The center for all Wikitravel images!

Talk:Image policy

From Wikitravel Shared
Jump to: navigation, search

Image sizes[edit]

I upped the limits on files sizes to reflect reality a little more. Let me know if there's anything wrong here. --Evan 12:29, 11 January 2007 (EST)

Looks works well. Riggwelter 19:03, 30 March 2007 (EDT)

People in photos[edit]

I think that the image policy item when it concerns people in photo's must be reviewed and preferably scrapped. As a tourist, it is virtually impossible to visit any attraction and take a picture without catching other people in the image...and the idea of asking them for permission to publish the image on Wikitravel is not reasonable. I do not think we need to be quite so paranoid about people in images. We can see it as something worth working for, but to see it as a major obstacle for publishing a photograph - no. Riggwelter 19:03, 30 March 2007 (EDT)

I wonder if the people from travel magazines or books always ask the people they take photographs of. I doubt it. --Flip666 writeme! • 09:21, 31 March 2007 (EDT)
Yes, but people working for a magazine know that it's going to be in only one magazine. Wikitravel guides are Open Source; they can and will be distributed far and wide, and our ability to control that distribution is pretty limited. We owe it to our downstream distributors to be diligent in clearing the rights to the works we publish, and we owe it to people who get their photos taken to protect their privacy. Because our guides are open source, the consequences are amplified significantly if we are sloppy.
You don't have to worry about unrecognizable people in a photo, or people in a crowd. But if the person is the main subject of the photo, in most countries they have a right to control how their image is published. I don't want my image published without permission, and I assume most people here don't either. We need to treat everyone with that same respect that we'd treat each other. --Evan 21:36, 31 March 2007 (EDT)
But of course! The person is not supposed to be the main content of the image anyway - which, I admit, is stated rather clearly in the policy. The reason I wanted to discuss this was that I felt that we were about start some crusade on all images with people in it, judging by the contribs to the travellers' pub. However, I was way too radical when I said that we should scrap the policy bit regarding people. Of course we should not, but the case needed clarification. A photographer could of course be working for an agency, thereby able to sell the image to plenty of various sources, which would mean a huge distribution and less control. That needs to be taken into consideration too. However, respect is of course the key issue. Riggwelter 05:28, 1 April 2007 (EDT) ...consider the "face in the crowd" picture shown and discussed earlier. In both cases, the subjects are identifiable, but there's another common element: they are either on public land, or are freely visible from public land. When such a condition exists, a new twist comes into play: Fair Use. This is actually a fairly complicated legal term that refers to many things. In the context of this discussion, one of the definitions of fair use includes a condition in which a person cannot assume a degree of privacy because he's in public space, which means that he can be photographed (and cannot stop the process).

Another of the Fair Use definitions is the use of copyrighted materials on public display. For example, a statue in a public square, or a painting on a wall in a public building are both copyrighted by the artists that made them. However, because they are in public space, you are free to photograph them, and to license those photos for editorial use without being subject to copyright infringement. Take note: the use is editorial, which means you can license the photo to a newspaper, but not to a company for use in an ad.Seth1066 14:05, 27 April 2007 (EDT)

This is precisely why we do not allow images uploaded here under terms of "fair use." According to our copyleft, all images must be reusable by anyone in any context, provided they give attribution to the authors. This includes the right for a company to use our images in an ad. --Peter Talk 13:06, 8 September 2007 (EDT)
Umm, no. "Fair use" is a copyright term, which means the limited re-use of others' copyrighted material for certain purposes even without permission. This concerns a "reasonable expectation of privacy" (or lack thereof), which is entirely unrelated. I've reverted your deletion and fixed the wording. Jpatokal 22:34, 10 September 2007 (EDT)
I'm not sure I understand your point. Fair use relates to limited reuse for certain purposes, whereas our copyleft requires that all content here be reusable without any limitations aside from proper attribution, for any purpose. The text I deleted was arguing that we can use content incompatible with our copyleft. But regardless, I don't have any problem with the text you have added to the image policy; I agree that the privacy issue has nothing to do with fair use. --Peter Talk 22:51, 10 September 2007 (EDT)
The CC license controls the copyright of the picture, it doesn't have any say on privacy rights. I can take a picture of you and, as the copyright holder of the picture, license it under CC by-sa 2.0. Somebody can take that picture, caption it "This guy eats babies" and publish it on the front page of the New York Times. As far as copyleft is concerned, that's perfectly OK; as far as privacy rights are concerned, it's not.
Let's continue this on Talk:Privacy rights. Jpatokal 00:19, 11 September 2007 (EDT)

Why two different English language image policies?[edit]

Any reason not to merge en:Wikitravel:Image policy into Shared:Image policy then redirect the former to the latter? ~ 08:32, 10 October 2007 (EDT)

Flickr, Privacy policy, etc.[edit]

We have been having this longstanding discussion about people in photos and recently we had a debate about Flickr users changing their licensing. These two elements have come together in an interesting case [1]. A photographer took a photogaph of a teenaged girl and published it on flickr using a cc license. The photographer was a friend of the girl and the photo was innocent. Virgin Mobile in Australia used the photo in an ad campaign.

The girl's parents have sued Virgin for violating her privacy and causing her emotional distress by having her image plastered in hoardings all over Australia. (also, as you can imagine, an ad campaign by Virgin will have some kind of pun on the word "virgin") They also accuse Virgin of infringing copyright even though the hoardings come with a URL going to the flickr user's homepage. I am not sure what the grounds are, exactly - perhaps the claim is that the licensing terms were not mentioned in the hoardings... Now when I go back to the photographer's page on Flickr, he seems to have changed all his licenses to "all rights reserved" and has made the specific photo private.

I think that this is more of a privacy policy issue than a copyright issue... And from what I understand, model release issues are hugely dependent on the specific context in which the images are used. It is entirely possible that an innocent image on Wikitravel causes no issues, but if the same image is published on the cover page of a Wikitravel Press book, it turns into a lawsuit. Also, we accept assertions from the contributers that a "verbal model release has been obtained". It might well be true, but it will not be clear what the model release is for. I think we need to think long and hard about protecting Wikitravel and also its downstream users, and we should also make sure to add proper disclaimers where it is clear that we cannot protect them. — Ravikiran 03:22, 1 November 2007 (EDT)

Yes, I think the main point here is that it was the downstream user (Virgin) that is at fault and at the receiving end of the lawsuit. It does seem that Virgin was in full compliance with copyright laws, but not privacy laws. I do think that mistake is an easy one to make though, which is one reason why I favor keeping our content as universally free as possible—rather than allowing content that we can use for editorial purposes, but which downstream users could get in trouble for using. The bulk of the discussion here about this was at Talk:Privacy rights for anyone interested. As far as the photographer has "changed the licensing" on flickr, that won't have any bearing on the case or the "real licensing" of the photo, as the Creative Commons licenses are irrevocable. So we could still use it here ;) --Peter Talk 03:48, 1 November 2007 (EDT)

Wikimedia images[edit]

I'm really surprised that Wikimedia images can't be used on this project. It's such a major failing that it's just about a show-stopper for a travel wiki.

The whole point of Wikimedia is that it provides free, reusable images. Rights-controlled images are discouraged on Wikimedia. While I appreciate there are some risks, a blanket ban on Wikimedia content is a blunt instrument for managing rights issues. It's illogical and counter-productive. There are bots and things that can help in policing stuff like rights.

Worse still, it takes away a vital component for writing a travel wiki. I'm a major Wikipedia contributor and also to Wikimedia. To think that I have to go and upload images to yet another website is a deterrent to using this site.

Not a good policy, I recommend serious review! -- 07:18, 1 November 2007 (EDT)

Sorry mate, but we're not a part of Wikimedia. We're an independent community with Internet Brands as the owner of the site, domain, and trademark. We use the CC-by-SA 1.0 license and our images must also be CC-by-SA 1.0 licensed or public domain. The reason you can't use Wikimedia files on Wikitravel is because Wikitravel is not a part of the WM Foundation. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 07:42, 1 November 2007 (EDT)
I seriously doubt you understood each other. IP obviously meant images on Wikimedia Commons by "Wikimedia images". With the exception of copyrighted WMF logos, those images don't belong to Jimbo or the WM Foundation at all, but to the respective rights owner or to the general public (in case of PD). Commons simply is a deposit for those images. It is an indispensable requirement for images put on Commons to be free for commercial use. Any image that can't also be used commercially has no place on Commons. Due to personality rights (not copyright) there may be restrictions in case of images of identifiable living persons, but that has little relevancy on WikiTravel. Anybody can use those images, provided the required copyright remarks are respected. Therefore, at least any image on Commons licensed by CC-by-SA 1.0 IMHO could be used on WikiTravel. Someone experienced in CC licenses might check whether that is also true for images carrying newer CC-by-SA license. Of course, if you took the image by yourself, it would make more sense to upload it to Commons and to WikiTravelShared. -- Túrelio 04:25, 19 February 2008 (EST)

Flickr license changing[edit]

Here we are again... another image is up for vfd, that I uploaded myself and know was ccbysa 2.0 when I uploaded it from Flickr. The user has now changed it to all rights reserved, which doesn't take away our right to use the image, but leaves us with no proof that it was ever ccbysa. What to do? I proposed it slightly before, but I'll do it louder this time: I think we need screen grabs of the flickr page to also be uploaded and linked to from the images. Unless someone has a better idea – cacahuate talk 19:14, 22 November 2007 (EST)

I don't think this is something we need to do, as in the case of a suit, it would be the uploader's liability and they could just subpoena flickr's records to prove their case. And needing to take screenshots (and to upload them as well) would seriously increase the amount of time it takes to raid flickr for photos—enough extra time where I would stop. Lastly, shared now actually does get some attention, and we've been pretty good about reviewing recently added photos—vfds are only likely to arise regarding older photos, which were uploaded long before the flickr user changed their displayed licensing. In these cases, so long as someone can vouch that the image was properly licensed, we should not delete it. --Peter Talk 21:23, 22 November 2007 (EST)
FWIW, instead of reinventing the wheel, check out the Commons:Flickr_images and its Talk page over on Wikimedia Commons. Basically, they've concluded that all Flickr images have to verified either by an admin, or by a bot, so copying that bot over to us might be a nice option. Jpatokal 22:21, 22 November 2007 (EST)
That's a great idea... a bot would obviously be ideal, but until one is written, how about creating a verification box template to be placed on the photo's page by an admin? – cacahuate talk 04:52, 23 November 2007 (EST)

Bump -- given the spate of dodgy Flickr images recently revealed on IFD, I really think we need to get this bot running here as well. The source code link is broken, but I've contacted the admin, and also asked him if he'd be willing to run it on WT as well. Jpatokal 23:24, 12 May 2009 (EDT)

Copyrighted images for special cases[edit]

So, I would like to propose that Wikitravel allow uploading copyrighted images for two special cases:

  1. Permission letters and model releases. For example, I now have a PDF file where the Tourism Authority of Thailand licenses their content under CC by-sa 1.0. This should obviously be posted on Wikitravel — but it doesn't mean the letter (incl. their logo, stamps and more) are CC-licensed.
  2. Pictures on home pages. For example, if you want to stick your mug on your home page, but don't want Virgin Mobile plastering it on billboards.

All in favor? Jpatokal 07:48, 12 February 2008 (EST)

Ay – cacahuate talk 22:25, 15 February 2008 (EST)

Yes. Riggwelter 07:54, 16 February 2008 (EST)

Aye. Gorilla Jones 23:53, 20 February 2008 (EST)

Though that looks somewhat like an insider discussion with a lot of information missing, I have to add a grain of salt.
Pictures on home pages are generally copyrighted (if not stated otherwise) and if you use them without permission of the rights owner you perform a copyright infringment.
Another real-world problem is, that images on personal homepages often are "stolen" from elsewhere; so would have to check whether the image was really made by the homepage owner himself. Though the rights owner may not sue the owner of an insignificant homepage, he surely will sue WikiTravel because it is owned by a large company. -- Túrelio 04:43, 19 February 2008 (EST)
Nono -- I mean uploading a picture you own for use on your Wikitravel homepage. Grabbing random images from random homepages is, of course, not acceptable. Jpatokal 08:43, 19 February 2008 (EST)

I plunged forward and created Template:Copyrighted. Comments re: the wording? Jpatokal 09:01, 19 February 2008 (EST)

Looks good, and I agree that it's a good idea to have this option. But should we perhaps change the disclaimer at the bottom of all pages, which reads "Content is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0," to something more nuanced? Clearly, not all of our content is Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0. --Peter Talk 12:06, 19 February 2008 (EST)
Yeah, definitely, what about just removing the 1.0? Where should we move this convo too before we fly off on a tangent? – cacahuate talk 00:56, 21 February 2008 (EST)
Yes, lets continue this tangent at MediaWiki talk:Copyright#Nuance. --Peter Talk 01:10, 21 February 2008 (EST)

Images automatically licensed as cc-by-sa-1.0?[edit]

copied from en:Wikitravel talk:Votes for deletion

...continued from Image:Asia 2006 156.jpg

Guidelines? What guidelines? But as far as I know, no periods of time are mentioned anywhere, and going through the {{dont know}} tag stage seems to be optional. I've been adding {{vfd}} tags to images that already have {{dont know}} tags, and adding {{dont know}} tags to images with no licence. ~ 18:21, 31 January 2008 (EST)
No reason - but then my conclusion that the incorrectly licensed images should be deleted doesn't seem to be universally acceptable. Not sure if there is some plan afoot to somehow legitimize the 'no license' images as well. --Wandering 18:29, 31 January 2008 (EST)
It doesn't matter that it's not universally accepted. All that matters is that after 5 weeks of debate they have not, by any stretch of the imagination, been "proven innocent". ~ 18:54, 31 January 2008 (EST)
Since you seem to be flitting around more than everyone else, do you get a sense that there are huge numbers of images that are licensed by cc-by-sa other than 1.0? There seem to be three or four listed in this page which is not a huge amount (I assume, no one wants the unlicensed ones) and I'm wondering why we have this panic (we are headed for disaster) thing going on. I get the feeling that there's a subtext here that I'm missing and wonder if you have an insight into this. (Insights from other admins seem to be in short supply.) --Wandering 22:28, 31 January 2008 (EST)
Could be that most of us are feeling the same way, what are we missing?. I for one don't see any huge issue here, we have always removed invalidly licensed material as we come across them and as far as I can see we have been doing a good job. If this vfd page contains all (or most) of the invalid licensed material in wikitravel then we have been keeping it quite clean. I can't see any reason for doom and gloom and a sudden rush to clean all up at once, but since Tweak (If I may use the name Sapphire assigned to feels the need to list all now, I'm happy to work through them as usual. Even if all these are deleted, the impack on WT as a whole is minimal. --Nick 02:34, 1 February 2008 (EST)
Relatively speaking, no, there aren't that many with incompatible licences. I'm going to VFD them all now: #CC-by-SA-2.0 (13 images), #CC-by-SA-2.5 (67 images), #CC-by-SA-3.0 (2 images). ~ 04:37, 1 February 2008 (EST)
To put that in perspective, 8,349 files have been uploaded (Feb.1st 2008). Also bear in mind that of those 82 images, some are not linked to from anywhere, some are only linked to from Talk pages or "joke" articles, some are only linked to from User pages (presumably it's not unreasonable to expect that they be re-licenced), and some are copyvios; and some are just really bad photos. Of the rest, many have been uploaded by their creators and it would be simple enough for the uploader/creator to re-licence them. ~ 07:11, 1 February 2008 (EST)
Well, let's try to put some closure to this. It seems to me that there is some sort of consensus that we should delete the improperly licensed pictures. To summarize the discussion above: Jpatokal wanted to keep the pictures but only because there was no consensus. So, let's set Jpatokal aside for now and see if we have a consensus.,, Wandering, Nick, (assuming .4 and .6 are different) feel that these images should be deleted if we've done our bit in trying to correct the license. User feels we should keep them if the licensing requirements are met and delete them otherwise. I think it is quite clear that higher licenses don't satisfy our requirements because only Peter has argued to keep them and even his options require a change in our licensing system which implies that these pictures do not match our current licensing requirements. I'd say there is a consensus to delete improperly licensed pictures (pictures with licenses other than cc-by-sa-1.0). Agreed? --Wandering 13:45, 1 February 2008 (EST)
You misrepresent my arguments above, presumably because you did not understand them. I argued that we clarify the text of our copyleft to match our day-by-day practices, not to change our site's licensing, which is a different issue altogether. You are conflating discussions and have not understood the issues at hand here. --Peter Talk 13:39, 6 February 2008 (EST)
I also assume no one will argue that we should keep unlicensed ones. I notice that some of the pictures posted without a license are copyrighted elsewhere and due diligence says we should remove unlicensed ones post haste. Agreed? --Wandering 13:45, 1 February 2008 (EST)
No, not agreed on any of that. First, it's not an issue of "improperly licensed" images, it's an issue of whether some correctly licensed images can be used on Wikitravel. Second, there is no such thing as an "unlicensed" image, there are only CC by-sa 1.0 images without explicit tags. (Everything I uploaded before we even invented license tags, for example.) Third, the proper place or venue for this policy discussion is not VFDs, but the Talk page, where eg. Cacahuate has also expressed his support for keeping CC >1.0 images. Jpatokal 03:01, 3 February 2008 (EST)
Could someone put a link from the Viking discussion above to this section so that everyone knows we're reaching a consensus? Thanks! Trust a picture about Vikings in a Storm to cause a storm! --Wandering 13:45, 1 February 2008 (EST)
Regarding Wanderings suggestion that we delete all unlicensed images:Old farts like me may pop up again, knowing NOTHING about wikiways, but willing to contribute comments on a lifetime of travel as well as a few photos'. Those of us in the old farts club as well as others may not have a clue about licenses. So, if you do mark one "Dont know", give it 30 days for the contributor to figure it out before a deletion. As far as other ill licensed photos, I think it best to get rid of them and clean up the project. Jani contibutes some of the best images on the site, and is one of the more wikiways informed. For some reason, a number of his photos have no license nor have had a license. I would not want to loose any of them. Maybe he could comment on why he does that. (the new one on the front page is about as good as we get, but has no license????????) 2old 11:11, 2 February 2008 (EST)
Makes sense to me (the 30 days part). Perhaps, at least for recently added pictures, we could drop a note in the users mailbox (a template would serve for this) letting them know that the image will be deleted in 30 days if cc-by-sa-1.0 is not selected. --Wandering 12:01, 2 February 2008 (EST)

OK, I'm starting to get pissed off here. Here's what it says and has said on Special:Upload for as long as I remember:

All uploaded images are automatically licensed under CC-by-SA 1.0.

Comprende? All uploaded images are automatically licensed under CC-by-sa 1.0. There is no such thing as a "Don't know" image, there are only untagged CC by-sa 1.0 images, and all these VFDs are null and void. Jpatokal 02:53, 3 February 2008 (EST)

Jpatokal, I'm sorry to hear that you're starting to get pissed off (though, I must admit, it is not at all clear to me why a fair discussion should make you angry). Anyway, the point is that wikitravel has an obligation to its contributers (as well as to downstream users of content) to take at least minimal steps in ensuring that images are not copyrighted elsewhere and that their use under a common cause commercial license is fair. If a user does not select a license, wikitravel should not blithely assume that it can be made available under a common cause license. If we accept your argument, then nothing in wikitravel should ever be deleted (all those copyvio deletions of text, etc.) because, again by your definition, everything contributed to wikitravel is automatically cc-by-sa-1.0. I could add the text of an entire book, upload songs perhaps, copy pictures freely from the internet, and you would assume that all this is kosher because we say that everything is cc-by-sa-1.0 by definition. That, I should think, is not a very responsible way of treating this enterprise. BTW, thanks for the tip on User:Cacahuate's contribution in the talk page. I'll take a look at it and add his views into this summary. I've also reduced the size of the quote above, it detracts from the discussion (makes this part look like a separate section). --Wandering 11:01, 4 February 2008 (EST)
That's not at all what I'm saying. If any image is a copyright violation, then it's a copyright violation regardless of what tag is placed on it, and can and should be dealt with as such.
So one more time. When any user uploads an image, they certify that it is available under the Creative Commons license. If there is reason to believe that this declaration is not true, whether out of malice, ignorance or stupidity, then the image should be deleted. However, for images like Image:IMG_0156.JPGs and Image:DSCF0039.JPG that have been VFD'd above, there's absolutely no reason to believe that these personal snapshots are not the work of the uploader.
You'll note that this is exactly the same thing as we do for text. Contributions are assumed to be legit by default, but we keep a close eye on dubious additions are promptly nuked. Jpatokal 11:40, 4 February 2008 (EST)
If in fact (and I have no reason to question) Jani is correct that uploaded images are automatically licensed under CC-by-sa 1.0, then when contribtors upload images, the images should be automatically tagged CC-by-sa 1.0. In my non-wiki life I have to deal with lawyers on a reular basis. They have advised me numerous times, not to create arguable situations. Jpatokal as a community leader needs to have a bit more patience with this sort of situation and act as a counsel in these matters and others. If he is actually getting pissed off, anger management classes may be in the future. Remember, creative people are always the first to go crazy. If we can not automatically tag untagged photos, then I support the idea to tag them Dont know, advise the contributor, wait 30 days and then delete. I think the tagging should be a voluntary action of the contributor, that would eliminate the arguable element from the situation/transaction.
You are welcome to suggest we change policy so that, in the future, images uploaded without an explicit license specified are deleted. I would even support you, as long as there's an easy way for that license to be specified while uploading, and all existing untagged images are tagged first. However, retroactively deleting thousands of images when they already have perfectly valid licenses is beyond senseless. Jpatokal 11:40, 4 February 2008 (EST)
Did you have an idea how to tag all existing untagged images are tagged first ? And, at this point I am still thinking Delete. Reason: I do not think an arbitrary license is valid. ( Guess it depends on where also.) 2old 12:06, 4 February 2008 (EST)
Easy-peasy: give me a list of untagged articles, and I'll run a script to tag them all.
And can you please explain to me what is unclear or arbitrary about All uploaded images are automatically licensed under CC-by-SA 1.0? Why is this any more unclear or arbitrary than All contributions to Wikitravel must be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0, which is what we require for text contributions? Jpatokal 12:46, 4 February 2008 (EST)
The text is clear, but when one finds an image unmarked for license as in Image:PLO FlagShop.JPG , one of my favorites, I would think it better if it was licensed rather than guessing. For me it would be a perfect POM, but may have been avoided due to license fears/questions. On wikitravel shared, it is common practice to mark unlicensed images VFD and for them to be deleted, (I have even been notified as such) so I thought the same applied here. Above you said "list of untagged articles" did you mean photos?. The dont know tag states Wikitravel cannot keep images without a statement that licenses them under terms permitting us to use them. That is in conflict with your side of the debate here, that All uploaded images are automatically licensed under CC-by-SA 1.0. My personal preference would be that I could contribute images to wikitravel, that could not be used by others, but that seems impossible. When it comes to photos, I really do not consider owning anything. It is simply something I have seen and I am sharing the view with others. That simple. Others may want to control the use, but in reality it is so difficult that even the thought is not worth while. So I guess one of my questions is, why even tag the Dont knows and why have they been deleted in the past under the same circumstances? 2old 14:01, 4 February 2008 (EST)

Wikitravel Shared has different wording in the upload box plus a license selector that forces the user to explicitly choose a license, and there was a fairly lengthy argument there as well about what to do with untagged images.

However, here on en:, the upload wording is unambiguous and there's no requirement for users to place a license tag nor are there any instructions for doing so. The "don't know" tag is a fairly recent invention and, based on a quick Google of the archives, it has never been used as a reason for VFD until Tweak came along.

So. I'm going to propose that we do the following:

  • All old untagged images are tagged CC by-sa 1.0 and removed from VFD (unless there are other reasons to suspect they're copyvio etc).
  • Special:Upload is modified to have the same license pulldown as Shared.
  • After these changes are done, any new untagged images will be tagged with "don't know" and listed for VFD.

All in favor? Jpatokal 23:12, 4 February 2008 (EST)

Jpatokal, I'm sorry, but the discussion above is completely at odds with your proposal. There is a lot of discussion above and it may be hard for you to read through everything so let me make it simple. The following users feel, and they have all made substantive arguments in favor, that images that are unlicensed or incorrectly licensed (cc-by-sa>1.0) should be deleted:,, Wandering, Nick,, and 2old. The users who want to keep the images are Jpatokal (though initially you did not express that view) and Peter. (User:Cacahuate's reasons for keeping are related to the need for a consensus and I assume he hasn't seen this discussion so I won't include him in the keep column.) Of the two in favor of keeping, Peter's view seems to be that the images are not properly licensed but should be kept for expedient reasons. You, Jpatokal, are the only user who feels that we have no responsibility towards our users in the matter of licensing.
Again, you completely misrepresent my above arguments, again presumably because you don't understand them (much less the issues being discussed). I do not think that >1.0 attribution-sharealike images are not properly licensed, that doesn't make sense to begin with, because all one needs to do to properly license a file as CC-by-SA is to indicate their intent to do so. Besides, that discussion has nothing to do with this one (again, because you don't understand the issues we are discussing, you have conflated several distinct discussions underway). This is a discussion merely of whether saving a file on a page where it says that you agree to certain terms by saving the file, actually does mean that the person agrees to those terms. It seems evident beyond reasonable objection that this is the case. --Peter Talk 13:39, 6 February 2008 (EST)
I find that comment genuinely offensive, and I expect an immediate apology. Jpatokal 12:27, 5 February 2008 (EST)
I'm sorry Jpatokal, but no apology is forthcoming. --Wandering 14:20, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Now I understand that you are a community leader but I hope you will see that the community is better served by discussing things (without shouting - I noticed that you, without comment, restored the big lettering in the quote above - and without aggression) and by being accepting of a viewpoint that may be at odds with your own. The success of wikitravel should be of more importance to you than the presence or non-presence of a few (or many) images that have been loaded onto wikitravel without a license and that wikitravel is then redistributing under a free common cause license. In case after case the courts have ruled that websites cannot hide behind 'we don't know' when it comes to copyright infringement and I ask you to consider how it will look when a downstream user, Wikitravel:Wikitravel Press is a good example, is sued for publishing copyright pictures and then Wikitravel:Wikitravel Press sues wikitravel for claiming that the picture was available under a free license and then wikitravel says "hey, we don't ask our users to choose a license we just assign them, sometimes years after the fact!" Wikitravel:Wikitravel Press will be fine but where will wikitravel be? I, for one, believe that I have a responsibility to wikitravel because my intellectual contributions are embodied in it. And, if you stopped shouting, getting angry, and being generally dismissive of other viewpoints, I hope you'll see it that way too. --Wandering 11:27, 5 February 2008 (EST)
The reason you think I'm "dismissive" of your arguments is that I find them completely and totally irrational, your renderings of other peoples' comments are tendentious at best, and you're conflating two completely separate issues (untagged and CC >1.0) to boot. But let me try asking you two questions.
Jpatokal, you can hold whatever opinion you like about the rationality of my arguments just like I can hold whatever opinions I like about the rationality of your arguments. However, neither of us own wikitravel, we are both contributers to this site, and it is NOT conducive to a meaningful discussion to shout, to show aggression, and be dismissive. I'm sorry you can't see that.--Wandering 14:20, 5 February 2008 (EST)
A) Are you satisfied with text contributions licensed by users hitting the "Save page" button below the text "All contributions to Wikitravel must be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0"? (yes/no)
B) Are you satisfied with image contributions licensed by users hitting the "Upload file" button below the text "All uploaded images are automatically licensed under CC-by-SA 1.0"? (yes/no)
Do what you want down the road. I feel that the user should ALWAYS explicitly select a license or, at the least, agree that the work is free of copyright and that he/she agrees to release it under a clearly specified common cause license (with one of those agree/disagree check boxes). However, that does not address the issue at hand, which is, what to do with images that have been previously uploaded without a license, or uploaded with an improper license. --Wandering 14:20, 5 February 2008 (EST)
<plants hand on face, drags it down slowly, takes deep breath>
The user does "agree that the work is free of copyright and that he/she agrees to release it under a clearly specified common cause license" — that's precisely what the text on Special:Upload quoted above in big bold letters means.
Can you please explain to me why you feel that the wording of A) is sufficient for this permission, and the wording of B) is not? Or should we delete all text ever written on Wikitravel as well? Jpatokal 21:58, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Also, let me spell out once more that any images that are copyright violations or are reasonably suspected of being copyright violations must be deleted. But whenever a user uploads a file, that user has certified that it's available under a compatible Free license, and we have to AssumeGoodFaith — in precisely the same way that we presume text contributions to be innocent until proven guilty. Jpatokal 12:41, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Have you actually read the article you point to above (AssumeGoodFaith)? It makes for interesting reading even though it has absolutely nothing to do with the context in which you have quoted it. Lots of good stuff there. Some extracts:
Sometimes you really are being ribbed the wrong way (pun intended). Even so, it is still better to assume good faith — the question is not one of accurate perception, but of appropriate action. It may be more helpful to see the other person as a challenge to overcome rather than a personal enemy to be vanquished.
However, some times a person's goals may directly interfere with your life. They could be in direct competition with you, and there could be a limited number of resources. You may disagree at some fundamental level of morality. You could have something they want. They could even be completely unreasonable, knowing they have some sort of power over you, like a spammer that subverts technology against you. Conversely, you might engage in strategic conflicts to get what you want. PoliticalAction is almost by definition this kind of adversarial approach in the West. Remember to not make these conflicts personal, and never engage in conflicts that will accomplish nothing. Don't win a PyrrhicVictory by burning bridges you may have to cross in the future.
Well, worth a read. Clearly, I don't want a conflict with you. I was being tendentious and irrational well before you entered the conversation with your "I'm starting to get pissed off" remark. But, in the spirit of the article, I'll withdraw the remark you got so upset about. I don't really care what you think of my arguments (I am pretty close to being as long in the tooth as 2old so young whippersnappers don't easily bother me). Now, if you are willing to tone down your shrillness (what's with all that comprende? and "let me spell it out" and entering a discussion with "I'm starting to get pissed off") we may actually get somewhere toward a consensus on what to do with all those images out there. If, that is, you care about a consensus. --Wandering 14:20, 5 February 2008 (EST)
You accuse me of not caring about consensus and having no responsibility towards licensing. Now, I disagree with you very strongly about this topic, but have I personally attacked you? Jpatokal 21:58, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Currently I am in favor of Jani's last two proposals 2)* Special:Upload is modified to have the same license pulldown as Shared. * 3)After these changes are done, any new untagged images will be tagged with "don't know" and listed for VFD. And I would like it completed ASAP. However keeping unlicensed images does not set well with me at this point and I would like to se further discussion. Many may not agree, but take it from an older (in age) contibutor, this site is very new and if it is accepted by the travel community as I think it will be (Route 66 looks dead), it will be around a long time. Lets work towards making it as unquestionable as we can with the content. People are always looking for an opportunity, someone could actually set us up under the current situation and calmly wait for an opening to sue. Lets close any loopholes. This is not the voice of paranoia, but experience with opportunists. On another point, Jani, you may want to inform Evan that some of us appreciate him and the wife founding this site and participating in discussions in the early days and until he and the current owner split. They retained ownership of the rights to publish and contributors keep adding to the value of this site with very limited input from Evan. I for one would welcome his comments more in these debates, for the benefit of all. As with Thomas A. Edison, who also was an Ohio native, Wikitravel is not his last invention (we hope) as with Edison who went on to found General Electric did not stop with the long lasting light bulb, nor the repeating telegraph key which was one of his earlier works. 2old 12:09, 5 February 2008 (EST)
It looks to me as though license tags are causing a great deal of confusion. We should probably get rid of them.
All images without image tags are CC-by-sa 1.0. This is stated very very clearly in the upload form, and has been for 5 years.
If for some reason we decide to keep the license tags then we should immediately add cc-by-sa tags to images for which the tags are missing as so to avoid future confusion. -- Mark 13:02, 5 February 2008 (EST)

Greetings all, I just want to voice my support of the view that uploaders of images without tags have declared (by using the site) that all contributions are licensed under CC-by-SA 1.0 and as they have declared that, they also agree per the terms of the CC-by-SA 1.0 license that the materials they have submitted are available under CC-by-SA 1.0 or do not infringe on the proprietary rights of another person. Thus, there's no need to delete any images without a CC-by-SA 1.0 tag, unless you truly expect it to by a copyvio. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 13:32, 5 February 2008 (EST)

I was accused by jpatokal of conflating the two issues (cc-by-sa>1.0 and unlicensed) so I went back and looked at this rather long and Hamlet-ian thread (to delete or not to delete, that is the question) and, would you believe it, the scream was right! If only he would talk like a normal person perhaps I would have heard him earlier. So, going back to first principles, here is my position:

cc-by-sa->1.0 images. "Keep" We should delete them because we've been giving the impression that they are not legit, but, I don't see how wikitravel can be legally called to task for a choice that the user has made when uploading (our responsibility to the downstream user) or why the uploading user would care (our responsibility to the contributing user). On rereading, I see that we got tangled in definitions of derivative and collective work because Peterfitzgerald has been using these images in the Wikitravel:Wikitravel Press Chicago guide (are there many of these in the Singapore guide as well, that might explain the anger) and the definitions of derivative and collective work. But, that is the business of a downstream user and, as long as wikitravel ensures that the licenses are appropriate, no business of ours. Any images added to a wikitravel article would, it seems, qualify as a "collective work" and we should be able to combine images with different licenses on the same page after appropriately modifying the 'content is available under' rider at the bottom of the page. That should be sufficient even though wikitravel has been combining them as a collective work and displaying an incorrect licensing statement at the bottom of the page. An important caveat is how we do this because it is setting a precedent for misuse down the road.
Again, I find myself thoroughly misunderstood, misrepresented, and wrongfully and ignorantly maligned. To repeat, the >1.0 images used in the Wikitravel guide are totally irrelevant to any decision made on this site. I believe we at Wikitravel Press have the right to do so, provided we properly note licensing and attribution, and I have WTP's support in this. A dumb decision here simply doesn't bear one iota on the images in the book. But again, that is a separate issue from this one, which is even more clear cut.
My motivation in making the arguments I have about what images we may keep stems from my desire to make Wikitravel the most effective open-content travel guide possible, and simply to see that logic and clear-headed understanding prevails against stubborn ignorance. If frustration came across in my arguments, it was simply because I felt that the points I made were not sufficiently addressed in the cascading responses, as my points (and the issues being discussed) were not understood by discussants. That would be a good time for clarification, which I was trying to provide. I got angry because you, Wandering, were repeatedly implying in bad faith that my arguments should be discounted according to a very incorrect and insulting perception on your part that I had a conflict of interest in the matter. I do not, and the fact that you continue in this line of personal attack further demonstrates that you do not understand the licensing issues being discussed, do not understand what I have argued, and are generally bringing down the level of discourse. --Peter Talk
unlicensed images. "Delete" I am uneasy about keeping images that have not been explicitly released with a free license by the uploading user. Wikitravel has followed the practice of deleting them for quite a while (See: Wikitravel:Votes_for_deletion/May_2006, Wikitravel:Votes_for_deletion/June_2006 and presumably many others) and I don't see why we should suddenly decide we need to keep them. --Wandering 14:52, 5 February 2008 (EST)
I hope you don't take this badly, but I simply must disagree. We have been very clear from the begining that anyhthing uploaded here is under the CC-by-sa 1.0 unless otherwise indicated. I simply don't understand why this isn't clear. -- Mark 15:41, 5 February 2008 (EST)
(I don't take anything badly, I just find it hard talking to angry people.) If it was so clear then why were we deleting unlicensed images all along? A quick look at the deletion archives seems to show that deleting unlicensed images was a no-brainer. Anyway, I do think that there is a difference when a user explicitly makes a selection (of the license as well as indicating that there are no copyright issues) versus when the selection is implicit. That is one reason why many websites have the Agree/Disagree check box that users check off. --Wandering 16:08, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Can you point out what images have been deleted in the past for the sole reason of not having a license tag? I just looked through both Wikitravel:Votes_for_deletion/May_2006, Wikitravel:Votes_for_deletion/June_2006 and as far as I can see all deleted images are suspected copyvios, duplicates, advertisements or violate privacy rights. Jpatokal 21:58, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Keep all images with no license marked. -- Colin 19:12, 5 February 2008 (EST)
Keep. This seems cut-and-dry to me. It's made clear - right out front and out loud, not buried in fine print - that anything uploaded here is under CC-by-SA 1.0. We don't require people to tag the text they enter in these here boxes, and we all seem content with the implicit understanding there. Some admins here do an impressive job of catching mis-licensed copyvio photos, but this ain't that. Gorilla Jones 23:01, 5 February 2008 (EST)

Jeez Louise. I'll start by saying that I whole-heartedly agree with everything Jpatokal has said. While I give kudos for actually getting more of a conversation to take place about this than we've been able to in a while, as Jani says, the VFD page isn't the place to do it... clogging it with all these images isn't really helping solve our problems.

I'll pitch in my support of the Special:Upload text, I agree it will cover us in the event of an unlikely lawsuit, and I vote to keep anything uploaded without a license for reasons specified by Jani and others, with the obvious exceptions of copyvios, etc.

Re: >1.0 images, what a couple users here seem to be taking as a given is that 2.0 and 3.0 images are improperly licensed.... this has been discussed many times, and we clearly don't have a consensus that that's the case... we're still figuring out if they are compatible with us and beyond that whether we can and should upgrade our whole site to 3.0 and beyond, so the real debate should be getting to the bottom of that, rather than jumping the gun and vfd'ing those before a consensus is reached.

As for automatically tagging images, we've discussed it in a few places, I've been pushing for a while to figure out how to either default to 1.0 on the pull down menu in Special:Upload so that if anyone desire other than 1.0 they have to take action, OR to leave it as "select a license" and give them a non-ignorable error message to select a license before it will let them upload. Either way, I'd like it if it wasn't even possible to not select a license or to select an incompatible license, just as a double reassurance.

Lastly, if I can defend Jani for a moment, I do slightly understand his agitation... we've been slowly discussing all of this calmly in several spots around the site, and the mass vfd'ing of images like this was more than a little sassy, especially given the vfd'ers awareness of those other conversations, Jani wasn't jumping into a conversation agitated, this conversation has been ongoing for a long time in some form or another. But, to come full circle, I'm glad sparked the conversation that he was trying to spark, and I'm glad we're nearing a consensus – cacahuate talk 00:17, 6 February 2008 (EST)

A quote from Jani above: Wikitravel Shared has different wording in the upload box plus a license selector that forces the user to explicitly choose a license, and there was a fairly lengthy argument there as well about what to do with untagged images. But, they continue to vfd untagged photos. Why is that and should both site not ne the same? And, for those getting angry, when I was much younger someone informed me that anger was a form of temporary insanity, after I pondered and reflected on that for many moons, I had to agree. 2old 09:32, 6 February 2008 (EST)
The logic — which I don't personally entirely agree with, mind you — is that on Shared the user can easily select a license from the pulldown, and if he doesn't, then he doesn't know/understand licensing in the first place and the picture is suspect. But on en:, there's no obvious way to tag images at all. Jpatokal 09:52, 6 February 2008 (EST)
And I agree that en: should be upgraded to use Shared's system. However, this discussion is about what to do with the old images. Jpatokal 09:52, 6 February 2008 (EST)
Jani's proposal to reform the :en system is sensible. Mass deleting images which clearly were uploaded in accordance with our copyleft, at a time when awareness of licensing documentation was lower among our contributors than it is today is not. --Peter Talk 13:39, 6 February 2008 (EST)

Wow, this discussion turned into a real barn-burner. With passions running pretty high it might be good for everyone to step back and look at the star articles, featured articles, maps, and other great things here and remember how much fun it can be to work together on travel articles instead of arguing about contentious issues like licensing.

That said, with regards to the current debate, my take on it is that existing images on en: with no license are fine - it's only been in the past year or two that we asked people to specify licenses, and before that all images were considered implied CC-SA due to the text on the Special:Upload page (see my first talk page comment for this same discussion in 2005...). It probably makes sense now that we have shared: to redirect upload links on en: to shared:, which would prevent this sort of confusion in the future. With regard CC-SA > 1.0, I think it's clear that the spirit of the license is that any version of CC-SA is fine, although the letter of the license doesn't state that; it's probably worthwhile trying to start a separate discussion about mass-updating the site to CC-SA 1.0+ - I'm sure we're not the first site to be faced with this issue, so it would probably be easy to dig up precedents from other sites on how it could be done. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:34, 6 February 2008 (EST)

On 02/04/2008 Jani said:So. I'm going to propose that we do the following:
  • All old untagged images are tagged CC by-sa 1.0 and removed from VFD (unless there are other reasons to suspect they're copyvio etc).
  • Special:Upload is modified to have the same license pulldown as Shared.
  • After these changes are done, any new untagged images will be tagged with "don't know" and listed for VFD.

All in favor? Jpatokal 23:12, 4 February 2008

And the problem goes on. And, Wandering seems to have wandered off (darn it). I am in favor of Jani's suggestion and would like to see it implemented ASAP with one change. The suggestion to add a check box, saying they understand and accept the terms, should be included. You should always try to create a situation that is not arguable. In addition, the text regarding images being sent to shared, should be in red, bold, larger print, so even an old, blind, dummy, like me can not miss it. Then, they can not ARGUE that they did not see it, without being required to take an eye test before driving or contributing images to Wikitravel. 2old 10:59, 15 February 2008 (EST)
I've altered the box on Special:Upload, can you read it now old man?  :) – cacahuate talk 22:37, 15 February 2008 (EST)
For some reason, I intuitively knew that you would be involved in the resolution of this problem. What you have done is a good start. Now, how about the check box to confirm the contributors action on how the image is licensed. I will see that you get a 10% raise in your Wikisalary. 2old 10:35, 16 February 2008 (EST)
Whether a checkbox or forcing the selection of a license in the pulldown menu, I agree it would be nice to force one of the two, I'd vote for the latter as with a checkbox it's still possible then to not select a license. However that's not something (I don't think) that we can implement, I think it's something Kevin at IB would have to figure out... and we should probably move all of the pieces of this vfd discussion somewhere else soon... and maybe start a tech request for a non-ignorable error message if a license isn't selected. And furthermore, as I've suggested in the past, I think special:upload on all language versions should redirect straight to shared – cacahuate talk 13:02, 16 February 2008 (EST)
I've been staying out of this debate, but will chime in now to say I'd support Jani's suggestions. Pashley 08:59, 11 March 2008 (EDT)
I've also stayed out of this for a number of reasons, but I fully support Jani's suggestion. I'll clean up the untagged images vfd later todaysometime this week, by tagging them cc-by-sa-1.0 and archiving the vfd. It seems totally legal since the it was explicitly stated on the upload page that all content will become cc-by-sa-1.0. --Nick 09:10, 11 March 2008 (EDT)

Specific Question, Permissions (flickr[edit]

Ok, I mailed a user on flickr about permission to two of his images on my en:Korsakov and en:Russia to Japan via Sakhalin articles, I informed him about the need to change the license to creative commons with attribution - and not only got his permission, but he seemed very honored to be asked. But there are two issues with this - one is that requests attribution below the image, and second - i doubt he's going to change the license of his picture on the flickr page. Now normally i would just explain the issues and work things out - but the user only speaks very basic English, and my Japanese is not good enough to explain something this complicated.

So my two questions is: - Is it OK to make and attribution below the picture, after the image text - something like "picture of bla bla bla, by John Doe" even though i breaks the usual format? - How do i deal with a permission to upload under CC atribution sharealike 2.0, when the flickr page will most likely remain showing that the image is copyrighted - can i upload the mail somewhere? Sertmann 18:43, 4 September 2008 (EDT)

1) I don't know; but I suppose that would be fine. We can't guarantee him that reusers/derivative works will do the same, though.
2) To a large extent we operate on trust here—we'll take your word. If someone challenges you on it, you can just forward the email to that person. I did the same with Image:Nenets reindeer sledge.jpg. Also, there's no conflict between displaying the copyright and giving license to others to use the image under CC-by-SA; regardless of licensing, the author still retains a copyright unless they release it to the public domain. --Peter 18:02, 4 September 2008 (EDT)

3:) ok, uploaded it here Sertmann 18:43, 4 September 2008 (EDT)

Image permissions[edit]

Swept in from en:pub:

I've read everything I can find on Wikitravel and Wikitravel shared about images, and I'm still totally confused about how do answer the question: "How do I know I have permission to put an image on a Wikitravel page?" To start, can someone at least answer this question: "If I find an image on shared, does that mean I can put it on Wikitravel without worrying about permissions?" Sailsetter 10:23, 25 September 2008 (EDT)

If it's your own picture or on Wikitravel Shared, it's definitely OK to use anywhere on Wikitravel. Jpatokal 12:57, 25 September 2008 (EDT)
Caveat: if it's your own picture, but it shows a copyrighted document or copyrighted image, it may not be okay to use. LtPowers 10:02, 26 September 2008 (EDT)
Thanks. Another question: is there a policy about using images from Wikimedia Commons? Can anything there just be used, or only certain types of licenses? And if the latter, is there a listing somewhere of specifically what type of licenses Wikimedia commons images have to have if they can be freely used on Wikitravel? Sailsetter 11:01, 27 September 2008 (EDT)
Right now, we can only accept images from Commons that are in the public domain or are licensed CC-by-sa version 1.0. Other versions of the CC-by-sa license are not backwards compatible with 1.0, which is what we use. I'm still holding out hope for updating our license, but that seems a long ways off yet. LtPowers 19:33, 27 September 2008 (EDT)

We just have one image policy... The only images that can be used on this site are:

  • Ones you've taken yourself, and are releasing under a Creative Commons license or into the Public Domain
  • Images that are already licensed under Creative Commons, and that are available to be modified and for commercial use (ones that say "NC" are not compatible.

So, if you find images on Commons that satisfy that, as many do, then yes, they are compatible here... but GFDL only is NOT compatible here, so many images on commons are not. You have to look at each image – cacahuate talk 20:51, 27 September 2008 (EDT)

The list of compatible licensing is here. --Peter Talk 23:07, 27 September 2008 (EDT)
So does that mean that only Wikimedia commons licenses in the section of that page beginning Licenses-There are a bunch of available licenses for files on Wikitravel, and they are a bit confusing. Here's a breakdown ... can be used on Wikitravel period end of story? For instance GNU Free Documentation Licenses aren't on that list, so that means that Commons images with that license can't be used on Wikitrave, right? Sailsetter 16:11, 28 September 2008 (EDT)
Right, that list is comprehensive—no other licenses are compatible with our site. GFDL licenses are not compatible, unfortunately, with Creative Commons licensing. That's why we can't copy text from Wikipedia. There are people trying to make the licenses compatible, but we're not there yet. (But we'd need to upgrade our site's licensing from 1.0 to any later version to take advantage of new compatibility anyway.) We can only use images that have GFDL licensing if they cross license the image with both GFDL and CC licenses. --Peter Talk 17:02, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

OK, so the above discussion indicates, if I've got it right, that images from Wikimedia commons can be put on Wikitravel if they are licensed as public domain or CCA-SA 1.0. The next question is, how do you do it? I've read all the documentation on this I can find, and the more I read it the more confusing it seems. Do you need to first copy the image from Wikimedia Commons and then Upload it to Wikimedia Shared? I can't find any explicit statement that you should do this, but it finally dawned on me that some things in the instructions only seemed to make sense if that was so. If that's not what you're supposed to do, then what are you supposed to do? (And as I say I've read the Helps on adding and uploading images and it still doesn't tell me the basic thing I need to know -- how do I get it on Wikitravel. Or maybe it does tell me, but it doesn't say explicitly any where I've found, "To put an image from Wikimedia Commons on the San Francisco page of Wikitravel, this is what you do ..." Sailsetter 15:00, 2 October 2008 (EDT)

You're not limited to version 1.0, and you can also use CC-by in addition to CC-by-SA. Easy version: if a license is provided in the pulldown menu on the download form on Wikitravel Shared, then you can use that license. To get a commons image over to here, it's necessary to download the image first, then upload it via Shared. To fill in the necessary description details, click the link on the upload form next to "photos from Wikimedia Commons," then fill out those fields. I really wish there were a faster, simpler way to do this, but that's the best we have for now! --Peter Talk 15:50, 2 October 2008 (EDT)

Animated gifs?[edit]

Moved here from en:pub:

I have temporarily added an animated gif to the Route 66 itinerary article and am looking for some feedback on it.

  • Does anyone see specific problems with the use of animated gifs?
  • Does it look acceptable and of value or did the static map work better?

__Nick 15:51, 2 October 2008 (EDT)

I dislike it because 1) as a matter of personal taste I hate web sites that flash and wriggle and move, 2) as a practical matter I don't see any reason at all why there should be a moving line to trace Route 66 rather than a static one, and 3) as a matter of policy, I think it's inconsistent with Wikitravel's goal to be useful as printout. Sailsetter 19:48, 2 October 2008 (EDT)

It's not working well for me. I had to reload a few times to get it to show up, then to start animating. It still only gets as far as Albuquerque before it resets itself, and on the image description page I get "Error creating thumbnail." I'm not against the very concept of animated gifs, but this one seems gratuitous (nothing a static image can't show). LtPowers 10:00, 3 October 2008 (EDT)
Agreed -- animated GIFs are rarely, if ever, of value in a travel guide. Routes can be perfectly well represented on a static map. Jpatokal 12:42, 3 October 2008 (EDT)
Thank you all for your feedback. I've reverted it back to the old map --Nick 14:06, 3 October 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for trying a new idea, Nick. Innovation is key. LtPowers 20:46, 3 October 2008 (EDT)
Agree we don't need it, but still a fun idea! – cacahuate talk 00:35, 4 October 2008 (EDT)

personal portrait for user page[edit]

I wonder how can I upload a photo portait of myself to be used for my user page, just to make it look more personal and friendly. Help? --DenisYurkin 04:21, 25 October 2008 (EDT)

In the same way you upload any image. In the comment section you can tell that it is for your user page. --Rein N. 04:42, 25 October 2008 (EDT)
Also see Image_policy#People_in_photos, a specific template was created for this purpose: {{copyrighted}} – cacahuate talk 15:44, 25 October 2008 (EDT)
Thanks for help. I was not attentive enough to find a special notice in this article. For future readers, I created a subsection which is entirely about user-page personal photos. --DenisYurkin 07:35, 26 October 2008 (EDT)

Image use[edit]

Swept in from en:pub:

I have two image-related questions:

  • 1) I wanted to upload a satellite picture of Hurricane Jeanne to use on the Florida page and possibly the city pages of various Florida cities. I know that the photographs taken by US government employees taken in the course of their duties is in the public domain for upload, but what about a satellite photograph taken by an agency(NOAA/NHC)? There is a FEMA photograph on the tornado safety page, but it lists the link to the photograph on FEMA's website. I know the website for the agency (, but I downloaded(right-click "save as") the picture a long time ago (2004) and the satellite imagery on the site is real-time and there is no archive to link to or to find the picture. Can I upload such a picture giving the link I mentioned?
  • 2) On Wikitravel Shared [2], there is information regarding the template for images from Flickr, but not licensing information (on "How to Upload Files" nor "Image Policy" nor "copyleft license" pages). Are all images on Flickr in the public domain or copyleft-license compatible? Could someone please explain the process of uploading pictures to Wikitravel shared (as I said, I've seen the info on the Fickr template)?
  • Thanks for the help!! AHeneen 02:34, 18 November 2008 (EST)
I can answer question (2). Flickr users can set their own copyright or licensing for each image they upload. Some (most, in fact) are listed as "All rights reserved", meaning they are not licensed for use here. Others have Creative Commons licenses. You can use the Advanced Search functionality to specifically find pictures with a Creative Commons License. So for example, searching on "hurricane" finds 384,166 results, but if I click on "Advanced Search", scroll to the bottom of the page and tick all 3 of the Creative Commons boxes, the results are filtered down to 8,721 results. If you click through to the photo page, there is information about the photo on the right-hand side of the screen, including licensing info which you can click on for full details of the license. Hope this helps. Tarr3n 05:31, 18 November 2008 (EST)
Thanks! Did I correctly do this: here's the file in Wikitravel Shared [3], and here in Flickr [4].
Looks OK to me... Tarr3n 06:20, 18 November 2008 (EST)
On a related note, Wikitravellers looking for photos of UK and Ireland destinations should check out Geograph [5], where all the photos have a CC license. If you click through to download a photo it even automatically generates the code you need for Wikipedia, which is easily adapted for Wikitravel upload. Very useful. Tarr3n 06:25, 18 November 2008 (EST)
Regarding #1, as long as the satellite image was taken by a USG agency (and not all the ones they use are), and as long as nothing has been added by a third party, the satellite images are in the Public Domain. --Peter Talk 13:50, 18 November 2008 (EST)

Alright, I've uploaded image #1, which can be found here given a Public Domain (created by a US gov't employee...) license and attributed to NOAA. I think it makes a nice addition to the Florida page! Thanks everyone for answering my questions!! AHeneen 20:34, 18 November 2008 (EST)

Fundamental change needed - Attribution of images[edit]

There is a strict policy about linking to external sites. This is so that wikitravel is an independent travel guide, rather than a collection of links to other sources. Each article is intended to stand alone, contain its own infromation, and crucially, be printable. The idea that the pages are intended to be printed appears in many policies. With this in mind, images which are included in articles should have the photographer credited in the main article. This is because the default license for images is a Creative Commons attribution license. Using an image, but failing to properly credit the photographer is outside the scope of the licence, and, thus, infringement of the copyright which subsists in the photograph. If we don't credit the photographer, people who print articles, either for their own use, or for the incorporation into other volumes, or distribution in travel centres will be infringing copyright. As such, a choice between two sensible avenues needs to be made. The first is to inform people about this so that they can make an informed choice. The second is to credit the photographer in the article. I think the second option is more appealing, simply because in a user driven site, it is appropriate that site takes steps to protect the contributions of the users. 19:10, 4 January 2009 (EST)

I don't think any change to our current standards are needed. The "printable" issue does not strike me as being any different from Wikipedia or any other site since anyone re-using Wikitravel guides is responsible for making sure that he/she follows the license terms. Given that starting point, here are a few discussions that have occurred on Wikipedia about this subject:
There are probably others that might delve deeper into the legal issues, but my feeling is that 1) Wikitravel meets the legal requirements currently without providing photographer name in the caption, 2) adding the caption seems a bit spammy and invites other issues - will contributors then begin including "text by John Smith" next to their text contributions?, and 3) anyone re-using Wikitravel guides is responsible for ensuring that such usage is in compliance with licenses. -- Ryan 19:18, 4 January 2009 (EST)
Agreed with Ryan. Text is equally vulnerable. I printed a Wikitravel guide once for my personal use, and tossed out the last page, as it was merely the last few "Based on work by..." credits, and I was trying to keep my load light. How can this site prevent potential malfeasance such as that? Answer: it can't. This site behaves appropriately, and has to assume good faith on the part of those using (and re-using) it.
(FWIW, the one prominent re-user of Wikitravel guides, Wikitravel Press, is in substantial compliance with the CC license.) Gorilla Jones 21:18, 4 January 2009 (EST)
I'm not convinced any change is needed, though anon has a point about the license requiring attribution. If we do need to do something, though, I'd say credits in the article body are out. Credits in the photo caption — which work even if the photo is moved or used in multiple articles and automatically vanish if the photo is deleted — are worth discussing. Putting them anywhere else isn't. Pashley 21:31, 4 January 2009 (EST)
Redistribution is a separate issue than printing done by end users. The external links policy exists to encourage the migration of content to the Wikitravel guides themselves (and to limit spam). We want content here, rather than contained in links, for a variety of reasons, in addition to the stated reason that our guides are intended to be printable for travelers, so they can use them on the go.
Though it isn't something Wikitravel is required to do, we do try to make compliance with our copyleft easier for those who redistribute Wikitravel content in print form. We provide a guide to reuse (which deals with this issue directly) and we collect attribution details conveniently at the bottom of each page.
Now, we don't have attribution details included in that same section for the authors of images, and that's not ideal. I could see how that might trip up a well-meaning redistributor, under the impression that all relevant attribution information was in that one spot. It would be nice if we could automatically add image author names, grabbed from properly formatted image summaries on shared, to the credit section at the bottom of articles in which those images appear. Realistically, we simply don't have the technical support for that to be possible. Even if we did, I'd argue it would be better to use our technical support for purposes relevant to Wikitravel's needs, not those of redistributors of Wikitravel content.
Captions strike me as a lesser option. Automatizing the inclusion of author names in the thumbnail would be at least as difficult as it would to include them in the article credits section. Not all images are formatted using thumbnails. We use that space in thumbnails for image description already, which would be crowded by attribution. Most importantly, though, our travel articles themselves should be a space only for travel content, not interspersed with attribution or any other non-travel-relevant info. That is separated out for a reason.
Any non-automatic option would be a dubious use of our time, since the value of such work would only be to the benefit of redistributors, rather than to Wikitravel. --Peter Talk 08:01, 5 January 2009 (EST)

Photos of buildings[edit]

Note that the French Cour de cassation (the supreme private law court) has judged that a private building photo couldn't be published without the authorisation of the owner for a commercial purpose. Then the French parliament voted an exception for books of architecture. --Henri de Solages 11:21, 2 June 2009 (EDT)

GFDL images now OK (mostly)[edit]

Wikimedia's licensing vote also affects the Commons, meaning that we can finally start using GFDL 1.3 images as well (details). There's a task force underway to retag all multilicenseable images, which should be complete by August 1, 2009 -- the policy wording should be revised at that point. Jpatokal 05:51, 22 June 2009 (EDT)

Should we wait until August to add the GFDL tags to the upload form? --Peter Talk 19:58, 22 June 2009 (EDT)
Wait, aren't they just adding ccbysa to their images, which is what makes them desirable for us? I don't see why we would ever need to add GFDL to our licenses, and I hope we can avoid that – cacahuate talk 20:32, 22 June 2009 (EDT)
That's right, we shouldn't need to add GFDL here -- the point is just that (most) images tagged "GFDL" on Commons can now be uploaded as CC 3.0 here.
By August 1, 2009 (the deadline of the relicensing), I expect that Commons will have retagged all the suitable images to be explicitly CC by-sa, and then we can hopefully remove the current extra wording. Jpatokal 22:34, 22 June 2009 (EDT)
I think doing anything before they are retagged on Commons will create confusion for less familiar users.... I say wait a month and then just upload them here as cc 3.0, and then avoid having to create anything new that says GFDL blah blah.... we have enough license selection options already  :) – cacahuate talk 03:44, 23 June 2009 (EDT)
PS, this is very good news for us, opens up a ton more images and maps! – cacahuate talk 03:45, 23 June 2009 (EDT)

I have updated the text now that the license migration on Wikipedia and Commons should be complete. LtPowers 16:37, 26 September 2009 (EDT)

Buildings and artworks in photos[edit]

The "Buildings and artworks in photos" section implies that photographs of artwork in public spaces in the U.S. are not restricted by the artist's copyright. This seems to be incorrect; the "freedom of panorama" (to use a translation of the German term) applies only to works of architecture in the U.S., at least according to the fine folks at Wikimedia Commons. (see commons:COM:FOP) I suggest we adjust our guidance accordingly. LtPowers 16:15, 9 July 2009 (EDT)

Text adjusted accordingly. Jpatokal 22:26, 9 July 2009 (EDT)

Photo attribution[edit]

Swept in from en:pub Do we want to go down the path of putting attribution on each photo if requested by the author? See [6]. The CC-BY-SA licence says we must provide attribution reasonable to the medium, but I think we should act in good faith here, and if the author doesn't want their work used here with our standard attribution, then we just remove their image. --inas 20:36, 1 September 2009 (EDT)

This has come up in the past and the consensus was that photos in articles should not have credits on them; I think it was related to Wikitravel_talk:Copyleft#JensANDMarian_VFD_discussion. If a user wants a credit in the caption and doesn't want the image to be used without it then my preference would be to simply VFD the image. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:50, 1 September 2009 (EDT)
Also discussed on Shared to the consensus of no credits in photo captions. The photo is marked all rights reserved on Flickr, but Peter did the original grab, so I expect she originally had it as CC and changed the licensing in the months since then. I'm fine with deleting it. Gorilla Jones 20:52, 1 September 2009 (EDT)
Okay, I'll just vfd the image. Following on from the discussions pointers above, I think it would be possible to automate adding the credit from the photo template to an attribution template within the article, should this every prove desirable. Doesn't seem to be a big issue at the moment. --inas 22:04, 1 September 2009 (EDT)
My hunch here is that this was simply a misunderstanding—I'll send Karen a note. FYI, I got permission directly from her to license the image (at this low resolution) under CC-by-SA 3.0. --Peter Talk 12:49, 3 September 2009 (EDT)
This came up because of the need to click through twice to the attribution information (once for the photo page on :en, then again to :shared). Karen noticed this when checking whether iguide (which mirrors our content) provided proper attribution. (The iguide site admin was actually the one who added the thumbnail caption attribution.)
I created a duplicate page here with the attribution info as a courtesy to her (and because I really want to keep that photo), but this is obviously a larger problem that cannot reasonably be solved in this way. This really needs to happen. --Peter Talk 20:13, 3 September 2009 (EDT)
Making a local copy seems a bit of a hack, and only solves the issue for one language version. If we don't hold out much hope for the tech request, I think we just develop a quick imageattribution template, which just puts the type of licence and attribution in a small font at the bottom of the page with the other attribution info. for now, we just use it for the difficult cases, but we could easily automate it at some stage if required. Would solve a few other problems with licencing and attribution of images as well. --inas 21:33, 3 September 2009 (EDT)

Images missing source and license information[edit]

The image policy says that images without license information should be deleted. What of images without source information, such as Image:Entebbe Kampala Route.jpg? Is the PD-self tag sufficient claim that the uploader took the image him/herself? I tend to think not, but I'm not sure all would agree. LtPowers 21:00, 28 September 2009 (EDT)

Common sense applies here as well. The route pic there looks like a screenshot from Google Maps and is thus a copyvio, but if somebody uploads a random pic and slaps PD-self on it, we'll usually assume good faith. Jpatokal 23:11, 28 September 2009 (EDT)
Sorry, I linked the wrong image -- had two from the same user up and copied the wrong name. The map I already nominated for deletion because it was missing license information. Image:Entebbe Airport.JPG, on the other hand, is licensed PD-self but has no explicit source. Yesterday it struck me as not being likely to have been taken by the uploader, but a second look at it today makes me think maybe it was. LtPowers 09:27, 30 September 2009 (EDT)


Swept in from pub:

Are very wide panorama-type pictures allowed to illustrate a destination? (example: [7] Rastapopulous 19:27, 10 November 2009 (EST)

I don't see why not. Use <br clear="all"/> to make it appear underneath (rather than next to) the text, and use |center instead of |thumb or |left or |right. You can see an example of this on Southern Tier. LtPowers 22:09, 10 November 2009 (EST)
How do I add a caption then? If I try to do it now, the picture reverts to full size, which is too big. Rastapopulous 11:08, 11 November 2009 (EST)
I've added a caption to it without it reverting to full size. Seems to have worked. Andyfarrell 11:28, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Yes. I think the problem was caused by the fact that I didn't add |thumb. The Wikitravel:How to add an image article, while fairly clear on how to use individual elements, is not very helpful for combining elements. Rastapopulous 11:35, 11 November 2009 (EST)
Sorry, I should have specified that. LtPowers 13:11, 11 November 2009 (EST)


The "Summary" section says both:

  • "Copyright information on images should be added to image pages. Images without copyright information are assumed to be available under the default Wikitravel license, the CC by-sa 3.0, however Wikitravel Shared has special templates for this - use them."


  • "You must select one of the licensing options on the pulldown menu—images uploaded without licensing information will be deleted."

So which is it -- are images without licensing information deleted, or are they assumed to be licensed under our default text license? LtPowers 08:57, 4 January 2010 (EST)

It's the former, we cleared that up pretty well last year, but I suppose there are a few confusing relics around, I'll change that one now – cacahuate talk 10:27, 4 January 2010 (EST)

I admit to some discomfort with the auto-licensing provision; we all know people don't read the text on Special:Upload very closely at all (if they did, we'd stop getting uploads to :en). I would much prefer we enforce a license selection via the dropdrown list, rather than simply asserting CC by-sa over anything anyone uploads. And yes, I know we do exactly that with text, but text and images are very different beasts. LtPowers 11:23, 4 January 2010 (EST)
If you haven't already, have a thorough read of #Images automatically licensed as cc-by-sa-1.0?, and after seeing how much anguish that conversation caused (and the eventual loss of 2 contributors, if I recall correctly), decide if you want to reopen that debate :). I agree on the forced license selection, have championed it several times, but sadly we would need IB's help and we know how that goes. Also see Tech:Disable Upload file button until a license selected and Tech:Make uploads ccbysa1.0 by defaultcacahuate talk 11:29, 4 January 2010 (EST)
Most of the anguish seemed to be based on disagreement over the methods used. I'm certainly not suggesting VfDing all images that don't have an explicit license tag. But frankly, the current method seems a little sneaky. LtPowers 16:33, 4 January 2010 (EST)
How so? It's clearly stated at special:upload, there's nothing sneaky about it – cacahuate talk 16:46, 4 January 2010 (EST)
Because the average Internet user isn't used to losing control of his images just by uploading them to a web site. Yes, the implicit grant is clear if one reads the right text, but I think it's obvious not everyone does that. LtPowers 17:01, 4 January 2010 (EST)
I don't think there's much we can or should do to make up for people clicking buttons without reading warnings first, we're hardly the only website that relies on "by clicking here" warnings. I've bolded it though in special:upload to try and draw a little more attention to it – cacahuate talk 17:04, 4 January 2010 (EST)
Sure, but this involves people losing the right to control their images; the stakes are a bit higher, don't you think? LtPowers 19:35, 4 January 2010 (EST)
Nope.... It involves people agreeing to license their images under the cc license, and they are told so before uploading. There's multiple attempts to educate them before they click upload. Too lazy or rushed to click over and read more about licensing? Not our problem :) – cacahuate talk 09:03, 5 January 2010 (EST)
Well that's why I said "a little sneaky" instead of outright dishonest. It's that "not our problem" bit. LtPowers 13:39, 5 January 2010 (EST)
Ah then, I see we have very different definitions of sneaky :) 17:08, 5 January 2010 (EST)

Editorial use[edit]

I think the reason for the current backlog on the vfd page is that the practice of deleting pictures of tourist attractions under various copyright laws is very much new, and people aren't sure how to respond to it without having had a discussion to produce a consensus on what to do. We had a discussion regarding keeping photos of types of landmarks (sculptures, murals, Legoland, etc.) under "editorial use" rights [8] at Votes_for_deletion/Archive_July-Dec_2009#Image:Nyhavn_lego.jpg. That discussion should be required reading before continuing this one.

I think we have a pretty strong imperative to invoke our right to editorial use of photos. As a travel guide, it would be quite harmful to our site to disallow photos of prominent attractions, and if we don't allow photos under editorial use, we'll wind up forbidding photos of a ton of really important images, including loads of photos already used on our site. The laws are there to protect our rights to use of such images, and other wikis exercised these rights, including the big ones under the Wikimedia umbrella. --Peter Talk 14:24, 11 January 2010 (EST)

It has always struck me as one of the fundamental, founding principles of Wikitravel that the content included therein be free. Not just free as in beer (a laudable goal in itself), but free as in speech. Our image policy says "All images on Wikitravel Shared and the Wikitravel sites must be licensed in a way which is compatible with the copyleft license, or must be in the public domain." Our copyleft says "Anyone can use Wikitravel content according to the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license." Including "editorial use" content would require us to change those bedrock principles, and it would unnecessarily hinder our reusers.
As for editorial use, I'm having trouble finding a clear definition of the phrase. As the Photo Attorney (to whom you linked) points out, "Editorial Use May Not Always Be Fair Use". That means: just because something is used editorially does not mean it automatically falls under the "fair use" exceptions present in U.S. copyright law; an editorial use may still be considered illegal copyright infringement. And not all countries' copyright laws make allowances for fair use anyway.
Including derivative works of copyrighted items is a legal morass into which I'd just as soon not dive, especially given the contradiction it presents with our stated principles and the obstacles it puts up in front of reusers of our content.
-- LtPowers 09:29, 12 January 2010 (EST)
I agree with LtPowers. Lets try to keep it free to use anywhere for any purpose (in line with our copyleft). I think it would be wrong to rely on specific provisions of U.S. law which may give a travel guide a loophole. It hinders third party use, and means that people in other jurisdictions have to check every image. At the end of the day, if use of the image would hinder the reuse of our work, then we shouldn't keep it. --Inas 18:28, 22 February 2010 (EST)
Check the bottom of any article on :en—re-users already have to check each image they intend to use, as they have different licensing requirements. --Peter Talk 18:32, 22 February 2010 (EST)
All our images have licences compatible with our copyleft. They may have different licence variants within that framework. If we are going to change the way our information can be distributed (non-commercial, fair use, etc), and limit some of our site to distribution only in the U.S, that should be something we discuss far more broadly - it is a fundamental change. --Inas 18:40, 22 February 2010 (EST)
Wikitravel's "free for any use anywhere for any purpose" principle is very laudable. How much do we collectively know about the fairly arcane legal field of copyright of publicly owned monuments? This seems to be the key driver of this discussion. Laws are presumably very different from country to country. I truly struggle to imagine the circumstances in which a government body would take action over the use of a photo of a public landmark in a travel guide, be that use editorial or otherwise. Are there any precedents for this? That might help me (and I am sure others) better understand this problem.--Burmesedays 23:12, 22 February 2010 (EST)
Hear, hear! Riggwelter 02:33, 23 February 2010 (EST)

But our copyleft doesn't only say you are free to use it in another travel guide. It means I can frame it and sell it, it means I can make a print fron it, I can make a catalogue of world sculpture from it, i can use it as the cover of a magazine, or a book. An artist whose work appeared in one of those forms, and sold commercially may well object - but our copyleft gives people the freedom to do that.

All this stuff has been done to death at Commons, including the precedents when available. I say we mostly just follow their lead, and not reinvent the wheel. If we want to depart from what they do at Commons, we would need think why our understanding of copyright differs from theirs. --Inas 07:18, 23 February 2010 (EST)

Very well said; I'm glad you agree with me because I am not able to communicate the idea as clearly as you. =) LtPowers 09:47, 23 February 2010 (EST)
Could you please link discussions from Commons—my understanding is that they very much do allow images under fair use. Otherwise they could not display images of virtually any sculpture created in the past 50 years... And they most certainly do. --Peter Talk 12:25, 23 February 2010 (EST)
Well, the policy page is commons:Commons:Fair use. It says in big letters "'Fair use' material is not allowed on Commons". And while they do have photos of sculptures created in the past 50 years, they will all fall into at least one of the following categories: a) images that haven't been noticed by someone familiar with Commons' copyright rules; b) images from countries that have freedom of panorama exceptions for sculptures; c) images of sculptures that are released under a free license; or d) images in which the copyrighted sculpture is a minimal part of the work as a whole. If you know of any that only fall into category a, please nominate them for deletion! LtPowers 14:00, 23 February 2010 (EST)
OK, but on the other hand, Wikipedia permits the use of fair use, under strict criteria, because their goals (like ours) are different from Commons. Commons' principal goal is independent of its use by other Wikimedia projects—it aims to be the principal repository of free media on the internet, for use by everyone. Wikipedia, on the other hand, is concerned with illustrating its articles, and recognizes that in certain cases this will be impossible to do without accepting fair use (it only accepts such images when there is no reasonable way to illustrate the object in question). Therefore, it is allowed to upload images to Wikipedia under such terms. I see no reason why we should adopt a more restrictive policy for Shared, as it would be silly to treat Shared as anything other than a repository for our guides, as we will never compete (or need/want to compete) with Commons. We could copy Wikipedia's policy on this near verbatim.
The argument that we should not accept images under editorial/fair use for the benefit of re-users does not to me seem compelling—certainly not enough so where we should hinder our ability, as a travel guide, to use images of major attractions! Re-users must already check each individual image they are re-using in order to respect the terms of their individual licenses. Is that ideal? Perhaps not, but it is what it is. Re-users like B&Bs are unlikely to care much about this, while re-users like magazines or guide publishers will, as they are in the business of being really careful about permissions. I get contacted quite frequently regarding the publication of my maps in various magazines, websites, etc., even when I've released the image into the Public Domain! --Peter Talk 14:27, 23 February 2010 (EST)
It's too late not to adopt a more restrictive policy, as we already have, from the very founding of the site! The site has always had a strict copyleft, and with it the guarantee that our content is available under free licenses. To adopt the English Wikipedia's stance on fair use would be a foundational change to the goals of the site. (Also, it actually does complicate reuse to introduce non-free material, as currently, a potential re-user can be certain that any material will be freely re-usable. Without that guarantee, the user will have to check each image individually before he even knows if he can re-use it or not, rather than only to check what the licensing requirements are.) LtPowers 17:06, 23 February 2010 (EST)
I'm sorry, but your last comment did not make sense. Our current policy does not allow fair use rationale for images, we change policy via discussion, and we are currently having a discussion regarding the proposal to alter that policy. Asserting that it's somehow too late to make a change that you don't like, regardless of whether we develop a consensus here, does not align with the most basic practices of how we work together on this wiki.
As licensing requirements as well as author attribution necessitate looking at the image page, this change would in no way change that. A potential re-user, when checking the image page, would see whether they could use that particular image under the licensing conditions, and editorial use. --Peter Talk 18:03, 23 February 2010 (EST)
Although I'm sure LtPowers can speak for himself, I didn't see him as saying that it can't be changed, just that such a change is fundamental to the site, and that it changes our goals.
I really think that a little research on "fair use rationales" is required before we go any further here. If you are proposing this change, you should suggest a fair use rationale that may apply here. I don't think there is any rationale that would apply to We are talking about using entire images or artwork, for a commercial purpose. If there is no legal rationale at our disposal, this debate is futile. --Inas 19:01, 23 February 2010 (EST)
It is far from clear to me that we would have any entitlement to resort to the U.S. provisions of fair use. This site isn't for research, study, personal use, criticism, review etc. It is a commercial enterprise to sell ads on a travel site.
There is a subtext here that seems to be saying, that it may well be a copyvio, but who is going to care enough to prosecute, and if they do we can just delete the image then. There is some validity that argument, I think. After all this is the way youtube, etc seem to work - just let people upload and wait to see if someone complains, and take action then. And even if they do prosecute, it will likely be a reuser (such as a magazine), and it won't be our problem - its theirs.
Personally, I'm happier with the OSM whiter that white philosophy - that our primary goal is to produce a free and unencumbered travel guide. If we wanted an part encumbered or copyrighted one, we should just go and buy a LP. --Inas 17:59, 23 February 2010 (EST)
LTPowers and Inas make quite compelling arguments as to why Wikitravel policy does in many cases seem to disallow the use of images of landmarks and monuments. That says to me the policy is wrong. If we have to move to situation whereby all of our text is free use and 99% of our images are free use, but there is a disclaimer regarding public monuments and landmarks encouraging the re-user to do his own his own legal research in those specific cases, then so be it. I think that is hugely preferable to deleting iconic images which are important in our travel guide. There is surely not a government body anywhere in the world who would sue a travel guide for using an image of publicly-owned monument. That makes me very comfortable about using such images here. A re-user who might not be a travel guide can make their own minds up.--Burmesedays 01:18, 24 February 2010 (EST)
I find your approach of "sure, it may be illegal in theory, but who on earth is going to sue you for posting a photo of a fountain", refreshing. At least we have something positive to discuss, rather meandering through justifying why Wikitravel is entitled to some exception to the copyright law, which in my opinion it almost certainly isn't.
However, I still think that saying we are creating some content just for "our guide", that may not be able to be redistributed by some parties even if they adhere to our licence conditions, is a very fundamental change to our goals. We would no longer have a guide that could be redistributed freely by anyone. As such, we would want a broad consensus in order to change that goal. --Inas 17:21, 24 February 2010 (EST)
Yes it would certainly be a change, but one that would only effect a small number of (important) images. After ploughing through all the tedium at Commons, most countries that have evolved copyright laws seem to allow use of such images anyway. The image that prompted the current round of debate seems to be the one I uploaded of the publicly owned dolphin statue at Lovina. Not at all surprisingly, Indonesia does not seem to have any ruling on freedom of panorama. I am sure if the relevant govt department was approached they would not even know what it meant. The lawyer responsbile would probably look it up on Google using his computer which is full of pirated software. It also stuck me that our current policy would require that images of the Bali Bomb Memorial be deleted ; a monument designed specifically for folks like us, commissioned by the governor, largely paid for by public donations from travel-related businesses. I am sure this is not be the only such example which tests the bounds of logic.--Burmesedays 22:46, 24 February 2010 (EST)

As an aside, and possible counter example, the Australian and New South Wales government have both passed laws to prohibit commercial photography from government land around Sydney Harbour, and commercial photography of Uluru and other Aboriginal managed areas. If you want to take a commercial photo in Kakadu expect to pay a flat fee. Same goes for Uluru. So, sure, some governments probably won't care, but others have shown that they do. --Inas 23:57, 24 February 2010 (EST)

Jesus fragging Christ. Do we really have to go through this shit again? First of all, here's what "commercial" means in terms of photography:

Commercial use in the context of images (photos and video) is limited their use in advertising and promotional material - every other use is non-commercial. [9]

Got that? "Advertising and promotional material" means that the subject of the photo is used in a way that endorses the content. This is most definitely not the case for images found on Wikitravel, which isn't selling or promoting anything, and hence, our use of them is not commercial, it's editorial. This means that Australian/NSW/Uluru whatever restrictions on "commercial" photography do not mean jack shit for Wikitravel.

Now, editorial is not the same as fair use. Fair use means that you can use any content, even if the copyright holder objects, for a set of strictly limited purposes which Wikitravel may or may not qualify for. We do not accept fair use on Wikitravel, nor do we need to.

Now, Wikimedia Commons goes a step further and attempts to ensure that all their images are usable for all purposes. But Wikitravel Shared's explicit mission in life is to be an image repository for Wikitravel, and nothing more. Our responsibility starts and ends with ensuring that the person who holds the copyright of the image — which is not the same at all as the copyright of various objects depicted in an image — has licensed it as CC or public domain.

An example to illustrate this:

  1. I go to Uluru, take a picture of it, license it as CC by-sa 3.0 and publish it.
  2. Somebody uploads it to Wikitravel, which uses the picture editorially.
    1. I hold the copyright to my picture. I cannot sue Wikitravel, because I have explicitly granted all the right to use it editorially.
    2. NT holds the copyright to Uluru. They cannot sue Wikitravel, because the law covers only commercial use of the picture.
  3. Mr X takes the picture off WT and uses it in a commercial.
    1. I hold the copyright to my picture. I cannot sue Mr X, because I have explicitly granted all the right to use it commercially.
    2. NT holds the copyright to Uluru. They have not handed over this right, and under NSW, they can sue Mr X. This is not Wikitravel's problem, and Wikitravel is not in any way at fault — it is always the publisher's responsibility to ensure that all copyrights are cleared.

Clear enough? If anything, our policies need to be clarified so that users understand that we can ignore most of these bullshit commercial use restrictions; however, it would be a nice little courtesy to tag some images, so that potential reusers understand that various authorities attempt to claim rights to their commercial use. Jpatokal 02:17, 25 February 2010 (EST)

You missed the point, and your rant only addressed the aside. Read the text again. This discussion is nothing to do with what constitutes commercial use, or whether Wikitravel use constitutes commercial use. You also have the basics of the law wrong, and the NT doesn't hold any kind of copyright in the images of the rock. This discussion is partially about free redistribution to people who do use the images, and whether we want restrict that, and partially about whether we are comfortable with some level of illegal use when the possibility of any legal action being taken against anybody at all is small. My aside, providing an example in Australian law was only to provide a counter example to the Indoesian example given, namely that there are some governments that do care, even if the Indonesian one doesn't. Please comment on either of the two issues actually being discussed here, if you have an opinion. This discussion was never about commercial use of images. --Inas 04:59, 25 February 2010 (EST)
I have not missed the point, and I find it surprising that you are missing my point. To recap:
1) Wikitravel's responsibility ends with Wikitravel. To give another example, if I can take a picture of Evan from Wikitravel and caption it "This guy is a child molester", I will commit criminal defamation -- yet that doesn't mean WT is in any responsible for my actions. Precisely the same applies to anybody who commercially uses an image from Wikitravel that happens to contain some object that somebody thinks is copyrighted.
2) You state that "Australian and New South Wales government have both passed laws to prohibit commercial photography from government land around Sydney Harbour, and commercial photography of Uluru", but Wikitravel is not doing commercial photography, so this restriction is not a concern for us. If what you now state is correct -- that NT does not attempt to enforce a copyright on Uluru, and instead eg. only requires permits for entering for the purpose of commercial photography, then we have even less to worry about, since then it's a case of trespassing and this has nothing to do with copyright at all. (However, some places -- probably most famously the Eiffel tower's night lighting -- do attempt to claim copyright on all derivative works including pictures.) Jpatokal 21:34, 25 February 2010 (EST)

I understand your point - but it has nothing to do with the point. The Eiffel Tower, try to claim copyright due to creativity etc. I don't think the NT government are trying that with a rock that has existed for an eternity. Anyway..
To clarify...
Point Number 1 - We are currently have as one of our goals that our guides are free to redistribute - commercially or otherwise - as long as the terms of our licence are complied with. Of course it will always the responsibility of the reuser to verify they comply with what ever restrictions apply in their jurisdiction, and if we wanted we could just satisfy ourselves that we are comfortable with our own legal position, and to don't concern ourselves with our reusers. After all, millions of web sites do just that. However, it is my opinion that our goals encompass far more than that. If we are placing images on our site that we know cannot be reused just by complying with our copyleft that is a change to our current goals - and it should be discussed widely, and a solid consensus reached.
Point Number 2 - Reusing artwork, sculptures, in which copyright subsists, in the way we do on Wikitravel is almost certainly a breach of that copyright. Whether Wikitravel is using them commercially or not has little or no bearing on this, and the editorial use, or fair use is not relevant to us as far as I can see. Neither of those concepts depend on commercial use. The issue here is, do we care - given the likelihood of the issue being prosecuted? Do we care on behalf of our reusers?
From interpreting your comments, it seems you care little about the legal position of our reusers. It is their lookout, and their responsibility. I disagree. I think having a freely distributable guide is one of our paramount goals, and we should go to considerable lengths to do everything we can to maintain that. --Inas 23:11, 25 February 2010 (EST)
I basically agree with Jani that it is the responsibility of the re-user to ensure that they are in compliance with all laws if they plan to use something commercially. However the only thing I think that we are possibly doing wrong is knowingly saying that an image is available for re-use under cc-by-sa-X.0, when it fact it should be cc-by-sa-X.0-NC.
If we know for sure that a monument, sculpture, etc, cannot be photographed and sold commercially, I don't think in good conscience we can tell people that it is available commercially and just expect them to figure out that it's not. – cacahuate talk 12:54, 26 February 2010 (EST)
Arguing over commercial use is a bit of a red herring. Plenty of governments, including the U.S., do not make a non-commercial exception to copyright law for artworks. A photograph of a recent sculpture in the U.S. is subject to copyrights held both by the photographer and the sculptor, and only a "fair use" or "de minimis" argument has any chance of circumventing the sculptor's copyright ("editorial use" being a subset of fair use). Using it non-commercially does nothing to absolve the re-user from the legal need to respect the copyright. LtPowers 12:57, 26 February 2010 (EST)
Agreed.... my only issue is that we are telling people they can reuse it as ccbysaX.0, when it fact they can't – cacahuate talk 13:14, 26 February 2010 (EST)

First of all, Ian, how can you possibly consider Jani's comment missing the point when it rebuts the argument that only you were making... that Wikitravel's use of images is commercial and therefore cannot use an editorial use rationale?

Anyway, this conversation is starting to confuse me, so I'll try to make the points I want to make as clear as possible. I apologize in advance if I'm getting repetitive, and the ugly bolding is just to call out important topics.

  • It is ironic that the people here that actually are re-users of Wikitravel content are the ones arguing that re-users need to be responsible to themselves in these matters, not us. From experience as a re-user, and with dealing with other re-users, I fell pretty confident that responsible re-users are really careful to take care of themselves, and irresponsible re-users ignore every aspect of our re-use stipulations. It's nice of us and a goal of ours to make their job easier, but there's a limit to how far we should go if it will diminish the quality of our guides. I think allowing fair use under very restricted criteria would add minimal complication to re-use, but would be quite beneficial to our site.
  • Allowing images that would constitute a small portion of those that we use to be marginally more restrictive for re-use (by applying a fair use rationale?) is not a foundational change in our site and its goals. Wikitravel is a project to create a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable world-wide travel guide. That is our goal. Including images of major attractions furthers that goal by improving the quality of our guides, while omitting them detracts from it. Our additional aims include include our guides being useful for inclusion in other travel books, giving up-to-date information for travel guide publishers. This will not change that. Period. I think the potential disadvantages for re-users are being blown way out of proportion—they are in fact minimal—and I say that as a re-user...
  • Our re-use disclaimer, shown on every single page, states: Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details. Allowing images under fair use would require no change in our re-use disclaimer, as it would not complicate responsible re-use in any significant way. A re-user already needs to check each and every image they re-use to make sure they fulfill the licensing requirements (e.g., the author's name if the license requires attribution). We area already up front with re-users that they cannot simply re-use our image content and assume it is usable under CC-by-SA 3.0. This is why I really don't understand the argument being made that allowing fair use rationale (under the same criteria that Wikipedia uses) would somehow create such a barrier to re-use.

To make this discussion less abstract, lets look at an example (and I could produce many, many more). I use photos of public artwork in illustrating our guide to downtown Chicago's public art. Leaving that article devoid of images would diminish its quality, usefulness, its attractiveness to readers, its value as an example to the world of the quality of our site, and ironically, its appeal to re-users! Here is my photo of a Chagall mural. I want to keep it, as it improves our guide. Wikipedia also includes an image of the mural in its article on the mural. It does so because a) it can and b) it makes the article much more useful. An ideal guide to Chicago's public art would actually include images of each sculpture a reader would see along the way, to make them easier to identify (that's not practical here for other reasons).

My best reading of the opposition to importing WPs fair use policy on images is that of an exaggerated worry about something rather trivial (an obstacle to re-use?), in opposition to a change that would clearly and significantly benefit our site and its goals (this was my read on opposition to the license update too...). So help me, what is the important overriding concern here that trumps the value of illustrating our guide with relevant photos? Please give an example of what the consequences would be, for the abstract-weary.

Oh, and Jani, you say we don't need to apply fair-use—why? Don't we in order to keep an image like the one of Chagall's mural? --Peter Talk 20:00, 26 February 2010 (EST)

Okay - you want to talk about commercial use, fine. Wikitravel almost certainly is commercial use. If you search "adsense" and "commercial use" you will find many opinions on this, as it comes up often. Jani's link is both irrelevant and misleading. If it were to be tested legally, a common sense test would likely apply. Are the people using the image making money from their use? If so, the use is likely commercial. IB are making money from their use, and so the use is commercial. The same as if CNN or the New York Times used the image.
But as I said above, any discussion of "commercial use" is missing the point. Unless someone can give a reason or a rationale as to why commercial use makes any difference as far as copyright is concerned, e.g. they come up with a fair-use rationale under U.S. law which depends on non-commercial use. If someone comes up with this, then we can start discussion of commercial use in earnest, and I'll be happy to contribute where I can. Until then we are just hot air.
Until someone identifies something that actually depends on commercial use, the only two points at issue are the two I clearly listed above. Do we care about copyright of public panorama, given the chances of WT being sued are very small, and do we can about being whiter-than-white as far as our reusers are concerned. Any further discussion on commercial use that doesn't actually state why it is important to this discussion, just takes us further down a rabbit warren, and away from the actual issues.
And again, my opinion is that we can live without the occasional mural, because I think the "free", and the beginning of our mission is important. The fact that the text at the bottom says the images are under various licenses does not change the established practice we have of protectively deleting copyright and non-free images, in order to keep our guide free. --Inas 21:51, 26 February 2010 (EST)
Well, you do realize that CNN and NYTimes do use photography under editorial use, and the argument that the use is non-commercial, right?
We delete copyrighted and non-free images because we understand them to be images that we cannot use. If we can use photos where the photographer has given the go-ahead, but the photo is a derivative work of public art or architecture that is copyrighted, then I think we should. I believe, from reading your comments... that the issue is relevant because it would determine whether we can legally use an editorial or fair-use rationale in keeping images? You insist we cannot because Wikitravel is a commercial entity, others disagree. This is not an area that I know much about, and I didn't talk about it at all in my post.
But if you don't want to continue talking about commercial/non-commercial use because you don't think it relevant, then why do you continue to do so? I was rather hoping for a response to any of the arguments or requests that I made, rather than see them buried further back up the thread... --Peter Talk 23:22, 26 February 2010 (EST)
And this is why the Wikimedia Foundation has a legal counsel.  ;) The only issue for me is that we claim to be a free travel guide, and I've always thought that was free-as-in-speech, not just free-as-in-beer. In order to be truly free, everything we offer needs to be available under a free license. If we have derivative works of copyrighted material in our "free" travel guides, then they're not really free anymore. That's the foundational change of which I speak. It is a change of such great import that I would expect no less an effort at communication and sitewide consensus than we mustered for the license change before deciding to implement it. LtPowers 10:14, 27 February 2010 (EST)
I absolutely agree that we should get more people involved in this discussion, as it is important. I don't agree that this would make our guides "unfree"—Wikipedia certainly still claims to be the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit, despite using some images under fair use (and they definitely mean free as in speech). My worry about excluding images like public art (and I checked, we'd have to remove really high quality, very relevant images from all but three of the 21 Chicago articles if we ban these), is that we'd hurt our site in a tangible way, in marginal pursuit of an absolute ideal that would not provide tangible benefit. That's precisely what I think the license upgrade discussion was about. I cannot think of an example of how re-users or we would suffer any significant practical disadvantage from allowing images under fair use, provided we make it clear when we do. And I say that as a commercial re-user myself!
Examples of practical harm to our site are numerous: images like Image:Calder flamingo.jpg, Image:African-American Civil War Memorial.jpg, Image:Cph-Christiania-mural.jpg, Image:Mission sanfrancisco balmyalley.jpg, and many, many more are really important for illustrating our guides. Photos like these give readers a real idea of what a destination, a culture, a neighborhood, etc. is like in a way that words ultimately cannot. For destinations where modern architecture and public art are one of the principal reasons for visiting (ahem, Chicago), disallowing any such images would really deprecate our guides.
I'm a huge proponent of free content, which is why I really like Wikitravel, and a good part of the reason why I object to obstructing and restricting the freedom of information and its re-use. Asserting copyright over any photos of public art is to me odious, and I therefore support and encourage the use of principals like editorial use and fair use, which hinder those restrictive goals, and further our goals of free content. If we keep photos under such terms, others who want to do the same can use them as well—banning them would have practical, harmful consequences for re-users too! --Peter Talk 12:11, 27 February 2010 (EST)

It seems there are only 2 relevant issues here:

1. Can and should we allow images that are in some way restricted against commercial use on YES, we can, as Jani clearly laid out above (see [10] Commercial use in the context of images (photos and video) is limited to their use in advertising and promotional material - every other use is non-commercial.). So the only discussion left on this matter should be whether or not we want to. I say yes, for all the reasons Peter has outlined.

2. How easy should we make life for our re-users. As mentioned several times above, our re-users already have to check each and every image before re-using. So we aren't adding any extra burden. If they want to use the images in advertising and promotional material then not every image on our site will be available to them. I fail to see this as a problem, and certainly not our problem. Our goal is to create an awesome travel guide, not hone a database of images that are available for advertising.

Our only duty is to note the proper licensing on the images, which is my current concern: we don't have a license available on our site that defines said images as cc-by-sa-NC, so if we do decide we want to keep the images on the site, we should create that option.

I pray that we can stick to answering these 2 clear questions here and stop convoluting the conversation :) – cacahuate talk 13:54, 27 February 2010 (EST)

I find Jani's arguments to be persuasive and agree with Cacahuate and Peter. Even if our content was public domain, re-users would still have a responsibility to make sure they are re-using content legally. Thus, as long as we are putting the proper license on content, our responsibilities are complete. It would take a lawyer to answer this question completely, but it seems that even in cases of editorial use, CC-by-SA is more appropriate than CC-by-SA non-commercial per the following clause in the CC-SA license:
Other Rights — In no way are any of the following rights affected by the license: Your fair dealing or fair use rights, or other applicable copyright exceptions and limitations;
Thus it seems that if we tag an image as CC-SA, as long as that tag is accurate for use on Wikitravel then we've done all we need to do. -- Ryan 14:40, 27 February 2010 (EST)
I think that covers us for onsite use, but we do attempt to tell re-users what license it is available to them under, at How to re-use Wikitravel guides etc, so we need to in some way clarify this by editing our policy pages and removing ourselves from any re-use guidance, or introducing an NC selection in the licensing menus – cacahuate talk 18:45, 27 February 2010 (EST)
There is nothing approaching a consensus sufficient to make Wikitravel no longer free. I strongly oppose the creation or acceptance of a NC use licence for any part of Wikitravel. In order to make WT an effectively free guide, we have to do some groundwork on behalf of our reuses. I strongly disagree that our duty on this site extends only to Wikitravel, and not to our reusers. I'm not here to just give IB ad revenue - I'm here to create a free guide.
I'm not here on a crusade to make information or public artwork free. I rarely agree with anything Richard Stallman says or does. Everybody has the right to charge for and control the use of their creative work by law. Just because they place it in a public space doesn't (unless the law says so) make them forfeit that right.
Noone has given a legal argument that holds any water as to why Wikitravel should have a special position to use otherwise copyright images. The best anyone has come up with is Jani's blog post, and that doesn't apply to WT.
Anybody still in the commercial v non-commercial space for WT, may care to read the creative commons survey [11].
And Peter - with respect, you have an annoying habit when arguing an issue of picking out an irrelevant point, and using it to dismiss offhand a line of reasoning. I've seen you do it a couple of times to others, and you did it previously to me when we were discussing Bodies of water, when I mentioned the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Lake Como in one sentence. It probably isn't going to win me over to your point of view. In this case, I specifically said I don't consider commercial use to relevant, unless someone provides a valid legal rationale in which it becomes important. I continue to discuss it because everyone else seems to be insisting on it, and I'm not going to stick my head in the sand. --Inas 22:42, 27 February 2010 (EST)
I may not have stated my case clearly - if we are stating that images are CC-SA Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike licensed, when in fact they are actually CC-SA non-commercial Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike [12], then we are at fault. Based on arguments above, and the text of, I don't think this is the case. Thus we are saying that 1. all content on Wikitravel is CC-SA Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike licensed, and 2. it is up to anyone re-using that content to verify that they are meeting the terms of the license and using the images properly. Our responsibility extends only to #1, so it seems (to me) that we merely need to make sure we are specifying the correct license. Beyond that, it is up to the re-user to verify their own compliance with the license and copyright law. -- Ryan 02:24, 28 February 2010 (EST)
But - we can't simply state that a derived image is under a licence of our choosing. If I take a photo of a mural, the photo of it may be a derived work, it may be subject to the restrictions imposed by the mural author. Even if we could find a legal premise to use it on WT, we couldn't say anything conclusive at all about the licence or the rights to reuse. --Inas 23:00, 28 February 2010 (EST)
Maybe I missed something, but not all content on Wikitravel is CC-SA. In fact, most of it is not CC SA; all text and most of the images are CC by-SA.
As for Cacahuate's "only two things": I really don't see how the first item enters into it. The majority of images under dispute are not derivative images of non-commercial but otherwise freely-licensed works; rather, they are derivative of non-free works. How does whether or not we accept non-commercial licenses matter? LtPowers 16:35, 28 February 2010 (EST)
I've updated my comment above to remove acronyms and hopefully avoid confusion. -- Ryan 23:05, 28 February 2010 (EST)
The CC non-commercial thing is a bit of a red herring here: any image licensed as CC SA-NC means that the photographer requires that the image may not be used "commercially", which is only vaguely defined by the license, and does not necessary even mean the same as the editorial-vs-commercial distinction of photography in general. This is entirely different from the cases we are discussing, where any objections to commercial use are not stemming from the photographer, but from the owners of various objects in the pictures.
Re: fair use, as far as I can see, the only pictures on WT that would require fair use rights are reproductions of copyrighted 2D artworks. So we can't take a picture of a Chagall mural alone (= reproduction) and stick it on WT, but a streetscape somewhere that happens to incorporate a portion of a copyrighted mural (= derived work) should be fine. Jpatokal 06:22, 1 March 2010 (EST)
My understanding is that such a streetscape may be allowable if the use of the mural is minimal, under the legal principle of de minimis. Regardless, though, I don't see your justification for treating derivative works differently than faithful reproductions. On Commons, the only difference is that the latter does not create a new copyright but rather just inherits the copyright status of the original; the former produces an image with two copyrights, one held by the photographer and one for the original work (if it's copyrighted). But in both cases, the original work must be free in order for an image to be hosted on Commons. LtPowers 21:37, 1 March 2010 (EST)

To quote from one of Ryan's edits above: 'It would take a lawyer to answer this question completely...'. Indeed. Probably a specialist copyright lawyer. Possibly the smartest thing said so far in this discussion. Are any of us actually qualified to be casting an opinion on these fairly arcane matters of law? If not, does anyone have a favour to call in from somebody who is, or perhaps a friend to exploit? --Burmesedays 01:16, 1 March 2010 (EST)

I'm not a lawyer, but I've been doing photography for well north of ten years and run a business that attempts to make money off reusing WT content, so I'm confident enough about my opinions to put my own money on the line!
Also, while talking to an IP lawyer would be nice, the unfortunate reality is that this is a grey field, and no lawyer can make things black and white, they can only advise on probabilities and the often wildly conflicting precedents. Jpatokal 06:22, 1 March 2010 (EST)
Very fair comments Jani. I can't pretend I understand these issues anything like as well as you or others here, and my comments have tended toward a layman's common sense approach (probably dangerous!). It is more than interesting to me that actual, existing commercial reusers of WT content are on the same side of fence in this debate.--Burmesedays 11:47, 1 March 2010 (EST)
Once again muddled, oh how fun. When I say NC, I'm referring to any image that can't be turned around and used in advertising etc, whether it's because the photographer stipulates it or because the content is a copyrighted landmark, etc. Perhaps there is better wording that should be used. But I still stand by my above 2 points. Do we use them in WT. And if so, let's provide an accurate reuse license. Not sure why that isn't clear, it seems tragically simple to me – cacahuate talk 14:15, 6 March 2010 (EST)
I'm arriving a bit late to the party, but I'll note my full concurrence with Jani's statements above, and that our responsibility to potential re-users ends with accurately identifying the re-use license for the content in question. Gorilla Jones 16:26, 6 March 2010 (EST)
Cacahuate, it seems simple to you because you know what you meant to say. =) Am I correct, then, in surmising that your first point meant to read "Can and should we allow images that are derivative works of copyrighted material on"? Your answer to that question, though, seemed predicated on Jani's words about commercial use, so I'm not sure if your answer is still yes to the revised question. LtPowers 16:41, 8 March 2010 (EST)
If it is indeed legal to use said "derivative works of copyrighted material" on (on the argument that we are using it non-commercially, are using it editorially, under fair use, whatever you guys decide to call it), then yes. – cacahuate talk 16:35, 12 March 2010 (EST)
Then my next question must be to ask "How far should we go with that?" That is, if derivative works of some copyrighted material is okay, then are derivative works of any copyrighted material okay? Obviously, the answer is and must be "no" (otherwise, we could just go to the library and copy text out of published travel guides to use here), so where is the line drawn, and how do we decide whether something is on the right side of that line or not? LtPowers 12:47, 15 March 2010 (EDT)
This discussion started talking about public monuments and landmarks. So I suggest that is as far as we go. I don't think anyone here is suggesting anything more. If we have to avoid some countries due to actions of wanky govts who claim ownership of public vistas (eg Australia and France), then so be it.--Burmesedays 07:53, 16 March 2010 (EDT)
You're willing to acquiesce to governments claiming copyright over natural landscapes, but not to artists claiming copyright over their own creations? LtPowers 13:55, 16 March 2010 (EDT)
The key word was "if". Just as we have been doing, examine each image and make a decision (there will be very few). The majority of users who have expressed an opinion here seem to think we can justify use of public vista/landmark images. If there is a clear case of a govt proactively prohibiting this (as may be the case with the world's two great nanny states, Australia and France), then we should be aware of that. Whether we remove an image because of that, is open to debate. As I stated earlier, I do not think any of use are really qualified to be making a call on such an arcane area of IP law. Ultimately it might come down to whether we actually think the copyright claimant would take action. In the vast majority of cases, I suspect not and the very worst that would happen is a request to remove the image. As for re-users - for the very limited number of images involved, they can look after their own legal compliance. --Burmesedays 22:37, 16 March 2010 (EDT)
I think you're underestimating the number of images involved. Also, I guess I'm not clear on what you mean by "proactively prohibiting". LtPowers 08:06, 17 March 2010 (EDT)
I might be. I think there have only been a couple of this nature put up at VFD since I have been watching it? By proactively prohibiting, I was referring to situations such as (quoting Ian above): "the Australian and New South Wales government have both passed laws to prohibit commercial photography from government land around Sydney Harbour, and commercial photography of Uluru and other Aboriginal managed areas. If you want to take a commercial photo in Kakadu expect to pay a flat fee. Same goes for Uluru." I believe the same is true of the French in regard to the Eiffel Tower. Such cases should probably be examined a little more closely than those involving administrations which care rather less. Even then it is most unlikely that the New South Wales govt would do anything other than ask for the picture of the Harbour Bridge to be taken down.--Burmesedays 09:12, 17 March 2010 (EDT)
My understanding is that the French claim a possibly-legitimate copyright over the Eiffel Tower's lighting schemes, not the tower itself, which is old enough to be long out of copyright. The Australian rule is, in Commons parlance, a "non-copyright restriction", which means you may be violating an agreement if you release such a photo under a commercial license, but the Australian government has no copyright claim whatsoever. Commons ignores non-copyright restrictions, focusing only on copyright issues, so they pay no mind to the Australian restriction; that's between Australia and the photographer only. (Again, though, that's on Commons; we do not have to have the same rules as Commons.) LtPowers 08:45, 18 March 2010 (EDT)

The Australian statutory restrictions, are no really different in effect to many thousands of other private institutions and private land owners that prohibit commercial photography. We have certainly had no problem using those kinds of images in the past. Since the recourse is primarily against the photographer, I think our policy in this area should be to allow the photographer to remove the image should they later discover that they have broken the law or their contract and wish to remove their image. When then choose to upload the image for commercial use, they can choose to take the risk. I would, however, say the risk is minuscule for someone outside of jurisdiction.

As far is this discussion goes, I think we are heading for an impasse. I'm genuinely surprised how many people jumped on Jani's bandwagon on the basis of a single blog post. I am not a practising lawyer in this field, but I do have a degree in law, and I know enough to see that the blogger concerned was legally way out of their depth.

We are nowhere near putting together a policy that permits fair use of images. No one has even attempted a rationale that may permit that, even if as a community we decided that it was a good idea. There is much confusion between the concepts of "fair use", "commercial use", and even this invented concept of "editorial use".

Since, we probably aren't going to engage a lawyer to work out something for us here, I think we should just remain pragmatic, and not remove every panorama on WT.

I propose, that where we have an image that is clearly of a piece of copyrighted artwork, in a jurisdiction where copyright protection of photography of copyrighted artwork is routinely enforced and/or litigated, we remove it. Else, we keep it. The exception being if the request comes from the photographer, or the owner of the artwork in the panorama, in which case we also remove it.

I understand this probably doesn't put us in strict compliance with the laws of every jurisdiction. I realise that it doesn't provide a fair use rationale, or other defences outside of the U.S, but I think it strikes a balance between the legal position, and the images we need to illustrate a travel guide. --Inas 20:28, 4 May 2010 (EDT)

Honestly, I think we probably could make a legitimate fair-use argument for many of the images involved in this discussion. It's not like we're offering up a faithful reproduction of Picasso's Guernica (which is copyrighted); we're showing important landmarks, usually three-dimensional, in the context in which they appear. The difference is important to fair use, as it affects both the "purpose and character" of our reuse and the "effect" that the use has on the original work's "potential market or value" (see Wikipedia:Fair use#Fair use under United States law).
But of course, that's the United States. Different countries have different rules, and it's not clear which jurisdictions' laws apply: the jurisdiction in which the Wikitravel servers are located? The one in which IB is incorporated? The one in which the photograph was taken? The one in which the photographer lives? Or some combination of the above? Under U.S. jurisdiction, we could probably justify using a photo of The Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, but under Danish law that would be strictly prohibited (to the best of my knowledge).
It's these legal complexities, and the watering-down of the "free" portion of the site's goals, that make me shy away from allowing these fair uses. If we do decide to allow them, I would suggest a) allowing only photographs that show the copyrighted work in context (that is, no simple head-on reproductions of 2-D artwork); b) allowing only photographs whose photographers agree to a free license for the photo as a whole, even if part of the photo depicts a copyrighted artwork; and c) prominently marking each one as being derivative of a copyrighted work.
-- LtPowers 10:23, 5 May 2010 (EDT)
I think I essentially agree with you. I don't want to water down the current "free" licence. I want to respect the rights of copyright owners. I don't want to rely on a concept of fair use, which is very U.S. centric, and somewhat arbitrary in its application. But - equally I want to remain pragmatic as we make decisions on what we keep, as to the reasonableness of the reproduction, and the likelihood of action against of any reusers, while maintaining our willingess to actively address the concerns of the potential copyright holders. --Inas 05:14, 6 May 2010 (EDT)

Art galleries[edit]

Okay, I understand there is some dispute over photographs of copyrighted artwork displayed outside. But what about artwork displayed inside? AFAIK, no country allows a "Freedom of Panorama" exception for artwork displayed in an indoor gallery with controlled access. Image:P9205227.JPG is the image that brought up the question. LtPowers 22:35, 4 July 2010 (EDT)

Historical documentary photos[edit]

I'd like to see us have a clear policy about historical photos such as this one, preferably against them. Although many articles have a history section, I don't think it is one of our goals to give historical documentation or illustrated histories of our destinations. It makes the guide look like a Wikipedia page. Let's save the images for things one might actually see there. If the reader wants to delve into history, there are better websites for that. Texugo 23:58, 27 February 2011 (EST)

7 months on and no one has responded to this. I'll put a note on the en:Traveller's pub, and hopefully get some more eyes on this. I'd like to rephrase and add a bit to what I said above though, in that I am proposing we add to the Image policy page:
  • A policy regarding historical photos (i.e. "Here's what Mytownville looked like in 1930, and here again in 1946, and here's what it looked like in 1968", and so on.) Rare exceptions might be agreed upon, such as the photo of the pre-bomb Dome in Hiroshima, provided that that we deem it to be integral to the tourism experience in the given locale (as in Hiroshima's case).
  • An explicit policy (in addition to the "only simple photography" guideline) against images of artists' impressions of places or attractions (i.e. "Here's an 1867 engraving of what this old mill once looked like" or "Here's a minor Dutch realist work showing what the river used to look like back in 1737 before industry came and mucked it up" or "Here's a CG artist's idea of what these ruins looked like back when they were in use".) Again, if there were good arguments for why a particular image represents a crucial and relevant part of the modern tourist experience, we could consider exceptions on a case-by-case basis.
To these two policy additions, I would expect that exceptions should be extremely rare (as they have been so far anyway), and well-discussed (as they have typically not been). I think we need to categorically disallow these types of images in policy, so that we can point contributors there when necessary. Additional reasons are:
a) they are encyclopedic in both appearance and level of detail,
b) they usually represent something that the tourist won't actually experience there anyway, or could better see by going to a local history museum,
c) the artistic merit of an artist's impression will always remain a matter of taste.
d) they encourage the inclusion of multiple photos of the same subject, (i.e. "then vs. now" photos, "before vs. after" photos, or "painting vs. photograph" pairs of images)
What do we think? texugo 09:34, 19 September 2011 (EDT)
  • I would argue that in some cases they are useful. I have used historical images on dive site articles where the dive site is a wreck, as this is almost always interesting information to the diver, it is often very difficult to find such images, and it gives the diver/traveller a better understanding of what they are visiting. I also try to produce maps of the current state of the site, so we have a classic case of before and after imagery too, and once again I think this is of value in making the site more comprehensible to the visitor. My preference is that they should be allowed when they serve a useful purpose. Pbsouthwood 15:01, 19 September 2011 (EDT)
It would be interesting to get the views of non-contributing users on this point. Is there any way of making such a survey? Pbsouthwood 15:01, 19 September 2011 (EDT)
  • I would be reluctant to enshrine a prohibition in policy. For articles with well developed "History" sections, an appropriate vintage painting or photograph can be an excellent compliment to the prose. LtPowers 15:14, 19 September 2011 (EDT)
  • I can see Pbsouthwood's point as a potential exception criteria point, as it does serve a useful purpose, in that undersea wrecks won't have any kind of visitor's center or brochure or other information and the diver is basically exploring a ruin on his own.
LtPowers, with the exception of historical photos (which the policy doesn't touch on at all), the prohibition is already basically enshrined in the "nothing but simple photography" policy. I think we have two choices here: 1) change the current policy to allow images beyond "simple photography" and thus embrace the proliferation of a hodgepodge of different image types, or 2) clarify the already-implied general prohibition and develop a set of criteria for allowing exceptions. I agree that a single, well-chosen image might, in a select few cases, be a decent compliment for the history section (only), but I really don't want to just patently allow whatever kind of painting, portrait, etching, engraving, sepia, black and white, pastel, watercolor, CGI or woodblock print somebody thinks is neat-o to be added to whatever section of whatever article they feel like decorating. This type of image changes the visual flavor of the article from one of travel in modern times to one of history and nostalgia, especially if we allow more than one such images in any given article. If you are seriously suggesting we go for choice #1 above, then you won't mind if I slip my aunt's amateur cowboy paintings into the Texas article or some pencil sketches of the designs for Saint Whatever's Cathedral before they adopted a different façade design, or some pictures of podunk hometown back in '73 when it had 3 gas stations instead of just one like it does now. If anyone really thinks it should be a free-for-all on image types, please state some arguments for that, and realize that that is a whole different policy change proposal in the opposite direction. If, however, you'd like to allow some image types to be used in a limited, controlled way that enhances rather then detracts from articles, then I suggest we spend our time developing some criteria for exceptions. texugo 00:14, 20 September 2011 (EDT)
I was mainly responding to your statement, "I think we need to categorically disallow these types of images in policy", which I took to include historical images. But I don't see how we can effectively enforce any strict policy that stops short of complete prohibition. Can you propose some wording you'd like to see? LtPowers 11:33, 20 September 2011 (EDT)
Well, I'd really like to hear more opinions on this first. My original thinking was that
a) artists' impressions such as paintings, etchings, and the like are already forbidden by the "only maps and simple photography" line but that the prohibition should be made more explicit and obvious (without really leaving any more room for exceptions than we do for montages). Again, this is already basic policy and practice, as these regularly get vfd'd and deleted according to policy, but I just want something more concrete to point new users to, and...
b) historical photographs should be similarly discouraged as a general rule, but that exceptions might be made on a case-by-case, discussion-first basis on talk pages in the rare cases such as Hiroshima where comparing the the modern and historical appearances of a destination might be deemed a practically essential part of the tourist experience.
I didn't originally envision creating an actual set of criteria for exceptions, though User:Pbsouthwood's point made me consider that it might be a worthwhile pursuit, if there are other causes for exception that we can agree upon. I don't have the text in mind for any possible exception clauses, and think that it is something that we should perhaps discuss if people don't agree to generally ban them as I suggest. Personally, I could accept a blanket ban on all the above image types, or I could accept a general ban with caveats for special cases, but I really cannot accept just allowing any and every kind of image with no criteria to help us decide what is tasteful, balanced, relevant or appropriate. Do you see what I'm saying? texugo 12:31, 20 September 2011 (EDT)
I really hope to get some others' opinions on this soon as well... texugo 12:35, 20 September 2011 (EDT)
Just to toss out another potential exception, and I don't think we have too many of this type: it can be useful to show a piece of artwork/handicraft when it is what the area is famous for (particularly to illustrate what you go there to buy). In this instance, I'm thinking of the artwork I put at the top of en:Palekh. --Peter Talk 23:43, 20 September 2011 (EDT)
I'm quite against detailed policy cast in stone for this, especially since new users are already confronted with a regulars crowd that is (to my taste) too eager to just revert and refer to a policy page. That's fair enough for obvious things like touting, but images are really a matter of taste and I strongly disagree with the notion that historical or art images are principally unwanted. I'm fine with the idea that we prefer other ("general") pictures, and historic or art pictures could never replace those, but indeed there are plenty of places where they both make sense ánd make the illustrations more divers. If it's already rare, then a whole policy with concrete criteria seems.. overkill. I agree with the examples Peter has mentioned, and I could also see Mona Lisa in en:France (for it's an icon) and I've used a detail of an archaeological site to illustrate the See-section of en:Greece. Any travel guide I use has such images. I really don't see how an occasional artist's impression is a problem, and if it is for a specific article, I would encourage anyone to not just delete or prohibit, but find better images and upload them. As often as possible, I think we should practice tolerance to anyone who takes the trouble to upload anything in the first place. To me a simple sentence explaining the basic ideas (see below) would be enough. If this all turns into a real problem, we can always make more detailed policies later. Justme2 04:19, 21 September 2011 (EDT)

We're making a travel guide, not an encyclopedia. Therefore, historic images, artist impressions or art works are generally discouraged. However, exceptions can be made by consensus, for example where a work of art is iconic for a destination or a historic image is very relevant for the modern tourist experience. They should be used sparingly though and if you think your image warrants such an exception, be prepared to explain your reasons on the talk page.

To tell you the truth, I am fairly amenable to that wording, regarding historic images at least. Regarding paintings, etchings, etc., though I think this would be a little more permissive than we have been. A photo of a craft for sale or trellis or mural that a traveller might see there is one thing, and I'd regard that to still fall within "simple photography", but digging up an image of a random etching of a place as it was 200 years ago, or adding a painting of some guy the city was named for.. that seems the kind of stuff the "simple photography" guideline was meant to prevent\and not something that a traveller can see when he goes there. If it's iconic, sure, but I'm sure people will still upload stuff like Image:W Virginia Moundsville Grave Creek Mound.jpg fully prepared with some reason why they think it ought to go in there, and this is the kind of stuff that caused me to start this thread in the first place. texugo 04:46, 21 September 2011 (EDT)

I agree with Justme2, there is no need to set these things in stone. Hiroshima#Understand [13] has a historical photo that adds significantly to the History section. Many travelers go to Hiroshima for its history, and the photo makes the section more lively. Just adding one historical photo doesn't make the article an encyclopedia. I think this easily could be left to the writers of the articles instead of making up site-wide policy for this. We already have too many rules to follow. --globe-trotter 10:46, 21 September 2011 (EDT)

Did you read the whole thread? texugo 11:04, 21 September 2011 (EDT)
Yes, I have? --globe-trotter 11:21, 21 September 2011 (EDT)
I think that this is a guide for travelers should always be kept in mind. With "History" sections, I try to emphasize info that is useful to visitors in having an understanding of what they will experience when visiting today, for example explaining why a certain date is a national holiday, or why there's a bit monument to so-and-so in the city's main square. I would say that historical image usually would not be appropriate, but there might be occasional exceptions. I'd say any such images would need to pass a test: Does this image make the article more useful for a traveler planning a visit to the place, even if said traveler is not particularly interested in the details of the place's history? -- Infrogmation 15:51, 21 September 2011 (EDT)
Globe-trotter, I only asked because I've already mentioned the Hiroshima example more than once as one of the rare cases where it makes total sense to include a historical photo.
Thinking more on it, I am totally ok with Justme2's proposed text above. It allows for some leeway but is clear enough that generally frown on these things, which should be enough to keep us away from a slippery slope of letting these image types proliferate. texugo 01:46, 22 September 2011 (EDT)

Questions about images[edit]

Swept in from the en:Wikitravel:Travellers' Pub

Some photos have been deleted from en:Bangkok/Khao San Road page, because allegedly they were promotion. This one [14], because it shows a restaurant sign. This one [15] because it shows a hotel room. And this one [16] as it is a bowl of soup offered by a restaurant near Khao San Road.

I've now been checking the other en:Bangkok articles for similar pictures, and if signs are promotion, then many pictures would need to go. The rationale behind the removing of the pictures was that "they are not attractions". But then which things are attractions and which aren't? The picture removed from Khao San Road was a restaurant. So then we can also not show bars or clubs? What about shopping malls? Some examples of photos that could be seen as promotion and would need to be removed:

  • White Lodge Hotel [17]
  • FoodLoft food court [18]
  • Brick Bar [19]
  • Chacrit Muay Thai School [20]
  • Emporium Shopping Mall [21]
  • Condom Compendium Restaurant [22]
  • Long Table Restaurant [23]
  • Narcissus Club [24]
  • Nana Hotel [25]
  • Central Plaza Pinklao Shopping Mall [26]
  • RCA 808 Club [27]
  • RCA Plaza Mall [28]

Most of these pictures are from en:Bangkok/Sukhumvit, just to give an example. This is logical, because at places like Sukhumvit and Khao San Road, there are no attractions. There is not much more to do than drinking, clubbing and going to restaurants. Almost any picture would be promotion, except for those just giving an overview of the road.

Then there is a second problem: recognizable faces. Bangkok is a busy city, and there are people walking around everywhere. Some pictures were already removed, but this also puts open a plethora of images that need to be removed. Some examples:

  • Khao San Road lead image [29]
  • Chinatown [30] - shows people on the road, the road itself, but also some signs, so could also be seen as promotion
  • Yaowarat cloth seller [31]
  • Yaowarat market [32]
  • Khao San Road market [33]
  • Tuk-tuk on Khao San Road [34]
  • Soi Cow-boy [35]
  • Soi Pat-pong Night Market [36]
  • Siam Square Soi 7 [37]
  • Hualamphong Station [38]
  • Oriental Hotel lobby [39]
  • Tuk-tuks and people on the road [40]
  • Soi Thaniya [41]

Many of them are markets, which are nearly impossible to photograph without people on them. Others just show the road, and well, also people as there are people on the road. Where do we draw the line on which pictures can stay and which need to go? --globe-trotter 19:34, 8 June 2011 (EDT)

In addition I see that they were images that were considered acceptable during the star nomination process. As they were not criticised during that process it seems reasonable to assume that those of us who bothered to participate didn't consider them objectionable at the time. Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 07:08, 9 June 2011 (EDT)
On the "promotional"" complaint, Wikitravel Shared image policy [42] states: As a general rule, photos of individual businesses, especially those seen to be promotional, will be deleted. Exceptions include images that are meant to be illustrative of the type of business establishment in a certain region, or those of exceptionally famous establishments.
It would seem to me that the Bangkok images in questions absolutely fit the category of being "... illustrative of the type of business establishment in a certain region". They certainly add to the articles in that respect.
On recognisable people, the Wikitravel shared policy [43] makes an exception as follows: public spaces people give up a certain degree of privacy, which means that they can be photographed (and cannot stop the process). At Wikitravel, this is generally interpreted conservatively to mean that identifiable people in a picture should be peripheral to the picture content. For example, you can upload a picture of a crowded market or plaza, as long as you could take out or substitute any given person in it without materially affecting the picture. That surely covers any photographs of crowded streets, markets etc. --Burmesedays 08:43, 9 June 2011 (EDT)
I know Khao San Road and Yaowarat passed the Star nomination, but this discussion took place after it. What about signs, like the Narcissus Club sign? --globe-trotter 09:05, 9 June 2011 (EDT)
I don't see anything wrong with the soup picture; it should be restored. The sign picture is arguable, but it's pretty tasteful and I don't think it's blatantly promotional. The hotel room picture is pointless, as it looks like a generic hotel room; I don't think it'd pass muster at Shared VfD. LtPowers 09:51, 9 June 2011 (EDT)
I would like to get back to the point that if the images were approved by consensus to be OK for a star article, they should not be removed without further discussion, unless to be replaced by a better image. If someone disagrees with the star nomination consensus they can discuss the difference of opinion on the talk page before making a change, in case there was a good reason for the use of that image. Of course the reasons may be recorded in the discussion, which should also be on the talk page, but it is quite possible for the star nomination process to miss a detail, or for best practice style to change over time. Presumably any changes made after the date of elevation to star have not been vetted by peer review, and may be patrol edited without prior discussion.
This does not prevent anyone from simply plunging forward and unilaterally changing something which was accepted by peer review, but then they should expect to be challenged and required to explain and defend their actions.
Based on this line of reasoning, I think it is acceptable to simply revert the deletions and open a discussion on whether the images are inappropriate. As one of the participants in the star nomination process, I must have accepted all the images as appropriate at the time. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 02:22, 10 June 2011 (EDT)
To clarify re: wts:Image_policy#Photos_of_businesses—I wrote that section for the express purpose of dealing with touts. If it's an image uploaded and added to the article by a regular like Globe-trotter, then I see no reason to remove it simply on those grounds. --Peter Talk 03:21, 10 June 2011 (EDT)
I agree with this principle. I think that the photos improved the article. Not that it would be impossible to find better ones, but we use what we can get until someone finds better. • • • Peter (Southwood) Talk 14:30, 11 June 2011 (EDT)