Local uploads policy
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Per Wikimedia Foundation Resolution: Licensing policy, Wikimedia projects "are expected to host only content which is under a Free Content License, or which is otherwise free as recognized by the 'Definition of Free Cultural Works'". Exceptions for "fair use" of copyrighted content must be in accordance with a local Exemption Doctrine Policy. This policy is approved by the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees to apply to all Wikimedia projects. It may not be circumvented, eroded, or ignored by local policies.
However, as of August 2016, there are e.g. 84 Wikipedias with more than a thousand images, and 137 with a hundred or more, but only 50 with an EDP according to Non-free content. It can therefore be safely assumed that most such wikis are currently breaching the Licensing policy.
Local uploads, which require a lot of work, are not the correct way to help most wikis, rather an imposition of an unwarranted burden. On the contrary, some years after the licensing policy resolution, Commons has grown a lot and has enhanced its ability to assist local wikis and local users by providing an effective infrastructure for uploads by users of any language and geography (including templates, documentation, an active community and last but not least the Upload Wizard): it should now further take the responsibility of assisting Wikimedia projects.
Local uploads policy
By default, all projects have local uploads disabled and rely entirely on Wikimedia Commons (see commons:Commons:Turning off local uploads).
All projects wishing to use local uploads of files must demonstrate that they need it and they are willing and able to comply with the Licensing Policy. This means:
- having an Exemption Doctrine Policy
- having a local working copy of all the copyright templates and categories required for each and all of the kinds of allowed local uploads, translated to content language;
- having at least two active sysops.
What above is considered the minimum to pursue respect of the licensing policy: an EDP and the basic tools to respect it; it's not enough, by itself, to reach the goal.
Projects that cannot demonstrate this will not have local uploads enabled.
Changing upload access
- Broadening access: Projects that do not have local uploads enabled, or which have restricted local uploads, may broaden upload access with local consensus if they respect this policy.
- Proposed exception (draft): they may enable local uploads for sysops only, with local consensus, with no need to prove they respect the requirements above.
- Limiting access: Projects that have local uploads may limit access by a local decision.
- Policy review: any project with local uploads enabled can be proposed for review in the appropriate forum on Meta-Wiki by any user stating they're not complying with the licensing policy; the community will thoroughly assess the compliance with the licensing policy; if the project is found non-compliant, local upload will be disabled and won't be re-enabled before a similar discussion concludes that the issues are resolved. The assessment will consider the following criteria: consistency of the EDP with the licensing policy goals; having infrastructure, skills and governance in place to identify the copyright status of content and attach appropriate descriptions to files, and to delete copyright violations in a timely manner, respecting standards (and quality metrics) proposed by the project itself.
Transition to default off
- The laws of any country from which more than 80 % of the users contribute from should be respected. For Wikipedia, the geographies to cover can be checked here.
- Non-free content
- commons:Commons:Turning off local uploads
- Requests for comment/Disable local uploads on smaller wikis
- Local uploads policy/taking stock: cleanup working list for a subset of wikis.
- Zero local media files