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Welcome to the Village pump copyright section

This Wikimedia Commons page is used for general discussions relating to copyright and license issues, and for discussions relating to specific files' copyright issues. Discussions relating to specific copyright policies should take place on the talk page of the policy, but may be advertised here. Recent sections with no replies for 7 days and sections tagged with {{section resolved|1=~~~~}} may be archived; for old discussions, see the archives.

Commons discussion pages (index)

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Copyright status of commissioned works (work made for hire)Edit

Is there a page on Commons that gives clear guidance on who owns copyright of a commissioned work? Commons:Licensing states A license can only be granted by the copyright holder, which is usually the author (photographer, painter or similar). Well, what about cases when the copyright holder is not the author? US Copyright law states "If a work is made for hire, an employer is considered the author even if an employee actually created the work," but also notes "the concept of "work made for hire" can be complicated," and "If a work is made for hire, the employer or other person for whom the work was prepared is the initial owner of the copyright unless both parties involved have signed a written agreement to the contrary." Other guidance on works made for hire can be found here and here, and Work for hire at Wikipedia. So it appears that under US law, if I pay someone to paint a dragon for me (independent contractors are considered employees), I own the copyrights to that painting, and can release it under a free license. Assuming that is settled, the issue remains of how do I demonstrate that I actually commissioned the work? Without documentation, it is too easy to simply lie and say "I commissioned this. Trust me." Should we require OTRS permission from both the artist and commissioner? Evidence of a written agreement? And importantly, does work for hire copyright status vary between countries? I note this topic has been discussed in the past, but I don't see clear, explicit guidance on the topic. If we can agree on the policy of commissioned works, there should be a dedicated page or section discussing how to proceed. -Animalparty (talk) 21:32, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

Independent contractors are considered employees? That is exactly what an independent contractor is not. See , for a fairly random link, but they provide links to the IRS. Note for example "Taxes for an Employee: By law, an employee must have federal and state income taxes withheld from his or her pay. In addition, FICA taxes must be withheld from the employee's pay and the employer must also contribute to those taxes, on behalf of the employee."
If you want a commissioned work for use on Commons, have them send a message to OTRS. That hopefully should be clear to everyone.
And yes, work for hire status varies between countries. It's pretty rarely a problem for us, and is probably not nearly as consistent as the parts of copyright law we do worry about. Again, get them send a message to OTRS and you will get around most of the problems.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:50, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
I am not a lawyer, and do not care to define the legal definition of employee. The relevant sources I linked seem to largely equate the two for the purpose of work for hire. Let's address the laws at hand, not go into tangents on tax law. By "get them send a message to OTRS", are you referring to original artist? -Animalparty (talk) 00:19, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
The USCO requires a written agreement for transfer of copyright. Copies of such agreements are helpful.   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 01:49, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Depends on your goals. I think having the artist license it via OTRS directly to Commons is a simpler approach; if all you want is a free license, no need buying the copyright. Negotiating an email and license is probably easier than a written contract and copyright transfer, and letting the artist resell the work under different licenses may save you a buck or two.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:49, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
The US Copyright Office circular you linked to says "An “independent contractor” is someone who is not an employee under the general common law of agency." Your links do not call an independent contractor an employee. The tax law may not be quite relevant for copyright law, but the point remains, if you aren't withholding taxes and what not, you're probably not an employer.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:49, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Ok, it appears I misread the original documents (again, I am not a lawyer, for Wikimedia or anyone, and would appreciate anyone more familiar to step in and evaluate). I'm not here to define employee, but to establish/clarify guidelines on whether we can accept Commissions. The U.S. Copyright circular states:

Section 101 of the Copyright Act (title 17 of the U.S. Code) defines a "work made for hire" in two parts:
a. a work prepared by an employee within the scope of his or her employment


b. a work specially ordered or commissioned for use

1. as a contribution to a collective work,
2. as a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work,
3. as a translation,
4. as a supplementary work,
5. as a compilation,
6. as an instructional text,
7. as a test,
8. as answer material for a test, or
9. as an atlas,

if the parties expressly agree in a written instrument signed by them that the work shall be considered a work made for hire.

So now we have defined work for hire. It must meet the criteria of a or any of the 9 cases of b. If it doesn't, even if money changes hands for the creation of a work, it's not legally a work for hire. Thus, I would say that most, if not all commissioned work uploaded to Commons fails to meet the legal definition of of work for hire under b. (but please tell me if you have other opinions). gives an example: Even if the hiring party and independent contractor agree in writing to consider the independent contractor's work a work made for hire, the work is not a work made for hire unless it falls into one of the eight special categories listed in the first paragraph of this subsection.

Example: Sarah commissioned John, a freelance painter, to do an oil painting of Sarah's home. Although Sarah and John agreed in writing that the painting would be considered a work made for hire, the written agreement does not make the painting a work made for hire because the painting is not in one of the eight categories of works that can be specially commissioned works made for hire.

Thus, it appears my hypothetical example of owning copyright of a dragon painting I commissioned is incorrect. If we can clarify this, and codify it somewhere on Commons for the enlightenment of all users, we should do so, even if it simply says "no, you don't own copyrights to a commission (excepting the rare conditions of b. 1-9). Regardless of any payment or agreements you have with the artist, have the artist give permission to OTRS." And I brought up this whole discussion not out of mere curiosity, but because at present there are ongoing deletion discussions about a user who has uploaded many works he has "commissioned" from other artists. A question at hand is does this bestow copyright to the user, and if not, how best to proceed. I agree that having the artist submit OTRS permission is the best way. But being clear and explicit right off the the bat can avoid a lot of confusion. Animalparty (talk) 22:55, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

One possible discussion/clarification we could have would be whether Commons meets the legal definition of a "A contribution to a collective work." Animalparty (talk) 23:04, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Even if Commons is a collective work, since Commons permits partial reuse for any purpose, a reuser in most cases will only take a single piece of work from Commons, then such reused work in itself is definitely not a part of any collective work. This is similar to the situation with a non-commercial license -- even though Commons is a non-commercial site but it permits commercial reuse of the contents, thus we don't accept non-commercial licenses. --Wcam (talk) 00:07, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Copyrights varies between countries but one of the ways you could demonstrate that you actually commissioned the work is to present a signed documents stating an agreement on the term of use of that work. In general, such document is a strong evidence of an agreement, but even it may not be enforceable if you can convince a judge or jury that you appended your signature under duress or your signature was forged. Yes, without document, it is easy to lie but if someone can testify to it that you agreed to a verbal agreement, you can be bound by it in a court of law. Here on Commons, I don't think we need permission from both the artist and the commissioner. Permission from either of them should be enough, preferably permission from the creator of the work. If the author or creator of the work is not available, a written document from the commissioner stating a transfer has taken place should be okay. I'll like to point out that independent contractors are not considered employees of an organization if they are not originally in the organization's payroll and its nominal roll. There is a clear legal differences between contractors and employees. Prosfilaes has clarify the differences above. Regards. Wikicology (talk) 17:03, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

Whether to write drafts of permission statements on their behalvesEdit

I've been asked by some copyright holders to write draft statements on their behalves, which they themselves can send to OTRS. For some reason, they said they couldn't write or didn't feel like writing the statements themselves. However, I wasn't sure whether that's acceptable or not, even when they would send OTRS the statements that would have been written and drafted by me. Indeed, I haven't written the statements for them; instead, I told them that they can use a tool generator or an email template, which they have. Never I have written a draft statement for them (yet). I wonder whether writing a draft for them is okay or not as long as they can send the statements to OTRS. If not, maybe I can ask them to draft their own statement to word document files, which they can copy or attach into their emails to the OTRS. George Ho (talk) 07:40, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

@George Ho: there is a sample letter at COM:ET (with a link at the bottom to more examples on enWP); if writing your own, be sure to cover all the same points.—Odysseus1479 (talk) 07:49, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I know that; I've been asking them to use either the template or the generator. George Ho (talk) 07:52, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I think it would be a bad idea. They will probably take your draft and directly send it to OTRS without even reading it. You could tell them exactly what they should enter in the release generator, but at least let them press the buttons. - Alexis Jazz 08:45, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Likewise. The email template is a carefully drafted legal document that should come from them. Not passed on from you with your email header included. You'll be making yourself a third party. Ask your self why do they feel disinclined to do it themselves. May be they hope you will relax the conditions and restrictions in someway. That will be a waist of your time as the OTRS team will just reject it. Direct them here to Village pump/Copyright to ask questions. P.g.champion (talk) 16:15, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment If they can read and write in any language, there is no excuse not to write it themselves. However, There are instances where you could help copyright holders to write a draft. If they cannot read and write in any language, you can help them to write a draft. My late grandmother for example was born in Owo, a town in Ondo State, Nigeria where she grew up and died last year at age 95. She was not educated and can neither read nor write in any language including her native Owo language. In fact she couldn't speak the common Yoruba language but verify fluent in her native Owo language . So, in the case of people like that, I think it may be acceptable to write for them. Wikicology (talk) 20:00, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

File:Crepis setosa chromosomes.jpg * File:Crepis vesicaria chromosomes.jpgEdit

Are these images PD? The book source was published in 1930. The problem is the 70 pma license statement I think. --Leoboudv (talk) 21:17, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

  • It appears to be a case of {{PD-US-no notice}} {{PD-US-defective notice}}: Source does not have a complete copyright notice, placing this in the public domain due to failure to comply with required formalities. Copyright notice must include: 1) "Copyright" (or © symbol), 2) correct year, and 3) copyright owner to be valid. Animalparty (talk) 22:08, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Yes. you are right. It was published at Berkley University in California....but no copyright notice. A pma of 70 yrs is risky if there are 2 authors and one was born in 1900 since one would have to assume both authors died in or before 1947. Thanks. --Leoboudv (talk) 22:44, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
See also:
This image was taken from Flickr's The Commons. The uploading organization may have various reasons for determining that no known copyright restrictions exist, such as:
  1. The copyright is in the public domain because it has expired;
  2. The copyright was injected into the public domain for other reasons, such as failure to adhere to required formalities or conditions;
  3. The institution owns the copyright but is not interested in exercising control; or
  4. The institution has legal rights sufficient to authorize others to use the work without restrictions.

More information can be found at

Please add additional copyright tags to this image if more specific information about copyright status can be determined. See Commons:Licensing for more information.

Rasbak (talk) 19:30, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

FOP and bridgesEdit

A close look

Tabiat Bridge in Tehran, Iran is not an ordinary and mundane bridge; it has won several international awards. This huge pedestrian bridge connects two major parks over a highway. Considering the fact that the Iranian copyright law does not recognize the FOP exception, I think we cannot host images of the bridge unless we receive the necessary permissions from the rights holders. I nominated one of its pictures for deletion (Commons:Deletion requests/File:Tabiat bridge in a beautiful day - panoramio.jpg), but I was told that the bridge is not subject to copyright in most countries. I wish to seek a third opinion. Thank you. 4nn1l2 (talk) 11:13, 10 February 2018 (UTC)

The bridge is an utilitarian object. It is not a work of art. Ruslik (talk) 20:26, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
But it is an architectural work. It seems that some pictures of bridges have been deleted before: Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Peace Bridge, Tbilisi or Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Cobblers' Bridge. 4nn1l2 (talk) 20:48, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
Also Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Pont de Recouvrance. The design of that one seems purely utilitarian, yet the law of France apparently says bridges are copyright and there's no FoP exception. To be copyrightable I think it would at least need to differ in some way from earlier bridges, i.e., have some originality. --ghouston (talk) 00:12, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
It is an architectural work and won prestigious Aga Khan awards in 2016. I checked another bridge designed by Norman Foster and I saw Copyright warning in the category. SlowManifesto (talk) 00:31, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
In the U.S., bridges are considered utilitarian works and are not subject to copyright. They must be "buildings" and intended for human habitation to qualify for copyright in the U.S. Other countries may be different, as has been shown. I don't think it has been shown either way in Iran, and the text of the law is not clear on the matter. I'm not sure we should assume deletion until we see an actual court case in Iran on the matter, though that has been done in the past as you note. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:28, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
It depends on the copyright in Iran. Commons requires that the file be free in both the US and source country (the Viaduc de Millau is in France, which does not have Freedom of Panorama, so most images of it can't be uploaded to Commons). What Carl Lindberg said is not entirely correct about US copyright. First, I think the sentence about human habitation is confusing what types of buildings are subject to freedom of panorama (FoP applies to buildings, and buildings are defined in part by whether they can be occupied by people). A structure that people can cross/walk on can be copyrighted. Also, there was a recent U.S. Supreme Court case about what "utilitarian" means in the context of the exception to copyright protection, w:Star Athletica, L. L. C. v. Varsity Brands, Inc. (read the "Majority opinion" section). I think the bridge is ok because it doesn't have any art embedded in the design outside of utilitarian aspects; however, there may be some bridges that include elements that could be considered art under the Star Athletica case. AHeneen (talk) 09:34, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Tabiat Bridge SlowManifesto (talk) 00:42, 11 February 2018 (UTC)

Country of originEdit

According to Commons:Licensing#Interaction of US and non-US copyright law, "the 'country of origin' of a work is generally the country where the work was first published." The Article 5 of the Berne convention defines the country of origin as the country of first publication.

On that basis, and on the basis of the wording of {{PD-Italy}}, I nominated File:David Seymour - Caramelle.jpg for deletion.

Ruthven closed that discussion and changed the wording of {{PD-Italy}} to suit the closing rationale and added a claim to the file description that the photo was first published outside the United States (and not published in the U.S. within 30 days) (which is probably false).

The edit comment for the template references an article of the Italian copyright law which states that works are automatically copyrighted upon creation. This is a standard principle in the copyright law of most countries. It is designed to protect unpublished works, but it has nothing to do with the principles of international copyright law in determining the applicable jurisdiction of published works.

Second opinions? LX (talk, contribs) 15:15, 10 February 2018 (UTC)

This article in Italian law has nothing to do with unpublished works: it relates to all works. Thus, we have to consider that works created in Italy fall (also) under Italian law wrt copyright. @LX: I think that you lack a little bit of COM:GOODFAITH: I didn't changed the rationale of the template to fit the DR and it just sounds ridiculous to consider that possibility. If it was the case, thus have I also changed the Italian law to fit the DR? More simply, they made me notice that the wording in several languages of this template was wrong. One of those languages was English. --Ruthven (msg) 15:21, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
For a usage of a simple photo in Italy itself, correct, it does not matter where a work was created or published -- the term would be 20 years from creation, no matter where it was created or published. However, use of the PD-Italy tag *does* require that the work was first published in Italy, or at least that Italy qualifies as the "country of origin" by the Berne definition, since that is Commons policy. If another country is the country of origin, we can't use PD-Italy -- and that definition *is* based on the country of publication, whereas the country of creation is usually meaningless. For any country using the "rule of the shorter term" to calculate the term in its country, if a work was created in Italy but published in a second country, the "country of origin" would be that second country and not Italy, and the copyright term would have nothing to do with Italy's laws. Since for Commons we use the Berne country of origin, the fact that the photo is PD in Italy is not relevant if the country of first publication is somewhere other than Italy. And if not published, the nationality of the author is the country of origin, again not the country of creation. So... your edit to the template was somewhat correct in that country of publication has no bearing to the copyright status in Italy, the subject of the sentence, but then country of creation doesn't either, so it's just as incorrect now. However, I think that clause was there because first publication in Italy is required for the template to be usable on Commons, and I think that is now dangerously changed. I think LX has a point that PD-Italy may not be an appropriate tag for the image. (One possibility is that if it was simultaneously published in Italy along with other countries, and Italy has the shortest term, which is possible.)
There are other possibilities. It sounded like the photo was part of a UNICEF-commissioned trip to take photos of WWII child refugees, so it's possible that UNESCO owned copyright. While an American citizen by that point, he was living in Paris in 1947, where he founded Magnum Photos. It sounds like the initial photos from the UNESCO work were published there, per this page. That links to two 1949 publications which had some of the photos (not this one though). One does not seem to have a copyright notice; the other says copyright 1949 UNESCO. The web page though credits the photos there as being copyright Seymour himself, or Magnum Photos, so maybe he retained copyright while UNESCO had the right to publish. It does sound like many different magazines published different portions of the photo set, so finding history on one particular photo may be hard. UNESCO publications were probably simultaneously published in many countries, including the U.S., which may take the URAA out of the equation and makes "country of origin" very difficult to determine, though copyright could possibly still exist. No idea if Magnum or Seymour filed any renewals in the U.S., but I did not find anything under Seymour's name with a quick search. Does not sound like they were published before 1949, so renewals in 1977 or later may have been necessary. Any of those photos unpublished through 1989 would still be under copyright in the U.S. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:40, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
I don't fully agree. If the law doesn't speak/care about "country of first publication", we shouldn't be the ones to change it. In other words, from Italian point of view, the country of origin is the creation country (at least in the 1941 copyright law). --Ruthven (msg) 19:30, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
The only time that "country of origin" matters is if a country uses the rule of the shorter term. In general, all terms will be governed by the laws of the country where a use of copyright occurs. You are correct that the law does not care about "country of first publication" for the most part (unless the term is even shorter in the country of origin), and neither does it care about the "country of creation". In Italy, the term for simple photos is at most 20 years from creation no matter where it was created or published. *However*, for Berne Convention purposes, and therefore Commons purposes, "country of origin" is the country of first publication and we would use that country's laws for our policy. If taken in Italy but published elsewhere, we cannot use PD-Italy, because that would not be the country of origin for COM:LICENSING. So country of first publication is of paramount importance for Commons, and if the PD-Italy tag is usable in the first place. I mean, we could place PD-Italy on such photos taken in say Germany as well, since those photos are also PD in Italy, but that tag would not help satisfy the "PD in the country of origin" part of Commons policy. "Country of origin" for policy purposes is determined by Berne Convention rules. If, and only if, that country turns out to be Italy, can we then use PD-Italy to satisfy that part of policy. But a photo taken in Italy and published elsewhere cannot use that tag. In this particular case, determining the country of origin may be extremely messy, but really could only be Italy if it happened to be simultaneously (within 30 days) published there. The photos were taken by a Polish-American author, who was living in Paris at the time it seemed. Other photos in the series were then published in France, but by UNESCO, which means they could have been distributed all over the place. It's also possible that some of those photos remained unpublished. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:13, 10 February 2018 (UTC)
It doesn't seem possible to know whether a work is public domain in the US without knowing its publication history, including details like country and year of publication, subsequent US publication, whether it was published with a copyright notice, and also whether copyright in the US was renewed. --ghouston (talk) 22:01, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
Agreed, but we hadn't even gotten to the U.S. part of policy -- the question was about country of origin only. For PD-Italy to apply in the first place, you would need to show that Italy was the country of origin, which also usually needs some publication info. The claim seemed to be it was due to the photo being taken there, which I (and LX) was disagreeing with. As for U.S. renewal, it would have needed to be in 1977 or later, since it sounds like 1949 was the earliest publication possible. 1978 and later is at, and I found no relevant renewals under either Seymour's name or Magnum Photos. I only lightly searched the 1977 renewal records, but found nothing in the photos section (we would need to search others as well though). But it's possible some of the photos were unpublished -- publication could be "interesting" due to the UNESCO part of the equation. Carl Lindberg (talk) 09:08, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
What do you mean "the law"? There's the Italian law, the Ethiopian law, the French law, the Iranian law, the US law, etc. Since the WMF is established in the US, it has to follow the US law. COM:L prioritizes the "country of first publication" because that matters in many countries due to the rule of the shorter term.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:24, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

@Ghouston:, I think you're over-complicating things. It's impossible to prove a work is not under a free license; J.K. Rowling could have written in one copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone "I, Joanne K. Rowling, hereby release this work under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.", and there's no way we can prove she didn't. But we don't have to; we assume it's copyrighted and non-free until evidence is shown. If you can show that a work was published more than 95 years ago, then that's it; it's public domain in the US. For a long time, Project Gutenberg didn't accept any other form of falling into the public domain, and nothing forces us to either. (That certain other rules put works into the public domain is an advantage, not a complication.) Any country with the rule of the shorter term is at least as challenging to prove, because they basically include US law as well as all other country's law by reference.
In a lot of cases, US is much easier. I've got a book called something like British Fantasy Illustrators, and is it PD-US? Title page says 1914, so . Is it PD-UK as a whole? Almost certainly not, and it would be a great deal of work to chase down every single author, so it goes straight to the bottom of my scanning pile. Half a dozen of one, six of the other.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:57, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment And practically, if a work is first published in Italy and PD-Italy applies, it is in the public domain in all countries which use the rule of the shorter term (list: en:Rule of the shorter term). If it is first published elsewhere, it may still be in the public domain in Italy, but it would be under a copyright almost everywhere else. Regards, Yann (talk) 05:47, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
  • OK, if it was published more than 95 years ago it's easier in the US than some other countries, but you still need to know the publication date, not just the date it was created. --ghouston (talk) 06:26, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
    We don't care if a work is under copyright almost everywhere else. On Commons we consider PD a file that is PD in its country of origin (a not creative photo shot in Italy more than 20 years is PD in Italy - check) AND in the US (here, the URAA date prevails - so now we consider PD only Italian photos shot in Italy before 1976). If Chinese or Swedish copyright law says something different, we shouldn't care for such Italian examples. --Ruthven (msg) 10:16, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
    COM:L says "The "country of origin" of a work is generally the country where the work was first published." It said that in 2007, and I don't believe there's been an appreciable period in between where it's changed. That a photo was shot in Italy does not matter any more than if it was shot on US film.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:43, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
    Where does the date of creation matter? If all you have in a life+70 nation is the date of creation, you can't tell whether a work is PD either.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:43, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

I am surprised that in this debate we want to make sure that non-demonstrable and unverifiable aspects prevail. What are we talking about? Of the photo of a child on the street in Naples, taken in 1948. This is the only certain thing. Then that the photographer is American, but he lived in Paris, and maybe he did the photo shoot for UNESCO, and maybe he published the photo the first time in France, or first time in Italy, or the first time in US, but nobody can say neither where nor when, nor if the copyright is his or someone else's ... But what is concrete and real in all this matter? The only real thing is that the photo was taken in Italy 70 years ago, on the street, and portrays the life of every day. Here the Italian law, {{PD-Italy}}, should be applied. Nothing else. Everything else is fantasy, imagination, suppositions, hypotheses. Let's go back to talking about concrete things!---DenghiùComm (talk) 09:48, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

There's some information at [1]: it says the photo was published in Life Magazine in 1948. That may help work out the US copyright status. --ghouston (talk) 23:09, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
Although that was already mentioned in the previous deletion discussion and considered irrelevant. --ghouston (talk) 23:12, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
In this debate, we want to make aspects that matter to the law prevail. Why should we worry about Italian law if we're not going to worry about the law?--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:43, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

PD-Italy wordingEdit

Leaving aside the specific deletion discussion for the moment, I'd like to focus on the biggest issue first, namely the template.

As Carl Lindberg confirms above, what Commons' licensing policy is concerned with is the country of origin as defined by the Berne convention.

I therefore suggest replacing the first sentence:

This photograph is in the public domain in Italy because it was first created in Italy and its term of copyright has expired.

with the following:

The country of origin of this photograph is Italy. It is in the public domain there because its copyright term has expired.

If there is no consensus for this, I'd ask for the previous wording to be restored until we can agree on an appropriate wording, since there is clearly no consensus for the change made in Special:Diff/278655204. LX (talk, contribs) 12:13, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

This seems good to me. --ghouston (talk) 23:09, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment The issue is not really the template wording, but how we use it. Regards, Yann (talk) 12:53, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
No, but the wording should be corrected, and the change to the template was the original question behind this discussion. In the end, we use the Berne Convention definition of "country of origin" (since that is the one that will matter legally), and in that definition, the country of creation has no bearing on the result. It's unfortunate that the country should be hard to determine in this case, but the only way it could be Italy is if it was simultaneously published there. There is nothing that makes Italy "most likely" otherwise. We may often assume the nationality of the author is the country where it was created (and thus the most likely country of publication), both of which can matter for the Berne Convention, but in this case we know that the author was not Italian, so those assumptions would not hold. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:11, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Right. IMO, the easy way is to keep the current wording (which is not wrong), and add a big red warning "Do not use this template unless the image is also published in Italy". Regards, Yann (talk) 14:24, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
It is wrong (or, at best, non sequitur). Under Article 185 and the ones that follow, the law covers works by Italian citizens regardless of first publication (or, implicitly, place of creation), works by Italian residents first published in Italy, and works covered by international agreements or reciprocity. LX (talk, contribs) 20:27, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I had the impression that Commons doesn't use the Berne Convention definition of "country of origin" when applying its policy that files be free in the source country of the work. The "country of origin" rules may help determine the copyright status in some cases. For example, there are a lot of photos on Commons that are first published on Commons, yet they still have to be free in the country where the photo was created. The wording of the template should be "This photograph was created in Italy"... without linking to Berne. --ghouston (talk) 22:12, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Again, Commons:Licensing#Interaction of US and non-US copyright law defines country of origin in accordance with the Berne convention, and I've already explained why place of creation is irrelevant in general as well as for Italy in particular. LX (talk, contribs) 22:58, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Oh, that section makes the policy somewhat different to what I thought it was. Where are the templates that specify the copyright status in the country of residence of the author and the country of upload? Now I'm wondering if I can ask for some of my French bridge photos to be undeleted, because a) I never published them in France b) I've never been a resident of France c) I didn't upload them from France, therefore there's no need for them to be free in France. --ghouston (talk) 00:46, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Freedom of panorama is a separate matter. See Commons:Freedom of panorama#Choice of law. LX (talk, contribs) 06:38, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Correct, the bridge was published in France and it has a copyright (in France at least), so derivative works can still be messy. Those photos would be fine on en-wiki though, which uses U.S. law. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:00, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, but I uploaded a photo of the bridge, not the bridge itself. The photo is permitted under the law of the countries of origin and publication, which are the UK, the USA, and Australia (apparently I don't have to bring my citizenship into it.) I'm amused that I was accused above of overcomplicating things, since the complications seem never-ending. --ghouston (talk) 21:53, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
You uploaded a derivative work of the bridge. In those cases, distribution may be controllable by the copyright owner of the underlying object, and we try to respect that copyright as well. But yes, copyright has endless complications, and the choice of law for freedom of panorama stuff is its own lovely topic. In general, policy is to respect the law in the country of the underlying public object in that case, in addition to the photo's copyright. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:28, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
@Ghouston: -- Pretty sure we use Berne "country of origin", since that is what has legal effect in many other countries (a work PD there is also PD in all countries which use the rule of the shorter term, thus the use in the policy). "Source country" is a URAA term, related to country of origin (and also based on country of first publication), but has some technical differences. Country of upload could subject the uploader to copyright infringement, but that is the uploader's risk, so we don't have tags for that. (We could simply have someone else upload a work if it is PD in the country of origin). Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:09, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
LX: I am not really opposed to your wording. I thought that an easy consensus could be reached with my proposal. Regards, Yann (talk) 08:32, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Actually, the matter is a little more complicated. I just discovered that the Italian Copyright Law has been improved in 2016 (DLgs 15 gennaio 2016, n. 8). Artt. 185, 189 say that the copyright law shall apply to

  • All Italian citizens, wherever the work has been published for the first time.
  • All foreign citizens resident in Italy and who published the work in Italy for the first time.
  • All works created in Italy or considered Italian for the abovementioned reasons.

This applies to cinema, photography, music, theatre, and engineering works only. For other works, the reciprocity international agreements hold.
Besides that, the new rewriting of the law and the creation of new dedicated institutions introduces some novelties (like rules for architectural works, that would help us greatly in solving some FOP in Italy cases). This we shall discuss another time. --Ruthven (msg) 11:48, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Again, that does not affect which country is the "country of origin". Italy will also protect works from citizens of other countries if they are part of the Berne Convention. The above rule sounds like it will also protect works created there, even if the photographer is not part of the Berne Convention, and also it may mean that the rule of the shorter term may not apply if a photo was taken there. But not much else. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:58, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
As long as we're talking about translating the Italian law, let's translate it and not the Berne convention! @Carl Lindberg: The rule of the shorter term still applies (Art. 188). --Ruthven (msg) 14:24, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
If Article 189 applies, then 188 does not, per its wording. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:48, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

1935 Nazi copyrightEdit

Is this photo of Hitler from 1935 under copyright protection? I note that the USHMM claim they hold the copyright and note that their governors are appointed by the President so wouldn't that technically make it US government property and thus PD? The C of E (talk) 17:19, 11 February 2018 (UTC)

Admittedly, the USA copyright of the photo is unclear. However, the German copyright is also important and still intact. The source credits "Heinrich Hoffmann" as its photographer, and Hoffmann died in 1957. The German copyright lasts 70 years after that; id est it will expire on 1 January 2028. Therefore, the photo wouldn't be acceptable here at this time. George Ho (talk) 18:41, 11 February 2018 (UTC); (now I'm unsure. George Ho (talk) 23:53, 11 February 2018 (UTC))
In addition to George Ho's comments, more info on copyright is at Category:Heinrich Hoffmann. Animalparty (talk) 19:28, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
  • As he was Hitler's 'personal photographer' these where 'documentary' photos taken mostly at politically arranged photo opportunities by a government employed photographer, that had his salary and his expenses paid for him. Hitler would then censor anything he did not approve of by striking through with a blue chino-graph pencil (this is also on record). So what ever his heirs claim, the copyright of these images expired 50 years after being exposed. The Berne Convention did not extend such copyrights. All they can ask for is reproduction rights' derived and copied from images that they have in their 'physical' possession – not more. Just because he was Hitler's most favored photographer, does not give his heirs any special rights. So we should not let his heirs fob us off with their claims of some sort of extend copyright just because it financially profits them to do so. We respect copyright here but not false claims.--P.g.champion (talk) 20:50, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
@P.g.champion: The photo page won't load for me, but I understand this is one of those censored photos? If that's the case, I suppose they haven't been published until recently. Commons:Hirtle chart. I guess they could expire in 2055? - Alexis Jazz 21:26, 11 February 2018 (UTC)
For the Berne Convention, that's... Well, I can't interpret the late 19th-century international agreement well.

I'm more concentrated on w:en:copyright law of Germany (Act on Copyright and Related Rights). After skimming through the Act, I would doubt that the copyright expired in 2008 1986 as you claim, but then I'm unsure. This link (de) says that the Act applies to photographic works that were still copyrighted on 1 July 1985; the German copyright was still intact on that date. Another link (de) says that photographs receive the 50-year mutatis mutandis protection, but I'm unsure whether that means 50-p.m.a. for photographic works. It also says to read this section about copyright duration (de), which also says to calculate in accordance with the chapter holding that section (de). Does the law mean 50-p.m.a. for photographs by identified authors and 50 years after either creation or first publication (before the end of the 50th year) for anonymous photographic works? Or what else does it mean? Regardless, can Template:PD-German Photo be created?

For US copyright, the URAA wouldn't restore US copyright for works seized by Alien Property Custodian. However, I couldn't find sources verifying the photo being seized.

For reference, the w:de:Bildrechte#Bildrechte in Deutschland (German) is more detailed and (somewhat) more reliable to read, while w:en:Photograph copyright (Germany) is okay. George Ho (talk) 23:44, 11 February 2018 (UTC); corrected, 00:00, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

Good points. As I read it. The copyright in Germany when read in black & white, is that back then, the copyright of 'Documentary' photographs starts at the very moment they are in tangible form. I.E. Processed and printed, rather than offered for sale. For after all, they are shot for documentary purposes mainly. The copyright laws back then took this into account, as the purpose was to record events rather than create artful creative images. Further, the Berne Convention reads that the copyright extension applied only to those photographs in which the photographer owned copyright to the photographs which s/he took as a freelance independent agent who also paid for his own film and materials. Also, p.m.a. doesn't apply to an organization. As the German State did not get an extension, they appear to be PD now, from all angles. Notice too, that the website you linked to hasn't come back up again (may have been down for weekend maintenance) or maybe, they too have been reading this post and are holding off whilst pondering the implications they may be indeed be, inappropriately claiming copyright.--P.g.champion (talk) 14:02, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
The term was probably 25 years from publication originally. Germany extended the term to 50 years from publication for documentary photos like this, I think in the 1970s or 1980s, though they may have been PD in Germany by then. The problem is not the Berne Convention, but rather the retroactive copyright restorations in the EU in the 1990s, which would have restored this to a 70pma term regardless of who actually owns the copyright. Germany's "simple photo" terms have now been ruled to only apply to a very limited set of works (like X-rays I think); photos like this I believe are now considered full "works" there. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:09, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
AFAIK Heinrich Hoffmann's photos are protected by (restored) copyright in Germany and can't be used, with the exception of the specific photos released by the German Federal Archive under CC-BY-SA. Also, Hoffmann's photos are often carefully staged propaganda photography, not really "documentary". Gestumblindi (talk) 21:14, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

FoP in IndonesiaEdit

I am assuming per COM:FOP#Indonesia that there is no FoP for buildings in Indonesia, which means that en:File:New GBK Main Stadium from Drone Jan 2018.jpg cannot be moved to Commons, right? If that's the case, then I am wondering about the copyright status of the stadium photos in en:List of stadiums in Indonesia. They are all from Commons and all uploaded as "own work". Are these acceptable? -- Marchjuly (talk) 09:39, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

Like many other countries, most stadiums in Indonesia are publicly owned properties. That is, they are owned by the government and may be considered public domain works. Wikicology (talk) 18:03, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
Unsure about that. Here is Template:PD-IDGov (which has an inactive link). The law says that it protects copyright of architecture. However, I don't know what article 14(b) means; does it allow photographs of Government-owned buildings to be used in the project? George Ho (talk) 23:50, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
Works by the government and works whose creator died more than 50 years ago are PD and are compatible with our license here on Commons. Regards. Wikicology (talk) 17:30, 17 February 2018 (UTC)


Is this image All Rights Reserved or free? Its in Russian which I can't read. Best, --Leoboudv (talk) 09:43, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

Google Translate says “© Railway Photo Gallery TrainPhoto and authors of materials, 2012 - 2018 / Use of photographs and other materials published on the site is allowed only with the permission of their authors and the obligatory indication of the link to the site.” Clearly not free IMO, even allowing for an imperfect translation. (The “All Rights Reserved” appears to refer to the software driving the website.) Note also the EXIF claims copyright without including any terms of permission.—Odysseus1479 (talk) 18:32, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Thank You Odysseus1479. I will file a Dr here. Best, --Leoboudv (talk) 02:39, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Suspect fileEdit

File:Opened up a Pandora's box.jpg was the creation of an indefinitely blocked sockpuppet and probably should not be there. The suspect file claims to be an etching based on a work by the Victorian F. S. Church - File:Pandora FSChurch.jpg - which it plainly is not. There is no evidence in the Wikimedia summary that it is even in copyright. My guess is that it is a photoshop version of a derivative work and maybe should be removed. I thought it was policy, anyway, to remove images provided by suspect contributors. Sweetpool50 (talk) 15:57, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

This image is used. So unless there is a reasonable doubt concerning its copyright, it should not be removed. Ankry (talk) 20:07, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
The only files we would remove are ones with copyright violations, and maybe uploads by a sock user which were uploaded after they are banned. Prior uploads, most certainly not, if the copyright and other policy matters are OK. There is a source link which goes to a discussion where this image was labeled as by Church, but not sure if the conclusion was that they were in fact the author. But if this is not Church, yes that could be a problem. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:43, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

logos of free software?Edit

It's my understanding that the logos of free software also available under a free license. However, I've noticed that many free software logos on the English Wikipedia are marked as fair use. The one for ACL2 is such an example. The logos may be trademarked, but that doesn't mean they're unfree. In most of those cases, I could find nothing in the license that says the logo is an exception. Am I missing something? --Ixfd64 (talk) 23:40, 12 February 2018 (UTC)

It depends on whether the logo has been released with a free license. It doesn't happen automatically just because it's a logo for free software. --ghouston (talk) 23:59, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
For ACL2, it seems like it has been released, since it's on the front page of the manual [2] which has been released with a free license [3]. --ghouston (talk) 00:07, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. I was always under the impression that free software logos are automatically available under a free license. I'm glad I asked! --Ixfd64 (talk) 00:25, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
I think in many cases they will be, if they are released along with the software or documentation. --ghouston (talk) 01:43, 13 February 2018 (UTC) makes it pretty clear you can't modify their logos, even if it never explicitly invokes copyright. ([4] makes the headache inducing choice to offer the logos under the CC-BY 3.0 and require you not to use them freely; Wikimedia certainly can't say we don't "contain[...] content associated with hate speech, pornography, gambling or illegal activities" and won't "use [these] logos to, or in connection with, content that disparages [Mozilla] or sullies our reputation.") I don't know what it all means, but they're clearly not treating their logos as part of the whole Free Software package. says "Copyright (C) Free Software Foundation, Inc. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.", and I think that's how the FSF suggests handling its webpages, so logos from the FSF might be restricted. The FSF doesn't hesitate to use ND licenses on its non-code material.
If I were part of a Free Software organization with a trademarked logo, I might not put the logo under the general free license; it can be easier to deal with trademark infringement when you also have the cudgel of copyright infringement.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:12, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
In this case, along with what ghouston says, says "It applies to all files distributed from except as otherwise noted." It's not entirely helpful, but given that LICENSE is a free license, the logo is found on , and (ick) I don't see an "otherwise noted", the logo should be under that free license. (Various images, like the door icon, have no explicit note but don't seem to be original with U-Texas.)--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:12, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Architecture in IranEdit

Hi, There are 2 open requests in COM:UDR about architecture in Iran. We need more input, specially from people who could read the law. Previous requests were closed as kept, but Jim disagrees with the conclusion. Pinging involved people @MasoodHA, Jameslwoodward, Ebrahim, Mardetanha, Mmxx: Regards, Yann (talk) 04:23, 31 January 2018 (UTC)

Pinging more active Farsi speakers @4nn1l2, Mbazri, Mhhossein: Thanks for your comments. Yann (talk) 04:27, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Yann: Thanks for the ping. I'll address it in 2 days. Regards. --Mhhossein talk 19:40, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment This issue is not solved. (Restoring archived discussion.) Regards, Yann (talk) 12:58, 13 February 2018 (UTC)

Special:Contributions/M WanerEdit

Could a copyright law guru look at contributions of this new user, especially at {{PD-US-renewed}} which they created? --jdx Re: 09:39, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

URAA and bilateral agreementsEdit

Hi, made a comment here which would considerably change the situation, as the USA has bilateral copyright agreements with most of the world. Opinions? Regards, Yann (talk) 09:44, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

Here's my logic, stricting having old works in mind. Hopefully @Clindberg: will be available in time to comment, they have a great brain for these things:
  1. Any pre-1996 work which in 1996 was PD in the source country is PD in the USA.
  2. Any pre-1996 work which in 1996 is not PD in the source country and was PD in the USA, has copyright "restored [which] will last for the remainder of the term of copyright that the work would have enjoyed if the work had never entered the public domain in the United States". Per circular 38b (highlights of URAA), link at
Point 2 means that though the next part of the text talks about "generally" copyright then lasts for 95 years from publication, if there was a prior reciprocal agreement on copyright between the USA and the source country, the copyright term in the source country applies (as if the work had never entered the public domain in the US).
As a corollary, the URAA is irrelevant if the work was never in the public domain in the USA, because the reciprocal/bilateral agreement is in place and runs uninterrupted. For example a photograph published in Hungary in 1930, with an unknown photographer, should have a PD date of 2001 (70 year rule), both in Hungary and the USA, rather than use a 95 year rule (i.e. 2026) that the URAA does not specifically require.
-- (talk) 10:32, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
No, don't think the bilateral agreements worked that way at all. The bilateral agreements basically said that the U.S. would treat the other country's works the same as it did for their own citizens, as long as the other country did the same for U.S. works. That did sort of mean that the other countries could not use the rule of the shorter term for U.S. works (there was one case in Germany which ruled that way), but it also subjected foreign works to all the same formalities, etc. that U.S. authors had, but still got U.S. terms of protection if followed. When the U.S. joined the Berne Convention which disallowed formalities, the U.S. tried to avoid restoring works which had lost copyright to formalities. The Berne Convention technically requires retroactive restoration of older works at least for foreign works, though many countries do not, and if nobody complains that ends up being OK. However, given the U.S. market that was not OK with most other countries, so during the w:Uruguay Round of trade agreements, the U.S. hammered out the agreement to restore works from other countries along Berne Convention lines (including those which had had bilateral agreements and/or were part of the Universal Copyright Convention, which came later but also allowed formalities). That agreement became the URAA law. So, the existence of a bilateral agreement or not would not affect the URAA treatment. That was about rights the other countries gained over and above previous agreements due to the Berne Convention.
Correct that the URAA is not relevant if a work was never public domain in the USA. The USA has never used the rule of the shorter term, rather only their own terms, and the term in a foreign country has never affected the term in the U.S. The only way a foreign term affects the U.S. term is through the URAA, and then only on the URAA date (1996 usually). A photograph published in Hungary in 1930 with an anonymous photographer, but which followed copyright notice and renewal rules, would have a U.S. term of 95 years from publication. If it was unpublished today (or as of 2003), it would have a term of 120 years from creation. If first published between 1978 and 2002, it would have a U.S. copyright until at least 2047, but the 120 years from creation would be a bit longer so that would apply. That is the same term as U.S. works, which has always been the way the U.S. treats foreign works. It is not relevant if a work becomes PD in another country after 1996, nor if a country later increases their terms and restores works. If that Hungarian work did *not* follow formalities though and became PD in the U.S. that way, i.e. being published without a copyright notice in 1930, it would be subject to the URAA. But because it would have been PD in Hungary in 1996 (they had 50 year from publication terms at the time), it would not have been restored by the URAA, and it would remain PD in the U.S. as well. Hungary increased terms to 70 years in 1994, but not retroactively; they then retroactively restored works to EU levels in 1999. This is the {{PD-HU-unknown}} tag, which would be true (today) in both Hungary and the U.S. A 1942 work may have been restored to 70 years in Hungary in 1999, but would have become PD again in 2013, and would have been PD in the U.S. all along (presuming lack of formalities). Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:50, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks Carl, this is why I was pinging you. I was struggling with the logic and whether the parts about not accepting the rule of the shorter term was the overriding thesis or not; neither was it clear how the URAA interacted with previous assumptions about long term bilateral agreements.
Not good news, but in practice we all have a choice to make. When trying to apply the URAA to dusty academic archives, we are under no personal or individual obligation to ignore existing claims of archived media being public domain, nor are we obliged to reinterpret the reasonable presumptions of uploaders. After all we are not paid lawyers or IP analysts... Thanks
PS, the word "generally" in 38b looks like a deliberate hole to me. It's the sort of thing I would expect a smart lawyer to exploit to create more allowable exceptions, though perhaps the way it reads in plain English, is not the way a lawyer should read it. -- (talk) 14:07, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
38b is an explanatory circular, not legal text. They say "generally" 95 years from publication, as they leave out the complications of being published well after being created (the term is really the shorter of 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation). It also leaves out the special case of works created before 1978, and first published between 1978 and the end of 2002, which have a special term. Works created by a known author before 1978 but not published until after 2002 have a 70pma term. Most works were published soon after being created, so generally, 95 years from publication is the term for pre-1978 works. It's only ones which remained unpublished for a while and were published later that get more complicated. That is all explicit in the law, without loopholes. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:47, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
While I don't have the time to figure out exactly how to solve the issue, I do want to quickly point out a couple of thing you should know about US copyright law. The US Congress is very averse to treaties (especially trade treaties/agreements) having any legal effect in US courts; basically, the US government agrees to trade treaties/agreements and handles disputes with the other countries, but makes clear that they shouldn't have effect for private parties in US courts. Again, that's especially true for trade/commercial agreements, but other types of treaties/agreements may be citable in US courts. As relevant to this discussion, are:
  • 17 U.S. Code § 104(c) Effect of Berne Convention (emphasis added): "No right or interest in a work eligible for protection under this title may be claimed by virtue of, or in reliance upon, the provisions of the Berne Convention, or the adherence of the United States thereto. Any rights in a work eligible for protection under this title that derive from this title, other Federal or State statutes, or the common law, shall not be expanded or reduced by virtue of, or in reliance upon, the provisions of the Berne Convention, or the adherence of the United States thereto." Basically, the Berne Convention is irrelevant to copyright claims in US courts.
  • 19 U.S. Code § 3512(c) Effect of Agreement with Respect to Private Remedies:
(1) Limitations No person other than the United States—
(A) shall have any cause of action or defense under any of the Uruguay Round Agreements or by virtue of congressional approval of such an agreement, or
(B) may challenge, in any action brought under any provision of law, any action or inaction by any department, agency, or other instrumentality of the United States, any State, or any political subdivision of a State on the ground that such action or inaction is inconsistent with such agreement.
(2) Intent of Congress It is the intention of the Congress through paragraph (1) to occupy the field with respect to any cause of action or defense under or in connection with any of the Uruguay Round Agreements, including by precluding any person other than the United States from bringing any action against any State or political subdivision thereof or raising any defense to the application of State law under or in connection with any of the Uruguay Round Agreements [on any basis].
"URAA" is the Uruguay Round Agreements Act in which the US Congress ratified a cluster of agreements including, as relevant to copyright, the TRIPS Agreement, which is largely a copy of the Berne Convention. The US joined the Berne Convention in 1989 and the TRIPS Agreement in 1995 and so both apply to the US government (and other nations can pursue claims against the US for violating them with the World Trade Organization, which may allow harmed countries to level tariffs on US goods), but as the quoted law above makes clear, is irrelevant to private parties.
As far as URAA restored copyright. If the work was copyrighted in the source country on 1 January 1996, then in the US it is copyrighted under normal copyright duration as if it was a US-origin work. The only issue with restored copyrights is some formalities about derivative works and legal proceedings (17 U.S. Code § 104A - Copyright in restored works) that aren't relevant to copyright duration. Page 7 of Circular 38A says that there are the following copyright treaties between the US & Hungary, which I've included the duration text:
  • a 1912 bilateral copyright treaty between the US & Hungary, in which Article 2 (Wikisource here) says: "The term of copyright protection granted by the present Convention shall be regulated by the law of the country wither protection is claimed."
  • UCC Geneva (1952) & UCC Paris (1971), which contain the identical Article IV Sect. 1: "The duration of protection of a work shall be governed, in accordance with the provisions of Article II and this article, by the law of the Contracting State in which protection is claimed. "
  • the Berne Convention & Uruguay Round Agreements that are addressed above.
So the simple conclusion is: if it was copyrighted in Hungary on 1 January 1996, then it is copyrighted in the US and the length of copyright in the US is the same as if the work was published in the US (without regard to any of the formalities that were required in the 1970s and earlier, like registration and copyright notice). AHeneen (talk) 09:11, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
I read the 19th century bilateral agreement between the US and Germany, and basically put no obligations on the US; the President would post a notice that Germany had made such an agreement with us. If we changed the rules about how we treated German or foreign works, well, the treaty put no obligation on us not to.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:02, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

Photos of notable persons and copyright issues with background elementsEdit

Recently, I had the opportunity to take photos of a number of notable persons. The photos were taken in the US at an event that was open to the public. At the same time, the photos were taken in an area of a hotel that was like a roofed atrium indoors and that may not be normally open to the public. (While the event was going on, this area was open to members of the public who were attending the event.) The question is whether the photos can be uploaded to Commons, given that there are copyrighted works visible in the photos. (The copyrighted works are not the main subjects of the photos, so there is the possibility that some of the depicted copyrighted or possibly-copyrighted works may be incidental and/or de minimis.)

  • The first photo is one of Brent Anderson. A low-resolution sample can be downloaded here. The main subject is Mr. Anderson himself, but there are also pins/buttons on his hat band, a light-brown object of some sort that that appears to be strung on a necklace, and a wall with windows behind him. In addition, there are some plants in the background that are likely part of a garden arrangement. COM:IC#Gardens seems to indicate that gardens in the US are not copyrightable. Some works of art are visible near the bottom of the photo but they are cut off and so they may not be an issue. (As persons go, it appears that there is a bystander visible near the lower-right portion of the photo, to the left of the black pole, but they are not the subject of the photo.)
  • The second photo is one of Marta Kristen. A low-resolution sample can be downloaded here. The main subject is Ms. Kristen. She is wearing jewelry and at the bottom of the photo there are some artistic works or other photos that are visible on the table, though they are not intended to be the main subject. Behind Ms. Kristen, there are some plants and rocks that are likely part of a garden arrangement, in addition to a wall.

--Gazebo (talk) 10:42, 14 February 2018 (UTC)

I think they are both fine, and the elements are all DM.   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 11:06, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. I have uploaded high-resolution versions of the photos as File:Brent-Anderson-in-2018.jpg and File:Marta-Kristen-actress-in-2018.jpg. --Gazebo (talk) 10:50, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Another photo that I took at the described event is one of Ramon Villalobos. A low-resolution sample can be downloaded here. In the photo, there is a Cal logo (for the University of California, Berkeley) on Mr. Villalobos' cap, but this logo (from what I understand) is of US origin and there is the question as to whether it would be a case of {{PD-textlogo}} even though it has shading and raised lettering. I am guessing that any logos on the orange lanyard (if they are copyrightable) are incidental and/or de minimis. Would this photo be all right for uploading to Commons? --Gazebo (talk) 12:48, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
@Gazebo: This should also be fine, as the base logo is File:California Golden Bears logo.svg, which is {{PD-textlogo}}.   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 14:33, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. I have uploaded a high-resolution version of the photo as File:Ramon-Villalobos-in-2018.jpg.
Note: When uploading the photo, I described Mr. Villalobos as a "comic book artist". The English Wikipedia article on Mr. Villalobos also uses that term. From what I remember, doing a Web search indicated other works that also describe Mr. Villalobos as a "comic book artist" and my understanding is that a single fact by itself is not copyrightable, so I did not do anything to attribute the English Wikipedia article at that point. Subsequently, I added a category that relates to comics and artists to the description page for the photo, and at that point, in the edit summary, I did attempt to attribute the English Wikipedia article. Hopefully, this should not be too much of an issue. --Gazebo (talk) 21:57, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
  • I have just uploaded a fourth photo from the event, a photo of comics artist Chris Marrinan. Based on the feedback that I received about the previous photos that I mentioned, my assumption was that the photo of Mr. Marrinan does not have any copyright issues with regard to the depicted subject. Does this seem correct? --Gazebo (talk) 08:10, 19 February 2018 (UTC)
@Gazebo: I don't see any issues. And the guy in the background doesn't stand out enough for me to remove like I did on File:Brent-Anderson-in-2018.jpg. - Alexis Jazz 18:34, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

Uploading and using WW2 photos from national archives and libraries but also Flickr and Pinterest and Google Images, blogs, etc.Edit


I would really like to know definitely if I am able to upload onto Wikipedia, photos taken in WW2 by the Italians, Germans, British and Americans. Many of these images can be found on the internet, on Flickr, Pinterest, blogs and other sites, as well as the national archives of these countries. Many are also anonymous.

I am really confused by it all and need some real advice on what I can or cannot upload to WW2 Wikipedia articles. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Praxiphane (talk • contribs) 14:59, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

@Praxiphane: For each photo, you will need to know where (in what country) and when it was taken and published, whether the photographer took it in the course of their official duties, and if so which service they were in. Good luck.   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 15:43, 15 February 2018 (UTC)


I think we need to discuss this template before it gets too late. "A stitch in time saves nine." I suggest to enforce license review just like Template:Tasnim. The news agency is not as professional as they should be. Here are some files that need attention:

and more.... 4nn1l2 (talk) 18:10, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

  • It would be helpful to obtain a list of staff photographers, but that may be difficult. I'm not sure how best to ascertain copyrights here, but another oddity is that the English language version of the website states "All rights reserved 2018 ©" at the bottom. -Animalparty (talk) 04:36, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
SlowManifesto (talk) 20:00, 16 February 2018 (UTC)


SlowManifesto (talk) 23:31, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

  • @Czar: As the person who suggested license review for Tasnim's works, could you please take a look at this discussion and tell us your opinion about Fars' works. Much obliged. 4nn1l2 (talk) 10:44, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
I made the Tasnim template based on a discussion another editor had with the source. The conclusion was that the news site hosted its own photographs (freely licensed) but showed licensed images as well, and the distinction wasn't always clear. (As a news agency, they likely use other sources' images as illustrations in individual articles, and their stated free license would not relicense works that do not belong to Fars.) Of course, the best action in this scenario is to contact the firm directly and ask which images apply for their stated Creative Commons license. But until then, I'd look for watermarked photos and image galleries that clearly show the images to be indeed taken/owned by Fars. For instance, [5] appears to credit Fars for the gallery ("Photo: Fars") while [6] credits "Photo: Karami - Desert". But it'll take more scrutiny to determine which of Fars images actually apply under the license. (not watching, please {{ping}}) czar 13:40, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

Everipedia using multimedia content from this projectEdit

I emailed the Wikipedia-mirror site Everipedia about using content from Wikimedia Commons, like File:OSIRIS Mars true color.jpg used for Mars and File:Sun white.jpg used for Sun. They haven't responded for weeks after Everipedia and I discussed their copying Wikipedia articles. Moreover, I could not find any licensing notice and credit on multimedia content, required by individual licensing terms. Furthermore, an article about one deceased person uses a video, which the Wikipedia article doesn't use. What can be done about this? George Ho (talk) 20:35, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

Wow, I had never heard of this site before, but it is a true work of art (of the crucifix-in-a-jar-of-urine variety). There appears to be virtually no attribution or sourcing for images (save for a few clickable ones that link to static jpgs on Commons), no attribution for clearly mirroring Wikipedia articles, and a blanket (and blatantly false) copyright statement that everything on the site is under CC-BY-SA license. Articles on celebrities have clearly professional model shoots and TV clips attached. This looks like a license-launderer's wet dream (step 1: post to Everipedia. Step 2: it's on Everipedia, it must be CC! Step 3: Profit.) I'd like to see a team of copyright vigilantes bring the hammer down hard on this site. Animalparty (talk) 21:57, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Just for notation sake, Everipedia is Larry Sanger's new pet project. Founded as a "more inclusive Wikipedia" that has no inclusionary standards which apparently includes dabbling in hosting issues as well. --Majora (talk) 22:13, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Also, it's for profit, and thrives in fake news after disasters (they're already making articles of the shooting victims in Florida). Sorry Larry, you've hitched your apple wagon to a sick horse. Animalparty (talk)
According to that article, respectively "according to Everipedia, the site was founded in 2015 by UCLA graduates Sam Kazemian, 24, and Travis Moore, who is 27 or 28, along with a Swedish designer, Theodor Forselius, 22 ..." - Larry Sanger isn't mentioned. Gestumblindi (talk) 22:26, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
He is their chief information officer and has an everipedia email address. --Majora (talk) 22:28, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) Sanger joined late last year. Oh and here's one of the founders: "I got really excited because I had always wanted to have a Wikipedia page about me, but when someone made one, Wikipedia had deleted it because I’m not important enough. I felt like if I have been denied a Wikipedia page, and I’m so upset about it, then there are probably millions who feel the same way I do".[7] Typical millennial: let's capitalize on me and others not feeling important enough and undercut notions of notability/encyclopedic knowledge Because YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, MySpace, and every other blogging and social network site are clearly not providing enough attention to these snowflakes. Also, money. Animalparty (talk) 22:37, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
And jeez, they're blowing any semblance of neutrality out of the water with their "article" on Criticisms of Everipedia, which is 100% PR, written in the first person. Compare to Wikipedia's Criticism of Wikipedia to see an example of why you shouldn't trust for-profit websites to be honest and open about themselves. Animalparty (talk) 23:39, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
Can we not bash on a large group of people who make up many of our fellow editors? Millennials are moderately tired of being slammed for doing the exact same thing their parents and their parents before them did. The people who invented MySpace and who used MySpace were too old to be millennials by most definitions.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:14, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

To try to bring this back to the "copyright" aspect of the website. If you are an "invested contributor" of something on that site and it is violating your copyright you can send in a takedown notice up to, and including, a DMCA takdown. Enwiki has a list of form letters that you can send that can be easily modified for images here: en:WP:Takedown. Please note, that you must be the actual contributor of that work in order to file a legal takedown. So images that are from third-party sources, like that Mars photo, we probably can't do much about. --Majora (talk) 23:45, 15 February 2018 (UTC)

For the DMCA, must the sender reveal one's own postal home (if not business) address to the service provider? George Ho (talk) 19:50, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
I'm not entirely sure George Ho. A true DMCA is a legally binding document. You have to put your real name and real information. That is why when the WMF posts them they redact information out of them. From what I can gather from the ones that the WMF have posted, such as wmf:DMCA St. Michael (Löffingen) interior there does appear to be an address block redacted (three lines one after the next). So I'm guessing that you do have to put it in. This may be because if they want to file a counter-suit they have to know where to send the papers. But I could be wrong and I'm not a lawyer so any information I have is just a guess. --Majora (talk) 19:56, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

I made this list to make a point in Commons:Village pump/Copyright#CC license, but which one?, it's amazing. Everything that follows are articles linked (featured?) on their homepage:

  1. image caption: "6 Dogs "frozen tears" Music Video"
  2. Same article: image predated by which also shows another photo from the same series, attribution is nowhere to be found, may be original from themaskedgorilla or originate from social media. Okay, so I found two more copyvios. Blockchain will save us! Oh, snap.
  3. Wait, that's actually CC-BY-SA 2.0! Too bad they fail attribution forever, CC license does not apply, copyvio.
  4. embeds Hey, it's embedding something from Wikimedia servers so that's alright isn't it? Well, no. I am unlucky four times in a row, what does that prove?
  5. shows which is File:Mount Fuji - Switchbacks and Retaining Walls, May 2004.jpg. It's GFDL+CC-BY-SA. Now tell me, where exactly is the required attribution?
  6. is w:en:File:Elvis Presley LPM-1254 Album Cover.jpg. More fair use!

Remember, I only clicked articles I could find directly on their homepage. Pretty much every single page has copyvios, it's far worse than I thought. And you know what is the worst of all this? Any users genuinely adding their own content in any form to Everipedia is wasted. It can never be reused. - - Alexis Jazz 19:51, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

I hope rightsholders sue them into bankruptcy.   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 20:42, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
FWIW, I emailed the site's registrar company about this. I've not yet filed a DMCA request. George Ho (talk) 20:46, 16 February 2018 (UTC); done so probably. Registrar company doesn't own it. George Ho (talk) 23:44, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
@Jeff G.: I found this article through their forum (I'm not joking. This is where the "Visit our forum" button goes!!) saying they just secured a $30M investment. If they spend as much money on lawyers as they do on copyright experts, that $30M will last forever! I picture it as Larry Sanger without any lawyer picking up the microphone in court to become Larry Singer only to copyvio Shaggy in his defense. - Alexis Jazz 21:04, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

File:1950 LDS Hymnbook.jpgEdit

Would this book cover be considered to be below c:COM:TOO#United States? The book was published in the 1950s, so it's not old enough to be PD; however, I'm wondering if the imagery in the center would be considered COM:DM or COM:FAIR. If the latter might be the case, then I don't think this can be kept per COM:PCP even if the photographer release the photo of the cover under a free license.

The same also applies to File:1948 edition hymn book of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.jpg. -- Marchjuly (talk) 04:44, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

Personally, I don't think the picture is de minimis. It's small, but it's a critical feature of the cover as a whole. One possibility, though, is that the picture itself is in the public domain. Can you find any pre-1923 versions of it? --bjh21 (talk) 09:18, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Same image is on the cover of File:1948 edition hymn book of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.jpg but before that they used a different picture.
What you are looking at is this pipe organ. The case was enlarged in 1915, it's highly unlikely nobody drew a picture of it between 1915 and 1923. - Alexis Jazz 13:23, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Might be {{PD-US-no notice}} or {{PD-US-not renewed}}. - Alexis Jazz 13:23, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
This 1938 postcard predates the Hymn book but I don't know if its copyright was renewed. This card looks similar but has no copyright notice. (probably slightly older print) - Alexis Jazz 14:16, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

CC license, but which one?Edit

I just uploaded File:Screenshot Everipedia 2018-2-16.png. CC is the license according to the website (see here), but which one? At the moment there are two red banners at my upload that state that the license should be specified better. Of video's of YouTube apparently it is sufficient to use the Template:YouTube CC-BY. Could be important to make a special template for Everipedia as well, because it will contain a growing amount of material (photo's) that we could use well as well. Can someone help/advise? Ymnes (talk) 15:39, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

The Everipedia TOU says:
For more information on the terms of reuse of content found on Everipedia please reference the Creative Commons documentation:
So it's {{cc-by-sa-4.0}}. --bjh21 (talk) 16:26, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
No it isn't.
"Commercial Use: Unless otherwise expressly authorized herein or by Everipedia express written consent, you agree not to display, distribute, license, perform, publish, reproduce, duplicate, copy, create derivative works from, modify, sell, resell, exploit, transfer or transmit for any commercial purposes, any portion of the Service, use of the Service, or access to the Service aside from User Content owned by their respective authors. The Service is for your personal use and may not be used for direct commercial endeavors without the express written consent of Everipedia. This does not apply to User Content created under Creative Commons Licensure.
Intellectual Property Rights
Everipedia Content: Except for your User Content, the Service and all materials therein or transferred thereby, including, without limitation, software, images, text, graphics, illustrations, logos, patents, trademarks, service marks, copyrights, photographs, audio, videos, music, and User Content belonging to other Users (the "Everipedia Content"), and all Intellectual Property Rights related thereto, are the exclusive property of Everipedia and its licensors (including other Users who post User Content to the Service)."
So it's copyrighted. And the Tesla ad certainly would be, although for the screenshot that would probably be DM. @Ymnes:, will you nominate the screenshot for deletion? - Alexis Jazz 17:04, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
It's confusing. In what cases is CC-BY-SA-4.0 valid and in what cases not? Ymnes (talk) 17:17, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
@Ymnes: Never, really. A flashing image on their homepage took me to [8]. The flashing image is clearly taken from a music video of Cardi which is unlikely not to be copyrighted. (I refuse to look up the music video. I'm old.) [9] is copyvio. It's © (see watermark here)
User content on Everipedia possibly is CC, but there's no way to tell what is user content and what is copyvio. I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole. Your screenshot is obviously not user content, so if you don't nominate it for deletion I will. - Alexis Jazz 17:31, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
As soon as it is sure, I will. But trust me please. I came here to the village pump to have a discussion first.
One of the board members of Everipedia is Larry Sanger, co-founder of Wikipedia and founder of Citizendium. So he is very experienced with CC licenses and I can imagine that a first view on the licence may be different from the real background of the images. Through block chain technology artists are identified personally and I can imagine that this - in combination with the background/experience of Larry Sanger - may give an answer to the reason why an apparent copyright claim elsewhere is no longer valid. What I'm saying is that your example may not be valid for the whole website.
So please let's answer first why the claim of CC-BY-SA-4.0 is made and when it is valid. Does someone has that answer first? Ymnes (talk) 17:58, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Everipedia seems to be very careless regarding licensing. I don't think that Sanger is particularly involved in what Everipedia does in that regard. According to an article linked in a recent discussion a bit further up this page, Sanger became Everipedia's "Chief Information Officer" just last year. Also, Sanger has, to the best of my knowledge, never much dealt with licensing issues in the past (he's not a lawyer or a copyright expert, after all - and he left Wikipedia very early, and Citizendium was never much more than a small pet project). In the Wired article, he is quoted as being "drawn to the philosophical, epistemological benefits". Doesn't look like Everipedia's new licensing expert to me. As Everipedia doesn't even manage to attribute content from Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia correctly, I wouldn't re-use any of their content. It seems they just don't care about licensing. Gestumblindi (talk) 19:05, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
The ToS is quite clear and I already cited it. If it confuses you, read it again. First part:
"you agree not to (do anything) for any commercial purposes, any portion of the Service .. aside from User Content owned by their respective authors."
Even if content that isn't User Content were CC, this means it would be a CC-NC variant which is not allowed on Commons. There is no mention of CC-NC though so it's copyrighted. We do agree that what we see on the homepage is not User Content, right?
"This does not apply to User Content created under Creative Commons Licensure."
Makes the clear distinction between User Content with CC license and other content.
To further clarify what Gestumblindi said.. I have some basic understanding of blockchain technology. It's a great tool to throw dust in someone's eyes. You say "well maybe Cardi B is an exception". I found her too easily. I made a list of various licensing errors, please see the Everipedia discussion above. - Alexis Jazz 19:39, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
How about File:Everipedia logo.svg? Same story or different? Ymnes (talk) 20:58, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Not Creative Commons. This is PD-textlogo in the US, copyrighted in some other countries. For example, probably protected by copyright in the UK where TOO is very low. Please nominate the screenshot. - Alexis Jazz 21:09, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

I saw a convincing talk here and above. I just have nominated them, speedily. Thanks for the good arguments!! [10][11][12][13] Ymnes (talk) 22:13, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

I converted one "speedy delete" request into Deletion Request: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Everipedia logo.svg. George Ho (talk) 22:23, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
As did I: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Everipedia.png. -Animalparty (talk) 22:48, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Me three: Commons:Categories for discussion/2018/02/Category:Everipedia - Alexis Jazz 23:54, 16 February 2018 (UTC)


I was initially assuming good faith (even though it was a bit of stretch), but now I noticed the double exclamation marks. @Ymnes:, if you are frustrated with me I'm sorry, I didn't even ask you to speedy the screenshot. I preferred to allow you to nominate it yourself. It doesn't matter if you make a mistake, especially when you fix it yourself and I wanted to give you that opportunity. And just in case you thought there still would be some argument for keeping it, you would have been able to state that directly in the nomination. Too bad this ended with your sarcasm and three pointless DR's. - Alexis Jazz 04:27, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
I am of good faith, so there's no sarcasm with me. Your reaction is quite incomprehensible to me. I don't see that I make a mistake either. I think it's a mistake to not delete the other two: 1) Everipedia doesn't allow them for commercial use and 2) there are many examples on their main page that they are not interested in tagging material correctly. This is where these two discussions are all about. And the double exclamation is because I sincerely thanked all of you for the good arguments. Ymnes (talk) 08:07, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
If I'm reading your words again, Chinese must be easier to understand than your answer on my question "How about File:Everipedia logo.svg?". Please understand that someone doesn't ask a question when he knows the answer. You did't anwser: "The copyright is all right there" or alike, but you answered: "Not Creative Commons .... copyrighted in some other countries ... probably protected by copyright in the UK". Don't blame me that I can't figure out on my own that the answer was hidden in the remarks "PD-textlogo in the US and "TOO". This is jargon, not normal language. Ymnes (talk) 08:29, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
@Ymnes: it is jargon, but fairly common around here and also found on many logos you find here on Commons, including the Everipedia logo. {{PD-textlogo}} and COM:TOO is what I was talking about, but I don't always link it. As you clearly had some knowledge of CC licenses and knew there is a specific YT template for it, I assumed you would be familiar with some terms. But I would have been happy to explain/link any that you didn't understand. I mentioned the UK to make it clear what the lack of CC means in this case. Even though it means nothing for the US (or Commons), a CC license not being available can still have some impact for people who don't live in the US. As for the sarcasm I spoke of, I'm sorry - just goes to show how hard it is to understand someone's intentions when you communicate through text. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Don't be afraid to ask, 6 weeks ago I would have been just as confused as you. - Alexis Jazz 09:04, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
It's better to never lose faith in someone else, unless it's clear vandalism. I don't know how to untag the two other files and the category (if I'am allowed). If possible, I approve the tags to be removed. Ymnes (talk) 09:17, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
@Ymnes: I never lost faith in you, it just looked like you got upset and did some things while being angry. That was a misunderstanding. You are not allowed to remove the tags. An administrator will come by at some point, make a decision and remove the tag or the image. Probably the tag. - Alexis Jazz 09:40, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

And, just as I feared, there are already some questionable images being potentially licensed-laundered through Everipedia. File:Lee Hnetinka.jpg is sourced to Animalparty (talk) 23:11, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

I only see the one you linked. (and added copyvio to it) - Alexis Jazz 23:54, 16 February 2018 (UTC)
Oops, I guess by some I meant just that one. :) Animalparty (talk) 23:58, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

Pictures at Category:OGL v1.0Edit

Years passed, and now is the time to re-evaluate the sources and licensing. I have replaced dead links with newer ones, and I changed the licensing to reflect the current sources. George Ho (talk) 06:30, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

Need help with copyright tagEdit

Can anyone suggest which copyright tag for the US would be most appropriate for File:Eliza Acton 1799-1859.png? Acton was an English cookery writer, died 1859, earliest publication date and location not known. The first publication I'm aware of was online at The Internet Archive has archived that once only, on 19 October 2017. So as things stand right now, that's the earliest known publication date. I've looked at every US tag and can't find one that doesn't exclude it somehow. SarahSV (talk) 16:40, 17 Februar8y 2018 (UTC)

I don't know if that online publication was prior to 1 January 2003. I think {{PD-US-unpublished}} is more appropriate since the death date of its author is not known, and the work was created before 1898. Regards. Wikicology (talk) 18:22, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
Hi Wikicology, thanks. That tag says "This work was never published prior to January 1, 2003, and is currently in the public domain in the United States because it meets one of the following conditions: its author died before 1948; the death date of its author is not known, and it was created before 1898; it is an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, and it was created before 1898."
We can say yes to all, except "This work was never published prior to January 1, 2003". That's unlikely. Every tag I've looked at makes a claim that's unlikely. Do we not have a simple PD tag for old photographs? SarahSV (talk) 20:18, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
@Clindberg:, could you please, comment on this? Regards. Wikicology (talk) 21:15, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
Most photographs back then were published, I would guess. If it was a U.S. photograph I would just say PD-1923. If it was a work for hire of a family, it could be unpublished (but would still be PD), but that would be very unlikely. There is always {{PD-US}} if the precise reason isn't completely apparent. On the other hand though, the photo shows up on this page, a bit larger, but identifies it as being a completely different person (and a UK image as well). That could in theory be unpublished and is more likely than the US to have that status, but again, it would be PD in the UK other than the possible 25-year publication right. How sure are we that the photo was identified correctly? Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:38, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
Carl, interesting find that it might be someone else. en:Eliza Acton has been nominated for FA status, and a question was raised about the image, which is why I thought I'd try to be helpful and find the right tag. Pinging SchroCat, the nominator. SchroCat, this page says that's a photograph of Julia Eliza Northey Hopkins/Shum. SarahSV (talk) 22:53, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
Is this not an image of Isabella Beeton? Mrs Beeton's image was misidentified as Eliza Acton here. Wikicology (talk) 23:19, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
Its certainly not Beeton – she died at 28. I'll have a chat with Chiswick Chap about it - he's been stewarding the Acton article for a while and is a font of knowledge regarding cookery literature. He also uploaded this image, so I think would be good,to,get his thoughts. - SchroCat (talk) 09:16, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
I would combine {{PD-old-assumed}} with {{PD-US-unpublished}}. Even though it is probably not correct to say that it was not published before 2003, it would be best to err on the side of caution. If it was published earlier, it would either be in the public domain (a) because it was published before 1923, without a copyright notice, or copyright wasn't renewed or (b) the author has reasonably been dead more than 70 years (before December 31, 1947). AHeneen (talk) 08:11, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

As an aside, this image (or a suitable substitution) might be found by running a text name search at Internet Archive e.g. "Miss Eliza Acton" bring up 108 results, predominantly from historic sources. This involves a good deal of trial and error (and luck), but old books are a trove of previously unsorted/unlabeled images. Animalparty (talk) 23:11, 17 February 2018 (UTC)

Shockingly, File:Eliza Acton 1799-1859.png may still be in copyright. I'll assume it really is Eliza Acton and the picture was taken in the UK. For the US copyright you can refer to COM:Hirtle, for the UK Commons:Copyright rules by territory#United Kingdom. Questions are:

  • Has it been published and if so, when? The photo may have been made just for the family. Or for a book cover. We just don't know. So we should probably* assume it was published a few years ago on the web.
  • Who is the author? We don't know, but that doesn't make them unknown. We just don't know how to figure that out at this point. Because of this, 120 years from publication doesn't apply.
  • When did the author die? Since we don't know who it is, we have to assume the worst case. Worst case is this picture was taken the day she died by a kid that was just 5 five years old and lived to be 115 years. (if you find that silly you can assume a 15 year old, still copyrighted) That means 1859-5+115=1969. 70 years after that is 2039.
  • For the UK it's also 2039: If the work was not published before 30 August 1989 and the author died after 1968 then copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author.

* Probably. If the first publication was done without consent of the copyright holder, it is not "lawfully made available to the public". What if we do deem the author to be unknown? (we shouldn't but anyway)

  • US: 120 years from creation (expired 1859+120=1979)
  • UK: "If the work is unpublished and was first made available to the public after 1968 then copyright expires 70 years after the work was first made available to the public."
  • If the publications were not lawful it will expire at the end of 2039.

So unless we can figure out who the author is and they died more than 70 years ago or we can figure out if this photo was perhaps made in the US by anonymous author or we can confirm it was published a long time ago, it's a goner. - Alexis Jazz 08:10, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

We really can't assume the photographer was 5 at the time. Cameras were extremely expensive in 1859, and it's more likely that this was a studio shot - a five year old wouldn't be allowed to play round with one! - SchroCat (talk) 09:19, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
@SchroCat: I did make an edit to that statement (before you posted this) that if you assume the photographer was 15 it would still be in copyright. Which would be possible for an apprentice. And if the photographer had a son/daughter it's possible they could allow their child at a pretty young age to operate the shutter. Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Inflation-1923.jpg is an interesting read. - Alexis Jazz 10:17, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
UK photos before 1957 had a term of 50 years from creation, period. The EU restorations would give it a term of 70 years from publication, but if not published within 70 years, then 70 years from creation. That term has also passed. That 2039 date you cite is true for many types of works, but photographs are not among them (or at least, only photographs taken June 1957 and later could have that term). But if this photo was commissioned by the family (which in the UK would have given them first copyright), and pulled from a family archive in 2012, meaning it really is still unpublished (versus the transaction between the photographer and family constituting publication) they may still have the 25 year publication right. That is not relevant in the US (so uploading to en-wiki may be fine), but could still be an issue in the EU). You can see a more detailed UK chart here. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:20, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

File:Bronze Offerings Table.jpgEdit

As the Description of the picture, it was a photo of Two pages (pp. 56–57) from the book The Search for Ancient China by Corinne Debaine-Francfort, ‘New Horizons’ series, Thames & Hudson, 1999. but is this book a non-fiction book?--Baomi (talk) 04:12, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

One piece luffy y saboEdit

Hi! I noticed that some of the uploads of the user One piece luffy y sabo have unclear metadata, but I'm not sure if they're copyright violations. Many thanks beforehand! --Jamez42 (talk) 04:28, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

I nominated all the images for speedy deletion. Regards. Wikicology (talk) 09:59, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

Copyright in 2018 Winter Olympics photos/videosEdit

There are many photos of the 2018 Winter Olympics on Commons, but copyright in many of them may not actually belong to the person that took the photo because the terms for tickets to events assigns all copyright to images/video taken in the venues to the International Olympic Committee (scroll all the way to near end of the terms URL; emphasis added):

“5.3 Ticket Holders may take or record still and moving images and/or sounds within Venues and agree that the IOC shall be sole owner of any intellectual property rights (including copyright) in such content without further authorization from, or compensation to, the Ticket Holder or anyone acting on his/her behalf, and hereby assign any rights he/she may have in respect of such content to the IOC, including without limitation the right to make derivative works, waiving all moral rights in the same.
5.4 Pursuant to the above, the IOC hereby grants to Ticket Holders with a limited and revocable licence to use the still and moving images and/or sounds taken or recorded within Venues provided that such use is personal, private, non-commercial and non-promotional. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Ticket Holders shall not transmit any moving images and/or sounds taken or recorded within Venues over the internet, radio, television or any other media now known or hereafter invented (with such prohibition including, without limitation, not posting such content on social media platforms or live-streaming such content through any website or application), without the IOC’s prior consent.”

Files like this one and this one were almost certainly taken by a ticket holder and so the IOC owns the copyright and it can't be licensed CC-BY-SA-4.0 by anyone but the IOC. Some of the files from the Opening Ceremony were from US government accounts (Vice President Pence's twitter and website). Under US law "Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise" and "[a] “work of the United States Government” is a work prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties." I don't know if foreign officials like Pence were ticket holders (in which case the copyright in the US would be unclear, but under RoK law the IOC would almost certainly own the copyright), or if they were just invited to the event (in which case the US copyright law would apply and there would be no copyright; RoK copyright law wouldn't be relevant because the place of publication would be Twitter or US government servers in the US). I would imagine that journalists and professional photographers would need special accreditation/passes to enter the Olympic venues and may have had to give the IOC copyright in their photos and paid to license photos taken. The licensing of intellectual property is the main source of revenue for the IOC, which is why they are so restrictive about's all about the money to pamper the IOC executives support the Olympic movement.

While I don't feel like tagging every 2018 Olympic photo for deletion, someone should go through and tag ones that should be deleted. We should consider the implications for re-users of content found on Commons and for files that were quite likely taken by ticket holders, we should err on the side of caution (see Commons:Project scope/Precautionary principle) and delete the images. I'm not sure if the photos from Pence should be deleted since there is a stronger possibility that the photos were not subject to the ticket holder terms. AHeneen (talk) 10:12, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

Pinging Sander.v.Ginkel as uploader of one of the images mentioned above. Regards. Wikicology (talk) 10:22, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
IANAL but this shit ain't gonna fly. I assume that visitors click a checkbox "I agree to the ToS" and hit "next". That ToS could be stating they are giving up their firstborn, but nobody reads it anyway. And when the ToS has unreasonable terms, they are automatically invalid. Which seems to be the case here. Unless the visitor was presented this fact in a very clear way (not hidden away somewhere deep in the ToS) and they explicitly agreed to it (a pre-checked checkbox will never do) this is not going to happen.
Seriously. If you sneak in with a fake ticket or just take out all the guards and walk through the gate, you get the copyright but if you buy a ticket it's gone? This is a case for the WMF lawyers, not for us. And I suspect that what they will say (in a very nice way) about those terms to the IOC is they can shove it. - Alexis Jazz 10:38, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
U.S. copyright transfers do need to be in writing. This could be a gray area if the user has deemed to have signed a contract with similar terms, but text on the back of a ticket cannot transfer copyright itself. A copyright grab like that is pretty disgusting, really. That may be a question for the WMF lawyers, but for now, if the uploaders feel like they own copyright and can license it, let them take that risk. Who knows what was on the back of their ticket in particular, etc. -- that is not our job to police. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:31, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
Hi, We already have had this discussion about images of the Summer Olympic Games, and the decision was to ignore the (silly) IOC claims. (e.g; Commons:Featured picture candidates/File:Usain Bolt Olympics Celebration.jpg. Regards, Yann (talk) 13:00, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
This confuses contract law with copyright law. A ticket is a contract, and the IOC could try to take people to court for damages if they banned photography, however they actually allow photography. There is no legal precedent that anyone can point to, where an event ticket was a successful passive (i.e. the photographer never signed a contract) way to officially waive and transfer all future rights of the photographer, so that the IP of the photograph or video would legally become the IOC's property. So long as the subject of the photo or video is not itself separately copyrighted, such as a billboard, the work is entirely the IP of the photographer.
Agreed it is legal flimflam. Anyone worried by these threatening terms, should simply release their photographs under a pseudonym. Until the IOC starts successfully taking people to court for publishing their own photography, they are overreaching and guilty of copyfraud. -- (talk) 13:22, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
@: Just to see what would happen, I went to, created an account and put a bunch of Pyeongchang 2018 tickets in my shopping cart. I started the checkout process, got informed where I could pick up my tickets. I had to enter the number of distinct guests that will use the tickets to which I answered there would be 7. Then I was presented with a ToS. Not the one we are talking about! If you go to their homepage and scroll a bit you see a window with some tabs, one of them has the ToS. Sorry but there is no direct link. The word "copyright" does not occur in this ToS. You have to confirm you read it and understand it, but only I have to do that. My 6 completely ignorant and imaginary friends who will accompany me on my fantasy trip to Pyeongchang haven't been asked anything. The next step is entering your credit card number.
As for the tickets, I can't actually find what the back of a ticket looks like. I'm not so sure it would say anything about copyright. But does it matter? From what I understand, I won't be getting my tickets until I am somewhere in Korea at the Cosport pickup point. That's a bit late to inform me about some silly ToS and kick me out because I won't sign it. - Alexis Jazz 14:15, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
I took a look at the standard terms, apart from "Use of Promotional Material" there are no restrictions. I read these website published terms as the official ones, rather than odd microprint stuff on the back of tickets. As said, it's flimflam. -- (talk) 17:05, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

See also the discusion for a same kind of conversation Commons:Deletion requests/IPC Images. All were kept there. Sander.v.Ginkel (talk) 01:45, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

Is this painting out of copyright?Edit

"Jinling Twelve Beauties: Lin Daiyu Burying Flowers" by Fei Danxu (1801–1850), published in 1998, but painted before 1850. Thank you ~ DanielTom (talk) 16:58, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

@DanielTom: Are you sure the painting has never been in an exhibition or something before 1998? COM:Hirtle isn't entirely clear here. If I go with the 1998 publication date, it says "The greater of the term specified in the previous entry" and the previous entry says:
  • Known author with a known date of death: 70 years after the death of author.
  • Other works: 95 years from publication OR 120 years from creation, whichever expires first
Author death was more than 70 years ago, 120 years from creation has expired, but are we supposed to pick the greater out of these two options or out of all three options? - Alexis Jazz 18:16, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
The painting will have been exhibited in the Palace Museum previously, and no doubt was well known at least by the 1880s. Someone can dig out old catalogues to check more background after upload if anyone has minor concerns. The 95+ year rules are irrelevant as the work was PD in the USA and China before 1995. This is safe to upload without any significant doubt and {{PD-old-70-1923}} is probably sufficient. -- (talk) 19:05, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
Okay, great. Thanks Alexis Jazz and . ~ DanielTom (talk) 19:33, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
@: Why not {{PD-old-100-1923}}? - Alexis Jazz 20:02, 18 February 2018 (UTC)
Yes, bump it to 100. Upload the TIFF rather than a compressed jpeg derivative. -- (talk) 20:08, 18 February 2018 (UTC)

Pictures at Category:African Union Conference Center in Addis AbabaEdit

I'm confused. Is the building located in Ethiopia covered by China law or Ethiopia law? Ethiopia doesn't allow FOP, but China does. George Ho (talk) 22:01, 18 February 2018 (UTC)