Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/Archive 30

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Question about Images


I was wondering if it would be possible for me to draw simple line illustrations as seen from a book and be able to use them as images for my article without breaking copyright laws. My article is seam types. I would appreciate any feedback.

Thank you, Snap pea 23:20, 26 October 2007 (UTC)Snap_peaSnap pea 23:20, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

This should be fine. These are standard seam types, and there is presumably only one way to illustrate them (that is, the line drawing the book shows). This should be either be a case of geometric shapes ineligible for copyright, or of an idea that has "merged" with expression such that copyright does not prevent you from reusing the diagram. Calliopejen1 01:22, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, this may or may not be a special case. I would have to see the image in question, and the proposed drawing. In general, creating a line drawing from a photo is a form of copying, and would fall under a very similar analysis to simply scanning in the photo. But abstracting an uncopyrightable pattern out of an image, may be fine. Wikidemo 18:05, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Request some feedback

There is a discussion at Talk: Friday the 13th (franchise) about the inclusion of a video game cover. It would be good if we could get more editors, hopefully some with much experience dealing with non-free images, to bring their opinions to the table to help us sort this out.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 17:49, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

10 C

Note that, per WP:NFCC#10c, each fair-use rationale must include a link to the specific article in which fair use of the image is claimed. Why there is a list add the bottom of the page why duplicate it? Gnevin 16:02, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

The file links list is just a software feature to show where the image is actualy used. The point of 10c is that the policy require you to justify the use of the image for each article it's used in. You can't just say that the rationale applies to all articles the image happens to be used in at any given time, you need to "manualy" specify what artile your justification appliesd to at the time of writing. --Sherool (talk) 18:42, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
In most cases there's a single link and (hopefully) a single rationale. It therefore makes intuitive sense to assume that the rationale applies to the same article as the link link. But this breaks down when there are multiple article links, or people add and delete rationales, so it's sloppy and unreliable to leave the article name implicit. If you are specific about the article name, which we require, there is much less chance of error. Sorry that the software doesn't do this automatically. It could if someone added that feature, but Wikipedia is free, and you get what you pay for in terms of a user interface. Actually, you're getting a lot for free here, just not perfection. Hope this helps. Wikidemo 21:39, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Fair use question for Nazi-era images

I have encountered a user who claims that images and media produced in Nazi-era Germany are now in the public domain, presumably via a ruling of the post-war German government. Is there any truth to this? Tarc 22:24, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

This tends to be a tricky situation. In the United States, they are public domain. However, in Germany, they are copyrighted. I would suggest to use fair use and evaluate the image specifically. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 06:22, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Hey Z, what's the source on that? Is that just captured material or everything from that regime? -- But|seriously|folks  06:36, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
According to WP:PD#German_World_War_II_images, captured property. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 06:41, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, that's quite a pageful! -- But|seriously|folks  07:00, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
The issue has been discussed many times in the past, you can probably use archived pages too for help. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 07:06, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
That page was exactly what I was looking for, thanks. Tarc 12:55, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

Fair us of Image:WH40k DoW IG Lasguns.jpg in Imperial Guard (Warhammer 40,000)

JediLofty proposed the deletion of this image due to failure to comply with wikipedias Fair use standard. This because the image is a screenshot from the game dawn of war, but the image is being used in an article about characters in the table top game.

However I feel that since the image is beeing used in the section on video games it's use is relevant and agrees with policy. Am I correct in my interpretation? Taemyr 13:30, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

TougHHeads Userpage

Why the pictures MH-53 Pave Low, M1 Abrams, F-22 Raptor and Ah-64 Apache can be on my Userpage while the Brawl Image does not stay on the userpage?(TougHHead 17:42, 4 November 2007 (UTC))

It was already explained to you on your talk page. The first three images have licenses that allow you to use them as you wish. The brawl one is copyrighted, and may only be used in a very narrow range of uses, and your user page is not one of those places where "Fair use" rules allow it to be displayed. AKRadeckiSpeaketh 23:19, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Per Wikipedia:Non-free content#Policy:
Restrictions on location. Non-free content is allowed only in articles (not disambiguation pages), and only in article namespace, subject to exemptions.
Per the non-policy essay Wikipedia:Removal of fair use images#Fair use images on userpages:
Many users take the time and effort to decorate their userpages with a variety of images. The desire to do this is understandable. Pure text based userpages are often dull and boring. It's easy to spruce up a page using a variety of images showing your interests, likes, dislikes, etc. and/or using such images as navigation icons. However, such use of fair use images is not permitted under copyright law in the United States, where Wikipedia hosts the vast majority of its servers. Therefore, such use on your userpage is not permitted. While there may be a limited range of circumstances where such use might be allowed under copyright law, the Wikipedia Board of Trustees has decided to err on the side of caution in regards to this issue and restrict the use of fair use.
I hope that answers your questions. I've had fair-use images removed from my userspace before I knew they weren't allowed. - BillCJ 04:48, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

May exist fair use images taken with cameraphone?

I think that fair use images taken with camera phone may be magazines, CD, film, videogame boxes, book, board game boxes, etc. Alx 91 02:25, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Regardless of how the media is captured, it will still be fair use. But, if I can be honest, we should try and get something better than a camera phone image. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 04:55, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Formalizing temporary suspension of I6 and I7 for legacy images

As a courtesy notice, I have updated WP:CSD and started a discussion on its talk page here to formalize the de facto agreement we reached here to focus image tagging and deletions on the 2007 images while we put in place our project to update the image data requirements and save the old images. I won't rehash the whole history of the project and the reasons for it, but we seem to have a consensus for doing the 2007 images first, and allowing individual editors to act otherwise and thereby delete all the legacy images before we have a chance to save them would imperil this very important project. I'd encourage people to keep the discussion in one place - probably over at CSD but here is okay too. Thanks, Wikidemo 21:23, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

This seems to me to make sense as an intermediary measure. Most of the categories in Betacommand's running tally seem to be fairly stable at present (i.e., no major growth in any of them AFAICT, and gradual slight reductions in a number of NFC categories over the last month or so). ... Kenosis 02:28, 30 October 2007 (UTC)


I'm not getting any meaningful comment over at WP:CSD so let's make this a formal proposal here. Please say if you're in favor of this change or something like it, as a matter of WP:NFCC policy. This should not change the volume of image tagging or deletion, but rather focus all the NFCC#10 efforts on post-2007 images for now, while we put the new data formats in place and then try to save the legacy images. There has been much discussion of the disruptive effect of deleting these old images (Fortune 500 company logos and former featured article images recently tagged, for example). One recent analysis here. Wikidemo 02:37, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

What happens with the images that were uploaded before Jan 1, and they fail those criteria?  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 02:42, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
We hope fix these images by by 1/1/08, by supplying the missing image data using the newly approved formats. Any we can't or don't save by 1/1/08 can then be deleted just as they are now. It just means holding off on these images for two months while tagging and deleting the newer ones instead. Wikidemo 02:48, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
We could also restore images, if needed. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 02:39, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

What about uploaders that are still active. There is no need to wait with those images. Rettetast 04:07, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Too hard to identify those. If the only thing wrong with an image is the lack of a link to the article in the use rationale, I have no problem delaying its deletion for two months. If there are additional problems with it, it can be tagged for those and would be deleted in the ordinary course. So I support Wikidemo's proposal. -- But|seriously|folks  06:04, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
Couldn't have said it better myself. Support per the above. — jacĸrм (talk) 06:08, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

How will this work in practice. Will tagged images just be added to a later dated category as with the rfu images or would we have to stop the tagging. To stop the tagging will be problematic for some because we are going through categories looking for all sorts of violations, and don't want to do it all over again because we had to skip one of the problems. If this is sorted out I will have no problem with the proposal. Rettetast 06:33, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Good question. With respect to legacy images already tagged for lack of rationale, source, or article backlink I think we should leave the existing tags on, and just avoid any new tagging on these old images. I might think differently if we had 10,000 legacy images currently tagged. But I don't think there are any more than several hundred in the pipeline created by the 2-7 day grace period. We haven't had much of a backlog lately. Wikidemo 17:45, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure this is a great idea. This was already done once, under the same premise ("we need time to fix them!") and the fixing still hasn't been done. If any are fixable, there's a week to fix them after the tag is applied. That should be more than enough time to write a proper rationale, even if some research is needed. Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:35, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm afraid we cannot fix hundreds of images a day (a thousand or more if the major bots cranked up again) flagged wily nilly, without common schedule or system, by multiple editors acting without coordination. I don't see any realistic proposal for doing that, and you are right, it is not happening. If we don't try, something like 150,000 images on Wikipedia will be deleted. What is happening for the first time is that we adopted a proposal for better data formats, including templated use rationales, so they will be much easier to fix rapidly and with editing tools. We can fix tens of thousands of images in a couple months using templates. That has never been tried before, and I don't think it can be tried if the images are rapidly disappearing as we're trying to save them. There is no harm to trying, because people can work just as fast tagging and deleting newer images while we save the old ones. Wikidemo 19:07, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
That template has been around for months now. (Unless you're talking something for completely boilerplate rationales, to which I strongly object, and since that should never happen, I would object to any type of waiting to "let" that happen.) Seraphimblade Talk to me 19:59, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
this proposal was adopted about a month ago. The new templates are not yet finished or approved.Wikidemo 23:08, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
I think WP:FUC#Enforcement is missing a "K". It's not like the fair-use images are the fruit of an editor's hard work, and I understand why something needs to be done to stop people uploading tons of nonsense, I'm not sure just bundling everything together is the solution though, for many fair-use images a rationale could be found. It's just very hard to fix.
I tried a bit but just kept coming up against pictures of dogs in cartoons and other fancruft. I know nothing of cartoons and personally I would be just as likely to nominate the whole article for deletion. You can save 100 images and perhaps only one will have been of interest let alone significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic. Also it takes for ever to find the copyright holder info for each one. And the more you try to fix the more you think: "Why am I doing this ? Nobody except the uploader cares about this, and even (s)he can't be bothered to fix it." Does having an image of the film cover of every single film or album really fall under fair-use when the cover is not mentioned once in the whole article ? I don't think so. A much better solution would be to tag all the bad images in the articles in which they are shown (but not for deletion), and then when people who actually care about a brown cartoon dog read the article they can see the image is in trouble and may know enough on the topic to fix it easily. Jackaranga 12:00, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
Of all the non-free images about half are in the four initial categories we are trying to save: logos as used on FedEx, album covers as in Nevermind, book coveers like Howl, and artwork as in Broadway Boogie-Woogie. Many of the rest are in categories that we may do in a second round: film posters as in The Godfather, and product packaging such as Tylenol. All of these were, or are, in danger of deletion, even though the copyright and fair use is obvious (the Tylenol image has already been deleted). I don't see how anyone could possibly consider the Fedex Corporation, Nirvana, Allen Ginsberg, Piet Mondrian, Francis Ford Cuppola, and Johnson & Johnson to be "cruft". I consider them quite encyclopedic. They are also very easy to save. The use rationale is obvious (and hence templated), and the copyright owner and source are obvious too. At a conservative 6 minutes per image the 150,000 images up for deletion represent at least 15,000 hours of labor, or 7 1/2 full time working years of Wikipedians' lives. That is a lot of effort to destroy lightly or dismiss as unimportant. Re-uploading or undeleting these on a case by case basis will take just as long as uploading them in the first place. We can probably save 70% of these at about 1/2 minute per image so we can spare Wikipedians perhaps 10,000 hours of labor. These images belong to Wikipedia as a whole, and the broader world, and yes, we can be bothered to fix them. We're in process of doing so.

If the argument is that fair use images shouldn't be used or saved because they are all "cruft" or that album covers are not allowed to identify albums, that's a change in policy that has nothing to do with this proposal, a simple request to please work on some other imagess for now instead of undermining our efforts. Wikidemo 18:36, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure I didn't tag any more fair-use images since you said it would be better to leave them for now. If you know a may I could concentrate on the more interesting images I don't mind helping. What I was saying is that many of the fair-use images that are lacking rationales or source info are fancruft because they were uploaded by younger people, or users who just wanted to improve a particular article about a show they like. I'm not opposed to fancruft it just doesn't interest me, so it's hard to get to work fixing the images. Do you have like a list of images I can start on ? Jackaranga 15:43, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Well I'll just start on the ones from Oct 28, but what if I find some that can't be used as fair-use ? Should I tag them for deletion or leave them for now ? (but then it will be like having to do work twice in the end). Jackaranga 15:48, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, if it's a bad image it's not going to be saved, or shouldn't. This is about getting the data requirements in shape.Wikidemo 18:51, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
(EC) Also, keep in mind that "the fair use is obvious" does not equate to "we should use them". Our standards for nonfree content are deliberately far stricter than what the law would allow, and they should be—we're a free content project, or at least that's the goal. "Free" doesn't just mean "I legally can", it means "anyone legally can" (copy, modify, and redistribute the content without permission from anyone). That's why we have nonfree image rationales in the first place—to require thought before use of nonfree material, to require someone to say "Is this really important enough to compromise the free content part of our mission?" (as every nonfree image by definition does), and if they decide the answer is really yes, to make sure you get their rationale as to why. That is critically important, and that's why images without them must go, especially after notification. Seraphimblade Talk to me 15:50, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
As for the comment just above, this would be true in an ideal world, the truth is most users are just kids or occasional users who decide to upload screenshots from their favourite TV show, they know nothing of the goals of wikipedia, and have probably never heard of fair-use, even some admins do not understand criterion 10a means you have to give the actual copyright holder's name, what chance do new users have ?
As for the 1/2 minute per page that Wikidemo mentions, this is too optimistic for me personally, I just fixed 20 images and it took me 1 hour, I don't know how you can do it so fast to be honest. In the worst case : first I have to load the image page, then load the article, then load the "parent article" if you like in order to get the official website address, then load that website, copy the copyright holder into the rationale, fill in the rest of the rationale, download the image to my PC, reduce the resolution, re-upload the image. If anyone knows a faster way please share. Maybe using AWB ? Will need to try that but, it won't reduce the time spent looking for the copyright holder. Jackaranga 17:25, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
If you simply don't like non-free image, again, this is not the place. These are images that are appropriate for Wikipeida given Wikipedia's policy and the consensus about what images we should have. We're talking about logos, artwork, album covers, and book covers (and potentially product packaging, film posters, and a few others) that have been in the system for 10 months to 3 1/2 years. These were not uploaded by ten year old boys. Most of those images are not compliant, so deleting them on the technicality of the image data requirements is just taking potshots. Again, my examples: Fedex Corporation, Nirvana, Allen Ginsberg, Piet Mondrian, Francis Ford Cuppola, and Johnson & Johnson. Under the present rules it 30 images an hour is a respectable clip. With the new templates and appropriate tools people ought to be able to go through appropriate categories in 1/2 minute, possibly faster. That's the whole point. Wikidemo 18:51, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, I don't like non-free images, but actually this talk page would be the place to discuss that. :) Regardless, however, I'm not going to accept a vote on a subpage as a binding declaration of community-wide consensus. Or to be more clear, I will continue to treat images with a boilerplate/template rationale as though they had none whatsoever, and if tagged as no-rationale, I will consider that tagging valid. A major change (such as boilerplate rationales, which have always been frowned upon) requires a much wider discussion than what has happened. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:37, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
It's a done deal, sorry. Properly noticed and nearly universally endorsed. Perhaps you need to take it to a dispute resolution forum if you don't agree with a consensus resolution. Wikidemo 08:44, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't see a consensus resolution to disagree with. I see a subpage vote. In practice, I don't see this endorsed as consensus, because quite simply, these images are actually being deleted for lack of rationale. This certainly shows that in practice there is agreement this should be done. "Proper notice" doesn't include shoving something on a subpage, nor is a handful of votes universal endorsement, especially when actual practice differs. Seraphimblade Talk to me 08:52, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
If you read the resolution, it is a change in data requirements effective January 1, 2008, with specific templates to be developed between now and then. Done deal, we're implementing it on 1/1/08. You're blowing in the wind on this one.Wikidemo 09:02, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
We shall see. Seraphimblade Talk to me 09:12, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
A good bot to have would be one that finds the images lacking rationales, but doesn't tell anyone else so they can't be deleted, and then categorises them depending on the top level categories (like art, companies, books etc.) the articles using them are in. This way users can correct the ones on topics they like contributing to. Jackaranga 21:49, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Jackaranga, there are a few bot-created lists of disputed images you might be interested in. Here is one solely of album covers. I find adding rationales goes faster when I stick to one type of disputed image. Your idea about using a bot to find problem images is good. I think another good bot would be one that finds images used in userspace and article talk pages. Bláthnaid 00:57, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Support Wikidemo's proposal. There is a steady drip of legacy images uploaded from as far back as 2004 being deleted because their uploaders do not edit anymore. I've also come across anonymous IPs who are tagging legacy images for deletion, and not notifying any editor about it, and these images are being lost because the editor who uploaded the image is not around to notice an edit to the image on his watchlist. FWIW, I wasn't involved in developing the rationale templates but I also support their use. Bláthnaid 00:57, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Album covers

When a user uploads a CD/album cover and tags it with "Non-free album cover", is it necessary to state (or re-state) a fair use rationale for that image's use in an article specifically about the CD/album? I ask because we've got an admin deleting CD/album images without a separate fair-use statement for the album's article. This seems painfully redundant to me since the "Non-free album cover" boiler plate already states up front the image can be used for such an article. Indeed, if a CD/album cover image is missing this boiler plate, it seems more appropriate for an editor (or admin) to add it rather than delete the image outright. Thoughts? This is somewhat urgent since the admin in question is continuing to delete album/CD cover images without regard for this line of reasoning. Rklawton 22:15, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Here's another way of looking at this. Is it ever not OK to use "low-resolution images of such covers solely to illustrate the audio recording in question..." (as stated in the boiler plate)? Rklawton 22:31, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

You need a separate rationale for each use, there is currently no boilerplate for rationales for album covers. Also album covers may or may not be used in the specific article about the album. βcommand 22:37, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
The boiler plate rationale is quoted above. That is, the "Non-free album cover" boiler plate specifically states that low resolution images for articles about the recording are OK. It's my thought that this is sufficient unless an editor would like to use the image for some other article. Only in that case, would we need a separate rationale. Here's a related thought. Would the rationale for using an album cover image for an article about the album ever differ? That is, wouldn't it always be the same (when applied to an album's article)? If so, then why shouldn't it be boiler plated (though it really looks like it already is anyway)? Rklawton 22:45, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
I believe you've repeated the boiler plate from the copyright tag, not any boilerplate use rationale. As per WP:NFCC#10c every time an image is used in an article it needs a separate rationale, including the name or backlink of the specific article. In addition, somewhere on the image page you need to state the source of the image, as obvious as that might be - it's from the album cover. The language on the copyright tag is nice as far as it goes but it's a bit of a disservice if it lulls people into thinking that's enough. Nearly all album covers are just fine to use to identify the album in the article about the album, true. But we have some pretty good reasons for making people state the obvious here. For one, other types of image use are not so obvious or universal. If you could admit the rationale in the obvious cases that would lead to a great deal of sloppiness, either users ignoring the rationale requirement and perhaps even using bad images, or else bots and humans having a very difficult time checking to see if the images had been checked. In any event, that's the policy and it's clear in 10(c) - the copyright tag alone is not a sufficient rationale. At the very minimum it doesn't have the article name. But at this point it's simplest just to re-upload the image and add both the copyright tag and the use rationale this time - including the source and the use article. For a quick demonstration on how to do this either find an album that does have a good rationale and follow the useful parts of that, or for a faster approach (particularly if you have a lot of images to fix) take a look at the {{album cover fur}} template and fill in the necessary fields there. Yes, it would be better for administrators to fix images instead of deleting them, especially in obvious cases. But that usually doesn't happen. The administrator should be operating on the 2 or 7 day grace period provided by the deletion tags, so you have that amount of time to save your uploaded images, or to rush in and help in case you're trying to save images other people uploaded. Hope that helps. - Wikidemo 22:57, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
I think it's disruptive to delete CD/album cover images when it is obviously being used to illustrate an article about the album - especially when the copyright notice clearly states that such use is OK. It would be like deleting an article because it has a section within it that's a copyvio. We don't delete articles for that reason, we just fix the problem. Next, I have no objection to removing images from articles where no rationale exists. I've done it hundreds of times myself. Lastly, pointing to 10(c) as a rationale comprises a circular argument since I'm challenging 10(c)'s interpretation. As a compromise, perhaps we can create some boiler plate fair use text where the user need only add the album's title - since the wording on such a tag would be otherwise identical. Thoughts? Rklawton 01:08, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
You need the rationale for WP:NFC#10(a), to specify the copyright holder, for example "©Sony International". Many people forget this information is needed. Jackaranga 01:33, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Good point. What happens when the copyright holder changes - like if/when Michael Jackson sells off the Beetles. Do we need to go back over all those images and update them to reflect the new owner? Rklawton 02:00, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
I tend to agree that deleting images rather than fixing them is disruptive, except in the case of images that have just been uploaded. There you can make the case that you're merely making sure users learn how to do it right instead of letting them make a mistake for others to clean up. However, it is an accepted practice, particularly for newer images. We aren't very specific about copyright owners / holders, and do not track changes in copyright ownership. It's enough for albums to simply say that it comes from the record label. That's as good as you can do. It's once per image, not once per rationale, though the rationale template has this field rather than the copyright tag for some reason.Wikidemo 02:08, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Lol, lets concentrate on the bigger problems first. Before we put in place a process for tracking copyright holder changes, I think we need to actually put this information on the image pages in the first place  ;p Jackaranga 02:16, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Historic images for Birmingham campaign

I've recently added a lot of information to this article, and need to upload images to illustrate it. There are several iconic images associated with this event, but I am unsure how to cite the photos. First, this website maintained by the Civil Rights Movement Veterans has many photos that would be appropriate for the article. I contacted the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, who stated the photos on that page were taken by investigators employed by the State of Alabama. In an email to me, Laura Anderson from the BCRI stated, "In any case, they were taken by investigators with the state of Alabama in their surveillance of movement activities in 1963. They came to us as prints (including some only as contact sheets) and were donated to BCRI anonymously in 2005." Can someone advise me how to get the licensing accurate for any of these photos so they don't get deleted?

Second, the photo at the top of this page ran in Life Magazine and is one of the most iconic images of the event. I can find who took the photo fairly easily, but don't know how to license it, or if it is possible. This image shows three major organizers of the event, but I don't know who took the photo or where it ran for the first time, or who might own the copyright.

In a similar historical event, should I follow the license info for this photo? Any advice you can give me I would appreciate very much. --Moni3 14:08, 1 November 2007 (UTC)Moni3

I'm not sure about this, so that's why I didn't answer earlier, but soon as no one is answering I can maybe help a bit. {{StateGov-AL}} says that photos taken by an official of the State of Alabama are copyrighted, so you can only use them if you provide a fair use rationale, the main difficulty will be proving the photo is irreplaceable. For example you mentioned Image:Little_Rock_Desegregation_1957.jpg, this one is deemed irreplaceable for the reasons you can read on it's page, they claim no free photo of that event exists, and that the photo is necessary to the understanding of the article. It satisfies criteria 1 and 8 (on this guideline project page).
Note: Do not take Image:Little_Rock_Desegregation_1957.jpg as a model, if User:Wikidemo, had not asked for a temporary stop on tagging images for deletion I would tag it right now for lack of fair-use rationales for each article it is used in.
Conclusion: I would say most of the images you mention can't be used on wikipedia, because the simple fact that there are hundreds of photos documenting the events proves no single one is irreplaceable. Perhaps if you could prove that each one shows one particular moment for which no free equivalent exists... However you should have a look at this photo perhaps you can get PD images the same way as they got that one. Jackaranga 11:12, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
(insert comment) I just added rationales to Image:Little_Rock_Desegregation_1957.jpg. Perhaps the purpose and replaceability arguments will help but please do not use it as a complete model because the data format is not our current standard. I'm afraid our drive to simplify and templatize use rationales won't be much use for these historic images. We're trying to run through the tens of thousands of standard cases like corporate logos and album covers, where the rationale is consistent and obvious, the source known, etc. These civil rights images will always be a case-by-case judgment that requires some knowledge of the subject matter. The Little Rock image, for example, is useful becaue it is iconic and came to define the event and the individuals involved. I even saw a play once that was substantially based on this one photograph. If you didn't know that, you would not know whether it's replaceable or not. Nevertheless, it would be sad to lose these images, which were largely uploaded when we did not have our current use rationale requirement. So if you do see them, please take the time to fix them. In my opinion, the best thing to do would be for the relevant wikiprojects and interest groups to take ownership of their articles and work through them to fix the images, rather than waiting for the image deletion patrols to get to them. Wikidemo 21:43, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
(reply to WikiDemo's comment) There are a dozen or so images I think would apply to this article and illustrate it well. Some are from news sources like AP, World Wide, and LIFE magazine. I'm actually very confused about what to do for this article... I think I'll follow some of the language in the Little Rock photo, but I predict an ongoing battle with bots and other editors over the photos in this article... --Moni3 01:11, 9 November 2007 (UTC)Moni3
If you apply the necessary data to your images (copyright tag, source/owner, and a use rationale including the article name) you should have no trouble with the bots. They are just checking for the formal requirements, not the strength of the argument. Most people won't question a well thought out rationale, but they will question you if they think there are too many non-free images in an article, if the image doesn't seem to be what it says it is, or if the image does not seem necessary or related to the article. If you put more than a few non-free images in a single article you are likely to run into opposition. If you have to choose a few from among a dozen, better to use the free images if they do the trick.Wikidemo 01:30, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I'll add a few pics to begin with to test it out and grow from there, I think. Thanks for your assistance. Although I think I'll need it again for this project. --Moni3 13:11, 9 November 2007 (UTC)Moni3
Feel free to ask anything on my talk page if you do (caveat - I'm not the most authoritative person around here and my opinion isn't always one everybody agrees with, but glad to help anytime)Wikidemo 15:28, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your response! And the link to the MLK photo that took me to the Library of Congress P&P site. Although only one photo from the LOC has anything to do much with the article (bombing of the Gaston Motel) and that's tangential.
However, if the BCRI, as mentioned above, claims someone donated a lot of photographs of this event, and many of them unpublished contact sheets, would they not be the copyright holders? Or is that a question I need to get clarification from from them and the State of Alabama?
Photos of this campaign were printed on the front pages of every major newspaper in the US and around the world - as I said, iconic images of teenagers getting blasted by fire hoses. How can I use any of the images taken and printed in newspapers and magazines to illustrate this article? Any suggestions would be very welcome. --Moni3 22:07, 3 November 2007 (UTC)Moni3
on you can see the copyright holder for each photo in the "ALT" tag. (Right click -> properties), some are like you said "Birmingham Civil Rights Institute photo", I think this means the copyright is owned by them if like that e-mail said they were a gift to them. Fair-use applies when you want to use an image without the copyright holder's permission, so it is only authorised in specific cases. Almost none of those image will qualify for fair-use I would say because they are not irreplaceable. What you can do though is email the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and ask them for permission. If they agree, go to Wikipedia:OTRS forward the authorisation e-mail to them, then upload the image and use {{PermissionOTRS-ID}} on the image description page (using the ticket number you will be given). The best type of permission is PD or GFDL, but something like {{Cc-by-sa-2.0}} is good too. You may not be getting many answers here because it's not got much to do with fair-use. You can try asking more at WP:Copyright and there is a list of users at commons:Template talk:PermissionOTRS, who you can talk to about OTRS if needed. Jackaranga 18:01, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
I think Jackaranga's interpretation of policy here is mistaken. It is not clear whether the photographers intended to gift the copyright of the images to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute when they sent them anonymously. (They clearly wanted the BCRI to be able to use them, but that is an implied license and not necessarily gifting the copyright.) If there are no free images of this event, the photos are clearly irreplaceable by Wikipedia standards--they may be interchangeable on the page, but if they are all copyrighted we can't replace them with free media, which is what that policy is all about. They also contribute significantly to readers' understanding of the event--they are the iconic photos that are so horrifying to modern viewers. The BCRI doesn't have the authority to license these pictures under any free license, because they are not the copyright holders--the original photographers are. So basically the situation is there is no way to contact the copyright holders of these copyrighted images, and they meet all of the guidelines in WP:NONFREE. What you should do is tag them {{Non-free fair use in|Birmingham campaign}} and add a fair use rationale using the instructions at WP:FURG. This is exactly what fair use is all about. Calliopejen1 20:10, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Even before Jackaranga suggested I contact the BCRI and ask them for permission to use the photos, I asked them if they were the copyright holders and if so, might I use the images. If that is unclear, I can go with Calliopejen1's interpretation, but this is potentially a lot of work I'm putting into this article to have it deleted almost immediately if anything is wrong, which is why I'm asking you folks. Who's the authority who can say a bot won't come along and delete it? I'm having similar imaging issues with [[Image:Pakulalee.gif]] in To Kill a Mockingbird. A GA reviewer says I need a citation that says Harper Lee is a notable person, where a previous GA reviewer said a fair use rationale was all that was needed. Again, your assistance is appreciated. Thank you. --Moni3 20:30, 4 November 2007 (UTC)Moni3
Bots only tag for deletion images that don't have all the correct templates and information or are orphaned (as long as you provide the correct templates you can fill in all the fields with "hi mom" and the bots won't know anything is wrong). Also the article can't be deleted because of the images.
I think Calliopejen1 could be right about the BCRI not owning the copyright. Perhaps they do though, we can't tell what the specific conditions were. It could be like with the Library of Congress even, it would seem many of the images donated to them fall into the public domain at the time of the donation. If you look at Wikipedia:Non-free content#Unacceptable images, there is a trend in accepting historical images, when other similar contemporary would not be allowed. If you read no6 especially. After having read what Calliopejen1 said I think you should go for it, just make sure to use the templates correctly. As for "authority" to guaranty you can do something on wikipedia, sometimes I wish there was one too, but sadly there isn't and sometimes no matter what you do people complain, even if you got permission first. Jackaranga 21:15, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute responded that they do not officially own these images, that the Alabama Bureau of Investigation probably does. I wrote to the ABI asking them to confirm that, and asking if they would allow Wikipedia to use them. If I can't find any joy with the ABI, I'll go Calliopejen1's avenue and tag them that way. Anyone have any suggestions? --Moni3 17:16, 8 November 2007 (UTC)Moni3
I doubt anybody is going to give the kind of permission Wikipedia needs, which is a full unconditional release to use for any purpose whatsoever, including making derivative images, subject only to attribution rights if that. It might be worth trying. It happens occasionally. Otherwise, your best bet is to treat it as a non-free use, if it is truly irreplaceable and otherwise appropriate. On the bright side, if nobody at the Alabama Bureau of Investigation isn't feeling charitable or informed enough, or has the authority, to release these images to GDFL or public domain, the other side of the coin is that they are unlikely to complain about a non-free use. Wikidemo 21:43, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Is a backlink required by NFCC 10(c)?

Resolved: It seems I was mistaken, and BetacommandBot is actually fine with just an article name. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 00:41, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Wikidemo recently undid my attempt to clarify NFCC 10(c) by explicitly stating that a backlink to to the article in which fair use is being claimed is required. In their edit summary, Wikidemo states that this is, in fact, not the case.

Therefore we seem to have a contradiction. On one hand, BetacommandBot is tagging images for deletion under NFCC 10(c) if they are categorized as non-free and do not contain a backlink to the article(s) they are used in. On their talk page, the bot's operator, Betacommand, states that the bot is simply implementing the requirements of the non-free content policy, and that anyone disagreeing with it should propose a change in policy. On the other hand, the text of the policy itself, as currently written, does not seem to actually require a backlink.

This is particularly problematic since, as it is currently written, the policy, to which BetacommandBot links when tagging images, does not actually tell editors that a backlink must be included in the rationale in order to stop the bot from repeatedly tagging the images for deletion. This can easily produce confusion. Thus, I'd like to request community input on this: are backlinks a required part of a fair use rationale or not? If they are, shouldn't the policy say so? If not, is BetacommandBot applying the policy incorrectly? —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 23:52, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

the Bot does not check for links, what the bot does check for is the name of the article. both methods are often called backlinks, even though one is an actual link. BCBot just requires the article name. βcommand 00:01, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Just what Betacommand says. It could be in link form or just the name. NFCC#10(c) already says the image page requires the name of each article, so no change is necessary to policy. The wording could be a little clearer though. It doesn't explicitly say thaat the article nmae has to be associated with the rationale (something the bot does not currently check for). A detailed explanation of how to do it, and guidance that the automatic file link at the bottom of the page isn't sufficient, ought to go in the guideline Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline or a help page, not the policy page. The guideline could be clearer too, and the bot's message when encountering an image without an article name could also be more clear as to what the problem is.Wikidemo 00:08, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
If that's indeed the case, I apologize for needlessly raising the issue. (Although if some of Wikidemo's suggestions above are implemented as a result, I'd consider that a positive outcome.) I could've sworn I saw someone complaining on your talk page that BetacommandBot was tagging their images even though they'd followed the instructions of NFCC 10(c) to the letter and included the name of the article, but I may have misread the complaint. Anyway, nevermind, then. I do second Wikidemo's suggestion that the tag left by BetacommandBot could be more informative; in particular, given the bot's limitations, it really should describe the fair use rationale as "invalid or missing". If I or someone else were to draft a custom template specifically for BetacommandBot, would you be willing to consider changing the bot to use it instead of the standard {{di-disputed fair use rationale}}? —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 00:35, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Ive always been welcome for improvements. βcommand 00:40, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Logo inclusion in football club season infoboxes

Disccusion moved from Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Football. ed g2stalk 19:40, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

User:Ed g2s removed the logo feature from Template:Infobox Football club season citing WP:NONFREE as reason. Since then, a discussion erupted between me and him about whether the club logo inclusion in club season articles (and, more generically, into forks of club articles) fails WP:NONFREE #8 or not. I personally believe this does not fail #8 because of the fact the article is about a part of the club history (i.e. a club season) and therefore its inclusion fits good with the given content (especially if you consider logos can change by year, and logo inclusion is therefore relevant to show other people which logo was used during that season). I'd like to know your opinion about the issue. --Angelo 14:13, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Inclusion in club-season articles: yes. Inclusion in competition-season articles (UEFA Champions League 2007-08, for example): no. - Dudesleeper · Talk 14:17, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. I see nothing wrong with using the club logo in a season article, especially given the above reasons. - PeeJay 14:46, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Agree with DudeSleeper for reasons stated above. -- Alexf(Talk/Contribs) 15:46, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

If the logo during that season was the subject of some discussion (indicating it is actually of some "significance", rather than just decoration), then you may have a case (for example, if the logo changed that season). As this is generally not the case, and such a case would need to argued on a per article basis, we should not be encouraging the use of the clubs logo on every subpage, by including it in the infobox. I challenge anyone to explain, in detail, how the reader's understanding is "significantly increase[d]" by the inclusion of the logo. ed g2stalk 19:43, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

"Decoration" is not a relevant concept. The logo can be used for identification purposes and need not be specifically discussed. That is the consensus understanding (with some disagreement, as you can see) across all logo usage on Wikipedia. I assume this is about including a single logo for the team at hand on the infobox at the top of the article, not individual little logos in a table for all of the opponents, right? The latter would run into trouble with the prohibition on non-free images for list / gallery / navigational use. For the benefit of those of us who speak American rather than English, would anyone care to spell out the difference between a "club season" and a "competition-season"? Thanks, Wikidemo 19:46, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
There are the club pages (XYZ Football Club), club season pages (XYZ Football Club 2007-08) and competition season pages (Premier League 2007-08). Logos should not be used purely for identification purposes. Wiki-linked text does that more than adequately, better than a logo does, and is free. The logo need only be included once on the main article about the club, as it is a significant piece of information about the club, and the main article seeks to cover all such information. Club season pages seek to cover information about the club specific to a given season. That their badge was the same as it had been for the last 10 years is not of great significance, and does not add the reader's understanding of the topic of the article (namely what happened to the club in that season). ed g2stalk 19:53, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation. That's a reasonable argument (about repeating a logo on sub-pages), not obviously decided either way by the policy or guidelines, and on which I have no opinion. Thus it's up to the community to decide as a consensus whether the identification purposes of using a logo at the top of a sub-page serves a sufficiently important purpose. In other words, I'm going to back out of this discussion.Wikidemo 20:02, 29 October 2007 (UTC)
Significance is subjective. To show and depict a logo for a given article covering a football season exclusively for a single club looks quite significant to me, because football teams can change logos by time, as they are not unchangeable, and the logo inclusion becomes therefore a good way to show which particular logo was used by the club for that season. And this fact consequently adds very notable significance for the logo presence within the given article. --Angelo 01:43, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

:::::The way i see things: if seasons are deemed notable enough to have articles, then they are notable enough to have an image of the logo included for depictive purposes of that article on its own merits. This significantly improves the article. Keep the logos in the season articles, or otherwise get rid of all club season articles IMO. - The Worlds Most Creative Username 06:40, 31 October 2007 (UTC) This contribution from sockpuppet of banned user Daddy Kindsoul. --Angelo 01:42, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

That's a logical fallacy, it does not automaticaly follow that it's ok to use the logo as long as the season is notable (most of these articles tend to fall under the "list" definition IMHO), nor does it follow that all such articles must be deleted if you can't use the logo in them. That said I personaly think we probably should consider deleting/condensing a lot of these articles, Wikipedia is not a sports almanak. That's a seperate disucssion though, and not one I feel strongly enough about to start a big ruccus over. As for the logo usage I'd say the "rules" are pretty clear, using the logo on the main article about the club is ok, anywhere else you'll need a good reason for including it and I don't see any such rason for most "XXX season" type articles. --Sherool (talk) 11:05, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
The notability issue was already discussed on WP:WPF; additionally, lots of AFDs involving these articles ended with a consensus to keep them all, so they are notable. We are here to discuss whether logo inclusion in these articles is a violation of WP:NFCC #8 or not. --Angelo 14:06, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, and on that point, as Sherool says, you need a very good reason to use the logo on pages other than the main article. "Visually identifying" the club is not one. ed g2stalk 11:55, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
  • The logos should definitely be kept on the season articles. The logos are informative, which helps our primary mission of building an encyclopedia. Therefore, there is an advantage to keeping them. On the other hand, there is no advantage to removing them. There is not a free-alternative to a logo. Therefore, including the logo is not causing any detriment to our secondary goal of encouraging free-use content. Conclusion: the logos are in the best interest of the project and our readers. Johntex\talk 21:36, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
There are free alternatives to logos in this context. A free image from a game in that season is almost certainly available. Thousands of people bring cameras to games to take pictures. It's not necessary that the article be illustrated by a team logo that is already present in the main team article. I would, however, support the inclusion of a new logo that a team adopted that season, as long as it is discussed in the article. -- But|seriously|folks  21:50, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
No, images of the players or game action are not a substitute for the actual logo, which represents the entire organization. Most of these pages already have free images in addition to the logo. Johntex\talk 14:57, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
The name of the team is more than sufficient identification. People are unlikely to read in detail articles about a spesific season for a team without already knowing what team it's about... --Sherool (talk) 15:35, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
If we remove team logos from infoboxes, shouldn't we also remove university logos from university infoboxes for the same reason? BlueAg09 (Talk) 18:41, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
I take back my last comment. Are there any reasonable grounds that would cause complaints by the owners of the logo? If they really objected to the use of the logo in season articles, they would have already removed them, or contacted Wikipedia to remove them. BlueAg09 (Talk) 19:03, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
The issue is not one of the law, the issue is the m:Mission of the project. and our policy limiting the use of Non-free content. βcommand 19:05, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
Generally speaking, when people say "the issue is..." they are usually trying to focus in on one issue that is important to them, while ignoring other issues that may be equally or more important.
We certainly should look at the legal issue. On that issue, we are well covered under the doctrine of fair use.
We should also look at what serves our audience. The standard across print/web/television media usage is generally to use the logos if space permits. I doubt any institution would ever object to such usage. It is to the benefit of both the institution and the reader to have the logo there so that the team is clearly recognized.
And, we should look at our mission. We have a mission to build the best possible encyclopedia and to be as informative as possible. The use of the logos on these pages does support that mission. Johntex\talk 19:11, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
You forgot one part of the mission that is very important the goal of a free encyclopedia, and thus minimal use of Non-free content. (which this use does not do) βcommand 19:13, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
You've already focused on that point, so there was no reason for me to repeat it. In fact, you've focussed on it far too much. We are not out to eliminate all non-free content. That is not the goal of the Foundation. It is not a mandate of the Foundation. The logos are used correctly under a policy that allows fair-use images on the English Wikipedia. Johntex\talk 19:23, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

Here's my personal opinion as a person who happens to be both an attorney in the state of Minnesota and an administrator on Wikipedia (again: personal opinion, not professional): I see this as copyright paranoia that harms the project. As long as we do not abuse fair use (and having one logo at the top of each related article, vs. logos in every schedule blurb like had been done in the past), I think restricting or forbiding the use of FU logos as bad policy. Logos are trademarks, the very nature of trademarks is an embodiment of all the goodwill/etc that is associated with the mark; they convey a lot of information unique to them. I find the arguments for removing these logos to be the sort of bureaucratic nonsense that assumes we, as members of this project, are not as capable of making intelligent judgments as to where a line can be drawn. Please, we are intelligent, capable editors in this project. You are not the be-all, end-all interpretation of policy. --Bobak 20:31, 8 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I agree with Johntex and Bobak. Logos are a critical part of any article that deals with a college football team or event, and should be used where appropriate. A game image usually lacks the clarity of a logo, and many times, there simply isn't an image available, particularly with smaller teams. In addition, the images that are available tend to be long-distance shots taken from the stands, and it can be difficult to distinguish the teams playing. JKBrooks85 21:26, 8 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Whether they are important or not is of little importance to this question. This is a fair use legal question of copyright law and a trademark dilution question of trademark law, both aspects of intellectual property law, and as such it cannot be resolved by anyone but Wikipedia's legal office, i.e. Mike Godwin. I think he will side with me, Bobak and others in saying that using logos (of teams, companies, etc.) to illustrate things pertaining to those entities is well within the bounds of fair use, even if the overall piece in which they appear is not solely devoted to that particular entity. That said, please read WP:FLAG. And I mean really read, not skim, it. Despite its name, it is not just about flags, but about over-, ab- and misuse of iconic images as decoration in Wikipedia articles. Many [over/ab/mis]uses of logos can easily fail that part of the Manual of Style's criteria.— SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 12:56, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
    • I removed the tag at the top saying this needs to be decided by the office. The question whether the images can legally be used is only part of the question of whether WP:NFCC#3 allows them to be used. Many things that are perfectly legal are disallowed by NFCC. So even if we assume these images may legally be used, a determination still needs to be made whether they are appropriate. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:23, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Our goal is to have as little nonfree content as possible without harming readers' understanding. Can anyone give an explanation how including a logo of a sports team on an article about a particular season of that team (not the team's main article) significantly increases a reader's understanding of that season, or how its omission is detrimental to the reader's understanding of the season? The purpose of the logo to identify the team is served on the article about the team, and need not be repeated on every page that mentions the team, just like there's no need to include the American flag in every article about the United States, and no need to include a picture of a person in every article that mentions that person. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:29, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Can the portrait of Claude La Badarian appear on Wikipedia?

Hello: There is an article called Claude La Badarian which is a redirect to List of works by William Monahan. As I understand it, I would be able to use a portrait of the fictional Claude La Badarian in the article itself, but in fact it is a redirect to a List of works. This portrait is not yet on the internet, though the portrait painter Antony Zito ( would like to offer it to us without releasing the copyright. It's an excellent high quality portrait, and would serve the list of works well in explaining Claude La Badarian, as well it originally appeared in the New York Press serial in newsprint back in 2001 but does not appear on the New York Press web site, so this would resurrect it. I would like to know if the portrait can appear alongside the Claude La Badarian section in the List of works under fair use rules, and avoid a lengthy debate afterwards. As always, BillDeanCarter 18:33, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

The short answer is that this image cannot be used under Wikipedia's non-free content policy because it could be replaced by a free image of this fictional character created by somebody else. -- But|seriously|folks  20:16, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
This is the only depiction of Claude La Badarian that there is and ever will be. Antony Vito drew it from his imagination, possibly based on some ideas thrown at him by William Monahan. Consider this the book cover for the Claude La Badarian serial, and then what you are saying is that someone could create a new book cover so we can't use the actual one. That logic doesn't work.-BillDeanCarter 20:43, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
But it's not a book cover. -- But|seriously|folks  21:34, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
It's a serial cover. There are basically two big works in the List of works by William Monahan that have covers to be used under fair use rules. Light House with its book cover and "Dining Late with Claude La Badarian" with its serial cover. I mean you have magazine covers, movie posters, album covers & etc. Either both covers, serial & book, stay or both go. The two cases are identical.-BillDeanCarter 21:40, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Is it a self-standing portrait or a cover? If it's a cover, I agree it can be used just like other covers, pursuant to the non-free content policy. I thought you were saying that it was a portrait that could be "considered" a cover. That doesn't work. -- But|seriously|folks  01:13, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
If a work of fiction is still under copyright, then any depiction of characters or events from that work is a derivative work, and if unauthorized, a copyright violation. --Carnildo 21:07, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Unfortunately it looks like it probably can't be used according to the fair-use policy, unless there is critical commentary of the image itself. However if the author authorises wikipedia to use the image then I don't see why not. But fair-use is only to be used when the owner forbids us to reproduce the work. Jackaranga 22:04, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
The author Antony Zito (portrait painter, artist) is willing to authorize. How would I go about representing that authorization here at Wikipedia? I'm pretty sure that Antony Zito will place the image on his website and then I could ask him to place a note permitting such authorization there? How would the phrasing go? Are there examples here at Wikipedia?-BillDeanCarter 22:13, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Requesting_copyright_permission#For_images and it has been done a lot. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 22:22, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, but what rights remain with the artist who created the work afterwards? From what I understand the artist down the street could start selling this work after agreeing to that permission slip and make a profit. All I want to do is place the portrait in the List of works like most of the book covers on this web site. Are all book covers on this web site in place in their articles because they were so exciting that critical commentary had to be made on them? I mean, actual critical commentary is possible with Claude La Badarian, because his identity was mysterious and what the reader saw each time he read the column week after week was the portrait. So I probably have one of the better cases for critical commentary on the actual image itself, but I know that most of the book covers, movie posters, album covers on this web site are not, so are there nuances not brought up here?-BillDeanCarter 22:36, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
No permission makes a difference short of a full GDFL release. Unless the artist is willing to do that, it is a non-free work and his wishes on the subject are immaterial. As a non-free work the image has to substantially increase the encyclopedic value of the article. If the work of fiction was published without the picture, and the picture has not become associated with the character (the way that, say, E. H. Shepard's images of Winnie-the-Pooh) there is no reason the image has to be there to explain the subject. It's arbitrary, and therefore not allowed. Wikidemo 22:49, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
The image substantially increases the encyclopedic value of the article. The portrait of Claude La Badarian became the defining visual characterization of the character for the 13-week run the serial had in 2001. New York Press readers, many readers, wrote in discussing who this Claude La Badarian could possibly be. They laughed, they cried, they were even bewildered, and all the while staring back at them on the newsprint page was the portrait of Claude La Badarian. That I believe satisfies the criteria for fair use.-BillDeanCarter 23:01, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Wikidemo has said all that needs to be said about permission. We need a free license. However, IMO -- and I believe there is precedent for this -- a low-resolution copy of the portrait can be specifically released under a free license, with the artist reserving all rights to higher-quality versions for himself. An image of sufficiently low resolution to be valueless commercially may nevertheless be adequate for our purposes here.
If I'm incorrect there, I think fair use may still allow its use. Although I'm reasonably well-informed on Wikipedia policy, I never have understood the fair-use justification for book covers in general. First edition covers of important works perhaps, but otherwise an image of a book cover doesn't appear to me convey very much information about the book's content, which is the proper subject of a book's article.
There's a much better case here. I'm not familiar with this character, but I understand the portrait is the iconic image of him, and not at all arbitrary as Wikidemo says. As the article itself explains, a work of fiction involving the character has been published, in the form of 12 ersatz newspaper columns, and they were illustrated with the portrait. The case is at least as good as that for book covers. If there's any doubt, a sourced line or two added about the portrait's effectiveness as a component of the column should suffice. TCC (talk) (contribs) 23:20, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I'm going to go with fair use because I believe the case is strong and I would like to make it. But I really like the idea of releasing a low-resolution copy of the image into the public domain that is as you say commercially valueless. I don't like the idea that an artist has to give up their copyright to their work in order to appear in Wikipedia. If the low-resolution idea hasn't been mentioned in the policy pages it should be so others know about this option.-BillDeanCarter 23:33, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I would say just do it and write a non-free use rationale to say this. It would require a copyright tag as a copyrighted artwork, plus a use rationale, statement of source/copyright owner, image description, and the name of the article(s) it's used in. For added measure, and encyclopedic interest, I would make sure there is a caption and that the article comments on the image and what the image is all about. BTW, I'm not sure if we ever resolved the question of low vs. high resolution. Potentially the law says it is the same copyright, so if you release the low resolution one, then people can grab or make a higher resolution one anytime they want. Wikidemo 23:35, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

We try to go as high res as we can with free images, but there is no hard-fast rule requiring it. In this case, just use the low-res image for fair use to comply with our policies and if we get a free one released later, we can deal with that. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 09:42, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Infobox screenshot rationales

Most TV show articles use a screenshot of the show's intertitle as the infobox image. Since these screenshots are all used in the same way and for the same purpose, I think it would be helpful to have a standardized rationale for them, such as a version of {{non-free media rationale}} that could be substituted. It would already include all the information standard to all these screenshots (such as portion used, purpose of use, and replaceability), and have parameters for the information specific to each image that the uploader could fill in (such as the show title, and the article name, if different). What do you think? --CrazyLegsKC 22:09, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Go ahead and try your hand at making one if you want. You could follow the example of {{logo fur}}. --Damian Yerrick (serious | business) 00:49, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

10c and renamed backlinks

There's a discussion on BetaCommand's talk page that brings up a good question: an image was tagged by BCBot for #10c despite the fact that the rational (using the non-templated form) contains a wikilink to the article that it is used on but is renamed to something completely different.

Is a renamed-backlink (such that the article name in question does not appear directly to the user reading it) satisfying 10c, or does the actual name of the article non-obfuscated by the renamed link required to meet 10c? --MASEM 06:53, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

It seems to me that any link or name sufficient to find the article is good enough. --Carnildo 07:22, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm with Carnildo on this one. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 09:40, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
that issue is not bot related, Its an abuse of non-free content and I removed them from the article. (No bot involved) βcommand 13:41, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Is the article mentioned in the comment that Masem made to you? If not, I wish to review the article in question. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 04:30, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
The specific case that I was looking at and screwed up (as it wasn't cited for 10c, but the question on renamed backlinks still was up there) was Image:Wiki Jyun.PNG which is used on Shadow Star characters. The image is properly rationaled with a backlink to the article, just appears different if you don't mouseover. (Mind you, there's other issues with the number of images on that page, that's a different arguement all together). --MASEM 04:37, 13 November 2007 (UTC)
By the time I looked at the page, all images are gone. However, I need to spend more time on the article before I say anything constructive. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 04:47, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Why does it say "media specific policy" when there is none?

The requirement "Media-specific policy. The material meets Wikipedia's media-specific policy" links to the Wikipedia: Image use policy page. On that page, there is no mention of a "media specific policy." This makes it confusing when trying to faithfully adhere to all 10 of the fair use requirements. 5Q5 17:11, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

I wish there were one too, especially concerning fair-use of video. Many people in rich countries have broad band now, think it's time one were created. Jackaranga 17:11, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
I think it's just a reference to stuff like making sure graphs are not in JPEG format, and people should not be uploading BMP files and things like that. That bit could probably be removed for clearity (or changed to "must comply with Wikipedia:Image use policy" or some such), "depreciated" formats like BMP and such can no longer be uploaded at all, and for the rest we generaly don't deleted files on sight for beeing in the "wrong" format, we just convert them... --Sherool (talk) 17:55, 12 November 2007 (UTC)
The pipe link might have been unclear. I've rephrased it. --Damian Yerrick (serious | business) 00:46, 13 November 2007 (UTC)


I strange thing has come to my attention today. Both of these bullets appear to accurately reflect WP:NONFREE:

  1. It is acceptable to use a cover image of a book in an article that has critical commentary about the book, even if the cover art it self is not notable and is not discussed.
  2. It is not acceptable to use an AP photo of an historic event, even if that event is the subject of significant commentary in the article, unless the photograph itself is notable and discussed in the article.

I think I understand the motivations for #2 - otherwise, we would have a large number of AP photos, which are not replaceable because they illustrate past events, used when the images themselves are not iconic. I don't particularly understand the motivations for #1, especially given that #2 seems like a much more "reasonable" use of nonfree images but is not permitted. Thoughts? — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:23, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

There are quite a few reasons. The primary purpose of showing the book cover is to identify the book for people. A historical photo does not identify an event in that way - in the few cases where it does, that is a good sign that the photo may be an exception to the general rule. Further, with a book there is usually only one image that could possibly be used, or if there are multiple images they are all copyrighted (where there is an uncopyrighted image available we always use it); with historical events there are often many images that could suffice. Third, the purpose of the owner of the copyright to a book cover is to popularize, brand, and sell the book (if it's the publisher), and to sell their contract photography services to a publisher (if held by the artist). We do not interfere with either of those commercial functions by reprinting it - if anything we give more recognition to the artist and more branding to the book. By contrast, the commercial purpose of a historical photo is to give people an interesting thing to see to illustrate a historical event and thereby sell papers (if held by the news agency) or to sell the rights to use photos on press and internet applications (if held by a photo agency). In both of those cases the presence on Wikipedia could detract from the commercial value of the image. Those are the main ones, off the top of my head.Wikidemo 02:48, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
If the purpose of the book image is to brand and sell the book, it isn't our role to support that. I don't see how identifying a book in an article other than the article about the book increases the reader's understanding of the topic at hand, but nevertheless it is permitted by policy. On the other hand, I have often seen people make the case that photos of historical situations increase readers' understanding of those situations. SoIn short, although I can support the prohibition in #2; I don't understand why #1 is not also prohibited, as it seems like a weaker case for nonfree image use. — Carl (CBM · talk) 02:58, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Concur with CBM. If #1 followed suit with #2, the more restrictive policy, it would be worded such that the book cover would only be allowed if the cover itself was the subject of critical commentary. --Bloodzombie 03:02, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Our purpose in using the image is to identify the book. The copyright holder's purpose in creating the copyright' is to brand and sell the book. Two completely different issues. The point is that even if it is not our purpose in using the image, the effect of our use is to promote rather than hurt the commercial purpose of the copyright, which is a significant element in fair use analysis and in our image use policy. You asked about using the book image in an article with critical commentary about the book. I assumed you were referring to articles about the book. It is most useful to identify the book there, of course. If you're talking about other articles that happen to discuss the book the argument is much weaker because they would contain a link which people can follow and identify the book there. Is an article discusses only two or three subjects and one is the book, fine. But if the book is one of many subjects discussed in an article about something other than the book, there isn't a very strong argument that the book needs to be identified. When we talk about ten different things in an article we don't need to show a picture of each one.Wikidemo 07:41, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I am only thinking of articles that are not the main (eponymous) articles about the book. I'm willing to accept the practice of including a cover image on the eponymous article for a work of art. But the way things are worded now, if any other article also has commentary about the contents of the book, it can use the cover photo of the book. I already thought that was strange, but when I realized that the same justification is forbidden for news photos, I thought it was worth mentioning. I should have connected the dots earlier.

It seems to me that NONFREE should say (in the guideline section) that using a book or album cover in another article when that image is already used in the eponymous article for the work should only be acceptable if the second article actually discusses the cover art itself. That would match much more closely the guidelines for using news photos. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:28, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Per Wikidemo's explanation, the nature and utility of book covers is sufficiently different from that of news photos that there is little basis for insisting that the guidelines for the use of these very different types of images match.
In terms of the specific illustrative power of book covers, let us take the example of an article on a major author. While, indeed, it would be neither appropriate nor particularly informative to dress up her article with images of the covers of every one of her books, it is surely appropriate to illustrate her most important works--i.e., the ones that, as the article should discuss, have contributed the most to her (encyclopedic) significance. In addition, illustrating an important book in this way is also highly informative about how it was presented and marketed. Even when there is no literary source that may be cited for textual discussion of that specific topic, the reader can still gain significant knowledge through the visual information conveyed by the image.—DCGeist 13:42, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't see how giving book covers of an author's most important works would contribute to the reader. The article ou the author would already list the important works and link to their articles. The issue of how a book was marketed belongs in the eponymous article about the book, not the article about the author. What information about the author would the covers present that could not be adequately conveyed by text? — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:00, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, the identity of an author--like that of any artist--is closely associated with the identity of his works. It's important, then, to understand whether a given author was promoted as a "popular" or "literary" writer, for instance. A book cover can do a lot to help us understand that. At a more specific level, there is the tone conveyed by the cover, and possibly the elements of the story that it focuses on. These, too, help us to understand the popular image and industrial niche of the author at the time of the book's publication. To be clear, some covers are more informative than are some contexts. The sort of information I've just described is even more significant to articles covering literary genres, for instance. In sum, this sort of use should be decided judiciously, on an article-by-article basis, not eliminated in pursuit of equation with the rules for another image type.—DCGeist 14:44, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Can't we just say in text whether the author was 'popular' or 'literary'? I don't completely understand your argument about 'tone' and 'story', or the relationship between literary genres. Could you explain your argument more directly?
Our overall pursuit re images is to minimize the amount of nonfree content subject to the limit of not harming the reader's understanding. The comparison between different image types was to point out what I think is an incongruity in the guideline. We don't decide press photographs on an article by article basis; I am pointing out that the argument for book covers seems to be even weaker than for press photos. — Carl (CBM · talk) 14:53, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Taking your second paragraph's conclusion first, we have a simple disagreement here. I concur with the points Wikidemo made in his first comment on this thread--I do not believe that the argument for book covers is at all weaker than it is for press photos. The arguments, just as importantly, are quite different as well.
On your first point, I suppose we could say such-and-such a historical figure had a receding hairline, high cheekbones, slightly pointy ears, an eyelid crease suggesting an Asian heritage, a squarish chin, and so forth. But a picture helps--significantly. As a picture of a book cover helps--in a less radical way--in demonstrating how an author was promoted. As for "tone" and story elements, I mean is the author presented as someone who writes "sexy" stories, or violent ones, or dramatically intense ones, or dreamy, poetic ones, etc. The image of the author thus conveyed may or not accurately represent the actual content of his work, and is significant in either event.—DCGeist 15:11, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Just like we can use photos of people on their eponymous articles, we use images of covers on their eponymous articles, for what is often called "illustration". That isn't what is being discussed here; this is entirely about articles other than the eponymous articles.
If there was a section in the article on how the authors books were promoted, your argument about using a cover to illustrate that might have merit. But if there is no text in the article for the image to support, how is the reader supposed to realize that the point of the cover is to illustrate the book's promotion?
An argument that covers are meant to convey 'tone' to the reader is additionally troubling because it skirts the issue of original research - if we want the reader to know the stories were "sexy", we should find a reference for it, not hope that the reader will infer it from a cover image. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:22, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
It's not really an issue of "hope," let alone "original research." We trust that the reader can capably process relevant and prima facie verifiable visual information and draw her own intelligent conclusions.—DCGeist 15:36, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Reasonable people could think that, but POV warriors would be only too glad to use images to sway the reader's conclusions. That's why we need sources for any claims, implicit or explicit, that we wish to make in articles. If an image is put into an article in order to convey a particular point of information, we should be able to source that point of information to a previously published source, and we should state that point in the article rather than hoping the reader's mindset will resemble ours. Readers from other cultures might find it quite difficult to distinguish between a 'sexy' popular book and pornography, for example, or might not recognize that the cover was even considered provocative when the book was first published. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:43, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I think the role of book covers, album covers, logos, etc, in these peripheral articles is also for identification. The word for a thing triggers a different cognitive / psychological identification response than a picture of the thing, and the difference is occurring at a level that defies entirely logical arguments about language. The nature of visual identification seems to vary by the class of thing being identified (people's names, say, versus book titles or city names), and work differently in different people. Some are simply not visual, and do not need pictures. Others are strongly visual, and associating a thing with a word will always be provisional without an accompanying mental image. Overlaid with the importance of using identifying imagery is the practical question of what we can and cannot find a picture of, how pictures may clutter up an article, and of course the degree to which use of images, even where legal, may be in tension with our desire to cut down on the overall number of non-free images. There is no one-size fits all argument because the need, and the legal setting for the images, varies considerably from one class of image to another. I agree that the general rule is that you should not show a picture of a book every time the book is discussed (though there should be a link to the main article, where there presumably is a picture). This is really a question of where to allow exceptions. Wikidemo 16:41, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

May I offer an example for the purposes of applying arguments and discussions specifically? Barack Obama wrote the book The Audacity of Hope. Image:AudacityofHope.jpg is rationaled for use (and used) in:

  • The Audacity of Hope

    "Used on the book's page to illustrate item in question. This image, AudacityofHope.jpg, is being linked here; though the picture is subject to copyright I feel it is covered by the U.S. fair use laws because the use of a single cover "to illustrate an article discussing the book in question" is allowed." MZMcBride (talk · contribs)

  • Barack Obama

    "This cover shot is used as illustration in the article section entitled "Books authored" - this section discusses this particular book specifically, and the book is discussed in two other places in the article as well. This constitutes fair use." Tvoz (talk · contribs)

Should the image be used in Senator Obama's article? The biographical article discusses the book (Barack Obama#Books authored), but not the cover. — pd_THOR | =/\= | 15:51, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

In this example I would say that no, the image of the book is not necessary because it does not substantially contribute to the reader's understanding of the subject, Barak Obama. Contrast that with an article about, say, great books of the 1970s, that chooses five or six books to discuss in depth and has pictures of two of them. A strained example, perhaps, but here both the discussion of the book and the use of the picture to identify the book would be more tightly connected to the subject of the article. Wikidemo 16:40, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

My mistake, apparently Barack Obama uses a separate image in its article: Image:AudacityofHope2.jpg, rationaled: "Used to illustrate Barack Obama#Books authored section where New York Times bestseller status is discussed, together with critical commentary". The discussion point still stands; although one image should be replaced by the other at some point. — pd_THOR | =/\= | 15:54, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

This is a very relevant example. I started thinking about this issue because of a fair use review of an image of Obama giving the keynote address at the 2004 DNC. The article has significant commentary about that event, its historical significance, and its importance to Obama. But the image cannot be used per policy because it is an AP image. On the other hand, the guidelines allow this use of a book cover, even though the cover itself is completely banal. Something smells wrong about this. — Carl (CBM · talk) 16:01, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree. It is silly that, as you say, "It is not acceptable to use an AP photo of an historic event, even if that event is the subject of significant commentary in the article." That's the rule that should be adjusted.—DCGeist 16:31, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
The AP thing is an absolute rule that has nothing to do with any compelling need to use the image. My argument would be that our non-free use policy would clearly permit the Obama photo if there is no non-free equivalent, but for the fact that news service images are in a special category because the agencies are especially protective of their copyrights and the legal status is particularly murky there. Wikidemo 16:36, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
That seems like the sort of thing that our lawyer could address. — Carl (CBM · talk) 16:40, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

For me the difference is that the image is what AP sells, so reproducing it through WP and its many mirrors directly undercuts their business, and thus cannot be a fair use. A book cover is somewhat incidental to the author's aim of selling the content of the book; not only does it not hurt them to have a copy of the cover on WP, it may even help sales. So whatever we may think about free vs non-free, a book cover is a fair use, and fair in articles about the book, about the author, about the genre, etc. Stan 17:02, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Another example of a book cover in an author's article is Thomas Friedman. I took an image of the cover of The World Is Flat out of Thomas Friedman today, because I thought that book cover images in an author's article were not permissible under the NFCC. Perhaps that was a mistake on my part? Bláthnaid 23:40, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

You were correct; there isn't enough commentary about anything in that section to justify using a nonfree image, and the image is still available on the article about the book that is linked from that section. — Carl (CBM · talk) 01:41, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, I wasn't sure about removing that image. Bláthnaid 14:57, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Historical images

The policy says that the following images are unacceptable: "An image with an unknown or unverifiable origin. This does not apply to historical images, where sometimes only secondary sources are known, as the ultimate source of some historical images may never be known with certainty." How then do I tag a historical image, which comes from a reliable source, but whose ultimate source is unkown? Beit Or 22:30, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Something like this seems ok to me : "Source unknown retrieved from", this way the bot won't be triggered but any user reading it knows the full information. Jackaranga 22:50, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
What copyright status shall one claim for such images? Beit Or 23:37, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Valuable press photos

The DRV discussion regarding the Associated Press photo of Nancy Reagan kissing the casket of her husband Image:NREAGANKISSCASKET1.jpg made it clear that Wikipedia:Non-free content could use a statement such as "A press photo with clear, significant market value is an unacceptable image unless it is an image with iconic status or historical importance." For photos with clear, significant market value, the fair use factor "the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work" plays a significant role. Unlike 99%+ of press photo images, the Associated Press likely will be able to license that Nancy Reagan kiss casket photo for years to come. Thus, Wikipeida would need a good reason to use that image in its articles. The IMD discussion for that image wasn't so clear. To assist future similar discussions, I added "A press photo with clear, significant market value is an unacceptable image unless it is an image with iconic status or historical importance." to item #6 of Wikipedia:Non-free_content#Unacceptable_images. -- Jreferee t/c 14:31, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Can AP then protest the use of its photo and demand Wikipedia not use it? I was trying to do a decent thing for Birmingham campaign by asking permission to use AP photos and they said great if I pay $500 for 5 years... Since that won't be possible, does that mean I can't use them at all now? --Moni3 14:45, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I probably wouldn't. Unlike most of our fair use areas, the AP is very likely to sic lawyers if they don't like a particular use of their image. We should keep use of such images very restricted, as the legal waters there are pretty murky and we're pretty likely to get hit with a lawsuit if we overdo it. If we do choose to use an AP image, we should stick to only images of extremely clear iconic or historic significance. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:52, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
The AP or anyone else who thinks their copyrighted image is improperly used should follow the notice-and-takedown procedure. I'm sure we have one. The Foundation would almost certainly respect any credible request, and most people would not actually sue. However, AP and some other major rights holders could be an exception. They might want to set an example by picking on a relatively defenseless organization like Wikipedia, to scare the bigger commercial sites. Or else they may have their own reasons to want to destabilize Wikipedia. In addition to simply trying not to break the law, we ought to be extra careful around large companies that are known to litigate on copyright matters.Wikidemo (talk) 23:34, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
That's an argument you (Jreferee) made in the DRV, but we should make sure it has consensus, and consider other formulations. Why do you think these images should be restricted, and why these specific ones? If the concern is that we don't want the Foundation to be sued, why allow even iconic or historically important photos? Those ones are probably extra valuable, so the chance of getting sued goes up in tandem with the importance of the photo. If we do include this language I think we can accomplish it in five or six words added to the original sentence; also I think it's press agency photos we are concerned about, not all photos that happen to appear in the press.Wikidemo (talk) 23:30, 16 November 2007 (UTC)


Hi all, would be grateful for some input, opinion and clever ideas re -- Jayen466 23:24, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Freely released copyrighted media.

Greetings! I've recently come to an issue I'm not sure how to resolve. The band Machinae Supremacy have released numerous songs freely through their website [1], I currently have one on their article, tagged as fair use [2]. However, in a recent GA review, I was informed that because the song was available freely, fair use doesn't "apply". The songs do seem to be copyrighted, but they're not released on any kind of license. So, what kind of tag should the media file have? Or should it remain under fair use?

I've previously asked tje band themselves what kind of licence might apply to the music, "The web releases can be used by anyone as long as credit is given and it's in a non profit fashion." was the response, but I'm not sure it's as simple as that when it comes to Wikipedia. Thanks. Rehevkor (talk) 21:51, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Basicaly they give permission for people to use it as long as they don't make profit off of it, wich is cool of them, but for Wikipedia purposes the restriction on commercial use still mean we consider it non-free. So while it may not technicaly be considered fair use (we are not making a profit, so we are within the license terms as such), it does need to be used in accordance with Wikipedia's non-free content policy. This is why the policy was renamed from just the "fair use policy", because the policy also cover things we could legaly use on Wikipedia itself as is, but choose not to (or only under the same restrictions as "fully" copyright protected material) because re-use by others are restricted in some way or another. --Sherool (talk) 22:20, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
I think I know what you're trying to say. So it was correct to cover it under fair use? Rehevkor (talk) 01:21, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
In short yes. Sorry about the lengthy reply, was just trying to highlight the difference between fair use law and Wikipedia's policy on not-freely-licensed material. Using the words "fair use" in this context can very easily confuse people who are (somewhat) familiar with the law, but not Wikipedia's policy (and not to malign anyone, but not everyone frequenting the Good- and Featured article debates care too much about copyright issues). --Sherool (talk) 17:58, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I've gone to using the term "nonfree" rather than "fair use" to help illustrate the differences between restrictions placed by law and restrictions placed by Foundation mandate and our own policies. Our use restrictions are, by design and intent, much stricter than what the law would allow. For example, it would be perfectly within the law for us as a nonprofit organization to use "noncommercial only" images, but these images are still not freely licensed due to the use restrictions, so they still must be used (or not used) according to the same restrictions that would be placed on an all-rights-reserved image. Freedomdefined has some very helpful material as to this, you may want to direct the reviewers there to increase their understanding. Seraphimblade Talk to me 23:30, 20 November 2007 (UTC)


I've noticed that a university coat of arms got deleted per CSD I8, even though the image had already been deleted from Commons (no license). Any way to prevent that happening in future? Can someone explain what happened here and whether the coat-of-arms is indeed free (as the "available on Commons" bit seemed to imply), or whether they are fair use only? It seems to me that the image should not have been deleted here as I8 states: "The image's license and source status is beyond reasonable doubt, and the license is undoubtedly accepted at Commons." Either they got it wrong at Commons, or the image should not have been marked as identical. I see from the deleted page history that User:SieBot was the bot that tagged it as a copy of an image on Commons. Carcharoth (talk) 15:19, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, quite a number of things seems to have gone wrong there, it should not have been uploaded to Commons, the bot should not be tagging non-free images as Commons duplicates and admins should not delete non-free images as Commons duplicates... This doesn't rely have a lot to do with the non-free content policy though, anyway I restored the image and tacked on a rationale for use in the main university article. --Sherool (talk) 16:29, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Three things went wrong? Is it worth following those up? I realise it is not NFC stuff, but was wondering what the best advice for each is? I notified the deleting admin, so hopefully they won't do that again. I guess I should notify the bot owner and find out who uploaded it to Commons. I suspect it may have been uploaded separately, but I'm not a Commons admin, so can anyone find out or leave a message over there? Carcharoth (talk) 18:01, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Never mind. You handled everything! Thanks. :-) Carcharoth (talk) 18:05, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Well I'm not admin on Commons either, but you don't need to be to read the logs, just switch from deletion log to upload log (or view all). Probably not worth following up that bit though, uploading that one image seems to be all the user ever did on Commons, and there is no user with the same name on enWiki. --Sherool (talk) 23:16, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Logo Use

Could someone who knows more about NFCC take a look at Reading Works. The images are mainly used in their home articles, but used here as well. Seems a little overdone for NFCC. Thanks Mbisanz (talk) 01:49, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

It looks like they don't add to the article. One of the criteria is that they should substantially add to the understanding of the subject (look at #8 for exact wording). In my opinion they don't. In fact, even without NFCC they seem to add more visual clutter than understanding. The question of company logo/branding, and historical logos that may have existed at the time, seems irrelevant to the subject of the factory. It should be enough to simply list the changes of ownership and management for the factory, and link to the articles about the various companies, which presumably have logos. There's also a general rule to avoid too many non-free images. It's not clear that all of these logos are copyrighted (many if not most are not) but in the absence of proof to the contrary we should assume for the sake of caution that they are non-free, and there are just too many of these images for one article. My suggestion would be one or two logos at most, and even there only if they really add to the article. Wikidemo (talk) 03:07, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, as I was paring that part down, I realized there are far more severe original research problems with the article. Mbisanz (talk) 06:36, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Low-resolution must die.

Low-resolution images are worthless. Nuke that recommendation from the non-free guidelines, and stick to the policy of only accepting high-quality images. Have the balls to either accept high-resolution fair-use images (guess what, it's an encyclopedia. There's not a problem[1]) or else have the balls to delete every image that includes the words "low resolution" in its rationale, and stop wasting people's time with fuzzy little blobs of sucky images that are rarely even good enough for the stated purpose of "identification".

[1]: Okay, yes, the GFDL is a problem. In fact, the GFDL has perhaps always been Wikipedia's largest problem, and it's also wholly inappropriate for non-text materials. But unlike snippets of text, images can often be replaced or relicensed without a gigantic hassle. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 02:08, 19 November 2007

there actually is a reason for "low-resolution" it avoids problems with US copyright, under which one fair use factor is the degree of interference with the commercial exploitation of the original. It is oe this ground, for example, that court decisions have generally found thumbnails fair use. DGG (talk) 04:15, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Beatles album covers

Can someone review some album covers I am removing from articles? I believe fair use for The Beatles album covers' do not qualify on articles about just a song of theirs and that it's use is decorative because there is a void in the image parameter and no critical commentary about the album itself is provided in the article about the song. Example: Cover of the album Beatles for Sale on the article about the song "I'll Follow the Sun". Thank you! — Save_Us_229 00:23, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

You're right. In most cases a picture of the album cover isn't necessary it is replaceable by some other image (criterion #3), and does not add substantially to the reader's understanding of the article (criterion #8). So it's not used. You can poke around and take a look to confirm it, but I think most single articles have no image at all. I don't think there's a specific example in the guideline that says so, but that's the understanding. Kind of the same way a non-free image of an artist isn't appropriate for the song articles either. In a few cases a picture of the single cover could be used. Wikidemo (talk) 05:20, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Sorry but I have to disagree with the suggestion that an album cover in a song article is merely decoration - and it's rare that I disagree with Wikidemo, who has so often been a voice of sanity went it comes to questions of image deletion. In most cases (in all cases prior to downloads from the net, I'd say) all songs were released in one or both of two ways, as a single or as a track on an album. In many - perhaps most - cases a single would have a pictorial sleeve or cover, and I can't think of an album that wouldn't have had one. We accept prima facie that an album cover should be used to identify and illustrate an article for an album; same principle applies for a single cover/article. Here we seem to be disagreeing on the question of whether a song article can justifiably be identified and illustrated by an album cover. Well, if a song is an album track, and can't be identified and illustrated by a single cover, I'd say it is appropriate fair use to use the cover of the album on which the song was originally released because of the song's relationship to the album. Yes, you would need to add the song article to the album cover FU rationale, it's not a given. Yes, the song article should discuss the track in the context of the album, but I would expect that anyway because that's what albums are, a collection of songs. The point is that the vast majority of non-single songs don't exist in isolation and can, IMO, justifiably be identified and illustrated with their parent album cover to "increase the understanding of the topic", while single-only releases or album tracks released as singles should be illustrated with a single cover for the same reason. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 23:47, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, but my understanding of this page, which states:
Cover art: Cover art from various items, for identification only in the context of critical commentary of that item (not for identification without critical commentary).
Emphasize mine... Means that an article about 'Song X' from 'Album Y', which only has commentary about the song, can only have non-free images related to the song that would enhance the content of the article. Most of the song articles that display the album cover just mention the album cover in the opening sentence/infobox saying it's from that album itself and that to me doesn't say that WP:NFCC #8 is fulfilled. If #8 isn't fulfilled, it means it's use is decorative unless something meaningful about the album itself is added. In the above example on the article I'll Follow the Sun: the only thing that it mentions about the album itself is "The song was released on the Beatles for Sale album in 1964, but was written long before that year." which is in fact talking about the year it was made, not the album. That statement does not warrent a non-free album cover. If it was to discuss it's contributions to the album or something like that, I would be satisfied, but it hardly doesn't. Also, all of the ones I've checked so far also fail in providing a seperate rationale for its inclusion in the article as well, which means NFCC #10 wasn't satisfied. I think that we have to remember that all 10 of the criteria from WP:NFCC have to be fulfilled, not just a few of them. — Save_Us_229 02:21, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes mate, I don't think we're too far apart in our thinking. I also expect that the FUR for the image must specifically make mention of each instance for which FU is claimed, i.e. for album and each song article (or anything else for that matter) and that the song article should discuss the track in the context of the album - but if those are satisfied, I think the image should stay. Cheers, Ian Rose (talk) 07:25, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree, but most articles I've checked are simply mentioning the album and not giving commentary and not giving a valid rationale. I agree, I would keep it on the article too if all of these conditions were met, but alone, like it was, is not satisfactory. — Save_Us_229 17:05, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Similar images

Is Image:Blue_horseshoe.svg too similar to Image:IndianapolisColts_1001.png ?

Gnevin (talk) 13:41, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

This just smells of a deriative work to make unto a free Indianapolis Colts logo for them to use in their userspace. I would delete this.. — Save_Us_229 20:46, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
i.e User:UBX/NFL-Colts. Free image that looks exactly like the copyrighted logo.. — Save_Us_229 20:48, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I tried that discussion a few months back and was told that they're entirely different and therefore it isn't derivative. Corvus cornixtalk 21:06, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
It really does look like it is from Image:Brno-Ivanovice znak.svg like he says. You can tell the author just took the horseshoe from the bottom there, rotated it and coloured it. Image:IndianapolisColts 1001.png looks quite different. Originally it looks like the horseshoe is from Image:Héraldique meuble Fer à cheval.svg. Jackaranga (talk) 21:11, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
How is it quite different? All thats different is that the ends of the horseshoe are bent and the mark at the bottom.. In fact, this image was created after a discussion on the copyright status of another Image that was used on the above userbox after it was deleted. It's sole existance was that it was to be a deriative of the Indianapolis Colts' logo to be used that way. — Save_Us_229 21:26, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
See the old discussion: Wikipedia:Images_and_media_for_deletion/2007_June_3#Image:Colts2.gif. In fact, the uploader of Image:Blue_horseshoe.svg on Commons is the same individual to close the above discussion saying that a 'free alternative' is now available. If this isn't a blatant deriative for the sake of deception I don't know what is. — Save_Us_229 21:29, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
You can't copyright the notion of a blue horseshoe. Dragons flight (talk) 21:31, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
*cough* someone did *cough*Save_Us_229 21:34, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
No, at best they have a copyright on a specific horseshoe design (and even that begs PD-ineligible), they can't copyright all blue horseshoes. For previous discussion see: Wikipedia talk:Copyright problems/Archive 10#Image:Blue horseshoe.svg. Dragons flight (talk) 21:37, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Well the real issue isn't whether it's copyrighted, because that horseshoe in particular isn't copyrighted, but is that intent that of to be a deriative for the sake of avoiding copyright violation? Certainly if I was a Dallas Cowboys fan I couldn't go in Paintshop and draw a similar looking blue star with a silver trim (instead of a white one like the real logo) , place it on my userpage stating I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan and claim it to be copyright free, could I? — Save_Us_229 21:45, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
The issue you are looking for is trademark law, not copyright law. See the archive I linked. Dragons flight (talk) 21:47, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Dear me, let's AGF for one second please. Look at Image:Héraldique meuble Fer à cheval.svg uploaded on 13 January 2007 which is before Image:IndianapolisColts 1001.png, for a completely different project by a different person (visibly a French woman), most people in Europe have never even heard of the Indianapolis Colts, Europeans couldn't care less about them, they are never on TV, never in the Newspapers, they are unheard of. Just go to fr:Utilisateur:Regl!sse and read for one second what she says about herself, she has nothing to do with the NFL! Surely you can see that Image:Blue horseshoe.svg is Image:Héraldique meuble Fer à cheval.svg but simply turned upside down and coloured in blue. Horseshoes were invented long before copyrights, and are about 10 times older than the USA. You can't seriously be claiming an NFL team can copyright all pictures of horseshoes ? Horseshoes are common all over the world and have nothing to do with the NFL, the NFL are about as close of having invented the horseshoe as they are of being Moses. Jackaranga (talk) 21:55, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Wow, chill, I never said all horseshoes belong to the NFL, they most certainly don't. The only thing I don't understand is how we can we be sure that implying endorsement of the Indianapolis Colts with a substitute symbol doesn't violate the trademark the NFL has on the Colts horseshoe logo? — Save_Us_229 22:01, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Dunno, maybe it does. I'm not a legal expert, I don't think anyone on wikipedia can claim to be really, not after the Essjay thing, there would be no way of being sure. Best to just leave it, if the foundation is asked to remove it I guess they will. Mainly trademark issues only arise when someone is using the image for profit. You could ask the foundation I guess, but personally I think leave law enforcement to the police and the victims. Jackaranga (talk) 22:19, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
One reason that leads me to believe this is not illegal is that satirical images are created sometimes based on a company logo and are not illegal because they are covered by freedom of speech. Probably wouldn't want to use this horseshoe picture in articles about the NFL team though because it would be inaccurate, a bad thing for articles, whereas user pages can be inaccurate. Jackaranga (talk) 22:23, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Just to be sure, I'll drop a note to The Foundation and let the see what they think about it. They should know better than us. :) — Save_Us_229 22:25, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
That's the best bet I think. At the reading of Trademark infringement though, it would seem infringement can only occur when the image is being used in relation to products or services which are identical or similar to the products or services which the registration covers, and an important element to take into account is the likelihood of confusion. But I am not a legal expert, sorry for going over the top a few lines up. Jackaranga (talk) 22:34, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
I ain't a lawyer, but I think that would be called Confusing similarity. :) — Save_Us_229 22:46, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
Well using the logo on the userpage is nowhere near a trademark problem, and trademark law has next to nothing to do with copyright. Yes trying to for example print "Indianapolis Colts" branded t-shirts using that logo could probably get you intro trouble on trademark issues, but it has nothing to do with copyright and unlike copyright wich is automatic and near universal across the planet due to various treaties, trademarks must usualy be actively registered and maintained in each seperate juristriction to be legaly actionable there. Anyway for things like this compare with the artwork on a 100 dollar bill. Using this artwork in scertain contexts would be downright criminal (like printing your own money), but since there are no copyright related restrictions (US federal goverment stuff = PD) we still consider them freely usable on Wikipedia, I don't see how trademarks are fundamentaly different, unless you spesificaly use the trademark to confuse or sell competing products you won't have a problem, so if there is no copyright issue we don't worry too much about trademarks. At least that's my understanding. --Sherool (talk) 00:07, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Yep, that's what I think too, explains why there is no trademark polic for wikipedia. Jackaranga (talk) 16:18, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Well we do have Wikipedia:Manual of Style (trademarks), the Wikipedia:Logos guideline touches upon it briefly near the end and we have the {{trademark}} tag to caution re-users that an image may be subject to local trademark laws even though it is free of copyright or free licensed. --Sherool (talk) 23:29, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Image deletion to enforce 10c ?

The "Enforcement" section of the policy states that any infraction results in image deletion. But this is unreasonable for a 10c violation unless there are NO articles that have a valid fair-use rationale. This is, what if I go to great lengths to upload an image and I get everything right, including a valid fair-use rationale for the one article I want to use the image in. Then, six months later, some n00b randomly adds the image to a second article but does not add a second fair-use rationale. Policy says that the image is deleted. The correct remedy is to remove the image from the second article, not to delete the image. Can the policy wording be changed, please? My guess is that the wording does not reflect what actually happens in this case. -Arch dude (talk) 18:34, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

that is the standard procedure and what happens. If there is an admin who deletes an image like that, Please hit them with a clue stick. (the current wording is ok because it is partialy compliant.) βcommand 20:34, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Betacommand is correct. I know of no admin who would delete an image entirely if it had valid nonfree rationales for some articles and not others. The correct course of action, as you state, is to remove the image from the specific articles which lack valid rationales, and that can be undertaken by anyone, not just an admin. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:38, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

Standard screenshot rationale

A few weeks ago, I suggested making a standard rationale template for TV show intertitle screenshots used in their show article's infobox (since they are all used for the same purpose). I have designed a draft for such a template in my userspace, and would like to know what you think of it (specifically, whether it provides a good enough rationale for these kinds of screenshots). The template is here, and an example use of it is here. --CrazyLegsKC 03:52, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Rationales may not be boilerplated, as they must address the use of a specific image in a specific article. Seraphimblade Talk to me 17:29, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
But they may certainly be templated. If similar shots are used for the same purpose in similar articles (e.g., album covers), then it makes sense to have a template, rather than having to completely reinvent the wheel! One of the variables in the template would be the source: using my example, is it a scan taken of the cover by a user, or is it an image taken from the artist's/label's website. While rationales should address the specifics of each image, there's no reason not to have a reusable core description. —C.Fred (talk) 17:37, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
TV screen shots are nothing like album covers or logos. so your idea will not work. βcommand 18:30, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
But I'm talking about a particular type of screenshot: those of the show's intertitle, used in the infobox in the article about the show. Wouldn't you agree that these are used very similarly to album covers and logos--they're used in the article's infobox to provide the reader with an immediate visual identification of the article's subject. I really don't see how Image:HouseMD.jpg is used in its article any differently than Image:PushingDaisieslogo2.jpg is used in its article, and therefore I don't see why they shouldn't have basically identical rationales. --CrazyLegsKC 05:00, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
There is nothing categorically wrong with a templated rationale under current policy or guidelines. Our proposed update to the use rationale data formats, if it ever gets off the ground, may explicitly recognize some but make it an exclusive list. At that time templates that are not on the list would presumably get deprecated. Having said all that, I'm not so sure that "visual identification of show in article infobox" is sufficiently explanatory to be a valid rationale in any event, and I doubt there is a single universal explanation to why a screen should would be needed for a tv show article. Betacommand is right. Whereas the reason to use an album cover in an album article is uniform across nearly all the uses, screen shots do not bear the same relationship to tv shows that album covers bear to albums. Wikidemo (talk) 08:21, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I thought that that explanation might be insufficient, which was my main concern. Now that you have brought that up, I will ask you: just what is the purpose of this type of screenshot, and how is its use justified under our policy? For the sake of specificity, why don't you use one of the examples I mentioned above? --CrazyLegsKC 13:20, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Policy and guideline tags reversed?

At the top of the page is a "content guideline" template, which is immediately followed by the policy section. After this is the "Guideline examples" section, which is prefaced by "The following section of this page is an official policy". This is... backwards, right?--Father Goose (talk) 06:11, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Fair use images of celebs in Biography article?

There is currently discussion in the peer review of the article Preity Zinta whether it is acceptable to use fair use images of the subject's appearances in films in the subject's biography article. Please see here. Is such usage acceptable? There seems to be rather a lot of precedent for such usage even in FAs, like Diane Keaton, Cillian Murphy, and others, but I would appreciate a more definitive response from the editors who frequent this page. Thank you. -- John Carter (talk) 18:38, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Reviewers may note that the fair use images being used in that Zinta article are either screenshots of movies or movie posters cropped to remove publicity 'artefacts' (in other words are derivatives of non-free images). Also that Zinta is still very much alive. And of course, the minor fact that free alternatives are available though their fate now hangs in balance. Sarvagnya 19:52, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Not disagreeing, but Diane Keaton and Cillian Murphy would probably argue that they technically qualify as alive as well. -- John Carter (talk) 19:57, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm glad this is coming up. The current image policy here at Wikipedia is too restrictive. The Wikimedia Foundation fears infringement lawsuits (that will never be filed), refuses to admit or acknowledge that the Fair Use Clause of the US Copyright Act will protect them, and in the process their policy does more harm than good to Wikipedia. -- -- CJ Marsicano (talk) 20:03, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, the fear here is not of a lawsuit, as it is very likely that such images would be protected under fair-use doctrine, and highly unlikely that anyone would sue in any case. However, if you'll take a look at the top left hand corner of your screen, right under the globe logo, you'll notice it says "Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia". This does not indicate that it is free of charge to read, but rather that it is focused on libre content. That's the reason we disallow nonfree images that could be replaced by free ones. The lack of an image will encourage someone to take, provide, or seek a licensing release for a free image. A living person is generally a clear case of replaceability. The nonfree image restrictions are deliberately and knowingly far stricter than what the law allows. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:23, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
This "replaceability" guideline is nothing more than a red herring, crossed with a pipe dream. Not every living person represented on this site can have a "free" image taken of them. What were the Foundations' legal repsentatives smoking when they came up with this? -- -- CJ Marsicano (talk) 20:55, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Technically if we are to be completely serious and honest about this then using the images does bend the rules slightly. Images of films are owned by the film company and claiming use of their product which they legally have the right of ownership and have produced themselves in an article on an actor can be seen as copywright infringement. The major problem is for contemporary actors obtaining a free image that would visually and encyclopedically identify key moments in their career is often impossible. Films and actors are interrelated , a reason why when I initally started WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers i wanted it to be as part of films. The thing is wikipedia has become such an enormous and increasingly a sort of world centre on the web that I doubt these film companies would try to sue anybody if they can see how educational it is to the people. One thing is certain - wikipedia needs to impose a strong policy on their inclusion or exlusion which is mandatory across the whole site. Either we accept them or we don't. I think it is vitally important that a universal decision is made. Some article have a ridiculous number of "fair use" images while others are kept so naked and bare it looks quite bad. A decision needs to be made. I'll leave you guys to it. Adios ♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ "Talk"? 20:30, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Well think of it like this. Is a film company really going to be concerned that images of their films are used in articles? Such is the global reach of wikipedia that they would be more likely to regard it as promotional. If people see some screenshots of there films -they are more likely to encourage people to become interested in the film and buy the dvd and profit. I am certain many companies would feel this way and not be offended if they are being used educationally ♦ Sir Blofeld ♦ "Talk"? 12:29, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Relying on positive emotions felt by large companies ("Oh, they will surely like it and not sue") is seldom a good advice in legal matters. See also "Including these images is something the copyright holders would want!". Regards, High on a tree (talk) 13:13, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
And, as noted, the Eric Bana, Jackie Chan, Bette Davis, Karen Dotrice, Henry Fonda, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anthony Michael Hall, Abbas Kiarostami, Diane Keaton, Cillian Murphy, Miranda Otto, and KaDee Strickland pages all contain such screenshots and/or copyrighted images, and all of those articles are currently FAs. On this basis, I have to conclude that inclusion of such images which are directly from the entertainer's work are considered appropriate for an article on an entertainer and that they can reasonably be included as non-replacable on that basis. -- John Carter (talk) 20:52, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Use of non-free images that can be replaced are not allowed, Pictures of BLP's should be free. βcommand 23:26, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
It is plainly obvious that wikipedia is meant to be free and that is why the policy is restrictive, not because of law. The fact that "for commercial purpose only" images are forbidden from wikipedia, even if the owner authorises their use proves this. I have admin confirmation (diff) that using a picture of a dinosaur from Jurassic Park, in scientific articles about this kind of dinosaur is OK, so I think we can assume the same applies to actors. Jackaranga (talk) 23:28, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
The question is whether an image from the movie, TV show or whatever is replacable by an image which isn't. Clearly, the editors in the FAs which have such images believe that the images directly from the works for which the person is known cannot be adequately replaced by free images. Given the number of actor FAs with such images, which is basically all those whose career includes the era when films are still under copyright, I would think that the existing consensus is that these images from the video productions themselves cannot be adequately replaced by other images. John Carter (talk) 23:32, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

We can't use a non-free image to show what a living actor looks like. However, there's no blanket prohibition against using an image to show how they appeared in a role, if discussed in the article and suitably important to an encyclopedic understanding of the person's career. Diane Keaton's Annie Hall image is a classic example. I would draw the line at it being a defining or iconic role in the person's career, and their visual appearance in the role being important. Wikidemo (talk) 00:47, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

  • I'm purturbed by any article that has claims to be becoming featured bending the rules even slightly. I'm not an expert on image policy but I am very clear on the free encyclopedia bit and I'm opposed to anything that would increase the number of non-free images in the project. Personally, I'm opposed to screenshots being used to illustrate anything other then themselves - i.e. the film or the programme concerned. Beyond that try flickr if you need free images for articles. With regard to all the other articles that breach our image rules - well other crap exists. Spartaz Humbug! 08:17, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
  • In the cases illustrted above, I guess the question isn't so much whether they bend the rules but whether the rules permit use of non-free images of an actor's career. The impression I get from this discussion is that, if the image depicts an event in the performer's career which is of particularly significant importance in that performer's career, that such an image would qualify as being not replacable by a free image which is not of that role/performance whatever. Does that seem to be what the rest of you perceive is the gist of this discussion? John Carter (talk) 15:31, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Well, remember, we don't always need an image. "Irreplaceable" doesn't just mean "not replaceable by a free image", it also means "not replaceable by text". If that important moment in the person's career can be conveyed by text with no picture, and generally they can, it's not acceptable to use a nonfree image, as that's typically "icing on the cake"—decoration. There are exceptions, where a picture conveys information that text absolutely cannot, but that's the rare exception, not the common scenario. Seraphimblade Talk to me 16:35, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Failure to grasp the significance of images of actors' fictional roles

Today, Sarvagnya tagged and removed all fair use images in the newly FA article Cillian Murphy, and now that I've found this discussion, I would guess that like-minded users may go through the above list of actor bios to remove all fair use images from them. As the major contributor to Cillian Murphy, who carefully went through all the WP hoops to select and properly provide rationales for those images and bring the article to FA, I feel frustrated, and as a WikiProject Actors and Filmmakers member who wants our work on actors to be the definitive resource, I feel alarmed.

Cillian Murphy just made it through an arduous FAC process a mere two weeks ago, and the fair use rationales were found to be sound. Yes, there is a free image in the infobox, but it is woefully wrongheaded to suggest that one free image of the actor attending a premiere can do the work of properly illustrating his career section -- the bulk of the article -- which details his fictional roles. Each of the three fair use images chosen for the article expanded upon specific points in the text in a way that prose cannot do, in order to document the WORK of an artist who is famous for working in a visual medium; these photos are NOT being used simply to depict Murphy himself. To write the rationales for the three images in question, I went through Wikipedia:Media copyright questions and worked with a member of WikiProject Fair use. Why disregard this whole process? I have to wonder if Sarvagnya actually read the article, or if s/he simply saw fair use images and removed them.

There was a recent battle over a screenshot of Donnie Darko on Jake Gyllenhaal, and the image was retained. I think that some of the anti-fair use image hawks fail to understand that valid fair use images of actors in their key fictional roles do not constitute a simple depiction of those real people themselves; these constitute illustrations of their work as artists. This perfectly reasonable and helpful encyclopedic use of fair use images on actor articles seems to be threatened because of extreme partisanship regarding fair use images on WP more generally. I think that going in this direction for actor articles reduces the quality of WP for readers, and is woefully ignorant about the art and meaning of film acting. I also think that going after images that have made it through every hoop up to FA wastes the time and energy of editors; I'm not saying that the FA process is infallible, but I do think it should give an editor pause to carefully read the article, rationales and reviews before taking drastic action. In this case, initiating a discussion would have been much more appropriate than removing all FU images from an article that became FA two weeks ago. --Melty girl (talk) 18:44, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

I also believe that what we may have in this case is a single editor who, on his own accord, has decided that wikipedia does not have to abide by its apparent policies and guidelines, but rather his own interpretation of those policies and guidelines. I believe that the above action can and should be reverted as unilateral vandalism done without consensus, particularly as the article has so recently gone through FA status and the presence of the images was not questioned by a much broader group of editors, and that if such conduct goes beyond that page that there may well be grounds for at least a user RfC regarding such conduct. John Carter (talk) 19:00, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
It might be worth keeping an eye on this administrator. Deleting images from new a featured article is awfully bold, and if there's one place not to be too bold it's in use of administrative tools. I've never run into him or her before that I remember, and I haven't looked into this enough to have an opinion, but based on their talk page and some other apparent incidents (see Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/IncidentArchive326#User:Sarvagnya) this could be worth watching for signs of trouble. Wikidemo (talk) 19:12, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
If you're referring to User:Sarvagnya, he isn't an admin, and I don't think ever has been one. John Carter (talk) 19:17, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the pointer. I made an incorrect assumption based on "removing" images. I'll go and refactor my comment to avoid an unnecessary issues. Removing a bunch of images is disruptive, but all of this is very low level and may be all in good faith even if misguided. Wikidemo (talk) 19:56, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I apologize if my misuse of terms caused confusion; I meant that Sarvagnya removed the code for the three images from the article so that they no longer appeared on the page, even before the independent review of the three images s/he tagged could occur. I reverted the change to the article. But all three images are still tagged for review, even though they very recently went through Wikipedia:Media copyright questions, plus the help of a member of WikiProject Fair use and a successful FAC two weeks ago. I think these three image reviews consitute a waste of everyone's time and that tagging them was done too hastily. I suspect that Cillian Murphy is suffering collateral damage from the Preity Zinta debate, which I was pulled into here, on my talk page. --Melty girl (talk) 20:21, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I can see Wikidermo's point about the removal of the images being in good faith even if misguided, but on the other hand Sarvagnya commented in an edit summary that the rationale was 'silly' but did not discuss it further on the image talk page. If one person thinks the rationale is 'silly' then we should listen to what that person says, that is, if that person actually says anything. I'm going off on a tangent, but I think it's too easy for an editor to remove or tag an image - their right of course - and then fail to participate in discussion. They don't have to take part in discussion, but it would be courteous. I wrote part of the rationales that have been called 'silly'. I don't think they're 'silly' but if someone explains it to me, I may see it. Maybe the rationales could be rewritten or even reconsidered, but I'm not going to try to read the mind of another editor and intuitively recognise what he/she perceives to be the problem. I think the inconsistency of the fair use application is the biggest problem, and I've been contributing to Wikipedia for about 5 years - it's no better or worse than it was 5 years ago. There are always going to be people who think it's OK to use as many fair use images as they like, and hide them all behind the fair use doctine, which is diluted by overuse. I think they are wrong, but I also think it's wrong to completely disallow unfree images without judging each one individually on its own merits. If used sparingly, with strong justification and validity, to provide information that could not be provided effectively with words alone, they should be safe to use under the terms of our fair use policy. I cannot understand the argument that says a film screenshot can be used to illustrate an article about the film but not the actor. If we're worried about the image being reused, and that is a valid concern, any potential reuser of the image is not going to care whether it came from an article about the film or an article about the actor - it'll be the same image and that'll be all they'll use.
The 3 Cillian Murphy images show him at work in roles that are discussed in the article. Could the article exist without them? Yes, it could. Would it be complete and comprehensive? No, in my opinion, it would not be. Can any of these images be replaced with a free image that would convey the same information? No. Are free images used where possible? Yes, he's identified with a free image. Are unfree images used sparingly, and with care and judgement? Yes. Are they merely decorative? No. These seem to be the basic questions looked at in forums such a WP:FAC ( and Cillian Murphy went through 2 such processes where the use of images was not seen to be a problem). Rossrs (talk) 22:25, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Based on the discussion above, I have removed the non-free images from Cillian Murphy. The position espoused by Seraphimblade and others is soundly grounded in Wikipedia policy, specifically WP:NFC. The other arguments (infringement lawsuit unlikely, our policy is too restrictive, etc.) either argue for a change in our policy or admit the violation but appeal to "no harm, no foul". The article did go through FA review twice, but apparently no image specialists participated, as the replaceability issue was never addressed. Even Blofeld agrees that the presence of these images requires bending of rules, and Blofeld tends to view image policies liberally. This is how we have been applying WP:NFC consistently for at least the past several months. We have a mandate from the Foundation to maintain strict limits on non-free images. The bottom line is that in the context of the actor's biographical article, these images are replaceable with other images of the actor.

Before I start removing images from other FA's, those articles should probably be reviewed here. Cillian Murphy was discussed in detail here, but the others have not. So I won't close and archive this thread yet. -- But|seriously|folks  23:46, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't doubt that what you are saying about the policy is true Butseriouslyfolks, but I just have to say that IMO the Cillian Murphy article is much worse without those images. When I read that article after it was promoted, I thought that the nonfree images were used sparingly and greatly added to the comprehensiveness of the article. I wasn't aware that the policy on actors' articles had become so strict and I think that a lack of an image of an actor in an iconic role lessens the encyclopaedic value of his biographical article. We know these actors from their most famous roles. The images give visual clues to how actors portrayed their character. If their appearance changes greatly from role to role (as Cillian Murphy's did in Breakfast on Pluto) or as the actors age we may not even recognise a real-life image of this person. We can't have an image of Ian McKellen in perhaps his most famous role as Gandalf even though in real-life he looks nothing like Gandalf? The FA Jackie Chan can't have images of Jackie Chan in his film début with Bruce Lee, or show him in an action scene? Also, the logical conclusion from this policy is that articles about dead actors can have only one nonfree image. Can I ask what we should do in an article like Jackie Coogan? Do we use an image of him as a famous child actor, or an image of him in his most famous TV role 40 years later? Sorry about the amount of questions, but I find such a strict policy surprising. May I be so bold to suggest that if knowledgeable editors like FA reviewers do not know about the policy, then the policy needs wider discussion. Bláthnaid 01:28, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I have to disagree with Butseriouslyfolks because the images he has removed are specifically NOT replaceable non-free images. What image can you possibly use to replace an image of an actor in a role with a free image? There are no possible free images of the actor in a role unless you were a photographer on the film set at the time of shooting and in that case you would probably be there under contract, so you would not have the right to release the images anyway. This is a clear case of fair-use images being appropriately used otherwise this article suffers greatly without those images of Cillian's professional career. ww2censor (talk) 01:38, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
There are no possible free images of the actor in a role unless you were a photographer on the film set at the time of shooting... -- then, in that case, we will have to do without those images. If we were to allow such indiscriminate and unethical use of non-free images, there's simply no end to it. What's next? Perhaps a 10 min clip of the "spine chilling, edge of the seat climax.. that simply cannot be expressed in words"?! We are not doing those movies or actors any big favour by writing articles about them. They didnt ask us to write those articles. We wrote them because that is what this project is about. Wikipedia simply has no business becoming popular and making money (by way of donations) by stealing content. Period. Sarvagnya 04:01, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
We never steal content. We don't have to do without the images. We can use them subject to the law, and our more restrictive non-free policy, which permits some use. Simple as that. That's not stealing. Who is suggesting stealing? If you are removing all non-free images based on a theory that the policy as it now stands is "stealing" that's wrong, and disruptive, and I suggest you stop. Wikidemo (talk) 04:29, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Sarvagnya, limited use of unfree images is not "unethical" and is supported by our non-free policy. The question is whether it applies in this situation - not in the situation of a 10 minute clip, which nobody but you has brought into the discussion. Your comment to ww2censor doesn't address his argument, and if the best reply you can offer is ridicule, I'm certainly not persuaded. Rossrs (talk) 05:22, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree that (10 minute clip) is a silly argument, but did you perhaps miss the fact that while Sarvagnya has tagged three images used in the Cillian Murphy article with a review tag they actually don't yet appear on the Fair use review page. Is that his fault or a bot's?. I would have expected to find the 3 tagged images there by now. AND NOW, while writing this, I see that Butseriouslyfolks has already deleted an image File:Cmurphy-discopigs.jpg and also removed the images from the page when asked not to do so while discussion is happening. That is way out of line when no review has taken place in the appropriate forum Fair use review page and especially when active discussion is taking place. Outrageous behaviour imho considering there is no consensus and that fair-use is allowed on Wikipedia in certain circumstances. Decide whether fair-use is allowed on such actor bio pages and then take action when a consensus has been arrived at. I think it is just bad manners at best. ww2censor (talk) 06:22, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

This is truly absurd. Recent, top-level consensus approved the fair use of these images of Murphy's work. It also made it through multiple prior reviews. And now, with no new consensus whatsoever or a review, an image has been deleted? This is plain wrong, and sadly cannibalistic of an FA. It's also hypocritical: why aren't you crusading your way through all the other FAs? Is Cillian Murphy an easy, satisfying target? Fair use laws exist, and they were carefully attended to here. No case has been made attending to the prose and the depiction of Murphy's work in character, which simply is not the same as a photo of him at a premiere. No one has addressed this argument! Where can I go to fight this non-consensus, hostile action? --Melty girl (talk) 06:36, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

This is a more appropriate forum to discuss non-free content issues than FAR, and I felt enough people had weighed in to wrap it up. I answered the other questions above. But if you want to take it to Wikipedia:Fair use review, I won't be offended. Heck, I encourage it! This is a thorny and pervasive issue and I have no objection to getting input from as many editors familiar with WP:NFC as possible. Thanks. -- But|seriously|folks  06:40, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Where did you ever get the idea this was a done deal and should be wrapped up, when people were still commenting in opposition to your views? It is not up to Melty girl to take the images you are concerned about to Fair use review. It is your responsibility, as the objectors, either you, Butseriouslyfolks, or Sarvagnya, who tagged the images, are the people who should be bringing the images up for review. Melty girl had no reason to be concerned about the status of the images, so it is not up to her to jump through hoops (she already did that during the FA); it is up to you to prove your point in the appropriate manner and at the appropriate forum. Be reasonable, leave the images alone per their legitimate status, or bring them up for review yourself and do not delete any images that are under discussion until a consensus is reached. ww2censor (talk) 16:17, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
The two fair-use Cillian Murphy images look entirely appropriate to me, appropriately clarifying points made in the article, and satisfying the criteria Rossrs sets out IMO very well in his second paragraph above. In fact, I was a little surprised there wasn't also an image of the actor in his hospital greens from 28 days later, along with quotes from film critics on the distinctiveness of his intense/haggard appearance in this movie. Jheald (talk) 17:14, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, Jheald, there were three fair use images, but Butseriouslyfolks deleted one even while there was no consensus here for deletion and no review had taken place. --Melty girl (talk) 19:12, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, I guess what I've learned here is that one administrator can delete images without any official review even while most people discussing it do not agree with the idea. And this complete misinterpretation of fair use rules on the part of two editors is not being applied across the board of actor articles, perhaps because too many users would get upset at once. And the two editors refuse to engage with any of the points made here by so many others, particularly to speak to the bad process or the fact that an image of an actor's work is completely different than a candid photo. All in all, this is very demoralizing about the WP project. --Melty girl (talk) 20:46, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

The image is now being considered for deletion review at Wikipedia:Deletion review. John Carter (talk) 21:12, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Regarding a comment made far above, if the concern is not about lawsuits but about Wikipedia being "free", then that's fine, but let's not beat around the bush - the path should be clear, and it should be the abolition of all fair-usage. But if we've decided that we are going to embrace fair usage, and we're not going to be lawsuit-paranoid, then there needs to be more nuance regarding the policy, discussion of relevant particulars of the policy with affected WikiProjects, and some strong consensus of the boundaries so that editors are not constantly finding themselves on the defensive. We may not be getting hit with lawsuits, but to many of the editors, it feels like they are regularly having their good faith edits hauled in for indictment, and that the goalposts are regularly being shifted as the scope of fair use is whittled down a little more every week. Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 05:08, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the current policy is not clear, is not being applied consistently, and needs more discussion to prevent further incidents like this. I think that there needs to more nuance here, perhaps in Acceptable images #5. IMO the issue that needs clarification is: is a screenshot in an actor's biography acceptable if it is used as part of critical commentary of the actor's part in a film? (Not used to identify the actor, which should be done by a free image.) This would also apply to deceased actors. Of course, a screenshot of every film an actor has ever been in is not suitable. Bláthnaid 19:37, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with your comment as well as those of User:Girolamo Savonarola (above) and User:Meltygirl (below). Acceptable images #5 does not make the distinction as to where the critical commentary has to take place. It doesn't even define the very loosely termed "critical commentary" which is also open to interpretation. Despite the fact that this does not restrict the usage to film articles only, images are deleted on this basis. I think it's wrong. We really need to make this whole thing clearer, because the result of this type of action is to alienate valuable editors who are operating well within the guideline as written. Rossrs (talk) 06:30, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I must echo Girolamo -- if we are going to apply fair use, then why are so many of such usages with valid rationales are so virulently attacked from within as if a fair use policy doesn't exist? If we're using fair use, then accept it or work to change the policy, instead of wasting so many people's time attacking articles piecemeal.
Second, any high quality article about an actor—not celebrity, actor—will contain critical commentary on and discussion of the actor's work as an artist, and will look at changes in their work over time. Images relating to such discussion is clearly part of this critical commentary, not depiction of actors as individuals. Actors' art is to become people other than themselves, for godsake! And there is no logical basis for saying that critical commentary only exists in WP articles about films and TV shows. Actors are artists who work in a visual medium, and it completely legitimate and helpful to include images of their performances in WP actor articles. --Melty girl (talk) 20:37, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Suggest that fair-use images used in FA-articles should NEVER be deleted until the article in question has been through a new FA-review (given that the images were present during the "first" review). Any support for making this part of the "policy"? Oceanh (talk) 22:23, 20 November 2007 (UTC).
Nope. FA review has no bearing on whether or not an image passes the nonfree policies. It either does or does not. That's a debate to be had at IfD, not at FA review or anywhere else. Seraphimblade Talk to me 23:33, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Now there's a recipe for disruption to the front page. Wikidemo (talk) 00:08, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Ok, here is a modified suggestion: Fair-use images used in FA-articles should NEVER BE SPEEDY DELETED. (Given that the images were present during FA review). Any support for making this part of the "policy"? Oceanh (talk) 03:06, 22 November 2007 (UTC).
No. Passing FAC and FAR means very little in relation to Fair Use. And certainly not until someone writes Fair Use in a way (we prolific) FA reviewers can understand. Maybe I'm dumber than the average bear, but I have pleaded many times for image experts to get involved in every FAC and FAR, because I Just Don't Get It (and every time I think I get it, it changes). It strikes me, though, that the knowledgeable image people burn out and give up. This is a very specialized area, and until image people get involved in every FAC and FAR, featured status has no bearing on Fair Use review. (I think Girolamo's next post is saying somewhat the same thing I'm saying, but I'm dumber than he is.) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 03:53, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Furthermore, proposals regarding substantial changes to the fair use policy in either text or interpretation - namely, those which will affect thousands of images - must be clearly and widely publicized to the community through means such as WP:CENT. While I have no doubt that there is no intention of hiding the decisions regarding fair usage, it often seems like the result of a small discussion made in an obscure corner. If you're going to be affecting wide swathes of the encyclopedia, perhaps the proposed changes should be advertised just as widely. Girolamo Savonarola (talk) 07:07, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I very much agree. There appears to be an existing consensus that the policy permits such usage. It very definitely seems that if this apparent consensus is to be changed, there should be discussion of the proposed changes by several interested parties, and notification of the new consensus. I do note however that the enforcement of this strict construction does seem to be being done by a rather small number of editors, and that it does not necessarily reflect the consensus interpretation of the policy in question. We should not have a few editors attempting to enforce their interpretation of a policy without agreement of a substantial number of editors, and a clear notice of the proposed change in the interpretation of the policy. John Carter (talk) 16:31, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
It is strange how some editors seem to believe that the oodles of fictional character articles with no critical commentary fall under fair use more appropriately than well-written, comprehensive actor articles that include critical commentary of the actor's performances. Today, the remaining two fair use images were removed again from Cillian Murphy, and these two depict roles which are unmistakably fully discussed by critics in the article. The logic completely escapes me; the only answer seems to be a simplistic bias against famous actors and/or a knee-jerk response against fair use images whatever the rationale. Because how else can someone logically suggest that the photo of Murphy in character as the transgendered character "Kitten" in Breakfast on Pluto simply intends to show Murphy the person, and is therefore replaceable?! Actually, the edit summary only said "rm fair use image," as if fair use is forbidden! Repeatedly attacking this one FA article, when there is no evident consensus to do so, seems completely wrong; work to end the fair use policy instead. You'll be forced to provide a logical, legally-based rationale for doing so! --Melty girl (talk) 20:25, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm really disappointed that the images were summarily taken out of the article again. Why is it OK for this good-natured, productive discussion and our concerns to be ignored? Bláthnaid 23:04, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I am shocked that Cillian Murphy made featured status, considering the copyright violations invloved in using fair use images in an article just to point and say, "oh, look, that's him". Where is the critical commentary? I sure don't see any. And Wikipedia is not "forced to provide a logical, legally-based rationale" for anything it does, it only has to provide a policy, which it has done. The Wikimedia Foundation has spoken. You are aware, right, that most language Wikipedias don't allow fair use images in any shape or form? Corvus cornixtalk 23:20, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Copyright violations? I don't think anyone is proposing that. Fair use images are by definition not copyvios. We're talking about non-free image use policy I think.Wikidemo (talk) 23:23, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Improper use of a fair use image is a copyright violation. Corvus cornixtalk 23:29, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm having a little trouble parsing that. Fair use is by definition legal. What reason do you have for thinking the image is illegal? You would have to refer to US copyright law - our policies do not settle that question. Wikidemo (talk) 23:42, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
At the top of this discussion, the reason given for removing the image was that the images were replaceable because they were of a living person, and no fair use images should be in a BLP. Your reason is that there is not enough critical commentary. I personally think that there should only be FU images when there is critical commentary, but that was not the original reason for removing the images. How are we to know what improper use of a fair use image is, when the reasons keep changing? Bláthnaid 23:37, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. What seems to be the case here is some strict constructionalists regarding fair use rules are taking it upon themselves to enforce their strict construction of the policies. I have every reason to think that that sort of activity is at best counterproductive, and will likely create more trouble than solutions. The best recourse would seemingly be to contact the legal department and request from them the clearest possible definition of what constitutes fair use of an image. Without such a clear definition, however, all that's being accomplished is some people are very successfully getting a larger number of people to look less than charitably upon them. John Carter (talk) 23:40, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Please read WP:FU#Acceptable_images. There are a number of criteria there, not just one. The first must be that it can't be replaceable. Since Cillian Murphy is alive, they're replaceable. The second is that the image can only be used in articles which contain critical commentary about the image. That is not done in the Cillian Murphy article. It's not that anybody is trying to change the rules, it's that we're trying to make sure that all of the rules are followed. Corvus cornixtalk 23:48, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I have read it. And I find that your apparently personal conclusion that an image of a performer in a role is in no way explicitly stated by that page to be inherently replacable. Your assumption that because the performer is alive, an image of him in a role in which seemingly all such images are copyrighted is not one which I can explicitly see being supported in that page. Kindly point out to me specifically where that statement is made. Thank you. 23:52, 21 November 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Warlordjohncarter (talkcontribs)
Copyrighted images that reasonably can be replaced by free/libre images are not suitable for Wikipedia. ... Film and television screen shots: For critical commentary and discussion of the cinema and television. ... Here are other images that if non-free would almost certainly not satisfy the policy...Pictures of people still alive, groups still active, and buildings still standing; provided that taking a new free picture as a replacement (which is almost always considered possible) would serve the same encyclopedic purpose as the non-free image. Corvus cornixtalk 23:57, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
I believe the key words in the above are "almost always." I cannot see how it is even remotely possible to get a person who does not own the costume in which he appeared in a movie to somehow appear in that costume at some later point, as would seem to be required for that term to apply in certain of these images. Also, I do note that it does not specifically allude to the specific circumstances being cited here, that of displaying and commenting upon a person's individual performance in a given role. In short, I can see how that provision would clearly apply to, for instance, a person performing music from the stage, or an athlete, but I don't see how it applies to images of an actor in a role and costume in which he almost by definition cannot appear outside of the film itself. John Carter (talk) 00:53, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Corvus, the clause you should note here is provided that taking a new free picture as a replacement would serve the same encyclopedic purpose as the non-free image. In this case, it wouldn't. Jheald (talk) 02:45, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Fair use review

Please note that the two remaining non-free images in Cillian Murphy have been nominated for fair use review here. I have suggested that to avoid a fork in the discussion we suspend that discussion until we clarify the policy issue here.Wikidemo (talk) 23:56, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

Policy questions

The relevant questions presented so far, I think are as follows:

  • May a non-free screen image of an actor in a role be used in an article about the actor, if accompanied by commentary about that actor's role? If so, are there any special limitations that apply?
  • On debatable questions of image use, what deference if any should be given to avoiding removing images from featured articles?
  • Is it acceptable for an editor acting alone to summarily remove and/or speedily delete an image because they believe it violates the non-free use policy or guideline, if there is no obvious copyright violation and a clear lack of consensus to delete? Or should the matter be resolved through IFD, the article's talk page, or some other forum?

-- Wikidemo (talk)

My concern is that there is only minimal commentary about the roles in the Cillian Murphy article, mainly along the lines of "he was in the movie". And it is the responsibility of all editors to remove copyright violations, and fair use images not used properly are copyright violations. Corvus cornixtalk 23:59, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

By the way, this discussion can only have bearing on the Cillian Murphy article, because changes on the Fair Use policy must be done on the policy page. Corvus cornixtalk 00:03, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

That's incorrect on all counts. This is not a legal question. There has been no case made that the images are copyright violations. We are strictly talking about what the non-free use policy should be and how it should be interpreted. Let's stick to that, okay? This is the talk page for both the policy WP:NFCC and the guideline WP:NONFREE. Matters resolved here may apply wherever the policy and guidelines are used, i.e. all non-free images on Wikipedia. Wikidemo (talk) 00:09, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
This is a guideline page. The policy page is at Wikipedia:Non-free content criteria. Corvus cornixtalk 00:13, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
I disagree, this is a policy page and other decisions about what fair-use images are permissible have taken place here. The Cillian Murphy article is what started this discussion off, but wider concerns about FU policy have been raised and it would be good to settle them to prevent another instance of a Featured Article being affected. FWIW I think that nonfree images should be allowed not to identify an actor but as part of critical commentary about an actor's role. Bláthnaid 00:16, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
Urp, I never noticed the Talk pages redirected.  :) Corvus cornixtalk 00:17, 22 November 2007 (UTC)
And my internet connection thinks my comments are so fantastic, it posts them twice! [3] Thanks Wikidemo. Bláthnaid 00:34, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

Corvus is misrepresenting the commentary for the two images he removed today, for which he says there is only "he was in the movie" commentary in the article. For these two images, one for his role in Red Eye, and one for Breakfast on Pluto, I'd like to offer selected quotes from article; the critical commentary is particularly detailed for the latter role, for which Murphy received more acclaim.

2005 was the year that Cillian Murphy won wider recognition, first for two high-profile villain roles: Dr. Jonathan Crane in Batman Begins, and Jackson Rippner in the thriller Red Eye. ... In Wes Craven's Red Eye, Murphy starred as an operative in an assassination plot who terrorizes Rachel McAdams on an overnight flight. New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis asserted that Murphy made "a picture-perfect villain" and that his "baby blues look cold enough to freeze water and his wolfish leer suggests its own terrors."[35] ... The New Yorker's David Denby wrote, "Cillian Murphy, who has angelic looks that can turn sinister, is one of the most elegantly seductive monsters in recent movies."
In late 2005 (early 2006 in Europe), Murphy starred as Patrick "Kitten" Braden, a transgendered Irish orphan in search of his mother, in Neil Jordan's dramedy Breakfast on Pluto, based on the novel of the same title by Patrick McCabe. Murphy had auditioned for the role in 2001, and though Jordan liked him for the part, The Crying Game director was hesitant to revisit transgender and I.R.A. issues. For several years, Murphy lobbied Jordan to make the film before the actor became too old to play the part. In 2004, Murphy prepared for the role by meeting with a transvestite who dressed him and took him clubbing with other transvestites. Taking notice of the group's quick wit, Murphy attributed it to their constantly having to respond to insults from prejudiced people around them.[15]
Against Breakfast on Pluto 's kaleidoscopic backdrop of 1970s glitter rock fashion, magic shows, red light districts and I.R.A. violence, Murphy transforms from androgynous teen to high drag blond bombshell. The San Francisco Chronicle's Ruthe Stein said of his performance, "Murphy projects enormous energy onscreen, as he's already shown in 28 Days Later... and Red Eye. He's supremely well cast as the androgynous Kitten ... [and] smoothly makes the transition from broad comedy to drama. He delivers Kitten's favorite line, 'Oh serious, serious, serious!' with the full implications of its dual meaning."[39] While even lukewarm reviews of Breakfast on Pluto still tended to praise Murphy's performance very highly,[40] a few critics dissented: The Village Voice, which panned the film, found him "unconvincing" and overly cute.[41]
...A late 2005 Back Stage feature labeled Murphy "a chameleonic performer, a character actor trapped in a leading man's bone structure."[2]

This is just "he was in the movie"? I think not. It's critical commentary, and its fair use rationales are just fine. The images depict the work of an artist in the visual medium of film, as discussed in the article, and most certainly do not simply depict Cillian Murphy the celebrity. This seems to have really gotten out of hand. I believe Corvus tried to recall the article's three-week-old FA status today over these three images. That impulse seems inexplicably over the top to me, very disrespectful of months of work on the part of me and the many reviewers who attended to all aspects of this article, not just three FU images. --Melty girl (talk) 03:01, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

I would like to address the issue of predictability for editors that put a lot work in articles. For instance: Changes in CSD should always be given a TIMESTAMP, and only apply to FUTURE cases, not history. The same goes for changes in "fair-use policy", particularly when CSDs refer to NFU. Forcing a new policy on old articles is harmful in two ways: It destroys the quality of the project, and it leads to conflicts that ought to be avoided. Oceanh (talk) 03:23, 22 November 2007 (UTC).

Update: The DRV of Image:Cmurphy-discopigs.jpg has been closed as "moot for redundancy". The closing admin recommends continuing the discussion using Image:Cillian-as-pig.jpg as its subject. Bláthnaid 14:59, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

The more expressive Pig photo was deleted. The remaining image is less desirable, to my mind, because it does not illustrate the emotionally volatile aspect of the character that's described in Cillian Murphy; the deleted photo was of a crying, writhing teenager, while the remaining one, from the same scene, is of a teenage boy simply looking up. Since the two images are considered interchangeable by some editors here, then surely we could restore the image in which the character is engaging in more action and delete the other one, right? If not, is there any problem with changing the existing image to the more expressive version from the same scene? The admin who enforced the delete because of duplication presumably would be satisfied by either of these two options. --Melty girl (talk) 19:07, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Another problem is that Image:Cillian-as-pig.jpg is a promotional image, not a screenshot from the movie. The source given for the image does not seem to be correct, I can't see the image on that website (however there are video clips on the site and my awful internet connection might be preventing me from seeing the image) and the uploader Joa (talk · contribs) uploaded it in 2005 and only made 8 edits to Wikipedia in total. The deleted image was more encyclopaedic and complied with NFCC #10. Bláthnaid 20:16, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Exactly about the promo versus screenshot issue. Is there a way that I can request a swap? Shouldn't we end up with the superior option from these two "interchangeable" images? --Melty girl (talk) 07:31, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I think so, but I'm not sure how to get the images swapped. Technically Image:Cillian-as-pig.jpg should be deleted because of sourcing problems, so maybe it would be best to have both images deleted and upload just one new image from Disco Pigs that meets NFCC#10. (By the way, congrats on getting Cillian Murphy onto the main page yesterday!) Bláthnaid 22:03, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
That's a good idea. Do you have the know-how to properly propose the basis for deleting that image? Also, can you give me a quick link to NFCC#10? (And thanks! Boy, it was long day of vandalism though.) --Melty girl (talk) 22:09, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Apologies for being cryptic :) NFCC#10 is the requirement to have the source, copyright holder, licensing, and fair use rationale on the image description page. So IMO, Image:Cillian-as-pig.jpg fails on the sourcing issue, because the source the uploader gave was incorrect. You can list the image at Images and media for deletion, with your reasons why you think the image should be deleted. Bláthnaid 21:38, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the help! --Melty girl (talk) 21:40, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Wider notification

The significance of major changes to the Fair Use policy requires much larger input. I'm going to advertise this discussion on the Village Pump policy page. Corvus cornixtalk 00:20, 22 November 2007 (UTC)

In-universe/plot information and fair use

Should we add a line to the "Unacceptable text" section about extensive descriptions of fictional works (characters, plots, settings, etc.)? Although we say you can't use large excerpts of works, we don't have anything about large summaries or descriptions of fictional works yet, issues that were a factor in the Twin Peaks and Seinfeld copyright cases mentioned here.

This is already proscribed by WP:NOT#PLOT and WP:WAF#Fair use, but we don't have any mention of it within our fair use guidance itself.--Father Goose (talk) 05:38, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I added the line "Excessively long descriptions of plot or other "in-universe" details of fictional works except when presented along with real-world context." to Unacceptable text. I hope this states the case correctly.--Father Goose (talk) 05:54, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

recent edit

What's with this recent edit to the policy ? For me at least it's very hard to understand what it means, almost impossible to see what it is aiming at and would seem to be unrelated to fair-use. Am I missing something here? Jackaranga (talk) 07:09, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps an example could be given as a reference. Jackaranga (talk) 07:11, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
#2 of WP:NOT#PLOT says, "Summary descriptions of plot, characters, and settings are appropriate when paired with such real-world information, but not when they are the sole content of an article (which is a potential copyright infringement). This applies both to stand-alone works and to series." A recent example I've seen may be List of Mortal Kombat species, which utilizes zero secondary sources and thus no real-world context. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 07:23, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
First, a caveat: the words Erik quotes above from WP:NOT#PLOT are ones I wrote in concert with the edit here, and those changes are presently under discussion on WT:NOT. However, it closely matches existing practice and policy, so I expect it'll remain more or less in that form when the dust settles.
It's not exclusively an issue of secondary sources; you can describe fictional stuff in real-world terms from nothing more than primary sources by saying what the fictional work is and where/how the fictional elements were utilized in the work. If you can add information from secondary sources, that is all the better, though the requirement of secondary sources is a position held by WP:NOTABILITY and is not truly necessary to satisfy fair use concerns.
If it's not obvious what the new line I added means, then it'll need some rewriting. The "real-world context" is needed to ensure that our writing is in the form of comment and criticism instead of being a raw reproduction (excerpted or otherwise) of a copyrighted work. In other words, we can say "Palpatine is a character from Star Wars" but we can't say "Palpatine is a Sith Lord from Naboo" and nothing more because at that point we're basically just reproducing LucasFilm's creative content.--Father Goose (talk) 08:39, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I reverted but in a friendly way I hope :) - Excessively long plots are a stylistic problem but I'm not sure what they have to do with non-free content. The in-universe thing is very intersting from a copyright perspective. But overall, are plots really a copyright issue? I wouldn't mind if the same admonition were somewhere else. Wikidemo (talk) 11:21, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
No problem, it does need to be clearer, and discussion is warranted. Plots and such are not just a copyright issue (and are not a copyright issue in the case of free/pd works), but imagine the case of a description of a movie or show plot not sparing a single detail, then compare it to the fair use "factors" listed here:
  • Purpose and character of the use: When we describe a work in real-world terms, that is a much more sound form of scholarship than if we're just reproducing its content, even in an abridged form. If commentary is provided along with the plot (or character, setting, etc.), our claim to scholarly use is even more sound.
  • The nature of the copyrighted work: "Because the dissemination of facts or information benefits the public, you have more leeway to copy from factual works such as biographies than you do from fictional works". So a factual description of a creative work doesn't qualify as a scholarship "out" because it isn't a factual work in the first place.
  • The amount and substantiality of the portion taken: Here's the worst offense. In a complete plot description, we're taking the "heart" of the work and just about everything else. Yes, it's not quite the same as seeing the film, but:
  • The effect of the use upon the potential market: When I read really extensive plot descriptions (especially those including "spoilers"), my inclination to see or read the work is usually diminished. So it's not out of the question that our refusal to avoid "spoiling" works will get us into legal trouble some day, disclaimer be damned. That's not the point I'm trying to cover with the line I added to the policy, but I cannot say for sure that this issue will not rise to the surface sooner or later. We're leaving our asses hanging out by providing unstinting plot summaries whenever the commentary we provide along with it doesn't necessitate going into that level of detail.
Those are the issues I believe to be in play here.--Father Goose (talk) 17:46, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Regarding copyright, before we get to fair use I'm wondering if it's even copying to begin with. Does one copy a copyrighted film or film script by writing a plot description after watching the film? Or after summarizing the plot description from secondary sources? Is there any difference between an "in universe" plot summary and a regular one here? That's what I called an "interesting question." If it's not copying it's not a copyright issue. I think this is one of those technical legal questions. Wikidemo (talk) 18:27, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
this is in no way a NFC issue. Plot summaries are in no way copyrighed, unless you copy/paste them from another website. βcommand 00:00, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not one to swing the copyright cudgel (I think enforcement of our fair use policy is often draconian), but there is precedent for "plot summaries" (and other fiction-derived content) being an infringement. From Summaries of Fair Use Cases:
"Not a fair use. A company published a book entitled Welcome to Twin Peaks: A Complete Guide to Who's Who and What's What, containing direct quotations and paraphrases from the television show "Twin Peaks" as well as detailed descriptions of plot, character and setting."
I wouldn't pretend that we're immune from this. In order to demonstrate a "transformative use", we have to pair our descriptions of fictional elements with real-world context and commentary as we can. This is what Cliff's Notes does -- they may have extensive plot summaries, but they intersperse it with heaps of analysis and commentary. If we present long plot summaries, character bios, and the like, without any commentary accompanying it, I don't think we get a free pass just because "we authored the summary" -- it's an original work which duplicates large swaths of someone else's original work without transforming it in any way.--Father Goose (talk) 05:07, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Wow! What an interesting copyright issue. I did a little more research and see this has been discussed several times before at various places in Wikipedia. See, e.g. Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style (writing about fiction)/Archive5#Plot summaries as copyvio. The outcome of the discussion is always the same - there is a copyright concern, and qualifying as fair use requires that the use be transformative and not simply repeating the creative elements of the original plot. In-universe perspective is a particular problem, and seems to be at issue in the Seinfeld case. The trivia about the characters was repeated as if it was something real happening to real people, which meant that the copied version used some of the clever creative contributions from the show in a way that diminished the commercial value of the show. If you've already heard all the clever parts, maybe it's not as fun to watch the show anymore. Lots of people, even judges, get this wrong but diminution of commercial value does not necessarily argue against fair use. It has to be diminution of commercial value by replacing the original commercial purpose of the work. So if you repeat a key joke from an episode, it steals the thunder of the episode and there's less value to the script. But if you repeat a quote and then say that the script isn't funny and nobody should ever watch his show, then any negative commercial impact of your statement cannot be pinned on the copying.
You could argue it either way but I don't think giving away surprise endings is as direct in replacing the commercial value of a a work than giving away the actual creative elements. Moreover, there is more critical value in analyzing the overall arc of a plot (which often requires spoiling the ending) than there is in giving away tangential but interesting details. Also, one gets a strong sense that describing things objectively is a lot more likely to be fair use than describing things from an in-use perspective. So "Hogwarts is a school for magic for witches and wizards" is taking more away from the original than "Hogwarts is a fictional setting in J. K. Rowling's best-selling Harry Potter series."
Of course we do often have higher standards here than fair use would require. For one, it's not encyclopedic to describe details unrelated to the critical purpose of our article. For another, an objective, dispassionate description is a lot more encyclopedic than a breathless summary from an in-universe narrative perspective, or one that adopts the tone or point of view of the original. Having said that, I don't think NFCC is written with plot summaries in mind and the ten factors of this policy probably don't fit well as a rule. Perhaps it's better to house that somewhere in a guideline or policy for plot summaries. I think there's a real issue for Wikipedia. There is a lot of potential copyvio on our fancruft pages.
-- Wikidemo 16:32, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

FU Check

Could someone check Who Wrote The Dead Sea Scrolls? (book) for overuse and proper use of FU images. I went there to fix some FU templates and noticed all the iamges were of book covers and from Amazon-like sites. Is there a policy covering Amazon/IMDB type images? Is there a limit of FU per page? Feel free to prune if there is. Mbisanz (talk) 20:56, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

You're right, there was non-free image overuse there. I've pruned the article, but some orphan tagging may be necessary. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 21:12, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Due to a dispute between two editors at that article, the page has been fully protected. There are two book covers left, and the one outside of the infobox needs to be removed as it does not meet the criteria. Someone else may want to revisit the article at a later date after whatever resolution takes place to remove the image. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 23:16, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I understand the FU issue, but the argument is that the cover of the softcover edition is notable. I will see if there is any information published about that cover. If I do not find any, one image will suffice. In regard of Critical Reader (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) that I have opinions on the subject, it should be noted that this user is an single purpose account that most definitively has very strong opinions on the subject editing exclusively on subjects related to the author of this book. Having opinions is not an issue, as we all do have opinions. Having too strong opinions that compromise NPOV by putting our POVs ahead of the aims of the project, most certainly is. In addition, using WP:POINT by adding multiple images is not acceptable either. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 23:35, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Character images and lists.

This is a reprise of an issue that came up lightly before (see Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/Archive 28#Two questions regarding images of fictional characters). It seems that recently, some character articles have been entirely stripped of images. Others have been reduced to only one image. Recently, it seems to have been for video games, but presumably this would apply to any medium wherein everything is inherently copyrighted, hence the choice is fair use or nothing. So film and television as well. For examples, see [4], [5], or [6]. A discussion of this also took place at Talk:Characters of Kingdom Hearts and some other areas, where sometimes a compromise of one image was used.

The previous consensus has been that character images in lists is fine so long as the character was major enough to have their own section and the artistic/production style was relevant (and ideally could eventually be commented on). For instance, the Featured Article Characters of Final Fantasy VIII had critical commentary on the art design of the characters, and still had its images removed. Has this consensus changed? This should be resolved, and ideally somewhat quickly, before OrphanBot kicks in.

  1. Is fair use of character artwork ever acceptable?
  2. If it is, is there a difference between group pictures and individual pictures?

My personal take on this is that for works in a visual medium, allowing fair use inclusion of images is a reasonable and entirely defensible policy. The encyclopedic value is obvious- a text description of a character is not going to ever exactly equal seeing the actual work. You cannot compare art without seeing art, and you cannot compare production values or costuming without actually seeing examples. As for the validity of fair use, if a work is copyrighted, there is clearly no alternative. Furthermore, when not discussing stand-alone art pieces, associated artwork / screenshots is almost always a tiny portion of the original work. The actual product is a film / television show / video game, not that actual piece of art. The claim by some for these images to be "decorative" is only a reasonable complaint against, say, minor characters mentioned in passing, or multiple shots of the same character without some kind of commentary on the reason (for instance, different actor portrayls of the same role). As was pointed out in the earlier debate linked above, the trend of WP:FICT encouraging the merging of "mini-articles" into one cohesive article naturally would lead to multiple images as well. So long as they are justified by their section, that is not a reason to invoke the normal shyness with fair use images in "normal" lists.

As for the second issue... I see this as entirely an editorial question, not a policy one. There is absolutely no change in the amount of copyrighted content used between 5 individual small pictures and one picture which is those same 5 pictures put together in Photoshop. If character artwork is decided to be not allowable, then the gallery pictures should be removed as well; if they are found to be acceptable, then there is no appreciable difference between the two as far as fair use criteria are concerned. There may, of course, be editorial reasons to use gallery pictures anyway (especially for minor characters or in the main article), but that is irrelevant to this guideline. (As far as the editorial issue, I'll just say that WP:FICT usually counsels that articles should be accessible to a general audience, and group pictures run the problem that it may not be clear who is who to a person not familiar with a fictional work. But there are reasons to use them too.)

Comments welcome. SnowFire (talk) 19:18, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

  • It's been debated many, many times before. This is quite old news now. In the Spring of 2007, the Foundation passed a resolution regarding the use of fair use images. See Foundation:Resolution:Licensing policy. This codified what was already commonly held practice. Subsequent to this, massive efforts were undertaken to comply with the Foundation's stance. A major dispute erupted as a result, of which part was reported at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2007-05-07/Fair use. In the end, the removal of images was upheld and it continues to this day. Sorry. The basic crux; if a character is significant enough to have an article of their own, then they can have an image on that article. On character lists, no. That's the general rule of thumb followed by many people now. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:39, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict -- looks like my argument matches Hammersoft's) I've noticed the creation of the character lists that you've mentioned. I think that if a fictional character is notable enough to have its own article, it should be privileged to an identifying non-free image. If a character is one of those compressed into a list of characters, then its notability (in the general sense) is downplayed. There can be a lot of minor characters present under a particular fictional topic, and these minor characters can have a different appearance with each spin-off of the topic. I think it's best to apply the rule of thumb that if a fictional character has his or her own article appropriately substantiated in line with WP:FICTION (real-world context and all that), there can be an identifying non-free image. This makes me think of the removal of non-free images from lists of episodes -- only episodes that have their own articles generally have an identifying screenshot (pending discussion as seen above). I understand what you mean about the visual aid tying into the content, but it's too easy to interpret that to require a picture of every character in some fictional topic, may it be comic, film, or TV show. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 19:47, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Hammersoft: I realize you probably were trying to avoid rehashing arguments from elsewhere, but stating that "lists are no good, articles are okay" isn't an argument. As best I can tell, the side in favor of allowing images in list seems to have come across better the earlier time I linked before.
Erik: The problem is that with lists of episodes, it can be argued that the use of images really was decorative - there was an article on the episode. I agree that a character list of the type that only mentions the existence of various characters would probably not qualify for images under current policy. However, some of these lists are actually merged articles in and of themselves (hence why some are just "Characters of..." rather than "List of characters in..."). I don't see why they wouldn't face the same standards articles elsewhere do; that's not a free pass, mind, but it does mean that simple "it looks like a list, remove it" shouldn't apply. Also, the rationale for "here's a random picture of something in an episode" isn't nearly as core to the topic of an episode as "this is what the character looks like." SnowFire (talk) 00:00, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I arrived here via WT:VG, and would like to propose a test akin to WP:AMNESIA in order to cope up with a respectable guideline on whether certain uses of images fit NFCC 3a and 8, because that is essentially what is up for discussion. The test consists of two parts, one for each of the applicable guideline. I will use characters as an example here, as that is the topic essentially for discussion.

  • First, critical commentary on the appearance of the character has to be present, including a description that fits the criteria for plot summaries.
  • Second, the real test, partially quoted from WP:AMNESIA.
  1. Forget everything you know about the subject. If you cannot forget, act as though you know absolutely nothing about the subject.
  2. Re-read the critical commentary and description of the subject.
  3. Draw the character from that information.
  4. Does your drawing capture the essence of the character? Then do not use a non-free image.

What I hope the above illustrates, is that images should only be put in place for characters that are sufficiently round. Flat characters do not warrant non free images, because their "free quivalent" (NFCC 1) is text, essentially. If the contents of an image of a character could be described adequately with the words "Bob is a brown haired, fat lumberjack in a green jester's outfit", I do not consider a fair use image necessary per 3a. On the other hand, if a character cannot be described adequately in text, for example, because sources do not allow for a really detailed description, an image is necessary. This is often the case in video games, as the sources use images themselves, and do not describe characters in great detail.

This goes back to the essence of why Wikipedia uses images at all, beyond "illustration": because some things cannot be expressed in words. Try to describe Pikachu or Batman in words only.

I am strongly opposed to the indiscriminate removal of character images from character lists, just because they are character images on a character list. The merit of every single use has to be considered. This relates to the above comments, both of which appeared during an edit conflicts. "If a character is notable enough to have their own character" is not the right standard to use, I think. The (arbitrary) form any Wikipedia editor chooses to write about the subject in is not of relevance to whether certain use is fair or not. It is the question whether such images are necessary for the specific character that matters. WP:FICT, the applicable policy for characters having their own articles, does not read "Round characters can have articles, flat articles cannot". User:Krator (t c) 20:05, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Your stance would result in articles where there could be hundreds of unfree images on display. This has happened before. The work that has been and is being done is to reduce that massive use, which goes against the crux Foundation's stated principles to use such works minimally. I note that in your examples of Pikachu and Batman, both of these characters have articles about them specifically. They are famous characters by themselves, and an article on them deserves imagery even if only unfree imagery is available. On pages where there are dozens, if not hundreds, of characters listed. Your suggestion would result in pages such as List of Spider-Man enemies, List of Pokémon characters and List of Batman enemies having an enormous quantity of unfree images on them. That just isn't workable. I note again that this has been debated repeatedly in the past six months, with the resolution always being that the images stayed removed. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:22, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Your exaggeration of "hundreds of unfree images" supposes that there is actually an effort to add as many unfree images as possible. Please bear in mind that, beyond any copyright policy, we are first and foremost trying to write an encyclopaedia. Nifboy's example of the Pokémon list is a good one. Consider "Catterpie" and "Charizard" as easily described characters, where an image is unnecessary. "Green caterpillar" and "Red firebreathing dragon" would do. Bulbasaur, on the other hand... I will not get into more detail here, and I hope you recognise my point of considering the individual merit rather than mass-removing images on all lists. User:Krator (t c) 20:40, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
On the second point above - about merging smaller images into one - I do not believe that that gets around the fair use issue. The one single montage image is now a derivative work of each individual image and thus represents 'n' fair use issues (n being the number of images used). On the other hand, if from the media you can find a single image that is effectively a cast image, that to me is at least a fair replacement from using smaller images. However, a list of characters page likely only needs one of these; any more any you start getting back into the decorative issue again. Mind you, I can't remember where I've seen discussion of this (darin or betacommand) where someone suggested that even a true (non-montage) cast image is decorative for a list page. --MASEM 20:46, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the tendency is to include more images that absolutely necessary, but I also agree that removing images from character lists "just because they are character images on a character list" is not sufficient justification for removal. If, for example, a character is just barely not notable enough to have their own article, but is extremely important to the work itself, should that character get an image? If there is critical commentary on that character's design? It must be noted that the notability criteria are independent of importance within the work so a blanket rule that if a character has his own article, he can have an image would shaft a large number of characters who are not independently notable yet still require an image to properly illustrate them (if they are "round", or something). Axem Titanium (talk) 21:45, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
the point made by Hammersoft is correct, I once removed 345 NFC images from a List of... page. Most Images i list are not needed. If a character is notable enough for an image they are notable for their own article. βcommand 23:54, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
So if characters are split back out into their own individual articles, it's okay to go wild with images? That would seem to offer a very bad incentive. Many of these characters *are* notable enough for their own short article, but they've been merged to create one better and longer article as per WP:FICT.
As for Axem's idea, his proposed standard is fair enough, but as any art teacher would agree, there's almost always something more in the picture than in just a prima facie text representation. Mona Lisa is described by "smiling woman," sure... but there's a lot more to it than that. This is true even of "bad" art. Now, I disagree that this means that "tons of images everywhere!," as minor characters are presumably discussed as part of a section rather than their own small article. To clarify.... I do not mean "minor" as in "every character on a unified article," as some seem to. So if the section headings are character A, character B, and Enemies of A & B, there may be a rationale for one image for A, one for B, and one representative shot for all the Enemies of A & B. This may not be always true, but it's certainly not always false either. SnowFire (talk) 01:56, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

I see that people are asserting this shouldn't be allowed. However, any argument along those lines should presumably adhere to WP:NFCC. A simplification of the guidelines is that there are two requirements: that there be no free alternative (#1), and that the copyrighted content be significant (3, 5, and 8). Let me add here that I like free content and all and understand the reasoning behind it; that's why requirement 1 is the first one. No need for copyrighted pictures of, say, buildings and so on. However, the topic we are dealing with - copyrighted works of fiction - has basically all the content copyrighted. So criterion 1 applies.

As for significance. I'm sure that the usual argument brought up is the word "minimal" in the Foundation licensing resolution. Unfortunately, it seems that many people interpret minimal differently. I'm going to propose that it means "minimal for what is required to make a high-quality, comprehensive encyclopedia article." If an image would noticeably increase the quality of an article, then it's a reasonable use; we should not sacrifice good articles at the altar of Stallman. Is this a reasonable interpretation?

Anyway, if we assume that standard, I think that most copyrighted images of characters easily satisfy the criterion, as long as the art design / costuming / etc. was remotely relevant to the character (that is, no grues). The identification aspect is also incredibly basic but important. Which character was this I saw? This is a common question from someone only faintly acquainted with a work, and visual identification will be necessary. Artistic styles and production values are also important. This game was known/criticized for having an anime-style cast (an issue in Characters in Castlevania: Sorrow series)? Let's see it. Same with a criticism of cheap vs. well-done production values for a movie or show. A character article that does not include appropriate images is simply incomplete, depriving the reader of valuable tools to assess a work with as well as the object of any text commentary.

Now, once one image is used, the rationale for future images is much higher. The basic character portrayal is already shown; there should be a good reason why additional images help. So my interpretation of minimal is "one image by default for notable characters." I completely fail to see how whether having that image in a character's own article or in a compilation article matters. The same arguments apply to either case for usage of an image where appropriate and limiting their usage when inappropriate. SnowFire (talk) 01:56, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

<INSERT BROKEN RECORD HERE><LET PLAY 5 MINUTES>, When the whole issue about NFC in list's was broght up last time the idea of as few as possible could not be agreed to, some thought that 100 NFC images in a list was ok. (100 images in any article is not ok, It please remimber the "poor" people still stuck on dailup). Giving the standard of notability, that having an article means that they are notable, Instead of arguing over every single non-notable character that every fan wants to include in their list of.. page, it makes the standard of inclusion difficult. Because instead of having to revert war over the ILIKEIT fancruft you can just AfD the article and the image if its not notable, and you can address each seperately instead of having to fight over the NN Cruft, Not letting NFC in List's just sets a good standard on both notability and quality standard as very few of these List Of.. have good outside sources and are written in a NPOV manner. βcommand 02:21, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I am confused by the above comment. Do you mean that because some lists include an arbitrary (large) number of non free images, there should be no non free images on lists at all? Please rephrase your comment, as this is not possibly what you could have meant. User:Krator (t c) 13:13, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I believe its more a case that if you don't draw a bright line somewhere, people can wikilawyer past it to use 100s of nonfree images on a character list. Unfortunately, that bright line pretty much restricts the use of non-free images on such lists period.
However, and I turn to betacommand for this, a thing I brought up before, if a list used a single non-free image that included multiple characters described on the page (aka "cast picture") is this a valid use of a non-free image on a list? Mind you, these need to be limited as well : there's no way I would be able to provide images to cover every character on List of characters in The Simpsons for example without violating too many non-free images. --MASEM 14:40, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I'd be ok with that. A single image (not a montage of other unfree media) that displayed a lot of the characters seems fine to me. That does a lot convey the general artwork used in the characters, and still supports the concept that if a character is notable enough for their own article, they'd have imagery on that article rather than the list. A great example of this is Characters of Final Fantasy XII in its current form, with just the one image near the top. --Hammersoft 16:09, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
There are 2 points that need to be made, with your example about the Simpson's, notable characters have their own articles, and their own image. (which for Non-Free Image Use NFIU is acceptable). if you then wanted to include a picture of them in a List of... page there would be a problem of over use, just link to the page. I think {{main}} is good for that. If the characters are not notable enough for their own article it begs the question, why are they notable enough to have their image included? But I do work with NFC and images in Lists. the main problem with List articles is the very high probability of abuse. My position is simple, one image per list at most. That point was reached after working many list articles and fighting over the massive abuse of NFC. If you can get one good image that clearly displays the subject(s) of an article use it. the point of one image per character is clearly NFC abuse. (NOTE THAT IS MY PERSONAL OPINION AND PRACTICE, THAT IS NOT STATED IN POLICY IT IS BASED OFF PREVIOUS DISCUSSIONS AND THE LONG ANI DEBATE) βcommand 16:09, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
I certainly agree with that; mind you, if the best "cast" image one can get includes images of characters that have their own articles in addition to those that have do not, I would still say it's valid only if the majority (maybe even super-majority?) of those pictured do not have their own article. example: If Bart, Homer, Lisa, and Marge have an article but Maggie doesn't, including a Simpsons family picture on a character list page just to demonstrate who Maggie is is unacceptable. But, if only Bart had a page, showing the family picture which includes Bart is a reasonable way to cover the rest of the cast. I know this is begging for wikilaywering all over it, but I think common sense should help - a cast image that significantly duplicates what's already out there is a violation of WP's non-free material requirements. --MASEM 16:47, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

My position is that video game characters articles should have at least one screenshot for reasons of completeness and neutrality. Images of 'all the characters' are invariably promotional artwork designed to sell the game, rather than in-game footage. The Characters of Final Fantasy XII, mentioned above, is a prime example of this. --Nydas(Talk) 12:29, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Real-life intervened during the weekend, but returning and looking at this... I fail to see any kind of arguments based on WP:NFCC above, or any kind of fair use standard whatsoever. I've already said my piece on that above, and am distressed to not see people disagreeing with the *argument*, rather than simply offering examples of bad pages.

Betacommand is worried about hundreds of images; who cares about the exact number of images? What matters is the amount of copyrighted content used. The same content divided into individual pictures is generally more usable and is neutral in the amount of fair-use done. I seriously don't see why galleries are acceptable but individual images are not, aside from some punitive desire to punish fair use. Now, two issues are being conflated here:

  • What characters should get depictions?
  • Does it matter if depictions are in a single gallery picture or in individual pictures?

The "hundreds of images" worry that Betacommand mentions presumably comes from the first. That's completely off the topic; I don't think anybody here will argue that super-minor characters in lists all deserve images necessarily (though I would argue that Betacommand and some other's definition of "minor" is wrong). However, I really strain to see the explanation for why the gallery picture style helps (again, aside from certain editorial concerns). If the same content is divided into a hundred images, it's the exact same amount of fair use; it doesn't affect the minimal standard at all. If we've decided that gallery pictures are acceptable at all, individual pictures are not "worse" from a "minimal Fair Use" perspective. SnowFire 04:42, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

So, the consensus seems to agree that some form of depiction of copyrighted appearances is often relevant and meets WP:NFCC (one or two people who'd remove all fair use aside, which is a valid position, but not Wikipedia's currently). But... if this depiction is in one or two images at the top of an article, that's okay, but if the exact same content complying with Wikipedia guidelines is split into several images interspersed at relevant points within the article, that's not okay. Riiiiiiiight.

If this is seriously the case - and I doubt it - then I'd request that those who'd like to enforce this, rather than removing fair use pictures it seems to be admitted can often be appropriate, instead make a new template along the lines of "request for photoshopping." The fair use content can then be combined into one or two images. It'll be using exactly the same amount of copyrighted content as before, and it probably won't be as useful to the reader, but it will meet this new criteria just fine., I'm serious. I completely and utterly disagree with this stance, but for those who admit to the validity of some kind of depiction of a character and that such a thing would improve the encyclopedia article (what we all came here to do, theoretically), isn't this the stance that logically results? And it would be better than wholesale deletion.

Sigh. SnowFire (talk) 01:06, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Photoshopping "n" smaller images into a larger one, assuming each smaller image is a non-free fair use, is still creating "n" derivative works and thus the larger image cannot be considered as one FUR but "n" FUR, and thus will be handled (and likely removed) in the same fashion. (Obviously, people with "mad photoshop skillz" can probably make such an image that its impossible to tell if it was a montage or not, but that's why a proper FUR should have a source of the image as well.) --MASEM 01:45, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Undoubtedly true, but I think that a normal group shot is "n" pieces of fair use as well, and furthermore, these "n" pieces of fair use are theoretically justified by policy anyway (those that aren't should be removed anyway). So why not be up front about it and just use n images? If they're of separate characters, then it's justified by the criteria anyway. SnowFire (talk) 03:45, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Not if this is image directly from the copyright owner, such as Image:Ff12cast.jpg. The copyright owner composed and released that shot, thus it's only what is done after that shot is released with copyright as promotional material does the issue of derivative works come into play. --MASEM 03:53, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
For the record, I think this idea, at its heart, is beneficial because it forces editors to find good group images and whatnot (for example in Characters of Final Fantasy XII). This can never be a bad thing. On the other hand, I disagree with its execution and enforcement. A blanket removal is not likely to be well-received. Of course, this ultimately leads to the question of whether it should be determined on a case-by-case basis. Personally, I believe it should, since there is no deadline and the ultimate goal is to have every article be featured anyway. So why not just spend the time to hammer it out individually as you get to each list, instead of desperately rushing to remove every fair use image as quickly as possible? If, for example, a minor character caused a scandal because of a racy design, but is otherwise not notable, it is best to determine if an image is necessary individually. Axem Titanium (talk) 03:44, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Fair use of signatures

Lots and lots of "fair use" images of signatures are cropping up on a range of articles, primarily for writers, and politicians operating outside the United States (or possibly below the federal level in that government e.g. at the state or city level). They are being claimed under "miscellaneous" fair use which doesn't seem the best of ideas - it would seem sensible to have a distinct category for them so they can all be identified and treated similarly.

However, I am loathe to create a new category and tag because I'm not convinced this is a "blanket category" that is generally likely to be (1) within the "fair use" provisions of U.S. law (although this is not quite so unlikely), (2) within the bounds of the "non-free content" policy (is it really vital to our understanding of a 20th century political figure that we know what their signature looks like?), or (3) that it is within the spirit of Wikipedia's "free content" mission.

I have seen no article where a non-free signature is included and where anything resembling "critical commentary" has been provided. On the other hand it is true that the signatures generally have minimal economic value that could be eroded.

Overall I'd tend to suggest that non-free images of signatures should be listed under "unacceptable examples of images" with exceptions for cases where the signature is notable in its own right and critically discussed, and most non-free signature images should then be deleted.

Either way, they now form a considerable component of Wikipedia's non-free content and should be dealt with consistently. As far as I can the see the two main options are declaring signatures (perhaps especially for politicians or writers as opposed to general celebrities?) to be generally within the bounds of our non-free content policy, including them within the blanket "acceptable images" list, and providing a new tag and category for them, or alternatively listing them as unacceptable outside certain unusual cases, and deleting the bulk of them. Thoughts? Purgatorio (talk) 12:33, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Wow, good question. I'll take your word for it but I can't say that I've ever noticed a single one. I don't think we're in any realistic danger of copyright infringement here, nor have I ever heard of a case of a copyright infringement suit over a signature, so per the goals of creating a free content encyclopedia it seems to boil down to a stylistic and policy decision on whether they have sufficient encyclopedic value. Does the signature of an author, celebrity, or politician have a strong enough association with the individual to be useful for identification (like a logo or book cover), or otherwise help achieve an understanding of the person in ways that words cannot? I would say no but I imagine some people say yes. And I suspect the difference isn't easy to reason through; some people read more into signatures than others.
Note that most signatures published before 1978 or whenever these deadlines would be out of copyright because they did not bear a notice. Also, a good many were collected by aficionados and never published, so the clock never started running. There could be some specialized copyright or other laws that apply to signatures as well.
Do you have a few examples? It might help to see these images in action to get a good feel fro them.

- Wikidemo (talk) 19:28, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

I was under the impression that signatures were ineligible for copyright. I remember someone asked at WP:MCQ about a signature where someone signs in the shape of a dinosaur. There was consensus that it was public domain, and I think that example has more of a claim to being a creative work than most signatures. 17Drew (talk) 19:47, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I've spotted quite a lot doing sweeps of random images (Special:Random/Image). Here's an example: Image:Ramón José Velásquez signature.jpg, from a former Venezuelan president (Ramón José Velásquez). It's not discussed at all in the article, as far as I can see.
If signatures genuinely are copyright exempt (do we have any reliable sources for that?) then it might be a good idea to create a specific "signature, ineligible for copyright" tag for them. It is true that signatures will often be published without copyright notices but the Venezuelan president's signature would be a counter-example, since it was scanned from a book which presumably did have a copyright notice. Since it's outside the U.S. I don't think the 1978 rule is applicable anyway.
Not all signatures are consistently copyright-tagged, incidentally. Image:Thatcherautograph.JPG is listed as Public Domain - despite the fact that Margaret Thatcher falls outside rules related to U.S. Federal Government works, and presumably didn't explicitly release the signature into the public domain (being in the EU, if I remember correctly, actually means she doesn't have that right), but PD is being claimed on the grounds that it came from the autograph collection of a Wikipedian. I'm not sure that logic is correct - my strong suspicion is that if it is eligible for copyright, it will be copyright to Mrs Thatcher and not to the keeper of the autograph collection, since she was the creator? Or does signing an autograph for somebody implicitly constitute an agreement to hand the copyright over to them? (Bearing in mind that there is a big business in autographed prints, I am sure there is a definite legal answer to this question, although it may also be affected by issues such as personality rights - needs a lawyer really!) Purgatorio (talk) 20:06, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

((edit conflict))

The only example I can pull is Walt Simonson, which does have a ref in article to his distinctive signature, and the image at Image:Simonson autograph.jpg.
This does bring up two other places where signatures will crop up: visual artists and "famous peoples" (athletes, actors, and the like... the targets of autograph collectors).
There is at least one question this beggars though: can a signature be subject to being copyrighted and/or trademarked? To a degree this bears on the licensing tag that can either be used or created for the images.
And if we are going to look at this, even if the signature fall under free use images, this is something where rock solid guidelines need to be in place. The signatures are of intrinsic value to the articles as an identifying characteristic, just like the photos. What we need to be cognizant of though is that the images need to be of a quality that is just enough to provide a reference, but not high enough to allow for it to be used for forgery. This is much more of an issue with the signature than with art or photos, both from the potential to sell as autographs and from the potential for identity theft.
As minimal suggestions, I'd go with:
  • Creating a "Signature" tag and associated category so the files are easy to look after.
  • Setting a maximum image size, in the range of 150px on the long axis.
  • Restricting such files to JPG format. This is a case where the high quality of a PNG or vector image is not wanted.
  • Adding a priority "Signature image over-sized" and "Signature orphaned" tag and cat to quickly remove files that are outside of those restraints. And by quickly, I mean waving the normal 5 or 7 days for a speedy delete.
- J Greb (talk) 20:21, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I noticed the signatures a lot from articles related to Presidents from the United States or from the Philippines. I seen both projects and uploaders tag them as public domain. In the US's case, they just lift them from public domain documents. As for the Philippines, no idea. As for should they be included in Wikipedia, I have no idea. I do remember in my younger days, I saw the signatures in the World Book Encyclopedia. However, would they be considered fair use decoration? I believe so, since I have not seen a source stating that signatures are in the public domain. However, I will look. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 20:27, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

I seen our Wikipedia article state that signatures are not covered by copyright and they use [7] to cite it. Honestly, we know that names cannot be copyrighted, but I wonder if this is the clause they are trying to point out "mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, or coloring." I wish that can be clarified. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 20:32, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

It may be. One thing to keep in mind, various visual artists use an "artist's mark" in thier work instead of a traditional signature. This may be a side step since the 'mark can be treated as a logo. - J Greb (talk) 20:40, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Right. I still think we should at least focus on sets of signatures and see what happens. I think it will be easier to do that instead of focusing on all signatures now. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 21:26, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Since you asked for options, here's mine: Signature imags should be banned from articles unless the article mentions a signature (e.g., that a person was known for his/her distinctive signature). Then we don't need any special instructions on sizing, templating, or anything else. Plus, if they are fair use rather than in the public domain (and, if I were a betting person, I'd bet the former), we'll have a leg to stand on (because fair use allows some use when it has educational value). -- John Broughton (♫♫) 02:25, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm mixed on if we should use them or not, but until we figure it out, I think we should just limit it to what we have now. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 04:53, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Three different questions here: 1) are they copyrighted in the first place? 2) if so, does their encyclopedic value outweigh our preference to avoid non-free images (my quick opinion, not in most cases), and 3) if not, are they appropriate on style grounds (again, my opinion is usually not - in those examples I think the signatures are a distraction more than a help to the article). Wikidemo (talk) 05:16, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Screenshots / promo images in TV episode list infoboxes

...when the scene/frame/appearance of characters is not discussed in the article are not allowable. Some Simpsons article editors are getting rather annoyed at their removal: Special:Contributions/Alientraveller, User_talk:Ed_g2s#Simpsons_episode_images. ed g2stalk 11:52, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I myself am not getting annoyed, but perhaps you should reconsider your own hasty actions if you feel they may be annoying editors. Now the policy states "Non-free content is used only where no free equivalent is available, or could be created, that would serve the same encyclopedic purpose", and therefore there is no other promotional image that could represent the entire episode. If we see the FA Pilot (Smallville), there is no particular commentary on the poster itself, but it acts to illustrate the whole episode when a non-free image couldn't. These images also have "the name of each article in which fair use is claimed for the item" and is used in a relevant article, and are unlikely to "replace the original market role of the original copyrighted media".
Now imagine, if we decided to change the no free equivalent policy. Where then, would a reader know what Batman or Optimus Prime look like, if their images cannot be used for identification of a copyrighted image? Alientraveller (talk) 12:12, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
"But look, this article uses non free images in this way" is never a valid argument; there are thousands of image uses violating this policy on Wikipedia. Nor is comparing this to the illustration of Batman/Optimus Prime, where the appearance of the characters is central to the article and (hopefully) discussed. You seem to be missing the point, which is that you have arbitrarily chosen screen grabs / promo images that you feel "illustrate" the whole episode. Unless these images themselves, or the appearance of elements within these images are the subject of critical commentary in the article, then we shouldn't use the images. ed g2stalk 12:18, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
So if film posters are not the subject of discussion, should they be deleted? No. They still illustrate primary characters or set design. For example, "Husbands and Knives" has an image of Coolsville and its owner. There is no other free equivalent for this one-shot character. Alientraveller (talk) 12:20, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Besides, if you're citing WP:OTHERCRAPEXISTS, be aware I was comparing two featured articles. Alientraveller (talk) 12:26, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm only here to point out one thing, as I've been in an image debate before and I don't particularly have time at the moment--school's coming to a close so I have lots of papers and final exams--to devote myself to such arguments, that the poster in "Pilot (Smallville)" is talked about. Well, the scene is talked about. It's mentioned in the "Plot and themes" section, the last three lines of the second paragraph are devoted to discussing this particular image. I just don't want any click-happy editors saying "thanks for pointing that out" and then deleting the image on the spot--and yes, I've seen admins literally delete the image and not orphan it to give editors a chance to correct any issues. To make one quick statement, the only problem I see with using screenshots in the identification part of the article (i.e. the infobox) is that it's an editor choice. Unlike film posters which generally encompass the idea of the whole film, screenshots become subjective. I think we need a way of determining the best approach to using such things as identification of the whole episode, because I've seen several episode pages that have an screenshot in the infobox and then one in the plot as well.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 12:51, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
In many cases, the image isn't just of some random thing. It's an image of a key plot point, or a promo imager that illustrates a key plot point. And you are just arbitrarily removing every image and I highly doubt you read the text to actualy see if the image is discussed. -- Scorpion0422 16:33, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
But I think the point that's being made is that who decides what is that "key plot point" as to make it the image to represent the episode? Any WP-editor based decision (whether one person or a consensus of editors) is introducing WP:OR. Now, if the show (in the case of the Simpsons, there's a few) has provided a promo piece to be used, that would be more reasonable - it's not a image chosen by WP editors. This is comparable with using book covers, CD covers, movie posters, and video game box covers for the infobox identification of the case - someone else besides WP has made that decision. But I do agree that while that image in the infobox can help to identify the episode at a glance, most of these TV articles have an image or two in the plot summary which visually is laid out right there on the same page and should be obvious for the viewer to see. --MASEM 17:00, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I think you're missing my point. My point is that the image is usually of an important point, and that important point is usually discussed in the text. Therefore, the image is discussed in the text. -- Scorpion0422 18:04, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't disagree that in most cases that the infobox screenshot is an important point discussed in the text, but my point is that whom decided that that important plot element is the important plot element of the episode? If it is a WPian editor, then it's OR, and thus the image should not be used in the infobox to represent the episode. --MASEM 23:13, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Media-related articles, such as those that cover contemporary fictional topics, are restricted to copyrighted images for the vast majority. Articles about film, music, comics, etc. generally implement a non-free image in some type of infobox to serve as identification. I cannot seem to find the wording that permits non-free images to identify the subject matter. Critical commentary seems to be the threshold but from what I can tell, it only applies when there is commentary specifically for the non-free image. The implication seems to me that WP:NFC dictates that no identifying non-free images are permitted, even in a case where there is plenty of real-world context in the media-related article. For example, at Fight Club (film), the film poster serves to identify the copyrighted topic at hand, but the wording of this policy doesn't seem to permit any identifying images like this. Unless I'm missing something, the implications of this are drastic and would have an incredibly corrosive effect on media-related articles. —Erik (talkcontrib) - 15:15, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I think we can argue that without a general identifying image, a reader's understanding of the topic will be affected. Humans like to see as well as hear, as it were. It'd be like having no images at all. Alientraveller (talk) 17:09, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

A nonfree screenshot in the infobox seems fine to me, per NFC:Acceptable images #1 and #5. #1: The image is used for identification in the context of critical commentary of the episode (episodes don't have cover art of course, but to me the promotional images serve that purpose in places like TV listings magazines). #5: The image is used as part of critical commentary and discussion of the episode. If other images are used in the main body of the article, they need to be supported by critical commentary. The concerns about arbitrarily chosen images could be applied to much more than screenshots: for example, nonfree images of deceased people are often arbitrarily chosen. With book covers, the most recent edition or the cover used where the uploader comes from are often uploaded. Bláthnaid 21:31, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

That's kind of what I was talking about in the section I created above, only about screenshots used in the infobox of the main show article. Since I haven't gotten a reply there yet, I'll ask again here: how is the use of these screenshots justified under our policy? I'm talking specifically about a screenshot of a show's title screen, used in the infobox of the main article. --CrazyLegsKC 23:02, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Just some general bits of 2¢...
As has been pointed out, the infobox image the "This is what this article is about" image. In some cases it easy to come up with, and to note in the FUR for the image. People, art, books, characters, films, television series, all of those are easy. And in most cases "common sense" turns down "I don't like..." arguments for replacing them.
Episodes of television series are another matter. Common sense would hold that the best image would be either a cap of the episode title card or, in cases where such a cap is only text, none. Such a title card fills the role of "This is what the article is about". No arguments, no fuss, no muss. The fact that for a large chunk of shows such cards don't exist, are only text, or are text with stock images or meaningless background make a 'box image retardant, at best.
The solution that is being employed with the articles for The Simpsons episodes, which isn't unique, falls short of the mark. One plot element generally does not embody the entirety of an episode. And that means such a usage of a non-free image is open to dispute, generally on the grounds of "It illustrates the notable plot element of <foo>? Then it should be in the article next to the text for that in the plot summary or, even better, critical commentary on that element." At which point the image should likely be moved. Not re-moved, but moved. And this is assuming that the uploader or another editor added a FUR with some semblance of a "Purpose for use".
As an aside to this, there is a possible way to include plot point images as 'box images — What do published episode guides use? If they use the images, cite it on the image page so that it's clear that it's not a Wikipedia editor assigning the notability.
Deletions and disagreements. IIUC, any image that isn't an egregious copyright-vio (manipulated/digitally changed to add or remove content for example) or purely, unequivocally decoration (galleries) is supposed to tagged at least two places in addition to the image page: notification to the uploader and notification to the articles using the image. This is to give a chance for the FUR and/or the placement to be fixed. If an editor is going to dispute an image, they should be doing it the right way. - J Greb (talk) 00:18, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

I just looked at a television show article with a title card screen shot and a cast member shot. Both were non-free with a proper fair use rationale and both added to the understanding of the article. I can see no reason not to allow title card screen shots in the infobox. -- SWTPC6800 (talk) 02:16, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Which article(s)? - J Greb (talk) 02:22, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't want to name the article. From what I have seen on this page is that any non-free image mention is in jeopardy of being deleted. -- SWTPC6800 (talk) 04:06, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Ah, are we on this boat again? Well i don't really care, but it would suit Ed if he didn't start again with TV shows. If he gets all movie posters in the infoboxes of films, albumcovers in albums and single covers removed first then i don't object to this either. But since that is never gonna happen, I OBJECT ! The anti-TV mentality has to stop. Yes there are a lot of idiots around on those pages but that doesn't make it your personal shooting range.. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 19:44, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

This issue on Deletion Review

A case concerning this issue has been brought to Wikipedia:Deletion review - see Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2007 December 10#Image:DW Fear Her.jpg. --Stormie (talk) 22:28, 11 December 2007 (UTC)