However, we musn't forget our readers who own less powerful equipment. I just read in Consumer Reports that the rate of broadband use in the U.S. in 2008 was 55 percent; that leaves a large percentage of people who still only have dial-up connections. When I was on dial-up, I remember articles with numerous images having long load times, and that would be exacerbated with a large increase. Add in the increasing use of mobile Internet devices, and I feel an increase should be measured. Giants2008 (17–14) 19:55, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 220-250 px. Anything else is too small. --Patar knight - chat/contributions 23:58, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 250px+. Honestly, even mobile devices have 320px displays now. And even on netbooks and laptops, 250px is not particularly big. Thumbnails are unfortunately named, because they're not just a placeholder for someone to recognize and click through, as with other web image galleries; they tend to be the primary (or only!) version of an image many people see. --MCB (talk) 01:50, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 250px+ The 180px is too small even on my Windoze monitor at work - default-sized images look pathetic on my 23" screen. I always prefer 250px-350px, depending on the article and disposition of text, but would settle for 250px. Ohconfucius (talk) 05:13, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 250px+ The 180px is pretty ludicrous for any articles discussing art or architecture, where you might actually need to refer to the content of an image whilst reading. --Joopercoopers (talk) 08:22, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose 220px+ I would rather an image be slightly too small than too big, because at 220px+ images have a tendancy to affect the text around them and reduce its readability and aesthetic. MasterOfHisOwnDomain (talk) 09:19, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
Does this mean that 180–220px is your range of acceptability? Tony (talk) 05:29, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Preference for keeping 180px, though will accept up to 220px. Users can select a personal preference for larger images, so consideration needs to be given on the impact for the unlogged in viewer (which is our main readership). Larger images can distort text and the layout of articles, and there will need to be a period of tidying up articles impacted by an image size change. Also, large images can distract from the text. While some images are vital to an understanding of the topic, most images are aesthetic. I would prefer that we keep our priority on delivering and presenting good readable text content. On those occasions where an image is vital, and it needs to be forced, we accept and allow that, but I don't think we should be generally encouraging pictures to be dominating the content of an encyclopedia. SilkTork *YES! 17:24, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support up to 250px. -- SWTPC6800 (talk) 01:26, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 200–220px The current default 180px is barely visible in some cases. However, anything larger than 220px would cause the images to mess up the layout in too many articles. —tktktk 02:06, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 180220 or percentage scaling system as another viable option.Jinnai 06:34, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 250 px, also 220–250px. I made my own test with my 12 inches notebook (never use anything else). Result: Excellent if more portraits would be "upright", I only now understand the sense of upright (with 180px upright is just annoyingly small, even on such a small screen). A default of 200px would change nothing, it's still too small, not worth the trouble. Buchraeumer (talk) 17:54, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 220-250px. I just went to Dell's site, and their 10 inch Mini they're selling has a resolution of 1024x600. 150 pixels are eaten by the sidebar. The Worst Case is two images on each side... 1024-(250*2+150) = 326 pixels left for text, which isn't so small as to create the weird "tiny canyon of text" effect. 220 would give 386 pixels. So I think this is fine even for netbooks. Also: Strongly agree that the "upright" trend is evil and pixel sizes should be used instead when defaults are overruled. SnowFire (talk) 23:38, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. My personal preference is 250+, but just about any increase in the default size would be an improvement. It would also be very welcome if people would stop removing intentionally specified widths just because they don't like them. I can't even begin to count the number of times I've had to argue over the fact that 180 makes many maps and graphics illegible, but people fight for the "default" just because they don't want their preferences overridden. Make them larger in the interest of the silent majority of readers. Dragons flight (talk) 21:46, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 220 And if there are problems, try reducing it to 200. If there are no problems, consider running a more rigorous study on whether 240, 250, 260, or other, would be an appropriate second step. -- Quiddity (talk) 04:47, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support any increase. Even the new netbooks w/ their small screens usually support at least XGA. If we assume that XGA is the lowest common denominator instead of sVGA, we get accordingly that the image sizes should be increased to ~230px from 180px. Rami R 11:01, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. If I want to see the detail of an image, I'll click on it. These images are supposed to be thumbnails: that's what it says on the tin. If it really is essential, on a page I'm editing, to be able to read the details of an image - eg a diagram - to understand the text, then I'll force a minimum size. That includes the Jan Steen pic above, which I wouldn't force an increased size for. But on the other hand we have a fair number of pages with a lot of images on them, designed for 180px. A 50% linear increase in the image size (i.e. an area increase in screen real-estate x 2.25) I see as likely leading to a lot of over-congested pages. Jheald (talk) 17:32, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
The Steen image appears in an article where you read the text to understand the images, not the other way round. Johnbod (talk) 17:35, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Quite so, and that's probably why I'm happy with it the size it is. The images where I have forced size have most often been in maths articles, where with luck reading the image maybe can help you understand the text. Jheald (talk) 17:44, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
(ec)Not sure I see your logic there, but whatever. There is no need to speculate as to what a change to 200, 250 or 300 is "likely" to 'lead to' - all you have to do is reset your preferences, as many editors above have done. They already see default thumbs at 250 or 300px; some pages are indeed congested but most are fine even at these sizes. Johnbod (talk) 17:46, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
Please also note the overwhelming consensus so far is for 220px, which is considerably less obtrusive a change than the 250px you appear to be basing your assumptions on. --mikaultalk 19:15, 13 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support increasing to at least 200px and Oppose anything higher then 220px. Clearly 180px is too small and 250px is too large. For me, 200px is a good compromise. Vegaswikian (talk) 20:45, 15 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support - 220px to 300px would be the range I'd like to be able to select from a personal point of view. As we are actually making a decision on the default for those who can't or don't set preferences, I'd have to settle for 220px for the default. --RexxS (talk) 16:15, 31 October 2009 (UTC)

Further discussion

  • Comment I'd have more confidence in this if all of the "support" folks had actually tried this for a week. Changing your personal default is trivially easy: Go to Special:Preferences, click "Appearances", find the pop-up labeled "Thumbnail size" (under "Files") and change it to something bigger. Then come back in a week and let us know whether it made any real difference (and also whether you tried it out on the small laptops that a lot of our readers use). One of the questions I have is whether the proposed 18% increase in width will actually make any real difference. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:10, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Haven't you read them? Several have mentioned that they have larger sizes (usually 300 in fact) set as preferences. 180 to 220 is a 22.2% increase in width (not 18%), and a 49.3% increase in area, which is a better way to look at it. People will of course still be free to set smaller preferences. Johnbod (talk) 19:24, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I saw those notes. However, "three editors" is not the same as "all", and I think that feedback from rather more than a couple of editors, and especially from people that use small screens, would be valuable information. What looks nice on my 1680x1050 Apple cinema display tells me next to nothing about what's functional on a small screen. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:29, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
You have a cute way with numbers - now 3=a couple; in fact it is now many more. But I certainly agree that anyone who has not tried out different settings should do so, if possible on different screens. And whatever happens we should make the options for settings better publicised. Johnbod (talk) 15:24, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Most users do not log in, and most who log in don't set preferences, so the issue is relevant. I just now set my preferences to 250px and visited some featured articles, and 250px is definitely too large, as it messes up the relative layout of images whose sizes are set compared to images whose sizes are not set. I would like to try 220px for a while, but obviously cannot. The experience has caused me to revise my opinion (as noted above). Eubulides (talk) 19:34, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Which is exactly why factor-scaling (e.g., 1.5 times the size of "the default") should be binned, and pixel width used exclusively. Sorry, I have little sympathy for the tampering with the display by WPian editors so they see something different from what our readers see. Tony (talk) 00:40, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Had you never tried it before? Having had my preferences at 300 for some years, the only real issues I have had on FAs have been the few recently reset using the "scaling" option. Many FAs in the past have had sizes de-forced at FAC because of the widespread interpretation that the MoS required this. I think it is beginning to sink in that that this is not the case, but until recently drive-by de-forcers were extremely common on all articles. The "relative layout of images whose sizes are set compared to images whose sizes are not set" will be "messed up" with any default setting, just in a different way. If you have a large font set, your 250 will I think not equate to the usual one. Johnbod (talk) 21:01, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
All I did was change my Wikipedia settings for default image size to 250px. I continued to use the default browser settings for fonts etc. This is the way most users would see the site, if the image default were changed to 250px. And the change to 250px made the two featured articles that I visited noticeably worse: the default-size images became bigger while the fixed-size images stayed the same size, and the relative balance that the articles had went out of whack. Here are the details:
  • Autism with default=250px. The portrait of Kanner in Autism # Classification became way too large. Kanner was the co-discoverer of autism, but he doesn't dominate the field the way that such a large portrait would imply. The diagram in Autism #Causes also became too large: it's just a simple schematic and shouldn't dominate the section. By and large none of the image size increases were improvements, and since the infobox image doesn't change in size it seems to become less important even though it's by far the most important image in the article.
  • Daylight saving time with default=250px. This makes the images of the water clock and of Franklin too large in Daylight saving time #Origin. The Franklin image size is particularly objectionable, since it raises the apparent importance of Franklin compared to the (unchanged-size) images of Willett and of Hudson, even though Franklin did not invent daylight saving time and Hudson and (independently) Willett did. The image of the sundial in Daylight saving time #Complexity is way too large at 250px, and likewise for the "You can't stop time" poster in Daylight saving time #Computing. The victory poster in Daylight saving time #Politics was fine at 180px, though I suppose some might prefer 250px. The increase in image widths does help the BRZ-US example in Daylight saving time #How it works but merely wastes space in Daylight saving time #References.
I initially favored increasing the default size, until I actually tried it. Going to 250px is clearly too much, for these two articles, as it makes both articles worse, mostly by conveying a misleading impression to the reader about the relative importance of the illustrated concepts. I think going to 220px will help overall (it will have problems too, but they'll be less of a problem and I hope the advantages of the larger size outweighs disadvantages such as those noted above), but I'd like to try it first before installing this for every Wikipedia user. I don't think that's too much to ask. Eubulides (talk) 01:51, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
I looked at these with my usual 300. Autism, which has hardly any images, looked fine, but one bit of DST could do with some fiddling. If you think a minute, I expect you will see that "way too large" etc are wholly subjective judgements. I expect after a day or two you would get used to the new look. People being too attatched to the image being exactly right next to the related text is one issue. I then reset all the Autism images except the infobox to 220px in this diff before reverting myself. It looks less good than at 300px, but far better than 180, to which I also reset my preferences. That looked terrible to me, as they always do - six four word lines of caption, come on! Do you ever see professionally designed material looking like that? Johnbod (talk) 02:51, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
One point to make is that article image decisions were made with the default image size in mind. It is one thing to say that a change in the default image size will impact articles negatively, it is another to expect that they would do so, even if the images were rearranged. I don't expect our image layouts to be scale invariant. I will, however, agree w/ the general comment that 250 is too big as a default size. Protonk (talk) 01:59, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the previous comment. If the default were changed to 220px (thanks for doing that test, Johnbod) I'd edit Autism to downsize the Kanner image and the chromosome diagram. Also, File:Powell2004Fig1A.jpeg has no business being 220px (even 180px is arguably too much for what is in reality an image with about 100px resolution). Once I did that, 220px would be fine for Autism; but of course now we're talking about doing quite a bit of hand-work after changing the default size, which is a negative. The sizing issue has nothing to do with the images being "exactly right next" to text; it has to do with image sizes conveying inaccurate information to the casual reader about the relative importance of the illustrated topics. I'm not sure what caption size has to do with this, but I have seen professionally designed material with captions much larger than what's in Autism; for example, Figure 1 of Geschwind 2009 (PMID 19630577) has a tall thin caption containing 36 lines. Eubulides (talk) 07:36, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
I can't access that but it sounds wierd. I think you will agree that is not something you'd see in a general interest publication. Do they in fact credit a designer for the journal? Being "exactly right next" to the relevant text is indeed an issue - the EDS article is an excellent example, where about half the pictures in the article are crammed into one small stretch, because that is where the most relevant text is. If you had more experience viewing at higher settings you'd know how common this is. To Protonk: I have always (perhaps foolishly) always designed my articles to look right at my pref of 300; I'm always horrified when I forget to log on & see them at default. I used to think that most registered users had set the prefs that suited their screen, which clearly is not the case. I don't like forcing images, a) because someone will only come along & unforce them, & b) for the sake of people with really small (or wide) screens. Johnbod (talk) 14:02, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
My preferences are set to 300px and I wish a larger option were available. I've never had a problem with layout issues. But if there are layout issues, there is still the option to resize the images smaller. My display is 1280x800. -Atmoz (talk) 20:48, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Eubulides, I think it will end up being 220px, not 250px. Tony (talk) 02:24, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
Try 250px for awhile - it does take getting used to. Clearly for those articles and imagery that call for tighter smaller fit - then use |upright or simply use 180px or less whichever works better, my take is that once editors get used to a 250px default and it sets in, it will maintain its appeal...Modernist (talk) 02:53, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I've been using 300px for several days, and I'm quite pleased with it. I wouldn't object to a default above 250px, actually. –Juliancolton | Talk 03:56, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I have a good connection and a large monitor: I would be very happy with 250px. However, it would require a lot more image auditing, since editors have sometimes ignored the MoS rule against the sandwiching of text between left- and right-side images. sandwiching probably need to be fixed anyway, even at the current squint-sized 180px, but 250px would bring it all to a head more rapidly. (Maybe that's a good thing?) Tony (talk) 04:03, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I think so, like everything adjustments to imagery in articles will need to be made, however it is as Julian and others say - a step up from postage stamp size defaults, 300px is tempting...Modernist (talk) 04:10, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Let's look at the practicalities: at the moment, many articles need most of their images upsized; going to 250px appears to me to provide a better default solution than 220px, and may require a few images to be downsized, like the Autism pic Eubulides found (see his entry above). That's fine—fact is, we need to audit a lot of our articles for image placement, text sandwiching, image sizing anyway, whatever the default. Tony (talk) 04:23, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I've had my prefs set to 250 for about a month and it's only really been a glaring problem when editors have used factor scaling, which can generate massive, format-wrecking images not far short of image preview size, never mind thumbs. This page was referenced in a previous discussion as means of making a map more prominent by using upright=2.0 markup; however for me, on my old 1024x768 powerbook, it looks absurdly large. Forced sizing is similarly unattractive, even 220px stuff looks diminutive, as if illustrating a point of lesser importance. It's also very obvious when editors have omitted to use the upright markup, making portrait-oriented images appear rather too large. Overall it seems clear from this experience (and further to the excellent points raised here) that image markup is, generally speaking, a complete mess on this wiki – and I include many FAs in that criticism – almost always for want of a bigger default thumb size. We do need to work on delivering a lot more diligence in image auditing, as well as more thoughtful, ad hoc markup for emphasis and legibility when writing and editing, rather than deal constantly with the shortcomings of an inadequate default situation, and this shakeup is possibly the best way to kickstart precisely such a drive. --mikaultalk 09:57, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • One thing that came to mind here, while I support the effort and agree that there will need to be tweaks on existing articles, is the effect on the printed article, presumably considering printing to standard letter-size, portrait layout. I cannot recall if the print layout obeys the user pref that is printing it, whether it defaults to specific sizes, or not, but we should make sure that with default thumbs at 220 or 250 (the two most likely options proposed) doesn't screw up printing. --MASEM (t) 10:57, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Mick, yes, the "upright=" factor-scaling system of resizing (e.g., 1.5 times the WPian's default setting) is a significant problem. It's a great pity that we've started with a ridiculously small default size for all of our readers and felt the need to give WPians the ability to upsize it for their own display. Now when we upsize the default for our readers (the 99.999% who really count), WPians will need to dump their privileged setting. And a good thing too, because we as editors and the managers of image placement and size should be seeing what our readers see. If I had a magic wand, I'd bin the preference settings for WPians and along with it the factor-scaling system. Apologies to Eubulides, who I know like 'em big. Tony (talk) 13:30, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
I agree with some of this, and Mikaul above. Yes there will need to be a great deal of adjusting, but imo a change in this direction is inevitable at some point, and the sooner we get it over with the easier it will be. I like them big too, but I also like them to fit on the screen. With scaled images on a 300px setting they often don't, but thankfully few images are set that way yet. The scaling systems should be binned, but there is no reason to abandon preference settings for people with different size screens, who use larger font settings etc. With sensible default size, far fewer images will need forcing or scaling. But having 2 ways of increasing default size that have unintended multiplicatory effects when both come together makes no sense. Johnbod (talk) 14:02, 2 October 2009 (UTC)
I think the images fit better into articles at a small size. I use a very large monitor, and I've tried various sizes,and always gone back to 180. I don;t think it affects usability of the images--Everyone who uses the internet knows to click on a picture to see it larger. I don't like wording like "the 99.99% who really count"--the readers using slow connections or obsolete equipment count just as much as anyone. the readers whop have fast connections and are knowledgeable are served very well already--they can just modify their settings. any image that needs large display can be specified. DGG ( talk ) 06:15, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
There are reasons for larger sizes though and it shouldn't require a person to click on the thumbnail if the information is lost due to downcoversion for the article.Jinnai 20:50, 3 October 2009 (UTC)
I'm fairly sure the 99% comment referred to all non-editing visitors, the point being that we are careful to cater for them, not ourselves. Incidentally it's from this perspective that we should recognize the futility of expecting any visitor to intuit that clicking on our barely-visible placeholder images will reveal amore readable size. I'm also completely unconvinced by objections on the basis of slow connections. While we should certainly avoid being a particularly slow-loading site, upsizing to 220px won't suddenly make it so. Compared to many sites, particularly those that carry advertising, our dialup visitors would still find us relatively fast-loading. A typical 450px web page illustration is the equivalent of four 220px wikipedia images. If the average article has this many images, the propsed change would add a very small percentage change in load times, like the New York Times running a 450px image in place of a 400px one. At least — at last! — dialuppers would actally end up with something worth waiting for. Or are these the same visitors we expect to click a thumb to view an even bigger pic? Doesn't add up, I'm afraid. mikaultalk 03:06, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
DGG, if it is not a general principle, it should be: editors should not assume that readers will click on an image to see it at a reasonable size (many readers will not even know they can do that); and the assumption that readers will have to click on an image to make sense of it should be minimised. The latter involves a minority of maps (all too many at the moment, IMO), and I can see some that can't possibly be meaningful without clicking to see full size displayed—this should be regarded only as a contingency where the font-size of the text on a map is tiny and can't be boosted by us, for example. Tony (talk) 04:19, 4 October 2009 (UTC)
On the subject of assumptions about readers: I find it is VERY instructive to talk to non-computer savvy family members about wikipedia. You discover interesting things--namely that a lot of processes which seem natural to us are fairly obtuse to many newcomers (obviously the usability survey confirms this, but I am only speaking from personal experience). Protonk (talk) 06:14, 5 October 2009 (UTC)

Interim data. It's a data-rich RfC, so I've graphed the results thus far (down to User:DCB) hoping that it might help users to see the way it's going (clearly this is an interim result only). This captures the range of pixel widths that appear to be acceptable to each participant. Thus, 18% of participants would be OK with no change (180px, although some of them are OK with a range, say, up to 200 or 220, which has been counted); 80% find 220px (among other sizes) acceptable; and 50% find 250px (among other sizes) acceptable. I've made a few assumptions, such as when someone says "Support, up to 220", I added one point to each of 200, 210 and 220px, assuming their support for enlargement wasn't just for an increase from 180 to 190.Tony (talk) 04:50, 4 October 2009 (UTC)


Thumbnail size RfC 9 Oct.jpg
  • I have inserted this update here and on Tim Starling's talk page (he has been away and I hope to engage him, as one of the two paid WM developers, in a technical solution). Please note the following points:
    • There has been little change in community preference for an increase in the default size as the RfC has progressed.
    • This is only one way of expressing the results of the RfC: it emphasises the total range of acceptability to each participant, weighting the points in 10px increments equally through each person's range. A more complicated display might weight a single preference, say for 250px alone, more than each point throughout their range, or might register the average of each person's expressed range of acceptability as a single data-point, or might give weight to the few instances where there's an expressed preference (say for 220px) within an expressed range of acceptability (say, 180–200px). I have a feeling these methods would not make much difference to the overall interpretation of the data.
    • I've made a few assumptions where participants have been a little vague, in which the intention was to be NPOV.
    • Question: is it reasonable to end this RfC two weeks after it started? We're on Day 9 now? Anyone object? Tony (talk) 02:51, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Neutral, leaning toward oppose. Although the idea of a larger default feels attractive to a media editor, it's so simple to change one's default setting manually that this isn't an important issue for most of us in the first world. Handheld devices and third world readers are pertinent concerns--especially the latter. Wikipedia suffers from too much systemic bias already; any significant increase in bandwidth is going to have real impact. I know one editor from a developing country who copes with power outages that sometimes last five hours a day, and another from a different country whose village got electric power only within the last couple of decades. A single villager signing onto a voice service such as Skype can crash Internet connections for that neighborhood. These are realities for many people on the planet who bring cultural, regional, and geographic knowledge few of us in North America or Europe could replace. Let's keep a global outlook. Durova321 03:28, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
However easy it is to change default preferences manually, User talk:Werdna (my enquiry Sept 30th, about to be archived) says only 10,478 users have done so - a figure I find astonishingly low. More signposts to the preferences tab should be set up, whatever happens here. Johnbod (talk) 11:34, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
But but but ... the actualy number of active WPians with the preference setting would be only a fraction of this 10 thousand users. Werdna has surely provided the numbers of all registered accounts (almost all of them inactive, and some of them alt accounts). I want to know how many active WPs have set prefs: my guess is 10–20% of the thousand most active users. Tony (talk) 00:44, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I've asked for more details, but no response yet. Are active readers, as opposed to editors, recorded logging in? It can't be assumed they are the same. If only 100-200 "active" editors have set preferences it is odd that such a high proportion of them have already mentioned the fact on this page. You said the same about date prefs, & the actual number was into 6 figures whichever way it was looked at. But I agree that prefs are set by a small minority, & are a poor argument for keeping the 180 default. Johnbod (talk) 01:01, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
Durova, what most of this has to do with the price of fish in Poland is beyond me. Increases in bandwidth are a fact of life all over the world. Most of the world doesn't even have telephony. Is it a third of humans who have no electricity in their house? Sorry, we can't do the impossible; and it is the English WP, not the Tibetan WP. The project needs to look forwards, not backwards, or it simply won't compete well on the Internet. We need to be dynamic and adaptable, not stuck in a lowest-common-factor mindset. Reasonable bandwidth is a reasonable assumption for an online encyclopedia. Restricting ourselves to what downloads in a few seconds via the slowest connections is not. If this were a really significant increase, such as would be required by the large-scale introduction of videos, we might need to think carefully. But it's not. Durova, what is your window of acceptability? 180px alone? 180–200px? Tony (talk) 05:29, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • "Most of the world doesn't even have telephony." Not true. Currently there are more than 4 billion mobile handsets in use around the world, with about 3 billion of these in developing countries. Some people have more than one mobile phone, of course, but the actual number of people with mobile phones is about 3.6 billion. Current predictions are for 6 billion mobile phones by 2013. Almost every adult who wants a mobile phone will have one by then. (My source is the 2009-09-24 Economist special section on telecoms in emerging markets.) (This analysis omits fixed-line phones, which are now in the minority.)
  • "Reasonable bandwidth is a reasonable assumption for an online encyclopedia." Currently about 30% of Internet users worldwide are on fixed-line broadband. About half that are mobile broadband. The rest (i.e., the majority) are on slow connections. There is a particular problem in Africa, not only because of the infrastructure within the continent, but because of lack of connectivity to the rest of the world (this is being worked on, but it's still a problem). (Same source as before.)
  • Here's one data point. The current featured article is Virus. It is not particularly image heavy but has a lot of fancy text. It currently takes 686,899 bytes to download, including images (more than half of the bytes are text). Changing the default to 250px would increase the total to 833,925 bytes, a 21% increase. Even the smaller size is waaaayy too large for a slow connection; the larger size would make it even worse. If we look only at the affected images (which would be appropriate for the worst case of a page with a lot of default-size thumbs), the number of bytes grows from 194,281 to 333,634, a 72% increase.
Eubulides (talk) 07:14, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • A lot of these are matters of degree. Site bloat is not uncommon, but wikipedia is notably much less bloated than most of the other top 1 websites (save google). How much less bloated is an open question. I can certainly see a good argument as to why wikipedia should use the minimum thumbnail size possible, but we need to acknowledge that technical arguments and "the kid in Africa" comprise only part of the discussion. The other part is given that tradeoff, can we justify increasing the default image size? Protonk (talk) 07:24, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Striking part of my earlier statement and overwriting a previous reply. Perhaps the boldface formatting generated confusion; please accept my apologies for that. Shortly after I posted another editor moved it (in good faith) out of the comments section to the poll section. Mainly I intended to raise a new angle for discussion. People who know the background should be aware how disinterested this is. Best regards, Durova321 17:19, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Protonk's summary sounds right to me. If we take the consensus as 180px is inadequate what remains is a decision on exactly what the minimum tolerable thumb size is, and going with that. The tradeoff for 220px is considerably smaller than that for 250px. Perhaps we should be weighing that up, rather than wringing hands over unlikely scenarios. Really, I think a serious drive to audit articles and remove forced thumbs (given a new default off 220) would be a net bloat-reduction, as a great many articles are currently either over-illustrated or have 250px+ forced upon them. mikaultalk 23:19, 5 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Then it appears we lack enough common ground for discussion. Your analysis appears to begin by presuming the very point I question, and "wringing hands over unlikely scenarios" is hard to even parse. It is common knowledge that most people in third world countries don't have high speed Internet access, and equally well agreed that Wikipedia does not cover the developing world as well as it should. Indonesia has about three-quarters the population of the United States, yet we seem to have only one Indonesian FP. Durova321 13:37, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
I think your point was addressed well enough by Tony upthread and second his asessment. My "hand wringing" comment was aimed not at your remarks but at Eubuildes' stat analysis, based on a hypothetical 250px default, which looks unlikely to be adopted as things stand. mikaultalk 23:58, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
If the default is changed from 180px to 220px, then the number of bytes in the affected images in the current featured article (Catherine de' Medici) will grow from 153,784 to 234,878, a 53% increase. I don't think it's hand-wringing to point out the increase in sizes, or to mention that the poorer half of the world's Internet users lack broadband connections. Eubulides (talk) 05:29, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Eubulides, this sudden enthusiasm for advocating the interests of the world's poor is perplexing. Why is it you've never said anything about the profligate use of many images some articles? For example, London Heathrow Airport has more squinty thumbnails than you could poke a stick at (some of them of marginal usefulness/interest). This bumps up the byte-size of an article much more than the proposed increase from 180 to 220px. Is that article a denial of human rights? How many dial-up users can't make out what on earth a 180px image is, and need to double-click on it? That uses much more bandwidth than more reasonably sized thumbnails in the first place. Tony (talk) 06:27, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Is this really the place to be commenting on another editor's "sudden enthusiasm"? or to make comments about "human rights"? I've never once mentioned human rights. And I haven't changed my enthusiasm for making Wikipedia available to a wide audience, an audience that includes a large number of people who don't enjoy broadband. It's true that some articles have too many images, but that doesn't alter the point that going from 180px to 220px will make access to Wikipedia noticeably worse (in terms of delay) for about half of the world's Internet users. Surely it's not too much to ask to try this change out first, before installing it as the default for everybody. Eubulides (talk) 07:37, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
A lot of contributors here have tried 250px and liked it because it is much, much easier to "read" an image without clicking it. 220px would obviously not be quite so readable but it represents a considerable improvement over 180px. This much can be gleaned from the discussion above; a few test edits are all that's required to demonstrate the relative pointlessness of 180px thumbs, ie you want to read them, you have to click them. While it remains for one of our paid developers to comment on exactly how this will impact the usability of the site (no offence, but I'd like to have a more "official" reading of the relative download burdens involved – 180 to 220 is patently not a 50+% increase, for example) are we really going to reject this site-wide improvement on the basis that some image-heavy articles will take a few seconds (roughly 15 in the example you cite) longer to download for a handful of visitors? And does the reduced need to click on an illustration in order to read it really represent a raw deal for dialup users? Surely enhanced one-click viewing of articles mitigates a slightly longer load time. If this is what it's come down to, let's start thinking in terms of realistic viewer scenarios, not whizz-bang statistics. mikaultalk 09:34, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
"180 to 220 is patently not a 50+% increase, for example)" Yes it can be a 50+% increase, because the amount of data goes up as the square of the image size, and (220/180)2 is 1.494, or a 49.4% increase; due to the vagaries of compression the value can go above 50%. The "lot of contributors" mentioned above are most likely broadband users. I'm worried about the half of Internet users that are not broadband users. Half of all Internet users is not a "handful" of users. I don't know where that "15 seconds" came from, but adding a 15-second wait per page would certainly discourage me from visiting a web site. Eubulides (talk) 09:43, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, like I said, not a 50%+ increase... the devil is in the details here. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I estimated fifteen seconds to be the time it would take to download the extra 80k you estimate 220px thumbs would add to Catherine de' Medici over a 56k dialup connection. You're surely right in correcting me about worldwide broadband penetration, although I'd like to question that statistic as regards actual visitors to en.wikipedia. But enough about statistics. The point I was making is that these numerical factoids are not experiential values. You betray this point in your last sentence; fifteen seconds to a dialup user is a blink of an eye in the pedestrian experience that is dialup surfing. It might put you off with your near-instant high-speed experience but then you're not properly empathising with the dialup user in saying that. And the point remains unanswered: does the reduced need to click on an illustration in order to read it really represent such a raw deal for dialup users? mikaultalk 11:02, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it does represent a raw deal. I've been a dialup user, and I know what it's like. For Wikipedia it can be quite bad. To some extent I expect it's so bad that these users are deterred from visiting Wikipedia's articles, or at least the articles with several images. And now you're quibbling about 49.4% versus 50%? I looked into that, and it happened because going from 180px to 220px increases the sizes of images marked with plain "upright" from 140px to 180px, which (if you take the square of 180/140, and ignore compression) is a 65% increase in bytes. That article had multiple "upright" images, so it went over 50%. I expect other articles would be similar. Eubulides (talk) 16:15, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
Actually "upright" settings are pretty rare in my experience, though becoming more common. They were very obscure until recently, & I doubt most editors have heard of them. I'm always adding them in (but never scaled). Johnbod (talk) 16:34, 7 October 2009 (UTC)
<outdent<- If you leave out the scale factoring, upright markup is one of the good things to have evolved recently, preventing vertical image thumb sizes from running the same width as horizontal ones, effectively keeping them to the same size (pixel count) so I don't quite understand the fine distinction being made there. Look, it's probably worth stating outright that I'm fully AGF here and I do appreciate this valid concern over page sizes. My concern is that statistical analysis might distort our perception of end user experience.
Speaking for myself, I used dialup for 10 years and took an active interest in website optimisation from the start, as part of my work. I do understand how a page of 220px images behaves relative to a page of 180px ones at <56kbs. I've also experienced Wikipedia at this connection speed. In all honesty, it never once put me off visiting because it was no different to other websites in terms of usability. Since then, I would argue that, with the proliferation of media-rich sites and especially banners, ads etc that we don't carry, the rest of the web has in fact become much less dialup-friendly than Wikipedia. Significantly, back then I did avoid viewing images at preview size unless it was absolutely essential; on an sVGA monitor it was rarely necessary; on an HD display, clicking on 180px thumbs is almost obligatory if they are to function as illustrative content. As pointed out above, HD viewing is fast becoming the default reality for the vast majority of visitors. In summary, we can not only afford this increase, we can't afford not to implement it.
I've bolded the main points here that seem to me to be unavoidable facts of web-based life. Upthread are a number of good suggestions for reducing bloat and streamlining our articles that would go a long way towards mitigating a nominal increase in thumb default size. We're long overdue an image overhaul and it seems obvious to me that workable default positions that editors don't (therefore) just ignore – including cohesive, consistent style and usage policy – is an eminently sensible foundation to base it on. mikaultalk 00:36, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Some of the editors who have already commented at this thread are already well aware that default thumbnailing produces differently sized images. That's not necessarily an argument to increase the default sizing, though. Durova322 22:07, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Ongoing image auditing is necessary whatever the new thumbnail size. Thumbnails differ in their size, even at the same default or the same forced px width. See, for example, the yellow monster in the second section down here, which is at default 180px size. But the obvious fact is that the majority of pics, which are at thumbnail size, are ridiculously tiny. Raising the default to 220px will be a good start. Tony (talk) 00:34, 6 October 2009 (UTC)
The arguments made on slow connections i have to say is a farce. I use both a broadband connection (normally) and occiasionally at other people's houses my DS browser (when I can't access their computers directly). The connection speed on the latter is rather slow and while I do turn off image loading sometimes (usually on image-heavy pages), it is the walls of text more than the images that keep my browsing then to a minimum.Jinnai 20:58, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
Durova, yes, my point was that editors will still need to manage the size of a minority of images, even when the default size is made more reasonable. Tony (talk) 00:38, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
Actually a new type of scrolling template was created for that featured picture. You certainly seem to be sincere in this effort, but really in response to your query at FPC talk what I'd much rather see is a bot to check and give notification when a featured picture gets removed from an article. With over 2000 featured pictures, many of which appear at multiple articles, it's impossible to keep track of that by hand. Perhaps also a featured content star for the caption box so that readers could tell at a glance which images would hold up at higher resolution scrutiny. Proportionately, the featured media is outnumbered by low quality images that really aren't worth the trouble of resizing. Durova322 02:13, 9 October 2009 (UTC)
  • It has been quite a while since this discussion was started, and we have a fairly strong consensus for changing the default size to 220px. What next? –Juliancolton | Talk 02:14, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
  • 11 days now. I've posted and posted on Tim Starling's talk page, and sent him a ping email. He hasn't edited since 15 September, so perhaps he's on a month's leave. Tony (talk) 02:51, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Be good to get some feedback from a buro before too long. We do have some encouraging can do techie notes from Jarry above and I'd suggest we concentrate for now on nailing a definitive size. Tony's graph is interesting in that it shows a range of preferences, ie a majority clearly supported 220px but this might have been swayed by my suggesting it in the first place. There are some well-reasoned agruments for at least 220px and the graph does show an average (mean? I must have been off school the day we did all that..) preference for maybe 230px, or 235... maybe someone good at maths could work out what it is. Point being that (per Jarry's explanation) there are kind of preset options to reset the default to either 200 or 250, but anything between these would have to be specifically coded for. mikaultalk 06:07, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Support 220-300 range Anything short of 300 is fine with me. Based on the recent issue with a certain jellyfish, I support a larger thumb. Too large, however, will crimp loading time etc.   Nezzadar    16:05, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I realise I'm massively late to the party, and apologies if I've missed things (WP:TLDR), but I don't think this has been adequately thought out. Many lists (especially FLs) have columns of images down the side of tables and may use a column big enough to "fill" the section. Increasing default image size may cause unneccessary overflow into other secitions and ugly indentation of section headers and the like in articles. Also there are WP:ACCESS concerns about squashing text, especially if images are along side tables. Finally some image templates like {{Double image stack}} have the size (currently 180) entered manually and without the thumb option I feel would display strangely (it's okay for people who have made their preference a different size, but for all our readers to see this, is rather messy.) Rambo's Revenge (talk) 19:24, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
"Fill the section" on whose screen exactly? That will depend totally on the user's kit. If for any reason the current situation is considered the best for any particular images, the old effect can be achieved by "upright=0.8", which turns 220 back into 180. I don't understand the second point at all - by the sound of it these images will be unaltered, for good or bad. Johnbod (talk) 19:45, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
Okay I'll give an example: the column of images alongside the table at Premier League Manager of the Month fill the section, and I believe it would take a very narrow screen to make the table wrap and the images to not fill the section. My second point was that the template wouldn't change but any images around it would, making it appear strange when in a column as it will be a different size. Rambo's Revenge (talk) 22:13, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
You needn't worry about the first one; it looks ok, and fits, with my 300px preferences, though some are too big (plain "upright" might be advisable). On the second, yes, but this is hardly a major issue in the context of all the default pics on WP. The change (which is now going ahead btw) will certainly mean many things should be readjusted, as people have said several times above. Johnbod (talk) 23:10, 28 October 2009 (UTC)
I was aware this is going ahead, and actually I'm okay with this; however I do think this is a more major change than people are making out, and there will be a lot of things that need readjusting. Rambo's Revenge (talk) 23:37, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

So is it to be 230px?

  • Since the range of acceptable widths is well weighted on the greater than 220 side rather than the smaller than 220 side, I suggest that 230px would be a truer reflection of community opinion. I believe the Swedish WP has 250px. Tony (talk) 07:34, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
    • I think it might not be since if we take into consideration all those above and below that range (220 for those below that and 250 for those above that) then i'm not so sure.Jinnai 07:56, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
    • Is there any way of gauging a statistical average with the data you collated into the graph? It might end up being little more than academic interest, but it would probably help define that assessment as a pixel dimension. mikaultalk 08:10, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
I don't think 230px is the consensus. Arguably the consensus is 220px. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 16:44, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
  • About time I got myself an informed opinion on the results, so I checked over the support-opposes and it seems clear that:
  1. roughly 10% would prefer no change at all, or for increases to be <220
  2. about 35% support 220px (including "per nom" supports assumed to be 220px) or are agreeable to anything ≤220
  3. the remainder (≈55%) see 220px as a bare minimum, preferring a range of sizes greater than this
I'm no statistician but I think this clearly points to election of an increase somewhere beyond 220px. A couple of thoughts on this: the temptation to pick a statistical average should be tempered by awareness of this being a mere 50-odd opinions out of our entire editor base. Discretion may be the better part of valour here, and selecting 220px may be just plain good diplomacy. It might well be less troublesome to implement 220px and review it in a year (or so) rather than plough in with something that's going to upset applecarts. The point that sways it for me is that, looking at the %s I've posted here, with 220px we have a resounding consensus for change. --mikaultalk 21:00, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
If they see 220 as the "bare minimum" it is still a minimum they would be willing to accept.Jinnai 20:12, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Exactly. Tony's already put in a formal request to that effect, see below. mikaultalk 20:28, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
  • I don't see where you get 230. The bulk of the responses center around 220, and some responses gave preferences or ranges where we can accept that 220 fits within the acceptable range of a large majority of respondents. We can't get more specific (and I don't think we should attempt to) without asking threshold questions or asking for rankings. We ought to set the default to 220. Protonk (talk) 22:27, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Tony made the request to increase the default just to 220px. See for the bugzilla thread. --RexxS (talk) 23:49, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

As long as there is consistency

I am not to set on any particular value. 200 - 230 seems good. As long as we have consistency between all pages and can thus set almost all images ( 98% ) to the default size.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:37, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

"Date" of image

One of the requirements for images is stated as: "Date: Date the image was created. The more exact, the better". This is obviously ok for many photos, but not for photos of PD art etc, as a) it fails to distinguish between the date of creation of the subject of the photo - the only factor relevant for determining copyright status under Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp., and the date the photo was taken. b) If assumed, as it would be for a normal photo, to mean the date the photo was taken, this information is typically unobtainable for museum-derived picture library photos of art, and very very few such images on either WP or Commons have it. but in any case it has no relevance for copyright, or anything much else. The date of a book that the photo appears in only gives a terminus ante quem and is most unlikely to be the date of the photo itself.

Commons templates show similar confusion - if you look at their images of say Rembrandt paintings, there is a complete mix under "Creator" of Rembrandt himself & some dude with a Canon, or scanning machine. But that is their problem. If there is some support for a better wording, I'll add a draft, unless anyone else does so in the meantime. Johnbod (talk) 18:04, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose a change. The problem with mixing dates is the same as mixing authors; it requires the writers of the description page to actually be clear; their failure to do so is not a good reason to remove important information. One of the reasons for the confusion at Commons is many of the images are migrated there from—resulting in a bunch of bot-created jargon that has to be cleaned up by hand as it has the habit of removing good info. For public domain images both germane dates should be included if known. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 19:04, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Only dates relevant to copyright should be mandated. The present wording is ambiguous, and if the meaning applied to most images is taken asks for information that is irrelevant to copyright status, and usually unobtainable - when people think they know this date, by taking the date a book is published, they are almost certain to be wrong. It is the current wording that is "mixing dates". Commons, like en:WP, has bad information because it asks for information badly. If you believe "For public domain images both germane dates should be included if known" you need to propose a different change in the current wording, which does not mention this. Even if known, how is the date a PD-art picture library image is photographed "germane"; what use is it? Johnbod (talk) 19:11, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
The date verbiage is a bullet introduced by: "The recommended image summary contains some or all of the following:" (emphasis mine). This is optional information, and clearly so. I fail to see the ambiguity. When a date is needed due to being germane to determining copyright status, its inclusion is covered by the need to "describe an image and its copyright status". Эlcobbola talk 19:38, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I take your point, but the request, whatever its status, is still unclear, and the information has been being demanded at WP:FAC. I think many readers are left unclear by the current wording. Johnbod (talk) 19:45, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Please refresh my memory where this has occurred. I don't remember anyone asking for the details of the photos of PD art works. I only remember them asking for the details of the artworks themselves. Awadewit (talk) 19:52, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm not going to trawl through past FACs, but I believe this has been asked, and your reminder today asked for "the publication date of the image" with no qualifications. Johnbod (talk) 19:57, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
As I have said, it was a basic reminder that did not cover all scenarios, because people are not even doing basic checks. If you want to write an image guide that covers every conceivable scenario, please do, but do not complain that general reminders to nominators are misleading and therefore require a policy change. That is silly. Awadewit (talk) 20:05, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I thought this page was supposed to be that guide, and I am indeed trying to clarify it by this proposal. Johnbod (talk) 21:57, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
No, it isn't. Note, for example, that it doesn't enter a detailed explanation of copyright issues. Awadewit (talk) 22:04, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
It is quite easy to handle the situation where the date is unknown. Simply put it "before [insert latest feasible date]". If the author died in that year, put that. If you can a reliable source saying he no longer painted after year x, put that. I would consider that enough to satisfy WP:IUP. NW (Talk) 19:48, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Not very helpful for illuminated manuscripts. But I think we all know how to put "7th or 8th century". My point is that it is unclear what date(s) is/are being asked for. Johnbod (talk) 19:57, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
The problem might be that you're focusing too narrowly on works like illuminated manuscripts. This policy covers more than just slavish copies of 2D images; it covers 3D derivatives, self-made images, non-free images, etc. All images. The only real requirements here regarding the summary are A) that it exists and B) that the "image summary provides necessary details to support the use of the image copyright tag". For some images, that means a creation date; for some images, the means a publication date; for some images, no date is required. To the extent it's unclear what date is being requested, it's because the answer can vary so greatly. That's why the date field is, as per above, optional (when not needed to support the license tag, of course). Эlcobbola talk 20:06, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Do you really think that is clear in the text as it stands?—Preceding unsigned comment added by johnbod (talkcontribs)
I haven't commented as to clarity beyond the "date" verbiage; that date can be optional is something I believe to be perfectly clear. This thread was characterized as "a proposal to remove one requirement - the 'date' of PD art images" [16]. That there is no such requirement is clear. That we would remove a recommendation to provide date details seems ill-advised, at best. Эlcobbola talk 22:41, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Well, it wasn't clear to me, and does not appear to be clear to Fuchs. I think you are seriously overestimating the clarity of the wording, which is at the very best ambiguous in not saying what date, or possible types of date, might be required - ie those relevant to copyright. Johnbod (talk) 02:29, 20 November 2009 (UTC)


This is strictly optional, but it now looks like almost all of the policies (except this page) will be fitting into one or another of the policy subcats, which are now: conduct, content, deletion, enforcement, legal, procedural and the "principles" cat Category:Wikipedia basic information. This page is in the copyrights cat, but WP:Copyrights is moving to legal and WP:NFCC is already there, and those are the two policy pages closest to this one, I think. (This is the only image-related policy page.) Any objections to adding Category:Wikipedia legal policies to this page, without removing any of the current cats? - Dank (push to talk) 05:12, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Okay, no complaints so I made the change, but feel free to revert. We haven't really had the discussion about what the "legal policy" template at the top of the page should look like ... we only got consensus that we might want it to be different from the usual policy template. There haven't been any complaints so far about the spartan look of the current one, but if you'd like to change it, feel free to suggest a change at Template:legal policy. - Dank (push to talk) 18:22, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
It seems to me that, preferably, the "legal policy" should be put on the smallest number of pages possible, so that people can get the complete understanding of Wikipedia's legal policies by reading as few pages as possible. Therefore I suggest that "legal policy" should not be applied to a page if other pages are actually the locus for the detailed policy analysis of the legal issues, and this page merely summarises them second-hand.
That seems to me to be the case with this page. The pages that deal with the legal considerations in detail are WP:NFCC and WP:COPYRIGHT. This page I don't think aims to set out any legal policy over and beyond what is fundamentaly set out in the more specialist pages. Therefore, in my view, the {{legal policy}} tag should be deferred to those pages. Jheald (talk) 21:51, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
No complaints here. At the moment, everyone seems to be happy with the slots their policy pages are in, and everything is categorized. We could leave this as the only uncategorized page if you want. (That is, uncategorized with respect to the 7 categories at WP:LOP ... this page is in the copyright and image help categories.) - Dank (push to talk) 21:56, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I think maybe I'd see it closer to "content" than "legal" -- but I agree it maybe isn't a completely natural fit with the rest of that cat. Jheald (talk) 00:28, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I'd vote against "content". - Dank (push to talk) 00:43, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

The "fix rational before deletion" clause

As there's a mini-editwar here, let's stop it and discuss.

The text (that Hammersoft is attempting to remove) is Unauthorized use of copyrighted material under an invalid claim of fair use constitutes copyright infringement and is illegal. Media which are mistagged as fair use or are a flagrant copyright violation can be removed on sight. Users finding improperly-labeled copyrighted images or fair use images lacking appropriate fair use rationales (FURs) should, if possible, attempt to fix the image tags or improving/adding FURs prior to nominating such images for deletion. Frequent uploading of non-fair use non-free material can be justification for banning a Wikipedia user. under "Fair Use Images" (bolded text is the removed text).

I understand Hammersoft's concerns that having users work to fix up rationales prior to deletion would backlog that aspect. I agree. However, I also agree that if the fix of the rationale is easy (like, adding the article that the image is used in), editors should do that instead of nomination. Now, that's not to say every rationale fix is easy, as likely the details of the image are best known by the original uploaded and maybe by editors on the page(s) it is used on. If the image is missing source and copyright information, a random editor patrolling non-free images will not be able to guess that, and thus nomination for deletion is the right course of action; random editors cannot fix rationales that are missing information or details that they just cannot easily figure out. I think the text that is presently under disrupt suggests that type of simple effort (all which takes 10-15 seconds) and thus is appropriate. --MASEM (t) 15:20, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Note that I was not attempting to remove the text from the policy. I am contesting it's inclusion, which BQZip01 and Jheald were attempting to force. Consensus did not and does not exist for the addition. I've started an RfC below to gauge that consensus. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:45, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Large (filesize, not resolution) embedded images

An animated image with a filesize of 6 MB is embedded in the MRI article. Is this appropriate? (Per the article's discussion page, the image apparently is a powerful conveyor if the kind of results an MRI scan can produce.) Is there some upper limit on the amount of data required to load an article (as opposed to an image page) which should not be exceeded? I see no guidance on this matter (maximum image filesize embedded in articles) in this section. Surely not everyone who wishes to read the article on MRI needs to download 6 MB from Wikipedia's servers... (talk) 00:28, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Don't think there are any firm rules, in this particular case it seems like a case of wrong choice of file format though. Rater than a huge GIF animation the file should have been converted to an OGG movie, the whole movie won't load unless people click on the play button making the page a lot lighter for low bandwidth people. --Sherool (talk) 14:42, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Have replaced the GIF with a OGV now, think you will find the article loads a lot more snappy now, even the full movie is only 528k in OGV format and it only load a 8k thumbnail until you press the play button. --Sherool (talk) 15:54, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Sherool. That looks good, and I really appreciate the effort to keep file sizes under control. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:04, 23 December 2009 (UTC)


{{Help}} I got the Odyssey Official guide and it has some photos I could use on another wiki. So is legal to take pictures of the pictures then crop them to wanted size? (talk) 22:26, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

It would be classified as fair use—use of a copyrighted image to illustrate an article—and would only be permitted if a non-free alternative does not exist. So, it depends on the nature of the photos: what do they depict? Intelligentsium 22:35, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

I've contacted WMF's Ariel Glenn about the thumbnail increase

Dear friends, you may have noticed that the community's consensus to upsize thumbnails has not yet been implemented. Ariel is the WikiMedia Foundations's Software Developer and Office IT Support guy who is apparently the expert in the area of thumbnailing infrastructure. I've sent the following message to his main user talk page, and have copied it to the Bugzilla page.

Ariel, after extensive discussion and an RfC, en.WP decided with overwhelming consensus that it wants to move the default width of thumbnail images from 180 to 200 pixels.

The request to do this technically was filed at Bugzilla on 10 October and allocated to Rob Halsell. I refer to Roan Kattouw's 5 November comment, that:

I talked to Ariel, and he's not convinced that the scalers can handle it: all images used on enwiki would have to be rethumbnailed within a relatively short time. Before we do this, Ariel wants to have a few spare machines that can be thrown into the scaler pool at short notice, and wants to be around to do that. Currently, neither is the case. Summary: not happening right now, we need more servers first.

The number of queries as to when the change will be made is increasing. I wonder whether you can advise us when the spare capacity might be available to achieve this important upgrade.

I've emailed this message to you at and have copied it to the Bugzilla page and en.WP's Image Use Policy talk page.

Thanks for your time,

Tony (talk) 13:02, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Thks for chasing this. I must say I find their approach a tad casual for paid employees, even IT guys. We should at least try to screw a timeframe out of them. Johnbod (talk) 13:31, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
It should be easy to work around this problem, even if scalers aren't available. Just hash the file name, and do the change only if the hash value falls into the first 10% of possible names. Later on, take the first 20%. And so forth. That way you spread the load out over time rather than over more scalers. Eubulides (talk) 16:23, 11 December 2009 (UTC)
Since we are approaching the traditional Xmas drop in traffic, that could be a good time to run it? Johnbod (talk) 19:12, 20 December 2009 (UTC)
Still nothing. jp.WP has asked for something similar: [17]. I've asked for the two issues—when there's enough spare capacity to rescale, and whether it should be done for all WPs—to be a priority at the next WMF technical meeting. Things sure do move slowly at the WMF. Tony (talk) 00:42, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Indeed! Next year in Jerusalem, let's hope. Thanks for sticking at it. Johnbod (talk) 01:47, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

RfC: Image use in infobox

Please see Talk:Eleventh_Doctor#RfC:_Image_use_in_infobox. Thank you for your time, Cirt (talk) 08:38, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Change in policy requiring fixing fair use problems instead of tagging

If an editor fails to add a valid WP:Fair use rationale to an image that he (or she) has uploaded, should the WP:Image use policy encourage other editors to fix the image tags before, or instead of, nominating the image for deletion? Short summary added for RfC by WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:34, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Two editors, User:BQZip01 and User:Jheald, have been attempting [18][19][20] to add the following passage to this policy:

"Users finding improperly-labeled copyrighted images or fair use images lacking appropriate fair use rationales (FURs) should, if possible, attempt to fix the image tags or improving/adding FURs prior to nominating such images for deletion."

I've opposed this wording and asked the editors to get consensus before they make this change. One of them claims that consensus already exists in the form of policy wording at WP:ATD and WP:PRESERVE. I am bringing this discussion in regards to this issue.

In response to WP:ATD, I counter that the section of this policy being cited specifically has to do with articles, not with media. None of the tags suggested are ever used on images.

In response to WP:PRESERVE, I note that this policy says "fix problems if you can, flag them if you can't". Adding tags such as {{nrd}}, {{tl:nsd}}, and {{orfud}} are entirely appropriate if an image is missing a rationale, source, or is orphaned for it to be tagged with these tags. That is flagging them.

  • In cases of rationales, how and why an editor wants to use a non-free image is an editorial decision made by the editor in question. For a person policing images missing rationales, we can not readily discern what the editor's intent was and what rationale they had in mind in using the image.
  • In cases of missing source, editors finding images missing sources might be able to find the source after a long process of searching tools such as Google image search. It is much quicker if the people posting the media were to note the source rather than forcing this work off onto the shoulders of people policing such images.
  • In the cases of orphaned images, the use of such images frequently has been replaced, no longer needed, or is otherwise redundant to the purposes of the article(s) for which the media was intended. If we ask someone seeing an orphaned image to try to 'fix' this problem, we're asking them to spend copious time figuring out which article(s) it was orphaned from, why it was orphaned, whether it's been replaced in functionality, and whether it could be re-included.

In asking image policers to fix these problems, we are:

  • Any of these taggings, if 'fixed' instead, results in an enormous increase in the amount of time spent policing images.
  • Shifting the burden of properly sourcing, describing, and tagging images onto people who didn't upload and/or did not use the media.
  • Asking people who have little or no knowledge about specific media to answer questions they are incapable of answering.

If we ask image policers to fix images rather than tag them appropriately, we will be overwhelmed with images that fail Wikipedia:Non-free content criteria in source and rationale as well as innumerable orphaned images. Currently in Category:Orphaned non-free use Wikipedia files, there are 3845 images.

It is also important to understand that missing rationale, missing source, and orphaned status are all criteria for speedy deletion. There's a reason for that. By changing this policy as BQZip01 and Jheald would have use do, we create a dichotomy between the image use policy and the CSD policy. No longer would missing such key components be a reason for deletion. Instead, policers would be required to fix these problems, and so would administrators that routinely delete such images. "Why did you delete my image rather than fix it, as WP:IUP says you must?" would grace the talk pages of administrators.

TL;DR version: It is incumbent upon uploaders wanting to use non-free content to abide by our policies. We don't give them a free ride to use non-free content without source, without rationale. Nor do we keep orphaned images sitting around indefinitely until someone can figure out a use for them. We already have nearly 350,000 non-free images on this project. By changing this policy as suggested, whatever lid there is on the amount of non-free media would be gone. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:53, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

Should does not equal must, providing an encouragement to fix the problem rather than waiting for someone else to seems uncontroversial to me... –xenotalk 16:09, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I have already been attacked by BQZip01 for failure to fix problem images rather than tagging them. This change in policy is a bludgeoning tool. I know I for one will give up attempting to police images if this change is allowed as there is no way in hell I can find the source for all the images I've tagged missing source, figure out what the rationale is for the thousand+ images I've tagged as missing rationale, or try to figure out a place to put the dizzying array of orphaned images I've found. This change in policy asks us to do something the non-uploader/non-user can't do. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:20, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
  • And coming to a warning template near you, Template:iupwarning3. Should we propose template:nrd for deletion? --Hammersoft (talk) 16:25, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I just re-read this. Either produce said attack or retract this "attack" BS. I've done no such thing. — BQZip01 — talk 07:38, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
This isn't a change in policy, it reflects what is already policy, specifically WP:DEL and WP:EDIT (and WP:AGF guidelines).
We are asking for people to attempt to fix images instead of just nominating them for deletion because some step in the WP:NFCC was missed. It should be pretty simple for you veterans to add an appropriate FUR instead of nominating for deletion because to do otherwise would take too much time.
No one is "[s]hifting the burden of properly sourcing, describing, and tagging images onto people who didn't upload and/or did not use the media." All this states is that an attempt should be made before just deleting an image on a technicality.
No one is "[a]sking people who have little or no knowledge about specific media to answer questions they are incapable of answering." It is a simple request to make a good hearted attempt to simply fix a problem rather than just deleting it. To do so falls in line with WP:DEL.
"Currently in Category:Orphaned non-free use Wikipedia files, there are 3845 images." The solution isn't just to nominate them all for deletion, but to consider if some of them are useful and keep those that are.
In short, I don't see the doom and gloom that HS sees. Is there anyone besides Hammersoft that has a problem with this? — BQZip01 — talk 17:05, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I absolutely do not agree with this. I could see a possible recommendation that it's one possible means of handling the situation, but not a "should" and certainly not a template-enforced mandate. There's a crucial difference between free and nonfree content. Free content is presumed acceptable until proven otherwise. Nonfree content is presumed unacceptable until proven otherwise. And how am I supposed to know why an uploader thought a particular image was appropriate? If they didn't say, I can't read their minds. We really are clear enough on the fact that the uploader is supposed to make clear why they think the image is alright, not dump it here and wait for someone else to try to figure out what they thought. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:12, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree (w/ Seraph) to disagree with the extent that BQZip suggests that image taggers should help. The only guaranteed person with knowledge of the image's use is the uploaded; there also may be those editors that work on the article it is connected too that can provide more information (particular towards the reason for use), but that's not an absolute. Understanding all the required aspects of our non-free rationale policy is not something that can be intuitively observed by looking at the image or the article. Again, some fixes are trivial - lack of an article name is a easy fix and one that really should be done instead of tagging for deletion. On the other hand, knowing where the original image came from, if its been reduced or altered, the original copyright holder, etc. - all those details are non-obvious except in the rarest of cases. Furthermore, the reason for use is something only the original uploaded or article editors are going to know for sure - someone coming along and seeing an image in use may believe it to be used in a given manner when the intent for its use may be quite different. Thus, correcting non-trivial absences on rationales of non-free images is not something that can be done by anyone, much less those that are tagging for deletion. Of course, tagging for deletion allows a period for the fixes to be made by those better in the know.
That said, the language as it is now (without the removal of the text) is fine, as long as it is understood that severely broken rationales are not something that can be done by just anyone. --MASEM (t) 17:46, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
  • The language as it was before this dispute arose is without the additional text BQZip01 and Jheald would like to see. I am contesting its inclusion and asking that consensus exist to change policy to include it. This isn't a debate to remove it. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:00, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Still, in that case, I don't see anything wrong with including it, again with the understanding that we're talking about fixes that are trivial (like article name) and not deep understanding of the image's use. Sure, without it, one can do it, but we often use the "sofixit" type statements on other policy/guideline pages that lead to xFDs, it cannot hurt to have it here. --MASEM (t) 18:28, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
    Concur with Masem's assessment here. This should not be taken to mean that the responsibility lies anywhere other than the person that uploaded it, but we also should be able to look at an image and figure out that one word or one link was simply a typo and fix it rather than nominate it for deletion on a technicality. — BQZip01 — talk 22:25, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Given the high rate at which non-compliant images are uploaded (take a trip to Special:Log/upload sometime and spend 20 minutes patrolling), this seems unnecessarily bureaucratic, and puts the onus on those who would enforce the policy as it stands. In much less strong language, it may be appropriate to note that editors should consider that in some cases, there may be alternatives to tagging images, but as others have stated above, it's unreasonable to shift the expectation to me and other image patrollers to go out and guess at the source or rationale for a particular image. (ESkog)(Talk) 17:26, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

I have to agree with ESkog and Seraphimblade it may be nice to spend time on each image to try and fix it but we would not known why the uploader wanted to use every image. The onus should be on the uploader to fix it, although that doesnt mean we cant help. The number of problem images uploaded every day creates a lot of work without slowing that process down. A non-free image without a rationale is really a breach of copyright so we are already giving the uploader reasonable time to sort it out whilst hosting what is temporary a copyight violation. I dont think we need to add the additional words in what is a policy document. MilborneOne (talk) 18:22, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Trying to fix problems where you can is definitely a good general rule of thumb to go by and I have on occasion spend considerable amount of time tracking down correct license info and source details for images and added rationales for non-free images in obvious cases while quietly grumbling at people who would rater list an album cover or logo for deletion for lacking a rationale than just add {{album cover fur|Article=Foo|Use=Infobox}} or {{logo fur|Article=Foo|Use=Infobox}}and such, but that said I'm not rely in favor of trying to impose this behavior on via policy people either. It's a volunteer project and people spend time here as they they choose to, yes ideally people should fix stuff rater than just adding various templates to point them out, but at least they are helping point out the problem to others when they do that, trying to encourage more fixes by making it "illegal" to point out problems (even if the result of a non-fix is deletion in short order) without trying to fix them would just result in far less problems getting pointed out, not more fixes. That said the wording in the section above doesn't seem to bad, as long as it's clear it's just a recommendation/best practive and not something that can be used to bludgeon people who nominate stuff for deletion that you disagree with. --Sherool (talk) 19:20, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Absolutely Sherool. Perhaps you could recommend some better phrasing to make this point clear. — BQZip01 — talk 22:29, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Personally, I've no interest in learning the dizzying array of usable fair use rationale templates available at Category:Non-free_use_rationale_templates. To force me to learn them, even to fix minor problems, is instruction/policy bloat. I won't do it. I don't care about rationales in so far as creating them. I do care about them being absent, and insist that people wanting to use non-free content create the necessary rationales to do so. That's not my work to do. That's their work, even for trivial crap like adding {{album cover fur|Article=Foo|Use=Infobox}}. Further, tagging these images (and in some cases resulting in them being deleted) encourages the people who want to use such content to do it correctly, rather than relying on others who have no interest in the image to fix it for them. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:31, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Can I commend WP:FurMe to you? It's a straightforward set of scripts for use eg with TWINKLE that assists adding the four basic template rationales for cases of the four most basic non-controversial uses: {{logo fur}}, {{album cover fur}}, {{book cover fur}}, {{film cover fur}}. This is hardly a "dizzying array" of cases; and if an image falls into one of these cases, the reason the image is all right is usually very conventional and very obvious, no mindreading required. A number of image patrollers are already using this script; it makes it much easier to show by example, rather than simply to WP:BITE the newbies.
  • As to the more general issue, this page isn't just directed at admins, it's here for all users, and it seems to me there is no harm in including what – as BQZip has pointed out – is essentially just a reminder of WP:DEL and WP:EDIT: i.e., if it is possible to easily fix any problem a user comes across, that is always a good thing to do.
  • The language BQZip has proposed does flag that this is only a recommendation that applies if possible. If you genuinely believe that the volume of the backlog is so great and so pressing that it is not possible to even apply an auto-fix; or alternatively, that it is not directly clear the usage is appropriate, from the information immediately at hand -- then, in either case, you would be entirely reasonable to judge that an instant spot-fix is not possible, and so there is regrettably no alternative but to tag it and bring it to the uploader's attention.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, in my view there are some changes to BQZip's initial wording that might be worth considering (changes emphasised):

    "Users finding improperly-labeled copyrighted images or fair use images lacking appropriate fair use rationales (FURs) are encouraged should, if possible, to attempt to fix the image tags or consider improving/adding FURs prior to nominating such images for deletion. Nevertheless, it ultimately remains the responsibility of the uploader to make sure that images fully comply with all the requirements of policy. Frequent uploading of non-fair use non-free material can be justification for banning a Wikipedia user.

  • I hope that that more accurately captures the desired balance. Jheald (talk) 00:48, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Not for me it doesn't. In the form of words you propose the parts which repeat existing policy are redundant. There is no point in duplicating parts of other policies here as it must lead to contradictions. The parts which are novel are no sort of policy at all. Vague encouragements are better kept for userspace essays. Angus McLellan (Talk) 01:56, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
Wait a minute. We shouldn't include it because it is already policy? Just restate it within this context so the point is explicitly stated within this context. We already restate policies all over the place (note the wikilinks galore). Why must it lead to contradictions? — BQZip01 — talk 22:25, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
To be clear, you are stating that it is already policy? — BQZip01 — talk 16:11, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

Addendum: the title of this thread is misleading

That is NOT what the insertion says.

It states that you should (or could) try to see if the image is appropriate and is missing something trivial.

Let's consider an image in use on a recently renamed page. Because of the renaming, the rationale for the previous page needs to have the rationale updated to the new page's name 9all other information remains the same. Which is easier:

  1. Remove the FUR because is belongs to an invalid page (a redirect), remove said image from the page it is on since it doesn't have a FUR, nominate the image for deletion, and notify the uploader
  2. Fix the article name in the FUR.

Number 2 should be our preferred option as it improves the encyclopedia. Number 1 doesn't actually improve anything and takes more effort.

No one can read an uploader's mind and, if the image cannot be easily fixed or you have no clue as to what should be done, by all means, flag it for deletion — BQZip01 — talk 02:59, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

Not disagreeing with anything you said here, though I think that aside from some obvious examples like above it will be hard to get a good definition of what is "easy to fix" and what is not. I think the obvious cases should be obvious enough that you can break out the {{trout}} if people do silly things like that without needing point it out in the policy text (WP:EDIT still apply and such even though it's mainly focused on article content). --Sherool (talk) 08:25, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
A simple "line in the sand" would be if it takes the same or less work to "fix" an image, it would be easy to fix. As far as I'm concerned, all I'm asking for is a pause to say, "Would it be easier to just fix this or from the beginning we've surpassed the law of diminishing returns." For a lot of stuff where the uploader is completely ambiguous and use on Wikipedia isn't clear (I'd say it's something like 95%+ of uploaded images), tagging it is simply the only option to reasonably and expeditiously come up with a workable solution within the Wikipedia WP:NFCC. In short, though, I couldn't agree more. — BQZip01 — talk 22:35, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Since you have already attempted to bludgeon me with your interpretation of policy that I am in error for marking things for deletion rather than fixing them, I find this claim to be wholly disingenuous. It's blatantly obvious to me what your intent is with this change. I won't have it. --Hammersoft (talk) 00:17, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
What exactly are you threatening me with? I don't appreciate the baiting either. I don't appreciate the unsubstantiated accusations of personal attacks or this alleged "bludgeoning" to which you consistently refer (near as I can tell, we've never actually met, so a beating seems a bit unlikely). I've been polite and made appropriate requests. Your response has been to villify myself and others for disagreeing with you.
You won't have it? Last I checked, your personal opinion isn't what Wikipedia is based upon; it is based upon consensus. Since several others approve of the change or have reverted your edits, my opinion is not completely unsupported by the Wikipedia community. I'm certain you probably don't know exactly what they are thinking either. — BQZip01 — talk 04:57, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Having thought about this for a couple of days, I think this proposal gets it exactly backwards. I think we'd achieve more by pointing out the reasons why it's important for the uploader to get it right, which have a lot more to do with the dearth of practical success with mind reading than a lack of goodwill. Anything that move even a little bit in the direction of "It's okay if you don't mess with this, because some nice volunteer will probably magically fix it for you" isn't okay with me. A FUR generally requires, for example, an explanation of the source of the image. How is an unrelated editor going to know what the source is, if the original didn't bother to say? I'm also not seeing any evidence that good images with easily repairable FURs are actually getting deleted inappropriately: if it's "easily repairable", then fixing it will be easier than deleting it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:00, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
    I'm not sure how much more I can make this clear: this isn't about mindreading. You cannot possibly guess where someone got an image. I'm not saying lots of images are getting deleted. I am saying that lots of images requiring simple fixes are being nominated for deletion. Unless a source is obvious (i.e. is on the image), that would be an obvious case of something that would not be easily fixed. The images I'm referring to are those that are simple fixes, not complex ones.
    As for "It's okay if you don't mess with this, because some nice volunteer will probably magically fix it for you", it isn't ok, but policy dictates we should "fix problems if you can, flag them if you can't.". We should attempt to fix problems before flagging them. This is already consensus and policy. This insert merely reflects that. — BQZip01 — talk 04:57, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
    No, I think you're wrong. Firstly, I don't believe that Wikipedia intends "Fix it if you can" to be mandatory behavior for its volunteers; secondly, I don't think that Wikipedia intends that advice (which is primarily about copyediting) to apply to all possible areas of editing. For example, WP:BURDEN, which is a co-equal policy, says exactly the opposite: It says that if the original editor didn't provide a reliable source, then any editor is perfectly justified in removing the unsourced information — without first searching for sources or seeing whether they can fix it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 08:04, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
    Sorry, but the policy you cite actually explicitly states the exact opposite: "It has always been good practice to make reasonable efforts to find sources oneself that support such material...". Furthermore, this co-equal policy directly references WP:PRESERVE...the WP:EDIT section you are trying to discredit. — BQZip01 — talk 10:22, 23 December 2009 (UTC)
    No, it doesn't. The actual rule is the first sentence: "The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material" -- just like this page has always said that the burden of providing a valid FUR lies with the editor who uploads the image.
    I agree that it's nice of other editors to fix FUR-related problems in the relatively small proportion of cases when it's possible. It's kind of these other editors to fix problems. It's good for the encyclopedia to fix problems. But other editors are not required to fix someone else's problems, even if it's easy to do so, and I continue to oppose any efforts to introduce anything into this policy that could be (mis)interpreted as not permitting editors to tag images with bad FURs. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:44, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Change in phrasing/"if possible"

..seems to be the major sticking point for most. Upon reflection, I can see how that could easily be abused ("You could have done a google search for the image, found the source inserted it, created an article in which it would be appropriate to put it in, and then updated the FUR. Ergo, it was possible! You are in violation of policy!"). The intent here is to reflect WP:EDIT which, as HS stated at the beginning "fix problems if you can, flag them if you can't". He rightly asserts that you can flag an image IAW this policy, but he wrongly asserts that it should be the first/default step. No one expects anyone to be a mindreader or to "just know" what the uploader meant. No one expects you to go out of your way to write a whole article just to justify keeping a single image.

So, I suggest the following:

"Users finding improperly-labeled copyrighted images or fair use images lacking appropriate fair use rationales (FURs) should fix the image tags, if they can (such as improving/adding FURs), and flag them if they can't."

This uses the exact same phrasing from WP:EDIT and is already policy. Thoughts? — BQZip01 — talk 07:38, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

I oppose any effort to use language that may be (mis)interpreted as a requirement. Users that find improperly lableled copyrighted images may choose to fix the image tags if they can, but they are under zero obligation to do so. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:01, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
It is already policy that you should fix things if you can and flag them if you can't (verbatim from WP:EDIT), they are already under obligation to do so. — BQZip01 — talk 01:09, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Our overriding obligation is to comply with the law. Disagree with language that discourages efforts at that compliance. The inevitable effect of attaching or prioritizing additional responsibilities is to decrease the rate at which that problem gets remedied. Durova386 01:08, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Our overriding obligation is to comply with policy, not the law. By complying with our policies, WP shouldn't approach the grey edges of the law. Why would this decrease the rate if more images are being fixed? If anything, it should increase the numbers of images being fixed. This is still policy whether it is stated here or not. The onus remains on the uploader to make sure the image meets our criteria. From what I see here, it seems that no one who watches for new images wants to take any time to consider whether or not an image could be useful; instead, y'all seem more interested in forcing those who fail to comply with Wikipedia policy into compliance or forcibly removing their uploaded images.
  • Forcing editors policing images for compliance with our policies will result in less policing. Less policing = less compliance. That's pretty simple. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:11, 27 December 2009 (UTC)
    So you view yourself as the police? Interesting. But more to the point, no one is forcing anyone to "police" anything. By flagging images, you are already "policing images for compliance with our policies." The fact you don't like one of the policies of WP is irrelevant. You should comply with all of them, not just the ones you like. — BQZip01 — talk 01:09, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Editors are not under any obligation to fix other people's mistakes, and some policies directly acknowledge this, e.g., "Wikipedia is a volunteer community, and does not require its users to give any more time and effort than they wish." WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:55, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
May I suggest an intermediate position? Instead of saying "Users... should fix the image tags", how about "Users... are urged to fix the image tags". That avoids a possible interpretation that it's mandatory to fix problems, while still strongly encouraging it.--Father Goose (talk) 05:50, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm down with that. Any objections? — BQZip01 — talk 16:22, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
"Urged to" sounds fine. Durova390 17:03, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I still don't like it. I agree with WhatamIdoing said; we should not expect people to fix other people's mistakes. If someone uploading a non-free image can't be bothered to tag it and rationale it properly, I fail to see why someone else should. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:52, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
"...we should not expect people to fix other people's mistakes." What? That's the foundation of Wikipedia. If there is a mistake, we expect that someone will fix it in the future (eventually); the entire precept for Wikipedia's creation. Perfection from the beginning is specifically mentioned as something that isn't required. "fix problems if you can, flag them if you can't". — BQZip01 — talk 16:17, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Boils down to "It's ok to upload a bunch of non-free images with no license, no source, no rationale, nothing. It's ok! Someone else will fix it!". Perhaps you don't have an understanding of just how much crap is uploaded every day. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:24, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
  • And by the way; if you're going to change the wording, you should probably MfD the following: Template:nrd, Template:orfud, Template:nld. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:26, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
I have no problem with deleting stuff where there's no obvious basis for "fair use", but when it's a case of an image that does have a justifiable presence in an article, deleting it because the form isn't filled out correctly is just as much a case of "can't be bothered". Take for instance the choice to delete this image, which illustrates an article about the very artwork that is depicted in the image. Something like that is, to me, just mindless, and the encyclopedia suffers for it. That particular image was saved, but I've seen plenty of other extremely justifiable nonfree images disappear over the years due to "bad paperwork" -- and nobody stepping forward to fix it.--Father Goose (talk) 04:22, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
Except that in the above case, the image rationale lacks a source, and the only person that can 100% confirm where they got the image is the image uploaded, and with a good likelihood someone that has worked on the article its used in. Certainly it cannot be expected that the one tagging the image can guess what source the image was taken from. Thus, this is a case where we have to tag and wait for it to be corrected, but if failed to be corrected in the time frame, it needs to be deleted. --MASEM (t) 04:48, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

(de-indent)You'll notice in the next edit that I supplied a source based on text already on the image page. Was the source description I gave inadequate or otherwise wrong? I don't believe so. So the person who tagged it would really have done better if he had taken the same step as I had. But instead, he just said, "Source field empty, destruction in 7 days". This is exactly the kind of behavior I wish we sought to discourage.

There are plenty of other cases where a rationale can be added by someone other than the uploader. Film screenshot? Scan of a book cover? How hard is it to fill in the name of the film or book? Is an image deletable on the basis that the person who created the screenshot is unknown? {{Non-free_use_rationale}}'s example source field says, "creator of this digital version is irrelevant as the copyright in all equivalent images is still held by the same party", and I'm inclined to agree with that. I'm not sure we have a legal obligation to specify who created the copy of a copyrighted work we are using -- do they have any legal claim to authorship? (A substantially modified, i.e., derivative image is an exception of course.) Having additional source information is nice, but as long as there's enough information there to identify the original author(s), I believe FUR is satisfied.

Now, it's true, we can't oblige image taggers to fix FURs, any more than we can oblige image uploaders to include them (or fill them in correctly). But why is it too much to ask an image tagger to look over the image page and see if there's enough info there that an adequate FUR can be added? If there isn't, yes, you have to tag it. If there is, fix it. Or hand the job off to somebody else who's willing to do that work. (Maybe we need a new template or project page that says "this image's FUR template is inadequate or missing, but the template could be filled out from the information on hand; please fix it.") We should tag images for deletion if they have FUR problems that cannot be fixed -- not because they don't have the right form filled out the right way at that particular instant.--Father Goose (talk) 07:11, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

I disagree on the specific example: are you 100% sure it was a scan of the postcard? Maybe the user got the image off a website, and at that point, you don't know how they got the image, but at least the URL points us to the original location. Maybe the image was already a digital file, before printed to post-card. Again, there's a lot of knowledge that the FUR templates are prompting the uploaded to add to avoid questions like that later, and it is not very obvious but its the only way to meet our NFCC guidelines.
Remember, we are not asking these to be filled out for legal purposes. The Foundation's stance on non-free use is what drives this, and while a good FUR helps towards satisfying US fair use law, we ask for more since the use of non-free media weakens the goal of WP being a free-content work. That is why we want strong FUR, with all information provided, as to justify the exception to our free-content goal. And to that end, knowing the source and all other details as requested are part of what the Foundation is looking for.
Of course there are easy things to fix that require no knowledge of the image itself (namely if the image is being used on a single page but lacks that page name, that should be fixed, not tagged). Fixing those before tagging for deletion is a process of good faith. Someone that continues to tag images that should be easily fixed without image knowledge is working against that, and thus we should alert them to their contrary behavior, and if necessary, alert admins if they continue to do it without working in good faith. Of course, this may mean that an editor, tagging non-free images for deletion legitimately and fixing those they can, may neglect to fix one image out of several tagged that require a simple fix - that itself is not a problem as we do also assume good faith that they forgot to do so. And that is why we don't need additional advice; the general concept of fixing small errors before deletion or erasure is in no specific policy or guideline but built among all guidelines that we have (though things like WP:BEFORE outline this). Adding any language to say "you should fix these errors on images before tagging" will lead to both resistance by those that patrol non-free content (as noted) but as well by those that upload images and don't provide proper rationales to wonder why we don't cover, what to them would be, "obvious fixes" like lack of source or the like. If we don't add anything, and keep the line of AGF, then any disputes over this fall into the existing framework, and there is no need to change the status quo. --MASEM (t) 14:29, 31 December 2009 (UTC)
You say that "we are not asking these to be filled out for legal purposes... we want strong FUR, with all information provided, as to justify the exception to our free-content goal." How would not knowing the exact means of reproduction compromise our justification? As long as we can reliably identify what the original source is, and specify it in the FUR, why are the details of how it was copied a delete-or-keep issue?
It sounds like you're working under the assumption that an image must be deleted if any portion intermediary-source information is missing. Must it? I have serious doubts about that. Or existing policy is pretty unclear on that point, in that it doesn't explain what a "source" actually is. The original work? The owner of the work? The possessor of a copy of the work? Something else? I don't know, and I'd wager you don't actually know either. This is a point that we should probably continue to pursue elsewhere (WT:NFCC?), instead of making deletions on the basis of assumptions.
Separately, I'm not proposing that we relax our FUR requirements to give non-compliant uploaders some kind of free pass. But do I think there is benefit to emphasizing not "pulling the trigger" on fixable FURs, for the sake of the encyclopedia itself. Furthermore, having such a recommendation in policy -- in this policy, since it is the relevant one -- would help to inform image taggers of what you said earlier:
Someone that continues to tag images that should be easily fixed without image knowledge is working against that, and thus we should alert them to their contrary behavior, and if necessary, alert admins if they continue to do it without working in good faith.
The addition we're proposing would be a recommendation to avoid the above scenario. A recommendation, not a mandate -- "urged to", not "should", as I suggested above -- because we're not looking to micromanage image-taggers. We do want to keep them appraised of what behavior the community wants to see in its editors, however. I think we failed on that point with Betacommand a few years back.--Father Goose (talk) 07:23, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, look at WP:NFC#10a, we're not just looking for "here's an image I found" for a source. But I understand your point that this example is not the basis for the argument here.
The point I'm trying to make is that, right now, anyone that maintains WP's non-free content policy is often looked at as a bully or anti-WP from those that don't understand or appreciate the free content mission. This can be impacted by the attitude of that person, but I've seen those that I know approach their work in good faith and good manners being taken to their task. Adding language that gives those that gripe about the removal of non-free content any further leverage towards those that are trying to maintain the free content mission is going to further increase tension in this area, and create a catch-22 situation. The type of fixes that are being asked to be fixed before tagging and deleting, some which we could enumerate, fall under the normal WP:SOFIXIT-catchall guidelines that we have already. --MASEM (t) 07:44, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
WP:NFC#10a is exactly where the ambiguity exists -- it doesn't say what a "source" is, but you're reading specifics into it that may not be true. I've raised the issue at Wikipedia_talk:Non-free_content#What_is_a_source.3F.
In most cases, I would agree that separate SOFIXIT guidance is sufficient. But in the case of nonfree image tagging, the consequence of not fixing is deletion within 2-7 days. Thus a choice to "not fix it" will commonly result in a loss of content in the very near future. That's why "can't be arsed to fix" image-tagging raises such passions -- which in my mind, are pretty justifiable. It's a rather severe form of meta:immediatism, even if the image tagger is not an immediatist by nature. "Not fixing" equals deletion -- so we want to remind people of the sometimes-irreversible consequences of image tagging. We really like to see people making an effort to avoid that outcome, where it can be avoided. It is not a minor issue. It is not one that can be fixed, by someone else, later. (The justification that Wikipedia has a legal obligation to delete images almost immediately is unconvincing, given Section 230; our legal obligation truly only commences after we receive a DMCA notice. That said, I don't disagree with the Foundation's policy to comply proactively with copyright issues -- I do disagree with individual users using said proactivity to carelessly delete encyclopedic content.)
Separately, as regards the "free content mission" -- the community is decidedly divided on whether that is our mission, or even one of our missions. Ostensibly, our overall mission is to provide a free-as-in-beer encyclopedia; free-as-in-speech is a means to do that, since without open licensing, the wiki model wouldn't really work. It has side benefits, as reusable content is that much freer than "no price" content. But the fact that we use "fair use" material at all puts the lie to our having a specific "mission" to produce a free-content encyclopedia. Being completely unable to use nonfree content would seriously compromise certain portions of the encyclopedia, so we use it because we're legally allowed, and because we place the goal of producing the best possible encyclopedia far above producing a "free content" one.--Father Goose (talk) 10:43, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
The strapline on the main page says: Welcome to [[Wikipedia]] the [[free content|free]] [[encyclopedia]] that [[Wikipedia:Introduction|anyone can edit]]. Free content is what we're about and both m:founding principles and Wikipedia:five pillars say so. And as for the law, this isn't the Unitedstatesian Wikipedia. It's the English language Wikipedia for readers of English everywhere. Our readers and potential re-users of our content live in a great many different jurisdictions. Please try to {{globalise}} your comments in future. Angus McLellan (Talk) 01:04, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
If we were committed to being a 100% free-content encyclopedia, we would not allow fair use images anywhere in the encyclopedia. The fact that we do allow fair use images on the English Wikipedia means that this particular Wikimedia project has decided that having complete encyclopedic coverage is more important than being a pure-free-content work. That decision is not one you can reverse by trying to wikilawyer the site's motto, of all things, or even bothering to argue with me. I didn't institute that policy, though I support it.
The reason why we observe US law in most cases instead of "global law", whatever that is, is because Wikipedia is a US incorporation with the bulk of its servers physically located in the United States. Again, to change this situation, you'd need to take up the issue with somebody other than me.--Father Goose (talk) 05:24, 4 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't mind language that indicates that editors are allowed to fix (urged to fix, invited to fix, encouraged to fix, blessings rain down on their heads when they fix, etc.) other people's mistakes (when that is actually possible). I object only to language that says they must or should (or similarly obligative language) fix such mistakes. A reminder that voluntarily fixing problems is helpful (perhaps also noting the impossibility of doing so for many FUR-related mistakes) will receive no objection from me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:31, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

User generated illustrations.

Hi. I have been an editor to the Wikipedia for a while already. I have been particularly interested in contributing with illustrations in Scalable Vector Graphics format which is the recommended format for Wikipedia. This discussion has brought to my attention the relativity of the policy. I would like to know how in situations like this a contribution either improves or harms an article. More importantly, as Wikipedia grows should this policy be revised as to define a more clear scope of when an editor's illustration is either helpful or harmful to an article and the Wikipedia as a collaborative project?. thanks.--Camilo Sanchez (talk) 16:43, 7 January 2010 (UTC)


I would like to question the utility, if I may, of the "such as the United Kingdom" in the following passage:

Also note that in the United States, reproductions of two-dimensional artwork which is in the public domain do not generate a new copyright... Scans of images alone do not generate new copyrights... This is not true of the copyright laws of some other countries, such as the United Kingdom.

What is not true of the copyright law of the United Kingdom? The PD-Art-related bit or the scans? Arguably, both of these do apply to UK law. The WMF has always upheld, and continues to uphold, Bridgeman vs. Corel (the only case cited in the passage) in the UK. Likewise, there is no questioning the validity of PD-scan in the UK. So, what I would like to do, is not to shout that the law does not apply in the UK, which gives entirely the wrong impression (particularly picking out the UK as a specific example).

The opposing rationale was given as "The point is to educate UK editors that the rules most familiar to them *don't* apply." Could some more explanation be provided? Cheers, - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 19:26, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

The US rule set out in this paragraph is not the UK rule. It is, in fact, exactly opposite the UK rule. In the UK, if you take a plain, flat, unartistic photograph of a 1,000 year old oil painting, then your photograph is a new "creative" work, and the copyright timer starts all over again. As a result, the British Museum believes that small digital photos of ancient artwork, as posted on their website, is copyrighted by them, and that Wikipedia editors who copy the images are stealing them.
In the US, such a claim would be laughed right out of court because of Bridgeman vs Corel. However, a brief glance at that case will show you that Bridgeman is a US case, and therefore tells you nothing at all about UK case law.
The point of this sentence is to say that Wikipedia ultimately follows US laws, and that the UK rules are therefore irrelevant. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:38, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
I am well aware Bridgeman vs. Corel is a US case (although the decision was supposed to take UK law into consideration). And yes, some British museums vocally maintain that they get a new copyright. However, your statement that "In the UK, if you take a plain, flat, unartistic photograph of a 1,000 year old oil painting, then your photograph is a new "creative" work, and the copyright timer starts all over again." is not correct; we in the UK are still in a grey area. There have been no definitive conclusions yet - and of course the museums want to claim copyright (and sue uploaders). So yes, it would be right to stress that here on en.wp we go by US law and UK law doesn't matter, but it is wrong to suggest that UK law would not allow these things. In fact, every day new media are added to Commons under this exact ruling. Therefore, I would propose changing the last sentence to "Uploads to the English Wikipedia are entirely governed by US copyright law, and in this context the details of other countries' copyright law, such as the United Kingdom's, are irrelevant." Well, something with that meaning, at least. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 19:50, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing out the problem. I reworded Wikipedia:Image use policy #Public domain to make this clear. I also reworded it for brevity, as this policy page is not the place for discussing minutiae about exectly when copyrights expire, or about what the copyright laws are in countries other than the U.S. Eubulides (talk) 20:32, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Everyone is agreed about the conclusion, but the usual view of UK copyright lawyers is that there is no "grey area" in UK law, & simple photos do create a copyright, though the point has not recently been seriously tested. Johnbod (talk) 22:36, 8 January 2010 (UTC)
Point taken. But as you say, nothing definitive yet, and so long as the WMF contests it (which it does) I don't think we can judge. Anyway, I'm content with the present wording, so it's moot really. - Jarry1250 [Humorous? Discuss.] 11:54, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Infobox image discussion, article Dalek

Please see Talk:Dalek#RfC:_Free-use_image_for_infobox_picture.3F. Thank you for your time, Cirt (talk) 01:56, 12 January 2010 (UTC)

Unsettling photo but...

Hope im asking in the right place. I came accross a sub article of a documentary movie about suicides. The sub article contains a photograph of an individual jumping off a bridge committing suicide from the documentary. To me this image seems very disturbing to place on wikipedia, but i am aware wikipedia is not censored. but I am wondering, Is this image allowed though on wikipedia? Thank you for your time Ottawa4ever (talk) 22:59, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

I would have to see it to have an opinion. Jim.henderson (talk) 05:30, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
In this article, Gene Sprague. Let me know if Im being to nit picky here. Id just like an opinion if this is allowed thanks. Ottawa4ever (talk) 08:12, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Sorry to answer so late but suddenly my weekday online time has sharply diminished. So, now I've seen the picture, and it makes me sad and slightly indignant, but I still lack an opinion on whether policy or guidelines are against it or, more to the point, whether it should be shown in a Wikipedia article. Sorry I can't help. Jim.henderson (talk) 06:14, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
Thats fine, Ill see what can be dug up about wether its allowed/or not, thanks for your input.Ottawa4ever (talk) 09:54, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
The image shows a man falling over the rail of a heavily traveled, heavily photographed bridge when he commits suicide. It is blurry and has technical 'flaws' that are expected in a video still. It seems to be the only image we have of the subject.
Do you think that an image of the man falling is an unreasonable intrusion into his personal/family/private life? Do you think it's demeaning to him or shows him as being 'less than human'? Is it unfair of us to show him on his way to death?
Would you have the same objections if it were a reënactment for a movie, rather than a chance image of his actual death? That is, is it the authenticity, rather than the image, that disturbs you?
Wikipedia is not censored, but it also is edited by people who are supposed to use their best judgment. We are not required to provide either morally offensive or unencyclopedic information simply because the information exists. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:29, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks also for your reply. I agree with alot of what you are mentioning, and its a deep thought to go with (hence, asking for some second opinions here). Ultimately in terms of whats allowed is that wikipedia is not censored, I support this because without it its a slipperly slope. The image is the only one avaivable to the subject, indeed flawed , grainy, a still from the film, and does show the individual commiting suicide. Even the article has issues (but that is not the topic for discussion here) Wether or not you can determine wether its unfair/deaming towards his personal/private/family life is subject to interpretation, some will be disturbed, some wont. Its the judgment of the poster to decide wether if the image in the article is appropriate to the subject matter. I may not like it personally but i have no right to "censor" the page so to be. At anyrate this article is young and can be evolving still. Ottawa4ever (talk) 22:08, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
The subject may be moot; though the moment of death can be notable for a biography - the article is likely to be merged into The Bridge; and the image would not fit FU criteria there anyways. Sherurcij (speaker for the dead) 17:50, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Default thumbnail image size is now 220px, but ...

Buzilla 21117, the result of the overwhelming consensus to raise the default from the tiny 180px to 220px, has been reassigned to a Mark Bergsma, who I presume is a new WMF developer. Mark advises that he has upped the default to 220 on en.WP (it's true: I've checked), but that this is likely to be reverted soon. Why? Something to do with the notion that all WPs should have the same default size, and that they want to do a WMF-wide change all at once. I'm unsure why en.WP can't stay at 220px, frankly, since the Swedish WP has had 250px for some time. But this is a good start. Tony (talk) 01:58, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Image galleries

The policy is too mild about image galleries. They should be allowed just very exceptionally, such as for the reknowned 1750–1795 in fashion where an image gallery does it better than a descriptive text would have done. A similar would be a gallery of one specimen each for all the cat races accepted by this or that cat-breeding org. In other cases, images are justified if they support an encyclopedic text, or are supported by an encyclopedic text. The image captions of a gallery very seldom adds to an article. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 20:35, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Galleries of freely-licensed or public-domain images are perfectly acceptable, and work fine on the suggest art histories ones (though I do caution about having too many images in a single page only as weighing down loading times). Galleries of non-free images are the questionable ones that we have to limit. --MASEM (t) 21:41, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
I hear you, Rursus, in that the gallery tag and template are often abused by editors. However, the current policy was a compromise resulting from some very lengthy discussions. At the end of the day, I think we ended up with a policy that discourages the worst abuses of galleries and encourages the best examples.

The policy is intended to discourage collections of random photos of the article subject (notwithstanding the comment above, it's more than just collections of non-free images that we should worry about), especially where the link between the body of the article and the gallery is tenuous. At the end of the day, this policy was intended to give some very general direction -- the ultimate decision on the appropriateness and/or quality of a gallery is best determined in the context of individual articles. (Don't be afraid to use the {{Cleanup-gallery}} tag) --Skeezix1000 (talk) 19:51, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Text vs. other media

Please join a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Verifiability#Text vs. other media. Maurreen (talk) 16:04, 3 March 2010 (UTC)


I'd like to bring up the subject of collages. After a request for one in the Graphics Lab and the statement "Milan... Like most important cities, they nowadays have collages", and having seen several quite unimpressive collages floating around Wikipedia, I started looking around to see if the use of collages on WP had been addressed. I found almost literally nothing. So, I would like to start a discussion with my own opinion on the matter...

I tend to think collages are unencyclopedic. I think grouping images in a gallery is good, peppering an article with relevant images is good, but simply pasting a bunch together for the sake of trying to make a stylish picture is not good and just adds unencyclopedic clutter. I would hate to see a trend in that direction.

Also these collages could potentially be troublesome from a copyright perspective. It's not a stretch to suppose User uploads a collage that is "his own work", yet the individual images making up that collage are grabbed from hither and yon. (and yon might get just a little pissed off about that)

Below is a random sampling of collages in use at Wikipedia...

Thoughts? JBarta (talk) 16:45, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Collages/montages are not bad inherently. They can be used to illustrate several aspects at the same time with less space than if each image was used seperately. There are two cases, though, to consider, at least for non-free collages:
Copyright-owner generated collages are fine, presuming they otherwise meet normal non-free guidelines. If provided by the copyright owner, there is only one "use" (instead of n uses, n being the number of collaged pictures).
User-generated collages are trickier. They need to have each image used identified, and thus for that purpose should be considered n different images on a page, when one considered "minimal use" and other NFCC aspects. Many collages likely fail to supply fair use rationales for each sub-picture used in the generation of the collage image. But that doesn't mean user-generated collages are bad. The Master one (from DW) is a good way of showing a role that's been played by many actors in different styles at the same time; as some roles were literal one-shots, it would be pointless to break down the image to show each shot next to the role when some of these will be rather short.
Of course, we should also be encouraging free collages too if possible, if they are assembled in an clean, technical way to clearly demonstrate their point, as an alternative to galleries. The Audi one is a good example - it shows a number of Audi cars in a reasonable fashion. On the other hand, the Innenstadt Collage is laid out in a manner that makes it difficult to figure out what's it is trying to show - eg it's artsy as opposed to technical.
If anything, what this seems to suggest is that for user-generated collages, each subimage should be the same size and a rectangular grid-like layout is preferred. Basically, of the 8 examples, only 3 seems to follow this: the Master, the Audi, and the Varberg one; while the Moody Blues one is one provided by a copyright owned and dropped into commons, I would still urge editors to find replacements for it, because it looks "wrong" as a reference material. --MASEM (t) 17:11, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
If we suggest that collages can roughly be divided into two groups... 1) A collage that serves a useful purpose and does so better than a gallery, and 2) A collage just for the sake of having a collage, would it be reasonable to propose some sort of limits/guidelines along those lines? JBarta (talk) 17:33, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to propose the following be inserted as section 7.2:

Collages & Montages
The use of collages or montages is generally discouraged where a simple image gallery would suffice. If the collage has a specific purpose, such as to illustrate many closely related items, then it may be preferrable to a gallery. If the collage is used primarly as a decorative item grouping together various scenes, landmarks or photos, then a gallery is preferred.

If we want to be thorough, we might also wish to add a statement about copyrights. For the moment however, I'll leave that to someone more knowledgeable.

Any objections? JBarta (talk) 23:00, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

That sounds reasonable to me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:13, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Not hearing any objection, it's added. JBarta (talk) 03:43, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

No objections from me. Sounds good Ottawa4ever (talk) 09:32, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
You should wait more than two days less than a day and a half before deciding that there are no objections and that you have consensus. Having said that, the proposed text seems fine, although the last few words "a gallery is preferred" is a bit off the mark and potentially inconsent with WP:IG above. Skeezix1000 (talk) 11:06, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
The more I think about it, the more this wording is directly contradictory to the wording in WP:IG above. WP:IG states that galleries should be encyclopedic in content, and shouldn't simply be a random collection of images. Yet this proposed wording suggests that one should use a gallery when one wants to use a "decorative" group of images (one of the main objectives of WP:IG was to avoid galleries consisting solely of pretty pictures). I don't object to what you are trying to achieve with montages, but I think additional thought needs to be given to how you word the references to galleries. Given that this is a change to policy, more time ought to have been provided for comments (I'm not saying that you should let the discussion linger for months, but a week is usually a good rule of thumb in these types of situations). It is perhaps better to set out when collages are appropriate, without reference to galleries (it always isn't an either/or situtaion). Otherwise, I think you're headed in a good direction. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 18:34, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

My apologies for rushing things (diving in with both feet has its pitfalls). It seems to me that the behavior we most wish to limit is the creation of a collage for decorative purposes. And it would be easy to make the guideline too wordy, pedantic and complicated. So, how about this:

Collages and montages
The use of collages or montages is discouraged when its primary purpose is nothing more than the decorative grouping together of various scenes, landmarks or photos. Encyclopedic collages used for illustrative purposes are allowed.

I think it might be useful not to get into too much detail concerning the form or arrangement of the collage... merely the purpose. It was suggested that examples be shown in the guideline. I think two good examples and two bad examples might be a fine idea.

JBarta (talk) 00:26, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Why are collages and montages any different from other images in this respect? Shouldn't the policy say this instead?
"The use of images is discouraged when its primary purpose is nothing more than decoration. Encyclopedic images used for illustrative purposes are allowed."
That's simpler and more general. Eubulides (talk) 04:16, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Certainly a collage is an image and falls under whatever guidelines affect images. But a collage is a specific type of image that is subject to unique "abuses" and needs to be addressed specifically. The purpose of this guideline is to specifically target and address the use of collages just for the sake of having a collage. Applying the "decoration vs illustrative" guideline to ALL images not only becomes problematic (due to its subjectivity), but waters down the solution to the specific problem we're trying to solve.
On top of that, I believe strongly in the liberal use of images in an article and would hate to do anything to restrict that. That said, I think these decorative collages DO need restricting... hence the targeted guideline. JBarta (talk) 05:23, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I might also mention that while I understand the argument against the wording "a gallery is preferred", in many cases where a collage is used, a gallery would most definitely serve the purpose in a more useful and encyclopedic fashion. And the issue here is not so much about whether the images are "pretty pictures" or not... that's another debate. This issue is about how they are displayed... in a collage or a gallery. I would argue that many (if not most) collages on WP would be more useful and encyclopedic if they were gallerys of individual images. Then, on a case by case basis, folks can decide if those images are useful and proper, or just needless fluff. JBarta (talk) 05:53, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Well that word "decorative" will raise red flags. Also, the proposed wording (both yours and mine) sounds pretty negative. How about wording things positively instead, and say what collages are good for instead? Something like the proposal in the next subsection? Eubulides (talk) 07:32, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure why you believe the word "decorative" will raise red flags. Can you explain? JBarta (talk) 20:15, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Just like the prose of the article, the selection of images should assist in understanding the article subject. Images should never merely serve a decorative purpose. --Skeezix1000 (talk) 21:29, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Plus, two distinct meanings of "decorative" are used on Wikipedia with respect to images: the first is what Skeexiz1000 said, and the second is the sense used in WP:ALT #Purely decorative images. One can't simply say "decorative"; one must be clear as to which "decorative" one means. It's better to avoid the word "decorative" entirely if it's not essential. Eubulides (talk) 22:31, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
I'm quickly realizing the water here is a little deeper than I thought it was. I think it's time for me to bow out and let more capable people take it from here. I'll go find something a little less nuanced to play with. JBarta (talk) 07:11, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Collages and montages draft 2

I've been following this with interest, as I help to edit an article Chiropractic that uses a collage File:Chiropractic5.JPG that I assume this proposal would disallow. That's probably right, but I agree with Skeezix that the wording chosen above has some incorrect implications. How about the following wording instead, along with this image as an example?

Eight images of an irregular moon, each with one to three craters identified by pointers. The craters are Admetus, Telamon, Mopsus, Nauplius, Clytius, Peleus, Zetes, Calais, Acastus, Eurytus, and Idmon.
An example montage.
Collages and montages are single images that illustrate multiple closely related concepts, where overlapping or similar careful placement of component images is necessary to illustrate a point in an encyclopedic way. The components of a collages or montage, as well as the collage or montage itself, must be properly licensed; and (as with galleries) fair-use components are rarely appropriate. If a gallery would serve as well as a collage or montage, the gallery should be preferred, as galleries are easier to maintain and adjust better to user preferences.

Eubulides (talk) 21:44, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

I won't attempt to change the language, but I think a few points need to be added:
  • No single image in a user-created collage should be given more weight than others; ideally, each sub-picture used to make it should be shown at the same size and other aesthetic qualities (as best as possible) to avoid unduly weighted one picture over others.
  • A collage/montage should be used in place of galleries or individual images when, normally, each image could be presented on its own within the prose of the article, but due to placement limitations, would potentially obfuscate the article's text (namely, the volume of images to text would be too high in the intended use section). If the collage is merely decorative, consider using a gallery instead.
  • Remember that one can always include a sister link to Commons media at the bottom of the article. --MASEM (t) 22:17, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Also adding: I like that as a useful picture for this section. It fits the criteria well. --MASEM (t) 22:18, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, I like the picture too, but I now see that the page has no pictures, and if it had just this one it would look weird, so I added the text but merely with a text wikilink to the picture. I'm not sure I agree with the idea of the same-size rule (if I had a montage of Jupiter and Mars it could well make sense to have Jupiter bigger than Mars), and I couldn't figure out how to add the other point's wording without unduly complicating the change, so I left those alone. Eubulides (talk) 08:20, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Copyright on Soviet-era movies/screencaps

Can someone please lend a hand with File_talk:Praporshchik_Volentir.jpg#Copyright? The image is a screencap from a 1970s-era Soviet movie. The uploader has pointed toward some Russian-language docs, and I'm not astute enough with the non-US copyright rules to know what the best path is. --EEMIV (talk) 16:47, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

Alt text

I've removed the requirement that alt text be added to images. There's been a lot of upheaval in recent days at WP:ALT, resulting in the removal of its guideline status until we work out what it ought to say. In brief, there were objections to the length and style of alt text that was being recommended, so a few editors went off in search of expert advice, and one of those experts—Jared Smith of WebAIM—gave permission for his reply to be posted on talk; see here. He wrote that the guideline was fundamentally flawed and that alt text should often not be added (though an alt attribute should, even if only an empty one). He offered this article for suggestions. There are other views about alt text too, perhaps opposing, so several editors are now reading up on the issue to try to write a guideline that make sense and which observes industry standards, insofar as there are any. I've changed the alt text section in the MoS to reflect the current state of affairs, [21] but this will likely change again as we develop an idea of what is best practice. For anyone wanting to see the whole discussion, it begins here. Anyone willing to help develop the guideline would be most welcome to join us. Cheers, SlimVirgin TALK contribs 12:25, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

  • Might it be better to leave this in place here but flagged appropriate to help call attention to current discussion at WP:ALT? --MASEM (t) 13:02, 20 March 2010 (UTC)
We can't have it as policy if it isn't even a guideline and we don't know what to recommend, that's the problem. In the opinion of some experts it's often better not to add alt text, but to leave it empty or to add "see caption." That's the issue we're currently exploring. Also, it was odd to have it as both a guideline and a policy, especially as it had no real consensus. As things stand, there are lots of editors looking into it, so hopefully we'll come up with a workable guideline soon. SlimVirgin TALK contribs 13:13, 20 March 2010 (UTC)


Please note that this page has been nominated to be consolidated with the primary Manual of Style page. Please join the discussion at the MOS talk page in order to discus the possibility of merging this page with the MOS. Thank you.
— V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 14:40, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

This sounds like a terrible idea. First of all, this is a WP:POLICY, not a style guide. "Privacy rights" and "Non-free images" do not sound like punctuation and word choice to me. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:43, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
The proposal (with respect to this page, but not more than a dozen others) has been withdrawn at WT:MOS. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:06, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
You're right, of course, about the distinction between policy and styleguide. Nevertheless, please treat this as advice that there will be an audit of the image-related styleguides over the next month or two. Tony (talk) 11:48, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Thumbnail default text raised from 180 to 220px on the Commons

Dear colleagues, Derk-Jan Hartman has reported at Buzilla 21117 that MediaWiki developers have just raised the default at the Commons, following on from the same change made here in February (I think it was that month).

It's pleasing that an overwhelming consensus built late last year on WT:IUP at en.WP has received no serious hurdles in spreading to a program of gradual application throughout WikiMedia's sites. Tony (talk) 11:40, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Proposal: Address RS issues directly

The different burden of proof for images compared to text seems to confuse people occasionally, and I think it would be helpful to address the issue head-on in this policy.

So imagine that I walk down the street and take a picture of the playground. I upload the image, and I describe the contents accurately: I describe the contents, I name the city park, I name the city. This is what we want, right?

But then someone comes along and says, "Where is your third-party, properly published, reliable source that proves you aren't a liar?"

Well, there isn't one. We assume that image uploaders aren't telling lies or hopelessly confused -- and even if the uploader was hopelessly confused, we accept "erroneous" images if they usefully illustrate the subject. For example, we would accept an image of the hubcaps on a 2002 model car in the 2003 article, so long as the hubcaps in both years looked the same -- even if, for example, there were internal differences that made the two parts not be interchangeable in the real world. Similarly, the same image of a person receiving an intramuscular injection of a clear substance could be used in articles about insulin, flu shots, and more -- even though the indistinguishable substance in the image cannot possibly be all of these things.

I'm not sure how to best say this. Perhaps something like this would work:

Independent reliable sources not usually required

Under normal circumstances, we assume that an image has been accurately described by its uploader. Independent reliable sources attesting to the contents of the image are not usually required to comply with Wikipedia's content policies. However, when such supporting information is available, uploaders are strongly encouraged to provide it.

Additionally, the purpose of images is to illustrate the subject. Consequently, some images may be appropriately used to illustrate subjects that look like the subject, even though the images actually contain a different subject. For example, the same image of an intramuscular injection may be used to illustrate many articles that discuss these injections, such as insulin therapy, influenza vaccine, and dozens of medications that use this injection style.

What do you think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:11, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Displayed image size

Is displayed image size appropriately covered under this policy? It seems more appropriate to have it covered under MoS as a guideline. Indeed it is covered there under MOS:IMAGES while here it is under WP:IMGSIZE. Most of this policy article is related to stuff with legal implications that shouldn't be at the discretion of the editor; style-related issues that can be left more to the discretion of editors should take the form of a recommendation and be a guideline. Has this been discussed already? Lambanog (talk) 01:25, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Help please

The Picture I took, was uploaded on the Arabic Wikipedia. I basically translated the article from Arabic to English and I basically took it from there and uploaded it giving credit to the upload from there and remarks to him. I am not sure how to classify or explain the license on my own.

The original Image on the Arabic Wikipedia: The Image on the English Wikipedia:

How can I fix the one I uploaded on the English Wikipedia so It wont be deleted? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Saab 1989 (talkcontribs) 19:20, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Orphaned fair-use images

The instructions for deleting images, as written, strong imply that you can delete all the uses of a fair-use image and then nominate it for deletion on the grounds that it isn't being used in any articles. Might I suggest a clarification here? --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 14:42, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Yea, that seems wrong, to orphan an image purposely during something like FFD discussion; usually that's the only way to get eyes onto that discussion unless the nom or image uploader broadcast it elsewhere. That line should be changed or removed. --MASEM (t) 15:09, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Fair use discussion in advance of uploading an image

Is there a place on WP where one can ask for advice about appropriateness of fair use claim for a particular image, before uploading that image? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nsk92 (talkcontribs)

Media Copyright Questions. --MASEM (t) 13:10, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
Ah, OK, thanks. Nsk92 (talk) 13:24, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

Using an image from wikigallery

An IP user added a link to the article Leigh Court which connects to a relevant image on wikigallery. The painting dates from 1840 & is labelled as "Public Domain" and I would like to copy the image and use it on the wikipedia article, however wikigallery appears to have added a small piece of text with their url in the bottom left of the picture. Is there anyway to overcome this & could the picture be used on wp?— Rod talk 16:38, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

You're absolutely right that we want to avoid the watermarked image since the original is in public domain due to age. I suggest looking around the web for alternate versions of that image (eg [22]) that you can then upload to Commons with the PD license and use on WP. --MASEM (t) 16:45, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks thats what I've done - if you could check the licence etc I've used on commons that would be great.— Rod talk 17:07, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Seems fine here. --MASEM (t) 17:09, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

Images in Brad Mays

This article has a great deal of images - all screencaps and stage shots from the director's work. My first thought was it's clutter and probably deserves to be reformatted into a gallery, but even then I'm not so sure the article isn't being used as a photo repository. I'm not even sure any of the caps are necessary. Any thoughts?  Mbinebri  talk ← 02:47, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I noticed that most of the images are from commons. If they have legitimate reason to be at commons, I could accept that. They have been uploaed by a user "bradmays" suggesting it is the same person (COI issues don't appear to be the case yet) but just because he directed the movie does not assure us that he owns the rights to these films to release them as free images. I'm going to open the question at comons before we can really do anything here. --MASEM (t) 03:06, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

I'm confused

Why is it illegal for Wikipedia to use images from Facebook and other private sites while television stations and newspapers use them freely? Lechonero (talk) 13:01, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

It is not illegal. TV stations et al are using such images under US Fair Use law, which allows for using copyrighted images without notifying the copyright owner for limited purposes such as education and commentary.
Wikipedia's mission is that of free content, and per that, the use of copyrighted images that are not marked appropriate are considered "non-free content", and per the Wikimedia Foundation, our goal is to reduce and minimize their use. This is a stronger position than US Fair Use law. If the image can be replaced with a freely-taken photo, we do that, period. This is a policy, but not a legal issue. --MASEM (t) 13:19, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. Lechonero (talk) 15:58, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
I will go one step further - part of the issue is that someone will take an image from the internet or an image from their "personal collection" and upload it here as their own, using a free license. Now when that happens it is "illegal" as it is clear Copyright infringement on the copyright holder. What you find on the internet is not automatically yours to lay claim to, just as that photo you may buy in a store is not yours to duplicate and/or give away on the internet. I use two rules of thumb - 1> if an uploader claims to be the "author" but is also the subject of the image (Unless it is clearly one of those myspacey hand help type of self-shots) than I am suspicious and 2> If the source if listed as a website with a "I asked the webmaster/band/person-who-emailed-me-back/my neighbor and they said is ok" permission and license I am suspicious. Soundvisions1 (talk) 20:26, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
If I compose a picture (location, direction, framing, zoom, etc.) and then ask a by-passer to press the shutter button when I'm in the photo, am I the owner of the copyright or is the passer-by? If I am the owner (as I did all the creative work), then how do I pass the test above? --RexxS (talk) 20:15, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
My understanding of copyright is that it occurs at the point of publication, not creation. That is, who took that picture is not the issue, but who actually publishes the photo it contains to a published medium. --MASEM (t) 20:29, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
That certainly would be convenient, were it so. It would have saved us from the megabytes of discussion when an editor uploaded one of his own old school photos and even Newyorkbrad worked under the presumption that the photographer originally held the copyright. --RexxS (talk) 21:09, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
Well, no, there's the added issue of copyright change. Today, I'm pretty confirmed it is the first publisher (the photographer), and thus if the image was from 2000 that would be the case. But pre 1978, without a copyright statement, images can fall into the public domain. --MASEM (t) 21:44, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
Ok, you've lost me completely now. I thought that publication (for copyright purposes) meant publishing to a public audience, not the act of developing a photograph onto paper, so why does publisher=photographer necessarily? I still think that the photographer is the copyright-holder, even for pre-1978 publication, unless it can be reasonably assumed that they did not renew the copyright (as they are entitled to), which is when it falls into PD. Anyway, how does that fit with my question about a bystander taking a photo on my behalf? --RexxS (talk) 23:34, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
To the example at hand, the random person pressing the button on the camera by request is not the act of publishing because nothing has been published yet. Once the picture is taken off the camera and developed/transferred off the memory card, then you're starting that process. --MASEM (t) 18:51, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

← At least in the US copyright starts at creation, although it it easier to prove after it is published that is why there is a misconception that copyright starts at publication and not creation. As an example in the "old days" you loaded film into a camera and after it was exposed that film was taken to a lab and processed. Now if someone in that lab stole that film and published images from it under their own name the photographer would have a hard time proving they were the rightful owners. While things like that did happen more often than not what would happen is the photographer would have a proof sheet made before any prints were made and images would be picked out to be be printed. Some of those images may have been published however all the unpublished images would still be "owned" by the photographer, not just the published ones. Should one of those images turn up published somewhere the photographer would have proof via the proof sheets and the negatives. Having that proof sheet and the original negatives help if there is any issue with copyright. Keeping in mind I am only talking about still images here, now with digital it becomes a bit more hard. The same concept applies but it is possible to make a pure one to one copy of a digital file and it is fairly common, at least amongst amateurs, to give 1:1 of all image to their clients as sort of a "proof" sheet. At some point it would he hard to establish who was telling the truth if both parties had the exact same images either on a hard drive or on a CD/DVD, and if the images get out to the internet in their raw form even harder. However the bottom line is that the person who created the work is the copyright holder, unless that work was done as a work for hire. So, in a sense, the question about ask a by-passer to press the shutter button when I'm in the photo could be thought of as a work for hire. The main difference is that most people don't take out a contract and have the passer by sign it. The other part is the school photo issue. Again, in the "old days", a photographer would take school photos and nobody thought much of it. Now, with the ease of which somebody can scan photos or make copies most of the school photos carry a clear copyright notice and how to order copies via a website of the company who took the photos. Even school yearbooks have been going digital, with school having websites set up where people can submit digital photos for use in the yearbook...and in may case there is no transfer to the school or the company that actually prints the yearbooks of copyright, meaning the copyright holder would be the photographer. For Wikipedia purposes, knowing that a lot of images uploaded here are done in good faith but are taken from websites, as well as many of the younger editors only knowing digital (i.e - if it has exif data it must be original thusly the uploader must be the creator, if it doesn't it must be a fake/copy/not original) I take many things into account. As I said above if it is a self shot - myspacey photo of the editor/uploader it is easier for me to assume "good faith" if it uses a "self" license than it is, for example, a professional head shot using a "self" license, even if it appears to be an "original" digital image. Soundvisions1 (talk) 14:35, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Question about an image

I'm not really sure where to go with this. I'm still a beginner with images. An image was added to the infobox of Ben Bass which was taken from It was uploaded into Wikicommons, and labeled that the copyright holder allowed use. There is no clear indication of this, and as far as I know, IMBD has not given a general permission-- those images are not free to use. If the image was in Wikipedia, it could be tagged for speedy deletion. But what about if it is in Commons? The only option in WC is "create", (not edit) and it has a page notice to add info to Wikipedia, not commons. I'm sort of confused. Any helpful advice? --Logical Fuzz (talk) 18:47, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

  • It is indeed from imdb [23]. I've tagged it as a copyvio on Commons. It should be deleted shortly. Thanks for spotting this! --Hammersoft (talk) 19:05, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for doing that. I couldn't figure it out, but I knew the image wasn't allowed. Much appreciated. --Logical Fuzz (talk) 19:08, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

Images of Russia, 1910-12

What's the copyright status of these superb images of Russia, taken 1910-12? Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 18:49, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Ok, this is tricky. Since Russia just recently revived their copyright laws in 2008, things have changed. As the photograph had died in 1944, it was life+50y (making these works PD in 1994), but the new law appears to be 70+life, putting these in the PD in 2014. (See {{PD-Russia-2008}} for details. seems to agree with this. Thus, these images appear to be not in the public domain. (and yes, I've seen those images and it would be awesome to have them freely but I think we have to wait a bit) --MASEM (t) 19:16, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
The encrease of protection time from 50 to 70 doesn't change PD-RusEmpire. Alex Spade (talk) 23:05, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
  • I have to agree with Masem. Regardless, this is some fantastic work for photographic technology of the day. Very, very impressive. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:34, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
    • Hmm, I was about to suggest using one in an NFC manner on the artist's page (Sergey Prokudin-Gorsky) but see two images there using the same technique both by the photographer and dated in the same period, using the {{PD-RusEmpire}} public domain license (eg, it was part of the Russian Empire but not of the Soviet Russia empire which current copyright applies). It could be argued that that tag works and these would all be PD (the Boston Globe supports that these are all Russian Empire images). --MASEM (t) 19:42, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
      • heck, the self-portrait image on Sergey's page is a crop of the 2nd Big Picture image. The only thing I question is if these images have been reviewed post-2008 copyright changes. --MASEM (t) 19:45, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
      • Hmm indeed. I'd like to know what the 2008 text has to say on that point. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:46, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
        • Given there's nearly 5000 images on commons tagged in that manner, my gut tells me its ok, though I've not found any confirmation post the 2008 copyright change to confirm the template is still valid. --MASEM (t) 19:55, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
        • I've posed the question to Commons [24]. --MASEM (t) 20:07, 23 August 2010 (UTC)
          • Well, Commons has been wrong before on that scale. Wouldn't be a first. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:13, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Both Template:PD-RusEmpire and Template:PD-Russia-2008 are based on the current Civil Code (active since 2008). Alex Spade (talk) 23:02, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Great, though I think most are already at commons, we're all set here. --MASEM (t) 23:06, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

PD-self not enough? Really?

What is the point of requiring a user to name themselves as the source if they already apply a self license like {{PD-self}}? This seems like instruction creep, and at any rate it is confusing. Please fix. Thanks, Sławomir Biały (talk) 14:29, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

There is a little "how to" and I have always felt it should be required for uploads. It not only asks for both the source and the author but also a description and the permission. For a photographer "source" could be the camera and type of film used. For Wikipedia it means one should say self-made or URL, if existent name of institution and such things as catalog numbers or similar. "Author", however, can only mean one thing - who created the image. The "source" and the "author" can be different and they do not always represent the "permission" given vs the "license" used. A lot of photos are uploaded from the web or from "personal collections" with a misconception that the "source" is either the website or the users "personal collection" and the "author" is the uploader. I do understand that the method in which images are uploaded can be confusing to some and uploaders automatically choose some variant of a "self" license, even if they are not the authors, and because there is no policy that requires an uploader to use the "how to" we are often left with images that are self licensed and have information such as "Upload by USER:Meathead" and a "source" that says "me". When I find images such as that I tend to use one of the "di-no" tags on them in hopes of obtaining the actual source and author so we can see if the license is the actual permission given. Soundvisions1 (talk) 19:12, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
Interesting point about users being confused about the source of photos. Actually, the images I had in mind were those at 0.999..., which is currently undergoing a featured article review. None of these are photographs – they are all SVG files. Presumably a self-made tag already implies that the files were created completely by the uploader. At this point in the history of things, I note that there is already a boilerplate "source" provided when you attempt to upload a self-made image. Presumably this was not the case in 2006, when these images were uploaded to commons? Sławomir Biały (talk) 19:55, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
I see - well, in looking over things the first "mini-how to" was added August 3, 2005, and explained the upload page. It was simple and said, as far the "summary" goes, In the Summary field you are asked to give as much detailed information about the image you are uploading as possible.. The first version of the current version was added February 21, 2006 and is pretty much the same as it is now except for "author" is says pre name and last name of the author (in case of own files additionally ~~~ ) and/or the name of the institution. But, again, it has never been made an actual requirement. The article with the image files you link to may be outside of this anyway because they are, for the most part, just images of numbers and mostly fall outside of the realm of copyright anyway - in other words who created it is not that important. For example File:999_Perspective.png shows five different editors made six different versions. Likewise these files all seem to reside on Wikimedia Commons anyway so whatever the wording that is used here is may not be the same wording used there. Soundvisions1 (talk) 03:57, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Images from medical journals

What is Wikipedia's policy regarding the use of non-free images from medical journals that cannot be easily replaced? In other words, I have some edits to post that are well illustrated by a few images from the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, and I have not been able to find suitable replacements. I know that I can use them for educational purposes under "fair use," but I don't know Wikipedia's stance on this. As far as I know, the closest image tag that exists for this purpose is Template:Non-free_newspaper_image, although a medical journal isn't really a newspaper. Any advice? Jonathan.Marcus (talk) 18:32, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

  • I wouldn't use a blanket fair use rationale. Remember that wikipedia's policy "fair use" is something of a misnomer--it is actually much more strict than the fair use law in the us. Images/files which are non-free must not only meet the fair use law (Basically NFCC #'s 2,3,4,5,9 but also must not crowd out potential free images (NFCC 1 and 8). The general rule could be described like this. If the image itself (not the subject of the image) is critical to the article, can't be reproduced freely or easily described by text and doesn't infringe on other uses we can use the image. For the case of medical images or scientific images this may be a tough bar to clear. However in many cases the image itself may be singular or difficult to reproduce without considerable effort, so you may have a smaller hill to climb than if it were a photograph of a building or a person. Try uploading an image and writing a specific and detailed FUR explaining how the image was made, why it is important and why it can't be replaced by text or another image. Protonk (talk) 19:17, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
    • Thanks for the fast reply Protonk. Your point illustrates my problem exactly: I've replaced all of the figures and tables with my own work, its just the actual case photographs that I am having a hard time replacing. I've searched long and far for replacement photographs of similarly affected patients, but all of the photos I find are always tied to a journal of some kind, or a biology book with a similar copyright. It is these photos that I am trying to figure out how to clear. As I said above, I know that "fair use" is not enough to satisfy Wikipedia policy; I'm trying to figure out if these particular photos satisfy Wikipedia's standards for inclusion, given (1) their rarity, and (2) that their use in Wikipedia does not affect the ability of medical journals to monetize their articles (i.e. it does not affect their subscription sales). Given all of this, do you think I am cleared to include them in the article? Jonathan.Marcus (talk) 19:53, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
        • (ec) You need to clarify why it would be so hard to create a new image that would have the same encyclopedic value, not just that it is hard to find free alternatives. If there is a particular reason why a wikipedia editor who was a medical specialist in the relevant area would nevertheless still not plausibly be able to create a free alternative, that is the core of the case you need to make. Jheald (talk) 20:28, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
      • I don't know any of the particulars (Can you link to the journal article, I'm in a university library so I can probably read it), so I can't say firmly yes or no. I can probably say that your point (2) is easily met (competing use is mostly a problem for press wire photographs and works of art), but that rarity isn't sufficient to say that the image itself is vital to the article. If I can see the image maybe I can help you write a fair use rationale. Protonk (talk) 20:24, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
        • I have put all of my proposed edits (photos and figures included) into a PDF that can help --- I composed the PDF so that I could send it to a few doctors and researchers that are currently active in this field, and get their feedback. I could send you (and all other interested parties) the PDF so that you can see exactly what I am trying to do. Do you have an email address that I could send it to? (Or if you know of another way for me to send you the PDF without making it public, that is fine too.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jonathan.Marcus (talkcontribs) 20:37, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
          • It's just my username at Protonk (talk) 20:39, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
        • (Mail sent) The article I'm updating is on androgen insensitivity syndrome. The condition is broken down into subtypes: complete, partial and mild AIS. The condition itself is rare, and the topic is very sensitive for obvious reasons. The only pictures suitable for the article that I have found to illustrate the various subtypes are from medical journals. In the past, a photo of someone with a similar condition (male hypogonadism) has been posted, and taken down, and reposted, and re-removed, because people with the condition are (understandably) careful about how they are represented, and did not find the picture to be (1) representative, nor (2) in good taste (i.e., medical quality photography). The pictures I plan to use are both.Jonathan.Marcus (talk) 20:55, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
          • Responded via email. Protonk (talk) 21:09, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for everyone's help for clarifying this.Jonathan.Marcus (talk) 21:33, 19 September 2010 (UTC)


Not too clear on this. It is a photo of a painting taken from Мурат Дышек. Нарты. I don't understand Russian so I am not sure of the date of the painting, it seems to be current and the date on the source page says "29.06.2010", which could be the image upload date or the date which the painting was added to the gallery. The signature on the painting itself seems to be dated 2008. The uploader has "Russian Federation 2010" and "ShapsugSochi1864" in the upload summary. It's being used in the Nart saga article with the caption "Nart Sagas (Nartiada) by Dishak Murat". Any help with what this appreciated. Soundvisions1 (talk) 18:51, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

  • Looks like mid 30s surrealist Russian work. I can't read Russian, so I can't add anything else. It is also possible this is a new work in an older style. Protonk (talk) 19:05, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
  • that signature looks legit enough. My guess is this is a new work in the old style, likely non-free, but the uploaded *may* be the author. Protonk (talk) 19:10, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Reusing of Photos

What's the policy on reusing Free Use images of notable personalities on other articles? I've encountered this problem on the page for T-Shirt, both images represent people with their own articles, which the images were originally intended for.----occono (talk) 23:15, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Free images are free images. There's no restriction (neither in our policies nor in intellectual property law) that they be used only for their original intended purpose. —David Eppstein (talk) 23:30, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. ----occono (talk) 00:59, 14 October 2010 (UTC)