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A user has been making a lot of changes to tag wikis. So far, so fantastic!

These are obviously good faith edits. However, he's also been adding a lot of company logos or product pictures; for instance:

Many of these images will be copyrighted and none have any attribution in the source code.

Even though companies normally love to have their logo spread everywhere, it's generally bad to copy copyrighted material. On a more economic basis, doesn't it undermine SE's "make some money" addition of company logos to tags?

Is this behaviour correct?

P.S. I've told him about this post

Update:

Reading the Terms of Service it appears to be in violation of paragraph 3. It doesn't seem likely that a company logo could be licensed to Stack Exchange under Creative Commons.

You agree that all Subscriber Content that You contribute to the Network is perpetually and irrevocably licensed to Stack Exchange under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike license...

Subscriber represents, warrants and agrees that it will not contribute any Subscriber Content that (a) infringes, violates or otherwise interferes with any copyright or trademark of another party, ..., (c) infringes any intellectual property right of another or the privacy or publicity rights of another

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Aren't logos more of a trademark issue than a copyright issue? –  hammar Apr 28 '12 at 19:11
    
Yes, and no. I hadn't really thought about trademarks to be honest until I looked at the ToS. Depending on the licence of the site they were taken from it could be construed to be a copyright issue as well. I don't really know whether it even matters, which is why I'm asking the question! –  ben is uǝq backwards Apr 28 '12 at 19:17
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3 Answers 3

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Even though I love pictures, this seems sorta pointless. Since it doesn't appear on the tag page (unlike the for-pay sponsored tags), it doesn't do much for advertising, and they take the place of actual content.

I guess I could sorta see iPad / iPhone since those are actual devices and... Maybe someone doesn't know what they look like? Meh.

I recommend removing them.


BTW: in most cases, these images should fall under fair use, in the US at least. The purpose of the tag wikis is pretty clearly educational and not promotional. Assuming they do accomplish that in some way, I wouldn't stress about the legality of it.

But hey, all the more reason not to use them gratuitously, eh?

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You've enacted your (half-hearted) endorsement so I won't go around rejecting them all! Does the ToS make a difference? Should we/I be removing the pictures or just leave those that are already there be? –  ben is uǝq backwards Apr 28 '12 at 18:49
    
+1 - The images are just another hundred or two pixels that my eyes have to process and ignore before I actually find out what the tag's for (which is the purpose of the wiki). The images don't provide any value to the SO-specific nature of the tag wiki. In a way, it's pretty much just like copying textual content (usually rejected). –  Rob Hruska Apr 28 '12 at 19:13
    
I don't see that the ToS makes any difference here, @Ben. If they were useful, they'd fall under fair use - but I don't really see them as useful. A screenshot of DreamWeaver sure, but the DW logo? –  Shog9 Apr 28 '12 at 19:14
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@Ben - Assuming enough support, I'd be in favor of going through and removing them. IMO they're a bit clutter-ish, and probably shouldn't have been approved in the first place. But would be wise to see what others say here, first. –  Rob Hruska Apr 28 '12 at 19:14
    
@Shog9, fair enough, US law is not my strong point. I agree with the lack of usefulness. so I'm with Rob Hruska on removing them. –  ben is uǝq backwards Apr 28 '12 at 19:22
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I did a lot of changes in text and because all tags are so different I tried to make it like the jQuery Tag. As you can see it has a huge logo on the top:

http://i.stack.imgur.com/xLzcx.jpg

So my first edit was the qTip2 Tag and I liked it to be a little bit colorful. I thought it looks nicer with a logo!

Also Java Tag, Eclipse Tag, Sympfony2, Linux, Ruby on Rails, Visual Studio or the previous PHP Tag had one before you edited it. There are a huge amount of wikis with such logos.

So I do not see a point of removing them. More than that: I am for adding logos wherever they are possible.

I agree that they do not provide important info but a logo is a recognizing part of the product. Also I do not see any copyright problem, because most of the pictures are from Wikipedia with (sometimes) a little edit of my own.

I am not long time in this community and I do not know how such discussions find an official ending. So please say to me if I should avoid adding logos because Shog9♦ said so, or if this is just his opinion.

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Aside from the fact that Shog9's position is relatively ambivalent in this case, his word does carry official weight. –  Anna Lear Apr 28 '12 at 21:12
    
Wikipedia images are often CC licensed and require attribution, or even worse, fair-use based. Trademark laws might also come into it. So the legality isn't as simple as you think. –  CodesInChaos Apr 28 '12 at 23:12
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My advice - and I've made a few edits to back this up - is to use images only when they add something useful to the wiki. I don't see the jQuery logo as adding much there, same with the iOS logos (glitzy text saying "iOS") - after all, the page already has a title, and it's the tag name! If you can think of a tag where adding a logo - or any other image - helps future readers understand it better, by all means throw it in there; you're absolutely right that a lot of these wikis could use some color. –  Shog9 Apr 29 '12 at 1:24
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Since tag wikis are chunks of information distilled on how to best use and not abuse the tags per site conventions, the images should follow a similar illustrative example and reason for being.

If they're there for gloss and to shotgun a momma grizzly with lipstick, then it's purely garish decoration that serves only to serve itself.

Does the appearance of a bumper sticker logo help you understand how the tag is used or help newcomers in their sweaty journey for enlightenment? If not, it needs lancing.

They could be allowed depending on how flexible you are with interpretation. But if they're even warranted should be the key concern.

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