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Flickrwashing is a major source of copyvios on Commons. We have two somewhat contradictory policies here:

  • Registered users, who may have long trusted histories within Wikimedia projects, have images they upload deleted if they do not meticulously apply the right copyright templates, or follow all of the steps in getting email confirmations of licensing from their friends and colleagues who send them media to share under a free license.
    Often users have their images deleted over their active protestation. User: "really, it is available under the right license. check my edit summary and info from the author." Deleter: "You admitted you weren't the author. We need to be FREE LICENSE PURE.
    It can only be added if you PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's not a copyvio, and an email from the author - through which s/he can be reached for clarification - explicitly recognizes the license it's being released under."
  • Unknown pseudonyms on the internet, who create accounts on sites such as Flickr and have no history of trusted contributions to any free knowledge project, are blindly trusted to understand copyright, not to simply toggle "CC-BY" as their default license and never look at it again; and not to intentionally upload copyrighted images under a claimed free license, for others to reuse. Their images are bot-imported without even confirming that the original Flickr account wasn't an image-spam or bot account, without user metadata about the original user, and without email confirmation from the original user that yes, they understand what it means to use a free license and that image was indeed theirs to share under such a license.
    often when it is pointed out that the original user doesn't seem to understand copyright, or seems to be a fan reposting Internet images they like, or has quickly had their account removed on Flickr, they are told to go away. User: "there doesn't seem to be good reason to believe this is freely licensed by its author, and there's no longer any way to reach the uploader" Defender: "It was once posted to Flickr by an account that used a default free license. NOTCENSORED.
    It can only be deleted if you PROVE beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is a copyvio, even if it looks suspicious. The ability to contact the author is unimportant."

Surely there's a happy medium between these two positions. I don't think either of them is healthy. --SJ+ 07:23, 5 September 2011 (UTC)