Wikinews:Image use policy/New Wikimedia resolution for image licensing

This page is to discuss how we are going to follow foundation:Resolution:Licensing policy.

Some of the questions regarding this policy and its background are addressed in FAQ page.

The text below is meant to be a clear and concise summary of the changes brought about by the resolution and the ongoing discussion about it, useful for informing newcomers to the discussions. it was refactored from earlier discussions on this page. see the talk page for the original discussions and consider using the talk page for long/less on-topic discussions, which can later be summarised here.



Intent of the resolution


The mission of the Wikimedia Foundation is to provide for the creation and distribution of free-content educational materials. And anytime we let in non-free content, we deviate from our mission. In some cases there really is no replacement, which is why "fair use" is allowed at all. But that's a pretty narrow set of cases, and that's discouraged, too.

Since this is a matter of Wikimedia-wide resolution and not just any one project, it was decided by the board; we'd seen several projects that had started slipping away from the free content goals of the Foundation and wanted to make a clear statement of what they were, before they slipped even further away from them."


Good stuff gets deleted
in some cases, only non-free images or other media is available for use during the short period news articles are written and remain "hot". the change in policy trims the leeway we have to use such material. there are also other original contributions, such as in photoessays, licensed under restrictive terms that will be deleted due to the change in policy.
Contributors want more control over their work
some have licensed media under non-commercial or non-derivative licenses and prefer to see it stay that way. the contributors fear that their work will be used in derivative work that are contrary to their views and intentions in submitting their original work.
"Wikinewsies weren't consulted"
many Wikinewsies, including those who've contributed much of the material now disallowed were unaware of the impending change, and so didn't speak about it. Discussions about the change took place in other interwiki venues such as mailing lists and was noted on Wikinews news but appears not to have garnered the attention of many wikinewsies.

Responses to objections


Good stuff will not get deleted if they are relicensed.

I said when this first started that these [non-free media] would have to be deleted or relicensed eventually. Unfortunately, we seem to have gotten more of them. That very fact illustrates something about permitting non-free licenses: their use tends to propagate. However, Wikimedia projects are not about giving authors choices how to license their materials. If you, as a photographer or author, have been led to believe that the Wikimedia Foundation wants to give you a choice what to do with your content, you have been misled. We do not. The WMF provides resources free of charge and free of advertising which allow everyone to contribute knowledge, but only if contributors give others the Four Freedoms. We do not strive to multiply and diversify the number of licensing choices, but to multiply and diversify knowledge itself. This is best achieved by granting freedoms, not by taking them away.

ND (without the NC restriction) is among the least popular CC licenses, and its use is generally the result of a legal misunderstanding. You already have legal and social recourse if people use your work to libel you; this is completely separate from copyright law. Furthermore, CC-BY-SA (or another copyleft license) protects your work from non-free derivatives. I see no compelling reason why we should continue to allow these licenses. They take one of the most important freedoms away without cause.

Any change in licensing policy is going to be disruptive to those whose uploads are affected. The WMF is at fault for not communicating its founding principles sooner and with more clarity. I have tried to give this issue priority once I joined the Board, and Kat has also given it a strong push. The licensing policy you see is the result of that. It was not drafted by some outside body that has no connection to this community. I hope we will together embrace it and the freedoms that it represents. Once again: It is not about giving you choices. It does in fact take away from the power of the individual, to build a commons accessible to all.

– Eloquence

DragonFire wants his photos to remain under a non-free license. I do not see a compelling reason why we should permit this, and in fact many reasons to avoid it. The core reason is that all freedom requires vigilance against power. Licensing is a power that law gives to all authors. It is one that we are tempted to use. Its widespread use, however, causes a loss of freedom to others, and reduces the usefulness of our community efforts. Moreover, it is likely to encourage more such losses of freedom, as other people choose to exercise their power, or argue for further uses of power to be permitted.

This is exactly why the Definition of Free Cultural Works exists. As much as anything, the movement for Free Culture is a social movement, and any social movement needs clearly defined standards and values that help to guide it and that aid its communications to the outside world.

– Eloquence

discussions about how this change is to be implemented is still very much underway. there is still some leeway in determining what stays and what goes. –Doldrums(talk) 09:26, 31 March 2007 (UTC)[reply]



There is a poll where you can vote in favor for or in opposition of the policy, which will be sent to the Board, WMF and anyone "up top" affiliated with Wiki-wide decision making and policy issues regardless of the outcome.



Suggestions for implementing


"Abolish Fair Use!"

  • a lot of fair use stuff don't really add much to the article.
  • upload everything to commons, makes it easy for other wikis to use the media.
  • but is difficult to find free media quickly for use in developing stories.

"Don't change anything"

  • the criterion for hosting/deleting images remains unchanged. the process of attribution, use of templates, providing rationales are changed per the resolution
  • WN will continue to retain some non-free stuff, may violate the change in policy formulated by board resolution.

"Amnesty for published stuff"

  • avoids deletion of good stuff if contributors are not willing to relicense.
  • WN will continue to retain some non-free stuff, may violate the change in policy formulated by board resolution.

Proposed EDP guidelines/rules

  • media "necessary/adds value to article"
  • free alternative not available
  • free alternative not available prior to publish

Media affected


for organised lists of what's affected and how

Examples of affected media


archetypical examples for discussing the effect of particular proposed changes

Image:Green poster.png Image:Inflatable-boats-from-greenpeace.jpg

Well the green poster needs an edp. Removing AshleyX from this list as it is fine, as they granted us permission as long as we attribute. Bawolff 08:56, 2 April 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Template reworking