QUOTE(tarantino @ Sat 5th November 2011, 9:19pm)
QUOTE(Somey @ Sat 16th April 2011, 6:56pm)
Well now, let's give credit where credit is due - 10 million media files is a lot of media files, even for an operation that barely discriminates or polices incoming content in any way whatsoever. Besides, if they hadn't been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, a significant portion of those media files would still be languishing on the privately-held websites they were initially stolen from.
For example, this popular animated gif
of a dog humping a stuffed animal, uploaded by Cortana.gravemind.
He claims it's his dog and he is the copyright holder.
Cortana.gravemind has made 2 edits to wmf projects. One, to upload the image, and two, to add it to the Miniature Pinscher article. He's obviously also User:22.214.171.124
, a jokester from Acton, Massachusetts.
There's a certain logic to all this. Ever notice how insanely anal Wikipedia/Commons is/are about image copyright violations? And at the same time they're totally blasé (was gonna say "anti-anal" but given this is Commons we're talking about that brings up some undesired connotations) with WRITTEN copyright violations? As in, you upload an image from 200 years ago but you don't specify the name of the author (because, being from 200 years ago, it's unknown) it will take like 10 seconds for somebody to tag it for deletion, but you copy/paste some book from last year you can get it featured at least on DYK and maybe even get it promoted to GA and get barnstars for it?
One practice pretends to say "we're really serious about copyright violations dammit!". The other practice says "we don't give a shit about copyright violations!".
And this is also related to the fact alluded to above that there's alot of chicanery going on within images themselves - basically, if you're got no moral qualms with lying about the likely copyright status and claiming stuff as "your own" or that you know where it came from you get barnstars for "contributing" lots of images to Wikipedia. But if you're honest about it and say something like "this image is from 1940 during World War II, taken by some unknown photographer who was probably killed shortly there after, it circulated in private collections for the next 40 years and may have at some point been published and these days there may be some organization which is making a legal grab at the copyright" then they won't you even let you use it fair-use until you jump through a whole bunch of hoops and risk an incivility block or two by telling future or perfect people that they're clueless morons.
The common explanation for both phenomenon is simple: Wikipedians maximize recognition and minimize effort. And this shows up in quality.
You get accolades for LOOKING like you care about copyright laws, not so much for actually spending time on enforcing them. Tagging images without clear PD justifications is easy as falling asleep to a Law&Order Rerun. So = low effort, high recognition in Wikipedia terms.
On the other hand, catching and correcting WRITTEN copyright violations is actually a lot of work. In many cases you actually have to order books through interlibrary loan or order some obscure pamphlet (the red flag is usually the fact that it is being cited a lot in a very well written article created by a person who otherwise cannot put a coherent sentence together). And check the wording piece by piece. And even then it's actually pretty hard to find somebody that is willing to listen rather than shrug it off. And at the end of the day you end up pissing off somebody who's already been "credited" by their buddies as a "valuable contributor" and celebrated in some way or another for their "hard works" to Wikipedia, and all their friends (case in point: Rvlevse). So you get no friends that way.
If you want to understand how these things work just remember: they maximize immediate (and near future) recognition, subject to minimizing the actual amount of real work that has to be done. Same thing with how they deal with copyrights (idiosyncratic and decent exceptions like the very lonely Moonriddengirl not withstanding).