Commons:Village pump/Copyright

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Soviet war correspondent's photos and license.Edit

The photo that I took from the pages of the newspaper "Krasnaya Zvezda" was nominated for deletion and deleted Commons:Deletion_requests/File:RedStarNewspaper56.jpg.
The archive of these newspapers for 1941-1945 was published for free use on the website of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation [1].
Example of another similar foto that not deleted: [2] and it's source [3].
I, as it should be according to the rules, asked the administrator a question, who summed it up - why did he do it? User_talk:Yann#DR_on_File:RedStarNewspaper56.jpg
And receive a very interesting answer: that only the Soviet Union owned the copyright to these photos. And since it does not exist, the copyright has returned to the author and belongs to him.
But as I think: the photographer was a war correspondent of the "Krasnaya Zvezda" newspaper and serves in the Soviet army. Taking these photos was his job, his duties in military service. And the results of his work belong to the Soviet army (as a newspaper owner) and now to its legal successor - the Ministry of Defense of Russia (as the current owner of the newspaper [4]). And today Ministry of Defense of Russia may use it as it want. And this foto could be published by "" with free-license.
Am I right or wrong? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kursant504 (talk • contribs) 10:03, 21 April 2022‎ (UTC)

I think this logo image should be exported to CommonsEdit

This one from Wikipedia: [5]. I am certain that it qualifies for Commons under the {{pd-textlogo}} license, because it must be below the Commons:Threshold of originality of its country of origin, Japan. Unless someone wants to argue against, can a contributor kindly export this to Commons? --Morita Akio (talk) 13:11, 9 May 2022 (UTC)

Yes, this is OK here {{PD-textlogo}}. Yann (talk) 14:13, 10 May 2022 (UTC)
Great, but I don't think I have permission yet to export it to Commons. Would you be able to please do it? --Morita Akio (talk) 21:24, 15 May 2022 (UTC)
Pinging @PhaseChanger as uploader.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 22:04, 15 May 2022 (UTC)

Notice of declined DMCA (and a question)Edit

Hi all - just wanted to flag Commons talk:Office actions/DMCA notices#Notice of declined DMCA. Also - for these kinds of notices, where would you like them to be posted? Does that talk page work or would they be better off here? Joe Sutherland (WMF) (talk) 23:50, 12 May 2022 (UTC)

@JSutherland (WMF) Why not just post them directly at Commons:Office actions/DMCA notices, along with the DMCA notices that were not declined? El Grafo (talk) 07:50, 13 May 2022 (UTC)
I'd be happy to do that - was a little concerned it might bog down that noticeboard but I think these notices will be fairly rare. Thanks! Joe Sutherland (WMF) (talk) 17:34, 13 May 2022 (UTC)


The uploader (User:Bbearegg) claims that the photographer is "Bbearegg". I see the same image at a higher quality here (62th photo from the top). However, low quality and small size image which may or may not be own work of uploader, there is nothing to indicate that it is. It is doubtful that the uploader and the photographer(s) are the same person.--Kai3952 (talk) 19:38, 13 May 2022 (UTC)

It seems like I did something wrong because no one responded when I doubted whether or not the image is copyrighted.--Kai3952 (talk) 20:39, 14 May 2022 (UTC)
I often see people uploading images without the permission of the copyright holder, but then, after being blocked by admins on zh.wikipedia, I don't have the right to nominate for deletion any image on Commons. Because my judgment is questioned by individuals who believed misinformation about Commons's policies. If I see images without the permission and report to the same admin every time, he might get annoyed. For example, seen copyvio image (uploaded from external websites) before two days, today I saw it again on Commons. You can look at Special:ListFiles/Sirodesu. If possible, I hope that some admins will find time to check my report for copyvio image and keeping their eye on newly report in the future.--Kai3952 (talk) 05:31, 15 May 2022 (UTC)

Derivative Work of CC-SA-AttrEdit

Hello! I took this image: File:Statue of Lenin Seattle.jpg And added some slogans and designs which I donate to the public domain and/or the same license I received the image under for fair use (the commentary constitutes fair use):

Being a mainly text-based wikipedia contributor, new to commons, I'm not sure that I annotated the metadata correctly. Please check and make corrections if necessary. Thanks, Jaredscribe (talk) 21:25, 13 May 2022 (UTC) is a fair use work. Fair use not allowed at commons. Uploading as cc-by-sa-2.5 is copy fraud. --C.Suthorn (talk) 05:14, 14 May 2022 (UTC)
Well, the photo's expression can be licensed that way. But you'd need permission from the statue's copyright owner for some uses, which makes the photo non-free here. It's not "copyfraud" really, just against our licensing policy. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:08, 15 May 2022 (UTC)
@Clindberg: The uploader used cc-by-sa-2.5 as license for them upload at commons, even though them is not the photographer nor the sculptor or copyright owner of the foto. Them even uses cc-sa in the title of this section. --C.Suthorn (talk) 05:42, 17 May 2022 (UTC)
If they did not take the photograph, and therefore can't license it, then yes that is more copyfraud. But a photo of a copyrighted object can be licensed CC-BY-SA; you would just also need permission from the sculptor to host it here. I was assuming the photo itself was fine; I may have misinterpreted "I took this photo". Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:45, 17 May 2022 (UTC)

Baby Ruth candy barEdit

A photograph of a Baby Ruth candy bar that I transferred from the English Wikipedia was recently deleted. However, the design on the packaging seems too simple to be copyrightable. Although someone pointed out that Nestlé is a Swiss company, the Wikipedia article says that it is an American candy bar.

So my questions are:

  1. If an American product is made by a company based in another country, then which is the country of origin?
  2. In this particular case, does the Baby Ruth logo exceed the threshold of originality in either Switzerland or the United States?

I asked these questions in the DR but didn't get a clear response.

@Minorax, Liuxinyu970226, SCP-2000, and Krd: Pinging these users as they participated in the discussion. Ixfd64 (talk) 05:37, 16 May 2022 (UTC)

Confirm that a single word can't be copyrightable?Edit

Hey, I would like to upload an image of a single word to illustrate a scribal abbreviation. The source is a manuscript from the late 1300s owned by Oxford. It consists of text written by an ancient Roman who died in 54 B.C.E. Oxford has photographs of every page, where it says © Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford and CC-BY-NC 4.0. Would {{PD-text}} allow me to upload an image of a single word, do you think?

The manuscript is :

Thanks for any guidance. Umimmak (talk) 05:42, 16 May 2022 (UTC)

No. Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 06:02, 16 May 2022 (UTC)
This is a pretty terse and not particularly helpful response…I know I couldn’t upload the entire image, hence asking about a specific word. Your link doesn’t address that. Umimmak (talk) 06:26, 16 May 2022 (UTC)
Yes; in fact you can upload the whole manuscript under {{PD-old}}, though you may want to crop away 3D portions like the ruler and sides of the book to be safe. -- King of ♥ 10:28, 16 May 2022 (UTC)
A written representation of a single word or even letter can under certain circumstances be complex enough to be copyrightable.
@Umimmak To elaborate, there are a couple of layers of copyright at work here. Before uploading, you might want to consider the following:
  • The original text (literary work) from before 54 B.C.E is certainly old enough to be out of copyright pretty much anywhere in the world. The same is true for things written in the 1300s.
  • If you were to pick a single word from that text, in virtually all cases, that would be considered too simple for copyright. Unless the writing itself was so fancy that it made a work on its own (see image). But that copyright too would have expired by now.
  • Oxford cannot claim copyright for the content of the text nor how it was designed. However, they appear to be claiming copyright for the digitization. Commons policy (!) is to dismiss that and insist that digitizing a flat surface in a purely mechanical manner cannot create new copyright (essentially claiming that what Oxford is doing is COM:Copyfraud). See COM:ART and COM:SCAN for a discussion of that.
Hope that helps with your decision? El Grafo (talk) 13:14, 17 May 2022 (UTC)
Thank you El Grafo and King of Hearts this was helpful. I went ahead and uploaded an image of the scribal abbreviation: File:Codex Oxoniensis Catullus 42.4 ura = uestra.png. I wasn't sure what to put in the license section so I added PD-old, PD-text, and PD-scan. Umimmak (talk) 18:22, 18 May 2022 (UTC)
@Umimmak Looks good, they are all somehow fitting. I've just rearranged them a bit and picked a more specific variant of PD-old. El Grafo (talk) 07:04, 19 May 2022 (UTC)

Works from an ex-colonyEdit

Hi, In the case of File:Stamp of Algeria - 1952 - Colnect 211521 - 10 ans de la Bataille de Bir Hakeim Battle of Bir Hakeim.jpeg, which law do we apply, French or Algerian? This is in the public domain in Algeria, but not in France. Thanks, Yann (talk) 13:58, 16 May 2022 (UTC)

The description includes "Stamp of France with ALGERIE overprint", indicating that the stamp was originally published in France and that the black text 'ALGÉRIE' and '+5F' was added later. Nothing in the image contradicts this. If this is accurate the we should apply French law. The overprinting is too simple to establish a new copyright. Verbcatcher (talk) 14:57, 16 May 2022 (UTC)
I see (in "Category:19.. stamps of Algeria") that there are many stamps with the same issue, all uploaded by Gone Postal. We need a global decision. Regards, Yann (talk) 19:06, 16 May 2022 (UTC)

Football cigarette card from kickerEdit

Is it possible to move this file to Wikimedia Commons? Now it is uploaded to the Ru-Wiki under the principle of fair use, but I want to know: is this photo and its «colleagues» (described here) in the public domain?--Futbollo (talk) 21:36, 16 May 2022 (UTC)

For reference, these are cards of German football players published in Germany by en:Kicker (sports magazine) between 1937 and 1940. At least the 1939 one was edited/put together by [6] Hans J. Müllenbach and Dr. Friedebert Becker. The latter died in 1984. Photographer(s) may or may not have been named in the album. El Grafo (talk) 12:39, 17 May 2022 (UTC)

File:Fremont lenin.jpg Commons:Deletion requests/File:Fremont lenin.jpgEdit

The file File:Liberate Russia Down with Lenin 3arrows Leninfall.png was deleted within hours after upload as no FoP-USA (a fair use version of this image exists at and is used in the article about the Freemont Lenin). It was a depiction of the so called "Fremont Lenin", a statue by a sculptor who died in 2017. There is another File File:Fremont lenin.jpg that looks very similar to the deleted file and depicts the very same Fremont Lenin statue. I used VFC with the no-permission option to give the uploader 7 days to have the copyright owner send a permission to VTR (VFC notified the uploader, causing ECHO to send a mail to the uploader unless them deactivated notifications). However @Ikan Kekek objects: The file is needed for wikivoyage and has to stay in full resolution under the fair use rationale of wikivoyage (that is not the fair use rationale of or, but the catchall fair use rationale of that demands full size images, as wikivoyage users need to see every detail of the image). The fair use image from obviously doesn't satisfy the needs of wikivoyage. Also seven days is to speedy for wikivoyage authors to save the file and I am not to use VFC with no permission in cases where FoP is the only issue (not only in this case, but generally). So can we close the DR as kept? C.Suthorn (talk) 05:35, 17 May 2022 (UTC)

C.Suthorn, you are misrepresenting things. Wikivoyage does not demand full resolution; we simply have no policy relating to resolution, as we use files solely as thumbnails on pages and warn users that if they download non-free files and use them commercially, they do so at their own risk. You are also deliberately ignoring current guidelines on Commons, laid out in Commons:Criteria for speedy deletion#F3. Derivative work of non-free content, which I quoted for you: "This does not include freedom of panorama cases." The previous speedy deletion presumably took place before the clarification was made to Commons' criteria for speedy deletion in 2021 [Edit: It did not, and was in violation of the new criteria]. If you don't like current Commons speedy deletion criteria, you should be honest that that's what you're disputing and discuss them in the appropriate place, Commons talk:Criteria for speedy deletion. -- Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:19, 17 May 2022 (UTC)
This "violation of criteria" was by @Túrelio. And again "seven days" is not "speedy". C.Suthorn (talk) 09:17, 17 May 2022 (UTC)
Hi, I restored File:Liberate Russia Down with Lenin 3arrows Leninfall.png, and created a DR instead. This should not have been speedy deleted. Yann (talk) 09:26, 17 May 2022 (UTC)
@Yann: Thanks for starting Commons:Deletion requests/File:Liberate Russia Down with Lenin 3arrows Leninfall.png.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 13:09, 17 May 2022 (UTC)
C.Suthorn, the notification in Wikivoyage and on the page in Commons stated that it was a speedy deletion tag. Maybe the "permission missing" template needs to be rephrased to clarify that it is not a speedy deletion tag. -- Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:58, 17 May 2022 (UTC)

COM:DERIV in published artworkEdit

COM:DERIV is written in the context of a Commons user making a picture and uploading it. Does anything change if that user is a notable, exhibited artist?

Gretchen Andrew is an American artist who's put some of her work on here that's derived from other people's photographs. For example, File:Contemporary-art-auction-record-26.jpg is an edited version of a Getty Images photograph by Mario Tama, which replaces the painting depicted in the photo with another.

Is Andrew under the same onus as any other uploader to show that she had permission to use Tama's work in this way? --Lord Belbury (talk) 13:45, 17 May 2022 (UTC)

Hi, This is not OK. I deleted it. See also Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Gretchenandrew. Yann (talk) 14:25, 17 May 2022 (UTC)

Possibly incorrect deletion tagEdit

Hi all, I don't frequent the commons much so I'm posting here instead. File:Ferdinand Schimon Carl Maria von Weber.tif was nominated for speedy deletion, but as a painting of 100+ years ago, I don't see how this could be valid? Am I missing something here? Best – Aza24 (talk) 18:03, 17 May 2022 (UTC)

Clearly not appropriate, so reverted. Yann (talk) 18:46, 17 May 2022 (UTC)

File:Greater Tampa Bay Area Council Strip.jpgEdit

File:Greater Tampa Bay Area Council Strip.jpg (edit · last · history · watch · unwatch · global usage · logs · purge · w · search · links · DR · del · undel · Delinker log) and

File:PXL 20220215 210143919 (1).jpg (edit · last · history · watch · unwatch · global usage · logs · purge · w · search · links · DR · del · undel · Delinker log)

These files can't be on the commons. Is there an easy way to transfer this to The licensing should look like w:File:North Florida Council CSP.png. Thanks. Evrik (talk) 03:11, 18 May 2022 (UTC)

So when exactly do films go into the PD in Germany?Edit

Faust, a 1926 German film directed by the same guy as who did the popular Nosferatu, reached the public domain this year in the United States due to expiration, in both the English and German versions. The page on Category:Nosferatu says "This category should contain images related to the 1922 film Nosferatu. Due to the film being under copyright in Germany, no images from the film itself should be uploaded to Commons until the film enters the public domain, which will not happen until 2028 at the earliest (see Commons:Deletion requests/File:NosferatuShadow.jpg)." But what went into deciding that year as the PD release date? Who are the exact people that need to have been dead for 70 years, in terms of a film, for the film to be considered in the public domain in Germany? And shouldn't we have a template or something describing this very situation? PseudoSkull (talk) 15:46, 18 May 2022 (UTC)

Possibly en:Fritz Arno Wagner. Ruslik (talk) 20:50, 18 May 2022 (UTC)
@Ruslik0: Right that's what I was thinking. But that would put the films in the PD in Germany already. But Commons claims they're not, so I'm trying to figure out why. There were claims in that deletion discussion about multiple individuals being considered "authors", so I want to know the exact determination method. PseudoSkull (talk) 21:50, 18 May 2022 (UTC)
From the EU's Copyright Term Directive, Article 2(2):
2. The term of protection of cinematographic or audiovisual works shall expire 70 years after the death of the last of the following persons to survive, whether or not these persons are designated as co-authors: the principal director, the author of the screenplay, the author of the dialogue and the composer of music specifically created for use in the cinematographic or audiovisual work.
Countries can be very slightly different in how they implement the directive, but that term should have been incorporated into EU laws with little variation. Germany does it in their law pretty much word-for-word in Chapter 7, section 65. The only other complication would be if the pre-EU law of Germany specified a longer term than that, which would then take precedence -- can't remember for sure on that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:19, 18 May 2022 (UTC)

As for Nosferatu, it appears the director was F. W. Murnau (1888-1931), the screenplay (and I assume dialogue) was Henrik Galeen (1881-1949) and the music (presumably done for the movie) was by Hans Erdmann (1882-1942). It's a derivative work of a book by Bram Stoker (died 1912). Based on that, the German copyright should have expired in 2020, unless there was some other "co-author" based on older German law. Commons:Deletion requests/File:NosferatuShadow.jpg pretty much says the same thing; the date of 2020 is in the comments. However, someone added the "Undelete in 2030" category to it later on; I wonder if that was just a typo. Category:Nosferatu says 2028, but that date was never mentioned on the DR as far as I can tell -- maybe another typo? The cinematographer was Fritz Arno Wagner, who died in 1958, but that position is not mentioned as affecting the copyright term, and if he was considered an author, the public domain date would be 2029. So... that may have just been typing mistakes made a long time ago, which prevented this from being undeleted in 2020. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:17, 19 May 2022 (UTC)
@PseudoSkull and Clindberg: Hop on Bananas added Category:Undelete in 2030 in this edit 22:32, 3 November 2015 (UTC).   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 09:49, 19 May 2022 (UTC)
Yep, but gave no justification for the date when the discussion said 2020. Could simply have been a typo. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:44, 19 May 2022 (UTC)
As far as I can see, old versions of the relevant German law did not have specific rules for the copyright duration of films (all versions of the law here). In that case, § 8 about Miturheber (co-authors) would possibly apply to older works (and the director of photography could be considered a co-author). Copyright would then expire 70 years after the death of the last surviving co-author. I'm not 100 % sure about this though. --Rosenzweig τ 06:57, 19 May 2022 (UTC)

Wikipedia screenshot licensing questionEdit

File:IMAGE PROBLEM ON MOBILE DEVICES.jpg is a screenshot taken from the mobile version of the Wikipedia article en:The Anthropocene Reviewed. It was uploaded by someone asking about it first at en:Talk:Jimmy Wales, but the post was then moved to en:WP:THQ#The images do not match the description on mobile devices. The screenshot contains multiple images, each of which has been uploaded to Commons. Each individual image is licensed differently the other and all of the images except one is licesned differently from the license used for the screenshot. The screenshot is licensed as {{CC-by-sa-4.0}} which is slightly differently from Wikipedia's general content license of {{CC-by-sa-3.0}}. Even though this is most likely the only time this screenshot will ever be used, I'm still wondering whether its licensing is OK as is because one of the individual images is licensed the same way or whether it should be tweaked to at least "CC-by-sa-3.0". Just for reference, all of the individual images in the collage are added separately to Wikipedia article and the collage effect is created using a template; it's not a case where someone first created a collage and then uploaded that to use in the article. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:00, 18 May 2022 (UTC)

It's fine. The full article is a collective work, containing the text (licensed one way), and the images (all licensed however they are). They are otherwise unrelated works (i.e., not derivative). The credits for the underlying images should be present though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:12, 18 May 2022 (UTC)
Thanks for looking at this Clindberg. All that is basically needed, then, is for the individual images to be attributed in some manner on the screenshot's file page, right? Does it matter how this is done? Can the attribution be to the Wikipedia article or does it need to be to each image specifically? -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:27, 18 May 2022 (UTC)
I tried to add attribution using the {{Own based}}. Please correct any mistakes I might've made or let me know what needs to be changed. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:41, 18 May 2022 (UTC)
Since it's including the images, it should probably reference the explicit images and not just the article (though it should still reference the article too, if there is any of the text showing, since that is also included in the composite work.) Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:01, 19 May 2022 (UTC) licence historyEdit

Do we have any dates for when this website switched from a usable CC-Attribution licence to an unusable "number of used maps is limited to 5 (five) for a publication"? It was raised a few years ago that the licence had changed, but it'd be useful to have a {{Pexels}} style template to say that images that can be shown to have been published there before a certain date are acceptable at Commons and others aren't. shows that the CC footer on their front page was there until around the start of 2011, but I can't tell if they moved the licence to another page, or changed it, at that point. --Lord Belbury (talk) 09:23, 19 May 2022 (UTC)

Flags of political parties in EthiopiaEdit

Hi, There are several flags with {{PD-Ethiopia}}, i.e. File:Flag of the TPLF.png. There are also others with a CC license (File:Infobox TPLF.png, File:Flag of the EPRDF.png‎, File:Ensign tpdm.jpg, File:Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front, Logo.png, File:Revolutionary Front.svg), which may not be valid. There is also a UDR for File:Emblem of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front.svg. Do we accept PD-Ethiopia for these? See Category:Flags of political parties in Ethiopia for more. Thanks, Yann (talk) 11:15, 20 May 2022 (UTC)