When someone uploads an image, I'd like to see something like:
When you upload an image to this site, we encourage you to release that image (at the resolution uploaded), under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. This license allows sharing and remixing. This helps build the collaborative question-and-answer community Stack Exchange strives to be. It ensures that the content will be part of your contribution forever and can be adapted to meet future needs. However, if you do not want to use this license, uncheck this box to indicate that you prefer more restrictive terms for your image. If you do not have the legal right to copy or relicense the image you intend to upload, do not use this form and instead hyperlink to your image.
Or whatever similar thing can be approved by lawyers. The last part about copyrights could be adapted more closely from the content policy. It'd be okay if it were more succinct but have a link for more information. The three key bits of information are:
- Provide an easy way to mark things with a CC license.
- Provide an easy way to mark things which are restrictively licensed (as allowed by imgur — see below).
- Provide an obvious summary of and link to the copyright policy.
Non CC-BY-SA images would be marked with a separate style, and maybe license text displayed. In fact, it might be nice for the upload form to have an attribution field.
This is a particular issue on Photo-SE since we're intrinsically image focused, and since as content-creators we have a particular concern for copyright. However, I think it applies across the network as well.
Addendum: Jeff Atwood says here that since the images are provided by imgur, not SE directly, their ToS applies. That says in part "All files are copyrighted © to their respective owners. Imgur directs full legal responsibility of files to their respective users."
I think, however, that 99% of the users of the form have no idea that there's a separate hosting service. I'm not a lawyer but I think a court might look at the overall SE service and decide that to be an iffy distinction – and consider SE to be "the user". A little bit of text in the upload form and a link to the Imgur ToS would help.
Secondly but more importantly, since the images are central to so many of our questions and answers, I don't find the "eh, they're a separate thing" approach very satisfying. We should provide an easy way to make example images fall under CC-BY-SA as the rest of the text, and a way to mark legal but non-CC-BY-SA images so they're not inadvertently copied with the rest.