Commons:Village pump/Copyright

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are images from wikimapia free licensed?


check this out. user has over 16K images, at least half of them is from wikimapia which is free licensed website. BUT, images that are upload is really free licensed? i saw nothing about licenses in these images in wikimapia. please enlighten me, thank you. modern_primat ඞඞඞ ----TALK 18:18, 3 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Modern primat: All WikiMapia submissions are CC-BY-SA 3.0 per Term of Service 1F.   — 🇺🇦Jeff G. please ping or talk to me🇺🇦 00:15, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Jeff G.   thank you so much!!! modern_primat ඞඞඞ ----TALK 16:17, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Modern primat: You're welcome!!!   — 🇺🇦Jeff G. please ping or talk to me🇺🇦 20:10, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Ancient roman frescoes in situ vs in museums


My question concerns the limits of {{PD-Art}} or {{PD-old-100-expired}} for in situ photographs of ancient frescoes (see, for example, File:Nereid pompeii fresco.jpg. That's a photograph taken between 2020 and 2024, presumably by a professional Italian photographer. The artwork pictured on that photograph is clearly older than 100 years, since it was buried under Vesuvius' ashes in 79 AD. While applying categories, i flagged it because there were no information regarding the picture's author. Am i right assuming the following:

  1. In such cases {{PD-Art}} should be preferred over {{PD-old-100-expired}} (since the photograph is clearly not over 100 years old - the PD status is derived from the pictured artwork);
  2. Photographs of ancient frescoes in situ can't be seen generally as faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works. For sure, picturing an ancient fresco displayed in a museum is the same case as picturing a medieval/classical painting that hangs 0.5 meters left of it. That's IMHO a faithful reproduction of two-dimensional public domain work. But taking pictures of archaeological objects in situ requires decisions regarding choosing which details to show in the in situ context. Especially for frescoes originally occupying the whole wall area, in situ photos are usually based on artistic choices, thus {{PD-Art}} isn't applicable as a matter of principle.

To be clear: My assumptions don't exclude own photographs of ancient frescoes taken in situ from usage on Commons, but it would restrict treating other (living) people's work as PD work. People are still free (while respecting other restrictions, see e.g. {{Italy-MiBAC-disclaimer}}) to take photographs of publicly accessible archeological sites and upload their own pics. They aren't free to take such pictures floating around on Pinterest or other sites and upload them as {{PD-Art}}. Is this correct? Fl.schmitt (talk) 17:56, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Regarding "regarding choosing which details to show in the in situ context" does it mean that after I take a image from Commons, which depicts a whole fresco, crop out a small part of it and save the result into a separate file then that cropped file cannot be regarded as a faithful reproductions of a two-dimensional public domain work any more? After all, when a photographer chooses to take a photo of only a part of the fresco instead of the whole work, they basically do what is an equivalent of cropping. Ruslik (talk) 19:43, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Hmm - what's the effect (regarding the applicable license) of cropping a photography of a painting? Is cropping a way of demonstrating "originality (typically through the choice of framing, lighting, point of view and so on)"? Then "it qualifies for copyright even if the photographed subject is itself uncopyrighted", or not? Please bear in mind that one of the rationales of the WMF standpoint is to counter "an assault on the very concept of a public domain. If museums and galleries not only claim copyright on reproductions, but also control the access to the ability to reproduce pictures (by prohibiting photos, etc.), important historical works that are legally in the public domain can be made inaccessible to the public except through gatekeepers.". For me, it seems that this rationale doesn't apply for archaeological sites which are in general publicly accessible (of course, not in its entirety, but in general). Fl.schmitt (talk) 20:40, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
If it's basically a straight-on photo of all or part of a 2-dimensional public domain work, it's hard to see how that qualifies for copyright. If it's an unusual angle, or is a broader image that shows how the work sits in the context of a room, or something like that, I could imagine a claim similar to photographing a sculpture. - Jmabel ! talk 05:33, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Sorry, but this isn't really helpful (especially in the case of the Nereid fresco). If 2-D or 3-D is crucial, this would imply that {{PD-Art}} never applies in those cases, since originally, the rooms of the roman villas were entirely painted, thus a 3D work. Additionally, as in the case of the Nereid fresco where only a small part of the wall is preserved, the pic has obviously a 3D subject. So, i don't see any reason to assume that {{PD-Art}} could ever apply in those cases, based on the 2D/3D criterion. For frescoes that were removed from their original place (a sad practice quite common in 19th century) and now be found in museums, i agree to see them (now!) as 2D works (as i explained). But it's the very question if this is justified for works in situ which originally were 3D works. Fl.schmitt (talk) 05:49, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I think we largely agree. I would imagine that most third-party photos of such works would be unacceptable for Commons, because some copyrightable creativity would be involved. However, a straight-on image of part of a flat wall would be OK, because the thing it depicts is 2-dimensional. A straight-on photo of a wall doesn't become a photo of something 3-dimensional just because the room has another wall, a ceiling, etc. - Jmabel ! talk 17:55, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Ok, yes, i agree - thanks a lot! Fl.schmitt (talk) 19:10, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Did the United Arab Emirates had a copyright law before 1992? An online article claims the 1992 law was the Emirates' first copyright law. But, did UAE ever had one before 1992, and did it protect works automatically or even architecture? If not, it may be possible that architecture before 1992 may be in PD, but I am not sure about this. The UAE was a former British protectorate known as the Trucial States. Further info is needed. JWilz12345 (Talk|Contrib's.) 23:44, 4 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

This matter is significant, as who knows, maybe UAE architecture were "not" protected before 1992(?). We have been wrongfully deleting older buildings of the U.A.E. like the 1978 Jumeirah Mosque (Commons:Deletion requests/File:Jumeirah Mosque Dubai.JPG and Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Jumeirah Mosque). But if evidence shows there was a copyright law over the U.A.E. before 1992 and that law protected architecture, then buildings like that mosque should remain deleted. JWilz12345 (Talk|Contrib's.) 16:41, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@JWilz12345 please ping local Commoners and/or email the affiliates (yes, UAE has an UG) in these countries. It's great that you are deep diving in these topics, but (as you did with NL copyrights and FOP in Europe) you seem post it in general Commons discussion areas only, and don't reach out to the locals that might have significant input, or the human connections to get this, for the questions you want to answer. Ciell (talk) 17:02, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



Please, remove this copyrighted photo! (File:Kalocsaizsuzsa.jpg) The owner is company "BabaPhoto" and they don't want to everybody use it, it is copyrighted by them, and I have some issues because of downloaded it 9 years ago. I downloaded it in 2015, but times changed since then and it is not allowed to use it on a free site anymore. Thank you! Kalocsaizsuzsa (talk) 05:17, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

We've been through this before: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Kalocsaizsuzsa.jpg. - Jmabel ! talk 05:37, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

The copyright policy of Prolewiki says "fuck copyright, comrade". Does it mean {{attribution}} will be granted? I was asking if screenshots of the wiki are allowed here. Ahri.boy (talk) 22:14, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Ahri.boy unreliable IMO. Such a statement is not a guarantee that their content can be reused commercially in accordance with COM:Licensing. A more valid statement would have been like or similar to this: "We, at Prolewiki, aim to build a collaborative Marxist-Leninist encyclopedia that opposes any idealogies of capitalism, including intellectual property which is a form of private property. As part of this common mission, we are releasing our content into the public domain for the benefit of all our readers and future comrades of the communist world. This release into the public domain is also part of our advocacy in continuously opposing the imperialist and capitalist copyright principle." This would have been more obvious instead of plain remark "The socialist science should not be held by intellectual private property. Fuck copyright, comrade." At the very least, COM:VRTS confirmation may be needed. JWilz12345 (Talk|Contrib's.) 01:18, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
An individual or an organization calling themselves as socialists, communists, or leftists is not a good indication that they oppose intellectual property. Banksy once said "copyright is for losers", yet he always gets tangled in issues concerning his registration of several items as his trademarks. Another thing, France as a country seems to be anchored on the leftist ideologies of "liberty, equality, and fraternity". They even turned their municipal-level local government units – cities and towns – into communes in which there are no more differences between cities like Paris and towns like w:en:Rochefourchat. Yet, most of their artists and politicians oppose allowing Wikimedia sites, like Wikipedia and Wikimedia Foundation, to host images of copyrighted architecture and public art, with one politician from a center-left party once touting Freedom of Panorama as "a Wikipedia amendment". That "privatization" of public art and architecture culminated in the 2015 debate at the EU Parliament over German MEP Felix Reda's insistence of making FoP mandatory across the Continent, with French MEP Jean-Marie Cavada being Reda's main opponent. JWilz12345 (Talk|Contrib's.) 01:34, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Update: Just asked one of ProleWiki admins privately and they will relay the message to other admins of the site. Ahri.boy (talk) 10:52, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Ahri.boy share also to them COM:VRTS, specifically the email template, should they desire to permit sharing of their content under free culture licensing or public domain (COM:Licensing#Acceptable licenses). JWilz12345 (Talk|Contrib's.) 11:10, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Is Google Maps public domain?


See this: NotBartEhrman (talk) 23:04, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

No, Google Maps is copyrighted. Abzeronow (talk) 23:06, 5 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Virginia mugshots


Hi. After skimming through Commons:Copyright rules by territory/United States, I gather that mugshots taken in the state of Virginia are subject to copyright, is this correct? Many thanks in advance, NoonIcarus (talk) 22:57, 6 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

@Jmabel: Understood, thanks! --NoonIcarus (talk) 16:18, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

{Wikisource Discussion} National Weather Service - Partial not free-to-use


A discussion regarding copyright stuff with the National Weather Service publications, a branch of the U.S. government is ongoing on Wikisource. The Commons is involved as publications need to be uploaded in PDF form here before transcribing onto Wikisource.

Please see the discussion here: Wikisource:Copyright discussions#National Weather Service - Partial not free-to-use (Question on how to deal with this). WeatherWriter (talk) 21:16, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I'm not that familiar with what Wikisource's policies are on this, but I'd think redacting the nonfree works would be the best way to deal with uploading it here. Abzeronow (talk) 21:47, 7 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Bleuet de France


I'm looking to use this image : to illustrate a relevant wikipedia article - It's an image published on twitter by the French Veterans' Minister and seems to attribute the photo to various government agencies. The objective of using the image would be to illustrate the special edition of the thing on the photo (the Bleuet) created. I can't seem to find another image of it and as it's a special edition have no idea where one could be tracked. Is this suitable for uploading? LazareouJanus (talk) 06:44, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

@LazareouJanus: I would think not; is there any reason you would think it is either in the {{Public domain}} or free-licensed? - Jmabel ! talk 14:50, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Certain French government works are exempt from copyright too (and it's a photo of an official item - the national symbol of Remembrance - from an official twitter account. (Article L. 321-1 of the CRPA provides that administrative documents aren't subject to copyright). LazareouJanus (talk) 16:26, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@LazareouJanus: Bonjour, Non, les documents publiés par le gouvernement français ne sont pas dans le domaine public. Seuls les lois et les décisions des courts de justice sont dans le domaine public, i.e. ce qui est publié au Journal Officiel. Yann (talk) 23:19, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
No, documents published by the French government are not in the public domain. Only laws and courts decisions are in the public domain, i.e. what is published in the Journal officiel de la République française. Yann (talk) 23:19, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

File:Logo der Schlossbrauerei Hirschau.svg


Diese Datei hat schon zwei Löschanträge hinter sich, die binnen kurzer Zeit vom gleichen Admin verworfen wurden. Ich kann diese Entscheidungen nicht nachvollziehen. Meiner Meinung ist das Urheberrecht für das Wappen keineswegs geklärt. In der zweiten Löschdiskussion sei insbesondere auf den Trugschluss hingewiesen, der sich um den Geschäftseinstieg der Familie Dorfner (1817) und das Wappen dreht. Wer sagt denn, dass das Wappen so alt ist? Es könnte (wie jedes PR-Symbol) erst vor kurzer Zeit entworfen worden sein. Das Wappen in seiner Darstellung ist meiner Meinung auch deutlich über der Schöpfungshöhe. English: I'm still in doubt about the copyright for the coat of arms in the image. I think the decisions about my deletion requests were wrong. GerritR (talk) 16:01, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Per Commons:Coats of arms, it doesn't really matter what the age of the general design is, it matters more who made that particular drawing (including the vectorization). If it was truly drawn by the uploader, it is OK. If it was traced from another drawing, then the copyright on that drawing matters. If this was extracted from a publication elsewhere, it's not "own work" and we'd need a license for that particular drawing. So... I'm not sure either, but not sure the deletion reasons directly addressed the copyright. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:27, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
It does look very similar to the realisation on this coaster, down to details that any new realisation of the blazon would probably do differently. Felix QW (talk) 11:31, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
That's definitely a derivative work (or both from a common source). The vectorization did fix a coloring mistake around the neck of the swan, so it may have been from a common ancestor. But the copyright of that other drawing matters. Any idea of when it was from? I see it on the website here; there are similar drawings of the same arms but that one has the particular details. Another copy is here (from this web page] (does not have the coloration mistake); that seems like a more or less modern drawing. The upload is either a derivative work, or they found a vector drawing somewhere and copied it (the details seem extremely close, so that may be likely). Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:20, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I went ahead and re-nominated it for deletion, under new reasoning. I did find a PDF with what seems to be the exact design. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:35, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
btw, there's something strange in this coat of arms: The white cross in a red field, showing up in the helmet. I've never seen something like that.--GerritR (talk) 13:30, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
A bit odd, but seems to be on some versions of the arms -- such as a bottle cap. Not an invention of the uploader. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:20, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Threshold of originality (Pozón del Saladillo)


Is the threshold of originality of this logo ([1]) considered to be low enough for it to be under public domain and its upload to be acceptable? Many thanks in advance. NoonIcarus (talk) 18:17, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I think it's safe to upload it Bedivere (talk) 18:34, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
@Bedivere: Thanks! Uploaded: File:El Pozón del Saladillo.png. --NoonIcarus (talk) 19:09, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Photo of 2024 New Hampshire US presidential Republican primary ballot


File:Primary republican ballot.jpg seems incorrectly licensed as {{PD-US}} given that it wasn't published prior to 1929, and that it also wouldn't be covered by {{PD-US-no notice}} or {{PD-US-not renewed}} given that it's from January 2024. I believe that most ballots for state primaries of US federal elections are not published by the US federal government; so, I don't any of the {{PD-US-Gov}} licenses will work. Moreover, New Hampshire doesn't appear to be one of the US states that releases works created by its employees as part of their official duties into the the public domain per Harvard's State Copyright Resource Center. Can this be kept per some other PD license, perhaps {{PD-text}}? -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:22, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

New Hampshire is a "public records are not public domain" state, so it's not automatically public domain by that method. Most ballots are going to be {{PD-text}} though, and I think this ballot qualifies as well. AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 22:48, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
PD-ineligible or PD-text would be better. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:00, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Given that the state seal is PD (it dates back at least to the 19th Century), there is certainly nothing copyrightable there. - Jmabel ! talk 00:46, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Even if a modern drawing, it's pretty much de minimis in that scan, as it's basically blurred. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:11, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Bettmann Archive photos


Over at Category:Bettmann Archive, there is a decent number of photos that use the {{PD-US-no notice}} tag, however they show no source or evidence it ever was published at the time without a notice. Perhaps a book or newspaper source, or a press photo would suffice? Yet the only source is from Getty - but how do we know for sure these images weren't just scanned in the last 10 years as their first instance of publication? I mean one could also argue because they are in this collection, they were infact published as Otto Bettman got a copy somehow, yet we cannot confirm if there's ever a notice. For example, this photo: File:Ronald Reagan, 14 May 1974.jpg. A little hard to look for a copyright registration/renewal when the author is Unknown on almost all photos. I'm looking for some other opinions on this, I don't want to go mass deleting just yet. PascalHD (talk) 23:19, 8 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Ugh. If Bettman got copies, there was something distributed at the time, so they were probably published. But agreed that we need to see the distributed copies to see the lack of notice. Of course, if Bettman did not own the copyright, Getty is also publishing them without permission, which means they are comfortable enough that there won't be repercussions. That could well be because they are public domain. But, not sure that's enough to make an assumption on. Eventually there will be a real problem. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:19, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
The file linked in the original post is actually credited by getty originally to UPI, a press agency. I see no reason to assume that such images have been distributed without copyright notice. The Bettmann archive obtained the UPI collection in 1984 (according to its English Wikipedia page), and as far as we know it could have had any sort of copyright agreement with UPI. Felix QW (talk) 12:12, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Oh man, I somehow missed that. Even with the 'copyright' holder being UPI, I didn't find many registrations past 1978. Still, without actually seeing the photo lacking a notice, all the photos are being uploaded on the mere assumption they are PD - I'm sure most photos are, but without being able to confirm is bothersome. PascalHD (talk) 15:45, 9 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Pre-1963 images are a very different case, since they would have had to have been renewed. However, I really don't see a way to keep post-1962 photos like this without any direct proof that they were published without notice. They could well have been given to publications under the condition that a notice is affixed or kept merely in their own archive until Bettmann purchased it in 1984. Felix QW (talk) 15:47, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Agreed. I think they should only be uploaded if there is proof. Whether you can find registration/renewal or lack there of, or a copy that shows no notice. All anyone has to do is go on eBay, one can find a large number of UPI or AP / press images that don’t have notices. If only Getty would tell you which ones were PD, but of course they need to make money… I’ll have to open a mass DR on certain files to further discuss them. PascalHD (talk) 16:05, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Alright I went ahead and made a DR, I encourage further discussion here: Commons:Deletion requests/Files found with Bettmann. PascalHD (talk) 22:23, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Uruguay had a term of life + 40 years prior to 2003, when it was retroactively sxtended to Life + 50 and Life + 70 in 2019. However, it also had copyright formalties (registration).

"The National Library will keep a Registry of copyrights, in which the interested parties will be obliged to register, compulsorily, in accordance with article 6, the title of the works published for the first time in the territory of the Republic. A period of two years is indicated for the registration of works that are published, exhibited or reproduced in the country from their publication, exhibition or performance. The term will be three years when the publication, exhibition or representation takes place abroad, and the author is Uruguayan.

In other words, a work had to be registered with the Uruguayan Register of Copyrights within 2 years of its publication in order to be copyrighted, or 3 yeaea for works made by Uruguayan authors but published abroad (but those works will be covered under different countries). In 2003, the copyright was extended to Life + 50 years and not only were copyright formalties abolished:

The National Library shall keep a register of copyright, in which interested parties may register the works and other intellectual property protected in this law. The registration in the Registry referred to in this article is merely optional, so that its omission does not in any way harm the enjoyment and exercise of the rights recognized in this law. The application, collections, procedure, registration and publication regime will be made in accordance with the relevant regulations. All disputes arising on the occasion of registrations in the Registry will be resolved by the Copyright Council.

But copyright was revived on all previously PD works under the old terms! In 2019, it was further retroactively extended to Life + 70 years.

However, the registration requirement means that a whole lot of Uruguayan works are PD in the US under the URAA, despite most of them having revived copyright. Works published prior to 1994 and not registered had no time to receive copyright protection left as of January 1, 1996. So I created the template w:Template:PD-URAA-Not-PD-Uruguay because of the copyright formalties which were abolished in 2003 and the copyright extensions applied to most non-registered works.VTSGsRock (talk) 15:50, 10 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Question about some images


Hi, I was doing a review and I came across some images that were made in the 1910s/1920s with no provided authorship, but had "In Copyright - Rights-holder(s) Unlocatable or Unidentifiable" and "Copyright undetermined". Would these be able to be under a license like {{PD-US-expired}} or something similar?

The images are these:

And I ask because of this file: File:Edward P. Thomas (1896-1916), Sergeant, Machine Gun Company, 1st Missouri National Guard.jpg. Thanks. reppoptalk 00:33, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Are these US files? If so, then PD-US-expired would certainly apply. Bedivere (talk) 03:04, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Yes, except for I think File:Keeley in France.jpg, which seems to imply that it was taken in France. reppoptalk 03:26, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
If there is good reason to think its first publication was in the U.S., that's what usually counts. - Jmabel ! talk 03:54, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Well that's what I don't really know. reppoptalk 04:21, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
I am not entirely sure about photos such as File:Mary and John Keeley.jpg, which are likely to be private amateur photos from a family archive. Although the contemporary American definition of publication is sufficiently liberal to accommodate professional photographers handing copies to patrons, such family photograohs are far less clear. In those cases, they could be in copyright until 120 years after creation. Felix QW (talk) 15:44, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Philippines TOO


File:CC6 Casino Logo.jpg seems OK for Commons per COM:TOO US, but things are much less clear with respect to COM:TOO Philippines because the Philippines apparently doesn't have a TOO to speak of. IThe file's current {{Cc-by-sa-2.5}} seems incorrect based on the decription given by the uploader, but maybe "PD-logo" OK. However, given COM:TOO UK and the UK is another country applying en:sweat of the brow, this isn't so clear. Can Commons keep this file? -- Marchjuly (talk) 03:10, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Reading the previous discussion, I am inclined to think this may be eligible for copyright in the Philippines. I have changed the licenses to PD-textlogo/PD-simple, but it may be a copyright violation anyway. Bedivere (talk) 03:17, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

MHIRJ Aviation


Buenas este logo too simple ( se puede publicar a Wikimedia?? Ese fue creado en Canadá después de que Mitsubishi adquirió el programa del Bombardier CRJ Series AbchyZa22 (talk) 12:25, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I would think that is below the TOO for Canada (so it should be {{PD-textlogo}} or {{PD-ineligible}}, plus of course {{Trademarked}}). - Jmabel ! talk 12:44, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I'm leading a volunteer project with high school students to upload WA State legislator (reps & senators) public portrait photos from (example [2] ) to Wikipedia Commons

I have written permission from WA Legislative Information Center ( , House & Senate that The portraits on the legislative webpage are downloadable for public use.

I recommended the agency add a Public Domain license to the website, but that may take some time for technical reasons.

Can I use the recorded permission from the WA Legislative Information Center as license to upload the Legislator portraits to Wikimedia Commons? Tonymetz (talk) 20:26, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Cases like this are handled through VRTS. Please notice that Permission grants must specifically contain a free license grant. ‘Downloadable for public use’ is not quite enough as it is too vague about the granted rights. --Geohakkeri (talk) 20:56, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
Is there an example license / template that I could share with them? Tonymetz (talk) 21:02, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
List of well-known licenses. --Geohakkeri (talk) 21:33, 11 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Possible issue with the image of a flyer in the Heaven's Gate (religious group) Wikipedia article


This post concerns an image of a flyer for a meeting in Berkeley, CA in May, 1994. I picked up the flyer at the now defunct Mo's Bookstore. I thought it was utterly crazy and so I saved it. Only in 2009 following the Heaven's Gate cult mass suicide did I connect the flyer with the group. Several years later in 2014 I realized the historic value of what I had. So I scanned the flyer and posted it as part of the Wikipedia article "Heaven's Gate (religious group)." Here is a link to the image: .

The scanned image has been an important part of that article for the last ten years. If you examine the image you will see that the original flyer completely lacks a copyright indicator mark as well as any indication whatsoever as to authorship, the group organizing the meeting, a claim for restriction of rights such as subsequent distribution, prohibition of sale of copies, etc., etc. Even labeling the flyer as a Heaven's Gate meeting is an inference that I made years after its posting based upon its content.

All was well until yesterday when I received a notice from someone named PARAKANYAA arguing that the image should be removed from the Wikipedia article for possible copyright infringement. Since then PARAKANYAA and I have argued back and forth regarding this matter. The purpose of this post is to obtain advice as to determine whether the flyer image should be deleted from Wikipedia.

In brief, I cannot believe that the image in question is problematic. It was posted ten years ago. No one has ever raised any issue with it. The mere fact that the image has been online for ten years without prior complaint itself constitutes evidence that the document is now public domain (estoppel by laches). There is no hard evidence who authored, produced, or distributed the image. The original flyer completely lacks identification and was freely distributed. Even labeling the flyer as a Heaven's Gate meeting is my inference based on the content. Presumably anyone trying to claim rights to the document would have a very hard time doing so given that all of the people associated with the image's authorship, production, and distribution are long dead. Furthermore Wikipedia is a non-profit. So the rules for use should be looser, not more restrictive, than for for profit media such as commercial newspapers. A newspaper writing a news article on the Heaven's Gate cult would have no problem using this image. So why should Wikipedia have a problem with its use?

While PARAKANYAA's desire to protect Wikipedia is laudatory, clearly PARAKANYAA is being overly zealous. If the image in question is deleted, it will significantly reduce the information value of the Wikipedia Heaven's Gate article.

What is your opinion as to whether some Heaven's Gate suicide might have a relative or assignee who would try to sue Wikipedia for copyright infringement?

Wsjacobs Wsjacobs (talk) 00:50, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Since this file is currently being discussed at Commons:Deletion requests/File:HeavensGateRecruitmentMeetingFlyer.jpg, it's not really a good idea to try and seek other input here at VPC or anywhere else; doing so runs the risk of spitting the discussion and making it confusing to follow. It's probably OK to post a link to the discussion to let others know about it, but that's about it. Everything else is really best left to the DR where the file is being discussed because that's where its fate is going to be decided. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:53, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
CROSS-POSTED: @Wsjacobs: it might well be a valid part of an en-wiki article (and could probably be uploaded to en-wiki as non-free content, but if it is not either in the public domain or free licensed, then it doesn't belong on Commons.
If it was produced in the U.S. in 1994, it is certainly not in the public domain, because copyright has been the default ever since 1 March 1989. That copyright lasts 70 years after the death of the author, so assuming the author died in the mass suicide, that would mean it is copyrighted until 1 January 2080. We apparently have no idea who the heirs may be, so there is no one to grant a license.
Under Commons' precautionary principle, Commons doesn't host images on the basis that the copyright holder won't sue or wouldn't mind. We require explicit licensing, including consent for commercial use and derivative works. - Jmabel ! talk 03:01, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply
… and I will repeat that on the DR. - Jmabel ! talk 03:02, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Crossroads Salamander


Can I upload an image of the Crossroads Salamander created by John Sendelbach in 1998? It's a public landscape installation on Cushman Common in Amherst Massachusetts. See Crossroads Salamander. My photo is similar to the one seen in Crossroads Salamander - Amherst, Massachusetts - Figurative Public Sculpture on Faolin42 (talk) 13:11, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply



I just noticed that our template {{PD-Moldova}} is still based on the pre-2010 law, while the new rules (which are in line with the standard EU terms) are apparently retroactive per CRT/Moldova. Am I missing something, or should this template be updated or deleted and the 38 transclusions checked for compatibility with the current state of affairs? Felix QW (talk) 15:14, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

I do not know much about Moldova copyrights, but I think the template is so little used that nobody noticed the issue. Reviewing the files using it would be a great start. than we can decide if we want to delete or improve the template. --Jarekt (talk) 23:08, 12 June 2024 (UTC)Reply

Giant Lanterns of Pampanga, Philippines


Are several files at Category:Giant Lantern Festival, San Fernando OK for hosting on Commons (or even locally on English Wikipedia)? I have seen a few deletion requests concerning Taiwanese lanterns that are used in their festivals (for example, Commons:Deletion requests/Taiwan Lantern Festival), using "no FoP for artworks in Taiwan" as a reason. As it is very likely that most of the lanterns being shown at the w:en:Giant Lantern Festival were made by craftsmen who haven't died for more than 50 years (or let's day 70 years if U.S. copyright intervenes especially on enwiki), are several images of the lanterns we currently host unfree? Or we can treat Philippine lanterns of Pampanga as not meeting originality or as utilitarian articles. JWilz12345 (Talk|Contrib's.) 00:20, 13 June 2024 (UTC)Reply