Community Wishlist Survey 2021/Multimedia and Commons/Image inheritance, a bequest safe for Wikimedia Commons

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Random proposal◄ Multimedia and Commons  The survey has concluded. Here are the results!

Image inheritance, a bequest safe for Wikimedia Commons

  • Problem: Thousands of my pictures – probably millions of images from other Wikimedians – would be lost because they can currently(!) not be publicly published. We Wikimedians who are alive today can't upload the images if we're no longer alive, when these images in the future no longer restricted by copyright.
Deutsch: ("Tausende Bilder von mir - wahrscheinlich Millionen Bilder von anderen Wikipedianern werden verloren gehen, weil sie aktuell(!) nicht veröffentlicht werden dürfen und wir heute lebenden Wikipedianer nicht mehr leben werden und also die Bilder nicht mehr hochladen können, wenn sie in Zukunft keinen Einschräkungen mehr unterliegen werden.")
  • Who would benefit: Wikimedia Commons and all its users.
Deutsch: ("Wikimedia Commons und all seinen Benutzer*innen")
  • Proposed solution: I would like to be able to upload photos to a "private" – with a, to the normal ID, unrelated password – and extra protected user space. I'm thinking of interior photos, information boards, texts and so on. These photos are currently not covered by the Freedom of Panorama and must immediately be deleted. I would like to upload these photos "today", but save them for "later" (my digital "bequest", my "photo inheritance" for Wikimedia Commons).

    The way I envision it is that these files would 100 years after the uploading automatically be made free. Until then, they would just be available for administrators and myself. At the same would I already put these images "hidden" in the "proper" categories – but not available to non-administrators!

    Perhaps a cooperation with the Internet Archive would be useful here.

Deutsch: ("Sehr gern würde ich Fotos in einen „privaten“ - mit einem von der „normalen“ Kennung unabhängigen Passwort – und extra geschützten Benutzer-Bereich hochladen. Ich denke dabei zum Beispiel an Fotos von Innenräumen, Informationstafeln, Texten usw. Diese Fotos unterliegen aktuell nicht der Panoramafreiheit und müssten sofort gelöscht werden. Ich möchte diese Fotos aber „heute“ für „später“ hochladen (mein digitales „Vermächtnis“ / mein „Bild-Erbe“ für Wikimedia Commons ).

Meine Vorstellung ist, dass diese Aufnahmen etwa 100 Jahre nach dem Hochladen automatisch frei geschaltet werden. Bis dahin wären sie nur für Administratoren und mich selbst sichtbar. Gleichzeitig würde ich die Bilder schon „versteckt“ in die „richtigen“ Kategorie einfügen wollen - für Nicht-Administratoren unsichtbar!")

Vielleicht wäre hierbei eine Zusammenarbeit mit dem Internet Archive sinnvoll.

  • More comments:
See also: Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Multimedia and Commons/Image inheritance, a bequest safe for Wikimedia Commons
Since 2015 is there a Phabricator ticket that's touching the same area. I have the impression that only little progress have been made for that project.
Deutsch: ("Es gib seit 2015 einen Phabricator ( phab:T120454 ), der dem nahe kommt. Ich habe aber den Eindruck, dass das Projekt nur wenig voran kommt.")


  • A good idea, but I would like to add one more point: I lost tens of thousands of pictures a few years ago when I lost a hard drive. Now, in order to prevent something like this in the future, I would like to upload images to Commons, then edit them there over time and move them to public space. I would also like to allow other people, if they were faster than me, to edit these images, categorize them, etc. So a semi-public space would be needed in which you can temporarily store large amounts of images for a longer period of time, once you're done made for general use. -- Marcus Cyron (talk) 19:29, 16 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • That would be also very useful. I have, for example, about 25 000 photos on my HDD that are perfectly within the scope of Commons. Although I don't really care about image descriptions, categories and geolocating, I'm able to upload roughly as much as 2000 images a year (using Pattypan), but I take at least same number within the same period. So the Marcus Cyron's proposal would probably also help me a lot. — Draceane talkcontrib. 16:03, 27 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I think this is a cool idea, but I don't think it is the right size for CommTech to handle it, and I'm not strictly certain it should be in WMF's scope at all. Perhaps it is something which could be proposed to Internet Archive. --Izno (talk) 22:10, 16 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I wonder whether some kind of collaboration with Flickr would be good for this. — Bilorv (talk) 19:43, 17 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Exactly my thought. Currently this can only be done by uploading, deleting and categorising as Undelete in XXXX, but this method is prone to vandalism. Who knows if someone might remove the cats without notice?
It may not have to be part of commons. It could be a separate project maybe, since commons requires everything to be freely licensed. FOP issues, photos of posters etc. can definitely benefit from this new project for the future generations to see our world.--RZuo (talk) 21:16, 17 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Very much needed. Ideally the tool would allow us to edit pictures metadata (title/description/depictions) even if the picture is not publicly viewable yet. If it is judged to be fair use, a very small thumbnail could also be helpful to get an idea of the picture's potential. File information such as file size, type, and hopefully a measure of the image's grain/fineness should be publicly viewable. Having this metadata would for instance allow us to make sure we have completely covered a modern art painter's paintings. Syced (talk) 13:46, 18 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Agree, This is a very desired storage idea for files (contemp art) that might become PD in just a few years, but might get lost due to local hardware changes in between. Pelikana (talk) 15:28, 20 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Has been proposed many times, and although it's a nice idea there are difficult legal problems. The reason that some personal photographs can't be uploaded is that the photographer is not the sole copyright owner: the creator of some artistic thing being photographed (for example the architect of a building, the sculptor of a statue, or the graphic designer of a product label) is a joint owner of the copyright in the image. Without their consent the photographer can't upload the image, and the WMF can't host it, without risking third party copyright infringement (the details vary by country). Unfortunately the same restrictions still apply even if the repository is kept private for years until the third party copyrights expire: the mere act of storage itself requires the consent of all the copyright owners. And the WMF as provider of such a service could potentially be held in breach of third party rights under US law, even if the repository were hosted elsewhere. The idea may not be totally out of the question if some clever legal exemptions can be found, but so far the Foundation has shied away from it. MichaelMaggs (talk) 17:24, 20 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • An alternative solution, for potential FoP issues, is to upload them knowingly, then to detete the images and to categorize its in the relevant FOP categories (or "Undele in 2080", ect...), so if a country change their law the images can be found and undeleted. Issue: we have already a big DR backlog. Christian Ferrer (talk) 19:01, 20 November 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Admins can undelete deleted images and tracking categories containing DRs (and even individual file pages) exist: c:Category:Undelete in 2021, c:Category:Undelete in 2022, c:Category:Undelete in 2050 etc. This doesn’t address the main issue and per se doesn’t mean copyrighted files should be uploaded now to be immediately deleted and undeleted some day, but might be good news for some of the commenters above. Tuvalkin (talk) 21:40, 11 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I agree with Christian Ferrer above. Every country has its own FOP laws like: only building's exteriors, interiors too, 2D or 3D art as well, only work of artists/architects who died at least 70 years ago, artists still alive and so on. The uploader could choose amongst a multitude of options like Statue, Painting, Legal Graffiti, Building Interior/Exterior, probable year of copyright expiration, Nation... When all the conditions are met in the future or when a country's FOP or Copyright law changes, then the images with the right flags could be undeleted. From a technical/programming point of view it can be done. From a legal point of view, I don't know! ... GiorgioGaleotti 18:33, 19 December 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]