User:ZooFari/Problem tags

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Some users often misuse, in my opinion, the problem tags of {{no permission}}, {{no source}} (a big one), and {{no license}} (not so much with this one). Even {{Copyvio}} is often used inefficiently. I know this for a fact because I clean these backlogs almost daily, and the errors that some users commit make this job harder and tedious. I'm writing this here because there is nowhere else to express this problem. It has been brought up on the administrators' noticeboard on several occasions, with some users agreeing and others not fixing their problems. If you are reading this, let this be a guide to avoid risking driving new users away with misused tags that misinform or otherwise accuse them for something that might not even be true.

Copyvio vs No permission[edit]

Our deletion policy fails to define what a copyright violation is. A copyright violation is simply a violation in one's copyright rights. Simple isn't it? If you take a photo and do not release it freely, you would be pissed off if someone copied your image and uploaded it to Facebook claiming that it is their own. That's a copyright violation. But what if the person attempts to give you credit by linking to your website, or putting a caption with your name on it? Different situation, isn't it? This happens on Commons all the time. It is still a copyright violation even if attribution is given, because the author did not grant a release to a license where attribution is okay.

We developed a problem tag for situations like this. While it is still a copyright violation, using the {{no permission}} describes the problem and notifies the uploader more efficiently. This doesn't mean that admins can just go on to the no permission backlog and start speedy deleting files. It has become a norm to use copyvio and no permission without much interference, even if no policy describes the copyvio vs. no permission situation.

When an uploader provides a source other than "own work" and an author other than her/himself, we can now assume good faith that the uploader did not intend to violate the author's rights. The uploader may simply lack knowledge about copyright. That's why we use 'no permission' since it is a bit more informative about what's going on, unlike copyvio which just tells the user "oh, you uploaded a copyvio so it's going to be deleted". Would you prefer to tell the uploader that he or she needs permission, or paste an annoying template with big bold letters Pay attention to copyright? Well, maybe sometimes the annoying template but it's not worth it :).

Vise versa[edit]

What about tagging files with no permission when it should be copyvio? Suppose an image of yours is uploaded, and the uploader gives 100% credit to himself. No links, no nothing. Our upload forms and wizard emphasizes that you cannot upload others' work without permission. The old upload form gives an option link "I created this work entirely myself". Not so much about assuming good faith anymore, ain't it? If you use TinEye or any other evidence that convinces you about a blatant copyright violation, it is okay to just speedy delete it. It is unlikely that the uploader will seek permission. It is preferred to use copyvio rather than no permission, because the people clearing the backlogs may not see the evidence about not being "own work". {{Copyvio}} allows you to mention the reason or link, making admins' work easier.

When neither is okay[edit]

When you tag an image with no permission or copyright violation, you are expected to have evidence of why those tags are justified. If the image is lingering around the Internet, the link is considered evidence of copyright violation. Using TinEye or GoogleImages script aids with this. If the image is a registered trademark, logo, album cover, etc then we could assume it is a copyright violation where permission is unlikely to be granted. Those files too, can be deleted as copyright violation. If the file is your own, I believe you need to send OTRS email or have an admin willing to delete it. If an uploader provides a source and author other than his own, then that's enough to use 'no permission'.

There are times though, when a tagger comes along and tags an image with copyio or no permission, but there is just no evidence that neither of the tags are correctly justified. If you tag an image only because you think it's not the uploader's own work, then you risk accusing the author of something that may not even be true. Don't assert something you assume only because it's what you think. When I help clear out the backlogs, judging taggers' "doubts" gets tedious and even more tedious having to convert to DR. That's why deletion requests exist. It prevents this problem and helps keep the flow clear. Would you find an administrator trustworthy if he or she started deleting files with the reason "I think it's a copyright violation"? Perhaps not. We as humans make mistakes and often think incorrectly. Reserve tags for images with concrete evidence, and use deletion requests when appropriate. I promise that the files would get deleted sooner rather than months like it used to be, when such taggers dominated Commons. It's not just about preventing false accusations towards the uploader, but also making the process easier.

No license[edit]

There is not much to say about {{no license}}. It's self explanatory. If the file does not have a license compatible with Commons, then this tag should be used. It can also be used when there is no author, but if the source says "own work" then we assume the author is the uploader. Then again, {{no source}} would be used if neither of these were present. If the source says something other than own work, we would use no permission. So basically this comes down to images with literally no license, reducing controversy. Notice that the backlog is always or usually up to date.

The only time where I disagree with 'no license' taggings is when a file is tagged because they disagree with the license or copyright status. This rarely happens, but when it does it usually just comes back to the 'no permission' situation above regarding "doubts".

No source[edit]

This is the big one. Not only is it the longest backlog as of 19:57, 12 July 2011 (UTC), it is also the one that has been brought up on the admins' board several times before. Most of the controversy is based on the source's validity. Commons requires that we provide a source to which we can verify the copyright status from. You might think that those with "own work" are all invalid sources, but we are forced to use common sense and judge whether an images really is the uploader's work.

It's a controversy with no solution yet. I, myself, do not know what to conclude from previous discussions. {{No source}} describes that the file literally does not have a source, whether or not it is valid. For this reason, users like to argue about files with such tag bestowed upon asserting that the file page provides what the source wants it to provide. They also often argue that deletion requests be opened for such cases. Perhaps if we modify the problem tag to read "This file does not have a valid source", the community would fall into place.

You may disagree with me[edit]

You may not agree with me. That's okay, or at least in an understanding way. This problem only affects the uploaders and the people who participate in the backlogs. You may think that a problem tag is okay because you don't comprehend them in a way I do. I take things a little more literally and strongly based on the notification tags that the templates and scripts use.

I will admit that I sometimes let the delete button slip. If you use 'no permission' when it should be a deletion request, I might just delete it to avoid the fuss of fixing it. If you disagree with me in doing this, just look around and you'll see that people support it all the time, admin or not. But I try my best and we are all making progress. The backlogs are significantly lower than they were before, and as an admin who works with these backlogs I can tell you that part of the solution was minimizing the above problems that we encounter. The deletion requests backlogs are not so bad either now that we have active admins. So "having to wait a few months for an image to be deleted" is not so much of an excuse anymore like I've been told in the past :). I just hope that I will continue to do my best and help in these areas for more time to come.