Wikipedia talk:Non-free content proposal

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I would be fine and happy with making it so that only editors who are active on this site and who the community trusts can upload images onto here, and I also agree with the other provisions that Fr33kman has provided on this issue. I agree that it will keep the administration of images to a minimum. Therefore, I would like to say that I support this proposal.

What about adding a process that is similar to RfRB for allowing admins to set the flag?

By the way, the Uploaders user group already exists, it is the implementation of that user group that would give the developers a hard time. Cheers, Razorflame 16:38, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree that an RfRB type system would be a minimum in overhead. Also, the developers are used to a hardtime by now; aren't they? ;) fr33kman talk 17:04, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, they most certainly are :). Cheers, Razorflame 17:05, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Razor, I suggested that 6 months ago, and everyone (and if I remember correctly, that includes you) shot it down. So, of course I support the idea.-- † CM16 t c 17:10, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
That was then, and this is now :). Better to live in the present, than dwell on the past :). I opposed the idea previously because it wasn't as well thought out as it was this time, and because we are growing, so of course I support the idea now that we have enough manpower to deal with this. Cheers, Razorflame 17:38, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

I am still against it for the same reasons as before, images are not needed to explain 99% of article content. One such type of image that has been mentioned is screen shots of tv programs etc. You don't need a screenshot to talk about the show, it doesn't really help in understanding what the show is about other than to show a random scene. You mention things like how do you talk about the golden lasso or what a character looks like, its simple you use words. Articles about objects usually have free images and if they don't you make your own and release it to the commons. There is absolutely no reason to bring the swamp that is fair use to simple. -Djsasso (talk) 18:03, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

(ec)I disagree that fair-use is unneeded. How do you fully describe Wonder Woman for instance, the StarShip Enterprise, Luke Skywalker's Light Sabre? You can't show those without fair-use. It wouldn't be a quagmire if it is only certain people allowed to upload and if the privledge is taken away on abusing it. Even admins could be censured for abusing the privledge. We are pretty good editors here and we don't have many of the issues that arise with enWP; we are also pretty good and pretty quick about policing ourselves. Legal issues only arise with copyright when a site refuses to remove images upon the request of the copyright holder. They don't crop up when we remove them on request or on noticing that they are violations. This can work! We can always undo it if we have issues with it. Remember many of our readers have issues with text; and "a picture is worth a thousand words", maybe more to someone with limited words! :) fr33kman talk 18:11, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
It's not an issue about people uploading bad pictures, I have faith that editors think they are uploading ok pictures. The problem stems from most people including the admins don't really know if WMFs policys are actually legal. That is why images come and go so frequently on en because the foundations policies change on a monthly basis. Secondly as mentioned before you describe those things. Yes, the peoples grasp on words here might not be as good as those on en, but that is our mission to help people learn those words and not to skirt the help by just showing a picture. Secondly we were never meant to be a duplicate of en, we don't need articles on every character in every movie, heck we don't even need every movie. Per WP:NOT we are supposed to only be creating articles on the most common topics. -Djsasso (talk) 18:16, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
TV shows are common things. They are certainly more looked up than are articles on rivers or many other topics that have been included. I don't think that adding images skirts around people learning English it helps them. As a former TEFL teacher I can assure you that images are one of the best and most commonly used way to help people learn English. Also, you seem to be saying that we only exist to teach people English, what about those who are native speakers of English but have problems with the reading. Dyslexics, Down syndrome, children, people who can't understand the complexity of articles that is ever more prevalent on enWP. All these people find seWP helpful. I don't even think ESL/EFL students are our primary readership. Are there stats? It's also not really our problem about the legalities; none of the editors here are legally responsible for the site; content maybe, but not the whole site. If WMF allows a project to adopt fair-use, it's their lookout really. fr33kman talk 18:26, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
A TV show is not a common topic. An article about an apple is a common topic that is likely to be known by just about anyone on the planet, but pick a random TV show and someone in another part of the world may have never heard of it. I do know images can help, I am just saying they don't help enough to justify adding them to this wiki. I don't think our only purpose is to help esl people but it is our primary purpose. As for the legalize not being our problem, well that is the issue and why its such a mess on en.wiki because technically it is the editor who adds it responsibility as they could technically be gone after legally for adding it to the site. -Djsasso (talk) 18:37, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Law suits will only happen if the site refuses to remove the copyrighted material when requested to do so; not when the editor uploads it. Software is a common topic, actors are common topics, films are common topics. This site has grown beyond WP:NOT and I'd hazard a guess that every single editor has added a page that is covered by WP:NOT. I'd like to add the UK Border Service's logo but can't because its copyrighted. I think it would aid understanding of the topic and the topic should be here. Okay, you oppose; fine. fr33kman talk 18:46, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
btw: We are almost certainly currently in violation of copyright. Editors past and present could have added text directly from books that are not on the internet. The site doesn't know; it is only if we received a request for removal that we'd find out about it. At least with images it's easy to check. fr33kman talk 18:51, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

(unindent)I am warming to the idea. I think for kids, a graphically rich userface would be a good thing. Kennedy (talk) 18:53, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Believe me I understand your point of view. But image policy just sucks up so much time and energy on en which has a much larger userbase I don't possibly see how we could keep up. I suppose I could see just allowing admins to upload images but that could just be opening another can of worms. -Djsasso (talk) 18:54, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Why not allow users who already have rollback to have the uploader rights as well? If we trust them enough for rollback, we can probably trust them enough for uploading images. Cheers, Razorflame 18:59, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, not sure about this; removing vandalism is a different level of trust than having the potential to break the law?!?! fr33kman talk 19:01, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
If they do copyright violations, then just delete the image and tell the rollbacker that they submitted a copyrighted image. Not that much work, and not that hard. Razorflame 19:03, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

(unindent) @Razor: Yeah, but what happens if they are a good rollbacker but a poor uploader; removing the upload privledge would mean taking away rollback wouldn't it? fr33kman talk 22:12, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

This is because they have so many editors. Over there any autoconfirmed editor can upload (and they have many bad autoconfirmed editors!) It would be very different here. Djsasso, take some time; review the proposal and the criteria and sleep on it; that's all I ask! :) fr33kman talk 19:01, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
And Dj, I think you should look at this that I started back in January but never got more than one reply from. It's still not too late to reply.-- † CM16 t c 22:33, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Oh I saw what you mentioned. I believe it was talked about elsewhere as well which is why I never commented there. I currently don't agree that we should expand our scope. (Even thought we inevitably have just by people creating whatever they want) We are teetering on the brink of being closed and removing that line from WP:NOT is the one thing that could push people to go ok lets get rid of simple and just make ever article on en simpler. -Djsasso (talk) 22:39, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
It's a valid point, but do you think that en is going to get simpler? It's beenn getting more and more complex for years now. I also don't think that we should be a simple English mirror of en, but I do think that the articles here need images in most cases. fr33kman talk 22:48, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
OK, DJ, now that the the closing proposal is closed as keep now will you consider what I proposed.-- † CM16 t c 16:46, 12 March 2009 (UTC)
Just because the current proposal closed doesn't mean another can't open tomorrow. This isn't about a temporary issue, but an issue that will always be around. Simple will always be looked at as a duplicate so we always have to be careful what we do, and don't rush into things. -Djsasso (talk) 14:03, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Support as per last time. -- Sk8er5000 (talk) 23:57, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I am very much undecided on all this. I agree with you, Djsasso, that we may not be able to maintain it. On the contrary, I think that rather than there not being enough attention given to it for it to work, I think we might give it too much attention, upload lots of images, etc. If we could make a very strict planning on what is needing (not just "would be nice to have"), and uploading is required for a select few (beyond auto-confirmed), I may be for the proposal. TheAE talk 22:34, 13 March 2009 (UTC)
    I would have to agree with you here, AE. I am not sure if everyone here knows what fair-use and non-free content here is, so I would have to say that we should restrict uploading down to just a few of the best uploaders that we have, (Synergy and Eptalon just to name a few). Razorflame 20:38, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
    I agree we have to restrict access. It should be a privledge, not a right. fr33kman talk 20:42, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
    I agree that there needs to be a focus of what should be uploaded and what shouldn't. But I feel also, that the whole project needs a focal point as well fr33kman talk 20:42, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not change it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page, such as the current discussion page. No more changes should be made to this discussion.


Latest debate[change source]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Time to close this proposal as not done. The last comment in this section was on 21 August 2011, over 10 days ago, so this nom is getting stale. In closing, I count 9/7 in favor, which is not enough for a consensus to upload fair use images directly to the Simple English Wikipedia. Barras's proposal is still open. Albacore (talk · changes) 19:26, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

I do not want to fragment many files under many licenses at many projects. Ideally all files go to Commons, and link from there. Best, Jon@talk:~$ 16:06, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Commons doesn't permit fair-use. fr33kman 16:14, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I still support fair-use images. There are things that are harder to explain in simple terms without the help of images. chrisianrocker90 01:37, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

I'd like non-free images to be allowed here. In fact I'm not actually sure why they're not? Anyway, I Support the idea if we're counting votes, and believe it will only benefit the project to make it look and feel more like en. Ydennek (talk) 12:12, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Support - Wiki user stumbles upon this article on Kraft Dinner Mac and cheese. They see the logo of it; they go to the supermarket. OMG that's the stuff I saw on wiki. Buys it - loves it. Thanks to us having the logo so they know what to look for. --Addihockey10 e-mail 14:46, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
    • Your argument boils down to consumerism? I really cannot see how that's our place or role. Either way (talk) 15:16, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
      • I read it more as the joy of content recognition. :-) -Avicennasis @ 15:42, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
        • Exactly - images will help users identify items in the article so they what they are and look like. A picture is worth a thousand words. Unless you want a thousand-word section explaining how the item looks like, let's just stick to images for now :-). --Addihockey10 e-mail 15:48, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - Having the ability to add images to more of our articles will vastly improve our wikipedia. Lets face it, we live in a multi-media world. --The Three Headed Knight (talk) 15:09, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment A good deal of other wikis use Non-free content, and Simple is for those people whose English isn't perfect. It would help some of the readers here to know they have the same article if we also used fair-use. An example is Union of European Football Associations. If you're native wiki would be Vietnamese or Romanian, or Chinese, and you come to simple to read the article here, the content most likely will not a direct translation. As such, we may mention different aspects of things in our articles, or perhaps ignore some entirely, to the point that a non-native speaker might not be confident that we are talking about the same thing. At least with a FUR logo, they will be more assured to have reached the correct article - and may even try to add content to SimpleWp. :-) -Avicennasis @ 15:42, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
    We actually already allow "fair-use". We permit text quotes from people in articles; a byte is just a byte; why discriminate against images? fr33kman 15:50, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Support creation of an uploader privilege for mops and experienced editors, which is what I take this proposal to be getting at Purplebackpack89≈≈≈≈ 17:43, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Support - I don't even know why this wasn't accepted in the past... Good idea. Yottie =talk= 17:48, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm still not sure about this. last we talked about this I was opposed, and I think that is where I must stay.--Gordonrox24 | Talk 19:47, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
    What if image upload is restricted to trusted editors? Presumably those who could be trusted to police themselves and not upload copyvios, et cetera? (I can completely understand not wanting to allow it to just anyone - I see tons of copyvios on EnWp all the time because of it.) -Avicennasis @ 21:01, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
    I think there's another wiki that I edited that has a system like this in place... I have the "uploader" right there... I don't know why... but I do.. once SUL is back up I'll be able to check what their system may be. --Addihockey10 e-mail 02:22, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
    RuWp. :-) -Avicennasis @ 17:04, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Still strongly against this. We have no need for fair use images and with such a small community that still struggles to keep up to date with quality content it's opening a can of worms that, even with the best will in the world, will not be properly policed after an initial flurry. The wiki has survived fine without fair use since it's inception, and there's no need to start using it now. Yes, maybe sometimes it would be useful, but that's more an exception than the norm. Completely unnecessary, and I ask people to look at previous such 'ideas' that have fizzled out after some time. There's bigger fish to be fried. Goblin 00:55, 11 August 2011 (UTC) I ♥ GoblinBots!
    Just about every user here, that I can think of, is an admin or 'crat. We even have a few stewards here. I think we can handle the policing especially when we add in that a user must be approved by the community to upload images. And you saying there are bigger fish to be fired, what bigger one to be fried is there than bettering our articles any way we can? I can't name any of the top of my head right now (mainly cause it's 4:30am here and I'm sleepy) but I'm sure we have articles that would be better explained with an image that can't have one because it's impossible to find a free-use alternative. chrisianrocker90 08:33, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
    I don't think it matters that so many people are admins or crats or stewards. I was an admin, and just recently I had to have a commons admin delete a dozen of my images because they were incorrectly licensed. Just because people have special rights doesn't make them all knowing. Even I sometimes struggles to fully grasp the complexity of fair use laws. If this proposal passes, which it looks like it may, I would like an uploader right to be added, and I'm not even sure I would like it to be bundled with the admin tools. I am really opposed to fair use (Odd, because when I first edited here I wasn't), and think only people who have proven they know what they are doing should be able to use it.--Gordonrox24 | Talk 16:25, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
    Well, Gordon, that's the point of the proposed uploader right, to cut down on the need for policing and those that do can be handled easily by the manpower we have. And I agree it shouldn't be bundled with any other rights. chrisianrocker90 19:23, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Not saying this wouldn't be useful in some cases, but I think we don't have the manpower to handle this and at this stage, regularly writing quality content is more important. Conditional support provided there is a separate uploader group which is given to few users (only to few people who are knowledgeable about copyright/fair use and are active and trusted here). Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 15:43, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
  • We aren't enough people to get some good content written or even comments on DYK, GAs and VGAs. Our wiki has many issues that firstly need to be fixed before we do more work and check the updates. We rarely have enough people to check new pages, cats and templates. Now we want to make us even more work? Fix our current and much more important issues before creating more work for admins. Oppose -Barras (talk) 19:31, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
    With all due respect, Barras, enWP has much of the same problems despite being much bigger with more manpower and they handle FU fairly good, and what will make it better here is that the right to upload fair use is only given to those entrusted with the community to do it right, which cuts down significantly on the work load you're talking about. chrisianrocker90 06:39, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
    Just see Gordon's comment above. I doubt that we all know enough about the necessary copy right law and so on. We don't need more stuff to work on. We need to fix the current situation. On a wiki with like 20 to 30 active users (I think currently there are even less), this would be our death. Concentrate your time not on uploads and proposals, better do something against our backlogs as linked above. -Barras (talk) 09:55, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
    Only those who can show a knowledge of fair-use and copyright (perhaps based on questions and/or commons contribs) would get uploader. And ... "this would be our death" :) how many times has this been said? I know of at least 300, the oldest user will know more. I get a giggle every time someone says it! :D fr33kman 18:59, 12 August 2011 (UTC
    So you and any other user how wants this will take responsibility for all uploads, check them all etc? Then, again, you are wasting your time, imo. Actually, thinking a bit more about it, I'd rather like to just use the uploads from enWP here. So they'd have the problem and not we. Is there are way to use enwiki's uploads here without uploading them here? -Barras (talk) 19:19, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
    That's a great idea! fr33kman 22:27, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Support I am very much in favour of non-free fair use graphics. They are badly needed for biographies. Although, logically, an image of a person adds little cognitively, it adds a lot in human terms. And non-free images of persons are widely used on enWP.
    Illustration is vitally needed in fine art where quite a few of the greatest artists of the 20th century have no images on Commons whatsoever.
    In Simple, especially, we should remember that images transcend language.
    The mechanics are much simpler than some of you are making out. We can simply permit any fair use graphic allowed on a sufficiently similar enWP page to be used on ours. So at last our readers could see what Matisse did, and why he was a great and original artist. Macdonald-ross (talk) 18:53, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose very very very strongly. A> We don't have the manpower to deal with it. (not even en can deal with it) B> It takes away from this wiki being a simple wiki. ie by adding complicated licensing issues into the mix. Doing this leads directly into us being a copy of en. We are supposed to not be en. One of our major differences is that we don't use non-free images because they complicate the editing of the wiki with complex licensing issues. To be frank I don't think many people here I can't actually think of a single editor here who has the knowledge necessary to police this. Now this isn't a knock against them its simple fact that fair-use image law is very very very complicated. -DJSasso (talk) 23:35, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Off the top of my head, there are between twenty and thirty active users here; we probably have less than 10 regular contributors without admin privileges. Personally, what I like most is contributing content, administrative stuff is on the bottom of the list. I therefore see the solution, "for images/media, go to commons" as a good one. Even if we tie the permission to upload to a flag to bestow on image (much like importer), this still adds to our workload in an area which I would classify as administrative. There's the additional porblem that we would need to keep up a second version of our wp "for offline use", making sure the respective articles are still usable without the "non-free" images. For these reasons, I have to oppose here, but I think a similar referendum should be held on commons. --Eptalon (talk) 12:30, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Eptalon/DJ. Also, since Simple is designed for ESL/young readers, they can simply find the images on their home language wiki. Griffinofwales (talk) 21:15, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
    Following that train of though, then why does this wiki even exist if they can find it in their native tongue? chrisianrocker90 01:52, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
    Believe me I've done the research, and this wiki has never, ever, not once, decided what its audience is! "People who need a simpler version" seems to be the only thing ever agreed on. fr33kman 01:58, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
    You misunderstood my comment. I'm saying that users come here to read things in simple English. Any images can be found on their wiki (while they cannot find a simple article on their home wiki), so to complicate the reader's life and our lives unnecessarily to simply duplicate images which would be found on other wikis is counter-productive to the overall mission of the wiki, which is to create content. @Fr33k: I believe that we've generally decided that we write to meet the needs of those two audiences. Griffinofwales (talk) 02:03, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
    @Griffy: Really? When did we decide that? There of millions of native English speakers in the UK who are either illiterate or lose to it. I guess those are not out audience then? There is a reason why "a picture speaks a thousand words"! fr33kman 17:03, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
    It has been decided numerous times that our two target audiences are ESL and Children. You know that as well as anyone else. What hasn't been decided was how to manage those two targets at the same time. If people want the image they will go to their own language wiki. In your example english wikipedia. People come here if the English article is too complicated. A picture of an album cover or a video game is not going to help us achieve our goals here. Pretty much every other subject can easily find a free image. (though not always easy). -DJSasso (talk) 18:11, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
    No it hasn't! The only thing that has always been said is that this is a wiki for people who can't read or write English well. Sure, lot's of people has said what they "think" this project is about, but it's never been decided. fr33kman 18:20, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
    It most certainly has, the one thing that always comes out of the debates on the subject is that our goals are those two things. I would say the fact that those two things are our goals is about the only thing this wiki ever agrees on. -DJSasso (talk) 18:27, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - there is no legal "fair use" in the copyright laws of many countries. It would not be legal in Australia. Peterdownunder (talk) 12:17, 16 August 2011 (UTC) So at the moment as a teacher I could photocopy a page for use in class, with the new proposal if there was a "fair-use" image on the page, I would be breaking copyright law in Australia.--Peterdownunder (talk) 05:09, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
    • Same situation in Germany and most parts of Europe, actually. -Barras (talk) 20:57, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

***I believe the same is true in Japan. As much as I would like to see images from artists as Macdonald-ross described above, this opens a big can of worms. I have to reluctantly oppose. Gotanda (talk) 01:12, 21 August 2011 (UTC) UPDATE Sorry, it may not mean anything at this late date, but I'm actually going to switch. I was concerned about the legal issue, but as stated below we of course can't be responsible for the behavior of others. Maybe futile, but will now Support . With greater thought, additional fair-use images could really improve many articles in a way that nothing else can. Gotanda (talk) 13:27, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

        • So no one from these countries ever reads the English Wikipedia? It's not the laws of the reader that matter, I believe it is the laws of Florida that matter. fr33kman 17:03, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
          • That isn't strictly true, a user no matter where they are located, if they upload a image that is illegal in the country they are in is still breaking their local copyright laws. The WMF wouldn't be in trouble because they are located in the US. However the original editor who uploaded the image would be. This is one of the issues that en has struggled with. -DJSasso (talk) 18:07, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
            • I don't think that's right. We're entering a rather complex area here, but I don't think that would ever prove to be a problem. Even if it's technically illegal, I don't think that would ever be an issue in court. From my perspective, this only affects online hosting or printed distribution in other regions. Archer7 - talk 18:11, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
              • ^That's what the former WMF legal counsel told me too Archver7. It is actually the re-user that has to comply here. I've uploaded images to commons giving the author's info and been cited in national and international papers as the author, when I'm just the uploader. And, like I've said, we have megabytes and megabytes of fairuse stuff here already, quotations. A bit is a bit is a byte. fr33kman 18:17, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
  • None of you have addressed the obvious, which is: the issue has been extensively debated on enWP, and they (who really do have copyright expertise available) have decided to use fair use images. We are based on enWP. Why do you think you know better? Nothing you say is new; we all know the copyright law differs between countries. Books are published all over the world with images whose copyright status is less clear than ours. Unlike books, if someone objects, we can take an image down. Copyright is a civil (not criminal) law, and if people think our use reasonable there will be no objections. With our tiny audience (500 to 1,000 times smaller than enWP) we can be sure that if no-one objects to what enWP does, they won't object to us. Macdonald-ross (talk) 05:10, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Supposing we don't do the image-hosting/deciding (because we are too small) there is no reason to not use "fair-use" images. Whoever is going to complile an off-line version will either live with the fact that it contains fair-use material, or this material will be removed based on flags. Where we get the images from, and who does the hosting are technical issues. As I said, I'd have preferred this discussion at commons, because we already have a working link to commons.--Eptalon (talk) 13:52, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
  • En can't even agree on this subject, however they let the cat out of the bag and its harder to put the cat back in the bag once its out. A very large percent of en doesn't want to use them either and en has been working on ways to phase them out. We should learn from their mistake and not let them on in the first place. They have the manpower to almost (but still not absolutely) keep it under control. This is just asking for disaster on a wiki this small. Trying to make sure things have fair use rationals and the like. We don't need to replicate everything en does. We are a niche wiki, we are not a duplicate of en. We don't need everything they have. Since pictures are not written language they don't actually matter to our scope. If the person wants the picture they will go to the complex wiki or they will use their own language wiki. Our wikis focus is language not pictures. -DJSasso (talk) 18:32, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Each use of each image on Simple Wikipedia would have to have an appropriate "fair use rationale". Because such fair use rationales are "legal statements" they cannot be completely simple, but the editor adding the image must understand them. A few common situations, such as "logo" can be turned into a cook book template. If Simple does not want to host its own images, you can set $wgUseSharedUploads to true and set $wgSharedUploadPath and $wgSharedUploadDBname to English Wikipedia. Thanks, Racepacket (talk) 14:27, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
    • Sorry, but you're just plain wrong. I'd suggest you look up "The Plain English Campaign". The Highway Code has been made into plain English, and has most of the tax and benefits explanations sent to citizens have been diamond marked. Many laws around the world are moving to plain language. This probably means simplewiki is ahead of its time ;) fr33kman 17:16, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not change it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page, such as the current discussion page. No more changes should be made to this discussion.

Comments[change source]

Do remember, that you should all feel free to propose changes to the criteria/procedures etcetera on the article page. fr33kman 18:43, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Distribution[change source]

Hey folks - has anyone mentioned distribution? I'm going purely off memory here - but back when the wiki was really small, I think we discussed this and didn't like it because Simple is more likely to require redistribution in offline formats in order to be useful. Publishing copyrighted material in areas which do not have the same fair use laws might be a bit of a problem. People in the US are not likely to be the ones that find our content most useful as a resource. Thanks, Archer7 - talk 19:41, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

I think this is a very good point. More reason to oppose, I would think.--Gordonrox24 | Talk 23:43, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
This is true as well, one of the biggest reasons it wasn't originally done was that this wiki is supposed to be distributable (moreso than en) to schools and organizations teaching english and the minute you add in non-free images you can no longer distribute it without stripping the images out again which defeats one of the main purposes of this wiki. (and is why en has to have a completely separate site for their distributable version which has none of the fair use) -DJSasso (talk) 23:46, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
We do also need to remember that while foreign publishing might reach our most important audience, it's not done very much. If en:Wikipedia:One_Encyclopedia_Per_Child ever gets rolling, it might be more important as they plan to use our content. I've always loved WP:CORE - one possible compromise could be to specify a set of core articles that will always be redistributable. It will still be somewhat restrictive and will take a lot of work to manage as a process (which articles, tagging/categorizing them so people know, checking them constantly). The chances are people won't be able to redistribute everything they want, but they can probably get some of it. My opinion has always been that we are practically drowning in free images for all the most important things in an encyclopedia. Looking at the "examples of need" on this page, I don't think we need any of them. They're for relatively minor articles that not many people are going to find useful. However, I don't edit here any more so I'll leave it to you guys to decide. Archer7 - talk 09:33, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
TBH Archer7, I've been in some of the most remote and poorest places, you'd be amazed at who has the Internet. Places like Gambia let you use it even if you have no credit on your phone. I've stayed pretty active on the net when I was in a warzone, and another editor here has done likewise. So access to Internet is becoming a moot point; in the beginning of the wiki it was very much a valid point however. Within another decade, Wikipedia might not even exist in this media; either way, fair-use is becoming more important in our articles. fr33kman 22:27, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

I just want others to be clear about my proposal (above). First, it would not involve anyone putting up any new images. It would not involve any re-assessment of the properness of the fair-use criteria. It would involve the direct transfer of fair-use images on enWP only to those Simple pages which directly attribute the corresponding enWP pages.
Some red herrings have been floated by the antis. For example, we are not ever responsible for the use others make of our encyclopedia, legally or morally. People steal things from all over the web, and the reproduction of our articles is the responsibility of those who do it. Another point: in many cases the graphics are an integral part of the subject-matter, and it is hardly sensible to say: "If you want to see the graphics, go somewhere else". We should do things which attract readers and, given our audience, the graphics are needed even more here than on enWP. Macdonald-ross (talk) 08:27, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

The reason we are GFDL is to encourage as much re-use of our content as possible, so free images are another part of that goal. Wikipedia aims to spread knowledge freely - so it's not that we're taking responsibility, it's our main project aim! As for the need for fair use images, I haven't really seen a need, but I haven't edited in ages so I might be wrong. None of the "needed" images on the proposal page seem necessary at all to me. If there is a genuine educational need that outweighs the benefits of free re-use then fair use may be justified, but I don't think most fair use images are all that useful. Remember that copyright laws would also stop internet hosting of fair use images in different territories, so our work couldn't be integrated into other projects. Archer7 - talk 10:08, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Barras' suggestion[change source]

As I already mentioned in a statement above, how about using the images en.wiki hosts directly without uploading them here. I don't know if this is technically possible, but it would be much easier and better for us than uploading it all here again. This would of course mean that we need to poke the developers. Maybe something like [[ENFile:]] or directly a shared databased? If we really needed, then this is surely better for us. Otherwise, I still think we should not implement uploads here. -Barras (talk) 21:57, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

This I can support. sonia 00:44, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Obviously, I support it as well. Macdonald-ross (talk) 04:06, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
This is a reasonable suggestion. If we are going to accept the fair-use proposal, this is a good way to do it. Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 13:39, 26 August 2011 (UTC)
Support an obviously good suggestion. If its technically possible then I think this is the way to go. Normandy (talk) 12:02, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
I could support that, as effectively it's then not our problem and we're not wasting time sorting images that are already extant elsewhere. However, the no local uploads rule does still need to be enforced with this - if it's free it goes to Commons, if it's not then the likelihood is that if it's of use then en will have it. Technically it should be possible as it just means setting up en as another shared repository, though that work in the same way as Commons so we'd need to make sure that free (Commons) images took precedence. Finally though, I also have something nagging me saying that there may be some legal issues surrounding using en images as all the rationales etc are stated exactly for that wiki, and so don't actually cover them being used on simple. Can we maybe seek a clarification on this (James?), as the idea would sadly be a non-starter were that the case... Goblin 01:27, 6 September 2011 (UTC) I ♥ PeterSymonds!
There might be a way around that legal issue. On English Wikipedia, it is possible to create local pages that superimpose on Commons pages, without preventing the Commons page from appearing as well. Take a look at this en.Wiki Featured Picture. There's a template there that appears on it that has a star and denotes that the image is a Featured Picture on en.Wiki. The Commons page dosen't have that template.
What Simple would have to do is use this same technique, but instead of superimposing status templates over Commons files, you would superimpose Non-Free Fair Use Rationales over English Wikipedia pages.
You would, of course, need to run the scheme past WMF legal. Sven Manguard Talk 14:36, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Process notes[change source]

I just want to add that I would feel more comfortable if this discussion were to run couple of weeks. Very kindly, Jon@talk:~$ 00:09, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Fully agree. This is not something we need to do our usual 3-4 days with...this is somewhat substantial. Either way (talk) 15:37, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, I was going to suggest a month actually! There is no need for speed here, and I think a whole month would give most of our "active" editors to chime in. fr33kman 15:42, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Non-Admin Opinion: A month might be too much, we want the discussion to happen but a month allows the possibility that the discussion dies out and is forgotten about. I like Screams suggestion of 2 weeks better. Just my 2 cents. chrisianrocker90 19:25, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
If the discussion dies out, it goes to prove that we don't have enough people to discuss about such a significant change, therefore, we also don't have enough people to implement/use this change either and that we don't need it. If we seriously need something, I'm sure people will be eager to get the change implemented. Moreover, this being an important change, I'd suggest waiting for input rather than rushing and implementing it, and have people complaining about lack of sufficient input/consensus for its implementation. Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 18:07, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Agree. If we can't get a really good discussion leading to some consensus after a month, then we don't have enough people to run it. One of the things I'm trying to clean up as a steward is the thousands of unlicensed, unsourced files on tiny wikis. We're not in that group, so I thin we can do this. Perhaps 20+ opinions? fr33kman 18:49, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
No, IMO, that proves people have gotten their two cents in and are not obsessing over it, a month is too long. But being a non-admin I will go with what y'all decide. chrisianrocker90 21:56, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
Why do you repeatedly state that you are not an admin, as if it makes your point less valid? This is something the community decides on, not admins or crats. Therefore your point of view is just as important as those with mops. Ydennek (talk) 21:31, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Y is correct as written above my comment. Administrative opinion is equal to non-admin. We do what the community wills, in the limits given us... Kindly, Jon@talk:~$ 23:02, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
  • This must be some kind of a joke. We really need to discuss how/when to close a discussion. If people would just learn not to rush, we wouldn't need this. There is no rush, close when people no longer comment, etc. It's much better to discuss the pros/cons of this rather than discussing the closure before it even happened. -Barras (talk) 21:52, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Barras, I a, growing tired of your commentary. Over the past couple of months you find ways to make comments like "this must be a joke" or similar. Stop, because it does nothing. If you don't like it, stay out of policy discussion and get thee to mainspace, as you would tell me. Jon@talk:~$ 23:50, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
Nutshell: You don't decide what I discuss anw which of my comments are jokes. Jon@talk:~$ 23:51, 20 August 2011 (UTC)
So to pass this needs ~85% of supports, which it currently doesn't have and it won't get any time soon (I count 9/7 in favor). I'd suggest a tentative closure date of August 30, and to have an unbiased bureaucrat (most likely James) to close. Albacore (talk · changes) 18:32, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

You're going to get in over your head![change source]

Please excuse me, as I'm not used to simplifying my speech.

Of the millions of accounts that have been made there, and the ten thousand very active editors there, only about three dozen people work in files on English Wikipedia on a regular basis. I am one of those three dozen.

I strongly advise you not to allow non-free content on Simple, and to continue to not allow files to be uploaded locally. I do however believe that if it can be done, Barras' suggestion (about using files from English Wikipedia]] could work. (Edit: While I believe that Barras' suggestion will meet the purposes of getting the non-free content onto Simple Wikipedia, I still do not explicitly endorse it, I am only saying that it is the better of two undesirable options.)

There are several things you need to be aware of before you make your decision:

  • Copyright - Copyright is a huge mess. It takes months to learn enough of it that you don't have to constantly ask other people for help. Almost every country has different laws on Copyright, and the United States has many laws itself. To work with copyright you need to know about freedom of panorama, derivative works, how to tell if a file is eligible for copyright or not, license comparability, and many other complicated subjects. As importantly, the ability to explain all these things to other people is very difficult, as I've learned the hard way on English Wikipedia.
  • Policy - Once you start allowing for non-free uploads, you will need to create not just one policy, but several policies. You will need your own NFCC (I saw User:Fr33kman/Non-free content criteria, but that is really is just the English Wikipedia one slightly reworded, and it will need more work). You will also need a policy on what you will accept and not accept. The proposal listed logos, TV show screenshots of characters, and software screenshots. What about video game screenshots? CD covers? Book sleeves (book covers)? Images of celebrities? What about screenshots of important moments in television episodes? If we were to adopt Fr33kman's document, how would we define "Significance"? That last question has caused a lot of fights on English Wikipedia. In short, it is very hard to allow some things but not all things, and what is and is not allowed will be argued about.
  • Infrastructure - You will need to create licensing templates, categories, deletion request pages, heck, you don't even have a Template:Information page yet. This will take hours and hours, as some things can not be copied over from English Wikipedia, and what you do copy over needs to be simplified.
  • What is small today might not be tomorrow - At first, you'll only have a few dozen files. That's very easy to manage. You have 40 files now, and no problems. Soon, you'll have a few hundred files. I can handle that on my own, easy, and I'll probably work files for you all if you do decide to go for files, at least until you develop some local talent. However in a few years, you might get a hundred thousand files. I can't do that on my own, and if English Wikipedia can't get enough people to work with files there, I don't think Simple will be able to either. Backlogs will form and rarely get worked on. You will lose track of what you have and where it is. It's not pretty.
  • You Give a Mouse a Cookie - Once you formally allow for image uploads, it won't be long before people ask "why not sound?", or "why not free images as well?", or other similar questions. How are you going to respond?


In short, allowing this will create a huge mess for you all. Barras' suggestion will get you most of what you want with very few of the problems (you will still need to clarify your own policies on non-free use).

Sven Manguard Talk 10:49, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

You don't need to say things which have been said before. It's already quite clear that the Barras proposal is the only one with any chance, and if you support it you should put your name in the list of supporters. Macdonald-ross (talk) 11:06, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
Don't shoot the messenger. Files can be a fiasco. Commons is understaffed, en.Wiki is critically short on people who work in files, and for a variety of depressing community-centered reasons, attrition among file workers is frighteningly high. Also, when I said above that the NFCC was a tension point on en.Wiki, that was an understatement. Massive brawls centered around competing definitions of the NFCC break out around once a month on en.Wiki, and we still haven't found a workable solution, despite having the same arguments for three years. I don't want it to get all out of hand, and believe me, it will. Files are nasty like that. Sven Manguard Talk 15:16, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
It is good to hear from someone who works directly with them on en though. I certainly appreciate the perspective. (and not just cause I agree with it). -DJSasso (talk) 13:27, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

Simple Proposal[change source]

I wish to resurrect this problem. I think that the use of non-free images can be resolved in one simple rule:

"Simple Wikipedia shall use the same rules as English Wikipedia in respect on non-free content".

The rationale behind this that the law on copyright that applies to Simple Wikipedia applies equally to English Wikipedia. From a legal point of view what is good for English Wikipedia is also good for Simple Wikipedia. In practice, this would mean that any non-free image on English Wikipedia could be cut-and-pasted into Simple Wikipedia with a note about the cut-and-paste operation. Martinvl (talk) 09:04, 8 March 2014 (UTC)

Well, I have been extremely frustrated by the lack of those photographs on our biographies. I've put up a series of biographies and articles on modern art which are almost meaningless without illustration. And yet, outside WP, every web-page on those topics is profusely illustrated. Many pop-film-music biogs lack photos of personalities which are everywhere visible. Well, let's see what the technical people have to say. As an article contributor, this is one of my greatest concerns on Simple. Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:53, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Allowing non-free content on simple would mean we'd need to upload all those media to this project. The problem here in general is our size. We are a rather small project with only a few active contributors and even less active admins. Every upload would need to be ckecked and for that we simply do not have the resource here at the moment. If we'd allow non-free content, we'd quickly get flooded by uploads of which all would need to checked. Looking around and seeing who is really active here, I doubt that we've enough manpower to get that sorted. -Barras talk 10:33, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
One way to restrict a flood would be to restrict ourselves only to those images that have already appeared in enWiki. In that way there would be a link back to enWiki where the verification work had already been done. Martinvl (talk) 13:48, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, the possibility to upload stuff here will get more people here uploading their stuff. Most people have no knowledge about copyright, fair use etc and will just upload whatever they find. With that, there will always be heavy clean up needed. Also, most parts of the world do not allow fair use. Actually, fair use is pretty much only an US thing. Please read the discussion above, where for example Peterdownuder raises good and valid points to not use non-free content here. -Barras talk 13:55, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, I did answer these issues before. Edited version: "The issue has been extensively debated on enWP, and they (who really do have copyright expertise available) have decided to use fair use images. We are based on enWP. Why do you think you know better? Nothing you say is new; we all know the copyright law differs between countries. Books are published all over the world with images whose copyright status is less clear than ours. Unlike books, if someone objects, we can take an image down. Copyright is a civil (not criminal) law, and if people think our use is reasonable there will be no objections. With our tiny audience (500 to 1,000 times smaller than enWP) we can be sure that if no-one objects to what enWP does, they won't object to us". The proposal is really quite limited: only images labelled as "fair use" on English wiki would be permitted here for pages which attribute their pages. No-one would be allowed to put up other images. Macdonald-ross (talk) 20:18, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Australia has very restrictive "fair use" image laws compared to the US. Many of the images on Enwiki are not legal under Australian law. This creates problems for users who may wish to use their content. One of our strengths is the fact that we respect the work of content producers through Creative Commons licensing. At the moment the good people at Wikimedia spend huge amounts of time energy checking the legal status of images - who is going to do that here? Who is going to keep checking the status of each image used on Enwiki? At the moment we have a legal, fair, and equitable practice. It is not worth changing that so we can have a photo of some current pop music band.--Peterdownunder (talk) 20:40, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
Nope, Peter sums it up perfectly. Lots of images on en.wiki aren't fair use, and yes they do eventually get caught usually, however they have 100 or more users who exclusively work on image use. We don't even have 20 highly active editors here period. Who is going to look over all the pictures every day making sure they are tagged properly. And then go to en.wiki and make sure theirs are tagged properly. This is just asking to open up a can of worms that once opened can't be put back in the can. We don't even remotely have the man power needed to maintain this. Not to mention one of our goals is to be simple in all aspects. And image law is definitely not simple which is why we use the simple solution of just allowing free images from commons. -DJSasso (talk) 14:41, 11 March 2014 (UTC)