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Image copyright issues

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I'm moving the following discussion from possible copyright infringements and placing it here for future reference. We need to discuss the future of publicity photographs on this site, and this is a good starting point. --From Andoria with Love 11:03, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

File:WallaceShawn.jpg Edit

Image is taken from IMDb, and is copyrighted to Buena Vista Pictures Distribution. Here is a link to justify my claim: [1]. --OuroborosCobra talk 21:11, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Question - could not a similar notice to that which we use for all paramount images be placed here? The boilerplate "The copyright of this image belongs to Paramount Pictures. Its use is contended to be consistent with fair use rules under United States copyright law. See Copyrights." seems to me it would apply to Buena Vista or anything else, as well. "Fair use rules". Thoughts? --Buster Kincaid 21:21, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Because this was taken from a website, rather than a screen cap from a DVD, it may not count as "fair use". --OuroborosCobra talk 21:22, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
A reading of the images policy (Memory_Alpha:Copyrights#Images_and_Other_Media) seems to me to clearly state what comment must be added to the image to place it under fair use, just as we've done with all Paramount images (also, check out the not-from-DVD picture in the Gates McFadden article). Add the same text as for paramount, but be sure to link to a location where Buena Vista Pictures Distribution may be contacted. --Buster Kincaid 21:34, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
While the Gates McFadden image may not look like it is from a DVD, it may be a promotional shot stored in "extra features" on a DVD. "Fair use" is not a blanket statement that allows you to rip an image from any source you want. In addition, taking from IMDb may then require getting permission from two copyright holders, both Buena Vista Pictures Distribution and IMDb. --OuroborosCobra talk 21:42, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Actually, yes, that's exactly what "fair use" is. See Fair Use Having come from a DVD has nothing to do with anything. In fact, I believe the purpose of requiring a link to be able to contact the copyright owner is there so that, if anybody disputes its fair use, they can report it. --Buster Kincaid 21:55, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Since people have to pay to upload images to IMDb, and since IMDb also has to get permission, I'd say this is a copyright violation... delete. From Andoria with Love 21:57, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
Again, that is not really the issue here either. We know the holder of the copyright to be Beuna Vista Pictures Distribution. The language of the boilerplate message is intended to exactly account for letting us use this type of picture by saying, we believe it to be under "fair use" as a whole applying to all of Memory-Alpha. I believe that, in all cases, even Paramount images we use everywhere, all we are really saying is "we think its ok to use and we will happily remove it, here are links so you can report it or tell us you disagree if you're the source". The way the law works, anyway, is the person who feels you are violating them must order you to "cease and desist" and you have some time to remove it before they could even take action. By closing the door on this photo you close the door on all other Paramount photos for which exact permission has not been obtained. This is my opinion, let's hear from some more people who are more in touch with law. For instance, those who approved the Paramount boilerplate in the first place. --Buster Kincaid 22:09, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
An image is not "placed under" fair use by adding a tag. The uploader claims that a specific, copyrighted image is used under the fair use rationale. As the Wikipedia article you linked to yourself claims, fair use is decided on a case-by-case basis, each time deciding (among other things) if the use is "substantial" in relation to the work as a whole, and if the use may have a detrimental effect on the value of "the work". If "the work" that is copyrighted is a single promotional image, then it could well be the case that "fair use" can't be claimed for it. I think we have a case of exactly that here. I also think that this is not the same as any single screenshot from a Trek episode - because in those cases, the copyrighted work is not the single image, but the whole episode, of which the single screenshot is only a tiny part. -- Cid Highwind 22:17, 27 July 2006 (UTC)
A very well-spoken reply. My responses are:
  • 1) I did indeed note that the language made it depend on the uploader's claim. However, as we now know a potential, possible source for this image, any one of us could just as easily become the uploader and make the claim, so I would say at this point we're stuck on semantics.
  • 2) What you say about determining if usage on Memory-Alpha detriments from "the work" is most likely entirely true, however, would the answer on Memory-Alpha be yes? I would doubt that highly and I would suggest that's why the boilerplate was invented and works. It's a reference source and if "the work" is entirely for promotional purposes why would making it even more available to the public be detrimental? Of course, just one man's opinion. I go back to calling for a re-examination of the Paramount boilerplate.
  • 3) I keep wanting to return to the same point. Where did the Gates McFadden photo come from, and probably hundreds of other similar ones here? Being a still image from a larger work certainly cannot apply in this case.
  • 4) What you say about a still image not being the copyrighted work is, I believe, entirely incorrect. Refer to Item 5 of Section 106 of Chapter 1 of Title 17 on US Copyright code.
    Subject to sections 107 (fair use) through 120, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:
    (5) in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, to display the copyrighted work publicly; ...
    Therefore, really, truly, yes, I would have to say all still images here are subject to the same scrutiny. Which again I believe is the whole point of our invoking fair use on all Paramount images, and why the boilerplate lets us get away with it. And why it can still be used here.

--Buster Kincaid 13:38, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

I don't have time for a full reply right now, but when I get back on 6 August, you can expect more from me on other pictures, such as the Gates McFadden one. Now, in order for me to flag them as possible copyright infringement, I have to figure out where they came from, but you may see a lot of these "publicity shots" getting put up here, as they just don't fall under fair use. Just because there is a way an organization has been doing things for years doesn't make the practice right, or even legal. I would also add that no one here said that a screen cap from a movie is not copyrighted, what we said is that it falls under fair use of said material because it is not taking the entirety of the copyrighted material, only a small portion of it. "Fair use" does not mean that something isn't copyrighted, only that you are not infringing on that copyright. Since a publicity photo is the entirety of the copyrighted work, it does not fall under fair use. A still taken from a movie and a publicity shot are not the same thing. --OuroborosCobra talk 14:43, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

I basically agree with you now, on all points. You are right, part of what goes into fair use seems to be how much of the work has been copied, and I could easily see (though not with exact certainty) that that would mean a still image is more likely to fall under fair use than, for instance, a publicity shot. I also agree that precedent on MA does not mean law. Cid Highwind did say that he believed the copyrighted work was the whole, not the parts, but it does stand that in fact, every part is indeed copyrighted too in audiovisual works. I do agree, fair use does not mean it's not copyrighted, at all. It means while it is copyrighted, the owner can't get upset about it if it's being used under "fair use". One more time, let's think about the language and purpose of each part of the boilerplate message. It conveys "we put this here believing it to fall under fair use, you have links here to report it or to order us to cease and desist and we will happily comply and remove it, and furthermore it was claimed by the uploader, not necessarily everyone or the entity Memory-Alpha". This is a quite effective disclaimer and it pleases everyone and allows the proper outs. I am happy that you are resolving now that if you strike down one particular type of thing you've got to strike down them all. Finally, be aware that just because you find a picture that appears to match out there in the abyss of the Internet, that MAY NOT be where the uploader got it from. Maybe. By now you know my vote for this one is to keep it and add a proper disclaimer. I trust you to do the right thing. Are there not indeed other people on MA whose opinion would count for more than yours or mine simply because they designed the disclaimer to begin with and know exactly why they did it and to what it might apply best? --Buster Kincaid 15:09, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
One last remark would be, once you do decide what is and isn't ok to apply such a disclaimer to, you should most definitely update the copyright guidelines page so that people actually can look this up to try and avoid this repeating. --Buster Kincaid 15:10, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Note: I have preserved the above discussion for future reference, as the fair use status of promotional images on MA needs to be discussed. --From Andoria with Love 23:34, 3 August 2006 (UTC)

Here is an example of one way that Wikipedia deals with promotional photographs. --Buster Kincaid 17:33, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
Read the whole tag there. You will see that it both talks about possibly getting the copyright holders permission, and that the uploader is supposed to put the image source and rationale for fair use in the discussion page. The former (permission) may have been done, we have no evidence either way, but the latter (rationale on talk page) has not been done. Therefore, the image is in violation of its own tag, and were it on MA, I would put it up as copyright infringment so as to get the ball rolling on rationale. --OuroborosCobra talk 21:29, 7 August 2006 (UTC)
What's your point? This discussion isn't about the Phil Hartman picture on Wikipedia. It's about the Wallace Shawn picture. I've shown you what Wikipedia has in place to allow usage of such photos, if we feel that this particular image qualifies as a publicity photo. You've already done additional work to identify the source and bring it to the attention of others. Now that we know what we know, we could be good citizens and fix it. So the remaining questions are:
  • 1) Do we all think it's a publicity photo?
    • a) If so, do we want to have a similar framework here that allows us to use them?
      • i) If so, should the frameworks for all other image types be improved as well?
      • ii) If not, shouldn't we make it more obvious to people to avoid this type of image?
    • b) If not, what is it, so we can ask more questions?
Finally, try reading the part of that tag that's about permission again, keeping in mind the context before it. The language is not suggesting that permission needs to be obtained for usage right there on that page -- to do so would be ridiculous and would undermine everything said before. --Buster Kincaid 18:05, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

I say we need to get rid of the publicity shots. I do not feel they fall under "fair use". --OuroborosCobra talk 23:57, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

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