Last modified on 25 April 2014, at 04:08

Commons:Massive restoration of deleted images by the URAA


Massive restoration of deleted images by the URAAEdit

Hi all!

After the response of the WMF Board of Trustees, we must raise the mass restoration of all deleted images by the URAA.


Jusjih (talk) 06:00, 5 April 2014 (UTC) (disinterested bureaucrat) Due to ongoing concerns, I propose using Template:Wikilivres page to explain why we may not have URAA-affected files here, thus redirected to Canadian Wikilivres. However, having a bot to post this template may be better. Do not make mass restoration without Wikimedia Foundation's clear position.--Jusjih (talk) 04:08, 25 April 2014 (UTC)


  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment It is very sad that people oppose this benign proposal, inspite of the unambiguous WMF board support for this. Did you even read the board statement? Yann (talk) 17:57, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I did. I feel I could ask you the same question. My reading of the board's statement is that:
  1. The WMF will not themselves be deleting such content unless they receive a valid DMCA takedown notice or otherwise become aware of infringing content.
  2. They do not recommend that editors conduct mass deletions of such content.
  3. They have confidence in the WMF legal team's research and advice. That advice includes the following guidance to editors: "The community should evaluate each potentially affected work using the guidelines issued by the Legal and Community Advocacy Department, as well as the language of the statute itself, and remove works that are clearly infringing. However, if a work’s status remains ambiguous after evaluation under the guidelines, it may be premature to delete the work prior to receiving a formal take-down notice [...] These guidelines differ from the more proactive systems currently used by the community for other copyright violations, but the complexity and fact-intensive nature of the URAA analysis makes a more active approach imprudent."
So I believe the WMF board supports our deletion of works that (on evaluation of each particular work's status) clearly infringe copyright under the URAA, and they would therefore not support the mass restoration of all URAA-affected works being proposed here.
Of course, I might be mistaken. Do you see a hole in my logic? --Avenue (talk) 00:17, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes. The first sentence of the statement is The WMF does not support the URAA. I don't see how you could interpret that as supporting deletions. I think Ynhockey explains my opinion above better than I would do myself. All comments supporting deletions give a distorted view of the real legal situation. There isn't, there never was, I doubt there will be, any real legal issue in hosting URAA-affected files. It is just a rethoric to implement a completely nonsense law. When do we start following some common sense? If there would be any real problem, the WMF wouldn't obviously issue such a statement. The legal department has always been very careful about this. Yann (talk) 09:17, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
As for me, I read this first sentence as “the WMF, just like every sensible person in the world, thinks the URAA has stupid implications”. It really is an utter commonplace − just who in the Wikimedia world or free culture world supports something like the URAA? And politically speaking, of course the board would say they do not support the URAA − who wants to be the bad guy shoving stupid & unpopular laws in the community’s face, when you can be the good guy bestowing your Eternal Wisdom on how copyright laws are Complicated® and Unfair™, expecting that every community member will do their duty, and as Pleclown says above, washing your hands of it? I certainly look forward to hearing the Board predictable opinion on polarising issues like lack of Freedom of Panorama. Oh wait, wasn’t it the WMF cautious and ambiguous language accompanying the Oldenburg DMCA action that sparked the non-US FOP community resolution, putting many such files under scrutiny (which if the “URAA calendar” holds true, will start being deleted a year from now) − snowballing all the way into discouraging enough the good-faith community effort that was Wiki Loves Public Art?
As for me, and though I despise the URAA effects just as much as the next Wikimedian, I must say that my reading is the same than Avenue’s. And at the very least, I would not call it “unambiguous” − I think they did a pretty good job at keeping it ambiguous, as one can see per the present debate.
(this does not hinder your argument on the reality of any real problem with URAA files, which I understand and ponder at the moment)
Jean-Fred (talk) 10:46, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
@Yann: I interpret their initial statement that "The WMF does not support the URAA" much as Jean-Fred does. It's the WMF's political position on the URAA, and says nothing about whether or not they believe any files should be restored or deleted. You can oppose a law vehemently and still believe that you are bound to follow it, along with other members of the community. (Or you can oppose a law and feel that you must disobey it, but from the rest of their statement I don't believe that's the WMF's position here.) --Avenue (talk) 11:29, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
Well, this interpretation is not a legal requirement. This is a political decision. As I already said above, there is nothing in the BoT statement which compel us to take such a decision. And it is sad, because this political decision goes against the objective of this project. I expect that we take progressive decision regarding copyright, not conservative one, when we have the liberty to do so. And as you can see in the vote above, it may back fire, because most people do not support this decision. Regards, Yann (talk) 15:38, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't get why you still support the deletion of EU works copyrighted in the EU and not the US. That's just a political decision, not a legal requirement.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:46, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it is also a political decision, but at least, I see a practical compromise here. If the work is to be reused in the country where it was first published, it needs to in the public domain there. A document about a particular country is certainly more useful to be use in that country that anywhere else in the world. There is no such thing in the URAA issue. Beside, this is a straw man argument. Please keep focus to the subject, and don't try tangential arguments when you don't have a real answer to the question I put forward. Regards, Yann (talk) 06:18, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
I can choose to voice dissent of my local government raising my taxes, but I would still have to pay them all the same. This situation is no different really. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 03:17, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
No, this is completely different. BTW, this is a straw man argument. Don't mix up different issues. Keeping and restoring these files won't make any change to real life assets. Nobody will loose anything. Yann (talk) 08:39, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
OK, so what are you suggesting we do? You said "It is very sad that people oppose this benign proposal, inspite of the unambiguous WMF board support for this. Did you even read the board statement?" I have read all of the chapter wikis response letters, especially Wikimedia Israel's comparison to SOPA/PIPA which I found very relevant, in addition to the Board's response on the matter. Please comment on the response I made above. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 08:51, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
No, it's not a straw man argument. If we aren't willing to follow the law that binds us, we shouldn't be voluntarily choosing other rules to bind us. We shouldn't be restoring a bunch of files that under copyright in only in the US if we're aren't going to restore a bunch of files that are only under copyright in France.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:19, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment - Update: Wikimedia Venezuela has published a letter as well: Wikimedia Venezuela/Open letter from WMVE regarding URAA --CyberXRef 18:49, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Someone has raised this discussion with Jimbo Wales on his talkpage The person raises some reasonable points about the number of copyvios on Commons--everyday there seems to be many everywhere sadly and one can hardly get a handle on all the problems but URAA is a separate problem and a legitimate issue over openness when there are no DMCA takedowns over the use of old 50 to 60+ year old images that are PD in the host country. Granted the way this discussion was structured may not have been ideal. Regards, --Leoboudv (talk) 06:32, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
  • I suggest as a start for reuploading images deleted under URAA, we establish that they have been released into the public domain from their home country. I believe that one of the provisions of URAA is that if an image is in the public domain in their home country it should also be in the public domain in the U.S. for the purposes of the URAA. Public domain images should be the easiest to track down, while images that are copyrighted, even if under CC-BY-SA or other free licenses, might be more difficult to keep/upload on Commons with respect to URAA. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 03:17, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

<striketrough>Symbol support vote.svg Support Andycyca (talk) 09:03, 28 February 2014 (UTC)</striketrough>

All projects have to operate within US law since that is where the projects are hosted.Geni (talk) 17:10, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Except that it's not the case, never been the case, and never will be the case... Every Wikipedia hosts it's own PD images (the ones that expired in that country) regardless of whether or not their copyright has been restored in the US. --CyberXRef 15:37, 9 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment - I would like to point out that Welinder has recently clarified the foundation position. She REMOVED the "mass" - as she intended to mean no deletion regarding URAA altogether, not just not mass as some people purposely misconstrued for the sake of backing their argument.
Furthermore, she posted a clarification that's finally unambiguous - do not delete.
"I should clarify that we don't see a need for any deletions – mass scale or otherwise – based solely on a general concern that the work may be infringing. I will remove the reference to "mass deletion" in the post to make this clearer."
"Community members should always refrain from uploading content that they know to be infringing. But how community members review potentially affected works is a community decision. And, of course, we can't provide legal advice to community members. Generally, however, community members are not likely to have the facts necessary to make a determination under the URAA. To give you an example, the URAA does not restore copyright in a non-audio work unless the work originally entered the public domain in the US because of: (1) noncompliance with previous copyright formalities, including failure of renewal, lack of proper notice, or failure to comply with a manufacturing requirement or (2) lack of copyright relations between the US and the source country. It would be really difficult to know whether a work originally entered the public domain in the US because the author failed to provide proper notice or comply with a manufacturing requirement. Yet this is information that a copyright holder could include in a valid DMCA takedown notice, at which point we would be required to remove the work." - Revision of :m:Talk:Legal and Community Advocacy/Wikimedia Server Location and Free Knowledge

--CyberXRef 19:08, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Point taken ; but “as some people purposely misconstrued for the sake of backing their argument” → Please assume good faith. Jean-Fred (talk) 19:32, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
I apologize for my tone but seriously, look at this discussion. There is no civility; just walls of ad-hominem attacks, accusations, and crazy interpretations of the law to their own detriment. As for AGF, I really tried. But I've become convinced that some people have ulterior motives. The discussions on meta are simply shocking; everyone is suddenly an IP-lawyer. The WMF has never even seen a URAA taken down notice. No one even knows what's involved in such things (even the Legal Counsel) yet it looks like as if we were hit by 100s of notices and we are in desperate need of a solution. --CyberXRef 20:14, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

Reflection on WMF positionEdit

Some people have mentioned the ambiguity of the WMF position. I agree that it is ambiguous, but I am not sure the WMF could issue a different statement because of legal requirements. Jimmy Wales may be able to clarify that in his answer to Magog, but it is also possible that he won't be, for the same legal reasons. I think that both the WMF and Jimmy Wales cannot say openly that they support keeping URAA-affected files, even if they do. This left us with interpreting their statement. Some others required that we need a statement by the WMF legal department. This will obviously not happen, as this department does not answer to the community, only to the WMF.

My interpretation is that the copyright policy of Commons is meant to prevent any situation where a court could put the WMF into trouble. Now, if an image is not formally into the public domain because of the URAA, but that the eventuality that a copyright holder requires deletion is non existent, what should we do? That is the real issue. Regards, Yann (talk) 10:11, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

WM Legal's previous statement (meta:Legal and Community Advocacy/URAA Statement) seems much less ambiguous than the recent ones. In particular, this sentence speaks directly about what we should do with these files: "The community should evaluate each potentially affected work using the guidelines issued by the Legal and Community Advocacy Department, as well as the language of the statute itself, and remove works that are clearly infringing." --Avenue (talk) 14:59, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
I agree in that the new statement is much less ambiguous, but from your quote it gives the impression that it is biased towards deletion, when I understand quite the opposite: "[...] As we stated last year, very few works on Commons are likely to be affected due to the various requirements of this statute. Indeed, to date, we have not received a single takedown notice under the URAA. A valid notice would provide us with the facts necessary to make a determination under the URAA. It requires information that may not be available to a Commons volunteer trying to make a decision without a takedown notice. So WMF does not see a reason to engage in mass deletions of content simply because of general concern about the URAA" —emphasis is mine. It is clear that mass deletions only aggravate the problem, but even single deletions are reached by this wording. Even if the Commons' community takes the decision to insist on its currenty policy, to my understanding this last communication from WMF makes clear that other Wikimedia projects' communities can put forward a different implementation of URAA if they consider it needed. Best, Galio (talk) 22:36, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
I read it in the same way than @Galio. I simply believe board and legal team just try to tell us to hold on deletion but can't really say it too clearly (:p) --PierreSelim (talk) 22:51, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Maybe you're right, although for such a major reversal in approach, I'd hope they could find some unofficial way to signal it more clearly. I've asked for some clarification of the legal team's statement here; if no real clarification is forthcoming in the next week or so, I'll probably have to assume the ambiguity is intentional. --Avenue (talk) 23:15, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Well, now they have clarified: I should clarify that we don't see a need for any deletions – mass scale or otherwise – based solely on a general concern that the work may be infringing. (...) community members are not likely to have the facts necessary to make a determination under the URAA. (see here). It is absolutely clear now the position from the Foundation is against the URAA-related deletions. Of course, Commons community can continue deleting images and be more conservative than the WMF but I don't see why keep this policy that goes against our mission to spread and preserve knowledge. --B1mbo (talk) 14:46, 14 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, that has clarified things, especially in showing that the WMF do not believe that mass deletions in themselves are the issue here. There may be a big grey area between having "a general concern" versus "the facts necessary to make a determination under the URAA" about whether a work is infringing, but their point seems to be that the latter is their preferred deletion criterion. In other words, they seem to be saying that we should reverse our usual burden of proof for such works, requiring proof for deleting rather than keeping these files. I think the argument they give for this (i.e. how difficult it is for us to establish the relevant facts, such as failure of renewal, lack of proper notice, etc) would also apply to many other works, but perhaps I am missing something. --Avenue (talk)
Actually, the only works which are unclear are US works and works which were not copyrighted in the source country on the URAA date. Only in those cases do we have the problem of locating renewals. If a work was copyrighted in the source country on the URAA date, then it is always copyrighted in the United States, either under COM:URAA (if no renewal was made or if a copyright notice was missing somewhere), or under Commons:Subsisting copyright (if a renewal was made and the copyright notice was present). --Stefan4 (talk) 22:22, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

Some figures on URAA tags and deletionsEdit

Currently we have are over 4000 files tagged with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}, and there are probably many more that aren't tagged but should be. Over the last two years, the number tagged has varied from roughly 3000 to 6000 (details here).

There are now 1157 deletion requests listed in Category:URAA-related deletion requests/deleted, i.e. DRs that resulted in URAA-affected files being deleted. Of these, 1070 start with "Commons:Deletion requests/File:" or "Commons:Deletion requests/Image:", and so presumably just involved a single file. The remaining 87 bulk DRs covered between 2 and 540 files each; 4309 files in total, of which 4248 are currently redlinks. (Blue links either were not deleted to begin with, or have since been undeleted.) Of the 4248 redlinks, 1890 (44%) are from just five of these DRs, each covering all the pages uploaded from a single book (and some images cropped from these pages). Another 659 (16%) were German postage stamps from 1926-1942, debated in a DR for each year.

Clearly a lot of work has gone into this clean-up effort - not by me, I should add. My impression, having looked over all the bulk DRs, is that they have generally attempted to follow the guidelines laid out by the WM Legal team two years ago, i.e. by isolating files with similar rationales for deletion. Many of the deleted files have reportedly been transferred to Wikilivres.

The bulk DRs are listed below, with the number of files (total and redlinked) that they covered. (The figures shown here are mainly from unchecked manual counts, and may not be entirely correct.)

Deletion request Files listed Current redlinks
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:"Der Weltkrieg in seiner rauhen Wirklichkeit" 19 17
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1923 paintings 64 64
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1924 paintings 47 47
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1926 stamps of Germany 18 18
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1927 stamps of Germany 9 9
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1928 stamps of Germany 16 16
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1930 stamps of Germany 19 19
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1931 stamps of Germany 10 10
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1932 stamps of Germany 18 17
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1933 stamps of Germany 35 35
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1934 stamps of Germany 81 69
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1935 stamps of Germany 42 42
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1936 stamps of Germany 45 45
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1937 stamps of Germany 32 32
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1938 stamps of Germany 43 43
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1939 stamps of Germany 57 57
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1940 stamps of Germany 116 105
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1941 stamps of Germany 88 88
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1942 stamps of Germany 54 54
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1957 Japanese movie posters 70 70
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1958 Japanese movie posters 73 73
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:1959 Japanese movie posters 32 32
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Actors from Argentina 73 73
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Actresses from Argentina 52 52
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Alexej von Jawlensky 34 32
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Alfredo Zitarrosa 6 6
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Amrita Sher-Gil 10 10
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Architects from Argentina 20 16
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Barbara Ann Scott 4 4
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Chinese propaganda posters 42 42
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Coins of the Netherlands 8 8
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:De Literatur und Lüge (Kraus) 366 366
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:De Wolkenkuckucksheim (Kraus) 120 120
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Die Literatur der Ägypter Erman 408 408
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Esteban Laureano Maradona 8 8
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Herman Richir 33 25
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Hotels in Argentina 2 2
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Japanese album covers 3 3
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Journalists from Argentina 45 45
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Kasperle-Verse 15 15
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Kurt Tucholsky 8 8
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Louis Bouquet 15 15
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Meyers Blitz-Lexikon 540 540
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Moria Casán 6 6
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Musicians from Argentina 59 59
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:National Anthem of Pakistan 3 3
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Oberá 12 12
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Paintings by Joaquín Torres García 4 4
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Paintings by Theo van Doesburg 30 29
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:PD Canada 9 2
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Philipp Johann Heinrich Fauth 8 8
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Raúl Alfonsín 25 25
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Rudolf Wacker 39 38
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Saúl Ubaldini 2 2
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Scans from 'Fowler Patent Steam Wagon brochure' 19 19
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Scans from 'Oil Engine Manual', 1939 13 13
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Scans from 'Pitman, Automobile Engineering', Vol V 45 45
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Scans from 'The New Motoring Encyclopedia', 1937/undescribed 15 15
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Sculptures by Aristide Maillol 23 23
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Three Smiths Statue 4 4
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Vigelandsanlegget 2 2
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Weltbühne 52 52
Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Weltbühne (1932) 22 22
Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Cobatfor 24 24
Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Createaccount 6 6
Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Der Bischof mit der E-Gitarre 2 2
Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Ginés90 3 3
Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Juniorpetjua 12 12
Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Martín Giardelli 10 10
Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Nummer 12 3 3
Commons:Deletion requests/Images of Three Smiths Statue 3 3
Commons:Deletion requests/Mystic Treatises 456 456
Commons:Deletion requests/NPG images protected by the URAA 9 9
Commons:Deletion requests/Ontario highway images 5 0
Commons:Deletion requests/PD Israel images (Almog) 42 42
Commons:Deletion requests/PD-AR-Photo de la Guerra de Malvinas 2 90 88
Commons:Deletion requests/Post-1922 paintings of Nicholas Roerich 70 67
Commons:Deletion requests/Post-1923 works by Auguste Brouet 8 8
Commons:Deletion requests/Post-1923 works by Christian Rohlfs 146 146
Commons:Deletion requests/Post-1923 works by Heinrich Vogeler 5 5
Commons:Deletion requests/Post-1923 works by Leo Gestel 83 83
Commons:Deletion requests/Post-1923 works by Ludovico Cavaleri 3 3
Commons:Deletion requests/Post-1923 works by Philip Alexius de Laszlo 69 69
Commons:Deletion requests/Post-1923 works by Édouard Vuillard 11 10
Commons:Deletion requests/Rachmaninoff recordings from Pandora Records 8 7
Commons:Deletion requests/Various PD-Australia after 1945 45 45
Commons:Deletion requests/Works with unknown date by Ilmari Aalto 4 4
Total 4309 4248

--Avenue (talk) 05:39, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for compiling this report Avenue. Hopefully it will shed some light on the scope of the URAA issue affecting our files. Right now however in the comments section there's unfortunately been a lot more heat than light... TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 10:58, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
You're welcome. I hope the above figures will help us develop a common understanding of the situation. --Avenue (talk) 12:16, 1 March 2014 (UTC)

Moratorium on deletion of images under URAAEdit

I hereby propose the following solution: All current deletion requests at Commons:Deletion requests, which has deletion arguments solely related to URAA, be put on permanent hold or closed as kept with the closing rationale referring to this discussion. Any other future deletion requests referring only to URAA should also be speedily kept. However, if a deletion request contains other concerns, such as violations of other copyright statutes or non-free (fair use) images, then they should be considered on their own merits. For such requests, there is also no prejudice against reopening the DR page if such other concerns (about violating other copyright statutes) should arise regarding the image of the DR. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 03:17, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support: I believe this is a reasonable solution. There should also be no prejudice about reopening a DR page for old images--deleted under URAA--which are clearly confirmed to be PD in the host country. I am striking out my other comments but somehow the images already deleted by URAA should have a fair chance of being restored on a case by case basis. --Leoboudv (talk) 06:16, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Er, are you talking about deletion review? I'm not sure what you're saying, but I don't think clearly established public domain images should be taken to the deletion requests page, unless they somehow are found to violate copyright. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 06:21, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support As an admin I would like to wait to have the result of the discussions and the Wikimedia Community consensus on the matter before going one way or another. Files can still be marked with categories or template if needed. --PierreSelim (talk) 13:26, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I would add to the proposal, as PierreSelim hints: “Files raising concerns related to the URAA shall be systematically tagged with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} and/or the artist category with {{URAA artist}}”. Jean-Fred (talk) 14:06, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I'd favor this because it is clearly better than the current situation, but I don't understand if this would close the door to restoring images already deleted solely under URAA, which are far from being a few. I accept opposition to a general indiscriminate restoration, but what would be the procedure for identifying and restoring all those files that, according to this new criterion, shouldn't have been deleted in the first place? —take for example images that are free under Argentine law but that have been pre-emptively removed under URAA. Thanks, Galio (talk) 22:51, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
The idea that talk pages of deleted files would be placed in Category:Files deleted under the URAA was part of the rejected proposal for mass deletion of all URAA-tagged files. Since the mass deletion proposal was rejected, that part of the proposal didn't take effect either. The category should probably have been deleted at that point. Individual and bulk DRs of URAA-affected files can be found in the subcategories of Category:URAA-related deletion requests. --Avenue (talk) 01:42, 1 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Weak oppose I can see some justification for a temporary time-out from URAA deletions, because recent WMF statements have been silent about whether these should go ahead, and (despite earlier statements being quite clear that some deletions are appropriate) there is some feeling that their position is now ambiguous. Given how upset many people are about URAA deletions, some delay is worthwhile to clear this up. But I don't currently see any good reason for a permanent halt to URAA deletions, not nor for automatic keeps. This would naturally change if the WMF does in fact reverse its call for us to delete files whose copyright was clearly restored under URAA, but they haven't done so yet. --Avenue (talk) 14:03, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
    • @Avenue: Perhaps I didn't choose my words carefully enough. Of course, if the WMF suddenly reverses their stance and then issues a less ambiguous statement instructing admins to delete material even if they were infringing only the URAA statute, then we would obviously have to comply with them. What this change is aimed at is a matter of current Commons policy, and I think the decision for justifying deletion of media based solely on the URAA statute ought to be taken out of the hands of regular Commons users, and the responsibility of issuing a clear statement guiding our deletions should belong with the WMF. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 22:42, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
      • More likely I haven't been clear enough. The WMF's Legal team has already said that we should delete media based solely on the URAA statute, where examination of of individual works makes their unfree status clear. They said this two years ago. Quote: "The community should evaluate each potentially affected work using the guidelines issued by the Legal and Community Advocacy Department, as well as the language of the statute itself, and remove works that are clearly infringing." I see no ambiguity there about the main point: that we should delete URAA-affected files (after proper evaluation). None of the WMF's more recent statements have overruled this; they have only addressed mass deletions (which no one is advocating) and works whose status remains unclear. --Avenue (talk) 23:05, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
        • @Avenue: In light of the recent statement by the WMF (and I note that even with WMF's leadership they are still indecisive) would your reconsider this statement of yours? TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 19:16, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
          • Yes, the last sentence is now incorrect, and I've struck it. While the thrust of the WMF's latest clarification is against deletion, it still seems to allow for URAA-related deletions in rare cases if the relevant facts are clear, so I don't believe it supports your proposal to permanently and totally prohibit URAA-focused deletion requests. I read it more as shifting the burden of proof onto those wanting to delete on URAA grounds. There may not be much practical difference, i.e. little or nothing should be deleted under either approach, but I think there remains an important difference in principle. So I still oppose the proposal. --Avenue (talk) 20:38, 16 March 2014 (UTC)
          • On second thought, my opposition is not strong, due to the expected small practical difference. --Avenue (talk) 10:27, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Obviously, seeing the trend of the opinions, and the recent clarification from the WMF. Yann (talk) 11:13, 16 March 2014 (UTC)

m:Requests for comment/Creation of a Global Wikimedia CommonsEdit

Please see my reasoning and focus debate on that proposal in the specific page. Lugusto 20:12, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

Should Wikimedia use this to push policy?Edit

Our use of {{PD-Art}} means we actually host a lot of files not necessarily out of copyright in their source countries; By advocating for rule of the shorter term, we'd effectively be doing something similar, but with more direct risk: {{PD-Art}} could cause reuse issues; violating URAA allows Wikipedia to be directly sued. Thoughts? Adam Cuerden (talk) 08:32, 6 March 2014 (UTC)

Wikipedia cannot be sued. It would be the Wikimedia Foundation or if smart lawyers just wanted to have this project fold, selected individual volunteers who can be outed or already have their real identities public. -- (talk) 08:42, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
Note that individual contributors aren't only affected by this but also by other copyright problems. A file which meets COM:L is not free to use everywhere in the world. For example, {{PD-US-no notice}} images are accepted here, but both France and Germany have rejected the rule of the shorter term for that PD reason, so French and German contributors who upload files with that tag can be sued in their home countries. Wikipedia's zh:維基百科:非自由內容使用準則 and fr:Wikipédia:Exceptions au droit d'auteur are both partially incompatible with Swedish law, so I need to think twice before uploading any files which depend on one of those policies as it could cost me a lot of money if someone decides to sue me. Individual contributors do not necessarily have to follow the same countries' laws as the ones Commons chooses to respect. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:40, 12 March 2014 (UTC)
Where did you see that {{PD-US-no notice}} works are not in the public domain in France? AFAIK, France uses the rule of shorter term, so a US work in the public domain in the US is also PD in France. Regards, Yann (talk) 08:29, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
The Court of Cassation decided that articles 5.2 and 18.1 of the Berne Convention prohibit the rule of the shorter term in cases where the work hasn't entered the public domain in the source country through expiration of its term, but nevertheless is in the public domain in the source country for some other reason. This is essentially a prohibition on the rule of the shorter term for works which have entered the public domain in the source country because of copyright formalities (and probably also COM:TOO reasons). The specific case was about w:His Girl Friday which is {{PD-US-not renewed}} but copyrighted in France. I assume that the rule of the shorter term applies to {{PD-1923}}, which tells that the full term has expired. See [6]. --Stefan4 (talk) 09:48, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
OK, one more complication. :( It seems that works under {{PD-US-no notice}} published before 1933 would be OK through (1989-56). Yann (talk) 10:12, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Yes, possibly. The full copyright term at creation was 56 years from publication, but this was later extended in the 1970s and 1990s and eventually became 95 years from publication. However, the court ruling suggests that if the obsolete 56-year term had expired by 1 March 1989 and the work also was in the public domain in the United States on that date (for any reason), then the rule of the shorter term might apply. However, the full 95-year term probably applies if the work still was copyrighted in the United States on 1 March 1989, or if the 56-year term expired after 1 March 1989. Very confusing (and out of scope for this page). --Stefan4 (talk) 14:18, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

What now?Edit

What do we do now? We have a clear majority of people who support this proposal, and also some admins and experienced contributors opposing it. So no consensus either way. Also it seems some people change their opinion following the clarification from the WMF. Could we find a middle ground, or an intermediate proposal? I see several possibilities:

  1. No restorations for now, but no new deletions either, until we reach a conclusion (see also above proposal by TeleComNasSprVen).
  2. Agreements for subsets of URAA-affected files: works by governments, orphan/anonymous works, etc.
  3. Other ideas? Regards, Yann (talk) 08:40, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

You #1 is completely flawed. If we are not going to delete URAA files there is no point in not restoring old ones; otherwise people could simply re-upload the photos and achieve the same goal. --CyberXRef 09:45, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Please read what I write. I suggest this as an temporary solution. Yann (talk) 09:58, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
I think there could also be some advantage in having individual editors re-upload files, as opposed to mass restorations by admins, at least for some kinds of files. Some of the files may be PD only in countries where no admins live. By restoring them, admins could well be breaking the law where they live. Individual re-uploads are also a less "official" action and may make legal responsibility for the restorations more diffuse. The legal risk for any individual file may be low, but over thousands it may add up. --Avenue (talk) 10:22, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
The system does not allow to re-upload files that were deleted. So the suggestion that editors will re-upload files is not practical. Hanay (talk) 23:23, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Why? All you have to do is turn off the warnings, then you can overwrite even deleted files. Some of the more persistent copyright violations on this site are due to users abusing this very feature, and regrettably admins and regular patrollers forgetting to watchlist a file even after its being deleted (I'm guilty of that too, but given the fact we're swamped with 10000+ files per day I think it's excusable). TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 23:42, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
I did not know that, I thought that the system is so sophisticated :) Hanay (talk) 23:49, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Proposed closingEdit