[pd-discuss] Contact between Wikimedia Foundation and Wellcome Trust regarding image collections?

Michael S. Hart hart at pglaf.org
Thu Jan 20 00:13:59 GMT 2011

There is no contradiction in the two scenarios laid out below.

No one has pointed out any such contradiction all week long.

It is obvious there are some personal opinions, but no legal
reasoning to support the anti-non-commercial position.

If someone offers their work free for non-commercial usages,
it doesn't matter how many non-commercial uses could be made
all over the world.

I resubmit that such discussions are merely red herrings and
that you will simply do what you want.

I have seen such argumentation for longer than many of these
people have been alive, and will not help the pretenses that
they are legal, logical or rational.

They will do it this way simply because they want to, and no
amount of reasoning will change that.

Once again I offer to remain silent on this issue, if others
are willing to do the same.

Michael S. Hart
Project Gutenberg,
Inventor of eBooks

On Wed, 19 Jan 2011, Mike Linksvayer wrote:

> On Tue, Jan 18, 2011 at 11:21 AM, Michael S. Hart <hart at pglaf.org>
> wrote:
>       The question is still simple:
>       "Why not include items with non-commercial permissions?"
> https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/wiki/Commons:Licensing/J
> ustifications explains precisely why. Excerpt:
> The most basic goal of Wikimedia Commons is to serve as a practical
> repository for media currently in use on Wikimedia websites like
> Wikipedia. If this were its only goal, we would have no problems
> accepting media that is only for use on Wikipedia, or media that is only
> for non-commercial use, since the Wikimedia Foundation is a non-profit
> institution.
> The additional restrictions imposed by our license policy are driven by
> our ultimate goal, which is to enable all Wikimedia site content— both
> media and text — to be creatively reused in a variety of contexts, in
> any country, without the imposition of cumbersome requirements or fees.
> What do we mean by creative reuse? Here are just a few examples of the
> types of reuse that we want to encourage with Wikimedia site content:
> [...]
> A recurring theme in all these scenarios is commercial reuse and
> derivative use. Without commercial use, professional artists, industrial
> research labs, republishers, and small businesses are cut out of the
> loop. Without derivative use, not only can new works of art not be
> created, but content cannot be properly integrated with existing
> services, and research that automatically manipulates, aggregates, or
> changes the presentation of content cannot be done. In short, the
> purpose of free licenses at Wikimedia Commons is not to save businesses
> and professionals the hassle of producing content themselves, but to
> enable new applications that would have previously been considered too
> expensive to justify.
> Most commercial content can be used under the doctrine of fair use (or
> fair dealing in the UK), but the terms of fair use are extremely limited
> and depend strongly on context. A work that may be fair use in the
> context of a Wikipedia article on our website may cease to be fair use
> in an article republished for profit, or in a professional artwork that
> creatively incorporates the work, or even in a work that abridges the
> content. Moreover, fair use limits the quality and extent of such a work
> that can be used, which in turn limits its potential value for reuse.
> These subtle limitations make the reuse, commercial or otherwise, of any
> fair use content fraught with legal peril
> Here, Wikimedia Foundation may be replaced 1:1 with OKFN. Logically that
> is -- I speak for neither organization.
> You have identified a tradeoff between collection inclusiveness and use
> inclusiveness, either of which can be attenuated. The correct choice for
> any project depends on that project's goals, which you can call circular
> if you want. A project that doesn't care about use inclusiveness at all
> might choose maximum collection inclusiveness, ie completely ignore
> copyright status, in which case it will have to be a dark archive,
> darknet, constantly fighting losing legal battles, or some combination
> thereof. A project might reject collection inclusiveness altogether and
> only curate works it has been able to obtain massive insurance policies
> against. Or somewhere between.
> There is no agenda that you're not privy to. The agendas of people
> advocating various tradeoffs in the spectrum implied above have been
> publicly on display for decades now.
> I would love to hear your critique of the tradeoff any particular
> project has made.
> I would also love to read more about Project Gutenberg's criteria for
> including a work. I think it is not widely known that they are more
> subtle than "public domain only" (I did not know before reading this
> thread), and they deserve to be known an PG is an incredibly important
> and influential project. Thank you for everything you and the PG
> community have achieved, sincerely!
> Mike

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