Forum:Image copyrights

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Forums: Yew Grove > Image copyrights
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This thread was archived on 1 March 2011 by Degenret01.

It's been a couple of months since Forum:Our images and other fansites was closed with no consensus, so I'm going to re-propose this. I would like to see something about the CC-BY-SA license on the MediaWiki:License page, to say that attribution must be given for using images on the wiki.

"BUT WAIT! The images aren't ours, they're Jagex's," I hear. Anyone considering that argument should read this.

Real Crazy 11:39, January 29, 2011 (UTC)

Discussion[edit source]

Support - Real Crazy 11:39, January 29, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - I closed it as no consensus two months ago. That's not really "a couple." Liquidhelium 15:09, January 29, 2011 (UTC)

A couple is 2. Like a couple of people. >_>   Swizz Talk   Events!   15:40, January 29, 2011 (UTC)
When people say "a couple of people" here in the States, they generally mean 3-5. When couple is used as a grouping term, like dozen, it generally means more than two. Only when it's used as a noun does it mean two. Of course, you Brits probably have some different language conventions. Liquidhelium 16:45, January 29, 2011 (UTC)
I think you're crazy. A couple almost always means two. ʞooɔ 21:04, January 29, 2011 (UTC)
Not around these parts. --LiquidTalk 21:06, January 29, 2011 (UTC)
How many people do you expect in a married couple? Wink --Aburnett(Talk) 21:20, January 29, 2011 (UTC)
2. I said, when couple is used as a noun, it's 2. --LiquidTalk 21:21, January 29, 2011 (UTC)
One step ahead of me, as always. --Aburnett(Talk) 21:24, January 29, 2011 (UTC)
I use a "couple" as 3-5, and I'm not in the USA or UK. 222 talk 21:35, January 29, 2011 (UTC)
"Couple" is two. "Few" is three or more. --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 21:54, January 29, 2011 (UTC)
I've never heard of "couple" referring to a number explicitly more than two. People often estimate by saying "a couple of" but that generally means "around 2". Also, when used as a noun, pronoun, and verb, it means "two". I guess some weird and obscure idioms might use "couple" to mean three of more. Suppa chuppa Talk 19:20, January 30, 2011 (UTC)
[] According to Wiktionary, it's used for both meanings. So, I suppose the purported meaning is really just a function of one's locality. --LiquidTalk 22:47, February 2, 2011 (UTC)

Support - I was recently watching a YouTube hunter guide that our images showed up in, with no credit given to us. (The video is here for those interested, first "borrowed" image is at 00:53, compare to this)--Aburnett(Talk) 21:31, January 29, 2011 (UTC)

Support. Specifically, I support the addition of a non-intrusive notice in the page somewhere (not in the image itself, as some people in the previous thread appeared to believe) stating that the images may be reused, but credit must be given, and subsequent re-use or modifications of the images must carry a compatible license (the terms of a CC BY-SA license). If nothing else, it's a good pre-emptive measure against others who might use something from the wiki, then when called out on it, claim that there were no terms stated on the page, so they aren't bound by them. (This is not a legally valid argument, but it raises headaches nonetheless.)

Also, there seems to have been some question over whether we own the images we host, and Psycho's last comment hit it on the head: Jagex owns content in RuneScape, but we own the screenshots of that content, which we use under the provisions of fair use. --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 21:54, January 29, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - I'm going to attempt to paraphrase your quoted source, which I thank you for providing, because it's more difficult to understand than other sources which I've read. If my interpretation differs from your interpretation, please let me know because much of what I've written is based on my interpretation of your source, and, from my experience in such discussions, I would rather we be on the same page at the beginning.

A: Copyright includes derivative works, but the author of the derivative, which uses other authors' copyrighted material, does not receive copyright protection for a derivative which includes unlawfully used copyrighted material.

B: Should all of the material be lawfully used in the derivative, the only rights granted to the derivative's author are for the material that the derivative's author contributed which is unique from the material that is owned by other authors. Making a derivative work does not give any rights over the material of which a derivative is created.

In such cases as we have lawfully and supposedly through fair use created a derivative of Jagex's copyrighted material, our rights granted by copyright only cover those contributions which we have made to the material. To that I ask what it is that we have contributed to the image itself. The images we use are solely used to provide graphic explanation of our written material, and we have provided no new expression or transformative meaning. On that subject, I reference Stanford's explanation.

Truly, as I read my sources over and over again in each of these legally oriented proposals, I question whether we satisfy fair use for Jagex's images at all. We do not satisfy the transformative factor. We take from a work of complete uniquity, thereby not satisfying the factor of nature. We take image after image from the unique work, and, though each image is but a small piece, I doubt there is anything of our subject of which we have no picture - let alone anything substantial. Therefore I question substantiality, and, especially in the case of members-only content, I question the effect on Jagex's market, that we provide for free the material which they sell. I honestly question whether we have any legal rights over even our written content, in that there is so much of it that the fair use purpose of commentary, in my opinion, lacks strength under the weight of substantiality.

Then, in finding an image from which I could reach an example of the license page, I found our Wallpaper page, and, if a more blatant example of which I am grateful for Jagex's fansite leniency exists in regards to images, I have yet to find it. On that subject, I wonder why we only cite Jagex as the copyright owners on our front page, they being so gracious as to allow us use of everything they own. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing "RuneScape is copyright 1999–2011 Jagex Ltd. The RuneScape Wiki is in no way affiliated with Jagex." at the bottom of every page.

The last quote which I've found in a sweep of sources comes from the US Copyright office, that "Mere ownership of a [work] does not give the possessor the copyright. The law provides that transfer of ownership of any [work] does not of itself convey any rights in the copyright." The exact wording may be found in the bottom left of page two. In explanation of the quote, I hold that us taking a screenshot of Jagex's copyrighted work constitutes a transfer of ownership, the legality of which I question because we only cite Jagex as the copyright holder on our front page, which does not provide us any rights. Despite its interactivity, I question whether taking a screenshot of RuneScape is any different than taking a frame from a copyrighted video, both being a slideshow of copyrighted images at speeds faster than the eye can detect, and it is in fact "work" to play a video to a point, stop it, and take a frame as much as it is work to screenshot RuneScape.

In returning directly to topic, and in summary of my position and points, I find myself in opposition of expecting attribution for the images hosted on our site as I don't currently believe them to be ours in the sense of invoking legal copyright protection. As they have in no way waived their copyright protection but only provided us permission to take and host images of their content should we attribute it, Jagex seems to have used us as volunteers for their own cause without providing us any rights to the content which we have gathered, an unfortunately recurring theme, and I believe it would be in our best interest to extend the notice of Jagex's copyright to RuneScape to the bottom of every page. Leftiness 01:12, January 30, 2011 (UTC)

First: Jagex's copyright of RuneScape does not give them any right to stop others from talking, writing, or reporting about it, so I do not see any basis behind the idea that we don't have the legal rights to the text in our articles. Each is original work, produced by various individual contributors, building off of facts about RuneScape- which are, of course, not copyrightable.
I question the idea that we have no claim whatsoever for fair use of screenshots of RuneScape. The "purpose and character" of the use is educational and encyclopedic, and meant to supplement the text of our articles. The use is nonprofit; barring the dubious case of Wikia's advertisements, nobody makes any money when someone uploads a screenshot. We are the wiki for all things RuneScape, and that most certainly includes screenshots and other visual aids. Additionally, I find the idea that our images have a negative impact on Jagex's market to be quite ridiculous; indeed, it is just as ridiculous as saying that seeing an image of a Bandos godsword on the wiki provides an adequate substitute, and thusly unfair competition, for the game itself. There's a difference between (seeing a screenshot of an item/watching a video of a boss fight/reading a quest walkthrough) and actually (acquiring and using the item/fighting the boss/doing the quest). The average f2p player isn't going to see an image of a Bandos godsword and think "Now that I've seen what this looks like, I suppose I don't need to get members." They're going to see it and think "Awesome sword! I think I'll get members so I can get myself one of those." In that sense, we are not harming Jagex by featuring images of their copyrighted content; if anything, we're giving them free advertising.
At any rate, debating whether we can legally justify using RuneScape screenshots and other such images is an academic exercise only, as one of your own links makes it clear that Jagex has given people in general permission to use the images, provided a few criteria are followed. With respect to the third point listed on the section of the page to which I just linked, I would be fine with your suggestion of a non-intrusive disclaimer that the RuneScape Wiki is not affiliated with Jagex. On the other hand, as a result of the arguments I'm making here, I do believe that adding a general copyright notice on all images taken from the RuneScape client would be justified.
On the subject of ownership, I refer you to Psycho Robot's comment in the previous thread on this topic, which demonstrates that even if we take a screenshot of something that is copyrighted and display the copyrighted material under the provisions of fair use (or with the permission of the copyright holder), we do hold the copyright on the actual, specific screenshot, and the way in which it was taken. For example, this image shows a close-up view of an equipped arcane spirit shield. The character represented in the screenie, as well as the equipment he's wearing, are copyrighted by Jagex, but we, the wiki, own the screenshot itself, and it cannot be reproduced elsewhere unless the terms of the CC BY-SA license are fulfilled. --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 02:17, January 30, 2011 (UTC)
How did I guess that the textwall was kindly provided by Leftiness? --LiquidTalk 02:24, January 30, 2011 (UTC)
Excuse me. I, too, deserve some credit for helping to more than triple the size of the thread. --Andorin (Talk) (Contribs) 02:26, January 30, 2011 (UTC)
but, leftiness, seriously, andorin is right. The images are not Jagex's. They are ours. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 02:50, January 30, 2011 (UTC)
Is the emoticon quite necessary? Leftiness 19:37, January 30, 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for responding to my book with a book of your own; I appreciate it when people take their opinions seriously enough to provide an argument in backing.
Regarding the text of our articles, I doubt that Jagex has a problem with us freely advertising their content, but, due to substantiality, I question whether we have legal rights over the content. Consider the following cases which were ruled not fair uses as provided by Stanford.
"Not a fair use. An author copied more than half of an unpublished manuscript to prove that someone was involved in the overthrow of the Iranian government. Important factors: A substantial portion was taken (half of the work) and the work had not yet been published. (Love v. Kwitny, 772 F. Supp. 1367 (S.D. N.Y. 1989).)"
"Not a fair use. A company published a book entitled Welcome to Twin Peaks: A Complete Guide to Who's Who and What's What, containing direct quotations and paraphrases from the television show "Twin Peaks" as well as detailed descriptions of plot, character and setting. Important factors: The amount of the material taken was substantial and the publication adversely affected the potential market for authorized books about the program. (Twin Peaks v. Publications Int'l, Ltd. 996 F.2d 1366 (2d Cir. 1993).)"
"Not a fair use. A company published a book of trivia questions about the events and characters of the "Seinfeld" television series. The book included questions based upon events and characters in 84 "Seinfeld" episodes and used actual dialogue from the show in 41 of the book's questions. Important factors: As in the "Twin Peaks" case, the book affected the owner's right to make derivative "Seinfeld" works such as trivia books. ( Castle Rock Entertainment, Inc. v. Carol Publ. Group, 150 F.3d 132 (2d Cir. 1998).)"
Therefore, I question whether we have fair use rights over even the written content of our wiki on the argument of substantiality. While Jagex has not yet expressed interest in publishing a book, our wiki may certainly be considered in the same manner as the above examples due to the amount of material that we provide. Though it would fall to a jury if ever contested, and though I doubt Jagex would take legal action against such free advertisement in the first place, it is a matter of principle, involving the letter of the law unless we would desire to contest supposed rights against supposed rights in a courtroom.
Also, I thank you for reading my linked sources, though I'd point out that I already knew of Jagex's consent to use images should we attribute them as proved in my wording, that "if a more blatant example of which I am grateful for Jagex's fansite leniency exists in regards to images, I have yet to find it."
However, despite Jagex's consent for us to collect and host their images assuming attribution, I question whether that alone provides us copyright protection of the images. In the same manner that our written content covers such substantial amounts of their content, so, too, does our graphical content, and, though we may consider our compilation of every tidbit RuneScape-related a tribute or free advertising, Jagex or lawyers may take the opinion that our collection is an obstacle to the publishing of picture books. Certainly Jagex has not given us ownership of the images which we received permission to collect and host, and I question whether fair use applies, as I have written, due to substantiality.
Though when I mention lawyers, the common response is that Jagex won't sue us, that isn't the point. Asserting copyright protection means asserting ownership, and I doubt that we legally own the images, but rather believe that we have a license to collect and host them. Asserting copyright protection means that we would go to court to protect our supposed rights, and I doubt that the lawyers would see it as a tribute or free advertisement, but rather believe that we would receive orders to remove the images.
While I personally don't believe fair use applies, I doubt it matters due to the last quote that I provided, that "the law provides that transfer of [I assume physical] ownership of any [work] does not of itself convey any rights in the copyright." Though Jagex has not yet expressed desire to publish a book, and though lawyers have not yet ordered the removal of our content, it certainly is possible, and I doubt that we would have legal rights to our content even if they were fair uses, and I doubt that we have fair use on our side in the first place. It being a matter of principle and the letter of the law, I find us at the mercy of Jagex's whim, and I question whether it would be in our best interest to assert ownership over that which they so graciously allow us to collect and provide. Leftiness 19:37, January 30, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - The topic of adding a disclaimer to all our pages had been discussed and was ready to be implemented. Unfortunately, Wikia gave us a no-go on the way we wanted to implement the change, as seen on Forum:Logo Submissions#Footer change. Being that we already have consensus to make the change, we just need someone to figure out a better way to do it. --Aburnett(Talk) 17:11, January 30, 2011 (UTC)

I don't understand how adding the home page's disclaimer to all pages would interfere with the "Around Wikia's network" section at the bottom. It "interferes" no less than any other box on the home page, any other advertisement, or any other content whatsoever. Leftiness 19:37, January 30, 2011 (UTC)
The "Around Wikia's network" text must be removed, that's the problem. You can see it [ here]. --Aburnett(Talk) 02:49, January 31, 2011 (UTC)
I was actually wondering about adding the <div></div> beneath <!--Footer--> of the homepage after the categories on all content pages. Leftiness 19:50, January 31, 2011 (UTC)
I quite like that idea, but I have now idea how to add text under the category box. Maybe Gaz or Ryan would know? --Aburnett(Talk) 23:15, February 2, 2011 (UTC)
Looking at it, I'm not certain if it's possible to add it beneath the categories. Somehow languages are set up to be at the very bottom of the page, and, though I'm in no way knowledgeable on the subject, I wonder if it's done in one of the mediawiki pages? Regardless, I don't think it would be so bad to add it as the last editable code on the page, putting it above categories and beneath the rest of the content. Leftiness 23:37, February 3, 2011 (UTC)
I'm not going to try and come up with a vast comment on this thread, but I want to know, if we kept the "Around Wikia's Network" and shifted it down be a few pixels due to us adding a disclaimer, would they care ([])? I tried keeping it where the original message was and shifting the rest of the message below the spotlight, but anything in-between the message can't be clicked. Also, I don't think we want to do this with more JS for just text. The other side to this is that Wikia has claimed to be working on updating the CustomFooter that was designed for Monaco, but I have yet to see them do so. Finally, browsers with set character sizes (such as Mobile Safari for the iPhone) will have the message go onto the spotlights, which is what Wikia doesn't like. Either we help them with the CustomFooter or wait for them to never finish it. Ryan PM 19:07, February 4, 2011 (UTC)
Though I don't understand why Wikia so badly wants "Around Wikia's network" at the bottom, I don't really like what you've done with the small print above it. Personally, I'd rather the above-mentioned solution, adding the <div></div> beneath <!--Footer--> of the homepage after the categories on all content pages. Leftiness 00:04, February 7, 2011 (UTC)
Is [[w:c:joeytje50|this]] what you meant? With CSS it is unfortunately not possible to insert links(as far as I know). It is possible to restrict the text to file pages only, if that's needed. JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 01:03, February 7, 2011 (UTC)
It fixes all problems with being under the toolbar, having problems with text hovering over spotlights for mobile phones etc. The text can be moved around as much as you want to find the good spot.*Joeytje50 worships css* JOEYTJE50TALKpull my finger 01:11, February 7, 2011 (UTC)
I like what you've done, though I'm unsure if I personally would prefer the <div></div> [1] beneath <!--Footer--> of the homepage more or less. Leftiness 19:36, February 7, 2011 (UTC)

Support - It's not rare to see the wiki's images being used without attribution elsewhere. Suppa chuppa Talk 19:20, January 30, 2011 (UTC)

I have recently been in contact with a number of representatives of, the company which hosted the video linked to in Aburnett's post. I asked that the videos which featured the images taken from our Wiki be removed, and they were temporarily. However the staff did some more research regarding the issue of whether our screenshots can actually be copyrighted by means of CC-BY-SA, and they determined that no, they could not. But they added an attribution notice anyways because they respected our desire not to have the images taken without credit given. How do I know that their conclusion could be trusted? Well, for one, Joi Ito, the CEO of Creative Commons, the non-profit organization which developed CC-BY-SA, is also on the board of So I would say... that's pretty much it. Someone can use our images and not give attribution if they don't want to, because the work is Jagex's and not ours. Applying transparency and whatnot does not constitute enough of a change to make it valid for CC-BY-SA licensing. kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 07:51, February 3, 2011 (UTC)

I'm fairly certain that any user of Jagex's images has to attribute them to Jagex unless they have a special agreement, but congratulations on coming to a conclusion in one paragraph. Leftiness 23:47, February 3, 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure what you mean by that. When I said "and not give attribution" I meant that they didn't need to give attribution to us because our images aren't valid for CC-BY-SA licensing. kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 04:11, February 4, 2011 (UTC)
I think I thought you thought that any user of Jagex's content would not have to cite Jagex as the copyright owner if they took the images from our site, so I clarified that sentiment as best I could. Leftiness 18:09, February 4, 2011 (UTC)

Closed - we do not own the images Granted I am not as knowledgeable as some others but careful reading of all points provided, and especially the information provided by Psycho as obtained from Joi Ito seems pretty solidly to come down on the side we do not own these images and cannot copyright them. We always wish we had an experts opinion on some threads, and this time we got one.--Degenret01 10:57, March 1, 2011 (UTC)