Wikipedia talk:Non-free content

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Application of WP:NFC#UUI #17[edit]

A discussion is happening WT:FOOTY regarding the usage of logos on national team pages. There's a lot of discussion there, but to summarize: Should a non-free logo be allowed to be used for (A) all national teams of a national association, or (B) only for the national association? This issue has come up in football articles, but has application across other sports article groupings (such as international basketball). Thus, why it is brought here.

As a case example; please view File:Football Association of Wales logo.svg. It is currently used as per (A) above; the national association and it's child entities that represent it. It was removed from the child entities along the lines of (B) but was restored.

My inclination is yes, they should be allowed. It is similar to a case such as a university, where we allow the logo to be used for the main sports article of the university, and for teams under the umbrella of that university, but nowhere else (such as season articles). Similarly, we allow the use of a non-free logo for a championship, but not for individual articles about a particular year of the championship.

Thoughts? --Hammersoft (talk) 13:53, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

I'm in favor of any discussion which helps to clarify the NFCC, and make it easier to understand and apply. I've tried before at Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/Archive 64#Clarification requested regarding UUI#17, but that the discussion didn't get very far. I think, however, that this particular interpretation of the NFCC has been extended to cover university mascot logos for university sports teams as well based upon some NFCR/FFD discussions (I particpated in a few) with the close being that it is OK to use such logos in stand-alone articles about a university's athletic department, but not OK in the individual team articles, etc. In such cases, either a freely licensed file, such as a wordmark, or another non-free file specific to the team has been used instead. Similarly, FFD discussions have been closed where the use of non-free offcial university seals and logos is considered OK for the main article about the university, but not for individual colleges or departments of the university. The same interpretation has also been applied to companies and their subsidiaries, and to other organizations as well. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this interpretation has been applied through FFD to cases other than national football team logos, so simply singling them out and creating an exemption for them might be tricky. Maybe the discussion should be as to whether this interpretation of the guideline (No. 17) is valid at all across the board.
As for the Wales logo, the source url seems to be more about a car company which sponsors various national teams, then the teams themselves. Should there be something specifically connecting an individual team with the logo be required if this type of non-free use is going to be allowed? It seems that in more than a few cases, non-free rationales were simply copied-and-pasted without much thought as the logo was added to team articles like was done at File:Thailand national team.png or that multiple uses where simply combined into a single rationale like at File:KSA-Badge.png. I might be a good idea to discuss how the rationales should satisfy NFCC#10c if this kind of usage is to be allowed. -- Marchjuly (talk) 21:41, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Stepping out, but wanted to clarify: I am not looking to rehash the discussion at WT:NFOOTY, nor seeking another forum for it. Rather, trying to address the abstract issue which will have an impact on the specific issue. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:44, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

@Hammersoft: Sorry about that. Wasn't trying to derail the discussion. Just wanted to point out that No. 17 is being applied the same way to university teams w.r.t. mascot logos. Anyway, I think the following two things should be discussed to clarify if or how No. 17 applies to this type of logo: (1) The relationship between a national federation and a national team; and (2) the meaning of "when the child entity lacks their own branding" in No. 17 of WP:NFC#UUI. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:17, 17 June 2016 (UTC)

I think they should not be removed from national team articles; my main reasons for this have been outlined in the WP:FOOTY discussion by other editors. I will paste below some of the things they said:

"I would have thought they would be covered by number 2 of WP:NFCI which states team or corporate logos are acceptable."
"When a football team is competing internationally it is competing as the representative team of its association. It is not a child entity. The england national football team is not a member of UEFA, the FA is. When England compete in competition it is the association as a member of UEFA with the team as its representative individuals. Thus the team and the FA are not parent and child but equal and inseparable elements of the same."
"I have the impression that the Wikipedia community implicitly allows for using a national association badge for its national team(s), as the logo says "shirt badge/association crest" when your pointer stands on it."
"The fact that some federations have two distinct logos for both federation and team may very well be by choice. The real questions we should ask is, can you have a federation without a national team and/or national team without a federation? If the answer is no, then I cannot see them being separate entities. Nonetheless, number 2 of WP:NFCI mentioned by Kosack should have trumped number 17 of WP:NFC#UUI at the time of discussion. With that being said, a "league" governed by a federation would be considered a "child entity". You can have a federation without a league, but not a federation without a national team."
"National teams serve as the physical representation of a member association in FIFA / continental competition."
"Minimal is the minimum number of uses needed to enable the logo to aid as the primary means of identification. If there are ten teams then there is justification for ten uses, if there is one then there is justification for only one."
"The team is not separate from the association but is the association, as it is the association that competes as a member of the organising body of a given competition. The team is not the member, it is the representative of the association."
"'The guideline is very clear: The logo of an entity used for identification of one of its child entities, when the child entity lacks their own branding. Specific child entity logos remain acceptable.' That doesn't relate to national teams. Those crests are as much the associations' branding as their different national teams' branding. Every official match they played, they have those crest on their shirts."
So overall I don't think the national team is the child entity of the association at all; they are inseparable. Also, national teams don't lack their own branding - some national teams have their own logos while others use the FA logo but either way they do not lack their own branding and in both cases they should be shown on the page. That's my opinion. Hashim-afc (talk) 18:54, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
What we need is experienced editors to give us clarification as to what counts as a 'child entity'. If national teams are one, then clearly we can't use them; if they're not, then clearly we can. Super Nintendo Chalmers (talk) 19:44, 19 June 2016 (UTC)
WP:NFCI starts out by saying "Some non-free images may be used on Wikipedia, providing they meet both the legal criteria for fair use, and Wikipedia's own guidelines for non-free content. Non-free images that reasonably could be replaced by free content images are not suitable for Wikipedia. All non-free images must meet each non-free content criterion; failure to meet those overrides any acceptable allowance here. NFCI#2 just says that the non-free use of team logos may be acceptable, it does not say that it is automatically acceptable. It also links to WP:LOGO#Uploading non-free logos, which says basically the same thing: non-free use must comply with WP:NFCC. So, trying to argue that something like #2 of NFCI trumps policy is a bit hard when it clearly says that it does not.
Many individual team articles have a statement in their lead which says something like "The ABC national football team represents ABC in international football and is controlled by the ABC Football Association, the governing body for football in ABC", which seems to imply that the national teams are under the jurisdiction or control the respective federation. My very basic understanding is that it is the national federations which which typically make all of the business arrangements (including the choice of branding), control the merchandising, select the management personal of the teams and maybe even select the players of the teams as well. The teams do not seem to be operated independently of their respective federations, but rather seem to be more like different divisions of the federation much like a corporation might have different divisions. If this is the case and national federations, not the teams, control the branding, then I don't follow how these logos are the branding of the team in any way other than perhaps public perception. The team may use the logo by de-fault, but I'm not sure the fact they just use the logo means that No. 17 does not apply to them. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:16, 19 June 2016 (UTC)

They may seem to be like different divisions, but they are not. You cannot apply a corporate viewpoint to this. The relationship between a national team and it's federation is not the same as say a global bank and its corporate banking arm. Let's use a couple of illustrated examples to highlight an instance where a team is clearly not in a parent / child relationship and one where it clearly is and how that would impact the use of logos

  1. Firstly, let us look at the current UEFA Euro 2016 championships. This is a tournament organised by UEFA. The Football Association is the national association of England and is a member of UEFA. During this competition, it is the federation that is competing as a member of the organising confederation. Its representative team is the England national football team. This is therefore not an example of a parent / child corporate relationship such as would occur between divisions in a corporate entity for the reason that without the team the federation could not compete and without the federation there would be no representative team. This is an example of the team being the tangible representation of the abstract federation and that they are to all intents and purposes one and the same. In this instance the use of a logo as the primary means of visual identification seems to be wholly appropriate.
  2. Secondly, let us look at a club such as Kenya Commercial Bank S.C., this is the football club of the Kenya Commercial Bank. In this instance, the logo being used, appears to be essentially identical (in fact an older version?) to the logo currently used by KCB Bank Kenya Limited. In this instance, there is a clear parent / child relationship in place. The football team is a clear division of the bank from a corporate perspective, but the relationship is materially different to that between a national federation and its representative team. In this instance, the bank can carry on its fundamental banking operations without the need for a football team and the team, though it might need new sponsorship could concievably continue without the bank. However, a country federation is unable to compete in tournaments organised by confederations of which it is a member without a representative team. I do not see a suitable fair use rationale that would justify the use of the logo in the club article at the moment.

I would also add some caveats to my statements above which might help in the firming up of this criterion:

  1. My arguments are only intended to apply to national team articles.
  2. This arguments allows for the use of the federation logo for all national representative teams for the same reasons noted above, i.e. that the team is de facto the tangible representation of the federation in a given competition.
  3. Only the most recent logo should be used as the primary means of visual identification. There is no suitable fair use rationale justifying the use of galleries for historic logos.
  4. There is no suitable fair use rationale that would allow the additional use of logos in season articles, tournament articles, etc.
  5. My arguments specifically exclude club-related articles.
  6. There is no suitable fair use rationals for the repeated use of club logos for junior teams within a club, for season articles, stadium articles, as little logos next to the team name in other articles or for any simply illustrative means.
  7. However, in instances where there is sourced discussion of the logo and where the logo is identical to the federation there is a requirement to include a visual representation of the logo to aid understanding.

Hopefully these two examples make clear my point that it is not so much that criterion 17 is not applicable to football teams, merely that it is not applicable to national teams because their relationship with their federation is one of equal partners, not parent / child. Personally, given the small number of people who pushed this through compared to the number of people now disputing its use here (not just on a project page so WP:CONLEVEL is not really relevant), I would suggest that its useage is suspended until a genuine consensus is achieved as whilst it has clear use as a valid criterion, it needs significant clarification. I have added a hatnote to the top of the section so the original discussion which resulted in the creation of this criterion can be readily viewed by editors. Fenix down (talk) 08:34, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

That is a particularly good post, and I'd happily agree with its assertions. Super Nintendo Chalmers (talk) 14:22, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
One thing to remember about non-free logos, the bulk which have no discussion at all about the logo's design or history: without that type of discussion, they are only permitted because of the implicit marketing and branding for that entity. This is why that when you start talking logos for child entities, using the same logo as their parent, there's no "new" information on marketing and branding for the child entity than for the parent, and as such, that second use on the child page is unnecessary.
Now, when we're talking football teams and you have the federation/association and then a number of teams under it, one could potentially argue that the reuse of the federation's logo on the professional teams they oversee as being appropriate since that logo is part of their team's image. But I cannot see the same logo extending to the amateur/youth teams as many of these logos tend to apply - they aren't professional players, so there's no marketing or branding to speak of. --MASEM (t) 14:32, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
Thank you Fenix down for your post, you summarized perfectly everything I wanted to say but couldn't explain well myself; I agree with all that you said. Hashim-afc (talk) 16:20, 20 June 2016 (UTC)
It's really our choice as a community to decide where we want to draw the lines for team logos. I don't see much of a legal problem for including or not including such logos -- logos are created as rallying identities and identifiers for teams, in the very expectation that they will be used in news reports and articles about the team; so our use here, if we want to, would not I think raise any eyebrows legally. (We're not claiming any association or endorsement from the team). From past conversations, I think it is also an area where the Foundation is pretty relaxed for us to come up with the line we want -- historically the biggest issue from the Foundation side was NFCC #1 (replaceability) which is not an issue here; and to ensure that there is a community culture of asking the right questions to foster legal use and content reusability (neither of which are really at issue here), while leaving it to the community ultimately to fix the editorial line, in line with its DMCA safe harbour role as an arms-length service provider, rather than an active content creator.
So what we're dealing with is our wish as a community to be visibly sparing in our use of non-free content even if clearly legal, because we want to remind people that our mission here is the free content, to which non-free content should only be a supporting adjunct.
Which is a long way of saying it's basically our call; it's the job of this board (WT:NFC) to make sure policy is well adjusted to the aims, to discuss where lines should be, and if necessary update guidance to make it clearer or better fit what we want to achieve. We have the freedom to make such adjustments.
I think there is definitely a sense that multiple uses of logos should be kept under control and multiple multiple uses of logos should be avoided -- that's long been the prevailing policy view here anyway. A certain conscious sparingness in the use of NFC images is a valuable part of the character of the site. So I think it is quite a reasonable call when an article is clearly secondary to another main article that will present the logo (eg an article on a particular year's playing team versus the main article on a club; or an article on a corporate team versus the article on the corporation itself).
But where a team article is actually getting a similar number of views or more views that the article on its sponsoring organisation, then it seems to me unnecessarily obstructive not to directly show the identifying image (something we recognise is valuable to readers, per the cited discussions on NFCI #1).
So it seems to me it would be unnecessarily awkward not to show the logo at England national football team. In my opinion England women's national football team has to be treated in a similar way. And I would find it hard to justify not also having a logo on the U21 team (the primary youth team), giving that it is pulling more hits than the women's team. As for other teams, I think we should recommend not repeating the logo, if the article is pulling significantly fewer hits than The Football Association.
I suppose we now also have to think about logos for national Olympic teams, some of which may have a specific logo created for them for this year's events, whereas others won't... Jheald (talk) 11:05, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
I really think that viewcount is a terrible metric to consider for NFC, much less most other policies. What readers want is far different from what WP's goals are. Granted, a page receiving a high view count implies it is important in some way, and we should try to figure out the importance and what applicable policies would apply to that; for example, I could fairly justify the reuse of an association's logo on the premiere professional teams for this reason, but I can't see that same logic applying to the youth club. --MASEM (t) 13:56, 21 June 2016 (UTC)
I don't really agree with Fenix down's assessment of the relationship between national federations and individual national teams. Saying that they are equal partners sounds good, but I don't think that's the case at all. My understanding is that the majority of decisions made regarding national teams are made at the federation level. Does the federation negotiate all commercial agreements regarding the teams? Does the federation determine the teams' match calendar? Does the federation make all of the major personnel decisions, such as manager and perhaps even players? Does the federation select the teams or do the teams select the federation? Does the federation determine the kit and the branding? There is a organizational hierarchy involved with the federation at the very top and the teams located below, isn't there? Moreover, the assumption that the federation and the national teams are equal partners also implies that the national teams themselves are also equal partners with one another. Is that really the case? It does not seem to be since some teams seem to be allocated more resources, receive higher levels of compensation, etc. than others.
There also seems to be some of the opinion that No. 17 does not reflect a consensus because of the way it was incorporated into the UUI. WP:PGBOLD does say that bold changes to policy are permitted. There was a discussion on this talk page regarding the change based upon previous discussions related to UUI#14 and No. 17 was boldly added to the guideline as a result. Masem participated in that discussion so perhaps he can clarify the reasoning behind it. In the two years since No. 17 was added to the guideline, it has been applied to various discussions at both NFCR and FFD including many discussions related to use of national team logos and this is where a consensus has been established in my opinion. One of the earliest discussion was Wikipedia:Non-free content review/Archive 55#File:Bhutan FA.png which resulted in the removal of the a logo from individual team articles here and here and here. There's nothing wrong with changing one's mind and a consensus can change over time, but this is how No. 17 has been pretty much applied since it was added to the guideline.
As for a suspension of No. 17, I'm not so sure how you do that, especially since it has been applied this way for almost two years to various logos (not only national team logos). I'm not so sure we can just nullify the results of properly closed NFCR/FFD discussions simply because we are re-discussing the application of this part of the guideline. If the consensus reached here is that No. 17 does not apply to these particular logos, then I believe it this new interpretation is retroactively applied. However, until that time, it seems that edits such as [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6] seem to be premature. There are 10 non-free content criteria (13 if you count the individual parts of WP:NFCC#3 and WP:NFCC#10) and non-free image usage is required to satisfy all 10 of these. Suspending the application of one of these does not seem appropriate because if you suspend the application of one of the NFCCP, then you're basically saying that for at least the time being only 9 out of the 10 need to be satisfied. There are many logos added to individual team articles which do not have the non-free use rationale required for that particular usage required by WP:NFCC#10c and these can be removed per WP:NFCCE, regardless of No. 17. Yet when a file is removed like I did here and here and further clarified why here, it's simply re-added as if use is automatically considered OK because of WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS without the required rationale being provided. There are also quite a few cases like File:Bahamas FA.png and File:Bahamas Football Association.svg where two non-free files of the essentially the same logo are not needed per WP:NFCC#3, regardless of No. 17. Does suspending No. 17 mean that these issues are also to be suspended or shouldn't be discussed at FFD?
Although I agree with JHeald's comments on minimizing non-free use, I do agree with Masem regarding the number of views w.r.t. non-free use. I'm not sure if that's a workable solution simply because it doesn't seem to take actual image usage into account. File:FA crest 2009.svg and File:England crest 2009.svg are technically different files/logos, whether that difference is significant enough for NFCC concerns is probably something for a different discussion to determine. Even if they were the same file, deciding on where non-free use is compliant based upon the number of hits does not seem to be something the NFCC was set up to do. As for the idea of non-free usage being OK "premiere" teams and opposed to the other teams, I'm not sure again if that's workable. I am assuming that "premiere" is intended to apply to the main men's and women's teams which would certainly help to minimize non-free usage, but there are also beach soccer teams and futsal teams. Has WP:FOOTY previously discussed this kind of thing before? My impression from what Fenix down has posted above and at WT:FOOTY is that he feels that all national teams are considered to be representatives of their respective countries, and thus equally deserving of having the non-free logo used in their article infoboxes as well. Perhaps we can get some additional guidance from the members of FOOTY on this.
Finally, I think that since we've already come this far, this should be turned into a proper RfC and additional feedback should be solicited from the community. The argument that a national soccer federation and a national soccer team are equal partners is one that can also be easily made for other national sports federations, can't it? It can also probably be made to university athletic departments and university sports teams as well. There may even be those who also feel it should be applied to professional teams or non-sports organizations. If this a proper RfC which is properly advertised so that many different parts of the community are aware of it, then any consensus that is achieved after 30 days will have a better chance of avoiding being characterized as a few non-free editors and soccer article editors reaching a consensus for their own mutual benefit. Anyway, sorry for posting so much. I'm not trying to dominate the discussion with walls of text. If something is too far off point, feel free to collapse it. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:25, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure the arguments about whether or not we should be using number 17 have much relevance here; I think the key is whether or not it actually applies, that is, what the nature of the relationship is between representative teams and FAs.
I've come into this as a WP:FOOTY editor unsure of what I thought and I've been generally swayed by the arguments of the 'use them' group. While I think you're correct to point out that describing the two as equals is a little misleading in some ways, but I also agree with the assessment of those who say that reading them as 'parent/child' is misleading. It's not that the relationship is federation > national teams; it's more that the national teams are part of the federation, are a 'manifestation' of the federation in certain contexts, if you will. I don't think that I'm being very clear, but it does seem to me that the distinction is very diffrent to that of, say, NatWest to Royal Bank of Scotland or Tesco Express to Tesco. Furthermore, @Masem:'s point that restriction of image use is as much about a general principle of avoiding overuse rather than legal or usability-related concerns pushes me towards believing that they should be used in some contexts.
The useful complication that you raise is that most FAs have dozens of men's, women's, age-restricted, and different-format national teams. While I can see a logic in saying that the use of the logos should be restricted in some way, it's difficult to imagine a consistent way of determining where this should be that would be in keeping with what Masem argued....?. Super Nintendo Chalmers (talk) 08:20, 22 June 2016 (UTC)

Notifying others of this discussion[edit]

There nothing wrong with notifying others of this discussion in accordance with WP:RFC#Publicizing an RfC, but this edit here by Hashim-afc seems pretty close to canvassing. The middle part of Hashim-afc's post which reads as Most editors are arguing that national teams are not child entities of their respective football associations, and that they do not lack their own branding, and because of this, football association logos should be allowed to be used on national team pages if that national team uses their FA's logo as part of their branding and team image. For example, the Portugal FA logo being used on the Portugal national football team page. However a smaller minority of editors suggest that football associations and national teams do indeed have a parent/child relationship and therefore believe that it would be wrong to use the Portugal FA logo on the Portugal national team page (just as an example) seems far from neutral in my opinion. It would be just as wrong for me or another editor to post similar messages on the user talk pages of the various editors who nominated have nominated such non-free files for discussion at NFCR/FFD or !voted "remove" in said discussions in the two years since No. 17 was added to the guidelines just because they would seemingly be predisposed to agree to not allow the use of such logos. This type of selective notification is not really in the spirit of what we are trying to accomplish in this discussion and seems to be the "campaigning" and "vote stacking" we are encouraged not to do in WP:CAN#Inappropriate notification. Neither side should be doing this kind of thing. The ultimate goal should not be to win; it should be to figure what is best for the encyclopedia as a whole.

If WikiProjects or individual editors are to be notified, then it should be done in neutral way in accordance for accepted practice for RFCs. Maybe something such as "There is a discussion currently ongoing at WT:NFCC which regards the usage of non-free logos and how Wikipedia's non-free content policy is being applied to said usage. All editors are welcomed to comment. Thank you." or something like that. The phrasing may not be the best, but it certainly seems more neutral than the personal message posted by Hashim-afc; a personal message which might have simply been left because of the comments this other editor made at Talk:United States men's national soccer team#Use of non-free images. -- Marchjuly (talk) 07:07, 22 June 2016 (UTC); [Post edited by Marchjuly to strike out redundant word. Meaning was not changed at all. -- 00:07, 24 June 2016 (UTC)]

I don't understand what is wrong with notifying other editors of the discussion. I saw that he made some interesting comments in previous discussions and thought his comments would be useful. I don't think my message was far from neutral at all. I was literally just explaining to him what the discussion was about and how it was panning out. What part of what I said was incorrect? If you want to notify other editors too whom you think will have useful comments then that's fine, I don't think it's wrong at all. I'm willing to invite other people too even if they disagree with my opinion. As a matter of fact I was going to notify Werieth about this discussion too (he is the one who got No.17 into NFCC in the first place) but it turned out he was blocked. We want this discussion to have as many participants as possible so we can get the best outcome. I mean, if you look at this discussion, you will see that only 2 or 3 people participated, and since then lots of others have disagreed with the outcome of the discussion. We don't want that to happen here as well, we should encourage others to participate. Hashim-afc (talk) 12:35, 22 June 2016 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with notifying other editors. What's wrong is notifying particular editors which you know have previously argued in favor of your side of the argument and what's also wrong is explaining what you perceive to be the majority and minority opinions. Correct notifying is just simply mentioning the discussion is take place and where it is without discerning the positions being taken on the talk page of a relevant wikiproject. Tvx1 17:35, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for clarification. Like I said, I was going to notify Werieth of the discussion too, who most likely wouldn't have been on my side of the argument, because I had seen that he had talked about this issue before too, but it turned out he was blocked for whatever reason. Hashim-afc (talk) 20:28, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

WP:NFC#UUI is not a literal section[edit]

After reading the discussion above, I believe there appears to be a misinterpretation of what the purpose of the page is. WP:NFC#UUI is not a representative of policy, but a guide to the application of WP:NFCC. As I always mention, let's remember that per WP:NFCCP: "There is no automatic entitlement to use non-free content in an article or elsewhere on Wikipedia."

To hopefully better elaborate the points of this guide page, let's consider a hypothetical article of a music group that has long been disbanded (I can't think of one off the top of my head, but just follow along). If there are no freely licensed images available of the group or of the individual band members, and freely licensed equivalents/alternatives can not be created (because, say, half the band members have passed away), then one non-free image of the band can be uploaded and used in the infobox as the main image. Now, let's say this band was active enough to release several albums and receive several awards and nominations to allow the creation of Foo discography and List of awards and nominations received by Foo. For those in favor of allowing the use of these non-free logos of football federations in articles about national teams, this would be equivalent to allowing the use of the singular non-free image of the band in the infoboxes in the discography and awards articles, with separate fair use rationales for each. In my scenario, per NFCC, this is not allowed for the following reasons: it violates WP:NFCC#3 because the file is not being minimally used, but it's being used to a much higher capacity; it violates WP:NFCC#8 because the picture does not increase the understanding of the article topic (a discography and awards page, as opposed to the article directly about the band), and omitting the image does not impede on the readers' understanding of those articles (they will still understand even without the use of the image). The use of this non-free image of a band in other, related articles has been, continues to be, and will continue to be unjustified under the NFCC policy.

Bringing this back around to the topic at hand, this is the essentially the argument that has been made for the removal of federation logos in uses outside of the article directly about the federation. As my header states, point 17 of NFC#UUI does not dictate implementation, but serves as a guide for users to better understand how NFCC is implemented on the project. As mentioned above by Hammersoft, the implementation of NFCC (not NFC#UUI) has already been applied to basketball articles in regards to logos in similarly used cases. A small group of editors can not create a local consensus to override a policy which governs the entire project (which, again, is NFCC, not NFC#UUI).

I have also yet to see a strong argument in support of the logos' inclusion of team-related articles that abide by the NFCC policy. Rather, I'm seeing a lot of "NFC#UUI doesn't apply to these articles", which is hardly much of a foundation to build on. — ξxplicit 10:39, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Indeed. This is guideline not a policy. For me point 17 is clear. We cannot apply a logo to a child entity on wikipedia if that child entity doesn't actually use it in real life. That doesn't apply to national football teams since they use these crests on their shirts as well. It's as much their branding as their FA's. A case of misuse point 17 refers to is for instance An example of an entity's logo being misused is for instance Great Britain Olympic football team using the logo of the entire Great Britain Olympic delegation, instead of the actual football team's crest. I disagree with your objection that the contested usage violates WP:NFCC#3. That point does not talk about using non- free content in a couple of articles. It prohibits using multiple units of NFC on just one article when just one can do the job and it discusses the image quality and the portion of it being used. Tvx1 14:18, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
No, you have two points wrong. UUI#17 is not solely the case of use the parent logo on a child entity when the child entity doesn't use it, but at any time where the child entity otherwise doesn't have its own, distinct logo. Several child entities under discussion here are where the football club and the association are one and the same, the child entity using that logo freely on their uniforms and marketing. UUI#17 is meant to discourage reuse in cases like this (but there are wiggle points). Second point is that NFCC#3b , extent of use, is specifically aimed to prevent the reuse of the same non-free image multiple times across multiple articles. You can use the same NFC on separate articles but each use requires a new rational to justify it, and overuse (as it happens with these team logos a lot) is a sign some uses need to be trimmed down. --MASEM (t) 14:26, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
That's just your opinion. That's not what I see written there. My Team GB example shows a different logo being used instead of the football team's distinctive crest. Regarding NFCC#3b, nothing in the explanation of "extent of use" mentions an item of non-free content being used in more than one article. Nothing at all. As long as there is a fair-use rationale for each article that is acceptable. You can not just apply your own definitions which are not written in the policy. Tvx1 15:28, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
"Extent of use" as a term would imply that repeated use of the same image needs to be minimal. Remember that policy is not exacting language, not every case or instance is spelled out, but this is how #3b is applied in combination with #10 requiring a separate rationale for each use; just because one use of an image clearly meets NFCC doesn't mean the image can be spammed to all possibly relevant pages. --MASEM (t) 15:41, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
The intended meaning of "extent of use" is explained in the policy. You cannot add a personal definition to that. Raise a different discussion if you think it should be added as a "c". The difference between spamming and correct use is simply determined by assessing the validity of the rationales. Tvx1 17:24, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
Again, policy is not the same as a written law. There are established practices that policy doesn't always cover in explicit language but that fall within the policy. The reuse of a non-free image on additional pages is subject to #3b, because multiple uses is "extend of use". Yes, the language of #3b doesn't call to that situation exactly, but that is how it has always been treated. Note that I'm not saying additionally uses are not allowed, only a situation that #3b tells us to consider the need for each additional reuse. --MASEM (t) 18:25, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
@Explicit: If we look at #17 it says "The logo of an entity used for identification of one of its child entities, when the child entity lacks their own branding." Clearly, national teams don't lack their own branding do they? The FA logo is used extensively in the branding of national teams. I understand that we require minimal use, but minimal doesn't mean we can only use it once, rather that we can only use it on articles where it is clearly relevant. In this case, it is clearly relevant because the national teams use the FA logos as their own, as part of their branding. The FA logo is effectively the national team's logo too. Am I wrong/have I misunderstood something? Because it seems clear to me that even if national teams are child entities of their FAs (which is debatable), they don't lack their own branding, so #17 doesn't apply. Apologies if I have misunderstood something. Hashim-afc (talk) 17:34, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
That's exactly how I see it too. I'm not aware of any of these crests being used on more than three or four articles. They're certainly not being spammed. Tvx1 17:38, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
The image that started this discussion File:Football_Association_of_Wales_logo.svg was at one point used at least 8 pages. I've seen cases of 15 or more in extreme examples in the past though I can't find any at the moment. --MASEM (t) 18:25, 23 June 2016 (UTC)
  • @Hashim-afc and Tvx1: Again, missing the point. NFC#UUI is not meant to be all-encompassing, but is meant to present application of policy; to showcase examples of what does and does not constitute appropriate use of non-free images in regards to NFCC. NFCC does not restrict non-free images to one single use, but each additional use requires more than a cut-and-pasted fair use rationale because the usages are entirely different when not used in the main article about the federation itself. — ξxplicit 06:58, 27 June 2016 (UTC)
That is as I see it as well. The guideline does not restrict it to a single use. It just means that it is only used where applicable. Being used on just a few of pages would be minimal use and is certainly not spamming the image everywhere as mentioned above. 10 would still be minimal use, if all 10 pages were appropriate uses. If we were talking 100s of uses then it would not be minimal use. -DJSasso (talk) 11:50, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
  • There is no bright line number. 100s could be appropriate. 1 could be inappropriate. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:40, 29 June 2016 (UTC)
Oh I definitely agree. I just meant the likelihood is less, poorly worded on my part. -DJSasso (talk) 16:09, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

@Marchjuly, Tvx1, Explicit, Masem, Hammersoft, Djsasso, Super Nintendo Chalmers, Jheald, and Fenix down: So... what's going to happen about this then? Discussion seems to have stalled. Hashim-afc (talk) 22:15, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

@Hashim-afc: Your first ping didn't work because you added the "ping" template to a previously signed post. I believe a new signature is needed for the template to work. As I posted above, I think it would be best to turn this into a proper WP:RfC because what is decided here will have implication beyond soccer articles. More feedback from the community at large may help establish a clearer consensus either way and help avoid having to re-discuss for other articles besides soccer team articles. I've never started an RfC before, however, so I am not too familiar with the process, especially since it would involve a discussion already in progress. Personally, I have not seen enough here to convince me that the way the No. 17 has been applied to this type of logo usage over the past two years in various WP:NFCR/WP:FFD/WT:NFCC/WP:MCQ discusisons (including discussions where some who have posted above clearly stated that such usage is not to be allowed) has be done in error. So, maybe seeking out input from others in the community is the best way to try and resolve this once and for all. --~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marchjuly (talkcontribs) 07:17, 11 July 2016 (UTC+9); [Note: I (=Marchjuly) failed to properly sign above post when originally added. -- 00:59, 12 July 2016 (UTC)]

Limiting usage to premier teams as a possible compromise[edit]

I think the point that Explicit makes above as NFCC does not restrict non-free images to one single use, but each additional use requires more than a cut-and-pasted fair use rationale because the usages are entirely different when not used in the main article about the federation itself. is quite relevant to how No. 17 has been interpreted so far with respect to this type of logo use. An example of this can be seen with File:FIGC logo.svg. Until yesterday, it only was being used three times, two of which whose compliance with the NFCC was debatable. However, the file's use went from 3 to 4 with this edit and then from 4 to 11 article with this edit, which basically just added copied-and-pasted rationales for the each additional use. So, the files usage basically quadrupled with two edits. For reference, I do believe the edits were made in good faith, but I also think they indicate that to many editors the fact that country A's article have logos for all of their individual team articles means it's only only fair for country B, C, D, E,.....,Z's individual team articles to also all have logos. Some editors seem to be unaware of the differences between freely licensed and non-free; they see a image file on Wikipedia and seem to feel that automatically means in can be used as pleased. Others may be aware of difference, but seem to think all that is needed to satisfy the NFCC is for the file to have a a non-free use rationale (template or not). This, to me, kind of implies that non-free use is automatic by default and justified until proved otherwise even though this is exactly the opposite of what NFCCP really says. This kind of other stuff exists argument is not really considered acceptable for article deletion discussions, and should be considered just as unacceptable in NFCC-related discussions because the NFCCP literally requires that each use of non-free content be evaluated separately.

So, while it may be possible to try and argue that non-free use is justified as Masem does above in articles about premiere professional teams like Italy national football team, it's hard to see how non-free use is justified in articles such as Italy national under-15 football team and Italy national under-16 football team, etc., etc., that is unless Fenix down's argument for use of the federation logo for all national representative teams is accepted as the way to go. (FWIW, points 3 to 7 in Fenix down's original proposal seem perfectly fine to me.) Therefore, even though I now feel that allowing use in only premiere team articles may be a possible way to compromise on this issue, it has to be clearly defined what this means. Does it is mean the main men's and women's teams? Does it include beach soccer or futsal teams? Without a clear definition of how "premiere team" is to be interpreted, edits like the one made to the Italy logo are going to continue to be made and logos are going to continue to be indiscriminately added to team articles. The consensus on what constitutes a "premiere team" should be clear and be stated as such at WP:FOOTY much like the project does for "Notability" in WP:FOOTY#Notability; the difference between non-free and free as it pertains to image files should also be mentioned and it should also be stated that all first and foremost that all non-free use must comply with the NFCC.

If no agreement can be reached on what constitutes premiere and non-premiere teams, then a clear resolution of this matter either way (all or nothing so to speak) is still, in my opinion, preferred to trying to create another "unwritten exemption" to the NFCC because these unwritten exemptions only seem to create confusion and end up doing more harm than good. The consensus achieved regarding this type of non-free use in NFCR/FFD discussions is quite clear and real, so something just as clear and real needs to be established for the results of those discussions to be reconsidered. A clear resolution either way is not only desirable to ensure consistency going forward, but also for the cleaning up of existing logo use to ensure it complies with whatever consensus is reached. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:22, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

To continue on the limiting the logo reuse to premier teams, I go back to the notion that we allow logos without any other critical commentary because of the implicit nature of branding and marketing. To this end, this implies both commercial nature (which implies premiere/professional teams, so amateur and the under-15/under-16 teams for example should not use it)) and a 1-to-1 relationship between entity and logo so that only one team should allow for it (though noting that this should apply to the premiere mens team and premiere womens team separately if both are otherwise professional). --MASEM (t) 20:15, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Defining a "premiere/professional team" to be the main men's and women's national teams of a particular country and limiting non-free usage to those particular teams would certainly be a positive step in my opinion towards minimizing non-free use. In certain cases such as German Football Association, Germany national football team and Germany women's national football team, separate logos exist for each so not much needs to be done. File:DFBEagle.svg is, however, also being used in Germany national beach soccer team (a use which currently does not satisfy WP:NFCC#10c), so whether beach soccer and futsal teams should also be considered "premiere/professional" would need to be decided as well, especially since I guess it is possible that in some countries these teams may actually be considered "more premiere/professional" than their more traditional soccer counterparts. In addition, a national team may not be considered to be a "professional team" in the same context as a club team, even though at the highest levels national teams seem to be comprised of mainly players who play professionally and who may even be being compensated in some way for participating in the national team. For some countries, particularly those without a strong history of international soccer competition, national teams might still include amateurs, etc., especially women's teams, so would this exclude these teams from "premiere/professional" status. FOOTY seems to make a distinction between "fully professional" and "not fully professional" in WP:FPL when it comes to leagues (and by default the teams/players playing in such leagues), so I'm wondering if the same needs to be done for national teams as well. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:02, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
I can definitely buy in to a lot of what you are saying, but I think there is a big difference between premier and professional. I'm not sure professional is relevant here, nor am I sure there is any form of clear record whether all national players receive some form of expenses. Furthermore, international representation is often considered an honour, so recompense would not be such that players could live on it. Premier, is the most important word, as a first step towards clarifying the appropriate criteria, I think we can focus on the "premier" teams within a given federation.
Speaking strictly about logos used in national football teams, I think we might be able to reach an agreement that logos can be appropriately used where they are identical to the national federation's and not free images for the men's and women's senior 11-a-side teams only.
The rationale I would use to justify this expansion would be as follows:
  1. Use for senior men's and women's 11-a-side teams is appropriate as the main means of visual confirmation that the article is discussing the official football team.
  2. Use of federation logos for junior teams (i.e. "B" teams, U21, U18 teams) is not acceptable as these are essentially child entities. The purpose of junior teams is to provide development and experience to younger players, with the intention that some of them would go on to represent the senior team. They can therefore be argued to be child entities of the senior team.
  3. Use of federation logos for non-11-a-side teams is also not appropriate on grounds of minimal use. It is generally recognised that globally the 11-a-side game is the most important and that representing that team is a greater honour than any other.
To be honest, I am not sure I personally agree with the last point, I am not sure why all senior men's and women's national teams representing a federation (i.e. futsal, beach soccer, etc) shouldn't be entitled to use the logo if it is the logo that appears on their shirt, but I think that there has been a lot of discussion to this stage and I feel that small steps would be better! Thoughts? Fenix down (talk) 07:43, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
Just for clarification, so would this exclude these teams from "premiere/professional" status. in my above post was intended to be more of a question than a statement. It sounded like a question in my head, but my hands sometimes ignore my brain and just go and do as they please.
Now, some general thoughts. It might be a good idea to take whatever "consensus" we reach here (we seem to be working towards one) and submit that as a formal RfC in attempt to get more of the community involved. There have been only a handful of editors participating in this discussion and even if we are able to reach an agreement, it might be criticized later on by others in the same way the adding of No. 17 has been criticized by some. Previous closed NFCR/FFD discussions will also need to be addressed as well. It also would probably be a good idea to clarify whether this is only to be applicable to national football team logos or whether is also covers other national sport team logos. A broader consensus involving more members of the community might make it possible to avoid having this same discussion over and over again for other sports. On the flip side, a wise monk on a mountain recently offered up "In anything in life you want to achieve, narrow the focus." as advice when asked about this. A narrower consensus is likely to help resolve the soccer logo issue more quickly, so maybe that is what we should strive for. I still think that if we do reach a consensus that it should be added to the FOOTY project page for reference and so that people do not have to search through the WT:NFCC archives to find it. Something should also probably be added to No. 17 WP:NFC#UUI for those looking for info there for the same reason. -- Marchjuly (talk) 08:21, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
My proposal above rejects the notion of "professional" as this is not really related to international football, though there certainly are national teams where the whole team is fully professional, some where they are wholly amateur and some in between. I was trying to concentrate on the "premier" idea, which I think could gain support as an initial relaxation of the current position, and clarifying my view on this to be the senior men's and women's teams, either for all variants of football under the auspices of a federation, or just he 11-a-side team if you wanted to be more restrictive.
Definitely think a wider RfC would be useful at this stage. Perhaps it would also be useful to put forward a suggested view for change to guide discussion. Agree the focus should be narrow. If we focused on whether people thought it acceptable to use logos for senior men's and women's international football teams where identical to the federation, I think that would be specific enough to stand a chance of consensus one way or the other and would also provide a clear enough answer that additional discussions could take place at a later date to expand on it or apply it to other sports.
Whatever the outcome it will definitely need to be something added to the Manual of Style here. Fenix down (talk) 11:09, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
@Fenix down: I think your If we focused on whether people thought it acceptable to use logos for senior men's and women's international football teams where identical to the federation, where "international football teams" refers to "11-a-side teams", is as good a place to start as any. Most likely usage in the other team/sports articles will be brought up by someone during the RfC, so the focus can be expanded as needed if there's a consensus to do so. An official RfC, as opposed to a simple bold talk page agreement, would probably make it easier to deal with files which have been removed via various NFCR/FFD discussions since No. 17 was added almost two years ago. I think it's important we assume that these discussions were conducted in good faith and that the closers also did their part in good faith. Anyway, I can't speak for everyone who commented since this discussion began, but unless @Hammersoft, Hashim-afc, Super Nintendo Chalmers, Jheald, Masem, Tvx1, Explicit, and Djsasso: have any objections to moving forward on this, I think it's OK to do so. It might, however, be a good idea to wait a day or two as a courtesy just to give those pinged a chance to comment. -- Marchjuly (talk) 05:07, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm in full agreement with Fenix down's comments marked 1/2/3, with the same reservations that FD holds with regards to point 3. Super Nintendo Chalmers (talk) 08:23, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
@Marchjuly: sounds good to me. Maybe it would be best for you to lead this as someone who is a bit more neutral. Assuming others comment prior to the opening of the RfC, perhaps you could put something together, I'm keen this done properly and not seen as WP:FOOTy wanting to stretch the rules for their own benefit. Fenix down (talk) 08:49, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

USPS image use[edit]

In an article on stamps, such as Puerto Rico on stamps, the subject is the Puerto Rican history, events and personalities featured on U.S. stamps from 1898 to the 2016 present. It has been disrupted by editors misconstruing NFCC criteria, and those editors continue to be defended. Stamps are a visual medium. This includes non-free images from USPS since 1978, which are now represented as place holders since being removed by editors misconstruing NFCC. The illustrated article once met the FA criteria of satisfying the general reader’s interest.

The Australian post office estimates there are 22 million stamp collectors worldwide [7], Linn’s stamp magazine estimates over 5 million collectors in the U.S. alone with a particular subject interest.APS Topical stamp articles have a greater notability and general reader interest than narrowly marketed video games featured at Wikipedia, each illustrated with a non-free image box cover, for instance. I note that at the WP:NFCI Guideline: the most common cases where non-free images may be used: 3. Stamps and currency: For identification of the stamp or currency, not the subjects depicted on it. At WP:DECORATIVE the essay explains, the issue is not whether the text alone can explain the concept at all, but whether it can explain it as well, without the image. An article on stamps requires the stamp images to explain the subject of the article. Those who say that the page can be understood using text alone may be seen as disruptive. The proposition that all reader interest in stamps is satisfied by reading the article Puerto Rico with a stamp image or two for illustration is simply unencyclopedic, it fails to meet the interests of the general reader in stamps as a the visual medium.

Stamps themselves achieve their notability (not the figures represented) by a Joint Resolution of Congress commissioning the commemorations of events, places and personalities and their mass circulation in the public domain. It seems that additional direction is required for editors who refuse to acknowledge the utility of satisfactorily completing the Template:Stamp rationale which has been accepted by the USPS “Integration and Planning, Rights and Permissions” division case ID 124603003 of 9/8/15 responding to an editor request for use of its stamp images in WP stamp articles. WP is not going to be sued by the USPS for using its images in stamp articles.

Editors such a Werieth, Philafrenzy and Masem seem to misconstrue NFCC simply as a stick to delete stamp images in stamp articles. Their basic premise is that stamp images in a stamp article are merely WP:DECORATIVE, rather than the essential visual component of an article devoted to visual media. As the Template:Stamp rationale template explains, "as the USPS stamp is protected by copyright, therefore a free use alternative won’t exist.” But it can be used when the ten criteria of NFCC are met, as they are by the sourced narrative discussion at Puerto Rico on stamps. This misconstruction even applies to Fine Arts discussion of the image itself -- contrarily in violation of WP:NFCI#3, forbidding discussion of the image itself, which is instead said to be superior to historical discussion of the stamp at Puerto Rico on stamps. At the Julia de Burgos stamp where the sourced USPS discussion notes that it "features the poet with blue water flowing behind her, evoking one of her best known poems, “Río Grande de Loíza,” a sensuous ode to the Puerto Rican river where she was raised.” — that image with a USPS fine arts discussion was also removed. Out of copyright art, such as iconic paintings of Civil War events likewise have been removed by misconstruing NFCC and applying it to USPS stamp images such as Commemoration of the American Civil War on postage stamps#Battles. There seems to be a rough editor consensus that the USPS cannot copyright as non-free use an image simply by placing a postage number on it. Others such as  SMcCandlish believe that USPS has no authority to copyright at all.

Other USPS descriptions reliably sourced by the Smithsonian Institute webpage Arago: people, postage and the post, are arbitrarily found to be insufficient as historical context of the stamp and not fine arts discussion of the image itself. The only counter stamp article example provided recently was the notoriety of the Inverted Jenny, a minor error in mass lithographic production, but as demonstrated earlier, there is far greater interest in the notability of the mass circulation of true issues as authorized by Congress. Something more needs to be done to clarify the application of NFCC to USPS stamps. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 07:42, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

As I've tried to explain to TheVirginiaHistorian on WP:VPP:
  1. All US Stamps since 1978 can be copyrighted by the USPS, due to its being made its own agency rather than being under the government (that it, PD-USGov no longer applies), as defined by the US Copyright Office and in the Federal Register, and from the USPS site, it is clear they have opted to copyright its stamp images. It does allow for non-commercial uses without license, but because it restricts further commercial use, that fails the definition of "free media" for Wikipedia, and we must treat stamps as non-free works. There are cases where if the stamp image falls under the threshold of originality that we can treat it as PD: if I recall, there was a stamp commemorating the civil war that was simply the use of a 19th century painting well out of copyright, so the USPS cannot claim copyright just be added text and denomination. However, at the PR article in question, none of the newer stamps qualify as being originally PD works, so they are all non-free. NFC policy is not crafted to avoid legal issues (though we do happen to better assure fair use allowances through it) but to meet the WMF's mission of creating a free-content encyclopedia and reducing the amount of non-free to accomplish that.
  2. Template:Stamp rationale grants no special permissions by the WMF or the USPS, nor has any such blessing or the like. It is just a template to help users set up the proper rationale for stamp images. The rational still must pass all aspects of WP:NFCC.
  3. The Puerto Rico on stamps is not an article describing stamps in detail, but the people and topics about Peurto Rico that just happen to have been commemorated on stamps. None of the stamps are individually notable, and there is very little discussion about the actual stamps, the bulk being about the people and places that were selected for commemoration. As such, WP:NFCC#8 fails for nearly all non-free images on the page, because the reader can understand that a given person or place was put on a stamp from text alone and the image is not required to see this. The only stamp that may qualify for a non-free image is the de Burgos stamp because there is actual discussion from sources to explain the nature of the stamp's art design. The rest of the stamps would fail to merit images per WP:NFC#UUI #9.
  4. As Puerto Rico on stamps is also a list article, excessive use of non-free also fails WP:NFLISTS. One or two non-frees (which would include the de Burgos stamp above) would be reasonable, but not any more than that, much less all of them. --MASEM (t) 15:34, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Given that stamps are a form of payment and can be viewed as currency, I don't see why stamps are not eligible for the same exemption to NFCC policy that currency articles enjoy. For years it's been impossible to remove overuse of non-free images from currency articles. Indeed, 11 of the top 25 articles with the most use of non-free images are currency articles. We already have two stamp articles on that same top 25 list (U.S. presidents on U.S. postage stamps, U.S. space exploration history on U.S. stamps). I don't see why we can't have another unwritten exemption for stamp articles. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:41, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
  • First, just because other articles have it, doesn't mean it has consensus, and I think a review of those articles are required. Second, while I feel there is some ability to cut down on currency images, there is a significant difference in that a specific printed/minted bit of currency stays in active circulation for many many years, the design does not change that often, so there is a reasonable need to show what the currency of a country may look like. Stamps, on the other hand, have dozens of designs throughtout a given year. The temporal nature of a the use of a given stamp does not require a reader to be able to recognize any specific design, only the key markings like denomination to be able to use it. I would also add that in the case of most currency, one can find a lot of documentation on the background of the image design for it (the artist, why a specific look, etc.), whereas for stamps, this is rarely documented, only why a specific topic was chosen to be commemorated. --MASEM (t) 15:51, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
  • (To add, we are only using 53 non-free US stamps across WP, which considering all stamps published since 1978 is a small fraction, and I've identify a way to nix 7 of those by replacing 8 with a single image.) --MASEM (t) 16:05, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
  • I don't want to hijack this discussion into a discussion of currency articles. I'll just say this on that point; a review of those articles has been conducted, and ample discussion has occurred many times in the past. The net result is an unwritten exemption from NFCC. Moving back to topical; I understand your arguments about stamps, and to a point I agree. Nevertheless, I feel that if currency articles enjoy an exemption, so should stamps. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:24, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
  • The US Presidents list only has 4 participants from a 2011, and there's nothing on the NASA images page that I can see, so it's impossible to say that has formed consensus; if anything, the US presidents one supports the idea that a few limited examples are reasonable but not every one mentioned (which I would agree with here too); just defining what "limited" is is of debate. --MASEM (t) 19:44, 5 July 2016 (UTC)
1 & 2. As I have explained to Masem on WP:VPP, we are indeed talking about using images of the USPS stamps copyrighted since 1978 with properly completed Template:Stamp rationale and fully meeting all ten of the NFCC requirements. That a few editors have an intense interest in the fine arts design of stamps does not reflect the general reader’s interest in the history, places and personalities associated with a U.S. territory such as Puerto Rico. The Julia de Burgos stamp is in the fine arts series, it has a USPS fine arts description. But other USPS descriptions are also adequate for the general reader, as used at USPS publications, websites and the Smithsonian Institute's Arago website.
3. As we see at WP:ANYIMAGE the threshold for WP:NFCC#8 is not whether someone can possibly understand the text at all without the image, but whether the image significantly improves that understanding. In an article about visual media such as stamps or currency, examples of the image of each stamp significantly improves the reader’s understanding of each stamp or monetary note. Stamp notability arises in part from their general use in the public domain, just as with currency. (Stamp interest is not limited to the notoriety of a few mass production flaws such as the Inverted Jenny.)
4. The descriptions at USPS sites, the Smithsonian's Arago and at Puerto Rico on stamps satisfy the general reader’s interest, the article at WP is not a list article. Puerto Rico on stamps contains sourced narrative description of each stamp, although Masem has denied it in the case of the 1943 Columbus landing at Puerto Rico stamp, claiming it was just an assertion of original research. See the sourced Columbus and other commemoratives at the Smithsonian Institute’s website Arago: people postage and the post.
5. The definition of limited use of stamps in a stamp article addressing a specific topic such as Puerto Rico on stamps is the one image only limit per article, and the general article length constraints which apply to any other WP article. As the editor deletion of the Julia de Burgos stamp demonstrates, along with the other undiscussed deletion of all USPS images in their entirety, the idea that there may be a limit of one or two USPS images per article cannot be fairly administered, so stamps should receive the same NFCC exemption as currency. As explained at Template:Stamp rationale, there is no possible commercial disadvantage to the USPS because the stamp's value is in the physical stamp as shown, not the design. Of course, this is a rationale to show the image of the stamp. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 10:58, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
Template:Stamp rational does nothing to meet all 10 NFCC requirements; it really only serves to make sure parts of #10 are met (that a rational for a specific article is present); as a counter point, we do not require the use of this template as long as the elements identified in #10 are in place; the template only serves as a form of convinence.
Just because a few editors have an intense interest in the fine art of stamps does not give any reasoning that a general audience (our readers) need to see it. Constrast the type art of stamps to that of more traditional visual arts like paintings, where there are hundreds of recognized art critics who's analysis and critique of art is used to justify the display of those art images. I have never seen a similar aspect for art on stamps (unless it originated from a painting), and while editors might be interested in that, if there's no secondary sources to back that up, it is original research and inappropriate to push more non-free visual imagery to satisfy that desire. That's why we ask for sourced commentary about the designs of the stamps themselves, not that they simply exist and show such-and-such a person, to show why a visual depiction of the stamp on en.wiki is necessary.
Puerto Rico on stamps is a list article. It's not a bulleted list, but it is an enumeration which falls under the definition of a list article. You are not describe the stamps (save for a few isolated cases) but the person or object commemorated by the stamp which is a far different concept. This is why WP:NFC#UUI#9 exists, to avoid using images like covers or stamps to depict a person where that cover or stamp itself is not subject of discussion. Even taking the Columbus landing stamp, the text at Arago doesn't critically discuss the stamp, just factually states what's there, which does not meet the NFCC#8 requirement.
It is possible to administer one-or-two non-frees on a list article, it just requires consensus discussion. I would agree that whoever wholesale removed the images (I believe I know who it was and there's been issues with that person before) is not helpful, but neither is insisting all images must be used. Consensus can come to figure out the balance. --MASEM (t) 14:39, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
  • I tend to agree with the above here. If a stamp's art is actually heavily discussed in depth in reliable references, that's probably a reasonable cause to include an image of it, so that the reader can see what they're actually talking about. But if it's just "The USPS released a stamp with an image of $SUBJECT in $YEAR", and that's pretty much it, using the image is decorative and unnecessary. It does look like currency needs a bit of a cleanup too, so maybe that can be the next thing to be done. Seraphimblade Talk to me 21:35, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
The stamp article is not an arbitrary list of stamps released by year, but an article on Puerto Rico on stamps issued by the United States from 1909 to 2016 present on a topic of interest to those interested in U.S. stamps and Puerto Rico. It shows the change in U.S. Congressional commemorations from places, to anonymous peon, to celebrating the rich contributions of Puerto Ricans as individual Americans to U.S. culture as it is widely understood.
The “general reader” includes worldwide 22 million stamp collectors of some topic of interest. Those topics are not confined to fine arts dimensions of stamp images. All USPS stamps are not in the fine arts series, but they are all eligible for a topical article if accompanied by sourced narrative discussion and a properly completed Template:Stamp rationale. USPS description of its stamps is satisfactory for the general reader, it is adopted by the Smithsonian Institute and other reliable references on stamps. Each stamp with a USPS description is “heavily discussed in depth in reliable references” -- "critically" enough -- to satisfy those with a fine arts bent such as Masem, when the USPS description is addressing its fine arts series such as the Julia de Burgos stamp in Puerto Rico on stamps.
But all stamps issued relating to Puerto Rico’s history, personalities and culture are not in the fine arts series, so all USPS descriptions are not about the fine art in each stamp. Fine art aficionados should not wield undue influence as gatekeepers in determining article subjects in stamps, currency, music albums or video games. The notability of a Congressional Joint Resolution for the stamp and hundreds of thousands of issues in general circulation for each stamp in the public domain justifies topical articles on those stamps, even if they do not pass an arbitrary fine arts criticism test. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 10:18, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Again, and I cannot stress this enough: Simply having a completed {{Stamp rationale}} is not sufficient for meeting NFCC. It only servers as a form of convenience to organizing information that is required for NFCC, but that information itself must still be proper to demonstrate the need. Applying the stamp rationale template gives no special allowance to an image at all.
And in terms of discussing the art, the de Burgos stamp appears to be the exception, not the rule, in that there's actual reasoning as to why they chose that specific imagery. I've looked at several stamp description pages posted by the USPS and those at SI and when the art is discussed, it nearly always is simply to credit whom the original art was done by and that's in. It's non-transformative information, which is not sufficient to require the art to be seen. And you are admiting that not all stamps are fine art, so that's a good enough reason to understand that we cannot illustrate every single one. --MASEM (t) 14:19, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
The notability of each stamp printed and used in the public domain in the hundreds of thousands is not only in its fine art as those of that particularly narrow interest suppose, it is in its commissioning by a Joint Resolution of Congress and each stamps wide circulation as a form of payment make them a form of currency, and appropriately under the same exemption to NFCC policy on non-free use images that currency articles enjoy.
But again, you have no reasonable objection to the comprehensiveness of USPS descriptions of their stamps for the fine arts series as you have conceded, or any other issue for that matter based on your particular interest in fine arts. Images of those stamps meet the NFCC requirements #8 for contextual significance, increasing the reader’s visual understanding of a visual topic.
WP:NFCCP criteria are met for the deleted USPS stamp images at Puerto Rico on stamps: The Template:Stamp rationale demonstrates NFCC #1 that no free content is available for the USPS stamp, #2 that USPS commercial opportunities are respected, #3 the entire work is used as a criterion of USPS copyright, and only one image per article is permitted and #10 the three criteria for an image description page. The NFCC #4 previous publication is met at the Smithsonian Institutes Arago site, #5 Content is met by general Wikipedia encyclopedic content standards in an article such as Puerto Rico on stamps which is rated as a start-class article. #6 is met in a stamp article by meeting the NFCC images WP:NFCCI#3 for stamps and currency, to identify the stamp or currency, NOT the subjects depicted on it. Use in a topical stamp page meets #7 that the non-free content is used in at least one article. #8 contextual significance is provided by the issuing USPS description of the commemoration stamp. #9 is met by use in the article. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 15:58, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
WP:NFCI is a guideline, superceded by WP:NFCC policy (as it says above it), so there's no automatic allowance.
The problem is that while you think the prose in Puetro Rico on stamps is about the stamps, that's just not true. The bulk of the prose is about why the person or place selected for the stamp was important, and then some basic data about the same (year of issue and price). The de Burgos stamp is the only one that the stamp's art is specifically talked about, not just whom it represents but why it was illustrated that way, as to necessitate showing that to the reader. In all other cases, you have no sourced discussion that requires one to see the stamp in close association with the prose to understand the meaning of the process, failing NFCC#8; the way you present the topics being more about the person or place, a free image of that person or place would do a better job, so NFCC#1 is not met as well. And you also point out youself with NFCC#3 that we look to minimize non-free images, hence why one or two are appropriate (which should include the de Burgos stamp) but you can't do all of them. --MASEM (t) 16:09, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Also, keep in mind that #1 can often see replaceability with just using prose, and omitting an image entirely. If that conveys the essential information about the subject, it replaces the image with free content (text). It is only when essential information would be missing without the image, and that information can't easily be conveyed in text, that #1 is passed. That would only be true if the actual visual appearance of the thing were the subject of significant amounts of sourced commentary (not just mentions in passing). In that case, we ought to include the image, so that the reader can see what the references were referring to. But if they just mention that a stamp had a picture of $SUBJECT, and don't really discuss the visuals much, the image fails #1 (it is replaceable by text stating what the subject is) and #8 (the image is decorative and not crucial). Seraphimblade Talk to me 19:17, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

As explained above, the visual image of a stamp is essential to understanding of the stamp as is the visual image of a bank note of national currency. There is no free image of the non-free image stamp, so the non-free image meets criteria #1. No elaborate commentary is required, as explained at WP:DECORATIVE, the issue is not whether the text alone can explain the concept at all, but whether is can explain it as well, without the image. The point of a stamp article is to convey the visual information contained on the image of each stamp in the topic within the article limits. You have merely asserted the contrary, without explanation. The notability is in the stamp as described in each reliable source.

NFCCI#3, the rationale to identify stamps and currency with non-free images, is the guideline for visually identifying USPS stamps in a visual article topic such as stamps. Do you propose NFCCI#3 to be amended so that it does not apply to both stamps and currency? Until it is removed, it must be taken as instructive, not arbitrarily dismissed, as was the Julia de Burgos and other USPS stamps meeting both Template:Stamps rationale, and NFCC policy for all ten items as enumerated above; it is not done automatically, it is a rational process for both stamps found at Puerto Rico on stamps and currency. Unthinking dismissal without authority or counter examples is inadequate argument against them.

In any case, insisting on the stamp narrative itself to represent the subjects depicted on it in a fine arts commentary— rather than a narrative addressing the stamp itself as an item of commemoration— is deprecated, not required in NFCCI#3, image use is NOT to be for “the subjects depicted on it.” They are in the article, the subjects of each commemoration stamp. You are misconstruing NFCC, NFCCI and the WP:Arguments to avoid in image deletion discussions, by requiring an arbitrary fine arts critique of the depictions which is not found in any WP source, a hurdle "except one or two" which cannot be administered fairly as the undiscussed image deletions at Puerto Rico on stamps history demonstrates.

The sourced narrative adequately describes the stamp itself which is to be illustrated with the non-free image for the general reader as found at USPS and other reliable sources. Insisting that all descriptions of USPS stamps have the fine arts description of their fine art series is a non sequitur; all USPS issues are not in the fine arts series. They will not have a fine arts description of your specialty interest, an interest which is unlike most of the interests of the general readers numbering 22 million worldwide with topical collections of the visual media. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 01:40, 8 July 2016 (UTC)

You have not paid attention to the arguments, as we are not saying the stamp images are justdecorative. In light of NFCC 8, with what text is currently present on that article, the readers understanding is not limited by the lack of a stamp image, because the text gives no discussion of the visual nature of the stamp (much less anything else on the stamp itself, only the person or topic commemorated). Outside of the depictions Burgos stamp, they all have prose following "There was a stamp commemorating X. x is known for...". Since there is no actual discussion of the stamps in significant detail (as NFCI#3 requires), visual identification might be interesting, but it does not significant increases the reader's understanding and does not significantly harm that, and NFCC 8 is not met. This is not the DECORATIVE argument, but policy based. I need to stress that you seem to be overlapping the importance of notability of the person or place commemorated on a stamp poo with the importance of notability of the stamp itself. Wikipedia does not use inherited notability: just because the person or place is deemed notable, does not automatically make the stamp notable to any degree (and specifically for the automatic use of an image). You must understand that as Puetro Rico on stamps is written now, the actual element of stamps is not a significant part of the article, but instead the primary focus of the prose are on the importance of the people and place that also happen to have been commemorated on stamps. There is very little prose that would qualify for non free imagery of stamps to be used. --MASEM (t) 11:06, 9 July 2016 (UTC)
Good faith requires that you read my posts and respond to them, not simply reiterate various unsupported misconstructions of NFCC. Stamps are not notable “inherently”, they are notable by their mass circulation in the public domain as currency, and by their commissioning by a Joint Resolution of Congress. The primary focus of the prose at Puerto Rico on stamps is the subject of the commemorative stamps, not the persons, places and events commemorated, the descriptions should be visually enhanced with an image of each stamp, as stamps are a visual media.
NFCC#8, "contextual significance" is provided by the issuing USPS description of the commemoration stamp”, as explained at WP:DECORATIVE, the issue is not whether the text alone can explain the concept at all, — which is your point, but disallowed because — the issue is whether text alone can explain it as well, without the image. As explained at WP:NFCI #3, both stamps and currency non-free images may be used. It is not “automatic", it is applied intentionally at Puerto Rico on stamps in conformance with ten NFCC policy requirements as enumerated above.
It is clear that as your primary interest is in the fine arts and the fine arts series of USPS stamps, you are led to read and accept the USPS narrative description of the Julia de Burgos stamp. But the general reader worldwide is made up of 22 million collectors of topical interests, including 4 million in the U.S. with interests other than fine arts alone; the USPS issues many other series of stamps apparently outside of your personal interest. The USPS descriptions suffice for other issue series for the general reader, they will suffice for WP beyond specific interests of a few editors with a fine arts bent. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 07:53, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
No, stamps do not meet notability guidelines just because the government decided to publish them. The fact that a person or a place may be commemorated on a stamp makes that person or place likely notable since that is a sign of their importance to society, but not the stamp itself. Notability requires critical commentary specifically about the stamp — not the person or place on it — to meet both NFCC#8 and NFCI#3. The visual description and the artist credits that the USPS publishes for these stamps is not critical commentary, it's simply factual information. In contrast, consider that for articles on specific pieces of currency such as 5 euro note, there is generally a great deal of information about the history and nature of the specific bit of currency, which is the critical commentary that NFCC#8 and NFCI#3 requires. You've been told several times that the current prose in Puetro Rico in stamps is nowhere close to sufficient to support that, save for the de Burgos stamp where there is explanation of reasoning the design's pattern. That is the only case, among the non-frees, that seeing the image actually helps to understand the prose, to know what the various image elements were used, meeting NFCC#8. None of the other cases go into any detail about the stamp's image that requires the connection to the prose and fails NFCC#8. Even if you take the USPS' office description, that rarely requires seeing the actual stamp image to understand the image. For example here is the actual extent of description of the Clemente stamp from Arago: The stamp was designed by Juan Lopez-Bonilla of Louisville, Kentucky; art director and typographer was Bradbury Thompson; modeler was Clarence Holbert. . That's it. No visual aspects are at all discussed, so there is no critical commentary required to be readily allowed through NFCI#3, and if that's the only thing you can say about the stamp (and not about Clemente), you don't need to see the stamp to understand that he was recognized via the stamp's publishing, and NFCC#8 fails. There's no question that this is an unallowed use of non-free for any other topic, much less stamps.
This is not anything to do with fine art aspects (We actually require the same acknowledgement of critical commentary on non-free images of art in various arts, and simply don't allow every single non-free piece of art from a particular artist to be used, for example). The only reason it might seem to be fine arts is that we are discussing a visual medium and the most likely source of critical commentary in such is observations that would come from a fine arts angle. There's other possible types of critical commentary about a stamp that could be made (again, taking the Inverted Jenny, there the commentary is about the mis-print and the stamp's rarity, and little about the plane actually on the stamp), but commentary related to the visual art is the most likely source.
Our goals from the Foundation is to develop free content. We are not going to be able to serve every single reader's interest (in particular, your 22 million stamp collectors) because of the free content requirement, but that is why we a general encyclopedia. We are not required to be the only resource on the Internet, particularly when it comes to non-free. We are not going to be a stamp catalog with each stamp's image somewhere on Wikipedia; this is not only against NFC, but also WP:NOT#GUIDE. --MASEM (t) 12:49, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
"Critical commentary” in in the sense of fine arts for fine arts articles is of course required, but for non-free use currency and stamps in general circulation such idiosyncratic concerns are merely editor personal interest, not a requirement of either NFCC#3 or NFCC#8. General reader interest of the 22 million stamp collectors worldwide is not limited to rare errors in production runs such as the Inverted Jenny, their collections are of true stamp issues in general circulation as currency, an element of their notability.
NFCC#3 allows multiple non-free items "when one item cannot convey equivalent information”. The Clemente stamp as the sole example of USPS postage from 1978 to the 2016 present does not convey the visual information for the Columbus Landing stamp in a start-class article Puerto Rico on stamps, for example.
NFCC#8 requires “Contextual significance”, — not the “critical commentary” of idiosyncratic editor caprice — and allows non-free items when its presence would “significantly increase readers' understanding” which the non-free image does for a visual article topic. In the context of a visual medium such as stamps, omitting the image of each non-free stamp stamp image is “detrimental to the understanding” of each stamp. USPS which successfully meets the test of contextual significance for the general reader in its descriptions for its fine arts series, -- also meets the requirements of the general reader in its descriptions for other series it issues.
In the discussion of WP:What Wikipedia is not, at, WP:NOTCASE, we see what IS allowed for an article are "topics based on the relationship of factor X to factor Y, resulting in one or more articles”. An example can be found at Puerto Rico on stamps, the relationship between X — US. stamps from 1898 — 2016 present to Y — Puerto Rico history, culture and personalities. It "is perfectly acceptable when the two variables put together represent some culturally significant phenomenon or some otherwise notable interest." -- such as the notable interest in generally circulated stamps used as currency in the public domain and Puerto Rico. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 07:54, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
You keep missing the point that a "free equivalent" to a non-free image can be text or no image at all, if no free image exists. Of course there's no free image equivalent of the Clemente stamp, but simply stating that there is a stamp of Clemente as a notable Puerto Rican is effectively a free textual equivalent from a content standpoint because there is zero sourced discussion of the stamp itself beyond its existence. I used to be a stamp collector, and I know of the visual needs to properly catalog stamps, but we're not a stamp catalog, and while this might be useful for stamp collectors, the other billion-some people that can use en.wiki are not, and the image of the stamp is a curiously but not required to appreciate that the US has commemorated several great Puerto Ricans on stamps. There is no harm in their omission to the general reader (whom we do not assume is a stamp collector) outside of the de Burgos stamp, there where the discussion about the imagery on the stamp is lost to the general reader if it is to shown.
"Contextual significant" means "relevant to the text", and while one nonfree may be acceptable as to illustrate a larger section on stamps that can only be illustrated with non-free, all further uses (which all put more weight on the minimum use of NFCC#3) must be more and more relevant. As such, we do require that critical commentary be present so that the importance of the image to be used is clear. Otherwise, it's not contextually significant. That's why for list articles like this we don't allow every entry to be illustrated with non-free, as the bulk of the time it is not contextually significant to the text but just illustrates that something exists.
Also remember that WP is not required to document everything: we summarize works and provide relevant links but don't mirror them. The article presently serves to help guide readers to an image of the stamp and to read the full description that the USPS issued at the time of posting (which we also cannot replicate in full without violating COPYVIO), so the reader has a way to learn more as needed. There is no given "immediacy" of having to have the image of the stamp right there given the lack of discussion of the stamp (not the subject) in this current artcile. --MASEM (t) 15:32, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
a "free equivalent" to a non-free image can be text or no image at all Not for identification purposes, no. The guideline itself recognizes that text is not a substitute to images for identification of the depicted item, so such spurious argument should never be made when the image is used for that purpose. What decides inclusion of the non-free image in such cases is due weight and balance, not "being able to be replaced by text". Diego (talk) 06:42, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

The USPS stamp does not merely exist in U.S. culture and economy, it is notable by its mass circulation as currency and a Joint Resolution of Congress commemorates the subject on a stamp, whether or not the subject of the stamp is notable for contributions to the fine arts. Stamps are used as currency. You can still affix a mint Inverted Jenny on an envelope and it will count 24 cents towards the postage due. Because of editor confusion on this point, it is important to amend NFCC#8.

The allowance of only one or two non-free images to illustrate USPS publication after 1978 does not meet the general reader interest, and it cannot be fairly administered, as the edit history of Puerto Rico on stamps demonstrates. Indeed, Masem's reasonable allowance of the Julia de Burgos stamp and one or two other USPS stamps in the article cannot be equitably administered because editors misconstrue the unamended NFCC#8. Of course the idea that a visual topic such as stamps does not require any image at all is spurious. That’s my point, the visual information conveyed in the USPS image is necessary to understand how the USPS made the non-free image commemoration on a stamp, it can not be conveyed by a free equivalent published by a different source with another design, because the subject is the stamp itself, not the subject of the commemoration.

The due weight and balance of an article addressing U.S. stamps from 1898 to the 2016 present must include both stamps published by the U.S. Post Office and the U.S. Postal Service after 1978. Puerto Rico on stamps is not a list article, it is a start-class article with further contributions anticipated. The USPS response from “Integration and Planning, Rights and Permissions” division case ID 124603003 of 9/8/15 requires the entire image be used, along with “USPS copyright, all rights reserved” for each image. Use of the entire image is not a violation of the copyright, but a requirement of it. Again, the the rules as they apply to USPS non-free images are misconstrued without an amendment to NFCC#8. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 08:55, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

First, nothing in this discussion is about any possible legal troubles over copyright. We recognize that the USPS has given a non-commercial reuse license for stamp images otherwise copyrighed, so we'd easily be able to use all the stamp images within law without worrying about fair use. But because the license is strictly non-commercial, they are considered non-free images, and we are trying to develop an encyclopedia that is minimizes the use of non-free so that people that reuse Wikipedia content do not have to do excessive work to purge out content they cannot reuse or modify. The restriction on the use of stamp images is wholly within what the WMF had resolved and our NFC policy to support that goal. So keeping on referring to the USPS division case has no bearing here.
Second, and what I've tried to explain many times, is that your Puerto Rico on stamps article is nearly all about the people or places memorialized on the stamp, and there is actually very little detail on the stamps - the tiny bits of printed glued-paper - itself. Very little of the prose gets into the details of that physical bit of paper or the imagery on it. You keep suggesting that because these people were chosen to be put on stamps that it makes the stamps notable is not align with our content policies; that only speaks to the importance of the person, not the physical stamp. You have no significant discussion of those stamps that NFCI#3 asks for (compare to, say, Inverted Jenny or 10 euro note as an example where the physical object is the subject of serious discussion). And knowing what I know for stamps from the US, this type of information is rare to come by, in contrast to something like bills and coins (likely because the latter have designs that are recirculated for years, while stamp issues quickly go out of print).
Selecting one or two images to represent the set of non-free stamps may seem difficult but it is done for numerous other topics where potentially there is a huge range of NFC that could be presented on the page but has been trimmed to a small number of examples. For example, Pop art (and many other schools of art that primarily took off in the 20th century so that most of the images would be under copyright still) uses only 9 images for is a rather diverse article, representing perhaps 1 representive work for every 4-5 artists mentioned. They had to use editorial selection to figure that out. Taking that ratio to your stamps article, where you have about 9 stamps that could be illustratated by non-free, limiting it to representative stamp images seems reasonable, and just requires judicial editorial selection. One stamp should clearly be the de Burgos one because of the actual discussion about the stamp's imagery (the few that have any discussion of this type). The other should be something that is not readily easy to visualize, and to that end, the Ponce de Leon stamp would make sense - the other stamps that have non-free imagery are things that we have free media images of on their respective articles (the flag, the birds, and the people recognized), but de Leon we only have artwork of , so this would seem a fair second image. --MASEM (t) 15:35, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for your patience. I sincerely appreciate your point of view and your support of my using USPS stamps on a limited basis — for me, a sort of half-a-loaf compromise. I can visualize describing the stamp of the Puerto Rican flag, and illustrating it with a free image of the Puerto Rican flag in the interest of meeting the general reader’s interest in the visual information referred to in the sourced narrative, although that seems a bit unsatisfactory. I’m still not totally convinced, but I see your reasonable point of view while I still differ.
But administratively, mechanically, since I view contributions to Wikipedia as a part-time hobby, and my primary interest is in U.S. and Virginia history, how am I to practically sustain the images of the stamps commemorating Julia de Burgos and Ponce de Leon in the face of drive-by deletions of editors who misconstrue even your reasonable position. Part of my desire to amend NFCC#8 stems from my belief that your position is not widely shared without such amendment, that it cannot be equitably administered in the case of Puerto Rico on stamps without amendment. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 10:57, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

NFCC#8 proposed amendment for currency and stamps[edit]

In view of the discussion above, I propose the following amendment to NFCC#8 for both currency and stamps, as Seraphimblade misconstrues all non-free images of currency and stamps alike as merely decorative, and so suggests in his 6 July post that currency is to be limited in a "clean up" perhaps to the 52 non-free USPS images at WP, and as Masem misconstrues USPS descriptions as insufficient except for the fine arts series of his personal interest. The intent is to discuss the proposal prior to an RfC, new wording in bold.

Proposal: #8a. Contextual significance. Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers understanding of the article topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding. When articles address topics of visual interest such as copyrighted currency and stamps, non-free images may illustrate narrative describing them provided by the the publisher including persons, places and events commemorated, or other sourced commentary on the symbolic artwork pictured on the notes, coins and stamps. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 09:51, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

This is unfeasible, because we don't use the policy to call out exceptions. We aren't going to change policy for something like this. In addition, you now have failed to understand what at least three different editors have said and have no consensus for your position. --MASEM (t) 10:46, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

Proposal: #8b. Contextual significance. Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers understanding of the article topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding. Articles with topics of visual interest such as currency and stamps are to use narrative descriptions provided by the publisher or other sourced commentary.

Rationale: Currency and stamps attain notability by their mass circulation in the public domain and authorization by national legislatures, regardless of any discriminating fine arts commentary. Articles with visual topics such as currency and stamps require an image illustration in each instance to better explain the visual information. The policy requires amendment because it cannot be fairly administered for stamps and currency as written, leading to capricious deletion of non-free images otherwise meeting all ten NFCC criteria, such as Puerto Rico on stamps. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 08:22, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

No, again, we are not going to carve out exceptions in policy, in addition this is a slippery slope for inclusion of non-free just because a visual description of the image exist. --MASEM (t) 12:24, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

We have three editors for such an exemption, and three opposed. The point of the proposed RfC is to find consensus. Rationale for amendment to the proposal (c): to meet the non-free slippery slope critique for currency and stamps in general circulation, so as to exclude privately minted coinage and San Marino stamp issues primarily for national revenue.

Propoal: #8c. Contextual significance. Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers understanding of the article topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding. 'Articles with topics of visual interest such as currency and stamps in mass circulation are to use narrative descriptions provided by the publisher or other sourced commentary.’ — TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 08:00, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

Again, we are not going to call out exceptions in policy. The exceptions/clarifications to any specific type of content are on the guideline page WP:NFC, where we already have one for stamps and currency. Further I will point out if you are clarifying for "in mass circulation", the stamps you want images are are no longer in mass circulation, so this would be rejected even if this was in policy or guidelines. --MASEM (t) 15:16, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
The answer's already been a clear no. I don't know what else to say for it. And I don't "misconstrue" anything—that's the way the policy works in all other cases. I am not in favor of making a special exception to it for stamps, or for currency, or for anything. This is a free-content project, and we should be using nonfree content grudgingly, sparingly, and only when absolutely necessary. Seraphimblade Talk to me 15:24, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

It's funny really. We get lots of people trying to fight against such policy changes, yet in the 'real' world of actual articles, the policy is out of date and out of touch with reality. The people that support the policy 'as is' no longer work to further it in articles. The policy is the last bastion, the last defense point now against Wikipedia being the non-free content encyclopedia. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:29, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

Wait, every reference to WP:NFCI I have made explaining its application at Puerto Rico on stamps, "For identification of the stamp or currency, not the subjects depicted on it." has be summarily dismissed as having no impact on understanding NFCC — along with an admonition to have sourced commentary on the subjects depicted on the stamp -- which contradicts NFCI#3. That is the reason for my proposal to amend NFCC, because WP:NFCI#3 has been dismissed. If it is acknowledged as governing article content along with NFCC, then the USPS non-free images must be admitted at Puerto Rico on stamps, without any amendment required. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 09:10, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Amendment required or not required[edit]

There is no need to add exceptions to #8 in order to have a non-free image of a stamp or coin illustrating an article where it is the subject of commentary; the Non-free content guideline already allows it. The criterion stated in the guideline for meeting the contextual significance criterion is "where only by including such non-free content, can the reader identify an object, style, or behavior, that is a subject of discussion in the article". Masem's interpretation of #8 as requiring commentary of the visual aspects of the topic is contrary to the written letter of the guideline; what matters (and what is actually written in the guideline) is the requirement that readers are able to identify the coin or stamp, which NFC understands as not being satisfied by a textual description alone.

It is understood that "depiction of a prominent aspect of the subject generally suffices, thus only a single item of non-free content meets the criterion". There is a caveat that such identification requirement should follow the principles of weight and balance, so only items with enough weight in the article should be identified in this way. But for those that are determined to have enough weight to require identification, a NFC visual image is generally considered to be the proper way to do it. Diego (talk) 17:22, 11 July 2016 (UTC)

  • The project as a whole has already adopted your view. The view that non-free content needs to be minimized is a marginal, extremist position no longer supported by the Wikipedia community. I'm 100% certain people will attack me over stating this. I'm stating reality. People don't like reality when it is at odds with their ideals. Masem's view tracks very closely with what the Foundation has issued as an edict that can not be eroded or ignored by this project. The stance you've taken is the one that the project has adopted, demonstrated by common practice. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:45, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
  • that is a subject of discussion in the article is the core point here. When an individual stamp or coin or bill is notable (meeting the GNG) to have its own article, the image of that object obviously meets this requirement of contextual significance. The problem is that when the stamp is just one of several that are listed but not discussed as the article's subject (as in the case of of Puerto Rico on stamps) that reasoning fails. A single non-free as a reasonable representation of the several stamps that would be illustrated only by non-frees is a reasonable allowance per NFLISTS. But any further non-free imagery on such lists need the weight of some type of contextual significance which at that point can only be met if the imagery of the stamp is discussed in context. And keep in mind that even as it stands now, the stamps listed in Puerto Rico on stamps are not discussed beyond their existence save for a few instances like the de Burgos stamp. The page is effectively a "stampography" like a discography, simply documenting the works rather than discussing them, which we have purposely removed non-free images. --MASEM (t) 18:11, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
    • an individual stamp ... notable (meeting the GNG) to have its own article, the image of that object obviously meets this requirement Being the main topic of the article is widely recognized as instantly meriting recognition and thus allowing a non-free image for identification purposes, yes.
    • when the stamp is just one of several ... that reasoning fails Not so; it only means that the need for identification is not automatic, but subject to editorial discretion. That's not a 'fail', just an 'it depends' (sometimes applies, sometimes doesn't).
    • any further non-free imagery on such lists need the weight of some type of contextual significance So far so good, this is what's stated by the part of the guideline I've quoted.
    • which at that point can only be met if the imagery of the stamp is discussed in context (emphasis mine) - this is where your reasoning falls apart; such definite exclusion of any other possibility is plainly not supported by the rules. The meeting the contextual significance criterion part of the guideline, i.e. the one which explains how significance should be assessed, applies at any point where "the item is itself the subject of sourced commentary" or "subject of discussion and requiring identification". The relevant criterion according to the guideline, for assessing relevance that meets the contextual significance criterion, is "determined according to the principles of due weight and balance". Any item may carry such weight, even if it's not the main subject of the article, and the weight doesn't need to be tied to the discussion of its visual aspects - that criterion is nowhere to be found in the guideline.
    In a list, those elements with the most prominence can be regarded as having "due weight", and balance may require to allow identification for several of them. If the list is a featured article, this could very well mean that all items in the list might get that treatment, if such list is composed exclusively of those prominent examples in the field that merit inclusion in the article, so that non-representative items are excluded completely. I agree that some extended discussion for each item would be required for that, but the merits of weight in such case should be assessed for each individual entry regarding its support by RSs, not merely by the amount of non-free content included in one page. Concerns of significance outweights those of layout and disposition with respect to non-free policy. Diego (talk) 21:37, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
    This thinking goes against the reason there is a NFC policy. Non-free use is meant to be exceptional per the WMF, not an editing right. Hammersoft has pointed out with all fairness that this nature of NFC being exceptional has flown out the window with how much non-free we already allow, but we still need to enforce limits, and while we do want editors to make editorial judgments that keep non-free to a minimum, that judgement cannot override the WMF resolution and our policy. In the specific case of Puerto Rico stamp page, we have plenty of past precedent that a list article like this needs sourced commentary on any non-free image to be used beyond one potentially illustrative non-free per NFLISTS. There very well may be a case in a list-type article that no individual item may be notable on its own, but there's enough discussion in prose that each entry could be met with an NFCC#8-meeting rationale, but I've yet to see one, and this specific article is definitely not an example of a list in a state that would need it. We don't just put non-free images to show something exists as is being asked here. I would then also consider that if one has a list of items that are claimed to be so significant that we need a non-free image of each, the question is begged that then why are none of the individual items notable on their own and where the non-free image would be placed instead to avoid the NFCC#3 on the list article. We always should be asking, "how can we avoid the use of non-free on such-and-such an article", instead of going "how can we use non-free on this article" to meet the expectations of the WMF. --MASEM (t) 23:27, 11 July 2016 (UTC)
    "Depiction of a prominent aspect of the subject, for identification purposes" is as minimum as it gets, and meeting minimal usage is done by using the minimum amount of images that get the work done; removing an image required for identification of an item, just because other items have been identified in the same way, is not one of the criteria of the guideline for assessing minimal usage. The reason why we have a NFC policy is because non-free content is allowed at en.wiki. The edict recognizes that certain usages simply cannot be replaced by free content and are nevertheless necessary for writing an encyclopedia. The shape that the en.wiki EDP takes is that of assessing each usage of non-free work on its own merits. The way non-free content is used throughout en.wiki is consistent with how the policy and guideline were crafted and intended to be used.
    It is true that usage of NFC for identification should be reduced to the most prominent items, and the current state of the Puerto Rico stamp page does not merit an image per item (and images should be restricted to those stamps that can be shown with sources to be the most significative for the topic). But you were arguing that such usage was not allowed in principle, which isn't right, since policy is contingent upon the nature of the items to be illustrated. BTW, what the guideline recommends is having a single image that identifies as many of the important items as possible, if such can be made. Diego (talk) 06:35, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
    I never said that the PR on stamps article couldn't have non-free, just that the argument that's been pushed - that every stamp must have an image - doesn't work. NFLISTS reasonably allows one, sometimes two, non-free images as a representative visual aid for the entire list. When you start asking for more than that, then we need to see significant context, and in list articles, that really is only if the actual visual element is the subject of non-original research (aka sourced) discussion. --MASEM (t) 14:46, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

The point of this initiative is that that construction of NFCC#8 -- which would allow only fine arts series stamps with USPS description, but arbitrarily dismiss all other USPS stamps and their descriptions, and yet allowing "one or two others" -- cannot be fairly administered, as all images of USPS stamps at Puerto Rico on stamps are deleted wholesale without discussion under the present atmosphere misconstruing the Foundation, NFCC and WP article guidelines.

At WP:NOTCASE, we see what IS allowed for an article are "topics based on the relationship of factor X to factor Y, resulting in one or more articles”. An example can be found at Puerto Rico on stamps, the relationship between X — US. stamps from 1898 — 2016 present to Y — Puerto Rico history, culture and personalities. It "is perfectly acceptable when the two variables put together represent some culturally significant phenomenon or some otherwise notable interest." -- such as the notable interest in generally circulated stamps used as currency in the public domain, and the subject of Puerto Rico.

At Foundation licensing policy, the only content under the Exemption Doctrine Policy which restricts the use of non-free stamp images is “whenever a free image "is available which will serve the same educational purpose.” But it is apparent that no free image visually replicates the stamp, other than the stamp itself. It is copyrighted and allowed, “in accordance with United States law”, recognizing the limitations of copyright law as applicable to the project”, meaning in the case of USPS stamps, acknowledging their copyright and “all rights reserved.”

The “upload of copyrighted materials that can be legally used in the context of the project, regardless of licensing status” includes USPS stamp images, according to the USPS “Integration and Planning, Rights and Permissions” division case ID 124603003 of 9/8/15 in response to a WP editor request. It seems that existing Foundation licensing policy and WP:NFCC and WP:NFCI allow for currency and stamp images. But without an amendment to NFCC#8, it can be misconstrued as somehow restricting the use of -- X-- USPS stamp images accompanied with a sourced description relating U.S. postage stamps to --Y-- Puerto Rico in a visually topical article. For instance, at the article addressing the commemoratives at Puerto Rico on stamps. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 15:13, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

TheVirginiaHistorian, Masem is right that we can't give a free pass to all copyrighted images merely because they appear in an article. Wikipedia uses copyrighted content under fair-use claims, which need to be justified for each usage. Being able to identify the stamp is one of those valid usages, but (as the policy that I linked above states), only for images that carry significant weight as part of the article where they are discussed. At Puerto Rico on stamps, any image that is not freely licensed needs to have some kind of commentary that adds weight and justifies its appearance.
I see that the images currently in use at that article are licensed as Public Domain and could therefore be used without restriction, while the ones under copyright now have a placeholder. If you can provide a rationale for why those removed stamps are relevant enough to the ropic to justify the need to identify them, that should be enough to support their fair use. Diego (talk) 15:40, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
Thank you and Masem for your patient consideration is this rather lengthy discussion. As I read the WP:IPH resolution, and went onto the Puerto Rico on stamps page to delete the placeholder images myself, I noticed that the placeholder design was different. On further investigation I noticed that the only notification for the discussion at WP:IPH was those concerned with biographies of living persons, and the majority of those deprecating the usage of a placeholder believed that the design was flawed (the fine arts perspective again). I found the altered placeholder design on another stamp page, so it seems that the deprecation is not “project wide”, but restricted to biographies of living persons, and not those of alternative design used in the Wikiproject Philately.
You, and I and Masem are all agreed "we can't give a free pass to all copyrighted images merely because they appear in an article.” And all non-free images used must meet all ten NFCC criteria, and all USPS stamp images must have an accompanying Template:Stamp rationale. I think we are all agreed. The point of the amendment is to clarify that the “some kind of commentary” provided by the publisher is adequate for the general reader, as in the case of the Julia de Burgos stamp and other USPS issues descriptions as well.
Notability of currency and stamps comes from their mass circulation in economic exchange, and in the case of stamps, their commission by a Joint Resolution of Congress. The due weight of USPS stamps is established by their proportion of U.S. stamps issued from 1898 to present 2016 since 1978. The article Puerto Rico on stamps as a start-class article is justified by WP:NOTCASE, what IS allowed for an article are "topics based on the relationship of factor X to factor Y, resulting in one or more articles”. An example can be found at Puerto Rico on stamps, the relationship between X — US. stamps from 1898 — 2016 present to Y — Puerto Rico history, culture and personalities. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 11:22, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
While commentary provided by the USPS for the stamp would contribute towards NFCC#8, I have pointed out several times that the bulk of these stamps do not have commentary about the stamp from the USPS, as either listed at the USPS site or the si.edu site. The bulk of the text about the issue of each stamp is about the person or place on the stamp and why that person was important. There are sometimes details on who the artist is, how it was printed (blocks of 8 etc.), but that's factual, primary information, not commentary. The case of de Burgos is a rare instance that there's actually commentary about the stamp (the reasoning for some of the stamps imagery related to the person). Notability of currency and stamps does not come from simply being in circulation; we require per WP:N that secondary sources that give significant coverage of a stamp to be present to give a topic a standalone article. While there is no issue with the Puerto Rico on stamps page as a standalone no individual stamp meets the bar of WP:N in any way to have a standalone and thus qualify for the NFCI#3 allowance. --MASEM (t) 14:20, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
In deference to IPH, I have removed all but the two placeholders for images that Masem and I agree can be used, the de Burgos stamp and the Columbus landing at Puerto Rico stamp. I'll try to get more information on other stamp series to expand the descriptions, because I would like the article to become complete per WP:weight, reflecting the other numbers of USPS stamps issued compared to the USPO. One of the elements of the rationale for an RfC on NFCC#8 amendment is to clarify the exceptions for currency and USPS stamps of mass circulation used as currency. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 16:24, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
I think you're putting far too much weight on the importance of stamps. Currency is one thing. You use it every day, its necessary for you to be able to recognize how it is laid out and to tell denominations to be able to use it in society on the day-to-day basis; it's a required function to be a member of a society. Stamps on the other hand while they are an important tool, are far less important. Stamps can only be used for one purpose compared to money, and because there's so many different stamps, it is not critical to be able to recognize a stamp on sight but be able to simply understand the denomination a stamp has so that you can use it when you need to use a stamp. Further, a given stamp design only gets a printing or two before they move onto the next stamp design, while the same bill will be printed over and over again because of the longevity of the design. Its value as cash is reflected in the inflation that can occur within a country as well, so the specific bit of currency can be description from its financial value too. None of this readily applies to stamps. They are not the same as currency in terms of importance, and I really think you'll be wasting time trying to find the sourcing to that.
Further keep in mind that even if you did find more sourcing, there still may be cases that NFCC#8 fails. Take the stamp of Luis Muñoz Marín, which is strictly just a head shot and some text. Since we have free imagery of Marin, there's almost no need to include the image regardless of the additional sourced details unless it is that specific head shot image that discussed. If it was the only non-free on the page, it might be okay, but if there's already 1 or 2 other non-free, that would be very much violating NFCC#3. --MASEM (t) 21:07, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Out of date currencies still under copyright are featured at Federal Reserve Note. Simply because stamps are replaced more often does not take away from their notability as a medium of mass circulation exchange. At WP:NOTE we have, "Article and list topics must be notable, or "worthy of notice". Determining notability does not necessarily depend on things such as fame, importance, or popularity” — such as the stand alone Inverted Jenny article, or the value affixed to the medium. At WP:NOTEWORTHY we have, "Content coverage within a given article or list (i.e. whether something is noteworthy enough to be mentioned in the article or list) is governed by the principle of due weight and other content policies.”

At WP:WEIGHT we have "Undue weight can be given in several ways, including but not limited to depth of detail, ... prominence of placement…, and at WP:BALASPS we have, "An article should not give undue weight to any aspects of the subject but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight appropriate to the weight of that aspect in the body of reliable sources on the subject.” In the case of Puerto Rico on stamps, USPO printed about four stamps from 1898 until 1978, and USPS printed about ten from 1978 until 2016 present. WP:due weight requires inclusion of the USPS stamps. In content policies, at WP:IUP, image use policy, we have, "Unauthorized use of copyrighted material under an invalid claim of fair use constitutes copyright infringement and is illegal.”, but WP has authorized use of USPS non-free images from the USPS “Integration and Planing Rights and Permissions” division case ID 124603003 of 9/8/15.

At NFCC#3 we have "Multiple items of non-free content are not used if one item can convey equivalent significant information.” But as discussed, each stamp image is required to convey the visual information to identify each stamp, as there is no equivalent free-use image available from USPS stamps of Puerto Rico, -- which is about two-thirds the subject of the article. Hence the utility of Template:Stamp rationale for USPS stamps, which makes that clear at the uploading of each USPS image, with comments meeting the USPS requirement to acknowledge their copyright and “all rights reserved". TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 09:00, 15 July 2016 (UTC)

WEIGHT is a policy that applies to points of view, not factual content like stamps. You're creating a slippery slope that once you introduce an image to talk about one thing in an article, one must then introduce images for every aspect of the article to maintain balance, which is bogus. There is something to be said about visual balance, and if half the article could be readily illustrated by free images and the second half not as much, one or two non-frees that are of contextual significance may be appropriate, but one could also remove the free images off to Commons for the same balance.
And I have to keep stressing this point: the argument about the added use of stamps has nothing to do with any legal issues with the USPS (as you state, we are fully in our right as an educational entity to use them). It has to do with the Wikimedia Foundation's purpose - to develop a free content encyclopedia that users can redistribute and reuse (modify). Any content that cannot meet the last is considered non-free and must be limited in its use. The USPS copyright does not extend distribution and reuse rights to commercial users, so that are non-free, regardless of any further permission specific to WP they give us. --MASEM (t) 14:15, 15 July 2016 (UTC)
At the Foundation’s 7. Licensing of Content. we have, g. Re-use: Re-use of content that we host is welcome, though exceptions exist for content contributed under "fair use" or similar exemptions under copyright law. Any re-use must comply with the underlying license(s).
In the case of USPS stamps with the Template:Stamp rationale, we have content contributed with exemptions under copyright law, that the entire image may be used with attribution to "USPS, all rights reserved”. Here, the modest proposal to amend NFCC#8 is to explicitly enumerate the exception for currency and stamps issued in mass circulation as currency. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 09:58, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
And that statement means anything non-free is not covered under WP's distribution license. That's why we minimize its use to make it as easy as possible for all reusers of WP's content. We already have a clear time where currency and stamp images can be used, long established, and you've failed to show how these stamp images meet that minimum requirement. --MASEM (t) 21:40, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
As the Foundation allows exceptions, exceptions in the visual media of currency and stamps issued for mass circulation as currency should be allowed at NFCC#8 as long as the image is accompanied with a Template:Stamp rationale. My understanding is supported by WP:NOTE, WP:NOTEWORTHY, WP:BALASPS, WP:NOTCASE, WP:NFCI#3, WP:DECORATIVE, WP:ANYIMAGE and the Foundation’s 7. Licensing of Content., g. Re-use.
The only time copyrighted currency and USPS stamp images can be used -- as NFCC is now capriciously administered -- is when the subject is currency, or when satisfactory USPS descriptions in the fine arts series are used, while the satisfactory USPS descriptions found for its other series issued are arbitrarily dismissed. By current administration, allowance might also be made when the USPS stamp image is of out-of-copyright art, or when one or two images are allowed as examples of USPS issues.
But the edit history of Puerto Rico on stamps shows that administration, which on the face of it might be seen as reasonable, becomes arbitrary removal of all USPS images. An informal interpretation has grown up requiring fine arts commentary of each stamp, or print error notoriety — neither of which is found in the NFCC or in NFCI — or requiring “limited use” exceptions. But these are capriciously interpreted, indiscriminately removing all USPS images, even deleting a clearly recognizable public domain image of the Puerto Rican flag, and the Julia de Burgos stamp image with its fine arts commentary. USPS has given WP permission to use its images using the Template:Stamp rationale noting their copyright and "all rights reserved", but the very legitimacy of a public agency such as USPS to copyright has been questioned by WP editors in the first place.
As I have demonstrated how the images at Puerto Rico on stamps meet the minimum requirement of all ten elements of NFCC, but find the administration of them arbitrary and capricious, — and indeed editors do now propose to eliminate currency images using the same informal criteria, — I now seek to overturn the "long established" informal misconstruction of NFCC used to arbitrarily remove USPS images -- by providing for the exceptions of currency and stamps issued in mass circulation as currency in NFCC#8. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 06:01, 18 July 2016 (UTC)
I will note that the wholesale removal of non-free images on a page that otherwise have valid rationales and where there has been no previous discussion is strongly discouraged, and the editor that did remove them from Puerto Rico in stamps, we're aware of their history which has been problematic. But you're failing to understand NFC use has to be balanced. You're asking for wholesale exception for any stamp image, when it is clear stamps do not carry the type of sourcing that you'd be able to find for currency in circulation. We have the exception for the allowance for stamps when they are associated with commentary about the stamp, a bar equivalent for nearly every non-free image used on WP, so there is zero need to add any new exception here.--MASEM (t) 13:57, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

We are agreed that there should be no wholesale uploading of USPS images in galleries or charts without accompanying article description, as that would violate NFCC#3, minimum number of items. And articles written should follow topics permitted at WP that limit the number of non-free images used, such as those outlined at WP:NOTCASE, "topics based on the relationship of factor X to factor Y, resulting in one or more articles”. An example is Puerto Rico on stamps, the relationship between X — US. stamps from 1898 — 2016 present to Y — Puerto Rico history, culture and personalities. These include both USPO stamps with free-use images and USPS stamps with non-free-use images — but only those stamps related to the topic exploring the relationship between X and Y, and not a wholesale stamp album uploading of all USPS issues of a given year for each year.

NFCC#8. Contextual significance. relates to reader’s understanding, which requires a description, but NOT any informally required and arbitrarily enforced commentary. The publisher description is satisfactory for the general reader’s understanding, whether it is currency or stamps issued for mass circulation as currency. For instance, at Federal Reserve Note, we have in tables the various denominations for the 1928-1995 Series now out of circulation. For example, the $5 has two publisher descriptions noted: obverse: "Abraham Lincoln", Reverse: "Lincoln Memorial”. The bulleted list of descriptors such as watermarks and security thread at United States five-dollar bill#Current design has no accompanying fine arts commentary.

The same standard should be required for both currency and stamps issued for general circulation as currency, and both should be allowed under existing NFCC. But since they both are not allowed under the informal fine arts “commentary” requirement as capriciously administered, the amendment is needed to make allowance for both currency and stamps issued for mass circulation as currency at NFCC#8. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 08:26, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

Yet again: Your article is not about the stamps, it is about the elements of Puerto Rico that happen to be commemorated on stamps. If you were actually talking about the stamps to any degree beyond that they were made - that is, aspects related to their art, their "commercial" sales, their values to stamp collectors today due to any rarity aspect, etc. - then we might have a place to start where NFC would be reasonable. Look at the currency articles - those are about the currency, not the people or places imprinted on the bills or coins. Your article is nothing like that, and to mimimize non-free in an objective manner, you must realize you do not have discussion about the stamps. It is about the people and places on the stamps, the stamp element just happens to be a means to group these. There is nearly no tolerance to allow non-free on such articles, though we have told you several times that one image definitely can be used, perhaps a second, but definitely not all of them as you keep asking. --MASEM (t) 12:42, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

Looking at this discussion I am reminded of this. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:09, 19 July 2016 (UTC)

Put aside the new requirement — also not mentioned at NFCC and NFCI, that Puerto Rico on stamps specify characteristics of the stamps themselves such as watermarks, perforations and adhesion about each stamp as is found at currency articles, -- which can be supplied to the start-class article -- (and put aside the fact that neither of the currency examples I referenced have fine arts commentary) —
We have the capricious and arbitrary deletion of the one USPS Irish Immigration stamp once put forward as a companion to the German Immigration stamp to illustrate the sourced article description of immigrant participation in the Civil War at Commemoration of the American Civil War on postage stamps.
How do you suppose there is to be an administration of the NFCC which would allow that one stamp WITHOUT the proposed amendment? The edit history of the article to date does not support your reasonable but unenforceable view. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 12:20, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
TheVirginiaHistorian, the NFCC does not require that specific visual characteristics of the stamp are discussed, but the stamp itself needs to be documented with some weight in order to allow its non-free image. Context such as the stamp's history, purpose of its commemoration, or significant events in its development process might be enough to provide the required weight; but those need to relate to the stamp itself, and they must appear in the article. I see that the Irish stamp example and the German one, which I see is being considered as well for deletion at Commons, don't satisfy such requirement. Diego (talk) 12:52, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
That Commemoration of the American Civil War on postage stamps article illustrates two major problems with these stamp articles to begin with and why your apparent goal of trying to illustrate every one is a problem.
First, that article is just a bit too much of an image gallery. Just because you can illustrate every element on the list with a free image doesn't necessarily mean you should. Commons galleries are to be used for that purpose, while en.wiki should be reasonably selective in what non-free it should use. But this is not as severe a problem.
The larger problem is that this is a synthesized topic. There is no single source that lists all these stamps as those that the USPO/USPS had put out to commemorate the civil war but instead simply is a synthesis of people, places, events and topics that just happen to be associated with the civil war that have been on stamps as judged by WP editors. For example, the inclusion of the Kansas statehood or the Samual Morse, Eli Whitney, or Samuel Clements stamps. It's pretty clear that the USPO/USPS did not publish those stamps to commemorate the civil war but for other reasons. The Irish immigration stamp's blurb [8] that would have come from the USPS makes zero mention of the civil war. As such, these types of articles are actually inappropriate for WP. We don't allow original research and synthesis. The problem is not as apparent on the Puerto Rico article but it is also there, because not all the stamps were published specifically to commemorate the territory or a person that was notably specific for PR (some are, but not all). Just because there is a stamp about a topic that is associated with "X" does not mean that the stamp was published to commemorate X. And no way you can cut that, we would definitely not allow non-free images to be used just to illustrate the stamp without contextual significance. --MASEM (t) 14:15, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

It seems per Masem that the information at Commemoration of the American Civil War on postage stamps needs to be migrated to Commons galleries? Or is it just wholesale deletion of the contribution? The first paragraph of the B-class article explains, "The Commemoration of the American Civil War on postage stamps concerns both the actual stamps and covers used during the American Civil War, and the later postage celebrations. The latter include commemorative stamp issues devoted to the actual events and personalities of the war, as well as definitive issues depicting many noteworthy individuals who participated in the era's crucial developments.” — There was no subterfuge on my part to violate WP policy by introducing original research.

I have printed out a copy and friends and family enjoy it, during the summer months it has had about twenty viewers a day, during the school year occasionally one hundred views which I have taken to be some sort of on-line internet lesson at each event. If the effort as a contribution is truly to be fruitless, so be it. But since there are only three editors aligning with Masem, and two align with me, it seems that a wider consensus needs to be forged by an RfC on the subject of articles such as those outlined at WP:NOTCASE, "topics based on the relationship of factor X to factor Y, resulting in one or more articles” as well as article use of non-free images for currency and stamps used for general circulation as currency.

This is Masem reasonable: the NFCC does not require that specific visual characteristics of the stamp are discussed, but the stamp itself needs to be documented with some weight in order to allow its non-free image. Context such as the stamp's history, purpose of its commemoration, or significant events in its development process might be enough to provide the required weight; but those need to relate to the stamp itself, and they must appear in the article. We are agreed that the “purpose of the stamp's commemoration” is sufficient to establish contextual significance, -- I propose that the official notice of the publisher for the general reader of the stamp issued for general circulation as currency is sufficient, since Masem concedes that generic description of commemorations for the fine art series are sufficient, other USPS descriptions should be seen as sufficient as well.

This is Masem reasonable: not all the stamps were published specifically to commemorate the territory or a person that was notably specific for PR (some are, but not all). Each stamp at Puerto Rico on stamps was published specifically to commemorate the territory or a person that was notably specific for PR as American. Any others which relate to Cuba, or hispanics generally, or first day of issue in PR such as the lamp of liberty, for instance, should be culled out -- I thought I had done that, so all those currently in the article including two recent additions are sourced as related to PR to the best of my knowledge by reliable sourcing -- but we are agreed, those misplaced entries which do not directly relate to PR and have been overlooked should be culled out of the article. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 20:36, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

No one has agreed that We are agreed that the “purpose of the stamp's commemoration” is sufficient to establish contextual significance. That's only supported by you. In addition, most of these stamps based on the few paragraphs given by the USPS do not explain the purposes of why they commemorated the stamp. Just why the person or object depicted is important. That's far different from commemoration.
Each stamp at Puerto Rico on stamps was published specifically to commemorate the territory or a person that was notably specific for PR as American. No, they weren't. They're all connected because they relate to PR, but they are not all on stamps for the purpose for commemorating PR. You're synthesizing that reason here to force image inclusion. You cannot make the assumption just because a stamp that related to a topic Y via depicting a topic X that is related to Y that the stamp was purposely made to commemorate Y. You have a logical fallacy here that WP:OR does not allow. --MASEM (t) 21:08, 20 July 2016 (UTC)
Very well, your agreement of the 14:15, 20 July 2016 (UTC) post as directly quoted in my post noting its reasonableness is withdrawn by your post of 21:08, 20 July 2016 (UTC). There is no assumption on my part, nor is there any original research in addressing Puerto Rico on stamps as a topic featuring commemoratives of persons, places and events related to Puerto Rico. The subject is notable, in that it is addressed in secondary sources published by the American Philatelic Society and the United Postal Stationery Society:
R.B. Preston and M.H. Sanborn, The postal history of Puerto Rico, The American Philatelic Society, 1950; Littrell, Robert, Ed.; Postal Cards of Spanish Colonial Cuba, Philippines and Puerto Rico, UPSS, 2010; Byron Mitchell, Krieger, George T., author of the Section on Puerto Rico in The Postal Stationery of the Possessions and Administrative Areas of the United States of America; United Postal Stationery Society, 2009. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 04:17, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
I do not have full access to those books, but from snippets I see, all three appear to be about stamps and postage used and/or issued by PR (including before it was a US territory), not about stamps issued by the USPS/USPO commemorating PR. (That is, they all readily support Postage stamps and postal history of Puerto Rico). --MASEM (t) 04:43, 21 July 2016 (UTC)
  • It was me who wrote "purpose of its commemoration... might be enough to provide the required weight" on 12:52, 20 July 2016, not Masem. By this I meant not the object being commemorated, but the reason why the issuing body decides to pay homage to the object by releasing a stamp. This explanation is rarely given, so when it happens it is significant. Diego (talk) 05:52, 21 July 2016 (UTC)

All US stamps are used by PR since it became a territory, the books do not not address all US stamps, but Puerto Rico personalities, places, events, culture on stamps including those issued by the US, which is a legitimate topic of interest among some of the 22 million collectors worldwide. There is no refutation of the characterization of Puerto Rico on stamps as one which meets the article criteria at WP:NOTCASE, "topics based on the relationship of factor X to factor Y, resulting in one or more articles”.

We have the non-free USPS “stamp” used in several applications. The first is the the stamp’s existence as an artifact of American culture which is not sufficient for a WP article. Second, we have the notability of each stamp itself as issued for mass circulation as currency. These include commemoratives of significant contributors to American life which are found discussed at the start-class article Puerto Rico on stamps. Third, we have the art of the stamp itself and related commentary, which is of interest in an informal way to WP editors with an interest in fine art. It is used as a rationale for using out-of-copyright art used in USPS stamp images, as WP editors have a consensus that USPS cannot copyright out-of-copyright art. Some editors believe that USPS as a government agency cannot copyright stamp issues at all. Fourth, we have the stamp as an image of the subject depicted, deprecated for WP articles for use of non-free images at NFCI#3. But those images may be used to illustrate the non-free stamp itself. Fifth, we have the notoriety of rare stamp issue errors which is not the only interest of general readers.

The purpose of the commemoration for each stamp itself is routinely given in words to satisfy the general reader by the USPS at each stamp issue. The satisfactory descriptors are found commendable for those WP editors with a fine arts bent in the USPS fine arts series of stamp issues, but other descriptors are inconsistently objected to as not commentary on the art of the stamp. To date in the discussion, this point is summarily denied as meeting the NFCC#8 requirement for contextual significance — without a rationale other than the arbitrarily informal requirement for a fine arts commentary test on the art of the stamp itself -- but this is apart from the actual requirements of NFCC and NFCI, so it requires the NFCC#8 amendment. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 08:33, 23 July 2016 (UTC)

Can images really be "too decorative"?[edit]

I'm hard pressed to ask this question, since I've been editing relatively without conflict for well over 2 years now. I am in a discussion about a few images I uploaded with rationale. However 3 of the images I posted months ago have been disputed on the grounds of NFCC#8. This leads me to ask: What is the purpose of this? Is the goal to use a few images as possible? I have nothing personal against those who are disputing the images, and checking their edit histories they seem to be dedicated to improving the project, but I feel I have no choice but to raise this issue here. VegasCasinoKid (talk) 07:18, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

  • "Decorative" is merely a term of art and has nothing to do with whether the image is beautiful or decorates anything. It means that (in the opinion of the person making the claim) the article does not require the image to explain things. If you have a reference relevant to the topic and referring to the image (the jargon for this is "sourced commentary") then it suddenly ceases to be "decorative". Image deletion is rarely based on reflective thought and is highly formulaic. And yes, we are supposed to have as few non-free images as (reasonably) possible, even if the image is perfectly lawful under "fair use". This ultimately derives from Wikimedia Foundation Licensing policy resolution of March 23, 2007 (which no editor here can overrule) and Wikipedia:Non-free content criteria which is the English Wikipedia's policy deriving from it. Thincat (talk) 14:42, 13 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Pretty much what Thincat says. When it comes to nonfree content, yes, the goal is to use as little of it as possible. This is a free-content project, and every use of nonfree content detracts from that. It's something we should do grudgingly and only when absolutely necessary. If nonfree content is just "nice to have" but doesn't significantly raise the educational quality of the article, we shouldn't be using it. Seraphimblade Talk to me 09:55, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

Non-free files in content categories[edit]

My read is that this is a strict no-no. Some while back, I removed a whole host of non-free airport logos from airport-related content categories on this basis, only to see all those edits eventually reverted. We have since seen non-free sports team logos appearing in sports team-related content categories, and more recently have seen non-free school logos added to school-related content categories. The last time I came to this page for something, the initial responses I receieved indicated a desperate desire to pass the buck, so I'm not expecting a whole lot. Still, I hope there's someone out there who is willing to do the job they signed up for. Methinks that the sort of editors who work on these topics believe that the rules don't apply to them because their favored topics are "popular" or whatever. RadioKAOS / Talk to me, Billy / Transmissions 10:48, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

As an aside, FWIW, the editor whose recent actions triggered this complaint has otherwise been busy turning Gary Johnson presidential campaign, 2016 into a dumping ground for polling data. I don't believe I've ever encountered an article which is 225K+ in size and at the same time so devoid of substance. Did we do away with WP:INDISCRIMINATE? RadioKAOS / Talk to me, Billy / Transmissions 11:02, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Files can be categorized but they nearly always are categorized in their own exclusive subset related to files. So "Airport logos" as a category of such logos, and an as a sub-cat of "Airports", would be fine, but not putting the files into "Airports" alone. --MASEM (t) 12:28, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
I can't remember the specific discussion (it was a while ago) but the last time I was involved in a discussion about this it was OK to include non-free files in, say, Category:Airports as long as, per WP:FILECAT, WP:NFCC#9 and WP:NFG Category:Airports included __NOGALLERY__ in the category text to ensure that thumbnails were not displayed. --AussieLegend () 12:58, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
Maybe if it is a one-off image where making a subcat wouldn't make sense. For example Category:Los Angeles International Airport has the logos in it, so that seems fine. But one should take advantage of sub-cats if there's a lot of files of the same type, as in all airport logos. (Obviously the no gallery aspect stands). --MASEM (t) 13:51, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Of note; I removed the enormous polling section out of Gary Johnson presidential campaign, 2016 with this edit. I fully expect my removal to be reverted, even though pointing to the main article is absolutely appropriate. This is a fan based thing, and when fans are involved Wikipedia standards mean nothing. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:58, 16 July 2016 (UTC)