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Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2012/08

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Archive This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.


"Is XXX copyrightable?"

It seems like we get questions like this fairly regularly. See recent questions about whether a living garden is copyrightable (US: no; Germany: yes) and whether cake designs are copyrightable (Commons consensus: yes for food art in general). This is not a threshold of originality question, but whether a specific form/format/medium consistutes a suitable fixation to establish copyright. Is there a page, similar to Commons:TOO, where such information is retained to avoid having to re-research the same question the next time it arises? Thanks, cmadler (talk) 13:34, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

What about our image casebook? Would that be an appropriate place to include the information? — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:34, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
I think so. If things get too complicated for that page for any given topic, it gets spun off and linked from there, but that page seems to be the overview for that sort of thing. NB I didn't think of that page when Cmadler asked the question; maybe we can create some shortcuts with more memorable titles, like Commons:Is this copyrightable? or Commons:Can I upload photographs/pictures of ...? (length doesn't matter so much with autocomplete in the search bar). Rd232 (talk) 15:44, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's exactly what I was looking for. I've read it before, but I can never seem to remember it. Thanks, cmadler (talk) 15:50, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

See also Utilitarian objects protected by copyright for examples of things protected by copyright in some countries but presumably not protected by copyright in other countries. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:50, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

FoP in Laos

Dr. Blofeld contacted me about batch uploading some images from Laos. I don't have the necessary tools so I created Commons:Flickr batch uploading/Laos Photos; however, I have one question. Earlier it was commented that since Laos doesn't have freedom of panorama images of the buildings cannot be uploaded; however COM:FOP#Laos only refers to "works of fine art, photographs, reports and adapted arts". Wouldn't that mean it is fine to take pictures of buildings? In addition, how would a building like this be affected. It is both a work of art and a building. Would {{PD-old-100}} apply here anyways? To expand on that, how is a photograph of something in the public domain affected by the status of the subject? Is it still possible to copyright the photograph? As another note an image like this would be covered by de minimus if buildings are covered by no FOP, correct?

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Ryan Vesey (talk • contribs) 23:02, 26 July 2012‎ (UTC)
First, reading the actual Laotian law linked from COM:FOP#Laos, it looks like there is no freedom of panorama for buildings, and there is only non-commercial freedom of panorama for works of art, which is not adequate for Commons. So, you can't upload photos of Laotian buildings and public artworks that are still under copyright. Laotian copyright duration is 50 years pma, or 50 years from publication for anonymous or corporate works. So you will generally need to know some information about any building that is the subject of a photo, such as [1]: how long ago did the architect/designer die? If the architect died by 12/31/1961, it is now public domain in Laos, but then we have the question of US copyright via restoration. The restoration date for Laos is 3/12/2012, so if the architect died by 12/31/1961 (PD-1996, even though the restoration date is 2012) or if it's a pre-1923 building (PD-US), it's public domain in the US. For [2], I'd probably accept a de minimis argument. In all cases, the photograph creates a new copyright by the photographer, so we would need them to release it under a suitable license, which the photographer has done for both of the photos you linked (CC-BY-2.0). cmadler (talk) 16:11, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
First, building copyright in the US is not pre-1923 but pre-1990, see s:Architectural Works Copyright Protection Act. Thus, most post-1923 buildings should be in the public domain in the United States. Secondly, the United States has FOP for buildings, so I would assume that US law allows photos of any building, regardless of age and location. Third, Laos appears to have had copyright relations with the United States since 19 August 1954. Thus, statues published since that date may be copyrighted in the United States even if they were not copyrighted in Laos on the URAA date, but this requires a copyright notice and a renewal submitted to the United States authorities, which might be unlikely for a Laotian copyright holder, especially when it comes to the renewal part. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:08, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I decided to do a bit more checking on that first building. Can you look over this page? I would assume that all of those images need to be deleted. Is that correct? Ryan Vesey Review me! 16:19, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
Buildings in File:Vientiane Patouxai Laos.jpg could be considered de minimis, but the rest of those images should be deleted from Commons. One or two images (perhaps one exterior and one interior) could be uploaded to en-wp with fair-use rationales. cmadler (talk) 16:50, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
I'll nominate them all tonight, I want a chance to download and re-upload the images locally. Ryan Vesey Review me! 16:55, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
[Edit conflict.] I added the "Laos" section of "Commons:Licensing" and "Commons:Freedom of panorama" a while back. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like Laotian law provides for freedom of panorama which is sufficiently free for Commons purposes. First, "[d]esigns of buildings or constructions, designs of interior or exterior decoration, and other works of architectures" are defined as artistic works: section 74(1.3). Secondly, the authors of artistic works are their copyright owners: sections 82 and 83(1), and copyright owners have the rights of, among other things, "[r]eproduction or adaptation of works" and "[c]reating derivative works": section 84. Thirdly, section 96, which lists situations where "publicized works" can be used "without authorization from the copyrights' owner and without payment of remuneration", does not include the taking of photographs of buildings. This points to the conclusion that Laotian law does not the creation and distribution of derivative works (e.g., photographs) of copyrighted buildings. As for your more specific queries:
  • Picture of an arch. Section 74(1.1) states that "[p]aintings and drawings, engravings, lithography or clothes' pattern and other works of fine arts" are artistic works. On the other hand, "[s]culptures, stone sculptures, and other works of sculptures" (section 74(1.2)) and "[d]esigns of buildings or constructions, designs of interior or exterior decoration, and other works of architectures" (section 74(1.3)) are mentioned separately. This suggests to me that sculptures and architectural works are not considered as "works of fine arts". In any case, the reason why freedom of panorama is insufficient for Commons purposes is that even though section 96(1) states that works of fine art, photographs, reports and adapted arts for presentation to the public may be photographed or video-recorded without authorization from copyright owners and without the payment of remuneration, section 96(3) goes on to state that the section 96(1) does not extend to the use of works in, among other things, "fine arts works". In other words, one cannot take a photograph of an engraving, and then incorporate it into a work of fine art. This seems to be a serious limitation on the freedom granted by section 96(1), and thus one that makes Laotian copyright law as a whole insufficiently free for Commons purposes.
  • Works in the public domain. Where three-dimensional objects such as buildings and sculptures are concerned, if there is evidence that they are no longer subject to copyright and now in the public domain, then photographs of such works can be uploaded to the Commons if you took them yourself or if the photographers licensed their photographs of such works under free licences.
  • Photograph of a road with some buildings by the roadside. Yes, I'd say the buildings in this photograph are de minimis.
— Cheers, JackLee talk 16:21, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
For the purposes of the batch upload, perhaps I should request that no images be uploaded that contain any buildings, artwork, or sculptures. Those should probably be uploaded on a case by case basis. There are more images than just the one that should qualify for de minimis; however, some of them appear to focus on one specific building so they would not qualify. Would that be reasonable and allow the images to be safely uploaded to commons? Ryan Vesey Review me! 16:32, 26 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I think it's best to upload images of copyrightable works on a case-by-case basis, to better review each. cmadler (talk) 16:54, 26 July 2012 (UTC)


Feedback please on {{PD-anon-auto-1996}}, which merges {{PD-anon-60-1996}},{{PD-anon-70-1996}},{{PD-anon-80-1996}} and {{PD-anon-1996}} into something more usable and translatable. However, I'm not sure whether some changes are needed to the wording, and maybe to the structure (since some countries count anon works copyright period from creation date; this can be handled in the "reason" parameter, but maybe it should be more integrated). So, comments please. Rd232 (talk) 19:33, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

Some countries may use different definitions of "anonymous". For example, the European Union uses one definition for works where the initial copyright holder is an individual, and a different definition for works where the initial copyright holder is a legal person.
Another case: assume that the author is announced 75 years after publication. This passes {{Anonymous-EU}} (work already PD since the author is announced more than 70 years after publications) but not "Anonymous-US", since it is no longer anonymous 95 years after publication, so if it is a recent (post-1977) work, the US copyright term might change from an anonymous term (publication+95 years) to a standard term (life+70 years). If the author is revealed at some point, the term often switches to a non-anonymous term, unless the copyright already has expired under the anonymous term. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:16, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. I became aware of the corporate/individual author issue looking into {{Anonymous-EU}} and {{PD-EU-no author disclosure}} (two seemingly identical templates). Possibly we need different templates for different author types, or an author-type parameter. But having just found out that Lua is in danger of actually happening some time this year, I'm suddenly reluctant to do a lot of messing around with complex templates. For this particular template, it's easy to add an additional note about the nature of anonymous works as it's not been translated. At least any users will get some info then. Do you want to draft something? Rd232 (talk) 16:18, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Possibly-copyrighted images within a PD-USGov work

I asked this question over on Wikisource (s:en:Wikisource:Scriptorium#Copyright status of images used within a work of the U.S. Government), where I'm working on proofreading the text, but realized I might get a better response here on Commons. In Part I of the Pentagon Papers, there are a number of maps from other sources. The Pentagon Papers themselves are in the public domain as a work of the U.S. Government, but I'm not sure the images are.

There are sort of two different cases regarding the images. Some of the maps (page ii and page B-41) are from a book called Case Studies in Insurgency and Revolutionary Warfare: Vietnam 1941–1954, which was published by Special Operations Research Office at American University under contract with the U.S. Government (see [3]). Would that make the images PD-USGov as well?

The second case is regarding the map on page B-67, which is from a book called The Quicksand War. This book was not commissioned by the government, at least as far as I can tell. Is this image copyrighted and thus not allowable on Commons/Wikisource? Or is it somehow PD-USGov because it was released in a document by the government?

If some or all of these outside images aren't allowable, does the whole document have to be removed from Commons and Wikisource? This seems like it would be a waste, as the vast majority of the document is totally fine, copyright-wise. Perhaps just the offending pages could be removed?

Anyway, any input would be much appreciated. My friend and I have sort of taken on the proofreading of this document as a pet project, and I want to make sure everything's okay copyright-wise before we continue. GorillaWarfare (talk) 16:17, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

I have decided to err on the safe side and remove the images. The PNG and SVG versions have been deleted, and I've removed the offending images from the djvu file like so. GorillaWarfare (talk) 01:46, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

Copyright on graph

If statistics are not copyrightable and basic shapes as well in the US can I upload this image? public opinion graph--Canoe1967 (talk) 11:30, 1 August 2012 (UTC)

  Info I'm not sure about that, but if the answer is "yes": The PDF version of the report seems to contain vector-graphics versions of the figures. It would be a good idea to extract them from there (e.g. via Help:Inkscape) and upload them as an Help:SVG-file instead of those low-res PNGs. Greetings, --El Grafo (talk) 11:51, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
To the extent of my knowledge, statistics aren't copyrightable but the way they are presented can be. That said, this is a question Moonriddengirl on would know the answer to. I'll leave a note. Ryan Vesey Review me! 14:13, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
Thank you both. I won't try translating that Inkscape stuff above until I know for sure. I can edit out the text in gimp and add my own, but don't know how to do it with .svg.--Canoe1967 (talk) 14:19, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
My opinion is that the image is copyrightable. I see two distinct issues, one relating to the presentation, and the second relating to the numbers.
Regarding the presentation, a graphic artist decided how best to summarize some data as an image. That representation is far from unique. If I gave the same set of underlying data to a dozen graphics artists, I'll bet I get a dozen different looking images. For starters, the numbers do not add to 100%, so there is at least one other category. Perhaps it is as benign as "no answer" or "don't know" but it could save been something else. A decision was made to exclude the third (possibly more) response from the graph. Next, the artist had to decide whether to use a line chart or something else. The more "natural" choice would be bar or columns, as the data are not continuous, but someone made the decision that the intervals were sufficiently close that a continuous line was appropriate. A decision had to be made about which points to display as number in the image - it is not a one for one decision, so some choice was made. Then, someone had to decide which dates to put on the axis. It may be a simple rule - show the dates corresponding to surveys, except when they don;t fit, but it isn't all years, and it isn't all survey years, so someone made a decision. Someone had to choose colors and shading. The decision to make the declining curve less bold wasn't an accident. Some had to choose how to summarize the survey question. It is almost certainly not true that the survey simply said "Control gun ownership". This is the summarization of someone, presumably an expert. Then someone had to choose a title, one which accurately summarizes the information being portrayed (I do not wish to get into a debate whether all of these choices were done well, that isn't the point. The point is that choices were made, this isn't the only way to portray the information.
Regarding the data, while facts are not subject to copyright, I will argue these don't constitute facts, in same way the number of states currently in the US is a fact. Someone, presumably an expert paid for their expertise, designed the survey questions. Some person designed the survey protocol, and determined how large a sample was necessary to draw a conclusion. While opinions differ on how best to answer any of these questions, that's the point; we can't state as a fact that 34 per cent of all people supported a particular position in 1993, we can only literally say that 34% of people selected for a survey, and agreeing to answer, picked a particular answer from a set of choices. An expert concluded that it is acceptable to summarize this in a particular way.
For both of these reasons, I would not view the image as being free, nor would I accept that someone creating their own image from the underlying data would be free (although the second question is arguable).--Sphilbrick (talk) 17:35, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
You cannot upload the image as it exists at [4]. Although basic shapes are not copyrightable, combinations of basic shapes presented in an original manner are copyrightable. You would need to come up with an original presentation of the information in order to not infringe on their copyrights. Kaldari (talk) 06:17, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
  Info PEW makes their raw data sets available for the public here 5 months after the reports have been published. They state that All publications using Center data should reference the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press as the source of the data, and should acknowledge that the Center bears no responsibility for the interpretations presented or conclusions reached based on analysis of the data. They do not explicitely allow commercial use etc. but to me it looks like that might be OK → it might be worth a try to just ask them for a statement on that, archive it via OTRS and maybe plug it into a license template. However, that would be the raw survey data, published in the (propriatary?) .sav file format used by en:SPSS. Might turn out to be a whole lot of work to get a simple plot from that … --El Grafo (talk) 09:24, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it's nearly as clear-cut as you make it; most of the decisions you refer to are not really creative. You might get some differences between graphs with different artists, but that does not necessarily mean the result is copyrightable. The simple fact that decisions were made isn't the same thing as creativity. You can copyright the "selection and arrangement" of non-copyrightable items, but that usually needs to get into more elements. Choosing to omit the third category is not particularly original -- are you suggesting that other graphs which do the same thing are a copyright violation? Line graphs are pretty stock. There are only two colors involved; that normally doesn't come close to a copyrightable selection. Changing the colors would not give rise to a separate copyright. Choosing which years to show numbers -- maybe, but they chose the obvious points where there was a change of direction. The phrase "Control gun ownership" is not copyrightable, nor is the title, nor are any of the other phrases there. The original survey questions are almost certainly copyrightable as a whole, but they are not present here, so that is not relevant. I'm pretty dubious that would qualify for copyright as a graphic work. That all said, copying something directly seems like it's unnecessary -- if you have the data, you could easily make a different graph, and it's not impossible that a judge would feel that direct copying was wrong, and look for reasons to rule it copyrightable. It seems prudent in these cases to create a separate graph with the same data, as that should not be that hard, and is definitely safer. There is a point where such things would become copyrightable, and it's never going to be completely clear when that is crossed.
As for the data itself, that is a thornier question. It appears that there has never been a court case (at least in the U.S.) directly addressing the question, so it is open for debate. Since the sweat of the brow doctrine was struck down, it does seem a lot more dubious -- the research center does not "create" the numbers, so they are not the result of their creative expression -- they are created by other people at best. Counting up responses is not a copyrightable act. The designed the survey, yes, and they could copyright the survey questions as a whole I'm sure. Since those questions don't appear in the graph or numbers, they are not derivative works, so that is not relevant. They designed the survey methodology too, but that at best might be patentable, not copyrightable, and again does not mean anything to the data itself (other than how accurate the numbers actually are). But... it might be possible that a judge would consider the full set of data to be an original compilation -- there is a lot of commercial value there, and while that is not relevant to the copyrightability in the U.S., it could cause judges to look for ways to protect it. If it is deemed to not be copyrightable (i.e. outside the scope of federal copyright), it could in theory be determined to be subject to some common-law rights at the state level. I'd be reluctant to delete works here under such theories since there is really no precedent to show there is a likely problem -- we should be standing up for the public domain as well -- but there is some debate. I'd have no problem using the Pew numbers if they make them publicly available like that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:32, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

UW Digital Collections at Flickr

I want to upload this but am not sure about licensing it as it's "no known copyright rstrictions". There's a template for the Florida State Archives, etc. This is from the University of Washington's photo archives on Flickr. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, We hope (talk) 16:39, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Found a file from there with a template :). We hope (talk) 18:18, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Public Domain Images

I am currently trying to figure out if the photos for the Washington State Legislators are licensed in the Public Domain. They are located here and here. I have previously uploaded two of these photos, but they were deleted because there isn't an explicit statement that they are in the Public Domain. While I was looking for photos elsewhere, I found that Ballotpedia was actively using the photos (like this one). For the photo's permission information, it is stated that "This image comes from the website. It is used here because a Ballotpedia staffer requested and obtained permission to use it and was informed by the relevant government office or private entity or individual who created this image that the image is in the public domain.". Does this mean that we must contact the same government office as Wikipedia and obtain the same permissions, or can we take Ballotpedia's word that a government office stated that the images are in the public domain? Gold Standard 04:31, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Never mind, I will just contact them. Gold Standard 05:04, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

I looked for a PD Gov-Wash type license on commons. It seems very few states (FL and CA only?) have them so it may be copyright.--Canoe1967 (talk) 06:13, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

US state (and below) PD licenses are collected in Category:PD-USGov license tags (non-federal). Rd232 (talk) 16:22, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
I suppose you could ask Ballotpedia to forward their e-mail to OTRS. But if the permission was just "for Ballotpedia," it couldn't be used here, of course. A request to the Iowa legislature resulted in permission that is documented at {{Iowa General Assembly official portrait permission}}. (Just put in an editprotected request that it be added to that category, thanks for pointing it out, Rd232.) --Philosopher Let us reason together. 13:46, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I am currently awaiting a license declaration response. I'm slightly confused about what I do next, though. Do I upload them all and tag them all with {{subst:OP}}? If so, how will the OTRS volunteers know that the license declaration email that I forward to them applies to all of those photos? Gold Standard 17:42, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
I'd wait for one photo to get sorted properly, then maybe make a new license tag including the OTRS ticket, to apply to all those photos. As long as the email declaration to OTRS is clear, that should be fine. {{Iowa General Assembly official portrait permission}} is an exact model here. Rd232 (talk) 00:39, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

File:Birha Ki Raat (1950) - Hindi film poster.jpg

This image is PD under India law; however, I don't see anything making it PD under US law. Does the US respect India's copyright law here or should it be moved to a local wiki? Ryan Vesey Review me! 21:33, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Not OK. You have to identify a pre-1941 publication in order to keep an Indian work here. In most cases, it is also required that the author died before 1941. --Stefan4 (talk) 22:53, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Added {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}. But that should be nominated for deletion; it was PD in the U.S. for years due to lack of notice, but its U.S. copyright was restored in 1996 and will last until 2046. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:36, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, I'm going to give my adoptee (on time to download it and then I'll request deletion. Ryan Vesey Review me! 03:46, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
To be certain, does File:Nargis Awaara.jpg fall under the same category? Ryan Vesey Review me! 19:17, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
The United States has a bilateral copyright treaty with India. Wouldn't that mean when the image entered PD in India, it would also enter PD in the US regardless of the URAA? Ryan Vesey Review me! 19:47, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Not at all. The US has a history of agreeing to the opposite when signing bilateral copyright treaties; Canada and Germany, among others, don't apply the rule of the shorter term to US works. There's nothing in US law that calls for the rule of the shorter term; if India had somehow won that in the treaty, the US would currently be in violation of that treaty. Frankly, I have a hard time imagining that India made a case for Indian copyright expiring in the US earlier then need be.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:01, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Uploads possibly by the artist but no clear statement

All 7 uploads by User:NTT72USA are photos or digital images of recent copyrighted works by a single artist, en:Tom Tsuchiya. (The user has also made two edits on English Wikipedia, both relating to this artist.) I think the uploader is in fact Mr. Tsuchiya; this is suggested by both the user name (name, year of birth, country) and the uploading of digital images of a not-yet-erected work (File:Lux Mundi, the sculpture of Jesus at Solid Rock Church.jpg and File:Lux Mundi Structure.jpg). Nearly a month ago I asked the user to verify that he either is Tsuchiya or that he has permission for these (all are in the US, where FOP doesn't cover sculptures), and although he has continued uploading since then, he has not responded. Is the circumstantial evidence above enough to consider these photos authorized by the artist, or should they be nominated for deletion? Or is there another way to go about resolving this? Thanks, cmadler (talk) 15:17, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Sure feels likely, but one alternate way may be to use the email address on the artist's website -- ask if the Wikipedia user NTT72USA is in fact him, and not just a fan who is uploading the work under false licenses. Some uses may be more likely to respond to regular email rather than knowing how to use talk pages here. The response could be forwarded to OTRS (or have the artist CC that address directly), at which point the OTRS tag would apply to all the uploads (as verifying the account, so all licenses done by that account are then deemed fine, or maybe the tag could just be put on the user page or the user talk page). Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:28, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Can tagging admin also delete same image?

Is it normal practice that a tagging admin for a disputed image can also later delete the image using their same rationale? See Alan Arkin and Garr images. --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 00:19, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

This seems like a question for COM:AN, unless you have a question about the copyright issue involved. Anyway, your question is ambiguous: it sounds like speedy-tagging a file, and then deleting the file. That's to be avoided where there's any room for doubt, but is often OK. But what happened here was speedy-tagging a file, and then closing the DR someone opened as a result of the tagging. That's not good, even when the DR has stayed unclosed for a while. Rd232 (talk) 21:42, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
I think with many images like these they upload the back first and then over-write with the front. This shows that there is no proper copyright mark on either side if they are using a '1978 No notice'(?) license?
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Canoe1967 (talk • contribs) 06:09, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
In both cases the files were tagged as missing permission by User:Denniss, the deletion requests were started by User:JuTa, and the files were deleted by User:Fastily. Three different users. --Rosenzweig τ 20:42, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
For whatever it is worth, it is worth, the files were deleted by User:Denniss, and he also closed the deletion requests. However, User:Fastily reverted User:Denniss's closure and added his own closure (which basically said the same thing). Not that it really matters. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:58, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
You're right. Quite unusual procedure. In any case it means another admin concurred with the deletions. --Rosenzweig τ 21:23, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Misha B

Apologies if this is the wrong place, but I've come across File:Misha B Halloween.jpg and File:Misha B F64.jpg and something is ringing alarm bells for me. Both images were uploaded by User:Zoeblackmore from this Flickr account [5], where the licenses are CC BY 2.0. However, the images appear to be either album artworks or fan made artworks. Neither of which, I believe, are considered free. I'm just wondering what to do with the images? Tag them for speedy deletion or I do I take them to deletion requests? - JuneGloom07 Talk? 19:35, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

My initial concern was commons:flickrwashing and after viewing the profile I am sure it is flickrwashing. I'm nominating both for deletion. Ryan Vesey Review me! 19:58, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Drat and double drat :) yes they do look too good, but I being gullible was taken in. I have written to the flickr user asking for evidence.Zoeblackmore (talk) 21:38, 31 July 2012 (UTC)
Thank you Ryan for your help. - JuneGloom07 Talk? 00:09, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Added to the untrusted Flickr user list so bot should mark them as bad source. --Denniss (talk) 14:47, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Can a faithful copy of a PD image be copyrighted?

In 2005, I created File:Splitsection.gif (using a PD arrow as a guide and drawing the simple page by hand) and released it into the public domain. In 2006, I modified the image slightly (increasing the size of the folded corner).
In 2007, Crotalus horridus utilized the GIF's newer version (deleted due to a malfunction in 2008) to create File:Splitsection.svg, a near-exact duplicate in vector form. The file is tagged with the GFDL and CC-BY-SA licenses. That's fine, of course, but is it eligible for copyright? The design most certainly isn't, as I released it into the public domain (and I doubt that it was complex enough to qualify for copyright protection in the first place). Does the creation of SVG code result in a copyright on a technical level? If so, it surely applies only to the file (not the visual elements).
I inquire because of this. I would ask Crotalus horridus to retag the image {{PD-author}}, but he/she is inactive and not responding to messages.
Thanks in advance for the advice! —David Levy 14:49, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

I agree with you. I change the license. Yann (talk) 15:25, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Please don't do that! Now it looks as if User:David Levy has released the SVG file to the public domain so that any UK reuser can use the file without caring about the GNU or CC terms. This is obviously incorrect. {{PD-ineligible}} is only valid in some countries, but {{GFDL|migration=relicense}} is valid everywhere. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:51, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
It is not {{PD-ineligible}}, but {{PD-author}}. This is not the same thing. As Pere said below, we should be honest and not contradict our own policy. We recognize that faithfully copies of PD art are in the public domain. Let's just apply that principle. Yann (talk) 17:15, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
(conflict of editions with Yann) I think a faithful copy of a PD image can't be copyrighted. At least, it can't under US law and under Commons policy, as clearly stated in Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag and related pages. Furthermore, since Commons is enforcing this policy in files taken from anywhere (and scanned or photographed by other people), we should apply it to images made by Commons contributors to be honest.--Pere prlpz (talk) 15:30, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Except that an SVG is not really an exact copy of a GIF. The on-screen representation is similar but the underlying expression may be different -- if they hand-edited the SVG (who knows), *that* could be the expression. I tend to agree that it may well not be eligible in many or even most countries, but that determination can vary significantly. So -- the PD-ineligible tag may *not* apply worldwide, but the CC-BY-SA and GFDL licenses *do*, so please do not remove them. Users in countries with very low thresholds (UK or Australia maybe) may need to be able to use them under the licenses. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:16, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Let's set aside the issue of whether the visual design is eligible for copyright. Even if it is, I created it and released it into the public domain. Is there a legal reason why this doesn't apply to a faithful copy in vector form? (There are absolutely no significant visual design differences between the SVG and the deleted GIF from which it was derived.) Can you please elaborate on the "underlying expression" concept? —David Levy 16:29, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
If they are editing the SVG code by hand, it could be copyrightable as a computer program (literary work) depending on the details. It's a bit of a stretch, but there can be creativity in different ways of coding an SVG, creating completely separate copyrights, even if the visual outputs are identical. The expression of a bitmap is in the arrangement of the pixels; the expression of an SVG is (potentially) in the textual SVG markup, though if they just designed the graphic in an editor application, that aspect is probably moot, but it's still made up of vectors and not pixels. The only possible claim to copyright is in any additional such work they did, and not in the visual design itself (which is PD as you say). For a country with sweat of the brow copyright like the UK, the effort of making a scalable version of the graphic may be protected. Perhaps not with such a simple graphic as this, but I could easily see it in other situations (even in the U.S.), as recreating an image using vector instructions is often not straightforward and can lend itself to many possible expressions. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:48, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
If I understand correctly, you're saying that only the underlying SVG code (not the resultant visual output) might fall under copyright. (I noted this possibility in my original message.) Is that accurate?
Does this mean that a bitmap conversion of the SVG can be classified as PD (because it contains the PD visual design but not the vector code), or does the copyright persist because said code was used to generate the raster output? —David Levy 17:04, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's basically my opinion. The generated bitmap would not really have a separate copyright in that situation. (Although, it has been ruled that if two authors *independently* come up with the exact same copyrightable work, there are two separate, independent copyrights. But this situation would not be independent, obviously.) Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:29, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Does this mean that a MediaWiki transclusion (rendered in the PNG format, so it lacks the SVG's code) can be considered PD and need not include a link to the file description page? (As noted in my original message, this is why I've raised the issue.) —David Levy 20:31, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
No, the SVG would still be considered a derivative work if it's the same graphic design (or substantially similar). An SVG is still a pictorial work so it can still be derivative of a bitmap (or vice versa); it's just that SVGs might have an additional literary copyright aspect, depending on how it was authored, and there might be creativity in a vector graphic over and above a bitmap. The question was whether there could still be a reason to license a copyright in an SVG-ification in the event the graphic design itself is PD; in this particular case, it's either ineligible, or you declared the design PD, so that aspect is moot. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:25, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, I either misunderstood your previous response or I'm misunderstanding you now. You're saying that a raster conversion of the SVG retains the SVG's copyright (assuming that one exists) and isn't in the public domain. Is that correct?
To be clear, I'm referring specifically to this instance (in which the graphic design is PD), not to SVGs in general. In other words, is this PNG file copyrighted? —David Levy 22:42, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
An SVG could be copyrighted as a normal graphic work, in which case yes the PNG would be copyrighted. But if the only copyrightable aspect is the literary text portions, then no I don't think that would exist anymore in the rasterization. So in this case, no, I don't think that PNG is copyrighted (since it's the same as the GIF design, which was either placed in the public domain, or ineligible to begin with). The copyright in a derivative work is only on the expression added in the derivative; it can't re-copyright the expression in the original. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:20, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. Based on that explanation, I feel comfortable reverting this edit. (Only the PD PNG is rendered, so attribution isn't required.) Thanks again! —David Levy 22:48, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Um, which edit? What does an edit to an English Wikipedia template have to do with this? Anyway, the licence claim has to comply with any version which may be downloaded from Commons, and it is possible to download the SVG source code, so the licence claim has to apply to the SVG code too. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:02, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
He's referring to an edit which made the use of the image in a template clickable, for attribution requirement purposes. He would like to make it non-clickable. He has a point, as the template does not make use of the SVG code itself, but rather just the rendered bitmap, meaning there is no expression there we need to attribute. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:18, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. —David Levy 03:59, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't seek to change the SVG file's licensing information (which I realize must cover the source code). But the SVG file (and source code thereof) isn't used in the rendered Wikipedia template, so there should be no attribution requirement there. —David Levy 03:59, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
I understand that it is an original creation by a contributor, first published in USA on Commons. We should then use US copyright law for determining if there is enough originality for a drawing to get a copyright. Yann (talk) 17:23, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
In case it's relevant, Crotalus horridus (the SVG's creator) uploaded the file to the English Wikipedia. (Another user transferred it to Commons.) To whatever extent U.S. copyright law applies, that shouldn't make a difference (because Wikipedia also is operated in the U.S.), but I want to avoid any possible confusion. —David Levy 17:39, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
PD-ineligible (under US copyright law) is probably enough to host the image on Commons, but if there are reasons which also make the image free in other countries, those reasons should in my opinion be stated somewhere since it helps reusers in other countries. Besides, the underlying SVG code might be copyrightable as a computer program even in the United States. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:09, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
There is a precedent for an SVG copy of a public-domain image being copyrighted: in the US, typefaces are ineligible for copyright, but it was ruled that vector fonts could be copyrighted, because the courts considered the vector format to be a computer program, and thus a protected form of expression. --Carnildo (talk) 20:47, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Note: Anomie was kind enough to retrace the GIF and create a brand new vector version of the image, released into the public domain. I've uploaded it to replace the non-PD SVG and deleted the old versions (so they aren't incorrectly tagged). —David Levy 17:15, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Some questions about {{PD-1996}}

I have some questions on how to determine if a file qualifies for {{PD-1996}}. I have always assumed that you should answer a few questions to determine if a file qualifies for that template:

  1. Was the file in the public domain in the source country on the URAA date?
    Yes: Continue to the next question. No: The file does not qualify for {{PD-1996}}.
  2. Did the source country have copyright relations with the United States on the date of first publication?
    Yes: Continue to the next question. No: The file qualifies for {{PD-1996}}.
  3. Was the file published somewhere without a copyright notice before 1978? Essentially {{PD-US-no notice}} but without the "published in the United States" requirement in the template.
    Yes: The file qualifies for {{PD-1996}}. No: Continue to the next question.
  4. Was the file published before 1964, but without a copyright renewal? Essentially {{PD-US-not renewed}} but without the "published in the United States" requirement in the template.
    Yes: The file qualifies for {{PD-1996}}. No: Continue to the next question.
  5. Was the file published somewhere without a copyright notice between 1978 and 28 February 1989, and without a subsequent registration within 5 years? Essentially {{PD-US-1978-89}} but without the "published in the United States" requirement in the template.
    Yes: The file qualifies for {{PD-1996}}. No: The file does not qualify for {{PD-1996}}.

If the file doesn't qualify for {{PD-1996}}, it might still qualify for something else (e.g. {{PD-1923}}), but this is a separate matter.

Now, assessing the questions to File:AK-74_NTW_12_92.jpg, I get the following answers:

  1. PD in source country?
    Yes → continue to next question
  2. Copyright relations on the date of first publication?
    Yes (published in 1992, copyright relations exist since 1927) → continue to next question
  3. Without notice before 1978?
    No (not published before 1992) → continue to next question
  4. Without renewal before 1964
    No (not published before 1992) → continue to next question
  5. Without notice/registration before 1 March 1989?
    No (not published before 1992) → doesn't qualify for {{PD-1996}}

However, Commons:Deletion requests/File:AK-74 NTW 12 92.jpg was closed as "kept", and the closing administrator specifically wrote that the file qualifies for {{PD-1996}}. Something looks wrong here, and I suspect that the error is in the {{PD-1996}} template. Could someone clarify where the error is hiding? --Stefan4 (talk) 19:55, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

You are basically correct. Since it was first published after March 1, 1989, no copyright notice was necessary in the U.S., and it has always been under copyright there. It was apparently not eligible for restoration by the URAA, but that was moot since the work was still under copyright. The URAA tag should be reworded; the middle portion should probably be "...and it was first published before March 1, 1989 without complying with U.S. copyright formalities (notice, renewal, and/or registration) and..." Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:42, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
I closed Commons:Deletion requests/File:AK-74 NTW 12 92.jpg, relying on the wording of the template, which then (and now) says:
"This work is in the public domain in the United States because
  • it was first published outside the United States (and not published in the U.S. within 30 days) and
  • it was first published before 1978 without complying with U.S. copyright formalities or after 1978 without copyright notice and
  • it was in the public domain in its home country on the URAA date (January 1, 1996 for most countries)." [divided into three tests for clarity here - no words changed]
Stefan's "few questions" above are different from the three tests the template calls out. If Stefan is correct (and I defer to Carl on that, so apparently he is), then we need to change the template.
It also suggests that we need to revise {{PD-Polish}} and examine all of the files relying it. There are probably others, as well. .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 10:51, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
Apart from occasional works which might have remained unpublished for ages and later published in the 1990s, there is also another template, {{PD-RO-photo}}, which could be causing us problems, since it appears to apply for photos taken until the end of 1991. There is also this discussion where some people suggested that recent Polish photos may be PD in the USA for some other reason (no copyright notice basically meaning {{PD-ineligible}}). However, the large warning at Template:PD-US-no notice?uselang=de (a similar template) suggests that this wouldn't be the case. --Stefan4 (talk) 17:15, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
(ec) "After 1978" should have at least been "between 1978 and 1989". That clause is referring to the situation in the {{PD-US-1978-89}} tag (where lack of notice could be remedied by subsequent registration and other efforts); lack of notice after March 1, 1989 however has no affect on the U.S. copyright. That tag rarely applies to anything first published outside the U.S. (since formalities were not often required elsewhere by that time), but it does look like Poland is an exception to that. And maybe Romania, given the above, and perhaps some other countries which had very short terms for photographs. The German situation is different, as they did not require formalities for their own citizens, and therefore also could not require them for U.S. citizens per the treaty. Poland did, so U.S. authors would have also been expected to follow those same formalities in Poland if they wanted copyright there. So yes, PD-US-no_notice would also seem to apply within Poland. However, I think the U.S. protected foreign unpublished works regardless of whether they were protected in their home countries, provided there were copyright relations. The proclamation for relations with Poland is at s:Page:United_States_Statutes_at_Large_Volume_44_Part_3.djvu/1221. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:51, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Court Philippe Chatrier

Category:Court Philippe Chatrier contains several images of the tennis court building designed by Louis Faure-Dujarric who died in 1943. I need help deciding which of those images depict work that exceeds the threshold of originality for France. I have nominated the one that was clearly above the threshold here, but I am uncertain about the images of the tennis courts and seating areas - most (like this one) do not show any creativity to me. Are those purely functional? If not, then we will probably need to delete all in that category. -84user (talk) 00:28, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

File:Soupy Sales Lunch With Soupy 1960.JPG

Hi. Is the copyright info on File:Soupy Sales Lunch With Soupy 1960.JPG legitimate? Just want to make sure. Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 03:23, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

It looks correct to me. Under United States copyright law, material like this has to carry a visible copyright notice (for example "© 1960 ABC Television"), but there is no such notice anywhere. Thus, the photo is in the public domain in the United States. However, the photo is copyrighted (and thus unfree) in some other countries, for example Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany, so you can't use the image in any of those countries. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:59, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Using Wikimedia project logos as clickable links

I've just noticed that {{Creator}} uses the Wikisource and Wikiquote logos (File:Wikisource-logo.svg, File:Wikiquote-logo.svg) as clickable links (when the relevant parameters are set). This is convenient, and I'd like to do the same for Wikipedia using its logo (File:Wikipedia-logo.svg); but our copyright conventional wisdom is that it's only OK for PD works. The copyright status of these isn't entirely clear, but they don't seem to be PD. Can we make exceptions from the PD-only rule for our own project logos? The argument against breaking the link to the file description page is that it's necessary for attribution; but it's still possible to go to the file description page by identifying the filename from the wikitext... Rd232 (talk) 20:27, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

The Teahouse invitations sent by hostbot, seen here, use a tooltip to provide attribution. Would that be possible? Ryan Vesey Review me! 21:21, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Maybe (though the tooltip doesn't work with Navigation Popups gadget). I have seen attribution done by external reusers using tooltips... Anyone have any thoughts on that? Rd232 (talk) 23:06, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
We treat WMF logos differently than we treat other copyrighted images. They don't belong to an outside entity, so the WMF doesn't violate anyone's copyright by displaying them without attribution.
Think about the logo appearing at the top of every page across the WMF wikis (linked to the project's main page, not the image description).
Regarding the images' copyright status, the Meta-Wiki, Wikiquote and Wiktionary logos are in the public domain (but the latter two are trademarked). If this edit (which I just noticed) is accurate, the Wikipedia logo is available under the GFDL (but trademarked). The Wikimedia Foundation, Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia Incubator, Wikibooks, Wikinews, Wikisource, Wikispecies and Wikiversity logos are copyrighted by the WMF and not freely licensed. —David Levy 00:09, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Seems like a reasonable exception to me. The project logos are not typical works here; it seems silly to use project policy to prohibit a usability gain using the project's own logos. As said above, we don't exactly need to follow any attribution requirements for that, since it's not under that type of license anyways. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:59, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

OK then. thanks. Rd232 (talk) 22:43, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Moissan color image

For this image, can we get some assurance that the coloration was with the original artist (not the poster company)?

TCO (talk) 14:02, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Hard to say whether the Moissan drawing was coloured by the original artist or the poster company. The scan of the drawing on the website of the National Library of France is black and white, but this could be because the scan was done in black and white, or the book reproduced a coloured original in black and white. Guess someone has to check a physical copy of the book, and we also need to establish if the drawing was created before it was published in the book. (The book was published in 1891 – were colour plates in books a common feature at that time?) — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:58, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

color plates were common from at least the early 1800s. Look at all the nature sketches of animals and the like that we have on Wiki in color.TCO (talk) 15:21, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

I think we need to get the book. The scan seems to be in black and white (based on front pages of the gallica upload). That said, my rough translation is that there were only 4 color images (so odds against us). And the colors look sort of too modern in a way. Worldcat says it is held at MIT, Cambridge and 7 French unis

TCO (talk) 16:17, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Does adding colour (and nothing else) to a public domain image give fresh copyright to the image? If so, you could simply create a black and white version of the image and upload that, thus reverting the colourized image to its "original" state. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:38, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
Colorization to that extent, yes, I think it probably does -- the U.S. Copyright Office does allow registrations of colorizations of black-and-white films. Some info here. May depend on how many colors, etc. were chosen. Removing color would be fine. The title of the book does seem to say there are four watercolors -- not necessarily that there weren't any other color illustrations. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:02, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but colorizing movies was a big step for the US Copyright Office, and they held hearings before doing it. The final report said:
The regulation is applied by the Copyright Office to deny registration when the only authorship claimed consists of the addition of a relatively few number of colors to an existing design or work. The regulation also prohibits registration of multiple colored versions of the same basic design or work. Registration is not precluded, however, where the work consists of original selection, arrangement, or combinations of a large number of colors, or where the lines of an original design are fired by gradations of numerous colors.
I don't think this colorization would get a copyright in the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:39, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

I want the color.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by TCO (talk • contribs) 02:49, 6 August 2012‎ (UTC)
The first step is for a volunteer to consult an original version of the book to see if the print in it was coloured or not. (Unless there is evidence otherwise, I think we can assume that the drawing was first published in the book and not any earlier.) If the original print is not coloured, then it would seem that the colouring was added later on, possibly by the image company. I note that the image company,, is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. If so, would the company have had to register the coloured version in order to gain copyright over it? If there is no registration, then presumably we can keep the coloured version in the Commons. Am I right? — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:38, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

UF6 in tube from Argonne

Is the photo free? I'm worried by the whole national lab versus US gov thingie. That said, I would really like to push to source and find out if it is free (is used in very many pages, if you include the foreign wikis).

TCO (talk) 16:24, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

The source is here. It does have a photo number but not sure of the source. I can't find any copyright statement at all on that website section. The headline says The Depleted UF6 Management Information Network Web Site is an online repository of information about the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) inventory of depleted uranium hexafluoride. The contact addresses are both Department of Energy employees, not the private firm doing management for the Argonne National Labs. Not sure. Ooh -- it looks like this video has a shot of the same cylinder, and maybe the photo comes from the same source video. Or, maybe the video simply used the photo (may be more likely). Per here, it says All videos were produced under the direction of Bob Dyer for the U.S. Department of Energy. The viewing link doesn't seem to work but they have downloadable versions here. I think I'd lean PD-USGov on it, but hard to be completely sure. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:30, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Limits on images taken under Panoramafreiheit?

Mediatus (talk · contribs) has posted on my talk page stating that, under German law, Panoramafreiheit does not allow large classes of derivative works: for example, if a photo is permissible based specifically on Panoramafreiheit, "you may not modify this object in a graphics program etc". I have no idea whether Mediatus is correct, but if he is then none of the images created on this basis should be eligible for Commons, since Commons requires the freedom to create derivative works. Obviously, this is not a matter that two users can settle. I've invited Mediatus to comment further here. - Jmabel ! talk 19:23, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

I don't think that's strictly true; we have felt those restrictions are more in regards to moral rights. Panoramafreiheit most certainly allows paintings of public sculptures, so I can't see why similar levels of modifications couldn't be made in graphic programs. The copyright license should give full permission to modify the photo itself; the only question is the underlying work. There is a small discussion at Commons talk:Freedom of panorama#Unclear_right_to_modify, with links to older discussions. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:33, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
The relevant section of the law (en de) is Where the use of a work is permissible under the provisions of this Section, no alteration may be made to the work. Maybe I'm being obtuse, but if FOP means making a derivative work (photo) is permissible, is editing the photo making an alteration to the work? Seems to me the original work remains untouched. Rd232 (talk) 22:39, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
That's my take. The clause is mostly about direct uses of copyrighted works; for FoP, it's indirect use, and there should be no problem modifying the photo part. It should also be noted that even if you acquire the economic right to the work, you still have the same prohibition on "alteration" (article 39). From that, I don't think it's quite the same as preventing derivative works at all anyways. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:50, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
This limitation seems to me more related and similar to moral rights than to a limitation of derivative works.--Pere prlpz (talk) 08:11, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Why here?

I note the box at the top (== Help promote VPC ==).

Why is it that we are promoting a subpage of one of our 42 language specific gathering places as the place for discussion of copyright issues? It is certainly true that we use English as the lingua franca in many places on Commons, but equally true that we conduct DRs and other discussions in all necessary languages.

It seems to me that if we want to have a place to discuss copyright in a general way that is helpful to all of the 285 language communities that have WPs, we need to have the discussions on a page that is not tied to English, perhaps Commons:Copyright discussions. .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 11:14, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

The point was to have a central place for copyright issues; I don't think it's particularly tied to English, but if renaming helps make that clear, sure. My concern would be that it might lead to more people asking simple questions that should go to the Help Desk, and not detract from more complex issues here. Rd232 (talk) 11:21, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

Can a ketchup bottle with a logo be uploaded to commons and can it be released under a creative commons license?

I recently replaced a creative commons license on with a non-free logo license. An editor added the creative commons license in addition to the non-free logo license. I questioned it on the talk page, and among other things they said the image should be transferable to commons. I believe this is innacurate, but can someone take a look at this for meRyan Vesey Review me! 16:48, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

I also think that image would be acceptable on Commons (as would the Heinz logo, which I've marked as PD-textlogo). cmadler (talk) 19:20, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Per the Ets Hokins decision, even if the label was copyrightable, a photo of the whole bottle is not derivative either. It's only if you are focusing on the copyrightable label. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:26, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Discussions are going on at multiple places. I have answered on the file talk page on English Wikipedia. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:49, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

How to create a batch deletion discussion

I was considering creating a batch deletion discussion for uploads by User:Friends007. How do you do that? Ryan Vesey Review me! 21:08, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

I figured it out. Ryan Vesey Review me! 01:20, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Mike Wieringo Self-Portrait

Hi. If this image is a self-portrait by Mike Wieringo, then how is it free? How does User:Don McCants have the authority to publish it? Nightscream (talk) 20:03, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Are you talking about File:Mike Wieringo self-portrait.jpg? That file is probably a copyright violation. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:15, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, thanks, I forgot to include the link in my first message above. How can the matter be addressed? I sent an email to Don McCants, but have no idea if or when I'll get a response, his user page hasn't even been creator, and he doesn't have a Contributions List page with which I can gauge how frequent a contributor he is. How long should we wait? Nightscream (talk) 21:28, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
I have added a {{Copyvio}} template. Basically, we have the following information:
  1. The image is claimed to be an own work by the uploader.
  2. The image was made by en:Mike Wieringo.
  3. The file was uploaded after the death of Mike Wieringo.
→ The file isn't an own work by the uploader. Also appears elsewhere on the Internet, e.g. here. Thus, the image is a copyright violation and isn't allowed here. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:39, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Okay, this is what User:Don McCants said in his email response to me:


Mike's brother Matt Wieringo provided it to me for use as Mike's portrait on Wikipedia.

Mike owned this illustration and used it for self promotion. Mike's family requested it be used for Mike's bio page on Wikipedia, and asked that we license it using Creative Commons licensing to post to his page, which I did a year or so ago.

If you examine the entry accompanying it, you'll note that it is properly licensed for use. If you have further concerns, I have CC'd Mike's brother Matt (and his wife) so that you may challenge (or validate as you see fit) Matt's claim to maintaining the legacy of his departed brother.

I requested that he fill out and email the Declaration of consent for all enquiries|, and that he join this discussion to make any relevant clarifications to ensure that it is not deleted. Nightscream (talk) 01:53, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

See also File talk:Mike Wieringo self-portrait.jpg: it seems that the image only is available under a non-commercial licence, which is not acceptable on Commons. In either case, permission needs to be sent to OTRS for verification. Still, due to the new information, I suppose that the copyvio tag should be converted to a deletion request. --Stefan4 (talk) 09:22, 10 August 2012 (UTC)


When reading through the legal code of CC-BY, I came across section 4a:

"You may Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work only under the terms of this License. You must include a copy of, or the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) for, this License with every copy of the Work You Distribute or Publicly Perform. You may not offer or impose any terms on the Work that restrict the terms of this License or the ability of the recipient of the Work to exercise the rights granted to that recipient under the terms of the License. You may not sublicense the Work. [...]"

I am not a native speaker of English, but doesn’t the bolded part effectively make CC-BY share-alike as well? Or what else does that part mean, if not that I have to tell others that a work is CC-BY when reusing it? I am really confused. Darkweasel94 (talk) 14:21, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

It basically means that you have to attribute the original authors whenever you distribute the work, and tell that the original work is available as CC-BY. However, if you make a derivative work, your changes may be available under a different licence. For example, you may decide that only you, and no one else, may use your changes. On the other hand, CC-BY-SA tells that your changes have to be licensed under CC-BY-SA.
An interesting consequence: Commons:Collages#Combining different Creative Commons versions tells that you may combine a CC-BY work with a CC-BY-SA work and that the result becomes a CC-BY-SA work. However, because of the CC-BY terms you quoted above, I would assume that you would still have to provide the URL to the CC-BY licence text, and somehow separate CC-BY contributors from CC-BY-SA contributors in the list of authors. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:36, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I think I understand better now, thank you. Darkweasel94 (talk) 14:45, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
The part of the license that you quoted applies when you use the work without modification. It is present in all the CC licenses. To bold a different part of the quote : "You may Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work only under the terms of this License. You must include a copy [...]". See at the beginning of the license the definitions of "Distribute", "Publicly Perform", "Work" and "Adaptation". The CC-by-sa license adds an obligation to use the same license for your modified version, if you make an adaptation. The CC-by license does not have that obligation for adaptations. -- Asclepias (talk) 14:48, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

how to add license to file

Hello, I am a new user and forgot to add the license for a file I uploaded. Could someone advise how to add the license from Europeana, because it can be used on Wikicommons:

The file is:,_Giovanni_Tesler_(Ancona,_1618).jpg

Thanks in advance,

Lascaris (talk) 13:59, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

CC-BY-NC-SA cannot be used on Commons; we don't accept any of the CC licenses with "NC" or "ND" in them. Normally, you just edit the file page and add text like "{{CC-BY-SA-3.0}}" in the permission field, but there is no template for the Non-Commercial licenses because we can't accept them (as the only license anyways). Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:23, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
mmm Commons:Multi-licensing... I'd have NC license templates at least (not sure ND is really useful) - we could have NC licenses require specification of another template, and transclude {{Speedy}} if none provided... Apart from anything else it would help make things clearer for users wanting to use NC licenses. Rd232 (talk) 17:20, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

I've also wondered about that. Most of Category:Xkcd's images, at least, are multi-licensed and should really have "CC-BY-NC-2.5" noted on them. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 03:41, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Colombian money

Category:Money of Colombia contains lots of images of coins and notes from Colombia. However, I can't find any evidence that Colombian money would be free. Doesn't this mean that lots of images should be deleted? --Stefan4 (talk) 09:57, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

British road signs

Are British road signs protected by copyright, or are photos of the signs allowed here? For example, File:A5-llwybrhanesyddol.JPG contains an image of a carriage with two horses, which looks complex to me. I became aware of this file because of a question about freedom of panorama on my English Wikipedia talk page. --Stefan4 (talk) 11:09, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, Crown Copyright, apparently, but the public appear allowed to reproduce images of them. See and As for signs placed on the highway that are not mentioned in TSRGD, a huge bucket of common-sense interpretation of freedom of panorama may be required. -- (talk) 11:43, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Uploads of Katie-marie88 correctly licensed?

Hi, I am not sure, whether the uploads of Katie-marie88 are correctly licensed as CC – can someone have a look at this and/or feed this issue in the suitable process, if any? Thanks! -- 13:00, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

Mostly they are not. Two charts from an Australian government source were OK but the correct license was not mentioned; the others appear to be pulled from various internet sources. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:28, 12 August 2012 (UTC)

MyNewsDesk images

As a follow up to the now archived discussion from last month, I sent several emails to Sony Music Sweden but did not even get the courtesy of a response. I got some autoresponses from those people who were on vacation or out of the office. So it appear they are not prepared to confirm the copyright of those image apparently uploaded to We know that under most circumstances album covers and artists' promotional images are normally copyright, so these may have been uploaded in error or by someone who is not aware of the implications to the organisation. Anyway, my feeling is the images should be treated as suspect and deleted, and we should consider blacklisting the site though that may be going to far. Thoughts anyone? Ww2censor (talk) 17:24, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

I believe that the Mynewsdesk licence claims are suspicious. I would guess that Mynewsdesk provides a drop-down list (or similar) with various licences and that the uploaders don't always know what the licences mean. In Sweden, the copyright normally belongs to the person who created a work, even if it is a work for hire, so an employer is normally unable to publish the work under a CC licence. Some of the images are not Swedish works, which is even more suspicious: a Swedish publisher would normally not be allowed to publish a foreign work under a CC licence. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:35, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with most of Stefan4's view though some of these images, especially the Sony ones may not even be Swedish in the first place. Anyway what next? There are about 145 images that refer to MyNewsDesk and perhaps a dozen or so are obviously public domain images due to their age, but most of the rest are publicity style professional images whose copyright status I would question. Do we try to individually confirm each image from their source uploaders, which may be pointless as in the case of Sony BMG Sweden, blacklist the whole site, or just delete everything suspicious and watch out for new uploads? Ww2censor (talk) 20:12, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

This issue has been up for discussion earlier here. I would find it very unlikely that such a huge company as Sony, whose entire business model is based on copyright, would not know what they were doing when releasing their images under CC-licenses. It would be embarrassing to say the least, because we're not talking about one singe image here. They have consistently released images under the CC-by license since may 2007. What does the CC-license say about revoking it? --Bensin (talk) 12:45, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Sony's legal department presumably knows what CC-by means. However, regular office clerks might not know what it means. You can't revoke a CC-by licence, but the licence does of course not apply if it was never applied correctly in the first place.
I have mentioned this discussion on Swedish Wikipedia (see sv:WP:BB#Bilder från Mynewsdesk) since it affects a number of images related to Sweden.
Keep in mind that Sweden has a short copyright term for most photos. Some images in the Mynewsdesk category seem to be old photos which may be PD. Most photos are in the public domain in Sweden if they were taken before 1 January 1969. In order to be in the public domain in the United States, it is additionally required that the photos were first published in Sweden and that they were published somewhere before 1 March 1989 without complying with United States copyright formalities (notice, renewal, registration). --Stefan4 (talk) 13:46, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Because the copyright status of these image is in dispute, I sent several emails to all six people listed as Sony contacts and not one reply was received that would confirm the copyright status of the images. It would be very easy for Sony to confirm that but in the situation where there is any doubt, we must delete which is why I have nominated additional Sony images for deletion. So, just to throw more suspicion on the status of these images, look at this one which was uploaded to MyNewsDesk in November 2007 though has not been uploaded here. With tineye's help I find it appears on Chris Daughtry's official website, but more importantly, it appears here in April 2007 before the MyNewsDesk image and here it is specifically attributed to © Michael Waring, courtesy RCA Records so was very unlikely first published in Sweden. Ww2censor (talk) 15:55, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Just because an image is copyrighted does not mean it can't also be released under a CC license. As far as I know the CC licenses are designed to allow this. Anyone owning the copyright to an image (be it because they are the creator or because they are employer of someone creating work for hire) can license the image however they want. In this case representatives of Sony has licensed images under a CC license. Based on the fact that images has been licensed like this for so long and that Sony most likely knows exactly what they are doing, I say the images should be kept at least until we hear back from the contacted Sony representatives. --Bensin (talk) 20:12, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

I've have talked to MyNewsDesk about this. They are not really aware of the problem but they are interested and wants to learn more (both about licences and Wikipedia notability, COI, NPOV) and help their clients out as much as possible. The outcome so far is that Wikimedia Sweden (and Creative Commons Sweden) will do a couple of guest blog posts at their site and that I'll be invited to their office to talk about and teach them more about this. Feel free to give me input, thoughts and comments as to what to write and talk to them about. I'd also recommend not uploading images without checking other sources while we are working with them. /Axel Pettersson (WMSE) (talk) 11:19, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

Sounds good! Hopefully this will clear up the confusion. --Bensin (talk) 11:48, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Italian copyright in the US

I asked several months ago (~6-12) how we could establish the status of copyrighted works for countries with subsisting copyright agreements with the US. w:Bilateral copyright agreements of the United States lists the statute reference, but does not give the details. When I asked last time, someone (Clindberg?) showed me how to look it up on Wikisource. This is of course quite important: up to this point, we've been assuming that URAA copyright is the only one to worry about, but of course it is not. {{PD-Italy}}, for example, could be affected by what that statute says. Magog the Ogre (talk) (contribs) 02:27, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Many countries had copyright relations with the U.S. (through the UCC or bilateral agreements) -- it was possible to register works, but they had to follow all U.S. formalities (copyright notice, renewals for works published before 1964, etc.) to keep it. I would definitely do copyright searches for books, but for many other types of works it becomes rather rare, particularly for pre-1964 stuff. There was a reason why other countries were so intent on the U.S. restoring copyrights via the URAA, since most of them had been lost at some point. en:Wikipedia:Non-U.S. Copyrights has a list of countries with relations I think; the information is also on the Copyright Office Circular 38a. The U.S. has had bilateral relations with Italy since 1892 (same as Germany). There are generally presidential proclamations surrounding each one, which are printed in the Statutes at Large (wikisource index at s:United States Statutes at Large; most have not been transcribed but you can still look in the scanned volumes) . Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:37, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Ah right, this State Department document also gives a list of U.S. copyright relations, usually including the actual Statutes at Large page number to look for (references like "<volume> Stat. <page>"). Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:23, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Also some of the treaties may be found in some treaties volumes like United States Treaties and Other International Agreements; for example the 1892 exchange of letters with Italy is here. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:18, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
About Italy, using the references from the Wikipedia article and looking in Wikisource, we get:
  • May 1, 1915: Proclamation (in 39 Stat.): p. 1725, p. 1726
  • February 10, 1947 (in 61 Stat. 1245): Volumes 47-64 of USSAL are not scanned at Wikisource.
  • December 12, 1951: Proclamation 2958 (in 66 Stat.): p. C13, p. C14
-- Asclepias (talk) 04:46, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Hello Kitty buses

Are some of these buses copyrighted? It would appear that they contain a derivative work of Hello Kitty. Alternatively what is the status of images at Category:Hello Kitty? I have to assume that this is a copyrighted derivative work and this would be a non-free image of a costume for the same reason. Ryan Vesey Review me! 15:47, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Japanese Wikipedia has a number of buses and trains with artworks under fair use claims, for example this one: ja:ファイル:Hatobus 794-hellokitty01 ver2007.jpg. For more examples, see ja:Category:屋外美術を含む画像 which contains all fair use images on Japanese Wikipedia (all of them FOP-related). --Stefan4 (talk) 15:56, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Photo of Action Comics (volume 2) #1

I think attention needs to be given to this image. It's a photograph of the cover of a comic book that came out 11 months ago. Aside from the fact that it's "slabbed" (encased by a professional grader who graded its quality), it's just the image of the cover, whose copyright is owned by DC Comics. Nightscream (talk) 16:42, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Why do we respect Kosovan laws?

Kosovo does have copyright laws, but it is not an internationally recognized country, and from an UN standpoint is part of Serbian legislation. So why are we deleting images for lack of FOP in Kosovo? (example) I could announce my own country inside German territory and refuse FOP, how should that affect Commons? -- Liliana-60 (talk) 16:27, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Your statement that Kosovo "is not an internationally recognized country" is not true. According to en:International recognition of Kosovo, 91 out of 193 (47.2%) UN member states, 22 out of 27 (81%) EU member states, 24 out of 28 (86%) NATO member states, and 30 out of 57 (53%) Organisation of Islamic Cooperation member states have recognised Kosovo, and it's become a member of the IMF and World Bank. The United States does recognize Kosovo, which may be relevant to Commons (since WMF is US-based and subject to US law). Broader international recognition for Kosovo seems likely, since additional countries are still recognizing Kosovo, and no country has withdrawn recognition. Also relevant to that particular case: no objections were raised in that deletion discussion. cmadler (talk) 17:14, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Cmadler. There are two relevant issues in Commons: US legislation and source contry legislation.
  • According to US legislation, the source country is Kosovo, since Kosovo is an independent state recognized by USA. We can't keep the image acording to US legislation.
  • Then, it doesn't matter what source country will be considered in Commons. Even if you convinced all the Commons community that the source country is Serbia, and under Serbian law those images were free and allowable in Commons, we would need to delete them according to US legislation.
In your example, if you declare your part of Germany an independent state, the USA recognizes it as an independent state and you ban FoP in it, we wouldn't be able to keep FoP images taken in your new state.--Pere prlpz (talk) 17:41, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Even if the US recognizes Kosovo as an independent state, it has no copyright relations with it (as far as I am aware); thus you can't claim Kosovan copyright in the US. And until Russia and China change their stance, Kosovo will legally remain part of Serbia internationally. -- Liliana-60 (talk) 18:21, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
International recognition and U.N. membership are two different things. The U.N. itself says that it's not the U.N.'s business to recognize States.[6] A permanent member of the U.N.'s Security Council can only block the membership of a country as a U.N. member. But it can't block international recognition, which is a matter decided individually by the countries. The level of international recognition of a country depends of its recognition by other countries. If a country is recognized by a significant proportion of other countries, you can say that it has significant international recognition. -- Asclepias (talk) 19:20, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
International recognition does somewhat correlate with UN membership, due to every country being part of the UN nowadays. Hmm, does Berne membership require UN membership beforehand? Because I have not seen any non-UN country having signed Berne, not even Taiwan. -- Liliana-60 (talk) 19:37, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
The two notions still do not correlate. It is possible that the large majority, or even the totality, of the current members of the UN would recognize your new country, but that one UN member that happens to be a permanent member of the SC is against the admission of your new country to the UN. Also to distinguish the two notions, a classic example is Switzerland, which was not a member of the UN until 2002 but certainly enjoyed international recognition even when it was not a member of the UN. Which ties in with your other question, as Switzerland was one of the first member countries of the Berne Convention, long before it became a member of the UN. -- Asclepias (talk) 22:09, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Also keep in mind that the Berne Convention was created well before the United Nations. At some point, no Berne Convention member was a United Nations member, since the latter didn't exist yet. Also, the Vatican City State joined the Berne Convention in 1935, but has not yet joined the United Nations. --Stefan4 (talk) 22:45, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Taiwan has signed TRIPS (as Chinese Taipei), which does also mean they are a WTO member, and also means they have international copyright relations (including with the U.S.), even if they are not technically a Berne member. India joined Berne as a separate entity in 1928, so you don't even need to be a completely independent country to do so. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:32, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Note also that Kosovo is missing an w:ISO 3166 code, further proving my stance that they're not internationally a separate country, but considered part of Serbia. -- Liliana-60 (talk) 21:19, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

It is de facto its own country right now. If there is a legislature which is passing laws which have real effect on the ground in that area, we should try to recognize them. We try to recognize Palestinian laws, etc., as much as possible as well. Anyways, I'm not so sure the UN considers it part of Serbia -- the ICJ ruled the secession as "legal" at one point, so it may simply be a country which is not a UN member. There's no real reason to ruffle feathers by trying to definitively state if it's part of Serbia or not -- if the situation is ever worked out such that Kosovo does become part of Serbia, giving up whatever international recognition it has, meaning the territory would de facto then be subject to Serbian copyright law, then we'd react accordingly. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:44, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't think we consider Palestinian laws at all. {{PD-Palestine}} is a red link. -- Liliana-60 (talk) 18:48, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
It hasn't come up much, but as far as it has, I think we do. Probably not enough works here to warrant its own tag, or the terms are close enough to existing generic tags (there's no {{PD-Iceland}} either, for example). There is no clear copyright law there, which makes the situation fairly muddled, but I'd guess {{PD-old-50}} is the most appropriate tag, though photographs may well have a different term. According to this article, the most current law is a modified version of the UK Copyright Act 1911, so those may well be the terms, which are 50pma (except photos are 50 years from creation). According to this article, a replacement law was drafted (also based on the UK 1911 act, though intended to conform to TRIPS) but I guess it is not yet in force, which would clear things up more if it was. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:03, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Hmm. I never liked PD-old-50 as that's an invitation to upload copyvios. So there should probably be something for PD-Palestine. -- Liliana-60 (talk) 20:35, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
No objection whatsoever to making one, of course. Most works from there would still be under copyright and need to be licensed anyways; works from the British Mandate era would probably be easier to identify the terms. But there may be photos older than 50 years where you could argue copyright has expired. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:32, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
One of the principal reasons behind Commons' policy of making an item free in its source country is surely because people are more likely to sue in the jurisdiction where the item was created and published, and this could conceivably lead to Wikimedia being blocked in those countries. It just wouldn't do to be uploading artwork (available on es.wikipedia) by Pablo Picasso that is free in the US but not Spain: Picasso's heirs would quite likely sue for copyright infringement against Spanish Commons uploaders and against the WMF (possibly even having WMF projects blocked in Spain, much in the spirit of SOPA or the Scorpion's album).
Realizing this, and in view of the fact that the foundation is based out of Florida, it makes sense that Commons would follow a policy that it recognizes the home country where a) it is de facto in control of its own territory and/or b) it is de jure in control of its own territory according to US recognition. Kosovo, along with Taiwan, are the only states that I can think of that fit both criteria.
I would be in favor of adding a page Commons:International recognition (or something like it) to clarify when exactly we recognize a foreign state. Of course we run the risk of process creep by doing so. Magog the Ogre (talk) (contribs) 14:46, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Related question: Are works made before Kosovo independence subject to Kosovo or Serbian laws? I suppose it's the last, since Kosovo can't legislate over what was not theirs at the time, right?

I have a similar question about works produced by old European colonies which are now independent countries.I believe this is a recurrent question, but I just can't remember or easily find its answer. Darwin Ahoy! 15:11, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

When countries split apart, I'm not entirely sure -- but one suggested approach is to treat works as simultaneously published in all successor countries, which makes some sense. Kosovo (etc.) can certainly legislate over their territory, so their laws would apply to all residents now, and that kind of thing. Most often successor countries would start with the law as it was previously until explicitly changed or repealed, but it can be a guessing game as to whether the new countries remain as members to international agreements and that sort of thing. As for European colonies, those can be a bit different -- they were not usually the same thing as part of the parent country, and had their own courts and legislatures and legal history. Law changes in the parent country usually had to be explicitly applied to colonies, I think. The UK did sometimes pass legislation detailing which colonies the copyright law applied to, while some colonies applied it on their own (usually with some small modifications). For example, the UK passed a new copyright law in 1911, and I think India adopted a modified version in 1914 or so. India also joined the Berne Convention separately in 1928, well before they were completely independent. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:51, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Meanwhile, we (Portugal), also had "our" India, Goa, Damão and Diu, which is a good example since I actually have a few postcards sent from there to my grandfather. Those works were made in "Portugal", since it was all Portugal from Bissau to Macao back then. Portugal says that 70yo photographs with no author (or issued by collective person) are PD 70 years after date of publication (or if not published at all). Now it is India, which says that the photos are PD after 60 years. Which one should I respect? Most probably this is just a rhetorical question, since I very much doubt that Portugal would ever pick on India for declaring PD Portuguese works still not PD in Portugal.-- Darwin Ahoy! 01:39, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Alfons Mucha

Is it OK if I upload reproductions of 2D artworks by Czech painter Alfons Mucha (1860-1939) from this page As far as I know his artworks are in the public domain (life of the author plus 70 years) but I'm not sure. Regards.--Ileana n (talk) 12:35, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

According to w:Wikipedia:Non-U.S._copyrights, Czech copyright in 1996 was 50 pma, so these works were out of copyright in 1996 and thus not renewed by the URAA, and thus are out of copyright in the US. Since they are out of copyright in Czech and the US, they should be okay to upload.--Prosfilaes (talk) 12:58, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Most of the works by Mucha were created before 1918, when Czech Republic did not exist, and Praha was part of Austro-Hungarian empire. However I guess all these works are ok as they were published before 1923.--Ymblanter (talk) 18:32, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the replies. Kind regards.--Ileana n (talk) 18:56, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Is free license always doubtful license?

  • I'd like to ask for an advice. A human being publishes some free photographs on the website and sets the free license for those. There is himself on some photograph, and the images are of different pixel size, and they appear to be from different cameras. Does this mean that the said author is prohibited to use different cameras, is prohibited to obtain rights on such images from other people, and is prohibited to scale his images? Does this mean that such photographs cannot be stored in Commons instead of its author's statement? Does this mean that when I see some free image around, I have to doubt if it's free and if its author is honest? I cannot believe the free license means dishonesty today. Thank you, dear people.--PereslavlFoto (talk) 20:33, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
    • If a user has used multiple cameras, this may indicate that something is wrong. Most people have one or two cameras (or possibly more if you're a professional photographer), so it is strange if it says that a hundred different camera models were used. When I move files from Wikipedia to Commons, I typically check EXIF information so that I can confirm that the user doesn't seem to use too many cameras. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:42, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
      • How many cameras may a person use (own and not own ones) to be able to use CC free licenses? Does the license set any limit? If a person has no one camera, hasn't he a right to shoot with other people's cameras?--PereslavlFoto (talk) 21:46, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
        • Creative Commons licences do not set any maximum camera limit. However, if it says that a person has made several images available under a Creative Commons licence, but you can see that multiple camera models have been used, this may indicate that the person hasn't taken the photos himself. If the photos were taken by someone else, then he was presumably not entitled to make the images available under a Creative Commons licence in the first place, making the licence claim invalid. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:53, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
          • The question seems to be addressing to a past discussion. If PereslavlFoto wants us to give an opinion, a link to the relevant discussion would be useful.
And about the general question, deciding that an authorship claim is unlikely is more complex than counting cameras. A person can have several cameras, but some combination of different cameras, different skills, lack of Exif data, and so, might made unlikely a single authorship. Anyway, in case of doubt, it's very easy to solve it. You can, for example, put all your cameras together and take a photo of the group with every one of them, and upload these images. This way everybody will see that there isn't anything wrong with these cameras.
For the several resolutions question, you only need to upload the original uncropped version to show that you have them - it's unlikely that you have all the original images if they aren't yours.
And for the rights from other people, you only need to scan the documents and send them to OTRS and all it will be clear.--Pere prlpz (talk) 21:59, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
  • I speak not about Commons user: I speak about any human being who can use CC free license. A man makes free images and does not bother to use any OTRS, it's enough to use the license itself. There is nothing abotu any OTRS in the license.--PereslavlFoto (talk) 22:40, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Please keep the widest angle of view. The question is: if someone uses free licese, can we believe in this? Or any usage of CC free license is a fraud?--PereslavlFoto (talk) 22:40, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Please don't make it an all or nothing question. Some CC images are frauds and some CC images are legitimate.
A lot of the stuff you can find in Internet is copyvio. A lot of the people that is claiming authorship of images in the Internet are just lying, or probably just not caring about copyright. And a lot of Internet sites aren't very worried about rights of the stuff people upload there - Commons tries to be different about this.
Then, the fact that somebody uploads some images in Picasa, claims them to be his and puts a free license on them, is clearly no guarantee that he owns the images and the license is valid. If those images look like a copyvio would look and there isn't any additional evidence that authorship claim is legitimate, we should better not upload them.--Pere prlpz (talk) 23:14, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Then noone is secured. All my images uploaded at Commons may be called copyright fraud, and I cannot prove anything, because a message from noone from webmail into OTRS will not prove anything. Does this mean CC media cannot be anonymous?--PereslavlFoto (talk) 23:32, 13 August 2012 (UTC)
Nothing is secured 100%, but if your own work images uploaded to Commons are called copyright fraud, you can do a lot to prove it.
For example, if I claim that the images you uploaded are actually mine, I'll need very strong evidence to take you to trial - you are anonymous, but your contributions can probably be traced to you. Anyway, at trial you can show your evidence and I will probably lose.
Although, if you have taken some fraud-looking photos from Picasa and the actual owner takes you to trial, it will be a lot harder to you to defend yourself. For reusers of these images, it can be even worse.
Again, nothing is secure, but some things are more likely than others.--Pere prlpz (talk) 00:27, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

The way I've seen it applied on Commons:Administrators' noticeboard/User problems and mass deletion discussions, the fact of multiple cameras in Exif data is rarely the only factor in deleting images from Commons, but if a user's uploads are suspicious on other grounds, then diverse camera metadata can supply the coup de grâce... AnonMoos (talk) 01:24, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Just as a point of comparison tho, in the last 8 years I have used 5 different digital cameras - 1 lost to a thief, 1 to a dunking, 1 in a fall, 2 still functional, and a film camera. Dankarl (talk) 20:32, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Just as another point of comparisson, too: in the last 6 years I have upload about 1500 images taken in 12 years with about 8 different cameras, none of them professional. If these 1500 photos had been taken with 1500 different cameras, it would cast serious doubts on my authorship - unless I provide some evidence of being a professional camera tester. Furthermore, if a contributor of only 20 images uses 20 different cameras, probably there is something wrong.
And I agree with AnonMoos: usually multiple cameras are not the only issue in suspicious images.--Pere prlpz (talk) 22:09, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Image for Phone Application

I want to use 200+ images from this site (from all different authors/photographers). Would it be enough if I had a credits tab within the application that attributed credit to everyone who I used pictures from?

It depends on the license of the individual image. That would probably be enough for most of the images, but may not be enough for all of them. Did you have a specific license you were inquiring about? --Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:52, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
I think you can group all the credits in one place, but you may need to be able to correlate the credit with the specific image somehow -- i.e. have the credit identify which image it applies to, since potential re-users need to know that particular images are CC-BY, etc. Also note that any derivative works made from CC-BY-SA or GFDL images must be licensed on the same terms. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:23, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Dutch Sculpter Marianne Houtkamp

I have just almost totally re-written her lemma on the Dutch Wikipedia, and I wish to upload photo's of the sculpturs she has made in the last decennia. 2 photo's of HER work, which have been uploaded from a French Art Gallary where she has a permanent exibition, have been deleted almost straight away. Question is : where they deleted according to the rules of Wikipedia or does an artist from its own right have the authority to upload photo's here??? Thank you to enlighten me.

And how do I sign this using my four tildes ??

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Malinka1 (talk • contribs) 2012-08-17T10:48:14 (UTC)
If Houtkamp is a living artist, she owns the copyright in her sculptures, and photographs of such sculptures cannot be taken and uploaded here without her permission. She may have given permission for photographs of such sculptures to be taken and used on the art gallery's website, but that does not mean she agreed to the photographs being used by anyone for any purpose, including commercial purposes. Here at the Wikimedia Commons, we only accept files that are in the public domain (that is, not copyrighted) or licensed by the copyright holders under a free licence such as the Creative Commons Zero ({{Cc-zero}}) or Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licences ({{Cc-by-3.0}}). If you can get Houtkamp to personally agree by e-mail to license photographs of her sculptures under one of these licences, you can upload those photographs and use the OTRS system to have the consent verified. (To sign e-mails, type "~~~~" or click on the button with four tildes in the panel below the "Save page" button.) — Cheers, JackLee talk 12:57, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
A photograph of a work of art has two possible copyrights -- the photograph itself, where the copyright is owned by the photographer, and the copyright on the underlying work of art. The photograph would be considered a "derivative work", and reproduction and distribution of the photograph is subject to the permission of the copyright holder of the original work of art (of course, various "fair use" situations would be allowed regardless). In order for such a photograph to be on Commons, we would need the photographer to freely license the photograph, and also the artist to similarly license their work so far as it is depicted in that photograph. As part of the overall Wikipedia/Wikimedia "free" philosophy, the licenses need to allow derivative works (at least of the photograph) and commercial use -- see Commons:Licensing. Additionally, because Commons is used as a generally-available database of media, Commons cannot host any files under a "fair use" criteria -- either the copyright must have expired (which for the Netherlands, would last an artist's entire lifetime plus 70 more years), or it must be licensed by the copyright holder. If you uploaded a photo taken by someone else, yes, it's going to be deleted immediately, as we would not have permission from either of the copyright holders in question. One exception is that for some countries (including the Netherlands), photographs of statues permanently located in public places are not considered derivative works, i.e. are not subject to the artist's copyright -- in that case, we only need the license from the photographer. See Commons:Freedom of panorama#The_Netherlands. Some Wikipedias do allow local uploads of works under a "fair use" rational, but I don't think nl-wiki does, at least according to meta:Non-free content. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:59, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
Note: Although the photos are for the Dutch Wikipedia, it says that the exhibition is at "a French Art Gallary". France is not the same as the Netherlands. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:17, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
There's no freedom of panorama in France either, unfortunately. — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:05, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

Appropriate license tag for public domain images from University of Houston Digital Library KUHT Collection

I noticed that several uploaded images claimed as public domain which come from the KUHT Collection have different license tags which seem to contradict each other. File:Geometry Lessons.jpg is marked {{cc-zero}}, but the source for the image claims these terms for "Use and Reproduction":

This image is in the public domain and may be used freely. If publishing in print, electronically, or on a website, please use the citation: "Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. UH Digital Library. "

I don't see that the copyright owner has explicitly licensed that image under {{cc-zero}} terms. File:KUHT Building UH 1960s.jpg, bearing the same source terms, is marked {{PD-author|University of Houston Libraries}}, but it is not clear to me whether the claimed copyright owner is accurate and whether there was an explicit release of the photographs into the public domain. File:Early KUHT Station ID.jpg, also under the same terms, is marked {{PD-Pre1978}}, which might be plausible. What would be the best description of the licensing status of the images? Splintercellguy (talk) 04:46, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

{{CC-zero}} is wrong, but it says right there that it's in the public domain. The citation request is just a courtesy. PD-Pre1978 is wrong unless we can established they were published. If we're unsure about exactly why they're PD, perhaps we should ask the library.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:31, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Nazi propaganda photos from World War II

I have a number of Nazi Propaganda photos from World War II that were taken shortly after the Dieppe Raid in August 19, 1942.

These photos were made into propaganda packets and dropped by plane in Great Britain and on Allied Troops in other theatres of the war.

Which copyright license is applicable to these photos?

The historical nature of these photos leads me to want to protect the image content for future generations.

I was provided this packet by a former member of British Military Intelligence and recently scanned these photos.

According to German and UK law, if they're anonymous works, they will leave copyright in 2013. In the US they should be out of copyright right now. In a year, {{PD-EU-no author disclosure}} and {{PD-1996}} will be appropriate; right now they're still property of Germany in Europe.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:37, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

Copyright status of William Rothenstein images

I nominated a couple of drawings by William Rothenstein for deletion, because he is a British artist who died in 1945. These images were kept. A discussion with one of the admins about this is copied here:

"British artist en:William Rothenstein died in 1945. Apparently images first published in the US before 1923 are in the public domain in the US. But, as far as I know, not in Great Britain and other countries. Why were these image then kept? Isn't there a rule in Commons that an image should at least be PD in the US and the country of origin? (see Commons:Public_domain#Interaction_of_United_States_copyright_law_and_non-US_copyright_law) Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 09:50, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
These documents were published in USA and UK, AFAICT, so the USA are as much a country of origin as UK. Yann (talk) 10:32, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
That's weird. So, an English artist creates a piece of art in the UK, and they are published in the UK. Therefore they are not in the PD in the UK, am I right? Please explain. Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 13:17, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
No, that's not weird. It is published both in UK and USA, and for our purpose, both USA and UK are countries of origin. It is the case for many English books, which are published in several countries in the same time. Yann (talk) 14:04, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
I feel you avoid my question, I am not talking about the US: what is the copyright status in the UK? And if that would be PD, why is that? Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 14:20, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, it might still be under a copyright in the UK, but the question is moot for Commons, i.e. it has no practical impact or relevance. Yann (talk) 07:03, 19 August 2012 (UTC)


In the light of our policy that images should be free to use in all jurisdictions, was this done correctly? Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 09:36, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

There is nothing in the policy saying that images should be free in all jurisdictions. In this case, we have 2 countries of origin, USA and UK, and the images being in the PD in USA is sufficient for our purpose. Regards, Yann (talk) 09:41, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
From the policy:

"Thus, any licence to use the material should apply in all relevant jurisdictions; if the material is in the public domain, it must normally be in the public domain in all these jurisdictions (plus in the country of origin of the work) for it to be allowable on Commons."

Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 09:46, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

The country of origin you refer to is the country where merely a copy was published. But the country of origin of the original piece of art is the UK. Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 09:54, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
For all we know, they were published at the same time in both country. USA is as much a country of origin as UK. For information, the files are File:Auguste Rodin par William Rothenstein.jpg, File:Portrait of Thomas Edward Lawrence by William Rothenstein.jpg, and File:The Yellow Book - Volume 1 - Plate 9.png. All were published before 1923 in USA. I don't think we need to care that they were also published in UK. For the sake of the argument, I don't think we need to find the worst possible case for each file. Yann (talk) 10:37, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
You are bending the rules. We've discussed this before, but we disagreed. I would like to see the view of other admins. Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 10:54, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I have no real idea on these in particular, but the country of origin is the country where a work was first published, regardless of the nationality of the author. If the work was first published in the US and is public domain there, yes the UK will still protect the work since he's a British national, but it would not change the country of origin. If something was simultaneously (within 30 days) published in more than one country, the Berne Convention says the country of origin is the one of those with the lesser term. While yes, such works would still be protected in Europe (since the author was a national of an EU country), they would not necessarily be protected in other countries which observe the rule of the shorter term. In the simultaneous publication situation, the URAA goes a bit different route, and uses the country with the "greatest contacts with the work" -- but if the U.S. is one of those countries, then it is considered a U.S. work and there was no URAA restoration (and being pre-1923 meant that aspect is not relevant anyways). But yes, if the works were published in the UK before they were published in the US, then the UK should be the country of origin and they should be deleted, so we should care about earlier UK publication, if that can be shown. So, it comes down to what we can find out about the publications. The Rodin image was apparently donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Roger Fry in 1907 -- if that was the first publication, then it's a U.S. work. If there is a record of an earlier publication, that would change things. (There is another Rodin portrait by Rothenstein donated to the Tate gallery in 1910; I don't think we could use that one.) The Lawrence one comes from a book where the preface says copies were sold in both the US and the UK, and lists publishers in both countries; if that was done at the same time, then it may be a simultaneous publication situation, unless the portrait was published earlier elsewhere. The Yellow Book sounds like it was primarily a UK magazine, but the source there does mention a US publisher as well. So, there is some reason to think the US is technically the country of origin in all three cases. If we can find separate UK and US publication dates for those, it could help (that is often recorded somewhere for books). Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:50, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Thank you Carl, shed some light on the matter. Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 13:14, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
It is not our policy that images should be free to use in all jurisdictions; you're quoting that text out of context. The consequences of such a rule would be major; Columbia is a life+80 nation without the rule of the shorter term.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:27, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Prosfilaes, could you go further into your idea it is out of context? That is not clear to me.Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 13:14, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
By the indentation, he was replying to your statement that In the light of our policy that images should be free to use in all jurisdictions, which is indeed not correct -- the image should be free in the U.S. and the country of origin, but not necessarily all jurisdictions. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:30, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

One question, I could not pose sofar, remains: HathiTrust released one of those images as Public Domain or Public Domain in the United States, Google-digitized. In their explanation they conclude it with the sentence The images are provided for educational, scholarly, non-commercial purposes. Non-commercial public domain, is that a valid license? Jan Arkesteijn (talk) 13:14, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

That's a hedge if they are wrong about PD status, or perhaps if the works are accessed from jurisdictions where they are not yet public domain. It's always possible there are restrictions and conditions based on other rights, but they do not affect the "free" status (see Commons:Non-copyright restrictions). HathiTrust owns no copyright in the underlying works and has no right to license/release it anyways -- it has to be PD on its own before HathiTrust could make it available. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:30, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

French War Memorial sculpture

An ip-user marked File:Lodeve7597.JPG and three other files for deletion. I responded with-Can you identify yourself- so we can progress this. We need to discover whether the estate of Paul Dardé will issue a waver or whether there is an exception for War Memorials as I suspect. True, there is generally in France no right of panorama, but there are exceptions. I and the American Army seem to think that War memorials were covered by one of these.

Looking into the situation and googling for 'copyright law sculpture monument aux morts' I found an interesting article on the four rights of the auteur- which is based on the concept of moral right- not financial. Worryingly, was the number of Wikipedia images that turned up! Category:Monuments historiques in France by department is a meta-category. (Google says 739,000 but that can't be right)

Interestingly there was one file (can't find it now) which claimed that a sculpture in an American Cemetery in France was PD as a US govt work.

Can we get some accurate French legal interpretation to clear this all up. --ClemRutter (talk) 18:40, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

I'm not aware of a specific copyright law for memorials in France. May be you can point me out the articles you have read ? --PierreSelim (talk) 08:37, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

Emblems of cities in Turkey

Are emblems (coat-of-arms) of cities in Turkey subject to copyright? --Infestor (talk) 20:58, 28 July 2012 (UTC) is the 'patent institute' email for Turkey if anyone wants to email them. They may respond to english.--Canoe1967 (talk) 00:06, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
{{PD-Turkey}} gives no hint that they wouldn't be subject to copyright. And there is no {{PD-Coa-Turkey}}. Rd232 (talk) 14:22, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Turkish Patent Institute didn't bother to reply me (no surprises here!), despite I wrote them in Turkish. But as I saw under Istanbul and Izmir municipality websites, logos must be used "as is" (no dimension altering, different color using). So, I am guessing that they are under copyright but can be used in Wikipedia without asking and by sourcing back to official holder (the municipality) as they're under press kit. If one makes a SVG derivative of those logos, I guess they're still under copyright. --Infestor (talk) 16:41, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't know about Turkey, but most countries have signs with coats of arms at borders between different entities. Would a Turkish city coat of arms, printed on one of those signs, be considered as a work of fine art? --Stefan4 (talk) 19:34, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Generally they are copyrighted (for example Çelikhan municipality). The best way is sending e-mail to get their permission. And then Commons:OTRS. Takabeg (talk) 10:43, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

This is the reply i got from TPE:

"Sayın xxx,

TPE Portalına 2012-07-29 tarihinde yapmış olduğunuz info başvurunuza ilişkin cevap aşağıdadır.

Sayın xxx;

Bahsetmiş olduğunuz belediye logo ve amblemi telif hakları ile değil marka ile korunabilir. Bunun için ilgili kuruluşun başvuru yapması gerekmektedir. Marka isim tescili alındığında tescili yaptıran kurum kuruluş yada kişiye başvurduğu isme veya başvurduğu logoya ait tekel hakkı kazandırır. Bunun için kurumumuzla değil söz konusu logo ve ismin sahibi belediyelerle görüşmeniz gerekmektedir.


so the logos are not protected by copyright but by trademark and this is individual for each municipality (some might have trademarked it whereas some might have not). --Infestor (talk) 19:15, 13 August 2012 (UTC)

If you can translate that exactly and pass it on to OTRS, maybe we can make {{PD-Coa-Turkey}} based on that, for Turkish municipal coats of arms. Rd232 (talk) 18:04, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
done --Infestor (talk) 19:18, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Created: Template:PD-Turkey-COA. -- King of ♠ 06:16, 17 August 2012 (UTC)

  This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. Rd232 (talk) 13:50, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Validity of Freedom of Panorama for artworks on Commons

I'm a bit reluctant to bring up this issue due to the potential consequences, but I think it will have to be discussed at some point if it hasn't already. As we already know, the United States only recognizes Freedom of Panorama for buildings and does not recognize it for artworks. This has been clearly established through various court decisions. Other countries, especially in Europe, do recognize Freedom of Panorama for artworks (especially 3D artworks). The problem is, the laws that have jurisdiction over the copyright status of photographs of public artwork are not the laws of the country which hosts the artwork but the laws of the country in which the photograph is being copied, published, or sold. And since the U.S. recognizes derivative copyrights for public artwork (regardless of the country in which the artwork resides), such photographs are typically not public domain within the U.S. In other words, a sculptor of a public statue located in the UK could still enforce their copyrights on derivative photographs of that statue within the U.S. even if they couldn't do so in the UK.

Current Commons policy states that hosted images must be public domain in both the source country and the United States. To me, this implies that all of our FoP templates are invalid, with the exception of {{FoP-US}} and any other templates that apply only to buildings. Is my analysis of the situation totally off or if this potentially a real issue? Kaldari (talk) 06:55, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Yes, it's a real and well-known issue, and it is raised from time to time, although most of the time we do our best to avoid thinking about it. But this strange situation is not tenable. Sooner or later, someone will have to take the bull by the horns and do something about it. There are two possible solutions. Either Commons changes its policy, openly rebels against the Wikimedia Foundation policy, and states clearly that it refuses to enforce the U.S. copyright; or the Commons community enforces the copyright, applies its current policy, and deletes the infringing files. -- Asclepias (talk) 07:42, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually, the main reason this issue gets raised relates to non-FOP countries: "We only need to respect US law, a picture of the Burj Khalifa is OK under US law, lets have it on Commons; who cares about the UAE's rules?" and so on. As far as I can tell only discussion at the FOP page about exactly this point is this (may be prior discussion elsewhere), but has very dated attitudes.
I'd say this problem is comparable to the URAA issue. Both are about US copyright being more restrictive, and prevent us from hosting valuable imagery that's free in its source country. Both are inevitable consequences of following US law and ultimately we have to choose between the unpalatable options mentioned above.
I feel like the Commons community needs to determine (or the WMF decide) the way forward on what laws we should be following: Once we have answers to that questions, then the consequences for FOP are clear. Do we follow both US and source laws (de jure Commons policy), source country only (de facto policy for FOP) or US law only? We should look for all aspects that decision will affect (including FOP), to fully inform discussion.--Nilfanion (talk) 08:43, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
  Info That seems to be another thing that might be worth considering at RFC/Commons Abroad and related ideas. --El Grafo (talk) 09:02, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I'm a bit confused by what you say about the applicability of US FoP rules. If a sculpture in Germany is photographed in Germany and the photo uploaded from Germany, German FoP rules should apply, not US. (I'm less sure about other combinations, like photo of sculpture in Germany published in France, or derivative works.) Rd232 (talk) 14:16, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
re-reading, the key bit is the U.S. recognizes derivative copyrights for public artwork (regardless of the country in which the artwork resides). What is the source for this, and what does the relevant law say exactly? Rd232 (talk) 14:19, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
A key related issue is the question of "country of origin". Is the country of origin 1) the country in which the derivative work (photograph) is first published, 2) the country in which the derivative work is created (usually the country where the underlying work is situated, but not always -- we have some cross-border photos), or 3) the country in which the underlying work was first published? (I think it's both 1 and 3, because there is potential copyright at each level.) This has come up several times, with sometimes conflicting outcomes (take a look at results in Category:Australian Aboriginal flag related deletion requests but also at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Joint Security Area from North Korea.jpg and Commons:Undeletion_requests/Archive/2011-07#Commons:Deletion requests/File:070401 Panmunjeom3.jpg). cmadler (talk) 14:44, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, according to the definition at en:Wikipedia:Non-US_copyrights#Source_country, I conclude that it might be possible to end up with multiple source countries, one for each applicable copyright...! I've no idea how these contradictions might be resolved. Rd232 (talk) 14:55, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
That's my interpretation also, and based on our current rules, I think Commons files need to be free/freely licensed in all source countries (i.e. free or freely licensed at each level at which copyright might exist). cmadler (talk) 15:49, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
It's not a guarantee that the UK sculptor could enforce such rights in the U.S. -- it's possible, but the courts could also rule that the sole copyright owner of the photograph is the photographer given the law in the country of origin (since the U.S. does use foreign law to determine the copyright owner, given at least one precedent), and therefore the sculptor has no standing to claim infringement on the photograph. It is also possible that a court would still rule the photograph derivative of the separate sculptural copyright, as you say. But given that there is no good precedent, and there is a defensible position with regards to such FoP photos even in the U.S. (not to mention the very real possibility of a fair use defense even if that does not turn out to be true, given an actual legal case), we have chosen to keep with the status quo on that. It's a thorny question, but without any good precedent, it's hard to be sure. But there are some realistic grounds to think that such photographs may be OK in the U.S., and the situation is not nearly as clear-cut as you imply above. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:58, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
@Clindberg: In that case it would seem to boil down to the following Zen riddle: If someone creates a copy of a derivative work, are they copying just the derivative work or both the derivative work and the underlying work. My guess is that most U.S. courts would tend towards the later answer, but I could be wrong. What is the court case that you are referring to regarding determining the copyright owner by the source country laws? Kaldari (talk) 20:14, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
The case was w:Itar-Tass Russian News Agency v. Russian Kurier, Inc.. It wasn't "country of origin" strictly, but the country with "the most significant relationship" to the work, so a bit more common sense than simply the country of first publication (say, for example, the author moved to another country, then transferred copyright in that country, the transfer would probably be recognized if valid per that country's laws). That does not answer the question at hand though, which has additional weird international entanglements, but it is a definite possibility that the FoP law in the location of the statue could be significant. After all, the author did allow the statue to be placed in a location where they knew (or should have known) not to expect any rights over photos of it. Or, it is also possible that it would follow more the logic in the German case, and consider it a derivative work. But I'm very, very resistant to suddenly delete thousands and thousands of works here without clear legal precedent we can point to, particularly when it has been de facto policy here for years and years. Following actual legal precedent deletes plenty already. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:20, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
@Rd232: It's simply the good old de:Schutzlandprinzip. No mystery there. It's a basic principle of the Berne Convention and of the copyright laws of the member countries, including the U.S. The types of works that are protected by the U.S. Copyright Act enjoy that protection without discrimination (except for countries with no copyright relations with the U.S.). If you create a work in Germany and that type of work is protected by the U.S. copyright law against unauthorized publication, your work enjoys in the U.S. the same protection as any work of that type created in the U.S. Nobody can reproduce and publish it in the U.S. without your permission or under the exceptions provided by the U.S. law. -- Asclepias (talk) 19:59, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Even if the situation in the U.S. were clear-cut, it would be a bit strange, I think: We have many photos of sculptures by local artists taken in European countries with FOP for 3D art in public spaces, e.g. village fountains, soldier memorials etc. Now, take for example some sculpted cross in a village in Austria, created by a Austrian artist (living or who died some years ago), the photo taken and uploaded by a person from Austria. It's utterly unlikely the artist or heirs will go to the lengths of suing a fellow Austrian in a foreign country for publishing a picture that is perfectly legal in Austria. Something like this didn't happen in the several years of Commons' existence and I'm pretty sure it will never happen. Of course, I'm aware of COM:PRP which is a policy I completely agree with. “The copyright owner will not bother to sue or cannot afford to” is indeed not a valid argument. But I think this is a different case: It's about photos where the individuals concerned, copyright owner as well as photographer, are part of a jurisdiction where it's completely legal to take, publish and use commercially such photos (as Commons doesn't accept photos of copyrighted art/buildings from countries with "non-commercial" FOP such as Iceland or Russia). Gestumblindi (talk) 20:08, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

A more likely scenario would be a U.S. publisher deciding to use File:Fly-Angel.jpg on the cover of a book without asking permission and the sculptor's lawyers sending DMCA notices to the publisher and the WMF. I'm honestly surprised this hasn't happened yet. Kaldari (talk) 20:21, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

  Question Has there been any US case relating to FOP in another country? eg has there been an American court case regarding the Atomium? SABAM is much more likely to start legal action in the US than a UK sculptor after all. If there is: Does it talk about Belgian law, US law, or both? That can't provide precedent for a FOP-permitted country, but might give insight as to the outcome of such a case.--Nilfanion (talk) 21:38, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

Quoting from de:Schutzlandprinzip (the English article, en:Lex loci protectionis is much less helpful):

"Wenn ein Gebäude im Ausland fotografiert wurde, die Aufnahme nach dortigem Recht nicht vermarktet werden darf, kann gleichwohl die Vermarktung in Deutschland zulässig sein, wenn die Voraussetzungen der Panoramafreiheit nach deutschem Recht vorliegen. Dürfen zum Beispiel Aufnahmen des nächtlich beleuchteten Eiffelturms in Frankreich wegen fehlender Panoramafreiheit nicht publiziert werden, spielt dies für die Zulässigkeit der Nutzung des Fotos in Deutschland keine Rolle.[15] [16]
Die Geltung des Schutzlandprinzips bereitet Rechteverwertern im Internetbereich allerdings dennoch große Probleme. Da das Schutzlandprinzip, auch bedingt durch internationale Verträge, international stark verbreitet ist, müssten diejenigen Urheber von Internetinhalten, die jede Rechtsverletzung ausschließen möchten, ihren Online-Auftritt nach den Urheberrechtsordnungen sämtlicher Staaten richten, von denen aus ihr Angebot zugänglich ist – auch wenn dies aufgrund der Vielzahl nationaler Rechtsvorschriften praktisch nicht umsetzbar sein wird.[17] Jeder dieser Staaten kommt nämlich jedenfalls potenziell als Schutzland in Frage, denn ob überhaupt wie in Deutschland ein Inlandsbezug gefordert ist, wird in verschiedenen Jurisdiktionen unterschiedlich beurteilt."

Translation: we're fucked. Commons needs to respect the copyright laws of every country in the world in order to be sure that the content really can't get anyone into trouble, because it's the local law that applies wherever the content is used (and for internet publication, "use" may or may not be defined sensibly). So if some Austrian content is fine in Austria, someone could still get in legal trouble if they try to use it in Ruritania, which declares it Not Fine on alternate Tuesdays if the creator has the star sign Capricorn. :( Rd232 (talk) 22:29, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

(Edit conflict, in answer to Rd232) Well, yes - but that's the reason for the practical approach at Commons "files must be legal in the country of origin + U.S.", which minimizes the risk. Of course: if I publish a picture from Germany here that is legal in Germany as well as in the U.S. but not in e.g. Uzbekistan, it's fine for Commons and it's highly unlikely that I'll get into trouble, but I still might be sued in Uzbekistan. So, Commons never tried to respect the copyright laws of every country in the world for every individual file, because Commons probably would have to close down immediately. "Country of origin + U.S." is a practical approach for most cases, but FOP is a unique problem... so, I think Nilfanion's question is very pertinent and I would be interested in an answer, too. Gestumblindi (talk) 22:41, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

(Edit conflict)  Question As far as I know, a photo is treated as "American" according to US copyright law if at least one of the following is true:

  • The photo was first published in the United States, or published there within 30 days after publication elsewhere.
  • The photographer is a citizen of the United States.
  • The photographer is a resident of the United States.

Let's say that I (a Swedish citizen residing in Sweden) take a photo of a statue in Sweden. According to the Swedish copyright law, I'm allowed to do whatever I want with the photo, at least within Sweden. Let's say that I publish the photo in Sweden and wait for 30 days before uploading it to Commons. Under US law, the country of origin is Sweden. Am I then entitled to license the photo and all parts of it under a free licence in the United States?

Different option: Let's say that I upload the photo to Commons directly, without first publishing it here. I would assume that uploading something to Commons means that you publish it in the United States. This time, the photo was first published in the United States, so US law would say that the country of origin is the United States. Swedish copyright law would still say that the country of origin is Sweden (because of citizenship & residence), but that is a different issue. Would it be an entirely different situation if I upload the photo to Commons directly, without first publishing it elsewhere, due to the country of origin issue? What happens if a US citizen or a US resident takes a photo of a Swedish statue and uploads it to Commons, with or without first publishing it elsewhere? Keep in mind that the country of first publication might not be the same as the country of creation.

What happens if I go to France, take a photo of a building and then go home and publish it here in Sweden?

User:Clindberg talked about some case where a US court used non-US law to determine the copyright holder of a non-US work. Do you have any link to any more information about that case? Someone (also User:Clindberg?) has sometimes mentioned a case where a German court rejected Austrian FOP for Austrian photos in Germany. Do you have more information about that too? --Stefan4 (talk) 22:37, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

I've just created Commons:Lex loci protectionis. It's a first stab at clarifying this issue - hopefully to be expanded. Rd232 (talk) 22:50, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
(Edit conflict again) Regarding the German court rejecting Austrian FOP for Austrian photos in Germany, there's an article about the decision in the German Wikipedia: de:Hundertwasserentscheidung. Summary: In Austria, FOP applies also if you take photos of a building (which is in public space) from a point which isn't accessible to the public, e.g. a private flat. In Germany, FOP only applies to photos taken from a publicly accessible place, e.g. a public street. Now, someone was selling art prints in Germany, depicting an Austrian building designed by artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. The art prints were based on a photo taken from a private flat, and so the German court ruled that FOP isn't applicable according to German law and selling the prints in Germany without license was illegal. Selling prints depicting the same building, but based on a photo taken from a public street would probably be legal in Germany. Gestumblindi (talk) 22:54, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks - good example. I've added it to Commons:Lex loci protectionis. Rd232 (talk) 23:04, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
As to Stefan4's question about the status where the initial publication is online, that seems to be so unsettled that no one can even guess how a court would decide, and it's likely that you'd get two different answers from two different courts. One possibility is that it would be considered simultaneously published in every country, and the rules about simultaneous publication (which usually means within 30 days) would kick in. Another possibility is that it might depend on the top-level domain of the site (e.g. a .ca site would be considered Canadian publication); in that case the US would probably consider publication on a .com, .net, .org, or .info site (among others) to constitute US publication, since the American government claims jurisdiction over those TLDs. cmadler (talk) 23:58, 2 August 2012 (UTC)
I think a user here pointed out two U.S. court cases on that -- which went separate ways. One did rule it was the country of the server, or maybe where the user was when they did the uploading, and another did rule simultaneous publication in every country in the world (which makes a mockery of "country of origin", but that type of ruling can also be considered a message to legislatures to basically fix the definition if they don't like it, as it is a reasonable interpretation of the literal wording, even if not the spirit). Can't find the cases at the moment but it has been brought up in the last few months. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:29, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Regardless of whether a photo was first published in the United States or simultaneously in every country in the world, the photo would be treated as published in the United States, so United States copyright law would treat it as a domestic work (and every other country would also treat it as a domestic work since it was published there too). If a photo was published simultaneously in multiple countries, the country of origin is the one with the shortest copyright term, possibly Italy (20 years pc). Does this mean that anything FoP-related needs to comply with the not-so-pleasant COM:FOP#Italy if first published on the Internet? --Stefan4 (talk) 18:06, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Simultaneously in every country in the world? Then that would be Yemen (10 years pc). -- Liliana-60 (talk) 18:12, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

Back to FoP-US

Back to the FoP-US issue that started this thread: yes, we seem to have mostly ignored that US FoP rules do "bite" in deciding copyright; we seem mostly to have said "oh it's OK under FoP in country X, that's good enough". Well it isn't - it needs to be OK under US FoP as well, or some other rationale provided why it's OK under US copyright law. Example: the first picture below is OK under German FoP, but not US FoP. We can cross our fingers to hope it might be PD-old... but it isn't (de:Wenigemarkt, sculpture installed 1975/6). So the image fails COM:L, because the photo violates the sculpture's copyright under US law. The second photo below shows an artwork which isn't PD-old either (author died 1982) and isn't likely to be PD in US.

And so it goes: FoP globally beyond the level of US FoP is now almost useless, because we need the work to be usable in the US as well, and in most cases a rationale that makes it usable in the US will mean it's PD in the source country and FoP is irrelevant. In short, we probably need to amend all the FoP templates to somehow reflect this, and we need another massive case-by-case review (see COM:WPPD for others). Rd232 (talk) 16:12, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Can you cite a precedent where such works were ruled copyright violations in the United States? If not, I think your statement is a quite a bit too definite. They *might* be problems, but they also might not, as the U.S. does take foreign law into account to an extent in such situations, and it's not clear what that extend would be. I tend to oppose a large change in policy like this without a clear court case precedent to point to, as otherwise we are simply deleting based on legal theorizing, which can be a dangerous slippery slope. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:33, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
No, I think the onus is on those who want to argue that US law sees these issues differently than eg the German Hunderwasser decision noted at Commons:Lex loci protectionis. This is not a change in policy, this is a re-affirmation of existing policy. Any doubts should either be given evidential foundation, or be addressed to COM:PRP, postmarked "fingers crossed". Rd232 (talk) 17:51, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
It's a change in policy. We've been aware of this, and allowed such FoP images forever. The German decision is not binding in the U.S. While it's a possible interpretation, it's not the only one, and it comes out of a completely different legal history. If we are going to delete things based on untested legal theory, the onus is on us to demonstrate why they are not "free". We could argue all sorts of things are possible; that should not be the standard for deletion. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:24, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Ceasing to ignore policy violation isn't the same as changing policy. However, based on this article, it's all even more hideously messy (in relation to which country's laws apply) than I thought possible... There's a couple of US decisions discussed there you could maybe get more mileage out of than I can. Rd232 (talk) 18:46, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
That's kind of my point. The situation is very unpredictable; any kind of certainty on "free" vs "not free" is misplaced. Germany did go one route in that case, yes, but that does not necessarily have any bearing on what U.S. courts would do (and really the likelihood is that there would be conflicting rulings for a while). The second ruling in that paper is the one I mentioned above, which indicated that foreign law is at least used to determine the copyright ownership (and which country's law to use is a bit more common sense than strictly the Berne country of origin). It is entirely possible that a U.S. court would take the FoP status of the photograph into account -- common law (which Germany does not have) can be a lot less predictable. It is also entirely possible that the FoP status would change the fair use calculation such that commercial use is OK (something else that Germany does not have, at least to the U.S. extent). The international entanglements are hideously complicated in general, with the FoP twist being a very particularly weird situation on top of that, and there are no easy answers -- so deletion at this point is basically deciding that they are indeed violations, without real evidence. These issues have always been out there, and the community has essentially decided to allow them, which new legal decisions could always change of course. Commons gets enough flak for what we delete already, and I always prefer to be able to point to actual court decisions which demonstrate the real problem, or at the very least some strong commentary by legal experts, lest they complain that users here simply try to come up with new and creative reasons to delete files. Very few of us here are lawyers (I'm certainly not one), and with a situation like this, there could easily be some significant legal principles we are missing. By all means try to find court decisions, read legal papers, etc. to get a feel as to what the issues would be, and possibly base decisions on those sources, but I personally do not want to simply assume copyvios in this particular situation and start shredding people's contributions, given all the uncertainty. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:50, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Alright, fine, given the massive uncertainty and confusion (far greater than I realised earlier today...), I'm fine with sticking with the status quo. But we could perhaps try and keep a handle on the issue by eg amending the FoP templates to add a parameter for the type of work covered, and as far as possible try to keep an eye out for legal developments in the area of which laws apply in these confusing multi-jurisdiction/internet situations. Rd232 (talk) 20:36, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
I think we also need to add an explanation near the beginning of COM:FOP about what country's laws might apply in a given case -- that this is an area of unsettled law and it might be based on any of: the country in which the object depicted is situated, the country from which the photograph was taken, and the country in which the photo is used (viewed/sold) -- and also that because it is unsettled law, Commons practice is to keep photos based on the more lenient of the country in which the object is situated and the country in which the photo is taken (we can't consider the country in which a photo is used, because that is potentially every country). Are there other reasonably likely possibilities that should also be mentioned? cmadler (talk) 15:01, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
  Agree with adding note to COM:FOP. Rd232 (talk) 22:45, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, that's a good idea. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:00, 5 August 2012 (UTC)
I've added Commons:Freedom of panorama#Choice of law. Please edit/correct it as you see fit. cmadler (talk) 14:45, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
I doupt if it's relevant where the photo was taken from (Koreas' example). As for freedom of panorama we are talking about the copyright of the installed building/sculpture and source country for installed building building/sculpture is one way or another the country where it's located, isn't it? 08:54, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
That aspect mattered in the German court case; a photo was legal in Austria but not Germany due to where the photo was taken from, and the slight differences between Austrian and German FoP law. Carl Lindberg (talk) 11:52, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

What is 3D?


We say that coins are 3D for copyright issues, so engraving with more dept than coins should be also 3D, isn't? The cases are Commons:Deletion requests/File:Kevin Crouch memorial.JPG and Commons:Deletion requests/File:Forth and Clyde Ship Canal - - 260482.jpg. Not that I care much about these files, but we need to be consistent in our interpretation. Yann (talk) 11:12, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Well, this photograph taken from'_stars.htm also depicts an object with more depth than a coin (a drawer knob, seen in context here), but was deemed ineligible for copyright protection (twice) in Commons:Deletion requests/File:PinkStar.jpg. LX (talk, contribs) 19:17, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
That was an exceptional case. It was a flat pink star that had no depth, no details. You say that it's a drawer knob, but certainly someone looking at the picture couldn't tell that.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:13, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
I'll agree that it was an exceptional case, but those are the ones that define the boundaries of our practices. I'm not just saying it's a drawer knob, it is a drawer knob according to the people who sell it and took the product photo. It isn't flat; it's clearly got edges, shadows, texture and minor imperfections in the paint. And being able to tell what a picture depicts seems like a strange criteria for evaluating copyrightability, as it would disqualify a lot of macro photography and abstract art. LX (talk, contribs) 13:32, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
What a terrible DR. I agree with what you said in that discussion.
A relatively simple photograph might or might not be considered, by a court of justice, to be creative enough to be copyrightable, but that is a subjective call to be made by the court in each case. However, I think that the policy of Commons considers, by measure of precaution and simplicity, that all photographs are copyrightable in the United States (with the only exception of photographic reproductions of 2D works), on the premise that the treshold of originality for photos in the U.S. is very low. Perhaps one effect of that policy is that Commons may refuse a few photos that might be uncopyrightable, but one big advantage of the policy is that it avoids unending speculations and arguments about the level of originality of each photograph that someone might wish to upload to Commmons. I don't think it's a good idea to go against that policy. If users want to change that policy and open the door to thousands of discussions about the level of originality of individual photos, we should probably have a general discussion about it first. -- Asclepias (talk) 23:40, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
It's come up once in a DR since closing (Special:WhatLinksHere/Commons:Deletion_requests/File:PinkStar.jpg), and not as a serious argument there. At once in nine months, that'll take 750 years to reach the first thousand discussions. I think that you're blowing up the importance of this.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:04, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
We aren't making a pure axiomatic system here. We can say that a court will find that taking a photograph of a coin is creative enough to earn a copyright without saying that text on a sign is subject to FOP in a UK court because it's as raised as a coin.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:13, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
OK. Could you develop your argument? Thanks, Yann (talk) 03:42, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Does British law even mention the terms "2D" and "3D"? Isn't the rule simply that 2D works usually aren't works of artistic craftsmanship (subject to exceptions) and that 3D works usually are works of artistic craftsmanship (subject to exceptions)? --Stefan4 (talk) 23:58, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

Question on country of origin

I have some questions on the definition of "country of origin" which might affect lots of files. "First published" is assumed to mean "first published or published within 30 days of publication elsewhere". When you determine the country of origin according to the Berne convention, you follow these steps, if I have understood things correctly:

  1. Was the work first published in one or more Berne Convention countries? In that case, go to question 2. Otherwise, go to question 3.
  2. Out of the Berne Convention countries in which it was first published, which country has the shortest copyright term? This country is the source country. → source country established.
  3. In this case we have a work first published outside Berne Convention countries. If the author is a citizen or resident of a Berne Convention country, the source country is that country. Otherwise, the source country is the country of first publication.

Now the question is this: when do you establish whether a given country is a Berne Convention member or not, for the purpose of determining the source country? Take some fictive works as examples:

  • A photo was taken by a German and published concurrently in Germany and the United States. The German publication was without a copyright notice, so the photo entered the public domain immediately in the United States upon publication in Germany. Assume German term = creation+100 years, US term = creation+1 year.
Country of origin, option 1: USA is currently a Berne Convention member and the US term is shorter, so the country of origin is the United States.
Country of origin, option 2: USA was not a Berne Convention member at the time of publication, so USA is disqualified as country of origin, and the country of origin is Germany.
  • A photo was taken by an American and published concurrently in Germany and the United States. The German publication was without a copyright notice, so the photo entered the public domain immediately in the United States upon publication in Germany. Assume German term = creation+100 years, US term = creation+1 year.
Country of origin, option 1: USA is currently a Berne Convention member and the US term is shorter, so the country of origin is the United States.
Country of origin, option 2: USA was not a Berne Convention member at the time of publication, so USA is disqualified as country of origin, and the country of origin is Germany.

Option 1 would give us lots of interesting images, such as lots of WWII photos (taken in France, Germany or the United Kingdom but often published in many newspapers worldwide, for example in US newspapers). Option 2, on the other hand, would give us lots of trouble: if someone finds a concurrent British publication of some old photo from the United States, then the country of origin might switch to the United Kingdom, requiring it to be {{PD-old-70}}. There should be quite a lot of American photos from important political events from e.g. WWI which were published concurrently in both the United States and the United Kingdom. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:47, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Why should Berne Convention "country of origin" matter for Commons "country of origin"?--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:14, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
Doesn't Commons use the Berne Convention "country of origin" definition, since this is what determines if something is free in large parts of the world because of the rule of the shorter term? If not, how does Commons determine the country of origin? --Stefan4 (talk) 21:21, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
We've generally used the Berne definition as the Commons definition, as being in the PD in that country means it should be PD in all (or most) shorter-term countries. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:38, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't think you would use lack of notice or renewal for determination of the country of origin in the "simultaneous publication" situation -- I would use 75 years from publication (published 1922 or earlier) or 95 years from publication (published 1923 or later). The Berne Convention was not supposed to have formalities, so I think I'd use the full expected terms (which is what URAA-restored works get). Questions about being "disqualified" are interesting -- but that interpretation would preclude the U.S. from being the country of origin for any of its works published before 1989, which seems nonsensical. *Something* has to change when a country joins the treaty. But, there is also the question of what protection terms the author expected at the time. I'm not sure there have been any test cases on how the Berne situation changes when countries join (or theoretically leave), or when countries split apart (i.e. the original country of origin no longer exists), and related questions. It's really only a question in rule-of-the-shorter-term countries, and it could well depend on what a judge thinks is most appropriate. As a guess, I think I would use option 1 in both your cases, but use publication+75 or +95 as the U.S. terms, and then what is shorter. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:38, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
If pre-89 US works were treated as having a different country of origin due to that Berne Convention clause, it could only result in Commons having fewer works, not more, because in addition to a work being free in the country of origin, it must be free in the US. However, I think this issue was addressed by the Universal Copyright Convention in 1952, to which all Berne Convention members were also bound. Also, as Carl points out, something changes when a country joins the treaty. We know that copyright restorations occur -- from a US point of view the most significant date is 1/1/1996, but keep in mind that as additional countries have joined Berne since the US, additional restorations occur, and that prior Berne members might have had to restore US copyrights at the same time -- and it seems reasonable to suggest that the country of origin would change at that time also. cmadler (talk) 13:23, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

PD-Ottoman Empire

I've just seen {{PD-Ottoman Empire}}, and the deletion request closed yesterday, Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-Ottoman Empire. Having looked up the Turkish copyright law, Miscellaneous Provision F.I seems to maintain copyright for Ottoman-era works:

"Unless otherwise determined in the following articles, the provisions of this Law shall also apply to works first disclosed to the public on the territory of the Republic of Turkey or entered in the register prior to the entry into force of this Law. This provision shall apply even where the Copyright Law of May 8, 1326 (1910), did not apply to such works or products."

The reference to the 1910 Ottoman law demonstrates the legal continuity with the Ottoman Empire. This would mean the template couldn't be used for works first published in what is now Turkey, because they're either copyrighted in Turkey, or PD for other reasons under Turkish law ({{PD-Turkey}} etc). (And per COM:L, we require works to be PD in the source country.) Similar issues may apply for other ex-Ottoman countries - if they consider works first published in their territory still under copyright, COM:L would seem to require us to respect that. Rd232 (talk) 03:07, 6 August 2012 (UTC)

As I have seen it, {{PD-Ottoman Empire}} is a United States template which explains why a file is free in the United States. However, Commons also requires files to be free in the source country (Turkey or whatever), so you would need to combine the template with a source country template. --Stefan4 (talk) 08:42, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
If it's a US-only rationale template, then it's either redundant or almost redundant to {{PD-1923}}, and since {{PD-1923}} is both much clearer and internationalised, it should be preferred, and {{PD-Ottoman Empire}} clarified. Rd232 (talk) 09:50, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Back in March, the article article en:Ottoman Empire stated that the Ottoman Empire ceased to exist in 1923 (en:Special:PermanentLink/479642235), but in the present version of the article, this has been changed into 1922. When I commented the deletion request, I thought that it would be necessary to use {{PD-Ottoman Empire}} for some works from 1923 because of the dissolution date in 1923, but if the country already ceased to exist in 1922, then the template might not be useful. But I see that the Wikipedia article states that Turkey was founded on "29 October 1923 1922" which is confusing because of the double year specification. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:31, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) Please note that Turkey is not the only successor of the Ottoman Empire. Take File:Dedeagach 1908.jpg as an example. It was published in Greece in 1908 when it still belonged to the Ottoman Empire. The Greece copyright law (see article 68) is not retroactive. Thereby it is in the public domain per {{PD-Ottoman Empire}} and Turkish law does not apply in this case. --AFBorchert (talk) 09:00, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I could have been more explicit: my immediate concern is primarily for works originating in the part of the Ottoman Empire which is now in Turkey - I don't think the template is valid for those. Other countries' situation needs investigating. As for your example, it's a good example of the problem of ex-Ottoman countries: (i) how do we know it was first published in what is now X? (ii) was the territory of publication actually part of the Ottoman Empire in a relevant period? (iii) did X copyright law really disrespect Ottoman-era copyrights? In this case, for the first point we can reasonably assume that the postcard was first published in the town it depicts. For the second, Greece became independent in 1832, and gained most of its current territory by the end of the nineteenth century - but en:Alexandroupoli, the subject of the postcard, was ceded to Greece very late, and was still Ottoman in 1908. For the third, your cited article 68 of Greek copyright law merely says "Works for which the duration of protection has expired prior to the entry into force of this Law shall remain without copyright protection." This means that where Ottoman-era copyright had not expired, it might be respected by the Greek law. I'm afraid we may need to look at the details of the Ottoman law to figure out what it had to say. Rd232 (talk) 09:50, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
According to the license template, the Ottoman empire had no copyright law at all. As far as I know, it was never a signatory to the Berne convention. I have not researched this any further but this does not appear to be unlikely, many countries hadn't a copyright law at that time. --AFBorchert (talk) 10:09, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Where did you read that? It just says "The Ottoman Empire did not recognize international copyright", which is different from "The Ottoman Empire had no copyright law". -- Liliana-60 (talk) 10:13, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
The Ottoman Empire passed the Authors’ Rights Act in 1910. "The 1910 Act was a codification of an Ottoman Act of 1850, as amended in 1857." In most cases it provided for 30pma. The Empire never signed the Berne Convention. - Birnhack, Michael (2001), "Hebrew Authors and English Copyright Law in Mandate Palestine", Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Vol. 12, No. 1, pp205-6. Rd232 (talk) 11:04, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
Ok, thank you for the clarification. 30pma should not be a problem then. Perhaps it would be helpful to amend the template to include the copyright status according to the law of the Ottoman Empire. --AFBorchert (talk) 12:01, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
That's not enough. As I said above, this is really a US tag, and as such should almost never be used (as {{PD-1923}} will do the same job). It doesn't explain why something is PD in Turkey or whatever successor country applies. Turkey had 50pd for anonymous works until 1995 (now 70pd), so anything published within the Ottoman Empire anonymously would be expired. As far as anonymous works go, we can make {{PD-Ottoman-Empire-anonymous}} - anything published anonymously in the Ottoman Empire should be expired.
But works that aren't anonymous depend on how successor countries handled matters. A work with a known author published in Istanbul in 1910 would be covered by 30pma until 1952 (so became PD if author died before 1922) and 50pma until 1995 (so became PD if author died before 1945) and 70pma since then (so PD in Turkey if author died before 1942 - ignoring URAA complications). It's perfectly possible for Ottoman-era known-author works to still be in copyright in Turkey, and the same may be true for other successor countries. Rd232 (talk) 16:22, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
I think it's quite a leap to assume a postcard was published in the place it was taken. A Montpelier, Vermont postcard on DR I assumed was American, because, you know, Montpelier, Vermont, but I would assume it was printed in New York or Boston. A postcard of Istanbul I can see being taken by a representative of Postkarten Verlag of Bremen, Germany, and only published in Germany.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:49, 6 August 2012 (UTC)
This was just an example for an area of the former Ottoman Empire where Turkish law does not apply. I have neither uploaded nor researched it. --AFBorchert (talk) 20:56, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Even if something was published in present-day Turkey, would Turkey be the Berne country of origin? I.e. was it simultaneously published in all successor nations? Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:03, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
What would be the implication if it was simultaneously published in all successor nations? Rd232 (talk) 23:10, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Berne says the country of origin is the country among those with the shortest term. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:12, 7 August 2012 (UTC)
Interesting... this can of worms gets ever more interesting! :) Rd232 (talk) 17:22, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

I've revised {{PD-Ottoman Empire}}, but I think it needs work. Comments or tweaks please. Rd232 (talk) 20:52, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Is there a need for {{PD-Portugal}}?

Hello. After starting my long planned upload of old photos and postcards from my Island, I've stumbled upon an old issue. I'm using {{PD-old-70}} for files like this one, which were published by a photographic studio more than 70 years ago. According to Portuguese law, Article 32, those works are public domain, since they were published by a collective person. In this case, nor the author has died more than 70 years ago, nor the works are "anonymous", so both {{PD-old-70}} and {{PD-EU-anonymous}} are misfits.

There is also another disposition in Article 38, stating that unpublished works enter PD 70 years after creation, when that deadline is not counted from the author's death (according to my interpretation, all unpublished anonymous works or made by collective person are PD after 70 years as well).

Furthermore, article 33 implies that non anonymous works published under a pseudonym or anything but the author name itself are treated as anonymous, if the name under which they were published could not be clearly identified with a real person. There are possibly more nuances of PD licenses which are specific to Portugal. Does this justify the creation of an {{PD-Portugal}}?-- Darwin Ahoy! 02:00, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

For collective works, we have {{PD-EU-no author disclosure}}, I think. And for unpublished works, there's the very new {{PD-EU-unpublished}}. -- Liliana-60 (talk) 14:40, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
{{PD-EU-no author disclosure}} says "published more than 70 years ago without a public claim of authorship", which is not the case of collective works. They have a known author, such author being a collective person. Indeed, at first look, {{PD-EU-no author disclosure}} looks pretty much identical and redundant with {{PD-EU-anonymous}} - if there is no public claim of authorship, then the work is anonymous, right? But this is not the case of collective works, since the authorship is known. -- Darwin Ahoy! 14:49, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

There are other countries that have provisions for collective or corporate ownership - don't we have any existing templates for these? Rd232 (talk) 15:14, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

I see examples {{PD-Japan-organization}} and {{PD-AR-Anonymous}}. I think {{PD-Portugal-organization}} would make sense, but we could also have a generic {{PD-old-50-organization}} and {{PD-old-70-organization}}. Rd232 (talk) 21:16, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

A December 1963 photo from somewhere else in a publication which renewed its copyright: is it now PD?

I have a photo of one of the major figures of psychology, George A. Miller from a December 1963 issue of American Psychologist, a publication of the American Psychological Association (APA). The photo, part of a bio for an award citation for Miller, is from the photographer Koby, Cambridge. The APA has renewed registration on the 1963 journal (per a search of the official fed. gov. site: But I assume the included photo is now public domain, since the photographer who holds the copyright to it hasn't re-registered it? I don't believe the copyright belongs to the journal or APA?

I have hosted the photo at the above site per fair-use for discussion purposes. Since this is in a journal, there is no point looking at the reverse side. The photographer is Koby Cambridge (for another of his photos, see: NIH-hosted photo of Denny Brown) I searched the copyright catalog govt. site ( for "Koby Cambridge," "Koby, Cambridge" and "Cambridge, Koby" in both name and title fields and turned up nothing. Can I conclude the copyright has not been renewed and the photo is now PD? Churn and change (talk) 22:56, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

The renewal of the magazine should serve to protect any contained photographs, unless perhaps the photos had separate copyright notices (or were separately published). There may be some paperwork that needs to get fixed up for the photographer to be able to sue someone, but I think in general the copyright still exists at that point. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:27, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

About publicity photos (again)

I didn't follow the latest discussions on the topic, so I want to ask. Is it still possible to upload from the web random American celebrity photos created before 1978, do substandard research, and get away with it? For example, File:Steve Kanaly.JPG. eBay page has a lot of information about the photo (unlike the description on Commons) -- it was created by photographer Kryszak for Detroit News. Is it safe enough for Commons? It could be easily first published in Detroit News with a copyright notice. Or file File:Joan Collins Island In The Sun.JPG. Fine print on the uncropped version is not readable. Is it possible to safely claim that there was no copyright notice there? And what is the standard in uploading of such photos? I think it's common sense that if the back side is present on the source site, it should be uploaded to Commons as well, because it contains valuable information. --Trycatch (talk) 20:16, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Publicity shots were generally distributed by studios to newspapers and the like, and that act of distribution was publication, so if you can see both sides and there is no notice, yes that's often enough. However, your first case there was not that kind of publicity shot -- that may have been kept unpublished by the newspaper for all we know, and that particular copy may not have been distributed until it was sold off or given away. The second one, I agree, we can't read enough (or see the back). However, that one would have had to be renewed as well being pre-1964, which can be harder to determine for photographs, but some research could be done (renewal record would be online at and that is what the claim is stating, not a lack of notice. So, I'd nominate the first for deletion, but probably not the second, unless you can find a potentially relevant renewal record. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:48, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Here's the 1985 film renewal. We hope (talk) 20:58, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
@Carl Lindberg. Thanks! I have to agree with you. @We hope. The link doesn't work. To save the photo from the public domain, it should be renewal for this particular photograph, not for the whole movie, I guess. --Trycatch (talk) 22:21, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Nominated the first one for deletion. --Trycatch (talk) 22:42, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Was that second one an actual still from the movie, or was it a publicity shot made on-set? The film renewal can only possibly affect the first situation (and then only if the separately-distributed still did have a copyright notice). Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:49, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Here's the film's renewal number and date if you want to search more at Registration Number / Date: RE0000237371 / 1985-02-28 Renewal registration for: LP0000008813 / 1957-06-14. We hope (talk) 22:51, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Models of lighthouses

See Category:Models of lighthouses. I have some questions about FOP here:

  • Some countries, such as Japan, only have FOP for buildings. Is a model of a lighthouse a building? It is too small for humans to be in the model of the lighthouse.
  • Some of these do not seem to be permanently installed, which is a requirement for FOP in many countries.
  • Some of these do not seem to be installed outdoors, which is a requirement for FOP in many countries.

Do we have FOP problems here? --Stefan4 (talk) 14:58, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

This question can't be answered without considering each photograph individually. FOP rules vary from country to country. In some countries, derivatives of models of buildings can be created freely (and, no, a model of a lighthouse is not a building). In countries where such an exemption does not exist, then the models have to be treated like artworks. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:25, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

NASA images on Flickr

NASA has a large collection of images at Flickr, for example. The images are credited "NASA/Bill Ingalls", Bill Ingalls is "NASA photography staff". Normally NASA images are considered in the Public Domain, but the Flickr account (owned by NASA I believe) has a Creative Commons license of BY-NC (non-commercial) which is not allowed on Wikicommons. I'm not sure how to reconcile this apparent contradiction in licensing of NASA images. Are the Flickr images incorrectly labeled and really in the Public Domain? Green Cardamom (talk) 20:26, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Not an expert on NASA images, but we have had the issue in the past of government agencies attempting to claim copyright on works which are in the public domain. --Philosopher Let us reason together. 22:50, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
That is my suspicion. Looking at Template_talk:PD-USGov-NASA prior discussions, User:Elvey said "It's very common for a US Federal government agency to claim copyright over content it has no legitimate copyright claim for," and goes on to say "..where US Federal government agency policy conflicts with US law, US law has precedent" (ie. NASA images are PD). Then there is this page from the Wikimedia Foundation Legal Team on NASA images. In fact it was recently overhauled by WMF Legal just a few weeks ago, I'll see if they can comment on this case. Green Cardamom (talk) 03:57, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
I received an email from a person at WMF Legal (who is not a lawyer) and said there are conditions where NASA images could be restricted and without more information from NASA it would be impossible to say with certainly the images are in the PD. So I'll have to contact NASA if I want to pursue it further. Green Cardamom (talk) 03:30, 18 August 2012 (UTC)
And you DO have more information from NASA - you have that Bill Ingalls is "NASA photography staff" and has been for 18 years! This is Elvey - and yes, I stand by what I said, and you quoted above. The policy that Ingalls links to even states "It is unlawful to falsely claim copyright or other rights in NASA material." So that suggets his license tagging (yes, of his own work) is illegal, as he is doing exactly that. There is no need to cite the author; the works are PD (though I would, in general!) P.S. I love cardamom! (I've sent him a message.


--Elvey (talk) 18:00, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
I've seen this come up before somewhere. I'm pretty sure the box below the license itself lists the caveats (or at least the most likely caveats) to be considered when using NASA images. It's strange that the images on Flickr would be licensed as they are, but the general public are frequently ignorant of copyright in my experience. A response from NASA and/or the Flickr account owner is the only way to be certain, though you could be a little less confrontational than "your license tag is illegal". HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:34, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Good point. I was (too?) focused trying to ensure the message wasn't ignored. --Elvey (talk) 13:10, 24 August 2012 (UTC)


{{PD-money-CZ}} begins This work depicts Czech legal tender, which is not subject to copyright protection as it is an official work... User:Drdoht argues the template should apply to Czechoslovak currency too (which is obviously not Czech legal tender), because the Czech national bank is the legal successor of the Czechoslovak national bank. This 2011 decree includes Article 14 on the reproduction of banknotes, and that's written generally, not with reference to "legal tender". In addition, the Czech national bank reproduces old currency on its website here. Can the template be amended to say it also covers Czechoslovak currency? Rd232 (talk) 11:56, 20 August 2012 (UTC)

I would tend to agree that this copyright regime (legal tender exempt from copyright protection) does apply also to former Czechoslovakian currency (and to former, no longer valid, Czech banknotes, e.g. File:20 50 tschechische kronen.jpg). Moreover, for those, the special anti-counterfeiting provisions do not apply (i.e. there is no legal obligation to put „SPECIMEN“ over the image, limit the resolution, etc.), as those apply only to valid (or exchangable-for-valid) banknotes and coins. --Mormegil (talk) 21:26, 20 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. Anyone else agree or disagree? Rd232 (talk) 08:05, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
The exchangable-for-valid note may be significant, especially if different templates are to be used for legal tender and no longer valid money. --LPfi (talk) 11:16, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment, but I don't quite understand what you mean. Do you think we need separate templates for legal (and exchangeable) and for non-legal tender? Rd232 (talk) 11:58, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
No, I do not have an opinion on that. But if we note that old currency is exempted from counterfeiting provisions, on the only template or on the second one, then we should also note that they may be relevant for some old money (the exchangable-for-valid). --LPfi (talk) 17:54, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Public domain claim on 1968 campaign poster with image

This file: Romney Great for '68.jpg[7] seems to be a copyrighted work uploaded using a license that does not apply in the US, PD-US-no notice which is claiming that it is public domain due to the "Rule of the shorter term"[8]. Except the rule does not apply in the U.S.:

"Situation in the United States:No "Rule of the shorter term"

When the United States joined the Berne Convention, Congress explicitly declared that the treaty was not self-executing in the United States in the Berne Convention Implementation Act of 1988, section 2 (BCIA, Pub. L. 100-568).[11] The BCIA made clear that within the U.S., only U.S. copyright law applied, and that U.S. copyright law, as amended by the BCIA, implemented the requirements of the Berne Convention (although it did not implement §18(1) of the Berne Convention, a deviation that was corrected by the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA) in 1994).

This statement from public law 100-568 is repeated in the U.S. Copyright law in 17 USC 104, which assimilates foreign works to domestic works and which furthermore states in 17 USC 104(c) that

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. – 17 USC 104(c)

Any requirements from the Berne Convention thus needed to be spelled out explicitly in the U.S. Copyright law to make them effective in the United States.[12] But Title 17 of the United States Code does not contain any article on the rule of the shorter term. The only mention of such a rule was added in 1994 with the URAA in 17 USC 104A, which automatically restored copyrights on many foreign works, unless these works had already fallen in the public domain in their country of origin on the URAA date, which is January 1, 1996 for most foreign countries. Because there is no general rule of the shorter term in U.S. Copyright law, U.S. courts have declined to apply that rule on several occasions." "

Should the file be speedy deleted?--Amadscientist (talk) 06:04, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Um... no. I'm curious why you think the tag PD-US-no_notice does not apply in the United States, given that it represents U.S. law. The rule of the shorter term has nothing to do with keeping or deleting that image whatsoever; the mention in the tag is only in regards to its possible protection in other countries, which may or may not apply the rule of the shorter term, as a service to potential re-users in those countries. It's a U.S. work, thus only U.S. law applies for Commons, and that law required copyright notices for any work published before March 1, 1989 (when the U.S. joined the Berne Convention). So if that poster had no copyright notice, it was public domain immediately, and the tag is completely accurate for the United States (the country of origin). The image is too low resolution to really tell, but there should be other copies out there which make it more clear. Everything you write about the rule of the shorter term and its non-applicability in the U.S. is quite accurate, but also completely irrelevant if the work in question is a U.S. work to begin with. It's not a foreign work. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:36, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I think I see where Amadscientist's confusion comes from. The PD-US-no_notice template has (slightly) confusing wording. First it says the work is in the public domain (but not where). Then it says that it's copyrighted in countries that don't apply the rule of the shorter term. So if I didn't know anything about it and just glanced at the template, I might think that it's copyrighted in the US because the US doesn't use the rule of the shorter term. I think the beginning of the template should be reworded to say "This work is in the public domain in the United States because in that it was published in the United States..." cmadler (talk) 13:44, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
That'd be a good change. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:05, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
While we're at it, it could be a good idea to remove the statement about Canada from that template. It is not a useful example because, for a large proportion of the files tagged with that template, that statement is not true. For example, photographs created before 1949 by individuals are in the public domain and photographs created before 1962 by corporate entities are also in the public domain. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:11, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I love this notice board! Great amount of information given in great detail! Thanks. If I should find that the poster does contain a copyright notice I will bring it here.--Amadscientist (talk) 19:30, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
I just went to the Library of congress page and the thumbnail didn't generate a large enough image so I called the Library and the information at the bottum does not appear to have a copyright notice persay, but says only this: "Sign and Pictorial local 591 Number 68". Some other smaller information was on the poster but the larger digital scan was still too fuzzy for the person to make out but said it looked like "decoration" perhaps...but I think it could be "Declaration".--Amadscientist (talk) 19:46, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
Here is that section photographed by someone selling a poster online.[9] Great detail and no copyright notice found on the poster. --Amadscientist (talk) 20:03, 22 August 2012 (UTC)
However...the image in the poster does appear to be copy protected. See below!--Amadscientist (talk) 04:41, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

New question on 1968 George Romney poster with image.

I have identfied the photographer and the original image used in the 1968 George W. Romney poster. The photographer was Alan Band and the original image may still be copyrighted and is found here at Getty Images under Alan Band/Keystone/Getty Images. Found here where it is "Rights-managed". Does this effect the use on Wikimedia Commons?--Amadscientist (talk) 03:46, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Probably a no-go. -mattbuck (Talk) 06:03, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
The original image with full background is a no-go for Wikimedia Commons. However, the cropped image used on the poster is in the public domain. There is no reason to doubt that the poster was printed and published legally, and with the consent of whoever owned copyright in the un-cropped portrait. Prior to 1978, even the unintentional omission of the required copyright notice from a relatively small number of copies would put the material into the public domain without any copyright protection, and in this Romney situation there is not even any suggestion that the omission was unintentional or that it only happened for a small number of copies. 06:12, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Technically, we can only show the portion as seen on the poster is public domain, so we can't use this. Getty does have large numbers of public domain publicity shots that they sell as "rights-managed" (they did buy some archives which collected photos), but they also do have tons of legitimately copyrighted images as well, so we would need separate evidence of PD status before we could use that one. But if the photographer allowed use of part of the photo on the poster without a copyright notice, that much became public domain. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:57, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
No, the above reasoning (Linberg) is not taking into account the fact that the cropped image may be the copyright violation in retrospect (not a joke). If the image from the Getty site is indeed copyright protected (and the site clearly marks this as "rights protected") then all we need to do now is make sure no previous publication was done. The image itself was about 4 years old when used and is a portrait style image very likely used as promotional material for magazines and newspaper articles. Frankly at this point we are erring on the side of the freer license BUT we know more about the image and it looks to be copy portected. The PD status of the poster is not clear. Linberg is incorrect about allowing the use of the crop image making it PD. That is not true IF the image was published in full prior to the poster use. That would indicate that no permissions were granted for use on the poster. We can't go by guessing, we can only go by the information available and at this point I am not comfortable with its use on Wikipedia, and doubt it passes copyright for use on Commons. If nothing can be located to show the copyright of the full image then it is clearly PD. It is not clearly that licesne yet. It is in doubt.--Amadscientist (talk) 20:19, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
If you dislike putting the poster image into the Wikipedia article, then you are free to say so at the article talk page, as long as you provide an intelligible reason. But there is no reason whatsoever to remove the poster image from Wikimedia Commons, as another editor and my self have already explained above. Parts of copyrighted works are released into the public domain all the time. 20:26, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
The license is in doubt. PD has not been established. You have not provided an actual reasoning and the other editor is just speculating. Getty Images claims copyright on the image. I just got off the phone with them and they asked me to review their licensing terms on the site. Uhm Linberg...what does their having PD images on their site have to do with this image being copy protected? It doesn't have any bearing. I believe there may not be enough evidence to remove the image, but if the portrait in full was published in any publication before the use on the poster, it does cover even the cropped version.--Amadscientist (talk) 20:38, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Are you accusing George Romney of illegally publishing his own image 44 years ago? What proof do you have that he illegally released the poster without a copyright notice? 20:45, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
No...I believe you just accused me of something. I can't help your comprehension skills.--Amadscientist (talk) 20:54, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
By the way "Random IP editor", the point of the discussion is to strengthen the license if possible not just tear down reasoning for use. Some editors feel that arguing for PD under certain situations is appropriate, while i like to argue on the side of the image and photographer as much as possible. If the argument against PD is weak, it will not stand up against the discussion, but we don't guess here. We research and take the time to look into the license first before we upload. If there is a question to the license we research it out until all routes are exhausted and there is no further concern. Right now I have made it clear that my concern is that the image may have and probably was published prior to the 1968 poster. Lets just see, shall we and not jump to automatic conclusions at this time.--Amadscientist (talk) 20:51, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Obviously the full official portrait was published before the poster was published. But that is completely irrelevant. A copyright holder can release part of his work onto the public domain at any time. You must understand that, because you are obviously a very clever person. 20:58, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I don't know why you continue to discuss the editor and not the issue at hand, but request that further replies stick to the subject only, please. It is not obvious that the work was previously published, it is probable but not confirmed. Likewise, no evidence has been presented to show that "part" of the image was released into the public domain by the photographer. I am unclear of the copyright law that you mention. The full portrait is the copyright of the photographer/another group (probably a business management company or estate management/and Getty Images, today. If the full portrait was used in a publication prior to use in the poster, that would be clear evidence to prior copyright of the full image regardless of its use on the poster. We have no way to know why the image was used by the campaign in 1968 and reasonable doubt to it being the basis for a public domain claim has been raised. I will do a little more research.--Amadscientist (talk) 21:58, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
There is no reasonable doubt about the public domain claim of the poster. It does not matter whether the full portrait was published before 1968 or not. There is no doubt that the poster was lawfully published without a copyright notice in 1968, and that's all there is to it. 22:10, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
I am afraid you are not accurate and if you stop and look at the discussion, even with reasonable doubt that the cropped image may not be in the public domain, I have made it clear I also see no reason as yet to delete the image. In fact all this is doing is strengthening the claim of PD. However, if the image can be shown to be published in full and with proper notice, it trumps the campaign use and is still the copyright of the photographer. I feel that at this time a reasonable amount of research has shown no such publication prior to use of the cropped image and threrefore has no basis for removal from Commons. Should any such evidence be found we can just discuss these facts then. If there is something I am missing in regards to why the cropped image would still be public domain if a prior copyright notice was given for the full image then we should discuss that.--Amadscientist (talk) 00:07, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, it is manifestly true that the cropped image would still be public domain despite a prior copyright notice on the full image. That is because the owner of a copyright is fully entitled to later release part of the work into the public domain. This was accomplished here by releasing part of the work without a copyright notice. This is basic common sense. An owner of any type of property can donate it. Prior to 1978, the copyright notice had to appear on ALL PUBLISHED COPIES in order to retain ownership of copyright. If a work was published under the copyright owner’s authority without a proper notice of copyright, all copyright protection for that work was permanently lost in the United States. 00:36, 24 August 2012 (UTC)(Also
You have NOT established that the 1968 use was with the permission of the photographer. Just having been used by the subject of the image is not proof or even reasonable to believe that the copyright of the photographer was donated or any permission given, so IF a previous publication of the full image is shown it does indeed trump the use by the campaign UNLESS it is SHOWN that the image in the poster was used with permission. There is no proof of permission. There is proof that the image was produced 4 years previous to the use by the campaign in 1968, but still no proof of copyright notice for the full work by the photographer. In fact it might even be possible to show that this was a work for hire and then would be the ownership of the person who purchased the work. If that work was purchased "for hire" by George Romney, then he wouldn't need permission to use it in the poster and the lack of notice of copyright would palce the full image into the public domain. All speculation. We go by what we know.--Amadscientist (talk) 01:29, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I asked you above whether you are accusing George Romney of illegally publishing the poster 44 years ago, and you took some offense at that notion. But here you are again suggesting that the 1968 use may have been without permission. Unless there is some proof that it was without permission, we have to assume that things are as they seem: a lawful release of part of the work into the public domain. 02:05, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
If you want to stir the pot with accusations, that is up to you. Yes, it may have been without permission, it may have been with permission. Without proof we can only assume it was published...period. The suggestion that there is an accusation of something illegal was never made, just that they may not have had permission from the photographer, who is the only one who can make any sort of accusation, since it would be their property to claim.--Amadscientist (talk) 03:51, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
The PD status of the poster is clear, if it has no copyright notice. It would not matter at all if some of the images on it had previously been protected by copyright. Notice had to be on *all* copies, not just the first ones. Once copies were released without a notice, copyright on that was lost. It would only apply to the portion as used on the poster, of course, but that much became PD. The only way it would not be is if the poster used the image without permission in the first place, which is unlikely. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:22, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

COM:FOP#Kazakhstan vs. COM:CUR#Kazakhstan conflict

There is an interesting question here. Kazakh copyright law states that depictions of recent monuments are unfree. Kazakh copyright law also states that Kazakh banknotes are in the public domain. Some Kazakh banknotes contain a depiction of a recent monument. Are those banknotes free or not? --Stefan4 (talk) 12:43, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

I should think the banknotes are free. If Kazakh copyright law does not provide for freedom of panorama, that means people other than the copyright owners of recent monuments cannot create derivative works of such monuments without the copyright owners' permission. I would think that the Kazakhstan Government, which issued the banknotes, would have obtained permission from the copyright owners of monuments before including derivative works of them on the banknotes. — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:50, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I think so. And per similar precedents elsewhere, the monuments should only be shown in the original context of the full banknote, and not cropped out. Rd232 (talk) 15:32, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
If an image is in public domain, any derivative work from it is in public domain, too. Then, any crop of a public domain image is in public domain. If the public domain image contains a copyrighted artwork, the publishers of the public domain images are supposed to have gotten permission from copyright owners to publish the image in public domain. Then, images of the monument cropped from the banknote are in public domain, and free for any use.
Where am I wrong?--Pere prlpz (talk) 12:04, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Commons:De minimis. I do not know Kazakh copyright law, but e.g. freedom of panorama and related exceptions often allow including artwork, images of which may not be published otherwise. The images may not be cropped so that the artwork becomes the main subject. The photo may have a shorter copyright term and enter public domain, which does not affect such cropped images. --LPfi (talk) 17:47, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Because logic doesn't always work for things like this. In the US, I believe that currently state governments can use copyrighted materials without fear of lawsuit, and the federal government had to make a special exception to allow it to be sued for copyright infringement. German stamps have been argued to be in the public domain, but the image an infringement if you crop out the stamp parts.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:22, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
I see that it's not the same not to be object of copyright and to be in PD.
Btw, the relevant part of Kazakh law says that: Are not the objects of copyright: 2) state symbols and signs (flags, emblems, medals, banknotes and other state symbols and signs);--Pere prlpz (talk) 23:10, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Data sources for maps of Mali

I would like to create detailed maps of areas of Mali and have a question on copyright. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has a number of compressed files containing Geographic information system (GIS) data here.

The terms of use which are given here, includes the text "Compilation or creation of derivative works from these Materials is subject to the inclusion of credit to the source of the Materials used (which may or may not be OCHA)."

Can I use these data to make maps for Wikipedia? - Aa77zz (talk) 15:43, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

Hi, if you read the sentence before the one you cited you will see the evil word non-commercial, so the answer to your question is probably „no“ :-( --El Grafo (talk) 10:12, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for looking into this. I'm stuck as I've been unable to locate any other source of gis data for Mali that shows the commune boundaries. - Aa77zz (talk) 07:50, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Otis Davis' Olympic ID

Today I photographed Olympic gold medalist Otis Davis' Olympic ID. You can see it hosted on ImageShack here. I didn't upload it to the Commons or Wikipedia because I wasn't sure of its copyright status, and didn't want to upload it if it was just going to get deleted. Are Olympic ID's held under copyright? Is the photo, and if so, does the fact that a portion of the image the photo preclude it from being on the Commons? I'm trying to improve Davis' Wikipedia article, and it's hard to find photos of him from the 1960 Olympics that aren't held under copyright. Nightscream (talk) 00:21, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

The image on ImageShack appears to have been blocked or removed. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:00, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
No, it's still there. Maybe you can't access it because it's part of the account with which I uploaded it. Sorry about that, I wasn't sure how that worked. Can you provide advice based on my description of it? It's a ID booklet, and the photo shows it opened up, with Davis' photo taking up the upper left quarter of the lefthand page. The rest is the text of the ID. Nightscream (talk) 13:56, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
I can still see it. There is nothing copyrightable on there except the photo of Davis. On that, not sure. If it was published, it was {{PD-US-no notice}}. There might be some arguments that it was just a limited publication though, which did not require the notice or start the copyright clock, though that may require a limitation on the right to further distribute the photo -- something I can't imagine photo ID photographers really would expect, though if the USOC required such IDs to be returned by the participants, then maybe. There is also a not-copyrightable argument with them, as there is little creativity in the normal aspects of photography, like framing. I think I'd lean towards PD-US-no_notice, though there is some gray area. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:57, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

When you say, "If it was published, it was {{PD-US-no notice}}", can you clarify? Do you mean that that's the license that the USOC used when it published it, or that this is the license that I have to use if I upload it? Nightscream (talk) 18:49, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

"Publication" is a particularly tortured concept in U.S. copyright law, especially for acts prior to 1978. There were different rules on what constituted "limited publication" versus "general publication" (only the latter was truly publication under the Copyright Act, and only at that point did all its rules kick in). If giving out the picture on the ID was deemed publication, then there is no copyright notice on the ID, and it became public domain right at that point, and would be a rationale for keeping it. Naturally, something like this was squarely in gray areas -- I don't think a photographer had any realistic expectation of exercising any copyrights over such photos, but going by the legal technicalities, it's a bit fuzzy. Your photo may have to be licensed in addition -- that's on the edge too, but may as well if you are going to upload it -- but yes, PD-US-no_notice would be something to indicate what the copyright status of the included photo of Davis is. If the photo was published prior to 1964, then it would have had to be renewed as well (i.e. it's possibly {{PD-US-not renewed}} even if all true publications did carry a copyright notice). I think I'd go ahead and upload it, but it's not a slam dunk. I'm not sure who could claim copyright, though possibly the USOC as a work for hire, depending on who took the photograph and under what circumstances. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:14, 25 August 2012 (UTC)

Plans (building documents)

I would like to know if there is any possibility of uploading simplified plans (building documents) on Wikimedia Commons. I'm wondering if they fit under "Simple design", as they are composed of simple geometrical shapes. Regards; Felipe Menegaz 20:43, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Don't post the same question on two different places. As I said at Commons talk:Licensing, no, architectural plans are covered by copyright.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:48, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
Sorry for that. Thank you. Felipe Menegaz 00:00, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

FOP in Iraq

Please advise as to if the below pictures violate copyright. They were all recently removed from a Featured Article Candidate because of a reviewer comment. Do they need to be deleted?

TCO (talk) 21:21, 26 August 2012 (UTC)

Only the second one is in any danger at all, and even that's rather unlikely. Any architecture present in the other three is incidental and the photos are not a derivative work; the problems for photographs only come up when the work of architecture or sculpture is the primary focus of the photo, or it's intentionally included when it could have been avoided, things like that. As for the other one, I'm not sure basic walls and a guard tower (with lots of ad-hoc repairs) really qualify, but even if they do, they likely expired anyways. The 1971 Iraq law protected government/corporate works for 30 years from publication, and that prison was built in the 1950s, so copyright likely expired long ago if it ever existed (not sure if the older law protected architecture at all). The 2004 amendments were non-retroactive (i.e. they did not bring anything back into copyright; anything which had expired remained expired). Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:27, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
I agree. Nothing in the first, third, and fourth is complex enough for copyright. The buildings themselves are clearly not the focus of the third and fourth (the explosion and the Marines are, respectively), so COM:de minimis would apply even if the buildings were copyrighted. The de minimis argument could also apply to the second, but Carl's rationale is much more convincing. I can't see a problem with them being added back into the article, and they certainly don't need to be deleted from Commons. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:07, 27 August 2012 (UTC)


Hello. I marked File:Viviane Batidão.jpg for deletion because it is ilegal copy from [10]. However, I'm seeing the file.--Rafael Wiki (talk) 14:44, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

For some reason, I couldn't see the deletion tag you added, so I added another one. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:33, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
There seems to be a bug with the deletion: see the comments at "Commons:Deletion requests/File:Viviane Batidão.jpg". Hopefully an administrator or a techie can look into this soon. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:47, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
Not possible to delete, File:Viviane Batidão.jpg?action=delete gives Error deleting file: The file "mwstore://local-multiwrite/local-public/a/a3/Viviane_Batidão.jpg" is in an inconsistent state within the internal storage backends. --Martin H. (talk) 16:52, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
The same has been happening on enwiki—see the VPT thread for the explanation. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:10, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Diesel Sweeties

This image is of the webcomic Diesel Sweeties by Richard Stevens. At the bottom of the Diesel Sweeties website, it says "This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License." Are files uploaded with a non-commercial license permitted on the Commons?

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Nightscream (talk • contribs) 01:19, 28 August 2012‎ (UTC)
No, non-commercial content is not permitted on the Commons. However, if you look at the description page of the above file, you will see that the uploader appears to have got the author of the comic to license that particular cartoon under the GFDL, and this fact has been verified by OTRS. So, the file is fine. If you want to verify the OTRS ticket, you can leave a message at "Commons:OTRS/Noticeboard". — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:40, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
No need to go to the OTRS noticeboard. The ticket is valid, and releases the image under the GFDL. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:53, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Transfering a copyright issues discussion from User Problems Noticeboard

Changing the policy for anonymous works on Commons

Dear friends, I would like to draw your attention to this DR. The DR is closed and Jim has rightly decided in favour of deleting the file as per available conventions.

However, the world is moving at a faster pace. We are currently witnessing political upheavals in Arabia and probably are likely see the same in some residual communist / dictatorial countries. pieces of art / painting/ posters by totally anonymous persons - people would not like to reveal their identity at all are more like to surface. And they are valuable from academic point of view. I therefore request a policy change on Commons to keep them. Regards, Hindustanilanguage (talk) 05:39, 25 August 2012 (UTC).

There's an escape clause for illegally-placed graffiti, and another de-facto loophole for anonymous works which originated in a strongly anti-copyright context (which is why the flag of the Anonymous group was kept), but what you mention doesn't appear to fall under either of those cases. In any case, the proper place would probably be Commons:Village pump/Copyright‎... -- AnonMoos (talk) 08:11, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
This can be uploaded under fair use. Yann (talk) 08:51, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
Not on Commons, of course, and for other Wikimedia projects, it depends on the specific rules of each project. As for the proposal: we already accept contributions from "totally anonymous persons". Most Commons uploaders fall into that category. Revealing your identity is not a prerequisite for uploading your own works to Commons. We are, however, not going to start accepting content from unknown third parties with no licensing agreement, which I think is what's being proposed here. LX (talk, contribs) 19:26, 27 August 2012 (UTC)
I sympathize with Hindustanilanguage's reasons for wanting to retain such images, but don't think it's a good idea to distort the clear policies upon which the Commons is based in order to accommodate such a situation. As Yann points out, it is probably better to upload such images to individual Wikipedia projects under a fair-use justification if this is permitted. — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:41, 27 August 2012 (UTC)

Photos of [Olympic] Sporting Events

I was about to upload, which the author has released as CC-BY-SA. But I also know that the IOC is very protective over its image. After doing a little digging, I found that photography at the Olympic venues is for "private & domestic" use only, according to section 19.6.3 of the London ticket purchase terms & conditions here.

It got me thinking... How far do we go in verifying that an image is actually "free"? Is it enough to trust that the person licensing it knows that they're doing? I mean, there are certainly ways to get this license legally (a written note from the IOC comes to mind). However, it's unlikely that the Flickr uploader here actually has something like that. But in this case, we wouldn't get in trouble for it...the author would.

So what's the WikiMedia stance here? Do I upload, or do I leave it be? tiZom(2¢) 06:14, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Seems to be the same as photos taken in violation of museum photography prohibitions -- it's a matter between the photographer and the venue which does not affect copyright status... AnonMoos (talk) 06:26, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
There is a long discussion about this on the Wikimedia list (see [11] and following). I find the answer from Brigitte especially interesting and useful: [12]. Regards, Yann (talk) 07:40, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

These are non-copyright restrictions which usually do not concern us, i.e. these images can be transfered to Commons. --AFBorchert (talk) 14:31, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

However, if you take such a photo yourself, it may be unwise to upload the image as you could face a lawsuit yourself. If I were to take such a photo, I would at least try to make some efforts to make the file more anonymous, at least within the near future. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:55, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
It looks like those globalite images are put up by a magazine (online only?), so they presumably have a press pass and would not be subject to the normal ticket-back contracts. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:17, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
The pictures are clearly taken from a position that requires press pass and probably a photograph pass. I think there is no problem (may be there are some restrictions to thoses pass, we never knows with the IOC) to import thoses pictures. --PierreSelim (talk) 09:12, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
At Commons:Forum#Alle Bilder von Olympia unfrei?, Ralf Roletschek an accredited photographer, said there were no such restrictions for him and the IOC has even re-used one of his photos under CC-By-SA. As long as the Flickr-user/Photographer does not get into trouble, I think we shouldn't worry. Regards -- Rillke(q?) 11:19, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
I've checked out his flickr profile, it is a journalist, he has a lot of very good stuff that we could use (and that would be featurable IMO). --PierreSelim (talk) 08:30, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Copyright on industrial buildings


in Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Phare de Berck, pictures of a lighthouse were deleted. AFAIK, we have kept this kind of images up to now because industrial buildings are not work of art, and therefore do not get a copyright. Please comment. See also User talk:Jameslwoodward#Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Phare de Berck. Thanks, Yann (talk) 06:42, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

What does being a work of art have to do with copyright? Architectural works are like computer programs; for most of them, for most people, it's about the function, not the aesthetics.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:43, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Well, obviously not all buildings get a copyright. A minimum of creative originality is needed. In the case of industrial buildings with a pure functional design, there is none. Yann (talk) 08:04, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually, there is nothing at all obvious about it. In the USA, all buildings are copyrighted, just as all paintings, including those made by my 1 year old granddaughter are copyrighted. Remember that copyright law is not always straightforward -- computer software has a copyright as "literary work", which is a strange description unless you know the law. The statute in both France and the USA reads "architecture", not "architecture that passes a minimum". If you can show French case law to the contrary, please do so. Otherwise, I am sorry to say that COM:PRP applies. .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 10:41, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
You bring several arguments, some of which are totally irrelevant here. I don't see what computer software has to do which this case.
And yes, de minimis and originality apply in all cases of copyright issues, including architecture. Your interpretation is completely new and unsupported, both comparing with current Commons practice and usual legal interpretation of copyright law. The required originality differs according to countries, but it still exists everywhere. Yann (talk) 10:55, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
COM:FOP#France suggests that some French buildings have been ruled as {{PD-ineligible}} by a French court. --Stefan4 (talk) 11:31, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Just to explain my argument, here is a list of buildings which currently do not get a copyright, and are kept on Commons (just for France): Airport towers, Bunkers, Icehouses, Lighthouses, Kiosks, Agricultural buildings, Factory chimneys, Fire stations, Antenna towers and masts, Hospitals, Greenhouses, Police offices, Post offices, Hangars, Student housing, Social housing, Industry buildings, Town halls, Courthouses, Stadiums, Shopping malls, Toilet buildings, Water towers, Weather stations, etc. So these are not just a few exceptions, but actually the majority of the buildings are not covered by copyright. If you want to campaign for the deletion of these, well good luck... Yann (talk) 12:38, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
Are the buildings you indicated the same buildings as the ones ruled as not being copyrightable by French courts, or are you talking about different buildings now? I think that COM:TOO#France needs to be completed with some examples of the threshold of originality for architecture. To me it looks as if those categories are full of copyright violations, although some buildings might be {{PD-ineligible}}. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:19, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
"Full of copyright violations?" Why don't you stop talking bullshit, and put your claim to the test? If you see any copyvio, please nominate them for deletion, but do not start wild claims without any backing action. Thanks, Yann (talk) 11:35, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
We keep bringing up computer programs because it's a comparable case where outsiders see pure functionality and insiders see a myriad of creative choices. Yes, there's originality requirements, but except in purely cookie-cutter cases, I don't think that's any more relevant here then anywhere else in copyright law. You paint a painting, it's hard for it not to be copyrightable. You design a building, same thing. I don't know about France, but in the US, you can buy dozens of books each with hundreds of house plans, and each and every plan is copyrightable. I'm not going to argue case-law in France, but baring that I don't think we should be dismissing building copyrightable based on a lack of originality unless we're really sure of what we're doing.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:17, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
In France, there was a case which said that buildings needed to have a "definite artistic character" to be copyrightable. It's at odds with the usual copyright concepts, but the ruling is there. Also, buildings which are part of a series are apparently also not copyrightable there. So, not sure that photos of run-of-the-mill houses necessarily are a problem but I'm guessing most skyscrapers would be an issue. The lighthouse... who knows. If it was basically using an existing design, it wouldn't necessarily matter when it was constructed. They are often fairly unique and iconic structures through. Not sure what to think on that one. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:35, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
I'll grant that in France there is some ambiguous case law. To the question of uniqueness, while there are several sets of US lighthouses that are more or less identical (perhaps 5 or 10 out of about 1,000), most lighthouses worldwide are designed specifically for the location. In fact, part of their design is to make them distinctive so that a mariner looking at one in less than perfect visibility can be sure which one he or she is looking at -- not only colors, but also shapes of nearby lighthouses are usually different. .     Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 22:10, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
While industrial buildings are not exempt from copyright per se under French law, all works including buildings must meet the threshold of originality to attract copyright protection. If a lawsuit arises, the burden of the proof is on the plaintiff, who must prove their work is original enough. Regarding buildings, case law states that a design cannot be protected if it's purely functional: ‘architects are protected by law as artists and shape creators, not as engineers using purely technical processes‘ (TI Nîmes, 26 janvier 1971).
As such, it's my opinion that the Beck lighthouse isn't protected under French law. The shape is purely functional, and the pattern of colours, as Jim mentions, doesn't proceed from an aesthetic choice, but from the necessity to distinguish it from other lighthouses. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 09:38, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
Does the 1971 court ruling mention some specific buildings which were ruled as not being copyrightable? If so, would it be possible to upload photos of those buildings and mention them under COM:TOO#France? Failing that, would it at least be possible to identify the address to those buildings so that you can use Google Street View and other tools in order to look at them? --Stefan4 (talk) 10:07, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
I'll try to build a list of buildings that were ruled as not being copyrightable, but my knowledge comes from secondary sources, and primary source are not easy to access. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 11:12, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Images from the late Ottoman period

In the course of an FAC on the English Wikipedia, I was informed that one of the images in the article (File:Sultanvahideddin.jpg) doesn't have sufficient licensing information. The image was taken during the late Ottoman period, in November 1922. The current license is a mere guess; since the photographer is not known, there is no way we know for sure that he died before 1942. The license most likely to be appropriate is {{PD-Ottoman}}, but, as I'm sure people here know, we need to demonstrate that the image was published before 1 January 1923 for that to apply. While it seems likely that kind of picture, demonstrating a highly newsworthy event, was published somewhere in the month and a half afterward, I have been unsuccessful at demonstrating that. And, to be honest, this seems like a problem with a lot of late Ottoman images (e.g. many of the images in Category:Occupation of Istanbul). Any guidance on what should be done about these images? -- tariqabjotu 23:14, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

Attribution problems

A photo that I took, which is posted on Wikimedia as GFDL/CC3.0 has been used by a newspaper without attribution (the San Francisco Chronicle). I've e-mailed the author of the story, and several editors on the paper, requesting attribution but I haven't gotten a reply. Any suggestions about how I should proceed? Aside from the annoying lack of attribution, I am bothered that this photo might be copied from their site by others without attribution. You'd think a newspaper would know better! -- Sam (talk) 02:41, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

You should send an invoice with the usual fee for publications as they didn't used the free licence. --PierreSelim (talk) 08:38, 29 August 2012 (UTC)
{{License enforcement request}} gives sample wording to request that a reuser correctly attribute a work. cmadler (talk) 16:19, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

just a question!

There is a picture to a man from yemen died in 2010 here [13] and one user uploaded it with no information of Author and as public domin at Arabic wiki. The yemen law says it should be 10 years untill the right expired. But what I understand even if 10 years or more there should be a name of author!. what do you guys think about it? I need to know.--Neogeolegend (talk) 05:30, 28 August 2012 (UTC)

If the author is known, they should be mentioned -- we shouldn't try to hide it. But if nobody knows, there is not much we can do on that (though it should be added if anyone finds out). The right of an author to be named is moral rights, which is separate from the economic right (right to copy, distribute, make derivative works) which we need to be licensed. So... provided the file was public domain in Yemen in 2008, the file should be fine. (If it was copyrighted in 2008, then its U.S. copyright was restored by the URAA and we can't keep it, as Yemen joined the Berne Convention in 2008.) I do wonder about the 10-year term though; that is below minimum Berne requirements (as are the 30pma terms). But, even on wipolex I don't see any amendments of the copyright terms as specified in the 1994 law. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:53, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

COM:VP discussion

Please see Commons:Village_pump#Commons:Licensing. Thanks. Rd232 (talk) 17:38, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Frage zu Lizenzierung

Hallo, ich habe 6 Files hochgeladen: Bilder von verstorbenen Politikern und Wissenschaftlern, und sie auf den entsprechenden Seiten in der deutschsprachigen Wikipedia eingefügt. Nun habe ich die Meldung erhalten, dass Lizenzinfos fehlen, habe aber nicht herausgefunden, wie ich diese korrekt einfügen kann. Es handelt sich um Personen, die schon seit längerem verstorben sind, und die öffentlich zugänglich sind (Universität Freiburg/Schweiz) sowie das OK der Historiker Angelus Hux und Verena Baumer-Müller (siehe Autoren Literatur im Wiki-Artikel "Dominik Rogg") zur Veröffentlichung vorliegt. Könntest Du die Dateien bereinigen, damit die Fehlermeldung behoben wird, oder mir den Link zur Anleitung geben, wie ich die Lizenz am einfachsten selbst einfügen kannn? Herzlichen Dank und Gruss, --Tarboler (talk) 00:16, 8 August 2012 (UTC)

Hallo Tarboler, wir würden jeweils die Infos benötigen, die belegen, dass die Bilder bzw. die abgebildeten Porträts gemeinfrei sind. Wenn beispielsweise bei File:Franz Vorster.jpg Verena Baumer-Müller als Malerin benannt ist, wäre es hilfreich, wenn ihre Lebensdaten bekannt wären. Bei sehr alten Sachen hilft auch ein Hinweis, wann ca. das abgebildete Werk entstanden ist. In jedem Fall muss nachgewiesen werden, dass das Werk sowohl im Ursprungsland als auch in den USA gemeinfrei ist. Typisch ist dann ggf. eine Kombination aus {{PD-old}} (mehr als 70 Jahre nach dem Tod des Autors) und, je nach Sachlage, {{PD-1923}} oder {{PD-URAA-Simul}} oder {{PD-1996}} (die Übersicht all der Lizenzvorlagen ist unter COM:CT zu finden). Im Zweifelsfall ist es am wichtigsten, die wesentlichen Punkte über den Urheber, Zeitpunkt oder Zeitraum, wann das Werk erstellt wurde, und die erste Veröffentlichung soweit bekannt zusammenzutragen und in der Bildbeschreibung zu dokumentieren. Wenn das alles vorliegt, können wir gerne weiterhelfen. --AFBorchert (talk) 08:38, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Bei File:Franz Vorster.jpg wird Verena Baumer-Müller kaum die Malerin sein; ich schätze das Bild ist von dem Buch bei de:Franz_Vorster#Literatur erwähnt eingescannt. Rd232 (talk) 11:46, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Emil Franz Josef Müller-Büchi ist 1980 gestorben; das OK für die öffentliche Publizierung ist verfügbar durch Verena Baumer-Müller. Sie ist Historikerin und auch Autorin der erwähnten Biographien. Die anderen 5 Personen, deren Bilder ich hochgeladen und (in deren Artikel) auf der deutschsprachigen Wikipedia eingefügt habe, sind seit über 70 Jahren verstorben (und die Maler auch...). Stimmt, Quelle der Bilder sind die beiden Werke von Verena Baumer-Müller, deren Freigabe mir vorliegt. Würde das ausreichen, und falls ja, könntest Du diese Info in die Bilder eintragen oder mir den Link zur Wegleitung geben? Irgendwie hat das von hier aus nicht geklappt... --Tarboler (talk) 20:26, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Any idea when the painting was made, and by who? We could use {{PD-Art}} for that particular situation (for direct photos of paintings, we just use the copyright on the painting, and disregard the potential copyright of the photo itself, though if the photo can be licensed separately, that's good too -- that is the {{Licensed-PD-Art}} tag). The pictured person died in 1829, so if that was painted during his lifetime, the painting is now public domain as well, and PD-Art would apply. That seems likely, but the more information the better. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:37, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Yes, all these paintings have been made during lifetime of the painted people. Only one of the painters is known: the one who painted Albert Büchi: this was Oscar Cattani (1887-1960). The painters of the other paintings are unknown (not famous ones), and some of the paintings are at a local Museum in Frauenfeld, some of them with Family descendants. All are pictured in the mentioned books of Verena Baumer-Muller and she has the agreement both from the Museum as well as from the concerned descendants to publish them publicly. --Tarboler (talk) 21:56, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
Copyright would last 70 years after the artist dies (across Europe anyways); the one by Cattani then would be a problem as it would not become public domain until 2031. Anonymous works last for 70 years after publication, which may be problematic to show (both the fact it was anonymous, and date of publication). So, for any works made in the last 120-130 years, we may require better publication or authorship information, or that the copyright owner give a license. But for the one where the pictured person died in 1829, that should be safely public domain. I edited that image. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:22, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Thank you! The picture of Albert Büchi is already publicly available in the internet: type "Albert Büchi" in Google-Pictures, there appear several copies of this same picture I uploaded in Wikipedia. The open-license is over the University of Fribourg, where he was professor. As for all pictures I uploaded to Wikipedia, the owners of the paintings and pictures as well as the descendants of the concerned persons agreed to the publication which is also written in the books of both Baumer-Muller and Hux (where the pictures are published), there should not be a problem. Let me know if there should remain any, and if not, it'd be great if you could enter this info into the pictures as I didn't manage from here so far... Thanks again, and best regards, --Tarboler (talk) 17:51, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Some clarification: the term for an anonymous work does not end 70 years after publication, but 70 years after it was first made available to the public. For example, if you display a painting at a museum, it is made available to the public, but it doesn't count as publication, if I have understood the terms correctly.
I see text in German above. There seem to be some special rules for German paintings: as far as I have understood, under German law, a painting is by definition not anonymous if it was created (or possibly published or made available to the public) before 1 July 1995. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:24, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
Albert Büchi was teaching at the University of Fribourg since 1889, and the painting was drawed between 1915 and 1929. This painting was pictured by the University and published in their monthly reviews as well as the official university publications before 1930. According Swiss Laws - as far as I can read in the concerned Laws of Switzerland - there should definitely be no obstacle concerning the public licensing in Wikipedia. So I think, we can go ahead without doubt. --Tarboler (talk) 19:02, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
True; some countries define making available to the public as the same thing as publication, but in others the "making available" is a much lower bar, and that is when the term starts, thanks. As for a 1915-1929 painting, yikes. If it was first published 1923 or later, that brings U.S. copyright into play, which would depend on if it was public domain in the source country in 1996 -- so for Germany, even if anonymous (if that was possible), it would have needed to be made available to the public before 1926. Switzerland... today has a term of 70 years from making available for "unknown" authors (so no debates over the definition of anonymous). Presumably that was 50 years prior to 1993, so before 1943 may be the line, but I can't tell from reading the 1993 law if it was retroactive or not. If it was retroactive, I thin it would need to be published prior to 1926. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:03, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
According the monthly reviews of the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), pictures from Albert Büchi were published just after him starting teaching there, meaning at 1889 or 1890. Cocnerning the painting/picture I uploaeded for Wikipedia, there is a very high probability that it was painted and published between 1915 and 1920, as he was between 50 and 55 years old when this painting was made, according both authors (Baumer-Müller and Hux). Büchi was retiering at 1929 (age of 65), and as this is the mainly known picture from him for the years after, we may presume that it has been made public not later than 1920. Anyway, there is no proof known that it was later. So, I hope that we can go ahead as everybody concerned - the University of Fribourg, the authors who have published his picture in their books (Baumer-Müller and Hux) as well as the currently living descendants (who have the original of this picture) agree to have it public. Please let me know if it's possible to mark the 6 pictures I have uploaded as OK for the public licensing, as I don't know how to enter the respective information correctly - thank you for your support! :-) --Tarboler (talk) 20:58, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
I see today, that the pictures of Emil Franz Joseph Müller-Büchi and Karl Martin Rogg were deleted within the german Wikipedia with reason "no license since 02 August". As I have mentioned above (in my first post within this threat), the Author Verena Baumer-Müller agreed in her books to publish these pictures, based on earlier publications with public license by the University of Fribourg (concerning Emil F. J. Müller-Büchi), where he was teaching (see within his profile at the german Wikipedia). Concerning the picture of Karl Martin Rogg who was living 1836-1901, I mentioned several times above within this threat during the past days, that this license is public too. Please, help me to link these pictures again! As I have confirmed several times here, the pictures I uploaded are free for public use, I only don't know how to correctly enter this information into he picture. If you are admin, could you undelete the pics of Müller-Büchi and Karl Martin Rogg and link them again within the german Wikipedia, or do I have to reupload them? You also can give me the link with the correct information how I can enter correctly this license information myself into the 6 pictures I have uploaded. Thank you for your help! --Tarboler (talk) 09:15, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Well I've done

I think above the Albert Büchi work was said to be done by Oscar Cattani (1887-1960). Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:18, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
Oops, I missed that. Rd232 (talk) 14:18, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Thank you. Albert Büchi ok to me, when it can remain. I'll inform when I get more info. Emil Müller original picture (foto) is in possession of the author "Verena Baumer-Müller". I contated her and she confirms that the original painting of Karl Rogg is also in her possession. If you need a written confirmation from her for the public license, please give me the text needed (in german wording), and she confirmed me to write and sign that; I could then upload the document for your file. Yes, the painters of the other pictures are all dead before 1912. Let me know if you can undelete Karl Rogg and Emil Müller, and if you need further info. Thanks for your support: I'm not yet so familiar with Wicimedia Commons, however within the (german) Wikipedia I'm a regular contributor and sighter :-) Greetings, --Tarboler (talk) 21:16, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

I must check if the original of the Albert Büchi painting is also in possession of the author Verena Baumer. If so, she may confirm to be the owner of the mentioned works and agree to the public license. Would that help for keeping these pictures in Wikipedia? Please write me an example of the needed wording here (in german language, if possible) or give me a link, so she may confirm and sign this and I may upload the document (her signed confirmation). Would be great if the concerned pictures could remain in the concerned Wikipedia-articles as there are not many pictures existing from these persons. Thank you for support and greetings, --Tarboler (talk) 08:43, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
Please let me know if a confirmation for public licensing by the historian and author of the mentioned books, Verena Baumer, is needed (and if yes, the necessary wording), or how I can contribute to solve the problem. I contacted her today and she confirmed to be in possession of the originals of the picture Emil Müller and the paintings Albert Büchi and Karl Rogg. If the painting of Büchi would remain a prohlem, there is also a free picture of him at an official website of the University of Fribourg here. If the picture Emil Müller should remain a problem: in the book mentioned within his german Wikipedia-article (Emil Müller. In memoriam. University Press Freiburg, 1980) on page 3 the very same picture is printed, with open public license (no copyright). So, in my view, there should be no problem to publish the pictures I uploaded in Wikipedia resp. Wikimedia Commons. Just let me know what may remain necessary, in case, so that you may enter the needed information into the picture-files, and to undelete the pic of Emil Müller and Karl Rogg. Thanks, --Tarboler (talk) 17:17, 12 August 2012 (UTC)
OK, mal im Klartext - es ist völlig egal wer die Originalgemaelder besitzt. Sie könnten sogar zerstört sein, und nur noch durch Fotos existierend. Wichtig ist nur wer der Urheber ist, fals bekannt. Wenn der Urheber tot ist, können seine rechtmässigen Erben das Werk frei lizenzieren. z. B. ist das Büchi-bild ein Problem, da der Autor (Cattani) bekannt ist und erst 1960 starb (Bilder werden 70 Jahre nach Tod des Autors gemeinfrei). Und ich sehe keinen Grund zur Annhame, dass das Bild hier gemeinfrei ist. As for the Emil Müller picture - unless the book explicitly says it is public domain (gemeinfrei) that doesn't help. Remember publishers can license images for a specific use, and don't need to publicly explain the details of that arrangement. Rd232 (talk) 14:18, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Vielen Dank für die Infos - das scheint tatsächlich kompliziert. Was konkret ist notwendig, damit die Bilder lizenziert werden können resp. gemeinfrei werden? Beim Büchi-Bild können wir möglicherweise die Cattani-Erben ausfindig machen. Was müssten diese Erben dann genau bestätigen - gibt es hier Vorlagen? Und bei der Foto von Büchi auf der Seite der Universität Fribourg (falls wir die Cattani-Erben nicht finden können) - wer müsste dort bestätigen, dass es frei ist, mit welchem Wortlaut? Gibt es da eine Vorlage, die die Betroffenen unterschreiben können und ich würde diese Vorlage scannen und hier hochladen, oder was ist hier empfohlen? Ebemso die Foto von Emil Müller: wer müsste was bestätigen? Da sowohl die Erben und Nachkommen der betroffenen Personen als auch die Autoren der Bücher, in denen eben diese Bilder veröffentlicht worden sind, einverstanden sind, wäre ich froh, so konkret wie möglich zu wissen, wie diese Bilder lizenziert resp. gemeinfrei werden können, damit es für alle korrekt ist. Herzlichen Dank für die Unterstützung! --Tarboler (talk) 20:03, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
Wenn du Autoren oder Erben findest, gibt es dafür COM:OTRS. Es ist übrigens auch möglich, dass die Universität das Urheberrecht an einem Bild hat (und nicht der Maler oder seine Erben), wenn das Bild für die Uni gemacht wurde - das kommt auf den Vertrag zwischen Maler und Auftraggeber an (wenn es die Uni war), und ggf entsprechendes Recht. Das soll mal jetzt jemand wissen!! Ja, es geht leider in diesen Sachen immer noch ein Bisschen mehr kompliziert... Man kann nur versuchen, so viel Information zu kriegen wie möglich. Rd232 (talk) 14:19, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Ich glaube, wir sind ein schönes Stück weitergekommen. Vielen Dank erstmal für die Infos - das Ziel ist natürlich, dass die Anforderungen erfüllt werden, das ist klar. Also, ich konnte heute mit der Historikerin Verena Baumer-Müller sprechen: sie ist die Tochter von Prof. Emil Müller-Büchi sowie die Grosstochter von Prof. Albert Büchi. Betr. der Kohlezeichnung von Büchi des Malers Cattani sind die Erben wohl schwierig zu finden, so hat mir Verena Baumer-Müller eine Foto von Büchi gegeben, die ich heute hochgeladen habe, mit allen notwendigen Infos (siehe Bildbeschreibung). Ebenso habe ich das Bild von Prof. Emil F. J. Müller-Büchi (in besserer Qualität) nochmal hochgeladen, mit den korrekten Infos: es ist im Familienbesitz und durch Frau Baumer-Müller, u. a. in ihren Büchern, schon mehrfach publiziert worden. Ebenso habe ich das Bild von Karl Martin Rogg in besserer Qualität heute nochmals hochgeladen, mit den aktuellen Informationen. Rogg war der Vater von Büchi, also ist Frau Baumer-Müller die Ur-Grosstochter von Karl Rogg. Das Originalgemälde ist in ihrem Besitz, und sie stimmt der unlimitierten Veröffentlichung aller drei Bilder (ihres Vaters Emil Müller, ihres Grossvaters Albert Büchi sowie ihres Urgrossvaters Karl Rogg) zu. Wenn das den Anforderungen genügt, könntest Du die Eingaben in den Bild-Dateien überprüfen und die drei Bilder wieder in den entsprechenden Artikeln in der deutschsprachigen Wikipdeida einfügen? Herzlichen Dank für die Hilfe! --Tarboler (talk) 16:23, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Aha! Das es ist jetzt viel klarer geworden. Die neuen Dateien File:Prof. Emil Müller im Jahr 1970.jpg, File:Karl Rogg, ca. 1890.jpg, File:Prof. Albert Büchi im Jahr 1924.jpg scheinen in Ordnung zu sein, brauchen aber eine Bestätigung von Verena Baumer-Müller an COM:OTRS, und mehr Klarheit, genau welche Lizenz hier angewandt werden soll. Sie sollte eine Mail an OTRS schreiben (kann auch von dir weitergeleitet werden, aber direkt an OTRS mit Kopie zu dir ist besser), dass sie das Recht hat, diese Bilder zu lizenzieren, und dass sie die Bilder unter CC-BY-SA (oder einer anderen COM:L-kompatiblen Lizenz, z. B. {{PD-self}} oder {{CC-0}}, da du "gemeinfreie Publikation" erwähnt hast) lizensiert. Dann sind wir fast da (brauchen nur Bestätigung von OTRS, dauert ein paar Wochen). Rd232 (talk) 17:00, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

Super, das sieht gut aus. Ich werde Frau Baumer-Müller die Info weiterleiten und ihr empfehlen, ein englischsprachiges Mail mit dem gewünschten Inhalt an zu senden, am besten von ihrem eigenen Email-Account mit ihrer Adresse etc., damit die Identifizierung problemlos läuft. Falls wir nicht sicher sind wegen dem Wortlaut, werde ich morgen oder übermorgen allenfalls hier einen Entwurf platzieren und um Deinen Rat fragen, damit es dann flüssig läuft. Ich melde mich auf jeden Fall, spätestens, wenn sie das Mail gesendet hat. Soll sie eine Kopie an Dich senden (falls ja, welche Email-Adresse?) oder soll ich eine Kopie des Mails hier einfügen, zur Info? - Noch eine Info zur Kohlezeichnung von Cattani: Prof. Büchi und Cattani waren befreundet, und Cattani hat Büchi das Bild zu dessen 60. Geburtstag geschenkt. Frau Baumer sagte aber, dass sich dies wohl nicht mehr "beweisen" lasse (höchstens durch Briefverkehr, den sie auf dem Dachstock suchen müsste), also ist die Foto, die ich heute hochgeladen habe, sicherer. Gruss, --Tarboler (talk) 21:43, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
OK. Deutsche Mail zu OTRS wird auch gehen, aber wenn englisch kein Problem ist, ist englisch besser. Bitte keine Mail zu mir oder hier einfuegen - lass mich nur hier wissen, dass es geschickt wurde. Jemand von OTRS wird dann mit der Zeit bestaetigen. Rd232 (talk) 22:04, 16 August 2012 (UTC)
Ok, Frau Baumer hat mir eben bestätigt, dass sie das Mail (in deutscher Sprache) mit ihrer Freigabe (idealerweise Lizenz CC-BY-SA, ansonsten CC-0) für die drei Bilder an OTRS ( geschickt hat. Wird sie per Mail eine Bestätigung erhalten, wenn die Bilder entsprechend gekennzeichnet worden sind - und dann kannst Du oder ich die Bilder in den entsprechenden Artikel einfügen, oder kannst Du idealerweise die drei Files überwachen? Nochmals vielen Dank für die Unterstützung! --Tarboler (talk) 13:45, 17 August 2012 (UTC)
(Nur für die Zukunft: Deutsche Mail an OTRS ist besser [entweder bearbeiten sie nämlich deutsche Sprecher, die dann selbst erst übersetzen müssen, oder englische Sprecher, die dann die Diskussionen nur zur Hälfte nachvollziehen können], und zwar an Grüße, —Pill (talk) 07:21, 30 August 2012 (UTC))

attribution credit in video usage

Pls forgive me if this question has been answered. After a good effort, I've been unable to find an answer.

I would like to use some of the wonderful images photographers have posted here in a video I am making promoting enhancement of world agricultural production, (it is a commercial project). I understand, (I think), the requirement for attribution but have no idea how to solve the requirement when using images in a video as there is no metadata option. I believe I'm absolved from putting actual "credits" at the end of the video, but do not know how to satisfy the requirement. Does anyone have experience with this?

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Vermontwiki (talk • contribs) 2012-08-29T18:52:51 (UTC)
Why do you think you don't need a credits screen? for starters you should click through and read the actual license. Dankarl (talk) 01:29, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
You need to have the credits somewhere, and let viewers of your video know which portions they can re-use under the terms of which license (or at least let them find out). You should have reasonable flexibility on where and how you do it, depending on how your work is distributed... for some guidance, (whose licenses the bulk of images here use) have some guidance at their FAQ: How do I properly attribute a work offered under a Creative Commons license? page, which gives further pointers to a best practices page and a guide to attributing works. There is a little bit of guidance for films in there. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:16, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Don't forget that your video will be a derivative work of the images, so if any of them is under a CC-BY-SA license, your need to put your video under this license. Regards, Yann (talk) 04:00, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
The whole video? Or just the sequences where CC-BY-SA (or similar) images are used?--Pere prlpz (talk) 15:51, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Broderies & tapestries

Hello. My question is very simple : are broderies and tapestries considered as 2D works of art ? Can we use the PD-Art license for these types of works of art ? Thanks for the answers. Mel22 (talk) 20:51, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

I would say yes, if (1) the embroidery or tapestry is not highly textured; and (2) the photograph is taken from directly in front of the work and not from an angle. — Cheers, JackLee talk 09:36, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for this answer. Mel22 (talk) 18:32, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Question on copyright holder

Could someone take a look at File talk:Cecil O. De Loach, Jr. at Los Amigos Ranch.jpg and try to sort this out? I would suspect that the copyright holder is the photographer, but US law is sometimes a bit confusing. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:20, 29 August 2012 (UTC)

Three things are relevant.
  • The uploader responded on the talk page asserting it was a work for hire
  • The image page asserts the license is given on the uploader's web site. The linked page says "all rights reserved"
  • I did not look further because Norton reported an attack from the site. Do we have a "Hacked site" template?
I referred the uploader to Commons:OTRS Dankarl (talk) 01:24, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I see. I was asking here so that I would know if there would be any point in directing him to COM:OTRS at all or if the copyright holder would be the presumably unknown photographer. --Stefan4 (talk) 07:47, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Somebody please correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is that we accept plausible assertions of "work for hire" so that OTRS would not have been absolutely required in the absence of prior publication and conflicting license information. Dankarl (talk) 17:29, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Photo questions

Wondering if these two have enough information to be uploaded:

The NBC sales department (advertising) appears to have sent photos like this of then current NBC television shows to prospective air time buyers.

Though the TV show was over, it looks like he appeared at the air circus in costume and had the photo taken at the photo studio shown in Bradenton, FL. Thanks, We hope (talk) 05:27, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

For the first one, if it was not given out for further publication (like to newspapers), not really sure that would qualify as general publication but might be limited publication. For the second one... if that was taken by the newspaper itself (which it seems it was), then there is no evidence of publication with that print, so lack of notice on the print itself may not mean anything. I'd lean against both without further information. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:20, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Thanks much! We hope (talk) 15:07, 30 August 2012 (UTC)


Hi there, I was wondering how someone who obviously did not take an old photograph (, JeremyA in this instance, can claim copyright or copyright that image to themselves? Surely you can't just find, scan and upload old photos by unknown/dead probably ordinary people who were just documenting their lives and then claim you own the rights to them. Chris.—Preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk)

Why do you say the uploader "obviously did not take" this "old" photograph? Absent any evidence to the contrary, I find it entirely reasonable to suppose that JeremyA took this photo in 2001 as claimed. cmadler (talk) 12:21, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
On what evidence do you say that I clearly didn't take this photograph? Perhaps you should check your facts before making such ridiculously wild accusations. I took this photograph myself in 2001 and I have the original negative.—JeremyA (talk) 13:57, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Creating collection of photographs related to Judo in Canada

Hello. I am working on the Wikipedia article 'Judo in Canada' and other related articles. I have recently been in contact with some Canadian Judo organizations and participants in Canadian Judo, and several of them have agreed to donate appropriate photographs to help illustrate these articles. The donors are aware that they must relinquish copyright in order to do this, and that the photographs will thereafter be in the public domain and may be used by anyone for whatever purpose they deem suitable.

I have two questions related to this:

  1. My understanding is that donors can require proper attribution for any use of their donated photographs, which I think is for some people their only concern. Is this correct?
  2. How should I go about setting all of this up? Most of the donors are unlikely to want to create accounts of their own, and plan to send the photographs to me to upload them on their behalf. What process should I follow to ensure that everything goes smoothly and I meet all of Wikimedia's requirements? I've read through some of the help documents, but the range of options leaves it unclear what specific path I should follow, so I would appreciate some advice from someone who has done this sort of thing before or is knowledgeable about the necessary steps.

--CanadianJudoka (talk) 23:29, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

  1. Yes, they can require proper attribution (though not as specifically as requiring a watermark on the image). The works do not necessarily need to be fully released to the public domain -- the copyright is still valid, i.e. if someone does not follow the licensing terms it would still be a copyright violation, though yes we require that it be able to be used in most any circumstance (and the odds of other users illegally using without attribution do go up). They can also require that any derivative works made using the work (say perhaps a collage including the photo) must also be licensed the same way. The most common licenses to use are CC-BY (which requires attribution) or CC-BY-SA (which additionally requires "Share-Alike", the restriction on derivative works). You can find information on those licenses at (though note that licenses which have "NC" and "ND" are not acceptable here). It's also possible to license lower (or medium) resolution versions only, while keeping full rights over the full resolution versions -- simply do not upload the higher-res ones.
  2. The best way is for them to send (private) emails per the instructions at COM:OTRS. You don't necessarily need to name individual files, but it could be a more general thing of "Files uploaded by User:CanadianJudoka in August/September 2012 were done and licensed with my permission" or something along those lines. That step is definitely required if the photos in question have been published elsewhere on the Internet, unless the license of the files is specified on their internet source. (If only licensing lower-resolution files, it can be good to state that intention too.) Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:54, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
Great, thanks for your help. Almost all of the photographs will not have previously been available online (one of the reasons that I am doing this), but I'll make sure that each donor sends a blanket coverage email as you suggest, and differentiate files associated with each donor by including their initials in the file name or something like that. CanadianJudoka (talk) 03:48, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
The author should be in the file description page when you are uploading. The authors can also choose how they are credited -- i.e. their name, or a pseudonym, or other. Sounds pretty cool; good luck :-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:55, 31 August 2012 (UTC)