Commons talk:Licensing/Explaining why Derivative Work and Commercial Use must be allowed

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Explaining why Derivative Work and Commercial Use must be allowed[edit]

Seeing this coming up time and time again, I would like to suggest to include a small explanation as to why commercial use and derivative work must be allowed. It could go something like this:

Wikimedia Commons (and most other Wikimedia projects) require commercial use and derivative work to be allowed. The main reason for this is that Wikimedia aims to make information accessible to as many people as possible, especially also handicapped people and to third world countries. This implies:
  • information may have to be transferred to another medium. In many cases, this required the original to be slightly changed to fit that medium (converting an image to black and white, for instance, or simplifying a diagram) - in some cases, the transfer itself constitutes derivative work (like reading a text to make it accessible to blind people and analphabets).
  • it's often necessary to translate to another language, which again constitutes derivative work. This may also apply to images that may contain some text, like diagrams or maps.
  • it's useful to be able to crop and combine images to make charts and posters, especially for children. This, again, is derivative work.
  • to make the information available to people without good internet access, it's necessary to offer it on "off line" media, like CD-ROM or even paper. Creating and distributing hard copyies costs money, and it's much easier to get people to do it if they are allowed to keep a earn a little bit that way.
  • people using Wikimedia content commercially often donate some of the money back to the Wikimedia Foundation. This is a good way of cooperating with businesses big and small.

I think these are the most important points. Any comments/additions? -- Duesentrieb(?!) 11:02, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

This is exactly the wrong explanation. Commons demands free license not because of practical reasons; that would allow far more restrictive stuff. It demands free licenses on political grounds, based on the interests of Jimbo Wales and the Wikimedia Foundation: to support the free content paradigm. Your listing is misleading concerning what derivative work and commercial use actually are. Plainly stated, it's modifying the picture at will, using it at will without any ideological and practical restrictions at all (including ideologies the author would not identify with, such as extremists of any couleur and even people arguing against the free content paradigm) and exploiting it commercially, ie., making money out of it at will. --Rtc 10:48, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
My points are not intended to explain what Commercial Use or Derivative Works means - it's intended to explain a few good reasons to allow it. There are more others can explain better than I.
As to your other points: I don't understand what "ideological restrictions" a NC or ND license would impose. I also do not understand your point about "the interests of Jimbo Wales and the Wikimedia Foundation": basically, you say they support free content because they want to support free content. Well, duh. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 13:03, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Yes, you want explain C and D, but what I wanted to say is that your arguments are not strong enough to explain C and D, since they would even be satisfied under a much more restricted license. A correct explanation would be exactly that Wikimedia Foundation provides their machines and resources, but as an exchange wants the content to be free. It's that simple.--Rtc 13:47, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
It is correct that "all content must be free" is one of the unchangeable "golden rules" set by the wikimedia foundation for all projects. The definition of "free" varies. If you want tthat mentioned on the policy page too - fine, no problem. But don't you think it's interesting and important to discuss good reasons for having that rule? Explain the rationale? Saying "Commons does not allow NC/ND content because Wikimedia says so" is besides the point. What is important is to explain why "Commons and Wikimedia do not allow ND/NC content". -- Duesentrieb(?!) 16:24, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Why speculate about Wikimedia's intentions? (I don't think the things you mentioned above come even close to their actual rationale.) Simply ask them! --Rtc 16:37, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Why not simply explain a few good reasons not to have NC/ND images? that'S all i'm trying to do. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 12:55, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Ein typischer Schnellschuss von Duesentrieb ohne eine Spur von Überlegung und fundierter Kenntnis. Man sollte kommerzielle Nutzung und gewerbliche Nutzung Bearbeitungen separat behandeln, wobei letzteres vielen eher einleuchtet als ersteres, weshalb genau die umgekehrte Gewichtung angebracht wäre. Dass Eloquence sich http://www.intelligentdesigns.net/Licenses/NC treffende Gedanken zu den Nachteilen von CC gemacht hat - geschenkt. Super-Admin Duesentrieb muss derlei nicht kennen, wie er auch sonst vergleichsweise wenig kennt. --Historiograf 03:46, 21 May 2006 (UTC) Tippfehler korrigiert

gähn - was möchtest du uns damit sagen, Histo? Ist das, was ich schrieb, falsch? Ich gebe gerne zu, dass ich keinen Unterschied zwischen "kommerziell" und "gewerblich" kenne - ich kenne nichtmal ein englisches Wort für "gewerblich" (abgesehen von "commercial"). Soweit ich weiss machen die entsprechenden Lizenzen diesen Unterschied auch nicht. Und ja, ich habe Eloquences Beitrag zu den Nachteilen von NC gelesen, ist aber schon 'ne Weile her. Danke für den Link. Ich fände es toll, wenn Eloquence die entsprechende Passage texten würde - ich reisse mich nicht darum. Es fehlt nur einfach eine Erklärung. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 09:13, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
But if we assume you give the correct reasons, and we should adhere to these principles, then there wouldn't be anything wrong with images with requirements such as [This photograph] may be used free of charge in contexts where the [object] and its work are described. Reproduction for advertising and marketing purposes is not permitted." [Note that Commercial use is permitted, but not for advetising and marketing of unrelated items]. Recently an image of a castle in Switzerland created/owned by the Swiss Tourism Board was deleted because it had similar requirements. ( I didn't agree with the deletion but I was in minority ) . But is it okay if I upload a couple of such images then? None of your arguments would discourage it. / Fred Chess 13:48, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
Well, I'm not claiming that what I wrote is exaustive. I'm sure there are a lot of more good points to make (Histo provided a link regarding that)
I would personally be ok with licenses that exclude use that indicates association or endorsement. On the other hand, I belive that commercial use of an image by itself, without descriptive context, should be allowed (like a post card, or as a desktop image). This is my personal opinion, and yes, the points I made above do not address this. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 14:16, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
Okay, thanks for answering.
My personal view is that all images should be able to be used on any Wikimedia projects, and for this reason they should be OK on Commons. About the Swiss castle I wrote ""keep" - I don't think we can use image contrary to the requirements", but this argument did not impress the community -- but that's fair enough.
Another point to Duesentriebs list. The material on Wikimedia Commons should encourage value additions to free material. Some of those value additions are only possible if the contributor is able to recoup part or all of his investments in the combined work, for example by placing ads on his website where he host the new material or selling CDs. Mind, the resulting stuff itself is always free, it's only about the advertisements etc. @Rtc, ideology alone does not get you any butter on your bread. Even Richard Stallman himself sold and shipped the disks on which he distributed the first programs of the GNU project.Longbow4u 15:11, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
To clarify: I do not belive that "Wikimedia projects can use it" is free enough. Content must be usable by anyone, and at least pretty much in any way. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 18:20, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
One of many statements by Jimbo about this: [1] -- Duesentrieb(?!) 08:41, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Rather than appeal to the words of Jimbo (that can be a losing proposition), here is a logical way to think about this issue: All content on Wikimedia Commons must be available to all Wikimedia projects. Because some Wikimedia projects prohibit fair-use content, Wikimedia Commons must also be free of fair-use content. Individual projects can still decide that issue, but in that case the content must be uploaded locally for each project.

In terms of non-commercial and other exotic content licenses, the rule of thumb must be the following: Content on most Wikimedia projects (Wikinews is an obvious exception) uses the Gnu Free Document License. If that content is published with the images, those images must have a license available that it can be used simultaneously with the textual content which is published under the GFDL. If you can't redistribute the images under the same terms as the GFDL, you simply must delete those images as they violate the terms of the GFDL. Non-commercial use only licenses like CC-by-SA-NC add additional clauses to the GFDL that is in violation of that content license, which would prohibit the publication of both the textual content as well as the images if they were used simultaneously. That would mean that the content is copyrighted and illegal for you to use.

Having content with non-commercial use only licenses would therefore be a waste of server space on Commons, as they could not be used with most projects. Even partitioning off some of the content at Commons as incompatible with some projects would defeat the purpose of this project as well.

One of the objectives and goals of Commons was to create a repository that Wikimedia users could access without having to worry about licensing issues. Adding incompatable content would add needless review for some projects that often are ill equipped to deal with those issues. --RHorning 16:05, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

The problem with the derivation is a tricky one. Couldn't it be possible to define degrees of derivation? For example I'd like to load up a portrait of a person. Of course I don't have any problem with an conversion of the picture to Black-and-White or so. But I do have a problem, if someone gives the person funny ears or puts him into a NAZI-uniform... you know what I mean. So, wouldn't it be a good idea to restrict the right of derivation to say technical conversions? And to have on the other hand the possibility to forbid changes to the "inner meaning" (the german word is "Wesensgehalt", don't know a better translation) of a picture? --Lokiseinchef 11:11, 06 August 2009

This stuff is already explained at Commons:Licensing/Justifications. I suggest adding anything you want there. Dcoetzee (talk) 22:11, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Further references[edit]

Qualification of commercial use[edit]

I think i should move my query from here to here Commons:Village_pump#Qualification_of_commercial_use thanks. Shyamal 06:16, 1 September 2006 (UTC)