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So what are we supposed to do?

After months of kerfluffle regarding numismatics articles, we're now effectively back to where we started. I know the supporters of the use of these images would say we're right back to where we should be. Please, bear with me. I'm not trying to start another war.

Allow me to use a case example. As of now, Commemorative coins of Poland: 2008 is the #1 user of non-free content by article on the entire project. See this report (note: #1 is inaccurate, as those files have recently been deemed free license for our purposes). This article uses 44 non-free images. I note several problems with this article and the images it uses;

  • There is 44kb of text in the article. Do we really need 44 images to support 44kb of text? There's no policy or guideline on this of course, but there is no featured article on the project (based on sampling of WP:FA) with anywhere near this 1:1 ratio of non-free content usage.
  • 22 of the 44 images have dimensions exceeded 1000 pixels. Per this template noting NFCC policy, the sizes need to be reduced.
  • 17 of 18 of the external references used link to the Polish Mint (3) or the National Bank of Poland (14). These are primary sources. Per that policy, "Do not base articles entirely on primary sources". Sure, 1 of the 18 is not a primary source, but the article is effectively based on primary sources.
  • The only non-primary source is the Polish Numismatics Society. The only place that is used is to support assertions of the market value of five coins. Further, a numismatics society is a tertiary source. There's no secondary sourcing for this article at all.
  • All of the uses of images violate WP:NFTABLE, which discourages the use of non-free content in tabular format. The problem here is that there is no critical commentary of the designs in any respect. The entire meat of the article is comprised of descriptive summations of the 44 designs.
  • All of the images have a fair use rationale. To some, that would appear that it meets WP:NFCC #10c. But, on closer inspection every single "purpose of use" stated for the images is "Currency picture". A few have additional text (below the rationale box) of "Demonstrative of the layout of Polish currency". If that is a valid reason for use, then there would be absolutely no reason why we can not use non-free images for every single currency item in the world. Sure, you could update the rationale to something lengthy and sounding good, but in practice the only thing these images are being used for is displaying the coins. That's it.
  • Per WP:NOTGALLERY, Wikipedia is not a mere collection of photographs. But, that's what we have here, plus technical details. There's no encyclopedic content.
  • Per WP:NOTEVERYTHING, Wikipedia is not a complete exposition of all possible details. Yet, that's what we have here. There's no summary of accepted knowledge regarding these coins. It's just a reposting of technical details from primary sources. If I were to create an article on a company listed on a stock exchange that had the name, logo, and technical details of the company and nothing else it would likely be deleted. But, this doesn't?
  • Per WP:INDISCRIMINATE, Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. But, that's what we have here; an indiscriminate collection of every technical detail of each of these coins.

As it stands, I could take a number of actions. I could;

  • Place the article for AfD. It would be kept, even though it's based entirely on primary sources which is prohibited by policy (the one tertiary source not withstanding).
  • Remove the images as violating WP:NFCC #8 and #3a. They would be restored by several people who insist it is appropriate use. This already happened.
  • Tag all the images as disputed fair use because the rationales are woefully weak, and without changing the way in which they are used in the article they will remain woefully weak. All those taggings would of course be undone, and I'd probably be accused of a WP:POINT violation. There might be an effort to lengthen the purposes of use, and almost certainly without changing the nature of use, leaving the rationales still woefully weak.
  • Rewrite the article to be more of an article rather than a reposting of technical details of these coins. It would be reverted for not following Wikipedia:WikiProject_Numismatics/Style/Currency_article#Coins.

Now, please understand, I'm not assuming bad faith here. I am well cognizant of what typically happens and this is it. So, regardless of policy we are stuck with an article that fails our requirements in a large number of ways. In this case, we've carved out a specialist class of articles that comprises some of the heaviest users of non-free content on the project (60% of the non-free content in the top 20 alone) that are untouchable. Numismatics now effectively have a special exclusion that makes them immune to actions based on the violations I've noted above. No, it's not written down anywhere, but that's effectively what we have. Is this really what we want? --Hammersoft (talk) 20:30, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

While I think there would be more trouble if these were the common currency of Poland, the fact they are "commemorative" coinage means they shouldn't get anywhere near the same type of pass (what exists of that) for regular country currency. Add to that that each table explains exactly what the two sides of the coin bears, and the visual representation becomes unnecessary.
I wouldn't "fight" this on the notability aspect. I'm sure with a bit of prodding, there could be sources from newspapers explaining the release of these coins, so that's not the way to do it.
But it is non-free, it is a list-style article with what otherwise seem to be non-notable individual coins, and there's no discussion of the artwork on the coins beyond the description. Clearly this needs to be reduced. The numismatics projects has not provided any strong reason for keeping them beyond that being their status quo, and seem unable to accept the use of a few example images as demonstration. (It would be more difficult with the commemorative coins as they have no fixes series, but again, the visual appearance of the coins is not necessary to understanding). --MASEM (t) 20:49, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
One might ask how removing any of the coin images from that article about coins actually furthers the non-free content mission. They are not replaceable by free content, there is no legitimate question about the legality of such an informational use, and there is no concrete benefit given to downstream users by reducing an article from 15 non-free images of coins to 10 or some other arbitrary lower number. The only thing that might be accomplished would be rote compliance with stated guidelines and nothing more. So I fail to see how there is any 3rd Pillar interest here that could possibly outweigh the 1st Pillar interest in providing information. This simply isn't a battle worth fighting. postdlf (talk) 21:10, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
That's a slippery slope argument that can be applied to a huge list of articles, not just coins. The thing that WP can take advantage of is that we are not the end-all, be-all of information, as some tend to think we are. We are a tertiary source, summarizing primary and secondary sources. We want people that are researching a subject to use those resources for better authority on the topic. To that end, there is no need to display every coin minted by a country if it conflicts with our free content mission. A representative sample helps to identify the topic but beyond that it only hurts the mission. --MASEM (t) 21:22, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
The opinion that it "hurts the mission" is exactly what I was contesting. postdlf (talk) 23:15, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
The mission aspects are two-fold: we want to educate at a tertiary level and maintain a free content encyclopedia that uses non-free content under exceptional circumstances. To education a reader on the commemorative coins from a country, I argue that we maintain the same educational mission by showing a representative sample alongside descriptions of what coins not illustrated contained, and links to where non-free content is not an issue where these coins can all be displayed, and at the same time, we improve our goal to the free content mission. --MASEM (t) 23:28, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Are vector files of copyrighted/trademarked images allowed?

I'm not sure if this is the proper place to ask, but it seems as good as any since my question deals with non-free content. I sometimes help improve images over at the Graphic Lab, and once in a while there will be a request to create an SVG version of a raster image (usually a logo) that is copyrighted and requires the addition of a fair use rationale for every article in which it appears. And usually someone will oblige and create a vector version, which makes the image infinitely scalable. My question is, how does this not run afoul of the image use policy and non-free content guidelines? (Or maybe it does?) Since in more than one place I have read that part of the fair use rationale is that the image being used is sufficiently low resolution, it seems like making a version with an effectively infinite resolution would be unacceptable. Could anyone clarify or point me to any prior discussion on the topic, if any exists? -MissMJ (talk) 04:16, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

One has to make a call if the logo fails the Threshold of Originality - that it, if the logo is simple enough - containing just text, basic shapes, and the like - there is no "sweat of the brow" in creating the work and it becomes ineligible for copyright. Such logos that fall within this are completely appropriate to put into SVG and allow for infinite scaling. On the other hand, more complex logos that do pass the Threshold and is copyrightable, must follow NFCC, and an SVG image of that logo would be inappropriate due to the infinite scaling (the recreation of the logo is a derivative work, the copyright still to the original creator). --MASEM (t) 04:23, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
So if a logo is already tagged with {{PD-textlogo}} (or should be), like File:Boeing wordmark.svg, then it's fine to create a vector version of it, but if it's tagged with {{non-free logo}}, like File:Whirlpoolcorp2010logo.jpg, a vector version shouldn't be created? But then you run into something like File:Boeing-Logo.svg, which is a non-free logo, and has all the requisite qualifiers of needing to be sufficiently low res, but an SVG of it exists anyway. Seems kinda shady to provide it, even if it's followed by "this image should not be rendered any larger than is required," because why not just have a small enough raster file and avoid the issue altogether?... -MissMJ (talk) 04:55, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
I would argue that that logo should not be present on WP as an SVG, even if it is possible, presuming that the graphics are sufficiently unique for copyright. (I would further argue that because we have the free wordmark, the non-free logo image is unnecessary, but that's assuming that there's no further discussion on the graphic itself, but that's not a discussion here). SVGs of non-free images should not be allowed due to the nature of infinite resolution. --MASEM (t) 06:31, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
Makes sense. Thank you! -MissMJ (talk) 07:07, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
It's been my experience that non-free SVG logos have been allowed for years (provided they have a fair-use rationale and meet all other other requirements for non-free works). In general, they reproduce the logo/trademark more accurately. I know it was discussed here; thought that they used to be mentioned on Wikipedia:Logos but I don't see it now. Use the {{SVG-Logo}} tag. Making our own vector versions of trademarked logos, as opposed to converting ones directly made by the company in questions, is slightly dicier from a trademark perspective though -- they need to be very accurate, as if they are inaccurate in some detail they could be seen as diluting the trademark (even when used in an educational context). It would usually be preferable to find a PDF or other vector version directly from the company in question, to eliminate those trademark questions. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:29, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
People have apparently tolerated or even supported non-free SVGs for years as Carl above points out, but it doesn't make a lot of sense to me--they are far higher resolution than Wikipedia will ever need from a fair-use standpoint, and raise issues of bad tracing/redrawing of the images: in short I think they violate a whole mess of WP:NFCC, but I've had lots of people tell me that SVGs that can be drawn at X resolution are not "high-resolution", which I simply don't understand. Masem brings up a good point in that trademarked images might be less problematic. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 15:47, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
There already are too many vector images in Wikipedia that are copyrighted! Evidently, Wikimedia foundation can be sued for distributing copyrighted images in the highest quality possible:∞*∞ resolution. Perhaps no one does that because Wikipedia serves a noble cause. I personally want Wikipedia to be in possession of these copyrighted images which greatly add to the quality of the encyclopedia. We should take up this issue with the legal committee of Wikimedia foundation (in the hope that we will be able to find a justification for continuing our vectorization drive). In the worst case we will have to rasterize all the vector non-free images in Wikipedia to a suitable resolution! We will have to, either start to Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all free human knowledge!? or amend the law! – Aditya 7  ¦  16:55, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
If we allow non-free vector images, isn't it illogical to not allow high resolution non-free raster images; given that high resolution raster images can very easily be embedded in SVG images! – Aditya 7  ¦  18:38, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

This comes up every couple of years or so. The standing advice is that the SVG is fine, so long as it doesn't contain a more detailed vector description than that needed to render the logo at the resolution we render non-free bitmap logos at. Yes, the vector description can be cleanly re-rendered at abritrary scales, but so long as it doesn't contain any additional detail intentionally included that would be invisible at the resolution we need, that has been seen to be acceptable.
Ideally, the vector description should come from a pdf issued by the company itself, rather than a user tracing or user-recreation. An important thing is to present the mark to fairly reflect the trademark holder's design, to avoid tarnishing the brand. From a legal perspective, that is probably a much more significant consideration than the absolute size of the image, which, since the basic case for fair use in the way we use the graphic here is so strong, probably would not be held to much affect the degree of the copyright taking. Jheald (talk) 19:25, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

I can argue fairly that an SVG logo that passes the ToO, pulled from a PDF or equivalent created by the company represented by the logo, is fine for these reasons - we aren't recreating anything ourselves. I would question a non-free SVG logo created by a WPian in the same fashion. --MASEM (t) 19:38, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
J, then the question is why use a vector when we can use a raster image that has the same amount of content at a specified resolution, no larger than would ever be necessary for our purposes? Vector non-free images are completely unnecessary and in violation of WP:NFCC, unless you can explain how an image that can be rendered without loss of quality at X number of megapixels qualifies as "low resolution" no matter what. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 19:46, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
I would not eliminate user-made vectors; they probably make sense in some situations (particularly where the trademark may have lapsed but the copyright hasn't, and there are no vector versions available). There is no real difference, copyright-wise, so there is no difference to their "free"-ness. The only issue is one of trademark, really, and that would usually be pretty thin (it would have to be visibly inaccurate I think to be an issue -- we wouldn't want to misrepresent something visibly incorrect as their official logo). There really is no good reason to disallow SVGs in my opinion; they are flexible and would look (much) better in print as well, if that is needed. Wikipedia articles are not always just for websites. Quite frankly companies would often prefer it anyways since they will almost always look better when generated from the vector source. The fair use arguments would be the same; there is no real difference between them and rasters I don't think. The main issue is having more expression than we need; for rasters image size could be argued, for vectors, it's more in the amount of detail present (i.e. if there is lots of tiny details not seen at regular sizes, we could strip that out). The amount of copyrightable expression we host in an SVG is identical no matter the resolution so the image size becomes completely meaningless (just make sure we don't render it any bigger than we really need in actual use I guess). Most logos are designed to look OK at small sizes anyways so there is rarely any of that type of tiny detail. The issue has been brought up several times and I'm pretty sure consensus was to keep them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:13, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
It doesn't really matter if there's the exact same visual information or not—resolution is different from detail anyhow. An SVG unequivocably fails WP:NFCC C.2 ; we can use a low-resolution raster, so we should. The whole "companies would prefer it" is at best untestable and at worst plainly false; if it were true companies would be packaging the Illustrator eps files or svgs with their brand packaging. Given that it is easier to use SVGs for other purposes I'm pretty sure most wouldn't. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 02:15, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
And unneeded detail is the crux of that NFCC criteria, not resolution per se. (And yes, companies often give out vector versions of the logos, though they usually want someone to sign a trademark agreement first -- they may wish the vector versions were not available here, but that is not something that trademark or copyright law would explicitly forbid. There is likely not much they can do about either.) Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:18, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Trademark is not the issue here (as long as we're using logos in educational purposes). It is also not a fair-use issue in that such use of logos are ok. It is an issue with non-free content when the logo can be copyrighted. The Foundation Resolution says nothing directly about resolution, but its our NFCC that says "Low- rather than high-resolution/fidelity/bit rate is used". Now, again, I can understand that if the original medium can be grabbed from an official source in an SVG medium, that's great, but really, if we're making the exception for logos, someone is going to complain somewhere down the line that if logos get that freedom, then why not other copyrighted art that *could* be recreated as SVG (there's not much but things like Piet Mondrian's modern art or South Park come to mind). I'd rather see non-free SVG converted to an appropriate sized PNG to avoid raising any exemptions that people will want for other images. I know it's longstanding that it's ok, but this is a very good question raised that we should address.
That said, if there is some way to judge how low fidelity of the details of an SVG image that can be used as a fair metric for judging when a non-free SVG is still representative of the logo without being detailed beyond what non-SVG images at low resolution should be. --MASEM (t) 01:49, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
That is a good example where the NFCC guideline does not work as a one-size-fits-all type of thing. When you are talking about a non-free photograph, resolution is quite important -- there is an awful lot of expression present in a high-resolution photograph that we do not need to illustrate the article; people pay more for larger-resolution photographs for a reason. That part of the criteria is very good when it comes to those. When it comes to simplistic logos, high-resolution versions usually don't add all that much -- the expression present is usually not that different and there are rarely small details which become visible. When it comes to an SVG, there is no resolution, so the criteria is meaningless really. The expression we are hosting and using is almost always the same no matter what resolution we render it at. If an SVG has some intricate details which are only visible at a high resolution, then that is a fair parallel to the photograph-centered NFCC criteria, which would probably be better worded as "more detail than required". They have different parallels for non-free audio or video already; some other wording for vector is likely needed. For example, if they were non-free, File:File:DirigibleR80.svg and File:DouglasDC3Drawing.svg (say the detail around the wheels, or interior of the engine) would have unnecessary detail not visible at the resolution needed to give the user an idea of the image, and we could strip a lot out without really affecting our use. Not as easy as scaling down or downsampling, but something we should think about if possible. Some SVGs may have hidden elements meant for aiding editing which are not visible in the final display -- those would be unnecessary as well. It's certainly possible logos may have stuff like that, though my guess is that is rare, since usually the point is to make logos recognizable at small sizes so there is usually no intricate detail. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:06, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Our use of logos is not to capture details that can only be seen at high resolution. We use non-free logos to connect the logo to the entity it represents, and should use a size and resolution that is no larger than necessary to assure that connection. Take, for example, the logo for ING File:ING.svg. The definitive element, the lion, is clearly seen at 200px, and it is very doubtful that an average reader, after seeing the lion at that size, wouldn't be able to connect the logo again to ING in the future. There is no need for a 2000px image to show the finer work of the various detail within the lion, unless there is sourced discussion that showing these elements would be necessary for comprehension (checking the ING article, though , that's not the case). --MASEM (t) 03:13, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

[[:File:Pepsi logo 2008.svg|thumb|center|1200px|Nonsense!Prodego talk 01:34, 18 July 2011 (UTC)]]

Perhaps you are more of a   fan Masem? Prodego talk 02:06, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
No, I'm just following NFCC. The Pepsi logo you included is non-free, and we can't use it on talk pages, period. Free images like the coke one are ok. --MASEM (t) 02:22, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
So, the consensus is to allow non-free images (vector or otherwise) when they contain only the necessary amount of details that are visible at the fair-use resolution (160k pixels). Right? – Aditya 7  ¦  05:08, 18 July 2011 (UTC)
Seems to be what may be agreeable here. One aside is that companies will often contribute their own logo, particularly if it has changed as they want to keep it current. Obviously they are granting permissions for its appearance on Wikipedia in the form that they donate, even if it falls in the the non-free category. We should encourage dialog with organizations on the topic of their logos on Wikipedia, and not just rely on mindless application of criteria that may not actually be in the best interests of copyright/trademark holders or Wikipedia. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 08:51, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

Whoops, I seem to have inadvertently poked a hornet's nest here. >_> Some things:

  • It bugs me that the discussion progressed to only include talk about corporate logos. You will notice I was very careful to talk about images in general and not just corporate logos—even though logos seem to be the majority of these types of cases—since sometimes this applies to things like government emblems, seals, NGO logos (like File:WWF logo.svg), etc. Some of these entities don't publish PDFs with their images in them, so it's not just a matter of "well, we're not recreating it because there's a PDF." Sometimes there is no PDF.
  • I find the discussion about level of detail to be, quite frankly, utterly inane. Most of the images in question are fairly simple shapes—since these are the types of drawings most appropriate for vectorization. File:Boeing-Logo.svg doesn't have any details that are visible at 1000px that aren't visible at 200px, and neither do File:Pepsi_logo_2008.svg or File:WWF logo.svg. You can't make the argument of "well, we're not including any details in the SVG so it's okay to have it." The level of detail yardstick may work well for raster images, but for vector images it just sounds to me like definitions are being seriously stretched to justify something that otherwise could not be justified.
  • There was a recent request on Wikipedia:Graphic_Lab/Illustration_workshop to fix File:SouthSudanCoatofArms.svg (request seems to have since been removed for using non-free images in a gallery), because people were using it instead of File:SouthSudanCoatofArms.png. Here's an example of a fairly detailed, copyrighted image. Someone got lazy and instead of doing it properly, just ran it through an auto-trace function. Not only does the resulting SVG look awful, but what is the point of its existence? Using it in its current form dilutes the South Sudan coat of arms because it's not a faithful reproduction of what it looks like, but even if someone spent an ungodly amount of time fixing this SVG, what would be the point? It's not like you could simplify it to fit with the whole "we don't include as many details in our SVGs so it's okay" business, because, once again, it would dilute/misrepresent it. And if you traced it faithfully, well, it would look just like the PNG when rendered at 300px a side!

So it seems to me like creating SVG versions of non-free images is just doing a lot of useless work. Even if it's as easy as getting a vector out of an official PDF and uploading it: why? Why provide an infinite resolution image when you could just use that PDF version to export a raster file at maximum resolution that falls under fair use and upload it. Why do we need a file with infinite resolution if it should/will never be rendered higher than a certain threshold resolution to comply with fair use standards?

Anyway, I just wanted to see what people's thoughts were, and if I was maybe missing something here, in order to formulate a personal policy of whether I would work on requests for vectorizing non-free images. Whatever the consensus ends up being here, I think my policy will be to let someone else handle this kind of work. -MissMJ (talk) 20:22, 18 July 2011 (UTC)

One important point about vector images is that they're not just about higher resolutions. They're also better for lower resolutions, or similar resolutions. For example, we might have a bitmap with a width of 300px, but display it at 200px; or some people may have preferences set to display it at 240px, or 180 px or whatever. Reducing the resolution of a bitmap in addition to the reduced resolution causes blurring -- even with good interpolation software. With a vector image, that can often substantially be avoided.
As for your emphasis on non-profit organisations like the WWF, it seems to me that they have as much interest as anyone in seeing their logo rendered as sharply and clearly as possible, the way it was created to be seen, despite a limited image size; rather than as an unnecessarily blurred and blotchy mess. Jheald (talk) 22:16, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
Most of our logos, etc. are encapsulated in infoboxes where the sizes are specifically decided beforehand, so scaling is rarely an issue for these images (and Wikipedia's PNG scaling seems quite good; JPEG isnt unfortunately.) But that doesn't override the issue of images with higher resolutions than we will ever need. There is no policy issue regarding scaling down. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 18:56, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Rational for emailed photoshopped images

There are tons of photoshopped images of no monetary value circulating on the internet. Occasionally one of them will become politically, historically, or culturally notable, such as this one, which was emailed by a government official with a comment tying it to the birther conspiracy. I would expect that such things happen often enough that we might want a specific licensing rational for them. Any thoughts? — kwami (talk) 20:26, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

  • You want a boilerplate rationale for photoshopped images? Album covers for album articles, yes. For this? Each image would need a different sort of rationale. Unless, we had a boilerplate rationale that said "We believe this photoshopped image qualifies as fair use because it's photoshopped". Hmm. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:39, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Bibliography different from discography?

I have removed nonfree images at Terence Reese bibliography, explaining that, in my view, the article was similar to a discography and thus the images were not justifiable. The article's primary creator has reverted. Another few sets of eyes/opinions would be welcome. (ESkog)(Talk) 20:34, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

I agree with your analysis. That said, I believe it would be better to allow images in discographies and bibliographies when, as here. the entries do not have individual articles. Hullaballoo Wolfowitz (talk) 20:57, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
All other points aside, I agree that there's no reason to treat a bibliography different than a discography. postdlf (talk) 22:05, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
The reason we allow covers in articles on individual books and albums is that because 1) the work is sufficiently notable to have an article and ergo it will have commentary on the work itself and 2) the cover then carries implicit marketing and branding of the item in question as to allow it to meet NFCC#8. #1 never exists in the case of a bibliography or discography and thus there's no way NFCC#8 is going to be met. --MASEM (t) 23:48, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
I thought the main rationale for not using non-free images in discographies and the like was that we didn't reuse such images when a link to an article that already uses them is present. That wouldn't apply to entries that lacked separate articles. The identification value is the same in such list entries, and in many instances the entries may be no less lengthy or substantive than a standlone book or album stub/beginning article would be. postdlf (talk) 18:24, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • So the idea is that if something is mentioned it's ok to use a non-free image of it, so long as the one place where it is used is either an article on it or if an article doesn't exist a list that lists the thing? --Hammersoft (talk) 18:36, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • No, that's not what I said nor the idea I communicated. Please take some more time to read and comprehend what I write before responding. postdlf (talk) 18:41, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I apologize for responding in haste without reading anything you said or taking the opportunity to comprehend. Anyway, my point is I'm trying to elicit from you what your stance in. You've, to date, been evasive about that. It would appear to me from your posts so far that if (a) there is no article on the subject and (b) the subject is referenced in a -ography, that it is ok to include a non-free image of it on the -ography. You're now saying this is incorrect. Ok, so what is your stance? --Hammersoft (talk) 18:45, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm trying to develop one, actually. I made three main points: 1) the prohibition on using nonfree images where an article is linked that uses the image doesn't apply to entries in -ographies that lack separate articles; 2) the identification value of cover art is the same in -ographies as in separate articles for those listed works; 3) -ography entries can be just as substantial as standalone articles on the kind of work listed. My only conclusion, if those points are sound, is that there should at least not be a complete prohibition on nonfree cover art for identification in -ographies of items that lack separate articles. The third point might be the rub, however; if it's substantial enough for a standalone article, then why wouldn't it be split off into one? I don't think anything in Terence Reese bibliography qualifies, for example. postdlf (talk) 19:00, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • (the rub) Yeah, that's been a point of contention before. Where it's become most problematic is when people vote to merge a series of articles into one list or -ography type article, and include the images. I think, as you do (correct me if I'm wrong), that if a section of an article where that section covers a specific sub-entity of the article is substantial enough, and well sourced enough to support an article, it should. Period. If that's the case, then no argument sustains to include the non-free image that depicts it until the stand alone article exists. Thoughts? --Hammersoft (talk) 19:05, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • If you are just iterating elements in a list and providing nothing more than primary data about them (say, for a discography, the year, songlist, producer, recording studio, etc.) and that's all you can say about that element because of the lack of secondary information, then there is no allowance for a cover because we would never allow that album as an article in a first place. The use of cover art is intrinsically tied to notability of a work due to the fact that it presumes that part of the creation, marketing, and reception of the work is carried by the branging and marking of the cover. No chance of an article == no chance of a cover image. Of course, the other bound is that when we do have articles on these elements, the cover art can be found there and there's no need to use it in the list. This situation avoids any problems with the possible mix match of notable and non-notable elements in the same list whereby, where we could justify the covers for notable ones, the non-notables would be denied this - instead, we just don't allow any. --MASEM (t) 22:29, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • All reasonable observations. postdlf (talk) 17:44, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

100 Years

I just removed 100 Years...100 Movies from the examples of what not to do, since a discussion on the article's talk page established that AFI considers these lists public domain, merely requiring proper credit. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 17:53, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

Police Service of Northern Ireland

Police Service of Northern Ireland has two nearly identical Non-free files in it's info-box, one (File:Img psnibadge.png) without a FUR for the page ? My question is : Other than the FUR is it appropriate for the article to have the two files ? Mtking (edits) 09:26, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Looks like the top one is the Police Service badge, and the bottom one is the Police Service flag, which (lo and behold) consists of nothing more than the badge on a field of green, so basically two copies of the same thing. I would think it would be sufficient to just use the flag, and note in the image caption that the flag bears the image of the badge. When you discussed it with the article's editors, what did they say? postdlf (talk) 15:02, 23 July 2011 (UTC)
I wanted advice here as to what was the correct course of action before doing anything. Mtking (edits) 22:18, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

Is a cast photo replaceable by a composite image of free actors' images?

I found File:Parks and recreation season 3 cast.jpg on the list of orphaned fair use images and I added it back to the article of Characters of Parks and Recreation replacing the new image of File:Parks and Recreation characters.jpg. There is a discussion at Talk:Characters of Parks and Recreation#Image where I feel it has not been explained how a cast image is replaceable by one image that is a combination of free pictures of the actors given that numerous character lists use the cast photos and WP:NFLISTS suggests using them as opposed to individual images. Also, if this image was replaceable, three of the nine cast members do not have free images, so would the combination image be a replacement when some of the elements are not represented in the new image? I would appreciate anyone's opinions about these images either here or there. Aspects (talk) 21:41, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

So what are we supposed to do?

After months of kerfluffle regarding numismatics articles, we're now effectively back to where we started. I know the supporters of the use of these images would say we're right back to where we should be. Please, bear with me. I'm not trying to start another war.

Allow me to use a case example. As of now, Commemorative coins of Poland: 2008 is the #1 user of non-free content by article on the entire project. See this report (note: #1 is inaccurate, as those files have recently been deemed free license for our purposes). This article uses 44 non-free images. I note several problems with this article and the images it uses;

  • There is 44kb of text in the article. Do we really need 44 images to support 44kb of text? There's no policy or guideline on this of course, but there is no featured article on the project (based on sampling of WP:FA) with anywhere near this 1:1 ratio of non-free content usage.
  • 22 of the 44 images have dimensions exceeded 1000 pixels. Per this template noting NFCC policy, the sizes need to be reduced.
  • 17 of 18 of the external references used link to the Polish Mint (3) or the National Bank of Poland (14). These are primary sources. Per that policy, "Do not base articles entirely on primary sources". Sure, 1 of the 18 is not a primary source, but the article is effectively based on primary sources.
  • The only non-primary source is the Polish Numismatics Society. The only place that is used is to support assertions of the market value of five coins. Further, a numismatics society is a tertiary source. There's no secondary sourcing for this article at all.
  • All of the uses of images violate WP:NFTABLE, which discourages the use of non-free content in tabular format. The problem here is that there is no critical commentary of the designs in any respect. The entire meat of the article is comprised of descriptive summations of the 44 designs.
  • All of the images have a fair use rationale. To some, that would appear that it meets WP:NFCC #10c. But, on closer inspection every single "purpose of use" stated for the images is "Currency picture". A few have additional text (below the rationale box) of "Demonstrative of the layout of Polish currency". If that is a valid reason for use, then there would be absolutely no reason why we can not use non-free images for every single currency item in the world. Sure, you could update the rationale to something lengthy and sounding good, but in practice the only thing these images are being used for is displaying the coins. That's it.
  • Per WP:NOTGALLERY, Wikipedia is not a mere collection of photographs. But, that's what we have here, plus technical details. There's no encyclopedic content.
  • Per WP:NOTEVERYTHING, Wikipedia is not a complete exposition of all possible details. Yet, that's what we have here. There's no summary of accepted knowledge regarding these coins. It's just a reposting of technical details from primary sources. If I were to create an article on a company listed on a stock exchange that had the name, logo, and technical details of the company and nothing else it would likely be deleted. But, this doesn't?
  • Per WP:INDISCRIMINATE, Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information. But, that's what we have here; an indiscriminate collection of every technical detail of each of these coins.

As it stands, I could take a number of actions. I could;

  • Place the article for AfD. It would be kept, even though it's based entirely on primary sources which is prohibited by policy (the one tertiary source not withstanding).
  • Remove the images as violating WP:NFCC #8 and #3a. They would be restored by several people who insist it is appropriate use. This already happened.
  • Tag all the images as disputed fair use because the rationales are woefully weak, and without changing the way in which they are used in the article they will remain woefully weak. All those taggings would of course be undone, and I'd probably be accused of a WP:POINT violation. There might be an effort to lengthen the purposes of use, and almost certainly without changing the nature of use, leaving the rationales still woefully weak.
  • Rewrite the article to be more of an article rather than a reposting of technical details of these coins. It would be reverted for not following Wikipedia:WikiProject_Numismatics/Style/Currency_article#Coins.

Now, please understand, I'm not assuming bad faith here. I am well cognizant of what typically happens and this is it. So, regardless of policy we are stuck with an article that fails our requirements in a large number of ways. In this case, we've carved out a specialist class of articles that comprises some of the heaviest users of non-free content on the project (60% of the non-free content in the top 20 alone) that are untouchable. Numismatics now effectively have a special exclusion that makes them immune to actions based on the violations I've noted above. No, it's not written down anywhere, but that's effectively what we have. Is this really what we want? --Hammersoft (talk) 20:30, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

While I think there would be more trouble if these were the common currency of Poland, the fact they are "commemorative" coinage means they shouldn't get anywhere near the same type of pass (what exists of that) for regular country currency. Add to that that each table explains exactly what the two sides of the coin bears, and the visual representation becomes unnecessary.
I wouldn't "fight" this on the notability aspect. I'm sure with a bit of prodding, there could be sources from newspapers explaining the release of these coins, so that's not the way to do it.
But it is non-free, it is a list-style article with what otherwise seem to be non-notable individual coins, and there's no discussion of the artwork on the coins beyond the description. Clearly this needs to be reduced. The numismatics projects has not provided any strong reason for keeping them beyond that being their status quo, and seem unable to accept the use of a few example images as demonstration. (It would be more difficult with the commemorative coins as they have no fixes series, but again, the visual appearance of the coins is not necessary to understanding). --MASEM (t) 20:49, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
One might ask how removing any of the coin images from that article about coins actually furthers the non-free content mission. They are not replaceable by free content, there is no legitimate question about the legality of such an informational use, and there is no concrete benefit given to downstream users by reducing an article from 15 non-free images of coins to 10 or some other arbitrary lower number. The only thing that might be accomplished would be rote compliance with stated guidelines and nothing more. So I fail to see how there is any 3rd Pillar interest here that could possibly outweigh the 1st Pillar interest in providing information. This simply isn't a battle worth fighting. postdlf (talk) 21:10, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
That's a slippery slope argument that can be applied to a huge list of articles, not just coins. The thing that WP can take advantage of is that we are not the end-all, be-all of information, as some tend to think we are. We are a tertiary source, summarizing primary and secondary sources. We want people that are researching a subject to use those resources for better authority on the topic. To that end, there is no need to display every coin minted by a country if it conflicts with our free content mission. A representative sample helps to identify the topic but beyond that it only hurts the mission. --MASEM (t) 21:22, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
The opinion that it "hurts the mission" is exactly what I was contesting. postdlf (talk) 23:15, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
The mission aspects are two-fold: we want to educate at a tertiary level and maintain a free content encyclopedia that uses non-free content under exceptional circumstances. To education a reader on the commemorative coins from a country, I argue that we maintain the same educational mission by showing a representative sample alongside descriptions of what coins not illustrated contained, and links to where non-free content is not an issue where these coins can all be displayed, and at the same time, we improve our goal to the free content mission. --MASEM (t) 23:28, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
You're still begging the question instead of responding to my points. postdlf (talk) 22:03, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
  • What limitation would there be to the use of non-free content if we used your model? --Hammersoft (talk) 13:35, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Reverse all of my points as to why I don't see harm in this use and that will give you a rough idea. postdlf (talk) 15:56, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • So your stance then is so long as it fulfills the educational aspect of our mission, it's ok to use? --Hammersoft (talk) 16:18, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • No, that would be an extremely poor reading of my stance. postdlf (talk) 18:19, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Well then what do you propose? Coin/note articles still constitute 22 of the top 50 articles in terms of most use of non-free content, and 57% of the non-free content uses in the top 50. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:33, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't think the abstract numbers mean anything. So I propose that we don't try to reduce images for the mere purpose of reducing numbers, but should rather analyze what the actual consequence is on the non-free mission and on the encyclopedic mission. To restate my analysis of the images in coin articles from above: "They are not replaceable by free content, there is no legitimate question about the legality of such an informational use, and there is no concrete benefit given to downstream users by reducing an article from 15 non-free images of coins to 10 or some other arbitrary lower number." postdlf (talk) 18:45, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • As Masem has noted, every use of a non-free item has an impact on the free content mission of the project. The question of legality is rather meaningless in this context. We don't use content that we can't legally use anyway. It's a moot point, unless you are asserting that we should use as our inclusion metric that if it's legal, it's ok. Is that your stance? There's no target for a certain number that I have in mind. The point is the encyclopedic, rather than guide, purpose. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:48, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
  • "They are not replaceable by free content, there is no legitimate question about the legality of such an informational use, and there is no concrete benefit given to downstream users by reducing an article from 15 non-free images of coins to 10 or some other arbitrary lower number." ≠ "if it's legal, it's ok." I've already noted below my criticism of the abstract assertion that "every use of a non-free item has an impact on the free content mission." postdlf (talk) 19:09, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm not begging the question. We have two likely results here: use all the commemorative coin images, maintaining a high commitment to eductional purposes but harming the free content mission; or use a few representative images to commit to the free content mission but harming the educational one. My point here is that the delta between the educational case between the first and second cases is not that much: images or not, we are still informing people of what these coins are, the images help a bit but there's other resources for that. However, the delta for the same for the free content mission is much worse off in the second case. We want to take the path of least harm to the overall work, and ergo, the reduction of non-free is the best solution. --MASEM (t) 13:43, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
You still haven't identified the harm here to the non-free mission, you've just nakedly asserted it, after I had explained why I saw no actual harm to the non-free mission here. You've only presented a reasonable argument as to why the informational value might be minimal, but even minimal informational value would outweigh zero harm to the non-free mission. It's possible I've overlooked something, but you haven't demonstrated that. I respect you, Masem, but it's a little frustrating when comments repeatedly follow mine but aren't really replies because they don't actually respond or rebut. And it's one of the reasons why NFC is, in my view, one of the least functioning of Wikipedia forums: attempts to bring the discussions out of vague abstractions into actual analysis of concrete consequences are usually ignored, in favor of what amount to mere slogans. postdlf (talk) 15:56, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
I've explained the harm: every time we use a non-free image, it hurts the free content mission. Of course, WP:VEGAN completely applies, and we have to recognize that the Foundation has said it is ok to use non-free improve the value of the educational aspect, and at, we clearly do have NFC allowances. However, when we use multiple NFC when there are more freer alternatives available that maintain the same educational standard (freer, including fewer non-free images, but does not have to be zero), we hurt the free mission goal since we're not taking the freer content path. --MASEM (t) 16:04, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
No, that's not an explanation, that's still an assertion of opinion without any deconstruction or concrete, real-world application. We've had this conversation before in the currency RFC. My stance here is that in an article that is necessarily going to have some non-free images, for which there is no question as to the legality of their use, and the use of those images cannot replace free images, it is of no additional consequence to the non-free mission for that article to have X+1 non-free images (or X-1 non-free images) instead of X. I believe this applies to the coin article; it may or may not apply to other articles. Unless you can explain to me how I am wrong, please let someone else comment. I'd even be satisfied with hypotheticals. postdlf (talk) 18:19, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
If you cannot understand the issue between using X and X+1 non-free files on a page and how we are to approach the free content mission, then its going to be very difficult to convince you of any other solution. The only thing I can point to is that the Foundation has asked us to keep non-free content to minimal use while serving the same encyclopedic purpose (meaning X is strongly preferred over X+1 if little to no educational value is lost). Again, my postulate is that for currency articles, an example (front and back) of a typical coin or bill, along with a table listing the descriptions of the front and back of the other coins in the series has the same educational value within the context of a tertiary, encyclopedic work as does a visual image of each one. --MASEM (t) 22:16, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
The Foundation directive to "minimize" non-free content doesn't determine an obvious or specific answer here. Its use in the coin article is already consistent with the minimizing rules of not using it where it is merely decorative (at the very least) or otherwise without informational value, and not using it where it could supplant free content. It's very easy to see the real benefit from both of those rules and how those further the non-free content mission. It is not easy to see, however, that we gain anything by further minimizing its use in the manner you and Hammersoft urge here for coin and currency articles. So yes, I'm challenging your interpretation that it is necessary or constructive to further limit the absolute number by some arbitrary amount in an article that is, no matter what, going to have at least some non-free images, just for the sake of reducing the number used. I simply don't see the benefit. Maybe I'm dense, but I'm far from the first experienced editor to raise this question, and your inability to answer it beyond complete vagaries suggests that it's not a question with an obvious answer. Or if you're simply unwilling to answer it, then you should have let someone else reply rather than telling me my question is dumb or (as it really feels in this discussion) heretical. postdlf (talk) 17:39, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I've answered the question several times but it seems not be the answer you're looking for. Trying to meet the free mission goal via reduction (not necessarily the elimination) of non-free content while retaining educational value is a philosophy that we need all need to be thinking about every time we use NFC. On, we know there's a practical minimum level of NFC that we can't really pass without a sea change (eg the use of covers for identification virtually assures one non-free on every notable published work), but those that are trying to keep this mission in mind are always asking "can we do better?". It may seem stupid to fight to push against a threshold we can't pass, but the idea is to keep preparing for the future, since NFC is added at a pretty high rate (Hammersoft can likely provide that number), and we need to keep vigilent to make sure that the current state of NFC keeps moving towards the acceptable minimum and not away from it.
That's important why in the case of these coin articles, that we recognize there is a significant opportunity to cut down the number of non-frees - certainly not eliminating them completely from an article, but recognizing that we have a case where images are simply being displayed next to non-commentary text about the item in question. In most other articles, these would fall into decoration, and per accepted NFC policy, are generally not appropriate (even when argued that a picture is worth a thousand words.) We recognize that some example images are appropriate to capture what the coins in general look like, and that with text, the rest can be determined by a reasonably average reader of WP, and even then, there's plenty of references to official mint sites and other pages that replicate these images. The user is ultimately not denied of the images, but even considering in the context of a standalone, printed out WP article, they can still understand the topic in a manner fitting an encyclopedia. And now, importantly back to the larger issue of the mission, this same mindset can be applied to any similar type of list articles. This is not to rule out unique circumstances, say, where coins have some individual commentary about them that a visual image would help represent, but in general, this doesn't seem to happen a lot. So while we're focusing on one article, taking 20-odd images down to 2, if you start thinking about how many coin and bill articles there are that use NFC now, even if about 100 total, that's potentially on the order of 2000 non-free uses we can cut down out without losing our educational focus. I think the total # of NFC is around 400,000, so that's a 0.5% reduction right there. Identification of improvements at small scales can be used to drastically improve our handling of the free content mission at the large scale. --MASEM (t) 18:07, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

In an attempt to bring this back around; Postdlf, after reading my initial posting in this thread, do you still feel that articles such as Euro gold and silver commemorative coins (France): 2007 are just fine as they are? --Hammersoft (talk) 18:49, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

I'm not seeing the problem in light of the observations I've made above. It just seems like the equivalent of "two many notes" (cf. Amadeus). postdlf (talk) 17:39, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
  • So you see nothing at all wrong in these articles? --Hammersoft (talk) 17:51, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
I mostly don't see a problem. Part of the guidelines are to facilitate the judicious use of non-free content to support the development of a high-quality encyclopedia. In short, we shouldn't be markedly inferior to other encyclopedias where articles are begging for an illustration, where we refuse to add one because the subject is inherently non-free. I think commemorative coins are inherently notable, and they are also an inherently visual topic, and it seems ridiculous to not allow an illustration for them. I don't think noting every single commemorative is indiscriminate at all, or violates those "notable" type of guidelines. If a government is going to make a commemorative coin, there is always going to be significant public interest on what the coin is, and why it was issued (otherwise why issue it?) -- those are easy reasons for an article in basically every case, in my opinion. While each coin could have its own article, it appears to me they are currently in a combined-type of article, due to lack of enough current content to support multiple articles. In those particular cases, I don't think WP:NFLISTS should apply; each section should be treated as an individual article since they are only grouped by convenience at the moment. If there *are* individual articles, then sure that's different -- we only need one illustration of a non-free coin, and that should be in the most relevant place.
The main issue I have though is not only are the coins non-free, but the *photographs* are non-free too. There is a big difference, and there is nothing preventing someone from making freely-licensed photographs of the non-free coins (licensing the photographic portion anyways), and uploading them. Right now, there are two authors where we are risking copyright violations -- the coin designer (or government), and the photographer. There is no way around the first one (and actually, photos of the entire coin get into fuzzy areas of copyright law where there may be defenses separate than fair use -- in some cases they may not be derivative works in the first place). But, there certainly is a way around the second one -- there is no good need to risk violating the copyright of the photographer, when we could replace that in a "free" manner. While using one image may be OK, we are likely using a whole bunch of images from a single source website, and that gets harder and harder to defend. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:40, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
If individual coins were notable, then certainly one can argue that a separate article would grant acceptance to use a non-free for demonstrating them, along the same lines as cover art. I will note that there is a grey line that is still under debate of "not-quite-list" articles which have taken short but notable articles and merged into one larger, more comprehensive and better topic, in which the question whether the use of non-free to illustrate each element is appropriate or not. However, the article above in question and in fact most of these coin articles cannot fall into that class as they are written as no coin is shown any special notability per WP's rules. They exist, a list of them make sense within our purposes, but they just aren't notable on their own. Ergo, demonstrating each one is simply decorative and unnecessary given that other non-WP resources can serve this purpose. --MASEM (t) 23:07, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
And in my opinion every commemorative coin issued by a national government should be easily notable by themselves. They are supposed to be of interest to an entire nation. Commemorative coins issued by private random organizations... well sure, those are different. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:35, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
We're talking WP's notion of notability, not the general concept. There are a lot of things that outside of WP would be called "notable" but within WP, lack of detailed sourcing discourages us from having articles on these. --MASEM (t) 23:39, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
Sure, but I find it hard to believe there are no reliable sources about commemoratives issued by a federal government (there must be documentation somewhere on why they decided to make the coin, etc.). They may be in other languages, but it's difficult to argue they don't exist -- seems like a bit of wikilawyering when there really isn't a doubt of the existence of these things. And references do seem to be present for those coins as well. Anyways, this isn't really the topic for this discussion I don't think -- if the coins weren't notable, then agreed I don't think there is a need to illustrate all of them, but in this case I simply disagree in that regard. Notability should be decided elsewhere and by others, really -- if the articles exist, that aspect probably shouldn't be questioned much here. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:50, 23 July 2011 (UTC)

When the topic of the paragraph, section etc. is an object (e.g. coin, emblem, logo, stamp etc.) the appearance of the object is itself significant information. Any context/significance-in-the article criteria (e.g. #8) that says (or is routinely interpreted as saying) that illustration of the discussed object fails it's test is a defective or badly worded criteria that should be changed / fixed. This is just common sense. North8000 (talk) 14:06, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

That would lead to incredible overuse and abuse of NFC, gaming of the system to apply to, say, specific scenes from every tv show and movie, every fictional character, etc. It may be common sense for any other work where they don't have a free content mission, but not WP. --MASEM (t) 14:17, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, when the subject is non-free item, there are not going to be non-free images of it. Are you saying that the "free" objective overrides the objective creation of a quality encyclopedia?
On another broader note, any system that tries to get someone who labored to create something to 100% give away the right to the fruits of their labor, including authorizing unlimited commercial use by people who did not create it is a crap system that should be changed. North8000 (talk) 20:51, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
One idea that I always had is this; has anyone thought about just combining the obverse and reverse of the images into one image? Sure, that is not the formatting the templates use, but perhaps strikes a balance (I think) into showing what these coins (and I would include bills) look like while cutting down on overall non-free images. Thoughts? User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 20:59, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
The two sides of a coin - if not published by the original copyright owner, are two different copyrights, and thus a resulting nonfree image is still effectively non-free (two copyrights in the derivative work). That's why a montage of the coins won't work either, you're not reducing the non-free use count even though it "technically" is fewer images. --MASEM (t) 22:20, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
If the subject has significant discussion about it, it likely warrants its own article, and ergo, likely its own non-free image in conjunction with that discussion. If it is just an entry in a table, then no.
And if you don't understand the process of Creative Commons and what you yourself are contributing here, you're probably at the wrong project to contribute to. --MASEM (t) 22:20, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I know it will not work for every situation, but I was not sure if that was considered or not. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 22:27, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured article review/History of merit badges (Boy Scouts of America)/archive1

Input at the discussion here would be appreciated. J Milburn (talk) 01:01, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

In the Bedroom

Regarding Unacceptable use → text, I was wondering whether the exclusive usage of copyrighted quotations in the Critical reception section of In the Bedroom constitutes "Excessively long copyrighted excerpts"?

Also, shouldn't this particular problem (using copyrighted quotations in place of a self-written summary) also be covered in this guideline? -- (talk) 05:56, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Arguably no, the 2-3 sentences of each review are not copyright issues and likely would fall under fair use, so that text is "acceptable". That said, in reception sections for works, we generally don't just toss quotes up there like that, but distill down to salient phrases and wrap around it. They can be fixed, but only from a style issue, not a copyright one. --MASEM (t) 06:13, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. The reason I asked is mostly because claiming "fair use" is normally justified only when there is no free(-er(-ish)) alternative, such as, in this case, distilling and summarizing. -- (talk) 06:18, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Television episode screenshots in infoboxes (WP:NFCI#5 in general)

I am going to drop a message in the TV WikiProject after I write this to get their attention to this matter as well.

First, I will preface this that in infoboxes on published works like movies, books, TV shows and seasons, video games, and albums, that we allow for one non-free image of the cover to be used per WP:NFCI#1. While I personally don't necessarily agree to this, the reasoning from a recent RFC is that the cover image implicitly conveys marketing and branding from the publisher/distributor/creator that is appropriate when the work itself is notable and discussed (beyond its primary content) in depth.

However, given this, I do not say the same "free pass" of one non-free content screenshot applies to TV shows, which is somewhat belied by how WP:NFCI#5 is written. The issues are:

  • If we have a notable episode article for a TV show, it is more than likely that we have several other articles on the show itself, and in those, representations of the major characters, plot devices, and settings will have been shown. We do not need these to be replicated for every episode if there's no unusual elements.
  • The selection of which screenshot to use (assuming there's no specific discussion of any scene, element, or the like in the text body) is original research. Unlike the marketing and branding argument for cover art, this is not something that the screenshot implicitly carries, and because it is determined by editors, we have no assurances that there is any implicit meaning to the use.

This is not saying that we never use screenshots in episode articles. If an episode has a well-documented scene that is backed by, say, critical reaction to it or information behind its development, then that can serve as the infobox image. (I point to two well-established cases, from The Stolen Earth and Over There (Fringe) - where review of the image use at FAC is strengthened by in-article discussions of the various scenes). This is a fairly standard practice demonstrated at FAC and through FFD arguments - the more there is in the article to talk about the screenshot outside of plot elements themselves, the more likely no one will argue for its removal/deletion.

But this - the existing of sourced discussion of an appropriate scene - is not always sufficient to allow for an article. Perhaps a scene in a sitcom is determined to have the funniest joke of all time stated by several RS reviews, but all done via wordplay as opposed to visual setting. A still image of this scene is going to be of no encyclopedic value relative to non-free content.

So, my point is this: WP:NFCI#5 is misleading, or at least does not properly quantity that we don't allow screenshots for every single episode article for infobox use. Or, to be clearer, while NFCI#1 allows for the cover art to be used for identification, NFCI#5 should be clear that television screenshots cannot be used simply for identification of episode articles within infoboxes; there must be critical commentary to support their inclusion. Note that this doesn't apply to character articles or other larger aspects of the work; if a character is notable to have an article, we'll likely be using a a screenshot from the work to show that character if no official media exists.

Please note: I am not encouraging any sort of mass purge of existing TV episode screenshots, only that editors and projects should take up cleanup of these at their own time; that such images should be more scrutinized at GAC/FAC since they are not given the same wholesale allowances as cover art; and that for new episode articles, editors should not be rushing off to add a screenshot, but should wait and see if the fleshed-out article can support the use of a screenshot. --MASEM (t) 17:42, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

To add, the TV Wikiproject does include this statement in their guidelines: For episode articles, a screenshot may only be used if it meets the Non-free content criteria, i.e. typically if it is required to illustrate a crucial element of the episode that is the object of explicit, sourced analytical commentary and where that commentary is in need of visual support to be understood. There is no blanket allowance for an image per episode. I've been seeing people believe the opposite, and I think we need to make this clearer on WP:NFC. --MASEM (t) 17:49, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I agree. There is a distinct difference between the cover of an item and the contents of an item. We wouldn't include particular page from a book for an infobox; we'd use the cover. That in mind, I would not want to see a situation where every episode that didn't have a notable screenshot instead had the non-free title card. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:30, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Yea, that would be the same thing. Title cards are nearly non-existent in today's day and age and when they are used, they are rarely of interest, shown over a common background. --MASEM (t) 20:32, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I've been mulling this since the most recent round at WT:DW. Looking at NFCI points 1 and 5 and the the RFC re covers I'm having more and more trouble with the idea of an image in the infobox for television episodes. I can see having an image in the section where it is critically commented on, but not up at the top when that commentary is routinely after the plot section and doesn't point back to the image.
    I also understand not calling for a mass purge. The image in use with a valid reason, or that can be shown to have a valid reason, should be given a chance to be migrated into the body of articles. But at some point the image field in the episode infobox templates needs a close look and likely removal.
    - J Greb (talk) 00:16, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
  • If it is a scene of significant discussion or commentary in the article, there is likely a good chance it is also a highly unique representative scene for that episode, a defacto iconic scene that we hope would be tied with that episode, and that should make it appropriate for the infobox. This is not to say that if you have an appropriate NFC shot it must be displayed in the infobox - its the most convenient but if you feel it is better served in the body, go right ahead, that should not be opposed. --MASEM (t) 00:26, 28 July 2011 (UTC)


I came across this page when looking at new uploads, it looks like it is a user space draft, but it does contain a lot of Non-Free files, can someone advise what to do ?Mtking (edits) 05:00, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

I put the images in hidden notes until the page goes out of the userspace. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 05:05, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Donkey Kong (video game)

Hi, advice would be welcome. This featured article has no new fewer than five fair-use claims, three of them from the actual game. I'm struggling to see how NFCC 3a and 8 are satisfied, particularly those captioned "The main protagonist, Jumpman, traverses the stage to rescue Pauline." and "At the game's end, Jumpman and the Lady are reunited." Thanks. Tony (talk) 07:57, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

The first one is a gameplay example. The second image illustrates being "the earliest video game with a storyline that visually unfolded on screen". They need better captions. --Enric Naval (talk) 10:52, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Given its FAC was in 2006, yea, the images need revisiting (WP wasn't as good about it then as we are now). I think it can warrant 2 - the first screenshot, and possibly the box cover, but I would think about replacing it with the cover of the pamplet with the hand-drawn characters. --MASEM (t) 11:58, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
I think the second screenshot is pretty important too (much more useful than the cover), you see standard gameplay in the first one and then the game's object in the second one. The third one just seems gratuituous, but maybe there's an informational value I'm not seeing. The pamphlet is probably more informative than the box cover here, but i would say neither may not be needed when the screenshots clearly identify the game. It's much more useful to the article to show the character design inside the game, given that the subject is a game, than to show an artist's illustrative conception of the characters. I have the same problem with images in many of the comic book articles; too many editors have preferences for these overly-refined promotional images that don't actually show the characters in action as they appear in the books, and a single comics panel represents far less use of the actual work than those poster images. postdlf (talk) 14:21, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
I removed the third screenshot, which shows the instructions from the table-top arcade version. It's not only uninformative in relation to the article content, but a picture of instructions is certainly replaceable by a free text summary, and there's in any event nothing added by the graphics accompanying the instructions even if the instructions needed to be quoted verbatim for some reason. postdlf (talk) 17:03, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

"Fair use" images

Obviously, fair use images, like File:Gulzarilal Nanda.jpg, are not fair to use in all places in Wikipedia. These should be replaced by free to use images or deleted anyway. You shouldn't have to consider whether a picture is free or not - if it is on Wikipedia, it should be free to use everywhere on Wikipedia. Not Really Great (talk) 03:39, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Fair use is a specific legal concept and whether or not use of an image is legitimately "fair use" depends on the context of its use. So just because it may be appropriate to use an image under a claim of fair use in one context (eg, an article about the person) does not mean that it is appropriate to use it in all possible contexts. --B (talk) 04:04, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Exactly, and that's why they shouldn't be used at all on Wikipedia. Not Really Great (talk) 04:16, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, then we could have a content-free encyclopedia. Keep in mind that the only alternative in Wikipedia is to release the work for unlimited commercial use by an unlimited number of people and businesses. North8000 (talk) 12:51, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
@North8000: 'Yes, then we could have a content-free encyclopedia.' - a non-free-free encyclopedia is not a content free encyclopedia. I agree that without any non-free media quite some useful data would be lost, and quite a bit of the non-free media is needed for the understanding of the article it is displayed on, but do note that a lot of the non-free material, even that which is rightfully used under fair-use, is not absolutely necessary for the understanding of the subject. In a lot of cases, an article would not become less useful when the non-free material would be removed, that is just a subset of the articles that use non-free media. And that is the reason why we can not do without non-free media, but it is also not a free pass to use it wherever one sees fit. --Dirk Beetstra T C 13:07, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
"Necessary" is a much higher bar than "enhances the article." And by "free" do you mean that the encyclopedia is free, or that anybody can take anything that is in it (such as somebody's work that is pictured in an image) and make unlimited commercial, for-profit use out of it? We've created a monster inside of WP in order to serve the latter. Something has jumped the tracks. North8000 (talk) 13:50, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia was created to serve the latter. The 'monster' you speak of that has jumped the tracks is the very reason we exist. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:52, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes, WP is designed to allow anyone to do anything with the work as long as it is attributed back to WP. That's what the free content mission is. If you don't like the idea of someone taking your work and making money off WP, don't contribute to it. --MASEM (t) 13:57, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
(ec, @North8000) Yes, I know that "necessary" is a much higher bar than "enhances the article". We use a lot of non-free material which enhances the articles, and that is in a way fine, when it is fair-use. What I do argue is, that you can remove a lot of non-free material from Wikipedia for which the use is just enhancing the encyclopedia, and leave it at just the non-free material which is necessary for the understanding. That part of the removal would by no means be detrimental to this encyclopedia, Wikipedia would become less appealing, but it would not be less useful (remember, those are the images that are just enhancing an article, like a logo or a film-poster, in most cases they do not aid in understanding the company or understanding the movie). Taking out the rest indeed would be degrading Wikipedia. And I think that a lot of non-free material could be removed (and I am not arguing that we should!) that is just there to enhance Wikipedia.
The free that I am talking about is in terms of 'an encyclopedia which does not contain non-free material' and 'an encyclopedia that does not contain content', not about 'the encyclopedia is free', or 'that anybody can take anything that is in it ... and make unlimited commercial, for-profit use of it'. --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:28, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Without fair use, we also would be unable to use quotations longer than a brief sentence, or to summarize copyrighted works of fiction beyond an extremely abstract plot summary. Images are far from the only non-free content on Wikipedia, and images are far less problematic to filter out than article text that depends upon fair use. postdlf (talk) 14:05, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Good point, Postdlf. The only reasonable minimum is the amount which can be used under a fair-use claim, and which is necessary for understanding. Adding material which enhances and which is fair-use is fine (though it is not a minimum anymore) .. the rest needs to go. --Dirk Beetstra T C 14:28, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Silly me, I thought the mission was to create an encyclopedia. North8000 (talk) 15:03, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Isn't that what we are doing? --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:06, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I guess not. We are basically saying to degrade the encyclopedia in order to make it a better system to deliver images for unlimited commercial use by others.
To be clear, with 'the rest needs to go' I mean material which is non-free and which is not fair-use. --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:08, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
  • If the bar were only what is useful to an article, then we would be as burdened with non-free content as things like the Memory Alpha project. The sheer quantity of non-free content on that site dwarfs even Paramount's. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:10, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Responding to Dirk's "Isn't that what we are doing?" question, my answer is, I guess not. We are basically saying to degrade the encyclopedia in order to make it a better system to deliver images for unlimited commercial use by others. North8000 (talk) 15:37, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Where are we degrading the encyclopedia, North8000? What part of my statements is suggesting that? --Dirk Beetstra T C 15:43, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
  • North correct me if I'm wrong, but Dirk I believe he's saying if an image is useful it should be here, and removing anything useful is degrading the encyclopedia. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:53, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
That would be great. To get there, start by deleting #1 and #8 from the 10 conditions. And stop the "enforcer squad" folks from making up additional rules that are not even in this policy. North8000 (talk) 16:57, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
We can't do that. The Foundation requires us this: "Any content used under an EDP must be replaced with a freely licensed work whenever one is available which will serve the same educational purpose." Thus, if we judge that an image can be removed and replaced (if needed) by text, and still serve the same educational purposes, we need to take those steps. NFCC#1 and #8 are direct extensions of this. --MASEM (t) 17:08, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
IMHO, #1 and #8 as worded, go beyond that. North8000 (talk) 17:12, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Your stance isn't unique. The interesting thing though is that historically the Foundation's resolution on licensing policy descends from en.wikipedia's NFCC policy. We are the model they want all the projects to follow, if they're going to use non-free content. If you want it changed, you're going to have to convince the Foundation to change their licensing policy to allow for more liberal use of non-free content. As is, their Foundation:Resolution:Licensing policy is pretty clear on the subject. What you want is impossible under their directives. Sorry. --Hammersoft (talk) 21:23, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
If I am correct, your last sentence isn't true. Change could occur by merely dialing back #1 and #8 to bring them into alignment with the foundation statement which you quoted. I could elaborate if interested. North8000 (talk) 21:56, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Thanks, no, your elaboration would be far off the mark. The resolution is very clear on the subject. WP:NFCC #1 is directly based off of #3 of the resolution, where it says "An EDP may not allow material where we can reasonably expect someone to upload a freely licensed file for the same purpose". WP:NFCC #8 tracks from #4 of the resolution, where it says "They must be used only in the context of other freely licensed content" and #3 "or to complement (within narrow limits) ". It's all pretty clearly laid out. But, regardless, if you want to get #1 and #8 "dialed back", you're certainly welcome to make such a proposal, carefully wording exactly what you mean, and turn that into an RFC here. I guarantee you, without a shadow of doubt, it will fail. Nevertheless, the discussion might prove educational. --Hammersoft (talk) 22:11, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
What triggered the start of this conversation, was that I had put the linked image in the list of Prime Ministers of India. Someone thought that was not fair use, and removed it. I think this is fair use, but more important is, you shouldn't have to consider things like that within Wikipedia. If a picture is in use in one place in Wikipedia, it should be equally free to use in another place in Wikipedia. The discussion shouldn't have to arise along lines "yes, we have this picture there, but no, you can't put it there too". Practical purposes. Not Really Great (talk) 08:00, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
No, that doesn't work that way. Another element of the Foundation's resolution is "minimal use" of non-free works. That means not only using the minimal number of unique non-free images, but using those a minimum number of times, and hence only on articles directly about the subject of the non-free image where there is commentary about that subject (as a general rule). So yes, we actually do have requirements that amount to what you are saying. --MASEM (t) 10:04, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Hammersoft, you are discussing the portions of #1/#8 that are within the resolution....that really does not respond to what I was commenting on (which is that #1 and #8 reach beyond the resolution). Not that you needed to respond to it, but just saying..... I think that an RFC to bring the wording of #1 and #8 in line with the resolution would be a good idea, but I'm not ready to start one myself at the moment. I think that the balance has shifted too far and that that would the nuts and bolts of a way to help bring it back to center. North8000 (talk) 13:13, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
You don't understand: our NFCC policy was written before the Resolution was passed and was used as an example of an EDP. The Resolution sets a minimum baseline, but projects are free to put more requirements on non-free use (in fact, some disallow non-free completely). #1 and #8 have not changed wording to any great degree in the last 4 years, and there's no impedius to change these any more save for those that simply want to use more non-free against long-established policy and the Foundation's requirements. --MASEM (t) 13:26, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
Then you are admitting that the wording of these goes beyond foundation policy. So, statements to the effect that everything in the NFCC rules merely implements what is required by foundation policy are incorrect statements. North8000 (talk) 16:19, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Since you are so certain about the veracity of your stance, I'm quite certain you'll be very capable of putting together the wording you think should be present in #1 and #8. As above, I encourage you to do so. If you require assistance in how to put together the RfC to see this passed, please let me know. I'd be happy to help. As is, this thread isn't going to result in any policy changing. --Hammersoft (talk) 23:12, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
I was working on something smaller at the moment. That is just getting it clear that statements to the effect of "Don't question anything about NFCC, because everything in it just implements foundation policy" are false. And so people should not say such things. North8000 (talk) 23:41, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I would remind you that you are categorically wrong on a number of points regarding this issue. I'm saying this to bring home the fact that if you are going to have any chance of effecting the change you want to effect, you're going to have to have a masterful hand in crafting the proposal. Anything short of that has zero chance. --Hammersoft (talk) 00:00, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
My narrow little point was directly derived from what you said. I don't have a broader point or proposal. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 00:22, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
  • So you're not advocating a particular change in how we do things? --Hammersoft (talk) 16:08, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Well the immediate narrow change is for all to stop saying that these guidelines merely implement foundation policy, because that is not correct. I really didn't go beyond that. But if I did, my suggestion would be to trim the items out of #1 and #8 that overreach foundation policy. For example, one of the sentences in #1 essentially sets a criteria that it must be impossible to cover it by text. North8000 (talk) 16:16, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

  • It is correct. There isn't anything in #1 and #8 that oversteps Foundation policy, as has been demonstrated for you. If you disagree with that, an RfC to remove the objectionable elements from #1 and #8 is the route to go. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:59, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

This almost seems too basic to are basically asserting that there is a foundation policy that says that one condition for use of a NF image is that it be impossible to replace it by text.

IMHO I made my tiny point and am not prepared to put forth anything big. Best I sign off on this thread. Peace. Sincerley, North8000 (talk) 20:14, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

A comment on this policy

This policy has a well intentioned core. Its current verbiage and enforcement is sufficiently radical to suggest that an encyclopedia that embraces its natural fair use rights could be superior. Enforcement of this policy is likely to degrade moral and lead users to other venues. --Alecmconroy (talk) 15:28, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

This is a free content work, supported by the Foundation and thus set by their rules (Which are stricter than fair use). If editors can't work within that, they are certainly free to start their own project with liberal fair use allowances. --MASEM (t) 15:37, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Yeah. I think the point to stress is that this policy is deliberately far stricter than the law- just because we can use images, doesn't mean that should. J Milburn (talk) 15:48, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
The foundation's last statement on this was 2007... but things are noticeably getting worse with the copyright paranoia. Our policy hasn't changed, our 'liberal reading' and 'intense zeal' are.
If you don't want WP to the best, but merely "the free-est", keep at it. When you've intentionally surrendered your natural rights, you will also surrender your readers who will find a better source.
Legal is legal. If you want to be a law and judge unto yourselves applying your own idiosyncratic standards, you just degrade the project. If your take a legal article and make it worse, you have made the project worse. STOP and remember the point is to make the best encyclopedia the law allows. --Alecmconroy (talk) 03:05, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
No, you have it very wrong. The Foundation's resolution is specifically stronger that US Fair Use law, because they want a free work that can be redistributed by anyone in the world. That's their choice, we're following it with our NFC policy. If you want to use the legal limit of fair use, you need to either start your own project or convince the Foundation to relax their stance. --MASEM (t) 03:18, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Quit "Love it or Leave it". You're in the wrong place for that line, try America.
The Foundation decides legality, not consensus. If it's illegal, fine. When it fits the 2007 criteria, it's both legal and usable and people who don't like it need to form consensus over images like the rest of us, not delete their way out of it.
What we have here is collection of self-appointed crusader imposing their own rules, more stringent than either the US or the foundation requires. WP isn't for that crusade, sorry.
Consensus is a pillar. Consensus is non-negotiable. The jihad rally cry being used, "unnecessary, low quality" is NOT a pillar of our group, it's not even a policy, it's not even a guideline. IF you want to get rid of census and replace it with jihad, start your own foundation. OUR foundation is run by consensus. --Alecmconroy (talk) 04:23, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
No, the Foundation doesn't decide legality - that's the US Gov't job. That legal line is US Fair Use law.
The Foundation has specifically set the line for every Wikimedia project to be more restrictive than US Fair Use law. It doesn't matter if they wrote that in 2007, it is still a standing document that we have to work under. Since that document does not allow the use of images to the extend that US Fair Use allows, there's no way we can have consensus change that. --MASEM (t) 04:33, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Here's the order: US law is less strict than the foundation directive which itself is far far less strict the than BS a few people dreamt up on this page which they are now calling "Foundation Policy" suddenly in the past month. --Alecmconroy (talk) 04:44, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
The Foundation Resolution has existed since 2007; this NFC policy has existed even before that. Nothing new has changed; only that existing images with problems that have been then in the past continue to be discovered (there's 400,000 of them, it will take a while to confirm these all). My point is this: you wish that WP could be closer to US Fair Use law, but that simply cannot happen with the Foundation's Resolution as worded in place. Here on is not the place to change that, but you can argue for changes that fall within the stricter requirements of the Resolution (which there still is plenty of leeway); but you need to be direct and to the point of what change(s) you'd want to see. But again, this policy has been here for several years, changing it will be difficult. --MASEM (t) 05:38, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

I think the pragmatic reasons underlying non-free content policy often get overlooked in favor of abstract rhetoric, whether the line is "anything we can get away with" or "more free". And lecturing about the Foundation's dictated doesn't accomplish very much either, because again, it's too abstract and the specifics are always decided here on the ground, and for a volunteer project it's rather odd to be invoking higher authority in this manner, as if we do everything by divine command or have law enforcement authority.

It makes sense to limit non-free content usage below that which the law allows for (at least) two basic reasons: 1) prophylactic--the legality of a particular fair use claim is often unclear, even to those few of us who are lawyers, so it's a good idea to have some buffer space between what we do and what more we think we could do legally; and 2) motivational--the use of non-free content where free content could be created or located may discourage some from bothering to create it or locate it. Those very real and concrete concerns should guide our interpretations of non-free content policy here.

That said, I understand your frustration. I think it's a fair criticism that there are "crusader" types who value removing as much non-free content they can, sometimes with little regard for (or often little understanding for) the informational value of particular images, but the community as a whole has ultimately proven responsive to those problems. One problem editor just got banned from removing non-free content because he was unable to do so constructively; a very wise statement in the decision was that it is wrong to focus on "enforcing" any one of the five pillars of Wikipedia to the detriment of the others. Everyone should take care not to be dismissive of others interpretations, or to misjudge their opinion as "the law" instead of just their interpretive application of it. And ultimately I think the best way to support the free content mission on Wikipedia is to create more free content. postdlf (talk) 05:08, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

  Note: An WP:ANI discussion regarding User:Alecmconroy's poor conduct and disruptive behavior is currently being discussed at WP:ANI#Intimidating/Disruptive Behavior from User:Alecmconroy. This thread has been mentioned. -FASTILY (TALK) 05:49, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

News photos vs other media

Given some of the stuff (behavioral , no need to discuss here), I believe Alecmconroy's problem with NFC is that he is unable to use news photos for news-related articles. I want to be clear why we don't allow them but do allow, say, screenshots from copyrighted works.

Specifically, the problem with news photos stems directly from US Fair Use law [1], specifically the point on The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work. Most media photos are taken to be sold to other media outlets; the value is the photo itself, and we would be using 100% of that work in duplicating the photo, another no-no on fair use. While one could argue their use within fair use wouldn't like be a problem, we avoid that completely by restricting these photos when the photos themselves are given commentary. Compare this to screenshots of movies or TV shows, which is usually one screen from thousands, no is the actual commercial product itself. These are clearly cases that are far within the bounds of US Fair Use law and thus appropriate. We still must manage them per the Foundation's Resolution, often using NFCC#3a and NFCC#8 to limit their use. But we are neither damaging the commercial nature of the overall movie or film, nor using the full work. --MASEM (t) 05:54, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Meat dress of Lady Gaga

Hi there, would it be possible to get some opinions on whether the above file meets the NFC criteria or not? It is currently used in the infobox at Meat dress of Lady Gaga. Thanks, Miyagawa (talk) 22:50, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

There is commentary about the dress in the article and it would be hard to comment about the dress without seeing it. However, the event that it was taken at was the VMAs from just last year, so the ability to find a free photo is very high. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 22:57, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Is this one acceptable? —Kusma (t·c) 07:55, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
You would not believe the time spent on Flickr hoping someone had just typoed meat dress into something else. Never thought to search in Spanish. I'll get that image uploaded on commons once I get home from work and swap out the image. Extreme levels of thanks, Miyagawa (talk) 11:33, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
and what a terrific photograph, too. If only all non-free content "controversies" could be resolved so constructively. postdlf (talk) 11:57, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Not resolved I went and tried to upload the image at commons, but apparently this " americanistadechiapas" flickr account is blacklisted on Mediawiki due to faking works as their own. Ergo, this is unusable. We're back at the issue if there's a free replacement. The dress is on display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame [2] but photography is not allowed [3] so we cannot assure a free image the nominal way. I would therefore say, yes, the original image is an acceptable non-free image to use on the Meat Dress page (its notable & critically commented on by itself, and words alone do it little justice for the spectacle that it is), but not at anywhere else. --MASEM (t) 17:53, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
Given this is a good hypothetical case (completely nullified by the free image find, and even likely moreso that IIRC the dress is preserved and enshrined at the R&R HoF), I assume that this would be a case that we would have allowed the NFC image of the dress for discussion of the dress on the article about the dress (but not on Lady Gaga's page), despite the fact it is a picture of a living person. --MASEM (t) 17:42, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Fair use question

File:Thalhimers_Walnut_Mall.jpg <--Comes from a blog stating "all rights reserved". However, since the chain's defunct, would it qualify as a non-free historic image? Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 00:06, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Fair use article

An interesting academic article on the standards currently and previously being applied by U.S. courts in assessing fair use cases:

Available for official free download, if you click on the button at the top of the abstract (though the print quality is appalling).

Useful for perspective on the kind of metrics that would be applied to assess our (and our reusers') fair use. Jheald (talk) 18:51, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Template:Music sample info

I am concerned about this template. Clearly, there is no kind of automatic entitlement for the use of a music sample in an article, which this "fill in the blanks and we'll write you a rationale!" nonsense implies, but, worse, it's actually forced upon people by the upload wizard, meaning that people are actively discouraged from writing a genuinely useful rationale. Does anyone know how to fix this? Does anyone have any thoughts? J Milburn (talk) 16:28, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Technically, you'd just have to edit Wikipedia:Upload, specifically the bit where it says:
* It is [{{fullurl:Special:Upload|uselang=en-nonfree&wpUploadDescription={{subst:MSI%0A+|song%20title%20=%0A+|song%20length%20=%0A+|reduced%20quality?%20=%20%3C!--%20defaults%20to%20%22yes%22%20--%3E%0A+|album%20article%20title%20=%0A+|songwriter(s)%20=%0A+|performer(s)%20=%0A+|producer(s)%20=%0A+|copyright%20year%20=%0A+|record%20company%20=%0A+|article%20title%20=%0A+}}}} an audio sample of a song]
(which, as you might figure out with some effort, contains some url-style-garbled representation of the preloaded value to be used in the description field.) Fut.Perf. 16:43, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Perhaps it would be best to replace it with the standard non-free use template? J Milburn (talk) 17:25, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
  • It's being treated as an entitlement, looking at some of the sample uses. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:14, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

New essay

There's a new essay - User:Tryptofish/Arguments to avoid in image deletion discussions - which could be of interest. PhilKnight (talk) 16:23, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Meaning of "user-created images" in image use policy

I have started a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Image use policy#"All user-created images must be licensed under a free license" about the meaning a sentence in the image use policy that says, "All user-created images must be licensed under a free license, such as the GFDL and/or an acceptable Creative Commons license, or released into the public domain, which removes all copyright and licensing restrictions." This discussion may be of interest to editors who watch this talk page. —Bkell (talk) 22:09, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Copyright tag Template:Non-free Trainweb

I just found what appears to be a completely ad hoc copyiright tag: {{Non-free Trainweb}}. Isn't there a process for creating such tags? --damiens.rf 17:56, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Here We Go Again (Ray Charles song)/archive1

We need a NFCC review atWikipedia:Featured article candidates/Here We Go Again (Ray Charles song)/archive1. The song has 5 music samples with three cover art samples. My reasons for inclusion are that each charted version should be in the article, a country version should be in the article and any other version with significant coverage should be in the article. Feedback has said to much FU content is included. Thus, I need a review. I would appreciate it if someone could comment in the discussion.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 15:04, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Maybe I'm missing something, but why is the infobox image trea--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 17:40, 12 August 2011 (UTC)ted as copyrighted? It looks like it consists of nothing but short fragments of text. postdlf (talk) 16:15, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Doesn't it have a very identifyable ABC logo.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 11:41, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Hey guys thanks for bombarding the discussion with helpful guidance regarding the content a few days ago. I have made many changes and can't get a comment. This is going to make things inefficient. It looks like I am going to have to wait and open a PR just to figure out if I have addressed all your concerns. Can't a few of you return and say whether I am now in the clear.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 11:41, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
The ABC logo is just "abc" in a circle, and so isn't copyrightable. There might be some kind of graphic element in the bottom of the logo on the record (some kind of red and green swirl?), though it's too small to be legible in the image, so it should be considered de minimis at that resolution. postdlf (talk) 13:13, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I am not sure. If my FAC fails, I wlll raise it at PR, if it remains unanswered here.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 19:03, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I have now removed more FU content. The article needs another NFCC review and hopefully endorsement.--TonyTheTiger (T/C/BIO/WP:CHICAGO/WP:FOUR) 19:03, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Where am I suppose to go to request an image/sound file review?

Too many non-free images

Would someone volunteer to take a look at the use of images at Scottsboro Boys? There's an excessive use of non-free images plus a collection of badly sourced images tagged as PD. --damiens.rf 19:42, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

WTH. There are images of people not even mentioned in the article. And any person with a wikilink doesn't need a repeat picture here. Will prune shortly. --MASEM (t) 22:27, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

The "images with commentary" line AGAIN

DCGeist has removed the line "as subjects of commentary" from the historical image NFCI, again. [4]

I recognize that the RFC (archived) concluded that we do sometimes allow for historical images to be used when they themselves are not subject of critical commentary, and there is no outright allowance against them. I believe everyone accepts that.

However, the problem with removing the line from the non-inclusive list of allowable images is that is makes the presumption that any historical image is appropriate, without any commentary at all. This goes completely against the Foundation Resolution and NFCC policy.

That is, the logic here is: we do have a general allowance for historical images with commentary about the image. Images like this are like cover art, screenshots, etc., in that as long as NFCC is otherwise all met, we don't usually question when these images are included. We do not have a general allowance for any historical image that otherwise lacks this commentary. That does not mean we don't allow those types of images; it only means that we will likely be more critical of their use, making sure they are truly justified for the articles they are used in, rather than the general allowances that NFCI spell out. We do not specifically identify any exclusion of these images save for frivolous cases (as at WP:NFC#UUI #5.

The short answer: Neither NFCI nor NFC#UUI should be taken as the end-all of acceptable or unacceptable uses. The case that most in the RFC argued for is simply just not listed in either list, and thus standard NFCC considerations apply.

This fits in with the conclusion of the RFC. The point that most missed is that the presence of the line "as subjects of commentary" does not change this at all while maintaining the Resolution and policy level requirements. --MASEM (t) 14:38, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

"As subjects of commentary" again

The recent RfC concluded quite clearly that the NFCI stating that historical images are acceptable as "subjects of commentary" was misleading, implying that there was no possibility of historical images being used if not subjects of commentary. However, clearly, we all accept that historical non-free images can not be used in just any circumstance, and so simply removing the demand for them to be "subjects of commentary" is not only misleading, but quite clearly contrary to the NFCC. The ongoing slow moving edit war is not in anyone's interests, so we really do need to find suitable alternative wording. Paul Siebert's suggestion from the last thread seems a suitable starting point- so, let us discuss the possibility of NFCI#8 being replaced with the following:

"Images depicting historically significant events. If the photo itself is the subject of sourced discussion OR The photo describes an event that is discussed by sources in the article, AND incorporates elements and settings that cannot be adequately conveyed by properly sourced text, and are neither envisioned by free media nor commonly seen or known by the average Wikipedia reader."

Do we feel that this is a suitable alternative, accurately reflecting how historical images may be used under the NFCC while not implying an unnecessarily narrow interpretation? J Milburn (talk) 14:46, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

Guy, you completely misinterpret the meaning of that list. That list can't forbid anything. It can never "imply that there was no possibility of historical [or any other kind of] images from being used". See Masen comments on the section above.--damiens.rf 15:31, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
"Guy", you need to reread what I said. As I said, the old wording was "misleading, implying that there was no possibility of historical images being used if not subjects of commentary". Nowhere did I say that the list could, does or did "forbid anything". I am perfectly aware of the purpose of the list, but the result of the RfC was pretty clear- as it stood, the wording was not appropriate. I hope Masem's edits resolve this; I want this whole affair to be resolved peacefully as much as anyone else. J Milburn (talk) 23:53, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Acceptable quoting

John Hill has been adding quotations from a National Geographic piece to species articles (such as chipmunk, chimpanzee, and little brown bat), that I and Fama Clamosa (see User talk:John Hill#Animal sleep) think are likely copyright violations, and should not be included for this reason and since they are bad style. These quotations are general statements about animal sleep, quoted as full sentences, without any comment identifying the nature of the comment or much discussion of the subject in general, so the issue isn't the length per se, but that they aren't used properly. They also don't convey much in my opinion, and are from a sort of news news piece, not statements by a biologist or anything like that. I'm not sure this a good place to post, since my concerns are that this could be an unacceptable use of non-free text, and bad style, with which John Hill disagrees with, but I can't find a very good place to post this. —innotata 19:43, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

If the original NG author is not inserting their opinion, belief, theory, or the like, then such statements can always be paraphrased to provide the same factual data, retaining the reference to the source of that information. As such, that is frivolous quoting that is happening there. As you state, the only time we should be direct quoting an author is to insert personal statements that cannot be easily paraphrased any other way. ---MASEM (t) 19:55, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm having trouble finding diffs easily (some of the edits in question are a month old), but if they're anything like this edit it's a misuse of a quotation. Whether or not it's a copyright infringement, it's just plain wrong as a matter of style and can and should be paraphrased. postdlf (talk) 22:18, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

What does this mean?

Policy 1 currently contains the following statement:

"Where possible, non-free content is transformed into free material instead of using a fair-use defense, or replaced with a freer alternative if one of acceptable quality is available"

What is "a freer alternative" supposed to mean? I would think content is either free (such as released under WP:CC-BY-SA or public domain) or it is non-free (such as all copyrighted material). Also this formulation seems to suggest that this "freer alternative" is meant still to be non-free but "freer" than another non-free work.

Could this perhaps be rewritten to make clear what is meant here? Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 12:37, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

I think that's a good point. Clarification could be helpful there. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:09, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Two cases would come to mind:
  • Using a montage created by the copyright holder instead of a montage assembled by the user from multiple non-frees. While an extension of minimal use, this is a specific case of the single image from the copyright holder being freer than a user-created one.
  • In cases of objects that can be photographed but would be derivative works of a copyrighted work (such as buildings in countries w/o freedom of panorama), we would opt for a WPian's photo (which they have control of licensing) over that of a scan or website image from a source without that type of control. The end picture is still burdened by non-free, but now if that building's copyright expires, we are assured of a free image from the WPian than have to wait further for the copyright from the published works to also expire. --MASEM (t) 13:14, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
(ec) Yeah, it's problematic. The first thing that strikes the eye is "transformed into". For images, that's highly misleading: if you "transform" an image into something else, you typically get a derivative work that's still non-free. Then there's the "instead of using a fair-use defense", which is technically correct but rather awkwardly stuck into the middle of the sentence, where it will be rather confusing to the non-expert reader. Logically, the "instead of using a fair-use defense" is vacuous, because in this context "using a fair-use defense" is pretty much synonymous with "using a non-free image", which is what the whole page is about anyway. Then, "if one of acceptable quality is available" is misleading insofar as it can be understood as contradicting the much more to-the-point "is available or could be created" in the preceding sentence. Finally, the whole note about "acceptable quality" ("'acceptable quality' means a quality sufficient to serve the encyclopedic purpose") is largely redundant to the first sentence ("equivalent [...] that would serve the same encyclopedic purpose"). And the final "quick test" is more or less redundant to the preceding too. About the "freer" thing, I agree it can be confusing, but there are in fact situations where we do consider a "more" or "less" of non-freeness. For instance, if we have the choice between a commercially marketed non-free image and another image that has been released for educational use, we'll always choose the latter, because its use infringes on copyright in a less severe way.
I would shorten the whole thing to something like:
No free equivalent. Non-free content is used only where no free equivalent is available, or could be created, that would adequately serve the same encyclopedic purpose. Free alternatives that must be considered include freely licensed media (be they already available or yet to be created), alternative non-free media that infringe on the copyright holder's interest in less severe ways, or coverage with free text alone.
Fut.Perf. 13:27, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Clarification as to image resolution for non-free content

At File:Return-Cannes-Poster.jpg, the original poster image was 4051x6000. I reduced it to 1,024x1,517, and the text is still slightly legible. How much further should it be reduced to satisfy NFC this tag? There is no guidance easily found. --Lexein (talk) 00:19, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

I recommend taking the small text that would be lost on further reduction (as it itself is not artistic), and including that on the image file page; then you can scale down further to a more appropriate size that maintains the artistic elements of the main poster. --MASEM (t) 15:40, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
That's a fine recommendation which should probably be offered as a helpful tip in the guideline so it doesn't scroll off into the Talk archives, never to be seen again. But I'm still wondering why there are no pixel size limit established here, nor a very clear definition of how low "low" has to be either with reference to gross image features or "artistic" elements, as you mention. All this guessing in the dark about the definition of "low resolution" is, by itself, sort of disruptive. --Lexein (talk) 15:50, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
There are some recommendations but it is very hard to force specifics. In general, the number we feel comfortable around is about 0.1 megapixels in total size, which works for most movie posters, cover art, screenshots, and the like. But that is far from a hard limit. However, if you have an image that is not free and exceeds 1000px in one direction, you probably need good justification for that much detail. --MASEM (t) 15:57, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Echo Masem here. We can't really have hard-and-fast rules because the content within it might be dramatically different and require different sizes (something simple can be made smaller than a photo with fine details, etc.) Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 18:57, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
I will note I've just added a section to summarize (as best I believe it is seen) for image resolution on WP on NFC. I'm trying to make it clear that we have no absolute bounds, but we have "Happy zones" and "trigger zones" to be aware of. --MASEM (t) 19:50, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Not bad. I hope the additions to the guideline will not end up being interpreted as hard-and-fast rules by zealous editors anyways, resulting in needless crunching and uglification of existing images. Perhaps adding "+/- 30%" would, given the wide range of NFC images that already exist, head off some headhunting. --Lexein (talk) 20:13, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
There is no hard and fast rule, but what I seen from some aspects, like album covers, is ranging from 300x300 to 600x600. User:Zscout370 (Return Fire) 21:35, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
There generally isn't any good reason for keeping the file at a larger size than it will appear in the article. postdlf (talk) 22:03, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
The image size in the article is a thumbnail and often the reader need to expand it to examine the pertinent details. Users are viewing Wikipedia on a wide variety of displays, from cell phones to gigantic desktop monitors. The image must be large enough to see the information that the "non-free use rationale" justifies. -- SWTPC6800 (talk) 19:20, 25 August 2011 (UTC)
Following up: I just noticed that at File:Return-Cannes-Poster.jpg‎, bot User:DASHBot uploaded a reduction to 328 x 486 which is 160K pixels. So perhaps the language in the guideline should be amended to accommodate whatever standard practice has been for a while... --Lexein (talk) 01:56, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Again, 0.1MP is a very rough metric. 0.16 mp isn't grossly out of that metric. --MASEM (t) 02:40, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough. I should point out that I usually don't start from PR materials, so the size question hasn't really come up before ... --Lexein (talk) 03:44, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Historical images must be "subjects of commentary"

Guys, this is getting silly. There was never consensus to add this. It makes no sense. It is widely ignored. An image of the Holocaust, for example, has never been successfully removed because it was not a "subject of commentary." And now there has been an RfC, closed by an uninvolved admin, that explicitly agreed to remove that phrase. See here:

  • RfC question: "The question is: Should the guideline say that images with iconic status or of historical importance must be 'subjects of commentary?"
  • Closing admin: "There is consensus in this section for the removal of 'subjects of commentary.'"

If you want to restore it, open another RfC, but please respect the process that has already taken place. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 21:42, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

The closure was plain wrong, full stop. In fact, even the question as quoted above was plain wrong, because the passage from which this wording is now being removed never said what your question implies it said. Fut.Perf. 21:51, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
I've explained why the RFC conclusion, while right, cannot remove that statement without breaking policy and the Foundation Resolution, and that the conclusion was already allowable within existing NFCC/NFC pages. (The short answer: NFCI is not a completely inclusive list of allowable images, a fact most on that RFC completely missed). Images without commentary are allowed, they just don't have a wide-open allowance as those with commentary. --MASEM (t) 21:56, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Of course the RfC can remove it without breaking policy, because the "subjects of commentary" thing isn't policy, and never has been. Please open a new RfC if you want to challenge the July one, but respect it in the meantime. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 22:36, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Right, we never said "subjects of commentary" was policy. That's not the issue. The issue that we cannot just leave it as "historical images" without any rhyme or reason for their use as that is against policy and the resolution.
The listing of what are acceptable used at WP:NFCI is not all the allowable image uses on WP. The RFC woefully did not acknowledge this point despite being pointed out several time, instead several people felt the opposite. This was corrected, and the end intent of the RFC, to affirm that historical images could be used even when not commented on directly while still meeting NFC, was already spelled out at NFC without any changes to the page. Again, all NFCI is a non-exhaustive list of cases where we usually don't question the use of images - if it is not listed, it doesn't mean its not allowed. --MASEM (t) 22:51, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
I made the footnote visible, where it explains how historical images ought to be used, but I was reverted. Please read this diff. That needs to be restored, and all will be well and policy-compliant. But the "subjects of commentary" thing is just wrong, widely ignored, makes no sense, and is misused by certain editors who deploy it to torture people, which wastes time and puts newbies (and sometimes oldies) off editing. This is why the RfC produced consensus to remove it. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 22:57, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
You're missing the point; first, if there are editors that are abusing this, they need an RFC/U or AN action, not changing this. Second, the point of NFCI is to describe the cases of images that are generally allowed without question as long as all other aspects of NFCC are met, like cover art or screenshots. Historical images with commentary fall into this category - if they have an article about that specific image, we aren't going to question its inclusion. The case for all other historical images, when there is no commentary, falls to the regular NFCC rules, and more importantly, there's no wholesale allowance or disallowance for them. We are going against the Foundation's requirement if we implied that any historical image, commentary or not, could be used, as the change/diff you point to gives. The reason this explaination's in a footnote, in addition to the clear advice that the list is non-inclusive, is that we make no further restrictions on historical images with no commentary outside of meeting the NFCC. They will be audited to more degree in an article than compared to one with commentary, but that's a far cry from asking them to be removed and the situation you describe.
And again, to be crystal clear: "subjects of commentary" is necessary because only historical images that are subjects of commentary are readily accepted without little question. We don't readily accept - but we do allow limited use of - historical images without commentary. WP:NFC before the RFC said that, all that's been done is made that more explicit. --MASEM (t) 23:07, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Then say that. But the way it's currently worded, it suggests that they must be subjects of commentary, and that is what the RfC rejected. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:09, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Voila. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:15, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
It clearly suggests no such thing. It's in the scope of the introductory sentence: "The following list is not exhaustive but contains the most common cases where non-free images may be used." So, it is obviously not a problem if the description in the entry is kept fairly narrow, to concentrate it on what is the central, classic sort of good fair use cases. However, the reverse is problematic. If you omit the restricting bit from the wording, it does suggest a blanket allowance of all historical images, and that is clearly incompatible with policy. Fut.Perf. 23:16, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
But that bit is ignored, because it's not next to the crucial phrase. Guidelines have to be written clearly. This phrase has caused a lot of trouble. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:18, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── It now says:

Images with iconic status or historical importance: Iconic or historical images that have themselves been the "subjects of commentary" in secondary sources are readily accepted. They may still be used judiciously without this requirement, but they must meet all aspects of WP:NFCC, particularly no free alternatives, respect for commercial opportunity, and contextual significance

Future Perfect, do you disagree with that wording? SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:21, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

I did spell out more from the above to be explicit about the second half. Personally, I'd rather see us have a dedicated section of "maybes" like we have with WP:EL, and explain how historical images fit in (again, this should make it clear their use is not immediately disallowed, but neither immediately allowed). --MASEM (t) 23:27, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm fine with anything that makes clear the "subjects of commentary" thing is not mandatory, which is unfortunately how some editors have interpreted this guideline, leading to a lot of time-wasting. Hence the RfC. I wouldn't mind tightening what you added, Masem, but I'm fine with the thrust of it. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:30, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
I know there have been editors that have interpreted NFCI as explicit and fully inclusive, and that's why (way before the RFC) the non-exclusive part was added. That's why I'd say that if there are continued problems with specific editors that continually says "it's not a use listed at NFCI, therefore it must be deleted" need a RFC/U action, because the only place that says that is the NFC#UUI section. --MASEM (t) 23:34, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
The problem is that the non-exclusive part was added to a footnote only. But now that it's clarified, the problems will hopefully stop. It's easier to fix a guideline that it is to file an RfC/U whenever someone misunderstands it. :) SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:42, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
And the problem is now that anything "historical" apparently doesn't have to comply with NFCC, which means you could have articles with dozens of NF images in them because the editor claims they are such and mentions them in the text. This will be mis-used, and it's not why we have the "historical" exemption. For example, every image should have to comply with NFCC#1. If it's replaceable by a free example, it clearly isn't historical. Black Kite (t) (c) 23:51, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
To be fair, just as the non-exclusive part was already stated, so is the general requirement of meeting NFCC in the intro para. It is important that the footnote or whatever used to describe historical images without commentary restate the common problem with this, that being the free alt, the commercial opportunity, and meeting NFCC#8 (which I had originally included in the footnote), but again, that's added clarity to what was already stated. (To me, all the more reason to have a NFCMAYBE section and be explicit where these cases fall). --MASEM (t) 23:59, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
Ah hang on - I'm happy with JMilburn's change to "generally appropriate" from "readily accepted". That makes it clear it's not a free pass. Black Kite (t) (c) 00:01, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
The non-exclusive part was not a footnote: from the intro para: The following list is not exhaustive but contains the most common cases where non-free images may be used. The footnote (now in text) was there to restart this because of people misreading the section. --MASEM (t) 23:53, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
The qualification was either at the top of the section, or in a footnote after the phrase. That left the phrase standing alone, which lent itself to misinterpretation. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 23:56, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
And if people were basing decisions on not reading an entire section, that's overly bueaucratic and innappropriate behavior for WP. --MASEM (t) 23:59, 27 August 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) This is very much moving in the right direction, but I am concerned with the current wording- the fact that some images have "been the subjects of commentary in secondary sources" does not make them automatically usable anywhere and everywhere- I'm sure we all agree on that. We have to move away from wordings that suggest that certain images are appropriate, and move towards wording that suggests certain usages of images are appropriate. I have attempted to rework the phrasing, but I hope I keep the spirit of the example. J Milburn (talk) 00:00, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes - that's a better wording. Black Kite (t) (c) 00:01, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
I object to this, because it's yet another subjective hurdle. We've had editors try to remove Holocaust images that were smuggled out of the camps by inmates, arguing that the images haven't significantly illustrated the situation, and that text alone could do it. It's precisely that kind of thing we must avoid. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 00:14, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
What is the problem with the wording? J Milburn (talk) 00:18, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
That change in wording is never going to make a difference to your example. What that wording needs to indicate is that such image usage does not automatically get a free pass, per J Milburn above. For example, an image may be acceptable in one article but with the previous wording there would then be the temptation to use it everywhere that it's vaguely relevant (we've had this problem before with non-historical images). For another example, an editor puts ten non-free images in an article to illustrate a single event. They're all historical by the definition, they're all referenced in the article, but do we need all ten to illustrate what the reader needs to know? That's very unlikely. That's the type of situation we're talking about and the wording change makes it clear that such images are usually acceptable. Black Kite (t) (c) 00:25, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
I've seen editors argue that for all types of images, not just historical. It comes down to NFCC#8 interpretation, and ergo, consensus is needed to discuss the appropriate uses of those images, whether on the article or at FFD or some other place. --MASEM (t) 00:31, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
(ec, to Black Kite) Then we should change the wording to say that. The problem with this guideline, more than any other that I'm aware of, is that it's regularly misinterpreted by a small number of editors to force others to remove images that are being used legitimately. We've had a lot of trouble using Holocaust images because of the "subjects of commentary" phrase, and because it's argued that text alone would suffice. This is a wrong-headed argument, because text alone always suffices, strictly speaking, but it's regularly made. So I want to make sure that no words are added that can be used as a club with which to beat people. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 00:33, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
And again, if it is a small number of editors misusing a policy or guideline that everyone else agrees with, that's the users' fault, not the guideline. No matter how we word this, those editors will likely persist until their behavior is put under scrutiny. RFC/U is that way, not here. --MASEM (t) 00:37, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Again, SlimVirgin, we all want to avoid that. What issue do you believe exists with the wording I have used? J Milburn (talk) 00:38, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
(ec, to Masem) The way to avoid misuse is with good writing. The current text will lend itself to misuse again: "Iconic and historical images which are not subject of commentary themselves but significantly aid in illustrating historical events" may be used. This will allow the usual suspects to say the images do not "significantly aid in illustrating," because that is inherently subjective, and may require detailed knowledge of the period to determine. So I object to it.
Also, J Milburn has again changed the wording [5] to say that historical images that are the subject of sourced commentary "in the article" are appropriate. That is a step beyond what was said before, where they simply had to be subjects of commentary in secondary sources, even if that commentary was not referred to in the article. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 00:46, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
SlimVirgin, yes, and I explained why I did that. Clearly, the fact that an image has been discussed in secondary sources does not give it some kind of free pass to be used anywhere and everywhere, which is what your wording implied. Again, we need to focus on whether specific usages of images meet the NFCC, not whether particular images meet the NFCC. No image automatically meets the NFCC in any usage- surely, we can agree about that. J Milburn (talk) 00:50, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
No - we cannot give carte blanche for a non-free image to be used in any and every article purely because it has been discussed in secondary sources. That applies to any image, not just historical ones. Black Kite (t) (c) 00:52, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Even if we change the language to satisfy everyone involved in this discussion, those that are misusing it will still misuse it. That language has been like that prior to the RFC, so their behavior or belief of how it read was already wrong to begin with, and I doubt our changes here will change their minds over it. That's why I'm pointing to RFC/U where these editors can be addressed without disrupting a stable guideline. --MASEM (t) 00:53, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Perhaps it would be better to separate out the guidelines for historically important and for iconic images. By my understanding of the term, an iconic image will by definition be the subject of prior commentary; an historically important image may not have been. The subject of commentary wording is necessary, because if one wishes to argue for an image use on the basis that image is iconic, one must be able to demonstrate the image has accrued a degree of fame in its own right. The same will not always be true for images that are historically important but not iconic and so trying to use the same clarifying wording for both cases seems likely to lead to tension as above. CIreland (talk) 00:44, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
CIreland, yes, that has been part of the problem. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 00:48, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
It's such a finicky line between the two that if we try to define the diff, and have different things apply, it will be gamed. It's best to deal with both in the same grouping. --MASEM (t) 00:53, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Sorry for re-iterating old arguments, however, I believe I have to do that because the same arguments seem to be repeating again and again. In my opinion, although the idea SlimVirgin is advocating is correct, the way it has been implemented is quite unsatisfactory. For instance, why do we need to re-iterate the same mantra {"Iconic and historical images which are not subject of commentary themselves but significantly aid in illustrating historical events may be used judiciously, but they must meet all aspects of the non-free content criteria, particularly no free alternatives, respect for commercial opportunity, and contextual significance.") if that is just a repetition of what the policy says? If some NFCI has a direct reference to the requirements of the policy, that is the sign that this example is not the established example of acceptable use of non-free media on Wikipedia. Each NFCI must be concise and clear, otherwise it is just a negation of itself.
I already wrote about that, and I maintain that the issue can be resolved only if we split the historical images onto two different categories. First category images are the images that are themselves iconic and historical (A Joe Rosenthal photo of the American flag on the Suribachi volcano is an example of such photo). These images are well known and recognizable, and it is possible to find numerous sources that discuss them. Of course, these images can and should be used in Wikipedia when their omission is detrimental, and, due to their iconic status, it is hard, if possible, to find free equivalent. Therefore, the only formal requirement (which is easy to check) is contextual significance, so if such an image is a subject of the sourced discussion, its usage is totally legitimate. Therefore, I suggest the following wording:

"Historical or iconic imajes: as a subject of the sourced commentary"

However, we have another category of images, namely, the historical images that are not notable per se, but that depict significant historical events. It is impossible to find sources that discuss the images of this type, however, the event they depict is being discussed in numerous sources. A typical example of the images of that type is the WWII photos made by Soviet military photographers; these photos are themselves not iconic (as a rule), but they are the only source of visual information about some aspects of the Eastern front hostilities. In most cases, there is no free alternatives for such photos, and the only criterion that should be met is contextual significance. To meet this criterion, such a photo must depict the event that is a subject of the sources discussion in the article. In connection to that, I suggest to add the following example:

"Images depicting historically significant events: if the event is the subject of the sourced discussion in the article."

In both cases, no references to "the non-free content criteria, particularly no free alternatives, respect for commercial opportunity, and contextual significance" is required. If someone believes that people are to lazy to look at NFCC, I suggest to add this formulae to the top of the NFCI list, because the same requirements are equally relevant to all NFCI examples.--Paul Siebert (talk) 02:38, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

No, that last one cannot work, that would allow the argument that any historical image that represented a discussed event to be used, and nowhere close to a readily-accepted allowance. --MASEM (t) 02:47, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
I recall you yourself proposed something of that kind. If you think additional limitations should be added to that, feel free to modify it.--Paul Siebert (talk) 03:15, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
The problem was from the language back during the RFC is that there is no easy to to simply describe the allowance of the use of historical images in conjunction with sourced discussion of the event they cover without excluding too many we'd want to include, or including too many we'd not want included. Basically, the end of the day, there is no general allowance for these images more specific than what NFCC would allow. And that's the point we need to recognize - we can't say anymore about these images towards allowance or exclusion because there is nothing more to say. Their use is as subjective as NFCC#8 is. --MASEM (t) 03:27, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
That sounds reasonable. However, I see two problems here. Firstly, in my experience, some users still tend to treat this list as exhaustive, so it is necessary to make it more clear in the preamble that the list is not exhaustive (by making additional stress on this fact). Secondly, and more importantly, the examples of unacceptable use make the NFCI list de facto exhaustive: for instance, the NFCI#8 and NFC#UUI#5 form a set that prohibit usage of historical images which are themselves not a subject of commentary.
I am ready to accept your rationale, however, we need to make additional stress on the non-exhaustive nature of the NFCI list, AND look carefully at the list of the examples of unacceptable use.
By the way, I see some other issues with the list of unacceptable use that do not follow from the spirit of the policy.--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:48, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Both the lists for acceptable and unacceptable use clearly state their non-exclusivity in the intro at the start of each section. I don't know how people can keep missing these.
As for UUI#5 - this is basically saying images for decoration, but further states that we do allow images that are associated with commentary in the article , so there's no contradiction. --MASEM (t) 04:58, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Your logic is wrong. By saying: "This is a non-exhaustive list of acceptable usage" we imply that, whereas the examples presented in this list are allowed, the images that do not meet these criteria may also be allowed, depending on other factors. However, by saying that "This is a non-exhaustive list of unacceptable usage" we imply that, although some other examples of unacceptable may exist, the images mentioned in the list of unacceptable examples cannot be used under any circumstances, and no exceptions from this rule are possible. That is just a formal logic.
In addition, the example we are talking about does not say about images that "are associated with commentary in the article". It is much more strict: the image may be used if it is a subject of commentary. Therefore, whereas the nonexhaustive list of acceptable use does not imply that the image must be a subject of commentary, the nonexhaustive list of the examples of unacceptable use does say that.--Paul Siebert (talk) 05:18, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
No, that's not what it says: it is a non-exhaustive list of specific situations where images can't be used, not of what images can be used. And #5 specifically identifies several cases that includes the cases above of allowable situations to counter the one unacceptable usage. It is not contrary to the consensus. --MASEM (t) 05:46, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, that is what I mean: the NFCI identifies situations when the images are likely to be used (e.g. an album cover for identification purpose). Although other situations are possible when non-free images can be used (that is why the list in non-exhaustive), the listed examples are almost a green light. Similarly, the list of unacceptable usage is a list (non-exhaustive) or red lights: although other red lights may exist (that is why it is non-exhaustive), the listed red lights are the almost total prohibition of the images listed there. In that sense, the example #5 allows only those images that are themselves a subject of commentary. This example does not say that the images that are not a subject of commentary can be used, therefore, it prohibits its usage.
You cannot understand one simple thing, whereas the non-exhaustive nature of the list of acceptable usage makes it more liberal, the non-exhaustiveness of the list of unacceptable usage makes it more stringent: not only it prohibits everything that has been mentioned there, it implies that additional prohibitions exist. And, more importantly, many users interpret that in this way. What we need to do (in addition to modification of the #5) is to replace the word "non-exhaustive" with the explanation that, although the list present the examples of unacceptable usage, depending on situation, some images that meet the criteria listed in this examples still may be used if this usage meet NFCC policy spirit.--Paul Siebert (talk) 06:13, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
This is a completely different discussion. You're really muddying the waters pursuing this issue here. J Milburn (talk) 09:36, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
#5 in the "unacceptable uses" list comes nowhere close to describing a general rule (be it positive or negative) about all historic images. Paul Siebert's reading of it that constructs a kind of complementary relationship between it and #8 in the "acceptable" list is bizarre. Fut.Perf. 22:14, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Disagree. Whereas it is correct that the first part of the example ("An image whose subject happens to be a war, to illustrate an article on the war. ") describes no general rules, the second part ("Use may be appropriate if the image itself is a proper subject for commentary in the article: for example, an iconic image that has received attention in its own right, if the image is discussed in the article.") is obviously general: it would be ridiculous to prohibit war photos that are not a subject of discussion and allow all other historical images. Therefore, this rule is obviously general, and it prohibits all historical images that are not a subject of discussion by themselves.
Therefore, if we achieved a consensus that historical images may be used even if they are not the subject of commentary (although the decision should be made in each particular case separately, and it cannot be codified as an NFCI example), the second part of #5 should be removed.
Regarding J Milburn's rude notion, the only reasonable though there was a proposal to start a new thread. I'll do that soon.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:26, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Seriously, you are misreading that statement. The words, "for example", immediately imply that what follows is not the end-all, be-all of allowable uses (that's what the phrase "for example" is used for in common English). --MASEM (t) 17:01, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
I am not sure I am misreading it. The list is supposed to describe established examples of unacceptable use. One example says that the image depicting a war cannot be used in the article about the war, however, it may be used if it is being discussed in the text ("Use may be appropriate if the image itself is a proper subject for commentary... "). In connection to that, I have three questions:
  1. If this "may" is not exhaustive (i.e. other situations are possible), then the whole example is senseless, because it de facto says: "The image about a war cannot be used, however, in some situations, including, but not limited with the situation when this image is a subject of a discussion, it, nevertheless, may be used". It other words, since this example implies many exceptions, why it is added to the list?
  2. If this may means that the image may be used only when it is a subject of commentary, then it contradicts to the consensus which we, as I believe, have achieved, because we agreed that historical images can be used if they are not a subject of commentary, although a decision should be made in each particular case separately;
  3. And, lastly, why the explanation of which images are allowed is placed in the list of unacceptable usage? It would be more correct to have everything that is allowed in the NFCI list.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:33, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
You are misapplying what "may" is referring to. The "may" refers to the use of a historic image in cases where "the image itself is a proper subject for commentary in the article". The statement then goes on to say that one example of an image being a project subject for commentary in the article is the case where "the iconic image that has received attention in its own right". There are then other ways to satisfy the statement "proper subject for commentary in the article", which includes the unstated use of an historical image that works to enhance nearby text in an NFCC#8 manner. The reason we use "may" is that even if there is proper commentary about the image in the text, there may be cases where it is not appropriate to include due to other NFCC restrictions or the like. --MASEM (t) 17:46, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
If some unstated use of historical image is implied, then we cannot speak about any established examples of unacceptable use. These examples, as well as NFCI, must be clear and unequivocal, otherwise they are senseless. You explained that the usage of the historical images that are not a subject of commentary cannot be added to the NFCI list because it is hard to define - and I accepted this rationale. However, if some unacceptable usage is also hard to define, it also must not be added to the list.
In actuality, in the #5 we have a total prohibition of the usage of (war) images that are not a subject of commentary in the text. Nowhere in this example can I find a reference to the existence of any other ways for such an image to satisfy NFCC. In addition, I do not understand why do we need to have the example that deals only with war photos (as opposed to other historical images)?
And, lastly, I still got no answer on my last question: since the second part of #5 tells about acceptable usage, why has it been added to the list of unacceptable examples?--Paul Siebert (talk) 18:00, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
The unacceptable use is easy to define, and what NFC#UUI#5 already says: you can't use an historical image to simply decorate (present without commentary) articles on historical events. The reason why there's the second part of that phrase is because the same problem that this entire conversation is around, people presume these lists are fully inclusive; instead, we have to explain that there is valid (but not always acceptable uses as outlined in NFCI ! this is important!) of historical images when they accompany and strength the comprehension of the text within the article. One example where there's a likely valid use, as spelled out, is the images that are subject of commentary themselves. There are likely many other cases, something that we do not need nor likely can't enumerate here. That's why this phrase is here, to answer your second question, because it certainly doesn't work at NFCI since these are not typically accepted uses.
Let's put it this way: take a hypothetical image of a Holocaust picture of the captives being treated roughly by guards, with this activity (not the specific photo) described in the text itself and general agreement that the photo helps the text. Apply how NFCI and UUI#5 are currently written:
  • First, at NFCI, is it a photo that is the subject of sourced commentary? No, which means it doesn't get a free pass, but that doesn't block its use at all.
  • Second, at NFC#UUI#5, is it a photo that is being used just to illustrate the article on the Holocaust? No, because it is being tied in with sourced discussion on the article, so there's no outright block for using this image.
  • Third, at NFC#UUI#5 again, is there "proper subject for commentary in the article" for the contents of the photo? Yes, therefore it is likely an allowable use.
This hasn't fully cleared the image to be used, but there's no hard block of its use from either NFCI and NFC#UUI here. Consensus will still be needed to fully justify the image, but that's a completely different issue. --MASEM (t) 18:23, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

─────────────────────────I agree that unacceptable use is sometimes easy to define, and I partially agree with what you write, however, I still see some logical flaws in your arguments.
You still do not understand that these two lists should be symmetrical, and in this case the symmetry means that, whereas the first list does not imply blanket allowance of the images listed there, the second list does not imply total prohibition of the images described there. In contrast, the total prohibition is exactly what the list of unacceptable usage implies. Let's take the #5 as an example. It says:

"An image whose subject happens to be a war, to illustrate an article on the war. " That means that the war time photo are totally prohibited in Wikipedia, unless the condition described in the second part is met. This second part states:
"Use may be appropriate if the image itself is a proper subject for commentary in the article: for example, an iconic image that has received attention in its own right, if the image is discussed in the article." Note, this is an exhaustive description of the situation when the war time photos are allowed. No other exceptions have been described here, which means that all war time photos that are not a proper subject of commentary in the article are not allowed. That totally nullifies all what you wrote about the non-exhaustive nature of the NFCI. Note, the example tells nothing about the images that are not a proper subject of commentary, so the situation when the image, which is not a proper subject of commentary, still has some other contextual linkage to the text does not fit the sole example listed in the #5, and, therefore, such an image is prohibited. The same is true for the Holocaust image we discuss: despite being contextually connected to the article, the image itself is not a subject of a sourced discussion; only the event it depicts (or, more precisely, the event similar to that depicted on the image) is a subject of the discussion. That is unacceptable, per the #5.

Other examples of non-acceptable usage follow the same flawed scheme: a broad prohibition followed by some concrete exception that implies no broad constructions. For instance, the #4 allows only the maps that "itself is a proper subject for commentary in the article: for example, a controversial map of a disputed territory, if the controversy is discussed in the article." The #8 allows the usage of the baseball cards only to illustrate a passage on the card itself, etc.
Therefore, the list is de facto a substitute for the NFCI list, however, by contrast to the latter, it is exhaustive.
I agree that the examples of acceptable usage listed in the list of unacceptable usage are the established examples of legitimate usage of non-free images. However, I cannot agree that the situations described here are the only conceivable situations when these images can potentially be used. And, again, a situation when the list of the examples of unacceptable usage became de facto a list of acceptable usage (exhaustive list), it hardly correct.
What I propose? Going back to the #5, the major idea of the example is correct: the image cannot be used for beautification of the articles. However, the formulation of this idea is totally misleading. I think, we have to write it as follows:

"#5. A historical image whose major role consists just in beautification of the article, for instance, an image whose subject happens to be a war, to illustrate an article on the war. Use may be appropriate if the contextual linkage of the image to the article is more concrete, for instance, if the image is per se a subject of the sourced discussion, or it is otherwise being tied in with sourced discussion on the article's text, etc."

Note, I added for instance, otherwise and etc to make a stress on the fact that the examples allow more liberal construction, and the list is not supposed to describe all conceivable examples of correct usage.
In my opinion, other examples should be modified in the same vein.--Paul Siebert (talk) 16:51, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

The problem we have is that we do have broad categories of image that are generally acceptable using without minimal requirements ("cover art", "screenshots", "historical images that are subjects of commentary"). But if you start trying to define similar broad categories of images we don't allow, that is much harder. The only one I can categorically say is "child porn", as a mandate from the Foundation. Even if put in "images of living persons", the only other major category called out by NFC, there are many many cases where they are allowable: not only on articles on that person in question where the person is known to be recluse or outside of public exposure, but if it is a picture of an actor in character, a specific image of commentary, and the like. I would even argue that the other broad category: "for decoration", would be open to significant conflict as what is decoration to one may be critical to another. The best we can do is say what specific situations we know we don't allow non-free, in contrast to the cases to the general categorization of images we do allow.
We cannot write a parallel set of unacceptable images to match the current acceptable ones.
As for the reversal, whereas we would expand out the acceptable uses to be more specific of when they are appropriate, well, let's put it this way: the reason that whole RFC was started was because people thought the lists were fully inclusive and thus any case not specifically defined was unallowable. Being even more specific as to what cases we allow, even knowing that this list is meant to be read as not fully inclusive, would exasperate the issue. --MASEM (t) 17:12, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
I am not sure I understand you. You write "We cannot write a parallel set of unacceptable images to match the current acceptable ones", however, the list of unacceptable usage is written exactly in this way: it re-iterates what the NFCI says, however, it does that in exhaustive manner, allowing no liberal construction (as I explained before). For example, why can the war time photos (in contrast to other historical images) be used only when they are a subject of comment, whereas for other historical photographs no such a restriction exists? In my opinion, there is no difference between these images and other historical photos, so I think that that prohibition is totally arbitrary and should be removed.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:33, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
BTW, you haven't explained what problem do you see with the new version of the #5 proposed by me. In my opinion, this scheme can be expanded onto other examples: (i) some more or less general description of the unacceptable usage ("a historical images used for beautification"), followed by (ii) a concrete example ("war time photo as a general illustration"), and (iii) the non-exhaustive examples of the acceptable usage at the end.--Paul Siebert (talk) 17:34, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Here's my issues with what you wrote for #5 and what you imply it would need to change on other points of UUI:
  • First, and primarily, it goes back to how you are taking a very peculiar reading of the phrase that assumes UUI is fully exclusive and/or prevents the use of historical image without commentary but are relevant to the text. There are two places that spell out that UUI is not the exclusive list of unacceptable images (nor is NFCI the exclusive list of allowable ones), and the "for example" in #5 clearly implies there are more cases, just too many to list to be complete here. I'm all for clarity of wording, but this is a case where it is not needed at all.
  • Second, I refer to my point above: we cannot easily put unacceptable uses into broad categories because there is likely always a case where such use is accepted (like that of images of living persons). The best we can do is quantify typical representative cases that we know aren't allowable and demonstrate that these are the types of unallowable uses, and let the interpolation from these examples to the others be left to consensus.
  • Third, and related to the above: the way you're rephased it basically makes the statement "Images of X are unallowable as Y, unless Z is met". That formulation (regardless of X, Y, and Z) is prime for being gamed. People will want to use X for Y, and find a weak way to make case Z true. More so with this specific case of historical images than others, given arguments I've seen at FFD.
  • Fourth, the idea that this approach should be expanded to the other examples questions why we even should have UUI; it would make the section unwieldy, and again force us to try to broadly categorize unacceptable uses which is an impossible task. The only reason we have #5 as identify a positive use is because without that statement, the first part could be read that any historical image to illustrate an historical event is unacceptable (clearly false); we need to be clear that there are times such an image can be used.
I'm not discouraging changing the language but I am considered with making this section lengthier and filled with trivialities that can be gamed. --MASEM (t) 23:46, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

File histories, again

I'm reraising the topic of non-free files in file histories. An excellent example of what I am talking about is this file page (as an aside, could I request that no one delete the file, so that it serves as an example). The currently used file is this one; however, for no good reason at all, this file is in the page history. Now, quite clearly, this violates the spirit (and probably the letter) of NFCC#7. This is a non-free file, being hosted by Wikipedia and visible to anyone who cares to look, but which is not in use in an article. Although it's not a particularly big problem in this case, the lack of image page also means that such an image is being hosted without any kind of indication as to its source, copyright holder, copyright status or any other detail unambiguously required. I am of the opinion that Wikipedia has no place hosting such files, and that they really need to be removed, and I know for a fact that there are a great number of non-free files with multiple revisions. I personally believe that mass-tagging, followed by mass deletion, of these images "in the history" is the way forward, but such a thing would obviously require some discussion. So, what do people think about the issue? J Milburn (talk) 11:00, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

I have seen old images in file histories deleted for gross violations of NFC (too large a resolution, etc.) Do note that while deleting that revision will take out the image from that page, the actual page history will still show the contribution, so no "editorialship" information is lost, simply the offending NFC image.
Ideally, I think per our NFC rules that revised images over some time period (a year?) should be automatically stripped. If there's an image editing war, it will always be a short period for it to be resolved. --MASEM (t) 13:20, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
I certainly agree old non-free items in histories should be stripped. There are problems with automatic removals though. Sometimes an image history will contain chaotic mixtures of free and non-free files, so it would be difficult for an automated process to decide what needs stripping and what doesn't. Also, we very often get the ugly case where some clueless editor uploads a new file (typically a copyvio) over an old one but leaves the licensing statements of the old file on the page. These cases often go undetected for very long times, and it would become even more difficult to catch them if the old file versions were cleared out automatically. Fut.Perf. 13:26, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
  • There will always be corner cases where this solution does not work. I don't think that should stop us from moving ahead, with the restriction that it only works on past versions say six months old or older. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:36, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
  • There probably is at least a dual approach: revisions well over 2 years old probably won't be questioned, while those younger than that on months-stable image files can be put to some admin queue for cleaning. --MASEM (t) 13:49, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
  • It would be easy enough to write a bot to categorise every non-free image with multiple reversions in the page history/tag them as such, as we have a database dump. We could have that update daily, not including those that have already been categorised, and run a bot through it. Having them all tagged and categorised would be a good first step. I agree with Masem about bot-deleting all those that have not been updated in over 2 years, but, other than that, I think we would need human eyes on them. J Milburn (talk) 15:04, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
I have created this as an example of the kind of tag we could use (feel free to edit it). The key would be deciding how many days after the previous upload the old versions should be deleted. J Milburn (talk) 15:13, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Just thinking aloud here... If we WERE to have a tag something like that, we could have a bot checking through files tagged in that way and updating the dates with the latest upload times, to compensate for the fact that it's possible that a new file could be uploaded before deletion but after tagging. J Milburn (talk) 15:20, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
I guess the question is more what can the bot see on the API side? Can they track newly updated image files in addition to new image files? I would definitely collect these into month-based categories like most of the other major cleanup tags for the admin cleanup category.
I also wonder if we do approach this, that if we should include a standard message on every non-free image file (through a common template on each of the non-free license file templates) that warns how old revisions after x months may be delete. --MASEM (t) 17:19, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure that that would all be doable- I think, though, in addition to an image having been uploaded for a certain amount of time, it will also need to have been tagged for deletion for a certain amount of time. I don't think there's any great urgency to deal with this, but I do think that it needs to be dealt with. J Milburn (talk) 14:42, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Tagged for deletion has nothing to do with it, I don't think. If I were to upload a non-free image and come back the next day to reupload a smaller version as a new revision, the larger image should be deleted as routine cleanup after "stability" has been reached. --MASEM (t) 15:01, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm just going off Template:Non-free reduced. A week is waited after the tagging, in case someone has a legitimate concern. J Milburn (talk) 16:03, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
Aha, that's fine, though I would argue that the initial autoprune (for 1-2 yr+ image revisions) wouldn't need it as long as the effort was well-advertized and explained. Pruning more recent ones yes should be tag and wait at least one week for contesting. --MASEM (t) 13:34, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
One thing I've felt for a long time is that there ought to be a placeholder left in the file history to indicate that there was at one point a different image there, even if we are no longer going to make it accessible. I think this is quite important if somebody needs to know what was in a particular article page at a particular point in time; and/or what sort of discussion and evolution (sometimes by way of file-upload edit summaries) a particular file may have gone through.
The current silent removals (which can give the impression of a silent re-writing of history) therefore in my view should be deprecated, and instead in my view a placeholder (saying something like "image later removed") would be useful. Jheald (talk) 17:37, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
That would be absolutely great, but it would require a change of software. J Milburn (talk) 19:23, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Template wording

Please see Template talk:Orphan image. Thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 16:12, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Need notification on article pages before deleting files lacking fair-use justification

I'd like to propose a required notification on the article page or article talk page when a nonfree image used in the article is proposed for speedy deletion for lacking fair-use justification.

I propose this due to a situation that occurred today when non-free images were deleted from two of my watchlisted articles for lacking fair-use justification. Both images had been uploaded by users who have not edited for several years and both images had been in the articles for several years. There had been no notification in the articles or article talk pages and presumably no one noticed the user-talk-page notices to the uploaders (a talk-page notice to a user who has not contributed since 2007 or 2008 is unlikely to be seen by anyone; indeed one of the user talk pages had no page views in the past month except for the proposed-deletion notification), but active contributors interested in these articles might have wanted to contribute free-use justifications if they had been alerted to the problems. I don't believe either of the images qualified for fair use (and because I don't have much interest in either article I had never delved into the histories of the images), but it seems to me that needless drama can ensue in other situations like this -- when images disappear from articles without alerting interested current contributors who might have been willing and able to provide the documentation needed to prevent their deletion.

Since I believe the more prolific taggers of non-free images lacking fair-use justification use tools to generate the notifications, it should not be difficult to provide notification on the article talk page. Cross-posting this on Wikipedia talk:Criteria for speedy deletion. I'm not sure which page should be the primary location for discussion. --Orlady (talk) 15:42, 21 August 2011 (UTC)

I would not support making this a mandatory condition we are after all dealing with a copyrighted file, however I do think that it is worth asking the developers of Twinkle et al. if they can do this, and/or see if one of the many bots that deals with images could be amended to place a tag on the Talk page. Mtking (edits) 16:35, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
There used to be a bot that did this, and people got annoyed. People are annoyed when notified and annoyed when not notified; it's lose-lose. If someone wants to add a rationale, the image can be restored and a rationale can be added; no harm done. Notifying everyone and their dog leaves the image sitting in the article when unambiguously not policy compliant, and there's by no means any guarantee that anyone's going to bother adding a rationale anyway. J Milburn (talk) 16:42, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
People got annoyed when article talk page notices were posted? That's surprising. Or just when notices were posted on user talk pages? In any event, the article talk page is much more likely to get attention than whomever the uploader may have been. postdlf (talk) 16:52, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't believe article talk pages were ever give bot notice.
That said, to be effective, if an image is tagged for a potential deletable problem, a bot should notify:
  • The article talk page(s) it is on
  • Each uploader (including revision uploads).
While when we had the big image check binge of 2008 to meet the new Foundation requirement, people got upset for user talk page notification (generally due to mass images from one uploader being wrong and therefore generating several warnings); here, the numbers are expected to be much lower so I would suspect it would be less problematic, but we could still implement an "opt-out" feature for a user if they don't want to be notified (And thus forfeit their right to complain when one of their uploads goes away).
So we should be seeing if a bot can be made to do it. It's completely possible (BCB did this), so just a matter of coding and getting approval. --MASEM (t) 17:03, 21 August 2011 (UTC)
Orlady, I completely agree, and asked for this very thing, years ago. Since, in my experience, taggers rarely act with courtesy or comply with instructions in the templates (to notify uploader), I concur with the overkill approach: for completeness, automatic notification on article Talk, uploader's Talk, last image modifier's Talk (if different than uploader). Low volume of polite, compact messages, no problem. Additional option: add a Preferences option which opts-in to watchlist all page media upon editing the page. --Lexein (talk) 00:26, 24 August 2011 (UTC)
Agree. The notifcation should be as wide as possible. It takes a lot of experience to determine that all the arcane fu conditions have been met, and the point of a notification is to allow discussion before it is determined that fu has not been met. It is right that this is a cooperative process pooling experience to assist WP. --ClemRutter (talk) 06:19, 24 August 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── So how do we go forward with this? Going back to the minimal case:

  1. I like notifying on Article Talk - this helps watchlisting editors take action (adding {{holdon}}, getting license changed, finding alternative, etc.)
  2. I like top of the article notification, but that should be a small side tag or hatnote stating:
"An image on this page has a non-free fair use or licensing issue. See Wikipedia talk:Non-free content/Archive 53".
(revised per agreement with Fut. Perf. below -Lexein (talk) 14:39, 9 September 2011 (UTC))
This increases the chance of non-watchlisting editors taking action.

--Lexein (talk) 01:49, 30 August 2011 (UTC) struckthrough per offered compromise with Fut. Perf. and Hammersoft, below --Lexein (talk) 14:39, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

While I can understand some of the motivation for this, I'd say this is partially overkill and partially unpracticable. First, there are many, many cases where the issue really only concerns the individual uploader: images that are so obviously unsuitable (like non-free promotional band images and the like) that the only real issue is how to most efficiently educate the uploader that they should stop doing this, and all other tags and waiting periods are no more than a formality. In these cases, we really don't want other editors to waste their attention on the issue. One click in Twinkle for the notification, one click by the deleting admin, and one edit by ImageRemovalBot, everything else would be a waste of electrons and unnecessary littering of other people's watchlists. And about top-of-article notifications, assuming there is a real issue potentially worth fixing, consider the following practical problem. There are two problematic images on a page. Both get tagged at different times. One gets deleted, the other is still in the queue. How will a bot know when it should remove the tag from the article? Of course, I am assuming that such notifications would not have to be added and removed manually, that would be quite an unacceptable burden. Fut.Perf. 13:20, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
BTW, just a nitpick about your suggested wording: if it's about a non-free file, then it's not a "licensing" issue. Fair use defenses aren't licenses. Fut.Perf. 13:30, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. Revised above. --Lexein (talk) 14:39, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Some months ago, I did a small study on the effectiveness of such notices vs. the effectiveness of direct removals. As I recall, the notifications were effectively ignored. These notifications are make-work that have limited beneficial effect, increase work loads for those working to ensure compliance with NFCC and inhibit efforts to achieve compliance. In short, a really bad idea. Therefore, oppose. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:34, 1 September 2011 (UTC)
Missed the above - sorry. Future Perfect, Hammersoft, well, then, 1. Just (automatically) notify on Article Talk. This helps watchlisting editors, and doesn't intrude on readers, or burden nom. editors with removal of notices - they never have to be removed. With automatic notification (by having Twinkle do it as suggested waay up there, in that same one-click you mention) on where-used Article Talk pages, this doesn't burden nom. editors with addition of notices either.
I would definitely rather see a notice go by in my article watchlist, and just do the rehabilitation, rather than be forced to do the rehab plus the reup or undelete request. The notice itself does not slow down anything, it just automatically notifies more of the right people to fix the problem before it goes too far: to deletion. Does this compromise address your concerns? --Lexein (talk) 14:39, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
  • If somebody wants to notify a talk page about a non-free image not having a rationale for a particular use, more power to them. It's not my cup of tea. For one, I know from my own analyses that this fails to resolve the problem. For two, I don't use twinkle or any other editing assisting script. I'll continue removing as I have for many thousands of edits, as this is effective. --Hammersoft (talk) 14:42, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Well, there's no somebody anymore, just somebot. I see now a bot has been tasked to do it, over at Talk:CSD. Does that address your concerns, or revise your assessment of "a really bad idea"? --Lexein (talk) 15:15, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
  • That isn't the same task I'm talking about. I remove files from articles where they lack a fair use rationale for use in that article. That's not the same as tagging them for speedy deletion. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:24, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
Ahhh - I see that you remove image links (example), and seem to leave an accurate policy-based edit summary. That's no problem, since it doesn't necessarily lead directly to image file deletion, and the edit summary automatically appears on the watchlists of interested editors; this is the core of what Orlady and I and others have desired: notification. So you and I have no dispute about removing links. Now, if that non-free image was used only there, and you delete the link to it, then I suppose it will automatically be speedied by a bot (*), then deleted sometime later by another bot or admin. Here's the puzzler: precisely at the (*) moment, it would be great if someone could be notified who may wish to rehabilitate the image: get permission, OTRS, find a free version, etc. But the only person left to notify is the uploader. There's no easy solution, and I don't (and didn't) expect any above-and-beyond manual notification effort. --Lexein (talk) 16:30, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Just a quick note. At Talk:LG Corp.#Fair use rationale for Image:Goldstar logo.gif one can see there was a bot in the past which exactly did what is proposed here. Toshio Yamaguchi (talk) 15:56, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

  • Yeah. It's those notices I was referring to that were generally ignored. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:01, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

That's not in the past, that's the newfangled, just-added, task of User:CommonsNotificationBot. I predict that a non-zero number of interested editors (not layabouts) will take advantage of the notifications, and attempt to rehabilitate non-free fair use rationale or licensing issues where feasible prior to deletion taking place. All I can do is keep an eye on my 1300 watchlisted articles for such problems. --Lexein (talk) 16:46, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

  • It's wishful thinking. Some will get fixed. But, the vast majority will be ignored. Count on it. --Hammersoft (talk) 16:57, 9 September 2011 (UTC)

Use of movie-still when discussing actress

Outside input requested on [6] vs [7]. DMacks (talk) 19:03, 4 September 2011 (UTC)

  • Totally superfluous to the article. The article related that the movie was important in her career. Her visual appearance in the movie is not discussed, and certainly not by anything relying on secondary sources. I.e., the image is purely eye candy, decorative. It's unnecessary to an understand of the article subject, and needs to be removed. The rationale is well constructed, I'll grant that, but the mere presence of a rationale does not make it a valid rationale. --Hammersoft (talk) 13:28, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
  • By the way, File:Kapoor (Chameli).jpg fails as well. It's being used decoratively. A question that can be asked in cases like this is whether any still image from the movie could serve the same purpose. If so, it almost certainly fails WP:NFCC #8. This is the case for both of these images. Neither still is iconic. Neither still is discussed, supported by secondary sources. --Hammersoft (talk) 15:04, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
    • *Cough* Preity Zinta *cough* featured article *cough* Black Kite (t) (c) 18:22, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
      • I hate it when crap like this gets through FA. So many times I see FA paying lip service to NFCC. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:29, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
        • Or it could be that a good number of other editors honestly believe the screenshots provide valuable visual information about the actress's roles and careers. Not everyone is going to agree with you. I'd find it hard to imagine a rationale for the third screenshot in the Zinta article, however; it's just a shot of the actress that doesn't tell you anything about her character or what kind of movie it is. postdlf (talk) 18:44, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
          • The point is any given screenshot being included for the purposes stated, without the presence of secondary sources supporting it, is pure original research with respect to that particular image. Again, the rule of thumb; if you can choose any screenshot of the actress from the movie in question for the stated purpose, then they fail WP:NFCC. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:50, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
            • I'm afraid I don't understand that "rule". If all screenshots from a film that depict an actor portray the same information about that actor's role, it's a nonsequitor to state that they therefore provide no valuable information. Re: The Hours (film), for example, there was a lot of press about the fake nose Nicole Kidman wore for her role, and about whether it was a brave choice to obscure her beauty. Or Charlize Theron's uglified appearance in Monster (2003 film), with bad skin, bad hair, etc. In both cases the movie poster happens to show that, but if it didn't, any screenshot of the actress's face from their respective films would communicate the relevant information. Or any screenshot of Darth Vader from four of the six Star Wars films would show the character's armored appearance, or of Yoda, etc.... So the "rule" you are insisting upon doesn't make any sense. postdlf (talk) 19:44, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
              • See Wikidemon's comments. He does a better job of explaining it. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:51, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
      • Preity Zinta was promoted mid-2008. At that point, FAC was only coming around to more rigorous NFCC approaches so I would argue that's not a good example to use. Anything post 2008 (or whenever that dispatch was... let's see..., ah Sept 2008 Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2008-09-22/Dispatches is probably a more valid example to us. --MASEM (t) 20:02, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
        • It's OK Masem, I'll rephrase it for you "it was at the time where User:Raul654 used to promote articles regardless of policy". It needs a review, doesn't it? Black Kite (t) (c) 23:46, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
          • I don't know if the article itself needs to be reviewed, and I certainly wouldn't FAR it if the only thing wrong was one questionable-use image - that's what NFCR is meant for. What I'm saying is that while FAC is meant to be a check of all policies in a consensus-driven arena, including NFC, the situation of how and when image checks became more detailed is a relatively new thing, and thus we shouldn't assume it was ok to start if the FA passage was pre-2009 (see WP:ITSFA). --MASEM (t) 00:08, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
            • ONE problematic image? Regardless of that, it would interesting to start a FAR on this sort of thing, because it isn't (by a long way) the only FA with image issues. The problem is, that you'll get "well it passed as n FA so the images must be alright". Guaranteed .... Black Kite (t) (c) 00:27, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
              • Ok, my mistake, there's 3 (it looks like), but without reading through the text I would still not FAR it but NFCR them at the same time, and even would predicate the discussion that this is an FA, but an FA passed before WP completed its transition to NFC enforcement demanded by the Foundation. The argument "It's in an FA, it must be ok" is not persuasive when one considers both the FA passing age, that consensus can change, and the change in NFC enforcement. On the other hand, if this was an article passed yesterday at FA, that may be a more difficult battle. --MASEM (t) 12:56, 9 September 2011 (UTC)
  • A screen shot can serve the purpose of illustrating a person's iconic portrayal of a character in a film, which is a dramatic visual medium (the visual image is the art), something the community may or may not choose to allow in an encyclopedia. If it does, we get to the usual non-free criteria: is there a free equivalent, does it significantly increase readers' understanding of the topic, etc. If it's just a random role used to show a picture of what the actress looks like, that's not sufficient. If it's an iconic role for the actress where her visual appearance (as opposed to what she always looks like) is part of that role, as discussed in the article, that's an argument. "Original research" and "decorative" don't directly map onto these criteria - you don't need a source to say that this particular screencap shows X or Y, when it's obvious from the image. If the editor vouches that the screencap is from the film and shows the actress in the film, and the sources establish that her visual appearance in the film is relevant to her biography, then it's sourced. - Wikidemon (talk) 19:08, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
    • I can agree with that. However, in all the cases of the images discussed in this thread, the images fail that metric too. --Hammersoft (talk) 19:35, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
      • As I said at the article's FA review, but the article was promoted anyway. I removed my oppose when the images were removed, but as soon as I did they were put back. This one was the reason that I gave up commenting at FA, the place is a law unto itself. Black Kite (t) (c) 19:36, 8 September 2011 (UTC)
    • The visual appearance and/or importance needs to be discussed by sources more in just a manner of qualifying terms. I can understand the case of an actress who may be in her 70s or 80s (eg, the only free images we'd be able to get), but was a starlet in her 20s known for her appearance - that's an acceptable case for using the non-free image of the younger version on the actresses page. In the case where one is talking about the visual appearance of the actress in a specific work (or series of works) where her unique visual appearance was noted ... that would be appropriate on the page about the work itself (possibly) but never on the actresses page. There are very few situations where I would even think it would be reasonable, but certainly must start with a drastic visual difference between what free image we can get today (or that already exists) and the non-free one. --MASEM (t) 20:24, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

A user just brought to my attention Only Fools and Horses- a FA which uses half a dozen non-free images on the same useless copy-paste rationale. Thought that may be of interest to this discussion. I feel FAR may be the appropriate way to go with these kind of articles if they cannot be cleaned up by less drastic means. J Milburn (talk) 11:11, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

2006 FAC, and given its structure, it does beg for more than just NFC review. My personal opinion is that for FAs, if it is just an image problem, and clearly fixable by removal/replacement of images, you could try to nom it for FAR but it is unlikely to go beyond the stage of initial input and not into where there's !voting for delisting. The above article, however, feels more than just that, and simply just that CCC since its nomination at FAC. --MASEM (t) 11:24, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
  • 1. Is there even one Featured Article using multiple non-free images, in which the images used each pass all the requirements discussed here? 2. Has anybody noticed the recent court rulings which have each validated fair use claims? It seems (correct me if I'm wrong) that at the same time the courts are favoring fair use, here, more restrictions, and harsher enforcement are being demanded. 3. Any chance of reconciling that? --Lexein (talk) 12:58, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
    • This isn't a matter of fair use. So far as I know, none of us here are copyright lawyers. What we're talking about are the non-free content criteria, which are deliberately stricter than "fair use" under American law. We don't use as much as we can get away with and still be legal, we use as little as we can get away with and still be a useful encyclopedia. J Milburn (talk) 13:15, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
      • We don't use as much as we can get away with and still be legal, we use as little as we can get away with and still be a useful encyclopedia. - we need this quote in WP:NFC, stat. --MASEM (t) 13:19, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
        • My question 1 wasn't rhetorical. Is there even one article using multiple non-free images which can serve as an example of all images satisfying NFCC? If not, I sense doom. Dooooooom. --Lexein (talk) 13:53, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
          • I'll put up some of mine that I know that pasted FAC post-2009 and have multiple NFC images: The Beatles: Rock Band, Limbo (video game). There's nothing against multiple NFC in an article, as long as they all meet NFCC. --MASEM (t) 14:02, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
            • Well, that's reassuring. So, there's hope. Might be nice to mention the existence of these articles as aspirational examples of NFC use. Somewhere in the NFCC, maybe. --Lexein (talk) 19:07, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

Opinions on images please

Hello - I'm currently working on the page for Katharine Hepburn, and it was recently flagged for improper use of non-free images. I've since deleted two of those and expanded the justifications of three others to clarify why I think they should stay on the page (because I really do think they deserve to). These are the images:

I'd like opinions on whether these are okay please.Thanks. --Lobo512 (talk) 17:10, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

You're going to have trouble justifying these on this article. While Hepburn's appearance in her youth and heyday of acting vastly differs from her later appearance, we should not be using non-free to chronicle that through an article when there's little commentary on her appearances in the body of the article itself. They are primarily being used for decoration, a big unallowable use, even if they are considered her biggest roles; you have plenty of free images for her younger years, and though I'm not 100% sure on the reasoning of the promo shot with her and Spensor Tracy, if that's free that's certainly a good shot for her later appearance. --MASEM (t) 17:20, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Well I don't really understand how it can be a good, encyclopedic page without documenting her throughout her career. And without illustrating those pivotal moments. But even so, they aren't just there for that - I really do think that her appearance at all three stages is relevant, and that the reader's understanding and appreciation of those moments would be depleted without the images. I'm not just making excuses. (As for the image with Spencer, that one is there simply because I knew it was free so thought 'why not'. But there's no harm in that is there?) --Lobo512 (talk) 17:37, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
There are often free images of older movies available from the trailers, which went into the public domain because the formalities then required weren't observed (regardless of whether the film itself is still copyrighted). I found File:PhiladelphiaStory trailer.png in our article on that film. So before you even think about using any nonfree screenshots from films of that vintage (what, pre 1955?), you should check our articles on those films, look on Commons, and do a basic web search to see if a free image is available. postdlf (talk) 17:43, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Yeah I know there are free images of The Philadelphia Story available, there was one on the page before, I just don't think they have anywhere near the same effect as the one I've put up. I really think it's good for the reader to get an idea of what she is like in the film, and none of those capture it properly... --Lobo512 (talk) 17:52, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Lobo, let's say we both have a wonderful eye and keen perception of her career and its visual highlights. Not to be curt, what? What is important to understand here is Wikipedia:Verifiability. What you or I think of her key visual appearances is absolutely meaningless. If we can't base it in sources, then it's meaningless. Either tie the images to sourced commentary, or it won't float. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:56, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
I have tied the image to sourced commentary. --Lobo512 (talk) 18:06, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Perhaps I haven't been clear. The image exists within the context of commentary regarding the movie. That doesn't tie it to the commentary. There's nothing about the visual appearance of Hepburn in this movie that is discussed with sourced commentary in the article. If I were to remove the image from the article entirely, the article wouldn't be negatively affected in any way. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:09, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
  • "The movie also came with the highest production values available, including gowns by top designer Adrian that made Hepburn look more glamorous than she ever had before.[1] These factors combined to 'recreate Katharine Hepburn' in the eyes of her audience.[2]"--Lobo512 (talk) 18:13, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm referring to the On Golden Pond image. --Hammersoft (talk) 18:44, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
  • Oh, well that wasn't clear when I'd just been talking specifically about the Philly Story one. Okay, well I concede that there is no source that allows for the Golden Pond image, and if that is a requirement then so be it I guess. I would see it's removal as a loss to the article but I can accept that that's not enough of a reason. So then what about the other two - both images are specifically useful for the specific comments made in the article (with sources). Can we agree that they are legit? --Lobo512 (talk) 18:57, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
From the licencing info: "trailers after 1976 [which Rooster Cogburn isn't] will be copyrighted and will require permission for usage from the copyright holder whether or not they have a copyright notice or are registered with the Copyright Office ... The initial term of copyright under the Copyright Act of 1909 was 28 years. In the 28th year, the owner of the copyright had to renew the copyright. If he did not, his work went into the public domain." It's been over 28 years since it was released, s we'd have to find out if the studio renewed the copyright. But I think it's pretty unlikely, don't you? They won't have renewed every single film they ever made, and this isn't a very popular or well known film... --Lobo512 (talk) 21:14, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Oh never mind, I carried on reading: "Most of the trailers prior to 1976 were created as new works, which contained new material (such as" Coming Soon" etc.) as well as scenes from the films they were advertising. The trailers did not contain copyright notices nor were they registered in the Copyright Office or the Library of Congress." So that means it never had a copyright to renewin the first place. --Lobo512 (talk) 21:20, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Unless I'm missing something obvious, that's not the case. It is only before 1963 that trailers have to have copyright renewed. Between 1964 and 1977 they are only uncopyrighted if they were never published with copyright in the first place ([8]). So if that trailer contains any scenes from the film those will still be copyrighted, because the film would definitely originally have been copyrighted, and it was published between 1964 and 1977. Can you be sure that is not the case? And is this shot new material or from the film? If not, that screenshot will be non-free. Black Kite (t) (c) 21:27, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
That's incorrect, at least to date. Trailers are customarily assembled and distributed before a negative print of the completed film is struck, which is what was typically submitted to the Copyright Office. So any material incorporated into a trailer from the period that was distributed without its own copyright fell into the public domain, whatever the circumstances of the subsequent film.—DCGeist (talk) 21:43, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but that's my point - it's only if the trailer was distributed without copyright; the quote above says "most of the trailers prior to 1976...". The trailer YouTube link has a copyright notice at the end, though it's unclear if that applies to the trailer or the movie. As a separate point, it's not a very good image anyway! Black Kite (t) (c) 22:40, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I have to concur with Masem. For example, File:Hepburn Fonda On Golden Pond.jpg; there's no sourced commentary regarding her appearance in the film. That she's 74 in the role is already stated in the article. The presence of the image adds nothing that the text already doesn't add. Per WP:NFCC #1 and #8, this is a solid fail. --Hammersoft (talk) 17:45, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Ignoring the questions of whether works are PD or copyrighted (which should be answered) lets go back to the original question: Well I don't really understand how it can be a good, encyclopedic page without documenting her throughout her career. - assuming you are the main author, the page is already a good encyclopedic page that documents her career. Images of a person throughout their life are nice to have, but rarely really help the reader understand the written text. If we can get free pictures of that person, great, use them aplenty. But because our goal is to be a free content encyclopedia, we must be judicious on the use of non-frees. I can see one non-free promo photo (as in the infobox) in such cases, but unless the non-free image is discussed in depth from sources in the text, any other use is likely decorative and unnecessary. --MASEM (t) 02:02, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't see how the two remaining images up for debate on the KH page are any different from this image, from the page you gave as an example of 'well used non-free images' (also uploaded by you, I see): The article has some sourced comments on that moment of the game, and so an image of that has been allowed. I have sourced comments on Hepburn's appearance of those 2 films, so shouldn't images of them be allowed? I don't see how your image is any less 'decorative' than mine. Also, the FA page on Bette Davis has allowed a non-fre image of her final film, because it is obviously recognised as something useful and interesting. My final Hepburn picture is every bit as justified as that. --Lobo512 (talk) 15:22, 14 September 2011 (UTC)
It's never a good idea to try to say "well, it works on page X, so it should be fine here" (see Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in image deletion discussions). Furthermore, the Bette Davis article was promoted as FA in 2006 - about 2-3 years before FA began to be more stringent on the use of non-free images. Thus (again, see above link), just because another FA does it doesn't mean it's currently acceptable.
It is great that the bulk of these passed-away stars have a lot of public domain images due to lax in copyright laws during their time, but that creates a problem in that their late works fall into copyrighted works and non-free content policy, creating the apparent imbalance in documenting their film history. Unfortunately, this means that unless there's free images of the actor in their golden years that are free, we have to be very judicious on how to illustrate - if necessary - this period. In both cases of the Bette David and Katherine Hepburn articles, I think we did get lucky with a free image of them "over the hill", and thus any non-free image will certainly fail NFCC#1, free replacement. --MASEM (t) 19:59, 14 September 2011 (UTC)

A bad conumdrum between Template:di-disputed fair use rationale, CSD F7, and NFCC#8

I just had an image on a page that I watch deleted which was tagged with a {{di-disputed fair use rationale}} warning template with the message clearly concerned NFCC#8 appropriateness of the image; the text of the template warning is as follows:

In my view, this (ratehr large) image fails NFCC 8 because its omission would not harm readers' understanding of the article. The article refers to Older Amy's body-language, vocal range and attitude; this image depicts none of that. True, the ageing prosthetics are also mentioned, but this image barely shows that: it's an extremely bad screen-capture, and Older Amy on the right could almost be Younger Amy on the left frowning. I don't see how, if this picture were deleted, readers would find it remotely more difficult to understand the article.

(This for The Girl Who Waited in case there's an issue but I don't think its necessarily the specific picture that's an issue, but the combination of factors). Now, I did help address the #3a issue as well as using a slightly different composed shot to help #8 by uploading a new revision to help out the original uploaded, but I wouldn't have been surprised to see the image deleted still for NFCC#8 reasons.

However, I'm looking at its deletion, claimed as F7 by Fastily, and I'm seeing a real disconnection here. CSD F7 reads:

F7. Invalid fair-use claim.
  • Non-free images or media with a clearly invalid fair-use tag (such as a {{Non-free logo}} tag on a photograph of a mascot) may be deleted immediately.
  • Non-free images or media from a commercial source (e.g., Associated Press, Getty), where the file itself is not the subject of sourced commentary, are considered an invalid claim of fair use and fail the strict requirements of WP:NFCC; and may be deleted immediately.
  • Non-free images or media that have been identified as being replaceable by a free image and tagged with {{subst:rfu}} may be deleted after two days, if no justification is given for the claim of irreplaceability. If the replaceability is disputed, the nominator should not be the one deleting the image.
  • Invalid fair-use claims tagged with {{subst:dfu}} may be deleted seven days after they are tagged, if a full and valid fair-use use rationale is not added.

My question is: where does an NFCC#8 claim fall under that - assuming as in this case that the rest of the rationale was filled in correctly?

  • There was no invalid tag, so the first case is clearly out.
  • The file wasn't from a commercial source
  • There was no claim about being freely replaceable with a free image (or even just text)

I'm seeing a disconnection here that I think we need to address. Assuming NFC is a fixed entity, the issue is in either CSD:F7 and overzealous use of it, or in {{di-disputed fair use rationale}}. That template, currently reads: This file has a non-free use rationale that is disputed. Unless this concern is addressed by adding an appropriate non-free use rationale, such as Template:Non-free use rationale, or in some other way, the image will be deleted or removed from some uses seven days after this template was added. Please remove this template if you have successfully addressed the concern.

I'm proposing three things here that we need to be clear across all three pages mentioned if not more. First, we need to be clear between what a "valid/invalid" rationale is, and a "disputed" rationale is. A valid/invalid rationale should strictly be if all the necessary elements are present: article name listed, some idea on its source, an appropriate license, and some attempt at explaining why we should use that image. It doesn't matter how crappy that explanation is ("It's pretty!"), if its there with all the other points we "require", it's a valid rationale. A "disputed" rationale is where that explanation is put to the test, saying "It's pretty" doesn't cut it; or arguably if you believe the source is completely wrong, or several other factors; the form is filled out, but you question its validity.

Second, we need to be clear that an image with a valid rationale should never be speedily deleted unless it fails any of the other CSD for files. If you look at the CSD for images, they are very specific so we're not talking about rationales under dispute but cases where there is clearly a copyright, licensing, or other problem that needs to be dealt sooner.

That said, if an image is tagged with the disputed fair-use template with an otherwise valid rationale, that scenario is, for all practical purposes, like a PROD. The uploader, or anyone else, should be able to remove that template if they dispute the disputed rationale, ideally only after they have attempted to correct it. (Ideally, we'd want to have a {{hangon}} type scenario to let editors note they wanted it kept if they don't know how to fix it themselves). Only in the case if no one challenges the template or attempts to correct its faults should the image be deleted through an admin. If it is contested, there should only be one recourse: FFD.

I realize that FFD discussions often end up being the nominator and closing admin, no more contributions than what you'd have through the CSD process, but arguably, deleting images with valid but disputed rationales is not helpful to newer users. There needs to be continuity between these elements to make this work right. --MASEM (t) 00:39, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Well, maybe this discussion can help disentangle the situation a bit, but I don't think this distinction between (formally) "invalid" and (substantially) "disputed" should be made the basis of the limitation of the CSD. First, let me point out that CSD#F7 was originally worded very clearly so as to allow speedy deletion for any kind of failure of the NFCC ("fail any part of the non-free content criteria") [9][10]. This very clear language was lost in favour of the current, ambiguous, wording about "Invalid fair-use claims tagged with DFU" in a reshuffling of the criteria in 2008 [11], without any discussion that would have authorized such a drastic restriction, so I assume at that point it was still meant to cover the same thing. The interpretation expressed here by you, according to which "invalid" only means "formally deficient", seems to have arisen only in later practice.
In reality, there is no useful, principled difference between "invalid" and "disputed". It does matter "how crappy that explanation is". If it's obviously crappy, the FUR is "invalid". Even more importantly, if it's factually untrue, it is also automatically ipso facto "invalid". It happens extremely often that people add formally impressive copy-paste rationales which never make any contact with the actual situation of the image on the page (like the infamous "the photo and its historical significance are the object of discussion in the article", when that is quite simply not the case). Such rationales, just like cases with obviously ridiculous "significance" claims (like your "it's pretty" above) definitely can and should fall under speedy deletion, as was always the original intention of the criterion. Are you really saying that an obviously untenable claim based on something like "it's pretty" could never rise to the level of obviousness that an admin could reasonably make that decision on a speedy basis? Of course we can. That's not saying that trickier cases of judgment calls shouldn't be handed off to FFD, as has always been done; in particular, cases like your initial example (TV screenshots whose "significant" contribution is disputed) have been preferably handled at FFD for years. But that's a judgment call about what is "obvious" or not, and just because there are some cases where things are not quite "obvious" enough doesn't mean there can't be others where they are (just as there are not-so-obvious cases of "attack pages", A7s or "blatant advertisement", which should be handed off to AFD, but that doesn't invalidate the fact that there are also clear-cut ones.) Fut.Perf. 03:25, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
What I am saying is that with NFCC#8 disputed rationales is that it is in the eyes of the beholder, and because that both the article and the rationale have a chance to be improved, we shouldn't be rushing to delete when it is otherwise clear that the rest of the rationale is valid and doesn't quickfail any of the other CSD. For example, a rationale of "It's pretty" is crappy, but maybe someone else can see it and provide a much more convincing rationale, adding sourced discussion to the text, to make it appropriate.
The core thing is this: if the reasoning is questionable but otherwise the t's are crossed and i's dotted, we want to treat it like a PROD, allowing deletion without further discussion if no one steps forward to object or fix things. If there is someone asking to hold up the PROD, but nothing gets fixed, that's a move to FFD; if the rationale is fixed but the original nominator still feels it fails, then FFD is also there. CSD of images should only be for obvious cases where the image will never meet NFCC. --MASEM (t) 03:47, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
The point about potential improvements to the article is valid in principle, but I think it's orthogonal to the issue under discussion here. Sure, there are cases where changes in an article can turn a bad non-free image into a good non-free image – but that's the case no matter which deletion process we're on, and it's also the case for other sub-types of CSD#F7. For instance, an image can be obviously replaceable in one function, but assume a different function once the article is changed; even an F7b speedy for commercial images can – in rare cases – be legitimately deflected by changes in the article. The other half of your point, that deletion could legitimately be deflected by improvements in the rationale, is true first and foremost for those cases that you want to keep in the scope of CSD, i.e. the formally deficient ones. Sure, if they get fixed, deletion doesn't need to happen, but why would that be a reason not to have them in the speedy queues? Fut.Perf. 03:58, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Every point in F7 is objective. It either fails that criteria, thus eligible for deletion, or doesn't - though can be corrected. Ergo, if there's no challenge to its failure or no attempt to correct it, there's no question to deletion. NFCC#8 is far from objective, and therefore should not be used as a means to delete via F7. One should still be able to challenge NFCC#8, and if there's no rebuttal or attempt to correct, deletion is completely in line, but at the first sign of challenge, further discussion needs to be done in the proper forum, FFD. --MASEM (t) 04:07, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
NFCC#8 is no more or no less objective than "attack page" or "blatant advertising", which also work as speedy criteria. Of course an NFCC#8 speedy can still be challenged – just like any other speedy can have a "hangon", and in this case we additionally have the waiting time too. Still, there are many, many cases where the NFCC#8 failure is so obvious and incontrovertible that everything other than a speedy would be a waste of time. If you want to factor NFCC#8 out of the speedy criteria, you need to change CSD, because as I demonstrated above, CSD was meant to cover NFCc#8, always, and it still does. Fut.Perf. 05:30, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with that statement. Attack pages and blatant advertising are pretty clear when they occur though there are fringe cases where some subjectivity is needed. On the other hand, there may be some cases where there clearly is an NFCC#8 violation (the "it's pretty" example), most are very unclear whether it is a "violation" or not, since it is based on consensus whether the image satisfies NFCC#8 or not (very common, "This screeshot shows a critical scene of an episode" is a bad rataionle, but one that might have legs to be kept if more info can be found about that scene.) Going back through revisions at CSD, I never see a point where NFCC#8 failure is acceptable to use as a CSD criteria.
My suggestions still create a pathway for NFCC#8 images to be removed without discussion if the disputed nature of meeting NFCC#8 is unchallenged (7 days tagged with no changes == delete ala a PROD); the reason I'm here with this is that there's a 3-way normalizaton that needs to occur, but where the best language to change I'm not yet sure. --MASEM (t) 05:54, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

Use of a screenshot as a reference

Is it against Wikipedia policy to upload a screenshot of website to use as a reliable source in an article? I do not wish to display the screenshot in question, but to only link to it in the reference's citation. Specifically I wish to take a screenshot from the official website of Industrial Light & Magic to use as a reference in The Avengers (2012 film) and state in prose that the visual effects studio is working on the film. The reason why I do not wish to link to the website directly is because there is no way to archive the site because it is flash based and the direct link may become vulnerable to link rot. If this is a violation of policy, are there any other suggestions of citing this source?--TriiipleThreat (talk) 19:12, 20 September 2011 (UTC)

I think you can just reference the official website for now and replace it with a better link later. These flash-based websites are nightmares of link rot, though. Erik (talk | contribs) 19:49, 20 September 2011 (UTC)
Frankly you're better off using another source because of that... official movie sites/etc are usually inherently poor refs because of rot and the inability to adequately archive their contents. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 21:12, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

Courtesy request: is this usage acceptable?

  • Hi. :) I'm copying this over from WP:CP, as we don't handle images there and images are far from my thing. I'll let Anthony know where his question has gone, and I hope you guys can give him some guidance or reassurance on the question. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:35, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

*Manchester Airport: I have ventured to put in a "fair use" image: File:Aa ringway terminal 1 being built.jpg. Please, is this use justified or allowable? Anthony Appleyard (talk) 11:23, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

  • This does not look to be an acceptable use of a non-free image. For a start, the massive resolution is clearly contrary to NFCC#3, but, more importantly, this fails NFCC#8- seeing the image does not tell the reader a great amount, and the subject can easily be understood without the use of this picture. The purpose of use in the rationale notes only the fact that it shows an "important stage in the airport's history"- we don't use non-free images just because their subject happens to be important, we use them because they add significantly to reader understanding of the article. J Milburn (talk) 21:25, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
  • The subject is changes to the terminals area of the airport. This image shows the old layout of part of the airport, and compares with the new Terminal 1's location, much easier than can be achieved by text description alone. Building the new Terminal 1 and obliteration of the old north-edge airfield service buildings was a major historic change in the airport's layout including its public front area, and it needs to be kept in public knowledge. This airport has changed so much since that it is very hard to correlate the old layout with the modern layout merely from a text description and assuming that the reader has a modern map of the airport. Also, it is a photograph taken from an angle, not a stylized map drawn in straight-above view; for me to replace it using my camera I would need time-travel (and an aeroplane), or CGI of a complexity beyond my skill, as those old buildings disappeared around 40 years ago. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 22:26, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
    • Replacable with a user-defined map, particularly if we're just showing a change in a geographic feature. --MASEM (t) 22:37, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
  • What is a "user-defined map"? If I made a close hand-drawn copy of a modern published map, and added the old structures on it by hand, would that be right? It is said that a picture is worth 1000 words. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 22:42, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
    • That's completely acceptable and preferred. I believe you can find some guidance at WP:MAPS. --MASEM (t) 22:44, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
  • But the photograph shows what the area was like, much clearer. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 22:58, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
    • I'd argue the opposite. I have no idea, from the photo alone, what the features are - I see a road, lots of buildings, and a runway, but that's it. A user made map will give you the opportunity to label the diagram for clarity. --MASEM (t) 23:19, 24 September 2011 (UTC)
  • I have now added more information to File:Aa ringway terminal 1 being built.jpg#Summary. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 05:08, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
    • The fact you can document the image is great, but it doesn't change the fact that there sounds like there's enough information to still recreate this as a simplified map to show the change that you're trying to describe. I'm not seeing anything specifically about that photograph that makes it irreplaceable with a map beyond the effort of getting the map actually made. --MASEM (t) 12:12, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
  • The book that this image came from is out of print. Some readers will want to know what the airport formerly looked like. If you know of any such images elsewhere that I can link to, instead, then OK. Else, this image is better than nothing. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 13:20, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
    • That some readers would want to see what the airport used to look like is not a valid reason to keep a non-free image; even if the book is out of print, the image is still copyrighted and must follow non-free content policy. If there is some aspect of that image that has been significantly discussed by sources as to make the article require that image to be understood, then there's a case for it. But without that, the image cannot be used. --MASEM (t) 14:28, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
  • OK, OK, I realize, I have deleted it. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 22:50, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

Identifying a published work

If a published work can be identified by title, author, catalog-number, etc. (and AFAIK, most can), then presumably, per NFCC, there's no need to resort to using a copyrighted image to identify it per NFCI#1? Uniplex (talk) 20:19, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

It is a long standing premise that cover art incorporates implicit branding and marketing that allows it to be used without additional comment on notable published works (as if it is notable, it is assumed there will be commentary about the work itself). --MASEM (t) 21:19, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
So why does the guideline refer to "identification" and not "branding and marketing"? Also, given that NFCC can override NFCI#1, can we have a couple of examples in the guideline (cf. MoS) of where it does and it doesn't? Uniplex (talk) 07:09, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
I think that if you take "identification" as visual identification, that would include branding and marketing, and not so much a unique identifier to locate the book in catalogs or the like.
As for the second part: yes, NFCC is stronger than NFCI, but NFCI reflect cases where there is generally community acceptance of the uses, such that as long as all the rest of NFCC elements are met, then it is presumed that NFCC#8 is likely to be met. --MASEM (t) 21:55, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
So for clarity then, can we change NFCI#1 to "Marketing and branding artwork of various items: to facilitate visual identification of such items."? (Bearing in mind that downloaded books/albums/etc. may not have a physical "cover")
I assume that different artwork, used at different times, or in different markets, are equally eligible for inclusion. I also assume that visual identification of an item need be made in only one article (so e.g. if we have 2 articles for the A & B sides of a single, visual identification of the item is needed in only one of those articles). Perhaps these assumptions could also be made clear in the guideline. Uniplex (talk) 11:40, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Well, it's not just marketing and branding. It's everything that "(visual) identification" encompasses. And that does include works without a physical cover but still would have some type of promotional art associated with them used in virtual storefronts.
That said, this is allowance for one and exactly one cover image for the article in question. Historical covers or alternate covers should not be added unless the cover art itself is of sourced commentary.
It likely also doesn't affect the case you describe where the A- and B-side of a single, both notable on their own, would share the same cover art. The same cover image can be used on both A- and B-side articles though, and this is editor's discretion, if the cover clearly is only about the A-side song, and there is no obvious connection to the B-side, it may be better to simply omit the cover. I don't think we can enforce that without straining the general acceptance of NFCI#1, however. --MASEM (t) 15:24, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
May I suggest that you propose a clarified version of the text? If it could include the word “visual” before “identification”, that would be good as, per my initial question, it is open to misinterpretation without it. Adding the sentiments of your text “this is allowance for one and exactly one cover image for the article in question. Historical covers or alternate covers should not be added unless the cover art itself is of sourced commentary” would be extremely useful (there is currently a proposal/discussion re alternate album covers that is directly affected by this). The current “only in the context of critical commentary of that item (not for identification without critical commentary)” seems superfluous: as I understand it, all WP articles on a published work are deemed to be “critical commentary”. Uniplex (talk) 16:31, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
The last line is necessary as some have tried to use the allowance for covers to put them in discographies or similar lists where there is just "data" about the work but no discussion (whether or not there is an extended article about it). But I can footnote the other points if that is causing confusion. --MASEM (t) 16:41, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Okay, thanks! Uniplex (talk) 17:42, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Is there a typo in the footnote? A question has been raised: ‘Is that supposed to be "single publication" rather than "single published"?’ Uniplex (talk) 04:41, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
  1. ^ Berg (2004), p. 140.
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference Berg p 139 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. Return to the project page "Non-free content/Archive 53".