This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments or questions on this topic should be made in a new Senate Hall page rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. 1358(Talk) 21:11, May 9, 2014 (UTC)
I think we really need to lift the ban on galleries that has been in effect on this wiki (that is, if it hasn't already been lifted).
From what I heard of the ban, apparently it was implemented because some mods feared that using galleries would somehow result in a copyright lawsuit from LucasFilm Ltd or other parties. However, I should point out that merely uploading images at all would logically result in that same risk, yet we upload them anyways. And in either case we usually are required to actually list the source of the image as well as what the image is, and implement the type of use for the image/source of image before we even upload them onto the wiki. So long as people do that, I honestly don't see how that would break any copyright violations, especially when the user has already given credit where it was due upon uploading the files in the first place. Besides, the galleries makes it a bit more easier to actually display things that would otherwise not completely work in the article itself, especially if there are multiple types of designs for something (ie, logos, different covers for magazines/comics, variant designs of buildings of a specific type in some realtime strategy games such as Galactic Battlegrounds, etc., etc.).
I'm not a mod, so I figured I'd take it in for discussion. Weedle McHairybug (talk) 19:24, December 22, 2013 (UTC)
Our legal right to use LFL images is rooted in the Fair use doctrine. In the US, whether the use of a work can be regarded as fair use is judged on four factors: the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; the nature of the copyrighted work; the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work. The use of galleries negatively impacts our claims to three of the four factors. They generally aren't educational, as opposed to using select images to visually illustrate concepts in the article; it increases the amount of the portion of the work we use; and it decreases the potential market value of Lucasfilm's visual books and websites. Note that proper attribution isn't related to this calculus at all; it's absolutely essential to avoid charges of plagiarism, which is a serious violation of academic ethics, but not a crime in and of itself. So yes, our use of images is indeed a risk, and it's a risk best mitigated by using images in a conservative manner, rather than expanding our mandate from being just an encyclopedia to also being an image depository. That said, galleries ARE sometimes appropriate when they genuinely help illustrate a topic (i.e. Padmé Amidala's wardrobe, or the aforementioned cover galleries for works like Cloak of Deception), and those that do are explicitly allowed by Forum:SH Archive/"Gallery must die" revisited. jSarek (talk) 01:41, December 23, 2013 (UTC)
Now, I'm not saying that we should do it for all articles (obviously character articles would not have galleries being necessary), but I honestly don't see how galleries would negatively impact these things. As noted above, the images are generally sourced completely, so that alone should rule out plagiarism (last I checked, if you cited the sources, its not plagiarism at all, and considering one of the necessary methods of even uploading an image is citing sources, that should be more than enough to eliminate the risk of plagiarism. That's at least what they taught at school.). Though if I'm outvoted, I guess I'm outvoted. However, I hope the various development levels of facilities from Galactic Battlegrounds count as an exception. Weedle McHairybug (talk) 02:09, December 23, 2013 (UTC)
You're right, complete attribution is a defense against plagiarism (though it IS possible to plagiarize with attribution; plagiarism is a slippery beast). Complete attribution, however, is not a defense against copyright infringement. The only way to use a copyrighted work is either to acquire a license to use it, or to use it in a manner consistent with Fair Use doctrine. Just to make things more complicated, there is no bright line test for Fair Use; two different judges, presented with the exact same evidence, could rule two different ways on a Fair Use case. Now, Lucasfilm hasn't shown any inclination to pursue legal action against fan sites, even ones hosted by for-profit concerns like Wikia; we would probably not be prosecuted if we were to loosen our image policies. But why take the chance, when our existing policies serve our mission to be the best possible Star Wars encyclopedia just as well? As for your specific facilities example, I can't say for sure, but I would think this might be a case where the gallery would present the information in a way which could not be accomplished well in another fashion, and thus would merit having a gallery (assuming these "development levels" aren't just game mechanics in the first place). jSarek (talk) 04:15, December 23, 2013 (UTC)
That's exactly what the development levels are - game mechanics. They're something that's in every RTS game I've played, and there's no reason we should document game mechanics here. CadeCalrayn 04:22, December 23, 2013 (UTC)
It should be noted that galleries aren't completely banned, just mostly banned. They can be used in real-world articles, mostly to show alternate covers of stuff. For what you're talking about, with the development levels of buildings, there is an existing work-around for that kinda thing without resorting to galleries. These are two are from featured articles: File:SSDandExecutor.jpg; or File:Gametiles2.jpg. This is from an ex-FA, and is very similar to the image that existed while it was considered an FA: File:Mullet Guy.png. This is kinda like that one: File:Faces of the exile.png. And if you check Category:Images from Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, the very game you're talking about, you'll see a whole bunch of images like this one: File:NabooStarfighters.jpg. I'll let you figure it out, just be conservative. And as much as I like Cade, I gotta disagree. We cover game mechanics all the time, just usually sparingly and in Bts sections. Just be conservative. I wouldn't make an article for each level of a building. In fact, I would only make one article for each building type and cover the various faction variations within that article. We have policies that allow something like Soldier but prohibit stuff like Rodian Soldier, so I would think there'd be something about having an article for a Wookiee Barracks that is separate from a Gungan Barracks, when simply Barracks could probably cover both types. Exceptions allowed if a specific building has a name or some such. SinisterSamurai (talk) 05:03, December 23, 2013 (UTC)