Wikinews:Fair use

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Green check.png This page is an official policy on the English Wikinews. It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow. When editing this page, please ensure that your revision reflects consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.


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Etiquette

Fair use is a defense against accusations of copyright infringement in the U.S.A. It is not a right. A similar concept is Fair dealing, found in the legal systems of most members of the Commonwealth of Nations (such as the United Kingdom or Canada).

On Wikinews application of fair use is almost exclusively the subject of discussions about media, rather than text.

If uploading fair use media, you must add both the correct copyright tag and a fair use rationale for each use in any article, or the media may be deleted on sight. It should be noted some copyright tags have a fair use rationale built-in (i.e. {{logo|title=pagename}}).

Fair use on Wikinews

Wikinews is more restrictive about fair use than Wikipedia. Instead of describing forbidden uses, this page serves as a whitelist use types which are permitted. This is driven by the most-useful media for Wikinews being that produced by competing news organizations. Use of such media is absolutely taboo: It is very difficult to claim fair use in a competitive environment, particularly where Wikinews allows commercial use of content. Media from competing news organizations uploaded without permission can be deleted on sight.

Fair use or not, media lacking appropriate tags may also be deleted on sight, incorrectly tagged media may also be immediately removed. Media descriptions must include a link to, and description of, its source. Media without source links may also be removed expeditiously. It is in your best interests to complete Media descriptions and justifications immediately.

The use of non-free media outside of the main article namespace does not constitute fair use, and is not permitted.

Local uploads vs. Wikimedia Commons

You can make a local upload to this edition of Wikinews through Special:Upload. Local upload should be exclusively for fair use media. Free content should be uploaded to the Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository used by all Wikimedia projects. This ensures other language editions of Wikinews can immediately use said media without re-uploading, as well as other Wikimedia projects like Wikipedia and Wikibooks.

Remember that you must be logged in to upload files.

Free content includes images in the public domain, under Creative Commons licenses (except for the "non-commercial" or "no derivatives" variants), under the GNU FDL, and under other free licenses. See the complete list of licenses allowed on the Wikimedia Commons and the list of free content image sources.

Rule of preference

When two media files depict the same subject, and one is free content where the other is not, use the free version, even if it is inferior in quality. Keep in mind the goal of Wikinews is to create a free content news source that can be used by anyone for any purpose. Media under non-free licenses are an impediment to that goal.

Fair use whitelist

Any use not covered by this whitelist is not allowed. If you feel the whitelist should be expanded, please comment on the discussion page.

Logos, publicity shots, and screen captures

By their nature, logos and publicity shots are designed to be used to refer to a person, organization, and some readily identifiable locations. Screen captures may contain copyrighted information even though the image is made on a personal computer, but may perfectly illustrate an article about software or the Internet. When used this way they are fair use.

Publicity photos

Publicity photos must be tagged with the {{publicity}} template, which categorizes the images into Category:Publicity photos.

Public figures, places, and more may have photos made available for use by the media. These images are usually copyrighted and are released specifically to present the figure, location, or corporation in a positive light. They should be viewed critically for this form of bias.

Example of appropriate use: Original graphic of Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin from the Canadian Government in an article about his visit to the United States.

Publicity images from the Canadian Government are copyright and licensed for restricted use, which makes them non-free. An original unaltered image in an article about the figure is appropriate.

Example of inappropriate use: The same image, with the logo of the Liberal Party of Canada added to the graphic. Or the image used in an article about politicians in which Paul Martin is not specifically named.

Copyrighted images may not be altered or defaced. Images used must be specifically relevant to the story they illustrate.

Trademarks and logos

Copyrighted logos must be tagged with the {{logo}} template, which categorizes the images into Category:Logos. If the image is simple enough to not be copyrightable (as in just merely text), tag it with {{pd-ineligible}} and {{trademark}}.

Corporate logos exist to make instant recognition of a company and its products or public image, usually with an intent to be a message, and this form of communication may be POV. Trademark law is somewhat unique, in that use of a trademark is a reasonable substitution for the corporation's name; but they may not be altered or defaced in any way.

Example of appropriate use: To illustrate an article about the joint General Motors and Toyota fuel cell project, both original trademarked logos are displayed separately.

Separate original logos used to illustrate an article about the two corporations.

Example of inappropriate use: A collage of over-lapping oil company logos to illustrate an article about a U.S. Senate debate over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Altered (put together into a collage) logos of corporations which are not the focus of the article; the U.S. Senate is the focus.

Screen shots

Screen shots must be tagged with the {{screen shot}} template, which categorizes the images into Category:Screen shots.

Screen shots are images created on a user's computer from what is visible on the computer screen. The software or information visible in the screen shot may still be copyrighted, so these images are often not free. A limited number of images (for example, not every page of a website or every screen of a computer program) may fall under the Fair Use description if they are used to illustrate a newsworthy story.

Example of appropriate use: A capture of a program's splash screen or a shot highlighting a specific news worthy item in an article about the program or news item.

An image specific for the article, and not attempting to cover every element of the program, website, or other data.

Example of inappropriate use: Screen captures showing important elements of how a software works or substantial elements of a copyrighted material, like how to solve a game or much of a website.

Too much, or too general, and not being used to illustrate the article but rather to convey much of the copyrighted information through the graphics.

Breaking news situations

Breaking news media must be tagged with the {{breaking news image}} template, which categorizes the media into Category:Breaking news images.

On rare occasions, when a news story is breaking and a questionably-free image is available, at least temporarily, it might be uploaded temporarily until either its license is clarified (and the image is then moved to Commons) or a better image is found.

An example of this is Nuclear waste leaks at Sellafield facility on Cumbrian coast, England, which was a breaking lead article story. Its primary images were drawn from the Visit Cumbria website, which has a return-notify policy if any images are used from the site. Because the licensure was not clearly free, the images could be uploaded temporarily until they were clarified as free, or until replacement images were found.

In no case may media uploaded under this breaking news exception remain on Wikinews. They must be cleared and moved to commons, replaced with a freely-licensed image within the window where an article is not archived, or a fair use rationale drafted following attempts to obtain as-free a release of the image by the copyright-holder.

IRIN photographs

IRIN photographs must be tagged with the {{irin}} template, which categorizes the images into Category:IRIN.

Photographs from the IRIN photo gallery, as well as all IRIN material distributed on the IRIN web site and e-mail services, are owned by the Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN), a project of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

IRIN materials (articles, photographs, radio broadcasts and films) may be reposted on a web site or reprinted in media services and humanitarian reports free-of-charge. The reprinting/re-posting of IRIN materials by commercial and non-commercial media services in print or on the web and their reproduction for TV or radio broadcasts is also permitted free-of-charge.

Crown Copyright

Photographs or images that are Crown Copyright must be tagged with the {{crown copyright}} template, which categorizes the images into Category:Crown copyright image.

Crown copyright protected material (other than the Royal Arms and departmental or agency logos) may be reproduced free of charge in any format or medium - provided it is reproduced accurately and not in a misleading context. Where the material is being published or issued to others, the sources and copyright status should be acknowledged. Where any of the Crown copyright items on this site are being republished or copied to others, the source of the material must be identified and the copyright status acknowledged.

Some images that are Crown Copyright are also licensed under the Open Government Licence. If this is the case, they can be uploaded to Commons as OGL licensed images are considered "free" for use on Wikimedia projects more generally. Some government photos are also published on Flickr under a CC license. This does not override either an implied OGL license or Crown Copyright.

See also