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Submissions/How to stay out of jail and still use images from Wikimedia Commons

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2014.

Submission no. 2511
Title of the submission
How to stay out of jail and still use images from Wikimedia Commons
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Mathias Schindler (WMDE) (talk)
E-mail address
Mathias Schindler (WMDE) (talk)
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Wikimedia Deutschland
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

In recent months, Wikimedia Deutschland has noticed a steep increase in legal disputes over the correct usage of Creative Commons licensed content, including a handful of lawsuits and legal deputes that mounted in out of court settlements. With the rise of popularity of Wikimedia Commons, people are willing to release their own content under a free license while at the same time demand the terms of the CC license to be followed. If these terms are not met, copyright laws all over the world present the rightsholder with a sizeable arsenal of countermeasures to enforce license terms or to seek damages from license terms violations. It is our aim to mitigate this development, with the help of technical means.

A very large share of images on Wikimedia Commons is licensed under two Creative Commons licenses (cc-by and cc-by-sa) - in different versions and sometimes different localisations. In order to freely reuse these images, a person has to comply with the specific Creative Commons license terms. Failure to do so will trigger the Termination Clause in the license and unless you can rely on a limitation or exception in your applicable copyright law, the usage of a copyright protected CC-licensed image without license term compliance will put you at odds with copyright - which is the one thing Creative Commons tried to deal with in the first place. It is our observation that true license compliance of CC licensed images is a tricky thing to achieve and many people have failed over time inadvertently.

We therefore propose and present a tool that will compose a proper image byline for you automatically. Depending on your specific reuse scenario, this tool will make some refinements to the byline and will allow you to not break copyright when you didn't really aimed for it.

The tool itself is freely licensed and has been created with valuable input from lawyers (yes, such a thing exists on a regular basis). Required information such as author names, specific license version and titles are extracted from the Wikimedia Commons description page. If the user indicates a internet based reuse scenario, the byline will contain html links. Otherwise, the links will be spelled out for print usage.

The tool is currently a stand alone application (as of March 2014), meant for testing and development purposes. When it reaches some level of maturity, its integration into Wikimedia Commons is aimed for and up for community approval.

This submission is meant to be a presentation of 30 minutes. However, we would like to add our intention of having (maybe after this presentation) a more hands-on session to start internationalisation efforts for such a tool.

Legal & Free Culture
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. --Gnom (talk) 08:33, 1 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Jane023 (talk) 08:36, 1 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  3. --Nicole Ebber (WMDE) (talk) 21:08, 7 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Geraldshields11 (talk) 01:07, 17 April 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Valhallasw (talk) 19:13, 1 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Agatefilm (talk) 18:55, 3 June 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  7. --Wuselig (talk) 21:47, 14 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Anne-Laure WMFr (talk) 13:47, 21 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  9. LOL "sizeable arsenal of countermeasures" and "yes, such a thing exists". --Nemo bis (talk)
  10. Matthias Süßen (talk) 20:08, 24 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  11. MLWatts (talk) 19:44, 27 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Daniel Case (talk) 01:29, 30 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
  13. --Stefan »Στέφανος«  16:24, 30 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]