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This thread was archived on 3 July 2008 by Skill.

We don't really have a policy on images directly from the RS site. Should we go about deleting these or does doing this not infringe? I've seen quite a few taken from the main site and I'm not sure what to do about it. Removing these pictures would be detrimental, but photos by users look better anyway. AriasCombatSwordsKnight 21:05, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

To the best of my understanding, the use of screenshots etc. from in-game are treated exactly the same as any images found on the JaGeX site.
Materials (including without limit all information, software, data, text, photographs, graphics, sound and video) placed on any Jagex Product by us or on our behalf are protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights of ourselves or our business partners / suppliers / advertisers. You may not use these materials or any Jagex Product except in accordance with these terms and conditions and for personal (i.e. non-commercial) use only.

You agree that all intellectual property or other rights in any game character, account and items are and will remain our property.

 
— Terms and Conditions
From this, I'm assuming that the use of any JaGeX material (which includes screen-shots and images from the website) "may not be used except for personal (non-commercial) use". Again, I'm assuming that as part of wikia we are non-commercial and therefore we are allowed to use any of the images on the site in addition to the images that come directly from in-game.
In regards to actually using website images, I agree that user-generated screen captures of items/places etc. in-game do often look much better. There are a few cases, however, when the knowledge base may provide a better image (although I can't think of any off the top of my head). In these cases, I don't think we should be making a policy to prevent ourselves from using them.
If I'm on the wrong track about the whole free-use deal, maybe it's our Copyrights policy or similar that is what we should be looking at expanding.
Dechaineux Talk 05:35, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
The only problem with this sentiment is that the terms of the GNU Free Document License explicitly contradict the non-commercial nature of what you are trying to suggest here. While I will openly suggest that nobody that participates in developing the content of this wiki earns any body, there isn't anything that stops somebody from taking the content and publishing a for-profit printed manual that uses content from this wiki. That is explicitly permitted by the GFDL.
Indeed, content added here that can be distributed via a non-commercial use only license is incompatible with the terms of this content license.
BTW, Wikia is far from a non-commercial enterprise, and in fact they are very much a for-profit entity that primarily earns their money from sidebar advertisements. Relying upon the non-commercial nature of Wikia isn't something that would hold up to close scrutiny in the long run, and could be potentially damaging to this wiki and community.
The relationship between this website and Jagex is a very interesting one, and at best the only real rationale for using the screenshots is what is called Fair-use doctrine under United States law... and interpreting this as broadly as possible in a fashion that normally wouldn't be permitted under UK law. I say all of this because on this website we very much go over the top on fair-use and can be largely considered a derivative work instead... deriving the content from a copyrighted work called the MMORPG game "Runescape".
Ideally it would be best if we, as a community, could get formal copyright permission from Jagex to use screenshots from the game to help illustrate the contents of this website. It certainly is very helpful and adds some flavor to what would be otherwise a rather bland set of webpages. I'm not saying that any of the other wikia gameing wikis are any better or worse than we are, but this issue isn't nearly so cut and dried.
BTW, in all of this I'm not trying to suggest that we should go in some sort of administrative rampage and delete all of the images copied from the game via screenshots. All I'm suggesting is that the potential exists for Jagex to make a formal cease and desist request to Wikia under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. If such a situation did occur, it is possible we would have to delete all of these images from this website and may even see this website temporarily (or even permanently) shut down. A little forward thinking on the part of the participants to this website could avoid this potentially terrible situation.
I don't know the solution to this issue, and I don't even know if there is one that could avoid this potential legal bombshell. Screenshots by users or images copied directly from the Jagex web pages are irrelevant in this case, as both are potentially infringing on the copyright of the same company: Jagex. In-game screenshots potentially have more rationale in terms of fair-use, but it is a rather weak excuse. This is certainly a situation that the participants of this website need to be very much made aware of, and mis-information like what is above needs to stop. The information on this website can be used in a commercial manner, and indeed it is being used in a commercial nature even now. BTW, I don't know how much "profit" Wikia makes each year, and I rather suspect it isn't all that much, but that is also irrelevant to this discussion. --Robert Horning 10:08, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
I can't give legal advice of course, but maybe I can clarify a bit (for those that don't know, I'm part of Wikia's Community Team).
The text of this wiki must be under the GDFL, which explicitly allows commercial use. Wikia provides database dumps of the content, as part of our commitment to the GDFL and freely available content. So that means that text needs to either be original, or taken from a source that's GDFL compatable (in most cases that also means attributed).
Images have always been considered separately, and "with permission", "fair use", "Creative Commons licensed" and other rationale are allowed. In fact, for a lot of fan-based wikis, the biggest rationale is "the game/show/whatever owners don't mind fans using this on a fan site, because it all promotes their work anyway". That seems to be what JaGeX is saying in the quote above.
One important part of this is that this is your wiki. It belongs to the community, hosted by Wikia. It's a similar situation to many free web-hosts, who show ads but may have non-profit groups using the space. Of course... we do considerably more than a web-host. And because we are hosting for a community rather than individuals, our conditions for hosting include social rules (no, you can't run amok and ban everyone, the Wikia Community Team will step in if that happens! ;). But the situations are similar enough to make this all work.
So, use images fairly, label them with license or permission information to make it easy for everyone to know the situation, and don't worry about Wikia's (one day!) profits - they aren't the key to this :) Hope that helps! -- sannse@fandom (talk) 19:47, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't worry about it; none of the other fansites have been taken down over using Jagex's images.--Richard 20:31, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
My point was that this isn't a "non-commercial" or "non-profit" situation here. Some of the fan sites actually are, so comparing this situation for this wiki to what other fan sites are doing is irrelevant. I will say, like I've said above, Jagex isn't prosecuting here or actively trying to enforce copyright. As a matter of fact, this lack of enforcement is a positive thing... so far as Jagex will eventually lose copyright standing on these images over time.
I will say that the images on this website (Runescape Wikia) generally haven't had fair-use rationale established other than as a general site-wide status. In fact, when I've tried to upload free images to this wiki, I've had them deleted as not relevant to the game or the article in question.
BTW, in regards to the text of this website, it isn't nearly so big of a deal. Nearly everything I've seen is more or less original content, or legitimately quoting referenced passages from the game or some other Jagex publication. I'm certainly not worried about that, but the issue with the images is a little bit more of a concern. Also, the courts have been far less forgiving about allowing fair-use for non-textual copyrighted material... particular music and video but images have also been prosecuted. All I'm trying to say is that this is a legal grey area, and something that some other websites... notably Wikipedia but also a few others... have legitimately been quite paranoid about. --Robert Horning 01:43, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, alright. It's given me a bit of food for thought. Maybe it's an area we (and by 'we' I mean someone who knows what they are talking about =D) could think about clarifying. As it stands the only thing I can find on the matter is
GFDL or public domain images are strongly preferred on Wikia. Copyright-violating images are subject to deletion. Copyright information must be added to the image description page of every uploaded image. Images and other uploaded files may be available under an alternative free license, or used under fair use guidelines.
, which seems to contradict what's just been discussed. If we've established that in fact JaGeX doesn't seem to have a problem with us using screen captures and the like (which are pretty important for the Wiki), is there something that could be added to this 'guideline' that could clarify this and what our legal position would be when we do use these images? Dechaineux Talk 02:12, 7 June 2008 (UTC)
My only concern is the new CEO of Jagex. He comes from a non-gamer background (he used to be a senior VP at Paypal Europe) and shows at least the potential of getting nasty with fan websites. He has a lot on his plate, so I'm certain he isn't worried about what the fan websites are doing right now. But he has hired lawyers to look after intellectual property rights, and has take steps for the new Mechscape game to keep current fan sites from using similar names when adapting to the new Jagex game (like Mechhq and a few different top level domains being owned by Jagex itself). My point is that it is in his hands, or a corporate attorney for Jagex to go nuts and we may have to delete these images, as it is a sort of copyright violation.
I've also downloaded the official fan image package that Jagex has (it can be found [http://www.runescape.com/kbase/viewarticle.ws?article_id=2421 on this link to the official website]) and it is pretty limited. Mainly a bunch of ad panels and some logos to help with advertising Runescape. This seems to be the extent of what Jagex is officially saying we can use. As I said, I don't know a "solution" to fix this either, other than to carry on and hope Jagex doesn't really care. There is a statue of limitations in the USA that requires active enforcement of the images, which means the older images which have been uploaded onto this server are grandfathered in. It would be under American law (not UK law) that Jagex would have to request these images be removed, although that isn't completely clear either. It is a grey area, and for now it seem unlikely that Jagex is going to make a big deal about it. --Robert Horning 17:39, 8 June 2008 (UTC)


Just rummaging around the wiki and I found this User:Oddlyoko/jagex, which sadly states we can't use screenshots. It's an old piece of information, but it's the only thing from Jagex that I have seen.--Degenret01 06:28, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Didn't read far enough . There is also this User:Oddlyoko/jagex2 which kind of says go ahead for now but no guarantees, as I read it anyhow.--Degenret01 06:32, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
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