User:Brianjd

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Babel user information
en-N This user has a native understanding of English.
es-0 Esta persona no tiene ningún conocimiento del español (o lo entiende con mucha dificultad).
PD-icon.svg This user supports the public domain.
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System-search.svgSee also: My global user page.

Information about me is on my global user page, linked in the ‘see also’ section above. The remainder of this page is not about me, but rather about this project, Wikimedia Commons (also known around here as just ‘Commons’). All references to articles are to the English Wikipedia (except where otherwise stated).

Commons is a media repository. Commons media can be directly embedded into pages on Commons and other wikis, such as the various Wikipedias in different languages. This embedding does not create additional copies of the media: it simply embeds the original copy. If the original copy is deleted, the media will also stop appearing on all the pages it is embedded in. (Media may be deleted because it is outside Commons’ scope or because it has legal or ethical issues.)

This page includes Commons media, where it is relevant. As explained above, this media appears only when it is still available on Commons for normal use, which implies that the Commons community has accepted (or, at least, not rejected) this media. This does not necessarily imply that I endorse this media.

The sections below discuss a variety of issues relevant to Commons. Most sections discuss remarkable inconsistencies in how these issues are handled, particularly on Commons. There are inconsistencies in how these issues are handled on and off Commons, inconsistencies in how different issues are handled on Commons (with regards to which jurisdictions are relevant), and even inconsistencies between how the same issues are handled on Commons by different users. Even worse, in some cases, people fail to acknowledge these inconsistencies.

Jurisdiction[edit]

Commons inherits rules from relevant jurisdictions, as well as defining its own rules. Relevant jurisdictions always include the jurisdiction where Commons is hosted, but often also include other jurisdictions. There is some inconsistency in how Commons determines which jurisdictions are relevant.

Scope[edit]

Commons’ scope (for media) is defined by three criteria:

  1. Format. This is not discussed here.
  2. Copyright status. This has its own policy. In practice, both here and elsewhere on Commons, copyright is treated as a separate issue to scope. This is discussed in its own section.
  3. Educational use. Media must be ‘realistically useful for an educational purpose’. This is discussed in this section.

Media that is outside this scope is usually referred to as ‘out of scope’.

Sometimes, a generic ‘out of scope’ deletion request leads to deletion, even though the media is clearly in scope. An example is given below.

Pink Pantherz Espresso (Fresno, California) bikini barista wearing a protective mask during the COVID-19 pandemic. (full description; deletion request)

Bikini baristas are in scope, since they have their own article, Wikidata item and category. The same user who uploaded this bikini barista image, NeoBatfreak, also uploaded a variety of other images of bikini baristas, which are all in scope. This image, showing a bikini barista from a different venue to most of the other images, is even more valuable. It was undeleted per a request to the deleting admin.

‘Consent’[edit]

The term ‘consent’ can refer to two very different things:

  1. Consent of the subject, as in {{Consent}} and Commons:Country specific consent requirements.
  2. Consent of the copyright owner, as in Commons:CONSENT (which redirects to Commons:Email templates/Consent).

These are very different things because the copyright owner is usually not the subject and copyright issues are handled differently to privacy issues (like personality rights).

Personality rights[edit]

Here, the term ‘personality rights’ refers to a person’s rights to restrict use of their image.

There is inconsistency as to whether personality rights apply when the subject is not ‘identifiable’. Even the relevant Commons guideline is inconsistent. It is called ‘Photographs of identifiable people’, but its summary says nothing about identifiability:

Commons respects the legal rights of the subjects of our photographs and has a moral obligation to behave ethically with regard to photographs of people. The legal rights of the subjects constitute non-copyright restrictions on use of images. Country-specific laws may affect what content we can host, how it may be published, and whether consent is required to re-use it.

The guideline itself also suggests that personality rights can apply to people who are not ‘identifiable’, with statements like:

  • ‘Certain legal and ethical issues may remain if the person … cannot be identified.’
  • ‘The provenance of an image may taint its use irredeemably. A "downblouse" or "creepshot" photograph is not made ethically acceptable just because the subject's face is cropped out. A paparazzi telephoto shot of a naked sunbather does not become acceptable merely by pixelating the face.’
Topless women sunbathing on a beach in Barcelona, with their faces redacted. (full description)

It gets worse: actual Commons practice is sometimes inconsistent with that guideline. For example, consider this widely used image of topless women sunbathing. According to its deletion requests, it has no personality rights issues because the subjects are not ‘identifiable’.

Identifiability[edit]

Topless women sunbathing on a beach in Barcelona, with their faces redacted. (full description)

According to this image’s deletion requests, the subjects are not ‘identifiable’.

Copyright[edit]

Copyright complexity[edit]

Copyright is far too complex for most people to understand. (This is why I dedicate all my material to the public domain, meaning that it is not covered by copyright; see my global user page.)

Licensing tutorial displayed in the Upload Wizard. (full description)

Copyright is so complex that the Commons policy on licensing contains not only the actual policy, but also an overview of complicated copyright laws through an example-based tutorial for non-lawyers. That overview is highly simplified, with links to many other pages with more details, but is still complex. Shown here is a Commons licensing tutorial developed as part of a usability project; this is even more simplified, but is still long.

Even the rules for free (as in freedom) works are complex, due to the variety of free licenses and situations involving multiple licenses (and sometimes multiple works). The Help desk discussion ‘How do I cite an image on Wikimedia commons outside of wikimedia projects?’ (archived in November 2021) links to:

  1. Instructions for using Commons material elsewhere. This page is complex (for the reasons given above), but is still incomplete. It says: If the file is available under multiple licenses, you can use any of them. But it does not explain that some files contain multiple parts, each released under a different license, and in this case, users must comply with all the licenses. It then says: If none of the licenses suits you, you can try to contact the creator and negotiate a special arrangement. Otherwise, you'll have to use a different file. But it does not explain exceptions to copyright like fair use.
  2. An attribution generator. This is supposed to do the hard work for you, but still asks several annoying questions before presenting the license notice and also includes complex instructions on how to use it. Even for a public domain work, it warns that (in Germany, but this also applies to some other jurisdictions) the author retains some rights that cannot be waived.

The variation of individual licenses is complex enough, but some material is released under multiple licenses, where users may choose any one license to comply with. As a particularly egregious example, the file Server-kitty.jpg has this crazy triple license scheme:

  1. CC BY 2.0: a permissive license
  2. GFDL 1.2+: a copyleft license
  3. CC BY-SA 3.0: also CC (like CC BY 2.0), but copyleft (like GFDL 1.2+); added as part of the GFDL migration

(This was the subject of the Village pump discussion ‘File:Server-kitty.jpg: triple licenced CC BY 2.0, GFDL and CC BY-SA 3.0’ (archived in November 2021), which did not go anywhere.)

A screenshot of the English Wikipedia, showing a message about the user being blocked. (full description)

A different situation is where a work contains multiple parts, each released under a different license. In this case, a user who uses the whole work must comply with all the licenses. Sometimes, it is hard to tell which parts are present and which licenses apply. For example, a screenshot of a web page of a Wikimedia Foundation project may depict MediaWiki (the software used by the Wikimedia Foundation), the project’s contents, or both; MediaWiki and Wikimedia Foundation projects’ contents are released under different licenses. More specifically, the Wikipedia screenshot shown here depicts the project’s contents but does not depict any copyrightable part of MediaWiki. But the screenshot’s description contains only the generic notice {{Wikipedia-screenshot}}, which refers to three different (and mutually incompatible) licenses, with no clarification on which apply to this specific screenshot.

Acceptance of copyright violations[edit]

Commons takes copyright very seriously (at least for media); copyright is one of Commons’ core principles. But outside of Commons, copyright violations are commonly accepted. This is because of copyright’s complexity, together with its impracticality (even for people who understand it).

For example, in revision 609375845 (an edit to Commons:Deletion requests/File:USAir 427 Crash Site.jpg), Rubin16 (a Commons administrator) added a link to a Google Street View screenshot uploaded to an external site. Surely this screenshot was posted by Rubin16 for the purpose of responding to that deletion request; surely this was a copyright violation (at least it would be if not for fair use). Google Street View screenshots uploaded to Commons are quickly deleted as copyright violations; an example is Knilles Ynsesstrjitte.jpg, which was deleted less than 7 hours after being nominated for deletion. (To further complicate matters, taking that screenshot also violated Google’s guidelines: You may not screenshot Street View imagery … for any purpose. … All uses of … Street View content must provide attribution … (emphasis in original).)

Search engine reliability[edit]

Search engines are useful for checking whether media is in scope and for checking its copyright status. But they are not always reliable: they sometimes fail to find things that should be easy to find. For example, as of 17 January 2023, DuckDuckGo fails to find the Flickr image British Columbia-Yoho National Park-Yoho Lake-P1040446 (uploaded to Commons as Michael Peak from Yoho Lake.jpg) when searching for the title in these formats:

  • With the photo ID in parantheses like it normally is on Commons: British Columbia-Yoho National Park-Yoho Lake-P1040446 (36710284342)
  • With quotes: "British Columbia-Yoho National Park-Yoho Lake-P1040446"
  • With quotes and the term ‘Flickr’: "British Columbia-Yoho National Park-Yoho Lake-P1040446" Flickr

This is also true for the following Flickr images, which were uploaded to Commons and later deleted (and show women wearing only bikini bottoms, one with a nipple visible):

  • IZIBA2004_102 (But the search with the photo ID did, at one point, find the Commons file IZIBA2004 056 (1924606).jpg, originally uploaded to Flickr by the same user. It also, at one point, found this user page, with this extract: Commons:Deletion requests/File:IZIBA2004 102 (1924810).jpg; Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Panty lines: just the origin of COM:NOCREEPSHOTS and the issue of drawing attention, both in the comment by Rhododendrites, everything else done already. That text has not been on this page since all its content was moved to a separate page for old content, more than 2 months ago.)
  • Romania-2480 - Really............... I didn't know... (But all three searches do find a Wikipornia post citing the Commons upload of this file.)

Media used on this page[edit]

Media used only in the ‘More examples’ section below may not be listed here.

Licensing tutorial en.svg[edit]

Licensing tutorial displayed in the Upload Wizard.

This Commons licensing tutorial was developed as part of a usability project; it is a highly simplified description of how copyright laws apply to Commons, but it is still long. This shows how complex copyright is.

Used in this section: Copyright complexity

PINK PANTHERZ Expresso (Fresno Ca.) bikini barista with face mask.jpg[edit]

Pink Pantherz Espresso (Fresno, California) bikini barista wearing a protective mask during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This image was deleted per a generic ‘out of scope’ deletion request, even though it is clearly in scope. It was undeleted per a request to the deleting admin.

Used in this section: Scope

Topless Barcelona.jpg[edit]

Topless women sunbathing on a beach in Barcelona, with their faces redacted.

As of 19 January 2023, this image is used in the article List of social nudity places in Europe, articles on toplessness or topfreedom in 4 other Wikipedias, the article for G-strings in the Japanese Wikipedia, the entry for sun tanning in the Traditional Chinese Wikipedia, the entry for topless in the Italian Wiktionary and the entry for 「曬」 in the Traditional Chinese Wiktionary; it is even used as a generic image of a Barcelona beach in an article on public domain administration on the Catalan Wikipedia.

According to this image’s deletion requests, it has no personality rights issues because the subjects are not ‘identifiable’.

Used in these sections: Personality rights, Identifiability

You are currently unable to edit Wikipedia0.jpg[edit]

A screenshot of the English Wikipedia, showing a message about the user being blocked.

This Wikipedia screenshot depicts the project’s contents but does not depict any copyrightable part of MediaWiki. But its description contains only the generic notice {{Wikipedia-screenshot}}, which refers to three different (and mutually incompatible) licenses, with no clarification on which apply to this specific screenshot. This shows how complex copyright is.

Used in this section: Copyright complexity

More examples[edit]

This section discusses examples that should be properly documented here, but are currently being investigated by me or discussed by the community.

User talk:Brianjd#Child pornography suspicions.

User talk:Brianjd#MY photos.

Commons:Categories for discussion/2021/06/Category:Upskirt in sports (and other upskirt categories, some of which are included in that discussion).

Open deletion requests[edit]

Scope[edit]

Two musical staffs with treble and bass clefs, with two octaves of notes labelled, showing how the notes continue from one staff to the other with only one ledger line. (deletion request)

This image is clearly in scope, but was subject to a generic ‘out of scope’ deletion request.

These images were uploaded as demonstrations of mint hair, but then speedily deleted as personal images. After this speedy deletion (which should apply only to non-contributors) was questioned, the files were undeleted but then nominated for (regular) deletion as out of scope.

Personality rights[edit]

The first two photos were nominated for deletion by a user claiming to be the subject, Viona Ielegems; the nominator said that they wanted the photos deleted for personal reasons.

Stop reporter with reflection. (deletion request)

The uploader requested deletion because the reflection shows the photographer.

Scope[edit]

Commons:Village pump/Archive/2022/12#Seizure risks.

Personality rights[edit]

Template talk:Consent#Identifiability.

Continue reviewing Commons:Photographs of identifiable people.

Regarding whether identifiability matters and whether a subject is ‘identifiable’, see Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Matt Bio Research and File:Topless Barcelona.jpg (first deletion request; subsequent deletion requests) (start discussion about this contradicting COM:DIGNITY).

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Vlcsnap-2Οδηγός μεταφόρτωσης017-07-06-17h30m17s470.png.

File:Elas na praia.jpg. (deletion request)

Inconsistencies in handling this issue on and off Commons:

User talk:Kritzolina#Photo challenges involving children.

Commons talk:Photo challenge/themes#Sleep.

Commons:Patient images (linked from photo challenge).

Middle schooler with Bangs.jpg: Middle schooler with bangs. (deletion request) The subject revoked their consent, according to the uploader; it is not clear whether that consent is actually revocable. See Commons:Patient images: Inform the subject their permission is not revocable.

Images that require consent due to the subject being in a private place per Commons:Photographs of identifiable people[edit]

Nude woman sunbathing. (deletion request)

Images that require consent per Commons:Country specific consent requirements but appear to lack consent[edit]

Two senior high school students sitting on an outdoor bench in Japan. This (presumably) requires consent per Commons:Country specific consent requirements#Japan. (deletion request)

As of 15 January 2023, this image is used at:

See also: User talk:Shāntián Tàiláng#Copying descriptions from Flickr.

Images that require consent per Commons:Country specific consent requirements but do not have confirmation of consent[edit]

Adolescent girl wearing a Japanese school uniform in cosplay at Comic World Seoul. As an image taken in South Korea, this requires consent per Commons:Country specific consent requirements. See User talk:Piotrus#File:Comic World Seoul October 2013 113.JPG.

Images with redacted faces[edit]

Cycling girl at Zuo'anmen (20211001163914).jpg. See User talk:Brianjd#Re:Cycling girl.

All information about this gallery is correct as of 15 January 2023. All uses are noted in the image captions displayed here, except for generic galleries and redirects; all references in the original descriptions to editing are also noted in the captions here. All faces are cut off at about nose level, or at about eye level (but never giving a good view of both eyes) for subjects who are wearing protective masks (except that Bottoms Up Expresso (Clovis, California) bikini barista (2).jpg and Bottoms Up Expresso (Clovis, California) bikini barista (9).jpg are even more restrictive, being cut off below and at the mouth, respectively).

All images were uploaded by NeoBatfreak, who claimed that the images were their own work. Also see a discussion on that user’s talk page about these images.

Images of patients[edit]

The patients’ faces are not clearly visible; those that are partly visible are covered by masks and blurry.

Images of homeless people[edit]

The subjects’ faces are not clearly visible; the ones facing the camera are partly visible but blurry.

(The same user also uploaded Homeless camp (Oakland, CA - 10th street, near Laney College).jpg and other images that are related to homelessness but do not show homeless people.)

Images of minors or school students[edit]

User talk:Brianjd#Permission from minors to use their likeness.

Детское творчество 2.jpg. Photo challenge winner. Apparently published without consent. See file talk page.

Tagged with a consent query, despite the subjects’ faces not being visible. Also, the image appears to be taken in public? See User talk:Berrely#Images of people without faces.

Helping penguin on the ice rink.jpg. Photo challenge entry. Check consent.
Akita 20150811 112953.jpg. Photo challenge entry. Check consent.
Three girls wearing Japanese school uniforms, presumably school students.

As of 15 January 2023, the back view is used at:

Regarding the back view, see also: Special:Diff/725292471, User talk:Cathy Richards#Category:Kogal, File talk:ギリギリ短 (15580964194).jpg, Commons:Graphics village pump#File:ギリギリ短 (15580964194).jpg: edited to shorten the skirts? and Special:Diff/649154000.

The front view has had the faces redacted.

School students on a field trip in Japan.

No privacy issues per Commons:Deletion requests/File:学校ジャージ 2010 (4693191289).jpg.

As of 15 January 2023, used at ko:저지 (옷) (archived in the Wayback Machine).

Images taken at pools or on beaches[edit]

Piscina Hotel Coral Suites.jpg. When zoomed in, some people are probably recognizable.
Barcelona Beach 2006 - panoramio.jpg. Demonstration of male green hair (and blue hair). Found while investigating the files Chris Dlugosz - mint hair (2451783403).jpg and Chris Dlugosz - mint hair (2451782583).jpg.

Other images[edit]

Ирокез 2.jpg. Photo challenge winner. Check description and consent.

Copyright[edit]

Inconsistencies in handling this issue on and off Commons:

Search engine reliability[edit]

Check for discussions of DuckDuckGo and TinEye reliability with Ikan Kekek.

Photo challenge theme ideas[edit]

These ideas will be converted into formal proposals when the example galleries have sufficient variety.

This might not be a good candidate for a photo challenge due to a lack of variety. Dyson has variety, but other manufacturers might not.

See Commons talk:Photo challenge/themes/Archive#Mailboxes.