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From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
This is a proposal for a new Wikimedia sister project.
Status of the proposal
Statusprocedurally closed
ReasonProject has been launched by Wiki Project Med on Mar 13th 2021.[1] As of August 2021 efforts have collected more than a million, mostly medical, NC and ND licensed images.
Technical requirements

Domain names and alternatives

Name Domain Suggested by Comment
NonFreeWiki https://nonfree.wikimedia.org Green Giant and Liu Xin Yu
FairUseWiki https://fairuse.wikimedia.org TeleComNasSprVen
FairMediaWiki https://fairmediawiki.org Harrybrowne1986 Potential for confusion with MediaWiki?
CentralWiki https://centralwiki.org Harrybrowne1986 Just like the way we have central wiki login, the same way.
OneWiki https://onewiki.org Harrybrowne1986
UnCommons https://uncommons.wikimedia.org GregRundlett and Rich Farmbrough Because it's like Commons but the opposite in legal terms. Their use should be uncommon.
https://edp.wikimedia.org / http://nfc.wikimedia.org とある白い猫
Wikimedia Commons Fairuse http://fairuse.commons.wikimedia.org/ or http://fairuse.wikimedia.org/ or http://commons.wikimedia.org/fairuse/ or http://commons.wikimedia.com/ or http://comfu.wikimedia.org/ User:C933103 Whichever that would make thing easier
Wikimedia Commons NF http://nf.commons.wikimedia.org/ User:Calvinkulit From Rejected CommonsNF proposal.
Wikimedia Rares http://rares.wikimedia.org/ User:Calvinkulit Commons, but the opposite.
Commons-EDP/EDPCommons https://edp-commons.wikimedia.org/ User:Calvinkulit no comment
CNFCWiki https://cnfc.wikimedia.org/ User:Calvinkulit Central Non Free Content Wiki

See also


People interested



  1. Green Giant, as proposer.
  2. PC-XT (talk) Centralized attention on fair-use files, with the goal of enforcing the different wikis' policies, within Wikimedia's policies makes sense to me.
  3. This idea has been floated a few times in the past. Thank you for putting a well written proposal together. John Vandenberg (talk) 14:08, 19 March 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Strong support.--GZWDer (talk) 13:55, 2 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Also express strong support for this idea. I think this is a well thought out idea that solves a very real problem. Zellfaze (talk) 18:46, 9 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Strong support --Pierpao (talk) 17:36, 21 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Conditional support --Ricordisamoa 02:52, 30 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Same as Ricordisamoa. --The4DGovernment (talk) 02:12, 4 May 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Conditional support --Harrybrowne1986 (talk) 13:27, 15 May 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  10. This is a brilliant idea. As a Thai Wikipedian, I believe that it is very helpful for small and medium-sized wiki projects. We have spent significant amount of time dealing with fair-use image issues. The issues are somewhat redundant and can be avoided by a centralised system. --Taweethaも (talk) 00:09, 3 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Support Support I think that the idea is effective and efficient. It is a waste of time for Users to re-upload images just because they need to use it on a local wiki. In addition, it will maintain a central place for images and that will help provide many accurate statistics for such class of images and why would users upload them. Asaifm (talk) 14:50, 18 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Strongly Support Support. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 13:04, 19 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Support Support good idea, it will save many things --Ibrahim.ID (talk) 05:26, 17 August 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  14. --John123521 (talk) 15:00, 11 September 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  15. I had the same idea. Strong support -Nizil Shah (talk) 20:57, 19 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  16. I ended up on commons because I wanted a CC-BY-NC icon for OEIS:. And I like Lawrene Lessing's On Free, and the Differences between Culture and Code lecture. –Be..anyone (talk) 05:05, 26 October 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  17. Quite. Andreas JN466 12:50, 12 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  18. Nikki (talk) 09:15, 7 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  19. Alternate logo proposal
    Support Support I have been arguing about this for a long time, this would bring unfair use issue to a single location. We HAVE TO obey US copyright law and we choose to obey local laws where wikis are more widely used. This is just the existing practice and such a centralized unfree content wiki would eliminate a number of problems. I think files can be migrated to such an non-free content wiki without disrupting existing use. In fact preferably this should be done without re-downloading and re-uploading the files. Now that we have SUL fully integrated, attribution would not be an issue. One question is what would this wiki be called? edp.wikimedia.org? nfc.wikimedia.org? I would not want to call it uncommons. Such a shift may have positive legal consequences where we can mirror the entire file server on a European country because it is now entirely freely licensed. -- とある白い猫 chi? 12:43, 7 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    I would oppose the proposed logo as it will be confusing to distinguish commons from the non free content wiki for some people, especially if they are color blind. I would go for File:Red copyright.svg since that will be the only type of content on this wiki. Or it could be something inspired from it. -- とある白い猫 chi? 12:55, 7 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    The logo is not fixed so this is a good alternative. All I did with the logo was turn the Commons logo upside down and swapped the colours. The transfer to a single wiki could be done by bots, maybe even using an import right. The name also isn't fixed (although I've used NonFreeWiki in the requested demo). I've added the logo and the domains you suggested but feel free to make any changes you think are needed. Green Giant (talk) 13:49, 7 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    I am not a graphics artist. Perhaps this can be put on Commons:Graphic Lab/Illustration workshop where our more creative and talented users can come up with something? Perhaps we want to focus on WMF colors such as the case with incubator. -- とある白い猫 chi? 15:34, 7 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  20. General support for the concept. The devil is in the details, but details can be worked out. Before NFW is created, basic policies and procedures should be developed. Then it should be clearly proposed that Commons host this, creating special tagging or classificationt of files. There would then not need to be any interwiki moves from Commons to NFW or vice-versa, it would become a page move (perhaps to a new namespace). Copyright expertise is needed to handle licensing issues, and, for better or worse, that expertise exists on Commons. To preserve local autonomy, any local usage of a file should establish NFW hosting. If that local usage is true copyvio, then, it will be visible and should be handled. The current situation is unsatisfactory. The goal of the WMF policy is that any non-free usages be machine-readably tagged with a rationale, so that commercial re-users are warned. If, however, NFW removes local autonomy as to what files they choose to host, I would be opposed. Local autonomy creates the possibility of conflict with global consensus, yet local autonomy is a very important safeguard. As usual, there are comments that imagine "copyvio" is illegal in the U.S. Not exactly. It depends, and the WMF is not at risk from hosted copyvio, as long as it promptly takes it down under a DMCA request, which it normally does. --Abd (talk) 15:07, 18 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  21. Support. Reducing the burden on local communities. --minhhuy (talk) 10:18, 4 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  22. Support --Satdeep Gill (talk) 19:01, 30 December 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  23. Support Support ElGatoSaez (talk) 23:36, 14 January 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  24. Support. CourtlyHades296 (talk) 20:48, 12 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  25. Support. Less work for local small wikis. --Stranger195 (talkcontribs) 03:12, 27 February 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  26. Support Support --Morten Haan (talk) 02:02, 1 March 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  27. Support Support finally, I was waiting for this, I think it has a great potential. It won't solve all the problems but at least some of them... I am it-N, I speak 6 languages, I know local communities and I am active on commons. Call me when you start.--Alexmar983 (talk) 10:09, 4 May 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  28. Support Support --Ruthven (talk) 06:21, 10 May 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  29. Support Support of the strongest possible kind. NC licensed images could go here. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:27, 2 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
  30. Support Support all NC photo can be upload on it Richard923888 (talk) 15:47, 21 January 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  31. Support Support --Samuele2002 (talk) 23:24, 26 January 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Moving my comments to Talk:NonFreeWiki#Moving my lengthy comments from "interested people" subpage. Will make newer, fresher comments soonprobably someday. --George Ho (talk) 12:50, 1 January 2018 (UTC); edited, 12:56, 1 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  32. Support Support. do not care if commons will be the "non free", and a "free commons" is created, or the new one is non-free. non free should contain everything which leads to trouble. the cease and desist honey pots from germany (cc 3.0, art libre, or even cc-4.0 images placed in articles, later on thousands of amateur persons sued 1000$ each to stop using). --ThurnerRupert (talk) 22:02, 25 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  33. Support Support --Samuele2002 (Talk!) 21:07, 9 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  34. Support Support --アンタナナ 21:21, 9 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  35. Conditional Strong Support, the proposal would greatly ease file management. However,
    • Such wiki should probably be crafted in a way that users can upload it using the exact same tool as uploading copyright-free wiki, and it should present an option to users when the image were being uploaded to determine where the image would go to. As in, during the upload process, the upload tool should ask user what licenses their upload is, and then the tool should automatically direct the uploaded file to respective site afterward, without even letting user know the distinction behind the two sites. There should also be a way to easily shift image between two sites in one click in case of miscategorization.
    • The wiki should be made in a way that would allow a file's existence as long as the file is allowed to be used on any single wiki. In other words, as long as local wiki administration deemed the file is okay to be used on that wiki and it is also legally okay in certain related jurisdiction (even if it might not be the case in the US), the file should be allowed on the wiki.
    • If local wiki think it is necessary, local uploading should still be allowed at individual wiki
    • For situations where file usage is allowed in some geographical region but explicitly forbidden to host in e.g. the US where Wikimedia put its server, such wiki should have multiple server in multiple different countries around the world in order to provide images that would be allowed under different sets of regulations. If there are cases arose that some area need to host some files that are not legally acceptable in all the other area that wikimedia foundation operate a server, then local chapters in regions where such file were allowed, if they wish, should be able to setup a server to host such image and those servers setup by local chapters should be connected seamlessly to the proposed nonfreewiki
    It would have been a strong support if points being raised above are addressed, or with equivalent solution being provided, but otherwise it will probably be problematic to push for this idea.
    C933103 (talk) 15:00, 7 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  36. Support Support from what I can tell the majority of the issues on Wikimedia Commons seems to be related to copyright © issues, so this would solve a lot of problems. --Donald Trung (Talk 🤳🏻) (My global lock 😒🌏🔒) (My global unlock 😄🌏🔓) 12:09, 12 November 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  37. Support Support We need a place where non-open content can be stored until it becomes open (often dozens of years later). For instance if I take pictures of an art installation in Japan or an illuminated French town, currently I have no place to legally upload these. So these pictures will probably be lost. Ideally the server would keep the original I uploaded, but until the content becomes open, it should only allow a thumbnail (and all of the metadata) to be downloaded. Syced (talk) 03:21, 9 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  38. Support Support This will made editing for normal users much easier than it is today. --Walter Klosse (talk) 18:23, 18 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  39. Support Support We have enough local copies. We should exterminate all of them. Calvinkulit (talk) 04:15, 12 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  40. Support Support This has been a great idea for years. I am reconsidering it in the context of the WikiSpore idea to incubate experimental new projects. Blue Rasberry (talk) 15:13, 12 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  41. Support Support Arep Ticous 17:45, 12 September 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  42. Support Support if community of the new wiki will be built from scratch, not by staffing the new site with people from Wikimedia Commons. I offer whatever job necessary in JavaScript (see Special:PrefixIndex/user:Incnis_Mrsi/), Lua, MediaWiki templates, CSS, image processing and design, and debugging (for all programming languages) on the condition above. Incnis Mrsi (talk) 11:52, 13 April 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  43. Support Support helpful for small and medium-sized wiki projects.--Kitabc12345 (talk) 05:20, 2 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  44. Strong support Strong support during the Diversity WG discussions for the strategy was one of the proposal for the NC & ND licenses --Camelia (talk) 07:16, 19 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  45. Support Support it can reduce number of file copies on servers, it can help small projects, and, of course, it can hold copyright conflict that grows inside Commons. Красныйwanna talk? 13:20, 19 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  46. Support Support --Epìdosis 20:52, 21 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  47. Support Support --Susanna Giaccai (talk) 06:44, 23 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  48. Support Support Also easier to identify LTA that focused on cross-wiki local-file-uploading. Veracious (talk) 08:19, 30 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  49. Support Support RaFaDa20631 (talk) 13:36, 30 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  50. Support Support ----MONUMENTA (talk) 13:42, 29 July 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  51. Support Support --Kuatrero (talk) 00:36, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  52. Support Support Ivanbetanco43 (talk) 19:52, 8 August 2021 (UTC)[reply]
  53. Support Support - In SqWiki we have struggled for years if not decades with images. Currently our pending changes and unreviewed pages lists have a backlog of more than 3 years. We are struggling a lot with just plain accepting/refusing vandalism or factchecking sources. Hunting down licenses above that would be an almost impossible deed for us and it's been years we've stopped local uploading. This has led to almost all our art related articles to be without images (book covers, album covers, movie posters, etc.) and it's been quite a while we've been hoping for a solution like this. (Not to mention the many copyrighted images we may already be hosting there for years from the time we stopped the local upload without knowing nothing about their licenses. I estimate the majority part of images shouldn't be there.) The only concern is how easy will it be to actually hunt down all the local laws about licenses globally. I have the feeling this would be a requirement that would be needed to be done by the local wikis which wouldn't be much of help for us because in decades we haven't had 1 single lawyer volunteer to do that work and I doubt we ever will in the near future. This is why we chose to "let Commons deal with it". But again, that's better than nothing and in the very long run it may present itself as beneficial even for us. - Klein Muçi (talk) 13:01, 7 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  54. Support Support --Zblace (talk) 15:34, 9 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


  1. Strong Opppose - Problems block implementation that must be dealt with before this could move forwards: The proposal fails to deal with issues such as en-wiki allowing files that are out of copyright in America, but not on Commons. Implementing this could be disasterous if done without a concrete, coherent proposal for dealing with such issues. It also separates the non-free files from their fair-use content, and makes problems with orphaned fair use much harder to deal with in absence of concrete systems for dealing with such. As well, a good number of supposed "non-free" files, when checked, turn out to be public domain when checked; for example, it's not uncommon for pre-1923 American books and music scores to have first edition covers uploaded under fair use, which is simply wrong. Adam Cuerden (talk) 14:03, 14 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    I'm not seeing the objection as being to the concept of NFW, rather as being a concern about implementation details, and I'm not getting that Adam Cuerden understands the proposal. "Fair Use" is one example of Non-free content, not something clearly separate. Under WMF policy, fair use is actually required for NC licensed material to be hosted; however, NFW would classify such files to keep the issue distinct; and thus NFW would become a source for finding NC files for NC users. Two birds with one stone. "Orphaned fair use" is an oxymoron, it is not fair use if not used. However, I would suggest that instead of deleting orphaned files, they be replaced with thumbnails, if they are not already thumbnails. I.e., what Google search does: display thumbnails for file identification, then show links to pages where the files are hosted. Generally, license information provided should not be deleted unless clearly fraudulent, and it is arguable that even that should not be deleted, merely annotated and hidden. NFW should be maximally transparent. I see no looming "disaster" here. If a file is legal to host in the U.S., say under fair use, and not legal in another jurisdiction, this "problem" already exists. Local language wikis may decide to follow local law, that is completely up to them. That a file is hosted on NFW does not make its use locally automatically legitimate. It does make it possible. --Abd (talk) 15:16, 18 August 2015 (UTC)[reply]
    Files would be restricted in usage unlike commons. Wiki's that choose to use these files must have a compatible local fair use. So for instance German wikipedia will not be able to use these files - be it files fully copyrighted, or only free in the US. -- とある白い猫 chi? 18:24, 2 September 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Oppose as long as it hasn't been clarified who's going to do the monitoring and policing of the uploads and rationales. Who's going to form the admin force on the new wiki? How are local-wiki admins going to be able to monitor who's uploading things on NFW and then inserting them on the local wiki? Keep in mind that checking uploads and rationales is not just formal paperwork, at least once we go beyond the most clear-cut of standard cases, like cover art etc. As soon as we are dealing with stuff like historic photographs, non-free portraits and the like, anybody who wishes to check the justification of a file needs to be able to read and understand both the (individually worded) non-free use rationale, and the target article where it's used. The small problem wikis that have failed to adhere to Foundation policy in the past have no admin force willing or able to do such checks, so we can't expect them to delegate admins to work effectively on NFW either. As long as that's the case, NFW will only shift a problem from one place to another without solving it. Fut.Perf. 10:26, 3 April 2016 (UTC)[reply]
    It could start with NC and ND licensed content which we can legally use right now except we choose not to.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:31, 2 September 2016 (UTC)[reply]
    a wiki can just opt out of non-free if it is too much admin hassle. when cloning en wikipedia e.g. for offline (kiwix, ... ) it can be easy excluded by url. amateurs linking to images out of their wordpress blog can be sure that they won't get sued. currently commons, and images in the wikipedia itself is much to difficult to explain and handle. wikipedia has an educational mission and a related tax exemption, this means safe reuse without hiring lawyers is key, otherwise its a "mission failed". --ThurnerRupert (talk) 22:08, 25 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Oppose I anticipate this being a miserable fail for Wikinews archival image use. Our archives at Wikinews are a major asset, their preservation and curation an important part of our charge (as I write this, our archives at English Wikinews have grown to about 21,000 articles). One of our major problems — despite, it should be said, lots of great folks on other sister projects who are supportive in a positive collegial spirit — is that over time our image-hosting needs that differ from those of Wikipedia are overlooked, neglected, and ignored by a central image-hosting project where large numbers of people treat the central repository as a practical adjunct to Wikipedia. Image deletion is cumulative over time, so that in the long run the treatment of Wikinews images by a central repository suffers cumulative destruction from widespread (though obviously not universal) indifference, ignorance, and sometimes active antipathy, toward the needs of Wikinews. It's a source of persistent frustration to us that several percent of our archived articles have holes in them due to images deleted from Commons. Some of those holes, we would be unable to fix by local upload either, because our fair-use policy (hammered out years ago with Wikimedia legal) does not allow fair use of images under copyright by competing news agencies, but a great many of those image holes could in principle be filled, and perhaps at some point we'll have the opportunity to do so — but predictably, if our fair-use images had to be hosted on a centralized non-Wikinews site, in the long run the centralized project would collectively ignore (if not actively defy) the differences between Wikinews and Wikipedia and the image holes in our archives would grow substantially. --Pi zero (talk) 13:20, 24 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Sorry, Pi zero, but the proposed project would not (and should not) control how local wikis handle non-free images. If some images are non-transferable to the proposed project, as how some images are non-transferable to Commons, then let's not upload them there. Nevertheless, having one image in many local wikis would reduce too many copies of a similar image. One thing for certain: Japanese language projects, like Japanese Wikipedia, would not allow non-free images. I'm certain that the project would respect the jurisdictions of Japanese Wikipedia. As for Wikinews... well, its huge issues (e.g. limited participation) have been discussed in English Wikinews locally, and how Wikinews handles non-free images should not affect the outcome of this proposal. Neither should the state of Wikinews itself. --George Ho (talk) 04:54, 27 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    @George Ho:
    • The proposal, even if implemented in its exact form here, describes a reduction of local control — a deleting authority at the central repository decides (afaict) whether or not they're satisfied that local requirements have been met after seven days, which means local authorities are not able to exercise their judgement, neither in how long to allow before deleting without a rationale, nor in what rationales are or are not adequate (or, even more nuanced, what rationales are temporarily adequate) in a particular case. Furthermore, Commoners already have much difficulty consistently enforcing inclusion/exclusion rules, when there's just one set of rules for the whole repository; it strikes me as fanciful that a central authority could make high-quality judgements about rationales under many different sets of rules. In practice, any project whose rules are atypical — such as Wikinews — would get shafted.
    • Central authority is subject to abuse, and institutional structures such as the Foundation consistently favor centralizing authority. Although details of this proposal just as stated describe some authority remaining local, the proposal doesn't particularly emphasize it (just for example, the Summary only mentions this point in its last dozen words; I sympathize with the difficulty of writing these things, but that doesn't change my assessment that the point is deemphasized).
    These concerns about the relationship between local admins and the central authority are, in essence, another form of the concerns expressed above by another user about coordination; and such situations naturally gravitate toward a state in which the central authority dominates and imposes strong deletion rules that override local authorities and, ultimately, subvert local knowledge, local judgement, and local policy. --Pi zero (talk) 13:37, 27 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    First part... Well, I see your point on the deletion part, but local wikis can simply remove a file without deleting the proposed project's copy. Therefore, any editor at the proposed (supposedly centralized) project can tell other readers not to add the file in certain wikis.

    Second part... I'm sure NonFreeWiki would not be as centric toward non-free images as Commons is toward free images... Actually, Meta-wiki's OTRS service (currently understaffed and backlogged) centralizes Commons's handling of permissions. Also, NonFreeWiki wouldn't impact Japanese Wikipedia's prohibition on non-free images, and I'm sure that it would respect the wishes of Wikinews. The relationship between English Wikipedia and NonFreeWiki, however... I don't know. Nevertheless, en wiki's policies toward non-free images are too burdensome, and NonFreeWiki would be less centric toward non-free images than English Wikipedia does. By the way, you can keep a local copy, while NonFreeWiki can have its own (central) copy. Some local wikis keep their own copies of free images as Commons keep theirs.

    Off-topic, but I read the 2013 events about Croatian Wikipedia. I wonder how local authority is any different from central authority. If local authority affects everyone negatively, then central authority may have rights to interfere. Otherwise, I'm sure that central authority can respect and would not infringe local authority, i.e. NonFreeWiki is very motherly to every wiki... and will be sisterly to Commons.

    Wondering... what would be the relationship among NonFreeWiki, Commons, and Meta-wiki's OTRS (OTRS... ugh)? Would the trio be the Axis of Powers-like, Allied Powers-ish, or the Three Musketeers? (Must... not... insert... smileys...) --George Ho (talk) 17:02, 27 April 2017 (UTC); edited. 17:03, 27 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]

    @George Ho:
    • You say "local wiki can simply remove a file without deleting the proposed project's copy." This seems to be addressing a very different concern than I was raising. I was concerned with a central authority removing things, thereby removing a local authority's ability to decide not to remove them. You're talking about safeguarding a local site's ability to delete a file even if the central authority doesn't. I admit I'm also not entirely convinced by what you say about that; it seems likely to me that the centralization-minded Foundation would not care about preserving any vestige of local control, on the contrary the Foundation naturally favors removing control from local projects.
    • You say "I'm sure NonFreeWiki would not be as centric toward non-free images as Commons is toward free images..." Your confidence sounds unfounded to me. The tendency of central authorities to accumulate power to themselves is not limited by the intentions of the person who first gave it to them. You are evidently naively optimistic about what might be done, but my experience of central authorities leads me to be more concerned with the damage they can do — especially, in this case, damage to decentralized grassroots communities. We may both agree that a central NonFreeWiki could not do as good a job of making these decisions as the local projects, but I do not think that would deter the central authority from making the decisions, rather I take it to mean they would make bad decisions.
    • You say "By the way, you can keep a local copy, while NonFreeWiki can have its own (central) copy." Tbh, I entirely disbelieve that. I believe that you believe it; I just think you're wrong. The Foundation would not do both; if they create NonFreeWiki they would take it for granted that centralized is better and they would continue in that direction until NonFreeWiki is the only repository of non-Commons images. That is their nature.
    --Pi zero (talk) 21:00, 14 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Pi zero, I hope you forgive me for my ignorance about the whole proposal. I swear I either overlooked or was careless about the "blocking" part. I haven't switched to "oppose" yet, but I admit you have a point about central authority. --George Ho (talk) 03:47, 16 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Oppose for 2 main reasons:
    1. yet another wiki, with yet another set of rules and presumably English-based will make it even harder for casual users to upload non-free images. We have all the pains in the world explaining why they can't upload in their native tongue and with a single set of rules to care about, it will be incredibly difficult to explain with more than one set of rules.
    2. no simple technical solution on whether an image can or cannot be displayed on a specific wiki according to the local EDP. That makes the "semaphore system" error-prone, with the difference that local users who notice the problem might not be willing to fix it (because on another wiki).
    What would be acceptable would be a NC repository, such as for no-FoP images, and, unrelated to that, a ban on local uploads on wikis with no EDP. --Strainu (talk) 16:43, 9 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    I hate to admit that some images would be nontransferable to the proposed project, Strainu. Nevertheless, because some smaller wikis could not upload its own files locally, which I forgot to mention, this project can do it for those wikis if they can allow NFC. Also, as said above... well local wikis and this central wiki may not control each other. I also see your point on technical issues with local file descriptions and global ones, but... I still believe that this project can work. --George Ho (talk) 18:13, 9 May 2017 (UTC); see below. 22:46, 9 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Scratch that. I re-read the second point and realize that you were discussing local display and global display of non-free content. I think any local wiki could disable or modify a global display of any non-free content stored in NonFreeWiki, wouldn't it? --George Ho (talk) 22:46, 9 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    See my newer comments at the Support section. --George Ho (talk) 03:47, 16 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Oppose, quite strongly. I do not think that this proposal is thought through. The first step before even thinking about such a proposal should be to consult with Wikimedia's Legal Team and ask them if something like this would be legally possible. Are they aware of this proposal? After all, I suppose that "NonFreeWiki" would be a public wiki where anyone could access the non-free content, out of the article context where "fair use" provisions as in U.S. law are applicable. It's, in my opinion, already rather problematic that non-free images, due to the way MediaWiki works, are also accessible out of article context, isolated, on the image description pages in the individual wikis that allow non-free content. English Wikipedia is trying to remedy that issue by adding a specific fair use rationale to each individual non-free file, explicitly stating for which purpose in which article that particular file is intended. Still, people can find and access the image out of its "fair use" context. A separate "NonFreeWiki" as a collection of non-free files that are deemed acceptable on some wikis and not on others would aggravate that issue. Gestumblindi (talk) 20:23, 12 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    I recently contacted the Legal Team about this proposal. I'm awaiting its responses. --George Ho (talk) 06:41, 15 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  6. INTENSELY OPPOSED to the first line of the proposed "solution". It is unacceptable to shut down local image uploads. While the intent of this project may be good, this is a proposal for one community to seize critical content control away from all other communities. The fact that content can be hosted locally is a critical safety value that prevents the possibility of inter-community warfare, allowing controversial content to be hosted by the local community in the event of a dispute. I am not prepared to entrust the integrity of articles such as Internet Watch Foundation and Wikipedia to this new community. Alsee (talk) 18:32, 15 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Oppose Oppose - Non Free images do not belong to Wikimedia. They're non free. That's it. -Theklan (talk) 18:47, 26 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    @Theklan: If a non-free image doesn't belong to Wikimedia, deletion can be proposed in any way at either a local wiki or a central project, like this one. --George Ho (talk) 03:47, 27 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    @User:George Ho: That's my point. Fair use is not free. Fair use is a lazy thing that undermines the huge work of having free content. So I oppose both this proposal AND having non free images in any Wikimedia project. Making a nonfree Wiki would be a suicidal move for our movement. -Theklan (talk) 09:27, 27 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    "Fair use" content has been used in certain projects, like some or most local Wikipedia sites. Of course, the Foundation has (strongly?) encouraged free content, especially article content. "Content" has been broadly used in this discussion, so I'll specify. Certain video and audio clips are subject to copyright because... those media are extraordinary and unique and highly appealing. Images... well, are also appealing, but they are safer to use than the other media due to their two-dimensional format. Hmm... if free content is strongly(?) encouraged, there are other "free" contents that are free in the US but copyrightable in their own host countries, like the en:File:EDGE magazine (logo).svg. The scope of this proposal, i.e. focusing on non-free content, has caused some opposition. If the scope of this proposal is widened a bit, then maybe the opposition would be lessened. --George Ho (talk) 14:02, 27 May 2017 (UTC); amended. 17:37, 27 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    @George Ho: "Fair use" content has been used in certain projects, like Wikipedia: For the sake of precision, let's clarify: in English-language Wikipedia and certain other language versions of Wikipedia where local law seems to allow for "fair use" or a similar kind of using non-free content; there are also language versions where non-free content is entirely banned, such as German-language Wikipedia (except for text quotes in encyclopedic context as far as the law allows for), the "real" second largest language version (Cebuano and Swedish Wikipedia contain lots of bot-generated stubs, so don't really count IMHO). Gestumblindi (talk) 17:27, 27 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Got it; thanks. I modified my above reply to reflect what you said. --George Ho (talk) 17:37, 27 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  8. ┌──────┘
    @Theklan: But things of Wikimedia itself can also be non-free (e.g. contents of CheckUser Wiki where said Content is copyrighted (© all rights reserved) by the Wikimedia Foundation, and CC BY-NC-SA things of huwiki and itwiki). --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 00:37, 7 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Oppose When I started reading through all the supporting votes, I quickly was persuaded that this project would be a good idea. However, I am afraid that there will be significant problems caused by the different policies of Wikipedia versions and how individuals can communicate across language barriers. At least with Commons, the content rules are relatively straightforward and translated into many languages. The NonFreeWiki, in contrast, will frequently have to deal with conflicts between rules on different Wikipedia versions. A major issue will be resolution of images (how big is enough). Since there are no fixed guidelines on resolution, I foresee disagreements as to the appropriate size and difficulty communicating between languages (or at least dominated by anglophones) on resolving this issue. And what happens when one version has a stricter requirement than another? What about when one language's fair use rationale is lengthy but another's is short? Also consider the following example: English-language version of article X contains a fair use photograph and prose for which the photograph is essential for understanding but that image is used in another language WP article without prose justifying its use. If the image is removed from the English WP article, then it would still be left on the other language's article without adequate justification. I have a feeling that many WP project in lesser-edited languages will start using these images en masse without adequately understanding the need for fair use rationale. In this scenario, I think the project will end up hosting a lot of images without adequate justification. Also, unlike Commons, which has many active users and a scope independent of Wikipedia, the NFW project has a very narrow scope and will likely attract very few active editors.

    In my opinion, the efficiency of hosting content locally (no language barriers, one policy in the language of the project) outweigh any efficiency from having a central repository. While there are many editors that speak multiple languages, few are fluent/very proficient in more than one language and those that are are mostly limited to English plus a European language. The Wikimedia Foundation needs to spend resources on promoting use/editing in numerous other languages and I think that a common repository for non-free media will create barriers between different language Wikipedia projects, ostracizing editors who don't understand English well, and be dominated by anglophones (and, for the record, I'm a native English speaker who only has an intermediate knowledge of French).

    That said, there could be other ways of making content more available across Wikipedia versions. For starters, how about a cross-language WP search engine to find files on other projects that may not be allowed on Commons but are freely-licensed in at least the US? I am not a fan of the Commons policy that all media must be freely-available in both the US and the source country, a policy that prevents photographs of architecture when the country where the building is located does not have a freedom of panorama law. I really wish this Commons policy would be changed. US Copyright law "The copyright in an architectural work that has been constructed does not include the right to prevent the making, distributing, or public display of pictures, paintings, photographs, or other pictorial representations of the work, if the building in which the work is embodied is located in or ordinarily visible from a public place." ([2]) The scope of copyright protection is NOT affected by the copyright laws of other countries: "No right or interest in a work eligible for protection under this title may be claimed by virtue of, or in reliance upon, the provisions of the Berne Convention, or the adherence of the United States thereto. Any rights in a work eligible for protection under this title that derive from this title, other Federal or State statutes, or the common law, shall not be expanded or reduced by virtue of, or in reliance upon, the provisions of the Berne Convention, or the adherence of the United States thereto." ([3]). So if a building is located in a country without FoP, in the US, and thus for Wikimedia servers in the US, there is no copyright claim for the architects to photos of a constructed building (even when the building is outside the US). Several WP projects host such photographs, since they can't be uploaded to Commons. For an example, I uploaded this photo to English WP which I had found on French WP. I don't check Meta very often, so ping any replies so I'll see a notification when on other projects. AHeneen (talk) 02:39, 21 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]

    AHeneen, may I reformat your post with the <p> please? The :: seems to have broken the automatic numbering format. Thanks. --George Ho (talk) 15:08, 27 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Feel free to remove this message please. --George Ho (talk) 15:08, 27 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    That's fine. But it doesn't allow them to be indented. AHeneen (talk) 03:21, 29 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
    Reformatted, AHeneen. --George Ho (talk) 08:30, 29 July 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  10. This will force those who maintain non-free images on local projects to either run for adminship on some new project or stop working on maintaining non-free images. I consider this a substantial cost of moving to this "central" system. This is especially the case given that Commons is basically non-functional from an administrative perspective right now. You have deletion requests open from October. When the existing central platform for free files is running without massive backlogs in basic areas, then we can perhaps start talking about creating even more central areas where local admins can't participate without passing another RfA. I also find it massively objectionable that this doesn't appear to have been advertised in any way on enwiki or any other affected wiki. Are you really trying to push through a stealth change of local policy (turning off file uploads) without notifying any local project? ~ Rob13Talk 00:29, 23 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
    Also, what do you plan to do about all of the images hosted on enwiki that are PD in the US but not in the source country? Local policy allows us to host those. Commons policy does not. Do they just disappear, or are you also proposing a FreeButKindaNotInSomeCountriesWiki? ~ Rob13Talk 00:31, 23 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Oppose in practice this is creating Copyright Violation Wiki. Not that all local projects do this great, but Commons already has a massive issue with hosting copyrighted content centrally, when it is not allowed to host non-free content. Having a centralized repository for this would make the problem even worse because the issues involved with non-free file use are much more complex. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:37, 23 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Oppose - fair use content requires close oversight by the community that actually uses the content. Putting all our fair use images onto a separate project will make copyright violations far more likely, and could easily end with Wikipedia having no accessible fair use content at all. Bradv🍁 01:03, 23 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Strong Opppose - inclouding deletion of all "Fair use" images. The hosting of such images ar against our mission and an affront to the idea of free knowledge. Every single "fair use" image is an image in the way for a real free image. This brings answers like "but you already have found a way" by people who are sitting on the images. There is no middle way between freedom and unfreedom. Just a bit free is unfree. -- Marcus Cyron (talk) 18:14, 19 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  14. Oppose, per above, especially Bradv. Use of nonfree content must have serious restrictions and close oversight by the community using the content. --Yair rand (talk) 21:22, 21 May 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Oppose. As others have noted, fair use style exemptions must be negotiated in the context of a specific community's use of a file, and its specific policies. This would likely turn into a wiki dominated by a few large wikis like en.wp, who would at the same time be frustrated by having to go to some separate website to have those discussions.--Eloquence (talk) 06:43, 14 July 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Other comments


Green Giant, thank you for the proposal you made, and I give you support to this. About this statement from the project page: "...and then stop all local uploads". Seems that it prompted six people into opposing this project. May you please amend or remove "stop all local uploads"? Seems that, as opposers pointed out, central authority would conflict with local authority. If amended, the local authority would be retained. I still favor this proposal as long as the central project would not take away local wikis' handling of non-free content. Is that fine? --George Ho (talk) 20:15, 15 May 2017 (UTC); edited. 20:37, 15 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I misread the whole proposal. Seems that blocking all local wikis from uploading non-free content locally is part of the whole proposal. --George Ho (talk) 03:34, 16 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Blocking local uploads is currently part of the main proposal, but that aspect can (and must) be dropped. Dealing with which wikis can use which images would probably get a bit ugly, but the idea of consolidating all of the duplicate files, and making them available for wider use, is an interesting idea. Alsee (talk) 09:42, 16 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Thinking about this proposal more, it makes things extremely complicated and confusing to have separate Commons and NonFreeCommons sites. Especially for new users who already find uploading and copyright to be confusing. I think it would be vastly simpler to just expand Common's mission, adding firm mechanisms to separate and restrict NonFree images. That gives you one site, with one well developed community, organizing them all. When a file is evaluated as Free/NonFree, a status change can be handled simply by tagging it differently. There would be no need to transfer it to another site/community for re-processing. Alsee (talk) 09:42, 16 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Alsee, Commons is severely understaffed and heavily backlogged; so is OTRS. How would allowing fair use images in Commons help the situation? That would increase more workload for Commons admins than if such content is allowed. Like other projects, as I've been told already, Commons is a voluntary service. Being recruited an admin is a nice offer... but I hear such workload would burn an admin out. I don't know whether more recruitments can help the situation. --George Ho (talk) 03:45, 27 May 2017 (UTC); edited. 03:50, 27 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
In order for a non-free images wiki to grow a community, I expect it would substantially be cannibalizing people from Commons. I think trying to split images-work across two wikis would be less efficient. The total workload is roughly the same for one wiki vs two wikis, except that moving some general labor would be duplicative and moving images between sites would be more labor intensive . Alsee (talk) 22:01, 28 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]
The existing arrangement seems to me rather optimal re division of labor, as dealing with non-free images is handled by users on the specific wiki that wants the non-free images, the very place where users outside the Commons community care enough to deal with those images, relieving Commons admins of the burden. --Pi zero (talk) 20:19, 30 May 2017 (UTC)[reply]

There is the alternative (but almost similar) proposal, NonFreeWiki (2). --George Ho (talk) 08:33, 3 January 2018 (UTC)[reply]

The above comments seem to conflate two separate concepts; being repositories on the one hand "fair use" material (good luck persuading Disney that gallery pages of their images are held for "fair use"!), and on the other for "NC" licenced material. These are not the same. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:46, 7 August 2020 (UTC)[reply]

Project launch


NC Commons has been launched by Wiki Project Med. Its goal is to collect creative commons licensed material that is under NC and ND licenses. The goal is only to collect existing material rather than permit individuals to newly upload material under these licenses. Ability to edit also requires approval. The project is not at this point in time considering hosting "fair-use" material. Reach out if you are interested in being involved. Best Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:01, 30 April 2021 (UTC)[reply]