User:Marshallsumter has over 1500 images uploaded on this site. Most of these images were uploaded under a claim of fair use.
Unfortunately, none of these fair use claims appear to be valid. Almost every one I have looked at followed the pattern "No free licensed or public domain alternatives known to exist to show…" followed by the description of the image. For example, some of this user's uploads state that:
- "No free use or Public Domain image known to show a group conducting psychotherapy in a clinical setting." - File:Grouptherapy.jpg
- "No free use or Public Domain image known to show a girl from China with her tongue colored to match the Union Jack." - File:English_tongue_chinese.jpg
- "No free use or Public Domain image known to show glacial grooves & polish on an outcrop in Central Park, NY, about 2014." - File:Glacialpolish.jpg
- "No free use or Public Domain image known to show the planet Earth is made up of three main shells: the very thin, brittle crust, the mantle, and the core; the mantle and core are each divided into two parts; all parts are drawn to scale." - File:Earth_Shells_to_Scale.png
- "No free licensed or public domain alternatives known to exist to show the sesquiterpenes from the essential oil of the Boswellia sacra resin." - File:Sesquiterpenes_from_the_essential_oil_of_the_Boswellia_sacra_resin.png
- "No free licensed or public domain alternatives known to exist to show one of the 140 pyramids imaged and observed by archeologists in the Madalena area of Pico Island, Azores." - File:Pyramid_on_Pico_Island_Azores.jpg
- "No free use or Public Domain image known to show an annotated image of Hudson Bay as viewed from space containing the Great Hudson Arc: A 250-mile-wide mystery." - File:Hudson-bay-annotated.jpg
- "No free licensed or public domain alternatives known to exist to reliably show colonial rule in Africa as of 1914." -- File:Colonial_Rule_in_Africa_1914.jpg
- If you have any familiarity with the legal history of fair use, then you'd know that all cases won against the use of fair use have been won only against .coms. None has ever been won against .edus or .orgs. --Marshallsumter (discuss • contribs) 17:14, 20 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Moreover, most of these images are not used in ways which comply with Wikiversity's Exemption Doctrine Policy. The vast majority of them are used in a decorative fashion to illustrate a topic mentioned in the text of a page, not to further any specific educational goal.
Does Wikiversity have a process capable of handling the bulk deletion of these images? I can't imagine RFD would be able to handle it. Is there any better way to address this?
-- Omphalographer (discuss • contribs) 01:27, 18 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- @Omphalographer Yes, we have bots and can handle bulk deletion of these images. Whether or not you can imagine it, RFD is the correct place for this discussion. Please note that your request would have much more credibility if you used your regular wiki account rather than a single-purpose account. -- Dave Braunschweig (discuss • contribs) 23:15, 18 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- This is the only active account I have. I was an active editor on enwiki 10-15 years ago, but I've long since lost the login information. And my concern with using RFD is how to list somewhere around a thousand files for deletion - the ones I mentioned are representative examples, not the sum total of my concerns. (I don't know exactly how many files will be affected, but I'm reasonably certain that most of this user's uploads will be.)
- And I'm concerned by your suggestion that this request lacks "credibility". The invalid fair use claims on these files should speak for themselves. Omphalographer (discuss • contribs) 23:48, 18 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- All or nearly all of the users at Wikiversity 10-15 years ago are contributors listed in the "View history" of the Wikiversity:Main Page. Which one is you? Your unproven allegation: "The invalid fair use claims on these files should speak for themselves." suggests that you have little or no legal experience in these matters, which appears to be the case, as your actions here appear to be nothing more than disruption. You've stated "Recognizing and addressing copyright issues is the responsibility of all users of a wiki", but so far you have not presented any facts supporting that this is what you are doing. I've discussed these matters extensively with WMF legal and supplying the rationales here on Wikiversity as I've done for these images meets and has met their concerns. As I've indicated in the Discussion below you have failed to provide facts to support your allegation. --Marshallsumter (discuss • contribs) 03:39, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- When and where did you discuss these issues with the WMF legal team, and what specific rationales did they approve? I would be interested to know more. If you don't recall, I would be happy to check with them - I'm sure they can provide details. Omphalographer (discuss • contribs) 04:37, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- If you know where such discussions would take place then you'd know where to look. --Marshallsumter (discuss • contribs) 16:24, 20 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with the assessment that the use of many of these "fair use" images is not consistent with either the spirit of Fair Use or the Exemption Doctrine Policy. The simple solution is to delete all Category:Fair use files images uploaded by Marshallsumter. Are there any other suggestions? -- Dave Braunschweig (discuss • contribs) 23:26, 18 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- First, does the user:Omphalographer own the copyright to any of the images under fair use here at Wikiversity?
- Second, is the user:Omphalographer a lawyer, attorney or barrister in the employ of a copyright holder of any fairuse image at Wikiversity?
- Third, we've been over this issue numerous times and all the fair use files I've uploaded meet US fairuse law and the Exemption Doctrine Policy, all of its parts and should be kept.
- Fourth, the pattern noted by the user is the rationale statement as required.
- Fifth, "a decorative fashion to illustrate a topic mentioned in the text of a page" is an educational goal though less than the value of the use of the fairuse image to the resource. --Marshallsumter (discuss • contribs) 00:24, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- No, as far as I'm aware, I do not own copyright to any of those images, nor do I personally represent anyone who does. But that doesn't matter. Recognizing and addressing copyright issues is the responsibility of all users of a wiki, not just the copyright owners.
- You claim that "we've been over this issue numerous times". Who, when and where are you referring to?
- The fair use statements you have applied to these images are not valid fair use rationales. The simple fact that you could not find a freely licensed image that met your needs (or did not care to use the ones you found) does not grant you the right to use anything you find online, for any purpose. This is not true of copyright law in general, and it is particularly not true on Wikimedia sites, which have stricter copyright policies. As a past Wikiversity administrator, you should have been aware of these policies; it was once your responsibility to enforce them! Omphalographer (discuss • contribs) 00:40, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- Wikiversity is the only .org managed by the WMF that permits fair use by its mission statement as an educational wiki. The rationales are legally valid independent of your opinion and are necessary and sufficient. I conducted a valid search and where found have used free media! Your statement "or did not care to use the ones you found" is subjective and potentially libelous, please refrain from statements you cannot support factually. In addition, thank you for accepting the fact that "a decorative fashion to illustrate a topic mentioned in the text of a page" is an educational goal. --Marshallsumter (discuss • contribs) 00:59, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- "Wikiversity is the only .org..." This is flatly incorrect. There are many other WMF projects which permit the use of fair-use content under limited circumstances. Permitting fair use content under an EDP is not a unique feature of this site, nor does the EDP permit this site to use non-free content indiscriminately.
- You've deliberately ignored the key issue: "Wikiversity is the only .org managed by the WMF that permits fair use by its mission statement as an educational wiki." Even Wikipedia does not contain "educational" in its mission statement because it's not! It's an encyclopedia not a .edu as a .org.
- If you conducted any search for free content before uploading these images, that search was clearly so cursory as to be entirely ineffectual. For example, your upload of File:Earth_Shells_to_Scale.png somehow overlooked File:Earth-crust-cutaway-english.svg, which presents substantially the same information and was visible on the enwiki article "Earth" on the day you uploaded the image. (And no, even if you preferred some detail of the other image's presentation, that isn't sufficient reason to reject the freely licensed content and substitute a piece of non-free media.)
- The USGS image that I used is to scale and accurately represents the inner structure of the Earth for the purposes with which it has been used. I did not overlook the image you show. File:Earth-crust-cutaway-english.svg isn't accurate. Per the rationale: "No free use or Public Domain image known to show the planet Earth is made up of three main shells: the very thin, brittle crust, the mantle, and the core; the mantle and core are each divided into two parts; all parts are drawn to scale." Secondly, as stated under Permission: "Fair Use, USGS is usually PD, but Eugene C. Robertson may not have agreed to this." otherwise this image would likely be on Commons!
- Finally, I accepted nothing of the sort. The use of non-free media as decoration is not permitted by Wikiversity's EDP. Declaring that simple decoration is "an educational goal" represents a fundamental misunderstanding of what those educational goals are, and what fair use permits in general. Omphalographer (discuss • contribs) 01:32, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- Once again you've ignored the key point: "a decorative fashion to illustrate a topic mentioned in the text of a page" is an educational goal. The USGS image is far more accurate than File:Earth-crust-cutaway-english.svg. It well points out how small the crust actually is. --Marshallsumter (discuss • contribs) 02:17, 19 October 2022 (UTC).Reply[reply]
(Unindenting for clarity.)
With regard to the term "educational", the mission statement of the Wikimedia Foundation (as a whole!) is "to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally". Wikiversity does not have a unique mandate to create educational content - that is the purpose of the entire Foundation! - and neither does it have any unique privilege to use non-free content in the pursuit of that mission.
You're focusing unduly on the single image I chose as an example, but I'll indulge you for a moment. The primary page where you used that image, Earth/Geognosy, does not even mention the image in the accompanying text. It appears alongside a definition of the term "geognosy". Moreover, it appears directly below another freely licensed diagram of the Earth's structure; you clearly found that one accurate enough to display, so it's not at all clear why you felt the need to use another non-free image with substantially the same content. Diagrams are almost never justifiable as fair use, as they are by their nature replaceable with free content (even if that content has not yet been created), and this one is no exception.
- If you believe "Diagrams are almost never justifiable as fair use, as they are by their nature replaceable with free content (even if that content has not yet been created), and this one is no exception.", then upload File:Earth_Shells_to_Scale.png or create your own to Commons. --Marshallsumter (discuss • contribs) 16:41, 20 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- Edit: I'll add that editing that page immediately after I mentioned it gives the appearance of a bad-faith attempt to cover your tracks. Please don't do that. You aren't deceiving anyone here. Omphalographer (discuss • contribs) 05:58, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- You mentioned that the resource did not cite the image so now it does. You could have done that yourself but instead you've come here using the apparent threat of deletion to modify resources to be more like Wikipedia articles rather than Wikiversity resources. And, you still haven't identified yourself. Your apparent effort here is more along the lines of disruption than contribution. --Marshallsumter (discuss • contribs) 13:38, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Let me take another completely different example to show that this is not an isolated issue. On 28 July 2014, you uploaded File:Transportation-terminology.jpg, an image of a highway with cars and trucks at sunset, and declared that you were using it under fair use. You provided no justification for your claim of fair use, and you only used it on the page Draft:Terminology/Quiz, as a decorative element on a quiz about "terminology". At no point does the quiz even mention highways, cars, trucks, nor sunsets. The only connection I can see between this non-free image and the page you used it in is the fact that you obtained the image from a web page titled "The Definitive Guide to Transportation Terminology to Stay on the Same Logistics Page". The image was a decorative element on that page, and it does not serve any other purpose on this site either.
- The image File:Transportation-terminology.jpg is no longer available on the website provided so that no rationale is available for its status as fair use. I've requested it to be speedy deleted. --Marshallsumter (discuss • contribs) 02:38, 20 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Or another: on 1 October 2016, you uploaded File:Diversity_of_plants.jpg under a claim of fair use, with the justification that "no free use or Public Domain image known to show the diversity of plants". I have an extremely hard time believing that no freely licensed images exist which contain multiple different plants, nor that it is somehow impossible to create a freely licensed collage of plant pictures. I am especially troubled by the fact that the image description indicates that you recognized that "apparently the image of sunflowers in copyrighted, and the image was deleted from Commons", and you uploaded it in knowing disregard of those copyright issues.
- At the time I uploaded this image File:Diversity_of_plants.jpg it had been deleted from Commons per the reason stated; however, as you failed to notice this image has been returned to Commons as File:Diversity of plants (Streptophyta) version 1.png. It simply hasn't been stated on the the page File:Diversity_of_plants.jpg that this is a duplicate of the now available file on Commons. It has been a common occurrence for files initially on Commons to be deleted sometime after I've begun using them. I have asked for them to be temporarily undeleted so that I can upload them to Wikiversity as fair use to continue their use here and Commons has kindly complied. --Marshallsumter (discuss • contribs) 02:38, 20 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Or yet another: on 29 November 2017, you uploaded File:Referral_letter_1.png. This is a photograph of a private medical document which was deleted from Wikimedia Commons over copyright concerns. You provided no justification for it being fair use on Wikiversity, and you failed to provide accurate source information (the Commons URL it was deleted from is not the original source of the image), and the page you used it in contains no text referencing the image - it appears under a header with no additional caption or explanatory text.
- May I suggest you take a look at this file which I recently updated with its rationale for being fair use on Wikiversity. The instructor for this upper limb orthotics course was not against this fair use practice and did appreciate that her course here was now fully available, including her students efforts. --Marshallsumter (discuss • contribs) 03:09, 20 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
None of these uses are justifiable as fair use under any definition of the term - neither Wikiversity's, nor WMF's, nor the law. Claiming otherwise - claiming that any image can be an "educational illustration" if it appears alongside a related piece of text - represents a fundamental misunderstanding of copyright law and fair use. Omphalographer (discuss • contribs) 04:37, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- I have gone through each of your file objections and handled them appropriately. With the exception of the File:Transportation-terminology.jpg for which the source of the rationale is no longer available, each is appropriately justified at the time for being fair use. Unfortunately, it still appears that your actions here, albeit perhaps well-intended, have been unnecessarily disruptive. I also urge those who may have prematurely reacted to this user's efforts to kindly reconsider their comments regarding my use of fair use. I really do legally know what I am doing regarding fair use and am conducting my efforts here in direct accordance per consultations with WMF legal and as noted with Commons. --Marshallsumter (discuss • contribs) 03:09, 20 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- I didn't have time to sift through all the nitty-gritty back-and-forth discussion between the two. So I jump right to the files. The fair-use examples that Omphalographer raised are quite concerning, and certainly requires Marshallsumter's adequate response given that copyright interpretation was a stumbling block during Marshallsumter's candidate for custodianship in 2013. I start to wonder if we're seeing a pattern here, or whether it was simply an old file/page that hasn't been noticed until now. For File:Transportation-terminology.jpg, there are plenty other similar images that can be re-used on Commons (e.g. File:Interstate 40, Arkansas 001.jpg, File:Wildlife Overpass east of Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90.jpg). When there is a choice between Commons vs. fair-use images, users should opt for Commons. And Omphalographer is right about Draft:Terminology/Quiz. It is not an appropriate usage for a fair-use image because it is not used to describe the content in question, but rather an image used for aesthetic purpose. Aesethic does not fall under fair-use. And echo what was said about File:Diversity of plants.jpg. You can combine a number of freely licensed images into a mosaic without resorting to using a fair-use. Moreover, it does not require author to flag copyright violations. Anyone can do it. OhanaUnitedTalk page 15:11, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I personally don't see any advantage in engaging with Marshallsumter regarding this issue. As with dozens or hundreds of previous discussions, it is likely to only result in long diatribes of misdirection without any acknowledgement or acceptance of the actual issues involved.
Instead, I recommend we focus on the community response to the situation at hand. Omphalographer has identified issues which apply to hundreds of uploaded images. OhanaUnited has looked into several images and confirmed the findings. I have similar concerns regarding the images I've viewed. Others are welcome to review and confirm (or object) if they wish.
But, accepting for the moment that the concerns are legitimate and widespread, do we want to just delete them all and have Marshallsumter start over, providing adequate fair use justification of any such images? Do we want to prohibit Marshallsumter from uploading any Fair Use images, as there is clear disregard for what Fair Use is and how it should be applied, and none of us has time to oversee this effort? Or is there someone willing to investigate the issues and identify which images legitimately meet Fair Use and EDP guidelines? I'm inclined to delete them all and give Marshallsumter a chance to start over and demonstrate that he is able to apply guidelines appropriately going forward.
Dave Braunschweig (discuss • contribs) 16:45, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- I'm concerned that allowing Marshallsumter to continue uploading non-free content without oversight provides us with no assurance that this situation will not arise again - or even that he would not reupload the same non-free images with the same sorts of inadequate fair-use rationales they already have. As such, my recommendation would be to require him to submit any future fair-use media he wishes to use, and his rationales for using them, to some trusted entity for approval - perhaps an administrator or a member of some group of trusted users? - before uploading those files. If he can demonstrate a consistent, long-term pattern of using appropriate, detailed fair-use rationales for media which is truly necessary for educational purposes and which cannot be replaced with freely licensed content, this restriction could be lifted. Omphalographer (discuss • contribs) 20:05, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- @Omphalographer Quite honestly, it's easier to tell a bot what to delete than it is to supervise in advance or monitor in real-time. Unless you're also volunteering to be one of those trusted users. -- Dave Braunschweig (discuss • contribs) 00:34, 20 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- @Omphalographer Your comment above is pejorative rather than constructive criticism! You've presented no facts to support your claims! --Marshallsumter (discuss • contribs) 19:00, 20 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I may have missed some of the subtleties here, but would requiring images to be uploaded to (and suitable for) Wikimedia Commons rather than Wikiversity offer a practical solution? Generally speaking, I prefer images to be on Commons because there is more checking to make sure they are appropriate and the images can then be used in any sister project in any language. -- Jtneill - Talk - c 22:11, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- I'm afraid that isn't applicable. Commons only accepts freely licensed content. The content at issue here is not freely licensed; it was uploaded to Wikiversity under (faulty) claims of fair use.
- Marshallsumter has uploaded freely licensed files to Commons in the past, and he is, of course, welcome to continue doing so as long as he complies with that project's content guidelines. Omphalographer (discuss • contribs) 22:30, 19 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- Your claim "uploaded to Wikiversity under (faulty) claims of fair use" without facts to support it is potentially libelous and is the second as such. --Marshallsumter (discuss • contribs) 16:27, 20 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What is the status of this discussion? It's been open for nearly a month now with no action. Omphalographer (discuss • contribs) 08:04, 16 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- @Omphalographer Actually, there has been significant action. More than 1,000 images that were only used in non-main space were deleted in October. The remaining images require research and I really don't have time to address this right now. Some of them are licensed incorrectly. They should be PD-USGov but were listed as Fair Use. Others are legitimate use as is. Certainly many more should be deleted. But we are very shorthanded on people willing to do administrative work right now, so it is what it is. -- Dave Braunschweig (discuss • contribs) 15:20, 16 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- Where does that put us with regards to further uploads by Marshallsumter, though? It appears that he's simply reuploading some of the images that were deleted, like File:1_2_Crystal_tcm14-406719.jpg and File:I-love-a-mystery-original.jpg. Omphalographer (discuss • contribs) 19:00, 16 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
- Now blocked. Half of his file uploads for the last three weeks were repeat violations of the EDP. -- Dave Braunschweig (discuss • contribs) 16:55, 17 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]