On Sun, 2 Mar 2014, Mark wrote:

On 3/2/14, 5:31 PM, Chris McKenna wrote:
There seems to be a disconnect between what Commons sees as it's mission: To be a repository of Free media; and what other projects see as Commons' mission: To be a repository of media for use on Wikimedia projects.
But since the other Wikimedia projects should be producing free-content encyclopedias, this is no disconnect: Commons should host Free media, and the other projects should include Free media. Otherwise the other projects' content cannot be reused externally, and they are not free-content encyclopedias.

You've missed the point. Commons is not at present a reliable source of media, Free or otherwise, because media gets deleted because once someone alleges that it is not free it gets deleted if the original uploader cannot prove it is free, regardless of the merits of the allegation.

The Foundation has said "do not delete images that *might* be unfree under URAA unless there is a takedown notice" yet the images continue to be deleted.


There is a further disconnect in that Commons is taking an increasingly ultra-conservative approach to the definition of "Free", whereas most other projects are working to a definition of "Free for all practical purposes". It is the latter interpretation that the board, in consultation with the legal team, are recommending as the way forward but is being resisted strongly by many on Commons.
This is more the crux of the issue, I think. I'm mostly familiar with en.wiki, but on there the definition swings pretty far to the opposite extreme, with a lot of content that is *not* Free for most practical purposes. For example, a large number of our articles on 20th-century artists cannot be legally republished in their home countries, or even other English-speaking countries, without stripping the images, due to the author having died less than 70 years ago. As a result, the illustrated version of en.wiki is effectively Free only for *American* reusers specifically; someone in the UK or Spain cannot legally republish [[en:Pablo Picasso]].

This is entirely irrelevant to the attitude at Commons. English Wikipedia is Free according to the definition it uses, which is essentally "Free for practical purposes as an Encyclopaedia" and that is applied reliably. In contrast, Commons is arbitrarily and inconsistently Free and appears to be prioritising point making over being a practical media repository. You are free to disagree about en.wp's choices, but this does not excuse the attitude of Commons to the Wikimedia community.

----
Chris McKenna

cmcke...@sucs.org
www.sucs.org/~cmckenna


The essential things in life are seen not with the eyes,
but with the heart

Antoine de Saint Exupery


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