User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive/2013/3

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File:Paul Myners.jpg and File:JCA3 edited-1.jpg

Hi Jimmy,
this is just to let you know that after reading the above section and your correspondence to OTRS, and also after waiting the required 30 days, I nominated these two files for deletion. If you would like to take part in the deletion discussions, they are at, respectively, Commons:Deletion requests/File:Paul Myners.jpg and Commons:Deletion requests/File:JCA3 edited-1.jpg; you are, of course, also very welcome to provide proper permissions from the copyright holders; our usual release templates are available at Commons:Email templates. Thanks in advance, odder (talk) 22:33, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi Jimmy, I was attempting to clean out Category:OTRS received when I stumbled across File:JCA3 edited-1.jpg. I wonder if you could tell me whether the copyright holder (ie the photographer unless it was a work for hire, and I would gladly accept your word and that of Lord Arbuthnott if you both told me it was a work for hire) of the image has agreed to release it under the terms of the CC-By-SA license. If they have, then could you get them to say so in an email? That's all that's required. We require this of everybody, because part of Commons' mission is to provide free content for re-use outside of Wikimedia, and we have to be sure that the copyright holder understands that so there is no risk to future re-users and no risk of the copyright holder becoming upset at seeing their image re-used. I promise you, it is not bureaucracy for its own sake. I can also assure you that claims of "own work" get more scrutiny than you give us credit for.

I'm happy to discuss the general principle with you in more detail here, by email, or even by phone or in person if you want, and I would be happy for you to send any emails from Lord Arbuthnott (or whoever the copyright holder is) regarding licensing to me (hjmitchell at ymail dot com) and I will do the rest. Best, HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 21:30, 6 March 2013 (UTC)

Meanwhile, we have this NSFW picture quite likely posted to the Internet without the permission of the clearly identifiable person in the photo, by an account which had a terrible track record of copyvios. It is sourced to a deleted flickr account. That the Founder of Wikipedia and two Lords are subject to this kind of copyright paranoia may or may not be the correct policy. (It is not, but at least one might argue in favor of it plausibly.) But let us not pretend for even a moment that the policy is enforced consistently.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:47, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Come on, Jimmy. It's out of respect for you and all you've done that this conversation is happening in the first place. In any other case of a Wikimedian sending an email to OTRS that just stated that the copyright holder had given permission, the images would just be deleted, because we can't just take somebody's word for it. The community expects more of OTRS, and OTRS exists to cover not just our arses but the arses of our re-users so that, should the copyright holder cannot come back in the future and accuse us or a re-user of copyright infringement, we have proof that they agreed to the applicable license (or a least that we did due diligence if it turns out the permission was fraudulent). Both unlikely in this case, I agree, but we haven't received any correspondence from the two peers (unless there's another ticket I've missed), so we have no idea if they've agreed to this and they know what CC-By-SA means and they know it's irrevocable. As to consistent enforcement of policy, I delete images with problematic licenses, I decline deletion of unproblematic images, and in other cases, I ask the uploader for more information or refer the matter to a DR, but I can't be everywhere all the time, and I imagine the same is true of all admins. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:15, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Hi Jimmy, it's great that you have found an image that may be problematic. But if I may, instead of correlating it to a somewhat unrelated issue, could I please ask that in future you open a deletion request for the image, as outlined at COM:DR. On this single occasion, I have done this and you can participate at Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Gentlelife. In future, please do this yourself as this will bring the file to the attention of a larger audience, and will also give you the opportunity to get involved in our processes here at Commons; getting involved with the processes will enable you to see how Commons works firsthand, and may help you to understand other processes that we have in place. Cheers, russavia (talk) 12:20, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Don't be condescending. I know how commons works, first hand, and I'm commenting on it. I'd appreciate it if you'd not dodge the issue, and respond to my comment. Commons is broken, and one of the main ways that it is broken is the inconsistent enforcement of policy. It is well known that commons contains a large number of sexual images of very little value and with virtually no concern taken for the legal and moral status of the images. The one I mentioned above took me only a few seconds to find - there are literally hundreds like them. This is not an unrelated issue - it's about permissions for third party photos. One might draw the reasonable conclusion that commons is willing to accept the testimony of an account with repeated copyright violations linking to a deleted flickr account for permissions even for an image with serious and obvious BLP issues, but not willing to accept testimony from me, passing it along from people who are quite clearly respectable people, for images with no BLP issues of any kind. That's ridiculous, and stonewalling about it is not acceptable.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:41, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry you feel that way Jimmy, but the Commons you describe is not the Commons that I and many others know. russavia (talk) 13:21, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Everything I said was straightforwardly factual, and simply denying it with absolutely no evidence to the contrary is not even remotely persuasive to any rational person. See below for another example - a explicit sexual image showing a face, with no mechanism in place to ensure the permission of the model, the age of the model, the copyright status of the photo, etc. That's extremely common.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:03, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
The funny thing is that you demand Jimbo to jump over the extra obstacle that is OTRS just for bureaucracy's sake, while at the same time you comment on a separate OTRS case, saying that it is "pointless" and that you're "not sure why we have forced them to jump over those extra obstacles like a show pony". But I'm sure that was a totally different case. --Conti| 13:41, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
It was a different case yes, because the author of the flickr account made their photos available by a CC licence, which due to watermarks on the images they changed to a non-valid Commons licence. The fact there was evidence the photos were available under a free licence, plus the fact the author came to Commons to affirm that they had no problem with their photos being used under that licence, in my mind made the OTRS a bit of an unnecessary step, but at the same time perhaps it may be useful to someone else down the track. But given all the available evidence at that time, it was probably a tad unnecessary. russavia (talk) 13:46, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
And in my case, you have ample evidence that the images are under the license I said they were under, too. Better evidence than what is demanded in virtually all other cases. Anyone can upload a picture of a penis, call it their "own work", and there you go. No questions asked. It's completely absurd.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:55, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Well the difficulty with verifying "own work" claims, whether they're "own work" uploaded to Commons or to an external site, is fundamental to a public media repository like Commons. The claim can sometimes be disproven or rendered improbable, but rarely verified. (Consider, for instance, how often commercial sources falsely claim copyright on PD images - so it's not like we can even always trust commercial sources.) I've only paid attention to these issues for a year or two, but surely you must have been aware of them for far longer? It's unavoidable that at some point you have to take someone's "I made this"/"I own the copyright" word for it; the question is what sort of standards of evidence we want to apply to back up such claims. If you want to increase the standards, specify. Rd232 (talk) 23:42, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

Didn't you lose all your Commons permissions over deleting artworks by major artists that had sexual content in a failed effort to placate Fox News? And now, instead of just providing information asked for, you'd rather refight the battle that caused you to crash and burn. Rather sad. Adam Cuerden (talk) 18:27, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't think that is an adequate representation of events. Ottava Rima (talk) 01:20, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Didn't you lose all your Commons permissions over ... - no, but this situation and more generally, what Commons has become, seems like a pretty good reason for Jimmy to take those permissions back and do something with them.Volunteer Marek (talk) 02:10, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
I'm extremely unlikely to do that. But I do think that a fair number of people should be banned or desysopped here and some policies should be changed significantly. This took me just a few moments to find and the problems with it are transparently obvious. The flickr image link is dead. It was scraped from flickr with no concern for the privacy of the woman pictured. Does she even know her private photos are on the Internet? We don't know. Did we require the uploader to give any sort of proof at all? No, we did not. Is any of this consistent with the Foundation's policy? No, it isn't.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:54, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
I occasionally browse through such pictures and nominate the most blatant ones for deletion, like I did yesterday. I came across that very image, too, but decided not to nominate it because - compared to other images I nominated - this one has a very low chance of being deleted. Seriously. As long as the Flickr account says or implies that the images are his (or hers), and we have no crystal clear evidence to the contrary, there's usually no way to get such images deleted. Even when (and that's the case here) the image in question is not available any longer, and the Flickr page clearly states that such images are not available to the public any longer. --Conti| 12:08, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, I have to hop in and say that unless you (you you, or you the WMF, whatever it is) actually do something by fiat here, then nothing will change. It isn't just a problem with a few images here and a few there; this place has a fundamental problem in culture at the top. It doesn't have to mean that the concept of the ol' "web 2.0" is a failure, it'd be an acknowledgement that sometimes a course-correction is needed, and it needs to be blown up and started again. The wrong people got their hands on the power reins here at Commons, Jimbo. We all see that. Tarc (talk) 13:20, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo, I support your concerns wholeheartedly, but you must know by now that the WMF's statement on images of identifiable people is not given any credence here and is certainly not considered "policy". I was reminded the other day that COM:IDENT is only a guideline and not a policy. It is time for the WMF to take a hard look at the current state of Commons and decide if this is what it had in mind when it started the project. If they are waiting for the community to change things, I think they have waited long enough to see how that's going. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:53, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
Jimbo, I've pointed out the same thing and was harassed across project for it. I have campaigned against the flickr scrapping, the lack of privacy, etc. and have been warned, blocked, etc. You once criticized those like myself for block logs that came from standing up for the very things you are saying should happen. We were out numbered. It is obvious that the people you once thought were trolls were not the ones that were. You can still fix this. Ottava Rima (talk) 21:57, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

FWIW, I made Commons:Requests for comment/images of identifiable people late last year (which led to some improvements, but it's run out of steam) and Commons:WikiProject Identifiable People. If anyone with an interest in these topics wants to try and drive things forward, there are threads to pick up there. Also there was recently a major redraft of the COM:IDENT guideline which people may not be aware of.

Since this is Jimbo's page, I'll observe that one area where the WMF could actually help (without getting hands-on with policies in a way it's not supposed to) is with clarifying legal advice on the status of consent requirements in different countries, since local consent requirements are one of the key issues in the guideline. Rd232 (talk) 22:50, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

COM:PEOPLE says nothing about the burden of proof (that permission is given). I think there was a draft proposed many years ago that tried to set a sliding scale of burden depending on how serious the risk was, but it didn't succeed in gaining support. It is time to reconsider how we judge proof of consent, and the responsibilities we place on the uploader (and Flickr approver perhaps) with the same consequences as for folk who upload copyright infringements. And Flickr scraping does indeed seem to be problematic. Colin (talk) 13:29, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
here is the proposal from 4 years ago. Colin (talk) 13:32, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo

I heard you were married, congratulations.

There is a discussion someone else started on the Admin noticeboard which discusses those Whambo parodies on Dr Blofelds userpage, and other parodies of you. The high price of fame I guess. Penyulap 21:53, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Take a deep breath. Lean back from the computer keyboard. Think about the state of the world. Think about your life and your place in the world. Consider whether in 10 years you might be happier if you spent your time doing something kind, thoughtful, and benevolent, rather than wasting people's time on nonsense. This is my personal advice to you, you may take it or leave it as you wish.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:02, 11 March 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, it is about perspective, I like the movie 'hitman' where this guy has someone stuck in a bathtub with 2,000 amps or something about to go through him on a timer and all that jazz, and then at the end of a long explanation of 'you will die die die' he pops a rubber duckie into the bathtub 'just to keep things in perspective'. It's hilarious.
I think if perspective equates to humour I probably have too much. I like humour, I think I turn most stress into humour and so some people don't get that because they turn stress into hostility.
What do you do with your stress ? I don't see much of it from you and can't see a great deal of humour coming out, though that's probably a good thing that you don't spout humour like I do :) people would think you're crazy.
Hey, what about this Dr Blofeld guy ? should I make parodies of him for your page :D
like, Dr Blofeld Versus 007 sort of thing where they are using wikipedia to fight each other ? you can be like 007 trying to thwart his evil efforts at AfD and so on, while he undermines the 'pedia.
Ahh, boring. The thing is, that there is a lot of parody and stuff out there, memes, even stuff about your public image, especially the fundraising, and I'm like, why does wikipedia have to suck and be second place to anyone else ? why can't we 'show them how it is done' why shouldn't the very best humour and memes and so on be here. It's like, some of my stuff I think people DR it just because it looks good, and therefore must be commercial and therefore no permission.
I tell you what would be seriously cool, if I could make the requests for Dr Blofeld (I didn't like that Borat one, but I kind-of revised and fixed it a bit) and I could make my own stuff, like the 1984 one (spooky the WER logo is exactly the same as INGSOC logo eh ?) and send it to you so you can consider it and see if you like it, and then only publish stuff you don't completely hate. In the past, I'm always careful not to overstep the law or morality, like I don't make ones of non public figures and don't make you suck too much :) although I think the Putin riding the meteor one in retrospect might have made you look not so fantastic, but choices are limited for free images, and you know, the humour value weighed against the small cost... Actually, I went looking for a buff torso for you for ages to give you a Rambo look for Whambo part 2, but I couldn't find anything I could use, I think I found some guns, but no t-shirted shoulders bare sort of thing like Stallone. Bummer.
Oh, and I'm still on the lookout for a picture of someone with their arms held out like a T shape with their body, so I can pop your face onto it, and then CGI a titanic under you with the wikipedia logos on the titanic, like in the movie where they are on the bow :) I'm diabolical, I really am :D Penyulap 04:51, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

When in doubt I just ask, that works really well for me. Some people love to speculate about what other people think, and do speculate, I see a lot of that on here. I don't go for it, I just track down whoever owns the rights to whatever image or website it is and email them. Most of the time make friends as well. From the first image I uploaded, from Chris Peat who owns heavens-above to the last one, Heather, who makes a lot of horsie pictures. Well, you might have some thing where you figure you're too public a figure to say squat, but I choose to think it's stage-fright talking to such a great artist such as myself. So I figure asking if you like or don't like a requested work or an image I made of my own accord, is probably too complicated for you to simply answer. Maybe too many cameras or stage fright, so I won't bother asking about that anymore. Penyulap 13:02, 16 March 2013 (UTC)


This evening I was looking for a photo of a toddler crying while holding ice cream. I found one on Google, so mission accomplished.

But I thought, gee, I wonder what we have in commons. So I went to Category:Toddlers and clicked on the first picture that caught my eye. This one. Ah, look, it's from flickr. Ah, look, I click on the flickr link and the photo has been made private. The photo is a perfectly normal family photo of absolutely no particular artistic or educational merit. The room is a mess. The boys look wonderful and darling, as children often do. It has their names in the description and the filename. Why did the parents delete it? We don't know. Was the picture actually uploaded by the parents, or a thoughtless family friend? We don't know. Do we have any means of determining such a thing? No, we don't.

I'm not (at this moment) proposing deletion of this particular file, because under the bizarre rules of commons where I, founder of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation, can get direct and clear authorization from a member of the House of Lords for a photo used in an article with no BLP implications (the subject is requesting that the photo be used, and it's a perfectly normal portrait) and testify to such to OTRS and that's insufficient and will likely lead to deletion, I think that this - scraped off a random flickr account, then made private in that flickr account - is likely to be regarded as sufficient evidence of copyright status, BLP status, and educational value. That's the stark raving mad contradiction at commons that I am asking people to consider.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:57, 12 March 2013 (UTC)

I don't think you're taking into account how COM:IDENT and its enforcement has been evolving and still is evolving. I think the WMF resolution helped push things in the right direction, but there is literally years of a lax attitude to undo, both in terms of the culture and in terms of the backlog of older uploads no-one's looked at with a COM:IDENT eye. We need to do more, but there's no need to be defeatist. (And linking it with your own permission issues is a bit narcissistic; you're a special case because the identity of your account isn't in doubt. I've explained this to you before, and you denied wanting special treatment, but the treatment you want can't generally be extended to others, so... ) Rd232 (talk) 23:32, 12 March 2013 (UTC)
It's been nominated for deletion, which is probably a good thing considering the alternatives.
I for one think a wave of editors giving kids ice cream and smacking them while taking photos is a questionable expenditure of effort. Penyulap 05:02, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Parents make photos of their kids private when they find them being added to favourites which are unsavoury/creepy. Mostly they don't realize what is happening. John lilburne (talk)
COM:PEOPLE warns that Commons has greater exposure than a personal Flickr stream, and to consider the circumstances. Perhaps it could be clearer about clearly private family photos probably not being meant for global exposure. I agree there is an attitude on Commons to grab anything that is appropriately licensed, and to be unforgiving of possible mistakes wrt wrong licence choice or wrong privacy settings. Colin (talk) 13:17, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I think the concept of "informed consent" may be worth exploring; particularly with Flickr uploads, I think it's quite common for people not to understand the full implications of what they're formally committing to. Rd232 (talk) 16:26, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Of course, first we would have to allow people to have their images deleted again even if they licensed them under a free license previously. --Conti| 16:34, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
It is better to just not have any flickr transfers, because flickr can easily be lied about. For historical paintings, I have to prove that the age and the rest is correct. Flickr washers have to do nothing. The same people tend to be the ones adding porn and connected to other problematic areas. Ottava Rima (talk) 23:26, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
I tend to agree. If it were up to me, I'd have a one-year moratorium on Flickr imports while we figure out what to do with this issue. Rd232 (talk) 00:06, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
1 Penyulap 11:43, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Penyulap: Deleted. Bidgee (talk) 13:14, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, one more drop in the ocean at least. Penyulap 13:02, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

"Ample evidence…"

Jimmy: you wrote above — with regards to the deletion requests for File:Paul Myners.jpg and File:JCA3 edited-1.jpg — that, quote, "And in my case, you have ample evidence that the images are under the license I said they were under (...)." I am very sorry to see that this statement does not appear true.

After being asked to provide OTRS permission for this picture, you sent a message to the permission queue "certifying" that the picture was released by the copyright holder under CC-BY-SA. After the image was deleted, and possibly after reading the above discussion, a Commons user contacted VisualMedia, the copyright holder of File:Paul Myners.jpg, with a question about the copyright status of this picture.

Here's what we heard from a representative of VisualMedia: "(…) We’re happy for the image to be used of Paul Myners for his Wikipedia profile but wouldn’t be happy to extend the license to allow usage of the media file by anyone, for any purpose as this will fall outside of the license agreement for this image."

Would you mind clarifying what were the reasons for you uploading this picture as CC-BY-SA on Commons, when we clearly see that the copyright holder did not agree for the picture to be used for (at the very least) commercial purposes? Also, do you still think that the Commons policy requiring written evidence being sent to OTRS is, quote, "senseless"? I would appreciate hearing your opinion on this matter. Thanks, odder (talk) 23:29, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

Commons policy requiring written evidence being sent to OTRS is not senseless. It makes a lot of sense. What is senseless, however, is the fact that you can just claim "own work" or link to random Flickr accounts and circumvent OTRS that way. That so much effort is taken to make sure that these few images uploaded by Jimbo are in line with policy, and yet so little (none, practically) effort is taken to make sure porn images uploaded by throwaway accounts are in line with Commons policy, that's senseless. --Conti| 23:41, 13 March 2013 (UTC)
What's the alternative? It's easy to describe the problem, less so to come up with workable solutions. Rd232 (talk) 00:07, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Have higher standards for porn images, for starters. Don't allow brand new accounts to upload porn, period. Have all porn images with identifiable people on it go through OTRS. Make it mandatory to ask people on Flickr if they're okay with having their images on Commons before taking their porn images. Hell, make that a habit for every image coming from Flickr. Don't allow porn images with the sole source of "own work", ever. --Conti| 00:24, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Hm, whilst applying any new, stricter policies is always a nightmare in terms of the backlog of old files (cf eg URAA copyright backlog :( ), and something of a headache for increased workload for new files, those sound like potentially useful ideas to develop. What would be a good way to take it forward? COM:VPR perhaps? Rd232 (talk) 16:24, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
COM:VPR might work. I'm fairly skeptical in general, but it's sure worth a try. --Conti| 16:36, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with your suggestion but how workable will it be, do we date it back to photographs already uploaded? Maybe it is time to start looking at having "model release" forms that photographers (even trusted contributors [needs to be a level playing field]) must submit to OTRS for photographs taken in a "private" setting but again, like your suggestion, it is the "how workable is it" question. Bidgee (talk) 02:33, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
We have to start somewhere, don't we? We can't just not do anything because the alternatives would take too much work. Even if we do all what I suggested, there is still a lot of work ahead of us, and there will still be tons of ways to easily game the system. Doesn't mean we shouldn't start at some point. --Conti| 12:58, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Could we keep these issues separate? I believe Odder wants Jimmy's opinion on his case at this point. I too would like to hear his explanation, given that many editors in this community went above and beyond what we would for any other editor (so, yes, we did treat him differently to others), and all we got in return was a heap of aggression from him. Not cool Jimmy. russavia (talk) 14:00, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
Hi Jimmy — it's been over a week since you closed this thread and wrote that you were tracking down the source of confusion; have there been any news about this? Did you manage to contact the copyright holders of this image? For now, I am reopening this thread so it doesn't get lost.[1] Please let us know about any updates. Thanks, odder (talk) 13:17, 25 March 2013 (UTC)