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Copyright strategy/Issues

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This is the place to list and discuss issues as part of the copyright strategy. As you think of copyright-related issues that affect Wikimedia, you can add them to the list.

As you read through the list of issues, you can leave comments describing your experience with them, indicate how important you think they are, and propose ways to address them. You may also add other issues below.

This is not the place to report individual instances of copyright policy violations. There are project procedures for responding to copyright questions about specific files or pages:

The Wikimedia Foundation DMCA Policy contains additional information for rightsholders.

In addition to the discussions on-wiki, the Wikimedia Foundation legal team held an IRC office hour on the copyright strategy on September 15 at 14:00 UTC. The logs are available at Copyright strategy/IRC office hour.

Creative Commons attribution on news articles


News outlets sometimes use images from Commons to illustrate their articles. However, they often attribute only "Wikimedia Commons" or "Wikipedia", and they fail to link to the file page on Commons.

Support Support --Jarekt (talk) 12:22, 31 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
What sorts of things do you think that policy might say? What do you think is currently stopping more people from policing attribution? Would the “policy” be primarily resources for people to use in contacting news outlets (similar to Mike Peel’s suggestion below)? One concern I have with crowdsourced attribution policing is that news outlets may be less likely to listen and respond to communications from individuals than communications from the Foundation. –Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 00:13, 15 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  • Proposal create a short URL for each file and display it prominently on the file page. It would be easier for a news outlet pressed for time to cut and paste or even copy by hand a link of the form, say wmf.co/a1b2c3 than, say, commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Salar_de_Uyuni,_Bolivia,_2016-02-04,_DD_10-12_HDR.JPG Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 03:49, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Support Support --Jarekt (talk) 12:22, 31 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Oppose Oppose URL shorteners are complicated and the subject of protest, such as by friends of the Internet Archive. I acknowledge that there is a problem to address but I would prefer to avoid controversial solutions like the introduction of URL shortening practices until and unless the Wikimedia community has a thorough conversation about introducing URL shorteners. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:41, 1 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
The site you link to contains several suggestions for improving the acceptability of URL shorteners which seem entirely consistent with WMF practices and the mission. I don't see that running a WMF-owned, -operated and -specific shortener would attract the criticism you refer to. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 18:54, 1 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I wonder if this is something that Wikidata/Wikibase on Commons might enable, by assigning Q-codes to Commons photos that could then be used for URL shorteners. Just a thought. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 21:24, 8 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
This could be a good solution if the problem is that news outlets have trouble finding or creating links to file pages. I think before implementing a URL shortener, though, we should look into whether that is indeed the problem. I suspect that the problem is likely lack of understanding of how Wikimedia Commons and Creative Commons work, though I’m not aware of any surveys or studies relating to the issue. –Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 00:16, 15 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  • Proposal Improve the existing tools and guidance to credit images, I have created a Simple Reuse Guide for images from Wikimedia Commons but there is a fairly major issue with the attribution tool in Commons for HTML that means the there is a bare URL in the credit which means it is much less likely to be used, also a bare URL in the not HTML credit. John Cummings (talk) 15:03, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  • Proposal Develop a system that alerts uploaders that the photos they've uploaded have been reused somewhere off-wiki (e.g., using a reverse image search), and make standard form letters available that uploaders can use to contact the reusers and ask them to give proper attribution/license information. Mike Peel (talk) 18:07, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Comment Comment that sounds hard, google image search of many images from commons will produce hits, but it is unclear to which hits to report and which not. --Jarekt (talk) 12:22, 31 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Commons licensing templates


There are a lot of redundant licensing (and other) templates on Commons, leading to confusion, ambiguity, and inconsistency.

  • Proposal: Provide more active support to the Structured Data project. The goal of that project is to standardize the storage and formatting of information about media files on Commons. The structured data can include licensing information and other data pertinent to copyright status (such as date and location of creation). --CRoslof (WMF) (talk) 00:56, 27 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
The Wikimedia Foundation has received a grant to develop the structured data project over the next three years. The WMF legal team will be supporting those efforts as needed. --Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 19:32, 19 January 2017 (UTC)[reply]

The US Copyright Office has been looking into the section of the DMCA that both protects intermediaries (like Wikimedia) from liability for copyright infringement on their platforms and creates a notice-and-takedown process for addressing infringement. The Wikimedia Foundation has provided input with written and oral comments, and the Copyright Office has said they intend to ask for additional comments.

Employee uploads


Often, employees will upload files to Commons on behalf of their employers. However, the upload process does not contemplate this situation and provide guidance for it.

I do not disagree, but point out that this will involve developing a system for identification of people, companies and a reliable method of associating the permissions with some kind of digital signature. Presumably this is already underway in the realms of e-commerce, smart contracts and so forth, so there's both a legal and a technical aspect to it. Perhaps WMF could take advantage of innovations in distributed ledger technology for this purpose. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 04:11, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Currently, having done this, the way is to get an OTRS number, and use that. Somewhat fiddly, but it works. Generally, employees who are likely to upload photos will not be aware of the legal issues, and in organizations of any size probably don't have the authority to perform what is supposed to be an irrevocable release of their employer's rights. We have seen several cases of this from museums etc. A page with info for such people would be good, but I'm not sure modifying the software is really necessary. Johnbod (talk) 16:17, 13 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Like many project copyright policies, English Wikipedia's non-free content policy was first developed a long time ago. It has been updated since, but it may not have been thoroughly reviewed and updated to ensure it reflects more recent legal developments. Have there been any significant changes to the law that should be added to the policy?

  • Speaking as one heavily involved in en.wiki's NFC, it would be of significant help for the Foundation to review its 2008 Resolution, making sure that is still the principles they want to hold, and further to make some type of assessment of what they consider to be "minimal use" or where they see this relative to the bar that US fair use would allow. en.wiki's NFC is generally strict because we believe the WMF wants minimal use of non-free (read: zero), but this has led to countless combative discussions of where to draw the line, and the few bits of clarification we have had from WMF in the interim are non-committal towards a stricter or looser enforcement of "minimal use". --Masem (talk) 14:38, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
    • @Masem: Who's the "we" you speak for above (beyond yourself?). It's always seemed to me that "minimal" in the Foundation resolution was a deliberate shout-out by a US-domiciled organisation to the terminology established in U.S. case law -- i.e. "minimal" = "no more than needed to achieve the purpose identified" -- with no connotation of trying to force use to be even less than that.
That reading of "minimal" in the resolution conforms, as you full well know, with the views expressed by Foundation board members at the time, that the resolution was intended to confirm (not change or tighten) the practice that had already been written into en.wiki's NFC policy, essentially unchanged to today, the relevant clauses of which have their textual origins in attempts to ensure that the use of non-free content should not be permitted if it would in any way compete with free content (en-wiki's NFCC #1); and should broadly reflect the limits on a large commercial entity to be able to confidently reuse en-wiki pages, including their images, in a verbatim way ("verbatim bulk commercial reuse"), while still staying on the right side of U.S. fair use law (motivating the bulk of the rest of en-wiki's NFCC criteria). This view that "minimal" = "no more than needed to achieve the purpose identified" rather than "zero" also appears to reflect eg the views of Jimmy Wales, a member of the Foundation board for the whole period, as expressed when eg asked about album covers, and later when asked about images of particular coin denominations. It also represented the understanding of the word by the staffers from Foundation Legal presenting at Wikimania 2014 in London, when I put the question to them. It's the line I have consistently put to you on en:WT:NFC whenever you have tried to claim a more restrictive intention for "minimal" in the resolution, and I am not aware of any of those discussions having come to a ruling in your favour. I put it to you that en.wiki's NFC is strict, because we take a strict view on the need to achieve an identifiable, encyclopedic, non-replaceable purpose, in line with the calculus of US law; but not in quest of some further "minimality" (ie 0 images) beyond that. En-wiki has manifestly not decided to have no non-free images. Jheald (talk) 20:33, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
      • You pointed out the problem here: "It's always seemed to me that "minimal" in the Foundation resolution..." The Resolution is highly subjective as what the Foundation has meant to be "minimal", and attempts to clarify it w.r.t. en.wiki have failed to give anything that allows us to be looser or tighter or maintain the status quo (and just having verbal confirmation doesn't help - we need written guidance to be sure what the intent is). I don't expect the Foundation to make exacting rulings on specific media, but it would help to know if they meant by "minimal" to be "just within US fair use allowance", or to be "approaching zero", or some level in between, if the WMF is re-evaluating its overall stance on copyright has a whole. --Masem (talk) 20:43, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  • Proposal: WMF Legal reviews and considers proposing revisions to the Licensing Policy adopted by Board resolution in 2007. –Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 22:49, 21 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Icon graphics


Icons tend to be most useful when used as links and in contexts with limited screen space. In both of those situations, it can be difficult to provide proper Creative Commons attribution for the icons.

License selection


Special:Upload provides many licensing options, but there are so many options and so little guidance about what they all mean that non-experts could be intimidated. UploadWizard is better at explaining options, but the explanations and default selections can lead uploaders to choose an improper license.

I never use Special:Upload (in fact, I had forgotten that it exists.) I think the Upload Wizard is far better, in many respects, including license selection. We should do a couple things in this area:
  • Determine whether Upload (as opposed to Upload Wizard) has useful functionality; depending on the answer, possibly deprecate, or make less accessible, the less preferred option
  • The en Wiki upload option is different than the commons upload Wizard. This may be necessary - I generally prefer the Commons upload Wizard, but use en Wiki upload for fair use images, so that functionality must be preserved. That said, making them as similar as possible is desirable.
  • I have no familiarity with upload options in other languages and projects, but that should be reviewed, so that commonality, as much as possible, is created.--Sphilbrick (talk) 12:40, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Metadata fields


Media files (such as images) generally do not have metadata tags specifying things like their author and licensing information. Adding these tags could help with reuse and license compliance.

CRoslof (WMF) please clarify. I think you are proposing to add EXIF tags to JPEG and TIFF files (and some other tags to other file types?). If so I think it is a great idea, although I am not sure on how feasible it would be technically even for easy cases. I think it would be more doable after we switch to c:Commons:Structured data. --Jarekt (talk) 20:27, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I admit that I am not aware of all the technical difficulties with automatically adding EXIF tags, and you may be right that is not feasible. Are there any other approaches to solving this problem (besides using structured data, which seems like it would be great but is itself a lot of work)? I imagine others have tried—perhaps we can learn something from those efforts. –Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 00:25, 15 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, WMF images should contain metadata that is consistent with the image's rights. WMF should at least insert a metadata URL that points to the WMF page that hosts the image. Glrx (talk) 19:21, 18 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Pre-1972 sound recordings


There is ongoing litigation in the US over how sound recordings made before 1972 should be treated under the DMCA. Specifically, rightsholders claim that the DMCA's safe harbors for intermediaries (like Wikimedia) do not provide protection from liability for hosting pre-1972 sound recordings.


There is a lot of useful information on the projects meant to inform Wikimedians about copyright issues or explain project copyright procedures. However, this information can be difficult for new users to navigate—they may not be sure where to look or whether what they find is up-to-date.

I once proposed to @Moonriddengirl: that it would be a useful task to review all of our internal guidance on copyrights and revamp it. I was initially surprised when she did not enthusiastically endorse the idea, but over the next few weeks as I spent some time reviewing our documentation I realize that it isn't a task, it isn't a big task, it's a gargantuan task. It should be done, but it isn't something that only one editor can take on; we either need a task force of editors, or WMF initiative or a combination (which I view this initiative to be).--Sphilbrick (talk) 12:25, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
From the IRC Office Hour, User:MKramer (WMF) and others mentioned:
And other documentation that starts with the question: "What's your end goal?" Stephen LaPorte (WMF) (talk) 14:58, 15 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]



Last guidance from WMF legal was that CC-BY-SA-4 was incompatible with projects using 3.0, due to a clause stating that reuse must be under the same version (4) or later. As this version is being adopted by more sources, we're missing out on some viable avenues of useful content. I don't know if this would be a project-specific thing or a WMF Meta thing, but:

I like that proposal! We're planning on having a discussion about migrating to CC 4.0 in about a month. @Slaporte (WMF) and @Jrogers (WMF) will be leading it. --Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 00:01, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Support Support --Gnom (talk) 16:31, 10 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

NC content


My understanding is that while we can legally use NC licensed content as we are a non commercial organization we have at this point chosen not to. Mike Godwin however made the statement that "Wikipedia cannot legally host non-commercial content because it is incompatible with our other free licenses"[1] Is this still the case? I know the NIH hosts content under lots of licenses on a single page from PD to fully copyrighted. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 00:10, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

  • My own understanding (fwiw) is that the use of NC isn't so much the issue as it comes to when we license for re-use. At that point we don't place a NC restriction, so the effect would be us taking free NC content and redistributing it for potentially commercial use. Crow (talk) 00:35, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with Crow. Our third pillar "Wikipedia is free content that anyone can use, edit, and distribute" is the key issue.--Sphilbrick (talk) 12:29, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
As a clarification, it is legally possible to have NC content on Wikimedia projects. It would face a couple hurdles, however. First, it would need an extremely clear marker or banner of some kind that would appear with the image so that people would know that it could NOT be reused for any purpose. That would be to ensure that nobody would accuse the Wikimedia movement of violating the licenses and intentionally misleading people into believing that they could reuse NC content inappropriately. Second, we would need to update the Terms of Use and a number of community licensing policies to note the existence of NC content that is not available for unrestricted reuse. If there were a strong community consensus to expand content on the projects to include NC things, both of these steps could be done, but it would represent a fairly large change in the free culture values of the Wikimedia movement to date. -Jrogers (WMF) (talk) 00:34, 31 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
"...could NOT be reused for any purpose" — isn't that ND? NC is non-commercial. -- 01:41, 31 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
The emphasis is on "any"—NC works can be reused for some purposes, but not for any purpose. –Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 00:27, 15 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
The projects already contain a substantial amount of non-free content used under fair use. Do you think it should all be removed? -- 01:41, 31 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
We already have large amounts of content that can be freely used in some jurisdictions but not freely used in others due to varying lengths of copyright terms and of course we have a fair bit of fair use content.
We would do well to mark this better regardless of what we do about NC. We should be supplying downloads of Wikipedia content without the fair use bits. Once we have this is place it would be fairly easy to include an NC exception as well. Or course these exceptions could only apply to images / videos. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:23, 2 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Strong oppose Wikimedia projects are about free content. NC content is not free, and we don't want to go down that road any further than we already have allowing fair use on some projects. I very much understand that many institutions would prefer to donate content under an NC licence, but that's simply against our founding principle of creating a free encyclopaedia. --Gnom (talk) 16:35, 10 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Disney time


It's only two years until the copyright term extension in the US from the Mickey Mouse Act expires. It would be prudent to start planning and coordinating a response sometime soon. MER-C (talk) 02:51, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

I don't think that will be difficult. During the year 2018, we change the PD-1923 tags to PD-US-95 and make them based on CURRENTYEAR. Both tags will be true for the balance of 2018; in 2019 works published in 1923 will expire, and the tags will work like most other tags do. I'm not sure there is a "response" necessary, unless there is a move to extend copyright yet again. Clindberg (talk) 05:45, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
>unless there is a move to extend copyright yet again
Almost certainly. MER-C (talk) 06:00, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I think that's a lot less likely this time. Clindberg (talk) 08:28, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
But please do have a response ready just in case. Smallbones (talk) 17:10, 4 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Support Support There should be huge celebrations on en:Public Domain Day 2019, supported by WMF Legal and Communications. --Gnom (talk) 16:37, 10 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

I've lost track of the number of copyright violations I've removed on topics relating to the Indian subcontinent, TV shows and/or media. What can be done to reduce the frequency of copyright violations in these areas? MER-C (talk) 02:56, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Ask the Indian governments to include mandatory "how to edit Wikipedia without getting blocked" courses at their schools? Only half joking suggestion; given the number of Indian editors who come to enWikipedia alone, you'd have to reach a very large amount of people to reduce the amount significantly. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 08:46, 11 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
We have a category editnotice for BLPs (on enwiki). If this patch gets merged, I will set up editnotices for classes of problematic articles (e.g. List of X episodes). One could also target these areas with AbuseFilter warnings. Being proactive is hard, though :(. MER-C (talk) 14:24, 15 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]



This agreement between the EU and the US will cover intellectual property rights and undoubtedly affect copyright. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 04:03, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Yes, but it will never happen, as the EU doesn't want it. Johnbod (talk) 16:20, 13 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
You’re right, the TTIP has the potential to impair the public's ability to share and reuse copyrighted material online. Dimi z wrote a great post on the issue for the Wikimedia blog. –Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 00:56, 15 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Animal rights


It happens that I don't agree with the WMF position on the infamous monkey selfie issue: I believe that the copyright belongs both legally and morally to the photographer. But I think we can all agree that it does not belong to PETA. To the extent that the current litigation over PETA's attempt to be declared the legal owner of copyright in this image is a serious attempt to change the law as opposed to an expensive publicity stunt, WMF needs to develop and assert a clear position. Perhaps they should join the current litigation? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 04:03, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

  • Comment @Rogol Domedonfors: PETA are doing an outstanding job of losing this publicity stunt all by themselves. Let's keep our heads down as far as possible -- it's already caused WMF enough problems with its image and perceived arrogance, particularly in mainland Europe. Jheald (talk) 21:15, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Fair use image size limits


I spend some time each day deleting unused versions of fair use images. (As an aside, could this be automated?) Some of the current versions exceed our size limitations. I tend not to worry about this because I believe we have a bot that looks for such images and resizes them. However, that means at any point in time we have a number of non-compliant images. We should consider imposing the size limit at the time of upload, and refuse to upload images beyond the acceptable size providing guidance re size suggestions and ask for a rationale if the size exceeds 0.1 megapixels. As a minor aside, I have seen are size limitation guidelines but for them recently I could not find them so it wouldn't hurt to make them more prominent.

  • Proposal: Enforce inform uploaders about fair use size limitssuggestions at the time of upload --Sphilbrick (talk) 12:49, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
    • Comment: @Sphilbrick:: The limits on en-wiki (NFC images typically less than or about 0.1 Mega-pixel -- en:WP:IMAGERES) are intentionally expressed as guidance rather than hard limits, because there can be circumstances when larger images are justified (eg when the value for the fair-use purpose depends on the ability to make out a particular level of detail; or eg to give an accurate 1:1 representation of an 8-bit screenshot to accurately reflect the design trade-offs that were chosen and made, given the technology of the time). But I can see value in appropriately downsizing larger images (eg ones significantly larger than 0.1 Mpx) being made a default behaviour, so long as the uploader is given an escape hatch to say "no, I really do want the larger image", and then to be required to explain why, (and the image then being perhaps tagged for an admin or patroller to then check). Jheald (talk) 21:08, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
    • First, thanks for the link, that's what I was looking for. I am on board with it being guidance rather than hard limits, and support your approach - rather than prohibit something larger, give the editor a heads up that it may be too large and they can upload anyway (possibly requiring an explanation, possibly adding a template so someone can take a look at it). So I've modified my proposal.--Sphilbrick (talk) 23:11, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I think I found the bot in question: w:User:Theo's Little Bot. Looking at its talk page, it seems that it generally resizes images daily, though it sometimes runs into issues where it doesn’t go through all of its queue in one day. –Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 22:52, 21 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

I've been moderately active at CopyPatrol lately. One challenge (beyond the sheer volume) is the length of time it takes to craft a relevant response. It is relatively easy to revert and include an edit summary that it has been removed because it is a copyvio, but it takes some time to explain the nuances of the issues. I tried to do so sometimes but fall short. We could use a mini task force just to create some relevant templates. For example, an editor recently added a block of text, included it in quotation marks, and properly referenced it. However, it exceeded in length what I've you to be our internal fair use guidelines (which as an aside could use some explication). This editor deserves a different response than someone who simply copies and pastes copyright material. (It occurs to me that perhaps the copy patrol team might consider this as a suitable task although it may not be easily built into the software.)

  • I actually have a large number of these I keep on a text document for this exact purpose. Perhaps a kernel of a template exists there? As an example, here's one I use a lot when an editor says they have permission from the copyright holder. This one is specific for "permission to use on Wikipedia":
Extended content
:*{{ping| }} Hello and thanks for saying so. Unfortunately, because we can't independently verify that permission has been given, that material as it stands now is still a copyright violation. Because of the license Wikipedia publishes under, we need some more things done before before we can accept this text. Since Wikipedia releases its content under [[Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License|This Free License]] (which allows anyone anywhere to use it, re-use it, modify it, parody it, sell it for a profit, or basically any purpose whatsoever), we must ensure that source material is similarly licensed. While the owners may permit this content to be used here, they may not want it changed, sold, or any of the other possibilities that our free license allows.

:*So in order to use this text on Wikipedia, the source web page must release its content under the same license (which allows all those same uses I mentioned), or they can release just this text under that license (again with the same understanding of how it may be used by anyone). For instructions on how to do that, see [[WP:DCM|This Link]]. That will entail some emailing to prove the owners of that text are in fact authorizing its release, and confirming they understand what that entails.

:*In the meantime, the copyrighted text will probably have to be removed, but can easily be re-inserted once permission is processed. Thanks for your contributions, ~~~~

  • I got more for things like "It's a press release therefor its ok", for an author who likely is the owner and seems to want to maintain control after they donate, for drafts where a little leniency may be appropriate, etc. So point me to the template lab! Crow (talk) 00:38, 31 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

One of the biggest challenges at the moment, in our content, is that to effectively determine with a computer, whether one of our content pieces is under which license (unless you use elaborate scraping techniques). This becomes increasingly important, when we want to train bots to review reused content for copyright compliance in other sources, for example, or compare the records with partnering institutions in GLAM or other partnerships -- to make sure that we are consistently supporting and labeling content from their collections. I think the potential of structured data on Commons could resolve many of these concerns, but its current level of resource support within the movement, and the potential social challenges coming down the road related to transforming our existing data through manageable and supportable workflows into structured material, appear to be huge. There are also not a lot of signs that such structured license tools, will be applied more broadly to other Wikimedia projects -- and that, for example, Fair use Media on Enwiki could be effectively labeled with structured copyright statements. Sadads (talk · contribs)

I agree with need for structured data on Commons to be able to handle license issues. However, I am not sure we need to extend it to other projects. A better solution would be to transfer all-free license images to Commons and only keep fair-use Media on En-wiki. --Jarekt (talk) 20:10, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I think this issue is paramount and should have the highest priority. But in development, not the legal department. It is simply a shame, that (Commons) files have no license labels, that can be read by search engines. In 2016! --h-stt !? 14:09, 31 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Support Support --Gnom (talk) 16:38, 10 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
With a recent grant from the Sloan Foundation, structured data on Commons is in development with a three-year time frame. --Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 19:36, 19 January 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Guidance on which licenses Commons accepts is not helpful and confusing


Proposal: Create clearer guidance on which license images Commons accepts, the page on Commons explaining which licenses Commons accepts is really vague and doesn't explicitly tell you which licenses Commons accepts. John Cummings (talk) 15:03, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

The page that explicitly tell you which licenses Commons accepts suppose to be c:Commons:Copyright tags not c:Commons:Licensing which describes policies related to licenses. However c:Commons:Copyright tags is horribly outdated, as it did not keep pace with new license templates being added. Translations of the page are even in the worse shape. Other pages like c:Commons:Image copyright tags visual are mostly abandoned, as something that worked for a few dozen license templates does not work for about a thousand we have now. At the moment c:Category:Primary license tags (flat list) is the most complete list of recognized license templates. --Jarekt (talk) 19:20, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
It seems part of the problem is that it isn’t clear where people should look to learn which licenses Commons accepts. See Copyright strategy/Issues#Project copyright guidance. –Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 00:59, 15 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Clear guidance on database rights


It is very unclear for current guidance on Wikidata what rules are around copying partial or whole datasets from databases where copyright is claimed despite individual facts not being copyrightable. John Cummings (talk) 15:14, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Database rights are not copyright, so I've taken the liberty to correct your header. Nemo 07:44, 1 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Isn't a compilation copyrightable? http://copyright.gov/register/tx-compilations.html Glrx (talk) 19:17, 18 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Copyright terms around the world are continually increasing, and rarely decrease: this means that much less historic material enters the public domain and becomes available to use on the Wikimedia projects than would otherwise. Wikimedia organisations could become more active in campaigning for reductions in copyright durations. Mike Peel (talk) 18:13, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

And, of course, more active in explaining to people who make a living out of the products of their creativity what the Wikimedia organisation proposes to do to compensate them for their loss of livelihood. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:00, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Most profits are front loaded so it wouldn't have too much of an impact. Additionally, it is harder to justify compensation after the death of the creator. Twenty-years after death would be sufficient to provide for any next-of-kin, far less than the seventy years mandated currently. Sizeofint (talk) 03:56, 2 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
So what proposal do you think should be put to the current rights owners about compensation, then? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 05:46, 2 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I suggest we be extremely generous with that.... how about each year of repealed term is compensated at 10x what they had to pay when they received those same years of extended term. ($0) Alsee (talk) 15:40, 3 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Very amusing, but the object is not to score points off other contributors here but to articulate a case that will help the WMF to persuade legislators that they have a good case for removing property rights from their voters. Saying "we're going to take your rights away in favour of the WMF but it's OK because you didn't pay for them" will probably not play well. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:03, 3 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Keep in mind that at the time of the Berne Convention in 1886 (yes 130 years ago), life plus 50 years was common. France and the UK both had those as their basic terms in their already-existing laws. The original treaty did not set a minimum period of protection, but the 1896 revision settled on life plus 50 years. (Some types of works could be lower, but that was the general term.) There is little way it will ever be less than that. According to the EU directive which standardized at life plus 70 for the EU, the original goal was to protect the author's children and grandchildren -- and these days, that was often more like 70 years, according to their logic (and that increase, in turn, was one of the reasons the U.S. pushed to extend their terms for 20 years, to get the additional protection in Europe). Realistically, you need to make a public argument which does take into consideration authors' rights that they've had for a long time. In the end, we need politicians to make the change. There were some arguments to that effect in the Golan v. Holder case, but those arguments did not win the day (although there was a dissenting opinion which gives some hope that further increases may be harder to prove a case for). Clindberg (talk) 06:04, 8 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Hello, this topic is surely not new but IMHO not addressed yet. I'm a productive photographer of quality content fro Wikimedia Commons and I am, along with many other colleagues, fed up with the fact that my pictures are used worldwide by all kind of publishers without any respect of the licenses. This frustration has even moved some ex-colleagues to give up. They don't publish anymore quality content in Wikimedia Commons. We could make money with these works but instead we publish them with a free license to support the free knowledge. If those works are just used careless and not in favour of the free knowledge, what is the point of contributing in Commons? Those uploading quick and dirty pictures with a smartphone may don't care about it, but others uploading high quality content with professional equipment actually do care.

The movement needs to protect those long-term high quality contributors, since doing so they are actually also protecting free knowledge and giving it more visibility. My expectation would be that people like me get some help from the legal department to protect their free licensed work. I don't think that it is going to be a big effort anyhow, an email from the right role (legal assessor) does mostly help to solve the issue. In many other cases just knowing that we would get some help if required, is a big help, even without using it.

Best, Poco a poco (talk) 18:18, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

The unfortunate truth is that lawyers and lawsuits are expensive. You can try asking politely that people follow the license terms, but if they ignore you the only recourse is to sue. The WMF could decide to fund such lawsuits, but that would be a possibly substantial financial commitment and would require a high degree of community and donor buy-in. To clarify for anyone who doesn't know, the WMF doesn't hold the copyright on anything on the projects (apart from some minor exceptions like some logos and such). Only the copyright holder can sue over violations of said copyright. And I'm not a lawyer, but I believe any legal staff working for the WMF are ethically barred from doing things like sending cease-and-desist notices on behalf of someone else. Lawyers are supposed to have an established attorney-client relationship when representing someone. -- 01:56, 31 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I think we should discuss whether this is something we want to achieve -- namely, WMF supporting copyright holders who are disadvantaged by breaches of WMF project terms of use -- and then ask Legal to investigate how that might be achieved. I think this is worth doing and that it should be investigated. Just saying now that we non-experts don't know how to do it and therefore we should not ask the experts seems contrary to the whole purpose of this discussion. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 04:45, 31 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I wasn't trying to come off as a wet blanket. I actually kind of like the idea. I just wanted to point out that it isn't going to be some simple easy thing. For guidance, it might be worth looking at the experiences of people such as those at the Software Freedom Conservancy and gpl-violations.org who have taken legal action against violators of free software licenses. It also might be a good idea to explore the possibility of partnering in this matter with other groups like the EFF. I see that Creative Commons has an "Affiliate Network", but the information on those pages appears to be years out-of-date. -- 21:23, 31 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
WMF lawyers can’t represent community members directly in most cases, but it is in the best interest of the Wikimedia movement and Foundation for reusers of freely licensed photos hosted on Commons to give proper attribution. In a separate issue, I specifically mention talking with news sites to help them understand how to attribute photos (and text) they find on the Wikimedia projects. I focused on news sites because they are likely to be repeat reusers and they’re the ones I have noticed most often making attribution mistakes. Are there other trends you have noticed in people or organizations using photos from Commons without proper attribution? –Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 01:01, 15 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
It may be true that WMF lawyers cannot represent community members directly. But if consensus is that it is desirable that the WMF support community members, we should ask WMF Legal to create ways in which that can happen other than by having the WMF lawyers representing them directly. This is quite common in membership organisations where a membership benefit is access to legal advice and support. It seems likely that the goal of supporting community members can be achieved and that WMF legal would be able to evolve a mechanism if asked. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:35, 15 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  • The Wikimedia Foundation is unlikely to provide direct support to contributors. Similarly, Creative Commons has never provided usage policing support to its community. Still, I wish that there were some third party "citizen copyright police" organization that could convene to share documentation and develop best practices on how to respond to having copyrighted content misused. The industry practices of large media companies are still mostly unknown in the free content community, but they do have efficient processes for requesting takedowns of content. A Wiki-style policing system might include a community forum for documenting copyright violations and some kind of OTRS system to create a documentation trail with organizations for asking them to quit violating CC-licenses and to track any response they ever have. I think that if given community infrastructure, the Wikimedia community and broader Creative Commons community could manage its own policing. Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:21, 1 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  • I think part of the general problem is that there's no money to be made on the side of the people fighting for the license terms. The image was released under a free license, so few lawyers will spend x hours to go after someone just to get the required attribution, and fewer copyright holders will pay for those billable hours. Being a free license and all, it would be hard to quantify real damages to a court. A bad situation of course, but something significant would probably need to happen to change that... Crow (talk) 22:39, 1 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Diminish US bias


The Upload Wizard is nice, but way too US-centered. Uploads from (example) Italy need to follow copyright rules from Italy (if the photograph was made there) ánd rules from the US at the same time. (Example: Italy has no freedom of panorama as yet, so one can't use photographs of modern art in the streets. But the upload wizard only tells us:
Wikimedia Commons is located in the USA, so the work must be out of copyright in that country.
o First published in the United States before 1923
o First published before 1923 and author deceased more than 70 years ago
o Faithful reproduction of a painting that is in the public domain
This work was made by the United States government
o Original work of the US Federal Government
o Original work of NASA

Terminology author in current File Description is unclear


There is no clear distinction between the uploader and the author. Many uploaders or scanners call themselves the “authors” of the photographs they upload.

Current default file description in Upload Wizard:
other versions=

  • Proposal:: there should be a new field in the File Description in the upload wizard - uploader:

other versions=
Vysotsky (talk) 21:00, 30 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]

On top of that, there is no clear distinction between author and copyright holder (consider heirs, collective works, certain works for hire). Finnusertop (talk) 05:07, 31 August 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Support Support Although I suppose that this should happen more on a community level. This matter also goes together with better explaining these things during the upload process. --Gnom (talk) 16:42, 10 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Comment it's probably a good question for Legal to sort out what the nuances are between "author" and "rights owner". There are probably a raft of other metadata items such as droit moral holders, etc. It might be helpful to add secondary fields to each of these entities for authority control. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 06:48, 11 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I have found this frustrating as well, when I’ve tried to locate author information for attribution purposes. More broadly, I think the upload processes make assumptions about who is using them and how that are not clear to users and that may not reflect reality. In this case, the UploadWizard seems to assume that the uploader of a work is also its author. I wonder for what percentage of uploads that is actually the case. –Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 01:03, 15 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment. date is confused as well. There's a difference between creation date and publication date. A work created before 1923 but published after 1923 can still be in copyright. Glrx (talk) 19:13, 18 November 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  • I'm not sure how this distinction could be made more clear in the Upload Wizard. We force the user to choose either "This file is my own work." or "This file is not my own work." in the interface, and only ask them for author if they choose the later. If people still choose to enter themselves as the author, there's nothing we can do about that. We can't force people to enter correct information. The uploader and author are already given as separate information on the File page. Regarding providing interfaces for separate authors and rights-holders, the above suggestions only scratch the surface. There are infinite possible scenarios for different rights-holders and accommodating all of those scenarios would be nearly impossible. We chose to optimize for the most common use case in order to make the Upload Wizard a wizard and not a tax form, i.e. easy to use. People with more complicated needs can use other uploading interfaces and templates. The Upload Wizard is not intended for those use cases. Kaldari (talk) 01:05, 24 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]

remove GFDL-1.2 only


The GFDL license is an outdated license not suited for images. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Free_Documentation_License#Criticism . It is used on commons by people who want the most restrictive license possible so that people reusing the image must pay for it. Amada44 (talk) 16:43, 1 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Strong oppose, biaised opinion by Amada44. The GDFL allows for commercial reuse and thus suits Wikimedia's needs. This, call it trick, is only used by a minority of people, so no need to open Pandora's box of the relicensing of old images and upsetting the few, but experienced and productive colleagues. Grand-Duc (talk) 00:11, 5 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
Support Support GFDL-1.2 only is not a free license for images. Kaldari (talk) 00:51, 24 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]

@John Cummings: has a best practice draft at en:Wikipedia:Adding open license text to Wikipedia that also relates to Commons.

Currently, Commons hosts many public domain books, but increasingly, all sorts of text documents are being uploaded to Commons and text management presents its own challenges. Some common requests which are not being met include plaintext derivatives of copyrighted scientific articles, news or magazine articles, and websites. Some uploaders would like to donate plaintext from an email, and although Commons seems like the most likely place to upload such a thing, Commons has no capability to do this right now. If this is done at all, the text has to be embedded in a file, then the file uploaded to Commons.

Proposal Setup a discussion forum asking for community input into the following questions:

  1. When is text uploaded to Commons?
  2. In what sorts of ways do people attempt to upload text to Commons, but fail to do so?
  3. Which current practices around text upload are acceptable, and which are not acceptable?
  4. When people email OTRS to donate text which they are submitting as plaintext in the email, where should that go, if anywhere?
How does Wikisource fit into this? Can some of the texts that aren’t a good fit for Commons be uploaded there? –Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 01:04, 15 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

OTRS text release


This is a special very common case of text release and copyright.

A lot of people write to OTRS making requests that ought to be posted to the talk page of Wikimedia Commons pages or the talk pages of any Wikimedia project. Since their emails have copyright, the OTRS agent cannot just copypaste their request to article talk pages. It is weird to explain to someone who says, "ask Wikipedia volunteers to do this..." that they need to either post to wiki themselves, or release the text copyright of the email, or do anything else complicated that the user would not expect during an email conversation. There needs to be an efficient way to transfer OTRS email conversations to wiki talk pages in a way that gets copyright release by email from the person having the conversation.

The problem to address here is that a large number of intelligent and instructive comments about Wikimedia projects come by email to OTRS, but then are archived there because of the barriers for transferring communication from OTRS to any public place. OTRS by default is private and even the many people who want their OTRS comments made public cannot be served by OTRS agents, who have no standard way to copypaste conversations to public places.

The mw:Article feedback tool did this in a way, but instead allowed anyone to post comments directly from a given article. Most feedback was unusable and low quality. Instead of accepting comments from anywhere, I think this kind of feedback could be taken in only from the contact page on the presumption that whatever is submitted there will be of comparable quality to what people already submit to OTRS.

Proposal On the contact page which leads to OTRS, some form option is created in which someone can check a box to say, "I would like the text of my request published in a public place with a free license". If anyone uses the form, then their copyright release is built into their form submission. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:10, 1 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

WMF decision panel


What I'd like to see is greater working access to the Foundations legal opinion for the more complex issues. Most the actions of the contributors can be left to the collective decision of the discussion processes but on occassions it'd would be nice to have a formal process to be able to ask for a review. Our biggest problem is that people who are currently making decisions arent trained/qualified lawyers, dont have the skills necessary to understand the intricacies of legal term terms add to that the complication of trying to interpret the laws by non language speakers.

  • Proposal: WMF copyright review/appeal panel, where the WMF legal people can review the discussions, make their own research and provide a definitive position that the WMF have reviewed. This wouldnt be a time critical process as the communities decision would stand unless reversed, it could also indicate if there other options for hosting on specific projects under options of fair use. This decision would form the basis of future such issues. Gnangarra (talk) 00:54, 2 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Wikilegal ? John Vandenberg (talk) 01:27, 2 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

I think this is the wrong way round. If we agree that this proposal is important for the movement, then we can ask WMF Legal to find a way of doing it that does not jeopardise WMF immunity. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 15:01, 2 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

The OTRS queue is much much longer than the time allowed before images are deleted


The OTRS queue is currently 51 days long, last time I checked before then it was 114 days long. The current policy is to delete files if the do not have sufficient copyright information after 7 days. This is causing a lot of problems with partner organisation's content being deleted before the OTRS ticket is approved, this leads to extra work getting things undeleted and any links to articles reinstated. I don't think it is realistic for the OTRS volunteers to do 7 - 14 times more work than they are currently doing, 'the beatings will continue until morale improves' does not seem a viable strategy. John Cummings (talk) 13:04, 2 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

  • I volunteered for the perm queue at OTRS for exactly this reason. However, I found it strange that they require more personally identifying information than currently any other role short of WMF Staffer. This includes Admin, Arbitrator, Checkuser, who from what I understand are now allowed to sign the confidentiality agreement with just their account pseudonym, yet OTRS seems to require more than this. Crow (talk) 21:44, 2 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
That backlog sounds like it could be overwhelming or demoralizing. What sorts of measures do you think might help alleviate the problem? Might more people volunteer if less personal information is required (as Crow mentioned)? Are there recurring issues that OTRS could deal with more easily if there were more automated processes or if they had more analysis from WMF Legal to reference? Are there time-consuming OTRS processes that could be streamlined?
As for the specific issues with partner organizations, could an exception to the 7-day deletion policy be made for those organizations’ files? Which policies would have to change for that to happen? –Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 22:55, 21 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
@CRoslof (WMF): can you please support @Keegan (WMF): in setting up something like a community wish list, but for OTRS? The main community wishlist opens in November and I think the OTRS community might be able to select its own proposals if someone would set up and moderate a discussion. Everyone doing OTRS is super busy as wiki super users and some research and collection of past discussions would be necessary to introduce a new discussion like this.
There are a lot of people doing OTRS tickets who can give specific ideas but the community has problems discussing things. A lot of OTRS problems get discussed on the private OTRS wiki or phabricator or in the private OTRS mailing list but to get progress a discussion needs a moderator to counter the chilling effect of discussing Wikimedia weaknesses that can be exploited if raised. Without a moderator, people cannot speak freely in public spaces, and also, someone has to invest the time in surfacing past wish-requests if any so that the community can respect the seriousness of the discussion.
user:Keegan, will you be at the October WikiConference in San Diego? Can you organize an in person chat there? I did at the past two Wikimanias and lots of people came, but I have limits to what I can document. Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:01, 22 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
I'll be at the WikiConference in San Diego, and I'd be happy to chat in-person about what OTRS volunteers need and how we can better support them. –Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 17:28, 23 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Orphan Works


The EU public policy group is already working on this. Perhaps it could also be looked at globally. Free and open movements like Wikimedia should be legally permitted to digitise, preserve and re-use works, whose authors are unknown.

This is also Top 4 of WMDE's latest community poll on prioritization of policy issues, see results here (in German). The demand listed in the poll read "Orphan works must be suitable for use in free knowledge projects", meaning that the prerequisites to use those works are actually manageable for volunteer projects – which right now they are not f.e. under the respective EU Directive on orphan works. John Weitzmann (WMDE) (talk) 09:34, 6 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

"Unknown" to whom? I know who currently owns the copyright in my late grandfather's book, but probably very few other people in the world do. Who gets to say it's orphaned? Are you suggesting that WMF should attempt to obtain some special status with respect to orphaned works, however they might be defined, and on what grounds do you suggest that they should base the case for this special legal status? Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 20:20, 6 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Freedom of Panorama


The EU public policy group is already working on this. Perhaps it could also be looked at globally. Publishing images of publicly accessible buildings, as architecture and public artworks should not be hindered by copyright.

This is also Top 3 of WMDE's latest community poll on prioritization of policy issues, see results here (in German). The demand listed in the poll read "Freedom of Panorama needs to be harmonized on a liberal level throughout the EU", meaning a harmonization on a level as in Portugal or the UK, not as for example in France. John Weitzmann (WMDE) (talk) 09:34, 6 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Government Works


The EU public policy group is already working on this. Perhaps it could also be looked at globally. All works published by international organisations, national governments and their respective agencies should become freely available.

This is also Top 2 of WMDE's latest community poll on prioritization of policy issues, see results here (in German). The demand listed in the poll read "Free Knowledge status needs to be the default for any material that was produced with public funding". John Weitzmann (WMDE) (talk) 09:34, 6 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Somewhat related are two other results of the same poll:

Safeguard the Public Domain


Top 1 "Works that have entered the Public Domain must remain rights-free", meaning that especially photographic reproductions of PD works must not be protected by exclusive rights. Top 3 (same approval as Freedom of Panorama, above) "Heritage institutions must not unduly forbid visitors taking photographs", as the combination of such interdictions and the institutions claiming own reproduction rights (in photos made by their staff) at the same time lead to a complete legal lock-up of PD works, as can be observed in the still running lawsuit of the Reiss-Engelhorn Museums ./. the WMF. Of course, interdictions of flash photography established for preservations reasons are a different matter. John Weitzmann (WMDE) (talk) 09:34, 6 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Text and Data Mining as usable tools for free knowledge


Top 5 of the poll mentioned above is the demand to keep TDM out of what constitutes a "use" in the copyright sense, so that free knowledge projects that rely on TDM techniques can do so w/o requiring licenses. John Weitzmann (WMDE) (talk) 09:34, 6 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Take Commons:Structured data into full and early account with all relevant actions taken on this list of issues


In my opinion, the Structured data project for Commons is one of the most important technical developments currently taking place on our projects. Many of the issues raised above, and answers/solutions to these issues, will be affected by it. I'd like to see the efforts on the structured data project strengthened, and would prefer if development there went faster. Perhaps we need extra efforts to involve and inform the community even better, and I would like us to work towards the smoothest and fastest possible transition to the new situation (transitioning the old unstructured metadata to structured data will be a huge effort, and can probably be lightened with specific tools). I'd also like to see that any action that affects changes to metadata on Commons - including upload tools and copyright licensing - would take the new Structured data situation into account: either wait till structured data are in effect before doing huge re-development efforts, or keep the future shift to structured data in mind. Just wanted to put this point here separately; it's not about copyright per se but is a basic development that will strategically effect many other actions, IMO. Spinster (talk) 09:20, 7 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]

Good news—development of structured data on Commons will be going faster, following a grant from the Sloan Foundation. The WMF legal team will be supporting its development. --Charles M. Roslof (WMF) (talk) 19:41, 19 January 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Rule of the shorter term


If the US followed the rule of the shorter term it would free up thousands of works to upload to our projects. The rule of the shorter term is recommended by the Berne Convention and followed by almost all other Berne Convention signatories. Following it would not negatively impact U.S. rights-holders except in cases where the rights to foreign works have been transferred to someone in the U.S. Compared to most other possible U.S. copyright reforms, this one probably has the best combination of feasibility and impact. Kaldari (talk) 00:24, 24 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]


No longer just for conversation...

Chatbots can now write content amazingly well, in a striking variety of formats and styles, following even complex instructions from users...

...but who owns the copyrights to what they write?

And can the generated content legally be placed under open license by users?

w:ChatGPT has gone viral and is taking the Web by storm, and is dominating tech news. What ChatGPT can do is mind blowing. The output from chatbots like ChatGPT have already started showing up on English Wikipedia. See w:Talk:Artwork title#Use of ChatGPT and w:Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#More detected AI-generated papers.

The English Wikipedia is currently in a vigorous debate on what to do about chatbots (also known as large language models, or LLMs) including a lengthy debate about copyrights at w:Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Copyright status. There is also a policy draft being developed called w:Wikipedia:Large language models, with copyrights being discussed on its talk page.

As chatbot use is spreading like wildfire, and their output will be showing up on a wide range of Wikimedia projects, this is something you should become familiar with. The Transhumanist (talk) 11:49, 30 January 2023 (UTC)[reply]