Talk:Legal/CC BY-SA licenses and social media

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Hi all, I want to note that we did a rewrite of this article. We've received several requests to update this article in light of frequent use of CC licensed materials on social media by many users, orgs, and cultural institutions. It's now updated to cover social media more broadly and details appropriate use and attribution requirements for the most common type of CC licenses for works on Wikimedia sites. -Jrogers (WMF) (talk) 22:47, 7 August 2020 (UTC)

@Jrogers (WMF): I find the quite radical change from the views formerly expressed in this article a bit surprising, particulary this part: "It should be noted that there has been past guidance that the terms of some social media websites such as Facebook or Twitter conflict with CC license conditions. However, we want to clarify that this characterization is not accurate. Social media has become a ubiquitous and important way to share works that are part of the commons so that others may have access to them and be able to reuse them." Maybe you could elaborate a bit on why the previous characterization is no longer considered "accurate"? I mean, it still seems to be the case that Facebook requests you to grant them certain extensive use rights for all uploaded content. That is something you simply can't do if it's third-party content (images) with, for instance, a CC-BY-SA license - so you violate Facebook's TOU by uploading such images. Social media has become a ubiquitous and important way to share works that are part of the commons so that others may have access to them and be able to reuse them is certainly true, but I don't quite see the connection to a legal assessment in this statement. Gestumblindi (talk) 21:55, 25 August 2020 (UTC)
I don't want to grant facebook any right whatsoever for my pictures, facebook is evil. OK, I have to live with it, that a CC-BY-SA allows even such evil entities like facebook to use my pictures unter exactly the licence, that I granted, but not a iota less. Facebook has no compatible licence, so they should not be used there. Or has something changed wirth the incompatible licences of facebook and such? I could not care less but about the convenience of Facebook and that ilk, I care about my licences. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 10:33, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
Da hier was rechtliches betroffen ist, pinge ich mal @Gnom:, ob und was er dazu zu sagen hat. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 11:47, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
For comparison: The view formerly expressed (CC-BY-SA content produced by third parties can't pe posted to Facebook) versus the current view (posting to Facebook is fine). I still can't find an explanation by Jrogers (WMF) or someone else from the legal team for this change of opinion, especially as the former view seems plausibly based on what CC-BY-SA and Facebook's TOU actually say, and the current view on the other hand refers to social media as "a ubiquitous and important way to share works ..." but no longer is giving a really tangible reasoning. Gestumblindi (talk) 18:53, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
@Gestumblindi: I think I understand (and concur with) Jacob's reasoning: When I upload someone else's CC-licensed work on Facebook, I may be violating Facebook's terms of use (because Facebook asks me to provide them with usage rights which I do not have), but in doing so, I am not violating the CC licence as long as I provide the necessary attribution. In other words: Nothing in the CC license prevents me from uploading CC-licenced works on Facebook, only Facebook's terms of use might, but that is a problem between Facebook and me and not between me and the photographer. Or, in legalese: We need to avoid confusing limitations that only take effect inter partes. --Gnom (talk) 10:06, 7 November 2020 (UTC)
Medium has changed their terms of service again, removing the bit this article references at the bottom. -BRAINULATOR9 (TALK) 22:19, 24 October 2020 (UTC)
That's unfortunate about the Medium change, I'll update to take that bit out. They were good for a number of years though, so I'm very sad about that. On the bigger question here, I actually think the article has always been wrong since it was originally published in 2012, and we had the opportunity to review and update it recently, which is why I changed it. It was offering an opinion that was a particularly risk-averse heuristic, rather than accurately describing the way the CC licenses work. If someone posts a CC licensed work on any website with incompatible terms of use, but they do all the license compliance right, that person hasn't violated the license at all. They may have misrepresented something to the website, but that is a claim strictly between the website owner and the person making the post, it does not involve the original licensor. Moreover, in many years of social media companies in operation, we have no examples of websites ever pursuing anyone for this kind of misrepresentation. It's up to them to decide what parts of their terms they enforce and they have the discretion to not enforce them. The practical reality as noted in the updated article is that we see even the people responsible for stewarding these licenses sharing things over social media without any problems occurring. Also, it is important to note that this issue of someone sharing a work on social media in compliance with the license does not affect the rights of the original licensor at all. If you later see someone else, including a social media company, improperly using a work you released under a CC license, you still have all normal claims under copyright law you would in any other situation where someone used your work without complying with the license. -Jrogers (WMF) (talk) 02:16, 6 November 2020 (UTC)
@Jrogers (WMF), Quiddity (WMF), and Gestumblindi: The change is so radical it can hardly be called an update. I strongly suggest reverting the article to the last revision before the massive change, moving the page back to Legal/CC BY-SA on Facebook, create a new page here with the new article and mark the old one as historical and link to the new page. — Alexis Jazz (talk or ping me) 12:38, 10 November 2020 (UTC)
Support Support Alexis Jazz. This radical WMF change has to be reverted asap. This was a page about Facebook, and it was not wrong. Now it is generalizing about all social media platforms altogether - this really can't be serious. The TOU of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, TikTok and many others strongly contradict most of our free licences, because the companies' TOUs generally include an unlimited use of all material without any attribution for their own purposes. Also, the TOU have been and are being changed over time without any matching to our licences. So the WMF by declaring this would fit together, you reduce all licences to 'public domain'. This is very wrong. --.js 07:31, 11 November 2020 (UTC)

I've uploaded a fair number of images to Commons under CC-BY-SA licenses. If I somehow came to know that someone had uploaded them to a website which asserted that it held a more extensive license to my content, like say Facebook, I would not feel that the uploader had done something egregious, because as you say, these media giants tacitly allow it. I do feel that the media giants are doing something wrong, by acting in contradiction to their own policies, and thus implicitly asserting rights over my images which they do not in fact have.

If Wikimedia bows to accepted common practice (as I think it is doing here) because it shapes legal reality, I'd like Wikimedia to make a fuss about these assertions of rights. Just get the media giants to introduce machine-readable ways to mark content under other licenses, and cover the situation in their TOCs. This does not seem an unreasonable request. If they do not, well, we are also a media giant. We are one of the few groups that can do anything. Clearly a lo of contributors are upset by this. Request for legal advice; what can we do? HLHJ (talk) 03:23, 17 February 2021 (UTC)

I want to point out that currently there are currently hundreds of thousands of impacted works in Wikimedia Commons that use the image No Facebook.svg in their description page with some extra wording to warn potential reusers that sharing those works on social media is "not permitted" / "not allowed" / otherwise wrong. Usually they make a reference to incompatible "terms of service" and/or "licensing terms", but the imperative not to share "because you can't" prevails in all cases. This has been confusing the public for a very long time (see [1] for an example) and since the recent change of our view, it has become even more difficult to explain to them that "they actually can, because everyone is doing so, and even free license advocates may be breaching those terms of use regularly"; not to mention the attitude to legal stuff this recommendation is promoting. Ironically, some of those "warnings" even reference this very page, which has for the last eight months been in contradiction with those statements (see an example). It seems some deletions have already taken place in October, but that certain power users have been opposing deletion of the rest for more than half a year now, keeping sizeable part of Wikimedia Commons in state of self-contradictory mess. --Blahma (talk) 13:43, 6 May 2021 (UTC)

@Blahma: I am sympathetic that some people may prefer that their works aren't uploaded on social media. If kept, the No Facebook template should likely indicate that it's a request from the creator, not a requirement of the license. The choice to avoid CC licensed works on social media, even historically, was one of caution, not prohibition. In other words, it is fair to say that there's a risk (even though it's a very tiny one) that uploading something to Facebook could lead to Facebook misusing it even though the uploader complied with the CC license. So people who want to be absolutely sure that their works are not used wrong during reuse might want to ask others to avoid putting them on Facebook. However, treating this kind of template as an actual license limitation rather than a request might in fact be a bit of a problem because it would violate the modification of CC licenses section of Creative Commons' Trademark Policy, which states that you can't call a work's license "CC' or "Creative Commons" if you add new restrictions to its reuse. That said, even if it's legally allowed to share, I still think it's reasonable that some creators would have a way to indicate that they prefer their works not be shared on social media. -Jrogers (WMF) (talk) 21:16, 11 May 2021 (UTC)
Es ist eine starke Warnung, dass es sehr schwer ist, ein Bild so auf Facebook zu veröffentlichen, dass die Anforderungen von CC auch tatsächlich erfüllt werden, denn eine normale, schlichte, Veröffentlichung widerspricht klar und eindeutig den Lizenzen, und das, was Facebook (und viele ander Datenkraken ebenso) als ToU anbietet ist ja nun mal nicht im Ansatz mit "frei" in Übereinstimmung zu bringen. Mit diesen massiven umseitigen Änderungen wurde nicht anderes veranstaltet, als ein Kotau vor der Gedankenlosigkeit der FacebooknutzerInnen, um ihnen einzureden, sie könnten die Bilder einfach auf FB nutzen. Facebook und andere Datenkraken sollte aber diesbezüglich eher klar entgegengetreten werden, und nicht ihr unmoralisches Geschäftsmodell auch noch unterstützt werden.
Ja, es ist wohl möglich mit viel Aufwand auch auf FB Bilder zu veröffentlichen, die jemand anders unter einer CC-Lizenz veröffentlicht hat, ohne diese Lizenz zu brechen. Bei eigenen Bildern ist das egal, bei Bildern von Leuten, die Wert auf diese Lizenzen legen, kann eine "normale" Veröffentlichung auf FB allerdings in Verbindung mit den unfreien ToU von FB zu einer Lizenzverletzung führen. Das zu verhindern ist um Größenordnungen wichtiger als diese Bilder FB in den Rachen zu werfen und sich damit dort einzuschleimen. FB (und andere Datenkraken) sind nicht der Nabel der Welt, FB, sprich Cambridge Analytical e.a., denn das ist nun mal der Kern von FB, das Schänden der privaten Daten für Profit und illegitime Zwecke, gehört deutlich in gemeinschaftskompatible Schranken gewiesen. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) Hold the election 04:15, 12 May 2021 (UTC)