Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/Archive 56

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Sentence in "Non-free historic image" template about required transformative nature

The template {{Non-free historic image}} contains the sentence

"Use of historic images from press agencies must only be used in a transformative nature, when the image itself is the subject of commentary rather than the event it depicts (which is the original market role, and is not allowed per policy)."

The non-free content policy does not contain the phrase "transformative nature", so it seems that this sentence attempts to establish policy or derive consequences thereof without going through the proper channels. I propose to remove the sentence from the template since its current location is not helpful: the uploader will find it too late if at all, while the user of the encyclopedia will see it but won't need it.

Then, the sentence should be added to the policy if indeed there is consensus that it is strictly implied by the language we have, forbidding use "in a manner that is likely to replace the original market role of the original copyrighted media." As to that question, I would argue that the sentence is not necessarily implied by that language, since the "original market role" may have been the publication in newspapers, magazines and books, which is not replaced by use in an online encyclopedia. AxelBoldt (talk) 22:53, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Online encyclopedia do replace the role of newspapers, magazines, and books, and ergo the use of a historic press agency photo can harm its commercial value; thus we are required to show transformative use via critical commentary. This fact is captured at WP:NFC#UUI. --MASEM (t) 23:01, 2 June 2012 (UTC)


Since obviously I am part of the problem regarding the NFCC situation, I am going to stay away from this area of Wikipedia for the time being and instead focus on more productive things. I wish those who still feel like trying to achieve something towards an improvement of the situation the best of luck with this undertaking. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 18:21, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Concur. There is no NFCC problem if there is no NFCC enforcement. I put my NFCC pen down for a variety of reasons, and this is one of them. I laugh to see people enforcing NFCC now. It's akin to picking a grain of sand off a beach, walking it by hand to another beach on the other side of the island and proclaiming you've done some good. I was stupid enough to do that for thousands upon thousands of edits. The beach isn't any smaller. And your consolation prize? You get insults, free of charge! Woohoo! --Hammersoft (talk) 18:51, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
The problem is expecting to use a harsher, less forgiving approach to NFCC enforcement than the community has shown willing to allow. The past has made the community very cynical to "act first, question later" approaches across the board, not just NFC. --MASEM (t) 18:54, 8 June 2012 (UTC)
  • No, the problem is thinking there isn't a problem. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:59, 8 June 2012 (UTC)


Proposed change: Removal of 10c from Wikipedia:Non-free content criteria#Policy.

Rationale: Has no positive effect on the encyclopedia.

Supplemental evidence: Wikipedia:Database reports/Non-free files missing a rationale

-- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 20:47, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

So you want to remove the requirement that each and every use of a non-free image must have a valid fair-use rationale. I don't think so. Why make it easier for more bad uses of non-free images? Many of the "Supplemental evidence" images you link to are easily fixed, such as most albums covers and logos, and are old or older when the requirement was less well enforced than today. ww2censor (talk) 22:17, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Just because there exist problems doesn't mean that the policy's broken; we just need more enforcement. --MASEM (t) 00:03, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Also, the database report is faulty since it is probably looking for a FUR template, but this is not required as long as something like a FUR is on an image (which are the cases in a few spot-checks I've done). --MASEM (t) 00:09, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Strong Support: I have probably done more 10c removals from articles than any other person on this project. I gave it up because it is futile. The reasons why 10c needs to be dropped:

  1. Foundation counsel has already indicated previously that the content we use here is acceptable under fair use in many, many cases. We have a very broad paintbrush as we have an educational purpose. Having a rationale is not required under fair use law. We need to be able to defend our use if questioned, but we do not to have to preemptively do so.
  2. The cut/paste rationales people fill out with the FUR templates to comply are not rationales in most cases. They're just bureaucratic BS. The rationales frequently have purposes of use that are so absurdly vague as to be applicable to any use of any image on any article. "To illustrate the article", is one such example I frequently encountered. Few editors know or even care to know how to write a rationale. They just plug words into the template, or just use the bare template.
  3. Getting people to write rationales such that we remain in compliance with 10c is, in practice, impossible. There is an enormous quantity of unwritten rationales. The list cited above is but a small portion of the non compliant uses. This problem never gets better, no matter the efforts of anyone.
  4. A policy that is unenforceable is no policy. You might as well make it policy for people to stop breathing for all the good having 10c does. It hasn't worked in practice.
  5. What sense is there in having a long list of copy/paste rationales where images are used in lots of articles. such as logos? Case example: File:Discovery Channel International.svg. This image is non compliant on 11 current uses. Would the encyclopedia somehow be better off if someone bothered to copy/paste 11 more copies of the already copy pasted rationales? This is sheer stupidity.
  6. The use of non-free images is apparently incredibly important to the survival of the project. Take the case of File:Discovery Channel International.svg. This non-free file is in use on 19 articles on the project. Our readers are apparently too stupid to realize that File:Casi discovery channel.jpg (not used even once on en.wikipedia) means they are reading an article about the Discovery Channel, and we have to have the little globe overlapping the "D" else they will be completely confused. Trust me, this is VERY far from an isolated case. Since our readers are apparently so stupid, we should do everything in our power to enable our editors to make it as easy as possible to put non-free images on articles, without having to worry about bureaucratic BS.

Ok, the last is more sarcasm than anything else. But, to the larger point; the NFCC policy in toto isn't enforced in any realistic way. If it were, the Discovery Channel logo wouldn't even be on the project. But, try to get it deleted and you will stir up a s**tstorm of protest over it. The policy as it stands has utterly failed, and honestly few people give a damn. Most of the NFCC patrollers have been forced off the project. The few remaining are not up to the task of keeping a lid on the abuses, and the abuses are skyrocketing.

You see, the culture has changed. Whatever the lofty goals of the project were to remain a "libre" project, they are a distant memory. Such ideals have been horribly corrupted. We are delighting in eating chicken for a vegan meal, and as a group see no problem with this in any respect. The people who now raise a hand and say "there's a problem here" are treated as the scum of the project. I'm not referring to myself. I am referring to people who nobody would ever feel are rude, inconsiderate or snide. But, as soon as they utter concern over NFCC use, they are the spawn of the devil, bastards in communication, possessed of ill mind and even worse deeds.

There is no support for maintaining NFCC anymore. It is a charade. It is a charade that is just a political shell game, meant to save face so the Foundation can claim they are a free content resource and keep the money rolling in. I don't play that game anymore, and I fail to see any reason why anyone else should. So yes, I strongly support striking 10c from the NFCC policy, and even striking down the NFCC policy period. It's time for the silly games to end. --Hammersoft (talk) 01:02, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Let's be clear. There's a difference between lack of enforcement - which doesn't mean anything's wrong with the policy - and disagreement with the policy. Just because there are trillions of images that lack NFCC rationales (per the list above) doesn't mean NFCC is broken, just that there are too few editors helping to enforce it. (Consider how few editors there are to help Moonriddengirl and others to deal with copyvio issues)
As the second point, and using the discovery channel logo as an example, the problem is that I don't see people complaining about NFCC to any great degree. Whether this is because there's a lack of enforcement (specifically problems going unresolved due to lack of people to deal with it), or that people are content with NFCC, its hard to tell. We cannot say that there's any resentment against NFCC right now to effect changes on the policy because the lack of enforcement is tied into it.
Now, I will say the lack of enforcement is something that does need to be address, but its because we've not advertised this as a problem. If we put out calls for help and nothing happens, that's saying something, but we haven't tried so we don't know.
Throwing up your arms over this and saying we should abandon NFCC now is completely pointless. If we were in a midst of a long-heated NFCC discussion where editors simply refuse to abide by NFCC - sure. But that's not the case now. --MASEM (t) 01:15, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Masem, the project as a whole refuses to abide by NFCC. The facts speak strongly to this. NFCC has failed. Lack of enforcement isn't a problem. Even when there were plenty of hands helping do the work, it was never enough. It's like saying it a massive dam failed, and the town below it flooded that the problem was a lack of enough people to stick their fingers in the crack in the dam. The problem isn't a lack of enforcement, and never was. The problem is the culture has changed, and nobody really cares that it has. Even the Foundation doesn't care anymore. They are well aware of this problem, and have refused to act. I fail to see why any of us should lift a finger when our parent organization isn't interested. --Hammersoft (talk) 01:25, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Exactly what steps have been tried to rectify the situation on and with the Foundation? As best as I tell, the dealings involving of NFCC has been the quietest they've been since I've edited here, and the only signs of problems are coming from basically you and Toshio. --MASEM (t) 01:38, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • There is no problem emanating from me, as I've done precious little NFCC enforcement for the last several months. As to the Foundation, I'm aware of several communications, including a number by me, that have been made to the Foundation on the NFCC issues plaguing this project. The Foundation has remained silent. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:19, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) For those of you that are still doubters, let's take a case: up above on this very talk page, we have an RfC started by me asking for a special exemption for currency articles to display as much non-free content as necessary to display a currency system. It's failing, with two weeks left in the RfC. The outcome is unlikely to change at this point. Prior to that RfC, I attempted to enforce NFCC limitations on excessive use on Banknotes of the Australian dollar. I was reverted just 16 minutes later by an administrator with more than 20,000 edits to his name. Told to take it to the talk page, the removal was fought. I gave up. Now, post RfC standing against the special exemption, if I go back to this article and remove the non-free images back to a version with one image, such as this one, I will once again be reverted by somebody, and probably told that I am making a WP:POINT violation, disrupting the project, being immature, or some other disparaging remark. If I revert and explain what happened here on this talk page and that there is no support for currency articles having a special exemption, I will be accused of edit warring. If I go to WP:AN/I at that point, I will be further accused of nefarious deads. In the end, the article will retain so much non-free content that it is the 6th highest article user of non-free content on the project, WP:NFCC #3, WP:NFLISTS, WP:NFTABLE and this very talk page not withstanding. The kicker? The purposes of use are things such as "To illustrate the entity in question" and "Depiction of Currency". The rationales are a joke. Mark my words, this is what will happen. In the end, everybody here can use as much non-free content as they like, NFCC be damned, and all they have to do to justify it is "because it illustrates the article". --Hammersoft (talk) 01:21, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
    • Unfortunately, we're dealing with the implications on how NFCC is enforced that BetaCommand's past actions have probably tuned more admins and editors into. We need to recognize that despite how much we think something fails NFCC, we can't edit if that claim is contested; even WP:3RR warns that after the initial removal, subsequent re-reverts should be on unquestionably problematic NFCC violations. Take the case of currency : yes, it is a lot of NFCC. Is it excessive? Excessive compared to what? There's a reason we don't have hard numbers for # of allowable images in NFCC. It may be completely fair for an article to have 20+ NFC images. Thus, while you may disagree and remove the excess images once, if that's reverted, the next step is to talk.
    • Effectively, Beta's actions haven't changed why NFCC is recognized, but only has made the job harder in that we have to engage in discussions much sooner. But that has not invalided NFCC as a policy. --MASEM (t) 01:35, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
      • I've seen this argument used before. Somehow, a kinder, gentler NFCC enforcement will result in more people being happy about having their favorite article stripped of images, the images they uploaded deleted, the images they uploaded being removed from a given article for failing NFCC. The inherent nature of removal means the people who added it will be unhappy with it being removed. I again note that the root problem is one of culture. If there was a culture of free as in libre, the infinite arguments about what is and is not excessive would be a footnote. You're concerned with how many pieces of rice their are. I'm concerned that we we bought an entire truckload of it. --Hammersoft (talk) 02:17, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
        • It isn't about being kinder and gentler; its about being as aggressive as all other editing policy allows. 3RR does not carve out an exception for NFCC handling save for obviously failing cases. Therefore we can't edit way to fight against what seemingly seems like improper NFCC use.
        • And on the culture point, the problem is that you can identify plenty of examples where it appears NFCC has failed (like the banknotes or the discovery channel logo) but can we list out where NFCC has succeeded? And much is there in that category compared to the failure one? I'm guessing bsaed on a recent number I saw there's about 400,000 of NFC on WP. There's just shy of 4 million articles in - or, roughly no more than one in ten articles include NFC. If we assume (a poor assumption) that every article has one image, that means 90% of our images are free verse 10% as non-free. That is not a bad ratio, but again, very very rough. My point here is that its hard to prove that NFCC is working, against easy to show arguments of NFCC failure. We shouldn't be looking at just the latter without considering anything about the first. --MASEM (t) 02:36, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

Re to Masem regarding "Exactly what steps have been tried to rectify the situation on and with the Foundation?" above:

As far as I can tell, the Foundation isn't going to do anything about this because they view the creation of and maintenance of an EDP entirely as a matter of the English Wikipedia community (see User talk:Mdennis (WMF)/Archive 3#The most failing area of Wikipedia: NFCC). Although the resolution states "The Foundation resolves to assist all project communities who wish to develop an EDP with their process of developing it." it have no idea what that assistance would be, since I was told here "We hope that where differences of opinion develop, volunteers will follow their dispute resolution processes to try to develop a consistent, coherent view of their EDP and how that EDP should best be maintained and enforced to uphold our shared values and mission." -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 04:00, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

And so the question I put to you as I put to Hammer: what disputes have arisen to require reconsidering the NFCC? Has the WMF been contacted at to address the large number of images or clarify their stance in light of recent issues if any? As best as I can tell, no, there's no present wide-scale dispute (the last major one I can recall would have been the team logos usage from a few years back). Just because a non-free maintenance list is pretty full is not reason to alter NFC. --MASEM (t) 04:06, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I am again going to procedural oppose - this would be in direct conflict with the Foundation resolution, it is not up to the community to change this; we could only change this if the foundation does not request a machine readable rationale. --Dirk Beetstra T C 04:17, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Re to Masem No offense intended but I STRONGLY (sorry for the exaggerated emphasis) disagree with the argument "Just because a non-free maintenance list is pretty full is not reason to alter NFC." It is the very reason to alter the policy, because it currently says "Other non-free content—including all copyrighted images, audio and video clips, and other media files that lack a free content license—may be used on the English Wikipedia only where all 10 of the following criteria are met." As much as it might appear that way, my NFCC enforcement action have never been just for the sake of enforcing NFCC or because I think it is fun, but because it is in line with the EDP. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 04:22, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
And the important factor is that the EDP does not specify a time period. It takes time to locate these infractions and to resolve them. We have time limits that once a problem is identified, it can be removed within 7 days. As long as anyone can upload material without a process to check what was uploaded as acceptable, we have to have this slow resolve process, but that doesn't mean we've fallen out of the NFCC or EDP. --MASEM (t) 04:30, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
The time limit of 7 days specified at WP:NFCCE only applies to the deletion of an unused file, not to the removal of the transclusion of a non-compliant file from an article. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 04:38, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Toshio, on the same reasoning, you can throw out WP:COPYRIGHT - every now and then there is a thread on WP:AN or WP:AN/I that someone has in the past been pasting in a lot of data in plain violation of that policy - so many that ALL the pages that editor edited are suspect. And it is inevitable, that there still are many pages which have that problem (IIRC, quite recently hundreds of pages were blanked because of possibly having such violations, until the problem was resolved). Thát is the way forward with WP:NFCC as well - mass removal of the images which do not have a proper rationale (start first with the ones which do not have a rationale, then move on). And that is the effort that got Δ restricted half a year back, and that is where we are now. I do not see why the community does not have a problem blanking hundreds of pages because a mere 1% of them may be a copyright violation (which maybe constitutes a mere 5% of the whole page) - but does have a problem with non-free files in the same way. As I have indicated in a currently open RfC initiated by the ArbCom - that is where ArbCom is way, WAAYY more damaging to Wikipedia (or maybe I should say: 'that is where the Community is way, WAAYY more damaging to Wikipedia' - but the ArbCom is 'representing' the community to be a last step in dispute resolution and hence the Community will for sure follow up on what the ArbCom decides even if the Community is divided about the subject) then having someone enforce policy (or even WAY less). Because they make with that type of decisions certain actions impossible, and those who care of this encyclopedia can not move forward. It is similar as I said above 'you're not allowed to drive faster than 120 km/h on our highways, but the community drives regularly at 180 km/h, it seems to be the accepted community standard, and members of the community have constantly complained when they were told that they were driving too fast (and ignored it afterwards), so set the max at 180 km/h and our problem is over'. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:26, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
"...set the max at 180 km/h and our problem is over"
I agree with that. Replace the EDP with something that reflects the current practice and is justifiable under fair use law, thus eliminating the current discrepancy between the policy and practice and I will be quiet. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 06:34, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
True, but you can't do that without changing the Foundation Resolution. --Dirk Beetstra T C 08:34, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
The resolution is nothing we (the English Wikipedia community) can influence. A change to the Resolution could only come from the Foundation itself and I know that the Foundation stands behind the resolution so no change is to be expected there.
Furthermore I don't think the resolution is the problem, as the resolution is only the framework that allows us to have an EDP at all. What the English Wikipedia does with the EDP is up to the community and has nothing to do with the Foundation. Also note that having an EDP is not mandatory. If the community of the English Wikipedia decides against having an EDP and not allowing any non-free content, then I don't see what the Foundation has to do with that. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 08:55, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
No, that resolution is the problem, it describes to a certain extend what needs to be in that EDP. We need to have a rationale in a machine readable format. How we do that, is another question, but saying that we do not need a rationale at all is certainly the wrong way. We can not influence that EDP,
Can you show me any other wiki which has non-free material without requirement for a rationale? How do other wikis who do require a rationale and have non-free material handle the enforcement of the rationale? --Dirk Beetstra T C 09:23, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
The Polish Wikinews seems to allow non-free material (see Wikinews:Dozwolony użytek, English translation via Google translator). They don't seem to require a rationale (for example Plik:Poczta polska logo.gif and Plik:Deutschland Tour 2007.jpg only have a copyright tag, but no rationale). Google translator gives me
"All images and graphics placed on Wikinews under the law of fair use must include a link to the original material, and a detailed description of the information about the owner of the property and moral rights to the work."
This is followed by a description of some permitted types of files and they have a copyright tag for each type, but don't seem to have something like a rationale at all. (At least I found no example of a non-free file containing a rationale, those I checked, like [1] or [2] don't contain one). -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 10:37, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
"detailed description of the information about .. moral rights to the work" .. that seems like that a Fair use rationale is needed (bit careful here, things may have different meaning in translation, I don't speak or read Polish). --Dirk Beetstra T C 11:44, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I think you are right, seems to be something like a rationale. Now it would be interesting to know how they enforce their criteria (if they do at all). -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 12:27, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
Second to this, I don't expect that Polish wikinews is a big wiki - you may want to look for a big wiki which does allow non-free material, who do ask for a proper machine readable rationale, and how they enforce it. My guess: if someone notices that it has no proper non-free rationale for display on a certain page, it simply gets removed from display, and if that results in a non-free file that does not have any transclusion, it gets deleted. Just as it should be here, just as we do with copyright violations (or pages which MAY contain copyright violations because someone who has been shown to notoriously add copyright violating material has edited the page). But if you apply that technique to non-free material, you will be yelled at until all hell breaks loose (and it works, see where we are). --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:08, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Umm, let's be clear here. The Foundation's policy does NOT require a machine readable rationale. It does require non-free media to be identifiable via machine readable means. I.e., the licensing tag must be machine readable, not the rationale. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:21, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I find this discussion humorous. At once we are told in this discussion that we must have an EDP, that the problems with enforcing NFCC are miniscule compared to the project as a whole, and we've been going about enforcing it in the wrong way. Fair enough. Since it is so easy to fix, I invite those who believe it to be so to fix it. I'm sure that within a week or so the problems will vanish, being so small. Further, I should imagine that the very long list of experienced editors who blatantly ignore, willfully or no, the NFCC policy will be also be reduced. This should be easy, no? Well, I was naive enough to believe it was easy when I started trying to do just this. I tried for years. Net effect; zero. My time was utterly wasted and ineffectual. Just a few months out from stopping my work, and plenty of images and articles that I worked on to gain compliance are out of compliance. But, I'm sure we can attribute this to my gross incompetence. Those of you who are competent can clean this up quite easily, I'm sure. I look forward to it. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:04, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
    • I never said it was easy to fix. Of the choices: "Abolish the NFCC" or "fix NFCC enforcement", the latter is much more difficult. But at the same time, the latter is what is necessary to suit the mission goals and is an effort everyone should strive for, even if it means there are disagreements as to what is minimal use, or appropriate rationals, or the like. NFCC has worked in the past so we know it can be done. But there needs to be more commitment by the community as a whole to fix it.
    • Basically, we shouldn't just abandon the NFCC just because it's too hard to maintain. We might as well abolish COPYVIO, GA/FA, and the like for the same reasons. --MASEM (t) 14:17, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • We already have abandoned NFCC. Sorry. That's reality. As I've previously noted, it's kept merely as a political charade. It's barely enforced, the vast majority of rationales are just lip service templates, admins routinely undo enforcement efforts, etc. It's a worthless shell of a policy. It's like a fly standing in the middle of the raceway at the Le Mans race with a diminutive sign saying "Please Slow Down!", and when someone (such as myself) laughs at this, we're told "We just need to repaint the sign, or make it 50% bigger, then everything will be ok!" This is humor at its grandest! :) --Hammersoft (talk) 14:27, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • The problem is that you're treating the anti-enforcement of NFCC as a sign that NFCC has been abandoned, when in actually the anti-enforcement of NFCC is the really the proper enforcement of dispute resolution. You're allowed to be bold once to remove what you believe is inappropriate NFCC, but if its reverted, you take it up the next step of DR - whether to FFD, to NFCR, to the talk page, etc. This all unfortunately stems from when Beta was doing NFCC enforcement with a heavy hand. The community has stated that NFC needs to be enforced but it can't be handled like a police state. No, we're not coddling the process either, but we cannot assume as "experts" in NFCC what is right and wrong and be judge, jury, and executioner. NFCC has not failed just because the means we're supposed to enforcement should be closer to how any content dispute is handled. --MASEM (t) 15:08, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
"You're allowed to be bold once to remove what you believe is inappropriate NFCC, but if its reverted, you take it up the next step of DR - whether to FFD, to NFCR, to the talk page, etc."
I would like to see a page where this is written down. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 15:23, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
No it doesn't. The NFCC exception in WP:3RR (where it is written down) is only carved out for unquestionably obvious cases. Take the case Hammersoft is referring to, the removal of banknote images from some currency article. We do say "minimal use" but we have no exact number what is the maximum level. It is not extremely obvious if there's a problem with that many images on a currency page (to wit, I do believe there is a problem, but that's my personal take). Thus, once it was reverted, Hammersoft could not re-revert again without violating 3RR (he did no re-revert, but just saying if this was the case). That's why its important to understand that many of NFCC's requirements are subjective - how good a rational is, how much is minimal use, etc., and thus we cannot enforce those by fiat. That's the situation that is an unfortunate result of Beta's actions that we have to route around. --MASEM (t) 15:26, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Laying all this blame at Δ's feet is wrong. I wish you would drop that. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:28, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Beta is not the sole reason for these problems, but he was the catalyst to evoke the need to force NFC enforcers to back off from hard-core actions. --MASEM (t) 15:37, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I would like to know on what basis you reach that conclusion. Speaking for myself, the reasons I put down my NFCC pen had virtually nothing to do with Δ. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:39, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • From my perspective: Circa late 2010, early 2011, this is when Beta was going around and doing NFCC#10c removals and started getting complaints that when the 10c could easily be fixed (typo, bad page move, whatever), deletion wasn't the proper answer. That exploded at ANI and elsewhere, which lead to the motion to ban Beta from NFCC. At the same time, language was added to 3RR to reflect that NFCC enforcement is controversial and other DR resolutions should be approached first before edit warring. ([3]). I know you, Hammersoft, were tied up in that defending Beta's actions as appropriate, and would have followed the same style, but considering being in your shoes, I can see how that ties my hands to limit the efficiency of NFCC enforcement (for #10c, having to stop and check to see if there is an easy fix, etc.) Beta's actions incited the community to harshly criticize hard-nosed NFCC enforcement, which directly impacts the way you were doing NFCC enforcement. Now I'm not you, I don't know the rest of your reasons, but I will stand by the fact that enforcing NFCC has to follow more established procedures in the dispute resolution process specifically stems from that Beta Arbcom motion. --MASEM (t) 15:53, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • 10c was controversial long before 2010. Your conclusions are wrong. Further, I continued enforcing 10c long after that debate, with the only change being that I added something to my edit summary to further explain my actions. That addition was almost immediately attacked. So, I say again, Δ's actions and the debates around them had minimal impact on what I did or how I did it. I'd been doing 10c removals since long before 2010 [4][5][6] and continued doing them right up to January of this year [7]. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:12, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • And again with the argument that NFCC patrolling was being done wrong. Believe me, the way you are suggesting has been tried a zillion times. The net effect is still the same. A dizzying array of methods have all been tried with no net effect. I have committed thousands upon thousands upon thousands of edits to NFCC enforcement. I have engaged in a huge number of discussions with regards to NFCC. I am NOT alone in this. To discard this enormous amount of work as somehow doing it wrong is to say the least grossly insulting, though I know you did not intend it that way. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:27, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I never said you were wrong, at least in the case of the currency one. You did one BOLD removal (acceptable) you didn't follow up with a re-revert, and in fact if my memory serves, you opened up the discussion on the issue. --MASEM (t) 15:53, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • ...which then results in a month long discussion, and very likely further dispute over the use that will never resolve, and we're back to square one. And that's just one of more than 2500 articles containing large quantities of non-free files. I'm sure this will all be rectified though, by way of...what was it you suggested to fix this? --Hammersoft (talk) 15:58, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Starting with the assumption "2500 articles containing large quantities of non-free files" that need to be resolved is not a good mindset to resolve this. I've explained before: we purposely have set no maximum limit because there may legitimately be cases where 20+ non-frees are appropriate. The way to fix that is to review the list, find all the common sets (which I'm sure include things like currency, etc.), set up discussions on a wide scale to deal with those classes, and then consider all remaining outlyers on case-by-case basis, perhaps creating a new tag that notes that the article as of a certain revision was observed to have X NFC images but has been deemed appropriate by the community as to remove it from said queue. I'm not saying all 2500 articles on that list are justified to have that many non-frees, but we cannot say they are all a problem right now. --MASEM (t) 23:18, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Your proposed notion of setting up a discussion on like case sank what, two years ago? We tried this with currency article before, and got nowhere. You have an enviable, if naive (not meant as an insult, please), belief in the good of Wikipedia. Sorry, I've seen too much reality here to ever believe that again with respect to NFCC. The proof is too rampant. I applaud your view, but know beyond questioning that it is fatally flawed. --Hammersoft (talk) 00:12, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

@Masem You said above: "Now, I will say the lack of enforcement is something that does need to be address, but its because we've not advertised this as a problem. If we put out calls for help and nothing happens, that's saying something, but we haven't tried so we don't know."

What is that call supposed to look like? I already tried to set up a WikiProject so that other editors can join the enforcement effort. It was a complete fail (see Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals/NFCC Enforcement). -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 15:59, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

I am willing to prepare something to put on VPR for example, but I fail to see what we could put there that would make a part of the community willing to help. I am open to suggestions though.... -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 16:06, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

The reasons given to null that project were very true: "militarization" of NFC is what started the problem. No, we don't need a project for it as we have this page to discuss issues. We just need more admins to handle the queues of NFC. Without checking, if we said to WP:AN that "Hey, there's a non-free check queue that is 2000+ images deep, and we need help clearing it", that would be a start. --MASEM (t) 23:15, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • So, are you the first recruit? How about you post your proposal, since we're too militant. --Hammersoft (talk) 00:13, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
So instead of "militarizing" NFCC enforcement more through creation of a WikiProject, you propose to "de-militarize" through shifting the responsibility of NFCC enforcement to the hands of a group of admins? I am curious: What exactly is it that would make an admin the better choice to enforce the NFC criteria than a group of regular users? I fail to see which point at WP:GRFA#What RfA contributors look for and hope to see makes them more fitting for this purpose than a regular editor. I guess it has to do something with the trust the community has in admins right? So why can an admin be trusted to enforce NFCC, while I can not? Oh, wait, I guess it is because I did some NFCC enforcement in the past which obviously completely fucked up with the trust the community might have had in me, right? -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 05:20, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
There are two types of actions that can be done on NFCC. There are purely objective issues: orphaned images, 10c-lacking images, missing rationale/license, etc, which we have set methods to deal with. Deletion can only be done by admins so their help to clear out these categories is necessary, but that doesn't require a project, just admins to manage the lists. Our processes are set for this, so as long as they are followed, any admin could do them.
Then there are all the other NFCC issues which are subjective. This are ones that need to be discussed via consensus for if they are truly a problem or not, such as #8 problems, #3a problems, etc. They cannot be handled as a one-man process. Because they are subjective, we can only consider these as potentially infringing and as there's no DEADLINE, we can take our time to resolve these issues, being smart about grouping discussions together to avoid repeating the same arguments over and over. But again, that doesn't require any special project, that's just this page or other point of centralized discussion. (In other words, just because person A thinks a rational is poor for an image doesn't mean the rational is improper and require its deletion. It takes consensus to determine that)
The point is: we have established means for clear, no-questions-asked, NFCC removals in specific cases that we should be pointing admins to such lists says "help us empty these lists". Everything else we just have to deal with in the smartest way possible going forward. --MASEM (t) 05:58, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
"10c-lacking images, missing rationale/license, etc, which we have set methods to deal with"
According to policy, the way to deal with those issues is to remove a file "...from the articles for which it lacks a non-free-use rationale, or..." add a suitable rationale.
And regarding 3a and 8: While I agree that those criteria are subjective, nothing in the current version of policy says they must be discussed via consensus. In other words if an editor removes a non-free file on the ground of violation of 3a or 8 because the rationale doesn't demonstrate compliance with 3a and 8, the burden to demonstrate the file satisfies those criteria is on the person wanting to retain the file in an article.
Now I am not saying this is unproblematic, it isn't, since the NFCC enforcer could simply refuse to accept any demonstration of compliance with 3a and 8. But this is not a problem with the NFCC enforcers, but with the EDP, which should be changed to include a requirement, such as that the NFCC enforcer needs to take the issue to WP:FFD. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 06:34, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
There's no way that the Foundation will change the EDP to include that; how images are to be removed and deleted is project specific, so let's ignore that.
What I have been saying is that, say if you see a file and think the rational per NFCC#8 is bad; your single voice is not sufficient to determine that the image fails NFCC, though you are free to remove the image once and if it is not reverted within the 7 days, it will likely be deleted (the silence in response to such a challenge is taken as sign of presumed acceptance of the removal) But when it is challenged, now we do have to switch the burden to the one retaining the image to provide a suitable defense as to how all 10 NFCC criteria are meet, but that has to be judged by consensus and not by the person that removed it; this is what I mean about how NFCC enforcement cannot be judge, jury, and executioner at the same time. --MASEM (t) 12:54, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • This structure creates a demonstrably impossible NFCC enforcement scenario. In effect, if there is no consensus to remove something, it doesn't get removed. Yes, I know, there's supposed to be consensus to keep it and that burden lies with the people wanting to use the image, not the NFCC enforcer. In practice, that isn't how it works. This results in a situation where NFCC enforcement is impossible unless there's silence in response to removals, which is not all that common. So we then end up spinning around and around in circles over and over again as to what constitutes minimal use, and we end up right back in the same place we were years ago, all the while wasting trillions of electrons and getting nowhere. You've done a masterful job of describing how enforcement happens (or rather, doesn't). It's failed. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:15, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Actually, no, in the specific case of NFCC, we need to be clear (in policy) that "no consensus" (as determined by an uninvolved admin) should result in removal, since we're stating that the burden is on the retainer to convince the consensus that the rationale is acceptable. In most other XFD discussions, we do take "no consensus" = "keep" attitude, but because of how the Foundation has asked us to take task to non-free works, this is flipped for NFC. (This process is well demonstrated at FAC, where there is strong image review and images that even a few commenters think is poor is typically going to have to be removed before FA can be granted) --MASEM (t) 13:20, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • In practice, yes, retention of content is what typically happens. Also, we don't have a procedure for calling in an uninvolved administrator. FAC is nice, but represents a very small fraction of the entire project. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:23, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • FFD requires admins to close the discussions and take necessary action. The only major change needs to be have uninvolved admins get in place on NFCR to judge consensus for larger cases/when the image is used in multiple locations and won't be deleted from those others. --MASEM (t) 15:28, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
@Masem Our EDP is WP:NFCC and I didn't say the Foundation should change anything, since, as you say, what we do with our EDP (NFCC) is entirely a community matter.
As to your other points, if the policy said I have to take an NFCC violation to some discussion board (perhaps after one bold removal), I wouldn't have any problem with that, but that is not what the policy currently says. For example, if there were a requirement to take an NFCC violation / a suspected NFCC violation to a discussion board instead of removing it, I'd have no problem with that, but currently this is not a requirement and is not written down anywhere. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 15:32, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
It's written down in WP:3RR. We can be more explicit in WP:NFC about the approach to removal but it follows from our "don't edit war" policy that if you remove an image questioning its NFCC compliance in a subjective manner and that change is reverted, discussion is the next step. --MASEM (t) 15:52, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • The next step, after an NFCC image is removed, should not be restoration of the image, but discussion to find consensus to include it. Without that consensus, it shouldn't be on the article once contested. But, the system we have right now enables long winded arguments that never end, and a status quo of retain at all costs (so long as someone objects to the removal). There is no way the culture is going to change by plodding along with the same methods we've used all along. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:00, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose. First of all, removing this proviso would send the message that a nonfree image which is acceptable for use in one article is acceptable for use in any article, a misconception that is already far too common. Second, removal would encourage edit warring by those seeking to retain content, since it greatly limits the 3RR exemption provided for NFCC enforcement. Third, the database report is not terribly helpful in terms of substantive compliance, since it includes images with malformed rationales, with rationales in outmoded form, and images which clearly fall into the acceptable use categories and simply need to have proper rationales placed on the file pages, which as a task is a much lower priority than removing unacceptable uses. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 17:06, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I fail to see how historically inadequate (or inconvenient) enforcement is germane to whether a (sub) criterion should be kept. If a (sub) criterion addresses something valuable/helpful, it ought to be part of the policy. Problematic enforcement is a matter to be addressed separately. I endeavored to articulate the importance of rationales when I wrote the non-free dispatch; separate from any issues of real-world copyright (fair use), the rationales provide our readers valuable guidance related to a file's use in a given article and the information/meaning intended to be conveyed. That 10c "has no positive effect on the encyclopedia" is demonstrably untrue (see dispatch examples) and suggests ignorance of the (admittedly too seldom) files with truly good rationales. Frankly, it’s subcriteria 10a and 10b that ought to go, as they are redundant to criterion six (with a caveat related to non-image media). Эlcobbola talk 17:35, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

Lack of education / stop points

Another serious issue plaguing the project with regards to NFCC enforcement is the lack of education of our editors, and in concert the lack of stopping points before NFCC is used. Case example; over the last two days, an editor of four years and more than 5000 edits [8], virtually all to article space, added a bunch of non-free images to templates. This is strictly forbidden by NFCC #9 of course. But, at no point in the process was there any stopping point at which the editor was informed that this was wrong. They proceeded ahead with their work adding non-free images to more than two dozen templates over two days (example..and there are plenty more).

This isn't a beginning editor with no experience. Yet, at no point along the way was there any education piece that informed them about the non-free policies. In practice, we've tried before to get people to clean up the (albeit inadvertent) messes they make, with lackluster results. So, someone else will most likely have to go through and undo all of these edits. This is busy work, menial task stuff that has no reward, and is utterly avoidable in most cases.

This is but one example case of how we do NFCC backwards. --Hammersoft (talk) 23:31, 5 June 2012 (UTC)

If we have the equivalent of NPP for non-free images, this would result the matter. Technically the following is at WP:NPP but you can see why it's a problem.
Special:Newimages logs all new images as they are created. Check new images for the following problems:
  • Image copyright tag Check that an appropriate image copyright tag has been added. If not, leave a note on the contributor's talk page per suggestions here.
  • Image source The image description must say how the image was obtained, for example if the uploader took it himself. Also consider if the licence is reasonable considered the source, for example a combination of "I found it on bbc" and "this image is public domain" may indicate that the image is in fact not free. Tag unsourced images with {{di-no source}}.
Nada specific for NFCC.
The way I really would recommended this is to have a bot add every image claimed NFCC added to a list to process within 48 hr of being uploaded, and to get admins involved just to check to make sure all core elements of NFCC are met: is there *something* that approaches a rational, is it used only in article space, is it seems to be minimize size and use, etc. Major offenses (in templates) should be soundly removed; minor problems should be tagged, the rest should be "blessed" to some degree. The 48hr window gives enough time for an editor to bring an image into an article (and as per our NFCC, we remove such images within that time frame). A good deal of this could be done by bots (some might already be done that way) but subjective checks will need human checking (note: no admin required for this part). Again, this is above and beyond what NPP does and should be above and beyond that; this is a more detailed check though should not be the final judge of an image. Still, a tagged image that isn't fixed within 7 days otherwise should be sent off for deletion. --MASEM (t) 01:58, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
Yep, a better new-images patrolling list could be useful. The File Upload Wizard can be made to sort new images into tracking categories based on the type of licensing/NFC claim chosen by the uploader. Currently it does this only for a few subtypes known to be often problematic. See Category:Maintenance categories used by File Upload Wizard, especially Category:Non-free files uploaded as object of commentary. Of course this only catches images uploaded through that process, but that's now the majority of files at least from new users. Fut.Perf. 05:51, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
  • The suggested solution does nothing to address the problem of a (well intentioned) editor using existing, previously uploaded non-free content. --Hammersoft (talk) 12:56, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
    • No, it doesn't, but it does address education and a system of checks and balances for newly uploaded images. There will always be existing image mis-use that falls under the radar until it is discovered. --MASEM (t) 13:00, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
      • No Masem, I don't accept that an editor with 5000 edits and four years of experience can introduce non-free content into a template with absolutely the process that tells him "This isn't such a good idea, and this is why..." That's not a situation where we should be saying "Well, that's just to be because it is". That's like having a four way intersection in a busy city with no lights, no stop signs, nothing to stop traffic from causing accidents...and then saying "Well, there will always be accidents". We can do better. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:16, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
        • Actually, it is quite easy to do 5000 edits and never encounter the NFC policy if you never upload the images yourself (which that editor hadn't). The problem is that it is very easy to add existing images to files and not be aware they are out of compliance because all there is to add is a file: link.
        • That, however, points to another bot idea: one that reviews all chances that include a file: / image: link addition (and perhaps in specific large-use templates that use an image= parameter with a bare filename); wait a reasonable amount of time to allow editing to settle down (say, an hour) and then do any warnings/removals that are obvious: not in main space? remove the image + warn user; no 10c on the image? warn the user and mark for removal if not fixed in 7 days. Maybe a few others.
        • We still can't stop an apparently valid use of an image that has a rational and used in a main space article in an improper manner (eg, adding a cover image to a discography). But if we can automate all of the core, unquestionable cases, we're providing as much education as we possible can without humanly reviewing every single image addition which is far too large a problem to be reasonably handled like that otherwise. --MASEM (t) 13:27, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
          • Stop? No. But, we do nothing to educate users now. We can do that, even in mainspace, via automatic real time methods. None of that exists now. We do special things for citations, but click the embed link? All you get is [[File:Example.jpg]]. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:46, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
            • That's a very good point, and I'm going over to VPT right now to see if it can be added (but remember, that's only going to work if they use the buttons to add images. A savvy editor will recognize the format and can add it manually, like I do). But there's still other things we can talk about to improve education. --MASEM (t) 13:48, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
              • More complex, in that it might require a change to the mediawiki software (I don't know); have the "Show preview" process check licenses on images vs. namespace being edited. Licenses have to be machine readable anyway; might as well leverage that. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:55, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
            • If you really want to annoy a lot of established editors, you write an abuse filter for it. --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:00, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
              • Excellent notion. I hadn't thought of that. How hard is that? --Hammersoft (talk) 14:18, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

Education is also not the real issue - it is not caring that is the issue. If an editor is uploading a non-free image, and makes a mistake with the rationale (or not putting one or whatever), then that editor can be told etc. The problem is, that very established editors who have been told that certain images can not be used in a certain way and still they do it - this was way after that the editor was earlier reverting such images back in outside of mainspace ... still .. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:53, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

That case is a bit harder as it has a "chip on the shoulder" attitude around it that throws common sense out the window. That said, editors that repeatedly add NFC in direct, clear violation of NFCC (like putting images in non-article space, omitting rationales purposely, etc.) after repeated warnings should be considered disruptive and appropriate restrictions added. Note that this is not meant to punish editors that upload with a rational they believe is appropriate and later shown not appropriate. We're talking the ones that are clear obvious problems that require immediate fixing. --MASEM (t) 14:11, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
You know what comments I got from editors at that point? That I was WAAYY too harsh, blocking that editor for 2 weeks for such 'minor' incivility - when I upped it to indef for repeated violations (after I found the case of the latter link; in other words, the editor could very well have known that non free images are not supposed to be used outside of mainspace, and that combines with latter comments on the images of the first case, asking the subject of the non-free image to upload a picture for which the subject himself had the copyright - in other words, there is still not the concept that the image needed to be 'free') I was bashed even harder. I can show you another case where I do one revert to remove a whole set of images which was proven to be replaceable by one that would convey the same message, where my single revert was met by an immediate {{uw-vandalism3}} on my talkpage. When asking for clarification why I get for ONE revert I am being yelled at by multiple editors. In retrospect, I should have plainly blocked all of them without question (but I did feel afraid to do that after the yelling I received after the first case ...). You see .. and that is what the community has enabled, and what has been empowered and officialised by ArbCom. Battleground technics (and it is in more places ..). --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:49, 9 June 2012 (UTC)

Image categorisation RfC

As this is also touching on non-free media, I'd like to draw attention to the RfC at Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Categories#Image_categorisation. --Dirk Beetstra T C 05:16, 12 June 2012 (UTC)

RFC notice: Use of NFCC for living national leader

An RfC on whether to permit the use of non-free images to depict living, national leader Kim Jong-un is occurring at Talk:Kim_Jong-un#RFC:Should_this_biography_contain_a_non-free_image_of_the_subject.3F. You are invited to participate. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:52, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Freedom of panorama TfD

Please see this TfD. This is seemingly a test case for declaring large amounts of non-free content to be free. J Milburn (talk) 22:31, 15 June 2012 (UTC)

Proposed modification to WP:NFC

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The proposal has been clearly rejected by the community of editors, rationales such as, "I honestly don't see what's so different between Banknotes of the Australian dollar or The Beatles discography. If one of them isn't allowed to contain images, the other one isn't supposed to be allowed to contain images either. Both articles link to individual articles for each individual product (Australian one-dollar note, Please Please Me etc.) where images are available. --Stefan2 (talk) 14:58, 11 June 2012 (UTC)" are widespread in the discussion below, and phrased in manners that appear to be unassailable in terms of the consensus of this discussion. This is an unfortunate result for some, as it means there is now a large enforcement issue before the community which ought to be dealt with rapidly. Fifelfoo (talk) 04:35, 20 June 2012 (UTC) (non-administrator close)

Should WP:NFC be modified to exempt national currency articles from WP:NFCC #3 and #8? --Hammersoft (talk) 14:22, 17 May 2012 (UTC)


Modify the last sentence of Wikipedia:NFCI#Multimedia from:

The use of non-free media (whether images, audio or video clips) in galleries, discographies, and navigational and user-interface elements generally fails the test for significance (criterion #8).


The use of non-free media (whether images, audio or video clips) in galleries, discographies, and navigational and user-interface elements generally fails the test for significance (criterion #8). Articles depicting national currency systems are exempt from this requirement.


  • Support: Given that current discussion apparently supports the idea that currency articles are exempt from WP:NFCC #8 and #3a concerns, this seems appropriate. Further, as a subject area, currency articles host more non-free content than any other subject area. Common practice seems to permit this, and as Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines states, policy/guideline should be a reflection of best practices. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:22, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Let me preemptively state this proposal isn't a WP:POINT violation. Nobody supports the position I held, so I am shifting my position. Rather than endless discussions (as we've had for years now), let's codify this reality and save everyone a lot of grief and keystrokes. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:22, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Opposed: Because I think this is wrong place to change it and the wrong way to go about this RFC. Exceptions and clarifications should fall in NFC, not NFCC, but importantly we need to learn, from the community, why images may be allowed in lists of currency and distinguish why they would not be used anywhere else. Comment Scratch that, I for some reason missed this was NFCI not NFCC. I still think we need to be absolutely clear if there is support for this why this specific exemption exists. --MASEM (t) 14:25, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support Anything that helps to reduce the amount of drama in the NFCC area is beneficial for the project and as Hammersoft points out this would be what reflects common practice and thus helps to bring some loose ends closer together. Providing a sufficient explanation for the reasoning behind this for clarity (hopefully) shouldn't be too much of a problem. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 14:31, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Neutral I would like to support, but I don't agree with how this has been presented as an exemption to the EDP or the NFCC. Reading past debates, I think it's closer to the truth that for the purposes of currency articles, the widespread opposition to removals comes from the fact that enough people have, in full knowledge of the arguments and applicable policies, come to the reasonable conclusion that displaying every denomination is the only way you can avoid significantly degrading a reader's understanding of a currency article. There are many ways this hypothesis could be disproved, and to show that this is in fact an exemption that is simply necessary for practical reasons, but I see none offered here to support that. Krolar62 (talk) 21:58, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Technical point In order to exempt something from one of the non-free content criteria, you need to modify the criteria themselves - there is a standing decision by the Arbitration Committee (Abu Badali case) that any consensus to overrule the non-free content criteria (or the Foundation's licensing policy) is illegitimate. CIreland (talk) 22:19, 17 May 2012 (UTC)
    • You're referring to finding 10 of that decision. However, the proposal on the table here I think is to adjust NFCI, rather than NFCC -- as Krolar expresses well above -- i.e. to record a view that currency images do contribute sufficiently to understanding to balance the very limited copyright taking they represent (NFCC #8), and that the understanding gained from the image of each note is sufficiently additional to the understanding gained from all the others to justify its presence (NFCC #3). So it's to record a view on where this class of images fall vis-a-vis NFCC, rather than to change any of the NFCC. But furthermore, we have modified and adjusted and cleaned up some of the criteria in the past. And my reading of the ArbCom ruling is that that is legitimate (subject to the Foundation resolution). It is permitted to evolve the NFCC (and this is the page where such evolutions are discussed). What is not permitted is to flout or ignore the NFCC as they happen to be written at any particular moment in time, even if there is a large "keep" vote in favour of a particular image. This is equivalent to the direction to admins closing xFD debates to weigh the arguments in terms of policy, not count heads. Even then, per IAR, not even NFCC is a suicide pact: any such assessment needs to be consistent with what the policy is for, and what is for the good of Wikipedia. Jheald (talk) 00:41, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
      • Well, kind of. I think it would be both a bad idea and also problematic with regard to the arbitration case to write anywhere We know these particular usages don't meet NFCC 8 or 3 but the community has chosen to overlook the fact - I fear that would be the thin end of the wedge. My own opinion is that this a moot issue because I would argue that these usages already meet NFCC 8 and 3 and thus clarification rather than exemption is required. However, that does not mean that the pages with these usages are not problematic - there are significant issues for re-users with these (and other) articles but addressing that would likely require a very different kind of solution. CIreland (talk) 19:02, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
        • On consideration, you're probably right. Jheald (talk) 19:32, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. It's clear to me that an image of the Australian 50 cent piece is a better service to the reader than text that says "Dodecagon 31.65 mm (across flats)". I know we're not voting, but I have little to add that's not already been stated more eloquently. And a big thumbs up to Hammersoft for bringing this here. - Aaron Brenneman (talk) 12:04, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment I'd like to propose that there's basically three reasons why lists of banknotes would be special compared to discographies or other similar list articles:
      • First, currency that a country uses is arguably of more encyclopedic value than the albums produced by a band, from an educational/core topics standpoint. I know that's subjective, but I think most would agree that where NFLISTS has been applied on to date generally has been of less encyclopedically important topics.
      • Secondly, and probably a less subjective argument, is that there is rarely a page on a specific denomination of currency, where we would normally have reasonable expectation to use non-free imagery of that currency without a problem. If there were articles for every single bit of currency of a country, then I'd argue that there's no need for images in the list of currency since they exist elsewhere.
      • Finally, there's usually almost always transformative use of the images of banknotes on the list, in that the history of the banknotes have been discussed, how they were commissions/selected, etc; there's some rationale to keep the images in place. Discographies are almost always presented talking about the band and then just presently the albums without discussion of the cover art (saving that for the actual page). That latter example is not transformative and fails NFCC#8 clearly.
    • If we can be clear on why we allow banknote lists to have images, we can perhaps cut off potential arguments in the future with other types of lists (either way), using these criteria (and possibly others) as they come up to say yea or nay to excessive imagery.
    • I would also further add: if all the images in the list can be reproduced due to, say, the country's mint producing a single composite/montage image of all the bills (eg one image that came directly from that source), then one has to fall back to that single image, per minimal use. Even if every other table of currency has images per item, this needs to be handled in this fashion to stay true to NFCC. --MASEM (t) 16:57, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
      • Responding to various points (1) We have waaaaay more (like, thousands more) discography articles than currency articles. One can easily conclude that album articles are more encyclopedic than currency articles, since there's far more interest in them. You're right though; what is "encyclopedic" is inherently subjective. (2) There not being subpages for many sub units of currency isn't a reason to include currency images on currency-ography (excuse the neologism) pages anymore than a group not having individual album articles gets to have album covers on its discography. (3) The transformative use we see in most currency articles isn't any more in depth than we see on most discographies. I think we do need to clarify why currency articles are different, but this isn't it. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:08, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
        • There is a concept of what is more encyclopedic when it comes to topics that being things like WP:CORE or the WP 1.0 project, or when evaluating TFA. Quantity of pages is not a measure of importance. But along with the other two points, I'm not 100% sure this is all the possible criteria; I don't think it is going to be a simple black and white test, of course, but the more we can distinguish why articles of type A have this allowance while articles of type B don't will drastically curtail problems in the future. --MASEM (t) 20:17, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
          • Just saying this isn't it. It's too easy to poke holes in. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:23, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
            • And in the end, that may mean we have to be very explicit with the allowances, and absolutely clear that unless consensus here at WT:NFC is obtained, no other list immediately gains such allowance. And heck, even if we are clear why currency can have more NFC, and come up with a couple criteria points, it still might be better to require users to seek exceptions for classes of articles on this page. --MASEM (t) 22:25, 18 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Kind of support but dislike specific exemptions. Oppose WP:NFCC exemption, support WP:NFCI clarification per HW below. I agree with Hammersoft that we should specify the criteria for exemptions rather than specific cases. It seems to me that the use of a currency gallery is to depict the subject of the article where the subject is a finite set. This does not apply to just currency, surely postage stamps and medals would have the same justification. Album covers would clearly be excluded from a definiton along those lines. There are few, if any, articles on the subject of "Albums by foo" - an article on the band foo is not an article about their albums. SpinningSpark 08:49, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. Rather than altering the "multimedia" section, whatever change, if any, is settled on should be incorporated into WP:NFG, which directly addresses exceptions to the no-nonfree-images-in-galleries principle. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 11:49, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
  • This issue is not particularly concerned with galleries. Whether in a gallery or as individual images throughout the article, the issue remains the acceptability of multiple non-free images of currency in an article. The exceptions in the "gallery" section are purely concerned with administrative pages, not articles. The text is fine as it is, we want non-free galleries to remain "generally unacceptable" and exceptions to be justified on a "case-by-case basis". The justification in this case would be that the community view (which will become part of the guideline if this proposal is accepted) is that multiple non-free images of currency are acceptable in a currency article, so a gallery of them is clearly within guidance. SpinningSpark 12:43, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose, after looking over the discussion carefully. First of all, the exemption goes way too far; it would allow the use of nonfree images in templates, in various other navboxes, and who knows where else. Second, I don't find the idea of exemptions from the NFCC to be good policy. If there's consensus that such currency images are (almost) uniquely useful in the pertinent articles. that amounts to an apparently rational consensus that NFCC #8 is met, and, by logical progression, that multiple images nevertheless meet NFCC #3. A carefully tailored description of the exception to the gallery principle recognized by current consensus is all that's appropriate. Finally. the scope of the exception as presented is far too broad. An extensive set of images like the one in State quarters should be unacceptable if the images are nonfree. This proposal would allow the unlimited use of relevant nonfree images. regardless of the number of images involved, which is impossible to square with WMF policy. I'm dubious about the idea that blanket exceptions to NFCC #3 are at all compatible with the WMF's requirements. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 14:41, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Well-argued. I have struck my support for the proposal, but would still support a clarification in NFCI. SpinningSpark 16:25, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
    • Oppose: Firstly, WP:NFCC trumps the guideline, and it forbids non-free content outside of articles. Templates are considered outside of articles, and thus not allowed. Secondly, that line should really just plain say "The use of non-free media as decoration is generally considered unacceptable." And thirdly, on the idea of using currency illustrations in lists, it's already allowed. Part of the guidelines for images in lists say "Images which are discussed in detail in the context of the article body, such as a discussion of the art style, or a contentious element of the work, are preferable to those that simply provide visual identification of the elements." This can cover currency as long as their symbolism is critically discussed, since they're pretty much art too. And besides, coins are small objects, meant to be widely disseminated—its not like we're demanding galleries of non-free paintings; the size and purpose of the object could also be a consideration. And if we're discussing the symbolism of every coin with critical evaluation, in most cases one item cannot "convey equivalent significant information." ViperSnake151  Talk  16:38, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment @Hullaballoo and Viper; the exception does not modify NFCC #9 to allow usage in templates. This modification of the guideline doesn't see to allow usage in templates in any respect, nor would it affect navigation boxes either. As to the level of use, it's essentially irrelevant; the community has already voiced their dissent to having currency articles using copious quantities of non-free images stripped of said images. Currency articles, as a category, are the highest users of non-free content on the project. Every effort to reduce that usage has failed community support. The requested change is to bring the guideline up to date with accepted community standards. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:56, 20 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - This is like saying 'you're not allowed to drive faster than 120 km/h on our highways, but the community drives regularly at 180 km/h, it seems to be the accepted community standard, and members of the community have constantly complained when they were told that they were driving too fast (and ignored it afterwards), so it is fine'. We have many rules which are soft, which can be WP:IAR-ed, but some of our rules are hard, direct, and should not be WP:IAR-ed ever. WP:COPYRIGHT has such parts, WP:NFCC has such parts. (and I don't like specific exemptions anyway). --Dirk Beetstra T C 07:13, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I see no logical reason for why it should be exempt other than the claim that people on those types of articles are ignoring our rules. The answer is to make those people follow our rules, not to make an exception. Besides, what non-free content can be used for and what it cannot is set at a higher level that we can't mess with, and for good reason when proposals like this are being made. DreamGuy (talk) 21:24, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose any rule that allows more non-free content. The only reasonable amount of non-free content in a free encyclopedia is zero. As we are mostly an online encyclopedia, we can always link to pages displaying the non-free content (if they do so in a legally acceptable way). —Kusma (t·c) 07:38, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
"The only reasonable amount of non-free content in a free encyclopedia is zero."
Who is going to bring this encyclopedia in compliance with that? How would this be done? -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 07:46, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I expect it would be significantly easier to bot-delete all non-free media and to remove all links to them than to argue in each specific instance whether WP:NFCC are met. —Kusma (t·c) 07:52, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I currently don't see a ground for such a mass removal. This isn't meant to say I wouldn't support such a move, but I predict this will be difficult. I've seen the removal of a single non-free file from a single article already causing huge amounts of antipathy. Multiply that amount by the number of non-free files on this project and you might get an idea of the amount of friction this would create. Of course this is just an empirical guess, but I've seen little so far that would make me believe otherwise.
If you can convince the community to get rid of the current EDP and revoke their support of WP:NFCC, I guess this might be possible. However I think this should be a separate proposal. I wish you luck if you are going to propose this here or at WP:VPR or WP:VPI and can say that you would have my support. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 08:23, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
  • There was a protracted disagreement over the files on that page a long time ago. The determination was the images of the Rupiah notes are, for our purposes, free license. The images have never been retagged here. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:38, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Hammersoft, that would explain why it is still listed there. ww2censor (talk) 18:27, 11 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose: NFC is NFC; there's nothing special about money if its appearance is copyrighted. That some currency-related articles overuse this NFC is cause for {{non-free-overuse}}, not a policy change. — fourthords | =Λ= | 19:42, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per HW mainly; just because some articles appear to have gained a free pass on non-free images so far is no reason to alter policy to accommodate them. We wouldn't allow limited exemptions for, say, BLP, so I'm pretty sure a policy underpinning one of the pillars shouldn't be watered down in this way. We don't need pictures of every single item in a finite set, and I'm fairly sure that an article doesn't need one hundred and thirty-two non free images to explain to us what a banknote looks like. Black Kite (talk) 15:11, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. For the record, I'd like to repeat my comment made in the (now-archived) WT:NFC#Banknotes of the Australian dollar talk section immediately before the start of this RfC, part of a long discussion on the pros and cons of these images and the nature of the fair use policy generally, since then unfortunately separated from this discussion:

... In the case of the Australian bank-notes, they are (according to you) 100000% fair use; they clearly can't be replaced by free media doing the same job; and in my view having them adds to WP's reputation for being comprehensive and thorough, a good place to turn to find things out, and so a place that it is worth contributing to. I don't think we are using them lightly or wantonly, I think we're using them in a way which recognisably satisfies a legitimate query. Historically those were what the NFCC were created to defend, and I think the NFCC have done -- and continue to do -- that job well. ... Jheald (talk) 17:27, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

In common with Krolar62, Hullaballoo Wolfowitz, Masem, CIreland (despite my attempt to finesse his point earlier), and others who have followed them above, I do think the proposal was wrongly presented in being for an "exemption" from NFCC #8. The more accurate position, I think, is that these images pass the significance requirement of NFCC #8, balanced against the essentially negligible copyright taking they represent. Jheald (talk) 16:58, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Any individual image may pass #8, but WP:NFCC#3a has to be satisfied as well. It follows obviously from that, that we don't need two images (front and back) for every denomination, do we? That's just simple overuse. File:Australian $20 note paper back.jpg might pass NFCC8 for an article entitled "Australian $20 note" but it doesn't necessarily pass it for an overview article. Otherwise, you're effectively saying (for example) that because a non-free album cover passes NFCC#8 for that album's article, it would also pass it for a discography article for that artist. Which it clearly doesn't. Black Kite (talk) 18:15, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
I disagree. It seems to me that precisely the kind of encyclopedic information that people coming to this page are likely to be looking for is what the full set of banknotes look like -- what their similarities are, what their differences are, and crucially what each particular banknote looks like. So it seems to me the images exactly do pass NFCC #3a -- each image does contribute something uniquely valuable to readers over and above all the others.
Furthermore, there's also the point that I made at greater depth in the now-archived discussion linked immediately above: that the real point of NFCC #8 and NFCC #3a is to focus discussions on the questions that determine whether we can be confident that the images would safely qualify as "fair use" for a verbatim commercial reuser. In part because of the extraordinary limited copyright taking our use would represent, and its clearly transformative nature, it seems to be agreed around the table by all parties here that that would be the case, that courts would indeed consider such a commercial entity's reuse of our page an appropriately minimal taking. That's what, going back into their history, these parts of NFCC were crafted to try to capture; because if we're confident the images can be reused by a commercial reuser in this way, then it benefits no-one to remove them.
As I wrote on the article talk page: Who Benefits if these images are removed? They're not going to be a fair-use problem, either for us or our commercial reusers. They can't be replaced by free images. They are of use to our readers -- probably exactly what our readers want to know, if they are coming to this article. And they're clearly encyclopedic, of clear value to people who want to know more about Australia, or more about notes and coins of the world. So exactly what purpose is agitating for their removal supposed to serve? Jheald (talk) 19:34, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Our purpose is to serve the Foundation who want to create a free-content encyclopedia. That means two things: what the readers come to expect to see here cannot drive non-free content decisions, and that we don't have to be the first source that a reader needs to consult to find such images - that is, we can rely on external websites to fill the gaps that we technically cannot complete. --MASEM (t) 20:14, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
My point wasn't about what readers may have "come to expect to see here", like some random bit of decoration; my point was about the encyclopedic information that readers actually come here looking for -- the "significant" information explicitly cited in NFCC #8, and the basis for the test implicitly applied for NFCC #3a: something over and above what is provided by the other images. Maintaining our provision of this is precisely the cornerstone of the WP:NFC policy.
Secondly, I utterly reject the notion that it doesn't matter whether or not we provide encyclopedic content because people can always get it elsewhere. If that was the case we might as well all go home, shutter Wikipedia, and leave people to Google. Our ambition is to make available as much of the world's encyclopedic knowledge as we can -- and to present it in an NPOV environment which anyone can edit. Giving up on any part of that potentiality, because we feel like not doing it, is a betrayal of the project.
Finally, the settled position, set out in WP:REUSE, is that we are a free-content encyclopedia whether or not we also include fair-use media alongside that free content. The Foundation was asked to rule directly on this point in January 2004, and has subsequently explicitly formalised its position: the "Document" licensed by Wikipedia to the world under the GDFL is the text of the article; images (under whatever copyright status) are considered to be separate, severable items "aggregated" with the Document. We are not, and never have been, a free-content-only encyclopedia; and the substantial point of the NFC tests is to ensure that in no realistic practical sense is our content less free by including images that pass them. Jheald (talk) 21:06, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
We are an encyclopedia, a tertiary source, summarizing other sources, meaning that people will always be able to get the same information elsewhere (or otherwise we've introduced original research). We try to make ourselves more relevant than a search engine by organizing information in more logical approach, to evaluate and include the best sources for that information, and otherwise putting together multiple disparate sources together. For banknotes, that means these had to be published elsewhere. Using appropriate examples to demonstrate banknotes for the causal reader and providing the links to full images for the reader that needs to learn more is encyclopedic equivalent to providing them all, in this light. (Remember, the argument has never been to remove all non-free banknote images from such pages but to be very selective as to which ones are used) --MASEM (t) 21:41, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
We "try to make ourselves relevant", as you put it, by giving people the information they are looking for, organised in a systematic and accessible way, where they are looking for it -- in short, by being a comprehensive, encyclopedic resource. Anything that deliberately makes us less comprehensively encyclopedic works against that -- and frankly, it is a failure of ambition, if we don't live up to be all we could be, and allow ourselves to turn away from that vision of encyclopedic comprehensiveness.
And secondly, there's a real democratising value in being the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, with the front-line information that has been contributed by real individuals, that any other real individual can contribute to and improve. Of course, that information needs to be backed up by verifiability and reliable sources. But we blunt that democratising surge once we start ruling out areas of front-line interest, and say no you can't organise and present and improve the information here in the best way possible, we'll just rely on whatever closed-access here-today gone-tomorrow haphazard external sites we happen to be able to find out there. We should resist that impulse whenever we can, and instead when material is available try to present it comprehensively and systematically here.
Above all, I don't agree that presenting appropriate examples and forcing readers to follow links for the rest is the "encyclopedic equivalent to providing them all". I think, both for the reader who is interested in the country, and for the reader who is interested in the currency, (as well as for the editor taking pride in producing a really good page) there is actually significant value in presenting the images of the full principal issue together, in a systematic way, adjacent to the text describing them, in a consistent and comparable way across WP currency articles, on a single self-contained page retrievable for eg offline access or printing out.
We can take this up further tomorrow, but for now I need to get some sleep. Jheald (talk) 22:38, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
We can still be comprehensive, but by necessity as an encyclopedia, we shouldn't aim to be complete. Having an image (back and front) of every piece of currency in circulation for a country is complete coverage of that topic, but it interferes with our free content mission. We can still be comprehensive by using example images that any layperson can extrapolate to the rest ("Oh, this bill is green as opposed to the example red, and uses the image of this person instead of this landmark"). There is no loss of comprehension through this approach, we just simply aren't exhausting the coverage. And we better meet the free content mission by reducing the number of non-frees used with a smaller number that serve as an equivalent replacement. I have trouble buying the argument that for most currency, readers are unable to extract from one example image to others given the necessary text descriptions.
And we still have the question of "why do currency articles gain this exception that we've deemed inappropriate to discographies and other lists?" There's possibly the argument that world currency is more important than the album covers of a band, but that immediately puts bias on the topic of currencies being "more important" than the music articles. --MASEM (t) 15:12, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Question here: (intro to question) You say that for discographies it is inappropriate to display all images, whereas for money we do allow it. Of course, for specific albums - each part of a full discography - we do show the images on those pages. And often for an artist (band) one or more of the albums are notable enough for individual display - whereas most other albums are not notable enough to have a full mention on themselves, and it is questionable whether the album image should be displayed (exceptions granted). For money, generally we only have the 'discography': the currency article. (question(s)) How many banknotes do have their own individual page? And is that the reason for the difference between discographies and currency pages - since we have so few individual pages on banknotes/coins - we only have the currency pages, so we generally have nowhere else to display them? --Dirk Beetstra T C 16:10, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
There are some specific denominations of currency with their own page (I'm pretty sure most of the low denominations US coins and bills have one, and I think the same for Canada, UK, and Australia - read, where the majority of English speakers/sources will be coming from), but it is completely reasonable to expect that for random non-English country X that none of its currency will be easily notable for its own page. But as you point out with discogs, we don't include images of an album that itself is not notable in the discog of the artist just because. The argument here is that when we have non-free album covers on the album's page (or perhaps as one notable one on the artist's page) is that there's going to be sourced discussion of the album itself within the article, making the inclusion of the album cover as a transformative use that is part of US fair use consideration. When we do that with images in a discog, there's no transformation, and thus why we don't include them. The same logic can apply to currency articles. That said, while we would never normally include a non-free album image anywhere on a discog page, it does make sense to include a few example images on the currency lists since the list itself is sourced discussion to support the inclusion of a few example images. But not all the images of all currency elements for the country. --MASEM (t) 16:17, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
I think what Dirk raises is probably part of it -- for most bands notable enough to be included on WP, we probably have articles on most of their albums, so we do provide information on what the covers look like, but in a different place. But I think there are some other considerations too. One is that banknote series are released as a planned coherent whole, so there is particular value in presenting the designs together, so that the reader can appreciate the design cues that apply across the series as a whole, and what cues are used to individualise the different notes (and contrast this with the design choices made in other currency systems). That sense of treating a coherent whole as a design object in its own right is somthing which arguably doesn't apply in the same way to discographies.
Other reasons as to why currency images were I think not even questioned, certainly not banned, when the images on discographies and episode logs were outlawed I think probably do include what Masem alluded to above, that the images may have been seen as being more sober and real-world and encyclopedic; as well as their being of particularly obvious direct practical usefulness to readers, which would be lost. Also being more fundamentally functional objects more than artistic ones, there's an argument that the effective copyright taking is even less than for the covers. But fundamentally, I think the action against images on discographies and episode list was really taken because of a gut feeling that these didn't really fit with the reputation of Wikipedia. (See the archived discussion from a month ago for a more extended development of this). In those cases I think there was a feeling that a lot of gaudy material was being hung on the articles like Christmas trees, which wasn't sufficiently central to the article, was out-of-balance with the often very limited amount of text, and generally overbalanced the articles. I don't think there was the same feeling about the currency articles, because I think the material was seen as directly on topic to the central theme of the article, and was well-integrated in a sober and low-key way. As I put it above, I think the impression was that we weren't using the material lightly or wantonly, but rather in a way that was recognisably satisfying a legitimate query. Combining that with the perception that there really wasn't going to be a fair-use problem, either for us or our commercial reusers, I think probably explains why nobody really thought to question these images, right up until they were suddenly put in the crosshairs in the last six to twelve months. Jheald (talk) 19:29, 18 June 2012 (UTC)


Don't get me wrong here, I'm trying to find a solution via narrowing the reasoning through devil's advocate, so let me point to the statement "the action against images on discographies and episode list was really taken because of a gut feeling that these didn't really fit with the reputation of Wikipedia" and try to see what could be extrapolated to say about why should currency get a special deal? If it were the case that US currency images weren't free, but we still had articles on most of the bills in common transactions ($1 to $100), we'd still have an article likely covering all the currency of the US like these other lists but we still wouldn't be putting all the images on this list because most of the key ones have separate articles; one example front/back to show what they look like in general would be appropriate as a lead to such a table but not individual images per line of the table.
Compare this with something you allude to above: if every album but one of a band is notable, we simply don't include that non-notable album cover in somewhere for completeness, as part of our reasoning to not have images in discogs. Banknotes of the Australian dollar is, for example, a problematic article. Each of the banknotes is notable (separate articles, though covering the two series), so there's no need to replicate the images on the banknote page; instead we could use [9] this image (taken from the Royal Bank of Australia, the bill printers, so would be equal to one non-free image) as an example of how the bills look for the purpose of the article, instead of providing front/back for each.
But getting back to my point, the idea of reputation is a sound one, but immediately creates a bias on topics that is going to be gamed if we are not very exacting about it. If we are stating that banknote table articles are more important to WP's reputation as to allow larger number of non-frees on them for completeness, why can my discog of World's Best Band have images of all their non-notable albums? How do you draw the line? If we have to be exactly explicit, not here in policy NFC but over in guideline NFCC, stating that "articles on currency may use non-free images in this manner" (assuming that's what consensus says), instead of trying to define some line that can apply to all cases, then we might have to do that, but every time you carve out an exception, we create more problems when newer editors come along and go OTHERSTUFFEXIST to defend their non-free image use. This is why those of us that see these articles as a problem are trying to find a way to minimize (not eliminate) the use of images to a reasonable level that makes the article still useful and comprehensive without excessive non-free use. --MASEM (t) 20:10, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • It's really just an academic discussion that will have zero effect. See my fence sitting comments below. I attempted to reduce the non-free usage on the Banknotes of the Australian dollar article to just the most printed unit in circulation [10]. I was almost instantly reverted. Despite the above rejection of the exception, if I tried to do the same today I'm sure I'd be instantly reverted again. So, status quo it is. Our reality of mass overuse in currency articles is not supported by policy or guideline, but it remains and will remain because enough of a vocal minority oppose removal and are willing to fight against it. Absolute silliness, but that's the way it is. I've run into a number of these situations of late where reality <> policy/guideline, reality has carved out an exception for itself that disagrees with policy/guideline, if you try to apply policy you're reverted. WP:BRD trumps the day, and whatever exists now will exist forever apparently, policy not withstanding. Policy is empty. It's what is reality that counts. So, moving onwards; when are we going to be adding album covers back into discographies? --Hammersoft (talk) 20:27, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Patroling NFCC with a heavy hand, as I've said before, has become an unwanted thing on WP; that is a completely separate issue from over-use on banknote pages. This is not just for NFC - this is for any "patrolling" that isn't specifically listed under 3RR as an exception to the policy. Even after this long discussion, there's no clarity where banknote pages stand in terms of NFCC allowances. Until we have any clarity on that, we shouldn't be making changes to such pages; only if in the case we decide that they cannot enjoy large amounts of non-free can we then employ more direct methods to trim images (which I'm sure will trigger a backlash, but as long as we close this with a non-involved admin making that decision, then we can ignore those complaints by pointing to this). What we enforce and how we enforce are two separate issues, and we shouldn't trying to be mixing them up here. --MASEM (t) 21:07, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Masem, whatever your case, it is apparent now that ANY NFCC patrolling is "heavy handed". Let's be real here; there will NEVER be clarity. If it takes clarity to remove the images, they will never be removed. And again, we're right back at the fence sitting. --Hammersoft (talk) 22:32, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry if you disagree that NFCC can't be enforced without being heavy-handed, but heavy-handed enforcement of any policy is not or no longer acceptable at WP per recent events. (case in point, check the ArbCom date delinking case and the idea of fait accompli). You can certainly challenge misuse of NFC but if that challenge is refuted, the next step is discussion. My experience is that one may get into heated discussions with those that disagree (see the current RFC going on at the Kim Jong-un page), but once editors are aware of NFCC and how it's to be used and handled, the resolution can be dealt with it without a problem. We're trying to resolve the issue about currency pages right now, and it's a hot discussion but not one that's breaking down. It may not be resolved as fast as you wish it to be or in the manner that you wish it to be, but all of this is being discussed in a manner that we can bring better clarity to how consensus sees NFC in light that it is required element by the Foundation. --MASEM (t) 22:40, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Masem, you know as well as I do that is NOT what I said. The point here is ANY NFCC enforcement is by default heavy handed. If anyone removes an image for violating the policy, it's heavy handed. The RfC on Kim Jong-un is an absolute joke. We've spent 17 pages worth of printed debate deciding on the fate of having a single image, an image that can not be allowed under Foundation dictum, yet we're having the pointless debate anyway. If the 'proper' route to handling NFCC enforcement is a 17 page discussion every time we talk about a single image, we might as well strike down NFCC now as completely unenforceable. Nobody...not even a thousand people...has the horsepower to keep up with it. And again we're back to a core problem; a mistaken belief that current practices work. They don't. They're an abysmal failure, as the Kim Jong-un case so blatantly proves. --Hammersoft (talk) 22:49, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Hammersoft, I'll pay you £50 by PayPal if you manage to get anyone at the Foundation to publicly describe that RFC as "pointless". I'll make it a £100 if you get them to agree that their resolution or English Wikipedia's EDP makes it clear enough for them, by either implication or by letter, that the only permissable non-free imagery of living people here would be of recluses/convicts/fugitives. I'll make it £200 if they make a statement saying that they endorse the way you've interacted with me over this issue, given that I've not even uploaded a single image. It doesn't even have to be a strong endorsement, I'd pay up even if they said they broadly agreeed your approach. Krolar62 (talk) 07:06, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • No, I strongly disagree on the statement "any NFCC is heavy handed". You can freely do what you think is necessary to fix an article and its images that you subjectively believe are out of NFCC whack in a bold manner, as long as its clear that's what you are doing. That's not heavy-handed. What you can't do is to re-do those changes if they were reverted; trying to enforce your subjective NFCC assessment by edit warring is not tolerated. (It might have been somewhat more tolerated a few years back, but certainly not any more). Edit warring to enforce NFCC is heavy-handed and strictly outlined against that at 3RR. When it comes to any of the subjective metrics of NFCC (NFCC#1, #3a, #8 for the most part), you cannot act as if you are "right", so if there is disagreement (in the form of 1 removal and 1 revert), discussion is the next step. Yes, that may slow down the rate of NFCC corrections, but it is the process that WP is built on. The only reason the Kim Jong-un image is taking 17 pages is because we have one user that is trying to wikilaywer around what several other editors have told them about established consensus. We need to expect that we'll encounter similar editors that don't grasp what consensus has come to say about NFCC, but this has always been exceptional. --MASEM (t) 12:55, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • There will always be editors who can't grasp how people can compare the prospects of getting a non free image of Kim Jong-un to that of Susan Boyle, or how they can claim a written policy is defined by its unwritten exceptions, or claim that Wikipedia is licensed re-user of commercial images even though it uses an EDP for any commercial image it hosts. If it makes you feel better to simply dismiss this sort of scepticism as wikilawyering, then I genuinely feel sad for you. If you think that sidestepping these sort of questions is how a valid consensus is formed, ditto. Consensus is supposed to be a respectful exchange of opinions focused on the points presented, not an exercise in talking past the other person while repeating points to them that were never even disputed. That RFC doesn't represent a consensus because its opening statement remains largely undebated, and what little discussion there has been is not what any serious debating society would endorse. Krolar62 (talk) 15:34, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Your scenario is far different; there's been long established precedent that has very little wiggle room when we allow non-free images of living persons, which you've been told about several times and yet you keep trying to poke holes against that long-standing consensus, and taken the arguments elsewhere, all signs of wikilawyering and tenacious editing. There's nothing to debate because agreement has been meet long ago for those points. --MASEM (t) 15:47, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
To respond to Masem's post of 20:10, I think my position is that I don't see these articles as exhibiting "excessive non-free use" -- because I do think each image is adding something of value over and above the others, and (as I've tried to set out above) I do think there is clear value in having the full set. And on the other side of the table, it seems to be common ground that there really is no fair-use difficulty here, for us or for our verbatim commercial reusers. Which is why I think they weren't objected to when images in episode lists and images in discographies were.
I think NFCC #8 and NFCC #3a are the right tests here -- they put the focus on the right question: what is it that the images are contributing. Implicitly, we weigh that level of contribution against the copyright taking; and also the "reputation" test -- does it feel like the images are being gratuitously to little purpose; or are they being used soberly, in a way that does relate to the main purpose of the article, in a way that seems responsible. That's the assessment that gets recorded in NFCI, which to some extent acts as a calibration of NFCC #3 and #8a. These images have been accepted for so long, because I think they have been seen to be of use, do feel encyclopedic, and aren't seen as making WP seem gratuitous or excessive.
As for whether these images are seen as the thin end of the wedge, I don't see it. My view is that the copyright balance is about right (with possible reservations about some historical images; but perhaps (per experts like Wikidemon) US law does perhaps weigh the positive value of wider diffusion of material of an educationally informative nature in such a context slightly more heavily than maybe as a non-US citizen I instinctively give it credit for). I don't think the sky is falling. I think WP feels slightly ascetic in its use of fair-use material, which I think is about right. It does require vigilance, and maybe some areas particular vigilance. But I don't think there's a burning out-of-control problem; and since these images have been around for a long time, I think fear that they're going to suddenly whip up a storm of otherstuffexists is overdone.
It's a pity that the present RfC was cast in terms of an "exemption" from NFCC #8, which has made it essentially useless.
The best outcome, in my view, would be to add a line to NFCI accepting a small image, front and reverse, of each current banknote in a currency article, to record a view of the community that this is seen as acceptable, per NFCC #8 and NFCC #3a -- perhaps with a link to here, or whatever future discussion, so people could follow how the issue had been examined and discussed. (Though we don't currently offer such a link for any of the other entries in NFCI; and perhaps such commentary or background material is best left to a relevant adjunct page, like WP:NFCHIST.) Jheald (talk) 22:57, 18 June 2012 (UTC)
Remember, NFC is a two-fold policy. One end is to protect the Foundation from fair use issues and other similar legal problems, so concerns that banknotes themselves aren't a commercial problem is a fair argument. But the other side of the NFC picture is the free content mission and redistribution of content. While we can textually describe the banknotes in full, we have to realize that there are some reusers that cannot take the non-free imagery at all. We have to make sure the articles are designed to that point. This is where, to some extent, excessive use of images on such pages can be a downfall as if we rely more on the information to transit information because we just happen to be able to include them all, the less valuable we become as a re-user. This is why we can't become complicit in non-free use, just because it happens to be okay by fair use law. Whenever there is the opportunity to reduce without loss of comprehension, we need to do so.
But I think the core of this whole think has to come down to why currency articles get the exception. The points you make on the fair use side I can easily apply to discogs and character lists and episode lists and several other list/tables that can't use non-free to illustrate every element. Trying to explain this to new and existing users is difficult to start with, often because of the implicit "non-free == fair use" arguments in their mind. We need to push the "free mission / non-free reduction" aspect of the policy.
As an example, I just jumped to Australian dollar where the front image of each bill in circulation is being used. Then we have Banknotes of the Australian dollar where each front and back of each bill in use is being used, plus the front and back of the historical series. Then we have seven separate articles for each bill (eg Australian ten-dollar note) which each appears to have both the front and back of the current and the historical bill plus a few smatterings of images from a special series. That is far too much NFC use across (at least) 9 different articles. It can be reduced without loss by 1) removing all the banknotes from the main Australian dollar page save for the image in the infobox, 2) removing all but one example of a historical banknote from the Banknotes page to go along with the remaining table and discussion, knowing that each historical image remains on the individual bill pages; 3) removing the recolored $5 banknote in the current currency, and possibly the back image on the $5 page. As a rough measure, just doing that removes a bit under half of the non-free use of the currency pictures while still leaving all front/back for the current series of banknotes in place on the Banknote article. (I could argue further, but lets assume that as a stopping point for right now).
Basically, as long as the banknote or currency images are non-free, I can understand (but hope that it can be improved on) the need to show both sides of bills/coins of the current currency on a article about the banknotes or coinage of a country, and obviously and current and historical bills on individual coinage/bill articles as long as those historical versions are discussed, as well as one bill/coin example on the article about the currency of the country (eg Australian dollar). Anywhere else, and exhaustive use of all front/back images of currency is a problem that needs to be minimized. --MASEM (t) 23:29, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

Impact of impending close

I just want to observe that with this proposal failing 2:1 against, that the community is apparently indicating that support for articles such as Quarter (Canadian coin), Banknotes of the Australian dollar and Coins of Madagascar using currency images as they are is not supported. The implication then being those articles need to have their non-free content significantly reduced in order to comply with project policy and guideline.

Or rather, I hope that is the case rather than what I fully expect will be the case; that the community will instead say "No, they shouldn't have those images" and then refuse to have the images removed, and subsequently never updated policy / guideline to reflect reality. I.e., sitting on the spiked fence. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:49, 14 June 2012 (UTC)

It's probably best to get an uninvolved admin to close this proper, and then take the steps that that close offers. If it is rejected that currency articles can enjoy larger amounts of NFCC, then by all means, let's give those articles a bit of time to trim down before stripping them from the offenders. --MASEM (t) 18:07, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
  • My point wasn't to close this and go riding off into the sunset with guns blazing crying "yippee ki yay" :) As I've said elsewhere, I've put down my NFCC enforcement pen because it's useless to do. My point was that I was hoping we didn't end up with a fence sitting status quo. It seems clear we're making a decision here that until new consensus changes it rules against such usage. But, I doubt that such a decision will effect any change. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:19, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Looking at the actual reasons for the "opposes", I would tend to a rather different view -- it seems to me that many of the opposes are making no judgment on the number of images used on Banknotes of the Australian dollar, and/or even explicitly support the current usage, but oppose the proposed drafting of the exemption, and/or whether such an exemption is needed at all for images which may already comply with NFCC.
You might wish that the question had been framed as "do you support the current usage of images in Banknotes of the Australian dollar", and that was the question I tried to address in my own comment above in the discussion, saying that a change to WP:NFCI could well be a good thing, recognising that these images were appropriate (rather any change or exemption to WP:NFCC). But, for better or worse, most responses above seem addressed to the narrower question of whether your specific proposal was appropriate -- and that is what seems to have got the broad thumbs down. Jheald (talk) 15:23, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
  • And there's the fence. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:05, 17 June 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Impact of close

Good luck with enforcement. Fifelfoo (talk) 04:35, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Nothing will happen. Currency articles enjoy a special exemption, this proposal failing not withstanding. If anyone dares to remove the images, they will be reverted. People who remove them will be labelled as heavy handed. If they re-remove, pointing to this closed RfC, they will be accused of violating WP:BRD and ordered to discuss the removals on each individual page. Since there will be far more fans of the images available on each page than there will be enforcers, "consensus" will be to retain the images. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:48, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
    • The problem is that this was rejected by consensus more fully on the issue that placing the exception in NFC and not NFCI or elsewhere was the wrong approach, tainting any clear result of what we can do with currency articles. So there's absolute clarity that the use of currency images in galleries is rejected by the community, I will be started a new RFC aimed specifically get that question answered and not so much on the exact wording changes needed to meet whatever consensus is met by that. --MASEM (t) 14:11, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
      • See also Wikipedia:Files for deletion/2012 June 20#File:Australian $1 note paper back.jpg which I started based on the outcome of this discussion. If the request at WP:FFD is successful, I am planning to take more images there. --Stefan2 (talk) 14:44, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
      • @Masem: Frankly, I don't see the line you're drawing. This RfC stands blatantly against the use described. Even the closer saw that. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:51, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
        • While I'm completely in favor of having it closed in favor of reducing the number of non-frees in the currency articles, there is a technicality (in that it was rejected for inclusion as a specific exemption to be listed in WP:NFC, but not necessary rejecting it as an exemption) that I fear people will use to invalidate this close even with the non-involved admin. I'd rather see an RFC started around the specific question without specifying the exact language so that the consensus is clear , after which policy/guideline can be changed to match, instead of trying to get consensus to agree to a specific change.
        • Furthermore, to be completely fair, I don't think the above above, nominating the individual files for deletion, is the right solution. Assuming that the admin close above is clear that "non-free images of currency cannot be used in currency tables", the solution is to get those removed from said tables (And if they they end up as orphans, so be it), and/or work with the numismatics project to offer a solution that is more free (eg one example front/back image set outside of the table.) Instead, what you're doingis being done is the heavy-handed approach that I talked about before. I fully expect that we're going to see backlash from that, now going to challenge the above decision (possibly at AN). I may be wrong, but my guts says differently. --MASEM (t) 15:09, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
          • Will you stop it already with the "heavy handed" bit?!?!? I haven't DONE anything to be "heavy handed" with. I haven't edited a currency article since this RfC began, so this incessant claim I'm being heavy handed is completely bogus. DROP it already. In my first post in this sub-thread, I noted that people who remove them will be labelled heavy handed. You're calling me heavy handed even WITHOUT my removing ANYthing. Unreal. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:12, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
            • My apologizes, I had misread that you started that FFD, when it was Stefan2, and that's my bad (edited to strike). The action is still heavy handed, however. --MASEM (t) 15:15, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
              • He didn't remove images either. Since WP:NFCR is dead, he took the recommended route. Anything is heavy handed. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:17, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
                • Even taking it to FFD as an alternative to NFCR, nominating the image for delete including the use of the back side of the note on the article about the note was not something covered in the above RFC , and infact would likely go against one of the NFCI allowances for using images of banknotes on articles about those specific banknotes. The idea of taking each image from the currency articles one by one to FFD to remove it is daunting, excessive, and pointless; the better solution would be to tell the numismatics project that they have X days (7?) to remove said non-frees from the tables and find an alternate solution, or otherwise they will be stripped for them; with that warning, the subsequent removal following this RFC close would be nearly impossible to argue against, and would not be heavy-handed since we have the backing of the RFC as evidence of consensus for their removal. All that requires is a bit of patience from those of us that want to remove those images from the tables to give that project time to prepare. --MASEM (t) 15:28, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I reluctantly have to agree that I think this close was flawed. Those supporting use of currency images largely !voted against the language of the proposal -- largely without addressing why they thought such images should be used, because they were !voting against the proposal as a whole. It's not clear therefore that this can realistically be seen as a proper determination about more than the specific proposal being discussed. Jheald (talk) 15:41, 20 June 2012 (UTC)
    • Of course not. It would unfairly limit the right of editors to include content that can be used under U.S. fair use law. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:55, 20 June 2012 (UTC)

Confused about what is copyrighted

On the Antonio Cassano page, one of the pictures of Cassano is blurry and I would like to replace it with a clearer one. As I look through the copyright restrictions, I don't want to upload a file to Wikipedia that violates any of its restrictions. Can someone explain what pictures of living persons are okay to upload to Wikipedia? An example of one that I would like to upload to Wikipedia but don't know if it is okay is here. The picture comes from this website. Thanks. Dar5995 (talk) 00:52, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

We require that a picture of a living person be available for free using a license that allows for redistribution (See, for example, the CC-BY or CC-BY-SA licenses that WP uses). Shorthand that means that we need the person who took the photo to allow for it to be put in a redistributable license. In nearly all cases, photos taken from a website will be copyrighted to that website, and thus cannot be used. You or someone else would have to take a picture and upload it appropriately (and likely Wikimedia Commons) for it to be used here. --MASEM (t) 00:59, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
What if the picture were from a blog and the blog did not expressly reserve a copyright status? Could I upload that photo? Thanks. Dar5995 (talk) 01:35, 22 June 2012 (UTC)
Is this file any use: File:Cassano in Nazionale.jpg? If so, thank Betacommand for finding it. --RexxS (talk) 01:52, 22 June 2012 (UTC)

CGI images

In the WP:NFC#UUI section, I've added "A computer generated image, rendering or animation that could be recreated to a standard that would serve the same encyclopedic purpose."

as a clarification between for example, some thing that we can draw in the graphics lab, and say, a scene from toy story, avatar (movie) or elephants dream and so on. We can make some images to a reasonable standard ourselves, but not all CGI images would be handled the same way, so some sort of guidance for editors would help here I've noticed. Penyulap 15:27, 25 Jun 2012 (UTC)

Can you give an example where this is a problem? Not that I disagree with this: I think it is right that we should not be making CGI that nearly resembles virtual CGI and then claim their use only because the new CGI will be a derivative work so it's just as non-free as the original. But I do wonder if there are legit cases that I can't immediately put in place... --MASEM (t) 15:33, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Well, it's come up at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spaceflight in a discussion about me. yeah, I'm a drama-queen, whatever. The example is the image for OPSEK space station, which is easy enough to draw, or at least, that is the suggestion that is being made, I don't know if it crosses over the line or not. There is an image I drew of the Chinese Space Station which is an artists impression of a CGI. So, they are the examples being discussed elsewhere. Penyulap 15:41, 25 Jun 2012 (UTC)
I see already the wording needs to be clearer in relation to the CGI being basically a copy of the original or a depiction of the subject. Penyulap 15:47, 25 Jun 2012 (UTC)
I'm fairly neutral on the issue overall, though I have to say I'm not sure it would be practical to perfectly re-create every CGI image on the whole site. Either way a change of this nature should surely be discussed before implementation, so I've temporarily reverted the addition until a consensus can be reached on whether or not to include it. --W. D. Graham 15:57, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Well if you're neutral then there is no need to be reverting. Penyulap 16:17, 25 Jun 2012 (UTC)
Since it is a policy page and we got over 792,000 media files on here, we have to be sure the community agrees with the change before anything is done. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 16:26, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Uh, I don't think he's talking about recreating every image at CGI, just that using a WP-ian's CGI version of something that is CGI is not appropriate as it doesn't do anything to get around the original CGI's non-free problem. --MASEM (t) 16:01, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Chinese space station free image
Now, as I was saying, there is the CGI of the Chinese space station, it can be used anywhere anytime, however if you put star wars attack of the clones characters everywhere on your userpages, it's a problem. These points are clear. The question is, if the subject of the article can be easily illustrated by the graphics lab, in a way that fills the purpose of illustrating the article but not in a way that closely copies a non-free image, then the non-free image shouldn't be used. For example, just copying one of a number of graphics of the Chinese space station onto wiki.
So it should be further defined into copyright characters like jarjar binks, and illustrations of objects that don't yet exist, like a new bridge over a bay. Some CGI images can be created which do not violate copyright and some clearly can, so we should put together some guidance here. Penyulap 16:17, 25 Jun 2012 (UTC)
I honestly feel that what you are looking for is if we are able to recreate the image using whatever tools. This falls already under Criteria 1 where the non-free image can be replaceable by a free image. While I might need more time to focus on this CGI issue, but I know there are plenty of times here and on the Commons I would recreate graphics (mostly of symbols) to replace non-free images here or on other projects. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 16:26, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

"A computer generated image (CGI), rendering or animation of a copyrighted character, recreated to a standard closely matching the original work would not be acceptable (example, a star wars character). For non-copyright subjects, (example, a proposed new bridge or building) a CGI, rendering or animation should not be copied if a free version can reasonably be made." how does that sound ? Penyulap 16:38, 25 Jun 2012 (UTC)

sorry if I was moving too fast there, it is pretty much clarifying I originally thought, but it's cool to properly work out the new differences I've mentioned. Penyulap 16:55, 25 Jun 2012 (UTC)
The first half is okay but the second half would be an unwise change to policy. Copyright is invoked by human-made copies, not just copying a digital file. For a proposed new building or bridge (or car, etc), any new image that captures enough of the design elements to be a fair rendering of the plan would also have the same copyright status, nonfree but used under claim of fair use. By contrast, any version that's not actually a copy of the original would be unencyclopedic. Finally, to the extent these images are already prohibited by current policy they fail as a routine matter of whether the image is necessary to explain the subject to the reader, not how they were generated. In the real world (everywhere but Wikipedia), sources universally use the official renderings. - Wikidemon (talk) 16:58, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
I think I see what the issue is, but can be simplified for broader cases: the use of user-created (non-photographic, but artistic or computer-rendered) images that are considered derivative works of copyrighted images or the like should not be used, primarily because it has no impact on the non-free use aspect, and you might as well use the non-free image of official capacity. --MASEM (t) 16:59, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
sweet, that's a lot less work for me and Craigboy to do drawing pictures of space stations, we can just download them off the internet. One less thing to do. Penyulap 17:28, 25 Jun 2012 (UTC)
Well, there still is an interesting question here and it gets into a complex copyright case, namely if the design of the space station (in this case) is copyrighted. A photograph or an artist's rendering of the station in orbit may be copyright to the person/agency, but if the design is not copyrighted, there may be a way to make a free image from the plans or design. I don't know what the answer is for certain. --MASEM (t) 17:51, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
my point exactly, another issue stalled. Another obvious improvement bogged down. Whatever. Penyulap 17:59, 25 Jun 2012 (UTC)
Don't get me wrong. Your attempted addition is a good thing to put as unacceptable, but it needs to be tuned - there are some cases where this is possible, and some cases where it's not. We just want to make sure we're not giving the wrong advice. For example, were someone to make a freely-available CGI of what the undamaged Colosseum looked like (where there's no copyright possible due to age), but to avoid looking like another CGI image that is under copyright, we'd definitely want that. I want to make sure we're careful because there is the issue of data figures like graphs, which we do encourage editors to remake if they have access to the reliable data source, but may end up with a graph that looks awfully similar (to be considered at one level as a derivative work) to the published/copyrighted one. --MASEM (t) 18:46, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Well I am glad to see that we are at least on the same page with this. Because there is simply no shortage of uninformed people who will weigh in to prevent clarification in this matter, so it is encouraging to see some insight into the issue. I like examples for the page, because I feel they would be a little more approachable and easy for editors to understand. What we need, rather than for me to simply be frustrated and reverted, is for a source to be found, be it the foundation lawyers or some other source which outlines all of this so that a certain minority are satisfied and get out of the way.
What's not needed is all of copyright law on the policy page, it has to be understandable for most editors or it's simply pointless, there are some copyright lawyers who look to this page for advice, or at least we can't prove there aren't, but one things for sure the average wikipedian is not a copyright lawyer. So some simple rule of thumb guide and a few examples would be awesome, it's the point of the page. Penyulap 19:12, 25 Jun 2012 (UTC)
Don't worry, we'll figure it out. This is a guideline page so yes examples and counterexamples are best. The copyright aspects are more part of NFC policy (in that derivative works of non-free works are still non-free regardless of what license the creator claims on it.)
As for language , being in NFC#UUI, I would write something like "Derivative works of other works that are non-free in whole or in part; derivative works, even if licensed under a free image by their creator, are considered non-free due to the original work it derives from." Now, as to examples and counterexamples, I'd be open to suggestions. --MASEM (t) 19:57, 25 June 2012 (UTC)
Well I can't see things moving very fast at all, I have sort of lost interest for now, I appreciate your efforts, but think that a stop-gap solution would be appropriate, for the simplest uncontroversial cases.
Off topic, the idea that a space station design is copyright is actually quite amusing, the Chinese space program costs 1/12th the price the American space program costs, however the Chinese have a current manned space program and a space station program, and the US has no more than shared space along with other countries on the ISS, and no way to get there. So thinking of the idea that cheap Chinese 'knock offs' are being built is rather amusing, as they are actually very cheap. However, they copy only, and exclusively, Russian designs and the Chinese and Russians are great pals and share technology with each other, so it doesn't really apply, but it is amusing to think that you could steal the space station design and make counterfeits, I mean, should I start searching Ebay ? omg. :) There won't be any kind of copyright over the object in question, however the drawings, photos and CGI images will always be copyright because the Chinese, Russians, and the press that report them do not release anything onto free licenses like the US does, so this will come up a lot. Penyulap 22:03, 25 Jun 2012 (UTC)

Screenshot from Facebook

I'm writing an article about Bahrain Arab spring. I found a screenshot of a Facebook page that called for protests here. I wonder if I can use it or not. Mohamed CJ (talk) 06:45, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

I would say yes, especially since social media was the backbone to a lot of the events in the Arab Spring movement, regardless of location. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 06:48, 26 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I hope I've done it correctly [11]. Mohamed CJ (talk) 08:37, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Proposed modification to NFCCE


Discussion ceased and there doesn't seem to be a consensus in favor of this change. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 13:02, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Currently, WP:NFCCE includes the following statement:

"Note that it is the duty of users seeking to include or retain content to provide a valid rationale; those seeking to remove or delete it are not required to show that one cannot be created—see burden of proof."

I propose to replace this statement with:

"Users wanting to include or retain non-free content need to provide a valid rationale, ie a rationale demonstrating compliance with the non-free content criteria. Users who want to remove or delete non-free content for non-compliance with the criteria (with the exception of 7 and 9) should raise the issues at Wikipedia:Non-free content review."

-- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 13:52, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

Then please add something along the lines of: "if after 7 days of listing at Wikipedia:Non-free content review no valid rationale was found, the image can be removed without further discussion, and it is not required to show that one cannot be created ..." .. (though I think that this is just a level of unneeded bureaucracy). --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:13, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
We do need to make sure that just listing it here is not sufficient notice; a message on the image, article, or article talk page is needed as otherwise editors may not be aware such a discussion is going on. (This is not saying Toshio isn't doing this presently, but just as general advice, listing here but without further notice is a bad step.) --MASEM (t) 14:31, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Are you saying that users wishing to remove obvious non-free violations need to take it to a talk page first? As opposed to removing it and then discussing? Because that isn't ever going to happen. It violates the EDP. Black Kite (talk) 19:37, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
This is ludicrous. Obvious failure of WP:NFCC#8. It's clear that we don't need a club badge to identify the club WHEN THE NAME OF THE CLUB IS TYPED JUST BELOW. Just remove them. Actually, I'm almost tempted to say this is disruptive. Black Kite (talk) 19:47, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
The problem is, this was what we used to do (boldly removing content outright) and that led to Beta's being blocked from NFCC enforcement, and a general heightened awareness of forceful NFCC enforcement.
I would change the statement that if NFCC removal is contested, then the review of the NFCC usage should be placed here for discussion with closure after 7 days. --MASEM (t) 19:55, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
The difference there is that Beta (a) removed huge amounts of NFCC, thus there were more objections, and (b) sometimes removed stuff that wasn't obviously a violation, with the same result. I'm talking here about clear and flagrant violations. Black Kite (talk) 21:49, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Sure, but the net result is that being BOLD in NFCC enforcement and going past 1RR type edit warring on its removal is no longer tolerated by the community. First-time bold removal followed by discussion: sure thing, but even if it is "obvious" and someone objects, the community is not going to flat out take the side of NFCC enforcer if no discussion attempt is made. --MASEM (t) 22:00, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Really? enforcement of obvious NFCC violations is still an exception to 3RR per WP:3RR#Exceptions. But the point is we're talking about obvious violations here - are you suggesting, for example, that we should leave BLP violations in articles for 7 days while we have a pointless conversation about them? That would be rejected outright. Just because NFCC enforcement isn't as "attractive" to the community than BLP doesn't mean we can ignore it - indeed the Foundation requires that we enforce it, which isn't even something you could say about BLP. Black Kite (talk) 22:04, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Yes, 3RR still says that about obvious, but I think what is obvious is where there is zero room for discussion. A current example: an editor is insisting the use of a non-free image of Kim Jong-un. They haven't edit warred or tried to insert yet, but the extension of the problem here: if they had added the image, an NFCC enforcer removed it, and it was then re-added, any subsequent revert warring would be considered disruptive simply because there that tiiiiiiiiny loophole for some rare cases for non-frees of living persons, even though you, me, and every other NFCC enforcer know this loophole nary applies to this image, but the community would harshly criticize for that if we fought via edit warring. Or, take the images pointed out above. Inappropriate? Yes, for all of use that monitor NFCC but its not an obvious "inappropriate" aspect. The only real cases of obvious problems are pretty much non-main space images, as there's zero allowance for that, period. --MASEM (t) 22:13, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, but again you're talking about a non-obvious violation. 99% of the stuff I remove is absolutely clear - NFCC#1 images of living people for whom a fre image would be easily available, someone who's pasted 25 screenshots into a film article, etc. Black Kite (talk) 22:22, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm not doubting your removals, I'm just noting that we have a community that is critical of how NFCC has been handled in the past, so we just need to be careful. We don't need to baby step around the issue, but be completely aware that when there is any doubt for inclusion, edit warring is not tolerated. Hence the need to promote wider discussion when there is a contested reversion of NFCC removal via some language (not as proposed) here. --MASEM (t) 22:30, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
@Black Kite What is disruptive here? Would you mind being a bit more specific? -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 19:59, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm not saying you're being disruptive, I'm saying your change will be - flagrant and obvious violations just need to be removed (repeatedly if necessary); we don't need a week of going round the houses with tags before we do it. Black Kite (talk) 21:49, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
Also, all I wanted to do was adhering to what I was told before, namely that if I "...see a file and think the rational per NFCC#8 is bad;..." my "...single voice is not sufficient to determine that the image fails NFCC" (see Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/Archive 56#Proposal, don't find the diff for it). I find it more than ironic now that I stopped enforcing NFCC single-handedly I am being accused of just the opposite. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 20:53, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • I disagree with the rewording. In the past, the central point of that requirement hasn't been whether someone can create a rationale. It's been about the defensibility of using it. The rewording of it bends it more towards lock-step template rationales, rather than rationales that have actual meaning. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:54, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • provide a valid rationale should perhaps be replaced with provide a clearly justifying rationale or something more specific because valid could easily be interpreted by some to mean a boilerplate rationnale which in many instance is not sufficient. I agree with Masem that the review should be unnecessary unless the removal is contested. ww2censor (talk) 20:06, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • This looks good if the images should be kept in some articles but deleted from other articles. However, in many cases, images should be deleted from all articles. Just check Category:Wikipedia files with no non-free use rationale: there are hundreds of them for the moment. It would not be practical to add hundreds of requests per day to WP:NFR about files with no fair use rationales at all since this would just flood WP:NFR. Thus, I suggest that we keep the regular deletion methods ({{di-no fair use rationale}}, WP:FFD etc.) for images which fail WP:NFCC in all articles in which the images are used and limit WP:NFR to cases where images should be kept in some articles but deleted from other articles. --Stefan2 (talk) 20:32, 27 June 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose this change. The first, obvious way of improving the situation when you find an obviously unsuitable non-free image use is to be WP:BOLD and remove it. This has always been the case and will always be the case as long as WP:BOLD is policy. The alternative first step, or the second step, has usually been FFD. WP:Non-free content review is a minor venue and tends to get little attention. I have no objection against mentioning it somewhere as one of the options, but a "should" gives it far too much emphasis. I also disagree with the implication that every removal of non-free content would require prior discussion – this is (a) simply not true (because a large proportion of NFCC#8 removals are so blindingly obvious and incontrovertible that all discussion are a waste of time), and (b) it illegitimately adds a procedural bias against policy enforcement – if we take the NFCC policy seriously, then removing non-free content must never be procedurally more difficult than adding it; everything else means a perversion of the policy into its very opposite. The proposed change also waters down the main point intended by the current wording: that there is such a thing as "burden of evidence", and that it is against retention, not against removal. Fut.Perf. 20:56, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

NFCC wording change

What do you think of this change to NFCC? Since the fair use provisions of US copyright law consist of criteria, it doesn't make sense to talk about criteria that apply to those provisions. Nyttend (talk) 18:17, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Adjusting policy?

Should WP:NFCC be adjusted to reflect the current practice regarding NFCC enforcement? Should there be a requirement in the policy to list anything except for clear policy violations at WP:NFCR? It was said that if a bold NFCC enforcement edit is reverted it should be discussed and that edit warring over NFCC issues is not tolerated. Could we please include that in the policy? -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 13:20, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Is that not WP:CREEP as it already follows WP:BRD? I don't see the necessity to have it explicit in the policy. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:30, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's just WP:CREEP, but I would point out that clear WP:NFCC violations are actually an exception to WP:3RR - you can take them out as many times as you like; indeed, you should do that. It may actually be worth mentioning that at WP:NFCC, because at the moment it's only mentioned at WP:3RR. Black Kite (talk) 13:35, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
The only thing that could be helpful is to list out or provide examples of a clear violations. --MASEM (t) 13:53, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Listing such examples sounds like a good idea. Regarding BRD and NFCC enforcement I am confused. WP:3RRNO#5 says unquestionable violations of NFCC are exempt from 3RR and that controversial cases "should be established as a violation first". Does that not contradict WP:NFCCE, which says a file lacking a valid rationale "should be removed from the articles for which it lacks a non-free-use rationale, or a suitable rationale added" and "that it is the duty of users seeking to include or retain content to provide a valid rationale"? -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 14:58, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
If you find an image lacking a rationale for one article (but used appropriately on another), the next question is "is there even a valid use of this image on the article?" If there is a reasonable chance the image could be used, tagging to point out the lack of rationale is a better solution than removing the image, though if no one supplies the rationale within 7 days, removal is then fine. On the other hand, if the image has very little chance to be used, removal (once) is fine, but if its reverted, then you'd probably need to explain the need for a rationale if it is not yet provided. --MASEM (t) 15:05, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
I can see where you are heading to. Two points: You say:"If there is a reasonable chance the image could be used, tagging to point out the lack of rationale is a better solution than removing the image." If we actually wrote that into the policy, I had no problem to stick to that, but the policy currently says merely the opposite.
"tagging to point out the lack of rationale is a better solution than removing the image, though if no one supplies the rationale within 7 days, removal is then fine." Could we also please write that into the policy? -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 15:19, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Also you say:"If there is a reasonable chance the image could be used, tagging to point out the lack of rationale is a better solution than removing the image". Better with respect to what? Doesn't the WMF resolution say something along the lines of "all projects are expected to host only free content" and "that use of non-free content should be minimal"? How does what you propose go together with the goal of minimalizing the use of non-free content? -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 15:34, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
I think I just invented a new word =P. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 15:36, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Images that do lack rationales eventually need to be removed, but in cases where the use is likely appropriate (a logo of a company on the company's page; the use of a screenshot of a film on the film's page), it makes much more sense to assume good-faith that the rataionle was unintentionally omitted and give the uploader/editors a few days (7) to fix. On the other hand, if the use is not reasonably acceptable (a non-free on a BLP, for example - this is not saying that these can't be used, but its a case where we know we don't normally include non-free), removing the image lacking a rationale is completely appropriate. In this case, an editor may come back and add the rationale, which then could be disputed via NFCR or similar mechanism. --MASEM (t) 15:53, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Is there a reason that if a use is not reasonably acceptable the image needs to be removed ASAP? If that is not the case, I would support adjusting the policy to say that any removal of non-free content should be given some time to be judged by the broader community. I know there are cases where it is absolutely clear the use is not appropriate. But why shouldn't ALL cases per policy be given some time to be judged by the community for their appropriateness? Is there a need to remove some images ASAP? -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 16:11, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
If one does not want to be BOLD (you don't have to), you can always let it remain in the article but tag it with Template:Di-no fair use rationale (along with notification), give it 7 days, and wait for admin action to delete it. This is the minimum requirement of meeting the WMF resolution, so there's no question on this process. That's an option at all times. You can always be BOLD and remove it after tagging, thus still putting it on the 7 day scheduled deletion (if that's the case), but knowing what editors have said in the past, if the use is reasonable (via common sense), removing the image just to await the addition of a rationale is begging for complaints even though the onus is now on those editors to add the rationale. That rationale still has to be added, and if its not done in 7 days, deletion/removal of course is correct.
The basic underlying guidance I'd use here is "don't be a jerk when enforcing NFCC". There are required elements, and there are clear processes when those elements are missing. There are also several subjective aspects, and here's where we must give towards proper WP-friendly editing to resolve rather than being jerks about it and insisting one is correct. Bringing disputed NFC to NFCR is an acceptable part of that. --MASEM (t) 16:21, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  • As I've noted before, doing anything to enforce NFCC = being a jerk. The notion that we can appease the masses while complying with NFCC requirements is hysterical. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:16, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Based on Toshio's recent use of NFCR to work with non-frees over the past few weeks, this doesn't appear true. Yes, it's slower, but it is dealing with it. --MASEM (t) 18:40, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Absolutely. Very much like picking up snowflakes in a blizzard. I don't mean to condemn his work in any respect. Rather, that the problem is far, far larger than the toothpick sized shovel being used. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:19, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  • One problem is that the current policy is no longer accurately reflecting the situation. We can't change the situation so that it fits policy. That's a reason why I made this proposal. What is the benefit of having a policy that has nothing to do with reality? -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 20:32, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  • What exactly is not being done that should be reflected by policy? --MASEM (t) 20:44, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  • We're again talking the difference between the mechanical aspects of NFCC which need to be performed to meet the minimum requirements for the WMF (a rationale and license are present, the article is named, used in mainspace use only, etc.) and the non-mechanical aspects that are part of the goals of minimizing non-free use (too many images used in an article, poor/weak rationale, etc.) The former can be done with impunity and punctuality, the latter cannot, though one-time BOLD editing is completely in line with standard editing practice. Hence the need to have a venue to discuss the latter if they are contested. --MASEM (t) 20:52, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  • The policy says a non-free file can be used only, if all NFC criteria are met and furthermore that it is the duty of the users wanting to use non-free content to provide a VALID rationale. I am not required to discuss anything. If I think the use of a file fails NFCC#8, I can remove it and then those who want to use the file in an article have to demonstrate it satisfies NFCC#8. That's what the policy says. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 21:01, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Also note that the distinction between the users who want to use non-free content and the users who want to remove it is contained within the policy. This class system is definitely what we want to avoid by using a venue such as NFCR, but is an integral part of the policy. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 21:08, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  • And thirdly, I could start a revert war over a 10c violation. Since enforcement of clear NFCC violation (which a non-free file lacking a rationale would be) is exempt from 3RR, I would never be the one violating 3RR, it would always be the other person. That's obviously also something that should be avoided. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 21:22, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I agree however that if I boldly remove an NFCC#8 violation and it is reverted, then I should discuss the issue (theoretically, I could revert a re addition three times, since the user readding it would always be the one breaking 3RR). -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 22:03, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
  • The first point you make is the most critical one. The problem is, what is a "valid rationale"? At one extreme, it means that it has enough of the basics: the article name, some idea of source/copyright owner, some reasoning for its use, and a copyright license - enough to look complete on a quick glance. The other extreme is that not only that all these aspects met, but the sourcing is perfect, the rationale is impervious to question, and it addresses other aspects of NFCC like minimum use and respect for commercial opportunity. Ultimately we expect all images to meet this last metric of "valid", but we have to be reasonable knowing its an open wiki and novice users, and all we can realistically expect that images should have is the first, bare bones approach; as long as the image has that rationale, any attempt to armstrong its removal with reverting past 1RR is likely going to be met with cries of disruption. --MASEM (t) 03:05, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The whole situation is laughable. We've got a worsening condition afflicting the project. The project is supposed to be libre, not gratis...libre. The very founder of the project outlined his vision for the project, that non-free content could be used but only under the strictest of circumstances. The interpreters of this fine vision have created a monster where en.wikipedia is now the world's largest repository of permitted non-free content. People who attempt to keep the project focused on its mission and vision are labeled zealots and jerks. A dizzying array of bureaucracy is tossed in the face of people attempting to limit the amount of non-free content. Many of those same people have been chased off the project or given up NFCC enforcement entirely. The methods used include bans, blocks, open harassment, incivility, direct insults, and wikistalking. The whole damn house is burning down, and the response from the non-jerks, the non-zealots, the righteous among the many is that everything is ok, all you have to do is go through the bureaucracy. If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it.

Masem, you thought I was wrong about File:Discovery Channel International.svg. You placed it for deletion, and it was rejected. I told you before that the average reader was too stupid to understand that File:Casi discovery channel.jpg represented the Discovery Channel. I was right, and you were wrong. You'll probably tell me again how wrong I am, and perhaps remind me I'm a jerk. So, I'll throw you another bone to chew on. This RfC concluded that the currency images needed to be removed. It's almost a month post close and not a damn thing has been done about it. And don't tell me the close doesn't count or anything like it because it was a non-admin close. The editor who closed it has been here 9 years. I dare you to restore Banknotes of the Australian dollar to this version, noting and including the textual changes made since [12]. You can reference that RfC if you like. You think I'm a jerk and shouldn't be enforcing NFCC. Fine, you do it. You're not a jerk. You enforce that RfC on that article and see what happens. I've got hundreds of these bones lying around.'ll see how futile this all is. --Hammersoft (talk) 22:55, 11 July 2012 (UTC)


There is a dispute over the image File:Bane Tom Hardy5.jpg. An editor believes that the resolution should be double the standard for non-free images. I would like some clarification on this image and if it is truly acceptable in its current resolution.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 13:45, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Is there another place to request opinions regarding non-free content?  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 01:50, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
WP:NFCR is probably a better place. As for the image, I see no reason to justify a larger resolution for it. --MASEM (t) 01:57, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Masem, I'll mention it there as well to garner more opinions.  BIGNOLE  (Contact me) 02:53, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Non-free sound logos

Per WP:NFCI#2 it is accepted standard to include non-free corporate logos in the infobox about a company for identification purposes. What is the position of the project with regards to the inclusion of non-free sound logos in the infobox about a company? For example, would it be considered appropriate under fair use to use this sound (without the video, or perhaps with the video) in the infobox at Samsung? -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 11:01, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't know if "sound logo" is the right phrase, but I would say there is no immediate allowance for a company's "identifying" audio clip, and it would have to rigorously pass all NFCC requirements for inclusion, particularly #8. I can see, for example, NBC's three-chime sound as a possible example where there would even be a chance for it to be included, but that's going to be exceptional. (I haven't checked to see if its used or not). --MASEM (t) 13:07, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree that it would have to pass the NFC criteria (#8 in particular, as you said). The use I had in mind would be for identification purposes (just like the image logo, which is PD however) and would fail #8. So what is the argument for preferring File:Samsung Logo.svg over the audio clip (using both might go against NFCC#3a)? Btw, does the audio clip even meet the threshold of originality to be copyrightable? -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 12:39, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
The inclusion of images is technically trivial and easy, and for a work that is mostly text-based, provides easy brand identification. Audio requires additional software, requires the user to engage the sound file, and may be a distraction in a public place. Visual identification is a much more value asset than audio identification, hence why image logos are readily allowed for identification.
I have no idea how the threshold of originality is applied to audio. I have a feeling that its a much more lower threshold (more difficult to claim uncopyrightable) due to the amount of extra data that is in audio - the pitch, tone, timbre, etc. I would work on the assumption that sounds are always copyrightable though like all other copyrighted works can eventually fall into the PD. --MASEM (t) 13:29, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Uncceptable image uses

I propose to add something to WP:NFC#UUI that explicitly prohibits the use of the logo of a company or event in articles about the event of a specific year, except if that specific event has it's own logo. That means if we have a logo about XYZ, then the use of the logo in articles such as 2000 XYZ, 2001 XYZ, 2002 XYZ is inappropiate. The rationale behind a separate point for this is that this is a very common unacceptable use. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 21:53, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, this sounds like a good idea. If someone is interested in the logo, you can go to the main article about the event instead. --Stefan2 (talk) 07:50, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
WP:BOLDly done so. -- King of ♠ 07:58, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Please note that while I fully agree with the addition, this has been a point of contention in the past (specifically for logos for college teams (acceptable) and reuse on their individual season articles (what this is calling unacceptable). --MASEM (t) 13:27, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

  • I was wondering when that was going to come up. My cynical belief is that if it were applied to '20XX <college team>', the applier would be told this new addition has nothing to do with college sports teams. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:57, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Since the link to the main team article would have the logo, minimal use would be exceeded by also having it in season articles, so we definitely need to clarify the prohibition. Not letting people splatter a nonfree image all over the place is often "controversial", especially when you involve fans. There are, of course, some logos that fail to meet the threshold of originality and are public domain, so those could go in season articles if desired. Seraphimblade Talk to me 19:34, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
  • And there's where we run into a hell of a lot of trouble. Lots of schools have non-copyrightable logos. So, they get the logos on their season-team articles. The schools that have copyrightable logos don't, and we end up with a bazillion editors who want their favorite sports team to have (copyrightable) logos because arch-rival (with non-copyrightable logo) does too. --Hammersoft (talk) 20:35, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Yeah, this has a history. Again, I completely agree that reuse of logos on per-season or rivalry pages is unacceptable and unnecessary, but I know that if we actually started doing this en masse, someone will complain.
  • On a second point, considering that if a team had a PD logo (ineligible for copyright), reusing the logo for identify per season is not appropriate. This sorta follows for recent changes in flag icon use. Even though its a free image, its reuse just for identification purposes on secondary articles about the entity it represents is spammy and inconsistent with those that are stuck with a non-free image. --MASEM (t) 20:50, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
  • The flag icon stuff is a joke. It's an MOS guideline, but it has no standing on any sport that wants to ignore it and say their particular favorite sport is exempt. I've yet to see removal of flag icons in infoboxes stand when done on an article that has the watchful eye of a sport specific project. I've given up enforcing it. It's yet another case where do as we do rules as opposed to do as we say. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:06, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
  • My solution for this is that we should treat any trademarked image as non-free, regardless of its copyright status. There's no reason we should be hosting anyone's branding, whether it's a college football team or IBM. Use it once and be done with it. Franamax (talk) 23:21, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Uhm, say we actually DID this. Who is going to delete the (probably) hundreds of trademarked PD textlogos on Commons then? And who is going to enforce NFCC on these logos here at the English Wikipedia? Apart from that I think doing this would open a can of worms. I mean, if we treat trademarked images as non-free, are we going to treat wordmarks as NFC too? -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 22:36, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  • And by the same argument we should then get rid of all cover art and the like which is implicitly used for branding. Which I can tell you is going to fail to gain any consensus. We can be restrictive on trademark/branding use (and maybe this is the way to present it) to prevent both over-use of non-free and mis-use of the trademark, but I don't we can ever remove these under claims of avoiding of brand hosting. --MASEM (t) 22:40, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Nope - cover art has the function of uniquely identifying one specific thing, and we allow that to permit visual identification of the one thing. The blue strip-ey IBM logo identifies IBM, but is not needed at all to identify individual products which may have their own article - though there may be a NFC rationale to use a non-free image which contains the logo incidental to uniquely identifying the subject. And the individual season and "rivalry" articles are similarly the product of the sporting team, or charity for that matter - so maybe an "Owls vs. Pumas DeathMatch" NFC poster would pass muster, but not the individual PD Owls or Pumas registered-TM logos, as they don't identify the match itself. And it's the cases where the Owls used a thick orange circle and the Pumas have some fancy-drawn logo, why should the Owls fans get to splash their own uni logo across this encyclopedia? And Toshio, to answer one of your points, the way to figure out wordmarks starts quite simply: are you inserting a node from File: space? If so, why? I'll be the first to say this isn't a fully fleshed out proposal, but generally, if you are using an image with a visible TM or R symbol, then it should be considered in the same way as non-free images - because it is patently NOT free, they went to the trouble of stamping their ownership on it. Franamax (talk) 00:39, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
  • You're actually hitting the point I'm trying to make, in that we could introduce language about logo use when they are being used specifically to uniquely identify the entity, organization, event, or whatever, that they were designed for, and not for individual seasons, years, games, products, whatnot. This should apply to both free and non-free use of logos, in that it helps reflects on the trademark factor even though that we're not bound to that at the present time. --MASEM (t) 00:56, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Which now becomes a question of IP legislation, rather than copyright law. and that's where I don't know how to proceed. (Or to discuss the "morality" of WP, which I've done lots of elsewhere on non-free text topics, and we really can't have morals IMO, though we can have principles). "Logo" is what I (and probly you and we in general) are talking about, but the generic argument becomes "trademarked". And sooner or later someone will trademark the texts "Fra" and "namax" and claim I'm infringing them or promoting them or something. If I could have thought up clear wording for this, wow, I would have done this so long ago. Basically, what you just said above, but more elegantly stated... Franamax (talk) 02:18, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't see why the problematic articles (usually US college sports) should be held to a different policy - there are thousands of football (soccer) season articles and WP:FOOTY has managed to sort those out without logos (although I'm sure there are a few that've been missed). Black Kite (talk) 21:10, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

  • I do see a reason why they should be held to a different policy. See, the core issue is this; raise enough acrimony and you set policy by default. So many people get annoyed with having to deal with acrimony that those seeking to uphold policy just shut up and walk away. Stridency wins the day, every time. --Hammersoft (talk) 23:04, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Not just limited to non-free, but we need some larger scale metric that is better for dealing with walled gardens that exist on WP. The dispute resolution process is necessarily favored towards them, as each step to get broader input you generally get less involvement. Wikiprojects or groups like that simply can't override global consensus and can't simply !vote in blocks to counter the application to their little place on WP. --MASEM (t) 23:47, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
      • But, in reality, they do. Mustering the strength of the overall project to show the proper way forward despite the local project's insistence is exceptionally difficult. Why should people who have no interest in <insert TV series, or sport, or hobby> feel motivated to try to educate a local project for <insert same> that isn't cooperating? The <insert same> people are very motivated to defend their pet interest. This structure exists throughout the project. The difference is only in whether a given local project has one or more people willing to fight tooth and nail. As Samuel Adams said, "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds". --Hammersoft (talk) 00:33, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Request for input

More input is welcome for the discussion at Wikipedia talk:Non-free content review#Notification of the uploader - should it be required?. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 21:22, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

New Unacceptable Use - near-duplicate cover art

Rising from a question on WP:MCQ regarding film soundtracks that are included in the film article, as well as past discussions on alternate CD cover art, I would like to add to "Unacceptable uses" with something like:

"Additional cover art - typical alternate covers for albums, or film soundtrack album covers on articles about the film - where there is little difference (ignoring aspects like framing, coloring, and word/logo placement) between the main cover or identifying image, and the alternate cover. Exceptions are made if the alternative image is the subject of discussion within the article (for example Dark Side of the Moon's alternate art is acceptable due to discussions about that image in the text body)."

This should be a no-brainer but I wanted to check before adding it. --MASEM (t) 14:11, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Of course that is an unacceptable use, but I've no doubt that morons would take that to mean that, if there is a significant difference, then as many covers as they care to find are usable. J Milburn (talk) 14:44, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Which is why I'm trying to identify "differences" that are trivial, like framing and text placement, are not considered significant. Mind you, there probably should be a separate statement for album covers and their alt. art which is likely similar to what standards the music project uses to limit excess alternate art covers. (Personally, at least in the case of film soundtracks, that if the soundtrack isn't notable enough for its own article, neither is having a CD image of it, but there's so much gaming of that in image use and notability that I'd rather make sure we simply don't dup the film poster on the album artwork.) --MASEM (t) 15:04, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Makes sense to me. Of course, people have rabidly fought against this sort of restriction before. Gotta have every single cover their blessed album ever had on the article else our poor idiotic readers will be totally confused about what article they've landed on. <rollseyes> --Hammersoft (talk) 17:06, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Derivative work issue

Hi everyone- rather sticky issue concerning whether an image constitutes a derivative work. Input would be appreciated here. J Milburn (talk) 18:51, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Porno pics meet copyright issues

There's a bit of reverting going on WRT the uppermost pic in Tom of Finland, which I replaced last month with one of the pics used on other WP articles on this topic—considerably less in your face.

This brought me to examine the copyright status of the one in question (supposedly uploaded by the artist, but shouldn't it have an ORTS ticket?), and another used further down in the article (flakey fair-use claim, I'd say).

Could someone please advise? Tony (talk) 05:38, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Both non-frees are marked ok (rational + license present); we don't require anything with OTRS if its a non-free uploaded by the author.
The use of the cover (second image) is generally unacceptable if the work itself lacks an article. But, arguably, it could also be used as a tame-ish example of the artwork (between that and the photo of the bedroom, the style is readily there), and in this case, would likely be preferable than the explicit art piece (first one). Not that we wouldn't allow the first one, but I wouldn't be using it in the infobox due to the principle of least astonishment.
As a comment on the infobox, as the artist has passed away, do we not have a photo of him to use there? --MASEM (t) 13:40, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Masem, I've just checked: no pics of the artist. None of the other 16 WPs with an article on this topic uses the explicit one (even What status does the principle of least astonishment have if it comes to further debate on that talk page? Tony (talk) 03:29, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
There are photos of him on his Foundation's website (i.e. [13]), although they would of course be non-free. Black Kite (talk) 03:49, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
The principle of least astonishment should apply here in that, until this morning I had no idea what Tom of Finland was, so I would be astounded to find nude images (irregardless of the genders involved) in the lead. (This, as opposed to going to "penis" where there is a reasonable expectation you are going to see nude images). Thus, the lead image should be something that doesn't shock people - later in the article more explicit material's fine (we don't censor), but we can at least be reasonable at the lead. --MASEM (t) 04:19, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Yep, agree with all; except I'd still prefer a less aggressive pic, if an example is to be positioned further down. The artist's style can be quite adequately displayed with an image that isn't so pointy. Tony (talk) 08:18, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. It is the style of his work we are illustrating, not the content (and actually the majority of his work appears to be less explicit anyway) Black Kite (talk) 08:40, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
And agreed too. This is actually why I think the book cover - which is a reasonably tame pic (suggestions, but not explicit) - would actually be a decent pic to use here, that while we normally don't allow book covers, here it doubles as an example of his art. Since he's passed away, non-free images of the person himself is allowable (as Black Kite pointed out above). --MASEM (t) 11:34, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
I wasn't aware of that allowance for pics of those who are no longer alive; I'd better refresh my knowledge of the NFC rules. Tony (talk) 12:50, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Basically its NFCC#1 - we don't use non-free images if there's a free replacement. With nearly all living people, its always possible to get a free picture so we never allow non-free images barring unique situations (the person's incarcerated for a long time, or a known recluse). When they've passed away, there may be free images around that have yet to be discovered but it is impossible to create new ones, so we do allow non-frees there. --MASEM (t) 12:54, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, in most cases; however if the deceased person is one who there are likely to exist many non-free images of them when they were alive (for example, the singer in a rock band that toured regularly, or a politician that held many public meetings), NFCC1 would still apply. Black Kite (talk) 23:56, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Even then, I would argue it depend on the year, considering the available of digital photography. A person who should be highly visible during the 2000s but died has a much much higher chance of a free photo existing than a person big in the 1970s and died recently. This article is more on that latter side. That said, I wouldn't race to delete a non-free photo of a touring musician if they happened to die tomorrow and that non-free was the only apparent image we had of them, I'd simply tag the article talk page and suggest they keep a look out for a free image, and as soon as one appears, replacement has to be made. --MASEM (t) 00:04, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, sorry, I should have added "recently" in front of "deceased" there. Black Kite (talk) 00:11, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Thanks, guys: this is informative. So does that mean I can upload a non-free image of Nobel laureate Patrick White, who died in 1990? It seems impossible to find a free one (I've tried). Tony (talk) 06:04, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Yep. --MASEM (t) 12:47, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
      • It's back. I've reverted to Black Kite's version with an edit summary referring to this thread and advising that a less agressive example of his style be uploaded. I didn't mention the matter of positioning such a pic further down in the article while leaving the photo of the museum-bedroom in the infobox. Tony (talk) 06:51, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Why NFCC enforcement is futile; it's systemic

I used to constantly enforce NFCC policy, but I gave it up as futile. Why? Here's a perfect case example, which is unfortunately all too common.

Yesterday, User:EamonnPKeane added a non-free logo to a template diff. This editor has been a contributor to the project for __seven years__ and has more than 14,000 edits. By amount of time on the project, this editor has been around longer than any ArbCom member. He's also never been blocked. He's one of the top 4000 most active editors in Wikipedia history. It's not like he's a newbie to template editing either; he's got nearly 700 edits to template. Yet, despite all that experience, all that time here, all that exposure to editing templates, this editor acting perfectly in good faith violated our policy on the use of non-free images on templates.

If you don't like cows patties in your field, you don't spend year after year after year after year cleaning up the cow patties and never think to ask how the cow patties get there in the first place. Yet, this is exactly what Wikipedia does. There's no effort to address root causes and come up with a good solution for fixing the root cause. It's always about cleaning up the mess and never wondering why it gets messy.

Despite years of effort at cleaning up just this one small corner of NFCC problems, there are still more than 1700 violations of the NFCC #9 policy on the project, and this number continues to grow. Insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result. Policing NFCC is insane because the root cause is never questioned. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:56, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

This claim is extremely silly recognizing how WP works. You're manufacturing a problem that isn't a problem, just a nuance of a system that requires human interaction over 4million articles+.
It is completely possible to work 7 years on the project and never encounter NFCC so they could have been completely ignorant of its existence. It is the type of thing that would have been caught by bots looking for nfc in non-namespace. The only way this type of thing could be caught before then is that when edits introduce NFC into an article is to have a big warning thing reminding them if they've checked for NFCC compliance, and that I'm pretty sure would require MediaWiki changes to insert itself into the editing process, or otherwise a bot that looks at any NFC addition and sends out warnings. Neither are feasible issues.
The BLP people have the same problem, compounded further that there's no computer tools that can really help id BLP problems. We deal with it as they are found, end of story.
NFCC#9 violations are 100% objective, so you can remove them without any question (We should have a bot doing that, in fact). --MASEM (t) 17:11, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
IMO if enforcing NFCC means only 1 copyrighted material is removed from wikipedia then that in itself is a victory. We'll never 100% eradicate violations and there will always be ones that are controversial but even just protecting one copyright is worth the effort. — Lil_niquℇ 1 [talk] 17:19, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Re Hammersoft One root problem I believe (the mother of all NFCC problems perhaps) is that the vast majority of editors do not see NFCC violations as a problem. How many editors actually actively do something about NFCC problems? It's a small dedicated group of a handful of editors, I don't need to say much more about this, the concerned editors (including me) are aware of this. I remember that Masem once said we've not yet advertised NFCC violations as a problem to the community. I have yet to see an approach that would work in getting more of the community involved with NFCC issues. Hammersofts example regarding NFCC usage in templates by an experienced editor shows very well that there are many editors who have been at Wikipedia for years, but never came in touch with the NFCC. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 17:39, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes Masem, it is a completely silly claim to assert that a person with 7 years of experience, more than 14000 edits and considerable experience with templates should know better than to place a non-free image on a template. I must be out of my frickin' mind to think there's a problem with the project when someone with that much experience could not know this is a policy violation. What in God's name was I thinking? --Hammersoft (talk) 17:43, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
    • "A person with 7 years of experience, more than 14000 edits and considerable experience with templates should know better than to place a non-free image on a template" From my experience I would say that this is indeed a silly claim. The amount of experience with NFCC has absolutely nothing to do with how long an editor has been involved with the project. Many editors having been at Wikipedia for years never came in contact with the NFCC area and perhaps never heard of the criteria. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 17:59, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Bring it full circle Toshio. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:53, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
  • What are you trying to get ? Do you want editors to sign a binding contract that says, before they start editing, they have reviewed NFCC and promise not to break them? You are trying to impose NFCC as a bureaucracy on a wiki that specifically is designed to avoid any such hard-enforced rules. Again, unless there's some change in the software or a bot running around to warn people everytime they put up NFCC, we can't patrol every single NFC-based edit. --MASEM (t) 13:34, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
"Do you want editors to sign a binding contract that says, before they start editing, they have reviewed NFCC and promise not to break them?"
From Terms of Use 1. b. " should exercise caution and avoid contributing any content that may result in criminal or civil liability under any applicable laws...". Just sayin.... -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 13:53, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
NFCC is not a law. The whole of what we could consider as NFCC violations is probably legal within the bounds of US Fair Use law. --MASEM (t) 14:06, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Where did I say that NFCC is a law? Apart from that, I agree that most NFCC uses are probably legal under fair use. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 14:16, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Because your statement pointing to the terms of use is in no way related to the non-law of NFCC, just in this case, fair use law. So no, by agreeing to edit WP you aren't yet forced to follow NFCC. --MASEM (t) 14:23, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
"by agreeing to edit WP you aren't yet forced to follow NFCC"
I agree, by editing Wikipedia you aren't actually forced to follow anything. Anybody is free to violate any Wikipedia policy as long as he or she isn't blocked. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 14:33, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
My point is this: a new or even an IP editor is given no pointers or anything of the like to know they have to follow NFCC, so violating NFCC is not a breach of any type of editor contract set forth by the terms of use or other disclaimers on the site. --MASEM (t) 15:07, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
That's only half true. If the editor is the uploader of the content it is not true. When I click on Upload file it leads me to a page where it says "Click here to Start the Upload Form". When I click there, one of the steps on the next page contains a step to provide source and copyright information, where the uploader is explicitly asked about the license. If the editor is not the uploader, then I think this is a more difficult problem. I am just guessing here, but I believe many editors just see a file on an article and think Hey, that image would be cool to have on article XY as well. That's probably the case generating most of NFCC violations. I agree that we should have some mechanism to inform editors that they cannot simply reuse a non-free file on any other article. Perhaps some kind of warning message on the file page might work, although I believe it would be simply ignored in the majority of cases. -- Toshio Yamaguchi (tlkctb) 16:53, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Exactly, that appears to be the case with the specific instance Hammersoft pointed out: until you upload a file, nothing in WP's usage policy requires you to be familiar with NFC. Even though our image help pages (describing how to put a File: link in an article) do talk about NFC, its completely possible to learn that mechanism by osmosis of seeing it used on other pages. So basically, this goes back to the fact that a 7 year, 10,000+ editor could easily live in ignorance of NFCC. --MASEM (t) 17:52, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

What happened with the bot which is supposed to fix WP:NFCC#9 violations automatically? User:DASHBot/Logs tells that it hasn't been running since February which looks troubling. Also, the bot tagging orphaned files seems to use Wikipedia:Database reports/Unused non-free files which doesn't list files as unused if used in non-article namespaces. If a file only is used outside the article namespace, it should really be tagged as orphaned. --Stefan2 (talk) 21:56, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

When talking about whether or not people see an infraction as a problem one must recognize that there are two very different sets of Wikipedia rules ragarding this:

  1. Those out to protect the legal rights of the folks that own the material. In general, I think there is support for this and people see violations as a problem.
  1. Those designed to force creators/owners of the material to completely give up their rights to it. (for example, extra wiki-unique restrictions on fair-use) There is less support for this and I think that people would see violations of these as less of a problem.

North8000 (talk) 11:51, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Fair use rationales for official logos

I'm a fairly experienced editor but I don't have any pretentions to expertise on copyright issues. I'm trying to help a relatively inexperienced editor to "defend" their use of File:South African Army Badge.png and File:SA Navy Badge.png in the articles about these organisations. I replaced incorrect licencing information in these images with the {{Non-free symbol}} template:

I really do not understand why it is necessary to "beat up" editors with demands for a "detailed fair use rationale" when the template itself is the rationale. Why is it not accepted that an organisation's official logo is inherently fair use in the article about the organisation? Has any organisation ever threatened to sue WP/WMF for using their logo in "their" article? I put it to you that in fact the exact opposite is true: The Help desk gets many requests from organisation representatives asking for assistance to place their logo on "their" article or to update the article with their "new improved" logo. The fair use rationale for using an organisation's logo in the article about the organisation is always: "This image is the official logo of the organisation, thus it is fair use." - if the existing text in the above template (and other relevant templates) is inadequate it should be changed so that the "harrasment" of newbie editors about using official logos can be reduced, if not entirely eliminated. Roger (talk) 11:13, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

All that is is the licensing template. We require two things for non-free images: the license it is used under (explaining the copyright aspects) and the rationale that meets NFCC. Fortunately, as long as the logo is being used as the top image or infobox image for the organization it represents (there's some specific issues here but I'll assume we're talking that these are on pages dedicated to the organization), one can use {{Non-free use rationale logo}} to complete the second part, since logo use is nearly always similar when used in this fashion. --MASEM (t) 14:25, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
And importantly, the reason we need both license and rationale is to assure that we're meeting the Foundation's licensing policy for non-free images (of which NFCC implements). --MASEM (t) 14:28, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
How about combining these two templates to make it easier for newbies to comply? Why is the existence of these templates and their use not pointed out when images are tagged as problematic? I've been editing WP since 2007 this is the first time I have learnt of the existence of {{Non-free use rationale logo}}. Instead of "beating up" newbies with "we're going to wipe out your contribution because you gobbledygook, jargon, waffle, gobbledygook, jargon...", the warning template could tell editors "use these templates to comply with the licencing requirements".
Hostility towards newbies is a huge problem on WP, I think it's time to look at the warning templates and change the language in them from "accusations and threats" to offering actual "this is the problem and here is how you can fix it" advice. Roger (talk) 07:29, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
We've been at this point before and it basically boils down to the fact that the onus is on the uploader and user of non-free to make sure it complies. If we only had one or two violations of non-free to worry about, sure it would be easy to treat each case with a bit more care, but I believe right now the cue for bad NFCC images is in the 10,000s. It takes time to determine what is the correct solution for each, so the best that can be reasonably done is drop warning templates that say whats wrong and point editors to NFC policy. --MASEM (t) 12:59, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Why the unwillingness to even consider the possibility of changing the warning template language to be more friendly and helpful, instead of the present "indictment" language? The policy language itself is also double-gobbledygook to most newbies, so pointing to it with a "comply or die" warning is obviously not a solution. It was only in this conversation that I, an active editor since 2007, learnt of the existence of a very useful template that potentially solves a significant chunk of the 10,000 problem cases. Use templates to help and advise, not only to warn and threaten. Compose a list of licencing and rationale templates and link to it in the warning template. Roger (talk) 16:00, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I will say that yes, it's not explicit on WP:NFC that one needs two pieces (rationale & license) and I will go ahead and fix that now. The only reason the language is strong is that this is strict policy like BLP, and thus conformity is essential; while friendlier language could be used that would be the possibility of loopholes which there aren't in this case. --MASEM (t) 16:07, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
There's an extensive list at Wikipedia:UTM#Miscellanea. The language choices should be guided by Wikipedia:UW. I've long considered the licensing templates on Commons to be disastrous. Even if you can decipher which license to use, it's nearly impossible to apply the template for it correctly. Getting deletion warnings for mistemplating an image with the right license is a commonplace: the templates should be in language that assumes good faith. LeadSongDog come howl! 17:11, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Bot uploading non-free content

Please see Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Commons fair use upload bot. J Milburn (talk) 15:29, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Galleries of non-free football club crests

I removed the gallery at Rangers F.C. per NFCC but it was restored by an editor who pointed out that the Featured Article Chelsea F.C. had the same thing. However that gallery was added after the article achieved FA over five years ago. I am sure neither should be allowed per 3a and 8. Thoughts? Black Kite (talk) 14:02, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Neither should be allowed; we've had this same problem with TV call logos. This is regardless if it was a gallery or not, barring any specific sourced discussion on the logos themselves. If removing from the Chelsea one gets reverted, then you should put that to FACR because meeting NFCC is a requirement for FAs. --MASEM (t) 14:23, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
I did just check the Chelsea one after removing the one from Rangers (though keeping one useful logo that is discussed in depth), and in the case of Chelsea, each logo/crest is discussed in the text, and importantly the changes from each are significant (compared to the Rangers, where while two different versions, commons elements can be seen.). The Chelsea gallery is likely the most compact way of showing that information, but again, I'm only saying that because there is sourced discussion on the progression of the crest over the years. --MASEM (t) 14:45, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
I Believe that this is not the correct place for this discussion as it actually needs uninvolved community discussion and an RFC at Village Pump Policy would be the correct location. When a precedent has been set on a wide range of articles and numerous peer reviews have suggested inclusion then that is an indication that consensus may exist. Copyright should of been checked on the logos and seen whether significant contextual content can be added.Blethering Scot 15:26, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
NFC is established policy, and using logos in galleries has been long discussed in the past, so there's no need to rehash the arguments. Unless you can providing sourcing to justify inclusion of said logos (as in the case of Chelsea's article) non-free logo galleries are inpermissiable. --MASEM (t) 15:28, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Established policy or not precedent is there. You never checked copyright or checked to see that context could be added. When indications are there from peer reviews and from establishment in articles of type thats a good indication that things may have changed and needs reviewed, whether the wider community agree or not isnt the issue as there is no harm in checking again. Im more angry that you took no steps to actually check copyright or look at whether there was capability for text to be added which there is. That would of been the correct thing to check first and explain the action you took at looking at those issue. Then work could of been carried out to address said issues.Blethering Scot 15:43, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually, I did leave one image that I thought did meet policy (the 5-star RFC crest), the others not sufficiently distinct or in the case of the current logo, duplicating the infobox. And if peer reviews suggest it be there, the peer reviews do not have an understanding of NFC policy which is fixed and necessitated by the Foundation. NFC does not care that WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS --MASEM (t) 15:54, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
You did not do any necessary checks and the fact you think its only on featured articles re the other page shows that you didn't bother to check that either. You did not check the copyright, you didn't check if the text could be added and not whether there was another way to handle rather than a gallery. Other crap exists isnt an excuse and an RFC is clearly needed.Blethering Scot 16:26, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
NFC is policy and we have no obligation to review other cases, because each use of non-free much meet policy; failure to do so allows for its immediate removal. I personally could have just removed the gallery, but no, I actually read the text and kept one with an appropriate caption, but the other uses - gallery or not - are not justified per NFC. The fact this seems localized to the FC project suggests that its a walled garden issue. --MASEM (t) 16:39, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes and Policy can be reviewed hence why a RFC is clearly needed to review it. Thats a side issue your actions of carrying out no copyright check, looking to see if context was available is the issue here You did not check any of the main points that you should of looked to see if could be handled out with a gallery. Blethering Scot 16:55, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
It states the use of non-free images arranged in a gallery or tabular format is usually unacceptable, but should be considered on a case-by-case basis. Exceptions should be very well-justified and alternate forms of presentation (including with fewer images) strongly considered. Alternative forms can be considered it says usually unacceptable not always unacceptable. Its the usually and other ways that is key to me, they could be included out with a gallery. Blethering Scot 17:02, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
The presentation of old logos of any entity is not an entitlement to use NFC, period. We do reasonably allow the use of a current logo of an entity without discussion in the infobox about an entity for identification, but all subsequent uses have to show clear sourced commentary about the images, and to meet all NFCC points. Just because there's an old logo of an entity doesn't mean it can be included - this is why galleries are strongly discouraged because images are just presented there without any appropriate context. And particularly with logos, the evolution of a logo often involve common elements or trivial changes, which all do not need to be shown as to reduce the number of non-frees per NFCC#3a. Realize it is not just the gallery issue here, it is using old logos without sourced context for them. I do agree that on the Chelsea article, the four old logos in a gallery likely an acceptable use, but this is nowhere close on the Rangers on. The burden is on those wishing to retain the images to show that these have been met, so there is zero requirement for the remover to do this "copyright check" as you say. And again, you're ignoring the fact that I actually kept one reasonable image based on the context given, so it wasn't a blind removal. --MASEM (t) 17:34, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Thats not what other editors have said they have said the issue isnt with old logos use but with the gallery. Im not ignoring the fact you left one and failure to allow a discussion, im going with the fact that you are making excuses for you lack of any checks to prove they are actually non free or failure to actually properly address concerns. Old logos are that old and could easily be moved out with the gallery and be in context and also not be under copyright in some cases. I think the fact you failed to appropriately do anything says a lot. If the logos are not under copyright then there is no reason not to use them other than an editorial decision, you need to say exactly why the cant meet non free not being used in a gallery. Its your non checking and not actually working with anyone that i have an issue with here. You have failed to look or address the fact that is not just FA articles have the issue or that an RFC can change policy, Policies are not protected so i cant see why you would object to an RFC, not that i actually think one is needed because its clear that these can be included you just don't want to give people the opportunity to address issues and include them meeting all guidelines which is rather dissapointing. Three of those logos are different so reducing number of frees isn't as you put it isnt applicable by removing the majority. I cant see how having the current in the infobox with the two other historical ones that are clearly different placed in the historical section with available text such as from this source would fail.[14]Blethering Scot 17:53, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
There is already text covering the scroll badge with context and for the second 1959 - 1969. The current as normal should be in the infobox, thats the three there is context for. The other two which amend the scroll are unneeded given context and the fact they dont have to be in gallery form what is the issue with three badges. If they are moved out the gallery and clearly have supporting text then surely the meet non free with reducing five to three and being supported.Blethering Scot 18:01, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Only if the supporting text talks about the actual design of badge itself and why the design is important or notable. You can't, for example, put a different non-free badge in every paragraph of a club's "history" section just to illustrate it, because that usage fails WP:NFCC#8 - the image doesn't explain anything important, it's just an illustration, and WP:NFCC#1 - it shows nothing that couldn't be mentioned in text. WP:NFLISTS also applies here. Black Kite (talk) 18:15, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

the text supports the three images and as massem has said that chelsea passes with context. If that does then two images in the body where there is context clearly does.Blethering Scot 18:23, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

(ec)Bullshit, I did do something more than just wiping the gallery, which I didn't even have to do in the first place, per WP:BURDEN. The reason that the gallery is the first focus because it usually signifies that images are being used without context, and hence we don't allow them in most cases. When I looked at the Rangers images in general, I also saw that 3 of the other images are redundant and/or not discussed in detail, as per required of NFCC#8. Maybe that can be improved, but again, BURDEN - images have to meet NFC at all times and its up to them wanting to retain them to fix that. NFC cannot be duplicated on the same page, so you cannot reuse the current logo with the others. Looking at that source, that doesn't give any reason why the changes were made; the only logo that really has this is the 5-star version where it is specifically attributed toward the 50 league victories; the other changes, as given in the article or that source, are just descriptive and not supporting the reasons to include. (Compare this to the Chelsea FC article, where each logo change actually has a justified reason for it, and ergo support the use of the logos). You must take the viewpoint of the person who has no interest in the topic but needs to read about it, and ask if the images are helping; in the case of most old logos, they simply don't, which is why we need context that explains more than just what appearance changes were made and when.
The reason an RFC doesn't make sense is that it is only these football clubs that appear to have an issue; everywhere else on the project, people don't use non-free galleries, period. It is only common to this football clubs, suggesting only a small minority of people want their use, against global consensus. --MASEM (t) 18:16, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Bullshit honestly you just failed to do anything to actually resolve this. Yes the images support the text they are helping.Blethering Scot 18:23, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
No they do not. They fail NFCC#3a and NFCC#8, particular the part about "their omission harms the reader's comprehension of the article". The article reads fine without all but two of the logos for the Rangers, ergo NFCC#8 fails and unusable. --MASEM (t) 19:35, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
I've chopped the ones that are obviously failing NFC (plus one I found elsewhere in the article). Do you think the three remaining can be justified? Black Kite (talk) 20:08, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, let's consider this. If the interlocked RFC was used since 1873, its likely far out of copyright, and ergo would be PD, so that's ok. This would also make the 5-star + RFC letters one ineligible for copyright (minimal artistic aspects); this is also the one that's most justified by the present text in the article. The RFC w/ scrolls can't be PD, but is also one without any justification so that's a clear candidate to exclude. Obviously the present day modern logo is fine, so this leaves use the earlier version of that one, and this is a case where there's small but non-significant differences between it and the modern one, and no sourced discussion of that new look (beyond what it is that can't be otherwise attributed to the new logo), so I would leave that out. --MASEM (t) 20:20, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
I have a major issue here in Masem. I Suggested whats been done and im wrong in fact one image has been kept that i would of taken away given its not needed as the other scroll image is in place. There was context in the article for those two images. Basically if he had bothered to do what Black Kite and Stefan2 have done here this would of been fine. My suggestion was actually stronger than whats been done. Thanks to Black Kite and Stefan actually looking and evaluating whilst given proper reasons is what masem should of done instead of doing nothing and saying things like thats bullshit whilst not addressing any of the key issues.Blethering Scot 00:28, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
THAT IS WHAT I DID You are accusing me of something I didn't do. You need to stop attacking the wrong person. --MASEM (t) 00:45, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
You didnt i asked you to do exactly what Stefan2 and black Kite did and you never. You ignored my suggestions and said i was wrong, well other editors have actually been less restrictive than my suggestion was. Im sorry but your the one calling my suggestions bullshit not the other way around. This would have been solved if you looked at copyright and eligibility and assessed the text to see what was supportive and whether they could be justified as i had suggested. This could have been solved very quickly if you had actually done that.Blethering Scot 01:07, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
I left the 5-star image when I removed the gallery [15] based on the same reasoning above; the only difference in the solutions now (based on the immediate above) is the retaining of the first RFC logo which I felt was fine as represented in the 5-star logo. And again, I will remind you that the burden is on those that want to retain the images; there are other editors that would have flat-out removed the gallery, period, I at least tried to keep the most relevant and sourced image. So you're out of line calling my actions a problem. --MASEM (t) 01:37, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

In need of help for proper use of this image


I am in need of some expert help on the usage of this photo File:Northwestern High School Wildcat Logo.svg on Wikipedia. The photo is used on an article for an American high school. The photo is used at the top of the schools infobox on said article, and it is not used anywhere else. This photo has been posted for quite some time, with several editors having seen it, and it has never been an issue. The original file was saved in PNG format. All of a sudden, a few editors started flagging the image, citing that it needed to be scaled down to comply with some sort of non-free/fair use policy on Wikipedia. There are some issues with the file, that don't make it's classification all that easy to assess. (1) The image of the 'Wildcat' in the background of the photo, is an actual official image used by the school, on everything from documents to artwork found throughout the school as part of permanent school decorations, and school publications. (2) The actual words Northwestern in the logo, are 100% original. It was created by myself using Photoshop. It uses the official school colors of Navy Blue & White. I just created that portion as a visual reference. (3) I modified the Wildcat portion of the logo, and those modifications involved taking out a lot of the detailing, lowering the resolution of the image, and I even added a fade to the image. The original Wildcat was already very low-res, but my modification made it even more low res. Now, I have seen many trademarked logos used in Wikipedia, which are humongous. There's really no way of knowing if the logo in question actually meets fair use in said article, or if it's just a logo that doesn't meet fair use criteria but it's gone unnoticed. Not being able to know for sure if my image was somehow still too high of a resolution, I requested the file be deleted, and after doing research... I decided to create a virtually identical image, this time saving it as an SVG vector image. Based on everything I've read on Wikipedia, vector images don't fall under particular rules of having to be a certain size or resolution, as vector images have a limitless scalability. Also, I read that logos which consists of wording, don't fall under fair use criteria in most cases. I read this at the following link Wikipedia:Logos. There are many files on Wikipedia that are 100% trademarked vector images, which have a higher resolution than my file in question. These files can be found at Chevron, Samsung, General Electric, and Freddie Mac.

Upon uploading my replacement SVG image, the same editor(s) in question, again flagged the image. Now, I'm no Wikipedia expert, but if Wikipedia states that SVG photos don't fall under particular resolution guidelines, and I correct in that the image I have posted, is acceptable for use on Wikipedia in its current form??? Wikipedia is too confusing for a site that is based on allow ANYONE to edit and contribute. There seems to be so many guidelines and issues that aren't easily understood by the average person. I just want to make sure that my understanding of the use of my image is correct, before I take further action which would either involve having the image reduced if it doesn't meet proper criteria; or filing a dispute if it does meet criteria, and this is just a case of an uninformed editor making erroneous claims.

Thanks in advance. --Khemistry (talk) 01:53, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Clearly the wildcat part of the logo is copyrighted, so it's non-free regardless about the text. The problem I'm seeing immediately is that you have manufactured this logo from elements (the wildcat pic and the text) which does not otherwise have been published before. This is an immediate no-no per NFCC#4; non-free must have been published before which I'm not immediately seeing on the website. (you can make SVGs of existing published images however). So either you can use the standalone wildcat as the logo, the school seal (off the website) as the seal, or just the block text (which would actually be a free image). I will note that normally an SVG isn't bad if it is mostly text and simple graphics, but when you include an element like the wildcat image, and have that scaled through SVG, that's going to cause a problem, and that's probably you got resize requests. --MASEM (t) 02:05, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the prompt response. So if it is an option and I wanted to use the image as is, what steps need to be taken? Do I need to go about reducing the image resolution, or is there some other option? Otherwise I'll just take one of your other suggestions. --Khemistry (talk) 02:56, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
You can use the wildcat image, but it should be a low resolution image (probably no longer than 250 px, as a guess). You should not SVG that image (unless that's how it was originally provided, but that doesn't appear to be the case), but make an png or jpg. --MASEM (t) 03:27, 26 August 2012 (UTC)


Does freedom of panorama apply in the UK to public works? In other words, is this image ok to stay at Commons (and what should the tag be?) or should it be hosted at enwiki and also non-free? Black Kite (talk) 10:45, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

The United Kingdom has freedom of panorama for 3D works but not for most 2D works. See Commons:COM:FOP#United Kingdom. --Stefan2 (talk) 11:42, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Category:Fair use images that should be in SVG format

Why is this category listed in Category:Wikipedia non-free content criteria exemptions? It looks very odd; generally, the category only contains deletion and problem categories. I think that we should remove it from that category and instead add a __NOGALLERY__ tag. --Stefan2 (talk) 21:01, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

NFCI #8 question

Despite having been here for years, I haven't done much work that requires close parsing of the NFCI, and I'd like opinions on NFCI #8.

Images with iconic status or historical importance: Iconic or historical images that are themselves the subject of sourced commentary in the article are generally appropriate. Iconic and historical images which are not subject of commentary themselves but significantly aid in illustrating historical events may be used judiciously, but they must meet all aspects of the non-free content criteria, particularly no free alternatives, respect for commercial opportunity, and contextual significance.

I'm particularly interested in the potential for using one of the variations of this image. That specific hand-lettered sign, held by Jeanne Manford, is frequently mentioned as part of the series events that led to the creation of PFLAG (see: [16]), the physical sign is now part of a collection at the New York Public Library [17], which considers the sign signficant enough to feature it on the the front page of their AIDS/HIV collections page. On one hand, I suppose it's possible that the sign itself could be rephotographed, but the context of the sign, the founder of PFLAG, and the 1972 parade seems to me to be an irreproducible combination in terms of documenting a particular moment in history. I've attempted to email PFLAG, but I don't know if I'll get an answer.

Anyway, *I* believe this is a fair argument for NFCI #8, usage to be limited to Jeanne Manford (and possibly PFLAG), but I am so not a copyright expert. Thoughts? Help? --j⚛e deckertalk 17:28, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

I believe it is a fair argument. You will find people here that believe we shouldn't have any fair use images at all (see the Wikipedia:Veganism parable) but in so far as we do display fair use images, this seems to have a fine claim to be one of them. --GRuban (talk) 17:48, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, most appreciated! --j⚛e deckertalk 18:03, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
There's a fair likelihood you should be able to use that picture - I agree with the reasoning that the context of the demonstration with the sign is not replaceable with just a free image of the sign (though I would encourage that if you can to get that free image anyway). But I do have two questions.
First, I would think this would be better on the PFLAG page than on Manford's page, simply because, as I'm reading it, that demonstration (and the event leading to it) created the foundation of PFLAG, ergo it is an historic element of the organization. (For Manford's page, it would be better to try to find a free image of her, assuming she's still alive.)
Second, do we know the source of that image? The one problem factor here is if it a press image - we tend to try to avoid their use due to the commercialization aspects, but do make exceptions. It would help to know where that photo came from. --MASEM (t) 17:49, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
I haven't been able to find a credit for that image--it's reproduced in a number of places, but nothing I've been able to find specifically credits it. I am still looking. My email to PFLAG included that question, and I figured I'd give them a few days to respond before I took did anything more here.
Manford is still alive (or was last year from the sources I've been reading, and I'm fairly certain there'd be an obit if she wasn't), I have not yet succeeded at finding a free image of her, but I continue to look.
Thanks, I really appreciate your thoughts! --j⚛e deckertalk 18:03, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
PS: It also occurred to me to write the manuscript dept. of the New York Public Library. They use a crop of that image on their own collections site, and I suspect they hold either an original photograph or (if it is a press clipping) the original to that, in either case they might be able to clarify. Cheers, --j⚛e deckertalk 18:10, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm going to say that even if it is a press image, I'm confident that the image meets all other aspects of NFCC for use on the PFLAG page (not on Manford's page even though she was primarily responsible for it), but yes, tracking down the source would be good. --MASEM (t) 18:28, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

eBay and auction sites as image sources

Two questions here, one on sourcing and one on commercial sites viz-a-viz NFCC. Both questions concern File:Melford Stevenson portrait.jpg.

  • The image source there is an eBay page. It is in German, so I can't be 100% sure, but it seems to be an outlet for an antiquarian site that sells vintage prints. Are such eBay pages and auction sites reliable sources for images? Normally, it might be questionable, but in this case the provenance of the image in question is known, as the image is the same as that used in the online Oxford Dictionary of National Biography article for the subject, and the ODNB say the image is from the National Portrait Gallery, who say that it was originally from the Elliott & Fry studio. It is the NPG images here. The NPG have a vintage print and a half-plate negative, both purchased in 1996. My question is whether the eBay image would be a different copy of the same Elliott & Fry original (I'm not clear how many copies of the Elliott & Fry original would have been made), and what is best to cite as the image source?
  • My second question is whether, if the NFCC rationale is valid, it is best to use the NPG image (not online, so not possible), the ODNB image (probably not), or the eBay image (the one actually used), and what difference it makes (e.g. if the NPG image were available). They are all commercial sites in some sense. Do the NFCC considerations vary in each case? And does it matter if all the copies are all from the same original (e.g. different vintage prints prepared from the same half-plate negative) or not?

I did look in the archives for questions about use of images from eBay and auction sites, but found nothing much (my instinct was that such use is dodgy, but I'm now no longer sure of that), so am asking here in the hope that some discussion can help clarify things. Carcharoth (talk) 21:39, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

  • It's an interesting and valid question. As the uploader, I obviously thought it made no difference whih source I used as the actual image was the same and the licensing was fair-use in any case, so I used the better of the two avaialble ones. Should I have used the ONDB one? The site says you are prohibited from downloading it or using it, so I respeccted that, but clearly they don't own the copyright to it either. I would be very interested to have some more opinions on this. --John (talk) 12:51, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
    • Another problem with Ebay auctions is that the auction page is removed a few months after the auction has ended, leaving us with no source at all. This page hasn't been archived by the Internet Archive. --Stefan2 (talk) 13:00, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
      • Hypothetically, if someone bought a vintage print that was for sale, and then scanned it and uploaded the scan, that would be OK. There is no requirement that image sources have to be online. Merely that the source is considered reliable enough that the provenance of the image is unlikely to be questioned. It is better to use professionally curated and collated sources such as archives and library collections, rather than individual collections of old images, but sometimes cross-referencing the two is possible. Carcharoth (talk) 21:50, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
    • To answer John's question above, you are absolutely correct that the ODNB don't own the copyright to the image - that is why they tell people not to download or use it: they don't have the right to allow anyone to do that, as it is not their image. They are using it under an agreement with the National Portrait Gallery, with whom the ODNB work closely. This is explicitly stated on their website: "The Oxford DNB was created in association with the British Academy. Images researched in partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, London." Indeed, the NPG are one of four institutions where the ODNB provide outward 'deep' links (the others being the ANB - American National Biography, NRA - National Register of Archives, and RHS - Royal Historical Society). The 'Help' section in the ODNB makes clear the close links with the NPG: "NPG records [...] complement and augment Oxford DNB likeness records and frequently provide illustrations of Oxford DNB subjects." So the ODNB image is nothing more or less than a direct reuse of the NPG image. The history of the 'eBay' image is more interesting, I'll go into that below. Carcharoth (talk) 21:50, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
  • If we assume the ebay photo and other sources are all "slavish reproductions" of the original work, then these scans have no new copyrights associated with them; the only copyright is still to the original photographer (Elliott & Fry). As long as we have strong assurance that these are all the same "image" (barring the slight differences from scanning and the like), then it makes sense to use the version that has the most permanence being the ODNB version - they cannot claim a new copyright on the image despite what their legalese says; the copyright owner is still E&F studios. --MASEM (t) 13:42, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
    • I don't think that is quite the full story. I've looked into this a bit further and I'll post here what I found. The key point appears to be the history of, and the disposition of, the assets of the Elliott & Fry studio, but I'll go into more detail on that below. Carcharoth (talk) 21:50, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

I looked into this a bit more today, and what I found was the following:

  • (i) File in question: File:Melford Stevenson portrait.jpg
  • (ii) Image source. That link works better than the one currently on the image page (which has an anchor tag). The relevant bit is 'Beschreibung' (Description). That tells us (in German) that it is a press photo:

    "Original Press Photo, British Judge Melford Stevenson, 1970. At the back, stamped text and press agency stamp. Size: approx H 16, W 12 cm x 7 cm. Silver gelatin. Condition: good with signs of use (see scan). The copy of reislaeufer-photos is only on the scan and not on the original photograph offered here. Original photography of the time, not a reproduction or copy."

  • (iii) If you then look at the eBay scan of the stamped text on the back of the photo, this reveals that the press photo was sent out by "Camera Press (Bassano) London". Camera Press still exist today: This photo/press agency was founded in 1947 and has an archive of 12 million photos. The bit about Bassano makes sense (the original photo was Elliot and Fry), as Elliot and Fry incorporated with the Bassano Studios in 1965, see details in the Alexander Bassano article.
  • (iv) Looking at the NPG records of their Stevenson portraits, this refers to a vintage print and a half-plate negative "purchased in 1996". This is almost certainly what is referred to here. Under 'Bassano Collection' there is the following:

    "On closure of studio in 1974 in Dover Street majority of negatives donated to NPG together with 3 sitter books. Other parts of collection dispersed of which 3,500 plus negatives acquired at auction by theatre historian John Culme. These negatives were generously donated to NPG in 1996. Also in 1996 remaining stock of important pre 1900 negatives and copyrights and 2,000 vintage press prints purchased by NPG including earlier amalgamated stock of Vandyk and Elliott and Fry."

    Although the dates don't properly match up, if you Google "purchased 1996" and "National Portrait Gallery", you can see the sort of stock and photographs that was purchased by the NPG that year and which ones are marked "Elliot & Fry".

To to sum up, it seems that the original sitting for the portrait photograph was done by Stevenson in 1959 for Elliot and Fry, which a few years later (in around 1963 to 1965) became part of Bassano Studios. At some point (presumably October 1970 from the date) a press photograph, prepared from either the original half-plate negative or one of the original prints, was sent to Germany by Camera Press (who correctly credited the Bassano Studios). It appears to be this print which has ended up on eBay, and it is the scan of this print that was downloaded from eBay and uploaded to Wikipedia for use in the Stevenson article. The original Elliot and Fry half-plate negative and one of the vintage prints ended up at the NPG after a purchase they made in 1996. What the exact history of the half-plate negative was between 1959 and 1996 is not totally clear (see 'parts of collection dispersed' and 'earlier amalgamated stock' above, which could cover a multitude of things), but the above gives some indication. Whether Camera Press still have any claim on the press photo they sent out in 1970, I have no idea. Certainly the Elliot and Fry copyright would now seem to reside with the National Portrait Gallery. Carcharoth (talk) 22:17, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

There is now also a similar discussion at Commons:COM:VPC#Ebay as a source of publication information about Ebay as source for public domain images. --Stefan2 (talk) 12:59, 6 September 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for that link. The question here is one of copyright, as this is clearly not a public domain photograph. I've added details of the image history to the image page. My view now, is that the person who scanned the 42-year-old print and offered it for sale on eBay quite likely didn't have the right to do that. It would have been sent out by Camera Press in 1970 for use as a press photo, not for onward sale or re-use 40 years later. It should have been returned or destroyed at the time, and any subsequent uses would need to be cleared by the distributor and/or the original copyright holders. Whether fair-use provisions can over-ride all that, I don't know. I'm going to ask others to comment here on that. Carcharoth (talk) 23:28, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
We generally do not allow use of press photos unless they themselves (the photos) are historically significant, due to respect for commercial opportunities; this doesn't appear to be the case since it just a person. I would probably say that the photo cannot be used for this article. --MASEM (t) 23:57, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
I had the impression that the general avoidance of press photos under the NFCC was in cases of living people and recent press photos, not ones sent out as press photos over 40 years ago and where the subject died 25 years ago. There are many pictures that are marked "historical" under the non-free content guidelines that would (when originally taken) have been or potentially have been press photos. At what point does a "press photo" become an historical image? Wait long enough and it becomes public domain anyway, rendering fair use arguments meaningless. The 'commercial opportunities' bit is strange, as all photos that are of reasonable quality and held by a press photo agency or stock photography agency will have some commercial value (this is the whole point of copyright, to allow time to exploit the sometimes small value of something). The case of archives, museums and galleries is less clear - some sell images (both copyrighted and public domain ones) to help make their collections commercially viable, but most also have longer-term, more altruistic aims. If Camera Press and/or the National Portrait Gallery are currently selling this image, I agree that this photo probably can't be used. In any normal situation, I'd suggest contacting Camera Press and/or the National Portrait Gallery, but that doesn't seem to be what happens on Wikipedia (somewhat understandable given the history between Wikimedia and the NPG), but I wonder what Camera Press would say if the eBay site (reislaeufer-photos) and the Wikipedia use of the eBay image was pointed out to them? Carcharoth (talk) 10:02, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
The commercial opportunity is realized if there is a single agency with the exclusive rights to publish that photo for profit; any reuse without payment is immediately a potential strike with respect to fair US fair use. That doesn't invalid such uses but we therefore require stronger requirements for their inclusion. More recent photos and particularly those of currently living people have a good chance for free replacement so that's an immediately non-allowance there. For older photos we have to show some type of transformative aspect to the photo as to outweigh the commercial opportunity factor. This is typically met when the photo itself is the subject of sourced discussion in secondary sources (ala Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima), but also when there is at least some sourced discussion that photo aids in the reader's comprehension of the article and would harm their understanding if absent. In the case of this image, the image doesn't appear to have any discussion about it, so we have to turn to how critical it is for the reader to see the person, and this would likely be "no", therefore the image cannot be used. --MASEM (t) 12:55, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree with this: "if there is a single agency with the exclusive rights to publish that photo for profit" (though I'm unsure why you say 'single' and 'exclusive', it is not uncommon for other agencies or distributors to act as agents on behalf of the copyright holder, that is potentially what Camera Press were doing in 1970 on behalf of Bassano Studios, though that is at present just speculation on my part). But what I don't get is why you then move from that statement to then talking about fair use. Surely the first step would be to establish if an agency does have exclusive rights to publish that photograph for profit. Everything else should be put on hold until that point is established. My view is that this photograph likely does fall into that category, and the uploader should have taken steps to ascertain this before uploading (but I don't fault the uploader for not being aware of the history of the image, nor of the sensibilities of the commercial uses aspect of NFCC, these are both subtle points that most users are not aware of). I originally said on the article talk page that the eBay images (there was one on an Italian eBay page as well) shouldn't be touched with a ten-foot pole, and that remains my view. What I struggle with is how inconsistently the commercial aspects bits of NFCC are enforced. Why are movie screenshots and book covers less commercially valuable than a 53-year-old studio portrait of a High Court judge? Actually, having said that, I can see why this portrait of a judge has more commercial value than the examples I gave (any print encyclopedia would have a pay to use such an image), so I agree that the image should not be used, and should be nominated for deletion. I've forgotten where that takes place now. Would this be a standard WP:IFD nomination? Carcharoth (talk) 13:29, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
A photo is a single commercial work. Reproduction of the photo is basically 100% of the original work (even considering resizing). One of US Fair Use law aspects is how much of the original work is used, and with such images, that's 100%. Screenshots of films and TV shows and the like are a single frame from a much larger work, so even though the works are sold for profit, a single screenshot is not going to have anywhere close to the same commercial value. That's also why audio and video clips are specifically limited in length.
FFD would be an appropriate place to nominate the image for deletion. --MASEM (t) 15:24, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
So, what is our current community instinct on images of dead people that still appear to be in copyright? ISTR long-standing guidance that high-value portrait images by the likes of e.g. Yousuf Karsh must not be used simply to illustrate the individual (with a let-out only if the subject is so extraordinarily associated with the image that their biography would be simply not complete without the image being discussed).
On the other hand, we do (appropriately, I suspect) have a fair number of biographical images from photographers or sources that do not have the same kind of high-value iconic currency. For example, I would imagine a screenshot from one of their films might be appropriate for an actor (that is, if no image from a free-in-the-U.S. trailer exists); or a screengrab from an interview for a documentary (e.g. perhaps for a screenwriter, if it seems unlikely that a free image would be found; or perhaps a not very high resolution file image from an old newspaper (e.g. for a politician), especially rather than a considered composed portrait image.
What's are thinking here? Are those touchstones more or less on track? Does that still leave quite a broad no-man's-land in the middle (e.g. what about an image of a recently deceased author or illustrator from their own website? Or for a widely circulated publicity image for a mid 20th century celebrity?)
Masem's given some thoughts above, which seem to me to be basically pretty sensible. But I wonder if wider ratification and ratification would be useful, rather than now just dropping this onto FFD? Would an essay page discussing this be useful, perhaps with a broader RfC to make sure that the community also think that this is the page we're on? Should we be approaching WP's legal team for advice, as to whether this matches with what they think is a reasonable interpretation of where we should be? Or should we even avoid looking too closely at this, and just trust the community to blunder through reasonably defensibly on a case-by-case basis at FFD, in a way that hasn't been run past the legal team, rather than getting ourselves too far down into discussion of too narrow cases and too prescriptive theorising which might (i) be over-creep (ii) be too theoretically angels-on-a-pinhead removed from the practical realities of real images (iii) even be used as citeable evidence against us and the Foundation, if we got it wrong?
Just some thoughts, as the topic and its discussion struck me... Jheald (talk) 17:03, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Derivatives of 3D public art in the US (again)