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Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2012/11

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Ludovic O'Followell

I've created en:Ludovic O'Followell to help pin down the status of most of Category:French patent drawings (most of the files are from his book en:wikisource:Le Corset (1905)). The files claim PD because the author is dead 70 years, but no death date is available, and he published a book in 1947. Can anyone help? Rd232 (talk) 22:42, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

He published another book in 1951: Déshabillez-vous ... ou soixante ans de la vie d'un médecin. --Avenue (talk) 00:08, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
And another in 1955.[1] He also helped set up the fr:Groupement des écrivains médecins, a physician-writers group, in 1949. So definitely not yet dead 70 years. --Avenue (talk) 00:37, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
I don't see any evidence presented here that O'Followell was the creator of these images. Yes they featured in his 1905 book but the images appear to be older historical patent applications to which either PD-70 may apply - at least one is credited to Dr. Frantz Glénard who died in 1920, the others contain a profusion of signatures or no credit at all where PD-France may apply. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 14:44, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
Well maybe; I'm going on details presented eg at File:158b Le système Wagner puor fixer le corsetll.gif which only reference O'Followell's book and have no further details. {{PD-France}} says it isn't ready for use; I presume you mean the {{PD-EU-no author disclosure}}-type element - but it's hard to believe that patent drawings are anonymous... So we need death-dates of authors to confirm PD-old applies (unless there's some other reasons the drawings may be PD, which AFAIK there is not).Rd232 (talk) 18:59, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
The further details are in the file name "Le système Wagner puor fixer le corset" The patent was filed by a M. (comes from the book page may be an abbreviation of Madame) Wagner but I can't find it in the French Patent System and without clear identification where the patent was filed, and a patent number it may be as good as anonymous. The following pages contain similar patents filed by Butler (1902) and Oliver (1903) and I've tried but I can't find those in the French patent office either, perhaps a natural French speaker may have better luck than my combination of limited vocabulary and machine translation. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 00:52, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
M = Monsieur. The drawings are referenced at fr:wikisource:Le Corset (1905) - Chapitre X, but the files are not actually used there... This doesn't get us any further - if the drawings are by those patent authors rather than by O'Followell, we need their details (they're clearly not anonymous). Rd232 (talk) 20:37, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Suprised they aren't there, they appear on the side by side at French Wikisource. [2] We can't really take a say on the Wikisource copyright problem here, but this may be the tip a much bigger problem Google Books shows this book as being composed from articles O'Followell had written for Dessous Elegants and we have a category of similar images taken from those magazines Category:Dessous_Elegants with 226 images - they are all uploaded by the same editor who uploaded the O'Followell ones (and the wikisource book) User:Haabet and he has over 7,000 contributions (and a lot of warnings for previous copyright issues).This looks like it either needs a bulk deletion of most of this users contributions or the equivalent of an en:WP Copyvio investigation to work out which of his contributions can be kept. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 13:45, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
Well the image in the djvu is from the original scan I think, not the cropped out image file... I don't really know how Wikisource works. But anyway, you're quite right that the bigger issue is User:Haabet's uploads, of which the bizarre DR Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Brassiere-Girdle-Style1322.gif (file of unknown authorship still tagged {{PD-old}} ("70 years passed since death of author") 4 years after DR concluded it was a work-for-hire, and author remains unknown) is just one example. Anyone here know about Wikisource? Because there seems to have been some discussion there about Le Corset copyright but the link from the Le Corset image files doesn't work. Rd232 (talk) 14:17, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Anonymous BW photos

Hi, I would like to use some BW photos seen here ESA - The History of Sounding Rockets. They are clearly not from the same age of this 2006 work, in fact, they are from the 60/70s, and have no mention to the author. The four specific images I'm interested are:

  • Dragon (page 32)
  • Centaure (page 41)
  • Dragon (page 43)
  • Skylark (page 49)

Question: Do these images fit in the {{PD-anon-auto-1996}} tag ? I think they do.

--Marcric (talk) 14:10, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

Probably not. Firstly, I wouldn't say that the photos are necessarily anonymous just because no author is mentioned in this specific PDF. On the contrary, I would suppose that the creators are known at the ESA. Then, I'm not quite sure regarding, en:Choice of law, but probably European law applies in most cases, for which these photos are too new - e.g. "Transport of a Dragon sounding rocket from the assembly hall to the launch pad at Andøya in 1967"; not sure whether Norwegian law should be applied (Andøya is in Norway), but it's too new even for Template:PD-Norway50 - it might become free in 2018, "provided that more than 15 years have passed since the author's death or the author is unknown". Gestumblindi (talk) 15:13, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
{{PD-Norway50}} can only be used if the photo was first published in Norway, but we don't know where it was first published.
{{Anonymous-EU}} tells that works published within 70 years after creation are copyrighted for 70 years since publication. 2006 is less than 70 years since creation, so if the photos are anonymous and first published in 2006, then the copyright expires in most of the European Union in 2077 (70 years after 2006). They might have been published elsewhere, but we don't know that.
The photos must additionally be in the public domain in the United States. Since the photos are so recent, they are most likely currently copyrighted in the United States. Depending on when and by whom the photos were taken and when they were published, the copyright expires in the United States either 70 years after the death of the photographer, 95 years after the first publication or 120 years after they were taken. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:24, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

File:Andong Mask Dance Festival 2006-02.jpg

Any opinions on whether this image violates the copyright of the mask? --Stefan4 (talk) 20:58, 1 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm not knowledgeable on Korean mask theatre, but it looks like a simple common traditional mask. Then, I think it isn't more copyrightable than common Halloween decoration and costume elements would be in the US.--Pere prlpz (talk) 00:32, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

Threshold of originality discussion on Google Street View image

I just nominated File:Wdiv-hq.jpg for discussion as Commons:Deletion requests/File:Wdiv-hq.jpg. It appears that the issue will be whether Google Street View images meet the threshold of originality. I'm not sure if it's useful to mention significant deletion discussions here, since there is also a Category:Deletion request for picture produced by mechanical process, but it seemed like a good idea because of the precedent this file might set on Commons. --Closeapple (talk) 06:57, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

PPA copyright claims for family photos

Sorry if it has been discussed before.

Are the PPA copyright claims for real and in the US any family photos made by a professional photographer fully appertein to the photographer? And Wal-Mart "horror stories" of the kind with your own photos confiscated are for real?

I would expect at the max a "deadlock" like sometimes here in Russia: a photographer cannot use your studio photos with your face on it without your permission, you cannot commercially use your studio photos without the photographer permission. --NeoLexx (talk) 22:56, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

The photos were works for hire. If unpublished, the copyright expires 120 years after they were created. I'd assume that these photos are unpublished and that the photographer's employer is the copyright holder. Since the employer no longer exists, the employer's assets have been distributed to other parties, and so someone else is the copyright holder. In many cases, it is presumably practically impossible to claim copyright protection since all evidence of authorship has been lost, but in theory there is someone who is the copyright holder until 120 years have passed, if the photo is unpublished. De facto, no one would find out that the photos have been copied, so there's no real legal risk in copying them. However, under COM:PRP, such photos would be rejected here unless it can be proven that the copyright has expired. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:21, 30 October 2012 (UTC)
The statements on the PPA page are reasonably correct. I believe the vast majority of professional photographs of that sort are considered "unpublished works". They are very definitely not "works for hire": check the wording of the agreement you sign the next time you get a professional photograph taken. --Carnildo (talk) 01:26, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Professional photos are normally works for hire: the photographer's employer pays salary to the photographer. This probably means that the copyright holder is the photographer's employer (not the photographer or the customer). --Stefan4 (talk) 01:32, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
No, I don't think so, at least in the U.S. They are contractors. "Works for hire" has a very specific definition; it's only under certain circumstances that a commissioned work will be considered a work for hire -- see this Copyright Office circular. If you don't spell out the copyright terms in the contract, by default these days the photographer will still own the copyright I'd think. That does often go for wedding photographers and the like (they do make a lot of their money off the prints). Fair use would probably cover a decent range of uses though, particularly if non-commercial. Now, before 1989 and particularly 1978, it does get more interesting, in that photos *may* have been considered published without a copyright notice. "Limited publication" (which did not result in loss of copyright) was generally defined as distribution to a limited number of people for a limited purpose. The distribution in such cases was almost certainly limited, but it may be harder to argue a limited purpose if no conditions were placed on it. It'd be interesting to know if that sort of thing ever got to a court case. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:55, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Hm? If I go to a photographer, the photographer (say, John Doe) would normally be an employee of a photography company (say, John Doe Photography, Ltd.). I would have assumed that any photos would be works for hire and that the employer (John Doe Photography, Ltd.) would be the copyright holder instead of the photographer (John Doe). Of course, I wouldn't be allowed to do anything with the photo unless I sign a contract with John Doe Photography, Ltd. which says otherwise. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:51, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Right. I misread your response -- the photographer's company would own the copyright. The question, I was presuming, was about Walmart (or others) making copies of the print that you bought from John Doe Photography, Ltd., without acquiring the copyright. They are not "works for hire" of the customer requesting the photo, so yes, Walmart has some reason to deny copies like that. Whether they might be considered PD-US-no_notice is a separate matter though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:17, 31 October 2012 (UTC)
Regardless of the copyright status of the photos, Walmart is a private entity and has the right to refuse service for any reason. -- King of ♠ 09:32, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Google Books "Public Domain"

Hi, I'm wondering about the legal issues that may surround uploading an image snipped from a 'digitized by Google' book that Google's first page asserts is in the public domain. The book in question is Report on Vienna Bread, published in 1875, by the government printing office, Washington, DC. The work is freely downloadable, when it is downloaded, a Google Copyright Page is placed on the front which explicitly states the work is in the public domain, that the copyright has expired or that it may never have been copyrighted in the first place.

A search using the search box above shows a number of images existing in the commons that are attributed to Google Books "Public Domain". The policy page here states: "Wikimedia Commons accepts only media that are explicitly freely licensed, or that are in the public domain in at least the United States and in the source country of the work."

The work in question is stated by Google as existing in the public domain and the source country is the U.S. So, it seems it is allowed, via the second stipulation, however, there are so many clear warnings issued in relation to the uploading of images when entering commons and 'upload a file', I thought it best to ask here, first. Sorry if this is a "stupid" or repetitious question that has already been asked and answered multiple times. Thanks, Gzuufy (talk) 16:43, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

It's a public domain work. See Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag and Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag; even if Google didn't assert its PD nature, we still wouldn't blink an eye about using it.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:28, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
An 1875 U.S. govt. report is public domain under both {{PD-USGov}} and {{PD-US}}, and just one of the two would be enough... AnonMoos (talk) 15:28, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Disputed states

Please see Commons talk:Freedom of panorama#Disputed states. -- King of ♠ 05:36, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Pictures from San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives on Flickr

The “San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives” wrote in this text that they will have money for commercial use of their pictures with "No Known Copyright Restrictions". Are we allowed to use these pictures in Wikimedia Commons - or not? --Uwe W. (talk) 16:47, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

It will probably vary on a case by case basis; see Commons:Flickr files#The Commons on Flickr. LX (talk, contribs) 17:35, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Unfortunately the San Diego Air & Space Museum often miss-uses the 'no known copyright restrictions' tag; it appears to have interpreted this to apply to images in its collection which it hasn't bothered to record a source for and can't be bothered to check rather than images which it genuinely believes to be free of copyright restrictions. The museum has uploaded a number of Australian Defence Force public relations photos with this tag, when they're clearly under copyright. Nick-D (talk) 00:01, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

File:Painted Post Statue.JPG

Is this file acceptable? The statue was erected (in the United States) in 1950, but I don't know if there was a copyright notice on it or not. The Smithsonian catalog entry is here, but it doesn't say anything one way or the other about a copyright notice. Powers (talk) 01:54, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

That entry documents the inscription, notes that it is signed, but does not say anything about a copyright notice. Generally when the inscription is documented like that, we assume a copyright notice would have been mentioned had it existed. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:48, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivadas 2.0 Genérica (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

I found some interesting photographs in The pics are published under

Can we use the pics?. --Createaccount 18:31, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

No. Please read Commons:Project scope/Summary. LX (talk, contribs) 18:36, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

Public domain-released claim

A while ago I stumbled upon such webpage
Here there is a claim that the photographs in question released to public domain by their authors. Is it safe to these up here on Commons?--RussianTrooper (talk) 18:14, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure what "the photographers gave up their authorship rights" means. Might help to email him and ask for clarification. -- King of ♠ 18:31, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
The statement at this website says that it's based on a passage in the book where the photographs were published, but it doesn't quote the passage. The website's statement only says that the introduction of the book says that the photographers gave up their authorship rights. That is not explicit, it does not necessarily reflect accurately what is written in the book and it does not necessarily mean that the photographs are in the public domain. The stament on the website could be a misquote or a misinterpretation or whatever. A first impression is that it would be surprising that professional photographers would just give up their rights. Perhaps what is said is that they gave their royalties to a charity or something. You really should read the actual statement in the book and see what it actually says before you reuse those photos. Anyway, the book is Fritel and Aspeteguy, Libertate Roumanie 1989, published by Denoël in 1990, ISBN 978-2207236956. -- Asclepias (talk) 18:49, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

LOC in-publication data

I know I asked this question earlier, but no one answered it. In the event that a Commons image is registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, should we paste in-publication data into the file description page? 16:41, 2 November 2012 (UTC)

If you want. Is this your image, or someone else's?--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:22, 2 November 2012 (UTC)
I haven't registered anything with the LOC ^_^. But if anyone else has perhaps there should be a template handy for them to inform viewers that they can sue for copyright infringement in the U.S. 00:07, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
There's no point in having a template that nobody is planning on using. Registration does not mean they can sue; anyone can sue, but in certain circumstances lack of registration can cause reduced monetary damages.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:27, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Auguste Bert 1856-

Anyone know where I might find the death date of a paris photographer, Auguste Bert? Information on the internet suggets he was born 1856 and was operating 1905-1920, but unfortunately no mention when he died, which is naturally of great interest to anyone wanting to use his pictures. Would seem to be a reasonable chance he is out of copyright. Sandpiper (talk) 08:46, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

I found his official first names were François Auguste Bert, born 15 March 1856 in Toulouse (according to the official documents related to his getting the Légion d'Honneur), but his date of death seems a complete mystery. Also I couldn't find anything about him after 1913. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 18:28, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I found a french book which said he had a studio at 35 Boulevard des Capucines, Paris. It also said he sold out to Sabourin around 1920, who sold out the business to L. Roosen about 1930. Both the latter reproduced Bert's photographs in their own name. Apparently the family business was making hats, and he did this before starting photography 1884 in Toulouse where he became president of the society of photographers. A marvellous little biography sadly missing the vital demise. Sandpiper (talk) 19:53, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Decorations of Transnistria

Here are some of the decorations of Transnistria, available on commons:

The source is said to be the President's site (the current state of which doesn't say much, here is the archived version). There is a copyright sign at the bottom of the page and an interesting sentence after it: „При использовании материалов сайта, обязательно указывать адрес” (translates from Rusian as „When using the site materials, specificating the source is mandatory”). Uhm, what do we do? Gikü (talk)

  • Transnistria isn't fully recognised, and I can't see whether it claims a separate copyright law from Moldova but the latter does not allow governmental emblems to be copyrightable. Fixing would appear to be simply a case of licensing as PD Moldova Gov and crediting to theTransnistria government. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 22:10, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Help from Commons finding out death dates

Hello, I was just wondering if we have in Commons some sort of help service/advisers, etc that could help a user find out when a certain author of a piece of work died and so whether that media is in the public domain due to time. Let me give you an example of what I mean. Imagine I find a relevant photograph in a book and locate the author's name, a certain photographer. I may know the name and even the nationality but I cannot find in the internet whether that person is alive or dead and if dead, when he/she died. Asking the country's embassy for help (in case that country still exists and does have one) as a private individual is a waste of time (trust me). But we might have some group that could help the user find out this crucial piece of data or, at least, tell him/her whom to ask, act as a proxy, etc. Say we ask the author's country as Wikipedia, not as a private person or we have some sort of little known search engines/databases to check this up. Do we have any such thing? Thank you in advance.--Rowanwindwhistler (talk) 22:06, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Some library catalogs often include death dates of book authors. AnonMoos (talk) 13:49, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for your answer. Just imagine we are talking about a photographer (not a book author) or some private individual whose occupation we do not know (we just know his/her name and possibly his/her nationality). Do we have in Commons some group helping people locate the necessary information about the photographer/private citizen?--Rowanwindwhistler (talk) 16:02, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
No, there isn't a Commons specialized task force of detectives or a team of official Wikipedia ambassadors dedicated to tracking the death dates of people through special resources and contacts. But there are users in the different Wikimedia projects that may be willing to provide some small but sometimes useful help with that sort of research on a case by case basis. Such requests for help are seen from time to time on the general reference desks of the Wikipedias and on the discussion pages of the thematic projects of the Wikipedias on the relevant theme: painting, photography, etc. There's no guarantee that a request will give results, but sometimes it does. For example, if you're looking for information about a French author, one place where you could ask is the Oracle of the French-language Wikipedia, telling the informations you already have and what reasearch you have already done, to avoid duplication. For an American author, you could ask at the Reference desk of the English-language Wikipedia, etc. As a first step, most people there will normally just search the internet, but even that may give the result, because if ten people are searching, there are more chances of finding something. Some of those people may also have access to specialized internet data banks accessible only through paid subscriptions or through research institutions. If you look around the projects, you may find a few users specially motivated for that sort of research. For example, I recently noticed that a user on en.Wikipedia added death dates to many articles about citizens of one country, and he was finding those informations in a data bank to which he is a subscriber in that country. So, if I needed to find a date about a person from this country, I know I could probably ask him directly on his user talk page. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:28, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
I see, that answers my question, thank you! A pity no such thing exists (however modest in size) as I think it would help clarify copyright status in many cases as opposed to having to ask around or know of some user who might have access to that data. But that's the way it is right now I suppose. Thank you again for your clarifying explanation.--Rowanwindwhistler (talk) 18:59, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Are these images legit?

I came across this image and this image. Are they appropriate for the Commons? I recognize the first one as having appeared in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe back in the 1980s. The uploader said it is his own work. Even if it's the artist who illustrated it, doesn't Marvel own these images?

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Nightscream (talk • contribs) 02:07, 6 November 2012‎ (UTC)
  Deleted King of ♠ 03:28, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Wojciech Kossak's works

Now that 70 years have passed from the painter's death, aren't ALL of his works public domain (regardless of the 100 years criteria)? --Gikü (talk) 09:04, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

The 70-year rule is actually the Jan. 1st after the 70th anniversary of the person's death, so it would be Jan 1st. 2013... AnonMoos (talk) 15:25, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Please remember that, in the US, his works published after 1923 have a copyright term of 95 years after publication.--Pere prlpz (talk) 16:39, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
But only if first published in the U.S., right? -- AnonMoos (talk) 16:59, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Not right. You can see Commons:URAA-restored copyrights. If published outside the US, copyright in US was restored in 1996 with the same length it would have had if it had been an US work. There is a project in Commons to identify and delete those works copyrighted in the US.--Pere prlpz (talk) 20:52, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Then why does the {{PD-old-70}} template even exist at all on Commons, under that interpretation? Are you going to nominate all images with {{PD-art}} which do not fall under {{PD-1923}} or {{PD-old-100}}) for deletion? AnonMoos (talk) 23:28, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Well there are four answers to that: (i) the URAA was only finally affirmed constitutional by the US Supreme Court in January 2012 (see COM:URAA) and Commons is only slowly working through the implications - see COM:WPPD (ii) {{PD-old-70}} is not a PD tag that covers US PD status (no works are PD in US under that rule yet, since it was introduced too recently), it applies for other countries, and works using it need an additional PD tag to cover the US status (iii) {{PD-1923}} and {{PD-old-100}} are the most common US PD tags for {{PD-Art}} cases, but they're not the only options (iv) yes, very many files which are {{PD-old-70}} but published after 1922 are affected by URAA restoration and need to be deleted. Rd232 (talk) 02:16, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, people are encouraged by the mechanics of the upload forms etc. to add "PD-art" tags to images of old paintings that they upload, and "PD-art" by itself invokes "PD-old-70" and nothing else, so there are at least tens of thousands (I would guess many more) of images which have "PD-art" invoking "PD-old-70" and no other copyright tags. So according to wheat you say, the upload process is very significantly broken, but I don't see serious efforts to make it unbroken according to what you say, or to deal with the very large numbers of images involved... AnonMoos (talk) 19:03, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
I have spent years arguing that we should delete these files, especially as IMO letting us keep those files was never an option even if the Supreme Court went against the URAA. When the Supreme Court did weigh against the URAA, we tried to delete all the files that had already been tagged as not PD in the US, but there was too much argument against a bulk deletion. When I do propose some files for deletion, I get push back; Yann has even ignored the URAA when closing files as keep. How much serious effort do you expect some of us to give when we get no support?--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:08, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
You're getting "push back" because previously Golan v Holder was presented as closing loopholes in certain cases when the U.S. failed to recognize foreign copyrights, but was not presented (at least in a way that many non-lawyers could understand) as retroactively exporting the 1996 form of U.S. copyright laws to all foreign nations without exception in a manner that makes the {{PD-old-70}} template almost completely useless. The bit about making the {{PD-old-70}} template almost completely useless cannot be implemented through a few scattered individual file deletion discussions; it must be explained and discussed prominently in central locations, and will involve significant changes to the "PD-art" template and upload forms... AnonMoos (talk) 19:36, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
P.S. reveals 61798 transclusions of {{PD-old-70}}. AnonMoos (talk) 19:39, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Maybe you are right that "making the {{PD-old-70}} template almost completely useless cannot be implemented through a few scattered individual file deletion discussions". For this reason, we had at least:
All of them have been publicised and got a lot of participation.
Furthermore, the interpretation of URAA restoration used now in Commons is not just ours. It matches what the references say.
And {{PD-old-70}} is not useless. It's just not enough. It sets status in source coutry but it's needed anything else to state copyright status in the US.--Pere prlpz (talk) 20:25, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
However, various versions of at least some upload forms still insert "PD-art" when the user clicks on "Painting which is in the public domain because of its age" in the upload form box, and "PD-art" (when not invoked with any parameters) includes "PD-old-70" as the only actual copyright tag. I'm sure all the dedicated copyright nerds are well aware of the law, but many others are not aware of this ultimate convoluted contortion. of retroactivity.. AnonMoos (talk) 20:52, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
There have been some attempts to improve tags and the upload wizard, but it's difficult to make the wizard cope with all copyright situations. PD-old-70 is not enough to match the 80-years countries, and those are very simpler than US copyright laws. I'm not involved, but I think this issue needs more dedicated hands.
And, unfortunately, you are right that only copyright nerds understand US copyright laws.--Pere prlpz (talk) 22:12, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
You may be 100% right about the laws, but it doesn't surprise me that you may still sometimes have difficulty in getting your position accepted as long as some versions of the upload forms are tacitly encouraging people to add bare "PD-art" (which = "PD-old-70") as the only copyright tag to images they upload... AnonMoos (talk) 03:39, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
P.S. reveals 1092738 transclusions of {{PD-old}}. -- AnonMoos (talk) 03:57, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
See also Template:NoUploads etc. There are quite a lot of things that would need to be changed that haven't been changed. AnonMoos (talk) 13:51, 6 November 2012 (UTC)
No. Ignoring the dozens of complications, works published between 1923-1977 anywhere have a term of copyright for 95 years after publication in the US. First published in 1978-2001 have a term of 70 + life or 2047, which ever is longer, and 2002 on is just life + 70.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:59, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
Actually... the painter died in 1942. Poland had a shorter term before, but I think retroactively extended everything to 50pma in 1994. But, the painter's works would *still* have been PD at the time in Poland, and remained so in 1996, meaning none of his works would have been eligible for U.S. URAA restoration. Poland later went to 70pma in 2003, but that did not affect the U.S. copyright. So yes, all of this author's works should be fine in the U.S., unless he managed to follow all of the U.S. copyright formalities correctly (properly put a copyright notice on them, renew them in the United States 27 or 28 years after publication, etc.). The works will not be fine on Commons until Jan 1st as mentioned, but should be OK at that point. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:43, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
That shows that it's never wise to ignore the "dozens of complications" ;-) - in this case, the "complication" of Poland having a 50 years p.m.a. term until 2003 means that Wojciech Kossak's works are already free in the U.S., as they were not protected in their country of origin in 1996, and will become free in Poland in 2013, too :-) - in such cases, it's of course especially important to use appropriate licensing templates with additional explanation, if needed. Gestumblindi (talk) 01:14, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
That also shows that URAA makes figuring out copyrights so complicated that very few people on Commons have knowledge and time to figure it out for individual works. I for one have never figured out what does term "published" mean when referring to paintings, sculptures, hand-written manuscripts or letters, etc. and how to look it up. I also think that works not meeting URAA requirements should not be deleted but moved to non-english wikis until they are OK in US. --Jarekt (talk) 05:02, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Then delete all works not published before 1923 if you can't figure it out. We haven't let the confusion over "simple photographs" nor the complex rules about anonymous works (and what exactly that means) stop us from deleting files we couldn't figure out whether they were still under copyright or not. It's not just non-English wikis; the Wikimedia Foundation can not have these files on their servers. You are free to load them to your own servers.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:49, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
That is not possible, because all the Wikimedia projects, in all languages, are equally bound by the U.S. law. The only non-free-in-the-US works that could be uploaded to some projects are the few works that might meet the fair use exception, for example a famous painting. -- Asclepias (talk) 05:50, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
Many works that are free in the source country but still copyrighted in the US can be uploaded to Wikilivres. It's a project by Wikimedia Canada, based in Canada and using Canadian hosting (and even now a .CA URL, to avoid US claims over .COM, .NET, .ORG, .INFO, etc.), set up for exactly this reason, because Canada uses the rule of the shorter term. cmadler (talk) 12:43, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
@Asclepias: all WMF servers are bound by US law, but US law allows fair use, so most of those files, if used, are expected to be able to be uploaded to local projects, if local policy allows it. Most projects have only a very limited usage of fair use because they must abide to local laws and local laws don't have fair use, but for files that are PD everywhere except for the US, local laws are not a problem and fair use can be used at the widest extent allowed by US law. That's why I tnink most of these files can be uploaded to local projects, despite US law bounding al WMF servers.--Pere prlpz (talk) 14:12, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
As I said I do not know what "published" means when referring to non-book, non-stamp materials. How do you look up when was Mona Lisa "published" in the US? --Jarekt (talk) 12:58, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I think Mona Lisa is not a problem, because if it hadn't been published by 1923, rules for unpublished works would anyway put it in public domain - although I would need to check rules to be sure.
For other works, being strict would mean recording date of first known publication (e.g. the oldest book or postcard with a copy of the work printed on it) in the same way we record date of death of author. Anyway, at the moment we seem to be accepting a lot of guesses, even some unsafe ones - similar to accepting by default that publication date of paintings is close of creation date.--Pere prlpz (talk) 14:03, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
The "published" definition is pretty thorny, but it has nothing to do with the URAA, which is quite simply what was the law in the source country on January 1, 1996 (or different dates for a few countries). The URAA stuff doesn't change, and it can be researched and documented. And we try, at w:Wikipedia:Non-U.S. copyrights. As for the separate issue of "published", yes, it is true that unpublished works never lost their U.S. copyright and did not need to be restored. There is a discussion of it at Commons:Public art and copyrights in the US. It is complicated mainly because the term had no formal definition... but really, most works would get published. It was more of a common-sense thing originally, though because of the loss of copyright penalty if you published without a copyright notice, courts ended up defining it in more restrictive ways. I've never thought we should worry too much about that for old works, unless there is specific documentation that the author kept the work private for a time, or intentionally kept distribution very limited, or that sort of thing. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:09, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
I picked an extreme example of Mona Lisa, which hopefully is in PD in US, since I am sure it was in some book or other, but we have few hundred thousands paintings and sculptures from different centuries and I assume that very few have known date of first publication in the US. I guess we could go through many pre-1923 art books and check off all paintings we find there, but is anybody working on that? I assume that many less-known paintings were never published and "distribution [was] very limited" since there was only one copy of each. I will check Commons:Public art and copyrights in the US. --Jarekt (talk) 20:15, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
You can check Commons:Hirtle chart, too.--Pere prlpz (talk) 22:20, 5 November 2012 (UTC)
It's not publication in the US; it's publication anywhere.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:50, 5 November 2012 (UTC)

Restart: What will have to be done if the interpretation of the URAA which makes PD-old-70 almost completely useless is correct

So far, the most obvious interpretation of the URAA -- under which certain foreign copyright claims previously unrecognized by the United States are now recognized by the U.S. -- has been accepted and largely implemented on Commons. However, if the maximalist interpretation of the URAA is correct -- according to which the U.S. copyright law of 1996 is retroactively exported to all the other countries of the world, so creating new extended copyrights in the U.S. which were never claimed within those non-U.S. countries themselves, and rendering the {{PD-old-70}} tag almost completely useless -- then several things need to change dramatically on Commons:

1) Both {{PD-old-70}} and {{PD-old}} need to be eliminated altogether as separate templates. Instead, "PD-old-70" must now become merely a parameter to certain other templates, as an option to be invoked in certain semi-obscure or semi-esoteric circumstances which don't seem to occur all that frequently.

2) Commons upload procedures must be changed so as not to encourage uploaders to select upload form options which result in the insertion of {{PD-art}} with no parameters, which is equivalent to "PD-old-70". In fact, "PD-art" with no parameters must be changed to indicate a problem, not a license. In addition, certain other support templates, such as Template:NoUploads, must be changed correspondingly.

3) A major project must be launched to handle expeditiously and in a systematic manner the hundreds of thousands of images which currently have no licensing tag other than {{PD-old-70}}, {{PD-old}}, or {{PD-art}} with no parameters -- since relying on a slow trickle of individual file deletion nominations is useless to do the job.

If Commons is not taking these steps, then it is not serious about the maximalist interpretation of the URAA, and therefore the lawyers / copyright nerds cannot expect others to take the maximalist interpretation seriously... Thanks. AnonMoos (talk) 08:32, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

There's no reason to have any doubt whether or not it's correct.* So don't act like it's an interpretation.
The US law is not exported anywhere. It is the law of the United States and applies only within the areas where the United States has jurisdiction. I don't think a US court has any business trying to interpret Polish law to figure out whether or not Polish copyright has expired or not.
If Commons is not taking these steps, then those people who think that Commons should take those steps should shut up? That's circular. COM:L has said for at least 5 years that it has to be out of copyright in the US; if you want to change policy, then change the policy. Don't say that we have to let defacto practice trump policy.
* gives as an example "A French short story that was first published without copyright notice in 1935 will be treated as if it had both been published with a proper notice and properly renewed, meaning that its restored copyright will expire on December 31, 2030 (95 years after the U. S. copyright would have come into existence)."--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:01, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Whatever -- I am not a lawyer, and I could not have a personally informed opinion on the matter without studying the law and judicial decision texts with a degree of intensity that would make my non-legally trained brain hurt (and even then it would just be the personal opinion of someone with no legal qualifications whatsoever). What I do know very well is that some people are claiming the maximalist interpretation, yet various Commons infrastructures ({{PD-old-70}}, {{PD-old}}, {{PD-art}}, upload form, Template:NoUploads etc.) have not been updated to conform with the maximalist interpretation, which creates cognitive dissonance among those who are not lawyers or copyright nerds. If you want the cognitive dissonance to go away, or your view to be taken seriously among most on Commons (two ways of saying the same thing), then Commons infrastructures have to be correspondingly updated... AnonMoos (talk) 12:36, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
PD-old, PD-old-70, and PD-art say that a work is PD in "those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 70 years." Right after that, they all say, "You must also include a United States public domain tag to indicate why this work is in the public domain in the United States." How is that in any way unclear? cmadler (talk) 13:28, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
If you say that theoretically there should be an accompanying U.S. copyright template, but there's no enforcement of this other than a tiny little irregular trickle of sporadic individual deletion nominations (vastly disproportionate to the hundreds of thousands of existing files with no other licensing template than "PD-old-70" or equivalent), then Commons is not being serious about its proclaimed policies, and this incongruity encourages people on Commons not to take the proclaimed policy seriously. Allowing "PD-old-70" templates to remain in general widespread use, when in fact under the new copyright regime they will only be valid in very limited and particular special circumstances amounts to what lawyers would call an Attractive nuisance -- if the current setup on Commons offers an easy but wrong path, then we can hardly blame people for following the path of least resistance which has been created for them. Similarly with upload form options which encourage people to add "Pd-art" with no parameters to newly-uploaded images... AnonMoos (talk) 14:57, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
You're right that various Commons templates and processes need updating to be clearer; and this should really be a priority so that the backlog of URAA-affected files doesn't keep growing. For example, we could change {{PD-old}} so that it requires a valid US PD tag as a parameter (adding an error category if not present). Or we could go down the {{COML compliance}} road (a template I tried to develop to verify PD tags for both source country and US) - but that sort of complex template will be much more feasible once we get mw:Lua. There is Commons:WikiProject Public Domain/URAA review, but it's not really active at the moment, partly because the size of the task and the lack of deadlines and a wish to transfer as many files as possible to fair use projects all mitigate against people getting enthusiastic about handling the review. Rd232 (talk) 14:13, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Fair use is no general answer to anything, since in most cases fair-use images have to be cut-down to near-thumbnail size, and at least on English Wikipedia there are ever-expanding layers of bureaucratic bafflegab documentation and disclaimers required to use a fair-use image in an article (which means that only a rather small percentage of editors would realistically be able to add a fair-use image to a Wikipedia article in a way which would hold up -- and of course, fair-use images not used in articles are automatically deleted...). AnonMoos (talk) 15:12, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
fair enough (excuse the pun :) ) - but nonetheless, it's reasonable to try and retain Commons images that have to be deleted for URAA reasons as fair-use local files where those files are in use by a fair-use project. And that takes even more effort than just reviewing the files for deletion. I suspect nothing much will happen until we say "hard cheese, you've had long enough to sort out transfers, these files will now be deleted if they fail the URAA, and if you want to transfer them, you'll have to ask for undeletion". Which I'm vaguely planning to suggest about a year after the US court decision, which was on 18 Jan 2012. Rd232 (talk) 15:31, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Category:Template Unknown (author)

New cleanup category Category:Template Unknown (author) (automatically populated by {{unknown|author}}), currently with c 46k files: many such files are either not unknown authorship, or have copyright tags which contradict that status (eg {{PD-old}}, which applies to known authors with known death dates). Rd232 (talk) 10:57, 4 November 2012 (UTC)

There are plenty of files marked PD-old where it's obvious by the creation date that the unknown author died that long ago (1700s works, etc.). Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:57, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
And such cases should be replaced with something more specific. {{PD-old-100}} for instance (though a custom tag for the case might be preferable). Rd232 (talk) 18:57, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
... and I don't see a substantive difference between PD-old and PD-old-100 in that matter -- they are both assuming a death date. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:59, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
The substantive difference is that PD-old is very often used by very many users who don't understand copyright whatsoever. It's a (to some extent the) standard copyright tag, easily chucked into a file description page in order to tick a box. PD-old-100 no doubt is misused as well, but much less so, and presence of the tag indicates the user has actually thought about the death date and understands the significance, and is explicitly making a claim about the death date. However, {{PD-old-100-anon}} would be better, to make explicit the assumptions involved in applying PD-old-100 to anon authors we can reasonably assume to have died 100 years ago or more. Rd232 (talk) 11:34, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Though I guess we don't really need a new tag - the existing {{PD-anon-1923}} will cover this case until 2023... Rd232 (talk) 11:38, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Semi-urgent deletion request affecting an image scheduled to appear soon on en's Main Page

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Bert and Ernie.jpg affects an image that is currently scheduled to appear as the image accompanying "Today's Featured Article" on en on 10th November. If I'm wrong that the photograph ought to be deleted, please tell me; if I'm right, it would be good to know ASAP so that the TFA people at en can sort things out sooner rather than later. Thanks, Bencherlite (talk) 01:34, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Uruguay FOP

I've just added Commons:Freedom_of_panorama#Uruguay - could a native Spanish speaker have a look please, both to check I've got it right, and to translate to English? Thanks, Rd232 (talk) 15:07, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Flags of Yugoslavia

I've tagged a number of Yugoslav flags (e.g. [3], [4], [5]) with PD-simple. Please, correct me if I have done wrong and they are copyrightable. --Eleassar (t/p) 10:31, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

They are not copyrighted, because official flags and emblems of Yugoslavia are not copyrightet. See the copyright law of its successor states.--Antemister (talk) 10:51, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
The {{PD-Yugoslavia}} tag on its own is not enough, as it is written in it: "This template must not be used on its own." Particularly problematic are cases where the image has been taken e.g. from FOTW[6] or has been made "especially for Wikipedia", as written in some cases. It's a different thing when they have been made based on an official document anew and when they have just been taken from a web page. I'd still like to have the answer whether the images like I've listed above are too simple to be copyrightable or should I undo my edits where I've added the tag {{PD-simple}}. This is important because if they're under the threshold of originality, they should not be licensed with CC tags. Thanks very much. --Eleassar (t/p) 11:29, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, most of that CC etc. templates you find on flags are not correct. The uploaders use them because they are the default setting. The copyright owner of the flags (or emblems) is the state. And the state usually does not copyright its emblems (some do, like Canada and the UK). Replace the {{PD-Yugoslavia}} by the all the PD-templates of Yugoslavias six (or seven) successor sates, or create a PD-Yugoslavia-Gov template.--Antemister (talk) 12:19, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
No problem, but I'd still like to know whether these files are PD per PD-Yugoslavia-Gov or due to their simple design or both. --Eleassar (t/p) 12:49, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

PD-Simple is different from country to country. In Germany (were I am from), images like flags are always PD, but the rules are different in other countries (e. g., Australia has a much lower treshold of originality) Can anyone create a PD-Yugoslavia-Gov-template, it is not the first time we have that question here.--Antemister (talk) 14:32, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the reply. --Eleassar (t/p) 14:33, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Wellcome Images

Hi. There are a series of images of an inmate of Bethlem (Bedlam), London, named James Norris (incorrectly named William in the press) that I'd like to upload. The original drawings and etchings of these images were produced in 1814/15 and many were published in newspapers and periodicals at that time and for several decades thereafter. Versions of these images are available from the Wellcome Image Library where they assert copyright over them. Do they have any valid basis to assert copyright over these images or are they in the public domain? Thanks.

Links to images [7] [8] [9] [10] Wellcome copyright license/terms of use: [11] FiachraByrne (talk) 15:51, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

These seems OK to me. You can upload them with a {{PD-Art}} license. Yann (talk) 16:07, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
{{PD-scan}} or {{PD-Art}} should cover those cases. However before you go ahead with mass import from Wellcome you should be aware of User:Dcoetzee/NPG legal threat, where a user doing something similar from the National Portrait Gallery was threatened with legal action (what happened about that? anyone know?). This arises because PD-scan/PD-Art are rare exceptions to the COM:L policy that works must be free in both the US and the source country: for these cases, the US standard only is applied, which may theoretically get uploaders into trouble elsewhere. See also Commons:When_to_use_the_PD-scan_tag#UK - simple scans of old works probably don't attract UK copyright (but you may still have problems because of "database rights" - see the Dcoetzee link). Rd232 (talk) 16:45, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you both for the advice. It certainly provides food for thought. I think I'll scan in a couple of images from printed sources. FiachraByrne (talk) 17:59, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Brazilian photographs

In short: what is the status of non-"artistic" photographs divulgated after 1941 and first published in Brazil before 1989 and can they be uploaded to Commons?

Before changes to the Brazilan copyright law, in 1998, the previous copyright law stated that the photographic works that were copyrightable were "photographic works and those produced by a process analogous to photography, when, by the choice of their object and by the conditions of their execution, they can be considered an artistic creation" (pt: "as obras fotográficas e as produzidas por qualquer processo análogo ao da fotografia, desde que, pela escolha de seu objeto e pelas condições de sua execução, possam ser consideradas criação artística" - copyright law of 1973, art. 6, par. VII). This seems to mean that other, non-artistic, photographs, which did not meet those criteria, were uncopyrightable and were in the public domain. Is that correct? With the 1998 changes to the copyright law, the conditions vanished, and the new text reads: "photographic works and those produced by a process analogous to photography" (copyright law of 1998, art. 7, par. VII). Is that interpreted to mean that non-artistic photographs that had been divulgated between 1928 and 1998, if they were previously in the public domain, became retroactively copyrighted in Brazil until 70 years after their divulgation? If those photographs were in the public domain before the URAA date of 1996, they should still be in the public domain in the United States. Then, under the current Commons policy, their upload to Commons would depend on their status in Brazil. Anyway, any photograph, artistic or not, divulgated before 1942 would now be in the public domain in Brazil under the law of 1998. Therefore, for Commons, the question is: what is the status in Brazil of the non-artistic photographs divulgated after 1941 and first published in Brazil before 1989? (Photographs published after 1988 are excluded from the question, because they would be copyrighted in the United States anyway.) The answer is probably simple and obvious for people who are familiar with Brazilian copyrights, but was it clarified on Commons? -- Asclepias (talk) 05:52, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Whatever the result of your question, I'll note that the line here is hairy; see Commons:Simple photographs for all the different ways such rules have been interpreted. In Portugal, where I would assume would in many cases be an analogue to Brazilian law, we treat all photographs as artistic ones according to that page. In many jurisdictions, this does pretty much seem to mean PD-Art and no more.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:06, 9 November 2012 (UTC)
If they were simply not eligible for copyright in Brazil, the URAA situation may be a bit more interesting. The URAA did not restore works which had *expired* in the source country (i.e. had a term of protection which expired), but if they were simply ineligible, the situation may be different -- those may have all been restored in the U.S. I'm not completely sure, but typically the U.S. will protect works which are copyrightable under their criteria even if not under the source country's criteria. If the Brazilian authors never had a term of protection at all in Brazil, I'm not sure that's enough reason to prevent their works from being restored. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:16, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Good point about the fact that the URAA "restored" copyright only on "an original work of authorship that [...] is not in the public domain in its source country through the expiration of its term of protection". That clarifies the fact that works that do not meet the requirements of this definition, for example published works that were in the public domain in their source country for any other reason than through expiration of their term, did not get a "restored" copyright in the U.S. In the U.S., the copyright status of those non-restored works simply remained the same as it was before the URAA : if they were in the public domain in the U.S. due to noncompliance with the formalities of the U.S. copyright law (proper notice of copyright, renewal, etc.), then they just remained in the public domain in the U.S.
N.B.: What follows is a digression. It only reflects on a few small details.
It makes perfect sense too, in the internal logic of the URAA, to have restored only the works that were "in the PD in their source country through expiration of their term" and not restored the works that were in the PD in their source country for other reasons. When the 19th-century or early-20th-century legislator of the source country excluded categories of works from copyrightability, that legislator, of course, did not provide for a duration of copyright for those categories of uncopyrightable works. Therefore, (and keeping to mind that we're concerned only with works that had not complied with U.S. copyright formalities), if the U.S. had decided in 1996 to retroactively attribute a U.S. copyright to those works on the grounds that those uncopyrightable works should have been copyrightable if the laws of the source country had been written by the U.S. Congress in the 19th century, then there would be no way to determine if those works should be considered or not in 1996 as still being in that sort of "unreal but virtual source country law that never existed but should have existed in the opinion of the 1990's U.S. Congress". Unless it is imagined that a U.S. judge faced with this situation would take upon himself to retroactively rewrite the laws that the source country legislators should have written in the 19th century and retroactively decide that the term of copyright that those legislators should have provided for those uncopyrightable works should have been of X years. Or unless it is imagined that the term of protection on those works is considered not only indefinite but actually infinite, so that they should be considered to still be in 1996 under that sort of infinite virtual copyright. But that would be counter-intuitive, as the result would be that those works with generally a lower level of creativity would get a U.S. copyright while at the same time that same U.S. copyright is denied to other works that have a much higher level of creativity, just because those latter works did actually have a copyright in the first place, with a definite term.
I was puzzled by the doubt you expressed in your comment. And I couldn't quite put my finger on what was puzzling me. After reading the comment a few times, I think I figured it out. The trick is in the wording (with a sort of implicit double negation) of one sentence of the comment. The URAA provides that in order to have its copyright restored, a work must meet a definition, which comprises a series of necessary conditions. In the relevant part of the definition, the wording of the URAA says "A restored work is a work that is not in the public domain in its source country through the expiration of its term of protection." Therefore, any work that does not meet this definition is not a "restored work". The wording of the URAA does not say "A work is not restored when it is in the public domain in its source country through the expiration of its term of protection" Such a wording, if it had been used, would have told what works were excluded as "not restored", implying that other works were "not not-restored" and were (or might be) restored. (Hence, I'm guessing, the origin of the path of reasoning that led to your doubt.) The difference between the two wordings is that the wording of the URAA tells exactly what works are included in the definition of "restored work". Any other work, not included, is not a "restored work".

-- Asclepias (talk) 07:23, 12 November 2012 (UTC)


Why does {{PD-Art}} by default transclude {{PD-old}} (done by {{PD-Art/layout}})? It seems to me that this leads to a frequent situation where uploaders apply PD-Art without explicitly considering the US PD status of the underlying work, especially URAA issues. (In fact, uploaders are probably often not paying much attention to the 70-pma terms of PD-old either...) I think this needs to be reconsidered. Removing the default transclusion would obviously create a massive cleanup task, but there we are. Am I missing something about why the transclusion is OK?

NB Special:UploadWizard applies {{PD-Art}} when uploaders choose

  1. "The copyright has definitely expired in the USA" and
  2. "Faithful reproduction of a painting that is in the public domain".

But PD-Art doesn't cover point 1 - it doesn't assert that copyright has expired in the US (and in fact, via {{PD-old}}, has a small note saying a US PD tag is required in addition). Special:Upload does the same thing when choosing "reproduction of a painting which is in the public domain due to its age". This is Not Good. Rd232 (talk) 15:25, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Note: This is a partial continuation of the discussion in section #Restart: What will have to be done if the interpretation of the URAA which makes PD-old-70 almost completely useless is correct above. -- AnonMoos (talk) 16:11, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
yes, it's a start on addressing that wider problem. This is both more pressing and perhaps easier to solve. Rd232 (talk) 18:46, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
I suppose we could say that there is an "archeological" reason, if we look into the evolutionary chain of the public domain templates on Commons. I know that you know this better than me, but it may be useful anyway to recall the story from the beginning. The common ancestor of the template PD-old and of other public domain templates was the simple template PD, which was the primal all-purpose public domain template. But template PD was non specific. It was non specific as to the countries to which its public domain statement was applicable, and also as to the reason why the file was deemed to be in the public domain. Eventually, template PD was replaced with an assortment of somewhat more specific templates. Thus, template PD gave birth to template PD-old and to other offspring (including template PD-Art, to whose story we shall come back below). But those early offspring themselves, including PD-old, were only in an intermediary position in the evolutionary chain. PD-old would continue to evolve. But in its early versions, and until 2011, PD-old still had the role of a "dual-purpose" template: it served as a statement by which the uploader declared 1°) that the file tagged with it was in the public domain in the United States and 2°) that the file was also in the public domain in the countries that have a rule about a certain numbers of years after the death of the author (that number was initially 100 in the first versions of PD-old but later it was changed to 70). See for example this 2005 edition of PD-old. It can be noted that in those versions of PD-old, the "public domain in the U.S." part of PD-old was still unspecific as to the reason. Apparently, the reusers of a file were supposed to try and figure out the reason if they could. Experience would eventually show that templates like this one should be made still more specific as to the jurisdiction to which they referred (either U.S.-specific or other-country-specific) and also be made more specific and give at least a reasonable clue about the reason why the files were said to be in the public domain. The template PD-old would not elude this type of evolution. Through this evolution, PD-old would lose its dual role. It would lose its role as a U.S-status template and, from then, it would become exclusively a non-U.S.-status template. The important thing to note is that that evolution of PD-old had not yet occurred when the template PD-Art was created and when it first included the template PD-old as its default parameter. At that point, PD-old was still in its early, dual-purpose version, which stated that the work was in the public domain in the United States. PD-old did not seem to pose a problem when used as the default parameter of PD-Art, because PD-old stated that the work was in the public domain in the United States (even if it didn't specify the exact reason). That last step in teh modification to the nature of PD-old was made on 4 January 2011. However, the change had been notified three years before, since this version in January 2008. Between 2008 and 2011, the files tagged with PD-old should have been retagged with specific U.S. templates. PD-old files that were uploaded before 2011, and more specially those that had been uploaded before the notification of 2008, and that by 2011 didn't have a more specific U.S. template, now look like they're missing a U.S. template. However, their uploaders had tagged them with the old dual-purpose version of PD-old. Thus, all the files tagged with PD-Art before 4 January 2011 (and where PD-Art is not specifically parametered with something other than PD-old) might be considered as if they were files tagged with {{PD-Art-two|PD-US|PD-old}}, or more simply, to generalize, they might be considered in the same manner as other files that are tagged with the combination of PD-old and of the semi-generic template PD-US. Currently, the use of PD-US is not formally prohibited, although users are advised to replace it with one of the more specific U.S. public domain templates. There is no special emergency to review the PD-Art files. it is assumed that the uploaders did their job correctly when they declared them as being in the public domain in the United States. When we see a file that is missing a U.S.-specific public domain tag, we add one. For any newly uploaded files, the template PD-Art (the one that accepts only one parameter) should be used only if it is parametered by or accompanied by a U.S.-specific template (and, where necessary, also by a non-U.S.-status template) or by a dual-purpose (U.S. and non-U.S.) template. Where appropriate, users may prefer the use of the template PD-Art-two (the one that accepts two parameters, one for a U.S status template and one for a non-U.S. status template). I don't know either what should be done about the handling of PD-Art (or PD-Art-two) by the Upload Wizard. Either users want to restrict the U.W. to simple and common cases and then avoid PD-Art situations, or they want the U.W. to try and handle also more complex situations such as where PD-Art is involved and then that requires having the uploader choose the proper U.S. and, where necessary, non-U.S. status tags, not to mention cases requiring Licensed-PD-Art-two with two public domain templates and one license template. -- Asclepias (talk) 23:29, 7 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for the backstory, which I didn't know in that detail. Maybe then reviewing those old PD-Art files is less urgent than I thought, if we know that at the time of the upload these files were mostly tagged with at least a vague "PD in US" claim, in the form of the old version of PD-old. But updating the upload form and upload wizard in relation to PD-Art is still very urgent, and should be done ASAP. However I'm not sure exactly what to do, or how to do it. Rd232 (talk) 23:43, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Note: as an indication of the scale of the problem, Category:PD-Art (PD-old) contains 162k files. Many of these will have PD-old as an explicit parameter for PD-art, and those files should themselves be reviewed really to check a US PD tag is present. But the most pressing cases will be those where PD-Art has no parameter; we should begin by amending the template to categorise them separately, at least. Rd232 (talk) 18:50, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Category:PD-Art (PD-old default) is now slowly being populated. Many of these can have {{PD-old-100}} plugged in, as that covers the US - or better, {{PD-Art|PD-old-auto-1923|deathyear=X}}, for PD-old works published before 1923. Rd232 (talk) 00:07, 8 November 2012 (UTC)
Presumably finished now - and it's 157k files. Rd232 (talk) 08:00, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

There's another problem with {{PD-Art}}. There is also a template with the same name on English Wikipedia: en:Template:PD-Art. However, that template transcludes {{PD-US}} (not {{PD-old-70}}). If a careless person copies a file from English Wikipedia to Commons, the PD reason may suddenly change from {{PD-US}} to {{PD-old-70}}. This might be what Commonshelper does. I suggest that we change {{PD-Art}} so that it transcludes {{No license since}} by default (that is, being equivalent to {{PD-Art|no license since}}) instead of {{PD-old-70}} and require users to specify why the underlying work is in the public domain. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:19, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Pet Shop Boys album covers

Is File:Pet Shop Boys - Yes cover.png copyrighted in the United Kingdom? --George Ho (talk) 04:39, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

I say this in all sincerity: "Yes." Although the squares that make up the tick mark are simple shapes, the way they are combined and the choice of colours might be said to be sufficiently original to generate copyright. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:04, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

What about File:Pet Shop Boys - Introspective.jpg? --George Ho (talk) 11:41, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Not as likely, but still possible. Commons:Deletion requests/Two British logos notes that a court declared a logo copyrightable because of a simple way one of the prongs of an "E" was cut. Somewhere between that, and simple geometric objects and common letter shapes, is the threshold for the UK. Whether the selection of colors in File:Pet Shop Boys - Introspective.jpg was complex enough, whether than just being duplicated from a common pattern, I don't know. But I note that File:Pet Shop Boys - Yes cover.png is more complex than File:Pet Shop Boys - Introspective.jpg, so if the Introspective cover is found to be copyrightable, then the Yes cover almost certainly will be also. On a related note: Although Commons requires works to be free in both the U.S. and the country of origin, the English Wikipedia follows only the U.S. standard for things like threshold of originality; so one or both of these may be able to be moved to the English Wikipedia with a {{Do not move to Commons}} tag. --Closeapple (talk) 08:21, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
I suspect both images are copyrightable in the UK, based on their "skill and labour" test. The threshold is very low. cmadler (talk) 15:22, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Both covers are nominated for deletion, so their pages have "delete" templates posted already. --George Ho (talk) 04:56, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Locator maps

I've blundered into a minefield. I want to update File:SaintJosse.png's {{PD}} tag. It's probably like File:AnderlechtLocatie.png, which claims PD-self. I can't find any Dutch locator map which gives a real source - but surely these maps weren't invented from whole cloth. What to do? Rd232 (talk) 13:20, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Mark it with {{Dw-nsd}} and propose it for deletion after seven days if no free source has been provided in the meantime. --Eleassar (t/p) 13:38, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
It's a widely used map, so I'm reluctant to do that without exploring alternatives. But the real problem is that this issue probably affects thousands of files: locator maps were often among the earliest files created, and those are the ones where sourcing is the worst. We really want to track down the original map(s) used to create these files. Rd232 (talk) 13:43, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Ok, I've tagged it instead of you. I sincerely doubt these were based on a free source. Also note that some deletion requests stay open for months, which is more than enough time to clarify the situation. See also Commons:Deletion requests/File:Europe countries.svg. --Eleassar (t/p) 13:46, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Um hum. Yes, some DRs stay open for months; but equally, many get deleted 7-10 days after opening, which is annoying when the files are probably free, but we don't have the info to prove it. And as I said, the reason I came here is because many files have the same problem. Tagging one doesn't make that go away. Rd232 (talk) 16:39, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
I just want to point two things:
  • "addition of shading, colors, labels to a free black and white outline map" is an example of no original work (in US) according to Commons:Threshold of originality. Those location maps are nearly the same.
  • These maps are very old, from a time were "source" was no explicitly requested - and even less requested for local uploads. In those times, good faith and own work were assumed if a different statement wasn't present. I don't see anything wrong in grandfathering those old location maps. Third part files with unverifiable e-mail permission, that have already been grandfathered seems a lot more dangerous.--Pere prlpz (talk) 16:47, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
File:SaintJosse.png is probably a copy of the file originally titled Afbeelding:Sint-Joost-ten-NodeLocatie.png, which was inserted on January 10, 2004 in an article on nl.wikipedia by the user LennartBolks. This file doesn't have an upload log, as upload logs from 2004 are not recorded the current log system, but it was probably uploaded by the same user. It can be seen that he uploaded some maps in 2005 too, for which the logs are recorded. He has a user subpage, which lists his maps: nl:Gebruiker:LennartBolks/kaartenhoekje. Apparently, he put his maps in the public domain. Ideally, we could ask him what were his own sources but he seems to have become inactive on nl.wikipedia, since 2008. If someone is motivated, preferably someone who reads Dutch, they could have a look at his discussion pages archives from 2004-2008 and see if there are clues there. It is quite possible that this question was adressed there at one point or another during those years.
Duh! Instead of searching from File:SaintJosse.png, I should have started by looking at the second file linked in the question, File:AnderlechtLocatie.png, which already mentioned most of those informations.
But oh!, he also has an account on Commons: User:LennartBolks, where he was still active in 2011 and in February 2012. There's some chances that he may still visit Commons from time to time. So, I think it would be a good idea to leave him a message on his Commons talk page to ask him your question. A look at the maps that he most recently uploaded to Commons (not necessarily his own maps, but maps dutifully attributed and sourced) show that the description pages do mention the sources, not only the immediate sources, which can be other maps on the Wikimedia projects, but also sometimes the more distant sources, such as the CIA world factbook. See for example File:Kaarte van nederland NDS-10-10-10.png, tagged with Template:PD-USGov-CIA-WF. It is possible that his own maps uploaded in 2004 and 2005 were based on similar open sources but that he did not think to go back to those early files to add those sources. After looking at all that, my impression is that he is a competent user and I'm inclined to assume that his maps are valid. I don't think that they should be tagged for deletion too precipitiously. But of course a clarification by him of the sources of his early maps would be useful or necessary. I suggest to begin with leaving him the talk page message and to wait a reasonable time for a reply.
-- Asclepias (talk) 17:07, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Currently, as far as I understand, any file that is hosted by Commons must be free, and if it is a derived work like these two maps, it must have its source cited. The source is essential information. How can we be sure it is free if there is no source? Perhaps I'm mistaken; I have no problem keeping them if I'm mistaken about this. --Eleassar (t/p) 16:57, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Maps need not be *that* stringent. We should not simply ignore own work claims. Can you find a map which you believe it is derivative of? That's usually what we should have when nominating works of any type; information which places at least some doubt on an "own work" claim. *Speedy* deletion means you are virtually sure it actually is a copyvio; I really don't see that as anywhere remotely appropriate here. Simply using information is not creating a derivative work; there were and are lots of free map sources out there, and several ways it was OK to make your own (or not use enough copyrightable material to really qualify as a derivative work). It seems a virtual copy of many other Dutch locator maps which have been used for years; please have some evidence of a copyright issue if you are going to nominate them for deletion, and please have *solid* evidence if you are going to *speedy* delete them. There are other tags like {{References missing}} which you can use to note substandard source information, but for some basic outline maps of which there are many free sources... even that seems aggressive at first blush. Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:29, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

Files by Pickle.monger (talk · contribs)

Take a look at these three files:

Typical Flickr file names. One of the files has been deleted from Flickr (according to the Flickr API), but the other two can be located and are listed as "all rights reserved".[12][13] However, the user name on Flickr is the same. What do we do with these files? The user name may suggest that it is the same user, but we can never be certain. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:22, 14 November 2012 (UTC)

The "support Wikipedia" in the flickr users profile is a strong pro for me.
From my experience on Commons I assume, that most people who upload copyvios of monuments etc. come from the region of the monument. In this case Peru. The flickr user comes from Canada, and according to French and English description with the 4th upload File:Mason Rack Weissenborn.jpg the Commons uploader is unlikely from Peru. The 4th upload is on flickr without description [14]. Also the 4th upload is on Commons in larger size, but possibly it was available on flickr in larger size in the past. The 4th upload has an OTRS ticket. Thats not an 100% evidence, but it would be a very high hurdle for an occasional copyvio uploader to take another (completely unrelated) picture from the same flickr account 3 years later, to add a description in a presumably foreign language and to sent emails to OTRS. Thats nothing someone would do for a photo of Machu Picchu. --Martin H. (talk) 01:22, 14 November 2012 (UTC)


I do not understand: how can this file be Public Domain when it was scanned from a 1993 book? It Is Me Here t / c 01:09, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

It's a reproduction of a very old work. See {{PD-scan}}. -- King of ♠ 01:16, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes. I've updated the file description, including fixing an erroneous claim that the manuscript in question was the "Folio Biblioteca Vaticana"...   Rd232 (talk) 03:34, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
The first upload should probably be deleted, since it's more then just the PD-Art image.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:58, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
Good point.   Done Rd232 (talk) 12:15, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

WWI war photographer

We have about 20 photos from Der Weltkrieg, 1914-1918 in seiner rauhen Wirklichkeit "das Frontkämpferwerk", a 1926 book which published 600 WWI photos by German war photographer Herrmann Rex. The photos are tagged {{PD-old}}, but I can't find a death date for Rex. It's possible the copyright was actually held by his employer, the "Kriegs-Bild- und Filmamt" (an agency of the German government). Any ideas on what to do here? Rd232 (talk) 01:16, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

The name mentioned in the book is Hermann (with one r) Rex, not "Herrmann". - Well, according to this book, a photographer named Hermann Rex was still alive in 1929 (when he took a photograph of Thomas Mann). I think it's unlikely that there was a different photographer with the same (not very common) name living in this period - so I think we can assume that WW I photographer Hermann Rex can't have died earlier than 1929. And doesn't this mean that according to German Urheberrecht the photos were still protected on the URAA date in 1996? As he can't have been dead for more than 70 years then (if he died in 1929, his work would have become free in Germany on January 1, 2000). And if this is the case - well, I would assume the photographs are still protected in the U.S. due to the URAA? Gestumblindi (talk) 02:36, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, Herrmann is my typo above - I was searching with the correct spelling. Thanks for the 1929 photo find - that does indicate that his works are not generally free of URAA issues. One source did say that some of the WWI works were picked up by Allied newspapers etc, so might be simultaneously published within 30 days in the US - but that's a long shot in the circumstances and very hard to confirm. So I'll do a mass DR - assuming no-one can give me a reason not to. Pity, as these were useful photos widely used. Rd232 (talk) 07:54, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, if some of the photos were first published not in the 1926 book but shortly after creation, i.e. before 1923, those would be free in the U.S. - but we still wouldn't know about their status in Germany, as we haven't yet found out the year of death of Hermann Rex. 1929 or later, maybe much later...? Assuming he was a young man when taking the WW I pictures, he might have died as late as the 1970s, even 1980s or so... Gestumblindi (talk) 18:57, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, without a death date we're really struggling. Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:"Der Weltkrieg in seiner rauhen Wirklichkeit". Rd232 (talk) 00:35, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
If we could confirm that some images were published before 1923, they are free in the USA and death date wouldn't matter for URAA. It would only matter for current status in Germany - if he died later than 1942, the images would be copyrighted in Germany due to 70 years pma rule.
Then, I think it would be nice if someone can do some research to find out if they were published before 1923.--Pere prlpz (talk) 13:19, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
There is further discussion in the DR, at Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:"Der Weltkrieg in seiner rauhen Wirklichkeit". For example User:Superikonoskop established a deathyear of 1937 - so we know the photos are not copyrighted in Germany. Unfortunately tracking down any publication before the 1926 book (I saw one source saying that some of the photos were published during the war, with no details) will be hard. Rd232 (talk) 14:39, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

GNU License Logos

I was considering to upload SVG versions of the GNU license logos available from [15]. However I'm not sure what license to choose and if these logos are allowed on Commons at all?

My considerations so far were:

  1. Probably these logos would qualify for Template:PD-textlogo, so they could probably be uploaded to Commons.
  2. I couldn't find any information that they are Template:trademarked, so the tag could be left out.
  3. If the above considerations apply, the logos would be public domain (lacking originality) without being trademarked. But how were they protected from beeing used to promote non-free software then? Couldn't everybody use them for every purpose?

Regards -- Patrick87 (talk) 18:58, 11 November 2012 (UTC)

I would say that everything but this is most likely PD-textlogo. For the one I've linked, it's a little more complicated, so I'd like to hear more opinions. In any case, I would put {{Trademark}} on it; it doesn't hurt anyone, and the template only says it "may be subject to trademark laws." -- King of ♠ 21:14, 11 November 2012 (UTC)
Funny how opinions differ. I'd have said the GFDL logo was {{PD-textlogo}} for sure while not beeing completely sure with the logos of the GPL variants. Would be nice to have some further input though, I don't want to make a licensing error on the License logos themselves ;) -- Patrick87 (talk) 19:46, 13 November 2012 (UTC)

If there are no further concerns I'll upload the logos soon, licensed as {{PD-textlogo}} and tagged as {{Trademarked}}. I'll also change the license of the already uploaded GPLv3 logo accordingly, whichs is considered for deletion here due to the most probably wrong copyright tag. -- Patrick87 (talk) 23:24, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Denver Public Library

In trying to transfer a file from enwiki to here, I tracked it down to both the Library of Congress[16] and the Denver Public Library[17]. In both places the license prohibits commercial use without written permission and possibly a fee (restrictions at LOC, restrictions at DPL). There are already several DPL images on Commons under public domain, so can I transfer the image with that license, irregardless of what the library says about copyright? Thundersnow (talk) 08:29, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

As long as you can verify that it is public domain, ignore any of those restrictions because they are false. Do note that for PD status, you must ensure that it has been published before 1923, not merely created. -- King of ♠ 08:53, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
I have no idea when it was published, if it ever was. I will leave it for more experienced editors. Many thanks. Thundersnow (talk) 09:13, 12 November 2012 (UTC)
Library of Congress claims it was Created and Published in 1910 which is consistent with descriptions of Poley producing a travelogue on return from each of his trips, Worldcat have it asbeing published between 1910 and 1920. Additionally it was certainly published in/by 1937 when the entire collection was sold to the DPL. There's no record of a renewal in 1965 (or anywhere near 1965, or registration at all for the collection) so it was PD by 1978 anyway. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 14:44, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
I would have read the LOC entry as created and/or published and the Worldcat entry as created, both appear to be based on the DPL listing. Dankarl (talk) 20:28, 13 November 2012 (UTC)
Possibly, but here's another oddity, the DPL source the image to J. A. Jeancon, but he died in 1903. Various other images in the Poley collection are marked as photo reproductions of Jeancon's own photographs, which might establish 1910 as a publishing rather than creation date. Either way DPL had published the collection in it's "Indian Leaflets" (published between 1932 and 1940) and they were't renewed in the 60's. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 20:34, 14 November 2012 (UTC)
This was more likely the J.A. Jeancon who was excavating in the the Chama Valley in 1919 [18]. Could you provide a citation or link to the "Indian Leaflets"? Dankarl (talk) 16:20, 15 November 2012 (UTC)
The "Indian Leaflets" may be unconnected as I can no longer find the page that made me think they were published there. There were various leaflets produced by the Denver Museum of Art, several written or edited or containing material by Jeancon, including one on pueblo houses written around 1932 by Frederic Huntington Douglas but I can't find an online copy to confirm the contents. You are right about J.A. Jeancon but they must have been reasonably close relatives as the former is buried in Colorado Springs and the latter is strongly associated with the Denver and Colorado springs areas. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 00:00, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Images from Flickr

I would like to upload through Bryan Flickr Upload tool these two images: [19] [20], about Simone Moro, a famous mountaineer. Just to make sure, is it all ok? I mean the book, the other person, ... Thanks in advance. --Rotpunkt (talk) 11:45, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

I think it's all OK. The book is de minimis, just like the logo in the T-shirt. We had a discussion some days about images of people with awards (copyrighted statuettes) and it became clear that a winner holding his statuette was de minimis. Therefore, I think an author holding his book is de minimis, too.
The other person isn't a problem - no more problem than Simone Moro itself could be - because these images seem to be photos of public persons in a public act, and legislations allow to publish such images. You can put {{Personality}} in the description page to warn reusers.--Pere prlpz (talk) 13:11, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! --Rotpunkt (talk) 15:43, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Sculpture and copyright

I understand "pre-1923=PD" and "pre-1978 needs ©" for 3-D artwork in the US. What I cannot figure out is the copyright status of sculptures erected since 1978. This statue was put up in 1994. While I am fairly sure it is not free, I cannot find its exact copyright status or owners. The artists' website says the client was the Chicago Bulls. The place where it is standing is half-owned by the owner of the Bulls. I looked up "Rotblatt-Amrany" and "Omri" in the SIRIS but did not find it; I am too new to tell if that means it is not free, not yet listed, or if I am searching wrong. If it is not in the SIRIS, where do I look next? Thundersnow (talk) 16:15, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

Works erected since 1989 in the US don't need a copyright notice and will be copyrighted for 70 years from the death of the sculptor, or longer if it was published in 1978-2001, and publishing doesn't including erecting it after 1978. Statues not published before 2002 by authors who are dead 70 years are now PD in the US, but everything made since 1989 is under copyright. (1978-1988 is complicated, but it would have to be published (and erected didn't count) without a copyright notice and not properly repaired, so it's a rare and complex case.)--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:39, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

"Friend" PD release

Is an unnamed friend's PD release acceptable, as at File:Wall m.jpg? Rd232 (talk) 18:47, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

I guess it should have been OTRS confirmed. Because the author is unknown, this can't be confirmed through OTRS and we have no evidence of permission to publish to the public domain. Also, "donates to Commons" means "restricting use to Wikipedia or Wikimedia projects" in my opinion, which is not acceptable. --Eleassar (t/p) 22:35, 16 November 2012 (UTC)
The file predates OTRS, so I suppose technically it's a grandfathered old file. "Donates to Commons" can be read different ways; "Wikipedia" I would read your way, but "Commons" I'm inclined to assume they knew what Commons was and that it means "PD release". Rd232 (talk) 15:11, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

Files by User:Yassin Hassan

All the files seem to be found on the internet and should be deleted. Gumruch (talk) 00:33, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

  Done King of ♠ 00:50, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Category:Mohammed Bouyeri and PD-NL-Gov

Category:Mohammed Bouyeri contains letters written by w:Mohammed Bouyeri. The permission says "Made public by the Dutch government on November 4 2004 during a press conference". The tag {{PD-NL-Gov}} says "In principle all works communicated to the public by or on behalf of the public authorities (government) are not copyright protected in the Netherlands" and references Article 15b of the Copyright Act of 1912 which states:

The further communication to the public or reproduction of a literary, scientific or artistic work communicated to the public by or on behalf of the public authorities shall not be deemed an infringement of the copyright in such a work, unless the copyright has been explicitly reserved, either in a general manner by law, decree or ordinance, or in a specific case by a notice on the work itself or at the communication to the public. Even if no such reservation has been made, the author shall retain the exclusive right to have appear in the form of a collection his works which have been communicated to the public by or on behalf of the public authorities.

IANAL but the quoted text seems to me to state the opposite of what the permission implies. This question is this: if the Dutch govt publishes a work authored by a third-party, then dose that act of publication ipso facto release the work into the public domain? I don't think so; I think the law is giving the government an exemption to the copyright claim, not the power to extinguish or annexe the copyright. In which case these works are still copyright Bouyeri, despite his criminal conviction. Jnestorius (talk) 22:33, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

I don't know anything much about Netherlands law, but Article 15b seems to apply to works by third parties, effectively extinguishing some of their copyright over the work. The Article does not say anything about who the author is, which implies that works by third parties are covered. It applies to all works communicated by the government to the public without any explicit reservation of the copyright. And it does say that further communication to the public and reproduction of any such work does not infringe its copyright.
Where {{PD-NL-Gov}} goes badly wrong, IMO, is to claim this means the image is in the public domain in the Netherlands. Reproduction and distribution are allowed, yes, but not the creation of derivative works. So this is essentially a "no derivatives" permission, which is much more restrictive than PD, and would not usually be sufficient for the work to be hosted on Commons. The Dutch law also would not affect the copyright status of the work under U.S. law, where it would presumably still be under copyright. So I do not think we can keep these letters on Commons. The same may also apply to the other 90+ files we have using this template. --Avenue (talk) 21:19, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
Accordingly, Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-NL-Gov/en. Rd232 (talk) 16:32, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

Files by User:Noelbabar


Most of the downloaded files by Noelbabar (talk · contribs) are under copyright : newspaper coverpages, posters etc... They must be deleted, and Noelbabar clearly notified (or blocked) of his repeated and uncorrect actions. Apparently he doesn't admit copyright rules.--LPLT (talk) 12:34, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

The main place to report this is Commons:Administrators' noticeboard/User problems‎... AnonMoos (talk) 04:46, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
OK, I will take care of this, he does not speak English. He says that he is the publisher of these posters. Yann (talk) 08:37, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

Help request: how can I search *only* public domain images

Hello WIkiMedia Community,

I'm trying to search for specific images in the public domain. For example, photos of zebras, like this one in the public domain: I see the Category page, but I don't see any advanced search options that would allow me to search only Zebra images that are in the public domain.

I've tried:

zebra incategory:Public domain zebra incategory:"Public domain" zebra incategory:publicdomain

All of these show nothing. Any advice would be much appreciated.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Nfekxdachex (talk • contribs) 23:47, 19 November 2012‎ (UTC)
There's this handy tool called CatScan. Just put "Public domain" in the "search in category" and "Zebras" in "for pages by category". -- King of ♠ 00:03, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
Two Commons searches with "zebra public domain" and "zebra CC-zero" will return about 35 files with zebras and 30 files with other stuff and the word zebra in their description. -- Asclepias (talk) 00:33, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
So helpful! Thank you.

English Birth Certificate

Is it ok to scan or photograph an official English Birth Certificate and upload the file here? I don't mean an old one, but one which was issued recently and where the person in question is still alive. The original entry in the district Register of Births is from before 1950, but the person still lives (and has a Wikipedia article). The certificate looks similar to File:Harrison Birth Cert.jpg and File:Edmund Gwenn Cert.jpg, but is from the General Register Office (GRO).

Apart from the original register entry reproduced in facsimile, the certificate has only some standard text, an English coat of arms and the GRO seal. There's a notice about "Crown Copyright".

So: can I upload this from a copyright point of view? And what about privacy laws? I understand these entries are considered public records in England, so anyone (like me) can get birth/death/marriage certificates for any person as long as they know enough details, but is it ok to put them on the net if the person is notable? --Vydra (talk) 19:13, 18 November 2012 (UTC)

In short no, unpublished crown works like these have transitioned from always in copyright (prior to 1988) to now 125 years from creation. Transitionally works created prior to 1988 will now remain in copyright until 2040. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 21:21, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
And the date of creation would be the date of the original entry in the register (in that case, before 1950) or the date the birth certificate was issued (in 2012)? If we assume the year of creation is 1950, would that mean the work remains copyrighted until 2075? --Vydra (talk) 11:38, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
It slightly depends on the way the certificate was issued - if it was issued by the GRO for the purpose of further publication (unlikely) then it would be 50 years from 2012 i.e; 2062 - if it was only for research (which is most likely the case then you are right it's 2075. I've nominated the Harrison one for deletion on this basis - The Edmund Gwenn I've left on the basis that although it expires in 2040 it's unlikely to be challenged as had the rules been applied equally it would have expired in 1998. If someone else wants to nominate it though I'm happy to support it. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 21:29, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
Would that form really qualify for copyright beyond the 25 year typographical arrangement period? It would certainly be below the U.S. threshold. I don't think there is any way the data entries would qualify for copyright (that is data not expression); the copyright would be based on the form design itself. Similar to the U.S. (and most other countries I'd think), the UK does not protect short phrases with copyright. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:11, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
I've replied in depth to Carl Lindberg on the deletion discussion for the George Harrison certificate but for those reading here - Crown Copyright is specifically allowed to copyright material that would not meet the threshold of originality for the general public - short phrases and such in the Copyrights, Designs and Patents act 1988 section 153 subsection 1. The crown does intend to enforce this copyright and notes to this effect are posted on the General Registrar and National Archive websites. The latter offers a free licence for birth certificates but it has commercial use restrictions, and it can't be used if the person is still alive. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 19:45, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

Frame from lost Tarzan serial movie

I was looking for an image to illustrate Carlotta Monti, a minor early actress. I found which is a shot from the 1933 film/serial Tarzan the Fearless (1933). The Internet Archive thinks Tarzan the Fearless is public domain - it doesn't explain why, but we have a whole category dedicated to a similar film with the "published without a copyright" tag: Category:Tarzan the Tiger.

Unfortunately, I don't think that particular image from toutlecine is from the Internet Archive movie reel. I suspect it's a cropped version of from Getty Images. The problem is that Tarzan the Fearless was released partly as a serial, several episodes of which were lost. I couldn't find that particular scene on the Internet Archive movie, and suspect it's from one of the lost episodes. It's clearly from the movie, among other things both Getty and toutlecine say it is.

So, in sum, can we consider the toutlecine/Getty shot to be public domain? If not, how about a different still from the Internet Archive movie? There are some images of Carlotta Monti in the movie on Internet Archive, but none as good as that shot. --GRuban (talk) 20:45, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

Copyright Query for a Photographer that has passed

If you have access to material from someone who has passed but it is obviously not your own work how do you get signoff with the licence without obviously being able to get their permission? --Grapeman4 (talk) 09:23, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

If the work is still in copyright, rights would normally have passed to the heirs of the author (see eg {{PD-heirs}}) (assuming of course that the author didn't transfer the copyright to someone else, eg as part of an employment contract). In some countries, for unpublished works en:publication right would apply. More details might help people give more specific comments. Rd232 (talk) 09:41, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Please check if I applied the right license

Hi all, please take a look at File:Zoetica_Ebb.jpg and see if the license I have chosen while uploading the photo is right. The only difference I see is that the author doesn't want the picture to be used for commercial purposes... the rest is good. Please help. Thanks. --★ Pikks ★ MsG 16:20, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

deleted, as the file is licensed CC-BY-NC-SA. You can't just drop the part of the license you don't like; and you can't apply the specified license because it's not allowed under Commons:Licensing, which requires licenses that permit commercial use. Rd232 (talk) 16:24, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. Got it. --★ Pikks ★ MsG 17:04, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for asking for clarification - too many people don't bother :( Rd232 (talk) 18:03, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Disneyland June 2008-1.jpg


I am surprised that this was kept twice. Comparing with the current DRs, this seems wrong. What's your opinion? I asked Jameslwoodward, and he compared this building with Rogaška Slatina train station, saying that the later is more complex than the former. I really can't follow this. I studied a bit of architecture, and I know what's needed to build something. Yann (talk) 16:40, 17 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure about the station; it is obviously done in a very common style, but I'm reluctant to say it's not original enough. However the Disneyland Hotel does seem original enough - note especially the entrance design in the centre. Rd232 (talk) 15:09, 18 November 2012 (UTC)
To me both buildings are complex enough/original enough to attract copyright in most of the world. cmadler (talk) 14:22, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure about the station, but the Disneyland hotel seems definitely original enough to me. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 14:41, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
There's nothing special in architecture or design to warrant a special copyright protection. It may be different at night with special illumination but so - Nah. --Denniss (talk) 07:50, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
I can point to dozens of paintings in Commons, and say the same thing. The only thing close to the "something special" standard in copyright that I'm familiar with is the more extreme definition of simple photographs, and those are only in certain jurisdictions, not including France. In any case, this should go to the DR.--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:36, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

US buildings completed before 12/1/90

According to Commons:Freedom of panorama#United States, buildings in the United States completed before December 1, 1990 were not copyrighted (not copyrightable?) except for the architectural plans. What PD template should be used to indicate this? cmadler (talk) 17:07, 20 November 2012 (UTC)

I don't see anything really applicable in Category:PD US license tags. Maybe it would be best to make a new tag. Rd232 (talk) 18:29, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
For what purposes? Unless we're uploading 3-D models, it's a special case of the general US FoP for buildings.--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:36, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
No, it's not FOP, it's an underlying PD work, because architectural works substantially created prior to 12/1/90 were not copyrightable in the US. I've created {{PD-US-architecture}} for this, feel free to adjust it as needed. cmadler (talk) 18:57, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
Architecture works can be photographed in the US regardless of their underlying copyright. That's FoP. Worrying about their underlying copyright, which is a lot harder to establish, is an additional complication. I don't see any reason why anyone should spend the time figuring out when a building was erected in an American photograph.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:06, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Then maybe {{FoP-US}} should be amended, because it rather pushes potential users to not apply it to the earlier (pre-December 1990) works. But in any case, your argument only applies to US reuse. As we've been reminded recently, other countries may apply their own standards, and if they don't have FoP, it matters whether the underlying work is PD. Rd232 (talk) 09:35, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
No, FoP is an exception to the normal rights of copyright owners. If there's no copyright, there's no FoP (and no need for it). For example, both the Trump Tower Chicago and the Willis Tower (nee Sears Tower) can be freely photographed, but for different reasons (the Trump is under FoP while the Willis is PD) which have different implications for potential reusers. cmadler (talk) 13:23, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Freedom of panorama means you don't have to worry the copyright. If there's no copyright, of course the panorama is free. There is a value to it, in that it frees the photographer from worrying about when a building was erected.
I do not see the value in distinguishing this in most cases. We've never worried about author death years for US works, either, though it could matter in outside the US. Is it free for Commons? If so, then we've not worried about trademarks, personality rights or usability in various other jurisdictions besides the US and source country. In this case, I think requiring uploaders to figure out exactly when all the buildings in the photograph were erected is an unreasonable expectation when it doesn't affect the freeness for Commons purposes.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:39, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Upload of "all rights reserved" Flickr images

In Commons:Deletion requests/File:Jeremy nick eagle.jpg, Mattbuck is claiming that an image which has a copyright status on Flickr of "all rights reserved" may be uploaded here with a contradictory license so long as it done by the copyright holder/Flickr account owner. This would seem to defy common sense, but more importantly it is at odds with Commons:Scope (which states that uploads "must be freely licensed or public domain") and Commons:License review (which states that images without free licenses "should not be uploaded to Commons"). What is the general view on this particular scenario? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:52, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Mattbuck is right. Someone can upload his pictures on Flickr with a license (free or not), and on Commons with another license. If the upload on Commons is anterior to Flickr, I don't see any problem. If the date on Commons is posterior, we usually ask for an OTRS permission. Yann (talk) 19:59, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
The copyright owner can do what he wants with his copyright, as long as he has not given exclusive rights to someone else. A notice "all rights reserved" is not an indication that the identified copyright owner has given his rights exclusively to someone else. It means that at the time of the writing of that notice he reserved his rights to himself. And if he reserved his rights to himself, that means that he can still do what he wants with them and give permission to other people to use this work and offer any free license on this work if and when he wants. If the actual copyright owner uploads his work here with a free license, that's his choice, the work has a free license, and there is no problem. It could help avoid risks of misunderstandings if he changed that work's status notice on flickr and offer the same free license on that place too, but it's not an obligation. Of course, it must be verified that the uploader is the copyright owner. -- Asclepias (talk) 20:31, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
The image does have a free licence, it has it here, where it matters. The copyright holder can do pretty much ANYTHING they want. They can license a 1000 MP version as PD here, and sell a 0.1MP version elsewhere for £1000. We only demand a flickr licence be free when it is uploaded here by someone other than the copyright holder. -mattbuck (Talk) 20:35, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
The short answer is: It's basically like Commons:Multi-licensing, except that you're tracing each license back through a different path, instead of just through Commons. (The multiple available "licenses" in your example happen to include one that is "no rights at all" through Flickr, and "released to public domain" through Commons. You get to choose.) The longer answer: Unfortunately, Flickr forces a user to pick from only a short list of copyright phrases on each image, and "Ask me" or "None of your business" isn't one of the choices; if a user doesn't select anything, Flickr applies the traditional "All rights reserved" message by default. Despite Flickr's narrow choices, a copryight holder has a legal right to license (or transfer the rights to) a work as desired in any combination to whoever they wish. And there is no requirement that the copyright holder tell anyone that it has been licensed elsewhere under different terms. The copyright holder may, for example, license a work as Creative Commons on Wikimedia Commons, but not tell Flickr users that they could go over to Commons and get a licensed copy. (There are practical reasons for this: Maybe the copyright holder thinks one location is where there are a lot of people interested in paying for licensing, and another location is a place the author considers to be worthy of "donating" to instead.) However, as someone who wishes to use the work, you might happen to know there are two ways you can obtain a license to this work: either negotiate a license with the author explicitly, or agree to the license already offered by the author through Commons. (This is all assuming the person you're getting the image from actually holds all the rights to the image. If you are publishing a derivative work of something you obtained through a license, the earlier author's license to you may require you to use a specific license for your derivative also.) --Closeapple (talk) 22:16, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

In summary: yes, a Flickr copyright status can be different from a Commons license, as long as that difference is due to the author; this is just a non-transparent form of multi-licensing. A legally problematic contradiction would only arise with exclusive licensing, which isn't possible on Commons and AFAIK isn't possible on Flickr. Rd232 (talk) 00:37, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

Well it is possible if they license their images through Getty on Flickr. But that isn't the case here. -- King of ♠ 04:17, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

photograph of 2D mosaic - 2nd century A.D. has copyright?

[21] in this article there are two images of Roman mosaics (2nd century AD). The phographs are public domain, since they are representing 2D art? If they are public domain what license I have to use to upload them in commons? Ggia (talk) 11:35, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Probably use {{PD-Art-100}}. cmadler (talk) 13:39, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Even though the underlying art may be two-dimensional, the photographs have been taken in a way that does not bring that out properly. They have been taken at an angle and there are three-dimensional artefacts in the photographs (like the stone block in the lower photograph). Thus, I'm of the view that the photographs are sufficiently creative to attract their own copyright, and can't be used without the photographer's permission. — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:44, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
I guess I can see that for the second image, but the first image looks to me to be pretty much straight-on, and has most of the the 3D artifacts cropped away. If necessary, I suppose additional cropping or masking could be done in the two upper corners to fully eliminate the surrounding 3D aspects. cmadler (talk) 14:50, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Yes, perhaps the top right-hand corner of the first image can be removed. — Cheers, JackLee talk 15:21, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

I uploaded 4 images and I tried to crop elements that give 3-D dimention in the photograph:

If there is any problem with the copyright or license issue let me know. Thanks for the help. Ggia (talk) 17:44, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

i am confused.... about the possibility of commercial use

please help me: as far as i understand, i am allowed to commercially use content that i found through wikimedia. my plan is to develop a screensaver with images of famous people (sounds simple, but is in fact pretty artistic and randomized) and sell it. am i right or do i have to be careful?! single pictures include pretty complicated text about usage rights etc. (sorry, english is not my native language). thanks so much for your help!

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Fujfuji (talk • contribs) 23:35, 21 November 2012‎ (UTC)
Well, you are basically right but you have to be careful as well. Images on Commons are meant to be available for re-use including commercial use indeed, but the requirements of the various free licenses differ. You are probably on the safe side, license-wise, if you use only images marked as public domain or {{Cc-zero}}, these allow re-use without any conditions. If you use images requiring attribution, such as CC-BY or CC-BY-SA (the most popular license here), you have to attribute the images (e.g. in some form of credits in your screensaver); also, I think, if a "SA" license is involved (such as CC-BY-SA), you can sell your screensaver, but it must be distributed under a CC-BY-SA license ("you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one") which would allow anyone to re-distribute it free of charge, probably not your intention... Also, with images of people, there may be issues of personality rights involved. A living famous person might object to inclusion in your screensaver, I think.... So I think: If you want to be completely on the safe side and don't agree to distributing your screensaver under a free license, use only public domain images of long-dead people. Someone correct me if I'm wrong ;-) Gestumblindi (talk) 02:19, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
--> thank you so much for your time and effort! cheers from hamburg/germany -- 13:49, 22 November 2012 User:Fujifuji
Fujfuji -- even if there are no copyright problems, if you imply in any way that the people endorse or voluntarily participated in your project, then that could cause big problems in some legal jurisdictions (see California Celebrities Rights Act etc.). AnonMoos (talk) 14:22, 22 November 2012 (UTC)

@AnonMoos: thanks for the hint... does that mean, that in your opinion, i shouldn´t take the risk of using pictures of dead celebrities? here is an exmaple: far as i understand, i have the right to edit this picture (for example crop the face and edit contrast etc) and use it in a commercial project as long i name the "author" (in this case: Robert H. McKinley Collection (COLL/4802) at the Marine Corps Archives and Special Collections). i really wanna be on the safe side but i don´t like to contact people, ask for the rights to use single pictures etc i´ll use hundreds of pictures... -- 19:23, 22 November 2012‎ Fujfuji

Indeed, her estate may object to it. In general, using pictures of famous people from a site which only tracks copyright status and not personality rights status (like Wikimedia Commons) is a bad idea. Why don't you try some of our nature pictures? I'm sure there are great ones in there to use for a screensaver. (Note that if you use CC-BY-SA licensed photos, then you must license your derivative work under the same license.) -- King of ♠ 20:06, 22 November 2012 (UTC)
Fujfuji -- What I think is that if your product is like a big book illustrated here and there with suitable PD or CC-licensed photographs, then there should be little problem -- but if your product is like a pin-up calendar, so that the photographs basically are the product, and you don't have model releases from the people in the photographs, then you need to talk to an actual lawyer with real experience in this legal area... AnonMoos (talk) 08:16, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Category:Wojciech Kossak

This artist died in 1942, so his works will be in PD since January 1, 2013. But now we have a lot of his works in category.--Anatoliy (talk) 12:11, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

His works will PD in life+70 nations on January 1, 2013. Fortunately, it seems he did his work prior to 1923, so no US issues arise. Historically, when a DR has come up on something like this, we've left it open for a few months and closed it in January as clearly PD. On one hand, technically we should delete them now and tag them undelete in 2013. On the other, this is not a copyright issue, since they are out of copyright in the jurisdiction the WMF has to worry about it; it's just a Commons policy issue. We really should get on about people doing this, but I don't think anyone is going to mess with something that we'll just undelete in 37 days.--Prosfilaes (talk) 13:00, 23 November 2012 (UTC)

Agreement to add pictures from & copyright?

Not really sure if this fits here so I apologize in advance in case it does not (and would be grateful in someone could point me to the right place where I can ask). I was wondering if Wikipedia has some sort of agreement similar to the one struck with other institutions (Bundesarchiv, etc) to transfer some pre-revolutionary (1917) images from the Central State Archive at which, if my understanding is correct, are in the public domain in both US and Russia (per PD-US and PD-RusEmpire). I think articles on that period (I am thinking Russian revolution but many others could also profit) could greatly improve from such addition of images. Does anyone know:

  1. If the images are indeed in PD?
  2. If there is an agreement in place of plans to sign one in the near future?

Thank you!--Rowanwindwhistler (talk) 10:14, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

The copyright status of these images depends on death dates of their authors. Ruslik (talk) 11:38, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm, shouldn't they be in the public domain no matter when the authors died as per PD-RusEmpire if the pictures were taken before November 7th 1917 (the October Revolution)?--Rowanwindwhistler (talk) 12:03, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
The special thing about the agreement with the Bundesarchiv was that the Bundesarchiv was able to release a large number of photographs that are not in the public domain under a free license (CC-BY-SA) because they own the rights, and so Commons received a generous amount of very valuable photos we (in many cases) otherwise still couldn't use for decades. If images are in the public domain, no special agreement is needed to use/upload them IMHO. Gestumblindi (talk) 15:25, 24 November 2012 (UTC)
I am no expert whatsoever but agree with the analysis. The only problem with the pictures, if they are indeed in PD as I assume they are if I am understanding PD-US and PD-RusEmpire correctly, is that they are shown with a rather inconvenient watermark that makes them hard to use in our articles. Hence I thought that maybe a similar agreement to the Bundesarchiv's could help us get some very relevant images without the marks (and probably transfer them in an easier way than uploading them one by one). And I thought maybe that agreement may already be in place and I was not aware of it...--Rowanwindwhistler (talk) 21:31, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Freelance photographer working for US State Department - public domain?

Freelance photographer Scott Chernis was enlisted by the US Department of State as their official photographer for the 2011 APEC Leaders' Week [22]. Are the images he took {{PD-USGov}}? They are on the US State Department's Flickr channel with a US Government Work licence but have © 2011 Scott Chernis Photography in the EXIF. January (talk) 19:35, 24 November 2012 (UTC)

Depends on whether there's a legal "work-for-hire" situation or equivalent... AnonMoos (talk) 00:26, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like the EXIF data is the photographer's standard and he forgot to change it... but a definitive answer can only be had from the State Dept. Rd232 (talk) 00:56, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Chinese photo

May I upload this photo of Dagu Glacier in China showing a CC BY 3.0 licence? I am definitely not on expert on copyright matters and would rather ask before creating problems. --AHert (talk) 15:50, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Yes, a CC BY 3.0 license is fine for Commons. -- Asclepias (talk) 16:01, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. --AHert (talk) 16:18, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Misha B and Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The photographer has givem permission to use this photograph


Date: 25th November, 2012
Hi Zoe,
Done - just for that image. Cheers, Nick.


under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

is it ok for me/or someone else to upload it for use on Misha B's wikipedia page

I must admit I am not confident about how to upload.Zoeblackmore (talk) 17:45, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

No, not to Commons. See Commons:Licensing... AnonMoos (talk) 17:55, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Or in short: Commons doesn't accept "NonCommercial" and "NoDerivs". If you can persuade the photographer to license the image e.g. as CC-BY-SA or CC-BY, it would be usable for Commons. Commons only accepts images that allow commercial reuse and derivatives. Gestumblindi (talk) 18:41, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for your speedy replies 22:08, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

Photographs of sculptures in the US

en:File:Izquierdodreamer.jpg is tagged to be moved to commons.

Commons:Public art and copyrights in the US has me scratching my head. Installation is publication, and a photo of a sculpture is a derivative work.

Here is the artwork's record at SIRIS.

There is no copyright registration of this work. If it can be reasonably assumed there is no copyright notice on the work itself, then is {{PD-US-1978-89}} a good licence? Is it a safe assumption to make? --Moogsi (talk) 22:18, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

It depends what you mean by "safe", and what level of risk you want to take. Your statement "installation is publication" seems much bolder than what is said in section "After 1978" of the Commons page to which you linked and in the information circular by the U.S. Copyright Office.[23] By the way, the City of Portland say they installed this sculpture in 1979.[24] Don't know where SIRIS took their 1981 date, although that doesn't make a difference for the copyright status. -- Asclepias (talk) 23:34, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
{{PD-US-1978-89}} only applies if you can show that multiple 3D copies of the statue has been distributed to the general public without a copyright notice. In most cases, there is only one 3D copy of the work (the original work in its original location), and for what it is worth, "distribution to the general public" might require that you can transport your own copy to any location of your choice, as opposed to keeping it at the place where it is permanently located. The sculpture seems to be unpublished. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:41, 25 November 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. You are quite right.. by trying to simplify this I've got it completely wrong! Help:FOP#United_States makes it a bit clearer to me. --Moogsi (talk) 01:40, 26 November 2012 (UTC)
As a simplification, you should check the date of installation. If the work was installed before 1978, then it is almost always published. If, on the other hand, it was installed after 1977, then it is almost always unpublished. The copyright notice requirement only applies to published works but not to unpublished works. --Stefan4 (talk) 02:14, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

{{Personality rights}} and countries where personality rights protection is a part of the copyright law?

Forgive me if this has already been discussed before on Commons, but I haven't been able to find any such discussions :(

This photo is taken in Austria, where the right to ones portrait (which as far as I can see, is simply defined as a photograph portraying one or more persons) is protected by the Austrian Copyright Act §78. In Germany a similar situation is in fact present. In the English translation of {{Personality rights}} it is stated that Personality rights restrictions apply independently of copyright, but in at least these two countries this does in fact not seem to be the case. Yet there are most likely thousands of photo in Category:People of Germany and with {{Personality rights}}. So:

  1. Is the Commons community simply ignoring the fact that in some countries the personality right is a part of the copyright and if so how does that relate to COM:PCP?
  2. Is the community considering it a neighbouring right (of sorts) that is simply a part of the same legal document? (which could work in the case of Germany I think)
  3. Am I missing out on something very essential here?

I'm not - not at all - rooting for us to start a mass deletion hysteria here, but I do find it curios that it doesn't appear to have been a subject of discussion previously. In kind regards, Henrik/heb [T C E] 10:25, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

It doesn't matter whether personality rights are actually part of copyright law or not. Legally, we only need to comply with US law, so we can say whatever we want, e.g. that UK reproductions of paintings are PD-Art. Likewise, we can say here that personality rights are not part of copyright law. -- King of ♠ 10:40, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
In Germany, yes those rights are separate from the economic rights associated with being able to prevent derivative works etc. They are also not subject to international treaty the way that copyrights are. Similarly, moral rights are typically part of copyright laws (and are dealt with by the Berne Convention), but even those are separate too. There is some level of restricted use, but the concept of "free" is centered around those economic rights in particular; any others are Commons:Non-copyright restrictions. If you think simply hosting an image here is breaking the law, that might be reason for deletion. But there is a guidance page at Commons:Photographs of identifiable people. Carl Lindberg (talk) 11:49, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Using Wikipedia itself and it's images to help create a music video.

Hello Wiki people,

I'm in the process of making a music video (for free) for a musical group and had the idea of using the contents of wikipedia and wikicommons as the place that it would take place. Action would travel from one page to the next and show content and images that I need.

Cool, or not? (and by cool, I mean is this okay).

Thanks for your time. Much appreciated. I just donated, and will again if I go through with this.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Bentobjects (talk • contribs) 02:50, 27 November 2012‎ (UTC)
Most images here are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 (CC-BY-SA 3.0) license, meaning that they can be used for any purpose as long as you give credit to the author(s), mention the name of the license, and release any derivative work under the same license. The first and second requirements are easy to fulfill. It's the third requirement that you might run into trouble with. Since for anything you produce using images under this license, you must agree to license your work under the same license, everything you use to make it must either be your own work or released under this license. For a music video, that means that the musical group must agree to release whatever song is in the music video under the CC-BY-SA-3.0. -- King of ♠ 03:20, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Thank you very much for your speedy response. I think this is still a good idea, but I will have to save it for another time, using my own audio elements.

Won't there be an issue concerning the Wikipedia and Wikimedia logos? I'm not sure of the copyright position concerning them. — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:36, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
They are (mostly) non-free. There should be links to the terms on the description pages. --LPfi (talk) 23:56, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Poster Image - License Granted

This image was uploaded to Wiki Commons and deleted because there was a copyright notice on the page. Now that the copyright notice has been removed by the copyright owners, can the image be uploaded again per the rights granted on the page.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by WhatIfWeCould (talk • contribs) 11:22, 28 November 2012‎ (UTC)
Looks OK to me. — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:05, 28 November 2012 (UTC)


I am concerned about the licence claim for File:Mdsa046558m.jpg. This is a movie poster which the uploader claims to be their own work, and has licensed under the "Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license". The Metadata shows it to be from Photoshop.

This bears no resemblance whatsoever to the poster previously used on the Mugamoodi article i.e. this which is on en-wiki with a fair-use rationale. This user has uploded 4 files to commons, all four with a claim that it is their own work. Arjayay (talk) 17:48, 26 November 2012 (UTC)

It's either a copyvio or if self-created, out of scope as a non-notable fanart. -- King of ♠ 03:21, 27 November 2012 (UTC)
Agreed - so, how do I get someone to delete these 4 files? - Arjayay (talk) 08:45, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Analysis of Austrian copyright law

At de:Wikipedia:Urheberrechtsfragen, an excellent analysis of Austrian copyright law has been posted. On that basis, I created the new templates {{PD-Austria-1932}} and {{PD-Austria-survey}}. For convenience purposes, I am translating the analysis here, somewhat abridged to cover only the important details.

The first Austrian copyright law came into effect in 1936. It protected literature, audio recordings, artworks and films (per §1) and also architecture (per §3) for a duration of 50 years pma (per §60). Photographs (there was no distinction between simple photographs and photographic works) were covered by §73 and §74. These were protected for 20 years after publication, or creation if unpublished within 20 years. In 1949 only a minor detail concerning music was changed, which need not bother us here.

1953 was a big change. A distinction between photographic works and simple photographs was introduced. However, works which were already free in 1953 did not regain copyright protection due to being considered as photographic works by virtue of Article II, section 3. Also, works of the government survey organization, the Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen, were specifically excluded from being considered as government works per §7, but again, Article II, section 5 specifies that this does not apply to works published before the law came into effect. This is pretty convenient to us, as it allows us to host a whole lot of Austrian works.

Now comes the EU Copyright Directive. As it turns out, the Austrian government was very sloppy when implementing it into Austrian law. The implementation is found in the copyright law of 1996, Article VIII, section 2:

(2) In the case that this federal law prolongs the copyright term, it applies to works, performances, broadcasts and simple photographs created before April 1, 1996, if:
  1. the copyright term of the work hadn't expired yet by July 1, 1995, according to the previously valid laws, or
  2. the work was protected in any country of the European Economic Area and its term according to the local law hadn't expired yet by July 1, 1995.

The wording says that copyright harmonization is only applied when this federal law (and not the copyright harmonization by itself) prolongs a copyright term. This doesn't however apply to general works, which had been 70 pma since 1972. Therefore, Austria did not implement the EU copyright directive for most works. It did however apply to simple photographs, whose copyright term was prolonged in this federal law, from 30 years to 50 years. (However, this won't affect most works, since threshold of originality is very low in Austria.)

This basically means a whole lot of historic Austrian works are free to use. And since they were free at the URAA date, they're free in the US as well. -- Liliana-60 (talk) 17:41, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Maybe free to use in Austria, maybe also in the US. But as the analysis at de.wp you quote says not necessarily free to use in e. g. Germany (in which case the German wikipedia couldn't use them) and other European countries. So your templates should have parts warning about that, like Template:PD-US/de uses Template:Urheberrechtlich geschützt. --Rosenzweig τ 21:19, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Of course. But Commons needn't concern that. And actually, the template you linked to is terrible, because it says "ist das Werk in [...] Österreich [...] urheberrechtlich geschützt", which doesn't apply at all here. -- Liliana-60 (talk) 21:26, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
That template is not terrible in any way, it just served as an example for a warning template. I didn't say anywhere you should use that exact template. And Commons does concern itself with warning its users about such discrepancies in national copyright laws. --Rosenzweig τ 21:35, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
Not formally. We have a lot of works tagged sufficiently for their home nations and sometimes for the US too, but that don't even try to be tagged for the world. We don't generally object to such warnings, but I certainly wouldn't trust the lack of such a warning to mean anything.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:53, 28 November 2012 (UTC)
You're right about that; in this case however, with the German language wikipedia and persons from Germany often not able to use such files, a warning seems to be important to me. Commons is more than just wikipedia's image repository, quite true, but wikipedia is still a major reuser of Commons files. In the case of Austrian images, the German wikipedia (and other users from Germany apart from wikipedia) would most likely be the most interested in them, more interested IMO than the English wikipedia (and Austrian as well as US users) that could use those files if they are free in Austria and the US. --Rosenzweig τ 14:48, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Files from a South African archive with no known publication history

There are a number of photos uploaded by User:Doortmont (usually, if not always, to English Wikipedia and then transferred here by others) which are taken from an archive the user had access to in South Africa. The standard permission added to the files is Use of this digital copy for academic research and publication was granted by the Provincial Archives of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa, but only with full credentials and if possible notification to I don't know what that is, but it's not quite a release into the public domain. The images may be public domain for other reasons, but I'm not sure what they are, or if we have enough information to figure it out. Some of the files, like File:JHBrand VA1026.jpg, have been tagged {{PD-South Africa}}, others {{PD-old}}, even though there is no evidence of prior publication and no individual author is named (sometimes a photography studio is given).

Above are listed some files affected by this which serve as examples (listed here because I've just removed the non-tag {{PD-Netherlands}} from them); the rest can be found by searching. So... how should these files be tagged? Do they need to be sent to DR? Rd232 (talk) 19:28, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Any reservations and credit requests about the use of the digital copies are covered by Commons policies about reproductions of two-dimensional works. If it is thought necessary, the templates PD-Art/PD-scan or their variants can be added, with the appropriate parameters. The reservations and/or credit requests should be mentioned for the accurate information of the reusers, but they are not an objection to hosting the files on Commons, provided the original works are free. General information on the Hendrik Muller collection at the Provincial Archives of the Free State can be found in this document. This impressive work is likely by the same person who is the uploader to en.wikipedia. From the footnote on page 10, another document apparently exists specifically about the photographic part of the collection, but I didn't find it online. Still, in the general catalogue it is possible to find useful information : "Hendrik Muller (...) bequeathed  the  collection  to  the  State  Archives  of  the  Orange  Free  State  on  his  death." Some photographs are well documented as to their respective authors and/or original publication. Well enough to ascertain their public domain status, both under US copyright law and the copyright law of the country of origin. Others may miss absolute proof of their first publication year, but in my opinion they pass a reasonable test that they were actually published, either near the time of their creation (they are type of photos which by their nature were obviously meant to be published, not hidden in the photographer's attic), or anyway at the time when their authors gave a copy to Muller, or to someone who gave it to Muller, i.e. in 1941 at the latest (Hendrik Muller died in 1941). The good faith assumption in that sort of situation, where photograhs have been transferred, is that they have been transferred legally, not stolen. And I think that when it is actually shown that they were actually published (in the loose pre-1978 US acception), then it is good enough for us, it is a prima facie proof that they are ok, and from that point there is a reversal of the burden of proof, i.e. it is reasonable to assume that the publication was legally made and that it was made without a restriction, unless someone provides evidence that it was made illegally or that there was a documented restriction. In conclusion, per the above facts and considering the professional archival work by the uploader about documenting those photographs, I think they are fine. -- Asclepias (talk) 21:41, 29 November 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. I guess I should have made clearer my thinking: that the photographs were legitimately acquired by the State Archives in question, but were not necessarily published before the uploader scanned them at the archive. I don't think it's right to assume publication too easily. Now I've found an email address for what I'm pretty sure is the uploader; let's see if that gets us more info. Rd232 (talk) 23:11, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

File:Logo who target.jpg

Surely {{PD-self}} doesn't apply here? It may be ineligible for copyright, but it's certainly not an original work. Guy0307 (talk) 07:07, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

I'm nominating it for deletion. -- King of ♠ 07:13, 30 November 2012 (UTC)