Meta talk:Fair use

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Can we discuss this for a while ? Would that be acceptable ? Should it be tweaked ? etc.... Voting might occur in a few weeks after helpful discussion. Anthere 23:33, 3 May 2008 (UTC)

The foundation:Resolution:Licensing policy says that for projects without an EDP, "By March 23, 2008, all existing files under an unacceptable license as per the above must either be accepted under an EDP, or shall be deleted." Doesn't this mean that any unfree images on Meta should have been deleted?
I do not know. I do not consider meta as being a *project* in that acception
I'd also suggest that the second point about Meta only permission is irrelevant. To keep things clear we should divide media as free or unfree, not create a gray area of media which can be freely used on Meta but not elsewhere. This will only serve to confuse.
On the subject of whether fair use can be justified on Meta at all, I'd suggest that this might be so but only in very limited circumstances, the example I'm thinking of would be the logos of event sponsors. The proposed EDP as it is currently is far too broad in what is permitted and clarification as to the circumstances in which fair use can be used needs to be provided before this can be implemented if it is at all. Adambro 23:57, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
can you propose a more "specific" phrasing then ? Anthere 00:47, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
yes, some time ago I asked a specific EDP for meta, Anthere' one looks very good (and I like "The image contributes to meta’s purpose" sentence)--Nick1915 - all you want 01:58, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
In response to Anthere's comments which I note she's intermingled with my own which I'd suggest makes it difficult for others to understand, on your final point I'd suggest we'd be better going the way of the English Wikinews and their n:Wikinews:Fair use policy whereby only specific uses are permitted which are set out as a "whitelist". I don't think it is wise in the case of Meta to allow such broad use of unfree material nor is it necessary. Would you be happy, as an example, for images like Or-res.jpg to be used under fair use? Adambro 08:44, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I would. But I'll wait until you have draft a second proposition to comment further. Anthere 12:43, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
Okay then, I've posted a first rough draft of what I'd more consider to me appropriate based upon the concept of a whitelist allowing particular uses of the fair use defence rather than simply allowing it to be used in any instance. I'd welcome comments on what other circumstances may justify the use of unfree images. Adambro 13:31, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Meta:Inclusion policy[edit]

Just a quick note that the Inclusion policy will need amending if this proposal for us to have an EDP and therefore allow unfree content becomes policy. Just wanting to make sure that it isn't forgotten and ends up conflicting with what is decided here. Adambro 13:41, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

As will Non-free content. Adambro 13:42, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

1 C)[edit]

Hoi. I like this proposal (version 1), but I don't understand why 1 C) is necessary as a condition. Maybe someone can explain that? I mean, if an image is not clearly unfree, the other conditions hold anyway, don't they? ;) --Thogo (talk) 07:32, 5 May 2008 (UTC)

Yeah. I think it would be reasonable to say that rather than Anthere's proposal being a polished version, it was quickly written in order to prompt debate about this issue. I don't know why section two of Anthere's version is necessary nor do I agree with the broad nature of the proposal. I think any EDP on Meta would be wise to impose additional conditions as to when fair use can be used otherwise I feel it is open to abuse such as the nonsensical use of unfree images in Wikimania bids which currently exists. Adambro 15:46, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Because the copyright cabal from en will come and make your lives absolutely miserable if you don't include that. It is useful for both a human and a bot to be able to tell at a glance if an image is non free.Geni 23:11, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
Ah, I'd misunderstood, perhaps Thogo had as well. I thought that it meant we must make sure that the material is unfree rather than make it clear here that it is. The Foundation resolution requires that unfree content can be identified by machine and presumably including a category in an appropriate template will take care of this. Adambro 11:53, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Aha. Maybe Anthere can explain what exactly she meant? I don't care about enwiki stuff and what they handle there how at all. (And local conventions of enwiki do not apply globally, of course.) --Thogo (talk) 07:42, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
What does any of this have to do with enwiki? Adambro 11:48, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
See Geni's post. --Thogo (talk) 10:21, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
It has to do with identification. The person uploading the image must not try to hide it is not free. It should use a tag to report it is non free, then give a rationale to explain why he thinks it is needed. Anthere 00:12, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Agreed, by clearly labeling the image as nonfree we avoid the confusion that could come otherwise. A simple "this is a nonfree image, and here's why I think it's allowed as fair use on Meta..." should cut it. giggy (:O) 01:50, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
Ah, ok. That sounds reasonable. Thanks for clarification. --Thogo (talk) 10:21, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

I think there should be a provision similar to 1C in 2 on Anthere's suggestion. People expect content found on Wikimedia projects to be free - if it is not, this should be clearly stated. WjBscribe 11:27, 9 June 2008 (UTC)


This has been sitting idle for a while now. Time to get some more commentary on it? At the moment, Anthere's more resembles the EnWP version (for what that's worth) but Adambro's is probably OK too. I'm thinking we ask the wider community to comment on these, unless there are any other proposed versions.

giggy (:O) 05:37, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

I've proposed a new version - 1B (as it is largely similar to Anthere's). I much prefer her approach of setting down criteria any image must pass, rather than trying to think of all types of images that might be needed and provide specifically for them. My worry with Adambro's version is that it might need updating as images are found which people think we should keep but don't fit the policy. I suspect that Anthere's and my proposed EDPs have the advantage that they definitely cover all unfree images meta might need to use. WjBscribe 11:49, 9 June 2008 (UTC)
It's nice to see attempts are being made to move this forward again. I've created Category:Unfree images and added any images which I've found and believe to be unfree. It may be useful to consider what unfree images we use now as part of this discussion. As can be seen, although there are no doubt more which I've missed, we're not talking about a large problem here and so if we fail to agree upon an EDP then I doubt deleting these files will have too much impact on the project. I think it is important to note that we shouldn't develop an EDP with the intention of keeping all currently unfree images. Of the contents of the category I think to claim fair use for a few is very questionable. As examples I'd highlight Image:UCL map london.jpg, we don't need to host maps like this and can simply link to them, Image:Turin2007grapes.jpg, a photo of grapes where it is very unclear why a free alternative couldn't be found or created, and Image:Wikipoli - 02.jpg, a unfree image of a proposed Wikimania venue, it is surely reasonable to expect anyone preparing a bid for Wikimania to be able to visit any venues and obtain free images. Of the other images we've got logos of organisations which the WMF has had some dealings which seem reasonable and scans of articles mentioning WMF projects or using our content, I'm not so sure about this. Adambro 18:12, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Images only?[edit]

The proposed EDPs so far focus only on images. Are there other categories of unfree material that it might be necessary to host on meta? Do we have copyrighted audio file or video files on meta, or extracts of copyrighted texts? Might we have a need for such things? If so, the EDPs would need to be broadened to cover unfree material other an images. WjBscribe 11:57, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Expanding it for audio and video wouldn't be a big deal, I think... there would still be requirements on asserting why it's useful, minimal use, no free equivalent, etc. etc. etc. I don't know if there are any copyrighted texts on Meat (or if any are needed... thinking about it, I imagine there might be), but if so then the same sort of thing should apply. Minimal use. No free alternative. Justification for why it's absolutely a necessity. Etc. giggy (:O) 09:45, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Proposed version 1 by User:Anthere[edit]

Non free material may be uploaded to meta as long as one or both of the two following sets of criteria are met:


A)The use is very likely allowed under US fair use law.
B)The amount used is as small as possible. Pictures should be as low resolution as possible and where applicable cropped to cover only the point of interest.
C)The material is clearly identified as non free
D)The copyright holder must be mentioned on the image page
E)The image page must contain a description as to why the use of the image is allowed under fair use law.


A)The image has been licensed for use on meta only
B)The material is not primarily encyclopaedic
C)The image contributes to meta's purpose
D)There is no free equivalent

Proposed version 1B by User:WJBscribe[edit]

1. Non free images may be uploaded to meta provided that:

1.1 The image is relevant to meta's purpose.
1.2 There is no free equivalent.
1.3 The image is clearly identified as non free.
1.4 The copyright holder is clearly identified on the image page.

2. And one of the following sets of criteria are met:

2.1. Fair use
2.1.1 The use is likely to be permitted under fair use law in the United States of America.
2.1.2 The image is of the lowest resolution necessary.
2.1.3 The amount of an image used is the smallest necessary - where applicable it is cropped to cover only the point of interest.
2.1.4 The image page contains a rationale as to why the use of the image is permitted under fair use law.
2.2. Permission
2.2.1 The image has been licensed for use on meta only.
2.2.3 The image page contains details of the circumstances in which the image has been licensed for use on meta, linking to the original permission where possible.

Proposed addenda to version 2[edit]


It may be appropriate when discussing an organisation such as an WMF event sponsor or an award/prize given to the Foundation or its communities to include their logo for purposes of identification. The nature of logos prevents a free alternative from being found or created. The lowest possible resolution should be used and such images must not be altered.

With-permission images for Wikimania bids[edit]

Where explicit permission is given to host images on meta as part of WMF event bids, these must only be used in direct connection to the bid (or subsequent conference), and replaced by free versions if and when practical.

Refactored, old proposals above[edit]

As per my comment on Meta:Babel, I've refactored this page, based on Adambro's proposal, which I think is excellent. Starting with a simple whitelist will prevent us from overusing fair use -- we can always discuss new cases as they come up, but these seem to be the most obvious ones which are defensible. As per my comment, this is simply a bold community edit, and in no way an official prescription from the Wikimedia Foundation.--Eloquence 19:59, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Unnecessary because licensing resolution applies only to projects[edit]

The term project seems to be undefined, at least it isn't defined in the text of the licensing resolution itself. I don't think the Foundation wiki is a project, nor is the strategy wiki, the test wiki, etc. These are all sites that have a specific purpose, but aren't intended to be "content projects" in the same sense as Wiktionary, Wikipedia, etc. To avoid the problem of having the licensing resolution apply to Meta, let's just agree that Meta is a site not a project, and therefore not subject to the requirement for an EDP.

Failing that, lets just mark this policy as accepted, flesh it out a little bit, and declare that Meta has an EDP and no mass deletions of non-free content is necessary. Nathan T 16:23, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

No, that simply is not true. Meta is another project as testwiki, commons and the Xhosa Wikibooks are. This site is publicy viewable and copyright (=legal) issues can't be overlooked. We're simply lucky that this project is not as visible as en/fr/es or commons are; otherwise for sure we'd have faced some DMCAs.
Meta is not a dump where you can throw all kind of copyrighted files, which seems it is what some people wants; that Meta be the trash for upload all kind of random stuff. Simply no. Meta does not allow unfree file hosting; and deletion is the right action to do.
This policy was never voted nor approved and it can't just be made policy without following the proper procedure.
-- MarcoAurelio (talk) 13:59, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
WM:NOT doesn't actually say anything about copyright. If anything, following the lines of WM:NOT would lead to the conclusion that non-free media which fall within Meta:Inclusion policy should be uploaded to Meta. Deryck C. 22:20, 2 June 2013 (UTC)