Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/Archive 38

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Help:Anchors for easy navigation

If would be nice if someone added anchors for easy navigation to the Wikipedia:Non-free_content#Images_2 section similar to what was done at Wikipedia:Non-free content criteria/span. Thanks. -- Suntag (talk) 19:17, 11 September 2008 (UTC)


I have made a request for {{Non-free media}} to be added to our CopyrightByWikimedia template. I see no known exemptions noted in Wikimedia's licencing policy or WP:NFCC, and since they are fully copyrighted they must be only used within our NFCC policies (and most uses of that template are for images with incidental usage of the Wikipedia logos, so that would be a NFCC 1 failure right there. Please see Template_talk:Non-free_Wikimedia_logo#Non-free_media. ViperSnake151 16:36, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Exception for living people: Clarification needed

The list of "unacceptable use" cases for images, after the entry that states the well-known prohibition of images of living individuals, currently has an interpretative remark added to it that says:

However, for some retired or disbanded groups, or retired individuals whose notability rests in large part on their earlier visual appearance, a new picture may not serve the same purpose as an image taken during their career, in which case the use would be acceptable.

While I can see some sense in this exception, I find that it tends to get misread and misrepresented in deletion discussions, in order to water down the rule. The exception as worded stresses that it applies only to people whose "notability ... rests on their visual appearance." This makes sense, and it mainly applies to people like actors, popular singers, models and other public performing professions. An actor or model is known for their looks; their visual appearance (both their physical looks and the styling of their appearance) is often an essential part of what makes them famous. But I've seen this clause claimed also for people where this is quite obviously not the case, for instance retired politicians or soldiers (most recently here). A retired politician might well be remembered best for what they did at a particular stage in their life, and an image from that time of their life may best represent the public memory of him. They were famous when they had these looks. But they weren't famous for these looks. Their visual appearance at that age wasn't what made them notable. Their visual appearance is an accidental, not an essential property of what they are known for.

I do not think the exception was ever meant for such cases; its wording doesn't cover them, if read correctly; and if it were in fact ever meant to apply to them I would strenuously oppose it (and I'm sure so would others), since it would mean a very significant cut back into the original rule.

How can this be clarified? To my mind, it ought not to be in need of clarification, since the wording is actually clear enough, but apparently it is, since people are hell-bent on reading something into it that's just not there. Suggestions?

Fut.Perf. 09:18, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Actually that doesn't encompass the argument and, sadly, there is a subtle indication of bad faith in those who are making such an argument i.e. that they're somehow trying to cheat the policy. There are several strands of argument, which I'm quite happy to open up for argument and debate. The argument for living people is that it is not allowed because there is always the possibility of obtaining a free image. However, with some retired individuals, for example in this case a Royal Navy officer who is the subject of an article, that is simply not possible. Their service is what makes them notable and an image out of uniform following retirement would not convey the same encyclopedic content. In addition, with uniformed individuals such as this case, their appearance at historic events is also what makes them notable. There are always cases where an image just doesn't fit neatly into a category that clearly defines it as permissible by policy or not and this is one of them IMHO. In those cases where it can't neatly be pigeon holed, then there needs to be debate and consensus agreement whether it fits or not. My suggestion is to open it up to the wiki process, it usually works. Justin talk 10:19, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
The presence of a person at an historic events may be an important part of the article. But if the image doesn't teach us anything relevant about that presence, you still have no case for it. (Of course, we are reenacting the same debate here as with the HMS Conqueror image the other day.) The image was taken at or near an important historic event, but it doesn't teach us anything about it. For understanding his role in the event, it doesn't matter what he looked like at that specific point in time. It doesn't matter what specific uniform garb he was wearing (we know without that that it would likely have been that of a British lieutenant, what else?), it doesn't matter in what precise spot of a field in the Falklands he stood at that moment and where he was looking. The only relevant encyclopedic interest we have for needing an image of the guy is to learn what he looks like, like with any other person we write about. And for that purpose, a recent photo of the 60-something year old who has just gone in retirement from his post as a senior officer will do just fine. (Obviously, the fact that you haven't yet found were to get one is irrelevant here.) – But anyway, that particular image isn't the issue here. What's at issue is this particular sentence of policy. It doesn't mean what you apparently think it means; I just want to see how we can clarify it. Fut.Perf. 10:38, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Actually it is, in my mind at least, very different to the Conqueror IFD, I was absolutely confident that the Conqueror picture conformed to policy and others clearly agreed with me. This one, well to be honest I believe it does but the policy is ambiguous in this area so I have some doubt and welcome further debate. And actually clarification could come in more than one form. Clarification could be that the image is appropriate within the policy guidelines and the EDP amended to include additional information to convey that information.
I fundamentally disagree with the premise that a photo out of uniform is somehow relevant, he is only notable for his military service and the campaigns he took part in. A photo is invaluable for conveying that sort of information. And sarcasm is not the best medium for convincing people of your argument. Justin talk 11:05, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't being sarcastic at all. What's so important about the uniform? We know what a uniform looks like, we don't need an image of him wearing it to understand that he wore one. Many people do their jobs in special clothes, special circumstances or special surroundings. So, if I write about a surgeon, can I only use an image where he wears his OP garb? If I write about a professor, can I only use an image in front of his class teaching? If I write about a footballer, can I only use an image of him playing, in his club's garb? Of course not. We know what these activities look like; showing them is independent from showing him as a person. Soldiers are no different at all. Fut.Perf. 11:17, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Actually in all of those cases, an image of a person in, as you put it, special clothes would enhance the encyclopedic content of the article. It tells us what they do and how they do it. I didn't say anywhere that that sort of the image is the only kind that can be used but their use does improve the article and makes for a better encycolopedia. Justin talk 12:22, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Which really settles the case, because in all those cases the project has decided, through years-long standing practice and consensus, that those images are out. If that of a soldier is not different from those, then the soldier is out too. Fut.Perf. 12:30, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
No it doesn't settle the case at all, because unless that person retires a free image would be possible. However, once they do retire and their notability depends upon their former career and their appearance is a factor, for example a uniformed soldier, we have an exemption to that policy; since the possibility of a free image no longer arises. Dare I say it, an exemption achieved through years-long standing practice and consensus. Unless that person or a compatriot provides a free image and provided editors make the effort to first obtain a free image, then a fair use image with an appropriate rationale is appropriate. Justin talk 12:41, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
The reductionism, which fails to recognise the importance of an image to communicate information and knowledge in a way which words along cannot do, threatens to seriously undermine the quality of the encyclopedia and prevent it from containing material which the reader would normally expect to find in a quality reference work. Ty 12:45, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Nothing personal, boys and girls, but the image will end up being deleted sooner or later. Both "tightening of nonfree use over time" and the usual "decisions that ignore policy get overturnt sooner or later". If you actually want such an image, you'd best keep looking for a free one. WilyD 12:57, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

To use the Clayton pic as the example: My gut belief is that its a great picture, it enhances the article, but it fails the NFCC. Now, that is not to say that I believe that deletion is the /right/ decision, just that I think it is the correct decision. With the restriction imposed on by permission images, and with the general ambiguity of the NFCC, people will always try to enhance the wiki using the means available and I don't think the editors should be blamed for trying to enhance the encyclopedia by their interpretation of NFCC. I'm not entirely sure the content on WP:NFC acctually gels with WP:NFCC that well, it just seems to open up more loopholes where one page is telling someone the image is correct and annother says no. --Narson ~ Talk 13:07, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

You make some good points Narson but to clarify my position, I do believe this image passes NFC policy but the policy is sufficiently ambiguous that I think that my interpretation is open to debate. Thats the nub of why image policy generates so much conflict, conflict arises where it is down to subjective judgement; two editors can read the same policy and come to radically different conclusions. Further clarification would clearly be helpful. There is also an element of a cultural clash where within the English language nations attitudes as to what is considered iconic varies. During the Conqueror IFD I noticed several editors referring to American images that illustrate iconic images. As a Scotsman, they meant nothing to me but equally images I considered iconic were dismissed. Where I do agree absolutely is that there is a mis-match between NFC and NFCC. I actually tend to the view that any policy/guideline can't cover all eventualities and where the is ambiguity that can be settled by community debate and consensus. Justin talk 13:59, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
The other thing that amazes me is that one admin closes image deletion when it is such a controversial thing. You'd think it would be better to go with a majority verdict from three closing admin or something (First three to comment once its run its length or such?). It would give the admin further cover and such, though I can see it increasing bureaucracy and such and being bad. Though yes, I do agree on the cultural issues but think it goes beyond the cultural interpretation of 'iconic' and such ther words, but down to individual cultural attitudes to free images and copyright that develop from national laws. --Narson ~ Talk 14:42, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
  • When I first raised my concerns about this exception in the rules to the policy on nonfree images of living persons, somebody raised the example of Shirley Temple and asked whether or not I would want to eliminate pictures of her as a child, for which there are currently no free alternatives available. While I absolutely hate this exception and the way it's written and I hate that it we will waste so much time drawing lines in the sand over what qualifies, I still don't believe we should delete the image of Shirley Temple. That image is unique, important and relevant to the encyclopedia entry about her life, achievements and celebrity.
  • So now we have this dumb rule that says certain nonfree images are exempted as long as they give some meaningful context about a person's early life. I think that needs an immediate overhaul. I think Future Perfect is correct, that the policy should be substantially narrowed to very specific allowances for certain nonfree images of living people and that we could all save ourselves a lot of grief if we had a brightline policy which told us where the line was, who qualified for it and why. Soldiers aren't famous for how they look, pictures of their uniforms aren't especially relevant to their biography and very few have ever been in a truly iconic nonfree image. The image of the soldiers raising the flag on Iwo Jima is one of the very few exceptions I can think of because those soldiers are famous for being in that picture. There's an article on the picture and thus it would qualify.
  • Doctors, mailmen and grocery store clerks all fall under the same general umbrella. We don't need pictures of them. We need to narrow this policy to clearly establish what images qualify and which should be deleted under policy. Again, I think FP's general outline should be followed and those measures should be codified into policy. Cumulus Clouds (talk) 04:49, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
    • By the way, we should also keep in mind that the living-persons rule is one of the few details of the NFC policy that is explicitly mandated also by the Foundation resolution [1]. It explicitly states that "almost all portraits of living notable individuals" are to be considered replaceable. We therefore cannot broaden whatever exceptions we have to a degree where the rule would no longer cover "almost all" living people. Exceptions must be interpreted extremely narrowly and restrictively. If we were to follow Justin's interpretation, where not just retired soldiers but also other retired professionals would potentially fall under such an exception, it would basically make the whole rule moot. His interpretation makes any retired professional who is notable for something done during his professional life a potential exception; that would be quite a substantial percentage of all biographies. Fut.Perf. 06:00, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Well the point that you guys seem to be missing is that the reason the living-persons rule exists is because with a living person it is always possible that a free image would be obtainable. One of the exceptions to that policy is when people have retired and their notability is linked to their profession. So contrary to what you are saying, I am not arguing for a general umbrella, I am arguing that a narrow and restrictive exemption for uniformed professionals where a non-free image is not available is within policy. Would you both please cease from trying to distort the discussion and address the topic at hand.
Yes I consider refining the examples in policy would be helpful and would help clarify matters. However, I have to add that no policy can be so prescriptive so as to cover all eventualities. In cases where it is debatable whether an image falls within policy guidelines, to my mind the best means of resolution is to use the wiki process. Justin talk 09:27, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I didn't mischaracterise anything. You clearly confirmed that the case of a uniformed soldier was no different than that of a surgeon or footballer. Thus, you cannot possibly now advocate a narrowly specified exception for "uniformed" professionals only. (Unless you wanted it as an arbitrary privilege for your pet area of editing.) I summarised your position as covering "any retired professional notable for something done during his professional life"; you just summarised the same position as covering "people [who] have retired and their notability is linked to their profession". That's the same thing; my summary was correct. It is not a narrow exception, it would make for an extremely broad exception, coming close to making the exception the rule. Also you just now claimed that exception already exists in policy. It does not, unless you are prepared to read into the words of the policy the opposite of what they actually mean. The policy as it stands DOES NOT say "notability linked to profession" (and it never will); it says "notability rests on visual appearance" (which obviously means: individual physiognomy, individual style; not just standard apparel typical of a profession). Fut.Perf. 11:00, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes you are, if you want to pick up on the fact that I didn't phrase something particularly well and play semantic games fine. I pointed out several critical elements - a) uniformed professional b) retired c) no free image unavailable and d) the image of a uniformed professional is part and parcel of creating and encyclopedic article about such a person i.e. "notability rests on visual appearance". This is clearly the case with a soldier, a uniform is part of the defining characteristic of a soldier. You're portraying that interpretation as opening the flood gates for virtually anyone. Well it doesn't. Justin talk 15:54, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
A uniform is a characteristic attribute of a soldier, but it is not an essential property of this individual soldier, in the way Shirley Temple's face as a child is an essential feature of her individual identity as an actor. (In fact, it is the very nature of a uni-form that it is not individual at all. The whole point of is is that they all wear the same.) And you still haven't explained why you suddenly want this applied to uniformed personnel but not to football players or doctors, whose work is also connected with a special visual outfit. We still disagree on what "rest on" means. Please, an honest question: do you think you understand what I'm saying? Are you getting my point and just ignoring it, or do you genuinely not understand what I'm trying to say? Because frankly, I have the feeling I'm talking to a wall, and that's frustrating. Fut.Perf. 16:17, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
This evening I did a simple thought experiment and asked a few people what sprang into their mind if I asked them what defined a soldier. To a man they all replied uniform. I realise that is not particularly scientific but it does neatly illustrate what I mean. The uniform is one of the essential things that define a soldier and that is an essential feature of their identity. And I haven't just suddenly decided it applies to uniformed personnel but not to football players, I've consistently argued for that all along. The difference being a uniform, which is a striking visual image, is central to those individuals If you care to look back the extension to footballers etc was not mine, I simply answered your question honestly. A soldier is always seen in uniform, a footballer etc is not.
I do understand what you're saying, I just don't happen to agree with it and you haven't convinced me you're right. I've listened to what you said, considered the arguments and remain unconvinced. I have to say though, that sarcasm, hyperbole and general condescension is never the best way to convince people of your argument. What you don't seem to understand is that it is perfectly reasonable for two people to read the same policy and come different, even radically different, conclusions. Justin talk 21:35, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

After wading through the above semantics argument....We have two issues that have cropped up here, first is the closure of an IfD and the other is the ongoing interpretation ping-pong game about the non-free content policy. For the IfD I'll probably run it through DrV tommorrow when I have more time to write (personally I think the image should be deleted though my reading is that consensus at the discussion was that it met the policy). There are people whose image, at a certain time or place, is the way that they are seen in the public mind, and another depiction lacks much from an encyclopaedic POV. Shirley Temple as a child actor, Winston Churchill and Gandhi later in life and Charlie Chaplin as the Tramp come to mind. For these examples it is difficult to argue that use of a non-free image (if no free one was available) would be unacceptable use. The issue comes when obvious cases are used to argue that this can be used to encompass footballers, soldiers, politicians and others. My 2c on this is: Images of the person, as the non-free image is seeking to display them, must be both widely used in independent depictions of the person and either the majority or consensus way of depicting them. What I mean is that the image (say CC in his movie getup) must be largely the way that they are portrayed by the media. If there is no widespread and fairly fixed media view of the person then us using a non-free image is just cherry picking what we see as iconic, not what the independent reliable sources see as such, and all we are doing is decorating rather than educating. In the case of the soldier in the IfD I cannot find what imagery was or is used by the media to depict him, but given his long career it is unlikely that the imagery from 1982 overshadowed later ones—as such a free image of him from now, would be no more or less useful than one from 26 years ago. - Peripitus (Talk) 12:35, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

  • As an aside, I'd also like to point out that broadening this policy to include more, as opposed to less, fair use images will substantially lessen the motivation for editors to seek out free use images when they can just as easily perform a google search. Due dilligence often yields a sympathetic subject who releases their images into the public domain or allows editors to take free pictures so they may be used on Wikipedia. Broadening this policy does not aid in those endeavours and instead will weaken our core mission of providing totally free content and media. Cumulus Clouds (talk) 15:30, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
As I noted above, I'm arguing that the uniform of a professional soldier is what makes the difference, since it is part of the defining characteristic of what makes them a soldier. The issue here is that once they retire it is no longer possible to obtain a free image and so to my understanding it conforms to the exception in the image policy. Think of it this way, think of what it is that defines a soldier and I'd be very surprised if the uniform isn't one of the first things you think of. In the case at hand, as a retired individual a suitable free image was not available - that is why a non-free image was used. I'm arguing that to be permitted under policy it would have to pass 4 hurdles. To repeat a) uniformed professional b) retired c) no non-free image and d) the uniform is essential to the professional image. Yes the image could be better and yes an image from later in his career would be better for the particular example above but we don't have one and a significant effort went into trying to get one.
And I disagree that this is broadening the policy so much that it opens the floodgates for a plethora of non-free images, nothing could be further from the truth. The test is still there that a non-free image is unavailable and I'm arguing for nothing that isn't permissible within the bounds of current policy. I'm not arguing to broaden policy but to narrow the definition for a particular area where the policy as written is ambiguous. Actually I find the implication that editors aren't going the extra mile to get a free image quite offensive, as I happen to know that Ryan made significant efforts to do just that. Justin talk 15:54, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Please let's keep the issue of availability of recent images and the issue of the significance of the uniform apart. Those are two different, independent issues. Incidentally, I notice that Mr C., the person whose photograph sparked this debate, had a comrade-in-arms, who originally stood right next to him in the very photograph we were talking about (but was cropped out), and who then went on to have a similar career, and is also now retired. We have an article on him, created by the same editor, here. And guess what? That article happily sports a free photograph of the person in his old age, wearing civilian clothes. Now, let me just get this straight: If you could get an image like this for Mr. C., would you still insist you need the 1982 unfree one? Fut.Perf. 16:10, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
No you can't divorce the two, the image of the uniform is significant for a former member of the armed forces. Its an intrinsic part of defining what they are. I personally happen to think a crop from that image showing him in uniform would have been much better for Michael Harris (Royal Navy officer). You will also note that I have repeatedly commented that Ryan has made extensive efforts to get a free image, here he managed to find one and the originator uploaded it. The image in the Harris article is far from satisfactory for the reasons outlined but free nontheless, hence, that failed the test that a free image was available did it not? We do favour use of unsatisfactory free images over a non-free when available don't we? Or am I confusing that aspect of policy? I'd welcome the advice because if the cropped image would be suitable I'd prefer to use that for the reasons outlined. Justin talk 16:44, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Whether a free image is actually available isn't a test, never has been, never will be. Actual availability plays no role at all. The possibility, in principle, of getting one is the only thing that counts. The very fact that your friend could make these efforts at getting one and realistically hope to be successful – and actually be successful in that similar case – shows that it is in principle possible; that he has so far been unsuccessful in this case is bad luck but irrelevant. Your claim to to the old image worked only if you could plausibly maintain that you would insist on needing it even if a present-day image was available. Once you've conceded that you would, however grudgingly, accept a present-day photo instead, the old one is out, definitely. Fut.Perf. 17:07, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
On the IFD you stated "Really, we ought to make it a rule that nobody is allowed to invoke "irreplaceability" for a non-free image unless they can demonstrate they've exhausted these entirely obvious alternatives first., well that effort was made and managed to acquire a free image for one article, it didn't for the other. In fact, I am struck by the Catch 22 element that if you're partially successful that would somehow exclude the articles where you were unsuccessful!!! Being honest the later photograph is unsuitable as its an image where the subject is not in uniform. My argument would be for the picture in uniform for the reasons I've already outlined and I'd insist on it if I was absolutely confident of my interpretation of policy - but as I've already indicated the policy is ambiguous. I haven't actually, grudgingly or otherwise, accepted a present day photo as suitable; I actually think it is unsuitable. However, I'm not confident enough in my position to swap a free image for a non-free one. If, as you seem to be saying, my argument was correct and the non-free image is permissible I'd use it. Justin talk 22:26, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Justin, you are arguing against long-standing consensus. Yes, I know that WP:CCC but consensus has never allowed the broadening of the non-free criteria. As an example of a non-free image tied to appearance that is allowed, see "Weird Al" Yankovic, whose early schtick included his nerd-like glasses. However, he got laser eye surgery, so it no longer became possible to create a free image of him with his original trademark look; thus the non-free image is allowed because the actual physical appearance of the man was important to his career. Although we have a free photo of Jennifer Grey from before she got her nose job, that would be another acceptable use because her nose job was notable for affecting her career. howcheng {chat} 16:20, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I appreciate the comment but what I'm arguing is that the image in a uniform is part of the defining characteristic of a soldier. An image of someone is therefore tied to their physical appearance. To be honest I can see where you're coming from and that the policy is sufficiently ambiguous that two reasonable people could read it and come to different, separate and contradictory conclusions. However, I believe my interpretation is quite reasonable within the boundaries of the EDP as currently written. I really don't think this is broadening the non-free criteria and I'm not arguing that consensus over-rides policy; it doesn't. What I am arguing, forgive if I'm somehow unclear, is that where policy is ambiguous debate and consensus has a part to play in establishing whether an image complies with policy. I hope that makes it clearer. Justin talk 16:44, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

I think all sides of the issue are understood, but the problem still remains. No matter which side of the debate you are on, it is clear that there is some ambiguity about the intent and it could be better phrased. Are there any suggestions for rephrasing? I tried one and it was resoundingly shot down. Let's hear them! — BQZip01 — talk 01:05, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Indeed, this [2] change, would have been quite unacceptable, as the consensus in the debate clearly shows. Mere change in appearance is most certainly not enough. I wasn't aware of that earlier discussion, but it clearly shows there is a consensus against watering this rule down. I've been racking my brains myself on how to clarify it, but I can't think of anything much better than the current wording, short of adding yet more lists of illustrative examples and counter-examples. In fact, there is no ambiguity in the wording at all; there's just readers who fail to pay attention to the precise meaning of the words. Fut.Perf. 05:16, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Is there anything wrong with the four hurdles that I was proposing? Justin talk 20:09, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Special exception privilege for uniformed soldiers is unacceptable. Also, we can't have criteria of actual availability of replacements mixed in. Fut.Perf. 20:15, 13 September 2008 (UTC)
Well TBH its not designed as an exception policy, it was intended to clarify current policy. Justin talk 20:28, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

On the unacceptable use on image section #12 (2.2.3), the following is worded:

However, for some retired or disbanded groups, or retired individuals whose notability rests in large part on their earlier visual appearance, a new picture may not serve the same purpose as an image taken during their career, in which case the use would be acceptable.
This is both vague and concerning. The way it's written, it sounds like a fair use pic of a baseball player (or whatever occupation you want to put here) while active is just as acceptable as a free pic of the same person retired. This seems to go against the point of what non-free images are supposed to be used for. Or maybe I'm just interpreting it poorly. Thoughts? Wizardman 20:39, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
LOL did you look at this page before posting that? This is already being talked about above. 20:43, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Heh, didn't see that. Well, I guess I have the same worries Fut Perf does. Wizardman 23:41, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
The current absurdity of the NFCC - and a perfect example of this point - is illustrated at the entry for Hall of Fame golfer Mike Schmidt... What? He's not a golfer? But then why does his "encyclopedia" picture... oh, never mind. I forgot - Wikipedia is obviously not an encyclopedia, because an actual encyclopedia would never show a picture of a baseball player golfing and consider that to be acceptable. Misleading? Yes. "Free?" Yes. Acceptable encyclopedic content? Uh... no. PLEASE someone, Jimbo, Betacommand, Abu Badali, Chowbok, Howcheng, Future Perf, anyone -- kill "fair use"/NFC on Wikipedia. Have the guts to make the committment so many enthusiastic "enforcers" of policy want to make to "free" content. Remember - if we go "German", all this drama goes away... Recloaking... Jenolen speak it! 08:00, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

In need of a points of clarification

This is with regard to Wikipedia:Non-free content#Unacceptable use Images in general, and #8 in particular.

How does this relate to elements of fiction — characters, vehicles, locations, etc — for which a free use image isn't possible due to the element still being under copyright and/or trademark?

The general reason for the question is in relation to comic book character articles. Currently, covers are used with in the articles, in whole or in part, but not necessarily in relation to a specific issue or series.

Second point, does point two apply to more than just covers?

That is, again in relation to comics, would it be permissible to crop a page or panel to focus on one element? (This is assuming that the same restriction for covers does not extend to the interior pages and art of a comic issue.)

Last one, has there been any consensus as to what is acceptable cropping methods for non-free images?

I'm assuming that a traditional, rectangle format trim is acceptable, but what about cut-outs (with either blacked or whited out backgrounds) or desaturated backgrounds?

- J Greb (talk) 22:55, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

  • With regards number eight, the line taken has been that comic book characters, alongside animated characters, are visual entities where a visual representation significantly enhances the understanding of the reader as to the precise nature of the character. To accurately describe a visual character is a very hard task; as is noted in the Superman article his cape is without precedent, so explaining it and catching the nuances of a visual character through the medium of text alone is perhaps improbable, whilst a visual image can achieve an understanding in the reader in seconds. So that's how images from comic books have been used; choose the ones that best exemplify those features which have been noted by independent sources about the character. For example, a character from the Superman mythos may be best presented in an image alongside Superman, since this is a noted relationship. A comic book cover is generally best used, because that conveys the origins of the character and evokes an understanding of the medium within which the character is placed and communicated. A cover will help convey information within the article concerning publication history.
  • With regards umber two, covers are designed by the publisher for public viewing, to sell the book; they're not kept under-cover, they're not the product being sold; that's the interior, the story, so with a cover you're on better grounds with number two. Number two prevents the use of images from licensed or in-house guides to these fictional universes, since we are inhibiting their ability to exploit such a commercial avenue. Interior art requires a stronger rationale; the panel in question needs to detail a point made in an article; for example, the storyline in which Superman "dies" is discussed at Superman; a scene from the comic adds to our coverage.
  • With regards cropping, we're falling into conflict between 3a and 8. Use as much as is significant, but no more. So work out which image covers the most aspects of an article, and use that one, cropping anything felt superfluous. I can't see anything in the policy which suggests how to crop. Fair use constraints would again apply, I would suggest; personally I would prefer no whited out or desaturated backgrounds, since they seem to be decorative rather than critical decisions, but I don't think either policy or law prevents them; I believe there's a tradition for whiting out in the print media; not so sure on desaturation. So my view is to use covers wherever possible, and as few per article as possible. Interior art only when the specific scene or storyline is under discussion. Hiding T 09:27, 17 September 2008 (UTC)


I need some input on this... how exactly does NFC policy and guideline hand artworks that are:



- J Greb (talk) 23:14, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

All this stuff depends strongly on usage. Most problematic nonfree content runs afoul of either NFCC#2, #3 or #8. Convention sketch commissions are unpublished, and fall afoul of #4, unless they're paid, in which case the situation is more complicated. Probably it'll never be reliably untangled, but if one wants to use that kind of stuff, they need to get the artist to sign a release at the time.
If spec art is only likely to ever be published through the artist's website, and is being given away for free, I'll do well on #2. Other criteria will depend on usage.
Professional art on an artist's website is published. If it's a sneak preview of an upcoming comic, it's probably not very respectful of commercial opportunity to use it. If it'll never be used elsewhere, then it'll do better.
Commissioned works published through an artist's website - again, what are they commissioned for? How does this impact their market value? And all the other criteria.
Fanart that depicts copyrighted characters is still copyrighted. There is not a significant difference here, except that we may only be infringing up against the comic company's copyright, not the specific artist's to boot. WilyD 10:33, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
The basic consideration is that if these works have been drawn to resemble (or to give an impression of) somebody else's work, then in copyright terms they are derivative works, and therefore not free. So, this is the most important point, any use of any such such image must pass all the tests of WP:NFC.
A second issue is to ask also whether they are encyclopedic. If these are not authorised images of the characters, then why are we showing them instead of the actual character images as published? Almost always I would have thought that the latter would have more encyclopedic value. (There might conceivably be a case where the art has been done by the official artist, does show their conception of the character, and for whatever reason the work shows what the article wants to show more clearly than any more canonical image... but I would think this would be very rare).
My view would be that editors should in general prefer other images, unless in the article there is an important point that relates specifically to the image shown -- eg unless it is a really significant point for the reader's understanding of the topic to know that artist A submitted a spec image, but the publishers decided not to go down this route because of reasons X, Y, Z that can be seen in the artwork; or something like that.
And if there is a reason that such an image is being used, that reason should be argued in detail in the image's use rationale. Jheald (talk) 10:44, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
The spec image use Jheald describes is one of the few examples where I can see fan art being used. The other two would be:
  • In an article about "fanart" itself to provide an example, but that's even a weak reason; image would need to be one of the best representations of the class.
  • In an article about the fan artist who has been shown notable, has only ever done derivative works, and his style has commentary that can be described in the article body. If he's done more than derivative works, no need to bury copyright further; if there's no special points of note on its style, fails #8. --MASEM 13:15, 17 September 2008 (UTC)


This page is, understandably, focused on NFC and images, and to a lesser extent sound files. I wonder whether I'm right in thinking that Wikiquote is heaving with copyrighted text in ways that infringe the NFC policy. The issue has been brought to a head, in my view, by tension at Wikipedia:Wikimedia_sister_projects over the role of links to sibling WIkiMedia projects. Is there a problem where WP articles link to Wikiquotes that infringe copyright?

A concomitant question I'd like to sort out, which you may be able to answer easily, is whether an exernal link to a YouTube file that clearly infringes copyright should be removed from a WP article. Tony (talk) 05:12, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

For the easy one, yes, pull the YouTube link. On the Wikiquote issue, I've had the same question myself, but Wikiquote's copyright status is clearly under the "foundation issue" umbrella, and it is therefore not our jobs as editors to determine whether they infringe or not.
A better question is why Wikiquote exists in the first place, since creating "the database of precise word-for-word quotations that anyone can edit" seems like an exercise in futility, to say the least. --erachima talk 05:26, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikimedia's counsel, Mike Godwin, may be able to set your mind at rest.[3] The editing skill at WQ is concerned with finding, selecting and ordering, and of course referencing, with the goal, presumably, of equalling or surpassing the best in the field. Ty 06:11, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Ty. Interesting link. I can't say that I find Mike's argument compelling. The nub of it is this:

If we were contacted by a copyright holder with a complaint about

Wikiquote, of course, we would attempt to respond within reason to resolve the complaint without anyone's having to resort to litigation. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act actually provides for services like Wikiquote a way of resolving copyright complaints without serious risk of litigation through its notice-and-takedown procedures. I'm not aware of any DMCA notices regarding Seinfeld quotations on Wikiquote.

I presume that the DMC Act is a US statute. But so what? The goal that WP should be freely copiable around the world means that in many respects, statutory and common law governing fair-use are insufficient for our purpose. WQ itself promotes the idea that it takes copyright seriously; its copyright policy is clear:

* Don't infringe copyrights. Wikiquote is a free compendium licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. Submitting work without the copyright holder's permission threatens our objective to build a truly free compendium of quotations that anyone can redistribute, and could lead to legal liability for the project. See Wikiquote:Copyrights for more information.

The internal link to Wikiquote:Copyrights is discomforting. It's a "draft policy", and in any case refers back to WP copyright policy, "which also applies to Wikiquote". Ahemmm. We're looking in a mirror, guys. I love the invitation at the top of that page to "Help Copyright Cleanup". WQ appears to have an immature and chaotic approach to the matter.

So when I see rafts of quotations under Patrick White, some as long as this, I wonder where the limit is in terms of copyright. This is one of nine quotations from a single speech in 1983:

I don't think I am ghoulish in saying that I would like them, and every morally responsible citizen of the world, particularly my fellow Australians of the World War II period, to refresh their memories by referring regularly to the photographic record of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki happening— the rags of human flesh, the suppurating sores, the despair of families blown apart, the disturbed minds, the bleak black gritty plains where the homes of human beings like you and me once stood. Most of all, I would like every Australian couple born since Hiroshima and Nagasaki were blasted out of existence to consult these photographic records and for ever after do all in their power to prevent the children they are creating from suffering a fate similar to that thrust upon the children of those two Japanese cities. Let us rouse ourselves and realise this is what we shall have to face.

White, a Nobel laureate, died as recently as 1990, and I believe the copyright is held by Random House. I wonder how the prominent link in our article on White to WQ's casually indifferent plundering of copyrighted material is consistent with WP's NFCC, if we should remove external links to copyrighted YouTube material from WP articles.

This goes to the heart of whether we should allow links to WQ in our articles, and, if you please, on the main page. Tony (talk) 12:43, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

With long non-free quotes like that, it likely should not exist on WQ, though it can exist on WP presuming the speech is a significant one per White and implicit justification for the material can be presumed (there needs to be critical commentary about that speech, not just because its a nice color quote from the speaker). WQ, because it presents quote bare of any other details, needs to be much more restrictive on what it allows and doesn't allow. A sentence from a copyrighted work is very likely ok, but when you start getting to paragraphs or long lines of dialog, then that's a problem. Technically, WQ should be following a similar NFC plan as WP does with NFC per the Foundation's non-free content resolution but the best I can find so far is WQ:COPY which means that they at least do have a review mechanism in place for excessively quoted material.
So for WP, what does this mean? Should we remove a link to WQ if there is a major copyvio on the page? IMO No, presuming that there are other, much shorter and more appropriate quotes on the WQ page; instead we should go to the WQ page and remove the offending passage. Only in the case if the WQ page is pretty much completely clear as a full copyvio should we remove the WQ and remove the WQ page at the same time. --MASEM 13:13, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
The quotations on the White page are nevertheless very limited compared to the original books; have no obvious commercial significance; and are being presented for a purpose significantly different from the original.
So they may have quite a good fair use case under U.S. law.
I don't think we should go over to WQ and start mass-removing content. It's for WQ, not us, to set their community norms; and, as with any legal issue on any wiki-project, it's the Foundation which has the ultimate say.
If Mike Godwin is okay with WQ, it's not for us to second-guess him. If we really think there's a problem, and we think the WQ guidelines and procedures are inadequate, then it's up to us to flag it with the WQ community, and ultimately go with whatever turns out to be the Foundation's judgment. But we shouldn't just go storming in with hobnailed boots and start deleting stuff without reference to anybody. Jheald (talk) 14:24, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Who suggested doing that? Tony (talk) 15:30, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
If it's a major copyvio (a poem or work quoted in full) it should be removed from WQ, but any borderline cases (eg the passages used in the example above), they should be marked as per WQ copyright checking policies and let the WQ process deal with it. --MASEM 15:49, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
  • It may be of interest to those who have posted above to learn that on English Wikiquote we are addressing these problems. We have a copyright cleanup project assigned to work on all the pages that have been tagged for copyright concerns. After completing these pages, we will then go on to work on the pages with the largest KB, and so on. We are also having a discussion for revising article guidelines, including the matter of maximum quotes per book, movie, TV shows, etc. Once these guidelines are achieved, we will then go on to apply them to every article. We have also been discussing these matters at Meta. Wikiquote has a very small group of regular editors, which will limit the speed of our efforts; but the guidelines, as they have worked out so far, will eventually make our work easier and more consistent. - InvisibleSun (talk) 18:55, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
That is good to hear, Sun; not a moment too soon that the infrastructure be established, either. Your observation that there aren't many editors at WQ is all the more reason this appalling DVD project should be stopped forthwith and the editorial resources it is sucking up allocated to where they're really needed. Tony (talk) 09:44, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

United Nations Photo (

Can photo's be use from United Nations under this guideline«JavierMC»|Talk 06:45, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

No. "Prior written permission is required to reproduce UN photos in print or electronic format…" This is absolutely unacceptable to Wikipedia. Wikipedia accepts only a license that allows reuse by anyone for anything.teb728 t c 07:16, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Hmm. OK. So any media used on Wikipedia can be used anywhere, anytime, and by anybody, for any purpose. Good to know. I wonder why there is disputes about removing images in a gallery if they could be used anywhere, anytime and for any purpose. Isn't that kind of self-contradiction? But of course I bow to those with more knowledge than I. Cheers.--«JavierMC»|Talk 08:39, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Oops. I didn't pay enough attention to what forum I was answering on. Wikipedia does accept some non-free content, but its use is quite restricted. The use must comply with all the conditions at Wikipedia:Non-free content criteria. Such non-free use is under "fair use"; so the UN guideline is irrelevant. —teb728 t c 08:55, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Here is the reply I should have given originally. The UN guideline says it allows fair use, limited to scholarly, academic, non-profit, or journalistic use. I guess you were asking if Wikipedia accepts such limited permission. Wikipedia does not. But Wikipedia may still allow some use of UN content without UN permission under US fair use law and further limited by this Wikipedia guideline – particularly its policy section. —teb728 t c 09:40, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
The actual basis for my question was whether or not I could download this image and upload it to Wikipedia for use on Carles Font-Rossell to replace the no image there. But before I did so, I wanted to know if this was appropriate, after having read the UN guideline and thinking that fair use and non-profit applied in this case. It seemed to me a photo taken while a UN session was going on and by a UN photographer and then published on the UN website, it would be free of encumberance. Hence, why I asked for verification. Images and other media is one aspect of Wikipedia where I choose to not be BOLD, yet very cautious.--«JavierMC»|Talk 10:22, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
No, it cannot be used there. Since he is still living, someone could take a photo of him and release it under a free license (so it fails WP:NFCC1). You could also try just emailing him (if his contact information is available) and asking if he would release a photo of his own (see WP:COPYREQ). Many people will do this if asked. Calliopejen1 (talk) 12:37, 18 September 2008 (UTC)


Criterion 5 is Non-free content meets general Wikipedia content requirements and is encyclopedic. To what "general Wikipedia content requirements" is this referring? Does it mean "content standards" as implicitly defined by the header in the {{Policy list}}, or is it kind of just "puff" verbiage essential redundant to "is encyclopedic"? Эlcobbola talk 16:15, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

The first. An image can't be used in an attempt to bypass any other policy- you can't simply say "don't say I'm breaking NPOV/NPA/RS/OR/ALPHABETSOUP, as this is an image, not text". Or that's what I've always took it to mean. J Milburn (talk) 16:08, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Does it make sense, then, to tweak the criterion wording from requirements to standards for consistency? Эlcobbola talk 16:28, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
I would have no problem with this, though I would wait for some more thoughts on the matter before going ahead with this. It's possible I've misinterpreted this rarely mentioned criterion. J Milburn (talk) 16:45, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
I implemented the change as no additional input has been forthcoming. If it's reverted, we can, of course, discuss further. Эlcobbola talk 16:27, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Bot to enforce this policy?

Is there a bot to enforce this policy by removing images from articles that aren't listed in valid fair-use rationales? On a related note, do we have any mechanisms for finding images that have excessive numbers of {{Non-free use rationale}} or {{Non-free image rationale}} transclusions? (And how many articles is "excessive", anyway?) — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 20:50, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

  • We *did* have user:BetacommandBot, but due to some Arbitration case, it had to be shut down. User:BJBot does the first job though. ViperSnake151 20:52, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't believe there is any limit on the number of times that an image can be used non-freely in articles, with only the situation that each use must be given its own separate rationale. That said, I can't see any possible image having much more than 3 to 4 different uses where each use is justifiably required, simply because I can't see a picture representing a topic per NFCC#8 - significance that many times over. --MASEM 21:15, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
    • It would be useful to be able to see a list of images that appear in more than a few articles. Generally, if it appears in more than three or four articles, at least one of them is going to be under a poor claim of fair use. Recent examples I've seen have included copy-paste rationales, which tell us nothing about why the image is being used, just claiming that its use "increases the reader's understanding of the subject". This is obviously useless, and completely defeats the point of having a fair use rationale in the first place. It would also be nice if someone else experienced with bots did the decent thing and wrote another one that will do what BCB used to do- there is no logical reason not to have a bot to remove non-compliant images. J Milburn (talk) 21:36, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
    • (ec) I have started a thread at Wikipedia:Media copyright questions#Excessive use of sport team logos, where I am concerned that some logo images are being used on several dozen articles each, with potential for over a hundred instances (when all per-season articles for all sports are written). — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 21:37, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
  • If anything, logos shouldn't need a rationale because they have the same use in every article they're used in, to identify the/a subject of an article with a image recognizable as being associated with the subject. I propose an overhaul to {{Non-free logo}}, to not require a fair use rationale for use in the article of its subject.

This could take a load off though. ViperSnake151 22:35, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

This is a good idea, if logos can truly be used on dozens of pages for identification purposes. Take a look at Image:Ohio State buckeyes logo.png, which already has an unwieldy list of FU rationales, and is actually used on about 4× that number of articles. I would like to see a formal blessing (or not) of the usage on individual per-season articles before the other hundred past seasons are created... — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 23:00, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
As a partial answer to the original question: there's now FairuseBot (talk · contribs), run by Carnildo, which does a few such things. Fut.Perf. 22:40, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
Last I checked we where writing an ensyclopedia here, not a sports almanac. IMHO we should not have seperate articles about individual seasons unless something truly notable happened there that somehow doesn't fit in the article about the club itself. If people absolutely need to create tables of results at least make it one big list or something instead of dozens of articles with just a small table and maybe some unsourced "blow by blow" commentary on individual games. That way fewer articles = less FUR's to write. --Sherool (talk) 00:01, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, Wikipedia:Five pillars states that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia incorporating elements of general encyclopedias, specialized encyclopedias, and almanacs. There are tens of thousands of pages that fall into that category. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 00:14, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Well yeah we can incorporate material from almanacs, but we are not making one. Also per WP:NOT#INDISCRIMINATE articles made up entierly of statistics is discouraged. If we absolutely need to republish all manner of sports results I think one big "results" list per division/league or whatever would be quite sufficient. Whatever supplementary information there is about controversies, performances and such should be merged into the main club or athlete articles instead (if actualy notable). --Sherool (talk) 12:13, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Whether or not the individual season articles themselves are appropriate or not, I would say that the use of the logo on them is almost purely decorative (and therefore not permitted under the non-free content policy). The policy basically allows us to use the logo to let our readers know what it looks like — no more and no less. In this case, no-one interested in finding out what the logo looks like is going to go to those articles to look for it; they'll expect to find it in the main team article, if anywhere. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 15:24, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Absolutely. A logo is generally appropriate only in the article on the subject it represents (even then, not always) or anywhere the logo itself is discussed. The use of logos in [organisation] in [year] articles is not appropriate, unless the logo itself is discussed (perhaps it was changed that year, and the article has a section discussing the logo change). J Milburn (talk) 16:12, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Those were my thoughts, and I'm happy to see some affirmation of that in this discussion thread. I shall drop a note at WP:WikiProject College football to notify those editors. — Andrwsc (talk · contribs) 17:41, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Film and animation cells

What is the stance on the scans of cells in these mediums? I've been told that they don't constute as a screenshot. But I don't see the difference between a cell and a freezeframe of that idenical scene in the finished product. Sarujo (talk) 01:14, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

Each cell can probably be considered a seperate work, and while the copyright owner is generaly ultimately the same (whoever is paying the artist) this raise some complications such as was the cell ever actualy published? It's my understanding that while cells are often sold, auctioned off or given as prizes and such this is not actualy considered publication even though the cell is incorporated in the final published movie. Unpublished works are "icky" copyright wise since it's very limited what you can do under fair use if something was never published by the owner. If a screencap would server the same purpose it's much better to just use that. --Sherool (talk) 07:16, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
What I'm referring is cells from the Dragon Ball franchise like this, this, this, and this. I wanted to use the last one for the Bulma article. As I felt it was a more professional depiction of the character at that frame of time that was not derivative work. The two images currently used in the article are also animation cells dressed up to appear as screenshots. There are, as I know of, a few more articles that use these types of images. But there could be others.
Your stating that these cell have no copyright status. But as I recall, copyright law clearly states that any kind depiction of a licensed character whether it be a cell, toy, plush, screenshot, or unauthorized fan art is by default property of the copyright holders. So regardless of who's in possession of the cell the ownership is still the copyright holders, which in this case is Bird Studios/Shueisha and Toei Animation. Like the Bugs Bunny short Falling Hare, that is in the public domain. But it still copyrighted as it is a feature of Bugs Bunny a character copyrighted under Warner Bros. Pirated video games of popular characters also still fall under the character's copyright holder despite being an unauthorized production. The same can be said about dōjinshi comics who were not authorized by their holders, nor get published.
As I also remember that the unauthorized Beast Wars guild book in chapters discussing the two Japanese animated Beast Wars series use original film cells scans instead of screenshots. Which I think they called them cells that had been auction off. Sarujo (talk) 21:34, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

So I'm to take it that no one's going to respond to my statments up here? Sarujo (talk) 19:25, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

The cells will still be copyrighted yes, but the problem is that Wikipedia's non-free content policy require that any non-free material we use have been previously published by the copyright holder (and not merely scanned and uploaded by some 3. party who happened to get their hands on them though whatever means). If the subject of an article is some kind of notable work that is itself a unauthorized derivative of some kind we could probably agree that a minor exception is in order to illustrate the subject, but in this case there is no shortage of officialy published images of the characters in question so better to use that even if you think they don't look quite as good. --Sherool (talk) 20:34, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

"Non-free" is poor English

Can someone suggest an alternative? "Non-free" and "unfree" are terrible English, and straight out of the novel 1984 - literally! --MacRusgail (talk) 14:54, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

The distinction is between "free content" and "non-free content". That's the best phrasing to describe that distinction. --MASEM 14:55, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
"Images and other media that do not meet Wikipedia's definition of 'free content'" would be more accurate, but that's quite a mouthful. --Carnildo (talk) 06:32, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
"Non-free" is appalling English. And it's straight out of Orwell's Newspeak. Double plus ungood, in my book. There has to be a succinct, but accurate way of phrasing this.--MacRusgail (talk) 16:52, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
You are welcome to suggest one. This used to be called Wikipedia:Fair use, but we switched away from that in a effort to clarify that we meant something different (and stricter) than fair use when communicating what copyright restricted content would be allowed on Wikipedia. Dragons flight (talk) 16:57, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I find nothing at all wrong with "non-free". Tony (talk) 12:14, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Non-free is bad english, for the sake of it I will put "freedom images" out there. Freedom has lots of different definitions as seen here I think it works.--Theoneintraining (talk) 12:25, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
That doesn't work. We use "free content" as that extends specifically from WP's mission: "develop educational content under a free license". This is "free" as in "free thought", and well understood to mean content that does not tie the work down with restrictive IP issues. There is no clean alternative for content that is not free. Again, as I noted, the opposites we're using are not "free" and "non-free", but "free content" and non-"free content". --MASEM 12:33, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
"unencumbered"? Cheers.--«JavierMC»|Talk 09:14, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Non-free may be bad English but unfree certainly isn't; in the sense of "not at liberty to do something" the Oxford English Dictionary traces it back to 1380. I too find nothing wrong with non-free but perhaps the quibblers could be satisfied by "non-free-content." --Johnhk91.125.37.129 (talk) 14:20, 25 September 2008 (UTC)


Before I wind up instigating an edit war with another editor, can somebody take a look at Adair Tishler for me? She's a actress and plays the fictional Molly Walker, whose copyrighted image spshu (talk · contribs) continues to insert into the actress' article despite my explanation and pointing him to WP:NFCC#1. While I'm pretty certain of my interpretation and consensus, I'm not infallible (yet). — pd_THOR | =/\= | 19:11, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

Use of copyrighted information

Is there any guidance on use of copyrighted information that has become public knowledge? For instance, the names and order of tracks on Abbey Road is presumably copyrighted, but we include it. The fact that West Palm Beach and Miami are in the same "media market" is copyrighted by Nielsen Media Research, but has led to the two cities sharing local news channels. How much can we talk about that? --NE2 11:58, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Pure information can not be copyrighted, full stop. Only creative works are subject to copyright. --Sherool (talk) 12:15, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
The Beatles' choice of song names and ordering, and Nielsen's grouping of cities, are both creative. --NE2 12:35, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Probably not the best place to discuss the whole Nielsen thing. Regarding "The Beatles" I imagine it would fall under a fairly safe claim of legal fair use, since while it is the title of a work, we are using it to identify and comment on the work in question, and the economic impact on the work is nil. Any judge in their right mind would issue summary judgment in the "fairusers" favor. TBH - I think you'd probably stand a good chance of winning a copyright infringement civil case against Nielson under a claim of either fair use, or that the work in question in ineligible for copyright under US law. But then - do you have the time, and tens of thousands of dollars to spend on legal fees needed to fight that case ? Did somebody turn on the AC ? I feel chilled. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Megapixie (talkcontribs)
I think this is the right place to discuss it, as far as making a more general guideline as to where the line is. (By the way, Nielsen apparently only complained about "the list of markets in the United States by Neilsen rank on the original article"; we still don't know why Cyde deleted a lot more.) --NE2 14:58, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Titles can't be copyrighted. --Carnildo (talk) 20:34, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Not even the full title of When the Pawn? :) --NE2 20:57, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
As a title, no, it can't be copyrighted. --Carnildo (talk) 00:23, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure your correct about that. Titles are usually ineligible, but poems are usually eligible for copyright. Since the "title" of When the Pawn... is also an ~80 word poem, I'm not sure which is controlling. In general, I believe the exemption is meant to target short phrases, rather than titles per se. If that's true, then the poem/title of When the Pawn... could be eligible. Dragons flight (talk) 00:40, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Sherool is correct regarding the Beatles track listing: sure, the names of the songs are creative, and the ordering of the songs in an album was a creative choice. But that doesn't change the fact that a track listing of album is pure fact and not protected by copyright. It's like a list of ingredients on a soda can. Crypticfirefly (talk) 01:46, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Previous versions

I noticed that the non-free image Image:Raven.png has previous versions (also non-free), as previous versions they are not used in any articles but are still stored on Wikipedia and displayed on the image page. One of them is of a completely different subject which was uploaded over the original (which was then reverted). Can the page history be selectively deleted? Guest9999 (talk) 20:48, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes image revisoins can be selectively deleted, just did so. Don't think multiple identical revisions are rely a problem but got rid of the other one mixed in there. --Sherool (talk) 15:02, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

The Day Joyce Sheet: Am I in the wrong place?

I posted a question about a photo in The Day Joyce Sheet article on 23 September but have had no reply. If it's not something you can deal with, please advise whom I should try. (talk) 14:16, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

See #The Day Joyce Sheet. – sgeureka tc 14:41, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

The Day Joyce Sheet

I am confused about the status of this photo, Image:Day Joyce Sheet- 1.jpg, which appears in the above article. If I click on the "enlarge" icon that appears below it I get to a larger image and the non-free use rationale that I have submitted. It would appear that the rationale has been accepted, since the image still appears in the article. I accept that this larger image cannot be used in the article. If I add a non-free fair use tag will that be sufficient to satisfy Wikipedia requirements? (talk) 11:01, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Six days since I posted this and no reply. Am I in the wrong place? (talk) 14:10, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Your question was not clear, and it is still not clear. The image is at Image:Day Joyce Sheet- 1.jpg, and a thumbnail of it appears in The Day Joyce Sheet (as it should be). If a reader wants to enlargen the image that appears in the article, he has to click on the image (as it should be, and this works). Making the image itself appear bigger in the article is usually discouraged because readers have different screen resolutions. If you still want to make it bigger, use the parameter "300px" (or whatever) in the article. All that the license and the fairuse rationale do is that the image can be hosted at wikipedia, and has nothing to do with the appearance of the image in the article. – sgeureka tc 14:41, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
The fact that the image is still in the article does not necessarily mean that the use rationale has been “accepted.” It could equally mean that nobody has particularly considered it. I see at least two issues with the rationale:
  • The rationale does not address replaceability. Could someone go to the museum and take a free photo of the sheet? If so, we are not supposed to use a non-free photo of it.
  • The resolution is too high: The width in the article is 260 × 309 px; this is not a problem. The preview on the image page is 504 × 599 px; this too is not the issue I am raising. But if you click on the preview or the “Full resolution” link under it, the full size of the image is 1,661 × 1,974 px. This full resolution is way too large for a non-free image. The rule of thumb for non-free image is a width of no more than 300 px. Because of the detail of the sheet, a somewhat higher resolution might be allowed for this image—but certainly not 1,661 × 1,974 px.
teb728 t c 20:00, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Replaceability: The Sheet is not on public display but can be seen by prior appointment. It is kept rolled up: to display it for visitors it is spread it out horizontally on the tops of tables. (Because of its size, 2.5m x 2m, and fragility they won't hang it on a wall.) To photograph it in this position would need professional resources and would be too costly for me. Even if the museum agreed to it I don't know what the copyright position would be. (I have added this paragraph to the rationale.)

Full resolution: I had not realised that the photo could be enlarged to 1,661 × 1,974 px. How can this be prevented? And if it is, will the rationale be accepted? How will I know if it has been accepted, or will it always be open to challenge? (talk) 15:22, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Is non-free allowed in Userboxes

Are non-free images allowed in Userboxes when they are not being used in any articles? Or does this consitute deletion? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Spitfire19 (talkcontribs) 17:05, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

They cannot be used outside article space, period. (Unless they are Wikipedia logos.) --NE2 17:24, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
If they aren't being used in articles, they will be deleted anyway. Richard001 (talk) 22:11, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Fair use video

One thing I see very little of is fair use videos. Videos are very useful and show something a static, silent picture seldom can't. For so many articles, a fair use video would be appropriate (just as logos etc are going to have to be fair use, so are scenes from films etc). Why do we have so few then? If we are not supposed to be worrying about performance, shouldn't there be more? Is it just that few people have gone to the effort? Richard001 (talk) 08:05, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Since the inclusion of one frame of a non-free video (i.e. a non-free image/screenshot) is frequently disputed, you can guess why non-free videos have an even more difficlut time to pass the NFCC ("what can a full video show that one image can't"). – sgeureka tc 10:50, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely, there are very few cases where a video would be warranted. If a single image is not appropriate, possibly an extract from a script or a few frames (3 or 4) as a GIF animation would be better. Think about the justification that you need for a single image- for a video, you would effectively need to justify the inclusion of every single frame. J Milburn (talk) 17:55, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
It's clear that images are static, which makes them far less useful than video. Think about what you are writing here. Why don't you say 'why do they bother making films? A slide show with a script would be just as good'. You can't capture much of an impression of what a film, television program, game etc is like with just a static picture, and a brief piece of footage should qualify for fair use just as an image of a painting or audio clip of a song does. To me it is more a question of performance. Richard001 (talk) 21:49, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Although the following is a crude example, please compare your reasoning to the statement that stealing $100 is more useful than stealing $1 - true but nearly irrelevant when there is a behavioural code (in wikipedia's case its m:mission to be free). – sgeureka tc 22:47, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Consider "stealing" 30 seconds of a Beetles song. Shouldn't we just "steal" one second (ideally less) of the song? Sure, it will be useless for the purpose it is supposed to serve, but we'll all feel much better about ourselves morally, no?

The point is that video is a different format to images or audio. It usually involves both, but has properties that make it unique. There are many things that you just can't adequately convey with words or still images, and I think if anyone thinks seriously about this they will come to the realization that what I'm saying is correct. Richard001 (talk) 08:52, 3 October 2008 (UTC)


Filmr was recently fixed so that sources would show if they contained a equals sign in them, but this isn't retro active on articles that had the issues before. It was caused by the numbered phasers not liking anything that contained an equals symbol. This fix shouldn't of broken anything (but please revert if it does). For example {{Filmr|The Grateful Dead Movie|}} (See) won't show a source where as {{Filmr|article=The Grateful Dead Movie |source=}} (See) should. Peachey88 (Talk Page | Contribs) 08:00, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Got Milk?

I'd like comments on this edit. I was about to go try to get the licenses straightened out on all those images, but came to the conclusion that they failed non-free content guidelines, anyway.—Kww(talk) 03:37, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Good edit. Perhaps a single example (if the format or that particular advert is discussed at length) but the galleries were completely unwarranted. J Milburn (talk) 18:58, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Any chance of a reply to my query about the Day Joyce Sheet?

My original query was answered but next one of 1st October has not had a reply. (talk) 10:58, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

I think the images use and rationale is ok now. The resolution has been reduced. At least per US law, the museum probably holds no copyright (see Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp.. Day Joyce's heirs would hold the copyright, but we can make a fair-use claim do display a low-resolution picture in this article. If you have more questions, Wikipedia:Non-free content review is probably the best place to ask. --Apoc2400 (talk) 11:17, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Jamie Oliver

Image:Jamie Oliver.jpg As this image is a faithful reproduction of copyrighted scuplture in a non-public space, the CC copyright status is wrong. It is readily reproducible and thus ineligible for fair use. Because it isn't a blatant copyvio, I've put it here for further comment or action as need be. Mostlyharmless (talk) 03:44, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Freedom of panorama in the UK extends to indoor locations, including galleries with admission fees - see commons:COM:FOP#United_Kingdom. Other UK Tussauds statues have been reviewed and kept on Commons, though I suppose one could raise the question of whether this particular statue is a permanent installation. --dave pape (talk) 16:55, 10 October 2008 (UTC)


See WP:Update for the September changes to all the Category:Wikipedia content policies pages (including this one) and also the most generally-used style guidelines (called, unsurprisingly, Category:General style guidelines). If anyone wants to take on the job of updating monthly content policy at WP:Update, please reply at WT:Update. Obviously, since this page is in WP-space, anyone can make any edit at any time, but regular updaters would be nice. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 18:54, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

software UI elements

I would try and ask this at Wikimedia Commons (as that's where this file is hosted), but I can't seem to get there, so I hope any respondant here can help.

Image:Google Chrome.png is an image of the Google Chrome web browser, an open source software, right? My question then is, since it's running under Microsoft Windows, do those design elements of the UI constitute copyrighted elements? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 16:28, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

As far as I am aware, if the software meets our definition of free, then that screenshot does. Unless there are elements of the OS visible (start menu, window design, whatever) then its copyright status is irrelevant. Anything within the program itself, even if it is OS specific, belongs to the creator of the program (except in obvious cases, like if they used a Windows logo somewhere or something). J Milburn (talk) 19:45, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I suggest you read up on Apple vs. Microsoft. For stuff like this, the UI of the OS in "most cases" is not copyrightable, UNLESS the image shows additional non-free code used to demonstrate it however. We consider stuff like this on Commons to be de minimis in most cases. ViperSnake151 00:29, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Is permission required/desirable for fair use photos where the subject is copyrighted?

I'm looking to upload a photograph of a display of some copyrighted art work. It will have to be uploaded here because the artist died only recently (although, annoyingly, it seems the copyright status of his work is somewhat orphaned). Do I need to get permission of the photographer as well, and if not is it desirable that I do? Since the image will be fair use either way, I'm not sure whether I should bother with it or not. Richard001 (talk) 09:21, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Don't bother, it'll be non-free no matter what. ViperSnake151 11:47, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I'll take your word for it. Richard001 (talk) 08:41, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
You could contact his estate to obtain release of the work under a free license. Failing that, permission to use on Wikipedia is meaningless. In fact, images tagged only with permission to use on Wikipedia are usually immediately deleted. Either images are free license or fair use here, there's no inbetween. --Hammersoft (talk)
A point for other editors to keep in mind: While Hammersoft is absolutely correct that "permission" to use on Wikipedia is meaningless, it is important to credit the photographer on the image's page, as Richard001 has. In the case where the rights holder of an image is a freelance photographer (as is the case here) and/or another independent creative professional, such as a painter or sculptor, good ethics also encourage us to attempt to contact and inform the artist of our intention to employ his or her work under fair use and inquire if there is any reason to believe such use is "likely to replace the original market role of the original copyrighted media", per our NFC criterion 2. Of course, in many cases, the appearance of a low-resolution version of copyrighted media on Wikipedia is, if anything, likely to enhance the commercial value (if any) of the original media.—DCGeist (talk) 23:17, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Copyrighted text use, sufficient permission?

I haven't seen this on other Wikipedia articles and haven't found anything just like it in the archives, and wonder if using copyrighted material this way is acceptable? The "History" section of the article Estrela Mountain Dog is copied from a webpage clearly marked as copyrighted (, but at the bottom of the Wikipedia article section it says "History courtesty the EMDAA". Could someone look and see if that is sufficient?--Hafwyn (talk) 14:14, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm interested in that too. Is it truth that this policy only applies to images and not to text? If so, what's our policy on the use of non-free text? For instance, may I use a non-free description of something instead of writing a free description (NFCC#1)? Should I use non-famous beautiful quotations about something to enrich an article (NFCC#8)? Should I write a fair use rationale for justifying the use of non-free text? Where? May I use quotations on my user page? --Damiens.rf 20:57, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

I've removed the history section of Estrela Mountain Dog as a blatant copvio. There is no evidence of GFDL permission, which would be needed for this amount of text. If the originating site puts on their page that the text is released under GFDL (or contacts the Foundation to give such permission), then it can be restored; in the meantime, it can be used as a reference and salient points paraphrased. Copyright policy applies to all copyright material, whether image or text. Large amounts of copyright text are unacceptable. Short amounts as quotation are counted as normally acceptable under Fair use and there is not a specific wikipedia requirement to provide a fair use rationale for this. Short quotations on a user page have not, to my knowledge, been an issue. Large amounts of copyright text on a user page would not be permissible. Ty 23:04, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

The million dollar question is: Does NFCC#8 apply to text? I mean, do we use quotations only when its omission would be detrimental to that understanding of the topic? --Damiens.rf 17:18, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Ok, 2 million dollar. Anyone? --Damiens.rf 19:12, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
The first sentence under the policy header is "For the purposes of this policy 'non-free content' means all copyrighted images, audio and video clips, and other media files that lack a free content license". As it is written, text is not within the scope of the NFCC. Эlcobbola talk 19:24, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
So, I'm affraid Ty was wrong when he stated "Copyright policy applies to all copyright material, whether image or text" above, right? But now, what's our Exemption Doctrine Policy for text then? (I will ask Wikidemon, since he was the one to restrict this policy to media files. --Damiens.rf 19:38, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
No, Ty was not wrong. NFCC is not our copyright policy (that would be WP:COPYRIGHT). NFCC is only our Exemption Doctrine Policy. Эlcobbola talk 19:41, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
NFCC is fine-tuned to media files - some parts of it just don't work well with text. For example, there isn't such a thing as a text gallery or a separate "text description page". I suppose something like NFC#8 would apply to text but it would have different contours. Wikidemon (talk) 19:53, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

You can find guidance on acceptable and unacceptable use of copyright text at Wikipedia:Non-free content: "Brief quotations of copyrighted text may be used to illustrate a point, establish context, or attribute a point of view or idea." Unacceptable is "Excessively long copyrighted excerpts." This is fairly straightforward and does not cause any significant problems in interpretation or application. Ty 20:21, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

This is straightforward in establishing that quotations should be short, but is not as helpful (IMHO) in determining when to use quotations. A text interpretation of NFCC#8, in my view, would forbid the use of what I consider "purely decorative quotations", those which are in the article just because they are insightful phrases, but are not commented about or mentioned in any way in the article's text. For example, isn't the quotation starting this paragraph, unnecessary use of copyrighted text? Or is it just a question of writing style? (Similar examples at (or here, here, here...) --Damiens.rf 16:05, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
... would really welcome some more insightful inputs here.... --Damiens.rf 13:10, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
... Could an admin, please explain to Damiens, that quoted statements are not only allowed under wiki policy, but not “decoration?” Currently he has embarked on an irrational anti-quote crusade to delete all quotes he finds on wiki under this shifting premise of “bad form”, “decoration”, or “glorification” (he utilizes them interchangeably as he 10RR edit wars with me throughout the lands of wiki.) Some assistance and clarification from other editors towards Damiens would be helpful in possibly alleviating his anti-quote fanaticism (which I seem unable to properly squelch). Thank you.   Redthoreau (talk)RT 17:55, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Use of non-free content in portals

What is the reason for NFCC#9, not allowing non-free content outside of the article namespace? Portals can have excerpts from articles, and in that context, why would it not be allowed? See, for instance,, which has the porcupine logo amidst content about the subject matter. How is that any different than including the logo in the Free State Project article?

If the full article consisted only of those two paragraphs, we would still consider inclusion of the image fair use in article space. So, what does it really matter if we have the image accompanying a two-paragraph summary of an article that is now longer than two paragraphs? Simultaneous movement (talk) 13:21, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Because it's a slippery slope- if we allow it there, why not the userspace, if it otherwise meets the NFCC? Also, portals exist to show off our best work. How can the best work of a free encyclopedia be non-free material? J Milburn (talk) 16:00, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
We allow non-free images in Featured Articles, though, which are also supposed to be our best work; see Natalee Holloway's picture, Image:Natalee Holloway yearbook photo.jpg. I think the potential problem with allowing fair use images in userspace is that some people use those images for frivolous purposes, e.g. joking around, etc. (use of copyrighted material for satire is not protected, even though using it for parody is). It seems like we should allow the maximum usage of fair use images that is allowed under the law; copyright law is a restrictive enough issue to work around without imposing unnecessary extra restrictions on ourselves. Simultaneous movement (talk) 00:13, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Legally, we can use an awful lot- but that means that our content is of much less use to downstream users. Using the greatest amount of non-free images we can makes us alarmingly non-free in ourselves, which really doesn't help towards our goals. Furthermore, if we simply toe the line, we are running a great risk of facing legal challenges- as it happens now, if someone goes over the line, we can deal with it, and, in the mean time, it probably isn't technically too much of a problem anyway. However, if we are using the maximum we are legally allowed, someone taking a step too far may create serious legal problems. Using that amount means that the debate changes from the academic, philosophical discussion over the amount we can use to the very real-world, technical debate of what is legal- it would certainly put a lot of strain on Mike Godwin. Finally, excessive use of non-free material really does look very unprofessional, and would probably not do much good for our reputation in the wider world. J Milburn (talk) 21:11, 24 October 2008 (UTC)


Okay, little question, this kinda related to that Doctor Who montage IFD, when you say "minimal extent of use" and such, does that mean the number of non-free images period, or the number of non-free files? The latter is kinda emphasized in the encouragement of "cast photos" instead of single images for each list of characters and such. ViperSnake151 21:46, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Logically, I'd say it must mean number of objects of copyright. Which, in the case of collage images, makes every component count separately. How many files it's technically packaged into is a purely superficial artifact and immaterial; what counts is the content. Fut.Perf. 21:51, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
That's correct. The preference for cast photos (that is, original cast photos, not Wikipedian-created collages) over individual images is based precisely on the fact that this reduces the number of non-free images while still allowing the illustration of the same significant information.—DCGeist (talk) 22:41, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Not policy

I'm confused. This page wasn't marked as policy in September (that I recall); I have looked at the history for October and can't see where Category:Wikipedia content policies was added; the page now shows that cat at the bottom and the cat can't be removed using HotCat. Anyway. There's no editable policy on this page; the policy material is transcluded from WP:NFCC. Can someone figure out how to remove the policy cat? - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 14:26, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

I believe the NFCC transclusion is bringing in the policy cat, nothing otherwise specifically on this page. Don't think there's a way to avoid that (can't use noinclude as its not a template). --MASEM 14:29, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Yep, my bad. I just added <noinclude></noinclude> over there; it seems to be working. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 14:40, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

modified non-free content

If a logo is licensed under a nearly free license (that is, it just requires that it is used only in connection to a specific topic), and there is a modified version (modification under cc), does criterion #4 apply also for the modified version, or is it sufficient if the original non-free version is published outside WP? Thanks —Quilbert (talk) 14:41, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

If the modified version has never been published outside Wikipedia, why is it thought to serve an encyclopedic purpose here? Yes, there does appear to be a criterion 4 concern.DocKino (talk) 17:44, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
It is simply a differently coloured svg version of a non-free logo (which permits modification). But maybe the site will publish the svg version, too. —Quilbert (talk) 17:56, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Per derivative licenses, the original license is the license that applies. βcommand 01:26, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Specific question about Danity Kane article

I removed two images from Danity Kane on the basis that I believed both images failed to follow guidelines, specifically that they were album covers in being used in a discography section. The editor that uploaded those images disagrees. We have agreed to discuss it here (or, if there's a better place to discuss whether a particular image usage is OK, I'll move this there.—Kww(talk) 18:43, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with your actions and have tagged a few more images that fail WP:NFCC. βcommand 18:50, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
The use of the album covers did not occur in what is generally considered a discography section, but in a detailed discussion of their recording career. It would be appropriate to use one album cover to illustrate how the group was marketed and how its image was developed. To support such usage, we would want to see some sourced discussion of the band's visual image—the cover that better illustrates that discussion could be included.—DCGeist (talk) 19:09, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I did not upload those images. And as I stated on Kww's talk page:
"If album covers can only be used in articles about the albums, then why would Wikipedia have these options when you upload an album cover?
  • in an infobox about the album/single.
  • in a header at the top of the article about the album/single.
  • in a section devoted to the album/single.
  • in an article about the album/single's artist, used to identify the artist's work.
  • for some other use.
You see? I was going for option #3. Although I was not for both album covers being within the article. A different editor had recently added the second album cover. But having the first album cover...I feel is an enhancement to the article's readability, seeing as it is their debut album. Plus, it is in the section about the album.
Besides that, I provided a fair-use rationale for that second use to go along with the fair use rationale for its first use."
Thus, my use of the one image (I did not put the other image in the article) is exactly what DCGeist states above and is correct. I will now restore that image. Flyer22 (talk) 04:36, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

Fair use of media to illustrate points about a piece of classical music

I have encountered a thorny problem with the article String quartets opus 20 (Haydn). I started including musical examples to illustrate different points in the article. I thought I was following Wikipedia guidelines for fair use of media files: the examples were of reduced fidelity and shorter than 30 seconds. They were, in my view, essential for an understanding of the article, and made points that could not possibly be made in text.

However, I got dinged on the grounds that "it illustrates a subject for which a freely licensed media could reasonably be found or created that provides substantially the same information."

Well, there are no freely licensed recordings of the opus 20 quartets, believe me, I searched high and low for them. When I addressed this problem to Graham87, he clarified the policy for me as follows:

The guidelines say nothing about how difficult a replacement would be; if it's possible to make a free recording of a work, because the work is in the public domain, then no fair use recordings of it are allowed. I think that's unfortunate, but that's the way it is. Either get (or make) your own recordings of illustrative passages released under a free license, or use MIDI. The only time non-free recordings are allowed for classical music in the public domain is for illustrating the distinctive styles of artists, like the recordings at Glenn Gould.

Need I point out that, though it is theoretically possible to make a free recording of the work, in practice that is not an option. Hire a string quartet? Hire a recording studio? And what if the composition is not a string quartet, but a Mahler symphony?

The operative word here is "reasonably". Freely licensed media cannot be reasonably created in this case.

Certainly under existing law in the United States, using a 30-second snippet of a commercial recording at reduced fidelity to illustrate a point in an academic article is fair use. So there is no legal reason for this policy. The desire to make Wikipedia a repository of free information is laudable, and one that should be supported; but disallowing musical examples in an article about a composition is pushing that desire ad absurdum. --Ravpapa (talk) 06:04, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

MIDI software is another option. But unfortunately, Graham87 is correct - even if it doesn't exist, a free replacement is possible, and thus any non-free audio sample for a PD music piece is going to be nixed. The same is true for photos of living persons - a non-free image cannot replace what could be a free one, even if one doesn't exist today. --MASEM 06:09, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Then I suggest the guideline be corrected, with the word "reasonably" replaced by "theoretically" or "conceivably". That will prevent mere mortals like myself from being confused. --Ravpapa (talk) 06:40, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
For many smaller-scale kinds of pieces, we do have free samples - either made by wikipedians themselves, or, in a surprising number of cases, made available as publicity soundbites by professional performers. Student ensembles might be another good place to go negotiating if you seek a free recording. But I'd tend to agree with Ravpapa that there is a point where the sheer size and difficulty of a work makes a free recording virtually impossible, thus crossing the line from being a "reasonable" possibiliy to being merely a theoretical one. Think of Wagner opera. I can't see where such a work would ever be performed (at acceptable quality) outside a heavily commercial, professional context. Fut.Perf. 06:53, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Agree there - another example would be the finale of the 1812 overture (you're not going to easily find cannons to use for a public domain recording). But here's my test here: I checked yesterday after responding and found at least 2 sources for MIDI files (copyrighted in a manner not permissible by WP's free content, unfortunately) for the specific songs in question - thus I'm pretty sure that there's a way to recreate a free content sample via MIDI (at worst) for a four-person string quartet, and thus replace non-free. I doubt the same can be done for a Wagner Opera or the 1812 Overture (number of voices, the vocal part of the Wagner, etc.). We do the same qualifications for BLP's - there's a point where we accept that a person may be reclusive enough to allow a non-free image if that non-free image is critical to understanding the person or other exceptional means. --MASEM 12:31, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

MIDI is fine for some things, but in this context it would be a flop. For example, I want to add an example of how Haydn uses the cello in opus 20 number 2, playing in a register above the second violin and viola. Midi players I have heard do not distinguish between cellos and violins - all the instruments sound pretty much the same. So there would be no way for the listener to the Midi playback to get the point of the example.

If you read the article, you will see that what makes these string quartets remarkable is the textures Haydn creates and the way he uses these textures to convey an emotion. This would all be lost with Midi examples. --Ravpapa (talk) 14:49, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

I can follow you completely, it would indeed be great to have a proper audio illustration there, and MIDI won't cut it. But still, on "replaceability" grounds, I guess a string quartet is really still within the reach of what could reasonably be created. Are there no wikipedians around who have friends at a conservatory? Heck, send a few violinists my way and I'll do the cello part myself... By the way, that's a fantastic article you wrote there. Fut.Perf. 15:02, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
You would seriously say that asking four seperate people to spend the time to play a piece simply to be on Wikipedia -- a piece they may have never played before? You say you can play cello, but I'd question if you knew ANYTHING about music (and this isn't against civility here, purposefully), because I can't imagine anyone who knows what goes into even a bad performance of any group recording would say such a thing. No, no matter the theoretical possibility, it's really not reasonable that someone could get a free performance of any old public domain music, outside of the most popular pieces or luck of the draw. And where do you put a top on reasonability? An octet? A piece for 23 strings? Or is anything orchestral fine, even the largest one might need? I might agree that a piano piece or a guitar piece is reasonable, but anything else really needs to be allowed. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 11:49, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Here is a shocking idea that tends to be effective, ask a professional orchestra to release a recording under a CC or like license, Most of the time if you do it properly they will gladly release at least a part of the music if not the full recording under a free(er) license. It works all the time with non-free images. βcommand 17:34, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

All these are great suggestions. Play it yourself, or ask a professional quartet if they happen to have a recording sitting around of Haydn opus 20 number 2, that they would like to release under a GDFL license. Or get some conservatory students whom you might know to spend a day or two learning the quartet and recording it.

Great suggestions. But, to my mind, quite on the other side of "reasonable". Most people who write articles about music on the Wikipedia do not have a string quartet hanging around that could play this repertoire at a level that would serve as a respectable example. Most do not know any professional quartets, and, if they do, the probability that the quartet has a recording of the piece in question, or is willing to take the time (several weeks of rehearsals for serious musicians) to make one gratis is less than reasonable. And as for conservatory students - I know a few of these, and most of them don't have time to talk on the phone for more than a minute and a half, let alone take a day or two out to learn and record a quartet for the Wikipedia.

As it happens, I know a lot of musicians, professional and amateur. I am, apparently like Fut.Perf., a player myself. So I am better situated than most to rustle up a free example or two. And, trust me, it is not reasonable to believe that this is something that can be done.

What is reasonable - indeed essential - is to search the existing archives of free music to see if a free recording is available, before resorting to hacking up a commercial recording, cutting out a 30-second chunk and mussing up the fidelity. The ISGM archive is one place to look. Unfortunately, the CC license used by the Gardner is not acceptable to Wikipedia, because it disallows commercial use. And that is really the only archive that I know of that has a substantial collection of chamber music. When that search fails, we should be able to use a commercial recording, following, of course, all the Wikipedia rules for fair use. --Ravpapa (talk) 18:12, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Actually, I was thinking less in terms of "go and ask them to perform this specific piece for you, on demand", but rather in terms of: try to get them to release soundbites of whatever they happened to play in last week's recital, or whatever they are currently rehearsing. Thus slowly building up a repository of sound examples that will hopefully be useful once somebody writes an article about the piece or the composer. Somebody, sometime, is going to play Haydn's op.20. It's just like with, say, photographs of remote geographical places. You can't easily ask somebody to travel there just to make a photograph for you. What you can do is encourage people, if they happened to visit some remote place, to release photographs just in case. Fut.Perf. 18:47, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
I think Raypapa had a good idea above, as "theoretically" or "conceivably" does come closer to what replaceability means. It doesn't mean that replacement would be easy, quick, or possible by any given time frame. It simply means it is possible. FutPerf's idea of MIDI may not be a bad one, as well as asking professional orchestras to release a short snippet of a work they've played (and in return, they could do it under the CC-BY-SA, and get attribution for their work on one of the top-ten websites in the world.) They wouldn't even have to release the whole piece for it to be useful, just a sample to illustrate the work. As we saw with biographies of living people, editors really will get creative about finding, requesting, and/or creating free content—but that only happened after we barred the nonfree type from those articles. After all, if there's a nonfree file that will remain allowable so long as someone doesn't create or get hold of a free equivalent, we're actually providing a disincentive to providing free content for that purpose. That's exactly counter to our core mission—educational material that's free licensed. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:05, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Just how creative have people been? Has there been any paparazzi-type stalking? 718smiley.svg --NE2 20:59, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Hrm, Wikipedia:Wikiproject Stalking perhaps? (Please tell me that's going to be a red link...) :) Seraphimblade Talk to me 21:36, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Hey, I'm a pianist, and in my personal opinion, I could definitely record most piano pieces (albeit not perfectly, but good enough for Wikipedia) if it was needed here. Since this is a string quartet, I see no reason that this cannot be recorded. If this was a symphony, I would argue differently, but I'm almost sure that one could walk into a musical conservatory and find a string quartet that would be willing to record for Wikipedia. While it would take time to learn, it's mostly good publicity for those groups who would need it. DARTH PANDAduel 00:40, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
We do have a recording of the 1812 Overture, which is adequate for showing what the piece sounds like, but if a free recording from a professional orchestra came up complete with cannons, we would gladly snap it up. On MIDI, it should be possible to record a string quartet using high-quality sound fonts or on a high-quality synthesizer, and convert that recording to Ogg, as is done at Image:Haydn Sonata Hob XVI 40 1st movement.ogg. I do have a synthesizer that could be used for this purpose, where the string instruments have a distinctive sound, but I don't know how to directly record its sound onto a PC. This method would be harder for string instruments because of the importance of bowing and articulations. I am still amazed that we have a free recording of all of Chopin's Études, so almost anything is possible. Graham87 06:03, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
From the way things are going, there seems to be some agreement that, for small ensembles, it is within reason that an editor could somehow engineer a free media sample, but for anything orchestral or operatic, it is unreasonable to expect an editor to enlist an orchestra to do a free sample, so an FU piece of media would be permitted.
Is there also agreement that the word "reasonably" in the policy should be qualified? Perhaps changed to "theoretically"?
I can't say I'm particularly happy about this, but it looks like the best we're going to get. If we agree, can we have this written into the policy? --Ravpapa (talk) 15:35, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
If not an additional part of that section or a footnote, the "reasonably" should be explained out with specific examples. We already can go with what we know of living persons, and this discussion is good for musical works out of copyright (the works themselves, not the performances). --MASEM 15:39, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
They strike me as well within the realm of reasonable, or at least per Wikipedia general standards. There are very few things in the modern world that it's trivial for everyone to get a free image of. European architecture and people would be impossible for me to get a free image of, without calling on a hypothetical European friend who could take it for me. That doesn't mean that using a non-free image would be acceptable there.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:51, 9 November 2008 (UTC)


Being that this image is only comprised of typefaces, individual words, slogans, and simple geometric shapes, wouldn't it then fall under {{PD-textlogo}}? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 22:37, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

the issue is, its not a logo. βcommand 23:14, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, you're right, of course. But if it is wholly constitutive of the elements I mentioned, why does it matter whether it's a "logo" or another conglomeration of simple elements? Why are logos exempt from falling under copyright for the same content? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 01:28, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure what Betacommand's focus on logos is all about... The issue is whether it is {{PD-ineligible}}. It's a close call in my opinion. Calliopejen1 (talk) 20:23, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree it's not a logo, but I would have a hard time calling it PD. Mind you, its use in the article in question if considered non-free seems totally appropriate, so I'd be safe and tag non-free. --MASEM 20:34, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Presumably pd_THOR wanted it on the main page, but it's moot now. --NE2 20:59, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

NFCC 2 and 9 compliance

Seeing as there is debate to it, I have opened a proposal at Template talk:Non-free media#Adding NOINDEX to increase our compliance with NFCC 2 and 9 using the {{NOINDEX}} tag. MBisanz talk 16:53, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Sorry for all the fiddling

I've asked Carl (User:CBM) to check on the noinclude tags, and why they're causing WP:NFC to get stuck in CAT:CONTENT. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 03:00, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Carl solved it in two seconds, as usual; all we needed was a null edit at WP:NFC to reset its categories. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 03:36, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

NFCC 8 propose change #2

Remove the word "significantly", as this seems to be the root of people's misinterpretation (and abuse) of the policy. Kaldari (talk) 18:51, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

So you want to remove the complete criteria 8? If so, bad idea. Garion96 (talk) 22:47, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
No, I would like to change the policy to state: "Non-free content is used only if its presence would increase readers' understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding." Kaldari (talk) 23:02, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Still a bad idea. Will result in different abuse of the policy. Garion96 (talk) 23:04, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Less abuse. --Damiens.rf 01:21, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
"Non-free content is used only if its presence would increase readers' understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding." How exactly would a bunch of logos actually "increase" my understanding of something that is meaningless to me? (talk) 11:41, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
The logo itself is part of the information available about a company/brand. An article about a company that does not tells what the logo is would be like an article about that company that wouldn't tell what's the company called.
And of course, you can't convey this (necessary) logo information with words alone. --Damiens.rf 16:42, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
And again, why would I care about a logo from the 1900's that will only be used if some genius in marketing decides to become nostalgic and utilize it in some ill-concieved ad campaign? (talk) 22:37, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
When, exactly, did we start destroying all paper and video records from the past? Or is the average Wikipedian never going to open an old book or watch an old show?--Prosfilaes (talk) 14:29, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes. For the same reason that we display and discuss old flags, we can also display and discuss old logos. That said, I'm completely against galleries of old logos, with no discussion (or original-research discussion that isn't backed by reliable sources), since they're pure decoration. --Damiens.rf 17:00, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

A modest proposal

Based mostly on the discussions immediately above, here's an idea to kick the stuffing out of: could we create a "scoring matrix" to aid in evaluating NFC compliance? I'm thinking here of something like the matrix at WP:CANVASS. It has a fuzzy middle but helps us to clearly identify the outliers (good or bad) and indicates the means to "improve the score" by modifying presentation.

The columns I could think of are caption / placement / uniqueness / relevance / completeness / replaceability. To wit:

  • Caption: simple/complex/sourced - an image with a simple caption ("Dark Side of the Moon") scores lower; a caption containing commentary is better ("The continuing evolution of Pink Floyd's album artwork can be seen here"); sourced commentary is best ("This album cover is widely acclaimed as a piece of folk art[1]").
  • Placement: where does the image occur? Infobox is a privileged position and scores highest - this is the traditional view that the current logo/album cover/person's image "illustrates the subject"; interspersed with text which the image helps to illustrate is the next level down; placement in a gallery scores the lowest. Note that being in a gallery doesn't invalidate the non-free use by itself - but it adds to a low score.
  • Uniqueness: can this non-free image be found in a different article where it already has a compelling rationale for use? Since there is a Dark Side Of The Moon article which can unquestionably contain the album cover image, it's use in other articles will score lower. In contrast, Image:Wjw1969.jpg is usable only in WJW-TV (it's an old logo) - thus it would score higher.
  • Relevance: this is the tradiional "significantly adds" bit. Does the image convey something beyond what a simple textual description would convey? Does it add to the article content beyond simple decoration? This will remain as the most contentious element ("of course people can't understand the Droxos battle-tank unless they can see what the Droxos battle-tank looks like, how else would they understand that it shoots things?") - but now it can be assigned a relevance score, and that score is delinked from the other scoring elements.
  • Completeness: is the non-free image being included solely for the sake of completing the collection? See at WJW-TV#Logos - if the inclusion rationale is only that "if we don't show it, we won't be showing -all- of them", that scores lower. On the other hand, if I can create a (valid and sourced) article on Progression of Pink Floyd album cover artwork, the need to present the entire set scores higher. Again, we uncouple the evaluation - if I don't provide sourced commentary on Atom Heart Mother, that image will still score lower and be at risk of removal.
  • Replaceability: what is the feasibility of sourcing free media? A non-free image of an extraterrestrial body or an audio clip of a Mahler symphony will score higher here than a non-free picture of the Moon seen from Earth or an audio clip of Chopsticks. Sure, we could construct a satellite or assemble 120 musicians to obtain those GFDL versions, it is possible - but not so likely. Again, we delink this criterion from the others, so people can't simply argue "I need to have a gallery of every object orbiting the Sun", but we retain the incentive for editors to approach others for GFDL releases or create their own - simply because it dramatically increases their point score and helps them keep their section intact.

To summarize: construction of a matrix would delink the various editorial elements and help with objective (as opposed to ideological) decisions on non-free inclusion; ideally, this would be an actual point-score system and the community could decide on the minimum points; the matrix could also be coloured green through red - an album cover placed in an infobox accompanied by sourced commentary on the significance of the cover itself, appearing only once in en:wiki - definitely in the green zone, whilst a screenshot of a battle-tank sitting in a gallery with the caption "M-13" - red zone. Just throwing the idea out there. Franamax (talk) 07:21, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

Oppose Too bloody confusing, and it'll create even more problems than it's (talk) 08:40, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Support - This would at least end the ideological crusades against certain kinds of non-free images, which, as suggested by the criteria above, are sometimes worth including in specific circumstances, but not in others. Kaldari (talk) 15:55, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Weak Opposse We shouldn't be basing things on a score or the like - people will game the system however they can and this also smells of WP:CREEPing. That said, I think the points are good additions to the NFC page to provide enlightened examples on specific aspects that are considered so they can help decide and use images better. --MASEM 16:42, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Oppose one cannot define the undefined. every image usage needs to be examined separately. there is no one single matrix that can be defined what would fairly judge the requirements for all non-free images. I am a stanch supporter of non-free content when it is needed. can anyone validly claim that the infobox image on Virgin Killer is not needed? as it is the subject of a fair amount of the article. the standards used on virgin killer would not stand up to most usages. but that means the defense for including it is that much stronger. Now look at SpongeBob's Atlantis SquarePantis and the image Image:Alantis sqaurepantis.jpg what defense is there for including that image? not much since Image:SpongeBob Atlantis SquarePantis.jpg does the same thing with more context. usage of non-free content is a judgment call, not something that can be broken down to a matrix. as a matrix will be gamed. if there is ever a question about how useful/decorative a particular image is the best method is to get outside thoughts from someone not involved with the topic, as to eliminate the bias. βcommand 20:44, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
By my ranking criteria (and I'll drop "scoring" as a general theme but use it here) for the SpongeBob logo: caption=simple (lowest score); placement=intext, but adds nothing to the text where it is placed (lowest score); uniqueness=dupe/rearrange of graphic elements in the infobox image (low score); relevance=illustrates a (presumed) branding logo with no commentary (low score); completeness=n/a (not scored); replaceability=none/trademarked (high score). So looking at the separate elements of the evaluation, I'd definitely agree with you that the image doesn't meet NFCC. All I've done is go through a set of evaluations rather than the more impenetrable "fails NFCC#8" - and I still agree with you. The method I've used though, could help the editor going forward. For instance, if the editor was able to source commentary to add the caption "Nickelodeon was widely criticized for marketing the film with a bloodstain around their corporate name", this could significantly change our view of its acceptability. By "scoring" on specific elements, we give editors a better clue as to how to properly integrate NFC. The comments above as to how this could be gamed are absolutely right - but if the gaming plays into our hands and results in properly integrated NF images adding significantly to our articles, what's the problem? There will still be the tension with our mission to provide completely free content, but in the cases where we simply cannot do that, we still have the mission to provide the absolute best content. Franamax (talk) 10:00, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. If "gaming the system" means improving articles, then by all means game the system. It'll sure beat the current process of one editor saying "yes it does contribute significantly to understanding!" and the other editor saying "no it doesn't!" and the first editor replying "yes it does!" Maybe this system isn't perfect, but it's certainly a step forward. We have all sorts of complex criteria for evaluating the use of sources, so what's wrong with have some criteria for evaluating non-free images? It's not instruction creep, it's desperately needed guidance and clarification, IMO. Kaldari (talk) 17:49, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
here is a perfect example of something that would be gamed, List of SpongeBob SquarePants episodes at one point had 345 non-free images, a weak defense could be made for each image. But if you start to make a ranking you could game the system to include all 345 of those images. why not just use some common sense, and if that cannot solve the issue get non-biased third parties to review the article and the relevant images, and discuss the merits. galleries of non-free content violate the core polices. WJW (TV) is a clear example of over usage that could easily be gamed. they have all of about one line of text per image. by no meas do those help understanding the history of a television station. logo changes dont mean much without more context. if it is possible to re-write that article to incorporate the same material with well sourced, commentary about the logos what they mean, who changed them and why it was changed and relate that into the article without destroying the article then maybe. one example of well written text that needs non-free content is Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima can anyone deny that? NFCC#8 is not rocket science, Bob from reboot is a good example. that wikia page would be on wikipedia with the same abuse of non-free content if you go to a numbers based system, like I said its a judgment call that must be made with the usage of every non-free content image. if you are unsure of a image's importance get the thoughts of someone who has never approached that subject before. βcommand 18:42, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Free content in copyrighted works?

Suppose you have a book with some pictures taken in the 1800s, which should be public domain. The book itself was published more recently and is clearly copyrighted. Is it legit to scan a public domain photo out of the copyrighted book? Hope I'm asking in the right place... --Fletcher (talk) 22:46, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it is legit according to the Wikimedia foundation. Although some lawyers may tell you differently, especially in Britain. Kaldari (talk) 22:48, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Ok, cool. Fletcher (talk) 22:52, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

{{PD-art}} is the tag to use (along with one for the original picture). But be careful - photos taken in the 1800s may still be copyrighted depending on when they were first published and when the photographer died. --NE2 23:06, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Double cover images used in video game articles

The following articles are about video games that were released in pairs (two complementary versions of the same games). One cover image is enough per article yet several contributors want to maintain the usage of two cover images.

Thoughts on what should be done? Megata Sanshiro (talk) 11:32, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Given the product duality, I think these are reasonable cases where both covers are ok - each is a separate game even if the share the basic programming - it also helps to quickly identify that the games are paired as well. If it basically were the same game but had 2+ different covers that did not have any significant difference between them, that would be a different question, but each case above is two separate products. --MASEM 12:23, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Pokkemon games are known for the "dual-version" strategy, so if its notable for that, 2 covers can increase the reader's understanding of this abnormality. ViperSnake151 12:54, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Howabout you just combine them into one image per article? If the copyright is owned by Nintendo, it would just make more sense to have one image with the relevant info instead of having two separate images with two pieces of nearly identical (talk) 11:35, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Two images in one file is still two images under Wikipedia policies and guidelines. Megata Sanshiro (talk) 17:01, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
But if they are only being used on one article, wouldn't it be abit more prudent to just make one image and streamline the process abit? (talk) 08:40, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
As it stands (two images), the provenance of each can be clearly traced and image properties and content can be compared. Combining the images requires an extra "artistic" step and doesn't particularly streamline anything, since the net result on-wiki is the same: are the images NFC-compliant? In this case, the image pairs appear to be equally compliant. Franamax (talk) 09:30, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
(Points up and down) Um, no offense, but you have been reading whats going on, on this page, right? (talk) 12:04, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Use of historical logos in logo gallery

This has been a recurring discussion at WikiProject Television Stations, which resulted in a question being put to Mike Godwin, legal counsel for Wikipedia. He does not find an issue with the use of historical logos in a gallery, so please keep that in mind before removing images. See link to discussion with Godwin's response. dhett (talk contribs) 19:55, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

I also couldn't imagine that there would be a legal issue with that, but our restrictions on nonfree content is far more strict than "what the law will allow". I wouldn't see how such galleries would generally be essential enough to the article to allow such extensive use, use must be minimal. I could see making an exception for individual logos if the logo itself were sourceably iconic and had in its time been extensively discussed by reliable sources, but other than that I see no need for a massive nonfree gallery. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:13, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Generally, you won't get "massive" galleries. Stations don't change branding and logos that often. There is also a requirement in the project page that there must be a noticeable difference between logos. In one case, someone included a new logo that was identical to the old, except it was shinier. I opposed that. Still, not everyone agrees with your point of view and criteria for inclusion, and so far, no consensus has been reached, nor has any criterion been objectively quantified. I would encourage discussion before removal as a show of good faith. dhett (talk contribs) 22:42, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, as to the inclusion criteria, they aren't mine. The requirement that we must use nonfree images minimally comes from the Foundation, and we have only narrow exemptions to that. "We'll use it as far as the law allows" is maximal use and disallowed, since obviously one would not argue that we should use nonfree images in violation of the law, "as much as the law will allow" is the maximum possible. That's not minimal use. Minimal use is "Is it critical and indispensable to explaining this article's subject?" Generally, a logo (especially one no longer in use) would fail this test. Seraphimblade Talk to me 22:51, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
The "critical and indispensable" test does not appear on WP:NFCC, WP:NFC, or WP:Logos, so yes, the criteria are yours, and not the Foundation's. All uses of logos are expected to follow policy and guidelines; you are also expected to respect the same and not apply your own private interpretations. dhett (talk contribs) 23:08, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
Please note that WP:NFCC#8 clearly covers the "critical and indispensable" part. simple question for determining whether or not you need an image is: does the removal/exclusion of this image prevent understanding of the topic? or is it just a minor increase to the overall information in the subject. One good example, a picture of Homer Simpson would be needed to properly cover The Simpsons. But a picture of the elephant Stampy image here is not needed for obvious reasons. βcommand 00:12, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
(continued from comment above)
Apples and oranges, my friend. The purpose of the logos is to convey the history of the brand. One logo cannot do that, so multiple images are essential for its purpose. History is one of the stated elements of a good television station article, so if available, history of the brand is germane. It is also a topic of keen interest to the subset of readers who are likely to be consumers of television station articles, as evidenced by this thread. I must also say that we wholeheartedly disagree on your interpretation of NFCC#8. Significantly increasing understanding is not the same as "critical and indispensable". dhett (talk contribs) 00:53, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
wrong Non-free content is non-free content how ever you want to phrase it. Please note that this policy is not the fair use policy. Its the Non-Free Content Policy. they are not the same so quit attempting to make them. The wikimedia stance on non-free content is pretty solid. they say use as little as possible. If something is critical to the understanding of the topic it is significant. Godwin may be legal counsel and I respect him for that, but his comments are by no definition binding and policy creating. If there is an issue the board will address it or mike will take care of any particular incident that crops up, but that does not mean that he sets policy. βcommand 01:00, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Hang on there a second. If something is critical to understanding, it is significant, that is true. But what is significant is not necessarily critical. They are not the same, and critical is not the standard: significant is. The Wikimedia stance is solid - "significance" is the standard per WP:NFCC and it is not violated. dhett (talk contribs) 01:13, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
It is my understanding, after reading this from Mike Godwin, that galleries of logos are fine. If they are fine in the legal counsel of Wikimedia's eyes, then what is the all the hubbub about? - NeutralHomerTalk • November 2, 2008 @ 01:30
/facepalm yet again people check the name of this policy, Mike made a statement about something qualifying as fair use, that does not mean it falls within the non-free content policy. this wikia character bio falls within fair use, but under the guidelines and policies set forth by the foundation it is against policy. please stop confusing fair use usage with non-free content usage. they are not the same. the usage of non-free content is far far more strict than is required under United States Fair Usage law.βcommand 01:42, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but "far far more strict" is not the language used in WP:NFC. That's your own creation. The logos I refer to meet that guideline's standards for acceptable use, specifically Images criteria #2 and #8. The main logo in the infobox meets criterion #2, as it is used for identification, while the project page guideline on historical logos requires commentary for compliance with criterion #8. By their very definition, the historical logos carry historical significance. You are trying to enforce an unreasonable standard not found in the guideline. dhett (talk contribs) 02:01, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Beta, you are trying to say something is non-fair when it is fair-use. Mike said that logos are "fair-use"...fair-use = not non-fair use. Makes sense to me. Even User:A Man In Black conceded he went over the line when enforcing this rule after what Mike said. - NeutralHomerTalk • November 2, 2008 @ 02:46
No comment on the logo's itself. But for the rest, "for more strict" might not be in the policy, but "within purposely stricter standards" is in the policy. Please remember that non-free content (on Wikipedia) is not the same as the legal term fair use. Garion96 (talk) 02:53, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
/facepalm again You need to forget fair use. the rules of fair use are a lot looser than that of non-free content. As I have stated fair use != non-free content. the standards to use media under FU are very loose. to use non-free content under wikimedia policy it must meet fair use, and then a lot more. a general rule of NFC is that its not allowed in galleries. if you can provide non-trivial sourced content to go along with the images I have no problem with them as part of a sourced well written content, so that it meets WP:NFCC galleries of NFC are not allowed regardless of the reason. βcommand 02:55, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually I don't....because Mike said that galleries are fair use. You are trying to apply rules to something where Mike (legal dude with lawyer degree) said they don't belong. - NeutralHomerTalk • November 2, 2008 @ 03:07
simple question for you, is non-free content the same thing as fair use? βcommand 03:13, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't think galleries are non-free (since that's what Mike said). Whether non-free content and fair use are the same....I will be the first one to tell ya, I haven't the slightest clue. - NeutralHomerTalk • November 2, 2008 @ 03:28

Let me make a few points and then attempt to draw some sort of conclusion:

  • I agree that Godwin's words shouldn't be mistaken for God's words.
  • I agree that "critical and indispensable" is an exaggerated interpretation of NFCC8.
  • Note that in the policy, the phrase "minimal usage" refers specifically to the principle that "Multiple items of non-free content are not used if one item can convey equivalent significant information". That's a very important aspect of the policy but it should be interpreted in that specific context. With all due respect, I think Seraphimblade's point about "maximal usage" vs "minimal usage" is an over-interpretation of that phrase.
  • I believe that there are fairly few instances where one could argue that a gallery of previous logos has much significance. Nevertheless, I don't think they should be banned per se. If the article in fact discusses the branding, then logos are significant. A company's logo may change after a change of ownership, an important change in the company's focus, objectives or when a company decides to dramatically expand its market. In such instances, the old vs new logo may be significant.

Ok so what do I conclude from all this? As much as we'd love to have clear-cut answers to questions such as "are logo galleries OK?", the fact is that these things need to be decided on a case-by-case basis. The best answer I'd come up with is "logo galleries are a priori not OK, but...". As Seraphimblade points out, some logos are iconic. But in most cases, old logos are just old logos and including them is just a cheap way to make an article look prettier. In the end, it's the editor's responsibility to justify the use of a specific logo gallery. Because logos are such a diverse bunch of things, the current policies simply don't provide a definitive all-encompassing principle on their use and any attempt at a centralized discussion will turn into an abstract screaming match. But when looking at a specific instance, both sides can have meaningful discussions about things like "significance", "importance", "iconic" and "minimal usage". Pascal.Tesson (talk) 03:14, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Question for everyone.....why when Mike says "use of historical logos in this way strikes me as fair use" are we trying to argue that galleries are "Non-free content"? - NeutralHomerTalk • November 2, 2008 @ 03:31
your comment above sheds a lot of light on your current understanding of media policy. fair use is a legal defense that is used when someone needs/wants to display copyrighted works for educational/explanation purposes. the rules around fair use are fairly liberal in what can be used under those policies. IE the link that I provided above to wikia. Since wikipedia is run by the wikimedia foundation, and the goal of the foundation is to provide free content to all, they decided that they wanted to limit the usage of fair use media even more. so what would pass as fair use may or may not pass the requirement set by the foundation. the policy that the foundation has limits the usage of copyrighted material far more than that of the fair use laws. so the stricter policy that was created by the foundation is called our non-free content policy. images must not only pass the requirements for fair use, they must also pass the requirements of non-free content to be used on en.wikipedia. other languages such as the German wikipedia do not allow any non-free content. their policy is stricter than that of en wiki's. I hope this explanation helps some. βcommand 03:44, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

They are non-free content by virtue of the fact that they are copyrighted. Logos are presumed non-free unless it can be shown that the copyright period has expired, at which time they become public domain. Only non-free content needs to meet the "fair use" test. The "fair use" doctrine is the only reason we can even use copyrighted images on Wikipedia. dhett (talk contribs) 03:34, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Non-free and Fair-use makes my head hurt. - NeutralHomerTalk • November 2, 2008 @ 03:36
You are certainly not the first there. I'm probably better versed than most as that goes and it makes mine spin sometimes too. So let's have a go at making the distinction, and maybe that will help get everyone in the discussion on the same page.
Fair use is a doctrine of US copyright law. It is an affirmative defense against a charge of copyright infringement, with the idea that copyrighted works should be usable in certain cases without the copyright holder's permission, such as to criticize the work. In essence, fair use legitimizes certain uses of copyrighted content that would otherwise be considered copyright infringement.
On the other hand, "non-free content" is not a legal term. It comes largely from the idea of free content. The idea of free content is that anyone can use the content for any purpose, including commercial use, redistribution, and/or modification, without having to ask permission of the author. (Sometimes attribution of the author and/or keeping the work and its derivatives under the same license are required, these conditions can be present in a free license.) Our primary goal is to be a free content project, meaning that, to the maximum extent possible, all content we have should be freely licensed. We make exceptions to that only in narrow, limited cases, and we do not allow non-free content even in many cases where it would be legally acceptable as fair use.
Finally, as to the standards on them, especially #8. Pascal may think the "critical and indispensable" test is an overstatement, but I must disagree—if we are using nonfree images when they are dispensable and not critical, we are not following minimal use, because we could reduce use without cutting critical, indispensable parts. It really follows from the definition of "minimal"—the minimum possible. Seraphimblade Talk to me 03:56, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

I appreciate the comments made here. The discussion was first brought up on WT:TVS, where users were trying to claim that logo galleries violate fair use. That was put to rest by the statement from Mike Godwin. Yes, Godwin's words are not God's, but since the Almighty hasn't seen fit to comment on fair use, Godwin, as Wikipedia General Counsel, is as authoritative as we have on matters of the legality of the issue. The logo galleries meet the test of legality under fair use. That was the reason I started this thread.

Now, Seraphimblade brings up a relevant, but entirely separate, issue: are the images compliant with Wikipedia policy and guidelines? My contention is, yes they are. The logo galleries, if created in accordance with the guidelines on the Television Stations Project Page, are fully compliant with Wikipedia policy and guideline in both letter and spirit. For the sake of full disclosure, I wrote the TVS project guideline just today, in response to the same user who requested that I put this entry in the NFCC page. Commentary on each logo is critical to compliance with NFC guidelines; logo galleries with no commentary are, as eloquently put by Pascal.Tesson, "just a cheap way to make an article look prettier". Such galleries do not comply with policy — however, I ask again, as a show of good faith, rather than deleting them, please add the necessary commentary, or put a note on the project talk page so that someone from the project can bring it into compliance. At the same time, I insist that you apply the standards as they are written, not as you imagine them to be. dhett (talk contribs) 04:01, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Please note a one liner is not enough commentary about a logo for inclusion. If an article has the text and commentary to support multiple logos I will gladly defend the usage. But for 95+% that commentary is not there. Please note that WP:NFC clearly states galleries fail NFCC most of the time. the usage of the second logo on KVIQ clearly fails the requirements for inclusion. βcommand 04:08, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
We have found common ground. I also agree that KVIQ needs improvement, but frankly, to portray brand evolution effectively, the article should have more logos. I have my own ideas about what needs to be done, but other than deleting the logo, what would you do to make it compliant?
I ask that people please allow time to bring the galleries into full compliance. Personally, I don't care for the logo galleries, but I believe that they serve a purpose in documenting the evolution of the station's brand, which cannot be done without the use of multiple images, and with the presumption of logos as non-free, then they cannot be done without the use of multiple non-free images. That is why I contend that when properly commented, these galleries meet the requirements of NFCC #8. dhett (talk contribs) 04:22, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Once you add enough commentary they no longer become galleries. as for that example, I see two options, either add content that is sourced and well written, (something I cannot do as I dont happen to know that subject) or remove the image until such time as content exists to support images. βcommand 04:26, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
How does adding "commentary" make it not a gallery? That confuses me. - NeutralHomerTalk • November 2, 2008 @ 04:29
Once again, you're adding language that is not in the policy or guidelines. Nowhere does it state that the commentary must be sourced, nor does Wikipedia state that any prose need to be sourced. If that were true, you could nail almost every article on every topic for having non-sourced commentary. dhett (talk contribs) 04:34, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually Im not. anything on wikipedia that is not considered "common knowledge" should be sourced. It is also a good thing to see content sourced. as for you example of that gallery, I happened to have lived in that area, I dont see how those particular logos significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic I also think it violates WP:NFCC#3. βcommand 04:59, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
As a point of reference, the logo gallery in WJW-TV is more what I had in mind as a "compliant" gallery. dhett (talk contribs) 04:30, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I think something more like this would be better. Gives commentary, but doesn't take up 5 or 6 lines. I personally don't like the way the gallery is setup currently on the WJW page. - NeutralHomerTalk • November 2, 2008 @ 04:35

I am tend to incline that this is a similar case as the recent Dr Who companions image that was up at IFC on Oct 23 that closed as deleted (which was an imagemap of 38 distinict non-free image uses); the major arguments for keeping sound very much like the reasoning to keep here, though unlike the companions, each old logo doesn't have a repeated use on WP. The questions boils down to, how helpful is the old logos to the reader? If there is something more to say about the logo ("This was the first logo drawn by now-famous artist X" or "This logo was short-lived due to complaints from viewers over its phallic nature") that is verifiable, then there's something worth keeping. But, if it's just there to show visual changes in the logo, it is pretty much a decoration and should be deleted. --MASEM 05:18, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

It is very helpful. Try discribing an old logo to someone and not show them a picture. Hard isn't it? Having a gallery of logos (and I am talking television station logos) shows the reader that, for example, back in the 60s the station's logo looked like this and it changed to this in the 70s. Get the idea. You can't descibe that with words, that's why we have pictures. So, yes, it is helpful. - NeutralHomerTalk • November 2, 2008 @ 05:23
helpful, yes, significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic no. as topic refers to the whole article not the item in question. βcommand 05:25, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Then we are back to the old argument of what is helpful and what is significant, and to whom. What is significant to you isn't necessarily significant to me — that is where the language fails. Who decides? There is clearly no consensus. You're using your own personal opinion of whether or not the logos significantly increase your understanding of the television station and applying it to the community as a whole. That's the "do I like it" standard. As for NFCC #3, (I think this is a good time for my /facepalm,) one logo can never portray what is intended, nor can prose alone. The images are critical to the information being conveyed, so there is no violation of NFCC #3. Period. End of story. I'm beginning to question your earlier statement, "If an article has the text and commentary to support multiple logos I will gladly defend the usage", as it is beginning to seem that there really is no level at which you will defend the usage. Well, thanks for the discussion anyway. I'm out. dhett (talk contribs) 05:48, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm with Dhett on this one. Being "out" of this conversation sounds like a good idea. - NeutralHomerTalk • November 2, 2008 @ 06:14
But what is the significance of the old logo in the context of describing the station? Again, there may be cases where the station logo was highly significant to understanding the station's history, but my guess is 95% of the time, this isn't the case, it was just a logo change to keep up with the times. It becomes pure decoration. --MASEM 05:27, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
You think it is easy to describe a logo to someone. OK, discribe, in 10 words or less, the logo to your left including the time it was used. - NeutralHomerTalk • November 2, 2008 @ 05:33
Please read policy, we dont have to describe that logo to understand a station. βcommand 05:35, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
Not what I asked, if you think it is easy to describe a logo, try it. 10 words or less. You can't. - NeutralHomerTalk • November 2, 2008 @ 05:36
I dont care what you asked. Im talking policy, also read WP:NFCC#9 do not use non-free media outside articles. it fails WP:NFCC#8 βcommand 05:38, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
You aren't talking policy, you are talking your version of policy. You can't describe a logo in 10 words or less for the sole reason of it requires the user, the reader, to see it. That is why both of you can't do it. You have to see it with your eyes, which requires a gallery. A gallery which has been approved, under the fair-use law by Mike Godwin, legal counsel for Wikipedia and not you. Law trumps policy. - NeutralHomerTalk • November 2, 2008 @ 05:41
Actually, Betacommand is correct here. All Mike has said is that it wouldn't likely be illegal to use these images. I would tend to agree, and would think it's certainly unlikely we'd be sued over it in any case. But we're a free content project. We don't use nonfree content just because the law allows us to. We use it only when it significantly increases a reader's understanding of the subject. In most cases, seeing what an old logo looks like would not significantly increase a reader's understanding of the subject (that TV station). That is what renders the images unacceptable in most cases. On the other hand, there may be exceptions, where an old logo is iconic or otherwise genuinely necessary. But likely, these cases are rare exceptions, and as a rule the old logos fail #8 (and possibly #1 as well, since they're replaceable and replaced by the current logo). Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:39, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Seeing this debate, one has to ask if the Wikipedia TV Project and it's sister projects needs abit more oversight or some sort of other intervention when it comes to image useage. Drawing up a past issue, I have to note the TBN Logo spread over 150 articles issue, and the subsequent firestorm it caused. And just recently, I got called to task about some edits I made, wherein A Man in Black cited the legal consuel opinion. Furthermore, when things like this are in some articles, one has to wonder what else is wrong with other TV articles on Wikipedia as well. (talk) 13:14, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

So.....any progress? We getting sued by the networks, Wikipedia policy trumps US Law....We found Aliens? (talk) 08:31, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
Incredible. The frik'n lawyer for the outfit says its doable and the exclusionists still have to argue it. Hairsplitting. Bad faith. Seems like it needs to be delivered by a divine being and then carved in stone. But then again, that doesn't really work either does it...? Just appalling through and through. Kinda worth it though - in a twisted voyeuristic sort of way - to see Betacommand place his personal opinion above that of the company's legal counsel. What mindboggling hubris. Its looking like it'll take an oak stake through the heart or something. Wiggy! (talk) 23:31, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Sorry if this is offensive, but your a fucking dumbshit. Just because Godwin says something is legal does not mean it meets policy standards. yeah its legal to use non-free content but take a look at the German wikipedia they dont use it at all. you obviously have not passed basic secondary school since you cannot tell the difference between legal and within policy. please go back to school and study the difference before attacking someone who knows both policy and the law. βcommand 23:41, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Awesome. Do I get some sort of barnstar for being cursed out and crapped on by Betacommand? I thought you were on some sort of good behaviour parole? Pure poison. <sigh> Wiggy! (talk) 00:02, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
Betacommand has been blocked for that particular failure of WP:CIVIL. However, that doesn't alter the fact that he's completely correct that "legal" does not, and will never, equal "within Wikipedia policy". Black Kite 00:35, 9 November 2008 (UTC)
So are the galleries legit or not? The issue has been raised, I want to see some closure on the matter so that I can get onto other things. (talk) 11:37, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
I've not seen any usable argument from those wishing to keep these that explains why the gallery of non-free logos are exceptional to WP:NFCC (particularly #3 and #8) and should be kept. --MASEM 11:56, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
As an outside opinion, and looking only at WJW-TV#Logos, I would say that the images do significantly increase my understanding of the topic. A TV station logo is a crucial piece of its branding, and the section provides a look at how that branding has changed over time (and illustrates the coming of the colour-TV era). Without the images, the commentary would be sterile. I'd actually prefer to see them interspersed in the text describing the station's history, where they would provide an even more significant illustration of the progress through time. Just my opinion, of course. Franamax (talk) 18:39, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
I would agree with that. Tracing the evolution of the public branding of the station does strike me as encyclopedic, and something that an article should cover. I'd also suggest that if the use of the image is not considered both significant and minimal, then it is not likely to be considered legal. (per the first and the third of the US fair-use tests). Jheald (talk) 19:10, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
And as I pointed out elsewhere, it doesn't really help add value to an article when words can suffice. It's like arguing that the various incarnations of corporate mascots like Tony the Tiger needs to be traced via images of his appearances on TV or other media. (talk) 05:52, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
As I said above, if someone can discribe a logo, then there is nothing to talk about. You can't discribe a television station logo, you have to see it. If you can discribe it, please go ahead. - NeutralHomerTalk • November 11, 2008 @ 05:54
To some extent I agree that there is a possibility of historical relevance. However, there is a huge slippery slope here if they are only there to help visualize what the logos looked like, and no other details, as then I can tell you people will argue for discography and episode lists images in the same fashion. Identification of the current station's logo is fine (as we generally allow a single non-free image of a logo to "brand" any commercial product page), but unless an old logo has a meaning specific to the history of the station that can be explain why, particularly to a reader that may never have been local to the television station at any point, it is necessary to include it, old logos are not useful to the point that we should break our free content goals. --MASEM 06:57, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
There have been some users who think having "commentary" under the images would kinda clear this FU vs. NFCC thing up. Whether it would or not, I don't know. I just think it would be very hard to describe an image and would be easier to just have that image there so you can see and go "so that's what it looks like". Easier and not as many words. Yes, I know that gets into a whole different worm can, but for this, it is easier. - NeutralHomerTalk • November 11, 2008 @ 07:01
And now I have to ask, how does it benefit John Q. Public who goes onto Wikipedia? While it maybe relevant to his own geographical area, for other TV stations (excluding Networks and Cable Channels, which is a whole 'nother can o' worms), unless he's trying to undergo some nostalgia bomb, it's not quite so relevant. As for the major networks, it's easy to describe: NBC has the peacock, CBS has the Eye, Fox has the spotlights, ABC has that shield looking thingy, CNN has the Worm squiggle, etc. etc. (talk) 11:40, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
This is still missing my point: How does the historical logo of a United States television station, whether given as a verbal description or as a picture, help the general understanding of the article to a worldwide audience? From looking at example pages, it sounds like the best information that can be given about the logos is the period that they were used. I point to WP:NFC#8: Significance. Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding. - I have a tough time (not immovable, though) of putting historical logos of this general type in the first phrase, but cannot see how they can be justified by the second phrase of #8. I'm not saying all historical logos are bad, but there must be more than just what they looked like, and have given two possible cases where keeping them can be justified (where it might have been the logo was created by a famous artist, or if the logo turned out to be controversial). I cannot see how in the more general case of an historical logo of a TV station can "significantly increase" the article's understanding, and that not having the logo is detrimental - I'm still learning about the TV station if I read the article and I'm not missing any details about its history. At least, I don't see either of these is met enough to allow use to allow for NFC in this case. --MASEM 11:47, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I'll again reiterate my personal experience, naively clicking on the WJW link with no ideological bent - I suppose "fascinating" would best describe my experience on viewing the various logos. Is that encyclopedic? By my own personal definition, yes - it's why I love wandering through encyclopedias in the first place. I'm a text-first person, but I also find a well-described image of value. Again, speaking only of the WJW article, the progression of logos, accompanied by the commentary below each, was quite compelling. Each of text and image could not survive without the other, together they tell a story. I'm sure that's a best-case example, but it's certainly a good one. I think I'll have a shot though at placing them up into the History text, then self-revert. Would the images be any more or less acceptable if they were distributed, rather than in a gallery? Franamax (talk) 12:22, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
And I was gonna say this before, honest ;): 293.x and Masem, your posts are working at cross-purposes. 293.x effortlessly describes the local channels and networks - and sorry, but the United States is a local area, when you say "the major networks", is that CBC, BBC, RAI? And again, "nostalgia bomb"? If we wish to research what some would describe as "history", can you recommend a place other than an online encyclopedia?
Masem, US station vs. worldwide audience or not - all TV stations use the logo as an essential branding element, all around the globe - thus the historical progression of logos is relevant among all of our readership. In the case of WJW, the B&W/colour transition of the logo is especially relevant - it even has a test-pattern! That may not be relevant to the younger readership, but we have a diverse audience, many of whom will know exactly what a test-pattern is. An encyclopedia must address the historical context on the same basis as the current context - that's what makes it an encyclopedia. I won't necessarily support plain galleries, but a presentation such as that in the WJW article? - eminently encyclopedic. Franamax (talk) 13:45, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
If it is relevent historically, there should be information about it. The only relevent logo on the WJW page is likely any of the ones where it used to be a CBS station and the CBS "eye" used as part of the logo, but even then, I can explain that in words. The test pattern is probably a bad example because I can go to test card and get an idea of what the logo looked like.
There are two good questions to ask here. The first is: would it be impossible for this article to have the same comprehension on where no non-free content is used? A read through the article, sans the gallery, tells me that I'd not lose any critical knowledge outside of the visual picture of the current station logo, which is something I can get by following the EL to the station's page. Since (personally) the answer is no here, that the removal of the gallery does not impact the comprehension of the article, then I see no reason to have it. Mind you, that is a personal statement, I'm sure you'll feel that it is needed, but then again, ask yourself how much of an impact there is on the article for not having the gallery? That's why considering what does is rather useful.
The other factor is basically, we cannot create any slippery slope that will allow for mass uses of non-free images via WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. You claim the historical change of the logo is necessary. Ok, then I will argue that, for example, seeing the changes in the album covers of Jethro Tull over their 25+ yr career is just as important, and thus the discography should have those images. Or that the change in the animation style of The Simpsons through each series via a screenshot of each episode is necessary. These of course overly burden non-free content, and of course not what we want, but those that think the WP:NFCC will use any logic and means to push free content through (we've lost several good editors over the crap they get for defending NFCC from these types of people). I see nothing significantly different in the case of the logos as it would be for discographies or episode lists to justify the need for every version of a logo to be shown. I'm not saying that no other versions can be shown: again, I think any version in the CBS days in the case of WJW would be appropriate as to shown how the "eye" was incorporated, but using all 7 historical logos is just not compatible with how we handle similar cases. This argument is irrespective if I think the logos are useful to the reader or not, this is similar what we need to do to minimize non-free content. --MASEM 15:30, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
would it be impossible for this article to have the same comprehension on where no non-free content is used? - As a matter of fact, does show TV station logos en masse, see de:ARD, de:RTL Television and de:Sat.1 as a few major stations. Germany (and thus acknowledges logos as failing the Threshold of originality, making their re-use for identification permissible despite their being copyrighted. – sgeureka tc 15:49, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
But the threshold of originality is a key factor here. The images on that I spotted check do seem to fall under that being either letters in a certain font or simple geometric shapes (a 1 with a circle around it), so the same question applies to what we have at WJW. Of the images in the gallery, I could argue to a reasonable degree that two of them (the 6th one, with "8" surrounded by a circle of text) and 8th one (simple text and color boxes) are ok, but the others (including those that use the CBS "eye" and the fox "searchlights") cannot qualify for the same provision. When it doubt we should err on the side of caution and presume that all but the two mentioned can only be marked non-free, leaving us with 7 of 9 non-free images to deal with, which is still too many. Now, that's my take on the ToO issue - however, if it can be argued that these should be free images, then the problem goes away. I know this thread started with a comment by Mike Godwin about us not having to worry about lawsuits from copyright infringement at the present, but it might be worthwhile to approach him with a different question: of these logos, which ones do pass the ToO bar as to make them non-free and which ones don't and can be moved to commons? That might help to achieve a middle ground here. --MASEM 16:13, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I suspect all three of the German logos do actually comfortably exceed the (very low) threshold of originality. RTL because of the airbrush style rendering of the boxes; SAT.1 because of the beachball thingy; and ARD because the styling of the 1 in the circle has been deliberately chosen, and is not simply in the same typeface as the letters.
I have to say, I don't really see much gain in removing these logos apart from ideology for the sake of ideology. To my mind, what ought to matter is (i) whether the images are legal (including for our re-users), and (ii) that they aren't replacing a potential free alternative. WP's NFC criteria are quite strict, but that is because the law is quite strict. In this case (ii) is clearly satisfied, and Mike Godwin reckons (i) is satisfied too. To my mind, that is all we need to know. Does Wikipedia become significantly "more free" if there are only three images rather than seven? Doubtful. A verbatim re-user, even commercial, could have used all seven. So who benefits? On the other hand, removing this images makes us less informative, and so further from WP's m:vision.
The requirement for minimal usage is a legal one. It doesn't mean "no more than one or two or three per article"; it means no more than needed to achieve the purpose identified. That's one reason that there has never been consensus to put a number of what constitutes minimal use. In this case, it is encyclopedic to trace the history of the station's on-air identity, through different affiliations, and changing contemporary fashions - as Mike Godwin and others evidently recognise. All of the different logos are very distinctive from each other, so I don't see a good case for losing any of them, without harming m:vision. Jheald (talk) 21:41, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
We have to separate the issues here. One aspect is legal fair use statements, and the other is non-free content -- they are connected via copyright law, but they have two very different impacts. On the legal side, as noted by Godwin, WP's is in no apparent legal danger for galleries of copyrighted images, great. We know that likely the worst offenses in NFC overuse are not going to send down the legal dogs of war on the Foundation, so we shouldn't feel any rush to resolve other issues. That leaves the NFC and what the Foundation's resolution has stated, and thus why need to try to figure out if this case is a good or bad one, only considering the aspects of the free content mission.
Reducing the numbers of non-free images on a single article page is certainly not going to impact the overall non-free content level in WP. However, it is just like energy conservation - it is not the act of one household turning off lights when they are not needed that does it, but when the entire community comes together to do the same. Every article on WP needs to attempt to reduce NFC to the minimum needed to achieve comprehension of the topic. There is no minimum (well, we'd prefer zero, but recognize that's unlike to happen on of course. But there's also the reverse case, as I've suggested, that if you allow certain "exceptions" for larger NFC use, others will use those to start their own targetted argument to increase NFC use in other types of articles - tell me the difference between a table/list of the different logos used by a station over the years and a table/list of the different album covers used by a band over the years. If you cannot tell me that difference, then people are going to want the same treatment for discographies as we do for historical station logos. Reducing NFC is leading by example; expanding NFC will also lead by example but in the direction the Foundation has told us not to go.
The argument that I've yet to see a good response to is exactly what purpose, besides a visual guide of how the logo changed over the years, does this gallery serve that requires us to allow NFC. Your argument "to trace the history of the station's on-air identity, through different affiliations, and changing contemporary fashions", at least two parts (on-air ID, between WKJW and WJW, and the switch from CBS to FOX) are described in text - the images repeat this information and do not add anything new specific to this aspect. This leaves with the final statement "chaning contemporary fashion", which is stated in any source (eg, the third logo, with the multicolored "ei8ht" screams the 1970s, but... I see OR that that logo represents that style but no source to back that up. This is the place that commentary about each of the logos is needed to justify why each is being kept, otherwise, the gallery with text descriptions does scream "original research". If these can be justified more, such as the reasoning behind the logo change or the like, I could see that. Only the last few ones with FOX suggest that there's true background behind this logos. If no sourced reasoning for how these logos came about, this is nothing more than a bunch of pretty pictures for identification, one of the reasons we remove NFC. I think some of these can be saved with deeper digging, but there's no "carte blance" here for them all. --MASEM 15:29, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
(Outdenting). I disagree. I see how the station presented itself as of encyclopedic interest in its own right. You dismiss this as "a visual guide of how the logo changed over the years", but I - and I think others - see it as encyclopedic, and significant; content the article should include. The images show changes from WKJW to WJW, and from CBS to FOX affiliation, but they most certainly do add "something new" beyond that - namely what the on-screen presentation actually looked like, which could hardly be deduced just from those bald statements.
On the wider point, I don't know what serious "overuses" of NFC content you think there are on Wikipedia at the moment, but I don't see them (with the possible exception of "historic" archive photographs being used in exactly the way people usually have to pay licensing fees for). I don't think the Foundation sees any particular "overuse" either. We know from Kat Walsh, who was on the Board at the time, that the Foundation Resolution was intended to confirm the status quo on enwiki at the time, not to make things more restrictive. And the Foundation members have since gone out of their way to avoid saying fair use is being overused, despite endless pleading from particular elements for such a steer. What the Foundation actually cares about, I submit, are the two points I made above, which if you look back into the archives you will find are the grounds that this policy was created upon: (i) that images must be legal (including for commercial reusers), and (ii) that they aren't replacing a potential free alternative. Of course our use should be minimal - no more than required to achieve the encyclopedic purpose - because that is what the law requires. But where images do serve an encyclopedic purpose and are legal, then we should not hurt our users and our m:vision by shying away from them.
You asked about discographies. I opposed the removal of images from discographies at the time, and still think it was a mistake. I think it is doubtful that there would have been a legal problem there, and a shame users can no longer see how the visual style of albums of Jethro Tull or the Beatles or whoever evolved with time. But arguably the impact on m:vision was at least limited because the information was still visible on the various album pages. In this case, though, you want to remove the information altogether; which would, directly, impact m:vision. Jheald (talk) 18:31, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm not to block the uses of these images - I simply want to make sure the case for their use is as strong as possible per NFC so that there is a reasonable need to keep these while separating it from other cases where people simply see X images being used in one article and thus confirming they can use X images in their own article. To do that, we have to make sure there's a strong rationale, and I think we're finally hitting on it, with the point about differences in discographies and this, specifically that 99% of the time, an image of an album cover will be duplicated on the album's page and thus needless duplication in the list, but as you correctly point out, logos don't have their own articles. Now, this is still not yet a perfect rationale, as now those that want a picture for every character in an character list (in which the characters themselves likely don't have their own article) are going to use this for their argument. I am sure there's something better that can separate an historical logo gallery from a character list page (particularly the closer the logos fall towards the threshhold of originality ), but I think we really need to figure that out than simply saying that these are fine and letting the rest of the dominoes fall. I will say that having them as a gallery does hurt their case - spreading out the logos (if even resorting to two or three logos in an image frame to match the sections) would help so it doesn't seem as bad or less obvious there are several being used. --MASEM 22:35, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
There's an element of danger to the approach that "because I envision a potential problem at Y, I must perforce prevent X". Each case must be considered on its own merits. Nevertheless the potential problem is there and should be addressed if possible. In this case, I would say the defining rationales are: progress over a significant temporal period (contrast with Version 1/Version 2 for videogames) in a real-world context; notable artistic/business aspects (for WJW, hiding the CBS eye, re-branding to Fox - contrast with "the battle droid is chunky-looking and the light scout is slim" or "Sailor Moon has green eyes, Sailor Mercury has blue eyes"; and commentary on the progression and its relation to the article subject - TV station logos are an external aspect whereas characters are an internal aspect. Certainly, a picture gallery of TV news anchors within a station article would not have the same acceptability as a gallery of logos.
I'd agree though that a gallery almost always weakens the case, since it almost by definition comprises decoration. The WJW gallery is perhaps unique in that it tells and illustrates a story all by itself. As I've said above though, I think it would be much more powerful interspersed with the text. In contrast, a list of characters is much more an example of simple decoration - what is the significance of the image itself? Does it illustrate some unique aspect of the article topic? For instance (maybe) if Prisoner of Zelda had a different protagonist in each of the game series and that character image was used to brand each release of a game version, a gallery (or interspersion of images in text) would be appropriate. A gallery of the antagonists would not be appropriate. The magic cactus and the flute, even less so. These all exist along a gradient.
As far as album covers go, there are indeed some noteworthy examples of cover progression over time which would be encyclopedic - I'd include Yes and Pink Floyd in there too and the progression of the interior art. I share Jheald's view that it's a pity those can't be collected for the noteworthy cases - and for Floyd, I could find the sourced commentary to support the inclusion, easily. However, the individual images do exist in separate articles and that's a discussion for another day. Franamax (talk) 03:16, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't like being preventative, but given that non-free content is the one of the few place where the Foundation has laid out ground rules in the sandbox, we need to take it proactively, and unfortunately, there is a vitriol towards any editor that tries to strongly defend such cases by users that commonly cite "X has it, why not Y?". Having good reasons for as many generalized cases as possible will help prevent arguments in the future that can lead to those that defend WP's non-free content policy from leaving (we've lost several already). I think some of the distinctions you make above are good and point more and more to getting rid of the gallery in favor of images in the body of the article, using imageframes if needed to group two or more images, since as you note they change with the history of the station, and thus are more closely linked. --MASEM 14:16, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Unless there is sourced commentary about the logos, I don't see any way that a gallery of historical logos could meet our NFCC requirements. We already allow a single logo "for identification" even if it would not otherwise meet the requirements; many non-free images in infoboxes are only permitted because of this exception. So I don't see how additional non-free logos could be justified in a gallery (!) lower in the article, unless the logos have actually been discussed by reliable sources already. — Carl (CBM · talk) 15:36, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

I think you misunderstand the rationale for logos in infoboxes. We allow them, because we recognise that being the primary image associated with an entity in itself makes them significant to include as part of comprehensive presentation of that entity. It's not some exception to policy, it's a simple assessment of NFCC #8. Jheald (talk) 21:41, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
The requirement for sourced commentary is valid on its face. There's another way to look at it though. Valid sources almost certainly could be found for these logo changes. It's not unusual in my experience to see printed media discussing logo, ownership and branding changes - TV stations are often sensitive about those things and like the free publicity anyway. These sources would not be extensive enough for separate articles, but sufficient for in-line citations. Unfortunately, we are dealing with the problem of technology here - someone would have to go to newspaper archives in Cleveland and search them manually. So we end up at "must be sourced" vs. "controversial claims must be sourced", and the commentary is not making any controversial claims. Would you tag any of the commentary as "needing" a source if it wasn't in a gallery? Franamax (talk) 22:09, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

To those that commentary is useless, I point you to KHON, and the useage of Image:Khon0291.jpg. In KHON#History, it does mention in passing of KHON being an NBC affiliate before it was switched with FOX. Ergo, by default, the image is redundant, because someone has managed to convey in words of the former affiliate branding. Of course, we need to properly source it, but still, the point is logo's can be described, and each logo needs to be evaluated on it's merits. (talk) 11:17, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

The Fox logo in that article is pretty darn boring. Hope they didn't pay too much for it! I'd agree that it can be adequately described in text and the image doesn't particularly add anything. I think it's more of an exception though - try describing CBC's logo, "a red blooming onion"? Or (stepping away from TV), the old CN Rail logo, where the text style and underlining is quite distinctive. Subtle design elements can only be explained with the image itself. You're right though that case-by-case is the way to go. Franamax (talk) 22:31, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Like the Penn Central Worms? The Union Pacific Shield? The Norfolk Southern Thoroughbred? Santa Fe Warbonnets? Pennsylvania Railroad Keystone? (talk) 11:22, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

So have the minds made a consensus yet, or are we still having the proverbial "bitch fight" over who's right and/or who's wrong? (talk) 08:54, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

NFCC 8 propose change

NFCC 8 now reads,

"Significance. Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding."

At IfD and DRV, this has people asserting their subjective opinion about what "significantly increase readers' understanding" means and supporting their subjective opinion using original research. NFCC 8 needs to be revised to an objective standard. I propose that NFCC 8 be revised to read

"Significance. Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly complement the verifiable material in the article discussing that non-free content."

Please comment below. Thanks. -- Suntag 17:05, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. I'm sick and tired of people abusing the phrase "significantly increase readers' understanding" to delete everything under the sun. Kaldari (talk) 17:14, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
It's hard to tell exactly what you're proposing (the forumulation above doesn't work). But in general it's best not to conflate distinct policies. Meta-issues of editorial judgment, like arguments for what should and should not be in an article, aren't covered by verifiability policy. You won't find a reliable source to say "the image below significantly increases Wikipedia readers' understanding of the subject of the article" or facts that can be synthesized to say the same. That's just not available. Wikidemon (talk) 17:20, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
"Complement" seems to me to even more vague - so much so that it could lead to an increase in our use of non-free content when one of the core non-negotiable goals of the project is that we always seek to reduce such usage. CIreland (talk) 17:23, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Where is that written? Kaldari (talk) 17:43, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Foundation:Resolution:Licensing policy - point 3 in particular. See also Foundation:Mission statement, Foundation:Values. CIreland (talk) 17:51, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
"Minimal use" does not equal "always seek to reduce such usage". If our usage is already minimal in an article, it should not be further reduced. Apparently, a lot of editors think NFCC 8 gives them carte blanche to nominate virtually all fair-use media for deletion. I can give you lots of examples of rediculous abuse of this criteria if you need convincing. And this isn't just one or two editors. It's dozens of editors over the past several months. Kaldari (talk) 19:02, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I take "minimal use" to mean that we should seek to remove non-free content whenever it is not necessary to an article to retain it (which is the essence of NFCC 8 as it currently stands). The proposed change would weaken that. I look over IfD and DRV fairly often but I've not seen the widespread abuse you describe; there will always be one or two dubious nominations but I don't think that's problematic; being nominated for deletion doesn't necessarily mean deletion will occur. CIreland (talk) 20:02, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
No image is "necessary to an article". I'll give you three examples of abuses of this policy where the image was actually deleted...
  1. Makemake is a dwarf planet in our solar system. Only one photograph of the planet has been released to the public. It is a non-free image. It is not possible to produce a free-license image of this planet unless you can either build your own 100 million dollar telescope or convince the people who run Hubble to take a picture of it. The image was deleted since editors couldn't "see this being justified under WP:NFCC #8".
  2. Country Music Television is a major television network in the U.S. For more that half of the network's history it had a simple red, yellow, and blue logo. This logo was added into the history section with a caption detailing its use. The image was nominated for deletion with the explanation "fails WP:NFCC#8 miserably". It was deleted. (I've since replaced it.)
  3. The Teen Idles were an obscure, but influential D.C. punk band that existed from August 1979 to November 1980. Only about half a dozen photos of the band are known to still exist and 100% of them are non-free. The most well known photo of the band was down-sampled and added to the article. Just one photo, of a band that broke up twenty years ago, so that the people who were reading the article could know what the band looked like. The image was deleted. (I've since replaced it.)
I've given up on trying to argue these cases, since certain editors will just dogmatically cite NFCC 8 and ignore anything other editors have to say on the matter. In extreme cases, I just add the images back to the article and wait for them to be deleted again. Kaldari (talk) 22:15, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm a bit confused. These all sound like entirely reasonable use of NFC to me, per policy. But the first article shows an artist's impression, from Commons; the second an image uploaded in 2005, with no record of an IfD; and the third a group shot uploaded in 2007, again with no record of an IfD. Am I not seeing the images you're talking about? Jheald (talk) 22:30, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
  1. Image:Makemake precovery.jpg.
  2. Wikipedia:Images and media for deletion/2008 August 13#Image:Cmt old_logo.gif
  3. Wikipedia:Images and media for deletion/2007 October 22#Image:Teen Idles.gif
Item 1 and 2 for me fail the criteria indeed. Item 3 was deleted for another reason but passes now the criteria. Garion96 (talk) 22:45, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, I guess I am one of those "certain editors" because examples 1 and 3 (given your description) look like plausible deletions with regard to criterion 8 to me. As for the logo, I've never been wholly convinced of the need for a current logo for an organization never mind an historical one. I think you perhaps misunderstand the motivation of people that take a hardline stance on non-free content; it's not that they like the idea of deleting as much as possible, it's that they are a dedicated to the idea that Wikipedia content should be freely re-usable forever and thus every piece of non-free content detracts from that founding vision. CIreland (talk) 22:39, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
How does having non-free content when free alternatives are not possible detract from the ability to re-use Wikipedia content in general? The non-free content can be removed by the reuser. We don't need to remove it all for them. I'm simply amazed at many editors dogmatic promotion of this "free-only" mantra, while ignoring Wikipedia's bigger goal of providing access to the "sum of all knowledge". The two goals are in tension with each other and must be balanced. We cannot simply default to one at the detriment of the other. Kaldari (talk) 23:00, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Non-free content is a huge impediment to re-use. The idea is that Mr Average-citizen can take any section of Wikipedia and do with it whatever he likes without needing to worry about any legal issues or royalties or fees. If he wants to take a picture and make a flyer for his window cleaning business, that's fine. If he wants to take a bunch of content and repackage it and sell it, that's fine too. If he wants to use it for his office powerpoint presentation, that's great. Trouble is, the more we use non-free content, the harder we make it for Mr Average-citizen to do all that. Sure, copyright is no problem for large businesses and it's not really a problem for us, because both have people with expertise in that area. But it is a problem for most regular individuals, moreso, perhaps, for people in developing countries. The ideal is that if someone asks "I found this on Wikipedia, can I use it for X?", we can just simply reply "Yes". Every time that we must reply "Maybe" we step further from that ideal. CIreland (talk) 01:12, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Re-use is not the main purpose of Wikipedia. That's what we have the Commons for and why the Commons does not accept non-free media. The main purpose of Wikipedia is to be a comprehensive encyclopedia (at least as far as Mr Average citizen is concerned). Kaldari (talk) 04:36, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
No, you're wrong about that. We are "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" -- both having free content and being an encyclopedia are our goals, and they are both equally important. It has long been recognized that building a comprehensive encyclopedia is impossible without using non-free content, so what we are doing is attempting to straddle that fine line. We use only what non-free content is absolutely necessary, and no more. howcheng {chat} 16:47, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that people have wildly different ideas of what is "absolutely necessary". Kaldari (talk) 17:10, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Of course people have different opinions. That's what NFCC 8 is for, to set a minimum bar of inclusion. That's why we ask two questions here: 1) Does the reader get a better understanding of the topic with the use of the non-free content? 2) Additionally, would the reader's understanding be harmed if the non-free content were eliminated? Note that (2) is not necessarily the converse of (1). A perfectly understandable article/section that lacks non-free content can usually be improved by adding some, but if it was just fine without the non-free content in the first place, then adding it is not necessary at all. Does that make sense? howcheng {chat} 17:30, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose. (ec) What would "significantly complement" mean? More fundamentally, if the material does significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic, then we should keep it. Sometimes it can significantly increase readers' understanding even without needing material to discuss it. (Example: logos, album covers, character group cast shots, etc...) Jheald (talk) 17:29, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
    • Not according to the hordes of editors deleting all the logos, band images, etc. Have you been to IFD lately? According to at least one editor there, logos never "significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic" and thus they should all be deleted from Wikipedia. Kaldari (talk) 17:42, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
  • In the article on Jeep, there is no discussion at all of the nonfree content (the logo). The proposal here would say that means we have to get rid of the logo until we add text to the article that explicitly discusses the logo itself. I doubt that would gain consensus. — Carl (CBM · talk) 17:54, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
    • To be fair on this, there are certain classes of infobox non-free images that are used without any discussion or the like and purely for critical identification of the topic at hand, which includes: logos, covers of published works (books, video games, albums, etc.), and movie posters. This is not saying all infobox images get a free pass (episode screenshots are not exactly clear). I don't think this weakens your argument, just a comment. --MASEM 22:47, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Carl and Wikidemon. It's too easy to turn this proposal into a demand for reliable sources for editorial decisions. --GRuban (talk) 18:12, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Discussions regarding the deletion of an image from Wikipedia and removal of an image from an article often overlap, even though the requirements are not necessarily the same. The test would be two fold. First, there would need to be a reliable source showing. Then, if that was satisfiled, then could come the editorial decision issue. I don't think that, under current article content policy, an editorial decision could allow an image to reside in an article when there is no reliable sources to support inclusion of that content in an article. -- Suntag 19:20, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Let me compromise:

"Significance. Non-free content is used only if it is used to illustrate the subject of the article if there is no free equivalent (such as a identifying trademark or logo), or to illustrate verifiable material in the article discussing that non-free content which increases the reader's understanding of the article by providing key information about its subject that cannot be expressed with words alone."

There, so everyone is happy. ViperSnake151 16:36, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

So lemme ask this scenario: How would (a) logo(s) from before I was born (I'll throw out 1980 for arguments sake) help me understand an item on a supermarket shelf? (talk) 22:40, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
Firstly, "to illustrate the subject of the article if there is no free equivalent" covers the main usage of an image, this pretty much gives a little pass-through for the common practice of putting a screenshot related the episode in infoboxes on articles in television programs. And the use of historical logos in this case can support arguments such as the evolution of a brand through changing times and situations if it is well-known in the market for example (like, affiliation changes and stuff). Of course, my method would require the introduction of verifiable information to support the use of each logo like "1996-2007 - this logo was introduced with its change in affiliation to NBC", and "2007-present - The previous logo was amended with the launch of newscasts in high definition". ViperSnake151 23:21, 14 November 2008 (UTC)
And again, how would I, an average Wikipedian, care whether or not some station changed their logo? (talk) 08:39, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I would also note that, for illustrative purposes, the current logo provides illustration. (For the record, I strongly disagree with the "to illustrate"...exception anyway, but this holds even provided it's valid.) Excessive use is not permitted, many nonfree images are not permitted when one will do. In this case, one (the most current) will do to illustrate the product or company in question, we do not need a gallery of every logo they've ever used to do so. The only way an individual historic logo could be validly used would be if it were backed by critical commentary. Seraphimblade Talk to me 21:22, 15 November 2008 (UTC)


I've been perusing signatures throughout the US presidents' articles and most of their signatures have been Commons licensed as {{PD-ineligible}}. This is specifically not PD-USGov; do all signatures fall under PD as so? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 20:52, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

You can check out Signature#Copyright, which cites the copyright provision most closely applicable. I looked a while ago and couldn't find anything more definitive. Periodically this has come up on WP:MCQ and related pages but I've never seen a good answer. In any event I think we should be retagging these
See Commons:When to use the PD-signature tag for an explanation of when the tag may be used.

PD Public domain false false

so that if it ends up that signatures are eligible for copyright, they can be deleted in a batch. Calliopejen1 (talk) 21:09, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh and as a related matter, all signatures that are tagged PD-USGov should be retagged. I don't think that being president suddenly makes the signature you've had all your life suddenly fall into the public domain, if it was copyrighted to begin with. Calliopejen1 (talk) 21:10, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Okay, re: signature#Copyright, would then this collection of effective "signatures" (Image:Ken jennings name001.jpg) fall under PD? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 01:15, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Those aren't signatures, they are autographs. They are closer to logos for an individual person than a signature. J Milburn (talk) 10:05, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Walk Among Us

I would appreciate some comments on the use of non-free album covers in Walk Among Us. The discussion is at Talk:Walk Among Us#Thoughts regarding suitablity of alternate covers. I have been in conflict with another editor over the images and we would both like some other concerned editors to weigh in. Thanks. --IllaZilla (talk) 06:43, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Album cover images in video game discographies

Following the very standard practice of removing album images from discographies, (see featured lists Nine Inch Nails discography, Godsmack discography and numerous others from WikiProject Metal for a demonstration) I removed the album covers from Discography of Command & Conquer. However, the article's author then pointed out that numerous other video game discography articles do have the album covers- he gave the examples (all good articles) of Discography of Final Fantasy I and II, Discography of Final Fantasy III, Discography of Final Fantasy IV and Discography of Final Fantasy V. The only reason I can see for these articles to include album covers is that often, the individual releases will not have articles of their own. However, I do not feel that it is enough to warrant an exception to the practice- I feel that the album covers should be included only if they themselves are significant, to avoid large numbers of non-free images. Also, of course, I am worried about opening the floodgates to getting the covers back in other discographies. That said, I feel that this warrants some discussion rather than unilateral action by me, so, what does everyone think? J Milburn (talk) 18:32, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Each nonfree image must be defensible per WP:NFCC; whether the article looks pretty or not is besides the point (and those Discography of FF articles look like crap using the lead infoboxes over and over again, ugh.) Criterion 8 is the relevant bit here: "Significance. Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding." How does a soundtrack cover significantly increase reader's understanding? In single album pages, the defense is that it is the tangible form the otherwise intangible music is marketed as and under, and how it is represented, but the same defense cannot be applied to "group" or discography articles, so someone is going to have to do better, otherwise the images should be removed on sight and tagged if necessary. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs (talk) 18:41, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I would go further on the above in that most game soundtrack covers do not vary that much from the game's cover itself (all 5 of the given examples are of this type) and thus are duplicate given the game cover art, and thus fail NFC as well. List of Final Fantasy Compilation albums had the same problem to start but the images were ultimately removed per discussion (here on this talk page at some point too). --MASEM 18:52, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I totally disagree. I think individual albums are notable enough to be standalone articles, they are only arranged in discographies in this instance for ease of navigation. Whereas the Nine Inch Nails discography leads to Wikipedia articles in which identifying art can be found, and as such, the redundancy is not needed - here, it is not the case. User:A Link to the Past has recently merged several articles into Cruis'n, which could now be classed as a discography, the identifying images should not be removed because of semantics. - hahnchen 19:29, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I would certainly advocate removing those images, so I don't think that's a particularly good counter-example. It's not a matter of redundancy, it's a matter of whether the images are needed. J Milburn (talk) 19:38, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I think you'll find that many will disagree with the removal of identifying art from video game articles. Because that is what you're suggesting if you don't find redundancy the issue, even if they were split up again, you'd delete. - hahnchen 19:45, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Not really. If a video game is notable enough for its own entry, I would argue that an illustration of the game (its cover art) would be warranted. Thus, if the video game articles are separate, cover art can be used. If not, not. This has the added bonus of not leaving any list articles with large numbers of non-free images. J Milburn (talk) 19:50, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
If you look at Talk:Mario_Party_(series)#Merge_proposal, there's a merge proposal (which I've disagreed with), which involves putting several articles on notable subjects together into one for navigation purposes, I assume. Whether they're notable individually has not even been discussed. Yet if that merge were to go ahead, by blindly following policy without considering its interpretation would lead to the deletion of those images. - hahnchen 20:10, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Not necessarily. You can have a parent article, or even a list article, which serves as a navigation article or branching-off point for numerous other articles. For example, a parent article on Mario Party (series) or List of Mario Party titles would include links to the individual articles on each game that is notable enough to have its own article. Those separate articles could of course have the cover images in their infoboxes. You could probably justify having 1 cover image in Mario Party (series), as it isn't a list article per se but rather a parent article that has discussion and critical commentary of the series. A cover or 2 would therefore be appropriate in that context. In a strict list article, though, such as List of Mario Party titles, you wouldn't be able to justify the use of cover art under NFCC #8. --IllaZilla (talk) 20:17, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
In the parent/child article structure, at most you could have the logo I guess. But what is being proposed, is that all the games are just merged into one mega-article, such as Cruis'n was. These are multiple notable individual titles arranged in a list, essentially a discography, and I think they should include identifying images. - hahnchen 20:27, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm...I don't really think that's necessary. A parent article on the Cruis'n series is certainly appropriate, and could get away with 1 or 2 cover images, but most games released after 1990 (including all the Cruis'n and Mario Party games) have reviews and other third-party coverage available online and in other sources. As long as third-party coverage exists, you can still have independent articles (note that articles don't have to be long to be considered our best work, they merely have to cover their subjects in full). As long as you've got a few secondary sources, you can justify independent articles that include the cover art. Without secondary sources then there really can't be any critical commentary, and we're back to NFCC #8 again. Making a parent article is fine, but it doesn't necessarily mean that you have to merge and eliminate all of the independent articles. --IllaZilla (talk) 20:38, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
We're getting sidetracked here over Mario Party, which I only mentioned to prove a point. There's nothing wrong with separate articles, or putting articles together, only that it's possible to put together several articles on notable subjects into one merged article (and ridding the separate articles). In this case notable subjects should still have identifying art. I've not actually gone through the discography examples mentioned, but if they are notable, they should have identifying art regardless of the fact that they reside in a discography. - hahnchen 20:52, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
That being the case, it's important to note the distinction between an article and a list (a discography being the latter). If we're going to satisfy criterion 8, we have to have critical commentary of the subject. Articles provide that, even articles about several topics which have been merged together (for example see Aliens versus Predator 2...maybe a bad example but I'm working on it). Lists, such as discographies, generally don't have critical commentary. They just list the basic data (ie. List of Castlevania titles or Echo & the Bunnymen discography). Having cover art in these would fail criterion 8 because there is no critical commentary, and having cover art of each item would most certainly be excessive. So in a merged article, sure, cover art ought to be OK. But when it comes to discographies and other type of lists, consensus and policy have both been overwhelmingly against the use of cover art for some time. --IllaZilla (talk) 21:46, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I think one need only look to Wikipedia:Non-free content#Multimedia, which says that "The use of non-free media (whether images, audio or video clips) in galleries, discographies, and navigational and user-interface elements generally fails the test for significance (criterion #8)", WP:NFCC criterion #8 being "Significance. Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding." Hence we have the explicit example of "unacceptable use" being "An album cover as part of a discography, as per the above." Common sense says this also applies to video game, DVD, magazine, and other types of covers in list articles. We also have Wikipedia:Non-free content#Non-free image use in list articles, which more or less lays out when it is appropriate to use cover images in list articles (which in this case is almost never, since "images that are used only to visually identify elements in the article should be used as sparingly as possible", which in this case would be never). 'Nuff said, IMO. --IllaZilla (talk) 19:54, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Also, it is generally accepted that use of a cover image in an infobox of an article about an individual work qualifies as fair use; for example, an album cover in an article about that album, or a video game cover in an article about that game. Per Wikipedia:Non-free content#Acceptable use, under "Images": "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)." A stand-alone article should, of course, provide critical commentary (if it doesn't, it needs to be improved, merged, or deleted). So, to sum up: cover art in stand-alone articles=OK, cover art in list or discography articles=not OK. --IllaZilla (talk) 19:59, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
IllaZilla's view of this seems to be both logical and policy based. Most objection so far does not seem to be based on a reason that these articles should be exempt, but just general apathy towards the established, longstanding and coherent policy on fair use images in lists. Is there any reasonable reason that these videogame discographies should be treated any different to any other? J Milburn (talk) 22:13, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
(outdent) Oh, there's plenty of logic and reason in the 'keep' side. It's just not really going anywhere since the same problem keeps being detailed over and over -- many people can't wrap their heads around the fact that a list/disography is not always 'just a list'. It's been described above -- sometimes things are notable, but for the sake of orginization and especially for the sake of keep down repeated info, things are combined. Most of the FF Discographiess noted above are this way -- they were originally seperate pages, but condensed with very little info actually lost. I, for one, don't see why specifcally having a seperate article should make a difference when the amount of INFO is the same. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 23:19, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
In that case, I think we're arguing semantics. If a list has a bunch of critical commentary, especially referenced to secondary sources, then it's not really a discography, is it? A discography is just a specialist list, not an essay or article. Something like Discography of Final Fantasy I and II is significantly more than that. It seems to me that it's mistitled. It should be moved to Music of Final Fantasy I and II. One could then discuss the music of the games as a whole, including (but not limited to) the soundtrack albums, and the cover art would potentially be justified because of the presence of critical commentary. A discography is "just a list", in a sense. If you've got significantly more than that, then you don't have a've got an article, and really isn't that better? :) --IllaZilla (talk) 23:31, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Now that we all know what we're talking about (kudos to Melodia et al. for for that), in the specific case of video game discographies, I believe album covers add relatively more than in other cases. This is the actual discussion we should be having, and I encourage everyone to respond to this point. My own argument is about the informative value of album covers in this case. I'll start by what we all have in common (i.e. things that me and Betacommand (to name someone random on the other side of the fence) can agree on).

An irreplaceable informative value is the essential criterion for including non-free images. That's why we have screenshots of video games, for example: it is not possible to convey how a game looks with words. With albums (in general), in articles like The Black Album, we believe adding the album cover adds something significant to the article. With discographies, the apparent consensus is that album covers are not really appropriate, because you can view the album covers on the respective album pages themselves, and they don't add anything to a page as a discography. I don't agree with this point, but I believe video game-related discographies should be an exemption even if it would hold.

Firstly, video game-related discographies are different from others. These discography pages are usually the only venue in which some albums are discussed (as shown by people above). This is essential: it means there's no simple way to access the album covers by simply clicking on the individual album link in the discography. The question then is, is it really that valuable to show these covers? Yes, it is, because with video game soundtracks, there's a relative lack of information compared to other albums. This means that the importance of the things that we do have, such as the album covers, rises. To give an example, we know a lot about 20th century painting, and can write a lot in an article about it. In comparison, there's less information available on ancient Greek pottery inscriptions. I'd say it would be more important to show the actual images in the last case, because of that lack of information.

Cheers, User:Krator (t c) 23:11, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

I've no comment, other than that I think that makes a poor example, as ancient Greek pottery, and specifically images of such, are free to use, since they're old (unless they're copyvios, naturally). I implore you to use another. --Izno (talk) 01:36, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Take a look at the policy page, non-free content is not allowed in discographies. Please stop weaseling around the topic. If a album or video game is notable enough for a image it is notable enough for its own article. if it does not pass the notability/inclusion standards why do we need an image for it? βcommand 02:01, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Are you channeling your bot? I mean, seriously, have you actually read any of the above, or are you just seeing "discography" and thus "shut up it's not allowed" is your answer. The very point is that the albums DO pass the notablity standards, but for the sake of orginization and keeping from repetition, things are put together into a better single article. It's kinda the flip side of splitting out things like "Life of X" and so forth. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 03:12, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Hmm, too busy with my senior design project to really dig into this conversation, but as the author of every "Discography of Final Fantasy #" except "8", I'd like to point out why they are the way they are. They were all originally titled "Music of blah blah", and most of them had various album articles hanging off of them. The majority of the individual album articles were notable enough to stay separate. However, with 11 main-series "music of" articles as well as 2 others (at the time), I was concerned with making them all consistent. Therefore, as I went through and turned them into GAs, I merged the child articles into the parent "Music" articles. I rationalized that since three album articles would have three fair-use covers allowed, a merged article should be able to use those same images. This was tacitly accepted at the time, but when around 3/4 of the articles had been GA'd, someone pressured that the articles be renamed to "Discography of" instead, as several of the weaker GA's focused exclusively on the albums, not the music itself. To keep them consistent, I renamed them all. Suddenly, with this name change, they were "officially" discographies, and album art was a big no-no. Now whenever some who cares sees them, they remove the images. I'm currently trying to enforce a compromise where the main soundtrack album keeps it's album art, leaving only one image in the article. Therefore, while I wish you (the OP) good luck in using some of the articles as examples to keep album art in other articles, realize they only have them because the fair-use police haven't seen them yet. --PresN (talk) 03:59, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

It seems to me that their has to be some sort of distinction between list discographys that simply list all the titles etc which should not have album art and parent articles which contain information from a number of smaller articles in the one place which should not be classified as lists/discographys in that sense of the word. Rather articles that just happen to have Discography in the title. True, each album could have its own article but it keeps things consistant and neat to have them all in the same one. --Cabe6403 (TalkSign!) 11:06, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

In response to Krator, you are mistaken in claiming that the reason we do not allow album covers in discographies is because they are redundant- it's because they aren't needed. As such, we will remove cover art from discographies, even if the article on the album doesn't exist. In response to PresN: I'm not trying to use these to support keeping images in other articles- I feel that these should be removed. I would imagine I count as one of the "fair use police". J Milburn (talk) 17:58, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Then why are they needed in individual album pages (and I mean ones where the cover is simply there, but not part of the article otherwise)? ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 18:06, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Because this very guideline (NFC) says that an identifying non-free cover images are OK for identification in the context of critical commentary of that item (and provided they pass WP:NFCC). A stand-alone article provides (or certainly should provide) critical commentary of the album. Discographies (in the strictest sense ie. a list of releases, rather than parent articles) do not provide critical commentary and therefore non-free cover images are not justified. --IllaZilla (talk) 18:16, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
A non-free image for identification of the subject, when no free image could possibly be created, is acceptable. That's the reason we use covers and logos like that. J Milburn (talk) 18:51, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Discographies do not provide critical commentary and therefore non-free cover images are not justified --- have you been reading the thread at all? ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 20:06, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, quite thoroughly. You'll note one of my comments above where I mentioned that some of the examples under dispute, such as the Final Fantasy ones, are not discographies per se but rather full articles and should probably be renamed "Music of xxxxx". A discography in the strictest sense is a specialized type of list, and on WP discography articles normally don't contain critical commentary and thus shouldn't contain cover images. When the page in question is not really a discography but a full article with critical commentary, then it is possible that the cover images pass NFCC #8 and they should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Where no critical commentary exists, as in most discography articles, the images almost unquestionably fail criterion 8 as well as NFC. --IllaZilla (talk) 20:21, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
And there are those of us who disagree that the "illustration" bit is worthwhile to begin with, and that there should be a real necessity, i.e., illustrating significant critical commentary regarding the cover, if there is to be an image at all, without exception. 99% of album articles (discographies, individual articles, what have you) don't need an image. They have a pretty for the infobox and shouldn't have any images whatsoever, they would work fine as text alone. Most of the time, the cover art is not a significant part of the album. We should only allow exceptions to that rule (again, see Virgin Killer or The White Album) to have any images at all. The same is true of video games. Seraphimblade Talk to me 07:07, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Seems to me that we do have a consensus that these covers should be removed. Does anyone think I would be acting rashly in removing them now? J Milburn (talk) 10:12, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

No, have you actually followed the discussion at all? You have multiple editors here, myself included, who have shown that these video game discographies are significantly different to articles such as Daft Punk discography. IllaZilla suggests that these aren't discographies at all, and Melodia's comment summons up some of the counter arguments pretty succinctly. - hahnchen 14:26, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
There's no need to be like that. Something has to be done about this; what do you suggest? J Milburn (talk) 14:32, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
What do you mean "something has to be done about this"? If articles on multiple notable subjects are arranged into a single article for navigation purposes, than those notable subjects should retain identifying art. Renaming them to "Music of ..." is a possibility, but that's a trivial semantic change. - hahnchen 14:38, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
That would be a start, actually. It does make a difference. I still don't personally feel that it solves the problem, but it would be a start. J Milburn (talk) 14:46, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
The strange thing is, the FF ones at least used to actually BE 'Music of...'. I'm not sure why they changed them, though. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 15:37, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
It seems trivial to apply regulations to an article based soley on the name, rather than the content. As people have suggested I don't feel that these are discographies in the normal sense of the word I think the term is closer than "The music of...". Imo the articles are not listy discographies and the album art should be kept. Cabe6403 (TalkSign!) 09:53, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
If they are not discographies, they should not be named as such- and that has nothing to do with any NFC concerns. J Milburn (talk) 17:46, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Section Break: Album cover images in video game discographies

I did not say they were not discographies, I said they were not listy discographies like Daft Punk discography, the most fitting name for the articles is "Discography of " in the proper sense of the word. The word Discography literally means something written about the music, not a list. Common usage is as such. How many users on wikipedia define a discography is a list of all the albums released by an artist/group. There needs to be a distinction between a List Discography which is a catalogue of titles and a Discography which is a parent article containing information about the albums which is all kept together in one place. Cabe6403 (TalkSign!) 21:33, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Similar album/single cover overkill?

I suppose this question can also be asked at WP:ALBUMS but I think it may be more appropriate here. I'm seeing more and more instances of similar-artwork overkill in album and song articles... I'm talking about the basic album cover, plus an additional cover for a deluxe version, or a single's artwork along with the remix cover - and these "additional" images are almost identical, perhaps a small tweak in the border color or the word "remixes" on the sleeve. Otherwise things are exactly the same. This is a good example: Coco (album) - three album covers shown and each one has a different colored border. Umbrella (song) has a single cover and a "remixes" single cover. How acceptable is this? Is everything cool as long as each one has a fair use rationale? Or is this more of a infobox formatting question better suited for the ALBUM or SONG projects? Any thoughts? - eo (talk) 22:05, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

  • The Umbrella (song) one is practically identical and totally redundant, and I have removed it. There shouldn't be more than one album cover in an article unless there is critical commentary about the actual cover art involved, something that almost never happens. The exceptions mainly occur where there is a "censored" cover and a "clean" cover (see, for example, Virgin Killer). Black Kite 16:11, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

I am not very familiar in how far NFC gets enforced for album covers, but I have cited this thread to remove three alternative covers from Good Girl Gone Bad. (I agree with both of you.) – sgeureka tc 17:25, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Typically, one album cover is allowed no matter what for identification purposes, but even they may be removed from very poor/unreferenced articles. More than one is only required if the covers are significantly different, and every cover used is given sourced critical commentary, otherwise only the one given commentary should be used. J Milburn (talk) 10:10, 25 November 2008 (UTC)