File talk:Ahmed Mohamed Clock by Irving PD.jpg

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Per WP:FREER, if the subject be adequately conveyed by properly sourced text[edit]

Per WP:FREER, if the subject be adequately conveyed by properly sourced text without using the non-free content then such image fails the free use rationale. That is the case in this instance. - Cwobeel (talk) 22:38, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

I disagree. A textual description can not adequately convey what many third parties were reacting to when they commented after seeing this specific image of the clock. Dragons flight (talk) 22:41, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
This picture of Ahmed Mohamed's clock was the only image of the clock released at the time of the Ahmed Mohamed clock incident and as such played a significant role in shaping public opinion of the incident. That is disputed. The image that triggered coverage of this incident was a nerdy-looking 14-year old kid in a NASA T-shirt being handcuffed [1] - Cwobeel (talk) 22:42, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
I said a significant role. I did not say it was the only thing that shaped this event or the first thing. Dragons flight (talk) 22:44, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
The clock is nothing that can't be described in words: a pencil box with an LED panel, some circuit boards and a power supply. - Cwobeel (talk) 22:52, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
The statue of liberty is a woman with a torch. Adequate description? No, not at all. I doesn't seem likely we will agree on that point. I acknowledge it is an unusual claim, for what is an unusual case (how many images does POTUS react to?). Rather than try to speedy it, how about a multi-party discussion somewhere? WP:Non-free content review might be appropriate (though often rather slow), or we could try one of the more general discussion forums? Dragons flight (talk) 22:56, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
A Statue of Liberty photo can be use in an article of the Statue of Liberty under free use rationale. But this is not an article on Ahmed Mohammad's clock. The article is about the incident, and not the clock. The incident was related to perceived racial profiling and islamophobia and the response it generated. - Cwobeel (talk)
So an article with "clock" in the title isn't significantly related to the clock? You are reaching. WP:NFC doesn't require that the article be solely focused on the image, just that the image is related to a major part of what is discussed in the article, which would seem to be the case here. Dragons flight (talk) 23:04, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
We will have to agree to disagree. I'll wait for others to weight in and for FUR patrollers to take a look. - Cwobeel (talk) 23:06, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
Would you mind at least writing something in the "concern=" field on the DFU to quickly let third parties know what you are worried about? Dragons flight (talk) 23:11, 25 September 2015 (UTC)
This is not just a disagreement, it appears that several editors including Cwobeel are trying to remove information from Wikipedia simply because they don't want people to see it. The entire premise of the story depends almost entirely on the appearance of the device he brought to school. You can't discuss whether he was profiled or not without showing the clock in question. You are trying to shape public opinion by hiding certain information and repeatedly removing information from Wikipedia, and that is starting to look a lot like vandalism. I disagree that this is a non-free image not licensed under fair use. The Irving PD have stated this is public use and provided it to the press to describe the clock, the website also says the information is public. You can call them to verify the license but I think you already know you're wrong and have no justification for trying to delete the image. - (talk) 23:20, 25 September 2015 (UTC)


what it "appears like" is that there are editors attempting to edit according to wikipedia policies, and an editor making unsupported accusations about other editors and their motives. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 00:00, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

It's an historical image used by both the PD to explain their arrest and the other section describing the Microntel clock components. The image is both a depiction of the clock as well as an image that was analyzed and given its own separate significance. It easily meets NFCC guidelines. --DHeyward (talk) 23:30, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

To be clear: This image is not deletable on WP:FREER as it is both a depiction as well as a discussion of the image itself. Each of those reasons are adequate for NFCC but having both makes this a no brainer keep. The PD directly used the image to justify the dentention. A completely independent source [2] analyzed the picture. Fair use covers both conditions independently. Just as the iconic Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair cover is usable for commentary on the Vanity Fair section, this pic is allowed for its use because of the discussion it generated in addition to its historical relevance. The objections are laughably weak. --DHeyward (talk) 02:33, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

Fascinating to see that after strongly arguing and !voting for deletion of the linked article, your sudden description of this incident as historic. Way to go. - Cwobeel (talk) 02:44, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Not at all. But your only argument is ad hominem so it's a very weak delete. Per NFCC this image is notable for this article. If the article is deleted, so should the picture. Feel free to delete the article. If the article is kept, though, this image is an historical image needed for context as well as explaining the analysis of the clock components. --DHeyward (talk) 03:05, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

The appearance of the clock is a key part of the story, since at least one teacher seems to have felt that it looked like a bomb. I note that the editors arguing for deletion of the picture are also arguing for removal of accurate textual descriptions. In any case, no textual description would truly substitute for this picture, so WP:FREER does not apply. -- (talk) 03:20, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

Please be accurate in your statements. The article include all the comments made about the clock and analysis by different people based on the photo. So, here you have it: as we have detailed descriptions of the photo, WP:FREER applies 100%. - Cwobeel (talk) 03:29, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Please be accurate in your statements. Nowhere in the article is there actually a description of the clock, enumerating all its components and explaining how they are connected. So no, WP:FREER does not apply. -- (talk) 05:56, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
That is actually more reason that the image doesnt meet WP:FAIR - there needs to be third party description of the image used. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 16:24, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
there is This [3] used the image. The picture itself being discussed is a completely seperate NFCC rationale and justifies it's use. There are two seperate and indepenent claims of fair use that meet WP's NFCC guidelines. --DHeyward (talk) 17:19, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

I'll also note that the textual description of it being a Micronta clock arranged in a pencil box is also disputed. Visual representation is therefore not replaced with a FREER text version. --DHeyward (talk) 19:09, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

  • Disagree with removal. If this image isn't important enough to the article to justify fair use, then no image here on Wikipedia is that necessary, and Wikipedia should just get rid of fair use, since some sort of written description is always possible. Getting rid of fair use here would make things that much simpler. They could just put up a notice that everything here is public domain. But fair use is allowed here, for a reason, which is for cases such as this one, as the image of Mohamed's clock project is integral to the story. Psalm84 (talk) 19:43, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Disagree with removal: Picture is worth 1000 words. Many people have analyzed the pic and said it looks like a bomb see other descriptions of the clock as a bomb or "parts of a clock in a box" in the WP article, talk page has long discussions of how to describe the hoax bomb in the lede with no agreement. Article is about the clock as much as it is about the boy. Raquel Baranow (talk) 04:46, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
  • No to removal Image appears to be one produced by a police department under Texas law - and the Texas law is clear - there is no bar to reproduction here. Images which are not releasable include certain minors, police officers and bodies (a few other exceptions, but the drift is clear). See DHeyward's UT page for long version. Collect (talk) 22:19, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps good point, but still would require OTRS confirmation for a free-use license if not going by fair use. And a free use alternative could therefore be obtained. — Cirt (talk) 23:01, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
  • strong keep (meets NFCC) Photo taken by a govt agency which is likely PD, and the exact makeup of the device, complexity of build, etc is a significant point of dispute that cannot be fully covered in text. Historically significant, and likely irreplaceable as a private possession of Mr Mohommad. Further, as a "make" it could easily evolve over time and therefore future photographs would not be representative of the clock as it existed at the time of controversy. Gaijin42 (talk) 19:43, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
    • Valid opinion of course, but just pointing out not "public domain". — Cirt (talk) 19:52, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
      • [4] Under FOIA: Law Enforcement: Generally, the front page of a police report is public. Records that would hinder the investigation or prosecution of a crime if they are released are exempt from disclosure. The photo appears to fall into the FOIA category, and is thus public. No copyright is asserted. The Texas Public Information Act, as I noted above, is clear - no copyright is asserted for photos which are part of a public record. Where a copyrighted work is contained in a public record, Texas requires that the copyright restriction be noted. As the case in hand was not marked as copyright, it isn't. 552 is quite clear. Collect (talk) 13:42, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I concede the PD point, but the photo has a very strong NFCC claim. Gaijin42 (talk) 15:48, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

Okay. — Cirt (talk) 15:49, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
  • strong keep per Gaijin's explanation. This picture is needed to explain the topic to our readers. -- Ssilvers (talk) 18:57, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Keep per above. Epic Genius (talk) 15:34, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong keep per many of the above-mentioned arguments. Why exactly does this file need to be deleted? I can't access OTRS. -- Dandv 01:49, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

No one has even tried OTRS first[edit]

Has anyone even tried to go through the commons:Commons:OTRS process and contact the copyright holder of this photograph and attempt to get documented confirmation forwarded to OTRS-permissions that this image could be released under an appropriate free use license?

Failing that, it can be argued that a free use alternative could be obtained.

IFF no one has tried to do above, this image should be deleted as fair use, because a free use alternative could be obtained (via commons:Commons:OTRS).

Thank you,

Cirt (talk) 18:26, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

I doubt anyone ever asks most copyright holders of album covers or logos whether they would be willing to license it as a free image. I've never heard anyone interpret "could be created" to include convincing the owner to waive their rights. By that theory essentially any image could be made free, if you have enough money to buy the rights, but that's not generally the standard by which we operate.
That said, even though I think your logic appears to be a reduction to the extreme, I am willing to try sending an email to the Irving Police to see what they say in this case as there might be a better than typical chance they might agree. I won't be surprised though if they don't reply, or don't reply in a way that is helpful.
That leaves one open question, do we need Mohamed's permission as well (or essentially that of his parents)? in general, when photographing statues and similar art objects, Commons requires that licensing permission be granted by both the photographer and the creator of the art object being photographed. I'm not sure if that rule would apply in this case as well, but it might be helpful to ask at Commons. Personally, I have no idea how to reach out to the Mohamed family, so if we also need their permission, I am not sure how one could go about asking for it. Dragons flight (talk) 19:00, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
Thank you, please keep us updated if you hear back from the Irving PD. But you are right that probably the permission of the artist would be needed, and the Commons page about that is commons:Commons:Freedom of panorama. — Cirt (talk) 19:02, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
This is a "useful object" being a "clock." It is similar to taking a picture of a car or dress and the copyright office uses such as examples. The copyright of the photograph is is solely held by the Irving PD. That would be the only requirement. --DHeyward (talk) 06:36, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Best to go through first trying to contact the original copyright holder, the creator of the work itself. — Cirt (talk) 06:37, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
The origin is Microtel. The copyright and maskwork marks are visible on their printed circuit board. It's an unnecessary rabbit hole. --DHeyward (talk) 06:43, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Please, I kindly ask of you, to please read commons:Commons:Freedom of panorama and commons:Commons:OTRS to educate yourself about these matters. Thank you very much, — Cirt (talk) 06:44, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
I'm familiar. As a "useful object" it's not covered by panorama concerns. It's why we don't need Microtel's permission to photograph their circuit board. The artistic component is the photographers placement of useful components. The photographer is the sole artist. Ahmed has not made a claim of expression other than an engineering construction of a clock. He has rights regarding replica's but not photographs. Commons freedom of panorama does not extend to useful onjects. Pictures of cars in photographic backgrounds do not get deleted as a violation. In fact, Jimbo's photo with Ahmed includes chairs and a table which are not covered by "panorama" as they are useful objects even if unique and artistic. Please stop. --DHeyward (talk) 06:55, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
The original artist is the 14-year-old boy. I see there is much argumentation on the article's talk page as to whether the device was even indeed useful as a clock, or not. Therefore it is simply a form of his artistic expression -- as a sculpture. — Cirt (talk) 15:39, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
It's not art. It's a clock. He's said it's a clock. The discussion on the talk page is whether it's novel enough to claim invention (a patent issue, not copyright). No one disputes it is a clock. The Micronta circuit board is hand drawn. We don't need their approval to photograph it despite clear copyright and mask works markings. Cars are as artistic or more than this clock. It's not an issue. --DHeyward (talk) 16:26, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Okay, we can respectfully disagree as to our interpretation of whether or not it is his form of artistic expression. Still, the easiest thing to do would be to get him to take a picture of it himself, after he gets it back, and use that photograph. Therefore, a free use alternative could be obtained. — Cirt (talk) 16:29, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
I wrote an email to Irving PD shortly after my previous post. So far no response (or even an acknowledgement) since doing that. I'm not going to hold my breath about getting anything from them. Dragons flight (talk) 07:33, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
I sent an email to Officer McLellan, media contact for the Irving PD to get copyright authorization a few minutes ago. Raquel Baranow (talk) 14:16, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Thank you both, for making good faith attempts to try to go through the commons:Commons:OTRS process. Most appreciated, — Cirt (talk) 08:06, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
@Dragons flight, Raquel Baranow, and Cirt: if either of you do hear anything back and forward this to OTRS, please let me know and I'll get this cleared ASAP. Mdann52 (talk) 12:05, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
The same pic is on the Irving PD Facebook page does the copyright apply there too? I sent another email to their media officer. Raquel Baranow (talk) 14:12, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
Never heard anything back, sent email to the two addresses on the media page. As you may know, the same school recently had a bomb scare and had to evacuate. The PD probably is very busy with PR these days. Someone commented that if this pic is deleted, half the other pics on WP would be deleted too. I also don't think Ahmed will give us a pic, he's very busy too, we shouldn't depend on wishful thinking. Raquel Baranow (talk) 14:02, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

Suggestion to avoid multiple steps[edit]

Suggestion: Once the artist gets his work back from its current location, instead of going through a two-step-process, would just be easiest to try to contact the artist and get him to take a photo of his own work, and get that confirmed with a free-use-license via commons:Commons:OTRS. That would be the easiest method without multiple steps. — Cirt (talk) 19:05, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

A new image (hopefully of better quality) would be useful to understand the device, but in my opinion it wouldn't serve as a full replacement. The current image has historical significance that would not be captured by a new image. The image that the police presented to the public is useful to understand both their position and the subsequent public reaction to that position. In addition, a number of commentators have attempted to analyze what Mohamed did based primarily on analyzing that one image. (Some of that analysis is directly discussed in the article.) Hence, this particular image played a role in shaping the discussion which couldn't necessarily be conveyed with a new image. That's my view anyway. Dragons flight (talk) 12:34, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
What the "clock" looked like at the time of the incident is the important perspective. Letting him take a new picture of the controversial item (allowing him opportunity to change the presentation) would be worthless from a historical perspective. I must say the hoops which are being directed to jump through for this are quite astonishing. The appearance of the "clock" at the time of the incident is what makes this important. Fair use clearly supports this image from a non-reproducible historical perspective. Arzel (talk) 14:57, 28 September 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps you're right, and that's okay, but ideally a free use alternative could be obtained, and would be better than fair-use. — Cirt (talk) 16:06, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

Hangon tag[edit]

Dragons flight tagged this with {{hangon}} and a rationale:

Please see extended discussion on the talk page. There is disagreement over whether WP:FREER applies in this case.

I've removed the hangon, because it puts the file in CAT:CSD and because it's meant for a "don't delete this immediately" situation, not a "don't delete this a few days from now" situation. I have no comment on the merits of the tagging and no comment on the merits of Dragons flight's response. Nyttend (talk) 21:51, 3 October 2015 (UTC)

Just got permission from Irving Police department to use pic[edit]

Here's complete text of the email:

James McLellan <JMcLellan> Today at 11:41 AM
To 'Raquel Baranow'
Good afternoon,
Sorry for the delayed response but I’m trying to answer inquiries relating to this case in order. The quick answer is that since it’s a record held by the government it is open to the public. There are no copyright issues. You’re free to use the picture since it was released by us in a public manner.

Raquel Baranow (talk) 18:50, 5 October 2015 (UTC)

I forwarded the email to permissions-commons Raquel Baranow (talk) 18:59, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
They just sent me this ticket number: [Ticket#2015100510021886] Raquel Baranow (talk) 19:01, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
Very good. The OTRS team will review it. The issue is not just a copyright issue, it should be made available under a non-restrictive license (public domain). - Cwobeel (talk) 22:43, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
Cirt may be able to follow up and advise. - Cwobeel (talk) 22:44, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
Also look at the recent changes to the file page, it appears to have a fair use license. Raquel Baranow (talk) 22:47, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
I disagree, the email says it is in public domain, though not those exact words. Please see this link regarding WP licensing of material in public domain and also the texas Statute cited above. Raquel Baranow (talk) 00:33, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
@Raquel Baranow:, this has already been explained to you by other editors. Him saying "it is open to the public" is not enough for it to be in the "public domain". Can you please get a 2nd email from them, following commons:Commons:OTRS#Declaration_of_consent_for_all_enquiries ??? — Cirt (talk) 02:06, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
I'm very weary of this Cirt, I think it's absurd that it's not "fair use" and what the very busy Officer McLellan said is not good enough. If the pic is deleted and not revived by OTRS, I might try again. Raquel Baranow (talk) 02:52, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
Please send an email asking them to use this form language, it was drafted up for a reason: commons:Commons:OTRS#Declaration_of_consent_for_all_enquiries. Thank you, — Cirt (talk) 04:07, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
Cirt you keep beating this dead horse. It's public domain by law. They just stated as such. The only copyright holder is the photographer of the useful object. The photographer works for the police department. we don't need any more permission. We don't need Micronta's permission to photograph their hand drawn circuit board. We don't need Ahmed's permission either. The Monkey selfie had less obstruction and that had an active claim of copyright. No one claims this clock photo is anything but public domain and no amount of handwringing will create a copyright genie. --DHeyward (talk) 08:16, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
Sorry but you are wrong. The police department staff are not United States federal employees. — Cirt (talk) 08:20, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
No they are a subdivision of the State of Texas which is identical. Public domain by Texas State Law. Should I make template? --DHeyward (talk) 08:22, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
This file came from website "". Their website's copyright page says: "Although all content on our site is public information, the City of Irving maintains and will defend a copyright interest in these pages.". Public information? Yes. "Public domain" = NOPE. — Cirt (talk) 08:41, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
The file we're using comes from Irving PD Facebook page. (Says so on the File-page.) Raquel Baranow (talk) 14:43, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
For the record, I got an even shorter response that was equivalent in content. By the standards of normal people, the Irving PD saying "there are no copyright issues" would generally be good enough to give one confidence that you won't get in trouble using this. By the paranoid standards of Commons / Wikipedia, I agree that neither their statement nor the Texas laws are clear enough to meet the generally required inclusion criteria. Commons' copyright paranoia is problematic, but not entirely unjustified. There have been cases were a government has claimed that their "open records law" meant only that the public could review the records at a venue of the government's choosing, but that they were still prohibited from creating and distributing copies. Or in other cases, the public was allowed to create copies, but they weren't allowed to modify them in any way to create derivative works. Etc. Because a few governments have asserted some copyright restrictions on their "open records", it has ruined it for the rest of us by making Commons very strict. I knew this going in and tried to get the Irving PD to actually declare it "public domain", but so far they haven't said the magic words. Dragons flight (talk) 09:01, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
Texas can't. They have to pass a statute to exempt a subdivision from the copyright-free records. Departments that can assert copyright are listed. "There is no copyright issue" is the operative phrase. It's released into the public domain upon publication. It doesn't meet any of the exemptions. "Commons" is broken if they can steal photos of a monkey published by a photographer (no OTRS for that and taken directly from a site with copyright notice) but fights a clear public domain release by a government agency that declares there is no copyright. --DHeyward (talk) 15:57, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
You can complain at Commons if that is your opinion. What use is this here? None. - Cwobeel (talk) 15:59, 6 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Could always have someone actually visit the police station, request to take a photo with one's own camera, thus eliminating the copyright claim. Of course that would open up the copyright claim of the actual object being photographed. Heyyouoverthere (talk) 16:52, 6 October 2015 (UTC)

After a three-day weekend, I sent another email to Officer McLellan (the IPD PR guy) today after consulting with OTRS about what's absolutely necessary. I think the big stumblingblock will be getting permission from the actual photographer as if McLellan would know the name or have time to find out. Raquel Baranow (talk) 19:29, 13 October 2015 (UTC)

The actual photographer is not an issue, it was a work for hire the copyright is to the department, not the photographer. The only issue is if McLellan is authorized to speak for the department in this capacity. Gaijin42 (talk) 19:34, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
That's what I thought (work for hire). Here's what I wrote:
It's me again. The volunteer editors at Wikipedia, who are experts in copyright law informed me that the release you gave was not adequate. ¶ They say they need the name of the photographer unless the photographer transferred the copyright to somebody else -- the name does not have to be made public on the photograph or license. ¶ Below, I made a statement that you can copy-paste along with the photographer's name or evidence that the copyright belongs to the IPD. ¶ I, James McLellan, Public Information Officer, Irving Police Department, have authority to allow Wikipedia to publish the pic under a Creative Commons license, specifically, Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA 4.0). ¶ The CC-BY-SA 4.0 license does NOT give Wikipedia an exclusive license, it makes the photo public. You can read more about the license here. ¶ I think the Wikipedia article on the Clock is pretty objective but the picture is worth 1000-words.
Raquel Baranow (talk) 19:44, 13 October 2015 (UTC)
Great job, Raquel Baranow, your email request language is perfect ! Good luck, — Cirt (talk) 06:14, 17 October 2015 (UTC)