Category talk:Screenshots of freely licensed software



I would really like to deprecate this category completely because it is vaguely defined in scope and so far, has had images assigned to it that don't meet the stated criteria (ones showing significant possibly non-de-minimis amounts of the Windows UI - particularly the Aero UI - cannot be freely licensed, period, and this doesn't depend on the software's license).

This category and the template that populates it confuse too many legal gray areas and philosophical borderlines between a program's source code, its output, and elements of its graphical design, all of which could be under separate licensing situations. Example: the GPLv3 compiler GCC outputs executables. Those executables are under no licensing impositions because they are a product of, not a derivative of, the software. However the programs Bison and Flex output a derivative of their own source codes. As a result, they have to have a special exception placed in their licenses to stop the GPL from being automatically imposed on the output.

When discussing whether graphical components and UI layouts fall under a program's source code license automatically, you will run into various situations where this is both defined only by case law, and is clearly defined to the contrary. A free software program with its source code licensed under GPLv2+ might for example choose to use icons that are licensed under CC BY-SA or FAL. Claiming the icons are GPL because they are aggregated with a GPL program is incorrect.

So I suggest this be phased out and, once no longer used, nominated for deletion. --Quasar (talk) 12:05, 16 October 2015 (CDT)

Addendum: I will also add that this blurs the otherwise clean separation we try to maintain between supercategories Images by content and Images by license. If I want to look up shots I can use under GFDL, CC-BY, or public domain, I can easily go to those license cats rather than here and have to check what license each image is really under. --Quasar (talk) 12:08, 16 October 2015 (CDT)

The tedious, but legally correct, approach might be a wrapper template that can transclude multiple single-license templates, with boilerplate noting that reusers are bound by the most restrictive license applicable to that use in that country (which only they can determine).  Thus if an image came in with GFDL original artwork, CC-BY application icons, and BSD OS elements, all three would be tagged on the info page.
The upload form would then categorize "other software, non-commercial" as a screenshot plus a licensing maintenance category — if the image has a legitimate encyclopedic use, my main concern is to be able to find it again for later research if it's not on a special page.  Uploaders never look at the info page anyway, so they're unlikely to be offended.  If the copyrighted material cannot be avoided then it is simply categorized manually as fair use.
I believe (already seems so long ago) that the present category derives from the Commons practice of avoiding the gray areas you mention, but assuming that anyone publishing libre licensed software knows enough not to chuck in prominent proprietary content.  Of course that assumption fails for the Doom community, with its traditions dating back to a more innocent time in the gaming industry.  :7    Ryan W (talk) 20:15, 17 October 2015 (CDT)
"Addendum: I will also add that this blurs the otherwise clean separation we try to maintain between supercategories Images by content and Images by license." This is the main sticking point for me. I don't see why this category needs to exist -- by opposition to what, Category:screenshots from proprietary software? It doesn't tell anything about the kind of software used (e.g., editing tool, source port, front end, online server browser, whatever) so it's not useful for finding picture by content, and it's also useless for finding pictures by license. --Gez (talk) 08:20, 18 October 2015 (CDT)

Deletion nomination[edit]

Tagged by Quasar 14 April 2016 with reason "Nominate for deletion now that it is empty", i.e. these edits.

  • Delete per reasoning in the previous thread.  No longer needed, perhaps never was.    Ryan W (talk) 20:14, 1 May 2016 (CDT)
  • Delete: see above. --Gez (talk) 04:41, 2 May 2016 (CDT)