Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/Archive 39

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"Final" Ruling: Galleries of Non-Free Images - Acceptable or Delete?

I don't think we came to a complete understanding given we have like 5 threads trying to deal with the problem and it's become a mess with the arguing and bickering and people wanting to keep images for "Nostalgia's sake." So has there been a consensus or not? Galleries of Non-Free Images are acceptable, or "shoot on site?" (talk) 13:23, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Like everything else, there is no hard and fast rule (and never any final rulings). It is very usually the case that galleries fail, on rare occasions they pass. Use the criteria already listed on the project page. WilyD 13:27, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
  • rule of thumb, NFC galleries are to be removed. βcommand 21:58, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Galleries don't get removed just because they are galleries. The images within them that don't meet NFCC are removed. In most cases, that will leave an empty gallery. Franamax (talk) 22:30, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I do think we can state that the use of the gallery feature of Mediawiki to display one or more non-free images (among other possible free images) should be avoided and discourages save in highly exceptional cases, if only because such galleries tend to separate the image from the text that should be providing critical commentary on that image; instead, if multiple non-free images are to be used, they should be placed as regular images, user-created montages (with the understanding that a montage of x images counts as x images, not 1) or imageframes to group images together if they need to be put near the same paragraph of text. I don't want to say that non-free image galleries are never allowed, and thus urge that only exceptional cases may this be used (though what would be an exceptional case, I don't know presently). --MASEM 23:45, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Here are my two cents, galleries of non-free images should only be used with either commentary, or usage BEYOND the scope of a gallery instead of just being a gallery. I've seen those movie channels use galleries of logos as a fancier way of sorting the different multiplexes (like see The Movie Network for example). In my mind, the previous identities of a network is often a significant local interest, as some stations have been known for their past logos. Though for stations that have a logo so famous that they keep the design the same even through every little tweak (like WISN-TV, that is going overboard in my mind. So, we should go under this principle, if the content itself can increase the reader's understanding, arranging them into one place can help increase it more. But, we have to keep a balance. ViperSnake151 23:51, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Galleries (within articles) with extensive captions can be be very effective in Visual arts articles, where more images than fit the text conveniently are often needed. These should be able to include non-free images where the usual free-use criteria are met. That is quite different from indiscriminate galleries of non-free images with little information, especial;ly "stand-alone" ones. The current guideline is a hopelessly unclear stand-off between different points of view & really needs clarifying. Johnbod (talk) 00:56, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Kat Walsh posted on the Foundation mailing list when first explaining the introduction of the Foundation licensing policy:
Some Wikimedia projects use media that is not free at all, under a doctrine of "fair use" or "fair dealing". There are some works, primarily historically important photographs and significant modern artworks, that we can not realistically expect to be released under a free content license, but that are hard to discuss in an educational context without including the media itself. Because the inability to include these works limits scholarship and criticism, in many jurisdictions people may use such works under limited conditions without having license or permission.[1]
The chances of getting a free licence on major artworks in copyright is virtually nil, yet this is one area, where, if a world class reference work is to be achieved, the inclusion of sufficient examples is essential; and sufficient is likely to exceed what is normally considered ample in other subjects. It is impossible to replace these images with words, which will undoubtedly give a completely misleading impression without examples. Nor is it sufficient to just give one example of, e.g. Abstract Expressionism, because the essence of a movement is only distilled through both similarities and differences evidenced in the artists of any movement. To a certain extent in this subject area, images have to do the job of and replace what might be achieved by text in other subjects. This is the reason why many art books are so heavily illustrated. Visual arts articles will often work best with a high image to text ratio. What one footballer looks like in comparison with another does enhance the reader's appreciation of a football team, but what they look like is not the fundamental reason for the topic. With a piece of visual art, it is. A gallery can be ideal, because it shows the works immediately next to each other, thus allowing the reader to make comparisons. This has been a cause of a certain amount of trouble in the past, and it needs to be approached with a sensitivity to and understanding of the special needs of the subject, and with, I suggest, more latitude than is normally allowed. Ty 02:52, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that by creating an exception for one field, other areas will envoke WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS and demand that they have galleries and the like. We are not denying the ability to show artwork that is non-free, but we may need to limit artwork to non-gallery uses - if users want to compare art, they may have to open two windows. (that said, if a reliable source commented on the comparisons of two different works of art, a side-by-side comparison on the same article makes sense). --MASEM 03:13, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
That's not a problem, because WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS specifically says that other stuff existing is not a justification. I am suggesting, just as Kat Walsh pointed out, that modern art works do merit special treatment. Ty 03:45, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Sure, it's not a justification, but people will still point to any place that we've said a gallery is ok, and demand similar overallowance of non-free image, which usually descend into shouting matches. So far, the only rationale I'm seeing here for galleries is that it can be helpful to show different artwork in the same space but without a reason to compare and constast the art within the text, this can be done by clicking through to the individual articles the art is located on. --MASEM 04:12, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
The assumption here that there will be "individual articles the art is located on", sadly, is likely to be wrong - such articles will rarely exist. Johnbod (talk) 07:23, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
If there is no individual article on a piece of art, then there must be critical commentary on that piece of art somewhere in the article that it is being used in or we shouldn't have the picture at all. From what I've seen at the VA articles, these galleries are to point out examples of work, but additional commentary is not often provided. (I will go the way that I would expect that if a piece of artwork must be part of a arts article because it is critical to show something, there is bound to be critical commentary around to make an article for that piece of art to start with. --MASEM 12:42, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Agreed..we are in agreement that text references to specific artworks is essential and many VA articles will be adding addition commentary to reflect that understanding..Modernist (talk) 13:10, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
To make it more concrete, let me put it this way: I know of exactly one article that uses nonfree images in a gallery and is compliant with the policy, it's Padme Amidala. Others may exist, but working with images a good deal as an administrator for some time, it's the only one I've seen. WilyD 03:19, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
The example you give is a case that applies extensively to the visual arts. Ty 03:46, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Though to a VA editor, it's an odd one, because there is so much text without images, a luxury we rarely have. There are other examples that have stable galleries, but of course people are reluctant to point to them here in the current athmosphere. Johnbod (talk) 07:23, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
I've no doubt there are. Certainly "modern art" is far more like to come across examples editing than I do writing mostly history, geography, astronomy. But as an admin who deals with images, it's the only example I've seen, is all. I thought an example/case study might be helpful. WilyD 13:17, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
As is often the case with works of modern art images are necessary to demonstrate the subtle differentials of meaning that define differing works and the distinctions between them. Images with Fair Use Rationales become more and more common in depictions of most 20th century artworks and 21st century artworks. Educational and scholarly wikipedia articles that are written to cover the subject of the visual arts would be severely handicapped by restrictions on the necessary images that actually describe and illustrate the subject and the meaning of the works of art and the article. The quality of the encyclopedia itself becomes questioned with such restrictions in this particular area where visual imagery is all....I agree above in that special latitude need apply based on wisdom and common sense, and in the spirit of education....Modernist (talk) 03:24, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Galleries in many cases are the most efficient space saving and clear way of illustrating artwork. Art is shown to a great effect in galleries. Especially to demonstrate a particular meaning..Modernist (talk) 03:28, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Given that gallery captions can be pretty long, what is the rationale for completely excluding non-free images from galleries? It is clearly not the case that sufficient discussion of an image in text to justify a non-free rationale has to be long enough to "cover" the whole size of the image in normal text - there are thousands of approved examples where the discussion is not that long. By their nature visual arts articles are discussing images the whole time, and constantly run out of space for images. Johnbod (talk) 07:23, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
    • And those articles are probably acceptable with an image. But it's not often that more than one is necessary, and where there is an exception, the image should be placed near the article text that discusses it. Seraphimblade Talk to me 15:51, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
My point is (again) why is long caption text not sufficient - what's magic about article text? One non-free image is no use for a survey article on a movement in modern art. Johnbod (talk) 00:51, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
      • That's not the position where the discussion ended up, when the section was created and this was thrashed out at some length. In fact, if you consult back to that discussion, you will find one touchstone was the "Torchwood monsters" article. There was a strong party taking the view that if the article was to be properly comprehensive, then most of the Torchwood monsters should be illustrated: that this would significantly improve reader knowledge of the topic, in a way that could not and would not be achieved with less. My understanding was that the discussion was left with an agreement to disagree, which is why the rule-of-thumb proposal of no more than 5 has been left with a disputed/discuss tag since that time. Jheald (talk) 21:31, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
        • Even 5 is generally unacceptable, as in the Torchwood article—most if not all of those are described fine with text. Take, for example, "sex gas"—I would learn nothing of what that's supposed to be from the image, but the description is clear and makes sense of it quite well. It's excessive fiction anyway, but at the very least the images need cutting, I'll have a look when I have more time later. I don't see how any of those pass #8, but it's possible one or two might. The Torchwood article is an excellent example of the problem, what do we need so many nonfree images in that article for? (I would also question what we need the article for, it's largely unsourced and all plot, but that's irrelevant to a nonfree media discussion.) Seraphimblade Talk to me 21:43, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I've seen very few image galleries that pass every tenet of WP:NFCC, and as mentioned above, those that do are generally to do with film and visual arts. That, indeed, is why Wikipedia:NFC#Non-free_image_use_in_galleries is a guideline and not a policy. I can see no reason why the logo image galleries discussed here pass WP:NFCC#8 (and indeed, WP:NFCC#3a), in relation to the article they are in. They should all go. Black Kite 16:03, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

*sigh* My Kingdom for a ruling!! (talk) 06:34, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Having being somewhat involved in the previous discussion on television station historical logos; thought I'd post a few of my own observations on this:

1. The non-free content issue as it relates to the use of historical station logos in articles, essentially seems to boil down to two areas of debate. The first being a legal nature as to determine whether a group of non-free television station logos within a subheading pose a potential liability to the project under fair-use law of which much of the NFCC derives from. The other being the encyclopedic/content value to say if such images generally improve or detract from the article they are associated with.

2. Speaking to the legal/copyright issues, during the earlier discussion had this year regarding the use of these images, because there was such a divergence of opinion on whether or not these specific non-free images grouped together in a station's article posed a potential abuse of fair-use for non-free images, the input of Mike Godwin was sought as being a unique and knowledgeable reference of expertise that no one else here is able to provide. Clearly this was not a broad edict or directive dictated from the Foundation on high in regards to NFCC in general and the question posed was explicitly directed to the usage of past logos of individual television stations being grouped together to communicate historical progression. That said, I personally find it to be a little short-sighted if not counterproductive to make the claim of his opinion being irrelevant as much of NFCC is derived from fair-use copyright law.

3. On the content issue, logos used historically by television stations as a primary means of identification to the public I believe do have significant inherent encyclopedic value for an article on that station to not only show their historical progression but significance as their identification of an era or more usually spanning many years if not decades.

The most prudent proposal that I've read thus far is to approach these issues on a case by case, article by article basis and build consensus on that level whether it be on an article or project's talk page. This was done a while back in regards to television station logos and in the end agreement was able to be reached on both sides with concessions also made on both sides of the argument. In my opinion, NFCC has increasingly been used as excuse for individual editors to make massive blind edits to hundreds of articles without first making a genuine effort to reach consensus with other involved editors to improve the content of the article overall. Making any sweeping rulings like this only seems to open the opportunity for more of this kind of abuse. Tmore3 (talk) 21:17, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

  • One could equally point out that the supposed inconsistencies in NFCC have also been used as an excuse for many editors to plaster multiple copyright violations all over Wikipedia articles, and then wikilawyer over their retention, and if that isn't the definition of abuse, I don't know what is. Black Kite 10:26, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
    • One eminent abuse - abuse of language anyway - is to call legal fair use a "copyright violation" :-) Jheald (talk) 14:22, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
      • They may be "legal fair use" in the US, but they're still copyright violations. We can't help the vagaries of the US legal system. More to the point, they're still against the mission of the foundation, perhaps that language makes it clearer. Black Kite 19:25, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
        • No. A copyright violation is something which is illegal. Fair use is not illegal, it is a First Amendment right. There are enough corporations that want to fence in that 1st Amendment right, we shouldn't talk it down ourselves. Read Duke University's graphic novel Bound by Law to get an idea of the land grab that the rights industry is sliding us towards, and why it's a bad idea. Whatever your view of fair use on Wikipedia, fair use in the real world is too important and too precious to besmirch like this. Think twice before you casually disparage it. Jheald (talk) 22:36, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
          • I think the use of the term is helpful though, because it reminds editors what is happening when they stray outside the narrow bounds that "fair use" embodies. And, of course, our NFCC is much more narrow than that (though you wouldn't think that from reading the views of some editors above). Black Kite 08:53, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

Comics in the public domain

I was reading a discussion at [[2]], which combined with this page, seems to be saying that the first two issues of Whiz Comics (and some other comics) are in the public domain. Anyone have a clue? Can Image:Whiz2.JPG be used without a fair use rational? - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 00:41, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Well I'm not a lawyer, but I think I'm finding evidence that the first two whiz comics are in the public domain, and a lot of other less known comics. For instance, that upenn site lists Time magazine as having issues printed before January 29, 1934 as being in the public domain. says the same thing except it has the date July 6, 1936. Some superman stuff is in the public domain, see and Superman (1940s cartoons). I'm posting this in a number of places trying to find someone who knows. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 00:49, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Non-free examples of paintings in lead sections on biography articles

I was wondering if I could get a few more opinions on the discussion here. J Milburn (talk) 21:33, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Unacceptable use images #4

Lost in the previous discussion above was my suggestion to NOT use Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima as the example for WP:NFC#Unacceptable use images #4 ("An image whose subject happens to be a war, to illustrate an article on the war, unless the image has achieved iconic status as a representation of the war or is historically important in the context of the war") because that case specifically contradicts #5 ("An image to illustrate an article passage about the image, if the image has its own article" and Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima is its own article). Is there any opposition to replacing that with Six-Day War? howcheng {chat} 17:13, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Me. I don't believe the image is being used in an appropriate way on Six-Day War. It is primarily being used to illustrate the whole article, rather than to illustrate a discussion of the image. I also don't believe the image is significant enough to deserve its own section in that article. Whilst iconic, there were also other iconic images of the Six-Day War, and editors on the page (rightly in my opinion) judged a specific section on the image would be WP:UNDUE.
Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima is a good example of acceptable use because it is a page specifically commenting on the image -- the point the section is trying to make.
Whether or not other pages can or can't talk about that image is irrelevant - they are not being cited; only this specific page is being okayed. Jheald (talk) 20:22, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
OK, I think there's a disconnect here, because when I see read this, it seems to OK the use of Raising the Flag in other articles. howcheng {chat} 20:49, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, maybe we should add the words "the article" then, to make it absolutely clear that it is the article that is being cited as an example, not a blank cheque for the image. Jheald (talk) 22:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
That doesn't work. The example reads, "An image whose subject happens to be a war, to illustrate an article on the war" (emphasis mine). In other words, using Raising the Flag is prohibited in the Battle of Iwo Jima article (as we were discussing above). Maybe you can find a better example than Paratroopers at the Western Wall ... an image from a war that is famous in its own right, but that doesn't have its own article, and thus can be used in the war article. howcheng {chat} 23:46, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
But the section isn't saying the "Raising the Flag" image is okay for Battle of Iwo Jima; it's saying it's okay for Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima. I don't understand why that's not sufficient. Jheald (talk) 23:55, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Here's what I suggest:
Unacceptable use #4: An image whose subject happens to be a war, to illustrate an article on the war, unless the image has achieved iconic status as a representation of the war or is historically important in the context of the war and the image is being used in an article or section of an article specifically analysing the image's historical importance or iconic status (e.g. the article Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima).
Does that work for you? Jheald (talk) 23:59, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
That's what you had proposed above, right? It works for me. howcheng {chat} 18:37, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with this wording that excludes the use of the image on Battle of Iwo Jima. However, such agreement is pointless since if you try to change to this wording, someone will revert you faster than you can say "free enyclopedia". CIreland (talk) 19:01, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
"An article about the war" to me means any article related to that war, however tangential. howcheng {chat} 06:53, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose the whole idea, which is a blatent example of policy creep; the "beautifully crafted" (Hammersoft tells us above) guideline says non-free images must be used in a minimum of one article. If it had meant a maximum of onme it would have sais so. Johnbod (talk) 22:09, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Then I'm sure you wouldn't mind helping out with putting album covers onto discographies? --Hammersoft (talk) 22:18, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Er, what? Johnbod (talk) 22:24, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Are we talking about two different things here? This guideline says nothing about non-free images being used in a minimum number of articles. I'm just trying to clarify the language used in this example, because I read it completely differently than Jheald did. howcheng {chat} 23:10, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
WP:NFCC #7, which is reproduced in this one. Johnbod (talk) 01:46, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
All that means is that we don't retain nonfree images when they are not currently in use for an article. It certainly does not mean we should splatter them as widely as possible, it simply means we're not a webhost and aren't going to keep around nonfree content when it's not in use. It takes exceptional circumstances to justify a nonfree image in more than one article, in almost all cases a link to the main article with the image suffices. Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:48, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
In many cases it suffices unfortunately only for an impaired encyclopedia and less informative articles. Ty 15:10, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • A free content encyclopedia is not an impaired encyclopedia. Rather the opposite. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:34, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
It is not impaired as far as re-use is concerned (actually it is, because GFDL terms have to be adhered to which are cumbersome), but it is impaired as far as content is concerned in important areas, when draconian interpretation of minimal is applied. Minimal needs to be minimal to present content of world class standard according to normal expectations in the particular discipline. Ty 05:38, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Most Wikimedia projects get by just fine with no non-free content at all; of the minority that allow it, most of those are still more restrictive than us. CIreland (talk) 07:57, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

RFC: Use of logos on sports team pages

To ensure that this page remains navigable, this RFC has been moved to Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/RFC on use of sports team logos. Black Kite 11:23, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Question regarding image placement

In the article Tiny Thompson, an image has been uploaded under a claim of fair use to help explain Thompson's playing style. Two users—me and Giants2008—believe that the image must be in "playing style" section, because of the image's purpose and it being included under a claim of fair use. Three other users—Kingturtle, Juliancolton, and Wizardman—believe that it is more logical to place it in the infobox. I personally disagree, since the image in that case is illustrating the subject more than the playing style, for which fair use is being claimed. I'm interested in some other, more uninvolved, opinions. Maxim(talk) 13:45, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

It's serving both purposes, to illustrate the playing style as well as the deceased person's image - technically, either location is ok. Given that you also have a good facial shot and thus no need for a second NFC to just illustrate the person (though you should try to see if there's any free images -- though given the date of death, I'm not expecting much). The infobox caption, appropriately, is helping to connect that image to the playing style section, so I think all is ok with the infobox placement. --MASEM 13:51, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
We (Moni3 has been a huge help) have tried basically everything, and we've gone as far as contacting a higher-up in the Hockey Hall of Fame. I'm afraid we'll have to wait a few decades before copyright on an image expires before a free one can be found... :( Maxim(talk) 14:11, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't expect that a free picture is going to be easy, but its good to try anyway. I'm just saying that you have a single image that works (with valid rationales) either way as a picture of the person, or as a demonstration of his stance; neither use invalidates the NFC aspects of the image. Since we prefer an image at the top to establish context, I think the infobox image works fine here; the placement itself in either location is not going to make it fail NFC policy. --MASEM 14:32, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Comment the placement looks good to me. It would not make sense to have an infobox without a picture of the player, but then later in the article have a picture of the player. Also, as far as "playing style", a photo like that can be staged using another player or model, or even a drawing--that could then be placed in commons or whatever.--Paul McDonald (talk) 16:08, 22 December 2008 (UTC)


Hi, I don't think this image's meets the fair use criteria for inclusion in this article (You can't see the "serial numbers" very well at all), what do you guys think? Ryan4314 (talk) 15:03, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

I completely agree. That particular ship isn't even mentioned in the prose. J Milburn (talk) 17:34, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Scientific Papers

Hello everybody, One quick question: what is the policy here on pictures from scientific papers that were not published in Open Access journals, thus in Science or Nature for example. Is it fair use to use pictures and illustrations from those or not? If yes, in which cases is it, e.g. if there is a scheme of proteins interacting or a schematic picture of a method (no original research data). What if they are published in an Open Access journal, does it make a difference? Thanks a lot for your help --hroest 08:11, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Very doubtful that even Open Access journals put the work into free (as in thought) category; if there's a (C) symbol somewhere on the article pages then the images and the like have to be used as non-free work. --MASEM 10:14, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Generally speaking, any image from a scientific paper is non-free, Open Access or not; I've never seen an exception. The license typically allows limited classroom reuse, but Wikipedia use is far outside the scope of that and fair use is the only resort. However, in some limited cases figures are not copyrightable as they represent the underlying data in a straightforward way with no creative interpretation; and in many cases you can derive data from the figure which is then used to produce a new figure that is free. Dcoetzee 10:43, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Public Library of Science journals are CC-BY, which is free. Dragons flight (talk) 15:16, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Rumble Roses

There is a discussion here concerning the use of non-free images in the article. Any outside input would be appreciated. J Milburn (talk) 11:31, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

May it infringe?


I read this:

"Just because something is "fair use" on a Wikipedia article in the US does not mean it is fair use in another context. A downstream user's commercial use of content in a commercial setting may be illegal even if our noncommercial use is legal. Use in another country with different fair use and fair dealing laws may be illegal as well. That would fail our mission. We therefore limit the media content we offer, to make sure what we do offer has the widest possible legal distribution.

We do not want downstream re-users to rely solely on our assurances. They are liable for their own actions, no matter what we tell them."

Does this mean that merely viewing the material in a country whose fair-use standard would "prohibit" the usage of the material would be infringement, and the downstream end-user would be guilty of infringement even without intent to do so? mike4ty4 (talk) 04:29, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

By re-users we refeer to people who re-distribute/host the content, not end users. Viewing an image hosted legaly on a US server is very unlikely to cause any copyright isses for the user. Strictly speaking you can barely whistle a tune these days without violating copyright law, but just viewing an image is such a trivial thing that there is no need for any fear, uncertainty and doubt for readers. The "problems" primarily begin when you host and re-distribute content. --Sherool (talk) 01:48, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

"But it's a featured article!"

Can we please stop using this defense for use of non-free content? In particular with the recent discussion of non-free logos of college sports teams, but elsewhere in Wikipedia, I have seen this defense used as a reason to keep problematic non-free content around and, in some extreme cases, totally railroad anyone who begs to differ. I think that part of this is that people get very defensive (and understandably so) about articles they have helped bring to featured status. In situations like this, the article talk page is typically a poisonous environment to discuss non-free content. Is there a better forum than Featured Article Review where such discussions can take place, or are we doomed to an eternity of personal attacks and accusations of bad faith whenever we try to enforce this policy? (ESkog)(Talk) 05:28, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm quite sure that most mean the argument not in the way that the article is an FA, but that it has passed through the rigorous FAC challenge. But either way, why shouldn't it be used as a defense? In the featured article review, every point in the article is examined to determine if the article meets FA standards, and this includes images. If the article has passed through the FAC, then it most likely has the suitable amount, variation, style, etc. of images, both free and non-free. People are much more apt to go towards the side of a meticulous review than a few people who pop in and start removing images. Mastrchf (t/c) 05:40, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Personally, I've never understood how something can be classed a "Featured Article" if it contains non-free content. The two concepts seem contradictory. CIreland (talk) 06:00, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
I have actually given up pointing out fair-use violations on FACs after Wikipedia:Featured_article_candidates/Preity_Zinta, which went on to be Today's Featured Article despite containing at least two images, and probably three, which fail various parts of NFCC. Makes you wonder why we bother sometimes. Black Kite 13:58, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
I think the main problem with FAC is that very few who take an interest in image copyright issues actualy particupate there, and a lot of the "regulars" there while fantastic text contributors have virtualy no clue (and often no interest) when it comes to image policies. I think the only solution is for more of us to contribute on FAC's so that when someone do point out a problem he or she doesn't get shot down as a lone crank out to torpedo the article's promotion. --Sherool (talk) 14:48, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
And actually, raising concerns about nonfree images in potential featured articles might be a good way to get awareness raised of the requirements. I think that's quite a good idea, and might later on prevent the "But it's a featured (article|list|what have you)!" That's a garbage defense anyway, "featured" doesn't mean "perfect", so I just tend to ignore it. Feature articles are subject to the exact same NFCC restrictions as anything else, and if they fail them, they need the offending images removed just like anything else. Seraphimblade Talk to me 19:52, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the Zinta article was a good starting point. It's already got a free image of her, and she's still quite alive if we want more, so that's a pretty cut and dry failure of #1. Seraphimblade Talk to me 19:58, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Severe overuse problem

I've become increasingly aware of a growing fair use overuse problem and would like some input on how to proceed.

The problem is college sports logos are being distributed across a huge number of articles. For an example, I cite one of the most egregious cases: Image:Ohio State buckeyes logo.png. This fair use image is used in 102 articles. 102. There's only rationales for 6 articles, but that's not the real problem here. The problem is the immensity of use, and the rationales for such use.

The typical purpose of use in these cases is "Identification and critical commentary in the NNN article, a subject of public interest. The logo confirms to readers they have reached the correct article, and illustrates the intended branding message."

Now, WP:NFC says regarding acceptable use of team logos, that they can be used for identification. So, an argument could be made this is acceptable use. Yet, there is contradicting evidence. Looking at some major league sports, we don't see the proliferation of team logos on things like 2004 World Series, 2007–08 Los Angeles Lakers season, 2006–07 Boston Celtics season, 2005–06 Detroit Red Wings season and many other similar articles. In fact, I haven't found one where the logos are being used on such articles like Image:Ohio State buckeyes logo.png and many other college sports logos are being used.

I did a test case of addressing this. On 12 November 2008, I removed the sports team logos from 2005 Texas vs. Ohio State football game ([3]). Yesterday, they were restored.

There's nothing codified, but the general practice on major league teams seems to be this: "Sport team logos are used only on the article specifically about that team, and on an article regarding that team's logos, if such an article exists. The use of the logos on every page regarding that team, such as season or game articles, is not supported" Am I wrong? If not wrong, I'd like to see this added to the guideline to help clarify the use of team logos.

Comments? --Hammersoft (talk) 15:23, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

To "brand" a page as belonging to a team to make it easier to the reader to know they hit the right page is definitely out of line. We don't use company logos on specific product pages (beyond any branding already on product's logo or picture), we don't reprint the title card of a television show on every episode page it may have. The only time a logo may go "free" on a page with a "for identification" rationale is on the company the logo represents, any other time it must be for criticism and commentary about that logo ("Company X said Company's Y logo was too similar to theirs and started a lawsuit..." would be acceptable to use the Y logo on page X for example). Unless the sports logo is already part of another non-free image for that page, the addition of a separate logo image needs to be removed. --MASEM 15:28, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Agreed, but the guideline doesn't indicate that. It says purposes of identification are sufficient. The common practice is as you say, but the guideline doesn't reflect that. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:31, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
WP:NFCC#3a covers that. βcommand 15:34, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Not really. There's nothing there regarding not using images unless really necessary. #8 might apply, but #8 is frequently controversial and subjective. I'd prefer seeing something in the guideline regarding the general case of team and corporate logos not being used liberally everywhere the entity is mentioned. Right now, the only thing to point to is the guideline and it says that identification alone is sufficient, and that's exactly what the team logos are doing all over the college sports pages. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:38, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
That is blatant overuse. I personally think that we should just say, "Logos can only be used on the page of their subject, or if they are critically discussed in an article that is not directly about its subject" (which would clear articles on their subjects, and the few cases where a logo is famous enough for its own page, and maybe on season articles where we can say "the team also debuted this new logo for the 2009 season".). I do not think that these images are critically discussed inside the article, so unfortunately they must go. I have done this swiftly for every page they are still used on (well, within the scope of college sports) by removing the Image parameter from the offending template. ViperSnake151 15:47, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
I am seeing this as an overall issue, and it extends from logos to basic images. As it relates to logos I have been seeing some editors replace Template:Non-free logo with Template:PD-font claiming that fonts can not be copyrighted therefor any "logo" that uses fonts is PD. The greater issue is how to address any image that could be considered "fair use". The problem is that all images could be considered for that use. And that is, as I am seeing it, the core issue. Wikipedia has one set of editors that say anything and everything is fine, there are no limits. There is another section that says only images of news items are for use, other images, such as logos or images or artwork, are not. Other will narrow it down more and say logos the use text don't fall under fair use, they fall under Template:PD-font. I am not sure how to fully address the largest issue because we have policies and guidelines that already explain the issue fairly well. When it comes down to actually removing something that is a violation, that is where the real issues come up. I tend to feel, as does, User:ViperSnake151|ViperSnake151]], that explicit is better in this case. I do not think being vague is better, nor being worried about a user feeling we are not adhering to the "assume good faith" concept or the criteria are having too much "instruction creep". For articles we have WP:GNG and we break that down into subject specific guidlines, and some of those are pretty specific. I see nothing wrong with being that specific for images of certain types. Soundvisions1 (talk) 16:26, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
To be better stated, I would add two lines, one affirming the use of the current logo(*) of a company, product, or organization as allowable on the associated topic's page, and then a second negative use disallowing the logo on other pages for purposes of identification and/or without criticism and commentary. (*) This doesn't allow or disallow historical logos which I would still say is unresolved from the discussion last month. --MASEM 16:12, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

This is not enough discussion to warrant wanton changes across the spectrum. While I see where people are coming from, fearing that universities will start suing Wikipedia for including their logo in a game article (I know, I know, doesn't pass the "laugh test"), I respectfully disagree that they are being overused when an article is about the team involved and the proper Fair Use rationale is provided. --Bobak (talk) 22:17, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

  • The argument "they'd never sue" is seen very, very often around these parts. It doesn't work. The fair use policies here are a superset of the law. These aren't wanton changes. See my original post in this section and note the articles on major league sports do not use logos in the way you want to use them. There's strong, strong precedent for deprecating this use.
  • To others: I removed the logos from Jeweled Shillelagh, Bobak saw it and restored them. Sigh. --Hammersoft (talk) 22:24, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Everyone realizes this is being done in good faith and you all mean to do the right thing. However, you really shouldn't be surprised that you've brought our attention. This subject has been discussed heavily before, and the result was the current system. Older pages had logos for every team a school played in the season, now that was overuse. You're not going to find people receptive to this current system. Moving forward without discussing it with WP:CFB or other pertinent projects? That's not the right way to go about it. --Bobak (talk) 22:31, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Frankly, I think this argument is trying to create a problem where there is no problem. These logos are used in articles about the organization that uses said logo. Period. None of the arguments presented here justifies changing the current situation, imo. Zeng8r (talk) 23:07, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Actually you do have to consider this isn't just a legal issue, but one of the few things that the Foundation says "this is the way it has to be". While I for one agree that it's probably fair use under US law, it does to me seem to skirt WP's policy right on the line and in light of what the rule is (note I say rule here, and not consensus), Hammersoft is probably right. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 23:20, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Our fair use policies are not written with the intent of finding ways to use fair use content as much as possible. Rather, it's the opposite. Using fair use imagery, even if already on the project, on dozens of articles does not support our m:mission of creating a free content encyclopedia. The more we make use of fair use, the less close to our mission we become. It becomes increasingly harder and harder for downstream users to make use of our work, and yes that is a consideration in what we do. It's one of the chief reasons we exist. If the use of logos to merely identify something were sufficient fair use claim, then we could scatter logos all over the project. But, this is not a transformative use, and if you want to get into fair use law, you do have to address that. --Hammersoft (talk) 23:41, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I'd respectfully disagree that this use of collegiate logos interferes with the Foundation's mission. Until a university objects about the use of its logo in an article, there's no reason to remove it. We're trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist yet, and there's no simple alternative for the use of these logos. Nothing is as identifiable with the subjects of the articles, and a free use alternative simply doesn't exist. Until the consequences of using these logos outweigh the benefits to readers -- understandability, cohesiveness, etc. -- I can't agree that they need to be removed. JKBrooks85 (talk) 23:45, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
    • Our mission isn't to remove content when contacted by universities. The problem already exists; fair use content being used in an excessive manner, contrary to our policies and mission. The simple alternative is naming the respective teams. That also makes them replaceable. The consequences of using them are severe; a free content encyclopedia that is considerably less free. That's our mission here; not trying to not annoy universities. --Hammersoft (talk) 23:47, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
      • I disagree first that there is a problem, and second that a university would be "annoyed" by such a use. Furthermore, a textual representation is far less effective than a pictoral one. It doesn't make as striking an impression, and to not use an image of the one single item that the vast majority of individuals associate with the subject is absurd. JKBrooks85 (talk) 00:32, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
        • Yes they very likely wouldn't mind. Lots of people wouldn't mind WP linking to their YouTube videos of themselves playing PD music (perfectly legal on all counts) but we don't do that either. That's not the point (and shouldn't be brought up). The point is that -- annoying as it is to lose the aesthetic value the logos have (and I'm one who's BIG on aesthetics) -- WP rules simply do not allow them there. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 01:30, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
          • An established policy that 1) makes wikipedia better, 2) does not violate any copyright laws, and 3) is supported by a whole lot of users (judging by the near-instant reverts of a premature "cleanup" process already begun by Hammersoft) is a perfect candidate for Wikipedia:Ignore all rules, imo, especially since I'm not even sure any rules are being violated. Zeng8r (talk) 01:45, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
            • No, no rules are being violated. Except that small little thing of our m:mission. No mind, who cares if we're a free content encyclopedia? Who cares that WP:NFCC and WP:NFC devolve from the mission statement? Who cares that the Foundation:Resolution:Licensing policy strictly limits fair use image use? It's not a concern. Afterall, it improves the articles and I'm sure the universities won't complain. Perhaps we should start Wikipedia:Wikiproject Fair Use Distribution. What say you? --Hammersoft (talk) 03:27, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
              • Respectfully, if you wish to repeal WP:NFC, then please do a request for comment, but in any case, consensus appears to be overwhelmingly in favor of those who disagree with you. — BQZip01 — talk 06:46, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
                • This is about enforcing our policies, not repealing them. I'm not sure where I gave you the impression that I was advocating getting rid of our fair use policy. That would cause all manner of fair use to used all over the project. My position is the polar opposite of what you suggest. Also, be aware, fair use policy is not a consensus issue. Please note the very first line of Foundation:Resolution:Licensing policy where it says "This policy may not be circumvented, eroded, or ignored on local Wikimedia projects." I.e., even if consensus was unanimous to overrule that policy, it would still stand and would have to be followed. In particular from that policy, "Such EDPs must be minimal". Using any logo dozens of times across many articles is a clear breach of that policy. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:28, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

"I disagree first that there is a problem, and second that a university would be "annoyed" by such a use." This hits the nail on the head. Universities do everything possible to get their brand and their image out there for recruiting purposes. There is no logical reason why they'd be annoyed by the use of an official university logo on an article about the university. Zeng8r (talk) 01:07, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

I totally agree with User:Zeng8r that this is really not an issue. While I don't doubt User:Hammersoft is bringing this up with good intentions, I simply don't see what the problem is with using a fair use image in a few articles specifically relating to the team. I don't see that as overuse in any way. I think if College Football pages are being targeted specifically here, this should be discussed on the College Football project page where all of our editors can give their opinions on this. I really don't care either way (would support keeping the system the way we have it now) but if we are going to make a standard or policy on this, it definitely needs to go through the College Football project first. Rtr10 (talk) 01:40, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Totally agree with both Rtr10 and Zeng8r. There is no issue at all on this, and even if there were, then it should go through the proper channels. Cardsplayer4life (talk) 03:22, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Let's make something clear here. Proper channels is not and never has been a given project. The proper channel for discussing this is right here, on this page. Another potential channel is the Village Pump policy page. But, projects are not the arbiters or what should or should not be allowed within their area of coverage. Stamping an article as falling within a particular project doesn't protect that article from editing by any interested party. Similarly, it does not prevent it from be subservient to our policies. This is the proper place to discuss that.
  • Compare; Let's say someone decides to put Milk Can (college football) up for deletion. The article is watched by Wikiprojects Idaho, Sports, and College Football. Should we then have three discussing regarding that article's deletions among the project members in those projects? No. We bring the article to WP:AFD. Similarly, we don't make policy decisions or conduct enforcement with the approval of a particular project. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:54, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • You are making a flawed comparison here Hammersoft. At AfD, it is considered good form to notify major contributors to the article proposed for deletion. The deletion process also states, "Place a notification on significant pages that link to your nomination, to enable those with related knowledge to participate in the debate." By this logic you absolutely should have notified the Wikiprojects that work on these articles. The debate could be centralized, but the noticing should have been broad and inclusive. Johntex\talk 03:13, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
The issue is the same as it always is with non-free content; debating whether the university would mind or not is completely missing the point. When you use non-free content in an article you limit the re-usability of the content. Thus, using non-free content is always and indisputably bad; it's just that occasionally it's even worse not to use it. CIreland (talk) 02:21, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
That is an incorrect conclusion. If fair use images were always bad then they would be completely prohibited. They are not prohibited because they are sometimes desirable to have. So your statement is false. Johntex\talk 21:39, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Section break the First

One of the key factors of fair use is "minimal use". You are supposed to use as little as you can, as little as possible. This is why we nuked the Trinity Broadcasting Network logos from all the articles of their "translators", because it was used too much, and it didn't increase the understanding as technically the stations all take a network feed and do not have their own logo. ViperSnake151 01:59, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Frankly, I can't see why Hammersoft should be appalled at our "undoing of [his] efforts". It's much better to garner a wide consensus than to go on an incredible removing spree. Either way, the current system works now, and it's a bit ridiculous to start removing these images due to a very imprecise policy that could be interpreted many ways. I am a firm believer in policy, but common sense of IAR should apply here. Mastrchf (t/c) 03:21, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • It's a bit ridiculous to include fair use images as far and wide as possible every time a particular team is mentioned. The common sense around here is that we are a free content encyclopedia. Those of you advocating for liberal usage of fair use images need to understand this basic, fundamental point. We do not use fair use images within the bounds of law. The law is really quite irrelevant. Whether someone would sue is irrelevant. If you believe those are the most important issues at hand, some education is in order.
  • Let me give you an example. If the only concerns were whether something was legal use and whether copyright holders would complain, then we'd have album covers on every discrography of every group. It is legal, and the vast, vast majority of music groups would be most happy to have increased coverage of their works here, on a top ten website of the world. Yet, the reality is we do not have ANY album covers on discographies. Why is that?
  • Here's another example: Why do we not have per character images of every character on every list of characters on the project?
  • Here's another example: Why do we not permit the use of fair use images of people when we can reasonably expect to find free licenses images? It's legal to use the fair use images, and in most cases the people being depicted would probably enjoy the additional coverage. So why don't we permit it?
  • Here's another example: Why do we not permit the use of fair use images in userspace, or on templates, or on portals? In a significant majority of those cases, the usage is legal and certainly holders wouldn't complain. So why isn't that permitted?
  • Understand; the DEFAULT case on this project is NOT to include fair use material. A very strong argument must be made in each use of each image as to why that image is critical to user's understanding of a particular subject. That's just square one. There's plenty of additional constraints that, even if apparently legitimate uses can be found, prevent their use. Fair use content has to jump over massive barriers here to be included. --Hammersoft (talk) 03:35, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Agree with Hammersoft. These are (in totality - a few uses will be ok) a clear breach of policy. Johnbod (talk) 03:39, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
I also agree with Hammersoft; these images are largely being used with complete disregard for the (non-negotiable, non-consensus) issue of minimizing non-free content. CIreland (talk) 03:46, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I'll have to disagree with Hammersoft, and others pushing for this. Yes, in the case offered by Hammersmith where there are 102 uses of the Ohio State logo but only 6 Fair Use Rationales on the image's page, then 96 articles need to have the image removed because there is no FUR in place explaining why the image/logo is being used. But just today Hammersmith came and removed the logos of LSU and Ole Miss from Magnolia Bowl, an article that is extensively about both universities. Those are acceptable use, both images have a FUR in place for use in the Magnolia Bowl article, and both should not have been removed - especially in the midst of an ongoing conversation here about the very subject. - ALLST☆R echo 04:21, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Magnolia Bowl is not about either college, only the bowl game. Their logos are completely inappropriate for the page - this is further unnessitated by the actual game logo (which is appropriate) that repeats parts of both college's logos. --MASEM 04:32, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
You can't have a bowl game without the colleges.. they are indeed appropriate to the article as a means of identifying the bowl game participants. - ALLST☆R echo 05:29, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
The colleges aren't playing, it is their representative teams. And logos for the purposes of identifying anything outside of the article about that topic is inappropriate. --MASEM 05:38, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
We are not using the logos of the colleges we are using the logos of the representative teams/athletic departments which ARE participating in these games. Just something you might want to think about. They are very appropriate in the article. Rtr10 (talk) 07:12, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Ok, true, at least, the LSU one is the team logo, however, the logo serves no purpose beyond identification of the team on a page that is not about the team directly, and is duplicated by the official logo that should be on that page. There is no valid reason for those logos to be used here. --MASEM 07:17, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Please enlighten me, if these pages are not about the teams what are they about? They are specifically about the teams and nothing else. If two teams are not relevant to a rivalry, I don't know what else is. Your logic is totally flawed. The page directly involves the teams and there is easily a valid reason for those logos to be there. I don't know how I could make that more clear to you, but it is right there. You are simply refusing to acknowledge it. Rtr10 (talk) 07:44, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
The article is about a rivalry between two college football teams that has earned a specific nickname. It is not about the teams themselves. As with the general use of logos, the individual teams' logos on this page cannot be used just for identification, but must be accompanied by commentary and criticism with respect for the logo's images to be included, otherwise it is simply decorative, since those logos, for a reader who has no idea about college sports but needs to research this particular team, will not be helpful in anyway, at least given that one can clickthru either team to get the full logo or can look at the game's logo to see parts of the teams' logo. Again, logos are historicly only used on the single page of the company or organization the logo represents. -MASEM 12:25, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
If you don't think rivalry articles are about specific college football teams, than you have no clue about college football and really shouldn't be chiming in on the matter. About 95% of these articles do not have "nicknames" they are simply "Team A-Team B Rivalry" so the team logos are definitely warranted. You may want to look a little more into this, rahter than just looking at one article. Lord forbid you collect an informed opinion. Rtr10 (talk) 18:04, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • If you can't keep your comments civil, then please do not post them. There's an answer to your query, but I certainly do not see, and I hope Masem equally does not see, a reason to respond when confronted with behavior like this. Thank you, --Hammersoft (talk) 20:43, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Alas, this is something that I find so incredibly mind-blowing - People get too caught up in the bureaucratic ways of the project to actually aid the project. As to your posed questions, (the "Why is that?" sort), I'm afraid that I'm not the one who can answer that. Undoubtedly consensus discussions, a bit of chance here and there. Ok, so non-free images aren't tops on our list of wanted things. Some things are going to undoubtedly be non-free. But, you know what? I don't think anyone, save non-free image crusaders, are going to complain about an extra image or two on a page. People come here to get information on something. They don't come here to look if the article has an incredibly ill-defined "limit" of non-free images. I can promise you that, even if only one person looks at that article and says, "Look, that image is there, that helps me gain a better understanding of this article" (of course that's not what would be said, but you get what I'm meaning), that will be one more person than persons coming on here, save for those who are trying to remove these on here, that say the opposite.
I have no doubt that this will be shot down in any number of ways, and in retrospect will probably mean little to nothing in this discussion. But is deleting possibly helpful images really aiding the construction of an encyclopedia? Mastrchf (t/c) 04:56, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
There are probably a large fraction of pages on WP that would be better served with more non-free images to help improve the demonstration of content. However, first and foremost, WP's goal is a "free content" encyclopedia, and every piece of non-free media deters from that goal. People aren't coming here to "look" at articles, they are here to research, per the mission. Images are secondary to that goal save when it is impossible to discuss that content without visual or media aid. --MASEM 05:04, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
And yet again, this is what I'm talking about. Bureaucracy attempts to trump common sense. Trust me, without people who "look" at articles, I bet our daily page view count would be hovering at a nice even eight. How many of us legitimately came to Wikipedia to "research", not "learn"? We have a fundamental disagreement over the purpose and natures of Wikipedia, it's quite apparent, and I respect your view and realize that it's probably just about as true as mine. True, the goal of Wikipedia is being a "free content" encyclopedia, but completely removing a majority of these images dramatically hurts Wikipedia's goal of simply being an encyclopedia. We need to find a happy medium, and rashly removing dozens if not hundreds of images from pages (I haven't checked to see how many Hammersoft removed) is possibly the worst way to go about this. Well meaning, no doubt, but a horrible way of going about it. Mastrchf (t/c) 05:13, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • The happy medium is permitting fair use in very limited circumstances, for example a sport logo on the page regarding that team, rather than it's rivalries, seasons, etc. If you think that's draconian, try spending time at the German language Wikipedia. They do not permit fair use there at all. The happy medium isn't permitting fair use wherever and however people want to use it. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:38, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Comparisons to the German Wikipedia are inherently flawed because their copyright laws are different. It is legal concerns that dictate much of their approach. Johntex\talk 04:33, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
If WP was worried about its page count, then yes, the end user experience would be placed at a higher level. But we're not here for page counts, we're here to build a free content encyclopedia that will grow and last the ages, and we have also been tasked by the Foundation to keep non-free use to a minimum. Remember, there are some versions of wikipedia ( notably) that disallow any non-free content, yet they continue to build and expand. --MASEM 05:38, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
So, just making sure, we're here to make an encyclopedia that's going to be here theoretically forever, but, we don't care if anyone reads it or gets anything from it. Right? That's not what you meant to say, true, but that's pretty much what it sounds like. And the "page view count" wasn't meant to be taken literally, by the way. I'm assuming you realized that.... Mastrchf (t/c) 05:50, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
We want people to read it, but we're not in any competition or for any profit; things that would normally be done on commercial or competitive websites to draw in viewers, such as more visually appealing pages, that otherwise interfere with the mission goals should not be done. --MASEM 06:14, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Agreed with Masem and Hammersoft. We've for some time allowed logos en masse in articles about the subject the logo represents. I don't think that's a great idea, but it's current practice. On the other hand, use of those logos outside those articles is unnecessary and excessive. When we can name a team rather than using its logo (i.e., in all cases), the logo is replaceable. We can just as easily say "Somewhere Foos vs. Elsewhere Bars" rather than putting logos, and that's perfectly clear. Seraphimblade Talk to me 07:05, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
It's obviously a matter of degree. 100 uses of a logo are too much. But the other extreme, for example the removal of images from Template:NCAATeamSeason is equally wrong (so, for example, 2008 Pittsburgh Panthers football team could not display a logo). In those cases, that logo is the logo of the subject and is thus perfectly appropriate. A rivalry page? Sure, include the logos. But more perplexing to me is this notion that fair use images and a viable free encyclopedia are mutually exclusive. Why is that so? If images allow us to convey information more strongly, that makes Wikipedia a better source of information, which is why it's here after all. That in turn brings more readers, some percentage of whom will become editors, which leads to the creation of more content. I think the notion that non-free images (which I believe we all agree enhance the reader's experience) detract from Wikipedia's mission is misguided. Oren0 (talk) 08:21, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
That is an excellent point, Oren0. 100 instances is definitely excessive, but if it is only a few instances and there are Fur's in place for all of the uses, there should not be a problem with their use. Taking the absolute worst example (the Ohio State logo with over 100 uses) and trying to extrapolate policy from that is ridiculous to the extreme. Cardsplayer4life (talk) 10:48, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • It isn't the point at all. The number of uses isn't the issue. The type of use is. Taken from that perspective (which it should be), the use of a fair use image just once beyond the bounds of where it should be used is just as much a problem as 100 uses. I'm not interested in the number. I used the Ohio State logo because that is what brought this problem to my attention. I fully expected and still expect to find other sports logos used rampantly like the Ohio State logo was. It's just one case of many. I highlighted a serious overuse problem. It isn't ridiculous to do so. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:44, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Every non-free media inclusion on WP harms the free content mission, though for we recognize that some non-free media is needed for some subjects to make articles more comprehensive. That's why we need to strive for as minimal use as possible. As soon as you relax the requirements for certain classes of images, you will find people will use that to have the same for other classes, and maintaining minimal use will be impossible. We have to limit extraneous uses where the images may look nice and make pages more visually appealing because these cases serve no improvement for helping readers to comprehend the text. --MASEM 12:25, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
(outdent) Let me just repeat something Masem said above me -- we have also been tasked by the Foundation to keep non-free use to a minimum. That's all the matters in the grand scheme. I absolutely agree that WP 'should' be able to have all these images. As I said, I'm a very aesthetic person, and I think the lack of images (or the horrid quality of some) is a bad thing. But this is a case of the fact that even if you don't agree with the rules, you still must agree to the rules. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 12:31, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm curious where this "task" comes from. Are you referring to Foundation:Resolution:Licensing policy? It states: "Their use, with limited exception, should be to illustrate historically significant events, to include identifying protected works such as logos, or to complement (within narrow limits) articles about copyrighted contemporary works." Logos are specifically called out as when non-free content is appropriate. My reading of that document is that it says that non-free content is allowable for those three cases, plus limited other cases. I don't see anywhere in that document (though there may be something in another meta page), nor do I see anything in WP:NFCC, that limits the use of logos provided a rationale and that the logos identify their subjects. This is why I don't buy Masem's "If you give a mouse a cookie, he'll want a glass of milk" argument. We're not the ones who say that logos are OK, meta is. Oren0 (talk) 18:13, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
It's the "limited exception" part that is important. Without it, the Resolution suggests that anytime a logo would make sense to include because the subject has been identified on an article, we should include it (such as the cases in point here). Limited exception means that we (through consensus) need to determine the exceptional cases when logos should be used to maintain minimal use. Now, it is true that there is nothing explicit that says "logos on the organization article's page only", but that's been an unwritten approach that has been used, and seems to be consistent with all other non-free use. --MASEM 18:30, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
I believe we are at a grammatical impasse. The way that sentence reads to me is: "Non-free content can be used for these three things (including logos) or used in other ways as a limited exception". The "limited exception" doesn't apply to logos or the other two appropriate uses as written IMO. I don't believe that I'm wikilawyering here, as it seems that the intent is to allow NFC for these three cases (with no indication that that type of use should be limited) and in a limited manner for other cases (such as when a non-free replacement is unavailable and the pic is low-res, per en-wiki policies). Oren0 (talk) 18:36, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
(ec) That's an odd reading of the phrase. A more natural one would be that, apart from limited exceptions, an EDP should limit the use to illustrating historically significant events, including identifying protected works such as logos, or complementing (within narrow limits) articles about copyrighted contemporary works. Jheald (talk) 18:39, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
For example, a Google search for "with limited exception" brings up hits like
  • "With limited exception, at least 10 facilities completed the survey in all regions" [10] -- ie apart from a very few exceptions, in every region at least ten survey forms were returned
  • "A provider of consumer loans (each limited to up to $25000) must, with limited exception, be licensed under Alaska law as a small loan company to make such loans" [11] - ie except in certain exceptional circumstances, a loan company has to be licensed. Jheald (talk) 20:29, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
On the other hand, it doesn't give carte blanche to use logos absolutely anywhere. While the logo may be identifying of the team, I find it hard to see as identifying of the competition. EDPs are supposed to tightly control usage even in allowed categories. WP:NFC is our EDP, and has to be respected. Jheald (talk) 18:51, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I can see the "limited exception" could be read a couple different ways, but even the basis of "to include identifying protected works such as logos" seems to me to state that we include logos when it is necessary to identify them - that is, on the pages of the company, organization, or product it represents, and in rare cases on pages about the logo itself. No one has yet demonstrated the need to identify the logo of a college team on a page that is otherwise not the main article of that college team save for "it helps readers to identify the team", which is not a necessity (a good question to ask is would the article be impacted by no non-free use requirements? Clearly here, the answer is no, there is no impact).
Again, while it is possibly being concerned about something that will never happen, I've seen enough arguments on this page that evoke WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS to try to justify excess use of non-free images. NFC needs to be as normalized as much as possible to prevent carving exceptions that others will see as special treatment and demand more for their articles of preferred interest. --MASEM 20:10, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
"No one has yet demonstrated the need to identify the logo of a college team on a page that is otherwise not the main article of that college team..." See, there's the issue. I agree that non-free logos should not be used on articles that are not directly related to the owner of that logo. But that's not the case here. For example, Florida Gators football is the main article about the University of Florida's football team. But then 2008 Florida Gators football team is also about an edition of the team, as is every other season article about Gator teams in different seasons, as is every article about traditional rivalries of the Gators. And that's just the football team. All the other UF sport teams use the same logo, so it belongs on all those articles plus their corresponding season articles, as well.
Obviously, that leads to a lot of use of the Gator head logo, but it's all justified and well within wikipedia guidelines. The logo shouldn't be used on non-athletics related UF articles, of course. I see absolutely no problem with using it on multiple pages as long as it's useful, lawful, and applicable. Zeng8r (talk) 21:22, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
It don't see why the logo is necessary for 2008 Florida Gators football team article. Specifically, how does it significantly increase my understanding of the 2008 team? I understand the argument for using it in the main team article, but even there I think it is at the very edge of acceptable use. CIreland (talk) 21:28, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Using the logo of a sports team on articles about that sports team is "on the very edge of acceptable use"??? Sorry, but that seems like a ludicrous statement to me. By that standard, "fair-use" = "no use". Zeng8r (talk) 21:40, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Section break the Second

  • Generally speaking, there are several potential reasons to remove an image from an article:
  1. It is a copyright violation
  2. A replacement exists or may exist in the future
  3. The image detracts from a mission to promote free content
The use of a logo in an article about a sports team does not violate any of the above:
  1. Fair use allows use of the logo to identify the brand/product/company being discussed, exactly as being done here.
  2. By definition, a logo is unique and their is no replacement. Any user-created drawing that was similar enough to the logo to be recognizable would still be covered by the trademark or copyright of the owner of the logo.
  3. Since no replacement can be created, there is no advantage to us in avoiding the use of the logo.
Therefore, there is no reason to remove these logos from articles. Johntex\talk 21:00, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Simply because no free content replacement exists or could be created doesn't mean that the image should be used. No free replacement exists of album covers either. Do we coat the discography articles with album covers? No. No free replacement exists of screenshots of episodes. Do we saturate episode lists with screenshots of each episode? No. Your conclusion is false. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:17, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Your example is false. A screenshot is not a logo. Logos are specifically created to serve as an identifying element of the product / brand. That is not the case for screenshots. Johntex\talk 21:33, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Even if it is false, you don't seem to dispute album covers. They uniquely identify the albums, like no other visual element can. Yet, we do not use them liberally. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:44, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • This discussion is about logos, not screenshots. I have shown why your comparison to screenshots is not relevant to this discussion. Therefore, I am not commenting on screenshots further. If you want to discuss screenshots, I suggest you start another thread. Johntex\talk 22:12, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • You still haven't answered the question about album covers. Are you attempting to make a case that logos are a unique case, an exception to all the fair use rules? --Hammersoft (talk) 22:25, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Agreed. You're missing one key point on replaceability. On the rivalry articles, for instance, the LSU logo can be replaced by the text "The LSU Tigers" and no meaning is lost. So I would disagree with you, and state that the overuse of these images emphatically does detract from our mission to provide free content. (ESkog)(Talk) 21:20, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Text is not a substitute for a logo, and vice versa. Some people will be more familiar with one or the other. Including both serves to educate the reader. Our primary mission, after-all, is to build the most informative encyclopedia possible. That mission is harmed by removing the logos. Our secondary mission, of promoting free-content, is not harmed by these logos at all. Johntex\talk 21:33, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • The mission is enhanced by removing the logos to make the content as free as possible. Our PRIMARY mission is to provide a free content encyclopedia. Attempting to call it a secondary mission is false. Please carefully read our m:mission statement. Where in there does it state that free content is a secondary mission? It doesn't. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:44, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Since when have we had "primary" and "secondary" missions? Do we have "tertiary" missions too? Anyway, on the subject of damaging the free-content goal: Supposing I wish to re-use the article; if it contains non-free content re-use is made more difficult because I need to accommodate the fact that I cannot re-use part of the article. That is obviously a negative effect of the inclusion of non-free content. Now suppose that it's not just me wanting to re-use a single article, but that someone wishes to re-use thousands of articles and it's apparent that the barriers to re-use will be similarly magnified. CIreland (talk) 21:45, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) There's really been no clear argument from the supporters why the logo is needed in the 'rivalry' articles, beyond WP:ILIKEIT. Look at it this way. In team articles (I'll hold off on the season ones), the article is about 'the team'. So the use of the logo illustrates the team, as it is a part of the team as a whole, just as much as an album cover is a part of an album as a whole or a station ID is a part of a TV station. Conversly, the rivalry articles are about 'the rivalry' itself -- if there's a logo for that (someone mentioned above they exist for some), then THAT is fine. But since the articles aren't about 'the teams' in and of themselves, the use of the logos isn't allowed. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 22:02, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Some people here seem to think that having a logo on an article somehow discourages free content. There is no evidence for that whatsoever. For instance, take a look at 2005 Texas Longhorns football team, which is a Featured Article. That means it has been through the highest standards of review for content, format, etc. It has the team logo at the top. It also has a dozen free-use images and a link to Commons where even more free images are found. The use of the logo enhances the article and does not detract at all from encouraging free content. Johntex\talk 22:05, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • It's not about "encouraging" or "discouraging" free content. It's about the fact that including non-free content makes the article harder to re-use ("to disseminate it effectively and globally" in the words of the Foundation). Thus the benefit of the non-free content has to be great in order to outweigh the inherent cost of such content. CIreland (talk) 22:10, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • "re-use" is not a legitimate concern. If it was a determining factor, then we would allow no free-use whatsoever. The people that want to scrape Wikipedia content to re-use can and should be responsible for their own verification of what images they take and re-use. Do you want to argue that the fair-use logo at IBM should be removed to facilitate re-use?
  • Sigh. Please look at m:mission. Please? Please? "disseminate it effectively and globally" You can't spread things that aren't free. --Hammersoft (talk)
  • (/Sigh) Your condescending tone does not make your fallacious argument any more correct. Anyone who wants to reuse content from Wikipedia needs to determine if it is the right content for them. That includes determining if it is sufficiently well-written, whether the facts are correct, whether the images are appropriate, etc. Depending on their purpose in re-use, they may have all sorts of criteria with respect to images. For instance, they may want only images that are CC and not GNU. They may want only images that are CC3 and not CC2. They may be legally able to use fair use images, for their purposes, they may not. All that is up to the re-user to determine. Therefore, yes, re-use is not a concern in this discussion. Johntex\talk 23:41, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oh, you mean like free content being our secondary mission? Like that? By the way; one of the re-users you decry is the Wikimedia Foundation itself. It can't hope to achieve its mission if we dramatically encumber our content with fair use materials. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:28, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Re-usability of content is a non-negotiable goal of Wikipedia so, I suppose, in the sense that it is not up for debate, it could be seen as "not a legitimate concern" but I suspect that was not your meaning. To answer re: the IBM logo. No, I don't want it removed but it's still the case that its inclusion makes effective re-use more difficult. The IBM example is good demonstration of the benefit outweighing the cost; it doesn't, however, follow that there is no cost. CIreland (talk) 22:22, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Re-use is a legitimate goal; but it's not clear that a reuser would be any less able to reuse these images than we are. A rough yardstick for WP:NFC is that the criteria are pretty much drawn to reflect what is needed to be confident that a commercial U.S. reuser could reuse an article verbatim without worry. Jheald (talk) 22:28, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I see. It counts are re-usable if you can re-use it in the US. Thanks for an enlightening comment. I'll get my passport. CIreland (talk) 22:34, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm merely stating the criteria WP:NFC reflects. It isn't patterned on the EU Infosoc Directive, nor the UK 1956 Copyright Act, which is the basis for law in most Commonwealth countries; instead its concepts and balances are patterned very closely on the U.S. criterion above. But I think you would probably get away with these logos in an educational article in most Commonwealth countries too. Jheald (talk) 22:41, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • It follows US fair use doctrine because the hardware is in the US; that doesn't change the fact that the content ought to be global in approach. The point about "effective dissemination" is that you shouldn't need to be an expert in copyright law for country X (or, more importantly, shouldn't need to have the resources to hire someone who is such an expert) to re-use the content. CIreland (talk) 22:46, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • That's a point of view, but the reality is that our copyright policy doesn't start to do that. Almost all of our art images are based on Bridgeman vs Corel, which wouldn't last 5 seconds in the UK; we're quite happy to call anything public domain if it was published before 1923, even if Life + 70 may give its copyright decades to run in Europe; our standards for text-based works, like the IBM logo (free in the U.S.), are based wholly on U.S. law and don't start to apply in the UK. The fact is, if you're not in the U.S. you're going to have to review all the copyrights anyway. Jheald (talk) 22:58, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Responding to jheald; note that a commercial use of fair use goes through significantly different hoops than educational use. Wikipedia's usage is educational. Commercial interests have different requirements. But again, fair use law is really irrelevant to the discussion. --Hammersoft (talk) 22:52, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes Hammer, but the point is WP:NFC is deliberately patterned very closely on the commercial criteria needed for commercial re-use, not the educational criteria. If we used the educational criteria, we'd have more freedom. But we don't. In setting the line, it is the commercial criteria WP:NFC is designed to satisfy. Jheald (talk) 23:03, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't understand either how having non-free content limits re-use. If there's an issue for the reuser, they can take out the picture without violating the GDFL, as I understand it. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 23:22, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • And there you've hit it on the head. If an image can be removed without resulting damage to the article, then why have the image? If an image is discussed in an article, then it's not enough to just remove the image. You have to reconstruct the content of the article in addition to removing the image in order for the article to make sense again, post image-removal. If you don't need to reconstruct an article, then why is the image on the article in the first place??? It's obviously not needed. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:30, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
That is a completely nonsensical argument. Melodia did not mention damage, and removing a discussed image will damage an article without normally requiring a rewrite - other than removing "see left" or whatever. Johnbod (talk) 14:49, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • The argument makes perfect sense. There's lots of fair use images that are used in ways directly linked to the article's text. Let's take an example; Logos and uniforms of the New York Giants. If you removed the logos from the article, you'd need to restructure the text of the article in order for it to make sense. Specific logos are referred to in the text. A downstream use would have to do more than simply strip fair use images from the content. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:07, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • The Texas Longhorns logo now exists on 18 articles. It even exists on the UT marching band article, which isn't even a sports team, nor is the logo incorporated in the uniforms of the band, or on hallmark items such as big bertha. Pray tell, why is the logo in use on that article? --Hammersoft (talk) 22:18, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • You did not do your research very well. It absolutely is the logo for the UT marching band.[12] As such, it is perfectly reasonable for it to be on the article about the group it represents. In this case, the UT band. Johntex\talk 23:33, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Does the logo exist on their uniforms? No. Does the logo exist on their equipment? No. If you want to use a logo to help the user understand that they reached the right article, then use something that people visually identify as being that band. For example, the big "TEXAS" emblazoned on the back shoulders of every uniform. For example, the icon on Big Bertha. THOSE are recognizable as being associated with this band. Why the reluctance to fix this glaring problem? Why the absolute insistence that you must use the Longhorns logo on this page, where it's clearly inappropriate? --Hammersoft (talk) 14:33, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • In what way does the existence of that logo, on that article, increase the reader's understanding of that subject? WP:NFCC#8? Black Kite 02:07, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • From WP:LOGO: "The encyclopedic rationale for including a logo is similar to the rationale for including portraits of a famous actor: most users feel that portraits provide valuable information about the person that is difficult to describe solely with text. Logos should be regarded as portraits for a given entity. Unlike people, however, where it is often possible to take a free photograph of that person, logos are typically protected by copyright and trademark law and so cannot be replaced by a completely free alternative." - Johntex\talk 02:56, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

I think it's fairly obvious here that Hammersoft took a completely wrong approach in trying to correct this "problem." Assuming for a minute that he is correct, how do you go about suddenly changing the content of hundreds of articles edited by hundreds of editors? Certainly not by making a post on this talk page and changing dozens of articles and a infobox template willy nilly on the same day. And this isn't an issue on whether or not you are correct--you quite possibly are. But by changing a common practice exercised by hundreds of editors on your own after no discussion will make people feel like you're stepping on their toes. And guess what? Most people don't like that, and will oppose you regardless of whether or not your point is valid. Next time, have some patience and allow enough time for your argument to spread before you decide to make a major change in policy for a particular project. Thanks CH52584 (talk) 02:19, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. Hammer shouldn't be surprised with the reaction he has garnered. Does he have a point? Sure. Non-free usage has gotten to be a bit excessive. But, rashly removing these images without consensus was a terrible plan. I shudder to think if all affairs were conducted in this manner. Mastrchf (t/c) 02:38, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
His methods were bad, but so was his premise.
The usual argument for excluding non-free materials is that it might deter someone from making a free version. For instance, celebrities have offered to give us great "head shots" and permission to use them. We have refused because we feel that the professional looking headshot would deter someone from uploading their own picture of that person. We generally take the postion we would rather have the free photo, even though it is probably of lesser quality.
That argument does not apply to logos, however. A user cannot make a free alternative to a logo. Therefore, the logo is not in anyway detering someone from uploading free content. Case-in-point: The very "test case" mentioned originally by Hammersmith is 2005 Texas vs. Ohio State football game. The logos have not detered people from adding relevant free-use photos to that article.
Simply put, Hammersmith is wrong both in methods and in idealogy on this one. There are occasisons of improper fair use in Wikipedia surely. This is not such an example. Force10 (talk) 03:06, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oh good grief. People WAKE UP. You're accusing me of things I never did. I never touched the INFOBOX!!! Neither did I edit hundreds of articles. If you're going to accuse me of something, at least get your bare, basic facts right.
  • Not to mention this isn't about my actions. It's about POLICY. Stop attempting to derail the issue by accusing me of wrongdoing and address the issues at hand. If you think I did something so grossly wrong, then by all means block the living *(#)$()#$ out of me. Otherwise, kindly keep your comments reserved to the policy discussion we are having. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:37, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Someone changed the infobox. Maybe it wasn't you. And I didn't accuse you of changing hundreds of articles, but changing dozens of articles with the ultimate goal of changing all college football articles without the agreement of the hundreds of editors that edit those articles without discussing it with those individuals first. Even if it is about policy and not consensus, it's still nice to allow people to understand and accept said policy before you try to enforce it. CH52584 (talk) 20:49, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
We could keep going in circles here, but I don't think this has been answered -- why do you need the logo in the first place? Of course noone can make a free alternative to a logo, but that's not even the issue here. How does having the logo in these articles enhance them beyond looking good? ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 03:09, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
As I posted above:
  • From WP:LOGO: "The encyclopedic rationale for including a logo is similar to the rationale for including portraits of a famous actor: most users feel that portraits provide valuable information about the person that is difficult to describe solely with text. Logos should be regarded as portraits for a given entity. Unlike people, however, where it is often possible to take a free photograph of that person, logos are typically protected by copyright and trademark law and so cannot be replaced by a completely free alternative."
The logo at The University of Texas Longhorn Band and 2007 USC Trojans football team is just as valid as the logo at Pepsi or Black Panther Party or Republic Party. The clear consensus on the Wikipedia project is to allow fair-use images when no free alternative is possible. That applies to logos 100%. Johntex\talk 03:40, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
No, non-free images are used when images are necessary and no free alternative is possible. That is not yet shown (the marching band may be a more difficult case). From what you quote "Logos should be regarded as portraits for a given entity", but "2007 USC Trojans" is not an entity, it is one season of a college football program - it is thus not an entity and has no logo. --MASEM 03:34, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
You are mistaken. The 2007 Trojans is certainly an "entity" since a definition of "entity" is "an organization (as a business or governmental unit) that has an identity separate from those of its members".[13] The article is about the team. The team has a logo. The logo is used in the article and represents the team.
The logos are 100% allowable by policy, and no one has given a good reason what they hurt or why they should be removed. As I showed above, they are not detering anyone from adding free content. Arguing for the removal of these logos is just taking away time we could be using to build the encyclopedia. Johntex\talk 03:40, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Non-free content must be shown to have a reason to be included, not why its removal must be demonstrated. That's what the resolution and the NFC policy is all about; we need to keep use to a minimum. As for the specific year of a team, that is not a separate entity from the team itself, it is only a snapshot of the entity. The logo is perfectly fine in USC Trojans football (and likely the other main USC teams), but not on a specific year of that team. --MASEM 04:14, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I can assure you that the 2008 Michigan Wolverines football team is a very different entity than the 2004 Michigan Wolverines football team. Each team is its own entity.
Regarding "minimum use" of fair content: Everyone's idea of "minimun" fair-use content is going to be different. If we truly want the minimum, we could have zero. That would truly be a minimum. We don't want that, clearly.
Having agreed that we will have fair use, it is now proper to look at individual cases and see whether they interfere with the mission. Since this content does not interfere with the mission, there is no reason to remove it.
On the other hand, the reason to keep it remains - the serve to "identify the object or entity in question".Johntex\talk 04:30, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Masem, your premise is faulty. The USC Trojans have a logo. The 2008 USC Trojans football team also has a logo, which happens to be the same. If we had an article for the 1950 USC Trojans football team and the logo for that team was different, it'd be reasonable to expect that logo to be there. The fact that ten incarnations of a team have the same logo is immaterial; each of them has the given logo as the way they're represented and therefore each is allowed to display it per WP:LOGO. Oren0 (talk) 04:33, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Excellent point, Oren0. Force10 (talk) 04:36, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Please note that WP:LOGO is not policy. please also review the non-free content criteria, that all non-free content must meet. A logo is used for identifying the primary subject only, it should not be used in any article relating to the subject. one item that needs review by you a little closer is WP:NFCC#8. how is the removal hurting the understanding of a particular teams single year performance? other than visual identification which is achieved on the primary article? βcommand 04:41, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
A single year of a sports team is its own entity. It is made up of its own individuals and has its own history. It also has its own logo. If each year's team had a different logo, likely each logo would be its own file and included in only one article. The fact that teams use the same logo for several seasons is incidental. File:Usc_football_logo.gif is the logo of the 2008 USC football team. It was also the logo of the 2007 team. If USC changes the logo next season, the 2008 team will still have this as its logo whereas the 2009 team would have a new logo. That's the misunderstanding here. I'm not saying that USC's logo belongs on every USC-related page. I'm saying that each team should be identified by its logo. The "how does removal hurt?" argument could be made about any logo except for those where the logo itself is notable (Coca-Cola, McDonalds, etc.). How would removing Google or Bank of America's logos detract from the understanding of those pages? Unless you're advocating a wholesale removal of thousands of logos, that argument doesn't hold much weight. Also, "it's a guideline not a policy" is a weak argument as well. WP:LOGO is a community consensus document whatever you call it and represents common practice. Oren0 (talk) 08:15, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I will make a technical argument against "is a community consensus": It was a community consensus at the time it was ratified. Has that consensus changed? Are the people arguing over it different? I would say the answer to both is yes; your opinion may differ. In other words, it does not represent common practice, but represented common practice as documented at the time of ratification. Which was in 2005.
That's 3.5 years ago. Further. The first section states in italics that it is supplemental but does not in any way shape or form override WP:NFC. It goes on to state that each logo needs a detailed non-free use rationale which requires that "A separate, specific rationale must be provided each time the image is used in an article. The name of the article the image is used in must be included in the rationale." Every time. For every article. Quite plainly, these logos fail that requirement. I have no opinion as to how that part is fixed, but that is the necessary part to fix: Either every image page will need to say "This is our fair use rationale for this image for this article" 18 times, or it will be necessary to remove the image from the pages in general. I would daresay that removal of the image is both easier and more prudent in light of the mission of Wikimedia, and would thus advocate that as the way to proceed. --Izno (talk) 08:54, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I think that most people would not mind having (or editing in) a "This is our fair use rationale for this image for this article" (aka FUR) on the image page for each instance the image is used. If that is the requirement, I am not sure why there is even a conversation taking place on this since that was (in my understanding) already what was required. Either have a rationale for an article or remove it from that article; Seems like there isn't much disagreement here between the two sides if I understand the argument correctly. Cardsplayer4life (talk) 11:38, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

<--To Cardsplayer4life, we don't accept all fair use imagery based solely on the criteria of whether there is a fair use rationale added to the image's description page. That is but one small part of the criteria for inclusion shown at WP:NFCC (specifically in this case, #10c). The argument isn't about rationales. That's not even a debate. There *must* be a rationale, else it can't be on the article, and if there is no rationale at all for seven days, it gets deleted. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:09, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

  • To Izno - please remember that WP:LOGO is not a static document from 3.5 years ago. It is easy to see it still represents the consensus of the community today. We have hundreds (maybe thousands?) of editors correctly adding logos into appropriate articles. We only have a few people arguing for their removal. If you canvass Wikipedia as a whole, you will definitely find broad support for this usage. This fact is borne out by every day operation. Johntex\talk 15:39, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Somewhere, there's an essay on here on misapplication of supposed majority. You claim this majority supports. I claim a majority supports my position. Barring presentation of evidence, neither you nor I is correct. You claim since the use is as is, your position is supported by the majority. I claim since fair use usage has been deprecated across a broad range of similar uses, my position is supported by the majority. But let me remind you; fair use policy isn't a consensus issue. If a thousand people liberally spread fair use images all over the place, they are not right by way of brute force. Else, we'd have a huge number of templates and userpages with fair use images on them. And trust me, a vast majority of people would prefer there be fair use images on templates and userpages. A majority doesn't make you right, even if the majority does support you (which, again barring evidence, has not been proven). --Hammersoft (talk) 16:38, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • It still represents the consensus of the community which edits it. Today. But as mentioned below, the consensus in this case is not the true consensus. Consider the soccer, basketball, and other sports projects, as well as the random business project. Do they seem to allow logos in more than one position? No. Which means the consensus you see is but a sample which suffers from a lack of samples across the entirety of Wikipedia. Which means that if we canvassed Wikipedia as a whole, I am fairly certain you would find yourself in the wrong, especially when considering what NFC says with the points which do not support your arguments. All the requirements of NFC must be met, not any selected 3 or 4. --Izno (talk) 17:05, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

3rd Break - Deconstructing the problem

Ok, there seem to be three major points here that have to be considered:

  1. Repeated college logo images lack FURs for each use - This is a non-negotiable aspect of WP:NFC policy, but it is also fixable (outside the question of whether the rationale is acceptable to all). This is more a red herring, though those wishing to keep images must be aware that if an image is used on an article for more than 7 days without a rationale, its removal from that page is completely in line with policy. Thus, I think there's no further argument here.
  2. Is the sports team of a single year an entity of its own? - This is a significant point of debate. I myself have a hard time justifying this because the "ownership" of the team does not change significant year to year despite the fact that the roster may, and that in general the performance of a team in one year will factor into how the press believe the team will perform the next year - if it was a separate entity, this would not be the case. There "is" one college football team per school that plays year after year, and will have its logo (including possibly historical logos, but that's a previous debate shown with TV stations before). There's only one "New York Yankees" organization which lasts through the years, but we do snapshot their roster and performance for a given year.
  3. Is the rationale "to help the reader identify the team" appropriate on pages where the team is not the main topic? - Even if the above question is vague, this is point of contention - in an article in which the team is not the main topic but is covered in large detail (the team rivalry pages, the various bowl games), can this be a valid rationale to use an individual team logo? I don't see this as being the case, because we've already got (at least) one page with the team's logo that will be linked into from that page either in the infobox or the lead. Furthermore, WP is not set up to allow browsing of pages visually - it's a text-based search, so if one were to want to make sure the reader knew they were at the right page by checking on which team they were looking for, a well-written lead or a infobox will do just the same. If WP was page where you can flip the pages, I could understand the logo because that would be eye-catching there, but not in the case of an eletronic and mostly text based medium. Since we don't allow images for purely decorative purposes, team logos on these pages would not be appropriate.

I think its worthwhile to go back to the start of all this and as Hammersoft pointed out, none of the professional sports pages use team logos on pages outside of the team's page itself. I think from all this that the last two points I outline above are taken in the negative in regards to NFC use by the professional sports, and thus there's strong existing consensus this extends to all sports at all levels (and I just checked, and also seems to extend to international football (soccer) as well). Those that are insisting the college teams are to be treated different are going against that consensus. --MASEM 15:38, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Masem, you look at the wrong points so it is not surprising that you draw the wrong conclusions. These facts are:
  1. There is no free-use alternative to a logo.
  2. The logo is used to identify the entity which is the subject of the article.
  3. No one is advocating putting in the logo where-ever Team A is discussed briefly. For instance, if an article about Team B says that they finished their previous season against, we don't include Team A's logo. All of the usages are in logos substantially about the team they represent.
  4. The use of the logos on these pages does not deter anyone from adding other free-use images into the articles.
  5. The use of the logos is consistent with WP:LOGO
  6. There is strong consensus for the use of the logos in this fashion, as evidenced by the many editors using them in this fashion. What pro-sports seem to be doing is not our concern. Different levels of sport have different levels of coverage on Wikipedia. Just because someone else is not adding content they could be using, that does not imply any limitation on other articles. The fact that other stuff does not exist is not a reason why something else should not exist.
In conclusion - the logos are not replaceable. They are on on articles substantially about the topics the logos represent. Hence, they are acceptable by policy. No one can explain any harm that they cause. They make the encyclopedia better, so they should clearly be used in this fashion. Thanks, Johntex\talk 15:52, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
@Olympian - that is not the same as a team logo's use that's in question here. In that specific case, it is an example of a logo created specifically for the purposes of the expansion draft, and thus appropriate. That said, it is lacking a FUR for that page, which is a non-negotiable issue. I see what happened: the effective same image was being used at both the draft page and the team page but were two different images, so it looked like the one FUR wasn't there. Because we don't need both images, I've gone ahead, combined the FURs and licensing and used the better image (the one that doesn't crop the banners) and fixed the Draft page to use that image, deleting the duplicate. So the image is all good in terms of meeting FUR. --MASEM 16:32, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
@Johntex - The only consensus that these uses of logos is ok is among the college football editors - taking all of sports which are arranged in very similar fashions and to the same level of detail and coverage across the entire span of WP, this use is a minority. Plus, you're starting from a false assumption: that the page needs an image, which leads to "there are no non-free equivalents" and the like. Not every page needs an image (free or non-free), but we encourage the use of free images when they are relevant, and non-free images only when they are necessary. There has yet to be any evidence that most of these articles need the team logo to increase the reader's understanding. --MASEM 16:18, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Sure they do! See, if someone comes to the Florida–Tennessee rivalry, and doesn't see that Florida Gators logo, they're going to be utterly lost and confused about whether they've landed at the right article or not. Reading that one of the teams involved in the rivalry is "the University of Florida (the Gators)" isn't sufficient. You have to have the logo there, else our readers will be utterly confused and lost. We don't want them thinking they landed on the Harvard Yale rivalry page, now do we? Odd. The Game (Harvard-Yale) doesn't have any logos on it. Those Ivy Leaguers must be getting awfully confused when they come to that page. I wonder how long they spend searching around trying to make sure they landed on the right page? --Hammersoft (talk) 16:42, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
The sarcasm really does not help make a case. --Izno (talk) 16:55, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • It highlights two things; one, the absurdity of the position being demonstrated, and the intractability of those holding the position. I stand by it. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:16, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Coming fresh to the debate, non-free logos should definitely not be used in lists of results, articles about leagues, etc., as it's a blatant violation of NFCC1 and 3a. Stifle (talk) 16:30, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Another WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS argument. That something exists doesn't mean it should exist. Please come up with another argument. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:19, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Hammerssoft, your statement here is very hypocritical. Your very first post tries to find other similar articles that don't have logos. You can't have it both ways. Either comparisons to other articles are useful to the discussion, or they are not. Johntex\talk 00:05, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
      • (ec)But of course not on every NFL draft - only those that have the introduction of new teams; those exceptional cases I can reasonably argue as an appropriate use of the logo (since it is about the first creation of that team's roster); this is a very different case from having the logo on any average season of any team. --MASEM 17:22, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
        • Masem, what about the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry? And Hammer, I was just addressing the statement above that, as "Hammersoft pointed out, none of the professional sports pages use team logos on pages outside of the team's page itself." I was just showing that was not a true representation of the consensus in the pro football area.--2008Olympianchitchat 17:28, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Also, see the articles at 49ers-Rams rivalry, Battle of Ohio (NFL), Bears-Packers rivalry, Bengals-Steelers rivalry, Browns-Steelers rivalry, Chiefs–Colts rivalry, Chiefs–Raiders rivalry, Colts–Patriots rivalry, Cowboys-Redskins rivalry, Eagles-Giants rivalry, Jets-Patriots rivalry.--2008Olympianchitchat 17:38, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
First, there is the problem of no FURs for those articles (using spot checks). Technically all those images should be removed from the pages, but that is a fixable issue. However, on the issue of whether the logo helps or not, I can't argue this case here. Team rivalries happen all the time, and thus there's nothing special, unlike the creation of an expansion team, that needs an image. The logos are only being used for decoration to identify the teams despite that information being there at least twice (maybe three times) before the meat of the article: lead, infobox, and article name.
Another point to consider in all this. Those logos are only recognizable by a small fraction of the readers of WP, those that follow those sports, live in those cities, etc. The rationale "to help the reader identify the team" is not valid here since it only applies to a small group and not to the general reader. --MASEM 17:46, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
What does the fact that only a small fraction of readers recognizes a logo (or any other image) have to do with anything? I come here to learn, not to have stuff that I already know regurgitated at me. The b.s. that anti-image (or anti-anything) people will with come up with to support their narrow view of the rules just repeatedly astounds me. Whether you have seen a logo or not before in your life doesn't invalidate its presence. Wiggy! (talk) 18:10, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
You guys made WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS relevant when you said "none of the professional sports pages use team logos on pages outside of the team's page itself...Those that are insisting the college teams are to be treated different are going against that consensus." We've shown via the NFL that this point isn't true. Not to mention that WP:OTHERSTUFFDOESNTEXIST links to the same place. As for the "small percentage" argument, it's both inaccurate (these logos are recognized by millions of people; likely more than the vast majority of corporate logos on WP) and irrelevant. The crux of this seems to go back to the "is each year its own entity" argument. I think an interesting example is the Super Bowl. Each one (Super Bowl 42) has its own logo, but again that seems incidental. Each year's incarnation includes a logo. If the logos were the same each year, would that itself make them be excluded based on WP:NFC, WP:LOGO, or other considerations? Oren0 (talk) 18:27, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

(not entirely sure where to put this comment, so near the bottom will have to do) Coming as this from the perspective of being an editor of articles about a different football there seem to be elements of a different editing culture to what I am used to. Part of this is the mild balkanisation of different sports on Wikipedia, but thats by the by. For example I'm highly surprised that team logos are routinely being used in articles about specific matches. The logos do not identify that match, and do not help understanding of it. To me this is like putting the logo on the article about their home stadium, or an article about a player well known for playing for that team. Seasons I'm also surprised by, it sails very close to the wind in terms of MOS:LOGO, with some parallels to the issues surrounding flags too. Were such an article to come up at FAC, I'd certainly raise it as an issue when reviewing. Oldelpaso (talk) 19:58, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

  • I'm glad you mention FAC. You are actually mistaken about the logos being a problem there. Please see 2005 Texas Longhorns football team and 2007 USC Trojans football team. Both of these are Featured Articles and both use the logo. They achieved FA status more than a year apart, so there is a long running consensus at FAC that this use of the logo is perfectly acceptable. Johntex\talk 16:10, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
    • FAC generally only looks at the one use of that image in that article. In a vacuum, the use of a logo seems appropriate on both pages (and I note that the person that reviewed images on the 2007 USC article does know what he's doing). The issue is that the image is duplicated across numerous pages - that is the concern here, and the acceptance at FAC/FLC is not a strong point of indication of wide-spread use. --MASEM 16:23, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
      • I don't mean to imply that FAC is fool-proof. Certainly even Featured Articles are not perfect. However, I disagree with you that they tend to look only at usage on that page in a narrow sense. My experience in getting 2 FAs approved and through general contributions to the FAC process is that the process is typically far-reaching. If the experienced editors there think that *any* image was in *any* way inappropriate, they tend to make their concerns known. Therefore, I do think this is strong evidence of the community feeling about these logos. The FAC editors have said these articles are examplars of the best work on Wikipedia. Johntex\talk 23:14, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
        • I guess the point I'm trying to say is a FAC reviewer only considers the image use on that page and on no other pages on WP - as long as it has an appropriate FUR and is necessary for the understanding of the article, it is usually passed. In the void of any other per-season team articles, the logo seems fine from the FAC stance. But, besides minimal use per page of NFC content, NFC content should be used minimally on WP, and this is not addressed at FAC. This is the bulk of the argument: an non-free image being used more than a couple of times in a very repetitive nature raises a lot of warning flags and, when encountered in the past (the Trinity Network logo, for example) its use is quelled down. In other words, while this affects articles, we're looking at a large grouping of articles and how they are affected by the NFC use. --MASEM 04:06, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Going in circles, solving nothing

It's obvious from all the discussion above that we are going in circles. I don't have a particular solution in mind to halt this situation. But, the status quo obviously can't remain for two reasons:

  1. Fair use imagery has to surpass a number of hurdles to get on to Wikipedia. There's no consensus that this use is permissible. The opposite opinion is there's no consensus to deprecate the use. But the DEFAULT case here with respect to fair use is that lacking consensus to use means we don't use.
  2. Fair use policy isn't a consensus issue. The Foundation's resolution makes that clear.

I suggest that those that want to include these types of uses being discussed come up with a well reasoned approach as to why this use is acceptable under guideline, policy and resolution. So far the arguments have been WP:ILIKEIT, WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS, WP:NOHARM, WP:PRETTY and it passes WP:NFCC because it does. If this isn't done, you should expect to find this use deprecated soon. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:37, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Don't overuse shortcuts to policy and guidelines to win your argument. Both sides can post plenty of blue links. For instance, WP:LOGO, which spells out exactly why using a fair use logo is not the same as other cases, such as a fair-use image a celebrity. A Wikipedian can make a replacement for the photo of a celebrity. There is no replacement for a logo. Johntex\talk 00:10, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
As long as were enumerating our points:
  1. Please don't make threats. "If you guys don't satisfy me, I'm going to remove these images" is inappropriate.
  2. Please don't use strawmen. The arguments you list above are completely unrepresentative of what the pro-inclusion camp is arguing, to the point where maintaining WP:AGF is difficult with you (maybe your reading comprehension is just bad?).
  3. The arguments of the pro-inclusion camp are based on guideline and policy, specifically WP:LOGO and WP:NFCC, and even the same Foundation:Resolution:Licensing policy you link above (which specifically allows logos and gives no indication their use should be curtailed). We argue, for example, that the 2004 Florida Gators football team has the same logo as Florida Gators and therefore can permissibly display that logo per policy. Some have also argued that other instances, such as rivalry games, apply the same logic. These are legitimate questions where good-faith editors can disagree. But to say that this argument is clearly against policy or is just WP:ILIKEIT, etc. is disingenuous.
I do believe that most of the other anti-inclusionists are addressing the merits of these points, but it's clear from your summary Hammersoft that you do not wish to address our points. Please do so rather than offering distractions. Oren0 (talk) 18:52, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • <beavis>I didn't threaten you. Please don't attempt to interpret things as threats</beavis>. It is better if you just assume bad faith. You'll find processing of my posts considerably easier. If that fails, read my homepage. Now, with the personal attacks out of the way and allowing us to return to actual discussion....
  • What I was attempting to highlight was something that has happened before. Huge (and I mean huge) numbers of people have opposed removals of fair use images before, and were trumped by a small cadre of administrators operating in support of Foundation policy. THAT is what I meant by my comments on the point of breaking the circle of discussion, or having it done for you. That's why I'm suggesting the pro-inclusionist come up with well reasoned arguments why these images should be included as desired by them. Else, disappointment will result. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:10, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
WP:FUEXPLAIN was written after the last major sweep of removals, reading it may help those who think they can abuse non-free content. also wikilinks can serve the same purpose as an image if it links to the article with the logo. βcommand 20:30, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Please note that the link Betacommand posts is simply a link to an essay in his own userspace. Linking to his opinion doesn't make his opinion any more correct. Please see Wikipedia:Don't overuse shortcuts to policy and guidelines to win your argument. In this case, he is not even linking to a policy or a guideline, just an essay. Johntex\talk 00:09, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with the opening statement of this section: "the status quo obviously can't remain". On the contrary, most editors seem to regard the status quo regarding team logos on team pages as just fine. That is: not violating any copyright laws, not violating either the letter or the spirit of any wikipedia guideline or rule or mission or anything else, and useful for readers of the articles in question.
Frankly, this is exactly the kind of argument over nothing that causes many an editor to give up on this project. Zeng8r (talk) 20:49, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

God, this is so incredibly tedious. Nobody is ever going to get anywhere, because there's a basic difference in world view. On the one side, you have normal people, who think "gee, it's nice to have the logo [or whatever other fair use image], and there's absolutely no chance we'll ever possibly get in any kind of legal trouble for using it, so why not? What harm does it do?" On the other side, you have people who are obsessed with "free content" and who thus want to remove any kind of copyrighted context under any pretext that can be devised under the rules. The basic issue is that one side things the images are a good thing, and that we should use them if we can, and the other side thinks they are a bad thing, and that we should only use them if we absolutely have to. The second position has for some time seemed completely insane to me, but it appears to be the one supported by the Foundation, and I have no doubt that, soon enough, virtually all instances of team logos will be removed from Wikipedia. It's best not to get too worked up about it. On this issue the crazies have already won, and it's just a matter of time as they slowly force the removal of all copyrighted images. john k (talk) 20:51, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Actually I think you'll find that is not the case. The Foundation resolution is comparatively liberal - it's closely based on the norms of US fair use law, and (apart from the important point that we certainly must not use non-free media when alternative free media could reasonably be available) basically reflects no more than the constraints needed for US commercial reuse. The most misrepresented word is probably "minimal", which actually comes straight from U.S. law, where it means "no more than needed to achieve the purpose identified". Importantly, the motivation for the resolution was not that we need to drive down existing levels of fair use - Kat Walsh, who was on the board at the time when the resolution was created, has been very clear on this point. This was not an issue. Instead en-wiki, with a codified WP:NFC, interpreted as it was being interpreted at the time, was seen as exemplifying best practice, and the intention was to encourage other projects to adopt similar formal policies. It is noticeable that since that time people who misunderstand the Foundation position have often begged the Foundation to lay down the law and more drastically restrict fair use. The Foundation has systematically refused to do so, leaving it as a matter for the projects to work out for themselves. Jheald (talk) 22:45, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • HAhahahahaahahahah! Ok, so the pro-inclusionists are "normal" people. Thanks for the insult! I'm abnormal now, and obsessed with free content. Actually, I'll take that as a compliment, since this is A FREE CONTENT ENCYCLOPEDIA it is hardly surprising that there would be people here who are (gosh gee willikers) interested in free content. I mean, the horror! Someone on a free content project interested in free content??? Say it ain't so!!!! We can't let those abnormal pervy types in here! BAN! I SAY! BAN THE FREE CONTENT LOVERS NOW!
  • I simply can't believe this. We've got people claiming that free content is a SECONDARY mission of the project, and that people who are interested in free content are "obsessed" and (by inference) "abnormal". Unreal, surreal. Truth stranger than fiction. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:58, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
The fundamental goal of this project is m:vision. The document m:mission is secondary - it describes our priorities in how to get there. The recent Signpost article describes how the two can conflict, and how WP:NFC represents a balance between them. Jheald (talk) 22:58, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Furthermore, there are two distinct viewpoints in how NFC affects m:mission. One, which I think is yours, is that any NFC on a page poisons it and makes it non-free. The other, for example expressed by ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 23:22, 11 December 2008 (UTC) above, is that the page still contains an enormous amount of free content, plus a non-free image; and that judicious and appropriate use of NFC may well encourage editors, so that they contribute even more free content.
Policy, I believe, takes a balanced position and considers practical reusability. We don't use NFC that could not be used by a verbatim US commercial reuser - so they can use automated methods to redistribute our content. But where re-use would inevitably be manual, we best empower our readers and our reusers by including legally permissible content if it helps inform the article, and letting them decide. Jheald (talk) 23:19, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Jheald, just to clarify; someone earlier claimed that our secondary mission is free content. The vision and mission might at times be at odds, but our primary (and only) mission is to provide a free content encyclopedia. There is no secondary mission. That's what my post was referring to. --Hammersoft (talk) 02:12, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
hammersoft one thing that those images cannot meet is WP:NFCC#8 ... its omission would be detrimental to that understanding. the usage does not meet the requirements, they have no option but to follow policy. policy requires minimal usage and importance. mass usage of NFC will be reverted every single time I see it. its a clear violation. they can wine and complain and spout WP:ILIKEIT and NOT FAIR. please note that this is not the fair use policy, this is the non-free content policy. there must be a unique reason for including each usage. if a rationale (both on the image and its usage) does not pass muster it will be removed. βcommand 21:19, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Unique reason? But the images DO have 'unique' reasons; "Identification and critical commentary in the NNNNN article, a subject of public interest. The logo confirms to readers they have reached the correct article, and illustrates the intended branding message." That's the unique reason, repeated 18 times over on images like File:Texas Longhorn logo.svg. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:34, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't really know what the issue is here, but since people are mentioning the Foundation's name, I thought I'd throw in Mike Godwin's most recent comment at [14] if it would help in anyway. MBisanz talk 22:50, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Fair use in The Game (Harvard-Yale)

After mentioning The Game (Harvard-Yale) here earlier today, fair use inclusionists are now striving to push Harvard and Yale sports logos onto this article, despite there being a perfectly good free license image previously present on the article, despite this article existing for four years without the fair use sports logos. See article history. --Hammersoft (talk) 02:19, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

  • I haven't taken matters into my own hands. Upon hearing of the logos not being on that article, YOU took matters into your own hands to push the logos onto an article where no logos had existed for four years, breaking the status quo on that article. Now, User:Geologik is ignoring WP:BRD and edit warring to push his preferred version. --Hammersoft (talk) 02:46, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I made it conform to current consensus as illustrated in the above-mentioned articles. I wasn't going to permit one outlier to be used, as you did above, as a reason to remove the logos from all the other rivalry pages.--2008Olympianchitchat 02:49, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
  • So you own the article then? You're not going to permit it? You're going to force fair use content onto an article that for four years did not have fair use content? Note that this particular rivalry page is far from being the only rivalry page absent logos. You're on thin ice here 2008Olympian. --Hammersoft (talk) 03:20, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Until the issue is decided differently than what the current standard is (preferably through a vote or something since this conversation seems to be bogging down heavily), the logos in the article seem to be in place, as with any rivalry game. Cardsplayer4life (talk) 05:31, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Unless I missed something, it was highly inappropriate for any editors to add the image in question to the page in question, specifically for the reason "well, it was an outlier, and now it's not". That was a completely uncalled for decision. I think an RfC for LOGOS may be in order (whether here or at that talk page matters not to me), as it seems to me that the Logos guideline is being misused. --Izno (talk) 05:44, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
So, basically no team logo images can be either added or removed from articles? It seems like that is a bit of an unsustainable stalemate. Cardsplayer4life (talk) 05:55, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
For the moment, I think that would be preferable either way. I personally lie on the side of "those images should be removed per the mission and NFCC", but I think it silly that people are trying to force their side, so a 'cease-fire' in such a manner seems suitable until people have come to a conclusion here. --Izno (talk) 06:08, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Perfectly acceptable for me personally. Unfortunately some are not convinced of the need for a temporary stalemate. Cardsplayer4life (talk) 06:45, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Quite correct. Nonfree images are always presumed unacceptable unless clearly shown to pass these policies, the WMF resolution, and clear consensus. All three are required. Here, we may say at the very least there is the absence of consensus, in itself rendering reinsertion unacceptable. Seraphimblade Talk to me 07:33, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
So you go about it by doing what Hammersoft did to start this whole mess by taking matters into your own hands before it is even decided? That isn't very constructive. Cardsplayer4life (talk) 08:28, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
It already is decided. We don't use nonfree images when free ones are available or when text alone is sufficient. That was decided by the Foundation and by this policy. Seraphimblade Talk to me 09:36, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Obviously there are a lot of people in the above conversations that disagree. Cardsplayer4life (talk) 10:09, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
That doesn't matter. We don't use nonfree content when we have free. That is not negotiable or subject to discussion, we don't do it. Seraphimblade Talk to me 19:16, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
By all means, as the removal of unique logos, which was discussed above and agreed would be in compliance, is also being pushed onto 2002 NFL Expansion Draft, see :[15].
That is not by any means unique, it is also used in a gallery at Houston Texans. Though, that article suffers seriously from nonfree overuse, so it indeed might be better in that case to have the draft logo in the draft article alone, and then trim out the massive numbers of nonfree images there. Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:24, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
"...YOU took matters into your own hands to push the logos onto an article where no logos had existed for four years, breaking the status quo on that article." Hammer, you have no room to even mention "breaking the status quo". Let's at least own up to our own actions. -- Mastrchf (t/c) 06:27, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Such articles don't even have the potential to talk about the logos thus there is no reason to include them.Geni 13:34, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Clearly any article has the potential to discuss anything in the article, including images. Johntex\talk 16:12, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Not really. When you are writeing about a team it is not that unusal to talk about the logo. When you are writeing about a game it is very unusal to talk about the logos. Of course if the article does include a discusion on the logos we can consider includeing them but that would be uncommon.Geni 17:00, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Geni is right here, that article has no potential right now to include discussion of the logos. When someone finds a source discussing the logos on the context of "The Game", it will be then when you can add the logos, together with the discussion. --Enric Naval (talk) 17:02, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

The real reason is forcing people to find non-free content

WP:NFCC keeps fair-use images out of articles. People want the articles to have pretty photos, so, since they can't rip off prophesional quality photographies out of the internet, they are forced to go out to make their own photos or find people who has photos with free licenses, and so wikipedia gains free-use content.

See? It's easy. If there are already logos on the infobox, then nobody will bother finding a representative free photo of a match that can go on the infobox so it will look pretty with an image. --Enric Naval (talk) 17:11, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Thats only part of it. Another element is that we want wikipedia to be as free as posible. Useing material under fair use conflicts with this so we try and keep such use as minimal as posible.17:16, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, very right, it also serves that purpose. --Enric Naval (talk) 17:21, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
It's not clear that the presence of a logo will discourage people from adding a photo to a page if a relevant one can be found. Also, the principal types of pages being argued about here (pages such as 2007-08 North Carolina Tar Heels men's basketball team which use Template:NCAATeamSeason) can't really display any type of image other than a logo. This is why we allow non-free content when there is no possible replacement. Oren0 (talk) 19:44, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm quite sure there are free photos of games played by the team during that season, perhaps even a group shot of the team. If none are available now, we could always ask someone who took such a photo to release it under a free license. There are many free alternatives to the logo to illustrate the subject. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:00, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

(sarcasm alert!) There are also many free alternatives to corporate logos. A photo of the local McDonald's would suffice to represent the whole chain, no? And, along the same lines, a shot of an old IBM typewriter would do to represent that company. Of course, the golden arches on the sign in front of the restaurant and the IBM logo on the typewriter would have to be blurred out, as they are non-free content and, thusly, evil incarnate. (end sarcasm)
There's really no intellectual distance at all between the statements above (not my sarcasm; the real ones) to a ban on all fair use images. Fortunately, I still haven't seen any actual wikipolicy (an essay which carries no official weight doesn't count) that agrees with the radical anti-fair use crowd.
And let me repeat: endless wikilawyering = less contributing editors. Zeng8r (talk) 20:22, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
We allow the IBM logo in the IBM article, just as we allow the team logo in the main article on the team. On the other hand, this is indeed similar to an article on a specific model of IBM typewriter, in which case a shot of the typewriter would indeed be sufficient. We do not allow the IBM or McDonald's logo in every article which concerns IBM or McDonald's, and we do not allow the team logo in every article which concerns the team. There is no dissonance there. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:25, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
IBM logo is ineligible, so overuse of it doesn't actually matter, but you have a point somewhat. ViperSnake151 22:48, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
  • There is no reason to remove the logos to promote free content. Look at 2005 Texas Longhorn football team and 2007 USC Trojans football team. Both are Featured Articles. Both use the team logos. Both have lots of free-use images also. Johntex\talk 20:26, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
    • The fact that a lot of cleanup is needed shouldn't stop us from doing it. There's cleanup needed on those as well, but we've got to start somewhere. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:35, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
      • The only "group photo" of a team that you'll find (with all the players and coaches) will be the official team photo, which is also copyrighted by the school. Again, there is no free alternative to headline a team's season page. Oren0 (talk) 20:36, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
        • I would argue that this is a more appropriate non-free image to use to represent a team from a single year than the general logo for the school, sports program, or team. In the case of past college years, there would be no free equivalent of that entire collection (as opposed to the current year) and thus is allowable. --MASEM 20:46, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
  1. Seraphimblade, what cleanup are referring to? My post is pointing out that the inclusion of logos on these 2 FA has not been any sort of deterrent to people providing free content. Or were you replying to someone else's post in the thread? Johntex\talk 20:47, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
There is overuse of nonfree content on the two articles you pointed out as well, in addition to the unnecessary logos, so they need cleanup. They actually probably have more overuse than the other articles we've discussed here. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:54, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Masem's idea is interesting. Where available, would people oppose including a non-free photo of the team on, for example, 2008-09 Duke Blue Devils men's basketball team instead of the logo? Oren0 (talk) 21:10, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
absolutely. Attend some games take some pics then fire up your copy of GIMP and start building a composite.Geni 22:21, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
There is no reason to replace the logo with free photos. The free photos are found throughout the article. Please take a look at the Featured Articles I mentioned above. Or at 2005 Texas vs. Ohio State football game. This is one of the articles Hammersmith originally complained about. It has appropriate free images despite also including the team logos. Again, the logos do not keep people from adding free images. Johntex\talk 23:04, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
  • There is every reason to replace logos with free photos where we can. We are a free content encyclopedia. In fact, WP:NFCC #1 requires us to replace non-free content with free content where such exists or could be created. The issue of encouraging free content is a minor issue here; whether there's free content or not on the article doesn't play into whether a logo should be allowed on the article. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:24, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • And here are some more good examples: 2007 Holiday Bowl, 2007 Hawai'i Bowl, and 2008 Orange Bowl. All use logos and still have free images also. The 2008 Orange Bowl is another Featured Article, so yet again this proves that even in the stringent FAC process that this use of logos has not been seen to be problematic. The logical conclusion is that the logos are not deterring people from adding free images. Johntex\talk 23:10, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Those are specific cases, since those events ACTUALLY HAVE LOGOS. Unless its like a championship season or something, most specific seasons of a team will not have their own logo. ViperSnake151 23:49, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
But the logos are not specific to the year in question. Therefore, it is exactly analogous to the question of a team season. My point is that the existence of the logos has not prevented people from finding and adding free content. The section heading of this discussion assumes that removing the logos forced people to add free content. I am pointing out that this is not necessary. The logos are not preventing anyone from adding free content. Johntex\talk 00:00, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
The individual game logos have the same problem as the teams. Whatever is decided for teams should work for the bowl series game within a given year.
Going back to the team pictures, the ones that, at least, I am thinking of, include every player, every coach, every aid, and the like - a shot that, unless you are there when they pose for it, is impossible to replicate via free content. It further does serve to identify every player and person involved with the team for that year. While this doesn't change the amount of NFC content, it does seem to be an appropriate replacement. --MASEM 04:17, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Proposed compromise

Let me suggest a compromise that might work from now on:

  • 1. Prohibit the use of logos on annual season articles. This seems to make up the bulk of the non-free overuse that has been described above, and with the potential of adding an image for each year in perpetuity, it could become extreme. (Although I would point out that Hammersoft started out this discussion claiming that Image:Ohio State buckeyes logo.png was used 102 times, yet I can find no version of it with more than 9 article namespace links to it.) (Thanks Beta)
  • 2. Permit the use in specific rivalry articles and individual games or series that are notable enough to warrant a separate article. The number of rivalries that are notable enough to have their own articles are limited. In the NFL, for example, there are 32 teams giving 1024 possible opponent combinations, but there are only 14 total rivalry articles. And the number of individual games each season that are notable enough to have an article is similarly small.
This recognizes that the head-to-head juxtaposition of logos or helmets between two opposing teams has reached a level in our society to become an expression in and of itself. Just see the myriad of individual Bowl logos that feature both teams' helmets or any episode of ESPN Gameday to see how much this juxtaposition has reached into the consciousness of our society so that it conveys a meaning that fulfills what is asked of by NFCC#8.--2008Olympianchitchat 05:24, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Not getting into the merits of part two see where I removed it from 93 articles. βcommand 05:41, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Question on 1: What would be the acceptable way to represent (identify) an individual season article if not by a logo? It seems that the fact that the logo of the season's team is the same as the overall team is incidental. For instance, the logo of the 1950 version of a team would likely be different than the 2008 logo of that team, and therefore require a different logo, but the fact that the 2008 logo is the same as the team seems like it should be acceptable use insofar as the justification has been presented in the above conversations. Cardsplayer4life (talk) 06:29, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
There is no acceptable way from what I can see, unless by chance it happens to be a year where the logo changes I think, in which case the article can discuss "This year, the logo changed from x to y, because this person/organization thought it should". The logos need to be discussed if they aren't being used for the purpose of identifying the main article (ie, Seattle Seahawks would be the main article of a set of articles on each teams' season). --Izno (talk) 07:25, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
One suggestion has been to use the team group photo from that season. That seems like a pretty good idea actually.--2008Olympianchitchat 11:10, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I think the second half of #2 moves closer to to where we should be talking, but isn't quite yet there, as while the images for a specific rivalry-game may increase understanding that this is what the article is about, it does not detriment the content so significantly that its use is required. Take for example The Game (Harvard-Yale): Were we to use such an image of "X vs X", the image still needs discussion about it to satisfy NFCC#8, at which point, it is likely you could spin out the article to a "Logo of <this game>", and in which case you should only be using the logo on the second page rather than the first (though, if you can fit it into the text of the article, than it is definitely appropriate). Explaining that "reached into the consciousness of our society" needs to happen in the article, about the logos, and it needs to be sourced, else you run into original research. Also, I don't think using the individual logos in this case would be appropriate; I definitely think using the "head-to-head" logo would be able to illustrate it better. That should also reduce the number of fair use rationales that have to be written, which is the goal. --Izno (talk) 07:25, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Ah, but the question should not be whether "its use is required," but whether its use is to be prohibited.--2008Olympianchitchat 11:12, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I think I made my opinion clear in my writings in the discussion above, but just for the sake of clarity, I do not see the current usage (on season & rivalry articles) as "overuse" and do not see a need for new policy or standard. Do not see in anyway that it is violating NFCC policy/guidelines and therefor don't think a total overhaul of our current system is needed. Rtr10 (talk) 08:22, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Of course, you're right. Most of the arguments against this usage come down to Wikilawyering that is entirely insensitive to our essential questions here when it comes to the use of non-free images: (1a) Could it be replaced by equivalently informative free content? [In this case, No.] (1b) Does it deter us from pursuing free content of similar or greater informative value? [In this case, No.] (2) Does it expose us to legal jeopardy? [In this case, No.] (3) Does it enhance readers' understanding? [In this case, Yes.] (For those who may be new to this topic and don't know where these essential questions are coming from, please familiarize yourself with the fundamental rationale of our non-free content policy.) You're doing well, my friend. Keep up the good work and remain strong in the face of the zealotry and condescension that you've unfortunately had to face.—DCGeist (talk) 09:23, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
You're right, apart from the fact that it doesn't really increase the reader's understanding. If the pretty little picture is so essential, how come there is nothing in the prose (and probably nothing in relation to that particular season in decent sources) that discusses it? The person who cut the grass is discussed about as much, but there's no great desire to slam a non-free image of them at the top. Just because others overuse the logo, doesn't mean that we should- we're not aiming to use just too few non-free images to be sued, we're aiming to use the minimum that we could get away with and still produce a decent encyclopedia. J Milburn (talk) 09:43, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
A perfectly valid perspective, if unnecessarily snarky (yes, I know, glass houses...stones...), except for one little BIG thing: not "decent" encyclopedia, my friend. No. Excellent encyclopedia. Superb encyclopedia. The best. As we pursue the free content we love, we must never forget that.—DCGeist (talk) 10:02, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually, in terms of free content, if we can have a decent article with no nonfree content, that is sufficient. In the case of these articles here, very little if anything is lost from not having the logos. Someone interested specifically in the logo is likely visiting the team article, not a season article, and it is there. Someone interested in the season or game and seeking that article likely already knows at least one team involved, and other teams will be mentioned in the article, likely the lead. There is little to no benefit from use of the logos, so going on about "superb" or whatever aside, they're not needed and they need to go. A "superb" article on a game, season, what have you, can be written without those logos. Seraphimblade Talk to me 10:32, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, "decent" may be "sufficient" for you personally, but that's not the consensus view here. The fact that you bracket "superb" with "whatever" is indicative of your indifference to quality which, I'm afraid I must point out, puts you and your idiosyncratic perspective outside of the Wikipedia mainstream.—DCGeist (talk) 10:44, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Can we please focus on what is being said and the arguments being made, rather than extrapolating from them that other respected users should, for whatever reason, have their views discounted? You are being unecessarily confrontational here. J Milburn (talk) 10:51, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
(EC) Please do not misrepresent me. I want high-quality articles as much as anyone. But our mission, as a project, is to produce high-quality free content. Free content is a part of our core mission. Indeed, as part of that, we have disallowed nonfree images of living persons, despite the fact that this means some living person articles are temporarily of slightly lower quality. Indeed, the differential there is far greater than game articles, where little to nothing is lost by excluding the logos. The name of a team readily identifies it without the need for a logo. There is little to no quality loss from excluding the logos, so that's really not a major consideration here. We do sometimes decide that an image is of such necessity that it is worth making an exception to nonfree requirements. In this case, however, the harm done to the free content part of our mission by widespread use of nonfree logos would far outweigh the minimal gain, if any, in quality of the articles. Seraphimblade Talk to me 10:52, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
"little to nothing is lost by excluding the logos...There is little to no quality loss from excluding the logos, so that's really not a major consideration here" - That's your opinion, and apparently is an opinion many here disagree with. Don't state it as if it's fact. Oren0 (talk) 11:04, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. Seraphimblade, as ever, you refuse to recognize that the analogy you have wedded yourself to is a false one. We disallow nonfree images for the purpose of identifying most, though not all, living persons because we may plausibly endeavor to acquire free images of them (as we plausibly can in most, though not all, cases) and because those free images (in the case of most, though not all, living persons) will have substantially the same informative content as the available nonfree images. There is simply no rational comparison to the case of a visual team logo, which has an informative value substantively different from and beyond that of a verbal team name. It's regrettable that you cannot recognize the essential difference between the two matters.—DCGeist (talk) 11:07, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I can see that argument in the main article, and that's why we allow logos in the main article. However, I fail to see it for subsidiary articles. In the case of, let us say, 2009 Foo Bars season, the team we are talking about is identified right in the article title. Whether or not we include the logo has no bearing, anyone visiting that article may readily tell it is about the Foo Bars. The same is true of major games and the like, who inevitably name the team(s) involved in the lead section. In subarticles the logos are often replaceable as well, by photos for example of games played during that season, or in an article on a specific game by a photo of that game being played. Can you please clarify for me what benefit the logos serve in subsidiary articles that's so major it overrides our free content restrictions? Please keep in mind the onus in nonfree content is for those who want to include it, to show beyond doubt it is acceptable, not for those who wish to remove to show beyond doubt it is unacceptable. I think more specificity would help here if you believe they're really that critical, I'm not seeing it. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:55, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Let me give a scenario where it assists the reader. Setting unique bowl logos that encompass the team logos aside, those did not exist until recently, a reader could be looking for a particular bowl game, say he knows that Texas played in the Sugar Bowl at some point in the 80s. As he browses through the various Sugar Bowl listings, hitting the one that has a Longhorn logo in the infobox will assist him in identifying that he is one the correct page much quicker and more efficiently than having to scroll through all the prose to figure it out.--2008Olympianchitchat 11:10, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
If you have to scroll though the entire article about the game to figure out what teams played I'd say the article must be rater poorly written. Surely it will be stated in the first couple of sentences + the infobox what teams where involved. So the logo is hardly nessesary to understand the article. Saving a fraction of a second in identifying the teams involved was not a compelling ratoinale for inclution of non-free media last time I checked. That is pretty much exactly the same rationale argued for keeping non-free images in episode lists and discographies (people know the cover more than the name, faster to find the right one etc), and it was repeatedly shot down as not beeing a sufficient rationale for including non-free images. --Sherool (talk) 12:04, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Exactly - the use of logos for this quick ID makes sense in a paper encyclopedia when you are flipping through it, but if the Sugar Bowl article does not have a readily available list of games, teams playing, and results, or if each Bowl does not say who the teams are at the infobox or first or second sentence of the lead, you are making it difficult for the reader. The searching scenario described is reasonable, but using logos to resolve it (and thus justifying the NFC use) is nuanced for a non-paper encyclopedia. --MASEM 13:56, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Also, I can tell you right now with a very quick glance that Texas did not play in the Sugar Bowl in the 1980s. How do I know this so quickly? Because of logos? No. Because I had a look at the Sugar Bowl article. It contains a list with, at a glance, what teams played, the year of the game, and the score. Free text, such as a well-designed table like that one, easily replaces nonfree images for "at a glance" overview information such as who played in what year, and in this case it works very well. Seraphimblade Talk to me 23:53, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

No interest in the proposed compromise. The proposals do not have a good grasp of the legal concept of overuse: simply having multiple articles that legitimately use the logo is not overuse. Its going to take another lawyer (other than myself, listed here) to convince me otherwise. --Bobak (talk) 17:43, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

The law is not part of this discussion. please review the non-free content policies and review the differences. just because its legal does not mean it meets our standards. βcommand 17:46, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
The fact is, the cases most being referred to all through out this discussion are legitimately in place under Wikipedia policy. It is against the ideology of a few editors here that Wikipedia should not use Non free content, but that is NOT the policy of wikipedia, just the personal beliefs of these users. That is why all articles were reverted, because there was no violation in policy. Rtr10 (talk) 00:32, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • This isn't the first time you've implied there's a small minority in opposition to your view. I actually ran the raw numbers (not that numbers=consensus). There's 34 people in the discussion. Of those, 32 made their position clear. 16 were in favor of your stance (including you) and 16 in opposition. Fair use requires consensus for inclusion, not exclusion. Barring an emerging consensus to keep this usage as is, I think you can expect this use will be deprecated. And no, I'm not threatening you. --Hammersoft (talk) 03:02, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • You only counted those active in the discussion on this page, which I suspect is watched by more editors concerned with "overuse" of fair use images than the average wikipedia editor. I guarantee, tho, that pretty much any attempt to remove logos from college team pages will immediately be reverted as "vandalism" by dozens, if not hundreds, of editors who've worked on those articles. Your opinions about official wikipedia policies on this subject are definitely in the minority. Zeng8r (talk) 13:55, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry, but claiming to speak for the silent majority isn't helpful. You have no means of measuring that, and any claim of consensus based on silent hundreds of editors would be patently false. 34 people is a reasonable sample size, and can reasonably be used to estimate the opinions of more than 600 editors. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:00, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I strongly suggest you read NFCC POLICY no where does it state there must be consensus among users as you seem to believe. I would also suggest you stop trying to make up your own Wikipedia policy instead of assuming others don't know it. Your little game is not going to work here. Rtr10 (talk) 07:35, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
you might actually want to read the policy your linking to. it clearly states that non-free images can only be used on pages where its absence harms the understanding of the subject. (note I said harms, not having a logo rarely harms a subject). βcommand 07:40, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I have read the policy a number of times. And by the way, NO WHERE in the policy is the word "harm" even used, so you may want to read it yourself, before misspeaking. The policy does state this... "(As a quick test, before adding non-free content requiring a rationale, ask yourself: "Can this non-free content be replaced by a free version that has the same effect?" and "Could the subject be adequately conveyed by text without using the non-free content at all?" If the answer to either is yes, the non-free content probably does not meet this criterion.)" The answer to the first question is obviously no in all of these cases and it is the answer to that second question which is being debated here. It is the opinion of myself and most other editors in the College Football project that can not adequately convey the message we are in these articles with out the images being used. You may interpret that differently, but we are not in violating the policy in our current system. Rtr10 (talk) 08:16, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
You might want to read WP:NFCC#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. how does your usage pass that? it doesnt. thats where the "harm" phrase comes from. you cannot and will not mass use non-free content. βcommand 08:38, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
If you have not read the numerous points above on how the logos significantly increase readers' understanding of the article, you should go back and read those. I really don't no what else to say, that already hasn't been said. It is pretty clear they significantly increase the reader's understanding of the article. It is not in violation of the policy. And by the way, you are not the ultimate authority on anything. You should not be throwing around threats and ultimatums to other users. You aren't even an admin, so I don't know where you are getting the Holier than thou attitude from. Rtr10 (talk) 09:54, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Those wanting the logos have shown speicifically how they "increase the reader's understanding" by being a quick visual indication of the team, but we are looking for more exceptional meaning, that we wanted to see how they "significantly increase" the reader's understanding. That has not be met yet. They can be replace with free text without loss of meaning, they don't help with searching, and so forth. The use of any NFC needs to be seen as exceptional and not the norm - even though we allow it, we prefer no usage whenever possible and this is such a case. --MASEM 13:08, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Wrong, If I wanted to remove non-free material, my behavior would be completely different. I support the usage of non-free material in limited usage. Virgin killer and Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima are two perfect examples of why non-free material is needed. What both my position and that of the foundation is, we must have to cover some topics, but lets keep its usage to an absolute minimum. we dont need a single non-free image used 102 times. the policy is very clear about usage, from the license resolution All projects are expected to host only content which is under a Free Content License, or which is otherwise free as recognized by the 'Definition of Free Cultural Works' as referenced above. there are limited exceptions that are allowed as the foundation knows that some topics cannot be covered properly without copyrighted material. that is not carte blanche for using copyrighted material. Please review both foundation:Resolution:Licensing policy and WP:NFCC. βcommand 04:23, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Basically, then, you only support non-free images in articles about non-free images. I'm glad you don't oppose those, but that more or less comes out to removing almost all non-free material. Don't be disingenuous - you think that removing non-free content which Wikipedia could never possibly get into any trouble for using is more important than making our articles as useful as possible. Your position is that non-free images should be removed whenever one can make an argument to do so within the rules. Has there ever been a single instance of an actual dispute about use of a non-free image where you have not argued for deletion? john k (talk) 16:06, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Please review Virgin killer its about an album, but its usage of non-free content cannot be disputed. there have been some who wanted to remove the image but it goes against what wikipedia is. Yeah a lot of non-free image usage is not needed. the non-free images in Homer Simpson have a pretty solid rationale. I have no issues with how those are used. (I picked a random example to spot check) or for that matter the usage on Worf. Images are kept to minimal usage and only what is absolutely needed. βcommand 16:15, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Concur with Beta. Whether or not it is overuse as defined by law isn't relevant to the discussion. What is relevant are our policies, guidelines, resolutions, and overarching goals. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:11, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Not everyone agrees with the state of currently existing policies and guidelines, certainly not everyone agrees on your interpretation of existing policies and guidelines, and I warrant there's some disagreement about interpretations of "overreaching goals" as well. john k (talk) 21:32, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I think it would serve the discussion better that rather than attribute "your interpretations" to someone (as is frequently done in such discussions), say "the opposing side's interpretation". There's plenty, plenty of people here who agree with my view, and I with them. I'm not an isolated loner here riding on a wild bucking pony saying "Yee ha! Lets get them thar fair use thingies outta here! <bang><bang><bang>" :) --Hammersoft (talk) 22:19, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I would also note that keeping nonfree content to a minimum is the Foundation's viewpoint, as expressed in their binding resolution. This is a free content project whose mission is to produce free content. We use nonfree content on a limited basis when there is absolutely no alternative. This is a case where there is an alternative, naming the teams by text. We do not use nonfree images where there are alternatives, and that's not negotiable and without exception. Seraphimblade Talk to me 05:21, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • As I stated before, this line of reasoning would eliminate all non-free images. Do we really need logos to identify anything? Not if you say that the organization's name in text is an adequate substitution. However, the oft-quoted wikipedia guideline on fair use images specifically mentions logos as examples of acceptable fair-use images. Therefore, the foundation says that they're important enough to readers' understanding that they should be included. Therefore, this whole anti-logo rampage is an unnecessary waste of time. Zeng8r (talk) 00:01, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
  • We do allow logos in a single main article about the organization. However, they are not allowed wherever that organization is mentioned. We allow the logo of a corporation in the article on that corporation. We do not, however, allow use of that logo in an article about a product by that corporation. For example, we allow the Apple logo in the Apple Inc. article, but not in the Ipod or Macintosh Quadra article. The rule is similar here. The team logo may be used in the main team article, as we may see at Denver Broncos or CU Buffaloes. However, it may not be used in other articles which happen to concern that team, as for example we do not use the Broncos logo at Super Bowl XXXII. There is no dissonance there, and that distinction is longstanding. Use must be minimal. That doesn't mean none, but it doesn't mean all over the place either. Seraphimblade Talk to me 01:18, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm. Looks like you have an argument with the user who posted this above: "We use nonfree content on a limited basis when there is absolutely no alternative. This is a case where there is an alternative, naming the teams by text. We do not use nonfree images where there are alternatives, and that's not negotiable and without exception." Hold on a minute; that user was also you. Interesting.
Your first argument says that logos can be replaced by a text-only alternative. Continuing that thought, all fair use logos should logically be removed "without exception". And yet your second argument makes exceptions for some articles to the exclusion of others that many users feel are just as worthy of the logo. The "dissonance" is so loud that it's hurting me ears. Sounds like you're saying that fair use is only OK when your personal interpretation of wikipolicy says it's OK. Zeng8r (talk) 02:54, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
actually both users who state that limited usage and that some logo usage can be replaced with text. Example Ipod does not need to have the apple logo, as a simple link to their article can do the same for meaning. as for the apple logo on the main page it usage their can be defended. But you dont need its logos on all of its products as it is not needed. the usages are separate. usage of a logo on the primary article of the subject is allowed. what is not allowed is usage of the logo where ever it ties to the subject. βcommand 03:45, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Consensus must exist to retain content

If you're the type of person who adheres to WP:TL;DR, I suggest you skip what follows. Some concepts take time and effort to explain and be understood. If you're not willing to make the investment (which is fine), please do not bother to comment.

Over the course of the above debate, the issue of requiring consensus to include or retain contentm and that the default case is to not use fair use content has been raised. Some parties disagree with this statement. I'm separating out this particular portion of the debate for further commentary.

Here's the salient points regarding this:

  1. Why not using fair use content is the default case:
    • Wikipedia is a free content encyclopedia. This is supported by the Wikimedia Foundation's m:Vision which asks us to imagine a world in which we can freely share in the sum of human knowledge. It is also supported by the Foundation's m:Mission, which asks us to develop content under a free license.
    • Fair use content is not free as in libre. It can be free, as in gratis. However, free as in gratis carries very significant restrictions on usage. Wikipedia aims to create content under libre conditions, not gratis conditions. See the article Gratis vs. libre for a greater understanding of this concept.
    • Fair use content is allowed. However, in order for such content to exist on the English language Wikipedia, it must adhere to our mission and vision, the Foundation:Resolution:Licensing policy, our local EDP policy at WP:NFCC and should generally be in line with our guideline on fair use image use found at WP:NFC. It is only then that fair use images are permitted. These requirements must be met for the content to remain.
    • Lastly, note that our policy says "it is for users seeking to include or retain content to provide a valid rationale, not for those seeking to remove or delete it to show that one cannot be created." I'll come back to this, as this sentence is often overlooked but is very key in understanding our policy.
  2. Why consensus must exist to include or retain fair use content.
    • Consensus is part of the fourth pillar of Wikipedia. Without consensus, a great many things on Wikipedia do not happen. We do not promote adminstrators, delete images or articles, undelete some things or reach decisions at ArbCom without consensus. It is a core principal of Wikipedia.
    • Whether or not something exists on Wikipedia does not grant it the privilege of existence. As each editing window says near the bottom, if you don't want your contributions to be edited mercilessly, don't submit it. Just because somebody worked hard on something doesn't grant it special privileges that something someone contributed after a few seconds of effort does not have.
    • We do require consensus for articles and images to be deleted. So why is fair use different? We come back to "it is for users seeking to include or retain content to provide a valid rationale, not for those seeking to remove or delete it to show that one cannot be created."

But what is a valid rationale? Simply put, the rationale answers the concerns of our fair use policy on a case by case basis showing any reader who sees the usage how that particular image in that particular usage is acceptable under our policy. The fair use rationale requires us to show:

  • "What proportion of the copyrighted work is used and to what degree does it compete with the copyright holder's usage". This addresses WP:NFCC #2, #3 and #4.
  • "If applicable, has the resolution been reduced from the original". This addresses #3b.
  • "What purpose does the image serve in the article". This addresses #1 and #8.
  • "To what degree is the image replaceable by a free content image". This addresses #1.
  • "Any other information necessary to assist others in determining whether the use of this image qualifies for fair use." which covers the remaining points of the policy.

If we have File:Foo Bar used on Bars of Foo, and it has a rationale for that use, people may challenge that use if they feel it fails our policies. If it goes unchallenged, a presumed state of consensus by silence exists. Once that is challenged, consensus no longer exists until consensus is proven to exist either in support or in opposition of the usage.

Now we come back to "it is for users seeking to include or retain content to provide a valid rationale" If there is no consensus that a valid rationale exists, then the content can not be retained in that usage. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:20, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

You claim that because the policy puts the burden of proof on those seeking to retain content to provide a rationale, it follows that they must be able to form a consensus in order for that rationale to be considered valid. In other words, you're saying that the default position is to exclude content unless there can be a strong consensus formed otherwise. I believe this to be a non-sequitur. Indeed, the burden is on us to provide a valid rationale, which we believe that we have per WP:LOGO, WP:NFCC, and even per Foundation:Resolution:Licensing policy (which, again, specifically allows the use of logos and does not say that their use should be curtailed). Nowhere in any policy I'm aware of does it say that our claimed rationale is presumed invalid unless we convince a majority of anyone, and therefore I believe that your "default to exclude unless a consensus is reached otherwise" position is not correct. Oren0 (talk) 21:04, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
  • WP:NFCC clearly states, as I noted above, "it is for users seeking to include or retain content to provide a valid rationale". That's policy. If no consensus exists that this is a valid rationale, then it isn't a valid rationale. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:35, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm wondering if you read what I said. We agree that the burden is on those who want to include content to provide a rationale. We believe that we have. It does not follow from that policy that our rationale is presumed to be invalid unless consensus exists otherwise. Repeating the policy doesn't change my point, which is that your conclusion is unfounded. Oren0 (talk) 21:45, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Then please demonstrate what consensus exists for this usage? The burden is on you to demonstrate this consensus to retain this content. That's codified in policy. --Hammersoft (talk) 00:19, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
No, I think Oren is right. Policy says that you have to provide a valid rationale, not that you have to demonstrate consensus that the rationale is valid. If there is no consensus that the rationale is not valid, then there is no consensus that policy is being breached.
Policy says that those wanting to delete an image do not have to show that no rationale could possibly be created; however that does not remove the onus from them to have to show consensus that a particular rationale is to be considered invalid. Jheald (talk) 01:50, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
And then there's the issue of breaching consensus based a flawed premise. Like NFCC#8, for example, which is too subjective in character, non-consensual in nature (and the subject of on going debate) but is wielded by some like it was the Hammer of Thor. Wiggy! (talk) 21:19, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
As described in the discussion above, some interpret NFCC#8 as only allowing fair use images in cases where simple text can't possibly be used as a replacement. Since any organization / company / university / whatever can be described by their name, this interpretation would eliminate the use of non-free logos altogether. However, logos are specifically mentioned as an example of allowable fair use content, making the over-zealous (and oft-repeated) interpretation of the guideline obviously incorrect. Zeng8r (talk) 00:02, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • No, we do permit logos of companies to be on their respective pages. We don't permit logos of companies to be on every product they make, every time the company is mentioned in some other article, etc. --Hammersoft (talk) 00:19, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Rationales have existed every since these images were uploaded and put on their current pages. They do not violate current policy and there for to remove the content, you would need to change policy which requires a consensus. If there is no consensus reached on changing policy, then the current policy still stands. In that case the images cannot be removed because they do not violate policy. There, we have come full circle. Not too complicated. Rtr10 (talk) 02:48, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Having a rationale (with all required fields filled in) and proper license information is the bare minimum for retaining a non-free image. However, rationales may and can be challenged; a rationale that says "I think this image is pretty and show stay" is bound to be challenge. You may be right that they don't violate policy, but the rationales for the use of those images are (fairly) being challenged as being questionable under the NFC policy, per #8 and #3a (they're neither minimal nor significant as they stand right now). I will state that there is no clear violation of any NFC policy, but from comparison across the rest of the project and historical treatment of images, these rationales are not sufficient to justify the images. --MASEM 04:06, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Challenging them is one thing, but Hammersoft's discussion above leads one to believe they have no rationale or standing and there must be a consensus for every single image to be used. That is simply obsurd. And to say the rationale on these pages are "I think this image is pretty and show stay" is a joke. I have not come across a single rationale that has not been legitimate in this entire logo discussion. Just want to make sure people reading this are not being mislead and are not falling into Hammersoft's trend of making up Wikipedia policy that does not exist. Thats all I'm doing here. Rtr10 (talk) 05:44, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, he's right about consensus for images to be used, with an unchallenged rationale being the same as consensus by silence. But there is a policy issue here, that being NFC, and the problem is that the rationale currently state do not clearly show why they should be considered within that policy. I'm not saying there may not be a way to state the rationales to make them fit with NFC, but history and current other use and non-use of logos throughout WP show that the current rationales typically don't past muster and some stronger reason is needed to have as much non-free use of these logos to break our free content mission. --MASEM 06:10, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Also, Hammersoft's definition of required consensus/burden of proof is dead on. This is a free content project, so nonfree content is by default unacceptable. Consensus is required to make an exception. In addition, the image must pass the nonfree content guidelines and the WMF resolution, the second especially cannot be overridden in any manner whatsoever. By definition that means the first cannot either, as it is the only route (as the EDP) to an exception under that resolution. Nonfree content is not "default OK unless consensus says it's not". It's counter to our mission, so it's "default unacceptable unless consensus allows for an exception." Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:32, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Just because you say something doesn't make it so. The policies you keep referring to don't say it (quite the contrary as some of us read them) and repeating the "consensus must exist to include" argument without proof again and again doesn't strengthen your argument. Oren0 (talk) 09:21, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Just because you say something doesn't make you right either. The burden is on those retaining content to prove it is valid once challenged. This use is challenged. You've not been able to achieve consensus that this use is acceptable. This debate has gone on for a considerable amount of time now. It's gone on for more than two years. In this incarnation, we are now down to "You're wrong!" answered with "No, YOU're wrong", soon to be "Duck season!", "Rabbit season!" :) I think we're past the point of reasonable debate now, since we've all laid our cards on the table and not found agreement. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:29, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Actually, Consensus must exist to REMOVE content

And that's just the way it is and has always been without concrete policy saying this and that can't be done. It's obvious that a pattern has been set in using the logos. It's up to you Hammer, to form a consensus as to why this pattern should be changed and so far, IMHO, you've done nothing but tell everyone else it's going to be your way, period. You started this whole fiasco, now you must deal with the fact that, when it's all said and done, tantrums won't win you friends and allies. Labeling the above section as you did, Consensus must exist to retain content actually did nothing but piss me off. Who are you to tell me, us, anyone that that's how it's going to be??? As for the logos, if a logo is being used 102 times but only has 9 Fair Use Rationales, common sense says that 93 articles need to have the logo removed IMMEDIATELY. But if a FUR exists on a relevant article (which rivalries and bowl games involving a college team ARE), then leave them alone. Why is that so hard? I wait with baited breath... - ALLST☆R echo 08:22, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Oh, a pattern has been set. Hey cool! Ok, I'm going to upload a thousand images of living people who have no images on their biographies here. I'll be sure to add "valid" fair use rationales (just because an image has a rationale doesn't mean it's acceptable), and add them to the infoboxes of a thousand biographies. Hey, I just set a pattern. Now, by your logic, I could insist you develop a consensus to undo my actions. Your logic fails. We don't use brute force to put things here where no consensus exists for their use. I'll ignore your "trantrums" comment and remind you to abide by WP:NPA. If you can't comment on the debate without commenting on me, then please do not comment. As for who I am to tell you "how it's going to be"; I, like you, am the most powerful person here. I'm an editor. I took time and great care in crafting the above section showing the basis in policy. I was asked to explain the stance, and I did. Now you're angry because I explained it? I'm sorry, I fail to understand this approach. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:16, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
One last word on consensus - Hammer claimed that the discussion was split evenly on this matter and that it's impossible to claim a "silent majority" in favor of keeping things the way they are. What he failed to acknowledge, however, is that the discussion is (not quite) evenly split on the talk page of a wikiproject dedicated to "reduc(ing) non-free content on Wikipedia, prevent copyright infringement, and further(ing) our free content mission." If the "pull the logos!" argument can't win consensus here, it's not going to win anywhere. This is further evidenced by the fact that premature efforts to remove logos from college team entries were immediately reverted by editors of those articles. Zeng8r (talk) 11:34, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Just because the removals were reverted doesn't make the reversions correct. Further, it is an even split at the time I ran the numbers, at 16-16, with 2 neutral, after 34 editors had contributed to the thread. As I indicated above, the policy shows that consensus must exist to retain content. Would you please show me where the policy says that consensus must exist to remove content? I'd be much obliged. Thank you, --Hammersoft (talk) 16:18, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
If the content that was being questions was free content without any copyright concerns, then I would totally agree that consensus needs to exist to remove that content. But non-free content is exceptional. We're a free encyclopedia, any use of non-free content must be considered exceptional. (Allowable, yes, but per the Foundation's wishes, needs to be minimal). Like BLP, copyvios, and other similar content, such content must be appropriately justified to be included - for BLPs, we need sources, copyvios have to show very very significant encyclopedic value (if even used), and for non-free images, a strong rationale for why the non-free image is being used. So its still up to those wishing to retain the images to figure out why we have to keep them, though it is worthwhile to note that unless we heard from Mike Godwin that we need to get of these images ASAP, we aren't under any deadline to prove they have to be kept.
Note: let's not use the word "copyvio". If it's legal by fair use, then it's not a copyvio. But if it's not legal, then it certainly has no place here. Jheald (talk) 12:57, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I'm in no way trying to imply that the logo images are a copyvio. I'm speaking of, for example, DeCSS, which discussion of can be constructed to be a possible copyvio but as part of our education aspect, we have to cover. --MASEM 13:06, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Also, consensus is not just the number of !votes; it also has to be weighed against existing policy and guidelines. I have no doubt that if the question of the logos were taken to a larger audience that there would be a majority that would want to keep them, but likely for a reason that effectively boils down to WP:ILIKEIT; on the other hand, those that want to see these logos removed from all but the team article have the strength of the NFC policy on that side. An uninvolved editor may determine in such a case may see the minority looking for removal to be the correct consenses since there is strong policy on that side, but it could go the other way. We just cannot kid ourselves that strict #s of votes is going to tell us the right answer; just because every car on a road is doing 20 mph over the speed limit doesn't mean that speed should become the new speed limit. --MASEM 12:18, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

WP:ILIKEIT does not apply here. This is a difference of opinion on the interpretation of a policy guideline. Apparently, the majority of users agree that current practice is acceptable under current policy. Therefore, there is no reason to change current practices. Zeng8r (talk) 14:15, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

  • There is no majority. Several times now supporters of the usage have claimed this majority, or claim to speak for the silent majority. In reality; it's an even 16-16 split. And, as Masem notes, this isn't a vote; consensus is not based on majorities. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:20, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
A majority is not the same as consensus, because consensus is not a vote. And, if you want to reflect current practices, then we should look to all other sports articles for comparison and note that only the college football ones have this as a problem, so technically that is not current practice. --MASEM 14:26, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
So, I think that this discussion is getting nowhere. Masem has his view on what would happen if this issue was presented to a larger body, while I believe a majority of people would actually believe those who want to keep the images have the interpretation of the policy on their side, going against those who are basically pushing WP:IDONTLIKEIT. Hammer and some others seem to have the "my way or the highway" view, as do many of those trying to keep the images, even when presented with a compromise. This is just going in circles, so I feel we drop the issue. Keep the current system, keep stability. If in the future, wide consensus presents the notion that this discussion should be reviewed, perhaps then a change can be made, but as of now, I think most will agree that each has his or her own viewpoint, and they're really not going to budge. Mastrchf (t/c) 14:45, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
The issue is not resolved, so dropping it is not appropriate. Instead, I created the RFC at the bottom of this page to seek wider input on the issue. --MASEM 15:07, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

"Compromise" already exists

At times, different editors have suggested compromises in this debate. It should be noted that compromise already exists in the form of Foundation:Resolution:Licensing policy and the descendant local EDP policy at WP:NFCC.

If we offer a new compromise here that is less restrictive than current policy and practice, then down the road a year or three someone can say that practice is too restrictive, and offer another compromise. Repeat, repeat, repeat and within ten years you have a project that has fair use all over every page.

That's untenable.

The compromise that already exists is what is being offered. You can use fair use images, but under tightly restricted circumstances. This is done to prevent serious encroachment on our goal of producing a free as in libre encyclopedia, to allow fair use content only where absolutely necessary. That is the compromise. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:24, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

How is hijacking the word compromise to re-brand a position a compromise? That's just a useless exercise in Newspeak and is disrespectful of the folks trying to work towards a genuine compromise. Wiggy! (talk) 16:46, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • There's no hijacking here. I was showing that if we compromise, we'll eventually want to compromise again, and again, and again. Eventually, the fair use position will be meaningless if that was done. A compromise already exists, and needs to be held to. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:48, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I've yet to see you "compromise" on anything. All you've said is "my way, my way, this way, this way, boo hoo"! Telling us the "compromise already exists and that's it" isn't doing anything for your shallow cause. Grow up and just accept the fact that your actions in removing the logos with valid Fair Use Rationale tags from valid articles didn't sit well. Accept the fact that a silent majority does exist. Accept the fact that your wiki-lawyering is not working. Accept the fact that logos are used for identity of subjects of articles whether the subject gets a sentence mention, a paragraph, or the whole article.. a subject's participation in an article warrants accompanying visual aid as long as said visual aid falls within the guidelines of low resolution with accompanying Fair Use Rationale. And then move on with your life so people can get back to doing things that matter. - ALLST☆R echo 20:21, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • You're quoting me for saying something I didn't say, and attributing emotions to me that I never felt. I encourage you to read WP:NPA. I have no interest in continuing to respond to you if you can't discuss something without devolving into mud slinging. If you wish to rephrase the above without the personal attacks, I'd be happy to respond. --Hammersoft (talk) 23:00, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I really don't give a rat's ass whether or not you respond. I haven't lodged a personal attack on you anywhere so you can stop referring me to WP:NPA. The fact is, you can't answer the question and so you resort to playing the victim. That's fine with me too. Just don't expect others to agree with you or bow down to your "my way or no way" attitude. Cheers! - ALLST☆R echo 00:12, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
  • When you decide to be civil, I'll be waiting. --Hammersoft (talk) 00:54, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Well that's strange coming from you Hammersoft, considering you have been "uncivil" in the exact same way on several seperate occasions. --.:Alex:. 21:24, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I am quite happy to express myself in direct terms, and I often do not mince words. However, I do not personally attack anyone. I refuse to engage with people who do. --Hammersoft (talk) 02:08, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not surprised people have attacked you. And yes, you have been uncivil in the past, but I think most users have been. I myself have been uncivil. JayJ47 (talk) 22:24, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Check the record

I see Howcheng has been imposing a particular version of criterion 8, ignoring the results of the extensive debates that took place earlier this year: Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/Archive 34#Criterion 8 and Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/Archive 35#Criterion 8 objection. If you wish to dispute the current language of the criterion, you're absolutely free to do so, but you can't change it by personal fiat.—DCGeist (talk) 08:35, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

those discussions never reached a clear consensus so I reverted back before your attempts to hijack the meaning. βcommand 14:46, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. As WP:SILENCE indicates, even though mine and BlackKite's and CBM's objections were late, they were still made; thus consensus for the change cannot be said to have existed in the first place. howcheng {chat} 04:34, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I'll consider protecting the page if the text on NFCC 8 keeps flipping with an edit summary equivalent to "I have consensus". People who participate often at WP:IFD (including some of the people in this discussion) have to rely on NFCC 8 often; ask them what they need to get the job done reliably and with a minimum of fuss. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 15:48, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Concur with Betacommand and Howcheng. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:35, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Hammersoft, your edit summary said "check the record", and since I just brought up page protection, perhaps that was a message for me. No worries, I keep up with monthly changes and I know in a general way how NFCC 8 is used at WP:IFD. However, when I start waving my mop around, I want to be careful not to hit someone with it ... that is, I don't want to come across as saying "Shut up, or I'll protect the page". Even if IfD "regulars" know the arguments, it's helpful to link to the past arguments and/or restate and summarize them when the policy is challenged, rather than just saying "This has consensus". If they were good arguments before, they'll still be good arguments now. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 17:05, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • The edit summary was automatic, as will be this one. I'm simply saying I agree with Betacommand and Howcheng. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:08, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Note to self: focus. - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 17:36, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
As anyone who cares to read the record can ascertain, the argument presented by Betacommand—"those discussions never reached a clear consensus"—and "agreed" to by Howcheng and Hammersoft is objectively false. The primary discussion, Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/Archive 34#Criterion 8, unambiguously achieved a consensus on the language of NFCC#8: "Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic." The subsequent debate, Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/Archive 35#Criterion 8 objection, achieved no consensus to overturn that language. If you wish to dispute the current language, please feel free to do so according to our well-established procedures. Best, Dan.—DCGeist (talk) 09:36, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
  • For one, consensus can change. For two, that discussion had fewer than ten people voicing support. Changing a crucial criteria of our NFC policy on such a limited participation is unethical. If you want to change the policy, then start an RfC on the matter and advertise its existence widely. For an example of this, see the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/RFC on use of sports team logos which has been so advertised and has drawn considerable input from many people across the project. --Hammersoft (talk) 03:40, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
For one, Softie, consensus can change, and it did. For two, stop acting like there are quorum rules...oh, that just happen to buck your personal position up...if they existed...which they don't. That's very, very bad of you to pretend we have rules that in fact we don't have. That's called a lie. It's bad to lie. Our encyclopedia relies on the good faith of its contributors. And good faith involves not stooping to lying. Stop lying, Softie.—DCGeist (talk) 09:41, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm unclear who you are accusing of lying, since there's no "Softie" posting to this thread. Regardless, changing policy with so few people around to consider it is bad form and not acceptable. Quoting from Wikipedia:Consensus, "In the case of policies and guidelines, Wikipedia expects a higher standard of participation and consensus than on other pages." So while there's no explicit number to indicate a quorum, the paucity of numbers in the consensus you cite is rather indicative of lack of participation in the discussion and advertising of the discussion. Further, even if we allow that the consensus you cite was valid, consensus can change. It's obvious from this thread that the consensus has changed. The fact that so many people continue to revert you on the policy page should be further evidence of that. Continuing to edit war on the policy page will continue to be unproductive. If you want to make the change you suggest, start an RfC and get true consensus. --Hammersoft (talk) 04:55, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Images at Britney Spears

In cleaning up some other images, I found two non-free images which were (in my view, of course) not being used properly in Britney Spears. One of them is a magazine cover, which we do not typically permit for use in illustrating living persons; the other is a music video screenshot which clearly has a bad copy-paste rationale which identifies it as an album cover, which it patently is not. However, my removals were quickly reverted by another administrator. The article could use another few sets of eyes, and/or some discussion here. (ESkog)(Talk) 23:59, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

File:Britneyspearsrollingstone.jpg does not violate fair use. It is not being used in the article to illustrate Spears, it is being used within policy to illustrate a controversial cover on which Spears appeared which is supported by prose. The licensing for magazine covers clearly states: If the image depicts a person or persons on the cover, it is not acceptable to use the image in the article of the person or persons depicted on the cover, unless used to directly illustrate a point about the publication of the image. Use of the image merely to depict a person or persons in the image will be removed. The Bookkeeper (of the Occult) 01:22, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

More NFCC#8

Stifle has taken it upon himself to nominate all music video screenshots for speedy deletion citing NFCC#8. Including screenshots which are low-resolution (less than 0.1 megapixel), for videos prominently discussed in the article, which have good fair use rationales.[16][17][18][19] I'm getting sick of this. Can we please fix NFCC#8, to end the reign of terror of the image nazis fascists? The current wording is far too open to ridiculous interpretations and encourages abuse, IMO. Kaldari (talk) 16:47, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

  • A good start would be for you to refactor the phrase "Image Nazis", since you've already contravened Godwin's Law. As for your three examples - the first one is reasonable in the article for the single (to demonstrate the blue-hue technique) but shouldn't be in the parent article as well (minimal use); the next two add nothing to the text and should go. The fourth - debatable, but replaceable by text as below. Black Kite 16:52, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
    • Absolute rubbish. Those images convey more information about the videos than the text sections do. Kaldari (talk) 16:56, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
      • (1) It's an unremarkable shot of the artist. (2) It's Dolly Parton in a ringmaster's uniform. Replaceable by text - WP:NFCC#1. Oh, and the changing of "Nazis" to "fascists" - well done. Any chance you could make your point in an adult manner? Black Kite 16:59, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • All 4 examples seem completely appropriate for deletion:
    • The first three are primarily pictures of one person (the third has more people in shot but clearly only one is central). There is very little unique about how they are posed, filmed, dressed, or the like, that require a photo (the third, "Dolly is in a top hat and coattails" is free text that can replace that). This is a strong reason for deletion per not only NFC but our BLP policy - all these singers are still alive, and thus free images can be used to depict them, the music video image is duplicative.
    • The fourth is easily replaced by text: "They're multicolored Rorschach inkplots". Clearly replaceable by free text. --MASEM 17:01, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
      • The video screenshots show you the visual style of the video, how the performer looked and dressed, etc. If these images cannot meet NFCC#8, how can any image? By your logic any image could be substituted with text in the article. A lot of editors have spent a lot of time finding these images, resizing them, writing captions for them, and creating detailed fair use rationales in good faith, believing that their work was contributing to Wikipedia and in line with our policies. To mass nominate them for speedy deletion is a slap in the face to all of these editors and their work. Kaldari (talk) 17:06, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
        • Kaldari, please note that every edit page states "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed for profit by others, do not submit it." You should never feel irate because someone has come along and either has or is attempting to undo your hard work. This is a collaborative project, and your contributions will be edited and possibly removed. --Hammersoft (talk) 22:13, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
      • Question. Is it possible for any music video screenshot to meet NFCC#8? Is so, how? If not, can any screenshot or album cover meet NFCC#8? If so, how? Kaldari (talk) 17:13, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
        • If a video is done in a distinctive style that has received criticism or commentary, or is necessary to improve the reader's understanding that is difficult by words, a screenshot is appropriate. A good example is "The Hardest Button to Button", as it's hard to describe how the video works in words but the picture helps. But, a video that just shows the singer or band singing with little else going on likely needs no image.
        • Album and cover art - one image of these helps to identify the work that is the topic of the article (thus, there is expected to have commentary about the work to support it.) --MASEM 17:22, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
          • None of what you just said is explained in the policies. The policies don't say "only if it's difficult to explain with words" or "only if it is used to illustrate a distinctive style". Believe it or not, a lot of editors added these image in good faith and believe that they meet the criteria. If anyone can come along and trash all of their work simply because they have a particular take on the meaning of the policy, that is unacceptable. Either the policy needs to spell out exactly what constitutes "significance" and "understanding" or the criteria should be removed. Right now it is causing far more conflict than usefulness. Kaldari (talk) 17:32, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
            • WP:NFCC#1 (replaceable by free content) and WP:NFCC#8 (significance) spell this out as concisely as possible. The examples then on WP:NFC explain various cases. Unfortunately, we've tried to explain "significance" and the like in the past, and that's always met with resistance because it sets too low a bar. The best way to think if an image is ok is to run down WP:NFCC and ask if each requirement is met (you should be doing this when you upload images per the "upload file" link when filling out the rationale). Now, mind you, editors will upload in good fiath what they believe are appropriate images; there is a learning curve for what the NFCC means but it becomes very easy to accept after the first couple tries. --MASEM 17:38, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Outdent. NFCC#8 is waaay too subjective and its overuse is just perpetually begging for a fight. I understand that there will be crystal clear instances where an image doesn't belong, but to constantly employ it to place one editors opinion over anothers by fiat is just wrong. Who is to say what one person will learn from an image that another person won't? You just can't do that on an arbitrary basis, especially when its clear that the rule is being misused by folks with a strong POV. Its an approach that doesn't belong in a consensus-based environment. Wiggy! (talk) 17:39, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
    • ...Which is why we have WP:IFD in the first place, and that images that have all the right parts but otherwise a questionable rationale cannot be speedily deleted. --MASEM 17:47, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
      • Yeah, I get that. But there are too many editors who use NFCC#8 like a scythe and ignore the niceties of process where it should be legitimately employed. There is huge debate over that particular point and insisting on its use as the sole reason for the deletion of an image, without bothering to make a cogent argument to go along with it, is either lazy or overly aggressive. Wiggy! (talk) 18:04, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
      • Agree with Black Kite: the first image is used suitable in the article on the single but not in the article about the artist, the other three should be removed. (I love the comment in the fair use rationale for the second image that "it has future historical significance".) Cmadler (talk) 17:49, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
      • Masem, difficulties arise when a non-free image is used legitimately in one article but against policy in an another. In such a case, IfD is not suitable since we don't actually wish to delete the image. Because we don't have a system where an admin makes a final determination for such a case what tends to happen is a fruitless discussion here which, if it isn't defeated by filibuster, is simply silently reversed a month or so later when everyone has forgotten about it. CIreland (talk) 17:53, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
        • MASEM, please see Wikipedia:CSD#Images_and_media, section 7c. No one uses IFD for these cases, nor it is encouraged to. Kaldari (talk) 17:55, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
          • Frankly, I think we need to revise NFCC#8 once and for all. It's still too ambiguous, and all discussions to change it came close to doing so, but became stale. It's the ambiguity of that criterion that has been clearly causing problems for some time. --.:Alex:. 19:45, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Per MASEM's suggestion that borderline NFCC#8 cases should go to IFD rather than being tagged for speedy deletion, I have made a proposal to revise the wording of CSDi7c. If you support this idea, please weigh in there. Perhaps if we get the wording tightened there, we won't need to change the wording here. Kaldari (talk) 18:17, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Stifle may be doing a considerable amount of work in nominating these images using Twinkle, but I also see that he's done a lot of GOOD work. Example 1, this image is essentially a duplicate of File:EasyCD1Cover.jpg and provides no further information not present in the latter. Example 2, same as example 1 as this image is a near duplicate of File:Earthintruderscover.jpg. Example 3, this image isn't even discussed in the article and is hardly a unique style of any kind. It adds nothing to the article. Example 4, the image might be construed as supporting the textual description, but the textual description actually replaces the image. People understand the video is shot in the summer, and the singer is in a VW Beetle (linked, if the person is curious what a beetle looks like). Example 5, this image is missing a fair use rationale. Per WP:NFCC #10c, all fair use images must have a rationale for each use. If not, they are subject to deletion if they have no valid fair use rationales at all. Stile seems to be doing some very good work here, and deserves some appreciation rather than being called a Nazi/Fascist. --Hammersoft (talk) 22:13, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Sure he's doing good, but he's also throwing the baby out with the bathwater. No one should be nominating 2 images per minute for speedy deletion, especially in cases that require careful judgement. Last time I checked, Wikipedia was not under imminent threat from fair-use image overload. Kaldari (talk) 22:39, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I think you should be responding to his actions on a case by case basis, as he is doing considerably good work. Condemning all of his actions because of some potential (and so far not really held up as such) errors isn't proper. --Hammersoft (talk) 23:06, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • My quarrel is not with Stifle, it's against the combination of NFCC#8 and CSDi7c. This same issue keeps cropping up. Last time it was historic logos, this time it's music video screenshots. We cannot have individual editors deciding that an entire class of images is speedy deletable without even having to discuss the idea with anyone else. With the way that NFCC#8 is currently worded, any fair use image on Wikipedia could be argued to be in violation, and thanks to CSDi7c, that gives editors the right to nominate any fair use image for speedy deletion. I doubt there is a single fair use image on Wikipedia that is entirely safe from being nominated for speedy deletion at some point. This situation is just untenable. Kaldari (talk) 00:02, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I think I showed that Stifle isn't doing much that is improper (if anything). He certainly isn't nominating "an entire class of images" for deletion. Some people have previously tried to get more specifics out of the policy. It's actually beautifully crafted. Get too specific, and you lose grip over the entire fair use management. You can't anticipate all eventualities. --Hammersoft (talk) 02:55, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
It is not beautifully crafted. It is a problem because it is too subjective and unmeasureable. In its application it is being used as a bludgeon by editors holding a certain POV who simply point at it and then stonewall instead of engaging in useful dialogue. Kaldari is right in his view that its improper to wipe entire classes of images on such a skinny premise. Wiggy! (talk) 21:39, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Are you accusing me of bludgeoning other editors, of stonewalling and not engaging in useful dialogue? --Hammersoft (talk) 21:45, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
No, but I can give you a whole list of editors who are. Kaldari (talk) 21:48, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Not necessary. In fact, I'd caution you to STOP using such terms as a method of debate. WP:NPA forbids such use. Please comment on content, not on editors directly. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:52, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately, there is no bright-line objective numbers test or anything that can be defined. NFCC asks two questions: 1) Is the reader's understanding improved? Usually, the answer will be yes, but even so we still have some easy failures here; 2) If the image were not included, could the reader still understand the text? Note that the latter is not necessarily the converse of the former. The whole idea of the NFCC is to keep usage to a minimum and only to where it's absolutely required -- criterion 8 is the attempt to define "absolutely required" away from a vague term that means different things to different people. howcheng {chat} 23:21, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Policy doesn't say that. Policy says that the understanding you would have had if you had had the image must be impaired without it. That doesn't mean the text is unintelligible. It means that extra understanding you would have had with the image has been lost. Jheald (talk) 01:25, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely. Johnbod (talk) 01:44, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
That is incorrect, as our policy promotes minimal use, as required by the Wikimedia Foundation's resolution. An image almost always increases understanding to some degree, so allowing it anywhere that any such increase occurred would be to allow maximal use. Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:38, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Using that logic, the corollary is that minimal use would mean no use because that is the most minimal you can get. Wikipedia has always relied on common sense and judgement, not extreme interpretations of policy. Ty 15:22, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Jheald, that's not the first time I've heard you say that, but it's taken me a really long time to figure out what it is that really doesn't make sense about that interpretation. However, I finally got it tonight and so let me try and explain to you using math-like terms, because I think that will make it obvious. OK, let's assume we have a hypothetical value called the Reader Understanding Index (RUI), which is a number from 1 to 10 indicating how well the average reader can understand an article or a section thereof. Furthermore, let us posit that an RUI of >= 6 means that the reader understood the gist of that article or section. For any given RUI value of X, by adding a non-free image that RUI is increased by Y points to a total of X+Y. Under your interpretation, the increased RUI would have to drop if the image were removed. Well, of course it does! Assuming that Y is a positive integer, then X+Y is always greater than X. Under your interpretation, the second clause of NFCC 8 is completely meaningless.
My interpretation (and the original intent of that clause was, when I proposed it) is that if X (the RUI sans image) is already >= 6, then the additional RUI of Y is not necessary at all. (I just finished typing this and then realized that Seraphimblade made the point far more succinctly than I did.) howcheng {chat} 06:49, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Howard, I appreciate that you see this clause as some kind of silver bullet, and have used it almost as a personal credo at IfD. But I don't think it's widely shared - that's why whenever the clause has been up for discussion, the majority has consistently seen it as superfluous, but has not pushed its view because they see it as essentially harmless, just a way of underlining the point made in the previous clause. (A few will jump on to anything they think that might help them delete more images; but even they have hardly ever defended your position).
You just have to look at some of the acceptable uses to see that your interpretation doesn't always hold up -- for example, we allow logos and album covers for the new element of understanding they bring, not because they clarify an existing element of the article.
Seraphimblade, the important point about "minimal" is to understand that it comes straight from U.S. law, where it means "no more than is justified to achieve the purpose" - in this case, the purpose of trying to create an encyclopedic, educational article to convey a good understanding of the topic.
And both of you, it is simply not the case that without this clause it would be "open season" or "anything goes". The key word in NFCC#8 is significant. If the image makes a significant contribution, as weighed against how much of a copyright taking it represents, then it stays in. If its contribution is not significant, then it is not justified under the law. But if it really is making a significant contribution, we should keep it, because the encyclopedia would be poorer without it. Jheald (talk) 10:16, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
The problem always has been that "significant" by itself is too vague, and has opened the door to arguments like, "the picture shows how people were dressed at the time" (in non-fashion articles) -- as if the clothing of the era were important somehow to the topic at hand. So the original goal of what we were trying to do here is to set some sort of minimum bar. Seraphimblade, BlackKite, CBM, Hammersoft, Betacommand, and myself (plus others that I can't think of off the top of my head) are in the camp where we see non-free images should only be included where absolutely necessary, where omitting it would be seriously damaging to the reader. How can best codify that? howcheng {chat} 17:14, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
I've heard this position that "non-free images should only be included where absolutely necessary" many times from many different editors. Not only is such a position lacking consensus and not founded in policy, it is actually counter to some of the core goals of Wikipedia. I wholly realize that one of the core goals of the project is to provide information that is as free as possible, and fair use images are not as free as Creative Commons or public domain images, but this goal must be balanced with the goal of creating a comprehensive encyclopedia that aspires to be the "sum of human knowledge". We have gone past the point of using common sense to weed out excessive use of copyrighted material. Instead we now have a dedicated camp of editors who are convinced that all fair use is bad. It's not that I don't believe in promoting the use free-license images (I've donated more photographs to this project than I can remember, and organized Wikipedia Takes Nashville), but this campaign to purge fair use from Wikipedia is counter-productive and is driving people away from contributing to Wikipedia! Especially with all this speedy deletion mania. We need to slow down and not act like this is some kind of race to "fix" Wikipedia. Kaldari (talk) 17:35, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
There is a balance but the problem is that the balance always has to favor the reduction of fair use when it is replaceable by text (which is the case here) among the other NFC requirements. Remember, other non-en.wikis disallow any fair use images at all but I don't see them suffering from lack of comprehensive articles. is the exception, and thus we should take delicate care to make sure that we are exception for good reason - because we keep striving to keep non-free use to the necessary minimum, and not to allow loose cases through. --MASEM 17:50, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

(outdent) I think part of the problem stems from the fact that "minimal use" depends highly on what area of Wikipedia you're working in. For any kind of media -- songs, videos, tv shows, movies, video games -- usually all of your images are going to be fair use. We should not be watering down our coverage of these areas just because they concern works that are copyrighted. This idea that some editors are pushing of "more than 1 fair use image per article is excessive" just isn't going to work for those kinds of topics. Kaldari (talk) 19:49, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

There are not problems with "more than 1 fair use image per article". The problem is with more than 1 fair use image per purpose". --Damiens.rf 20:05, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I believe music video screenshots should not be deleted. They are low-res, so what's the problem? Plus corresponding articles really need these images. Netrat (talk) 10:29, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Then there should be no problem of sprinkling video screenshots on every article? We must respect minimal use. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:33, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Just in general, this is a recurring topic for a reason. "Significance" is a very difficult concept to interpret. On one hand, you could interpret "significant" to mean something like "in any measurable way." On the other, you could say that it's somehow akin to "essential," to the point that the text literally makes no sense without it. I'd argue that the first interpretation would allow anything while the second would allow nothing. It's clear that this criterion needs revision; I don't think that any editor who is making a good faith effort to improve an article can rely on criterion 8 to help him decide whether to include fair use content in one of his revisions. Croctotheface (talk) 04:36, 1 January 2009 (UTC)