[Wiki Loves Monuments] WLM photos are deleted on Commons
altsirlin at gmail.com
Thu Sep 8 10:00:49 UTC 2016
We have a severe problem with some of the photos uploaded during Russian
WLM. As some of you may know, Russia has Freedom of Panorama (FOP) for
architecture, but not for sculptures. Therefore, photos of recent
(post-WWII) sculptures are not eligible for Commons, although they are
OK for Russian Wikipedia and Wikivoyage where they are stored under fair
use. From technical point of view, it is difficult to separate no-FOP
monuments from the rest of the monuments, because Commons follows a very
strict policy about no-FOP images. For example, they consider a small
sculpture on a building (which is part of an architectural monument) as
a separate object that is not covered by FOP. This has been a matter of
debate and contention for long time, because the majority of
Russian-speaking users tend to go for a softer interpretation and treat
such things as architecture (i.e., eligible for Commons), while the
minority of Russian-speaking users sitting on Commons is generally
hostile to other Russian-speaking projects and tries to create us as
many problems as possible.
Last year we found a reasonable procedure that was agreed upon by
several Commons admins. Out of 23700 photos uploaded in Russian WLM
2015, about 1900 photos were identified as "no-FOP". We reviewed these
images, linked many of them in other projects, and eventually
transferred 1280 images to other Russian-speaking projects under fair
use. Subsequently, nobody bothered to delete these photos from Commons,
one year passed, and of course no legal problems appeared, but from our
side we did everything we could do and we spent an enormous amount of
time on doing this.
The only request from our side was that no WLM photos are deleted before
October 31, 2015, because image transfer is a slow process and it should
be done carefully. Last year several Commons admins supported this
strategy and closed the most outrageous deletion request:
which was submitted by a guy previously expelled from Russian Wikipedia.
He wanted to delete about 200 photos all at the same time, and he tried
to covertly delete some photos of 18th-century monuments as being "not
covered by FOP in Russia"...
So this year a similar story happens again:
Another user - now the one who published defamatory articles about
Russian WLM organizers last year - accuses us in severe copyright
violations and writes nonsense that we have not done anything about
no-FOP photos from 2015. You can check my response to him in the same
thread, where I write explicitly how images were sorted and transferred.
Once again, we spent days and hours of our time on doing this.
What we need now is the general support of the community against such
freaks and assholes who spoil our life and try to undermine the WLM
process. The strategy of the Russian team is that all cultural heritage
monuments are important for the project. We do not encourage people to
upload "no-FOP" photos, but of course people upload them, and our goal
is to use these images in the best possible way. Last year we did a lot
of work to achieve this goal, and we are ready to do the same this year
unless all relevant photos are deleted from Commons immediately, as some
of the Commons users suggest. If this happens, I am afraid that WLM will
not make any sense for us, at least not on Commons.
Sorry for the long e-mail, and I am looking forward to your support.
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