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Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2012/04

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Licence help needed!

Hello! I need your help!

I contacted Editor in Chief of the Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and he granted us to use all images under wiki compatible licences from two websites they arrange and have:

So, should i tell then to send official letter to OTRS, or we use different system for this kind of situation? Thanks in advance! :) --WhiteWriter speaks 18:29, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Yes, we'll need something stating which license they want to use and which images (if it's not every single one of them) we're allowed to upload. might be useful. Sven Manguard Wha? 22:04, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Simple photographs

I've started Commons:Simple photographs - the idea is the page would serve a similar function to COM:TOO. Please help build the page! Thanks. Rd232 (talk) 14:13, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Needless duplicate. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 14:37, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
    • of what? Rd232 (talk) 14:52, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
      • Of COM:TOO and/or of COM:L. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 14:57, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
        • COM:L wouldn't be the place for a gallery explaining the differences between "simple" and "artistic" photographs, which I hope we'll get eventually. "Threshold of originality" is a different, though closely related, concept, and I'm not convinced putting them together is the most helpful approach. Rd232 (talk) 17:01, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
          • Maybe Pieter Kuiper's statement is based on the formal definition of a Swedish simple photo which states that a simple photo is a photo which is below the threshold of originality? --Stefan4 (talk) 17:04, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
              • Where does it say that? Rd232 (talk) 17:41, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
            • It is the same thing everywhere I think. Now Rd232 is removing photos from COM:TOO for his own new and confused page. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 17:20, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
              • (failing to meet the) "threshold of originality" means the image is not subject to copyright protection. That is not true of a "simple photograph" failing to meet the threshold of "artisticness". Rd232 (talk) 17:23, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
                • Wrong. Read up about "neighbouring rights", which Commons treats in the same way as copyright proper. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 17:29, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
                  • Well, OK, I tried looking that up, and found en:Neighbouring_rights#Photographers (which I'm not sure is correct, in light of the PD-Italy debates). That leaves me none the wiser. What are you trying to say? PS COM:TOO's first sentence is The threshold of originality is a concept in copyright law that is used to assess whether or not a particular work can be copyrighted. Rd232 (talk) 17:39, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
                    • Well, that looks like a US-centric phrase. Simple photographs are below the minimum standard for artistic works that the courts apply in some country. In most countries with a high threshold these products are protected against unauthorized copying by other but related laws (but Switzerland happens to lack such legislation). A sui generis protection for all photography (or all sound recordings) does not say anything about originality. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 17:58, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
                    • (Edit conflict) The Swedish definition is given at sv:Upphovsrätt i Sverige#Fotografier and sv:Verkshöjd#Fotografi. In the Swedish case, "threshold of originality" seems to mean "eligibility for a copyright term of 70 years p.m.a." due to the photo definition. --Stefan4 (talk) 17:59, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

OK, so looking at en:Threshold_of_originality#Germany, the simple/artistic photo distinction can be considered part of "threshold of originality". But to come back to my earlier point: I think it's rather confusing to put together the distinction between (i) things original enough to be copyrightable and (ii) things artistic or "original" enough to be fully copyrightable (as opposed to subject to a lesser copyright term). I think if you start rewriting COM:TOO to be really clear about simple photographs, it will just confusing; and keeping the things together on one page doesn't have any material benefit I can see. In fact, having separate pages probably forces us to be clearer about these different things than just putting them all together. PS Stefan - yes, I see "Verkshöjd" is like German "Schöpfungshöhe", i.e. it means "threshold of originality". Rd232 (talk) 18:26, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

It is confusing only because you seem to be confused. Simple photos are not original enough for anything. All, really all photos in the Nordic countries are protected, including photobooth photos, automatic camera surveilance, and also those that Commons puts a {{PD-Art}} template on. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 18:33, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Well if you were trying to confuse me even more, you succeeded: Simple photos are not original enough for anything - but at the same time all photos are protected? Help! ... Erm, look: Commons:Simple photographs is clear, and simple (pun intended); is there anything wrong with the content in your view? Because to me, it's helpful, on its own terms, exactly as intended. Rd232 (talk) 18:46, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
I am also not sure whether images tagged with {{PD-old-70}} are free in the Nordic countries since it would usually be necessary to take a "photo" of the image using a scanner, which might make it copyrightable as a photo by the person operating the scanner. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:56, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Scanning is not photography (I would say). /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 20:05, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
According to Commons:Reuse_of_PD-Art_photographs#Neighbouring_rights_.28.22simple_photographs.22.29 it doesn't apply to scans. Rd232 (talk) 20:08, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
It is a good thing the uploader made this Cat Scan public domain. -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 22:04, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
It is like with sound recordings. All sound recordings are protected. All broadcasts are protected. You cannot take the sound of Big Ben from a BBC broadcast and post it on Commons, you need to make such a recording yourself. Although there is no originality in making a sound recording of bell ringing. Originality does not have anything to do with it. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 20:05, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
I was trying to separate the issues around photographs (Commons:Simple photographs) from the issues around simple artwork (mostly logos - COM:TOO). How does bringing audio and video into it help? It's precisely the fact that all photographs (normally) get some protection that makes it worth distinguishing them from logos; the new page is to help people decide which protection applies to different photos. Rd232 (talk) 20:12, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
There are some notes at User:Lupo/Simple Photographs. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:35, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Bah - how are we supposed to find that? A user subpage, not categorised at all! I guess we should move that to Commons:Simple photographs, and just ditch my page (apart from copying across Peru info and links to the relevant categories). I've asked Lupo if he's OK with that. Rd232 (talk) 14:58, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Art in mass transit systems

I was recently adding some images of railway signals on the Toronto Transit Commission when I noticed that a number of TTC-related images on Commons are of works of art (murals, sculptures, posters, paintings, etc.) appearing in the TTC's stations.

This led me to Category:Art in the Toronto subway and RT and its parent, Category:Art in mass transit systems. In the latter category and its children, there are something like 600 images. Most images have been identified as public domain or cc-by-sa, with the creator identified as the uploader or photographer. The artist of the work that was photographed is sometimes (but definitely not always) named in the image descriptions.

I have a strong suspicion that that isn't correct. While some of the works may be old enough to have lapsed into the public domain in their respective countries, I doubt all (or even a majority) have. Can someone with a firmer grasp of this sort of stuff have a look? KevinHadley (talk) 16:51, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

It depends very much of the type of art and the country. Some countries have a copyright exception for things permanently situated in a public place, some for 3D art only, and some do not have this exception. See Commons:FOP for details country by country. Yann (talk) 17:07, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
And in Canada there is only freedom of panorama for 3D works and not for 2D works, see COM:FOP#Canada. --Stefan4 (talk) 17:12, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
However, a mass transit station is not a public place. Some countries allow FOP for nonpublic places too (like Austria), most however don't. -- Liliana-60 (talk) 18:32, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
It all depends on the definition of a public place. In United Kingdom, it seems that a museum open for anyone who can pay the entrance fee is a public place. Canadian law seems to be based on British law, so it is entirely possible that a mass transit station is a public place in Canada. The problem is that many of the artworks are 2D artworks, although it has to be a 3D artwork to be covered by the Canadian freedom of panorama. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:00, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Uploading an old photo from an unknown photographer.

I would like to contribute a photo of the Seger Ellis orchestra from 1941 to the Wikipedia article about Seger Ellis. Mt father played in that big band, and he passed away in 2010. I found the photo of the Seger Ellis orchestra in his memorabilia, with the names of all the band members listed on the back in my father's handwriting. It is obviously a professional photo, not taken by my father. I would have no idea where to start to track down copyright permissions. The band in the photo disbanded in 1941. Is it permissible for me to upload this photo to Wikimedia Commons and use it in Wikipedia?

If you're not able to upload the photo here as a free use photo, there doesn't seem to be any reason why you can't upload it at en Wikipedia as a non-free publicity photo. The band is no longer playing together, so this would mean it would be eligible under those conditions. If that turns out to be the case and you need some help with it at en Wikipedia, my user name is the same there as here--will be glad to give you a hand with it. We hope (talk) 00:53, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
This could be {{PD-US-no notice}}. If you upload it I suggest you scan and upload the back too, to show the absence of the copyright notice. Could also be {{PD-US-not renewed}} but that's harder to prove. Dankarl (talk) 01:17, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

License information for pictures used in videos

I want to reuse some pictures from wikimedia commons in a video clip. Can anyone tell me how the correct quotation would look like?

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 2012-04-02T11:11:33 (UTC)
It depends on the licence of the images. Which images are you talking about? --Stefan4 (talk) 11:20, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Well, something like this: File:WienBundeskanzleramt.jpg I was wondering whether the whole quotation must be shown in the video or not...I'd rather go for something like (c)Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons is not the author. The author is apparently Extrawurst. There is a page about reuse: Commons:Reusing content outside Wikimedia. The image is licensed under the GNU FDL (version 1.2 or any later version) and CC BY-SA (1.0, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0). You could add credits at the end of your video, if you don’t want to show a lot of text near the image? --AVRS (talk) 16:28, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Creative Commons has some guidance for the CC family of licenses at . But the author is the person who took the photo, usually the uploading user, so the credit needs to go to them. Although if they did not give their real name or other instructions on how to format the credit, something like User:Extrawurst/Wikimedia Commons may be required. See also Commons:Credit line. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:53, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Is this photo uploadable?

This photo is tagged "Public Domain", but also has the comment "This photo may be freely used for non-commercial, educational purposes. All uses must include the copyright line and photographer credit listed with the image. To request permission for other uses, see permission information" (my emphasis). Can it be uploaded to Commons as PD? Or is it equivalent to impermissible CC-BY-NC? - MPF (talk) 12:42, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Non-commercial licences aren't allowed and the licence you quoted seems more restrictive than CC-BY-NC since it is limited to educational use.
The links don't work for me. The first one says that my browser doesn't support cookies (but it obviously does support cookies since I am logged in here) and the second one contains almost nothing. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:53, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
I can't see the linked page itself either (it seems to look for a cookie I haven't got, and fail because of that), but Credits page lists copyright claims for various photos. Rd232 (talk) 14:51, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Strange, I can't see it either, now! Well I'll leave it out anyway - MPF (talk) 17:39, 2 April 2012 (UTC)


I've just seen that {{PD-ItalyGov}} seems to have been deleted in 2009 (Commons:Deletion requests/Category:PD Italy) with similar reasoning to Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-Italy about EU directives superseding old Italian laws; but PD-Italy has been restored on the grounds that the decision was wrong, so maybe the same applies?

The template said:

This work was created by the government of Italy, published prior to 1976, and has no known US copyright registration associated with it. It is now in the public domain in Italy and the United States and possibly elsewhere.

This is because according to Law of 22 April 1941 n. 633, revised by the law of 22 May 2004, n. 128 article 11, copyright in works created and published under the name and at the expense of the State shall belong to the State. According to article 29, the duration of the rights belonging to the State shall be twenty years from first publication, whatever the form in which publication was effected.

Rd232 (talk) 14:04, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Hmm. The original reason for deletion in that discussion was not valid in my opinon, but there was something brought up (there and on Template talk:PD-ItalyGov), where there is a school of legal thought that the copyright reverts to the human authors after 20 years. Not sure about that, at least if solely relying on the EU directives, as the UK Crown Copyright is also subject to those same directives, and that's definitely not the case there. But... if that is a widely held belief among Italian legal circles (that the law just gives a 20-year period where the government controls the exclusive rights of someone else's copyright), it could be problematic to restore it. I don't think the EU directives would prevent a government from being the first copyright owner in a work-for-hire situation, and then determining a different term for their own works (again, Crown Copyright does exactly that), but it's possible that the Italian concepts of copyright ownership are different (and this is different than work for hire). Italy has changed its law to conform to the EU directives though, so anything still in there is presumably not "overruled" by them -- it's just a matter of what the nature of the 20-year period of government control really is (copyright ownership, or a temporary period of control). Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:28, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Hm, I see: Lupo's citation of commentary at Template_talk:PD-ItalyGov#This_template_is_on_very_shaky_grounds. Rd232 (talk) 00:47, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Copyright status of "The Simpsons" logos

I have asked people about "FRIENDS" logo, and they said the logo is creative enough to pass threshold of originality. What about File:Logo The Simpsons.svg (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs) and File:The Simpsons Logo.svg (edit|talk|history|links|watch|logs)? --George Ho (talk) 03:26, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

I have no idea what you mean by the FRIENDS logo. Commons:Deletion requests/File:Logo The Simpsons.svg exists, and says exactly what I'll say; in the US, typography and handwriting aren't protected. As long as it's just letters, US law won't protect the logo.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:43, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
I mean, the show Friends. --George Ho (talk) 03:52, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
If you mean en:File:Friends titles.jpg, it is clear that it is copyrighted: the photographic background is complex. If you only mean the text without the photographic background, it is probably not copyrightable in the United States, because it only is text. --Stefan4 (talk) 11:19, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
en:File:Friends logo.jpg ([1]) was deleted as non-free, but it consists of only logo and black background. Is this logo copyrightable? --George Ho (talk) 15:51, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
The file has been deleted, so I can't see what it looks like. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:29, 2 April 2012 (UTC) --George Ho (talk) 19:16, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
That image would not be copyrightable in the U.S. Powers (talk) 19:57, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
The deleted Enwiki file en:File:Friends logo.jpg is the logo of "Friends of Kawartha Conservation", not the logo of the "Friends" television show. --Carnildo (talk) 23:52, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
In that case, here it is: en:File:friendsLogo.jpg. --George Ho (talk) 02:00, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Need help

I recently uploaded an image from [2] the website says the image is in the public domain and the image I uploaded is here:  . After looking more I had also found this: [3] Does this license state public domain? - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 16:42, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

The project you cite apparently once did release all their images into the public domain, so if this image existed at the time in their project, yes it would be public domain. It sounds like stuff created since 2008 or so is now put under the CC-BY-SA-3.0 license, as specified in your second link, so you would use the {{CC-BY-SA-3.0}} tag for those instead of public domain. The individual image in question is probably not copyrightable in the U.S. at all, so it would be public domain there either way, but the explicit CC-BY-SA license is often more helpful as it applies worldwide. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:58, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Okay thanks =) - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 17:03, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
See {{PD-font}} for why the image is uncopyrightable in the United States... AnonMoos (talk) 05:55, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

upload generated license plates?

Hello, I'm asking myself wether I can upload images of license plates which I generated on this homepage. Actually, I think it should be no problem, because there are already similar pictures here and further they are no real photos. But I'm not sure about this. --TheFlyingDutchman (talk) 17:20, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Copyright of UK military insignia

I was advised to raise this issue on this page. There's a deletion request at [4] that may delete most, if not all, of the UK rank insignia on grounds of copyright violation. Conceivably this could affect all UK Government artwork. The UK Government's [Government Licence] specifically excludes military insignia and personal information, so there may be wide implications. We have previously relied upon UK Government artwork older than 50 years being in public domain and use of the National Archives as a reliable source for biographies. Advice required and input into the debate at [5]. There are also some inputs at of UK rank insignia. Folks at 137 (talk) 16:37, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

{{PD-UKGov}} is for works published (or maybe created) more than 50 years ago -- those are PD, copyright-wise. {{OGL}} (the Open Government lLicense) is for works which have not yet reached that 50-year point, but are being licensed that way. It does not apply to anything where the copyright has expired. Typically, there are non-copyright restrictions on government insignia unrelated to the copyright status, which are normally not a reason for deletion. The UK government though has made that part of their OGL license on works where they still control the copyright, so those would have to be respected, of course. But that restriction would not apply to items published more than 50 years ago, since the copyright would have expired. Whether SVG recreations are derivative works is a dicier question. The actual line art appears to have been taken from PD sources, so that's fine, but the question is if the general arrangement itself is subject to copyright, and how old that is. How old are the general rank insignia designs? w:British Army officer rank insignia indicates that the last change to them was in 1928, so they would seem to be fine as well. It would be problematic to copy modern bitmaps made by the UK Government, since each drawing can have its own additional copyright, but it doesn't sounds like these fall under that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:29, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Acceptable to require notification?

Over the past couple of days, I've been dealing with a Flickr user whose images are currently licensed as cc-by-nc-sa, which I know is not allowed. I've asked him to change his photos to allow commercial use. His response has been that he'd be okay with changing all of his 8,000+ images to allow commercial use, but that he's worried that if he deletes the noncommercial stipulation, companies will not tell him when they want to use them. Is there a valid license that works with his request? To clarify, I know he cannot state that companies ask his permission to use photos -- I know that's not allowed. However, is there be an acceptable (or custom) license along the lines of "I allow this image [or, rather, these images] for commercial purposes, provided I am notified that they are being used as such." -- i.e. something that requires notification, but does not require permission (as permission is already given).

Further, if there is such an acceptable license, how would I go about getting that point communicated to OTRS? Our exchanges have been through Flickr mail, but apparently OTRS requires that e-mails be used. I'm wondering if that's truly necessary; after all, exchanges directly from the Flickr account are greater confirmation of identity than exchanges from an e-mail address that cannot be confirmed as associated with a Flickr account. -- tariqabjotu 00:40, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

None of the usual licenses have such a clause. You would have to write a custom license. But, although you may think of it technically as a free license, it would be so impractical that I doubt that you could obtain a consensus on Commons to accept it. Let's suppose that the user you're speaking of is named John Doe and you write for him a new "John-Doe-attribution-notification-share-alike" license (JD-by-no-sa). You'll need to include in the license a section requiring that all subsequent commercial reusers of the work or of a derivative must notify John Doe at the address johndoe-at-some-e-mail or John Doe at some paper mail. Passing on the fact that that's a good way for Mr. Doe to receive lot of unrelated and unsolicited mail, you will need to make sure that the address remains very stable through the years, because if Mr. Doe is going to impose that contractual notification obligation, he better be serious about it and not force people to send useless notifications for decades to an address that he will abandon in six months from now. As it is a custom license and not easily available, you'll also need to include a section providing that the full text of the JD-by-no-sa license must be included with every copy and with every derivative, or you'll need to establish and maintain a very stable website where you will guarantee that a copy of the full license will remain available. You'll need a section requiring that all copies and all derivatives must always be under the JD-by-no-sa license, and no other license. You'll need to define an independently verifiable form of notification, because the reusers will want to be able to prove that they've complied with that contractual obligation, and not be at the mercy of Mr. Doe who may decide to sue them claiming that he did not receive it. The presence of the usual requirements of the usual licenses, like the attribution and other mentions, are objectively verifiable by anyone directly on the copies of the work, so there's no possible dispute on those points. But the notification is a different sort of requirement, it does not appear on the work, it would be a communication between the reuser and Mr. Doe and you need to make it verifiable. So, you'd have to provide that Mr. Doe must send receipts of the notifications (but if he doesn't, that makes the work non-free) or that the reusers must service the notifications by bailiff or send them through some form of certified mail. You'll need to define what constitutes a distinct use requiring a notification. If different Wikipedia users decide at different times to use one or several of Mr. Doe's works, or derivatives of them, in several different articles, and if two hundred commercial websites mirror those Wikipedia articles, will the owners of each commercial website send a notification for each distinct use in each article? Logic says yes, but, if not, why not? Will each of them send a new notification each time a new cropped version is made and used? You'll probably have to consider also all other potential types of uses. Really, I think Mr. Doe should make up his mind and take a clear decision : either he actually embraces the idea of offering his works under a free license and he agrees to a good old and usual free license, or he doesn't want to offer his works under a free license. Trying to accomodate people who are not sure if they want to offer a free license or not may be commendable, but it may be an impossible task. -- Asclepias (talk) 03:13, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Asclepias, that was such a good explanation, I just had to put it somewhere it can be easily found again, as the issue does come up occasionally. With minor adaptations and a brief intro, it makes an excellent essay: Commons:Can I require notification of use of my files?. Thanks! Rd232 (talk) 08:17, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
One rule of thumb I've seen in Free Software arenas is called the Desert Island test--if someone lost on a desert island, or otherwise isolated without ready connection to the outside world, can't legally use the software, then it's not really free.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:41, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanations. Yeah, I don't want to use this person's images that desperately. I already told him that it's unlikely his request could be granted. -- tariqabjotu 21:57, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Question Regarding License

Hello, I am fairly new to your site, I wanted to know if you could explain the license better to me. If a work is listed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, is a person allowed to use this picture, if they say adapt it to create a photo pendant out of it and then resell that item??? I"m not sure if I understand the legal jargon, I do understand though about the pre 1923. I do also need help in understanding another type of license called the GNU Free documentation license....

To receive a response I am not sure how this works so I am hoping to see an answer soon. thanks ahead of time for your help

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 05:48, 6 April 2012‎ (UTC)
Yes, the CC-BY-SA license gives everyone freedom to modify a work and resell either the original or the modified version. All the user has to do is to give credit to you as the creator and state clearly that all copies and modifications are reusable under the same terms. GFDL is similar, with the added condition that the complete text of the license be printed in the vicinity which is impractical for a lot of uses. Hope this helps, — Yerpo Eh? 09:19, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Copyright on photographic slides left to me

A friend who died some years ago left me all of his photographic slides; they were delivered to me by his son and acknowledged to have been left to me. I use them regularly, e.g. in giving talks about wild flowers (the subject of most of them), where I use either the original or more recently a digitized copy. I would like to upload some of the digital versions to Commons, but am not sure of the copyright position. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:11, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

I would assume that his son is the copyright holder. Ask him to send an e-mail to OTRS. There are instructions telling you how to do this at COM:OTRS. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:28, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
Copyright owner would be whoever the artist willed them too -- the children are usually the ones of course, but I would think someone could transfer to whoever they want as part of the will. If Mr. Coxhead believes that to be the case, I'd think he'd be the copyright owner. A message to COM:OTRS is always helpful so we have it on record, but I don't think it's an absolute requirement (unless the photos are available elsewhere, of course). If that's the case, you would just have to specify the license you want to give -- see Commons:Licensing. However, in the "Permission" field, it would be good to note that copyright was transferred via the will, to explain the discrepancy between the author and the copyright holder. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:41, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Uploading an ARR flickr image I believe may be PD

I think this flickr image is probably public domain, but I'd like a second opinion. Clearly it's an old photo, but I believe it is pre-1907, because a book I have (Mike Oakley, Somerset railway stations) states that ...inter-platform movements were via footboards at the west end of the platform until 1907, when an open metal footbridge was installed.... Given one can see inter-platform movements via footboards, I believe this must be pre-1907. Can I therefore upload it?

Of interest, the description is from the en.wp article and since it is unattributed is technically a copyvio... -mattbuck (Talk) 13:00, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Since we can't see the back, and therefore see if an individual photographer was named... not sure we can. Or even what the word at the lower right is -- is that a photographer, or a company name? {{PD-UK-unknown}} would be the only possible template I think, and I'm not sure we can satisfy the criteria without knowing it was anonymous to start with. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:13, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
As for dating... per the description, the photo is from May 1, 1905 or later given the station's name. The 1907 dating may make sense, unless they left the wooden footboards there even after building the metal footbridge, which apparently was at the other end of the station. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:02, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
According to the flickr user, the author is someone called "Garrott", no further information. -mattbuck (Talk) 22:17, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
So we have a name, or possibly company. We probably need to find more information about that. I did find another postcard with the same name here, but no real further information (though they spell it as "Garrett" there). Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:16, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Hm, far from a sure thing, but this page has a listing for a John William Garratt at 9 Station Road, Ashley Down, in Bristol, as a photographer. The UK National Archives has a couple of his photos that he apparently registered for copyright. Freebmd has a John W Garratt of Bristol dying at age 81 in 1946 (would jive with the last reported date of the address in the first book). Ah yes... small article here on him, giving life dates of 1865-1946. Apparently did 1800 postcards of the Bristol area alone. The examples on that page don't seem to have the same signature line, but the first example I gave (from Bristol) seemed to, and maybe the other handwriting matches. Not positive, but that may be the one -- in which case not PD until 2017. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:38, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
That sounds likely, I've seen quite a lot of photos of the same style in this area. Oh well, thanks. -mattbuck (Talk) 01:52, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

File:Disambig.svg copyright intelligibility

File:Disambig.svg (and its derivatives) looks like it's actually ineligible for copyright. It's just three lines converging to a bullet on the left with the top one highlighted in red and an arrow stuck on the end. Similar to some railway diagrams. I've contacted the author (here and their home wiki), but they haven't responded in three months. I can I just change the copyright notice? Dispenser (talk) 13:56, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

Please don't. Copyright ineligibility varies quite a bit by country; the licenses are likely valid in some places, and remove all ambiguity. It's not a sure thing that it's ineligible for copyright either, even in the U.S. It's close there. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:00, 6 April 2012 (UTC)
How is it close? Like File:USB Icon.svg, it does not meet the Threshold of originality and should be stamped with {{PD-shape}}/{{PD-textlogo}}. Dispenser (talk) 14:23, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
They could decide the specific curves chosen are enough, plus the different colors. You are probably right -- for the United States anyways. Though, look at the two logos in this decision -- the top one was not copyrightable, but the bottom one was. However, this logo is virtually certain to be copyrightable in say the UK, due to their very low threshold. So, the CC licenses are quite valuable for UK users -- don't remove them. At most, add the other tags. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:44, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Beretta 86 Photo

I would like to upload it:File:Beretta_86_c1.jpg to Wikimedia Commons to use on this [[6]] page. The source page indicates that the license, while valid in Italy, may be controversial in other countries, and that one should check before uploading. I'm checking. TIA for helping a novice. Truthskr (talk) 12:08, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure the license is valid even in Italy. The template says that photos of material objects aren't covered by the laws it refers to, so this one may not really be in the public domain. Even ignoring that, the description page lacks source and author information. — Yerpo Eh? 12:22, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
If it was public domain, that information is not needed (though author information is always good to add). And indeed the Italian law does look like it may not cover simple photographs of "material objects" at all -- that wording is in the translation of the Italian law here. However, the photo is almost definitely copyrighted in the United States, so yes, it is a problem to upload it to Commons (as we require PD status in both the country of origin and the US), unless the contributor took the photo themselves and wants to freely license it. In general, that photo would be copyrightable in many countries I would think. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:27, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) Don't upload the image to Commons. If it is in the public domain in Italy, it entered the public domain 20 years after it was taken, i.e. on 1 January 2007. It was thus copyrighted in Italy on 1 January 1996, so it is copyrighted in the United States for life+70 years, publication+95 years or creation+120 years (depending on whether it was published and by whom it was taken). In either case, it is copyrighted in the United States for the moment, making it ineligible for Commons. Don't upload it locally to English Wikipedia either since the image fails en:WP:NFCC#1 because it is possible to take different photos of guns of the same model and because the photo is copyrighted in the United States. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:32, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

About Airetta.png Copyright

Regarding about the deleted file 'Airetta.png' due to 'everything you find on the web is copyrighted and not permitted here'. Since it was mine, I was the one who made the image, so I'm the one who have the right to use the image. Thank you.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Airettaurelius (talk • contribs) 2012-04-10T00:38:14 (UTC)
In this case, please follow the instructions on the page Commons:OTRS. — Yerpo Eh? 08:55, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Public domain works undergoing restoration

We have a case where I don't know enough about copyright law and sculpting to say whether it's public domain or not. Specifically, it is The Spirit of Detroit, which was placed in the public square in 1958 and probably didn't comply with all the formalities required in the US - including renewal (see {{FoP-US-no notice}}). Thus it was in the public domain in the US. However, the work underwent a restoration in 2006. Does this restoration warrant its own new copyright per US law? Magog the Ogre (talk) 01:56, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Per SIRS Art Inventories, it is not signed, let alone have a copyright notice. I'd be surprised if a restoration would change the copyright status -- they would have had to introduce new elements capable of supporting a copyright by themselves (i.e. the restorer would have to be considered an author as well, which is usually not the case). Changing something back to the way it was isn't really adding anything new. I don't know the details of the restoration, but seems unlikely. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:10, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Comparing pre- and post-restoration photos, the only readily apparent change is that it was cleaned -- certainly not copyrightable! cmadler (talk) 12:30, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Speaking of The Spirit of Detroit, I think perhaps this photo should be deleted from Commons (and put on en-wp as fair use, if appropriate). From what I can find the current Detroit Red Wings logo is copyrighted, and I don't think it's de minimis here. (The Stanley Cup Finals logo is probably also copyrighted but is more likely to be de minimis, so I'm less concerned by that.) Any thoughts before I start a deletion discussion? cmadler (talk) 13:02, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
    • I would be really surprised if the Red Wings logo was still copyrighted. You'd think most any old logos would have been published without a copyright notice at some point (old game tickets, old pucks, jerseys for sale, etc.) -- it was usually not something on the radar for companies, where trademark is the more appropriate protection. And that use may be incidental anyways (not exactly de minimis, but something akin to the label on the bottle in the Ets-Hokins decision). We wouldn't delete photos of sports players in action due to the logo... Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:36, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
      • In that case, would it be appropriate to move the Red Wings logos (currently on en-wp as fair use) to Commons and mark them with {{Trademarked}} and {{PD-US-no notice}}, or does the precautionary principle require us to actually find an example of it being published without notice? cmadler (talk) 15:51, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
        • If I were the patrolling admin on en.wp, I would likely as not turn down the NowCommons deletion request unless I had a specific example of publication without notice before 1978 (FYI, works published between 1978-Feb 1989 work on the inverse principle: if they were published with notice even once within 5 years of first publication, then they are still copyrighted). So yes I would avoid uploading until I had confirmation. Magog the Ogre (talk) 17:12, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
          • Er no, they had to be *registered* for copyright within 5 years. Subsequent publication with notice would not necessarily help. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:18, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
        • If we are transferring the pure logo, it'd be safer to find an actual use without notice. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:16, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Can I upload this photo

This is my first time posting here, so forgive me if this is the wrong place for this question. Do you think it's possible to upload this image : Is it realy free of use? - FrenchAvatar (talk) 12:21, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Best not to, as the authorship appears to be disputed. In the comments for the photo, Flickr user "" asserts that it's her photo, reused without permission. It looks like publishes photos on Flickr with all rights reserved, so if her claim is correct, we can't take it. cmadler (talk) 12:40, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I'll add that I find the claim by to be plausible. A search on that website for "electronic trash" turns up a big photoset including this photo. cmadler (talk) 12:50, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, I didn't read all the comments. So I won't uplaod this photo. Thank you - FrenchAvatar (talk) 12:57, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Use of photo on site that prohibits links

I sell antiques on a site that prohibits me from including links in my descriptions (not eBay). I have an antique sign form a particular location that I will be selling, and I would like to include a photo of the location from Wikimedia Commons. I am happy to give the photographer credit by naming him, and think I can include the license (CC-BY-SA-2.0) Will this be sufficient? If not, I can't seem to figure out how to contact this individual... can someone help?

Strictly and legally speaking, CC-BY-SA requires either full text or URI (link) to license text (author can be credited by name only, if he/she does not specifically require a link as a credit). Putting a full text of CC license could be troublesome... BUT: you can put all links you want in image EXIF data, which will suffice in my opinion, on condition that above mentioned site would not remove EXIF from the photo. A.J. (talk) 16:55, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
The EXIF is not sufficient, people will not read it. A link to the URI without the http (i.e. would fulfill the requirement of the license. People will identify it as a link, and it is a reference to the URI to the extent reasonably practicable (§4,b of license). --Martin H. (talk) 17:05, 10 April 2012 (UTC)


This file looks to me like a scan of a magazine; in any case it is almost certainly not the uploader's "own work". It was added to the Crossfade article with the edit summary "Added image per request from the band."[7]danhash (talk) 19:00, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Looks like a heavily edited promo shot that's been given around to media for publishing (see e.g. [8]). The uploader implied that he has the band's permission, but permission for free use still has to be explicitly confirmed by the copyright owner. I suggest pointing the uploader to commons:OTRS. If he doesn't react after a while, just tag the image as copyvio. — Yerpo Eh? 11:01, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

This Breaks a US Law But not Copyright law

I believe File:English language.svg breaks the United States Flag Code that establishes advisory rules for display and care of the flag of the United States. It is Chapter 1 of Title 4 of the United States Code (4 U.S.C. § 1 et seq). This is a U.S. federal law. I think it breaks Commons:General disclaimer also it is up for deletion at Commons:Deletion requests/File:English language.svg. What does everyone think about this?

A) it's a drawing not a flag; B) while that's part of the U.S. Code, it's not really a law. The Supreme Court pretty much ruled out any actual penalties for not following it (not that I think the image you cite is really disrespectful to begin with anyways). Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:32, 11 April 2012 (UTC)


Question re Commons:PEOPLE#Legal_issues: if a subject does not give their consent for commercial use of an image (personality rights), and the photographer applies (say) a CC-BY-SA license which permits this, is the license actually valid? Rd232 (talk) 07:55, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

1) That's the reason we have {{Personality rights}} template. 2) CC-BY-* licenses have nothing to do with personality rights and model release. --Trycatch (talk) 08:03, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
1) I know. 2) I'm not sure that's true. The issuing of a license is the granting of a right to reproduction by the copyright holder. It's not obvious that a license which permits licensors to breach the personality rights of the subject (where the subject is not the copyright holder) is actually valid. (It might vary by jurisdiction, say.) Rd232 (talk) 09:33, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Not all commercial use infringes personality rights, and looking at w:Personality rights, it looks like laws around the world have little similarity. We have a lot of pictures that would be problematic under Danish law; how does an absolute ban on picture of living people who haven't given their permission work? Can you not photograph a concert or riot? Canada, on the other hand, seems pretty liberal about it; it applies only "where a person has marketable value in their likeness and it has been used in a manner that suggests an endorsement of a product"; I would say that reading the CC-BY-SA as giving you those rights is a egregious misreading. Other nations have more or less restrictions on commercial use of people's images without their permission, but given the range in laws (and it varies by state in Canada and the US), it would be hard to mediate through a worldwide copyright license.--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:39, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes. But it's conceivable, say, that under Danish law the CC-BY-SA license isn't valid if it infringes on personality rights. And if it's a Danish image without a valid license in Denmark, we can't host it. You see my point? Rd232 (talk) 11:09, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
The CC license would still be valid in the rest of the world, the personality rights warning tells you to check your juristiction, at which point the Danes would find they couldn't use it. As far as I'm concerned I am publishing my uploads in the US (US server) with a generic CC license, I don't much care whether it is validly licensed in my home country (does it have to be?). I suppose if I was Danish using a CC-BY-SA-da license and publishing in Denmark, an image without the subjects permission would be a problem, but if I publish it with a generic CC license on a US server why wouldn't it be invalid? --Tony Wills (talk) 12:31, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes. CC-BY-SA is a copyright license only. If any additional licenses are required for a particular use, it is the responsibility of the user to obtain them. Same goes for trademark, etc. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:52, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Copyright renewal records for films?

Does anyone know of a place where to find copyright renewal records for films? Whenever I need to look up copyright renewals, I typically search for "copyright renewals YYYY" (where YYYY is the year of renewal) at Project Gutenberg, but it seems that the Project Gutenberg copyright renewal records only list printed matters. I noticed en:File:MickeysSurpriseParty.jpg / File:Mickey's Surprise Party Title Card.jpg and I'm doubting that the licence claim is correct. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:00, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

UPenn's Catalog of Copyright Entries has links to the online volumes by year, though not searchable in bulk. They are missing music renewals for a few years, but otherwise they have most everything. They also link to Stanford (good for book search), and it also looks like now has a large set of volumes online here -- perhaps those are somewhat searchable. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:28, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! At least it helped me finding the renewal record for the image I was looking for. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:03, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Did you try this? It seems to not work for everything, but I think all the renewal records are on Google Books, so try searching the title and "copyright" on the main Google Books search. InverseHypercube 17:52, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
No, sadly, those are only registrations and renewals for books. Trycatch (talk) 18:05, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Giving the claim at UPenn, all the collection of registrations was uploaded to Internet Archive in 2012. This is awesome. So it's now possible as a quick and dirty method to simply google the Internet Archive. E.g. mickey's surprise party intitle:"catalog of copyright entries" Trycatch (talk) 18:28, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

German currency

Does this (the discussion on stamps above) mean that German coins and banknotes also are copyrighted in Germany? There is no entry for Germany at COM:CUR, but there are plenty of recent coins in subcategories to Category:Euro coins (Germany) (the ones stored directly in the main category seem to be de minimis), and there are also some recent coins and notes in Category:Deutsche Mark. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:42, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

The German Federal Bank states the following [9]: "Da die DM-Banknoten aller Serien nicht mehr gesetzliches Zahlungsmittel sind, gelten die Restriktionen des § 128 OWiG (ebenso wie die strafrechtlichen Vorschriften zum Schutz von Geldzeichen nach §§ 146 ff. StGB) und damit auch daraus abgeleitete Vorgaben hinsichtlich Größe, Auflösung, Kennzeichnungspflicht o. ä. für deren Abbildung mittlerweile nicht mehr; sie sind damit aus straf- bzw. ordnungswidrigkeitenrechtlicher Sicht grundsätzlich frei reproduzierbar. Wegen des noch erheblichen Rücklaufs von DM-Banknoten zur Bundesbank und ihrer nach wie vor zu beobachtenden Annahme im Geschäftsverkehr würden wir es allerdings begrüßen, wenn sich die von Ihnen ausgeführten DM-Banknotenabbildungen von den Originalbanknoten dadurch unterscheiden, dass
  • die Abmessungen der Reproduktionen etwas größer oder kleiner als bei den Originalnoten sind,
  • keine Sicherheitsmerkmale (Wasserzeichen, Sicherheitsfaden, UV-Bild, ggf. Folienelement) imitiert werden,
  • eine in Dicke und Griffigkeit andersartige Papierqualität verwendet wird,
  • die Druckauflösung schlechter als bei echtem Geld ausfällt,
  • ggf. durch sonstige Veränderungen/Verfremdungen die Verwechslungsfähigkeit weiter reduziert wird und
  • möglichst keine zweiseitige Reproduktionen hergestellt werden."
I.e. because original German banknotes are no longer legal tender they are generally free for reproduction regarding the criminal law (forgery). The bank recommends however certain precautions for making reproductions so as to not imitate real DM currency which can still be exchanged into Euros. The Bundesbank moreover provides high-resolution images of old German coins and banknotes (including occupied, East and West Germany) for everyone to download and use free of charge, provided that a source be given Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt: "Werden diese Abbildungen publiziert, wird als Standortnachweis erbeten: Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt. Die Nutzung dieser Abbildungen ist kostenfrei." In that light I think we should have a new PD-Bundesbank template. De728631 (talk) 19:02, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Please also read Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Commemorative euro coins (The Netherlands) and tell if the same applies to German currency. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:19, 13 April 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately I could only find regulations for Euro banknotes, for 3-dimensional reproductions of coins and for images of the common side of regular Euro coins, nothing about commemorative coins. I strongly suspect though that commemorative coins are entirely (c) the artist, cf this official catalogue where the designer is explicitely listed for each coin. De728631 (talk) 20:12, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Hi, this is the logo/brand of the company I work for File:APMEXLogo2.jpg and we own the rights to it. Is there any way in which it can be removed? Thank you.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by [[User:|]] ([[User talk:|talk]] • contribs)
The logo seems to be ineligible for copyright. If you want it removed, you need to prove that the logo is more complex than the examples at COM:TOO#United States which have been ruled as ineligible for copyright by US authorities. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:22, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

1925 photo

Do I understand correctly, that this picture is currently PD and is ready for transfer to Commons, or there are some issues I do not grasp? Thanks in advance.--Ymblanter (talk) 11:30, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

According to this image was made by Walter L. Huber who died in 1960. So, the image is copyrighted until 2031. Ruslik (talk) 12:36, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I see. Thanks.--Ymblanter (talk) 12:46, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
If wasn't published before 2003, yes, it's 70 pma. Other pictures from the same site (e.g. [10], [11]) were scanned from 1920s periodicals, and most likely free if they were not renewed. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America wasn't renewed (also I can't find any renewals for contributions to BSSA in the Internet Archive), so photos first published in it before 1964 are free. --Trycatch (talk) 12:58, 14 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks very much. Apparently, my DYK nomination was a success, and another user already uploaded the second of the images you cite. I will just provide a diff.--Ymblanter (talk) 18:17, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

File:PS1 Dual Analog with Box.jpg

Hi all. I recently came across this image while going through my Wikipedia watchlist, and am a little unsure as to whether parts of it constitute copyright infringement. The image contains a PlayStation controller, which AFAIK is allowed (as is the carpet it's sitting on). However, it also contains the controller's packaging which is what I'm not sure about - I think the 2D layout, and possibly the logo, would be copyrighted, and since they have simply been transferred from one 2D medium to another, the picture would seem to be copyright infringement and thus disallowed from commons. I know that at least some packaging is considered copyrightable but I'm not sure how complex it needs to be for that to apply (in a similar way to how logos that are only stylised text cannot be copyrighted but are still subject to trademark law). Alphathon /'æɫfə.θɒn/ (talk) 20:57, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

I wouldn't worry about the logos too much, but the photograph on the packaging cover is basically reproduced there. There's a lot of times such things could be incidental depending on the photo... but doesn't feel to me like this is one of them, unfortunately. Probably best to cut the left hand side of the photo out, or if the desire is to show the original box then move the photo to en-wiki with a fair use argument Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:32, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I'm pretty sure it isn't incidental - we already have photos of the controller on its own on there and the caption added specifically mentioned that it included the packaging (which indicates to me at least that the purpose of the photo was to show the packaging). Thing is I'm not sure there is a valid fair-use argument (the packaging isn't mentioned anywhere in the article… and why would it be?) so it may just have to be deleted outright. Alphathon /'æɫfə.θɒn/ (talk) 21:47, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
No fair use on Commons; if it's to be retained as fair use it can only be on (some) other projects, such as en-wp. cmadler (talk) 12:26, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
I think he was saying that he's not sure a fair use argument would even work on en-wp. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:45, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Indeed I was (I don't see how it would be compliant with Wikipedia's rules on fair use material - what would be the purpose of it being there?). Alphathon /'æɫfə.θɒn/ (talk) 21:58, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

German stamps again - quick action needed?

Review requested: File:Tiny Toon Adventures logo.png

Hi there. I'm not really an expert on ineligibility for copyrights, so I'd like to ask for some review on File:Tiny Toon Adventures logo.png, especially whether the original logo (en:File:Tinytoons.jpg) really contains only parts that are ineligible for copyright which would make it okay to reproduce it. Regards SoWhy 14:35, 6 April 2012 (UTC)

The basic lettering is fine, but... it's possible the 3-D effect includes some aspects which would make it copyrightable. Of course, it sounds like that was drawn by the uploader, and is not a direct copy. I'd guess this image is copyrightable, though possibly not technically a derivative work. The only other thing might be a selection and arrangement copyright on the sequence of colors in the background circles. Seems silly, and just a couple colors aren't enough, but that many does get closer -- for example, it's possible to copyright the selection and order of songs on an album. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:44, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
An additional consideration is that the colors don't really match the original logo colors and this is an oval while the original is a circle. That makes it less close to any potential copyvio, but also less useful! cmadler (talk) 14:07, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Good point, cmadler. My original thinking was along the same lines as Carls though: If I recreate something as a free image but copy the same design, doesn't that make the new image a derivative work of art? If the order of songs on an album can be copyrighted, why not the order of color and lettering? Another example: en:File:Windows 3.0 logo.svg is copyrighted although it only contains modified rectangles and colors. Regards SoWhy 17:44, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Good rule of thumb: If you're redrawing something to get around copyright restrictions, it's probably a derivative work and thus still not free. (Exceptions, of course, if you're redrawing a basic public-domain concept without trying to match the original.) The upshot, then, is that if this work is close enough to the original to be useful, it's a derivative work; if it's different enough to be a derivative work, then it's not useful and thus not in scope. Personally, I don't see the educational use for this image; it can't practically be used on en:Tiny Toon Adventures or other language versions because it does not accurately and fairly represent the entity's logo. Powers (talk) 21:03, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

I think the real question is not whether its close enough to be derivative (I think yes) and/or different enough not to be useful (I think also yes!) but whether it's copyrightable. In some countries with a low threshold (e.g. UK, Australia), it's almost certainly copyrightable. In the US it might be closer to the line, but as Carl pointed out, by the time you look at the selection of colors, the arrangement of words and the choice of fonts, the work as a whole may well be copyrightable. cmadler (talk) 21:10, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Nominated for deletion: Commons:Deletion requests/File:Tiny Toon Adventures logo.png Powers (talk) 18:56, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Commercial photo use

Hello, I am a graphic teeshirt designer and I am looking to acquire and alter respectable photos of Michael Jordan legally. I am having trouble going about doing this without reprocusions, if there is anyone that can help please email me at Thank you!

You need to seek legal counsel in your jurisdiction, because even if a photograph of Michael Jordan is released under a free license, that may not be at all the same thing as giving you a right to profit from his likeness... AnonMoos (talk) 03:14, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Elsevier reuse


I want to request a reuse from Elsevier so I can upload a picture in Commons or Wikipedia, but I am not sure if I can. I am not a lawyer! Anyone with experience in dealing with Elsevier? This is what they say: This reuse request is free of charge although you are required to obtain a license through Rightslink and comply with the license terms and conditions. You will not be charged for this order. To complete this transaction, click the Continue button below. The terms and conditions: [12] So, can I upload the picture? I bet I cant upload to commons, but what about wikipedia?

Thanks! Bcartolo (talk) 17:55, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

What are the license terms and conditions? What you linked to are the terms and conditions of the CCC, not the same. John lilburne (talk) 17:46, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
I will try to find the license, thanks! Bcartolo (talk) 17:55, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
I found the license! [13], so can I upload the image to wikipedia? Bcartolo (talk) 18:04, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Link doesn't work, it is probably based on a cookie on your machine. Without seeing it I suspect that the license won't be usable on wikipedia unless you can find a fair-use reason for it. John lilburne (talk) 18:17, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Cookies!!! Ok I pasted in pastebin: [14] What is a fair-use reason? I want to upload a picture from an obituary of an Argentinean chemist, is that fair-use? Thanks! Bcartolo (talk) 18:37, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
4. Reproduction of this material is confined to the purpose and/or media for which permission is hereby given. 5. Altering/Modifying Material: Not Permitted. Means non free. Thus on WP you will need to find a fair-use rationale as to why it should be used. That will depend on circumstances, but you may have a hard time of it. If you can link to the page the image is on then that would be preferable all round. John lilburne (talk) 20:03, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
It may be in the public domain if it is old enough. See Template:PD-Argentina. InverseHypercube 20:23, 15 April 2012 (UTC)
Bcartolo -- Good luck, but Elsevier is actually semi-notorious for pushing copyrights to the maximum (see relevant sub-section of en:Elsevier...). -- AnonMoos (talk) 03:02, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

using flowers illustrations in a published book

Hello. I am going to publish a book for the public and I would like to use 30 flowers illustration. I read in the terms the it is for the public domain because the authour has already expired 70 years ago so it is free.

I live in ISRAEL and I am going to print the book at 1000 copies for now, is it o.k and legal ? Of course, I am going to mention your web site.

this is the link for one of the illustration I need just for the example.

Best Regards, Tal.

Of course, you can use the images freely because the copyright has expired, unless some Israeli law limits it, but I'm not aware of anything like that. For credibility, you should mention the author (in this case Slovene naturalist Martin Cilenšek) and source (his book Naše škodljive rastline, literally Our Pest Plants). As a courtesy, you can mention the person who made a digital copy and this site (Roman Maurer/Wikimedia Commons), but you are not legally required to do that. — Yerpo Eh? 13:15, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

Pictures under different Lizenses on Wikimedia Commons und Flickr

Two older Versions of the picture File:Xf-108.png. First version: A from 19. May 2008 Lizense: GFDL|cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0. In Flickr ist the picture here since 2. August 2009 with the Lizense: All rights reseved.

Second Version: B from 4. January 2008 Lizense: GFDL|cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0. In Flickr ist the picture here since 2. August 2009 with the Lizense: All rights reseved.

What License is right. The newer from Flickr or the older from Wikimedia commons?--Uwe W. (talk) 12:21, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Well, first off, I see seven different images in the file history there; instead of replacing as a "new version" of the same file, they maybe should have each been uploaded as distinct files. The only two that I think are really close enough to be different versions of the same file are the two on May 19, 2008. As to the copyright question, since the two images in question were uploaded to Commons more than a year prior to the Flickr uploads, I suspect that either Commons user Anynobody is Flickr user sletch, and they were uploaded under different licenses to the two sites (which is OK), or Flickr user sletch is stealing Anynobody's images. My guess would be that they're the same person, but you could always ask. cmadler (talk) 12:47, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
I informed Anybody about this discussion.--Uwe W. (talk) 17:00, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

File:Estadio Timor Soul design.png

Could someone look into this? Unless the whole thing is a hoax the picture is a derived work from the design? Unless the page on en. is deleted it might still be used there under fair use. 01:44, 18 April 2012 (UTC)

The design right is different from copyright. You can only infringe it (in this case) by actually building a stadium. Ruslik (talk) 08:07, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm more concerned that this is an official design image (because it looks like one), not a user created one. I think OTRS proof of ownership is needed because it more likely belongs to an architect. The same user has uploaded File:Leroy Guerreiro TL.png which a google search shows as being cropped from the players facebook page thumbnail. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 08:35, 18 April 2012 (UTC)
That does look like an architect's drawing. I can't find any mention of this project on the web at all. If that really is self-drawn, I'm not sure what they could be basing the drawing on in the first place, and it may be out of scope. But that does looks like someone else's drawing. The Leroy Guerreiro image is troubling too, though the one here is much higher resolution, and I have not found its actual source. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:33, 19 April 2012 (UTC)
It may be of another stadium, I tried tin eye without luck and Google's similar image search was equally futile. There are a lot of similar stadia getting built at the moment and I noticed a cluster of them in South America - particularly Estadio Germán Becker stood out as very similar but I don't know if that's coincidence or the same architect. I think the Leroy Guerreiro was his facebook profile image - the link I give is only to the low res thumbnail either he's deleted the hi-res full size image or it's only visible to his facebook friends but it has come from his profile. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 20:31, 20 April 2012 (UTC)
Could very well be, if it was a complete hoax to begin with. Anyways, the en-wiki article has been deleted, and I think this image should be as well. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:43, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

CC BY-SA 2.0 for image based on OpenStreetMap Data?

I would like to upload an image that is based on OpenStreetMap data, which is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. If I understand this right, I can upload it with "This file is my own work.", but I have to license it myself under CC BY-SA 2.0. Unfortunately this is currently not an option, neither if I chose "This file is my own work.", nor if I chose "This file is not my own work.", although there seem to be plenty of other images on Wikimedia Commons that are based on OpenStreetMap data and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Am I missing something, or did the licensing process change? Anyways, I am pretty sure there is way to get this image online, and any help would be greatly appreciated. --Nachttischlampe (talk) 17:22, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

As a workaround, choose the "I found it on the internet" option under Not Own Work. Fill in the Author and Source fields to reflect your authorship and complete the upload. Then go to the uploaded image page and open it for editing. You will find a template line instructing you to replace that line with the appropriate license; copy the CC BY-SA 2.0 template from a suitably licensed page, and anything you need to add to attribute the OpenStreetMap data. Dankarl (talk) 19:19, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! Well, that sounds like a surprisingly cumbersome process to get data from one "free" project into another. And is it ok to cheat the system like this, or is there a specific reason why CC BY-SA 2.0 wouldn't be offered anymore per default? I'm just asking, because I don't want to spend any more time on this image, just to find that it is deleted due to an incompatible license problem. --Nachttischlampe (talk) 19:29, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
I am not aware of a problem, either with the workaround I described, or with CC BY-SA 2.0. As far as complication goes, I ran through the steps with File:Bradleylk dam homer.jpg as a test before I posted, in about 3 minutes knowing where to find the license template I used. My impression is that the developers of the new upload wizard kept the list of licenses short for simplicity; however I claim no expertise. Maybe someone with more knowledge will respond.Dankarl (talk) 19:52, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
Ok, thanks again for your help. Its online now, let's see what happens. ;-) --Nachttischlampe (talk) 21:00, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Philippine government

Template:PD-PhilippinesGov and en:Template:Non-free Philippines government seem to be meant for the same works, but the templates contradict each other. What is this supposed to mean. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:54, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Apparently this was kept in DR. (I didn't notice until after I started my own.) But i think the argumentation there is very very wrong, so I'll let my own DR stay open for now. -- Liliana-60 (talk) 00:12, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
I responded on the new DR. It's a very odd situation; Philippine law quite clearly states there is no copyright protection for government works (it was inherited from U.S. copyright law, so the concepts are similar). However, in 1972, it looks like the government (i.e. Marcos) gave themselves a weird extra right to restrict commercial publication -- presumably that is a Philippine-only law. So the tag is correct on strict copyright grounds, though what could be considered "free" vs "non-free" is a tough one. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:31, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Publish Copyrighted book in Wikipedia by deceased parent


I have published my deceased fathers book on the Swedish Wikipedia. How do I get permit from a person that is dead? The book is copyrighted by my father and his Company Colding International that no longer exists. BR Magnus Colding

If he didn't state it differently in his will or sell copyright to somebody else, then you (and your siblings if you have them) are the legal heir and the copyright owner. If you have siblings, then you need to get their consent too, otherwise I don't see a problem here. But somebody please correct me if I'm wrong, I'm not familiar with situations like these. — Yerpo Eh? 17:39, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Who were his heirs? Or if the company owned the copyright, what became of their property? Oh, I see it is labeled "© 2003 The Author and Colding International Corporation". Technically that would make them joint owners, so your father owned half of the copyright, and the company owned the other half. Did you inherit both the company and your father's personal effects, or are they still administered by the estate? If you inherited everything, then you would be the copyright owner and can license it. If the ownership is split over several heirs, then they each have a piece. If the corporation's property was transferred to another party, then half of the copyright would have gone there. As it stands, the file was uploaded without any copyright license at all, and we would require permission for everyone to use the work, including commercially -- see Commons:Licensing. Also, given that this was a previously-published work I assume, permission is best sent using the COM:OTRS process to confirm the permission (see that page for the format of the message, and where to send it). Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:58, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

Photographs of buildings

I am writing a Wikipedia article about the 20th century architect EG Trobridge. Naturally, I want to upload photographs of some of his buildings with which to illustrate the article. The photographs were taken by me from public places. Can I use them? Thanks Stephen2810 (talk) 21:55, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

It can depend on the country the buildings are in -- see Commons:Freedom of panorama. If the buildings are in the UK or the US, then yes the photos are fine. Trobridge died in 1942, so if the building is located in a 50pma country (50 years after death) the photos are also fine, as the building copyright has expired, and even for a 70pma country, the photos would be OK on January 1, 2013. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:40, 23 April 2012 (UTC)

Country-specific specifications on COM:DM

May one add country-specific details and examples to COM:DM (as in COM:FOP) or is this a) not wanted or b) not allowed due to the policy character of the page? Thanks, —Pill (talk) 15:22, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

I think that it would be very practical to list country-specific examples to that page. Things such as the Swedish "thumbnail case" would add significant country-specific understanding there. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:40, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Something seems to be wrong with COM:L#Burma

According to en:List of parties to international copyright agreements, Burma is a member of en:TRIPS. However, COM:L#Burma seems to violate Article 9 of the TRIPS treaty which states that countries should comply with Article 7bis of the Berne Convention. The templates {{PD-Myanmar}} and en:Template:PD-Myanmar seem to violate additional TRIPS rules, and the templates also disagree with each other. Would it be possible to find out what the correct terms are? --Stefan4 (talk) 12:27, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

I was the editor who updated the "Burma" section at "COM:L". Perhaps it's a case of Burma/Myanmar simply not having updated its laws to comply with the Berne Convention and TRIPs, because the WIPO website shows that the 1911 Copyright Act of Burma is still in force? — Cheers, JackLee talk 12:51, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
The two templates seem identical to me... what's different? Their law is a modified version of the UK Copyright Act 1911, in force since 1914. You were pointing to the Berne Convention link on joint authors, which is not addressed by the templates, though Burma's law does not comply with the current Berne terms in that area, true. While the Berne Convention does have a grandfather clause (article 7(7)), I guess Burma is not strictly a Berne member, so I guess that would not apply. The law is pretty close to conforming though, maybe "close enough" to not cause issues with WTO membership, at least as they work that out. Per this and this, knowing that their copyright law needed updating to conform to TRIPS, Burma started drafting a replacement copyright law in 2004 based on the WIPO model, but I guess it has not been passed into law yet. So, the current templates seem OK to me, as they do seem to represent the actual law in place, though they could change a little bit once they finish with the new law. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:05, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Is this image by Robert Delauney really in the public domain?

I noticed an interesting copryright question in this discussion on Wikipedia, and wonder what the experts here have to say.

Rythme I by Robert Delauney.

Case: Rythme I published in 1934 by Robert Delauney (1885–1941)


  • Delauney died in 1941, so his work is in the public domain in France since 2012-01-01.
  • The United States restored copyrights on foreign works still covered by copyright or neighbouring rights in their source countries on 1996-01-01, by virtue of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. This applies to Delauney.
  • The United states has a copyright term of 95 years from publication for works published before 1978. For works published between 1923 and 1963, this term of 95 years only applies if copyright was renewed. If copyright was not renewed, a term of 28 years from publication applies.


  • Delauney's work published between 1923 and 1941 is still copyrighted in the United States, if Delauney renewed his copyright. Rythme I could thus be copyrighted in the United States until 2020-01-01, if I'm not mistaken.

Is it likely that Delauney renewed his copyright in the US? I'm not an expert, but I think probably not. However, it seems inconsistent with Wikimedia Commons policy to allow PD-old pictures of 70 years p.m.a. to be uploaded to the Commons, as there is a fair chance that these works are still copyrighted in the U.S.

Is my reasoning correct, or did I make a mistake? Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 14:07, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

The same goed for Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (German artist, 1880-1938) also mentioned in the discussion. As far as I can tell, it does not apply to Kasimir Malevitch (Russian artist, 1879-1935), as Russia has a copyright term of 50 years p.m.a. for people that died before 1943. Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 14:12, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
There are errors in your arguments. On the URAA date, 1 January 1996, France used 50 years p.m.a. In France, Delauney entered the public domain on 1 January 1992, was in the public domain on 1 January 1996 and became re-copyrighted later (May 1996?) and re-entered the public domain on 1 January 2012. Thus, Delauney was in the public domain in France on the URAA date, so assuming that the works were first published in France, they were ineligible for URAA restoration. For that reason, Delauney's works are only copyrighted in the United States if they were first published outside France (e.g. Spain or Germany) or if they were published with a copyright notice+renewal. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:18, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
France used 50pma plus wartime extensions, which should be about a further 8 years in this case. So, it looks like his works were still copyrighted in France in 1996. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:22, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I forgot about the wartime extensions. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:30, 25 April 2012 (UTC)
(ec)You are likely right, though are missing a couple of details. First, the URAA restorations are based on what the law was in the source country in 1996, not what the terms are now. In France, those terms were 50pma plus the wartime extensions. In this case, it looks as though the wartime extensions would have meant the work was still under copyright in France in 1996, and thus its U.S. copyright would have been restored, yes. Until earlier this year, we had been tagging such works with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} while the court case over the URAA played out, but the law ended up being upheld, so we are still in the process of going through those and deleting them. It looks like this image does have that tag, so it should get processed eventually. Russia now has a full 70pma term, but the term in 1996 was 50 pma. Germany had the full 70pma term in 1996, so yes, any of his works published 1923 or later should be marked with that tag. Lastly, renewal does not matter for URAA-restored works -- they get the U.S. term as if they had been properly renewed. However, if works were properly renewed at the time, they retain their U.S. copyright even if they were PD in their country of origin in 1996 -- the URAA was simply about restoring lost copyrights due to lack of notice or lack of renewal. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:22, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Thanks a lot for all the clarification, guys, it is now more or less clear to me. Seems like international copyright law is ridiculously complicated! Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 14:32, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Fair use guidance

New user question.

I'd like to upload a snapshot of a now deceased religious leader to his Wikipedia page (Namgyal Rinpoche). The picture is snapshot of an individual well known to me for many years, taken at least 25 years ago, but not taken by me. The picture is published on the web at

Does the use of this picture constitute "fair use?" The strictness of your uploading terms are daunting.

Morels (talk) 19:25, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Wikimedia Commons is not allowed to host fair use images at all -- this is per the Foundation resolution. So yes, the policies are strict. Fair use images can be uploaded directly to many of the local wikipedias, but not here. Works here must be licensed by the copyright owner, or the copyright must have expired (which takes a very long time, unlikely for those photos). Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:53, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

United Nations Photo Library

What exactly is the scope of Commons:United Nations Photo Library? Does it include only certain pictures, or everything in the collection made by the UN? The relate pages are a little bare. Crisco 1492 (talk) 12:09, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Hmm... You could probably ask User:Multichill, who created the related pages. Maybe it was a project that did not work and was abandoned? The UN images on Flickr are NC and ND, if that's any indication. -- Asclepias (talk) 14:46, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
  • I noticed the NC-ND tags as well. Alright, I'll ask him/her. Crisco 1492 (talk) 14:58, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

Stage setup/design copyrightable?

Hi. This speedy tag suggests stage setups and designs are copyrightable. This seems odd to me; I've been around Commons for years and haven't heard this argument put forth before. Is there any validity to it? Killiondude (talk) 18:42, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

You are right. I removed this tag. Yann (talk) 18:50, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for the quick response! Killiondude (talk) 18:56, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

"De minimis" box template?

Would it be an useful idea to create something like a {{De minimis}} template for images containing "de minimis" copyrighted content which may not be freely cropped from the image? De facto Commons policy seems to be to allow such images although they are not fully free, but I think adding a "De minimis" notice to them would be helpful to re-users, as the usual licenses suggest you may do what you want with an image (including cropping). I would suggest including a "what" parameter to say which part of the image is protected by copright, e.g. {{De minimis|what=The poster in the background.}} Gestumblindi (talk) 17:42, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

If you do make it, it should probably link to Commons:Reusing content outside Wikimedia, and particularly mention the caveat that "While the copyright and licensing information supplied for each image is believed to be accurate, the Wikimedia Foundation does not provide any warranty regarding the copyright status or correctness of licensing terms. If you decide to reuse files from Commons, you should make your own determination of the copyright status of each image just as you would when obtaining images from other sources." cmadler (talk) 13:55, 30 April 2012 (UTC)