Otherkin Wiki:Town hall/Appearance

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Latest comment: 3 months ago by Vagabondsun in topic The image policy thread

This is the Appearance forum. It can be used to discuss images and illustrating articles, but also making the site look nicer in general.

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The image policy thread[edit source]

this is a continuation of a handful of conversations we've had both in the discord and on the old wiki: how do we use images on articles? in the specific, this is more like two questions:

  • what kinds of images are appropriate for and relevant to articles?
  • what images are legal and ethical to use?

for the first, it seems that people feel that the best images would be ones made to specifically be about alterhumanity, or at least by alterhumans. i don't personally think that, say, a photo of a cat would be out of place on the cat article, but it should probably only play a supporting role to other things. much like some editors have been encouraging people to write about their experiences, i think it would be cool to see other forms of creative expression!

for the latter, this one's trickier! while i get the impression that people are generally for 'fair use' for at least some kinds of non-free images, we don't fully know where we stand in terms of german copyright law (where the site is hosted). we think it upholds the EU's stance on allowing things for educational use, but we also don't know if what we're doing would count for that! if things become really hairy, we can move to a hosting company based in a country with more manageable copyright laws, but that's kind of a last resort, i'm sure you'll agree!

in any case, what's legal and what's right are not always the same thing. even if we were legally in the clear to use, say, this heading from this now-defunct forum whose artist hasn't been seen on the internet in years? i really don't know! we made the decision to include this picture from one of the first ever howls on the old wiki, and so it got ported over, and i think it's really great, but it's also one that could be a bit ethically dubious.

we currently have a label for uploaded images that states "This file is intended to be used in a way that complies with Otherkin Wiki's fair use policy." - but we don't actually have that policy yet! clear documentation on what is and isn't acceptable to use here will be really critical, so i hope that this discussion generates some workable ideas.

Jazzhorse 🎷🐎 (he/him + ze/hir) 🔸 talk 🔸 contrib 🔸 19:23, 13 April 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

so, it's probably worth revisiting this now we're using miraheze, which i belieeeve is hosted in the UK? and is therefore subject to UK copyright law, which does have a concept of fair use, but i'm not sure in what ways it differs from the common, US-based understanding of the term. we'll have to familiarize ourselves with the boundaries of that, but i'm assuming it gives us more room to work than previously.
that said, the question of what we personally consider ethical on top of that still stands. we could look, as we often do, to wikipedia for precedent. here are some criteria on the non-free content policy page:
  • uploading the image at the smallest possible resolution
  • using it in as few places as is necessary
  • not using the image in a way that would impede the copyright holder's ability to profit from it
  • using it only where no good free equivalent exists or could be created
  • including detailed information about providence, copyright, credit and justification for use on the image's description page
to what extent any of these are right for this wiki can be debated, but they're rules i've been following in my own head.
i think that the examples you bring up of images with unfindable creators is something worth paying particular attention to, but i don't have any specific recommendations on that as of yet. i also think since the general sentiment on the site seems to be that sources can be removed if the writer requests, the same should obviously go for images. to keep this wiki ticking is probably going to necessitate a kind of "ask for forgiveness, not permission" approach, and i have thoughts on how to mindfully go about picking images to avoid upset, but they kind of apply to content on the wiki generally so i'll put them in the similar thread on sources here Vagabondsun (talk) 17:22, 16 November 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]