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Non-free image in an infobox - does the text have to discuss the image
Because my question concerns two articles (Caitlyn Jenner and Death of Leelah Alcorn) and WP:NFCC, I have centralized discussion here and left pointers to here on each article's talk page. Talk:Caitlyn Jenner has an FAQ, Q3 of which explains why the Vanity Fair image of post-transition Jenner is not used in the infobox; it says "Per WP:NFCC, copyrighted images may only be used at Wikipedia where the text of the article discusses the image itself. The magazine cover is only appropriate directly next to the text in this article where the magazine cover itself is discussed. As a general illustration for the infobox, where there is no accompanying text, we cannot include the image in that way." However, the article on the Death of Leelah Alcorn uses Alcorn's picture in the infobox. I don't see a specific discussion of the legality of that in that article's archives, but I gather that one difference is that there are no free images of Alcorn, whereas there are free (albeit pre-transition) images of Jenner. It seems that one thing I could do is update the Jenner article's FAQ A3 to note that the existence of free images is a reason to avoid using a non-free image. I wonder, however: the Death of Leelah Alcorn lead doesn't discuss the (non-free) image, so is it in fact the case that "[the Vanity Fair] cover is only appropriate directly next to the text in this article where the magazine cover itself is discussed"? If not, that bit should be removed from te Jenner article's FAQ A3 (right?); whereas, if it is the case that "images may only be used at Wikipedia where the text of the article discusses the image itself", is it problematic that Death of Leelah Alcorn is using a non-free image in its infobox without discussing the image in the lead (the portion of the text which is net to the image)? -sche (talk) 20:06, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
The key issue with the Alcorn article is that the non-free image serves as illustration of a deceased subject of whom no free photos are known to exist. I believe consensus arose that the only way to obtain potentially free images would be through her family, who have repeatedly denied her gender identity and thus would likely provide photos that would misrepresent/misgender the subject. It's a murky area, but a non-free magazine cover should absolutely not be used as the main photo for Caitlyn Jenner, who is still living, when free photos of her (albeit under her previous gender expression) exist. –Chase (talk / contribs) 20:16, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Basically, the short answer is that we should aim to always feature free images over non-free images in the infobox/lede of an article when there is a choice between free or non-free. While I don't know if there are already images of Jenner after the operation for free, we know they can be made (she is alive, and is not recluse), so we should be seeking to get one of those, while using the pre-op free images in the short term. This does not mean the VF cover is inappropriate in the article, as there is sourced discussion of that, but it is just not appropriate as a cover image. (Contrast that to Alcorn, where there is no way we can make a new free image and no expectation of free images existing, so the non-free to identify the person , particularly in light of the issue, is fine.) --MASEM (t) 20:22, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
NFCC does not require that a non-free photo be discussed in an article. That is only one possible criterion that satisfies contextual significance. Other criteria have to be considered as well, such as availability of alternative images and impact on commercial opportunities for the copyright holder. - MrX 20:25, 22 June 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, all. I have updated the Jenner FAQ in an attempt to more accurately explain why the Vanity Fair cover isn't used per WP:NFCC. -sche (talk) 20:58, 22 June 2015 (UTC)