Community Central
Advertisement
Community Central
Forums: Index Help desk Fair use images in templates
Fandom's forums are a place for the community to help other members.
To contact staff directly or to report bugs, please use Special:Contact.

In Wikipedia, fair use images are not allowed in templates or user namespaces. Yet, many templates in Wookiepedia use a screen capture from one of the Star Wars movies. (Usually the image matches the theme of the template. Starwars:Template:Redlinks uses a image from Attack of the Clones where Obi Wan concludes the records might not be complete.) Furthermore, some users, like Starwars:User:Darth Oblivion, put a fair use image onto their user page.

Such use of fair use images would be violations at Wikipedia. What about here on Wikia sites. I tried to ask Sikon, but he never responded. (Like he never spends much time online anymore.) Will (Talk - contribs) 04:00, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, to the best of my knowledge (though I am not a lawyer), these uses are not allowed on the English Wikipedia not because of some dislike of fair use images in general, but because they simply constitute a copyright infringement, which means the same applies to Wikia sites.
Fair use lets you use the image to identify or comment on the object shown on the image. Using it in templates or on user pages doesn't meet neither of these requirements.
Therefore, uses like these should be discouraged and gradually phased out. --TOR 13:17, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Query: Does that apply to images that are already present for fair use purposes? All current template images (to my knowledge) are already on the servers for proper fair-use illustration of the topics being covered. jSarek 02:27, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Fair use is about context. You cannot say that 'this image is being used in a fair way here, in this article, so since it's already here we can use it all over the place.'
You have to treat each use separately, not each image.
So: yes, this applies to images already on the server. Those can either be used in accordance with the fair use clause (i.e. for illustration or critical commentary) or not. If not, those uses (not the images used) have to be eliminated. And that is precisely the case with the Wookiepedia templates.
Hope it's clear now. :) --TOR 02:44, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Well I guess customization just went out the window. Can noone spell Wookiee anymore? -- Riffsyphon1024

No it didn't. Personally, I love the idea and will consider pushing it through on Memory Alpha, Trek-style. It just has to be done a bit differently - with custom-made images. With all the graphic designers out there, this should work out fine.
Nobody is saying you guys have to eliminate the images from the templates this very minute, or else. Just remember about this and slowly change them to freely licensed equivalents (or whatever).
And sorry about misspelling wookiee. I'll make a couple of edits to pl.starwars to make up for it. :) --TOR 05:09, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

Incidently, the reaction on this topic at Starwars:Forum:Violations of Fair Use rules has been general apathy. I even got a personal attack on my user page there accusing me of being a jerk. Will (Talk - contribs) 06:55, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Then the majority of Wookiee does not want to change and it should be left at that. If LFL themselves gives us reason to remove them in the future then so be it. -- {{SUBST:User:Riffsyphon1024/sig}} 07:13, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
    • In defense of Will Pittenger, we should follow the regulation set in Wikipedia lest we incur the wrath of the copyright holders and the law enforcment agencies. None of us would want Wookieepedia fined a heavy amount of cash. As a Wookieepedian, I must say that quite a lot of my fellow Wookieepedians are kind of arrogant and apathetic which would make us look bad. So we should start following what User:TOR suggested we do concerning our images. MyNz 09:45, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

      "quite a lot of my fellow Wookieepedians are kind of arrogant and apathetic which would make us look bad"


      What's disturbing about that is the fact that such behavior comes from Administrators [1] [2]. ― Thailog 00:32, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
      • Riff, even if the majority on Wookieepedia doesn't want the change, we might be better off cutting back on non-article image use if it's found that we'd violate fair use guidelines. Lucasfilm apparently hasn't complained to the various Star Wars message boards for their use of screenshots and Star Wars images, which implies to me that their interpretation of how much they will let fans stretch the boundaries of fair use would leave us clear. Still, I have no real proof of this: I'm not an expert on the subject. (TOR's suggestion of using fanart probably won't work very well, given the uneven quality of fanart we've seen uploaded to Wookieepedia.) —Silly Dan (talk) 13:27, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
        • Per Will Pittenger's statement on Wookieepedian administrators. To date Wookieepedia has not stripped any of its administrators of their status even though some of them have done "inappropriate" stuff like name-calling on a user page. Maybe we need to bring all the top admins as well as the leading contributors including our Inquisitors (I would call them auxiliary administrators) to this forum to sort this out. Zainal 3:12, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, I am no artist. So I can't help create those images. However, if I stumble across something, I will propose it in the Senate Hall and the talk page of the affected templates. In the meantime, I think we have to try. We need to see what images turn up. They we will know if they are of any help or if we should be like the majority of the Wikipedia templates for these purposes and keep our templates imageless.

FYI: Since learning about the fair use limitations on Wikipedia, I have decided to enforce them on Christian Music Wiki, which I admin. I have yet to change any pages or templates, but that will come. Fortunately, I don't think anyone has any images on the user page. I know there are none in templates (99% of which I created) or the Mediawiki namespace (which is mostly still stock). My poit is that Wookiepedia is not alone. My users will have to put up with it too. Will (Talk - contribs) 18:59, 5 February 2007 (UTC)

I think it's important to hear an official word (Wikia staff) before we make hasty decisions. It's true that Wookieepedia has been using images on templates for quite some time, and since it was voted Featured Wiki twice in two consecutive years, I'm sure that Angela at all are aware of such usage. If that was a big copyright infringement, then I'm sure they would have told us not to do it. Personally, I think that Wikipedia's rules on Fair Use claims are somewhat overzealous, but I understand it because they don't want to put themselves in an actionable position. It's a simple matter of precaution. Every fan site that I know uses copyrighted images without official permission, based on Fair Use or on the sole fact that they run a non-profit website. Therefore, they are not hindering the owners of the work from selling their product. Just because we use an image on a template, we are not impeding anyone from buying the movie which image was taken from. Many Internet-based media company allow their users to display images on their profiles. Do they have permission to use copyrighted images to make banners? No. They use them for the same reason some of us use images on templates: to make the site more appealing.
Having said that, it doesn't really matter what I or anyone else thinks about the Fair Use law (even if they are a majority). We can't choose from the laws we want to abide by. Law must be obeyed. Therefore, if Wikia.Inc tells us we cannot use images on templates then we have to oblige. This is not our site, and it certainly won't be us who get in trouble in a situation where there is a complaint over non-free images.
Now, I think it's important we keep our cool and refrain from petty name-calling and childish accusations when someone brings up a legitimate issue just because it may not meet our preferences. ― Thailog 19:32, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Now I think I understand why Chad wouldn't wookieepedia.com over to Wikia. If they're going to try to dictate our policies after years of turning a blind eye, then perhaps they're not worth dealing with. -- Darth Culator (Talk)(Kills)21:22, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't know where you are getting at. 'Chad' does not own Wookieepedia. So he couldn't turn over something it's not his to begin with. Wikia's policies apply worldwide, and Wookieepedia is not an exception. ― Thailog 00:32, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
No, but Chad does own the URL "wookieepedia.com" (or used to; I don't know if he did eventually turn it over or not). Since the Wook's content is GFDL, it would be within our power (not saying that we should, just saying that it would be possible) to port the content to another location and point the URL there, so long as we attributed the content properly. Of course, I think this is being blown out of proportion anyway - people don't come to Wookieepedia to look at the pretty templates, they come because our content is unequaled anywhere on the Internet, and that's not going to change if we are eventually asked by The Powers That Be to yank the pics from templates and user pages. jSarek 00:58, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Guys, please, keep cool. Thailog has said that "If that was a big copyright infringement, then I'm sure they would have told us not to do it". Well, the thing is that it's not really big. As has been pointed out - nearly every fan site on the planet uses copyrighted images, and that's basically fine with the film/book/whatever producers, cause they make money off the fans. Everybody wins.
That said, I have always viewed Wikipedia and other major wikis as setting the standard for lawful use of the Internet and its resources. Our 'copyright paranoia' shows the world that we care and that they should care about copyrights. Cause it's not big film companies that get hurt by copyvios, it's normal people, whose work is stolen because "it was free on the Internet so I took it".
I would love to see Wookieepedia follow this trend, and that's really the reason behind this discussion (for me at least), not trying to be mean to Wookieepedians or trying to avoid lawsuit form Lucasfilm. But I can understand why you may not want to be as strict as I'd like you to be, and that's fine. But please, consider other options and remember this is not an attack against your project. --TOR 01:09, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

Wow, this one got heated in a short time! I've replied to the thread over at Wookieepedia [3]. This is obviously something that needs discussion, but we are not bound by the way Wikipedia does things. It's certainly a good thing for Will to have brought up though, so please.. no more flames for this very valid question -- Sannse 04:53, 6 February 2007 (UTC)