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This page seems to be a little out of date, in that it refers to "fair use images" rather than the use of non-free images under Exemption Doctrine Policies. (See Wikimedia licensing resolution.) As a related question, is there a list of all active EDPs for various projects? Quadell 17:49, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

You may want to read Fair use.--Jusjih 01:47, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! Quadell 03:37, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

How to document evanescent references?[edit]

There is no copyright problem when giving a reference as a (copyrighted) "retreived on" public web page . But if the author keeps changing the content that is the source of the information in the article, how does one usefully document the reference without making a publicly available (and thus illegal) copy? In the case in mind, the information never appears on paper or as a permanent link.

Is there a reference Archive? One solution is a sort of special-use Commons filestore; the editor stores an archive copy of the page, noting that the copy is made for the special use of documenting its existence as a reference for information. In order to view the Archive, one has to agree that you are not going to "use" the work (consuming it in the ways the copyright holder controls) but only verifying the particular way the editor used it when he learned the information that was transfered.

The Oakland Archive Policy referred to by The Internet Archive mentions "At times, however, authors and publishers may request that their documents not be included in publicly available archives or web collections. To comply with such requests, archivists may restrict access to ..."

This Wiki Archive would be a way to do that so that the saved pages don't have to be removed if a copyright holder complains (which is what the people do, apparently).

Copyright on wiki projects[edit]

Hello everyone!

I mainly work on files but I do it globally. I noticed that copyright are enforced differently on wikis. Some are very strict and some does not seem enforce copyright at all. I do not want to point out any wiki so this post will be kept in general terms.

I have been looking for a page that clearly specify how all wiki projects should enforce copyright. We have a lot of pages and discussions but if I want to convince that they have to delete hundreds or thousands of photos it is much easier if I can post a link to a page saying that I'm right (if I'm right).

A good place to start is wmf:Resolution:Licensing_policy. That says that files must be under a Free Content License or allowed in a Exemption Doctrine Policy (EDP).

That sounds good but it still leaves a lot of questions. Because what if I (a person from Denmark) go to France and take a photo of a copyrighted building and upload it to the Japanese Wikipedia under a free license?

What I'm looking for is a place to add 10 (or so) "rules" or "answers" of copyright on wiki projects with a link to where it is possible to find further assistance.


  • Rule number 1: All wikis must follow the wmf:Resolution:Licensing_policy
  • Rule number 2: Wikimedia Commons may only host files that is free in both The United States AND the home country.
  • Rule number 3: All other wikis may only host files that is free (pick the right one below)
  1. in the United States
  2. in the home country
  3. in either the United States or the home country
  4. in both the United States and the home country
  • Rule number 4: All other wikis may only host non-free files that meet the rules for fair use (pick the right one below)
  1. in the United States
  2. in the home country
  3. in either the United States or the home country
  4. in both the United States and the home country
  • Rule number 5:The United States does not accept "the Rule of the shorter terms". That means that works can be copyrighted in the United States even if it is out of copyright in the home country.
  • Rule number 6: The home country is defined (pick the right one below)
  1. as the home nation af the photographer/artist
  2. as the country where the photo or work was created
  3. as the country where the language is mostly spoken (example for it is Japan and it is Russia)
  • Rule number 7: All wikis (including Commons) must delete (pick the right one below)
  1. all known violations of copyright (and child porn etc)
  2. all known and likely violations of copyright (and child porn etc)
  3. all known, all likely and all possible violations of copyright (and child porn etc)
  • Rule number 8: Wikis are not censored and are not expected to follow any non-copyright rules except the rules of the United States. (?)
  • Etc.

Based on those "rules" or "answers" it should be possible to find the right answer to most questions. For example:

  1. May a wiki host files that is out of copyright in the home country but not in the US?
  2. May a wiki host photos of buildings and statues etc. from a country with no Freedom of panorama if the wiki has its "home" in a country that does have FOP?
  3. May a wiki host photos of buildings and statues etc. from its "home" country if that country only allow non-commercial usage of photos?
  4. May a wiki keep copyrighted files and wait for a DMCA takedown?

All of the above are my own ideas and I have not checked if the "rules" follow the official policies etc. I'm just throwing out ideas and asking if we have a page somewhere that has what I'm looking for. --MGA73 (talk) 15:34, 16 June 2020 (UTC)

Legal/Legal_Policies#Applicable_Law says US law should be followed but it also say "the Wikimedia Foundation may request that the policy be rendered compliant with U.S. law.". --MGA73 (talk) 12:17, 20 June 2020 (UTC)
wmf:Resolution:Licensing policy states that the work must be under a free licence (as defined by freedomdefined:Definition) or under an EDP. The page states that There must also not be any limit on [...] where the information can be copied. If "the information" is a photograph of a building, the information can't be freely copied in France unless the French copyright to the building has expired or permission has been obtained from the architect. It would not matter if the country where the building is located has FOP or not; you still can't copy "the information" in France. If the photograph can't be copied in France, the photograph would be unfree according to freedomdefined:Definition. I don't think that any Wikimedia project follows this part of freedomdefined:Definition --Stefan2 (talk) 21:16, 24 June 2020 (UTC)