So I've been batting around this idea for almost a year now (mostly in discussions with anqxyr on the topic), but today they basically gave me a go-ahead to make this thread for discussing this issue. I should note that this would not conflict with this suggested change: http://05command.wikidot.com/forum/t-2102098/tag-proposal-cc-compliant .
The images team is making slow but methodical progress through our backlog of old articles, but every day we get new articles posted. Any one of those articles could include an image that ends the site due to legal ramifications.
Our policy on this is already extremely clear. This page outlines it: http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/image-use-policy
Pornography and gore are not allowed on the SCP Foundation wiki. The Site staff will decide on a case-by case basis whether a particular image falls under this category.
No using copyrighted images without creator approval.
Proof of this approval should be recorded and posted to discussion pages.
No image cropping/altering unless you are the creator or you have permission.
Always attribute image to source. (bold mine)
Yet enforcement on this issue is haphazard at best. I feel like we need to outline some basic steps for all new articles to allow us to enforce this policy properly.
1: Any new article with an image that doesn't source the image on the discussion page is in violation of the policy.
2: If a new article with an image lacks proper sourcing, we comment as such in a staff post on the discussion page with a 48 hour timer.
3: If the image is not sourced in 48 hours, the image is deleted (and the author will receive a site PM). If the author returns and sources the image properly, they can add it back to the article.
4: If the image is sourced properly but copyrighted with no permissions from the copyright holder, the image is deleted.
5: Improper sourcing of any new article's image is to be considered a disciplinary issue (allow a warning here, as even older users are not all aware that this is our policy). Repeat offenders would be subject to disciplinary action.
6: We announce these changes to enforcement of the extant policy on the front page.
Covering a couple of questions I've been asked when discussing this:
Why is this important?
Improper enforcement of our image policy is probably the biggest and most serious threat to the wiki. That we are currently working on the issue is secondary to the new issues that may crop up. This is not a solution looking for a problem.
The likely winner of the current history contest uses an image that is not sourced on the discussion page. That image is probably public domain under Soviet copyright law (I'm making some assumptions on the image) when it was taken, but is not automatically public domain. This is why proper sourcing is important. If you're looking for an image for your article, it should be up to you to do the legwork, not us.
How is this fair to new authors when older authors have articles still gaining upvotes for images in violation of the policy?
It's not. We can't help that. We're working through the backlog but it's huge and taking a while. In the mean time we can't continue to ignore new images that break the policy. Remember, this isn't about instituting a new policy, this is about enforcing extant policy.
Ultimately, I feel like this is a common sense change to the way we look at image policy violations that will help us going forward. Mewts, Dragonsnails, and The Statue would have been much more apparent problems if this policy was around/enforced when they were posted. And yes, the user might lie about their images from time to time, but that shifts much of the responsibility from us to the user (and also gives us a clear course of action when someone is discovered to've done so).
I'd also suggest we move information on our image use policy on the "site rules" guide under behavior from the "posting" entry to a nested entry under "plagiarism" to drive home the importance. The following may work:
Remember, images included in your article must follow the rules of our images policy as well. You must include the source of your images on the discussion page and that source must be in compliance with our site policy. If you have any questions, contact the images team.
Operational staff and above are welcome to comment on this. Any member of the images team should also feel free to comment.
This is a discussion thread for a possible policy change. A vote will be held following the conclusion of this discussion when…