Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

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Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by fuzzlesnuz » 2022-08-06, 23:48

Earlier this year, I took the liberty of cleaning up the Pale Moon article on Wikipedia and raising it to something of a higher quality, since Pale Moon really deserves better. Part of that effort involved updating/adding some screenshots of Pale Moon (and Basilisk). Yesterday, what I believe to be an East European or Russian troll raised the issue of deleting two of these screenshots on ill-stated copyright grounds. One screenshot was deleted by a hasty administrator, while the other has survived. Today, a proper discussion for deletion was started on the surviving image. In short, it has been alleged that screenshots depicting Pale Moon (the running compiled application) are bound to a license that prevents them from being distributed; thusly, the Wikipedia article for Pale Moon cannot depict Pale Moon.

I have been arguing against the alleged claims, which you can find here:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File_talk:Pale_Moon_29.4.6_on_Windows_7.png
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Pale_Moon_29.4.6_on_Windows_7.png
I have not, however, directly argued in favor of keeping the screenshots, since I am no copyright or law expert, and I can't reconcile how the Pale Moon's Firefox ancestry, its own unique code, and many licenses involved in the Pale Moon project all come together to decide if it is permitted to distribute screenshots of Pale Moon. Common sense says that it would be ridiculous if we cannot distribute screenshots of Pale Moon, but I know that complex licensing hierarchies are anything but common sense.

I've noticed that Moonchild himself has occasionally contributed to the Pale Moon article on Wikipedia in the past. Now, I am aware that Moonchild has far more important things to do, and iirc he has directly stated that maintaining the Pale Moon's presence on Wikipedia is beyond the time has currently has. However, I figured it would be prudent to make a post about this here, since the whole situation seems exceptionally spontaneous and bizarre. I do not know if Tobin is still interesting in harming the Pale Moon project, but this seems like something that could arise from his shepherding of reddit hivemind members or similar. To that, I wonder: could Moonchild issue an express grant for all the wikiverse sites to distribute screenshots of Pale Moon? Maybe I'm just naive, but I feel like that would be an ironclad defense to future miserable trolls who seek to detract from Pale Moon (however marginally) via the wikiverse's copyright policies and its hasty administrators.

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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by Moonchild » 2022-08-07, 00:09

Not sure why there would be an issue -- clearly a screenshot of the way a program looks falls directly under the fair use clause.

EDIT: dropped a note on both talk pages.
The fact that I, the rights owner, am saying it's OK should be the end of this.
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by jobbautista9 » 2022-08-07, 02:15

Fair use alone is not acceptable in Wikimedia Commons; I have contributed there for a long time so I know the ins and outs. However, I still believe that the screenshot should be kept, because from Commons' PoV, the redistribution terms for Pale Moon's binaries is a non-copyright restriction, and we really don't care about those most of the time (especially if it's a trademark, which seems to be the case here).

If this screenshot is deleted, then we will have to delete all screenshots of Firefox as well, since Mozilla does the same thing for their binaries. That would be a bad precedent.
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-08-07, 02:21

I mean, if they are going to be sticklers about only allowing "open source" branding that doesn't have any kind of trademark attached to it, I suppose we could always upload screenshots of the unbranded "Browser" build that lacks any official branding, and say that version has no trademarks attached, but has the same UI as Pale Moon.

The whole dispute seems rather petty, though. I've seen screenshots of copyrighted applications in competitor's advertising for product comparison purposes, surely that would be more of a legal issue if this couldn't be done...
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by jobbautista9 » 2022-08-07, 02:29

athenian200 wrote:
2022-08-07, 02:21
The whole dispute seems rather petty, though. I've seen screenshots of copyrighted applications in competitor's advertising for product comparison purposes, surely that would be more of a legal issue if this couldn't be done...
Well Wikimedia Commons is pretty special in this case, because they insist that the copyright status of all uploads to their wiki must be free. Which is why I said earlier that they don't accept fair use, because it really doesn't address the matter of whether a work is free or not. I understand their insistence on freeness; they've "marketed" themselves as a "free media repository", and they want to make sure that reusers of their repo can be confident that their usage of content will not be illegal under copyright law.
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by jobbautista9 » 2022-08-07, 02:39

Btw, fuzzlesnuz, do you still have a copy of the Basilisk screenshot that got deleted? I'm going to try requesting for undeletion. I suspect it's just a screenshot of Basilisk showing Wikipedia, which should be perfectly acceptable.

EDIT: Ah nevermind, it was showing Basilisk's homepage as you said at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File ... png#Trolls, which is non-free. I guess someone should just upload a new screenshot which just shows Wikipedia then. ;)
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-08-07, 04:17

It looks like they are being pretty rude about this. Honestly, I think we shouldn't bother arguing with them. They have a very specific mission and a mentality that really reminds me of what I've seen on certain Linux distros that deliberately make it hard to install anything that's not 100% "free." Is Wikimedia Commons really the only place these screenshots can be hosted? If not, I think we shouldn't use them. They may not be a good fit for the project.

I don't think even a screenshot of the unbranded build would help at this point. They are demanding a formal rightsholder verification process before they'll let MC put screenshots up, and they seem to believe that the UI itself contains copyrighted elements, so no one would be allowed to post a screenshot of even an unbranded build.
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by jobbautista9 » 2022-08-07, 04:34

As a long-time Wikimedia Commons contributor, I assure you, not everyone is as strict as that person. They don't know what they're talking about; they're twisting the policies that have been agreed upon by consensus. Though I agree that Commons can be silly sometimes in things like intellectual property, I can say they're better than Linux distros who insist on not trademarking free software. Commons only care about copyright, nothing else. And we have a strong case, backed by Commons' policies, that the screenshot is not problematic in terms of copyright.
athenian200 wrote:
2022-08-07, 04:17
Is Wikimedia Commons really the only place these screenshots can be hosted?
If things go south, then we can still host it in local Wikipedias that allow local file hosting (like the English Wikipedia), but that would mean having to follow their policy on fair use, which I think is sillier than Wikimedia Commons. You have to host the screenshot at a reduced resolution for one (here's an example for Google Chrome: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Goog ... enshot.png). Then write a lengthy rationale as to why hosting the screenshot is qualified as fair use. Oh, and you have to do that again and again for the other Wikipedias you want to use the image on. It's really inconvenient, and isn't really helpful for editors wanting to translate the Pale Moon article to other languages. And that other language might not even accept local files at all, which means no screenshots for them! :thumbdown:
athenian200 wrote:
2022-08-07, 04:17
They are demanding a formal rightsholder verification process before they'll let MC put screenshots up, and they seem to believe that the UI itself contains copyrighted elements, so no one would be allowed to post a screenshot of even an unbranded build.
Yeah, it's ridiculous, they want to waste the VRT's time on a clear-cut case like this. The VRT already has tons of backlog to deal with, we shouldn't torture them further.

If the admins really delete this screenshot in the end (which I really find unlikely, I trust the admins on Commons), then I will have to do a mass tagging of Firefox screenshots for deletion. I don't care if I get blocked for "disruptively proving a point"; I'm just following and enforcing community consensus.
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-08-07, 07:51

Well, this guy is picking on the licenses of every single library distributed with the browser, and likely is going to make some pedantic argument about how the Win32 GUI controls are a proprietary toolset, and complain about linking against a proprietary CRT as a deal breaker.

So if I'm understanding correctly, not only would he limit us to an unbranded screenshot, he would limit us to an unbranded screenshot of the Linux version because Cocoa and Win32 are under proprietary licenses. That must be the reasoning he's using to claim the software's UI is proprietary.
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by Moonchild » 2022-08-07, 09:26

jobbautista9 wrote:
2022-08-07, 02:29
they've "marketed" themselves as a "free media repository", and they want to make sure that reusers of their repo can be confident that their usage of content will not be illegal under copyright law.
The whole point of fair use is that it IS NOT illegal to use content under that clause. that is the whole point of it.
You can't selectively apply part of copyright law. if it's applied you must apply all of it, not just ignore the exceptions. You cannot dismiss fair use just because you're a purist.

This deletion request should be dismissed because:
  1. It's not contested by the copyright holder
  2. It's clearly a case of fair use
It's a no-brainer.

We don't need "white nights" that are trying to fight copyright battles for others here.

Feel free to quote me on this.
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-08-07, 09:58

I think it's pretty clear that regardless of what seems fair or reasonable to us, they are not likely to dismiss the deletion requests unless you jump through their hoops to verify that you own all the rights and likely upload the screenshots yourself. Their policy on what is permitted to be on Wikimedia Commons is more restrictive than the law itself, and they seem quite proud of that.
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by jobbautista9 » 2022-08-07, 10:10

Yeah, it seems that's sadly going to be the case. I think it might be better if Moonchild himself makes an explicit statement here on this thread that everyone can use screenshots of Pale Moon for whatever purpose under copyright law, and maybe add some restrictions acceptable to Wikimedia, like attribution and copyleft. Like they can use screenshots under the terms of CC-BY-SA-3.0, the same license as Wikipedia's. That way, we don't have to send the VRT team an email, Commons gets satisfied with the explicit permission from the rights holder of the software, and we get to keep the screenshot on Commons. Everyone's happy.
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-08-07, 10:26

jobbautista9 wrote:
2022-08-07, 10:10
Yeah, it seems that's sadly going to be the case. I think it might be better if Moonchild himself makes an explicit statement here on this thread that everyone can use screenshots of Pale Moon for whatever purpose under copyright law, and maybe add some restrictions acceptable to Wikimedia, like attribution and copyleft. Like they can use screenshots under the terms of CC-BY-SA-3.0, the same license as Wikipedia's. That way, we don't have to send the VRT team an email, Commons gets satisfied with the explicit permission from the rights holder of the software, and we get to keep the screenshot on Commons. Everyone's happy.
Hmm... I'm thinking they are going to ask for more than a post on a forum or on the Wiki as verification... he'll probably have to verify his identity and authorship using real identity documents, and they probably have a whole process for that which has now been triggered, making this a lot more work than it is probably worth.

My bet is that it comes down to either he goes through the whole VRT thing that guy was so adamant about, or we just have to give up on having on having screenshots of Pale Moon on Wikimedia Commons. That guy did not seem stupid, he seemed like he knew what he was talking about when it comes to their policies and was something of a "rules lawyer." I will be very surprised if this request is actually dismissed without that, because their policies are harsh and they do not much care for the precedents of US common law concepts (like fair use). I've heard people say before that fair use as a concept doesn't apply in all countries, and they might well only want things that are allowed in the insanely restrictive ones too.
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by Moonchild » 2022-08-07, 10:39

So, upload it somewhere else and link it from there.
If they want to cripple their own wiki by being asinine about what images they are hosting then so be it.

But: if they go this route then ALL other screenshots of all non public domain software should be treated against the same criterion and also removed. Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Brave, Edge, etc. etc. otherwise they are clearly being discriminatory based on arbitrary decisions by admins.
If they really want to set this precedent then they are literally killing their commons hosting. But it's their service, they decide what they accept or don't accept. No skin off of my back. Have no screenshots, I don't care.
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-08-07, 20:09

I did have an idea for how this might be possible to resolve.

What he keeps hammering home here is how all the exceptions and clauses in the license only apply to things like repositories or source code, and the reason he's able to do this is because our licensing page doesn't mention anything about screenshots, so if we bring up source code, he'll say it doesn't apply because "binaries are not source code," and if we bring up binaries he will say "Wikimedia is not a software repository," and dismiss any permissions that would permit it to be built for one.

I think... since the authority he is citing is the license, which mentions the situations of Source Code and Binaries, but mentions nothing about screenshots specifically. Then the easiest way to resolve the situation would be to update this page:
https://www.palemoon.org/licensing.shtml

And add a "Screenshots" section to say something to the effect of... "screenshots of the browser as provided in operation are not intended to be subject to redistribution restrictions, and may be shared freely regardless of restrictions on binary redistribution." For one, updating that page in response to this would make it very hard for them to doubt that you are, in fact, the author of the license, and also would remove the ambiguity that is permitting him to play these silly word and definition games that dance around the fact that screenshots are not technically source code or binary and thus a pedantic person could decide they are in a weird legal limbo where they are restricted because not explicitly permitted as a use.

I know it's stupid, but it would probably be easier to just update the license to specifically allow screenshots at this point than to go through their process of verifying your identity or whatever.
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by Moonchild » 2022-08-07, 21:14

I'm not going to jump through their arbitrary hoops for their arbitrary verification process, since that's clearly just a time sink.
I'll update the licensing to state the obvious and will hammer home the fair-use principle.

Also, there's reason why that page is stated as being "informative, not authoritative". I guess nobody reads past the paragraph they think applies to them. No, before you suggest it, I will not move that section up for goldfish readers.
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by Moonchild » 2022-08-07, 21:27

Page updated with a new section "Other publication materials"

Stupid waste of time but yeah throw that at him.
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by athenian200 » 2022-08-08, 07:39

Well, I have good news:
Adamant1 wrote:Anyway, I'm glad the lead developer is coming up with a policy specifically for screenshots. At the end of the day I'd like to see images of Pale Moon hosted on Commons, but it should be done in a way that follows the law.
It looks like I figured out what this guy wanted after all, though he wasn't willing to come out and say it before, and assumed anyone who read their policies would "just know it." He wanted something explicitly in the license that grants permissions for people to redistribute screenshots freely. Their policy also makes it clear that this is the case:

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Screenshots
If the copyright holder(s) (usually the programmers, software company, producer, or broadcaster) do not agree to publish the program under a free license, then screenshots are normally only free if they explicitly license the screenshot (or all screenshots) under a free license.
He considers that paragraph to apply to us, and considers the Pale Moon's normal licensing so restrictive that it puts the browser under the "non-free" category, meaning that screenshots must be taken into account and licensed under a free license as a workaround. Just look at some of these policies, this entire community of people are living in their own little world where fair use as a concept does not exist:
COM:SCREENSHOT wrote: Common proprietary web browsers include Internet Explorer, Safari, Opera and Microsoft Edge. Screenshots of these are never permissible on Commons if they show the browser's user interface.

Common free web browsers include Mozilla Firefox, Chromium, Konqueror, and Web. Screenshots of these browsers displaying free content should be permissible, so long as they do not include copyrightable elements of a proprietary operating system, other proprietary software or non-free user interface customizations. The Firefox icon before Firefox 3.6 is non-free, so it must not be included in screenshots (internal logo files from Firefox 3.6 to 12 are under the Mozilla tri-license and from Firefox 13 are under Mozilla Public License 2.0, although trademarked, so are acceptable where hard to avoid). GNU IceCat, a rebranded Firefox-based browser, is unencumbered by this problem, but may show small non-free logos under certain configurations, which should be replaced.

Google Chrome has caused conflicts; even though, besides its logo, there are no immediately visible differences between Chrome and its open source arm Chromium, it has been asserted that Google Chrome itself is non-free because its official binaries are subject to a non-free Google Chrome Terms of Service which overrides the open source terms of its base source code. Deletion discussions have gone both ways.

To create a free screenshot
Use a free program with a completely free skin. (A KDE Program using Breeze theme is an example.) If you are using an operating system with a non-free theme (like Windows), make sure it fits something like {{PD-ineligible}}, e.g. has only flat-colored backgrounds and buttons and no complex icons. See Commons:Threshold of originality for examples of images, or image modifications or other actions considered trivial or non-trivial in different countries.
So this really is how they normally operate, and screenshots of Google Chrome have been deleted over this. In fact, it's possible that screenshots of Windows applications in general may be more difficult to get approved because they don't like the licensing of Microsoft's widgets. They even say that the Firefox icon used to be considered non-free and could not be included in screenshots, so pretty much the whole Debian IceWeasel debacle also played out here back in the day.

I kind of assumed all this was the case, but they've laid it all out here in black and white and admitted it in their policies. So at least we know they're not picking on us specifically, and that they have very complicated rules that are applied differently depending on "how the discussion goes," so that half the time things are deleted and half the time they are not.

This is exactly what I find frustrating about the whole "free software" community and those adjacent to it that have apparently found a home here. I mean, what they say about themselves removes any need for me to make fun of them and make jokes about the "tragedy of the commons."
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by Moonchild » 2022-08-08, 08:48

I'm sorry but they do not have to have this policy - as I already stated this kind of thing does not require an explicit license because it is literally one of the definitions of fair use of product and company logos.
Like I said they can have their own rules for their own hosting; that's fine. But if they depart from normal practice everywhere else they must be clear to both uploaders and rights holders what it is that they do different and where it comes from; not just apply it out of the blue and especially selectively to something that has already been accepted as normal and accepted use, and then be vague about what the problem is and attempt to make rights holders jump through sketchy hoops with a big time sink to verify authenticity on their platform for extemporaneous explicit consent that is not necessary to begin with. Maybe they have all the time in the world, but people who actually develop software generally have better things to do.
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Re: Wiki sites to remove Pale Moon screenshots

Unread post by Moonchild » 2022-08-08, 08:51

athenian200 wrote:
2022-08-08, 07:39
So this really is how they normally operate
I don't think it is. I think it is an excuse to single out specific products and vendors to make a point. Do they have open issues for all the other products they have screenshots of? No they don't. The ones they do have this problem with are hand-picked. The issue is justified by their own rules but not applied equally.
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