Talk:Licensing policy FAQ draft

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search


The article currently makes inconsistent references to 'images', 'pictures', 'media', and 'images and media', with 'text' thrown in at the very end as a sort of "Oh yeah, that too". 'Content' be a better word; it would cover text, video, and any other sort of material useful on a project which we don't want under unfree licenses either. —{admin} Pathoschild 03:04:49, 02 April 2007 (UTC)


  • "Many Wikimedia projects have started using files that do not meet..." is historical revisionism. Use of non-free content has only decreased over time, being restricted more and more by actions like this one. In the past, not-completely-free content was allowed, and even encouraged, as long as it was legal to reproduce, did not displace free content, and furthered our educational mission.
  • "We are a project built on a principled mission—to create and encourage free content" is not correct, and would be absurd if it was. Any free content? A gallery of pictures of my family? The mission of these projects is not "to create free content", but "to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content". The freeness of that content is a means to an end; it isn't the end itself.
    • That's like saying "creation of copyrighted content" is a goal. Copyright isn't a goal; the work itself is the goal, and copyright is a tool you use to make money or limit how that work is reproduced. We want our work and its derivatives to be as useful, redistributable, and evolvable as possible, so we use the tool of free content licenses. But those licenses are not the fundamental goal. If it were, we would have never allowed quotations, fair use historical photos, non-commercial-use-only images, or any of the other exceptions that help our (primary) educational mission. We're doing this for the child in Africa, not to promote a GNUPedia Copyleft Everything agenda.
  • "Whenever one is available which will serve the same educational purpose" is pretty clear, but "where we can reasonably expect someone to upload a freely licensed file" is very definitely not. Who decides this? This is a major sticking point.

It would be better if we kept the images for their educational value until free replacements are created or found. To say that this would necessarily prevent free images from ever being created is just argument from a lack of imagination. This shouldn't be mandated in such an authoritarian manner. There are plenty of ways to encourage free replacement without compromising our other goals.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)


Why not leave it until free content is available?

Existing content tends to discourage others from creating free content to replace it. For example, people who see an article with an image don't generally check to see if it is free or not; they just assume the need is already filled and move on. However, articles which have no image, or have a "dummy" placeholder image, let people know there is something missing; people see them and want to fix them.

The idea that non-free content prevents free content from being created is somewhat true, but it really needs that "tends to". Things like Category:Replaceable fair use images encourage replacement, for instance.
The idea that removal of non-free content encourages the creation of free content is unsubstantiated speculation. I'd guess that in the majority of cases, the articles just remain image-less forever. I'd guess that leaving the non-free image and adding the "do you have a free image?" placeholder would encourage even more replacement. But my opinion is also unsubstantiated.
Can we get some real evidence for this viewpoint? If not, it should be reworded or removed accordingly. 16:14, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
'The idea that removal of non-free content encourages the creation of free content is unsubstantiated speculation.
Not so much. I (and I know of other users) often visit random articles and, when noticing that they contain no images, go looking for them. Thus, I have uploaded a wide variety of images ranging from marine iguanas to Julie Benz. When a picture is already present, I skip ahead, without bothering to check whether it's a "fair use" image or not. Anrie 09:58, 4 December 2007 (UTC)


Non-free content used under an EDP must be identified in a machine-readable format so that it can be easily identified by users of the site as well as re-users.

Doesn't this mean that quotations need to be identified in a machine-readable format? 00:32, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Status as draft?[edit]

This seems to be stable. Jkelly 01:58, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

No changes for several months now. Jkelly 18:01, 6 October 2007 (UTC)