Meet Jonatan Svensson Glad, the “#fuckeverything” admin from Commons who is also a sometime Wikimedia Foundation employee. You may have seen Jonatan a few weeks ago in passing when I was commenting on some of Fae’s more objectionable re-tweets. (See Fae approves “cunt”) He was the guy wearing the t-shirt with the f-bomb (http://archive.is/XpRx9).
Imagine my surprise when I received a takedown notice from this guy. As it turns out, he published this photo of himself on Commons under a CC-BY-SA 4.0 creative commons license. But it seems he has also been doing some business with Getty images in the side, because you will notice the image as tweeted by him has a Getty watermark. Either that or Getty stole it from Commons and is trying to make some money off of something that is freely licensed. It wouldn’t be the first time Getty Images was behind a threatening letter – a while back they tried to sue photographer Carol Highsmith for license infringement for posting one of her own images online, an image that had been donated to the Library of Congress and was therefore in the public domain.
So let’s back up a little and talk about what I do here.
I am not a paid blogger. I’m just an ordinary Wikipedia volunteer. Sometimes I use this small blog to talk about paper dolls or coloring books or saints. Sometimes I use it to talk about sexual assault and fear and intimidation. And sometimes I use it to talk about corruption on Wikipedia, and about how the small users are treated by the powerful. And when I do that, I like to use screenshots, so people can see what I am talking about, and also because it is proof that something did happen if someone later tries to delete it or conceal what they did. Wikipediocracy tries to scrub stuff all the time, as have several admins I have discussed here. But still, it’s pretty hard to imagine why someone would want to come after me, just out of the blue.
So who is this Jonatan Glad person?
In real life, he is a telemarketer. He has an account on Medium here: https://medium.com/@JonatanGlad His first essay was “A Small Rant and Advise (sic) from your Friendly Telemarketer” in which he tells people to pretend to want the merchandise so he can get paid his commission, and the worst that will happen to them is that they will get some unwanted forms in the mail. I don’t know about anyone else, but there is no way on God’s green earth that I would give out my address to some stranger who cold-called me. It’s worse than that though, he asks people for their social security number. Not even the government will ask that over the phone.
On Twitter he is @JonatanGlad. On Commons he is user:Josve05a, where he is an admin and member of OTRS. Occasionally he tweets letters he receives in his official Wikipedia role and says how stupid he thinks the people are. Here is a letter he wrote someone as a member of OTRS.
He seems to have a lot of personal things to say on Twitter.
Flipping off a political discussion on TV, and taking a picture of his middle finger:
And my personal favorite, a discussion of urinals and whether straight guys all want to pee together. For once, here is a discussion about peeing in a European country that is not about the Netherlands:
There was also this.
I’m not sure which of these are Too Much Information, but I’m pretty sure we’re already past that point.
Jonatan is also User:Josve05a (WMF), an account that is closed right now, but most recently worked on the Swedish sections of the Wikimedia strategy sessions. He was also paid to photograph the Swedish gay parade, the grant disbursed by Wikimedia Sverige (WMSE), a local chapter of the Wikimedia Foundation in Sweden. See for example this photo. Apparently Wikimedia Sweden has some expensive photography equipment to loan out. And with WikiMania in Sweden next time around, who knows where he might turn up next.
On Commons Jonatan Svensson also has his own category, complete with Wikidata infobox. In it he has a Wikidata Q number, which he created for himself, and an Orcid number, even though he has never been a researcher and never published or collaborated on anything. Much like the reading glasses that do nothing. There are also a few sub-categories, and he has meticulously labeled every photo that has him it it, no matter how far in the background. So you can see what he did at WikiConference North America 2016, Wikimania 2016, or the Wikimedia Diversity Conference 2017. Not sure which is my favorite, maybe this one of him gazing longingly towards James Hare and the pie lady or maybe this other one of him sitting next to Wikipediocracy’s Zoloft on the roof of the San Diego library.
But back to why this guy is after me.
It seems he has a little photography business he is running out of Commons, where he is an admin. On Twitter he thoughtfully provided links his 20 best-selling photos on iStock and Getty, in particular the ones of the Swedish gay parade that he took with Wikimedia Sweden’s equipment.
And also on Twitter we find out that he has recently switched enforcers / photo companies. In September the company Pixsy was able to get him $200, and in January another £150 British pounds.
By January he had switched over completely from the Getty companies.
He’s not going after his admin friends, it seems his concern for “copyright theft” does not extend to anyone in power, only the peons.
It seems that writing nasty-grams for the OTRS turned out to be good practice for writing take-down notices and shaking down users of his gay parade photos – photos that, may I remind you, he had already licensed on Commons to be used freely.
So, how did he work this on Commons? Let’s take a look at one of his parade images, this one. Just for the record, the use of this image here is completely “fair use“. 1. The purpose of the image is obviously criticism and commentary and is not being used for profit 2. The material is published under a free use creative commons license and given attribution 3. the image uploaded to commons is small compared to the surrounding text, and in fact it is the surrounding text, that is important here. 4. my target audience is not the same as the audience that might be purchasing his freely licensed work on Commons, and in fact I am giving him free publicity. So, the image:
Right away you will notice a “protected by Pixsy” template in the “permissions” section. Let’s look a little closer.
” This image is protected against image theft.
“I use Pixsy to monitor, find, and fight image theft by issuing takedown notices and recover compensation. Please follow the license specified on this page below, in order not to perform image theft.”
Notice the unusual wording “I use pixsy…” It is indeed a custom template.
And you may notice he used his template to advertise his own business, as well as the business of the iStock/Getty company he was getting paid from. When he changed vendors, he also changed the advertisement, and would have had to edit through the page protection as an admin to change it.
So how many pages use this template? Here is what links to the page. And here is the Pixsy logo, which is claimed to be in the public domain, since it “consists only of simple geometric shapes or text“, lol.
So many issues, where to start.
This guy is obviously getting money from this company. Where is the COI statement? Does Wikimedia Sweden even care about such things? Does the WMF?
Where is Smallbones? I’m sure he could find someone to interview this guy for the Signpost. Inquiring minds want to know.
Why is this guy willing to go after me for so little money? It looks like he can only get $200 for an image. And the only way someone is going to shell out money for a free image is if they either don’t know it exists on Commons, or don’t know how to find it.
What does he think is wrong with my image? It contains an exact screenshot of his own tweet, with the same attributions. And if the screenshot of his tweet is not attributed correctly, why did he not make proper attributions in his own tweet?
Should the WMF enforce the attribution on a Creative Commons license? (They never have, even to ask politely, much less send threatening letters.) If so, should they use an outside contractor like Getty or Pixsy? Why doesn’t Wikipedia have an attribution on images used on articles (they only have a link on the image itself)?
Who gets to keep the money from any damages recovered from “stealing” free Commons images, the volunteer or the WMF? Why isn’t this guy turning over the money to the WMF?
Why does Jonatan not disclose the existence of a free Commons image when he tweets the image he gets payment for? Isn’t that a requirement of the creative commons license? It’s probably a technicality that no one will complain about it since Wikimedia Foundation is known not to be very confrontational about labeling Commons images. But shouldn’t admins and OTRS agents be extra scrupulous in following Wikipedia’s rules?
Is this some kind of entrapment scheme? It looks like a kind of SLAPP suit, where some people who do not want the cost of a legal defense will probably just pay the fee.
Do Commons admins care about this, or do they protect their own, like crooked cops. Will someone nominate the logo for deletion?
And finally, if this is completely Kosher, how can I cash in on it, and perhaps get the WMF to buy me some cameras.
Oh and I suppose being an admin and OTRS and all, this character ought to go on the Potty Mouth list, even if looking for smut on Commons is a bit like looking for dandelions in a lawn.