First fair use criterium

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First fair use criterium

Bogdan Giusca
I think the first fair use criterium should be more clearly written:
it seems that many people think that the part about a replacement
which could be "reasonably be found or created" excludes the variant
of getting out of the house and taking a picture. :-)

I've been tagging as replaceable a few hundred fair-use images of
public buildings.

There were quite a number of images which had the "no free
alternative found on the internet" as fair use rationale.

Also, so far, I got one disputation:

<<
I have looked for a free alternative of this image, without finding one.
No luck on Flickr or Google. Short of forking out for a digital camera
and going to take the image myself, I can't see how "a free image that
provides substantially the same information might reasonably be found or
created".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_talk:Campbell_College.jpg
>>



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Re: First fair use criterium

MacGyverMagic/Mgm
Public buildings is a clear case, but I think the main problem lies with
pictures of people.
Unless you want to commit a felony and stalk them, it's pretty much
impossible to get non-fair use images for small time actors who don't visit
premieres or award ceremonies.

Mgm


On 12/5/06, Bogdan Giusca <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> I think the first fair use criterium should be more clearly written:
> it seems that many people think that the part about a replacement
> which could be "reasonably be found or created" excludes the variant
> of getting out of the house and taking a picture. :-)
>
> I've been tagging as replaceable a few hundred fair-use images of
> public buildings.
>
> There were quite a number of images which had the "no free
> alternative found on the internet" as fair use rationale.
>
> Also, so far, I got one disputation:
>
> <<
> I have looked for a free alternative of this image, without finding one.
> No luck on Flickr or Google. Short of forking out for a digital camera
> and going to take the image myself, I can't see how "a free image that
> provides substantially the same information might reasonably be found or
> created".
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_talk:Campbell_College.jpg
> >>
>
>
>
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Re: First fair use criterium

Rich Holton
MacGyverMagic/Mgm wrote:
> Public buildings is a clear case, but I think the main problem lies with
> pictures of people.
> Unless you want to commit a felony and stalk them, it's pretty much
> impossible to get non-fair use images for small time actors who don't visit
> premieres or award ceremonies.
>
> Mgm
>


I admit that I've never tried myself, but it seems to me that most of
these people would be eager to release a free photo. Does actual
experience prove otherwise? Or has there really not been much of an
attempt made?

-Rich
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Re: First fair use criterium

Bogdan Giusca
Tuesday, December 5, 2006, 3:34:15 PM, Rich wrote:

> I admit that I've never tried myself, but it seems to me that most of
> these people would be eager to release a free photo. Does actual
> experience prove otherwise? Or has there really not been much of an
> attempt made?

On IMDB, the small time actors have to pay to submit a photo
for the profile.

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Re: First fair use criterium

Stan Shebs-2
In reply to this post by Rich Holton
Rich Holton wrote:

> MacGyverMagic/Mgm wrote:
>  
>> Public buildings is a clear case, but I think the main problem lies with
>> pictures of people.
>> Unless you want to commit a felony and stalk them, it's pretty much
>> impossible to get non-fair use images for small time actors who don't visit
>> premieres or award ceremonies.
>>
>> Mgm
>>
>>    
>
>
> I admit that I've never tried myself, but it seems to me that most of
> these people would be eager to release a free photo. Does actual
> experience prove otherwise? Or has there really not been much of an
> attempt made?
>  
In fact I can't think of any examples where a small-time actor was
contacted and said "no". The usual problem is to explain that we want a
"free license" not just "permission" - very few people understand the
distinction, and going by some of the answers to our boilerplate
letters, they didn't read the letter that closely...

The Free Software Foundation solves this for their software by making
every would-be contributor physically sign two pages of legalese - along
with a VP of the contributor's employer if it's a computer-related
company - and keeping all those in a file cabinet. This all seemed like
a ridiculous procedure until free software started putting proprietary
companies out of business, now it's a key bulwark against legal attack
by the remaining companies.

Stan

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Re: First fair use criterium

The Cunctator
In reply to this post by Bogdan Giusca
Side note: singular of criteria is criterion. It's Greek, not Latin.

On 12/5/06, Bogdan Giusca <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> I think the first fair use criterium should be more clearly written:
> it seems that many people think that the part about a replacement
> which could be "reasonably be found or created" excludes the variant
> of getting out of the house and taking a picture. :-)
>
> I've been tagging as replaceable a few hundred fair-use images of
> public buildings.
>
> There were quite a number of images which had the "no free
> alternative found on the internet" as fair use rationale.
>
> Also, so far, I got one disputation:
>
> <<
> I have looked for a free alternative of this image, without finding one.
> No luck on Flickr or Google. Short of forking out for a digital camera
> and going to take the image myself, I can't see how "a free image that
> provides substantially the same information might reasonably be found or
> created".
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_talk:Campbell_College.jpg
> >>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>
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Re: First fair use criterium

Daniel R. Tobias
In reply to this post by Bogdan Giusca
On 5 Dec 2006 at 14:28, "MacGyverMagic/Mgm" <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> Public buildings is a clear case, but I think the main problem lies with
> pictures of people.
> Unless you want to commit a felony and stalk them, it's pretty much
> impossible to get non-fair use images for small time actors who don't visit
> premieres or award ceremonies.

I got a couple of pictures of minor celebrities (an actor and an
author; I also got a picture of an astronaut, but he already had a
better free picture so I didn't use it) that are now in Wikimedia
Commons and in the Wikipedia articles about those persons when they
and I both attended the Mensa World Gathering earlier this year.  You
don't necessarily have to be a stalker to run into mildly-famous
people; just have a camera handy when you go to conventions and other
events of that sort.

--
== Dan ==
Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/
Dan's Web Tips: http://webtips.dan.info/
Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dan.info/


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Re: First fair use criterium

Gregory Maxwell
In reply to this post by MacGyverMagic/Mgm
On 12/5/06, MacGyverMagic/Mgm <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Public buildings is a clear case, but I think the main problem lies with
> pictures of people.
> Unless you want to commit a felony and stalk them, it's pretty much
> impossible to get non-fair use images for small time actors who don't visit
> premieres or award ceremonies.

The dozens of celbs (major and minor) uploaded to commons by user
Towpilot serves as a fine counter example.
(http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ALog&type=upload&user=Towpilot&page=
)

Lets not be lazy, hard doesn't equal impossible..

(Not that I think that images of celebs are the worst of our problems
by any means.. I just don't want the misconception to stand)
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Re: First fair use criterium

Gregory Maxwell
In reply to this post by Bogdan Giusca
On 12/5/06, Bogdan Giusca <[hidden email]> wrote:
[a random user wrote]
>> I have looked for a free alternative of this image, without finding one.
>> No luck on Flickr or Google. Short of forking out for a digital camera
>> and going to take the image myself, I can't see how "a free image that
>> provides substantially the same information might reasonably be found or
>> created".

I'm not known for kind answers, but my response might be something
along the lines of:

"If you're going to contribute, then yes we do expect you to buy a
camera.. or at least borrow one, or talk a friend with one into
contributing. If instead you'd rather not contribute, that is your
decision... but if you're not going to contribute then please stop
disputing our policy. Our goal is to make an encyclopedia of [[free
content]], and uploading an unfree image of a building that anyone
could photograph will do far more to harm our goal than it will move
us closer to our goal."
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Re: First fair use criterium

KillerChihuahua
Perhaps a slightly gentler, more encouraging tone? Something along the
lines of:

"Our goal is to make an encyclopedia of [[free content]], and uploading an unfree image of a building that someone else could photograph will do far more to harm our goal than it will move us closer to our goal. If you cannot buy a camera or borrow one, or talk a friend with one into contributing, then it is best to not upload an image at all rather than an unfree one. You can always contribute in other ways!"

-kc-




Gregory Maxwell wrote:

> On 12/5/06, Bogdan Giusca <[hidden email]> wrote:
> [a random user wrote]
>  
>>> I have looked for a free alternative of this image, without finding one.
>>> No luck on Flickr or Google. Short of forking out for a digital camera
>>> and going to take the image myself, I can't see how "a free image that
>>> provides substantially the same information might reasonably be found or
>>> created".
>>>      
>
> I'm not known for kind answers, but my response might be something
> along the lines of:
>
> "If you're going to contribute, then yes we do expect you to buy a
> camera.. or at least borrow one, or talk a friend with one into
> contributing. If instead you'd rather not contribute, that is your
> decision... but if you're not going to contribute then please stop
> disputing our policy. Our goal is to make an encyclopedia of [[free
> content]], and uploading an unfree image of a building that anyone
> could photograph will do far more to harm our goal than it will move
> us closer to our goal."
> _______________________________________________
> WikiEN-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> To unsubscribe from this mailing list, visit:
> http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikien-l
>
>  
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Re: First fair use criterium

Gregory Maxwell
On 12/7/06, Puppy <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Perhaps a slightly gentler, more encouraging tone? Something along the
> lines of:
>
> "Our goal is to make an encyclopedia of [[free content]], and uploading an unfree image of a building that someone else could photograph will do far more to harm our goal than it will move us closer to our goal. If you cannot buy a camera or borrow one, or talk a friend with one into contributing, then it is best to not upload an image at all rather than an unfree one. You can always contribute in other ways!"

Thank you.
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Re: First fair use criterium

Jeff Raymond
In reply to this post by KillerChihuahua

Puppy wrote:
> Perhaps a slightly gentler, more encouraging tone? Something along the
> lines of:
>
> "Our goal is to make an encyclopedia of [[free content]], and uploading an
> unfree image of a building that someone else could photograph will do far
> more to harm our goal than it will move us closer to our goal. If you
> cannot buy a camera or borrow one, or talk a friend with one into
> contributing, then it is best to not upload an image at all rather than an
> unfree one. You can always contribute in other ways!"

But then you have to demonstrate the "harm."

-Jeff

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Re: First fair use criterium

Gregory Maxwell
On 12/7/06, Jeff Raymond <[hidden email]> wrote:
> But then you have to demonstrate the "harm."

Pretty easy, we have had plenty of examples of folks who didn't bother
to upload an image because we "already had one" in the form a fair use
image. It's happened to me personally, and it's not news.  That alone
makes a pretty good example of harm becuase I don't think anyone would
argue that it's not better to have free images instead of non-free
ones.

You can also point out that since our goals which explicitly include
free content, any addition of non-free content is harm. Not all
additions are net-harm, however.  The preamble of the Fair User
Criteria on enwiki addresses the issue of harm vs net harm like this:

"The primary goal of Wikipedia's fair use policy is to protect our
mission of producing and distributing free content which is
perpetually free for unlimited distribution, modification, and
application for all users and in all mediums. This goal could best be
met by completely disallowing all content which is not free content;
however, we understand that in order to completely meet the second
part of our mission, producing a quality encyclopedia, we must permit
some non-free material for critical commentary. Thus the authors of
the English Wikipedia have decided to permit a limited compromise
which is outlined in this policy. Most popular non-English Wikipedias
do not permit unfree images at all."

So the FUC would have us ask the question "Does excluding this
material preclude us from being a good encyclopedia?". Here the
building is visable and photographable by all, so we must answer "No"
even if we accept the notion that we can't be a good encyclopedia
without a picture of this building. As a result, we can conclude that
including the image is a net-harm from the perspective of furthering
the goals of the project.
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Re: First fair use criterium

Jeff Raymond

Gregory Maxwell wrote:

> On 12/7/06, Jeff Raymond <[hidden email]>
> wrote:
>> But then you have to demonstrate the "harm."
>
> Pretty easy, we have had plenty of examples of folks who didn't bother
> to upload an image because we "already had one" in the form a fair use
> image. It's happened to me personally, and it's not news.  That alone
> makes a pretty good example of harm becuase I don't think anyone would
> argue that it's not better to have free images instead of non-free
> ones.

But "better" doesn't necessarily mean "less harmful," which is the point.
The question is "does having fair use images harm the project," and
there's not a lot of evidence that it does, since we thankfully allow fair
use.

> So the FUC would have us ask the question "Does excluding this
> material preclude us from being a good encyclopedia?". Here the
> building is visable and photographable by all, so we must answer "No"
> even if we accept the notion that we can't be a good encyclopedia
> without a picture of this building. As a result, we can conclude that
> including the image is a net-harm from the perspective of furthering
> the goals of the project.

The "conclusion" is the continuing problem.  Can the building be
photographed?  Yes.  Is an existing unfree image of the building "harmful"
while we wait for the free image to come about?  The logical answer is
that it is not, but that's where the diversion is coming into play, and
the possible future in which the policy is based off of isn't doing much
to clarify it.

-Jeff

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Re: First fair use criterium

Gregory Maxwell
On 12/7/06, Jeff Raymond <[hidden email]> wrote:
> But "better" doesn't necessarily mean "less harmful," which is the point.
> The question is "does having fair use images harm the project," and
> there's not a lot of evidence that it does, since we thankfully allow fair
> use.

It is an explicit goal of the project to produce an encyclopedia of
free content. Fair use images are not free. Thus it is harmful because
the explicit goals of the project define unfree content as a
non-solution.  The fact that other factors may make the harm
preferable to other harms does not change the fact that unfree content
is a harm.

This is not rocket science. Did you even read my post? Did you read
Kat's post? Must I assault you verbally to get your attention? :(

> The "conclusion" is the continuing problem.  Can the building be
> photographed?  Yes.  Is an existing unfree image of the building "harmful"
> while we wait for the free image to come about?  The logical answer is
> that it is not,
[snip]

If it's logical please explain your thought process.. because I'm not
getting it.

I clearly outlined two related perspectives which show the image to be harmful:

0) Free images are not free content, so adding non-free images breaks
one of the primary goals of the project.
1) Non-free images do discourage people from contributing free images.
This has happened to me personally so you can't deny it without
calling me a liar, it has happened to friends of Jwales so you can't
deny it without calling him a liar, we've seen people say it in
emails. Even for folks like me who love replacing unfree images can't
tell if an image is unfree unless they click on it. That this happens
is not really open for debate.

You can discount these factors if you assert that free images are not
a goal of the project but if thats your position you should state it
outright so we can emphasize how incorrect you are. :)
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Re: First fair use criterium

Andrew Gray
In reply to this post by Gregory Maxwell
On 07/12/06, Gregory Maxwell <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 12/5/06, MacGyverMagic/Mgm <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > Public buildings is a clear case, but I think the main problem lies with
> > pictures of people.
> > Unless you want to commit a felony and stalk them, it's pretty much
> > impossible to get non-fair use images for small time actors who don't visit
> > premieres or award ceremonies.
>
> The dozens of celbs (major and minor) uploaded to commons by user
> Towpilot serves as a fine counter example.
> (http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ALog&type=upload&user=Towpilot&page=
> )

Indeed, Towpilot is an example of exactly the sort of person we should
be reaching out to - professional or semiprofessional freelance
photographers, with personal image archives, who're willing to release
some of that material under a free license.

(I wish my grandfather's archives hadn't burned in the seventies...
almost a century's worth of professional photographic negatives.
*sigh*)

--
- Andrew Gray
  [hidden email]
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Re: First fair use criterium

Jeff Raymond
In reply to this post by Gregory Maxwell

Gregory Maxwell wrote:

> It is an explicit goal of the project to produce an encyclopedia of
> free content. Fair use images are not free. Thus it is harmful because
> the explicit goals of the project define unfree content as a
> non-solution.  The fact that other factors may make the harm
> preferable to other harms does not change the fact that unfree content
> is a harm.

But:

1) Fair use has not been defined as any sort of harm, only that it's
contrary to an eventual goal.

2) We already allow fair use, thus implying that it's really not harmful
at all.

>
> This is not rocket science. Did you even read my post? Did you read
> Kat's post? Must I assault you verbally to get your attention? :(

Preferably with witty barbs and heavy doses of sarcasm, in a light cream
sauce.

> If it's logical please explain your thought process.. because I'm not
> getting it.

A photo of a building in the town over is an "unfree" image on Wikipedia
currently.  I can't get over to said building to take a picture until,
say, next Saturday.  The "unfree" picture harms nothing.  It does not
detract from the project's goal, it does not harm anything.  Furthermore,
said building is an architectural wonder, with unique arches and windows.
Removal of the image until next week does harm to the project, as the
unfree image illustrates the object in ways words simply cannot.  The
unfree image, in this case, is not harming at all, but rather helping.

This logic can apply to any "unfree" "replaceable" image.  The policy does
further harm to the project because of the broad defintion of
"replaceable" that's being asserted by people who should know better.  An
image of J D Salinger is not really replaceable.  An image of a female
indie rock musician who has not played publically in 3 years, and has
since gotten married and had children, is not really replaceable.  An
image of a high-profile rock band that bans cameras from their live shows
is not really replaceable, unless we're advocating that other people break
the rules so they don't have to break ours.  The policy is more harmful
than the "unfree" image that the policy is designed to replace.

I reiterate - there is NOTHING wrong with pushing for free content.  It's
undoubtedly secondary to why most of us are here, but it's absolutely
worthwhile and useful to have and encourage.  To push free content to a
fault - where a fair use image cannot be used because a free *might* pop
up - is not logical.  We would never do that with, say, quotations from a
book about a President, which is fair use content that we allow although
the opinions are freely replaceable.


> 1) Non-free images do discourage people from contributing free images.
> This has happened to me personally so you can't deny it without
> calling me a liar, it has happened to friends of Jwales so you can't
> deny it without calling him a liar, we've seen people say it in
> emails. Even for folks like me who love replacing unfree images can't
> tell if an image is unfree unless they click on it. That this happens
> is not really open for debate.

I think I can thoroughly disagree with this without calling anyone a liar.
 I don't think the stick is getting the free content there any faster than
the people who are militant about deleting these images could be by
spending that time finding a free alternative.

-Jeff
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Re: First fair use criterium

geni
On 12/7/06, Jeff Raymond <[hidden email]> wrote:
> But:
>
> 1) Fair use has not been defined as any sort of harm, only that it's
> contrary to an eventual goal.
>
> 2) We already allow fair use, thus implying that it's really not harmful
> at all.
>

Nyet. By that logic Cyanide is not toxic since it appears in some
commonly eaten food.



> A photo of a building in the town over is an "unfree" image on Wikipedia
> currently.  I can't get over to said building to take a picture until,
> say, next Saturday.  The "unfree" picture harms nothing.  It does not
> detract from the project's goal, it does not harm anything.  Furthermore,
> said building is an architectural wonder, with unique arches and windows.
> Removal of the image until next week does harm to the project, as the
> unfree image illustrates the object in ways words simply cannot.  The
> unfree image, in this case, is not harming at all, but rather helping.
>

Are we talking wikipedia only, non comercial use only or claimed fair
use because I'm haveing a hard time seeing how any fair use claim
could be legit. In which case it is a copyvio. Copvios are a dirrect
threat to wikipedians and depending on how courts find wikipedia.

--
geni
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Re: First fair use criterium

Ken Arromdee
In reply to this post by Gregory Maxwell
On Thu, 7 Dec 2006, Gregory Maxwell wrote:
> > Unless you want to commit a felony and stalk them, it's pretty much
> > impossible to get non-fair use images for small time actors who don't visit
> > premieres or award ceremonies.
> The dozens of celbs (major and minor) uploaded to commons by user
> Towpilot serves as a fine counter example.

That only proves he can get pictures of dozens of celebrities.

Unless you have some reason to believe that those dozens are typical of
celebrities in general and it's as easy to get pictures of the rest as it
is to get pictures of those, it proves nothing.

I can walk into a bookstore and come out with a stack of $1 books.  Does that
mean that given any particular book, you can probably find it for $1?

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Re: First fair use criterium

Gregory Maxwell
On 12/7/06, Ken Arromdee <[hidden email]> wrote:
> That only proves he can get pictures of dozens of celebrities.
>
> Unless you have some reason to believe that those dozens are typical of
> celebrities in general and it's as easy to get pictures of the rest as it
> is to get pictures of those, it proves nothing.
>
> I can walk into a bookstore and come out with a stack of $1 books.  Does that
> mean that given any particular book, you can probably find it for $1?

It was claimed that we can not get free pictures of celebs that don't
visit award events, at least without stalking. I pointed out free
pictures of celebs (some of which do not visit award events) which
were, presumably, created without stalking.

I never argued that it was easy, only that it being hard doesn't make
it necessarily impossible.  If you have an argument why a specific
free image isn't possible then you can make that argument for using an
unfree image, ... such an argument should be accepted by the standing
policy. (so long as you're actually arguing that it's not possible,
rather than arguing that it's not easy)
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