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Why the Photos On Wikipedia Are So Bad

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the does-this-cellphone-snap-make-me-look-fat dept.

The Internet 572

Reservoir Hill writes "The NY Times has an article investigating why, unlike the articles on Wikipedia which in theory are improved, fact checked, footnoted, and generally enhanced over time, the photos that go with Wikipedia articles are so bad and in many cases there is no photo at all for even well known public figures. Few high-quality photographs, particularly of celebrities, make it onto on Wikipedia because Wikipedia runs only pictures with the most permissive Creative Commons license, which allows anyone to use an image, for commercial purposes or not, as long as the photographer is credited. 'Representatives or publicists will contact us' horrified at the photographs on the site, says Jay Walsh, a spokesman for the Wikimedia Foundation. 'They will say: "I have this image. I want you to use this image." But it is not as simple as uploading a picture that is e-mailed to us.' Recent photographs on Wikipedia are almost exclusively the work of amateurs who don't mind giving away their work. 'Amateur may be too kind a word; their photos tend to be the work of fans who happen to have a camera,' opines the Times's author. Ultimately the issue for professional photographers who might want to donate their work is copyright. 'To me the problem is the Wikipedia rule of public use,' says Jerry Avenaim, a celebrity photographer. 'If they truly wanted to elevate the image on the site, they should allow photographers to maintain the copyright.'"

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Problem is (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28753951)

They don't wanna be harassed by **AA

frostypiss?

Re:Problem is (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28753981)

Yeah you did it motherfucker

Re:Problem is (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28753987)

double-star annonymous association?

Is that slang for DP, and where do I sign up? Do I just post pictures?

This is good and Jerry Avenaim doesn't get it (5, Insightful)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#28753959)

Wikipedia does not have to increase its popularity, it has no online free rivals. It is the people who have a wikipedia page that will be willing to have such a nice picture than all American presidents who will provide copyleft pictures. If we can get RIAA-sponsored stars to interest themselves about these pesky legal issues, this is a great benefit.

And if you really need a picture or are ready to (sigh) "steal" an image with a copyright, there is always Google Image, the greatest aggregator of ready-to-be-pirated copyrighted material.

Re:This is good and Jerry Avenaim doesn't get it (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754205)

Wikipedia is not a celebrity fansite. It's about information. If the information is sufficient to allow f.i. to tell a Mr. Clooney from a Ms. Berry, the goal has been achieved.

Freedom versus high quality pictures (5, Insightful)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28753963)

To me the problem is the Wikipedia rule of public use,' says Jerry Avenaim, a celebrity photographer. 'If they truly wanted to elevate the image on the site, they should allow photographers to maintain the copyright.'

Apparently they care more about freedom than having the highest quality images available. What more is there to say?

Re:Freedom versus high quality pictures (0, Troll)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754071)

What more is there to say?

gofuckyourself

Re:Freedom versus high quality pictures (3, Interesting)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754105)

I have other theories:

  - Knowledge in words flows unhindered, images can only come to stay in our heads from RL, TV, Magazines, ...
      We can not reproduce images and forward it to other peoples brains. We only can with words.
  - Photos can not be improved incrementally
  - (tongue-in-cheek) You have to go outside for photos

Re:Freedom versus high quality pictures (-1, Flamebait)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754161)

Apparently they care more about freedom than having the highest quality images available. What more is there to say?

You could elaborate, I suppose... How exactly does rejecting images, which the author allows to be used within *.wikipedia.org, but not elsewhere, advance freedom?

One would think, they want their pages to be printable and (re)publishable, but in that case, the authors wouldn't be credited (there is no author's name printed, when you print the page) — contrary to the current license... No, their idea was to arm-twist image-creators (such [wikipedia.org] as [wikipedia.org] myself [wikipedia.org] , BTW [wikipedia.org] ) into relinquishing rights, on pain of having their contributions auto-deleted from the site — most likely to advance certain agenda, that's so popular among a vociferous fraction of /. users (that copyrights are evil!)...

Lastly, if, indeed, freedom was on the mind over there, don't you think, Wikipedia would not have allowed a scrubbing campaign [telegraph.co.uk] aimed at keeping the page of our Glorious Leader free (there you go, maybe, this is the "freedom" you had in mind?) of mentions of his embarrassing associations and that pesky eligibility question [wnd.com] ? At the time of this writing, for example, neither the terrorist Ayers [wikipedia.org] , nor communist Alinsky [wikipedia.org] are mentioned on the page, even though pages of those individuals describe their impact on the President...

Re:Freedom versus high quality pictures (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754245)

How exactly does rejecting images, which the author allows to be used within *.wikipedia.org, but not elsewhere, advance freedom?

You're kidding, right? Let me rephrase your question to something with less tortured double-negatives:

How exactly does only allowing images under Creative Commons, advance freedom?

Well now isn't that just a stupid question? It advances freedom because the source material is free. Tada!

One would think, etc. etc. blah blah BAWWWWW my images, giant axe to grind over Wikipedia and Obama, blah blah

Well you clearly have an axe to grind over Wikipedia, and you're also butthurt about the current President of the United States of America. The last bit has nothing to do with the topic at hand, so that makes you either an idiot, or a troll.

Re:Freedom versus high quality pictures (5, Insightful)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754263)

Apparently they care more about freedom than having the highest quality images available. What more is there to say?

You could elaborate, I suppose... How exactly does rejecting images, which the author allows to be used within *.wikipedia.org, but not elsewhere, advance freedom?

1. It means you don't have to deal with investigating the licence on every bit of content - if you want to reuse some content on Wikipedia then you *know* what the licence is because its all the same.
2. Allowing non-CC licensed content would reduce the amount of CC licensed content on Wikipedia (articles would choose to use the "better" non-Free images *instead* of the Free ones), and that really would harm freedom.

One would think, they want their pages to be printable and (re)publishable, but in that case, the authors wouldn't be credited (there is no author's name printed, when you print the page) — contrary to the current license...

Yes, this is rather at odds with the licence - the Wikipedia templates really need to automatically add an attribution caption to all images that are embedded in a page.

Re:Freedom versus high quality pictures (3, Insightful)

MrMr (219533) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754343)

How exactly does rejecting images, which the author allows to be used within *.wikipedia.org, but not elsewhere, advance freedom?
It advances the freedom of the wikepedia users to use the images elsewhere. Without fear of an offended third party starting a lawsuit.
If you disapprove of wikipedia policies you can always start you own version, you can even use their code for that.

Re:Freedom versus high quality pictures (0, Troll)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754247)

Apparently they care more about freedom than having the highest quality images available. What more is there to say?

We ought to have a derogatory comment or two about RMS here. Like something about how he and his ideals are just too far out of the mainstream and that what wikipedia really needs is to forget about this "free as in speech" ideology that just keeps good writing and good images from ever being incorporated into wikipedia. That foot-lickin hippie is just out of touch with the rest of the world.

Re:Freedom versus high quality pictures (5, Insightful)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754251)

To me the problem is the Wikipedia rule of public use,' says Jerry Avenaim, a celebrity photographer. 'If they truly wanted to elevate the image on the site, they should allow photographers to maintain the copyright.'

Apparently they care more about freedom than having the highest quality images available.

This is the good thing. I don't come to Wikipedia to see HQ images. I come for free information I can immediately use: quote or contribute. There are plenty of other sites, where you can find images.

Re:Freedom versus high quality pictures (0, Troll)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754271)

Apparently they care more about freedom than having the highest quality images available. What more is there to say?

Correction: Apparently, they care more about not getting sued than having the highest quality images available. What more is there to say?

Re:Freedom versus high quality pictures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754279)

Word.

Also, isn't it amazing that a "celebrity photographer" apparently doesn't even understand what copyright means? If he'd provide pictures under a suitable license such as cc-by-sa, of COURSE he'd maintain his copyright.

What he actually wants is free publicity - riding on the coat-tails of Wikipedia without actually contributing to it. The people like him are saying it's Wikipedia that's got a problem here is funny, actually, because it's such an OBVIOUS lie - if it's Wikipedia that has a problem, why is HE complaining and trying to raise a stink?

Re:Freedom versus high quality pictures (2, Interesting)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754297)

Apparently they care more about freedom than having the highest quality images available. What more is there to say?

Also, Wikipedia cares more about accuracy (not just freedom). The primary example [wikipedia.org] cited by that NYT article is not the primary picture shown on Halle Berry's Wikipedia page, it's only the second picture shown on that page, and that picture is only one of seven pictures designed to show the progression of her career.

In 1987, Halle Berry was a no-name first-time television actor and a failed Miss USA contestant (can anyone find her as one of the 50 finalists? I personally couldn't [geocities.com] ), it's actually very likely no good professional photograph had even been taken of her at that time (or may be it was, but it's just not findable). And perhaps, Halle Berry could have supplied a decent family picture of herself around that time period, but I doubt she'd want to highlight that initial part of her career. Hollywood is all about maintaining a sense of mystery and glamor, it's not about exposing what lies behind the curtain.

Photographers do maintain the copyright of course (5, Insightful)

3dWarlord (862844) | more than 5 years ago | (#28753965)

They want to use wikipedia as a advertisement for their portfolio while still using a restrictive license for everyone else. This is a problem, of course, for the encyclopedia that aims to be free for anyone to copy, distrubute, modify as they please.

Re:Photographers do maintain the copyright of cour (4, Insightful)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754281)

Exactly. Many seem to think this is a "oh boy, those annoying freedom fighters that prioritize freedom over practicality again", but really... In *every* case where a non-free license would be used, Wikipedia would not be able to use the images and let people download them freely without breaking the law. And with a high profile site as Wikipedia, believe me, someone in the sue-happy country the English Wikipedia is based in, would try and win. (if not having this policy)

Good grief (4, Insightful)

JohnFluxx (413620) | more than 5 years ago | (#28753969)

> 'If they truly wanted to elevate the image on the site, they should allow photographers to maintain the copyright.'"

Um, they do. If he can't even understand a basic thing such as copyright, then why is he writing such an article? The whole article stinks.

The nytimes seems to be complaining that the photos of celebrities are ordinary photos, rather than 'glamour shots' (their words). I fail to see the problem.

It goes on to say that photographs are static and can't be improved, thus exposing a flaw in the wikipedia model. Wtf? You can just replace a photograph with a better. And I have even seen a given photo re-uploaded when someone else found a better version (like the NASA photos).

Why should we trust them? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754053)

he editors and reporters at the New York Times are constantly hectoring us on various subjects, in their editorials as well as their news stories. Sometimes the subject is climate change, which requires a sophisticated knowledge of mathematics to evaluate competing theories. Or maybe it's health care, where the paper's editors denounce the rest of us for being reluctant to commit to trillions of dollars worth of government medicine. The implicit premise of the Times' yammering is that they are smarter than you.

The problem is, it isn't true. Reporters and editors at our major newspapers are neither smarter nor more knowledgeable than the general public. In fact, I think they are, in general, less so. Today's case in point is a correction that the New York Times has run repeatedly in recent years. Yet, somehow, they never seem to learn:

An article on July 5 about the California governor's race misstated the size of the outdoor tent where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger smokes cigars when working at the Capitol. The tent is about 15 feet square, not 15 square feet. (In other words, the tent is about 225 square feet.)

I say this in all seriousness: why should we take direction on any complex issue of public policy from a group of people who literally do not know what a square foot is? They are not smarter than we are. They are dumber.

Don't see the problem. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28753975)

But surely the photographers DO maintain the copyright, they just license the image freely. If they have a problem with 'freedom', they should just say that instead. "We photographers don't like freedom". There, I restated the problem, clearly.

If some celeb has a problem with their picture, they can just pay for one to be CCd. Don't tell me in a world of millions of photographers, they're all asshats?

Re:Don't see the problem. (3, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754135)

But surely the photographers DO maintain the copyright, they just license the image freely. If they have a problem with 'freedom', they should just say that instead. "We photographers don't like freedom". There, I restated the problem, clearly.

If some celeb has a problem with their picture, they can just pay for one to be CCd. Don't tell me in a world of millions of photographers, they're all asshats?

In over 10 years in the web design industry, working closely with probably 20+ commercial photographers, I have yet to find one that doesn't insist on retaining control of the rights to reproduce the photos they take for you. They want to charge you for taking the photo, then they want to charge you again if you want to use the photo in a different way to how you used it the first time.

Re:Don't see the problem. (1)

Saysys (976276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754257)

Taking photos isn't bio-engineering and their is a lot of competition.

I am sure that you can get an up-start who knows what he's doing and pay a reasonable amount and get a good photo.

Re:Don't see the problem. (2, Interesting)

m0n5t3r (1154605) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754347)

this is (slowly) changing, as more and more people can afford high quality cameras and lenses; while most of them will be just as crappy a photographer as before, some are bound to out-talent (and eventually outnumber) the so-called "pros"

and some of those who are really good are bound to do it as a means of expressing themselves (giving the results away for fame - getting laid being the ultimate purpose :P) rather than as a means to make a$$loads of money (which only happens to a handful of high end photographers, anyway, the rest are left simmering in their own mediocrity and decrying the state of the industry being ruined by those pesky amateurs)

Re:Don't see the problem. (4, Insightful)

funkatron (912521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754217)

Asshat photographers are pretty common. At a gig my band were playing we had a photographer turn up (we didn't know him or invite him), get in the way at the front of the stage and then try to sell us pictures by showing us the display on his camera while we were trying to clear the gear up. He wasn't even interested in emailing us thumbnails so that we could look at them properly (and put them on our myspazz without buying full size versions). We're ok with people coming and taking pictures and using them wherever they want but trying to sell them to us is pushing it when we can get plenty of good pics off facebook etc. for free.

The other and far more common place to find asshats is uni graduation ceremonies where the photographers charge extortionate amounts just to take one or two pictures.

Re:Don't see the problem. (2, Informative)

FireFury03 (653718) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754311)

we can get plenty of good pics off facebook etc. for free.

You know that you don't have implicit permission to redistribute a photo just because it's on Facebook, right?

They want to eat their cake and keep it (5, Insightful)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28753983)

"I want the free publicity I get from having my images freely distributable, but I want to retain the sole right to distribute it."

Not how it works.

Re:They want to eat their cake and keep it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754085)

That's naive. It is exactly how it works, you just have to hide it better. People only really care about free (as in beer) and that can be exploited and usually is. When's the last time you paid for Google's services, for example?

Re:They want to eat their cake and keep it (2, Informative)

MrMr (219533) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754383)

When you buy a product you pay a small percentage of the price for the producers advertising budget.
That budget is spent partly on google-ads
That is how you pay your Google tax.

that's one way of looking at it... (3, Insightful)

cas2000 (148703) | more than 5 years ago | (#28753993)

'To me the problem is the Wikipedia rule of public use,' says Jerry Avenaim, a celebrity photographer. 'If they truly wanted to elevate the image on the site, they should allow photographers to maintain the copyright.'"

To me, the problem is the professional photographers' restrictions on public re-use of their work. If they truly wanted to elevate the image on the site then they'd release the image under an appropriate open license.

ps: i have no idea what "elevate the image on the site" means either. but if someone as smart enough to be a celebrity photographer says it, it must mean something really clever and important.

Re:that's one way of looking at it... (4, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754045)

You would think that for a celebrity it would be worth paying a photographer to take a good shot and release it under a license which wikipedia will accept.

Wrong mod (1, Informative)

myrrdyn (562078) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754225)

Reply to undo wrong mod, sorry

Re:that's one way of looking at it... (1)

eugene2k (1213062) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754391)

And for the photographer, since they are credited.

Re:that's one way of looking at it... (1)

binford2k (142561) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754047)

Read it as "elevate the role of images." He's using the word as a collective noun.

Photographer maintains copyright (5, Insightful)

incense (63332) | more than 5 years ago | (#28753999)

If I'm not entirely mistaken, the photographer maintains the copyright, but the publishing on wikipedia under the creative commons allows everybody to use the photography as long as the photographer is credited.

If photographers want to help, but are worried they'll lose control, why not upload lower than mint quality images?

Re:Photographer maintains copyright (1)

jsa95 (1571959) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754107)

If I'm not entirely mistaken, the photographer maintains the copyright, but the publishing on wikipedia under the creative commons allows everybody to use the photography as long as the photographer is credited.

I don't think it counts as "copyright" to them if you cannot make $$$ out of it (preferably by suing some 6 year old or sth).

Re:Photographer maintains copyright (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754399)

According to my reading of the Creative Commons, when you release an image in the Creative Commons, you can't specify that only that particular copy at that particular resolution is CC. It is all or nothing. I can understand professional photographers being wary. This would not be an issue if Wikipedia accepted copyright waivers for the use of Wikipedia, but they don't.

When copyright meets copyleft (1, Insightful)

moon3 (1530265) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754003)

You can't mix those and Wikipedia admins knows that. It's like matter and anti-matter. Allowing copyrighted content would spawn all sorts of problems. You would no longer be able to fully cite, print or publish Wiki content easily. If the page would contain copyrighted image, you would have to ask for pardon the copyright holder etc. Headache after headache..

Re:When copyright meets copyleft (3, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754125)

Who modded this insightful? It's not about copyright vs public domain but about permissively licensed vs restrictively licensed content.

Re:When copyright meets copyleft (2, Interesting)

funkatron (912521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754231)

The trouble is that the post use copyright to mean restrictively licensed as there is no simple catchy term for it. Perhaps we should start calling restrictive licenses "copywrong".

Really (4, Insightful)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754009)

And to think I was looking for a 4000x3000 raw bitmap photo of Halle Berry on Wikipedia. Good thing I now know better.

Seriously though, what's wrong with the diversity that the net has to offer? I use wikipedia.org to get some shallow information about anything that crosses my mind, and I use images.google.com to browse for images. So wikipedia is not the source for everything, big deal, I have the rest of the internet at my disposal at any time. So thank you wikipedia, thank you google, and fuck you NY Times.

Venue for Professional Photographers (5, Insightful)

gonz (13914) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754011)

Wikipedia provides full citations for the author/source of all uploaded photos. If a professional photographer wanted to increase his exposure (no pun intended), he could contribute to wikipedia under a free license. The upsides really dwarf the downsides.

-Gonz

About that 'maintain the copyright' quote... (5, Interesting)

bheer (633842) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754201)

The combination of the NYT's editing and Slashdot's summarizing has been rather unkind to that "they should allow photographers to maintain the copyright" quote, imho.

> If a professional photographer wanted to increase his exposure (no pun intended), he could contribute to wikipedia under a free license.

That's exactly what the guy who the quote was attributed to has done.

The story quoted Jerry Avenaim, who has contributed his photos to Wikipedia, for example here [wikimedia.org] . He says that photographers get paid very little for celebrity shots and make most of their money on resales of their photos (presumably print and online). If a freely licensed version on Wikipedia exists, then many publishers would simply take the wikipedia photo.

Given that Avenaim himself has contributed photos, he's obviously aware of the upsides and the downsides of doing so - he even notes that he gets free publicity out of it. But re his "they should allow photographers to maintain the copyright" quote, it sounds like he meant Wikipedia should have a license that allows photographers to contribute _only to Wikipedia_ (presumably *.wikipedia.org) and still retain rights for usage of that photo anywhere else.

I can see how this could be made to work. Have a 'better' photo for use on wikipedia.org, and point to an alternate free copy for use e.g. when other sites re-use wikipedia. That way photographers can contribute high-quality photos AND get paid, wikipedia gains, AND freedom to reuse is not lost.

However, given that wikipedians are pretty hard-core about free (libre) content, it's unlikely anyone will take him seriously. Which is a pity. Good illustrations really enhance the value of an encyclopedia, but I'm guessing wikipedia won't compromise on its core 'free-ness' thing to get them.

Re:About that 'maintain the copyright' quote... (5, Interesting)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754329)

I can see how this could be made to work. Have a 'better' photo for use on wikipedia.org, and point to an alternate free copy for use e.g. when other sites re-use wikipedia. That way photographers can contribute high-quality photos AND get paid, wikipedia gains, AND freedom to reuse is not lost.

However, given that wikipedians are pretty hard-core about free (libre) content, it's unlikely anyone will take him seriously. Which is a pity. Good illustrations really enhance the value of an encyclopedia, but I'm guessing wikipedia won't compromise on its core 'free-ness' thing to get them

It really would compromise the core free-ness thing in a practical way though.

Currently Wikipedia works like "We're collaborating on this work, which you can take a copy of, to do whatever you like".

With your modification it would be, "We're collaborating on this work. You can browse the premium edition here, or you can take a copy of the second class edition to do whatever you like".

To me that's a massive difference, and a slippery slope.

Re:Venue for Professional Photographers (1)

Dayze!Confused (717774) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754293)

The thing that really gets me is that all they really have to upload is ONE picture of the celebrity. It's not like they are taking their entire life's portfolio and giving it to Wikipedia saying, "Here take everything I have, and everything I am going to make so that I am now financially ruined forever and can no longer take another photo. Have my camera too since now it is useless to me anymore."
I mean, take one specifically for Wikipedia, lower the quality of it if you want, and then move on taking more pictures; your fingers ain't broken yet.

Mr. Avenaim doesn't get it... (3, Insightful)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754015)

'To me the problem is the Wikipedia rule of public use,' says Jerry Avenaim, a celebrity photographer. 'If they truly wanted to elevate the image on the site, they should allow photographers to maintain the copyright.'

Then you better be sure to stay off Wikipedia, Mr. Avenaim.
He just fails to understand the concept of Wikipedia, whereas everyone should be able to copy-paste a whole article, -with- the photos included, if deemed necesary.
I couldn't care less if a picture of a celebrity is not up-to-date, glamorous, or whatever: As long as the provided information is correct. And -if- the celebrity (or their management) cares... Well, supply a freaking photo with a Creative Commons license: Is this so hard?

Mr. Avenaim would just love it to keep the copyright over his work, so probably in the future he could ask for some money for using his work.

Re:Mr. Avenaim doesn't get it... (2, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754127)

Mr Avenaim also just doesn't understand how copyright works. Of course he retains copyright; he merely grants a license to the version of the picture he uploads.

There is nothing stopping him from uploading a reduced resolution image; he can then continue use the full resolution version in whatever way he wants, including licensing it to people who want something suitable for print purposes for insane sums of money, if he chooses.

Re:Mr. Avenaim doesn't get it... (2, Informative)

complete loony (663508) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754199)

Then you better be sure to stay off Wikipedia, Mr. Avenaim.

Too Late [wikipedia.org] . It even looks like he has uploaded his own portrait to Wikimedia Commons under a CC license.

The NYT doesn't understand the web (5, Insightful)

Shin-LaC (1333529) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754021)

See, NYT, it's not called a web because we like to imagine spiders crawling all over our internets. It's called that because pages are supposed to be joined into an interconnected mesh through hyperlinks. So, when your article on the bad photos on Wikipedia doesn't include a single link to the bad photos themselves, or to any page on wikipedia at all (I've checked, "wikipedia.org" doesn't occur even once in the page source), the impression you're giving is not "we're a respectable news organization", it's "we fail at the internet forever, kick us."

Re:The NYT doesn't understand the web (1)

julesh (229690) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754183)

[The NYT's] article on the bad photos on Wikipedia doesn't include a single link to the bad photos themselves [...]

NYT, like most newspapers, writes the articles for print, then reproduces them on the web site. Their process simply does not support links in the article body (although you may find a 'related sites' sidebar). This is pretty standard, and you'll see the same on almost all newspaper websites, plus a large proportion of news sites that are written specifically for the web (e.g. news.bbc.co.uk).

Quality (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754033)

Well, yes, the difference between a polished professional encyclopedia and Wikipedia is, umm... the same as... the difference between Mac OS X and Linux. Or Photoshop and GIMP, or most other commercial vs. free. Face it. It's the fact and if you deny it, you're making a fool of yourself.

So no difference in quality, then? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754113)

For every thing that Photoshop does well and GIMP doesn't do or does badly, there are things that GIMP does well and Photoshop doesn't do or does badly.

Most commercial offerings are more error prone code than free code. The selection of closed code is, of course, less available, but there has been instrumentation of such code done and FOSS code is of higher quality.

Re:Quality (1)

funkatron (912521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754273)

Yes but only one of those has much of a future. who wants to pay for an encyclopaedia? As for your complaint about quality, if it really matters then you don't read wikipredia, you read the sources listed in the wikipedia article and follow it up by checking the relevant publications in the field.

I see where they're both coming from. (4, Informative)

Shag (3737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754035)

I love free use and all that. I'm also a photographer - not one who makes a living off it, but a moderately serious amateur who makes a little money now and then.

In my real job, I work somewhere where a permit is required for "commercial" photography or filming. I can take all the pictures I want for personal use, of course, and I can put pictures on my personal web page (or for that matter my work one), but unless I pony up the bucks for a permit (hundreds of dollars) I can't profit in any way, nor (and here's the clincher) can I give the photos for free to someone else who profits in any way from them.

There is a Creative Commons license (actually, lots of them) for things like this - the -nc- (non-commercial) ones. Unfortunately, last time I looked at Wikipedia, they insisted on a license allowing all uses, including commercial uses.

So as an amateur who doesn't want or need to make money off pictures of where I work, to upload a picture of my workplace (unsurprisingly, I have plenty, many of them quite good) I would have to shell out hundreds of dollars for a permit, then allow anyone and everyone do do whatever they want with my picture, including making money off it. So not only am I basically releasing it to the public domain, I'm paying out of pocket for the right to let other people make money off it.

If Wikipedia has changed their terms and are allowing cc-*-nc-* licensing, then I'll be very happy to stand corrected. If they still require licensing of all uses including commercial ones then I'm sorry, but I simply can't play that game.

Re:I see where they're both coming from. (3, Insightful)

Blublu (647618) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754089)

Sounds like a problem with your workplace rather than with Wikipedia.

Re:I see where they're both coming from. (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754165)

Surely the workplace has no obligation to change purely for the betterment of Wikipedia. Wikipedia will benefit here so that is the organisation that must change.

Re:I see where they're both coming from. (1)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754109)

If Wikipedia has changed their terms and are allowing cc-*-nc-* licensing, then I'll be very happy to stand corrected. If they still require licensing of all uses including commercial ones then I'm sorry, but I simply can't play that game.

Free, open content doesn't have restrictions on its uses. If it does, it isn't free and open.

Re:I see where they're both coming from. (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754111)

But if it was in your workplaces interest to get those photos out on wikipedia, they's be stupid not to give out the permit for free to anyone who is kind hearted enough to take (almost) professional-grade pictures of it for free. At least for a handfull of selected pictures.

Write your own wiki (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754121)

with blackjack! and hookers!

Tell you what, when you release your photos under the CC license that only requires attribution, then I'll be happy to be corrected.

But your cost isn't my problem.

Re:I see where they're both coming from. (4, Insightful)

julesh (229690) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754203)

If Wikipedia has changed their terms and are allowing cc-*-nc-* licensing, then I'll be very happy to stand corrected. If they still require licensing of all uses including commercial ones then I'm sorry, but I simply can't play that game.

They can't. One of the stated goals of the project is to allow commercial reproductions (e.g. distributions on CDROM or printed copies). To permit restriction of photographs to non-commercial uses would cripple this, effectively preventing them from reaching a key aim point. They'd rather not have the photo (which encourages somebody else -- perhaps somebody who already has that commercial use permit -- to take the photo for them) than have one that can't be used properly.

Seriously, where the hell do you work? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754209)

I've heard of needing to get -permission- to do something out of the ordinary at a workplace. But to 'shell out hundreds of dollars for a permit'? What the fuck? Is your 'workplace' Myanmar or something?

Really, don't sweat it. I don't think Wikipedia needs pictures of your workplace that badly.

barvennon (3, Interesting)

barv (1382797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754039)

Creative commons attribution is the only copyright and patent law we need. I look forward to the day when music is free to copy and musicians make their money from live performance, when images are free to copy and the original has value because it's, well, the original. When the written word may be copied and recopied, when patent law is no longer needed because people invent and discover for prestige.

Re:barvennon (1)

SolitaryMan (538416) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754365)

From the fact that you've been modded as funny, you can conclude, that you'll have to wait for a long, long time.

Muhc ado about nothing (4, Insightful)

Blublu (647618) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754055)

If you are a celebrity and want Wikipedia to have a good photo of you, provide one with the appropriate license and stop bitching. Problem solved! If you can't provide a picture under a free license, don't complain when someone else puts up a crappy picture. There is no problem here.

Here's the thing... (5, Informative)

SirFozzie (442268) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754059)

(Please note, stating my Conflict of Interest up front: I am currently a Wikipedia Administrator, one of the 2,500 or so)

I do agree that photos are not a good spot for Wikipedia. And we're currently in a spot where our pictures are simultaneously decried as not good enough (this topic) and too good (http://news.slashdot.org/story/09/07/17/085244/New-Developments-In-NPGWikipedia-Lawsuit-Threat [slashdot.org] , the museum in question says that low res versions would be ok, but high res infringes on their copyright (note, the items in question are in the public domain in the US, but the laws regarding reproductions of items are a bit wonky in the UK)

We are a free encyclopedia. The people who use the encyclopedia have a right to reuse the material on Wikipedia in any way possible. Therefore, we cannot present any material that doesn't meet the requirements, because outside the two categories (things permissible under the GFDL/CC-BY-SA licensing terms, and limited fair-use exemptions, usually when no other picture is possible, such as photos of a person who is no longer living).

One could quite possibly argue that if we did not restrict items to these categories, then on other versions of Wikipedia, or otherwise legal use of Wikipedia (for example, reusing the article elsewhere), Wikipedia would be contributing to copyright infringement, or even considering the terms the rest of the website is under, encouraging copyright infringement.

Do I (speaking more as a user of the encyclopedia, rather than an administrator) want professional looking photographs and information on Wikipedia? Yes, Of course. I would LOVE for a lot of professional photographers to be able to release their work. But it's their decision. If they don't want to donate the phots under the suitable license, then, unfortunately, we cannot use them.

And I should say that there are categories where Wikipedia shines. Several governments including the German goverment (http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08%2F12%2F06%2F1654246&from=rss [slashdot.org] ) have released hundreds of thousands of historical to current day photographs to be used on Wikipedia by the site's terms.

I know a user on Wikipedia (who I am proud to call a friend), who makes it their mission to restore old, faded pictures and photographs. They have close to 300 featured picture credits to their name. There's a whole category at the Wikipedia Commons (a sister project to Wikipedia) that makes it their goal to restore these photos and historical documents. (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Potential_restorations [wikimedia.org] ).

So it's an ever-improving process. We can only take what we are GIVEN, but everyday we're given more and more to work with.

Re:Here's the thing... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754143)

Dear Wikipedia Administrator,

A lot of photographers like myself would love to contribute photos to your service.

However, the one time I attempted to do this, the process was so incomprhensible that it took me thirty minutes to figure out how where to submit the photo, how to submit the photo, and which one of twleve different copyrights was appropriate. Then it took the same amount of time to figure out how to go about replacing a photo in an article with the one I submitted.

And I am a computer programmer. I can't imagine someone who does photography for a living would have an easier time.

Anyway, the whole process left such a bad taste in my mouth, I said screw it. I wasn't gonna spend a year uploading over a thousand photos with your awful interface.

Oh and to add insult to injury, when I added the photo, I left the original there, and the next day the idiot maintaining the article deleted mine even though the quality was far higher and met wikipedia's specifications better. His sole reason for doing this? "We don't need two photos of the same mountain in one article."

Re:Here's the thing... (2, Interesting)

SirFozzie (442268) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754159)

I do agree that the process for uploading photos needs to be improved (anyone with MediaWiki experience want to write us a better mousetrap?) But it does work, kludgey, but it works.

Re:Here's the thing... (3, Interesting)

Marcika (1003625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754349)

The upload process itself is quite simple (and has been at least since 2004) - the problem is the bureaucracy that people with entirely too much time on their hand have built around it... And the fascist enforcement of the minutiae of this bureaucracy by some individuals with even more time on their hands.

I am sure Betacommand alone has turned hundreds (if not thousands) of photographers off Wikipedia with his automated deletion rampages based on "insufficiently explicit copyright tags" and such (doing it on images that were correctly tagged years before he and his ilk even joined to arbitrarily rewrite tagging policies)... He was banned, but there are still dozens of admins like him around.

Re:Here's the thing... (3, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754369)

The Usability Initiative is working on stuff that sucks less.

If you really want to put a pic in but can't figure out WTF (which is appallingly common), (a) put it on Flickr as CC-by-sa (b) put a note on the talk page "I can't figure out your arglearble wikitext syntax, but I have a suitably licensed pic at this link."

Re:Here's the thing... (2, Interesting)

julesh (229690) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754151)

the museum in question says that low res versions would be ok, but high res infringes on their copyright (note, the items in question are in the public domain in the US, but the laws regarding reproductions of items are a bit wonky in the UK)

Actually, my understanding is that the laws regarding reproductions are actually very similar. Corel v Bridgeman, for instance, was heard by a US court but the decision was based on UK law. The only problem is no UK court has ever heard an equivalent case, and UK courts don't generally recognise US court decisions as precedent, so it could theoretically go the other way. In all truth, a UK court would be likely to make the same decision (that reproductions of public domain works which were produced with nothing other than mechanical effort to improve the quality of the reproduction are not protected by copyright), but it is impossible to be certain, and nobody really wants to take the chance.

IANAL, but I have read extensively on copyright law and the common law system.

Wikimedia foundation is protecting its ass (1)

CosmicRabbit (1505129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754065)

Otherwise, even public domain art scannings can get them in trouble.
Like the recent shameful lawsuit by the National Art Gallery [bbc.co.uk]
That some jackass artist's agent lawyers-up at the slightest prospect of getting another shinny penny in the pocket, I can expect. But a taxpayer funded institution which main objective should be the preservation and public outreach of fine art (a lot of which outside the scope of any copyright bindings), that's just unacceptable.

Re:Wikimedia foundation is protecting its ass (1)

CosmicRabbit (1505129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754079)

And of course I meant the British National Portrait Gallery.

Clueless Journo (2, Informative)

toolz (2119) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754067)

The author of that article needs to get pulled up by his editor for bad research and reporting.

Who the hell said that licensing something under Creative Commons means that you are giving up your copyright? Does he even understand what Copyright is all about? And what a license is?

It's this kind of article that scares the willies out readers, who are led to believe that licensing under the GPL or CC means that you lose the right to be identified as the author of the work. What rubbish!

Wiki content is not just for viewing (4, Informative)

physicsphairy (720718) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754075)

"'If they truly wanted to elevate the image on the site, they should allow photographers to maintain the copyright.'"

The problem is that Wikipedia does not end at Wikipedia. Even if they themselves are given copyright permissions I imagine they consider it a problem if the endusers that copy the images from Wikipedia for other purposes get in trouble.

The critics apparently want Wikipedia to pursue the maximum image quality they can get for readers of the site, but they don't stop to consider that there's a lot more people do with the stuff on wikipedia than just view it on the wikipedia.org domain.

Pictures? (5, Funny)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754131)

I swear, I read wikipedia for the articles, not for the pictures!

Why are photographers so paranoid (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754145)

Nobody is going to pay money for a 400x300 photo, but that would probably be more than adequate for wikipedia. Presumably if it's a good photo, and there's a market for such things, such a small thumbnail will only be suitable as advertising.

Or am I mistaken and there's actually a huge market for low resolution photos of celebrities?

Re:Why are photographers so paranoid (1)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754185)

Or am I mistaken and there's actually a huge market for low resolution photos of celebrities?

Possibly.

From TFA, I think the photographer has a business model where web-quality images are licensed to (for example) news sites.

Let's say the NYT wants to illustrate a minor story about George Clooney on their web site. As long as there's no free image of reasonable quality, the NYT is going to go to a stock photo archive, pick a photo at a price that suits them, and the copyright holder will take a cut.

His argument is that as long as there is *just one* adequate quality photo of George Clooney under a free license, then the NYT and everyone else will use that for evermore, destroying any market for other photos.

I think it might be true to an extent. A lot of publishers will use the free photo.

But I also suspect that 'premium' publishers will want to feed their customers' demand for different shots. A typical reader will soon notice that every time George Clooney is mentioned, the same photo is used.

Re:Why are photographers so paranoid (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754255)

Hmm. Oddly I hadn't considered commercial websites.

I wonder if there is still a way. Maybe a visible ("Licenced under CC-BY-ND") watermark and no derivative works or something would be good enough for Wikipedia and not good enough for commercial sites.

Re:Why are photographers so paranoid (2, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754373)

No, because that's not free content [freedomdefined.org] .

Shaming (1)

eddy (18759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754157)

Organize some donors and create a program whereby if a donated high-quality image is used (or restrict it to portraits if that's a specific problem area), the donators give X dollars to a good cause, starving children or something, in the name of the image copyright holder. Create a public top list of photographers works so donated.

There are a million variations, but the idea is that if they want to complain with their strawmen arguments, make them look like the whiners they are.

Assuming this is a real problem. I've never had reason to complain personally about images on wikipedia, but I mostly hang out in technical articles.

copyright (1)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754187)

'If they truly wanted to elevate the image on the site, they should allow photographers to maintain the copyright.'

Uh, they do? You are not required to assign copyright to Wikipedia.

However, they require that you grant the public a broad selection of rights. That generally doesn't mix with any future attempts to use the same image for commercial purposes, because your customer might just as well take the copy from Wikipedia.

It's a difference. An important one. I would mind terribly if someone else would get the rights to my works. But retaining the rights and granting everyone the right to use my stuff is what sharing (and thus the Creative Commons idea) is all about.

Business as usual (2, Insightful)

thue (121682) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754221)

So as I understand it from the article, the problem is this:

  • Photographers are hired by celebrities, who gets a photo for a symbolic sum, in return for the photographer retaining copyright and the rights to resell the images.
  • But if a free photo was uploaded to Wikipedia then everybody would be happy to just use this, and the photographer would loose most of his income.

So it seems to me that

  • If most people would be happy to just use one shot, then that is the will of the free market, and it is only through cartel-like monopoly of the photographers that the current status quo works. The current system benefits the photographers, but detracts from society at large. Everybody but the photographers would benefit from free photos being available, including magazines, etc.
  • If the celebrities were willing to use a little money to get a one-time shot taken then they could get a lot of free publicity. The celebrities don't seem to make money from their photos, so the celebrities have little to loose. Since it would in principle only take one freelance photographer to break the photography cartel then it shouldn't be a problem in theory. The only thing needed for this to happen is the celebrities realizing that they have this option.

Fair use not allowed is somehow Wikipedia's fault (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754229)

Wikipedia is based on free content - that's one of its five pillars. Allowing non-GFDL compatible, non-fair use content is not going to happen. Period.

But consider this: barring exceptions, fair use photographs of living people are not allowed on Wikipedia. This means e.g. that 99 times out of 100, you can't use a screenshot from a movie to identify an actor. That's how the copyright law works, apparently: do otherwise, and you risk a lawsuit.

NYT's reasoning in the article is along the usual lines: there's nothing wrong with the copyright law, that's even beyond discussion - it's those stubborn Wikipedians...

Silly license (-1)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754235)

I'm a professional photographer. Many times I've looked at a Wiki article that needs a photo, and I have a suitable one, but I'm not willing to surrender my copyright. I would happily grant Wiki a free license to use the photo but no, they want a complete surrender of copyright or they don't want the picture, so they don't get the picture :-(

Re:Silly license (4, Informative)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754289)

I would happily grant Wiki a free license to use the photo but no, they want a complete surrender of copyright or they don't want the picture, so they don't get the picture :-(

You might consider this to be splitting semantic hairs, but actually you would retain copyright. You would just offer the image under a license which allows free distribution.

But you summed it up. Wikipedia's aim is to create a freely distributable encyclopedia. They don't want any material that they can't distribute freely.

You're not contributing because you don't share Wikipedia's aims.

Re:Silly license (1)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754323)

I'm afraid this is a common misconception. Copyright refers to, literally, the right to copy something. If I give everyone in the world, or even just one single person, the right to copy an image, then I have _effectively_ surrendered my copyright.

For example: Suppose I give you the right to distribute one of my photos. A publisher then comes to me, wanting to license the photo for a book, and I quote them a couple of grand for the rights. You can then step in and quote them one grand.

Re:Silly license (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754327)

I would happily grant Wiki a free license to use the photo but no, they want a complete surrender of copyright or they don't want the picture, so they don't get the picture :-(

Wikipedia is all about free content. Free as in "everyone can fork it, print it, distribute it on CD etc.". Not free as in "everyone can view it on *.wikipedia.org and if they want to do anything else with it, they go to Andy Smith and buy a license".

So apperently, you don't want to contribute to Wikipedia, as you do not accept one of the core principles of the project. You want to contribute to a collaboratively created, but non-free wiki, which isn't what Wikipedia is about.

Re:Silly license (1)

Andy Smith (55346) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754409)

Wikipedia is all about free content. Free as in "everyone can fork it, print it, distribute it on CD etc.". Not free as in "everyone can view it on *.wikipedia.org and if they want to do anything else with it, they go to Andy Smith and buy a license".

I would very much like to contribute photos which could then be used freely for anything Wiki related, including printing and distribution etc. But the license which Wiki requires would then give people the right to extract my work from Wiki and sell it independently, which is what I'm not willing to allow.

Why shouldn't I be able to contribute a photo to Wiki without also granting people permission to sell it as a poster?

Re:Silly license (1)

Marcus Green (34723) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754337)

I think you troll....

"Why?" Cuz Wikipedia's so bad. (0, Troll)

cosanostradamus (1553391) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754241)

. Great idea, poor execution, Wikipedia. .

Fair Use (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754265)

A problem that seems to be ignored here is the limit of fair use. Wikipedia allows only low-res pictures of some items (video game box-art for example), so the quality of the pictures comes out rather awful not because of lack of people contributing higher quality pictures, but because a higher quality picture could be considered a copyright violation of the original and are thus not allowed.

Wikipedia aside, low quality pictures is a general web problem, your average news side won't feature 10 megapixel photos either, just a lumpy scaled down version, thanks to everybody being overly careful with copyright and licensing.

post a reduced size image (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754277)

Wikipedia doesnt need a full 10+ megapixel image to illustrae atricles, it doesnt even need one that would fill you screen. Something around 200x200px would probably be suficient for most cases, e.g a picture of a celebrity where the issue seems to commonly arise. If photogaphers are concerned about copyright why not just created a reduced size and quality version and release that. Its too small to be used for commercial uses in most cases so neednt worry so much about it being 'stolen', and can still retain as many permissions as they like over the full image.

Re:post a reduced size image (1)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754363)

If photogaphers are concerned about copyright why not just created a reduced size and quality version and release that. Its too small to be used for commercial uses in most cases

Go to http://www.nyt.com/ [nyt.com] and count the 75x75 px and 151x151 px non-free photographs.

The web creates a commercial demand for low-res photographic images.

I was a Professional Photographer once and young. (3, Insightful)

vorlich (972710) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754313)

And I have no problem understanding the copyright laws, certainly those relevant to Europe. I possess about 250,000 negatives which are my copyright (although not all of them are worth a dime). I know that Wikipedia is a community resource where we are neither intended to make money or achieve fame or infamy. So the NYT article is just dumb. If celebs want images in wikipedia then they should upload a completely copyright free image and stop whining. That's all there is to it. Not complicated. No script writer needed. They do it every other day when they appear on the beach for the paparazzi.

Find good photos on Flickr, ask for permission (1)

HertzaHaeon (1164143) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754351)

I had that problem before with the article on Hayo Miyazaki [wikipedia.org] that I'm contributing to, but I went to Flickr, found a bunch of good, professional-looking pictures of Miyazaki-san and asked the photographers to release their picture under the correct CC license. I got one in less than a a week. The photographer was only glad to help and have his work seen.

A quick search on Flickr quickly reveals a good photo of Ms Berry [flickr.com] and Mr Clooney [flickr.com] . So, I suggests someone gets to it.

Is this really a problem? (1)

Rich Klein (699591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754377)

Is this really a problem, or are some professional photographers just put out because their pictures not showing up on Wikipedia? I hadn't noticed the pictures on Wikipedia sucking, and all my pictures have been licensed such that Wikipedia could use them (though I didn't think of Wikipedia when I chose the license) since I started using flickr, years ago.

Speaking of the license, I think this statement is wrong:
"Wikipedia runs only pictures with the most permissive Creative Commons license, which allows anyone to use an image, for commercial purposes or not, as long as the photographer is credited."
I don't think the most permissive CC license requires even attribution.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_commons#Types_of_Creative_Commons_licenses [wikipedia.org]

Image uploads are restricted (5, Informative)

dalesc (66212) | more than 5 years ago | (#28754395)

I have a bunch of high quality images that I've taken and am happy to donate. However, when I tried to upload them I was prevented due to not having updated a sufficient number of articles. Until you've updated the text on something like 10 articles you can't upload any images. I simply haven't found that many articles I felt I could make a useful contribution to yet. It seems like an odd restriction to me. Unless you can prove you can write readable text, you can't upload pictures.

Surely it is the agents with the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28754401)

They hired professional photographers to photograph their clients, without ensuring they had the right to do what they needed with the photos.

The fact that Wikipedia can think ahead and require the correct license is only a good thing.

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