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Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2013/02

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


File:Dark Elf Trilogy.png

File:Dark Elf Trilogy.png is a non-free file. Could it be moved to Wikipedia? 14:59, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

That looks like it would probably meet English Wikipedia's non-free content guideline, which generally does allow for the use of book covers in illustrating an article about the book. cmadler (talk) 15:09, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
It looks as if the image fails w:WP:NFG which normally doesn't allow non-free images in a gallery. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:50, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
It wasn't in a gallery on en-wp; it was only appearing on en:The Dark Elf Trilogy. A case like that could fairly easily meet en:Wikipedia:NFC#Images #1 ("Cover art"). But that's an issue best discussed on en-wp, not here. cmadler (talk) 16:23, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I can't do much about that, now that it has been deleted. 16:26, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I took the liberty of rescuing the deleted file and uploading it to w:File:Dark Elf Trilogy.png. Do what you need to do. Powers (talk) 16:57, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, I see it now! :) 17:46, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Noncommercial CC license template in userspace

I've come across this file which applies User:UnreifeKirsche/Template:cc-by-nc-3.0-de together with a GFDL version. I'm worried not only by the fact that what appears like a userspace draft has been used as an official license in the File namespace, but also that this is evidently a non-commercial license. From the template disclaimer at the user page it becomes clear that this cc-by-nc-3.0-de is meant to be used with a second, valid license only, but there are still two question left open in my mind: since GFDL allows for commercial re-use isn't it moot to have a non-commercial CC-by; and wouldn't this CC template not require another commercial CC template to go with in the first place? This all seems to be a bit fishy. De728631 (talk) 18:46, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

No, that's OK. All we require is one fully free license, which GFDL satisfies (this is contentious -- many editors consider the requirement to include a fully copy of the license to make the GFDL inappropriate as a free license for photos), and then any number of non-fully-free licenses may be given. In this case, the CC-BY-NC will allow non-free derivatives (no "Share Alike" requirement) and also allows the easier-to-use Creative Commons license -- but only for non-commercial reuses; commercial reuses are allowed, but only under GFDL. Again, this is a controversial use of the licenses, but one that is currently permitted. cmadler (talk) 19:00, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Or to put it another way, this license combination is currently considered acceptable, but just barely, and it's gradually being deprecated. For example, an image with this license combination is no longer eligible to be a featured picture. cmadler (talk) 19:14, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Thanks for the quick response. De728631 (talk) 19:35, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Given that we consider GFDL to be CC-BY-SA, there is no problem anyway. -mattbuck (Talk) 20:33, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Although similar in some regards, they are certainly not the same. cmadler (talk) 20:41, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
We certainly can't consider the GFDL to be CC-BY-SA. -- Asclepias (talk) 21:08, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
There was a one-time GFDL to CC-BY-SA transition, but images uploaded after mid-2009 missed the transition. AnonMoos (talk) 13:20, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Copyright questions

Hi, I'd like to upload the title pages of the following two books, both of which appear in Google books and with publishing dates in the 1780s and 90s.

A couple of questions about these:

  1. Is it possible to do this, even though they carry "Digitised by Google" notices on the bottom of the pages?
  2. Is it acceptable to crop the Google notice off the page, or does that need to be left on?

Many thanks! - SchroCat (talk) 09:00, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

In short, yes and yes. Google's scanning does not give Google any rights to the scans or the original work (in most nations). If the original work is public domain, so is the scan, so you can do anything you like to it. See Commons:When to use the PD-Scan tag. Longer answer: if the work was published before 1923 and the author died more than 100 years ago, it is fine for upload. Some old books were first published very recently however and those are more complicated, but more rarely encountered. Dcoetzee (talk) 09:05, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
That's great - many thanks. I knew about the 1923 rule, but was unsure about the scanning part (and Google tag on the page)> Good to know - I'll tweak the images and upload shortly. Many thanks! - SchroCat (talk) 09:07, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) Yes to both questions, for any public domain work. Google cannot claim retrospective copyrights on public domain works by the process of making faithful (or indeed poor quality) two dimensional reproductions, I do not believe they attempt to make any such claim. This is a separate issue from their website terms for paid-for digital products. Thanks -- (talk) 09:08, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Many thanks - this is a free-to-download copy of a book, which is way out of copyright, so it's good to have confirmation about the Google angle. Cheers - SchroCat (talk) 11:32, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Rule of shorter term UK War Poster

File:National Fund for Welsh Troops2.jpg

It is stated "This file will not be in the public domain in its home country until January 1, 2027 and should not be transferred to Wikimedia Commons until that date, as Commons requires that images be free in the source country and in the United States."

I think, that because the U.K. was still following the rule of the shorter term on January 1st, 1956, the work fell into the Public Domain in the U.K. as well (and stays there to this day).

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 2013-02-01T13:29:49 (UTC)
The rule of the shorter term does not apply since the UK is the source coutry. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:39, 1 February 2013 (UTC)


The rarely used {{Cc-by-nc-sa-2.0-dual}} template seems to have discrepancy between text and license boxes. The text is: "If you want to use this file commercially, you have to do this under the terms of the GFDL. Otherwise, you are free to choose between the GFDL and CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0. ". The license boxes are: GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 and CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0. It does not seem like we need CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0 if files also have CC-BY-SA-3.0. I assume that CC-BY-SA-3.0 part was added automatically during GFDL relicensing. I think intention of the users of this license is for their files not to be available under any CC-BY-SA licenses. We can honor that and exclude CC-BY-SA, or replace {{Cc-by-nc-sa-2.0-dual}} with GFDL & CC-BY-SA combo. --Jarekt (talk) 18:32, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

This template has been in use since 2005. In principle, it should keep showing the same licenses that people has been putting from 2005: [1]: GFDL and CC-NC-SA-2.0. Putting there another license would be changing the license of existing files.
Although, I have a doubt: GFDL was changed to allow migration of wikis to CC-BY-SA-3.0. How does this affect files under this license? I know it's not a GFDL-1.0only license (that I think that couldn't be migrated), but {{Cc-by-nc-sa-2.0-dual}} is clearly for people that didn't want to use CC-BY-SA, so probably migrating is unfair, even if it's legal.--Pere prlpz (talk) 18:59, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
  • (Edit conflict)   Comment We can't do anything to affect whether something is available under CC-BY-SA or not since the licence migration already has taken place. A CC-BY-NC-SA+CC-BY-SA combination is useful because it allows people to make derivative works which can't be used commercially. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:01, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
    • Yes, note that it says "If this file is eligible for relicensing, it may also be used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license." (my emphasis). That links to Commons:GFDL 1.3 relicensing criteria. cmadler (talk) 19:06, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
      • And that page says that "Any files which satisfy the criteria above may, starting from June 15, 2009, be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license." The files with this template seem to match those criteria (although the uploaders obviously didn't want them to be made available under CC-BY-SA). --Stefan4 (talk) 19:28, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
        • Yes. :-) I have no sympathy for uploaders who try to make an end-run around Commons' requirement that works be free including commercial reuses by mis-applying the GFDL (intended for documentation) to images together with CC-BY-NC or CC-BY-NC-SA. I find the quashing of their intent by the relicensing fairly funny. cmadler (talk) 19:48, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
So change the text to: "If you want to use this file commercially, you have to do this under the terms of the GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0. Otherwise, you are free to choose between the GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 and CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0. "? --Jarekt (talk) 20:59, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
CC-BY-SA 3.0 doesn't apply to all files. For example, the uploader added "migration=opt-out" to File:Ich weiss dass ich nichts weiss.ogg, so that file isn't available under CC-BY-SA. The text gets extra confusing if the uploader lists other licences in addition to this one (e.g. File:Chicony Wireless Keyboard KBR0108.jpg). Could the wording be improved somehow? --Stefan4 (talk) 21:39, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
GFDL to cc-by-sa-3.0 conversion was only possible in a specific timeframe so the text should in no way be changed. --Denniss (talk) 21:29, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

URAA and derived works

I have doubt whether this book may fall under URAA restored copyrights.

Some facts:

  • It has been published in Poland in 1935
  • It is a derivative (translation) of Austrian author works published before 1906
  • The author of original works died in 1926
  • The author of derivative work (translator) died in 1941

At the URAA date (same in Poland and Austria, 1.1.1996):

  • at 1.1.1996 the book was not copyrighted in Poland neither is copyrighted now; it was copyrighted (derivative work) 1.1.2000-31.12.2011 because of restored copyrights in Poland
  • at 1.1.1996 the book was copyrighted in Austria (translation, 70pm)
  • at 1.1.1996 the original work was copyrighted neither in Poland nor in Austria

I am not sure what the "source country" should apply in this case (origin of the author, origin of the translator, publishing country)? Ankry (talk) 23:40, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

There are two potential layers of copyright. The first layer is the original work. Because this was published in 1906, there was no restoration of US copyright. The second layer is the derivative. If I'm correctly reading the history of Polish copyright law, it appears that this entered the public domain in Poland (the country of origin for this derivative) on 1/1/92 (50 years pma), and got a restored Polish copyright in 2004 (?), and re-entered the public domain in Poland 1/1/2012. This was in the public domain in the country of origin (Poland) on the URAA restoration date, so it did not get a restored US copyright. It's not PD in Poland. I think this is OK to keep on Commons. cmadler (talk) 00:25, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
The original is out of copyright in the US, and the translation was first published in Poland, so its copyright (the parts that aren't derivative of the original) wasn't restored. From the law:
(8) The ‘source country’ of a restored work is—
‘‘(A) a nation other than the United States;
‘‘(B) in the case of an unpublished work—
‘‘(i) the eligible country in which the author or rightholder is a national or domiciliary, or, if a restored work has more than 1 author or rightholder, the majority of foreign authors or rightholders are nationals or domiciliaries of eligible countries;
‘‘(ii) if the majority of authors or rightholders are not foreign, the nation other than the United States which has the most significant contacts with the work; and
‘‘(C) in the case of a published work—
‘‘(i) the eligible country in which the work is first published, or
‘‘(ii) if the restored work is published on the same day in 2 or more eligible countries, the eligible country which has the most significant contacts with the work.
so in this case the source country of the translation is Poland.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:48, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Recreation or reproduction

Is it allowed to recreate maps out of books or is that reproduction and therefore copyright protected? It concerns a battle map from a book published in 1995? It is a map of the battle of Granikos. SVG-style. If you like to see the map, I can post it on photobucket. I have asked this question before on the help-page of Wikimedia Commons and I have been directed here. I hope you can help me out on this. Citypeek (talk) 07:51, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

If the map is out of copyright (see your next question), then you can do with it what you want, including making an SVG version of it. Otherwise, the SVG version is a derivative work of the original map and not allowed. --rimshottalk 10:38, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

How do I add a "copyright tag" for a public-domain French work?

I have added File:Lamarck 1815 diagram of animal evolution.png, from a work published in France, with {{PD-1923}}. This produces text including the sentence, "If the work is not a U.S. work, the file must have an additional copyright tag indicating the copyright status in the source country." How do I provide this? Or is the {{PD-1923}} not appropriate? With some exceptions not applicable here, a French copyright extends for 70 years after the death of the author; in this case, the author is Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, who died in 1829. Thanks, Peter M. Brown (talk) 17:51, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

I added {{PD-old-100}} and a category for Lamarck Dankarl (talk) 18:10, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Italian village photos

As Italy does not have FoP what about these photos? File:Percha01 2013-01-08.jpg File:Percha02 2013-01-08.jpg File:Percha03 2013-01-08.jpg Taken out of a cable car window, they show the newly opened Percha railway and cable car station, and the village of Percha plus mountains. -- KlausFoehl (talk) 14:01, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

File:Percha01 2013-01-08.jpg seems to focus a lot on the building, so it is maybe a problem, but it could also pass as de minimis since there are lots of other things there too. The other two ones clearly pass as de minimis since they focus on the entire landscape and not only on the building. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:04, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your reply. -- KlausFoehl (talk) 16:05, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Old maps in new books

Old maps of countries, battlefields etc. published in a new book. Is it legally correct if you copy them? Citypeek (talk) 08:01, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

If the map is old enough to be in the public domain and was published a sufficient time in the past (see COM:PD for details), scanning it and putting it in a book does not create a new copyright. That means you can upload it here with {{Pd-art}} and a suitable public domain template, for example {{PD-old-100}}. --rimshottalk 10:34, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
ty, rimshot. Citypeek (talk) 13:43, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
See also {{PD-scan}}. --Odie5533 (talk) 08:28, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

U.S. Patents since 1989

Hello, Commons:Copyright rules by subject matter#Patents states "Material derived from a US patent can be tagged {{PD-US-patent}}." Great. But that template suggests to use {{PD-US-patent-no notice}} if the patent makes no claim to copyright. The patent I am using makes no such claim, so I replaced it with {{PD-US-patent-no notice}}. However, this template suddenly states that "Note This only applies to images published before March 1, 1989. Patents published after that date are most likely copyrighted." Well, my patent is from 2005. Link to upload. Is it copyrighted or not? --hydrox (talk) 20:54, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

You can read the discussion "Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-US-patent-no notice" about how the situation was understood by different users. -- Asclepias (talk) 22:20, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
That discussion seems to conclude that at least design patents published after March 1989 are not in the public domain. The case of technical drawings is not quite as clear. However, better safe than sorry, Commons should not publish files with unclear copyright status as being in the "public domain". Obviously the closing admin there did not just change all the relevant pages to say that patent drawings after March 1989 should be assumed proprietary, a mistake I've now corrected. --hydrox (talk) 23:42, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Banksy artwork

Has released his artwork into the public domain somewhere? Right now there are a large number of photos of Banksy artwork at Category:Banksy, but all of the photos that I've checked only have license status for the photo, not for the artwork depicted. If Banksy has released his work into the public domain, we should create some type of PD-Banksy template. If he hasn't, does the United Kindom or the United States refuse to recognize copyright on graffiti? In that case, we'd need a PD-Graffiti tag. If neither of these are true, the works in the UK and US would probably need to be deleted from commons for FOP reasons. The ones in Palestine can stay because Israel has FOP. Ryan Vesey Review me! 22:59, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

This same issue applies to Category:Above (artist) Ryan Vesey Review me! 23:15, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Cf. Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Banksy in London and Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Banksy in New Orleans.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Asclepias (talk • contribs)
Judging from those discussions, it appears that this is one of those cases where it is understood that the artwork is likely copyrighted but Commons de facto policy is to retain it nonetheless. So graffiti isn't worthy of a PD tag, but maybe an advisory tag to warn reusers. VernoWhitney (talk) 00:01, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Ryan Vesey -- How do laws protect illegally-located works? If your marijuana dealer rips you off, can you take him to court? -- AnonMoos (talk) 06:25, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
In the fact that the state government (in the US) chooses not to adjudicate illegal transactions does not mean that the federal government will deny you copyright if you paint your paintings onto canvas you don't own. Totally different courts, totally different bodies of law.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:12, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
See Commons:Copyright rules by subject matter#Graffiti. This seems to me to be a case where we systematically and deliberately ignore COM:PRP, on the theory (untested?) that copyright on illegally created/placed works would be unenforceable. cmadler (talk) 13:47, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
I support this working practice. However there should be caution taken to assess if the work is unlawfully created rather than commissioned (a "work for hire" even if no financial transaction takes place). For example a community mural space would need to have a project statement making it clear that the creators of the work(s) waive their copyright as part of being a member of the project and contributing, similarly someone decorating their garage door or shop front with a mural (or getting Banksy to do it) would not fall under this Commons 'norm'.
This is a topic that needs an expanding case book of 'official' examples with a background of passed deletion requests, in order to establish our norms for various countries and for the marginal cases between "tagging" and figurative works. -- (talk) 14:02, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
I went to a gallery launch the other night and wondered about this. In the exhibition were two reproductions (paintings or prints I think, as opposed to photographs) of Banksy works. I agree that it's very unlikely that copyright could be enforced for an illegal act (since graffiti is considered an act of vandalism), but what would be the copyright status of these (legal) derivsatives? HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:54, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
Hi Harry, they are copyright if a legally placed or commissioned derivative of a legal original. Interestingly, illegal derivatives of a copyright work would also be copyright infringements even if we accept that original illegally placed graffiti may not be. For example, it is fairly common to see sprayed graffiti derivatives of Banksy's legitimate published work (apparently) using stick on templates to quickly create them, these infringe Banksy's (probable) copyright and Commons should not host images of them. (Starting to need a logic table here) Now, if you can demonstrate that Banksy's displayed or commissioned work in art galleries or similar, was based on templates that were used first by him to create illegally placed graffiti, then one can argue that Banksy would have no ability to restrict copies of the illegally placed work unless he established new case law in this area by taking someone to court.
I don't see that happening and the general view is that if he or someone else tried to, then the nature of existing judgements (mainly outside of the UK) is that no judge is likely to find in his favour as he started with the intention to break the law using his original creation. I tend to use the precautionary principle to rationalize a keep opinion - we have more that 2,000 years of Roman Law to reference, and examples of graffiti (such as disruptive political and vandalism sexual graffiti) which significantly pre-dates that, so I don't see the significant doubt needed to argue the deletion of all figurative graffiti from Commons when basic probability shows that nobody has ever taken anyone to court successfully in the illegally created scenario, to protect a claim of copyright. Thanks -- (talk) 19:15, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
If we do decide to keep works of Graffiti, we need, as you say, a way of differentiating legal and illegal artwork. Then, we need to create something better than {{Non-free graffiti}} and we need a policy explicitly dealing with graffiti. Right now, we have statements that say graffiti has been kept, but nothing saying that graffiti is allowed. We also need to modify Commons:Project scope, probably with a footnote, to make it clear that graffiti is an exception to Commons:Project scope#Must be freely licensed or public domainRyan Vesey Review me! 19:34, 27 January 2013 (UTC)
I think that the problem is that a French graffiti artist sent a cease and desist mail to a Commons user (see fr:Wikipédia:Legifer/mars 2012#Image de graffiti et ADAGP). I think that we can only use the unofficial graffiti policy if the artworks are anonymous, but this isn't the case here. If the artworks are anonymous, it will almost always be impossible to claim authorship, but if it is known who the artist is, then it would be very easy to sue over copyright infringement. If you wish to sue the artist for vandalising your wall, then you need to do this within 10 years (or something) because of prescription, but copyright lasts much longer than that, and once you no longer can be faced with charges for vandalism, you can safely claim authorship and sue people for copyright infringement. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:39, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but it has never actually happened, in any country, and certainly never under US law. Consequently any community consensus is just as valid here as rationalizing a decision with tangential case law. -- (talk) 15:43, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
There has been a court decision in France (first instance, then appeal) qualifying illegal graffiti as 'ephemeral works' (a category usually used for ice sculptures, sand sculptures, and the like). The case concerned graffiti on train wagons. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 16:08, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
It's a basic principle of law that one can't profit from a criminal act, so why would a graffiti artist (whose actions, if done without permission, would be considered criminal damage or its equivalent in the relevant jurisdiction) be theoretically able to profit from vandalising somebody's wall by claiming copyright? Of course, this would require some sort of proof that it was done illegally, but I'm just playing devil's advocate. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:35, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

The logic of all this (such as the dogdy premise of not profiting from a criminal act, which seems in most countries to be at the judge's discretion), and past legal cases (I recall reading a translation of the French case), has been discussed at length in various DRs and in support of post guideline changes and the creation of the non-free-graffiti template. I suggest this general Village pump discussion is turned into positive improvement of Commons:Image_casebook#Graffiti so it can become a bit firmer as a case book, along with illustrative case images and source legal cases in various countries. Thanks -- (talk) 17:48, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

It's not a basic principle of law, or else there would be no need for a w:Son of Sam law; and note that w:Simon & Schuster v. Crime Victims Board overturned one such law. Even then, in the US in many cases I suspect the Son of Sam-type laws would be more interested in taking the money made from selling photos of the graffiti and giving it to the victim then turning the graffiti PD and having nothing to give to the victim.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:31, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

(edit conflict) In this particular case, the national train company sued graffiti magazines (and a company selling spray cans) for publishing pictures of their graffitied wagons. They claimed such publications were in effect glorifying illegal graffiti, which the train company had to clean and remove at considerable expense. The claim was dismissed. The court found that while the owner of material goods can prohibit the reproduction (photography) of said goods in case of unusual and special damage, no proof of such damage was made at trial (no proof was given that graffiti magazines caused people to scrawl graffiti). The court also stated that the point of the pictures was to reproduce the graffiti art, not the wagons themselves. Graffiti art was acknowledged as a form of free speech and a recognised mode of artistic expression, and graffiti works as 'ephemeral works'. To sum it up, illegal graffiti can be deleted and the graffiti artist can be sued for material damage indeed, but the graffiti's image, so to speak, is protected by copyright. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 18:24, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

There have been cases in the U.S. where graffiti artists sued for copyright infringement, but most of them seem to be for clearly legal murals painted with the consent of the property owner. The closest I found Villa v. Pearson Education where the artist did go ahead and register copyright, but a question was raised during the case regarding whether it was legally placed or not, which raised the suspicion in at least one paper which mentions the case that the legality of the work would determine the standing of the subsequent claim of copyright infringement. Others, of course, say the court only considered the point relevant, not determinative, and that it could have gone either way. The case was settled out of court, though, so we don't get to know for sure. Given that it got that far, though, I think it's fair to say that it's certainly possible that such a lawsuit could be brought in the U.S. -- we just don't know how it would end up. VernoWhitney (talk) 23:38, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

I believe our de facto policy of accepting images of copyrighted illegal graffiti is, simply put, indefensible. I would support the deletion of any such works. The fact that graffiti artists have not sought to defend their rights in court is not surprising; copyright is rarely enforced, particularly by individuals with limited means, due to the expense of doing so. But as soon as a target with deep pockets appears, such as a content reuser that is a big business reusing their work, I have no doubt that some graffiti artists would seek civil damages against them. However, as always happens on Commons, there is an intermediate stage in which works that are illegal to host but not yet accepted for deletion are tagged instead of deleted (with the {{Non-free graffiti}}), which at least provides adequate warning to content reusers. I have now gone slightly further in adding the "big red C" to this template. Dcoetzee (talk) 19:08, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks Dcoetzee, that's a pretty C, thanks for cheering the template up. If you are concerned about the claim that this is nothing but a overly hypothetical exercise in internal wiki-lawyering due to a absence of single legal case, under any legislation, in any country, world-wide, then you may want to put in a bit of time and compile the Commons case book, along with any tangential legal cases that have been identified to date, for illustration of how hypothetical this discussion is. Thanks -- (talk) 19:18, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

Two Sibelius photos

File:Sibélius 1889-90.gif and File:Jean sibelius.jpg have insufficient information and probably use the wrong license template. Both are currently tagged as {{PD-old}}, but no author is given. So, we don't know whether the photographers died more than 70 years ago (e.g. the photographer of the 1890 photo could have been 25 then and died as late as 1950, aged 85... or later...) But I presume these might be "photographs that are not works of art" anyway and so {{PD-Finland50}} could be applied instead, as well as PD-1923 for the U.S. I'm however still a bit unsure about this, is Finnish law applicable at all? There is no information as to where these photos were taken and first published, and the source of File:Jean sibelius.jpg is an American publication of 1913. Sibelius was already famous then and travelled a lot - this obvious publicity photo could have been taken anywhere, in the UK, Germany, maybe even in the U.S. - but if it should be e.g. a work from Germany, 70 years p.m.a. would be applicable, and if we don't know the author, I'm not sure we really can default to {{Anonymous-EU}}. Additionally, the photos were taken before Finland became an independent country, it was part of Russia then - would Finnish law be applicable nevertheless, if a Finnish origin of these photos could be determined? Gestumblindi (talk) 00:21, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

The second image is definitely in public domain in the United States since it was published in 1913. I added an appropriate template. The first image from 1889, I think, can be safely assumed to be in public domain everywhere in the world because it is too old. Ruslik (talk) 11:29, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
The first image is so widely used that it is almost certain it was published prior to 1923, but it is so widespread without attribution that it is hard to trace on the web. One useful lead may be that it has been used as the cover art in two recent books: Sibelius Orchestral Works: An Owner's Manual by David Hurwitz, and Sibelius: A Composer's Life and the Awakening of Finland by Glenda Dawn Goss. I was unable to access the acknowledgments of either of these on Google Books, but there should be some indication there of the origin and status if someone can access the hard copy or full ebook. Dankarl (talk) 17:45, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
[2] lists the photo as coming from Schildts bildarkiv. Dankarl (talk) 19:42, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the research, both of you, but I think the main questions are still open. Photos need to be PD in the United States as well as in the country of origin, so the image of 1913 could still be protected if it's not originally from the U.S. and the photographer died less than 70 years ago. Regarding the first image, 1889/90 also isn't old enough that we can safely assume it's in the public domain everywhere, I think - as I wrote above, "the photographer of the 1890 photo could have been 25 then and died as late as 1950, aged 85... or later"). - Sadly, in many books old photos are just attributed to some image archive, not mentioning the photographer. Gestumblindi (talk) 21:02, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
Publication date is relevant. Anything published anywhere before 1923 is ok in the US, and publication date counts for anonymous works in the EU. Dankarl (talk) 05:14, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Yes, if the works are anonymous - but this we don't know. We can't simply assume that publication was anonymous just because the author information is missing here; as said above, "I'm not sure we really can default to {{Anonymous-EU}}". If the author is known and named somewhere, and died less than 70 years ago, this would be a mistake. Gestumblindi (talk) 11:56, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
If the work was first published anonymously, there is at least a decent probability that it will have remained anonymous. It also at least presumptively establishes what law applies. I'll leave it to someone else here to establish whether the work has to have been claimed by the photographer, or if for instance the discovery of an invoice from the photographer in an archive, or the negative in a museum, would suffice to change it's status from anonymous. You are more likely to get an informed opinion on the legal status if you know the history. Dankarl (talk) 14:24, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
As far as I know, copyright according to the Berne Convention (which is applicable in the EU including Finland) is automatic if the identity of the author becomes known, it's not needed to explicitly claim copyright protection. Though the Berne Convention only sets a minimum term of 50 years after the author's death, many countries including the EU members have now a term of 70 years. Gestumblindi (talk) 19:28, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Discussed in some detail at Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-EU-no author disclosure. Dankarl (talk) 22:32, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the pointer; according to Stefan4 in the discussion over there, "In some countries, it seems that a work is anonymous if the author himself hasn't revealed his identity, whereas in other countries, it seems that anyone can reveal the identity of the author for it to count as a work by a named author." But I wonder what this means for the two pictures discussed here... as said above, it seems we have no information as to where these photos were taken and first published. Gestumblindi (talk) 21:00, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
What I was trying to say is that books from respected academic publishers, at least one of which is by a major authority on Sibelius, that use the photo as cover art, are likely to say where it first appeared in their acknowledgments. Not at all a sure thing (as you say they might just cite an archive, especially if the archive holds the original photograph) but a decent chance. I simply was not able to access the relevant pages online and was hoping that someone reading this would have convenient access. I was also trying to say that country of first publication provides the answer to the question of what law to apply, which I thought was what you were asking.
Comparing the dating of the photo with Sibelius's career, the dates cited (1889-90) correspond with his study in Berlin. It probably was not published until he started to become famous. There is an annotated bibliography Jean Sibelius: A Guide to Research by Glenda Dawn Goss available on Google Books. A quick glance at the table of contents suggests it could be useful in identifying early sources.Dankarl (talk) 22:12, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Public Record vs. Public Domain?

Hey, I made Template:PD-WAState for state materials that are legally under "public record", but some folks want to delete the page because they say I mixed up public domain and public use. If public domain isn't the right way to describe materials under "public record," or freedom of information, what IS the right way to put those kinds of materials up. Help! Thanks, --Wikibojopayne (talk) 03:38, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Arms of the House of Savoy uploaded by Fry1989

There is a controversy so far edited on wp:en:

It is really sadening that you are going to pretend to be the author this image. You have taken excellent creation and diletantly extracted the CoA, produced a mess, didnt react on the cure and reported wrong status. Is that the way you will continue to contribute here? Maxxl2 (talk) 17:22, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm not pretending to claim anything, it's called "derivative work". If you have a problem with the way it is licensed, talk to me about it, but don't accuse me of "stealing" another user's work, and then vandalize the files on Commons by changing their licensing. Fry1989 eh? 19:08, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
I didnt change the licensing. That was somebody else. I cleaned code and saw that you had taken Katepanomegas code, cut out the CoA, but werent able to handle the remainders, ignoring the license Katepanomegas had set, but stating yourself to be the only author. That is very disappointing to see such a disrespect of an excellent artist and collegue here. I hope you will correct these infos shortly. --Maxxl2 (talk) 19:33, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
It's really cute that you want to accuse me to claiming another user's work when I didn't. Did you even notice at all that in the file description boxes, I linked the original files, and in the licensing section I included Katepanomegas's attribution license??? No ofcourse not, or else you wouldn't accuse me to claiming the files as 100% my own. "Derivative work" is a valid exercise on Commons where content is required. In this case, we had the great coat of arms, but not the shields on their own, I filled that hole and I don't care about your "sadness". Fry1989 eh? 20:03, 5 February 2013 (UTC)
Is that the way things are handled here? Or should I ask at Commons:Administrators' noticeboard? --maxxl2   - talk 20:23, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

Correct license

Please, suggest me the correct license for this file. It is a scan of 45 RPM record from 1956, made in USA. I put a few that I think fit the best here. KIX4U (talk) 23:55, 5 February 2013 (UTC)

{{PD-text}} is quite adequate for this image, since it's just a small amount of text on a solid red record label. I removed the others. Dcoetzee (talk) 07:15, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks a lot for taking time and coorect me! One last question: are you sure {{Trademark}} doesn't help? I see the word "Imperial" with symbol of regostered trademark. KIX4U (talk) 11:22, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
My mistake. I didn't even notice it. I'm going to guess the crown logo is de minimis, so its copyright shouldn't matter here. Dcoetzee (talk) 14:25, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Own work?

Special:Contributions/RoboGuru 3 of 4 are very tiny images. Only four contribs and all uploads. Copyvio? I couldn't be bothered to tag them but someone else may wish to. Scope may be the best reason. Do we need images this small?--Canoe1967 (talk) 00:11, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

File:P-50iA.jpg appears to be the largest image published on the net, based on a brief Google Images search, but theoretically could have been taken from some unindexed location (it is very widely used by various sites at lower resolutions). Can't say anything positive about the others, though File:Fralogo.jpg probably qualifies for {{PD-textlogo}}. Huntster (t @ c) 05:21, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Image PD questions from wiki review

I wonder if you would be able to help with queries a reviewer has raised during the image review for w:H. C. McNeile. The comments are all bang on the money, but I'm struggling to know the right way to fix these. I've added a few comments where I can, but I'm not sure either a) where to get the right info, or b) how to correctly display it on Commons. Many thanks for any pointers or help you could provide!

  • File:Cyril McNeile-Sapper-card.jpg Under the licence provided, you are required to specify in the image description the research you have carried out to find who the author was. Such information doesn't seem to be provided.
  • I have undertaken a number of searches and added the lack of results to the description. - SchroCat (talk) 11:01, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Even so, the present licence tag does not indicate that the image is PD in the US, which is the overriding requirement.
  • Given the status in the UK (pre 1940 publication, unknown artist etc) would this fall into PD in the US? If so, how should that be displayed? - SchroCat (talk) 11:01, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
  • The image has come from this page, but no licence etc dates are present on the site. (I've found the same image here, again without photographer or date details).If this is not acceptable because of lack of information, is this image from the NPG acceptable? Although the date and photographer is known, the photographer's date of death isn't
[3] purportedly has information of Mrs Ruth Bartlett, including dates (possibly of residence rather than life). This is a pay site so I did not follow further, but prices at first glance do not look bad. Dankarl (talk) 17:09, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
  • File:William Sydney Porter by doubleday.jpg File information needs sorting out. There is a link indicating the publication of this image in a book published in 1917, so its PD status is not in doubt, but this is poorly represented by the information provided.
  • I'm not sure how to clarify the PD status on this - SchroCat (talk) 11:01, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
The image is in [4] copyright 1911, 1912. The scan of the 1917 book does not contain the image. Dankarl (talk) 16:52, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
  • I'm fairly sure it's from around that date. If it helps, the artist—F. William Haemmel—is American, although I'm not sure of the date of death. - SchroCat (talk) 11:01, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Any suggestions or comments one either how to clarify the situation, or how to tweak the statuses, would be much appreciated. - SchroCat (talk) 11:01, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

AP Images appearing on US federal websites

Just wanted to confirm my suspicion that the image on this page: is copyrighted to the AP images and not to the federal government and therefore not public domain? Thanks Amakuru (talk) 14:06, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

That's correct. US Federal Government sites frequently contain non-free, copyrighted content, and the image you link to is an example of that. Essentially, only works created by US Federal Government employees as part of their official duties are in the public domain under {{PD-USGov}}. This is also mentioned in Commons:Copyright rules by territory#Works by the US Government. LX (talk, contribs) 15:46, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

URAA statement

Hi, guys. I've just put an announcement on Village pump about the recently issued URAA statement from the Legal & Community Advocacy Department of the WMF. I chose to put it there because I know that it has quite broad interest but wanted to mention it here as well for those who may not watch both boards. If you have comments, please put them there, to make sure that the conversation doesn't fragment. Thanks! --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 14:16, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Scale models

A deletion request regarding the copyrightability of scale models of utilitarian items has come up. I would appreciate some more input at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Fiat 880 DT tractor.jpg. -mattbuck (Talk) 16:43, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Copyright status of US National World War II Memorial

The US National World War II Memorial was designed in 1997 by Friedrich St. Florian and constructed, with some modifications, from 2001 to 2004. US Freedom of Panorama does not cover works of art, only buildings, and in fact, the neighboring en:Korean War Veterans Memorial has been certainly held copyrighted (sculptor successfully sued the US Post Office). Is there any justification for us retaining images of the World War II Memorial on Commons? I wanted to ask for input here before launching a deletion discussion because of the large number of images (~220 photos) in Category:National World War II Memorial. Thanks, cmadler (talk) 20:02, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

I suggest you take it to DR, there may well need to be a mopping up campaign or a specific mention in Commons:FOP#United_States of war memorials that are not "buildings" (or a better case book, or an explanation at Category:United States FOP cases). Thank goodness I normally deal with UK FoP, we may not believe in the same "free speech" here, but I am free to point my camera almost anywhere; from a prince to a statue of Prince. -- (talk) 20:24, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure about the memorial in its entirety -- things designed for human occupancy ("including but not limited to churches, museums, gazebos, and garden pavilions" is in the 37 CFR 202.11 definition) are deemed buildings, and many/most parts of the memorial arguably fall into that. It was designed by an architect, not a sculptor, and architectural copyrights are the ones where photographs are OK. Closeups of the sculptural parts are probably another matter (I say probably because there was one court case which ruled that sculptures which were part of a building were subsumed by the architectural copyright, but I'm not sure that was the intent of Congress, to effectively remove rights that separable works had previous to the architectural copyright law). (Aside to Fæ -- in real life, fair use would cover most uses of photographs of public sculpture -- it really would only be an issue with the most commercial of situations such as selling postcards or T-shirts with a photograph of a copyrighted sculpture, that sort of thing. But those uses are an issue for Commons.) Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:47, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
Doesn't the Federal Court finding in the Korean War Veterans Memorial case, Gaylord v. The United States, 2008, go directly against any argument that such an open-air monument is a work of architecture?

Defendant’s attempt to extend the AWPCA to “The Column,” however, is unavailing. “The Column” is not a “building” and thus does not fall under the exemption to copyright infringement afforded architectural works. Beyond not being a building in the ordinary meaning of the word, “The Column” does not fit the Copyright Office’s definition of the term. The structures used in the definition of “building” by the Copyright Office are intended to house individuals; either for the sake of providing shelter or for another purpose such as religious services. In contrast, the KWVM was designed as a monument to honor the veterans of the Korean War. See Pub. L. No. 99-572 (1986). It is an artistic expression intended to convey a message rather than to be occupied by individuals. The fact that individuals may traverse through the KWVM does not detract from its intended purpose. Much like a walkway or bridge, the KWVM permits individuals to access through it, but is not intended for occupancy. Defendant’s argument that the KWVM is a building explicitly rests upon the fact that the monument contains walkways; a feature which the Copyright Office excludes from its definition of “building.”

Furthermore, had Congress intended to extend the AWCPA to monuments and memorials, it presumably would have drafted the AWCPA to reflect such protection. The Act notably is silent regarding such structures. The Copyright Office, in defining a “building,” also chose not to list monuments and memorials. Again, had the Office intended to include monuments and memorials in the definition of “building,” it presumably would have included them in its list of structures.

Doesn't all of that apply just as much to the World War II Memorial? Or is there some other element of this memorial that makes it a "building" where the KWVM is not? cmadler (talk) 19:34, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
The Korean War memorial has a bunch of individual statues -- and it was a photo of those sculptures in particular (with snow on them) which was at issue, not a photo of the entire grounds. There isn't any real difference between that and other sculpture (see a copy of the photo in the case here). The WWII memorial has comparatively little sculpture, and the majority is meant for people to walk in and around. There are also two structures on either side which people walk under. I would similarly say that the walls etc. which make up the remainder of the Korean memorial are also not really copyrightable (unless perhaps as architecture), but the individual statues and the shadowed design etched into the main wall would be. Likewise at the WWII memorial, the relief sculptures on each side of the entrance ramp are probably an issue too if there is a closeup of them. The Vietnam Women's memorial was another similar court case, but again that was a photo of the statues in question. The simple fact that something is a memorial or monument does not alter its copyrightability either way -- and the fact that the Korean War memorial sculptures are copyrighted does not automatically mean that all other memorials regardless of type are the same situation. Photos of copyrighted sculpture are not OK, photos of copyrighted architecture are. Which portions of the WWII memorial do you think would qualify for separable copyright before the architectural law went in? Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:38, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
True, the KWVM has a bunch of individual statues, and true, that's what was photographed, but the above quote from the court's decision has nothing to do with the nature of the elements of the work (whether they are statues, as in the KWVM, or pillars, as in the WWIIM), but only whether a monument or memorial through which people may pass but which is not designed for occupancy, is a "building", in the copyright sense. cmadler (talk) 03:41, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Does someone wish to email the creator/architect and ask their opinion? They may release all photos under a free licence or confirm whether it is a building or not. This would save us some hassles of DR etc. --Canoe1967 (talk) 20:05, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

1980s exhibition posters from the United States

I have a question regarding some American exhibition posters from the 1980s in Category:Exhibition posters of the United States, for example File:Posters of the USA 017.jpg (see right). This 1984 poster shows a 1984 painting called "Amish Doll I" by the American artist Gordon Cook who died in 1985. A copyright notice can not be found in the file. The search result at doesn't mention this particular painting, but 82 page catalog of a 1987 exhibition. I don't know whether the painting shown in the 1984 poster does also appear in that 1987 book. Neither do I know whether there was a copyright notice on the flip side of the poster. Can I assume {{PD-US-1978-89}} for the poster? -- Robert Weemeyer (talk) 15:30, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

FOP without photographer permission

Recently at Commons:Deletion_requests/Works_by_Joaquim_Mir I included several images of murals by Joaquim Mir, shown below. Joaquim Mir's works are in copyright in Spain (as well as the US under the URAA), since it has 80 pma for authors dead before 1987. However, there is broad FoP in Spain (see Commons:FOP#Spain) including for 2D works, so any freely-licensed photograph of his murals in public areas would be acceptable. However, the evidence (visible printing artifacts, low resolution, lack of EXIF) suggests that the uploaders of the below photos are not the photographers, but took them from another source, which scanned them from some unknown book or magazine. However, another user argued that because the photographs are simple straight-on reproductions of the murals, that they are PD-Art.

However we now find ourselves in a very peculiar situation. Per Commons:Reuse_of_PD-Art_photographs#Spain, Spain extends a 25 year term of protection to mere photographs, so it would appear these works are copyrighted in Spain assuming the photos were first published there after 1987. On the other hand, the US has no FOP for 2D works, and the works are copyrighted in the US under the URAA (being in copyright in Spain in 1996 and undated, probably published 1923 or later), so it would appear these works are copyrighted in the US. So regardless of which nation's rules are applied, there is a copyright violation. Can we really host a work that is copyrighted in both the source country and the US by combining two different exceptions that apply in one country but not the other?

Update: This question may be moot, since Casa Trinxet was demolished in 1968, and Joaquim Mir started his work on the house in 1903, according to en:Joaquin Mir Trinxet. This would imply any mere photos of the murals published before the house was demolished would be in the public domain in Spain now, and the murals themselves would be PD in the US because they probably predate 1923 (if that's considered publication). I still think it's an interesting question to consider though, if a rare case. Dcoetzee (talk) 13:15, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

I think there are different issues and different policies. We must decide:
  1. If reproductions of the underlying work of art can be free - reproduction of PD works can be free and reproductions of copyrighted works can be free if FOP applies. Deciding this is deciding if we are violating the painter's copyright by distributing photos of his work.
  2. If the photographer has any right to the photo.
For the first question, usual policy in Commons is to abide to local law about FOP. (Please notice that the fact if these murals fall under FOP-Spain or not is a different unresolved question that should be better dealt in the particular deletion process than in this Village Pump thread).
For the second question, Commons and WMF strongly held policy is that 2D copies of 2D works of art don't create a new copyright, and it doesn't matter wherever and whenever such copies have been made and published.
Then, it seems clear to me that we can scan, copy and upload to Commons any copy of a 2D work, if such work is PD or covered by FOP (FOP according to local laws).
Please notice that there is a difference in how we in Commons manage PD an how we manage FOP: we say a work is PD if it's PD in source country and the US, but we accept or reject FOP images based only in source country.--Pere prlpz (talk) 14:57, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
Normally FOP works are at least free to use in their source country, and normally PD-Art works are at least free to use in the US, which is why we accept both of them. But when you combine the two, you have a work that is not clearly free to use in any jurisdiction. I think this is really problematic, and there's certainly no precedent for it. But it seems to also be an exceptionally rare case. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:54, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Setting aside your update, which establishes that these images are free, the images must be free in both the US and the source country. Spain has FOP including 2D artwork, so for Spanish copyright status we can ignore the status of the underlying work. Although we apply PD-Art globally without regard for local laws to the contrary, PD-Art can only apply to underlying works that are PD; I don't think there's any precedent for applying it in an FOP case. So, for it to be free in Spain, the photo must be PD (older than 25 years), or freely licensed, or the underlying work must be PD. Then we can look separately at whether it's free in the US. If the underlying work were unfree in the US, due to being published since 1923 and restored by URAA, then we must rely on an FOP claim (on shaky ground, since WMF endorsed lex loci protecionis in the Oldenburg DMCA) and the photo must be freely licensed or PD (either pre-1923, not restored because it was already PD in Spain on 1/1/96, or first published in the US prior to 3/2/89 with compliance with US copyright formalities); if the underlying work is free in the US, whether by pre-1923 publication or by not qualifying for URAA restoration, then the photo is free under PD-Art. cmadler (talk) 14:35, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
    • Okay, I've certainly not seen PD-Art applied to an FOP case before. The above is roughly consistent with my understanding. As long as the photo is either freely licensed or PD in the source country, or the original work is PD in the US, it's at least free in one place, which seems like it should be the bare minimum for us to host it. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:54, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
    • For photos like this, I don't think we can ignore the underlying copyright. The Berne Convention, and the laws of many countries, usually have language to the effect that copyright exceptions (such as FoP) can not unreasonably prejudice the normal interests of the author of the underlying work; some countries are a bit more explicit and say that such uses are not OK if they can be used for the same purpose of the original (i.e. it's not OK to make a sculpture of a public sculpture and claim FoP, and it's not OK to make a photograph which amounts to a copy of a public photograph). Spain has such language (the former, Berne Convention-ish) in its law, article 40bis. If photos depict works in their public situation I think that's OK per Spain's law, but photos which basically amount to copies of the paintings (without showing their public context at all) are another matter. There is a reason why PD-Art applies to them in the U.S. -- they are essentially copies of the underlying work, so they get no additional copyright protection. I would say that as straight copies, they would definitely be prejudicial to the interests of the author of the underlying work, and so I don't think these photos are OK in Spain. In the U.S., if PD-Art applies, I think the status would be entirely determined by the underlying work. If pre-1923, then fine, but otherwise there would be an issue -- I don't think there can be a loophole like this which basically allows for copies of copyrighted paintings. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:38, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
      • If this is the case it will definitely affect our current practice, as we have a very large numbers of simple reproductions of 2D works from Spain, Germany, etc. Although I think your reasoning is likely valid, I find it very unlikely that a deletion request on this type of work would succeed in a case where we have a free license from the photographer (at least at the current time). Dcoetzee (talk) 18:56, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
        • It would also make it impossible to get pictures of complex logos. Lots of company logos are permanently installed on signs outside office buildings belonging to the company, and FOP could be a useful way to get freely licensed copies of those logos. --Stefan4 (talk) 01:45, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
  •   Comment This discussion mentions the 25-year term at Commons:Reuse of PD-Art photographs#Spain. Note that you use the copyright term in the old copyright law if the author died before 1987 and the term in the new law if the author died after 1987. Has it been checked whether the death year of the photographer affects the copyright term of a {{PD-Art}} photo in Spain? --Stefan4 (talk) 01:45, 8 February 2013 (UTC)


Could someone look at this users gallery, I think most, if not all of the last uploads go beyond the the threshold of originality. Saludos, Gons (¿Digame?) 20:18, 7 February 2013 (UTC).

Yes, they may be original enough to be copyrightable. Ruslik (talk) 08:41, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

WWII 2D Nazi propaganda on a 3D object

I was going to raise this for a speedy deletion as I would not have uploaded a modern photo of an old object. However the printing on the box, which is the real subject, is 2D, so the only question remains is if this Nazi propaganda is out of copyright? I have it as expired Crown Copyright, which is wrong as this was not commissioned for the Ministry of Information, even if it was in their holdings. I have no issue if an admin wishes to speedy, or this is complex enough to be worth a DR. I'm just unsure of how to judge this one and would like to know for the future. Thanks -- (talk) 21:06, 7 February 2013 (UTC)

The "Nazi propaganda" part somewhat baffles me. This is a package for a kind of "shoe sole protectors" (Sohlenschoner) and it seems that the purpose of the illustration is to show a person who is happy that his shoe soles will last longer using the "Sohlenschoner". So, I wouldn't really see the purpose of showing "an allegedly anti-Semitic Jewish figure on the lid". - Well, but whether it's really Nazi propaganda or just a somewhat strangely drawn advertisement, I think it's probably still copyrighted. It's not likely that the creator is dead for more than 70 years, so it will still be protected in Germany (or in France, as the description mentions "Second World War German-occupied France association"). Gestumblindi (talk) 00:40, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
Presumably the "allegation" made by the Imperial War Museum is based on whatever original catalogue came with the artefact when archived at the time. From a copyright perspective, it is interesting to note that the IWM charges for copies and 'commercial licensing' of this image [5] under their own claim of copyright, though presumably they could make the argument that is for the (not great) photograph and have ignored the potential rights of the estate of the creator. I think this should go, even though this copyright example is a good exemplar of the oddity of the IWM's stance on copyright as a public body in the UK. I'll add a speedy tag. Thanks -- (talk) 07:32, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Noncommercial, no-derivatives in POTY

How can this photo even be in Commons let alone be a candidate for POTY when the licence is noncommercial and no-derivatives? File:Glühlampe_explodiert.jpg. I thought Commons only accepts completely free licences? Teemeah (talk) 10:43, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

It has also a "Art Libre" license {{FAL}}, which allows derivatives and commercial use. --Funfood 11:17, 8 February 2013 (UTC)
See Commons:Multi-licensing. -- Rillke(q?) 13:37, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

Unpublished works in public domain

I have a question regarding the unpublished works in public domain. The Slovenian copyright and related rights act states in the Article 140:[6]

"A person who for the first time lawfully publishes or communicates to the public a previously unpublished work in which the copyright has expired, shall enjoy the legal protection equal to that granted by economic rights and other rights of the author under this Act.

The rights mentioned in the foregoing paragraph shall run for 25 years from the date of the first lawful publication or communication to the public of the work."

It is not a copyright but as stated, equals to it, i.e. it gives equal material rights except for a shorter period of duration (see en:Copyright Duration Directive#Previously unpublished works: "The directive accords copyright to the publisher of a public domain work which was previously unpublished"). Are such files permissible on Commons? --Eleassar (t/p) 22:31, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

It's often referred to as a "publication right". As far as I can tell, the practice on Commons is to treat it similarly to author's rights, even if they are different things. I suppose the reason may be that it grants economic rights and it is often provided in the same laws that provide economic author's rights. -- Asclepias (talk) 00:41, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Indeed; files still protected by publication right have the same protection as copyrighted files for all practical purposes and should be treated as such, I'd say - not permissible on Commons; except if the rights owner (first publisher) grants a free license, of course. Gestumblindi (talk) 01:15, 9 February 2013 (UTC)

User confused

User:Bodora doesn't seem to understand copyright. Does admin wish to go over their uploads and leave a talk page note?--Canoe1967 (talk) 23:20, 8 February 2013 (UTC)   Done

Eilean Donan Castle Panorama..jpg...

I've a query about File:Eilean Donan Castle Panorama..jpg - it seems to have two, contradictory licensing tags (one saying that it can be used freely, the other forbidding commercial use). Can anyone recommend which takes precedence? Hchc2009 (talk) 08:24, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

The author offers the option between two licenses. No offer has precedence over the other. The choice is left to each interested reuser to choose to contract one license or the other for his use of the photograph. -- Asclepias (talk) 09:14, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
Cheers! Hchc2009 (talk) 14:44, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Template:Trademarked and Cartoon characters

I've seen that We have lots of private corporation logos (ex: File:Ford_logo.svg under a "simple geometry, non original" template, but with a complementary Template:Trademarked warning. This means that We can upload simple geometry works of copyrighted material in commons with a warning that says that the possible derivated works could infringe copyrights if used unproperly. In the other hand, We have had lots of free images of copyrighted cartoon characters taken from PD-Cartoons (which aren't simple geometry works, but) despite being PD-images, fully free, have been deleted because they could have caused problems when using it as a derivative work with commercial uses, because of Copyright violations. The fact is that We have deleted lots of images of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck or Bugs Bunny taken from PD-Cartoons (this means Free Images with derivative and commercial permission) which have been deleted because of possible limitations of the commercial use derivated from still in use copyright licensing of a Company. My question is ¿Why, if We can hace the logo of the Ford Motor Company in commmons, warning that This work contains material which may be subject to trademark laws in one or more jurisdictions. Before using this content, please ensure that you have the right to use it under the laws which apply in the circumstances of your intended use. You are solely responsible for ensuring that you do not infringe the rights to this trademark. See our general disclaimer. The use of this trademark does not indicate endorsement of the holder by Wikimedia Commons or the Wikimedia Foundation, nor vice versa; Can't We have Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck images under the same licensing?--Coentor (talk) 12:44, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Trademark is not the same thing as copyright. Some things can be covered by one and not the other, and some are covered by both. We cannot upload copyrighted material without a license, plain and simple. "Simple geometry works of copyrighted material" is incorrect; in that case the design is too simple to be copyrightable, meaning it is not copyrighted material. It falls below the Commons:Threshold of originality. It is still a trademark however, thus the warning. The concept of being "free" is based around copyright law in particular; other rights attached to the images are Commons:Non-copyright restrictions and we just have to make sure that our own use conforms to the law. For copyright however, we have to make sure that almost *any* possible use is OK (with certain allowable restrictions, such as required attribution). This idea of only using "free" works is fundamental to all Wikimedia projects, and furthermore Commons is not allowed to make use of the "fair use" provisions of copyright law at all. See wmf:Resolution:Licensing policy. For a logo which is both trademarked and copyrighted, we can't upload it. Some logos are too simple to be copyrighted, and some are old enough that the copyright has expired (the Ford logo has elements of both), and those are the ones we can upload. The situation with "public domain" cartoons is somewhat complicated -- if they are truly public domain, then it is OK to upload them. However... if something is a "derivative work" of another work, its distribution is controlled by the copyright owner of the underlying work. So... just because the copyright seems to have expired on a particular cartoon does not necessarily mean it is truly public domain. Several court cases (including one pretty recently on some Tom & Jerry cartoons, Warner Bros. v Avela) have made that clear. For example, if a movie is made based on a book, and the copyright was not renewed on the movie but was on the book, it is *not* OK for anyone to distribute the movie -- it is still a derivative work of the book, and you need permission from the book's copyright owners. The hard part about cartoon characters is that the character itself gets a copyright (dating from the first work where the character is defined). So, if a particular episode loses its own copyright (perhaps a lack of renewal, or lack of copyright notice in the first place) it is still often not OK to distribute it. It's possible that many people do and get away with it (at least for now), and it's also possible you'll see them uploaded to the Internet Archive, but it does not make them "free" as there are still substantial copyright restrictions on them. If there are only elements original to *that episode*, then that is different -- you could make a screenshot which does not include the copyrighted character, and since that one screenshot is probably not derivative of any earlier work, then a lack of copyright renewal on the episode could make that frame OK. But one which includes a copyrighted character... nope, not OK. It is not public domain, and is not "free". While it's aggravating and can sometimes seem to make no sense, there is a logic behind it (at least according to the courts) and that is the law. We have to follow copyright law. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:09, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
All right, I've understood everything clearly. But, now, I have other question: Still being different cases (A PD-Mickey is a derivative of a (C)-Mickey, so, still copyrighted), We don't have any alternative (like the "Trademarked template") for allowing the "PD-Mickey" warning that its use couldn't be as free as the use of other kind of files? (Or, alternativelly, could We find an alternative without changing the filosofy of Commons?)--Coentor (talk) 22:24, 10 February 2013 (UTC)
First off, Disney has always been pretty careful to never let Mickey lose copyrighted status (in fact, some people think that was one of the motivating factors behind the 1998 law), so you should not use that example. However, we still host images from the "Fleischer" Superman cartoons... AnonMoos (talk) 08:24, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

"Permission to use" question

A question has been raised about the file File:Sapper APWatt.jpg at the Featured Article review for H. C. McNeile. The review commented that:

  • File:Sapper_APWatt.jpg has 2 problems: "for representation in Wikipedia articles" would be an invalid license limitation for Wiki-images (it must be completely free except attribution). The other issue is the missing OTRS-ticket tag, making it hard to verify the situation. Is there a similar image of him available with a clearer copyright situation? Either replace or we could try a request to check it on OTRS-noticeboard.

Is there a way the status of this file could be clarified and cleared up? Many thanks. - SchroCat (talk) 21:12, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Question on Sourcing and Information


When I was young and had an alternate account on Wikipedia I uploaded a NASA image. This was in 2005. I was informed I needed a license on the file so I put it as being a NASA image (which it appears to have been). It was uploaded to Flickr in 2009 under a Creative Commons license, and when I got wind of this I changed the licensing accordingly. However, I have two issues.

  1. I do not know the original source that said which component of the image was taken by which group.
  2. It says I was the author of the file and gives Wikipedia as the source.

What should I do? Brownie Charles (talk) 01:31, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi, You can: Remove your name from the "author" field (the upload bot makes those mistakes). Place the credits in the "author" field. In the "source" field, write the actual source from where you got the image. For the license, even if it's from the later gsfc's 2009 flickr page, I suppose it can be good if it's the same image and you leave the reference link to it. -- Asclepias (talk) 03:22, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't remember it though. That was eight-ish years ago. Brownie Charles (talk) 04:28, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
EDIT: Seems that someone uploaded the Flickr version of the file…God willing, I guess I'll just RfD the old one.
Unfortunately, this image isn't free anyway, despite what NASA says. The image combines two images, one from Chandra, and one from Palomar Observatory on the ground. The red/green portion is copyright Caltech/SSC/J. Rho and T. Jarrett, whereas the blue portion is copyright NASA/CXC/SSC/J. Keohane et al. Subtle difference, but makes all the difference. Per NASA's own copyright instructions in the past, if the credit line doesn't have NASA as the first element, they do not claim it. I'll be tagging them momentarily. :( Huntster (t @ c) 11:09, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Licensing of performances of a musical work under cc by-sa

A performance of musical works like this file is planned. As you can see, the original music and French libretto of the opera is in public domain, but the Ukrainian translation (also inside the file) as well as the score engraving is licensed under Creative Commons Share-Alike 3.0 Unported License.

I would like to know if the performance of the opera in Ukrainian (thus by using the referenced file) is by default required to be covered by cc by-sa license. I'd like to record the performance and upload it to Commons, but am I required to ask the permission for it or the license already requires the performance to be under cc by-sa?

I couldn't find the answer by searching the archives or by searching the web.

The license states:

"You may Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work only under the terms of this License. You must include a copy of, or the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) for, this License with every copy of the Work You Distribute or Publicly Perform. <…> You must keep intact all notices that refer to this License and to the disclaimer of warranties with every copy of the Work You Distribute or Publicly Perform."

However, the same paragraph is present in the regular cc by 3.0 license.

The License's definition of the term "Publicly Perform" is as follows:

""Publicly Perform" means to perform public recitations of the Work and to communicate to the public those public recitations, by any means or process, including by wire or wireless means or public digital performances; to make available to the public Works in such a way that members of the public may access these Works from a place and at a place individually chosen by them; to perform the Work to the public by any means or process and the communication to the public of the performances of the Work, including by public digital performance; to broadcast and rebroadcast the Work by any means including signs, sounds or images."

However, the definiton of "Adaptation" doesn't include a performance. Thank you for your consideration. --YurB (talk) 12:52, 4 February 2013 (UTC)

There's an argument made by Dcoetzee that he's posted to Commons that says that nothing says that they have to license the performance under the CC-BY-SA, merely that if they don't, it will be illegal, and they will be open to damages from the copyright holder. Better to ask permission, then.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:31, 4 February 2013 (UTC)
You're thinking of Commons:Viral licenses are not automatic. I'm not sure whether the CC-BY-SA license forces a performance to be released under CC-BY-SA or not, or what it even means for a performance to be released under CC-BY-SA, but regardless the copyright holder of any recordings of the performance will need to issue an explicit license statement before we can use it. Dcoetzee (talk) 07:14, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
Thank you for your explanations. I plan to record the performance myself so I'll be the copyright holder of the audio recording part of the upload. The only missing piece of the puzzle is the rights of the performers. As I understand from Commons:Viral licenses are not automatic, in order for the performance to become CC BY-SA-licensed, they must explicitly announce the license of the performance. But are they then allowed to perform the work if they don't want the performance to be under CC BY SA 3.0? --YurB (talk) 10:13, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Hmm, the FAQ states that "if someone writes a song, someone else may perform the song, and another may produce the recording of the song. Some jurisdictions extend copyright to the contributions made by these persons; other jurisdictions extend such exclusive rights in the form of neighboring rights." The Wikipedia's article "Related rights" reads "The term neighbouring rights is exactly equivalent [to related rights], and is a more literal translation of the original French droits voisins. Related rights in civil law are similar to authors' rights, but are not connected with the work's actual author. Both authors' rights and related rights are copyrights in the sense of English or U.S. law." I couldn't find any info on the application of neighboring rights to CC BY-SA license. The license itself doesn't contain any reference to "neighboring rights" or "related rights".
My question, perhaps, should be divided into two sub-questions:
  1. whether a musical performance itself is a "Work" in terms of CC licenses, and
    • (if not, how would a performer expect to get credit?)
  2. whether it is a derivative work of the musical score that is performed. --YurB (talk) 12:07, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
The answer for the first question seems to be inside the license text:

""Work" means the literary and/or artistic work offered under the terms of this License including without limitation any production in the literary, scientific and artistic domain, whatever may be the mode or form of its expression including digital form, such as a book, pamphlet and other writing;<...> a performance; a broadcast; a phonogram;<...>"

I've also found another interesting piece of information: a 2009 study called Creative Commons and Related Rights in Sound Recordings: Are the Two Systems Compatible? (found it here), but the language inside is so complicated that I was unable to find the answer to my question there. But maybe it'll be useful for someone who is more skilled in reading law-related studies. --YurB (talk) 13:30, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Going back to the question #2 (whether a performance of a musical work is an Adaptation in the CC-sense), the definition of Adaptation in the license text is somewhat unclear, but contains the words "performance" and "phonogram" (which means that I was wrong in my initial message):

""Adaptation" means a work based upon the Work, or upon the Work and other pre-existing works, such as a translation, adaptation, derivative work, arrangement of music or other alterations of a literary or artistic work, or phonogram or performance and includes cinematographic adaptations or any other form in which the Work may be recast, transformed, or adapted including in any form recognizably derived from the original, except that a work that constitutes a Collection will not be considered an Adaptation for the purpose of this License.<...>"

So does this text fragment of the license mean that a phonogram or performance is an Adaptation of the musical score, or it only states that an altered version of a phonogram is an adaptation of the original phonogram? --YurB (talk) 13:30, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Piet Mondrian

Are Piet Mondrian's works actually copyrightable? They consist solely of simple geometric shapes. Obviously, this doesn't affect their ability to be art, but copyright law isn't an art critic. Adam Cuerden (talk) 20:53, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

If something is a form of art, it is copyrightable by definition. Ruslik (talk) 08:56, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
I disagree with this assessment in general. I think there's actually this work of "art" that just consists of two blank sheets of paper laid out next to each other. Not copyrightable in the US. Though this artist's work is almost certainly above the threshold of originality. -- King of ♠ 11:09, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
Nope. "Copyrightable" has its own definitions, whether someone else considers it art or not. Painting a canvas entirely black and calling it abstract art doesn't mean it's copyrightable. For one example, the U.S. Copyright Office rejected a registration for Christo and Jeanne-Claude's fabric-wrapped Reichstag (though Germany allowed it I think, due to differing thresholds). For the examples of this artist though... I'd say they are. Copyright can be given to an original "selection and arrangement" of non-copyrightable elements, and that is more the situation with most of those I'd think. He can't copyright the style, but the precise arrangement seen in an individual work is another matter. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:20, 9 February 2013 (UTC)
It's not trivial. Staring at w:File:Mondrian Comp10.jpg, there's a lot look-alikes I can imagine, but you're not going to copy that without just straight-out copying it. It's not far over the line, but I think it is over the line. Also, I think courts are going to move farther to protect artists then stuff that's not art.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:28, 11 February 2013 (UT

Not sure about Mondrian, but some "Suprematist" works would not be eligible for copyright in the United States... AnonMoos (talk) 08:54, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

In any case, only a fraction of Mondrian's works are suprematist, and others are clearly copyrightable.--Ymblanter (talk) 22:14, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Dostoyevsky memorial


I was redirected to this page because the file File:Wki Dostoyevsky Street 2 Moscow Mariinsky Hospital.jpg, used in [7], may need a check for its copyright status and license. Regards.--Kürbis () 18:57, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Merkurov died in 1952, consequently, the statue remains copyrighted until 2022.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:26, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
But the statue is not the main subject of the picture, so the file can stay. See Commons:De minimis. -- Robert Weemeyer (talk) 10:50, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Public domain image, but an outright lie about source/ownership?

File:GirasolesSF.JPG is a crop of a public domain image that can be found at File:Sunflowers.jpg and originally here. I'm not sure what this means... should the image be deleted? Or would I go through and change all the information and leave a message on the uploader's talk page that he's a lying sumbitch? Or is this what public domain means, that you literally can do whatever you want with it? – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 22:45, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Source information fixed --Ecemaml talk to me/habla conmigo 22:55, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
You can make use of a PD image however you want, but the documentation showing that it's PD must be correct, or it might be deleted from Commons... AnonMoos (talk) 03:14, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Great, I wasn't sure. Thanks! – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 05:54, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Just an additional question? Should the author of the derivative work state that the original file was in the public domain? Or just including the source information is enough? --Ecemaml talk to me/habla conmigo 07:32, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
As long as the source information links directly and clearly to the information telling that it is in the public domain, I suppose it could be enough. But it would probably be better to tell it also on the page of the cropped image. Why not? I guess that would be something like a "best practice" more than an absolute obligation. That said, I don't think that the expression "author of the derivative work" describes a person who merely did a simple crop of a picture on which he has no authorship. -- Asclepias (talk) 16:08, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

CC licensed images in private dropbox

Hello, with respect to an article I'm working on at I've been given access to a number of images from the copyright holder via shared dropbox. I carefully explained the licensing situation (albeit without using the favoured template) and the copyright holder has supplemented the image directories with explicit licensing information, namely license.txts containing a commons-compatible license (i.e. Images licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license: and specific attribution per image.

My question is, do I need to now go through OTRS and share both the hosted directories and email conversation? Else given that they have been explicitly licensed can I just upload at will? Thanks for any advice and apologies if this is the wrong place to ask (my knowledge of commons practices isn't fantastic) Jebus989 (talk) 12:36, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Is the place, where the author's licensing declaration is archived, accessible for consultation by the public, and will it remain permanently accessible? If the author's declaration is documented only in image directories accessible only to the author and to you in a private dropbox, the answer is no. An author's declaration of a free license, offered non-revocably to the public, is not of much use if it is available only to the author himself and a few friends and if it is not verifiable and archived for consultation, either directly by the public or through intermediairies for the public such as the OTRS people. So, I guess you could share the author's declaration through OTRS, but it would be better, safer and easier if the author himself would intervene directly on the Commons pages or would send his declaration directly through OTRS. -- Asclepias (talk) 15:55, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. Of course, that was what I requested in the first place but it's beyond my powers of persuasion to get this particular important and busy individual to put time and energy into understanding the image upload process. I guess OTRS is the way to go, thanks Jebus989 (talk) 16:37, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

German Wikipedia & Public Domain USA

Here is an example of how photos which are in the public domain in the U.S, are presented in the german Wikipedia.

This image is a work of an employee of the United States Farm Security Administration or Office of War Information domestic photographic units, taken as part of that person's official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain. See Copyright.

This image is in the PD in the country of origin , the U.S. but it is not gemeinfrei in Germany, because Germany (as well as Austria) does not recognize the "rule of the shorter term".

Therefor for all of the works applies 70 pma.

This is not based on the copyright law (Urheberrechtsgesetz) but on the treaty between the United States and the German Reich as signed 1892. The non-recognition of the U.S. public domain has been upheld in German courts (OBERLANDESGERICHT FRANKFURT a.M., Aktenzeichen: 11 U 22/00 7. Oktober 2003)

reinhard schultz

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 11. Februar 2013, 11:37 Uhr (UTC)
Hallo Reinhard, das solltest du eher auf Commons:Forum posten. --Túrelio (talk) 11:09, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
In fact, I think this should be discussed over in the German-language Wikipedia, not on Commons. The policies on what images from Commons are acceptable in individual Wikipedia language versions are made there, not here. The interesting question here would be whether German law applies at all, or whether the German Wikipedia could be considered a U.S. project, too - a German-language site, but run by the Wikimedia Foundation in the U.S. After all, because of this, the WMF applies U.S. copyright law to all Wikipedia language versions, as far as I know. But as the target audience is mainly from Germany, maybe it would be better to consider German law as well. (I think some community members in the German Wikipedia would like to consider German law only - because of works that are free in Germany, but not in the U.S., but this doesn't seem to be an option now). Gestumblindi (talk) 13:21, 11 February 2013 (UTC)
The basic rule is this: US law applies. If they want to only use a set of images that is less than that allowed via US law (say, images allowed under both US and German law), it's up to them. You can compare this to how Commons only has to respect US law, but has chosen to respect both US law and the law of the host country. In any event, it is a discussion for the German Wikipedia, so I'm closing this thread now. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 21:24, 13 February 2013 (UTC)
  This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 21:34, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

US law only applies in the US. When German Wikipedia states "As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain" they should also state that it is in the public domain in the US, because most people in the audience believe that something in the pd is in the pd all over the world which is not the case. The truth is that for most people in the world US public domain is copyright protected and it is the US government that has stated that they may enforce copyright in such countries where the rule of the shorter term does not apply. reinhard schultz

Freedom of Panorama in the Andean Community

Hi all. Today I've been referred to Commons:FOP#Andean Community of Nations (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) when discussing a deletion request (see here). Our section on FoP reads as follows:

Andean Community of Nations (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru)


Decision 351 of the Andean Community of Nations provides for FOP as follows:

  • "Artículo 22.- Sin perjuicio de lo dispuesto en el Capítulo V y en el artículo anterior, será lícito realizar, sin autorización del autor y sin el pago de remuneración alguna, los siguientes actos:...h) Realizar la reproducción, emisión por radiodifusión o transmisión pública por cable, de la imagen de una obra arquitectónica, de una obra de bellas artes, de una obra fotográfica o de una obra de artes aplicadas, que se encuentre situada en forma permanente en un lugar abierto al público" (translation):
  • "Article 22.- Without prejudice to that put forth in the Chapter 5 and in the previous article, it will be legal to realize, without authorization from the author and without the payment of any remuneration, the following acts:...h) Realizing the reproduction, emitting by radio diffusion or public transmission by cable, of the image of an architectural work, of a work of fine arts, of a photographic work or of a work of applied art, that is found situated in permanent form in a place open to the public".

However, if you read (in bold letters above) what the article 22 allows, I fail to see compliance with our policies. It allows "reproduction" but says nothing about modification or commercialization. Therefore, how can we claim compliance? Your opinions are welcome --Ecemaml talk to me/habla conmigo 22:47, 14 February 2013 (UTC)

We just need to allow derivative works and commercial use of the photograph, which must of course be licensed. The law there has no non-commercial restriction on such reproductions. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:12, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

PD-ineligible licensed as Creative Commons

I often simplify SVG images, like Flag of Gotland.svg, and notice that most of them should certainly be marked as {{PD-ineligible}} or {{PD-shape}}, but are licensed under CC-BY-SA or similar. My questions are:

I think there's a good case for SVG files to be considered literary works before a court, just like other computer code. Thus what may look visually PD-shape may not be. Furthermore, PD-ineligible varies by nation where CC-BY-SA is assurance everywhere.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:53, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
For example, Flag of Belgium.svg is {{PD-ineligible}} and Flag of Italy.svg is {{PD-shape}}. So? --Ricordisamoa 08:11, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Ricordisamoa -- he's saying that even if the design itself is ineligible as ultra-simplistic geometry, the SVG code used to produce the design could be copyrightable. AnonMoos (talk) 15:01, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

I don't know what free license to use

I don't care about copyright. But I have the option between "all rights released" and "universal public domain declaration". But they both seem to say the same thing. J1812 (talk) 00:43, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Consider {{Cc-zero}}. --AVRS (talk) 19:22, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Could the difference be that "all rights released" still retains right to attribtion and "universal public domain declaration" does not need attribtion? CC-zero seems to be the same release as PD.--Canoe1967 (talk) 20:56, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
Do you mean for reusing a multi-licensed file that's currently hosted on Commons (if so, please name the file so we know what we're talking about), or for uploading your own work to Commons? I'll assume the latter.
I can tell based on the edit summaries of your uploads that you're not using the Upload Wizard (which would offer you a choice of {{Cc-by-sa-3.0}}, {{Cc-by-3.0}} or {{Cc-zero}} by default), so I guess you're using Special:Upload, possibly via Commons:Upload. In that form, selecting "CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication, all rights waived (Public domain)" will include the {{Cc-zero}} template. Selecting "Own work, all rights released (Public domain)" will include the {{PD-self}} template. They both effectively mean the same thing. {{PD-self}} is an older template, created by the Wikimedia community. {{Cc-zero}} is a newer template, backed by more carefully crafted legal language, and out of the two, that's the one we usually recommend for new uploads. LX (talk, contribs) 21:32, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Claes Oldenburg sculptures

I put 4 images of the sculpture The Schaufel (A pá, in Portuguese)) on the Category:Claes Oldenburg, but previous images of this same sculpture were deleted, despite the COM:FOP in Portugal. Maybe they too should be deleted? --JotaCartas (talk) 01:17, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Please, provide links to the relevant files. Ruslik (talk) 08:17, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
A suggestion I made in the Oldenburg deletion request: Delete only files that were mentioned in the takedown notice, keep already existing files not mentioned there and do not accept new uploads of the affected sculptures. There's one 2011 upload and three 2013 uploads, the latter three will be deleted. --Denniss (talk) 09:26, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Old movie stills uploaded by User:Fredojoda

Fredojoda has uploaded a lot of old movie stills. From taking a quick look, it seems they are all PD. However, they are all tagged as own work and CC. IMHO they all need to be reviewed in regards to their copyright status and have their license tag changed accordingly. Thanks and best regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 09:43, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Bought artwork

Hi, I have a question. If I bought some artwork, can I use it for everything? Is it still under copyright? I mean painting for example. Dominikmatus (talk) 14:50, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Owning the physical original of a painting does not necessarily mean you own the copyright to it (unless it was commissioned as work-for-hire in some jurisdictions). AnonMoos (talk) 14:55, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Regarding the deletion of the file "File:Sir TN Sivagnanam Pillai.jpg" that I uploaded in Wikimedia [Help]

Hello, I had uploaded a file with the title, "Sir TN Sivagnanam Pillai.jpg" to link it with the wikipedia page "". The picture is that of my grandfather and I am the sole custodian of the photograph. I wished to link the page to the correct photograph, however, it got deleted after I added it to wikimedia commons. The photograph was shot in India in 1925. Kindly Help me upload the same. I have written a letter to indemnify wikipedia with regard to the authenticity and ownership of the photograph. Kindly help. This means a lot to my family.

Regards, Tara.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Lakseditor85 (talk • contribs) 11:52, 16 February 2013‎‎ (UTC)
Template:PD-India should work if it was published in India before 1953. I think if your family has had the photo that long it should be considered as published.--Canoe1967 (talk) 12:36, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
You think? What exactly are you basing that advice on? Publication is a very well-defined legal term. It does not include "having a copy of a photo in one's possession." Tara, you need to either provide licensing permission from the photographer (or the photographer's heirs) or evidence that the work is in the public domain both in India and in the United States. Note that copyright in unpublished works can subsist for quite some time. LX (talk, contribs) 14:16, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
It seems that the copyright to old photos expired in India 50 years after they were taken whereas the copyright to more recent photos expires 60 years after publication, with the side effect that recent photos can't enter the public domain in India unless they are published somewhere. Perpetual copyright is a bit annoying, but there's nothing we can do about it. It is unclear when a photo is "old" and when it is "new". See the discussion at w:WT:Non-U.S. copyrights#India: one possibility is that a photo is "old" (i.e. copyright expired 50 years after photography) if it was taken before 1908 whereas another possibility is that a photo is "old" if it was taken before 1958.
Unpublished photos, regardless of source country, are only in the public domain in the United States if they comply with the terms at {{PD-US-unpublished}}. You wrote that the photo was taken in 1925. Unless it was taken by an identified photographer who died before 1943, then it is still protected by copyright in the United States. --Stefan4 (talk) 11:50, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Photos from North Carolina

According to this page,

"Photos of House and Senate Members on the individual NCGA Web Site member webpages are not published on the NCGA Web Site until we receive copyright release from the photographer so these specific photos are considered in the public domain once they are published on the NCGA Web Site."

So it seems that quite a lot of photos produced in North Carolina are in the public domain. Does anyone see anything directly wrong in the wording of the template? If not, I suggest that we create a template for these photos. Quite a lot of them have been uploaded by Vitocmarda (talk · contribs) using a custom {{PD-because}} tag. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:09, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

File:Gerald Evan Williams 1907-1949.jpg

Could someone please check uploader's note at File talk:Gerald Evan Williams 1907-1949.jpg - they initially asked at OTRS 2013021710001162  Ronhjones  (Talk) 17:21, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Playboy 1st issue

$1250USD. I don't see a copyright notice on the three pages online. What was considered 'proper notice'? Should I email the seller to see if they are anywhere in the book? Were they registered in a database we can check? Should I buy it and check it myself? Thoughts?--Canoe1967 (talk) 20:28, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

$10 DVD version. This is more my price range and seems to be scans of every page for the first decade.--Canoe1967 (talk) 20:42, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Pretty highly likely there is a notice somewhere. The first issue was renewed in 1981, renewal number RE0000101661. In all likelihood copyrighted until 2049. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:18, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
Can I assume that one 'proper' notice somewhere in the 1953 version would cover all material in the magazine then?--Canoe1967 (talk) 13:56, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Country of origin

I have a question regarding some scientific papers, published between 1910-1911 by the Russian physicist w:Vladimir Ignatowski.

  • He was executed in 1942 in Leningrad, and rehabilitated in 1955. According to the footnote at Template:PD-Russia, it is the date of rehabilitation that counts, which means that works published in Russia are PD as of 2026.
  • However, the papers I refer to were published by him in Germany between 1910-1911 (written in German language). So in accordance with the w:Berne convention, the country of origin seems to be Germany (PD as of 2013).

I assume that German law and PD-70 applies, so can they be uploaded on Commons? --D.H (talk) 09:05, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

If the country of origin was Germany then it can be uploaded. Ruslik (talk) 10:18, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

help required: I would like to use a mediafile


I have a question and was wondering if you could help me. I am developing an ipad app and for this I would like to use this file: File:Low Countries Locator Brabant.svg.

I went through the copyright section and I think I am free to use it and modify it as long as I acknowledge the source and use the same license (free to use) as the source. However since it is a bit technical for me I am not sure of this and would like to contact the original author to confirm this.

Can anyone help me before I breach an licence agreement or something :-S

Thanks in advance!


The file was created by User:Sir Iain. You can talk to him on his talk page or by mail. -- Robert Weemeyer (talk) 13:19, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
answer: I am a newbie here and i am sure im doing something wrong but i cant access your links because it repeatedly says i need to be logged in (even though I am). I am a bit lost here :-S what should i do?
— Preceding unsigned comment added by Dutchindian (talk • contribs) 14:35, 18 February 2013‎ (UTC)
Hi, Normally, the talk page should be accessible even if you were not logged in. However, the email can't be accessed unless both you and the other person have accounts with the email enabled. Please try again the talk page and explain exactly what you do and what doesn't work. -- Asclepias (talk) 15:12, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Thanks very much for your response. Unfortunately Im still in the woods (im sure im doing something wrong). Ill pose my question more specific. I want to use the file mentioned above in my iOS app, soon to be launched in appstore. What do I need to do exactly to comply to the authors copyright? e.g. do i need to mention the copyright as a watermark in the picture itself or can i use a disclaimer? or both? Thanks again for your patience.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Dutchindian (talk • contribs) 13:53, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Threshold for stamp

w:File:Joe-Fortes.jpeg is up for deletion over there. If we upload it over here does it qualify as a derivative of public domain images without enough Commons:TOO#Canada Two images circa 1919 in Canada.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:51, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

File:Ronaldo_Lemos_at_the_Berkman_Center_at_Harvard_University.jpg, deleted by Martin H.

The file removed under the edit below is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Why was it removed?

14:13, 17 February 2013 (diff | hist) . . (-136)‎ . . m Ronaldo Lemos ‎ (Removing ""Ronaldo_Lemos_at_the_Berkman_Center_at_Harvard_University.jpg", it has been deleted from Commons by Martin H. because: Copyright violation: ...) (top)

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 21:43, 18 February 2013‎ (UTC)
It was deleted because it's published under a non-free license (one restricted to {{Noncommercial}} uses only). Nothing undue about that at all. Please read Commons:Project scope/Summary to find out what this project is about and what type of content we host. LX (talk, contribs) 22:58, 18 February 2013 (UTC)
update: see newer thread from March 10 --SJ+ 05:41, 10 March 2013 (UTC)


Hi folks, at the moment I'm moving images from ITWN to Commons. I have a question about n:it:File:Bramieri Mondaini Vianello.jpg: Is that file suiteable for Commons? I'm not really sure, although I tend to move it. mabdul 09:12, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Hi, Apply the usual tests: 1) Determine if it is an artistic photographic work or a normal photo. Apparently, this is a somewhat posed photo, but quite spontaneous, not necessarily an artistic scenarized work. I don't know on what side it falls. You decide. If you upload it and someone disagrees with you, they can make a deletion request. 2) Document if its first publication took place in Italy and in what year. It seems plausible that Agenzia Farabola published it in Italy in 1958 but a specific publication reference could be useful if you can find one. If you decide to upload it, please add the source link to the context page [8]. By the way, it looks like other photos from the same source could be useful, if we don't already have them. Some images there do not pass the requirements of being normal photos first published in Italy, but some do. -- Asclepias (talk) 16:50, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Tag for derivative work File:J. Campbell Cantrill - Harris Ewing2 cropped.jpg ?

I could use a second opinion about the PD-tag in the File:J. Campbell Cantrill - Harris Ewing2 cropped.jpg, a derivative of a file from the Harris-Ewing collection.

The PD-Harris-Ewing tag was copied by an automated bot and used together with template:self as "self|PD-Harris-Ewing". However, the derivative file is obviously not part of the Harris collection - the copied PD-reason does not match the derivative's license situation. Can a derivative file be tagged with such a specific license or should a regular CC-license be used? GermanJoe (talk) 21:58, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

My opinion is to remove the "self" template, which is not consistent with the Commons practice of refusing claims that the mere cropping of someone else's work generates a new copyright, and keep the "PD-Harris-Ewing" template, which correctly informs that the photograph is from the Harris & Ewing collection and is in the public domain. The template does not state that the cropped version represents the whole photograph and any possible ambiguity in that respect is eliminated by the explicit mentions in the description page. -- Asclepias (talk) 23:03, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Artwork from previous centuries

I am trying to clarify the process to indicate the licensing status for an image of a work of art produced around the 17th century which I found on the web. Does this date matter or is it the date of the photograph? If it is open, what tag should I use? Daniel the Monk (talk) 16:15, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

If possible, please use the Artwork template, filling in the fields as accurately as possible, and the most appropriate variant of the PD-Art status tags. The documentation of Artwork and the page Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag should have the informations you need. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:10, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
You can use {{Pd-art}} in combination with {{PD-old-100}}. Ruslik (talk) 06:49, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Guidance on Flickr Images

I'm looking for some guidance, regarding status of some images from Flickr. I found what appear to promotional images from user AsianIdolsNetwork under a cc license, a handful of which are of Akiho Yoshizawa, (she is on the list of Wikipedia requested photographs of sex workers). Is there any way I to find out if they are reputable (i.e. do they have the rights to publish these images under creative commons or is it copyright washing). I want to figure this out before uploading them, so as to avoid adding copyvios to the Commons. Any help / guidance / advice would be great, Thank you! Nicoli Maege (talk) 14:53, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Copied from original post here upon recommendation from Jmabel. Nicoli Maege (talk) 14:53, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Flickrwashing. Here is an image chosen at random from the Flickr account. Here is the likely source. Note the cropping on the Flickr image has removed the credit. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 18:02, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Much appreciated. Nicoli Maege (talk) 18:54, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Artwork from previous centuries

I am trying to clarify the process to indicate the licensing status for an image of a work of art produced around the 17th century which I found on the web. Does this date matter or is it the date of the photograph? If it is open, what tag should I use? Daniel the Monk (talk) 16:15, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

If possible, please use the Artwork template, filling in the fields as accurately as possible, and the most appropriate variant of the PD-Art status tags. The documentation of Artwork and the page Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag should have the informations you need. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:10, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
You can use {{Pd-art}} in combination with {{PD-old-100}}. Ruslik (talk) 06:49, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Guidance on Flickr Images

I'm looking for some guidance, regarding status of some images from Flickr. I found what appear to promotional images from user AsianIdolsNetwork under a cc license, a handful of which are of Akiho Yoshizawa, (she is on the list of Wikipedia requested photographs of sex workers). Is there any way I to find out if they are reputable (i.e. do they have the rights to publish these images under creative commons or is it copyright washing). I want to figure this out before uploading them, so as to avoid adding copyvios to the Commons. Any help / guidance / advice would be great, Thank you! Nicoli Maege (talk) 14:53, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Copied from original post here upon recommendation from Jmabel. Nicoli Maege (talk) 14:53, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Flickrwashing. Here is an image chosen at random from the Flickr account. Here is the likely source. Note the cropping on the Flickr image has removed the credit. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 18:02, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
Much appreciated. Nicoli Maege (talk) 18:54, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

personal photos

Can you let me know under what licence is required, and what conditions need to be addresses, to upload a picture of a person.Anniechappel (talk) 11:19, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

If this is a photograph you have personally taken, then you can upload it under a suitable licence such as {{Cc-zero}} or {{Cc-by-3.0}}. However, if you didn't take the photograph yourself, then you need to ask the person who owns the copyright in the photograph (usually the photographer) to send you an e-mail confirming that he or she wishes to license the photograph under a suitable licence like the ones mentioned earlier. You then need to forward the e-mail to permissions-commons For more information on this procedure, see "Commons:OTRS". After that, you can upload the photograph. — SMUconlaw (talk) 12:15, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Italian fascist government posters

It seems to be unclear what the situation is regarding political posters published in Italy before and during WW2 such as the posters by Gino Boccasile. Are these Pd? I understand that in Germany anything published by goverbnent agencies would be PD- See File:Nazi World War II poster Danzig is German.jpg -- 21:29, 30 January 2013‎


This image] of a 3D work was on temporary display at the time it was taken. If it is on permanent display in the UK somewhere can we upload the temp display image as well? Do FOP laws cover the work or the image when in the same country?--Canoe1967 (talk) 18:08, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

I think FOP is always the country where it actually is residing, so no. For a rather amusing example, take note of File:Aboriginal Flag.JPG. The Australian Aboriginal flag is copyrighted in Australia (but not the US), so Commons cannot accept the flag as its country of origin is Australia. However, it's OK with a derivative work of it since it's located in Israel, which has full FOP, and while US does not have similar FOP provisions, it isn't copyrighted in the first place in the US. So really, it all comes down to the country in which the photo of the object was taken. -- King of ♠ 10:19, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
The temporary display was in UK as well as the permanent one. I just haven't found an image of the permanent display in UK yet.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:04, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
An image of the work at its temporary location it would not be covered by UK FOP, regardless of its current status, as it was temporarily displayed at the time of the photograph. If the work is then permanently installed, then you then able to take a picture of it, without violating FOP.--Nilfanion (talk) 23:04, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
  This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. --Canoe1967 (talk) 16:10, 24 February 2013 (UTC)


Hi, I have a question regarding File:Križ1.JPG. The permission for usage was given to one of the Slovene Wikipedia contributors after his e-mail request and it stated: "Of course, the photos [from our web page] are not copyrighted and are primarily intended for promotion. You may also use the texts, if you cite the source, or even arrange a link to our website. Best regards. Sanda Hain, Tourist Board of Ajdovščina.]"(published here) Is such a permission valid for the usage of the mentioned image in Commons? Mind that it was given in October 2006. --Eleassar (t/p) 13:25, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

There's a "grandfathered" date for pre-OTRS uploads; not sure what it is... AnonMoos (talk) 23:14, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. The file was uploaded in October 2006, whereas the Commons:Grandfathered old files mentions March 2006. --Eleassar (t/p) 10:38, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

License review request

Could you check if all is done correctly here
Thanks in advance ----RussianTrooper (talk) 15:58, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Looks fine to me. The source page does have a proper cc-by-sa-3.0 template. He does ask that he be notified for use but I think his putting the CC licence overrides that. A trusted user can verify the licence and approve it I assume.--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:24, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't think so: «Commercial re-use require attributing the author AND a link back to Age of Stars project website» violates the CC-BY-SA:
  • if the original author confirms that the full conditions of the CC-BY-SA are valid, and not limited or overwritten by the disclaimer, these conditions should be removed from the file description page;
  • else, the file should be deleted. --Ricordisamoa 19:35, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Actually, you are free to choose any sequence of letters as attribution text, for example the URL to a website. On the other hand, if you are required to include a clickable link, then you can't use the image in non-digital form, and that makes the image unfree, I suppose. The problem is that I can't figure out where you found the statement about the attribution requirement. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:42, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
I thought attribution can be in any form the creator wishes. I see one user wants attribution in en:wp article space for his photos. I think some contain this. I thought attribution could be a name, company, and/or website. Does the CC website explain this anywhere?--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:46, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
I've just contacted mr.Kenshin via Skype messenger and settled out with attribution as it should be. Seemed to be that a link back to his DA enough for this specific image. So - waiting for review finalization --RussianTrooper (talk) 19:58, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
  This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. --Canoe1967 (talk) 16:11, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Problem with basic license process

We have a problem with image licensing that has gotten slowly worse over time.

1a) We make it hard for established users to upload photos they didn't take themselves, unless they lie about the provenance of the photo.
1b) We make it easy for anyone to upload any photo as long as they lie about its provenance. regardless of whether we have any reason to trust that user or not.
2) We allow Flickr-washing: accepting bot-added photos from any random account on a third-party photosharing site if the user slapped a free-license tag onto their account, regardless of whether we have a way of contacting that user or not.
3a) We make it easy to delete in-use images, for all sorts of technicalities, if an active Commonsist decides that the original uploader should do more to prove the original copyright release. (with only a 1 week required wait for a response - if the uploader is hard to track down, the image gets deleted)
3b) We make it hard to request a takedown of out-of-use images, by the creator of subject of the image, even if the source of the original upload is hard to track down or verify. (if details are hard to track down, the takedown request is denied)

Current practice tends to err on the side of frustrating active users, would-be contributors, and the creators or subjects of photos who are offended that we are keeping their images without their permission. There is no single direction to this set of practices: allowing Flickr-washing makes it harder to trust the free license of a randomly-selected photo. denying takedown requests by default tries to maximize the number of files included in our "Ark of Free Media". deleting uploads by long-time users who are uploading on behalf of someone else tries to reduce the number of files in our collection, while trying to make it easier to trust the free license of a randomly-selected photo.

It might be more accurate to say we have something like "bronze", "silver", and "gold" levels of assurance that a file is freely copyrighted.

"The image was scraped from a random external photosharing account, or uploaded by a newbie user with no real identity, claiming it's available under a free license. there is no special reason to feel confident the uploader was the creator, and no way at all to get in touch with the original uploader."
"A well-known user uploaded the image, in consultation with the creator/photographer. There is an explanation in the description/metadata about the license it was released under. The uploader got permission from or was asked to upload by the creator, after explaining free licenses; they may have been sitting next to one another when uploading. However it may be hard or awkward to get back in touch with them in the future. (it is generally hard for them to make an account and upload themselves; too many hoops to jump through.)"
"A known user claiming to be the creator uploaded the image, or it was taken from an external photosharing account or website of a known person who maintains that account for long stretches of time."

We currently allow Bronze and Gold media, but delete Silver media. Even though, as far as I can tell, Silver media are more likely to actually be intended for distribution under a free license.
We delete Bronze or Silver media on request by any active Commons user, but refuse to takedown Bronze media on request of the creator/subject unless they can prove their identity.

I think it's time this changed. --SJ+ 10:50, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

In my experience, what you'd term as "silver" uploads are really quite rare. Most "I have permission" uploads are not so likely to be intended for distribution under a free license, but are actually just intended for use on Wikipedia. Most people, including otherwise "well-known" users, simply don't know how to ask for a licensing permission in a way that explains to the would-be licensor what it is we actually need from them. In many cases, they even ask the wrong person (e.g. the subject of a photo rather than its copyright holder). Users who do know enough to identify the real copyright holder, to explain the licensing to the copyright holder, and to document their permission also typically know our procedures well enough to send that documentation in via e-mail. LX (talk, contribs) 11:07, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

It should be known, that this discussion is as a result of File:Paul Myners.jpg and File:JCA3 edited-1.jpg, and subsequently these notes which were left for JW. With File:Paul Myners.jpg, the EXIF data clearly states:

"LICENSE AGREEMENT This Photograph taken by VisualMedia is supplied with an indefinite license for editorial purposes, but excluding advertorials or competitions. The license also covers internal communications requirements such as newsletters and non-commercial website use. Usage for external marketing / advertising purposes will attract additional fees that need to be negotiated dependent on requirements.

For further information please contact VisualMedia on +44 (0)20 7613 2555.

Note to Press: These images are supplied free of charge for editorial usage. Mandatory credit: VisMedia"

It clearly states that it is only for non-commercial usage, and only for website usage. This is exactly why COM:OTRS was brought about. That others refuse to see the bigger picture that has been clearly explained on both talk pages and via OTRS is the problem as I, and undoubtedly others, see it. russavia (talk) 19:38, 17 February 2013 (UTC)

Thank you, SJ: a lot of good points here. I think your proposal is a good one, if we remove the "silver" stage which is hardly ever useful (as noted by LX): too much work and clutter to replace the rather simple current practice by introducing a backdoor/special process. Refining the definitions of the two levels a bit would be needed, of course.
It's probably not worth throwing such a classification on users, but it could be used internally as a guideline, to remember ourselves to be consistent, instead of just pretending that bronze is the same as gold, or that gold is diamonds: perfection can't be achieved; even when we have super-formal contracts as with Bundesarchiv, which would be "gold", errors are possible; we must assume there is none, but someone may complain and force us to revisit the statements. --Nemo 23:31, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
The # of colors is arbitrary, and should probably change based on what is common practice. But I think in general a better tagging and quarantine scheme is needed rather than deletion for all uploads that involve an established user who is in touch with the media creator / copyright holder. (An "established" user doesn't mean "someone we like" but "someone with time sunk into their user account, which limits spoofing".) In those cases, we are likely closer to getting a proper free license than we are for the average anonymously-uploaded image with minimal metadata and no verifiable source.
Deleting those images runs counter to the idea of building the best long-term free media repository and creates perverse incentives not to share accurate source information.
At any rate, I chose colors based on what I think is the real risk to a reuser for getting sued for copyright infringement if they take a Commons image and distribute it. There is a risk for all our images - which is why reusers like Britannica still carry out (c)-clearance for Commons photos. But I think the risk looks like [Bronze] > [Silver] > [Gold] > [Platinum] where Platinum is a traditional copyright-clearance deal such as with the Bundesarchiv: an established relicensing organization, not just an established user. --SJ+ 11:52, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

  Comment So what's your solution ? OTRS agent should have less strict policy ? Commons community should accept permissions even if OTRS ticket said it's not valid ? For sure we should pay more attention to uploads from flickr (however we really try to delete licence laundry files). --PierreSelim (talk) 09:46, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Some suggestions:
  • Be more strict with Bronze images - if challenged, they should be deleted.
  • Define a gray area for media whose license isn't 100% cleared, rather than pretending this doesn't already exist. (It does, but is hidden). Have a tag-and-quarantine solution rather than a "30-day ultimatum before deletion".
  • Don't delete files to make a point. If it seems likely that an image can be cleared, help clear it; don't rely on arbitrary policy to delete at the first opportunity.
  • Share the burden of clearance with the uploader, for images that are in use or have lasting value. Put the burden of "getting out of the gray area" on the uploader, but the burden of deletion on the deletion proponent should be "demonstrating no net value".
  • Make the license-clearing process less of a pain, and less of a personal challenge.
    Give people credit and thanks for adding detailed source information - even when this slightly reduces certainty in the license.
  • Make it easier to find and track and restore [one's own] deleted images.
I moved the detailed suggestions to a subsection, below. --SJ+
I am a bit with Sj here. There are cases where our current policy either discourage good contributors, or encourage them to lie to upload pictures. Example: If I upload pictures from a close friend of mine or a family member, and then credit him/her, I'd be required to provide a permission. If I lie and say that the pictures are mine, no question... We need to find solutions for this kind of cases without puting to much burden on the uploader. Yann (talk) 14:15, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Some details

A longer list of suggestions:

  • Be more strict with Bronze images - if challenged, including by creator or subject (or people reasonably claiming to be same - burden shouldn't be on the challenger to jump through hoops) they should be deleted. Exceptions made for active and irreplacable use, in which case the burden is on us to justify keeping it and confirming we have the right to do so.
  • Define a gray area in the Commons repository rather than asking users to pretend it doesn't exist. (It does, but is hidden.) Have a tag-and-quarantine solution that does not involve deletion for Silver and Gold images that are challenged. View this as a long-term process to resolve license uncertainty, not a short-term debate about whether or not to delete and reject an upload [which rolls back the first 5 steps of the 10-step clearance process!].
    One tag should indicates a low level of uncertainty in the license, while allowing its use. [Including all Bronze images and probably some of the others. Right now this is invisible to reusers.] Another tag should indicate a high level of uncertainty, that needs to be resolved before the image can be used. In both cases, until there is a specific negative claim that says we should not keep an image, we should have it in the repository.
  • Don't delete files to make a point. If it seems that a file is likely to be available under a free license if the rights-holder is asked in the right way, don't delete simply because noone has asked [or gotten written confirmation that they asked].
    Once an image is deleted, it is unlikely to return. If there is a reasonable chance it can be made clearly free, deletion should be a last resort, not a "standard 30-day ultimatum". A lot of personal image donations fall under this category: the intent was clearly to share, the source would likely send an email confirmation if asked the right way, but the OTRS process is too awkward / the uploader not precise enough, and the image gets deleted.
    This really is a problem, year after year. It usually has nothing to do with Jimbo; it just happened to involve him in the example that inspired me to write this.
  • Put the burden on "getting out of the gray area" on the uploader, but put the burden of deletion on the deletion proponent.
    Many deletion discussions boil down to "burden on the uploader - if they're not here to defend their uploads, they go". If anyone finds a complaint, they can challenge the uploader to fix it, and delete the image if it isn't fixed. Even if it is clear that anyone /could/ fix it. Sometimes it is enough to go look at the original uploader's edit summary, and simply place that summary in the file's structured data, to end an aggressive deletion proposal.
    If a trusted uploader states or has stated that a file is available under a free license, and another user challenges that claim, deletion should require demonstrating that it is not under a free license. Keep active and potential use more clearly in mind as one of the factors in deciding how much time to give to facilitating license clearance.
  • Make the license-clearing process less of a pain, and less of a personal challenge.
    Send a simpler, positive message to uploaders, with one-click ways to resolve each step in the clearance process. "Thank you for sharing this image. We can't yet recommend that it be included in articles or made available to reusers because 2 steps are missing from the license-clearance process. Here's how to add those steps."
    Consider the time invested in the projects by uploaders and community members. The more time they have invested, the more time we should spend helping make their uploads work out. Give people credit and thanks for adding detailed source information - even when those new details highlight the fact that one of the license-clearance steps needs to be resolved.
  • Make it easier to track deleted images.
    Right now there's no obvious way for me to find or track my own deleted images. They no longer show up in my contributions; only admins get an easy link to that list. And there's no easy way to restore an image post-deletion if an obstacle is overcome.
    What we should do: publicly archive all images that seem likely to be clearable. If there are 10 steps to clearance, note which steps have been done. If someone comes by and fills in the unfilled steps, then the image can finally be cleared - no drama needed.
    What we currently do: a confusing combined discussion/debate about merits focused on a yes/no deletion vote. With a similarly confusing appeal process - ask the admin, post to undeletion requests, be available for Q&A. Almost noone ever figures out how to do this.

Case studies

I first made this comment in response to an OTRS thread where Jimbo was attempting to send in notice of copyright release for two photos. This is the Nth time I have seen a long-time user bitten by this relatively broken process. But it reminded me that not only is the process broken, but we have gotten used to it and are not trying to make it better. Those two cases described below; feel free to add others, including any that turned out to be 'eventual problems'.

Both of these files are ones where [someone / we] can undoubtedly get full copyright clearance. The question is: whose obligation is it to get that, over what timeframe? And should we delete the files while clearance is transitioning from "maybe" to "clear"? [as Nemo notes, nothing is ever 100% certain; this is really moving from 80% to 99% clear.]

  • Commons:Deletion_requests/File:JCA3_edited-1.jpg - a private photo donated to the uploader by the subject's family. Likely donated under "whatever license you need" like most private photos. I've done this a bunch of times - you send someone a template email, they fill it out and send it back to you or to OTRS. The more complex you make the process for them the easier it is for them to lose interest. Sometimes they aren't good with email and you have to really struggle to get a reply from them; but in person they are happy to give whatever approval is necessary.
    • Possible fix: an Android app with a one-click form that both submits to the right OTRS address and copies the creator's email address (so both parties have a copy).
  • Commons:Deletion_requests/File:Paul_Myners.jpg - a publicity photo donated to the uploader by the subject. Likely donated under the "I hired this firm, I can use the photo as I wish" theory. While this is not guaranteed to be true, it usually is in practice. The client asks their publicist to confirm they can release it under a free license, publicist confirms, client passes on that email. The photo was better than any alternative photo of Myners - though we have one that is low quality. [this is also generally a sure sign that you can get license release from an official photographer]. So deletion was not because we couldn't get release of this photo - of course we can; anyone could by writing to the agency, which was even noted in the deletion request.
    How does the uploader feel about such a process? Probably a bit bullied (ok, not in this case; but in general. especially after trying to work with OTRS). How does the subject feel about it? Probably like their donation was ignored. Neither outcome is desirable.
    • Possible fix: add a queue/backlog of images waiting for agency/creator confirmation of free license. Interested people can then specialize in efficiently clearing that queue [to counteract those who specialize in efficiently listing things for deletion ;)]


Yul and a babe

Is this one OK or does it need to leave? Wehwalt didn't put it into an FA because he thought it was copyvio.

TCO (talk) 15:05, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Looks fine to me. Shows both sides as no proper notice. These publicity shots were rarely coyrighted and we have many on commons.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:01, 21 February 2013 (UTC)
User:We_hope is a pretty careful uploader... AnonMoos (talk) 23:12, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Template:Holdon I'd like to get the CLindberg seal of approval or at least Dcoetze or such. Just want a little more assurance. See here for Wehwalt's reservations: [9]

TCO (talk) 00:48, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

File:NIA human brain drawing.jpg

The link to the source of this image is broken. There is a publication at the NIH at [10] with the same title, however, it doesn't contain this image. It has a similar image, but I'm not sure that could be substituted because the copyright status of that similar image is ambiguous because the publication has several stock photo agencies listed in the credits and the similar image may be from a stock (unfree) source. Sparkie82 (talk) 01:47, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Never mind. I found a direct link to an image that we can substitute for this image. The image is at:[11]. Because that image is a standalone document from, it's free. Sparkie82 (talk) 01:54, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Paintings and publication date - example: Finland/U.S.

It's well-known that for the copyright status in the U.S., the date of first publication of a work is important. If published first prior to 1923, it's in the public domain in the U.S. However, I'd say that for probably 95% or more of old paintings and drawings we have here on Commons, there's no information whatsoever in the file description regarding first publication of the painting - typically, what we have is the year of creation, if any date at all. Still, it seems that we usually assume publication prior to 1923 if we know the painting was created before that year. It seems to be the only practical approach. However, as I have started going through Category:Eero Järnefelt (Finnish painter) to add appropriate (I hope) PD-art-auto-1923 tags to pre-1923 paintings, I wanted to make sure that this is still the general feeling here. Järnefelt's paintings of 1923 and later are an "URAA case" for deletion, as he died in 1937 and thus his work was still protected in Finland on the URAA date. - An important question is what was considered "publication" prior to 1923 and which law to apply. Regarding this, I'd like to point to Lupo's interesting remarks in his user talk archive (conversation begins in German, but the part regarding the definition of "publication" is in English). It seems that just an exhibition wouldn't be enough to constitute "publication" according to U.S. copyright law since 1976, but that for older works the older law has to be applied. And as Lupo describes, according to the 1909 U.S. copyright law, if members of the public were permitted to photograph or make copies of a work in an exhibition, the exhibition amounted to a "general publication", so the work is considered published. Also, I wonder whether it's important for U.S. copyright status if a work was considered "published" according to the law of its country of origin. - Well, we have no way to ascertain now what the rules of the first exhibitions of pre-1923 works were, for nearly 100% of these, I think. Anyway, for a work as e.g. File:Eero Järnefelt Isäntä ja rengit.jpg (1893), I would assume that it didn't remain unpublished for 30 years, at least publication through an exhibition is very likely. But I have no proof, as we have no proof for most paintings. As Lupo wrote in 2011, Common practice around here seems to be to assume that anything created before 1923 was also published before 1923. Do we continue with this practice? I think we have to. Otherwise, we would have to delete lots of pre-1923 pictures just because of the possibility that first publication might have occured later. Gestumblindi (talk) 02:53, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

I've really not wanted to mess with it. US publication is going to control US law; if that's by exhibition, that's going to be hard to prove. I find it likely it was by reproduction in many cases, which at least could in theory firmly established.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:37, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Publication for paintings is very messy. I'd suggest that you don't add a US publication licence if you can't verify that a painting has been published. Also, a person like Paul Klee might have painted a few paintings in Germany but kept them unpublished until he moved to Switzerland, and the exhibition might not have been in the country of residence of the artist. For example, we had the Claes Oldenburg DMCA case recently, involving multiple statues by the same artist which had been published in various different countries. Exhibiting a painting is sometimes publication, but not always. It seems that for each painting, we need to answer at least the following:
  • Where and when has the painting been exhibited?
  • Did the museum allow photography during the exhibition? How do we find out?
  • What happens if the painting was sold to a private collector and subsequently exhibited without permission from the artist? Is this illegitimate publication so that the painting remains unpublished?
  • Did the painting appear in a catalogue? Was this with or without permission from the painter?
It seems that people have adopted a de facto policy for paintings:
  • If the painting was published before 1923, add {{PD-1923}}.
  • If the painting was made before 1923, but no one can figure out whether it has been published or not, then leave the headache for someone else and don't add {{PD-1923}}. If you can show that it remained unpublished for some time, then nominate for deletion unless you have evidence for {{PD-US-unpublished}} or {{PD-URAA-Simul}} or anything similar.
  • If the painting was made after 1922, nominate for deletion if the work was still protected by copyright in the country of residence of the artist on the URAA date, and add Category:Undelete in 95 years after creation, unless you can either show that {{PD-US-unpublished}} applies or that it was first published elsewhere.
In a lot of cases, the year of creation is unknown, and de facto people tend to use some approximations:
  • If the year of creation is given as an approximate year (e.g. "1920s"), assume a worst case situation (in this case usually creation in 1929).
  • If the year of creation is given as "circa some year", assume that it was made during the following year as a worst case situation. That is, "circa 1922" means 1923.
  • If the year of creation is completely unknown, assume a worst case situation (usually meaning creation in the year the painter died).
I don't think that this is entirely satisfactory, but since it is usually impossible to find evidence of anything, I'm not sure what to do instead, apart from assuming a worst case situation (publication in 1977) and tag everything with Category:Undelete in 2073, which would give horrible results. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:07, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Well... Where and when has the painting been exhibited? is information currently not stored here for 99% of the paintings on Commons, I'd say. Also, most don't have a date of first publication in form of a reproduction. But many have a date of creation before 1923 and are tagged as PD-1923 - it seems to me that rather this is the de facto policy, as Lupo said ("Common practice around here seems to be to assume that anything created before 1923 was also published before 1923"). Random clicks on paintings or drawings in Category:PD-Art (PD-old-auto-1923) don't show anything else, even worse: File:"Calle de Limache".jpg - painter died in 1933, no information as to year of first publication or creation of this work. File:'A Gentleman's Cutter', oil painting by Cornelius Krieghoff.jpg - painter died in 1872, no creation or publication info. Typical case: File:'Portrait of a Woman' by Mary Cassatt, Dayton Art Institute.JPG - gives date of creation (1872) and life dates of creator (1845-1926), but nothing about publication. Still - classified as PD-1923. Of course this painting could previously have been part of a private collection and published first very recently. As most other paintings we have here with PD-1923. Note: This is an issue mainly regarding paintings and drawings, as said above, but not engravings, lithographs etc. because such art prints are usually made for reproduction and dissemination; most we have are such as e.g. File:'Dick Sand, A Captain at Fifteen' by Henri Meyer 001.jpg are taken from old books and magazines and so definitely published with publication of the book/magazine. - Still, I think we don't take a big risk if we assume publication before 1923 for paintings that were clearly created before that year. Now the question is whether we should express our assumption explictly by adding a PD-1923 template, or just leave the U.S. copyright status as unsettled. In any case, there's a lot of work to be done: If we follow your suggestion, Stefan4 ("don't add a US publication licence if you can't verify that a painting has been published"), we have to remove PD-1923 from most pre-1923 paintings on Commons. If we do it the other way, it's probably less work (as the "publication assumption" is already widespread). There might be a third option, maybe the most safe and honest one: Create a new template saying approximately: Although we have information on the creator's life dates and the year of creation of this work, there is currently no information as to first publication of the work in question, and we can't determine the U.S. copyright status of this work. If it was created a long time before 1923, it's very likely in the public domain, but we can't state this for sure. Gestumblindi (talk) 20:51, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
We can't not have US copyright information; it's required that our works be free in the United States. We could have a template explaining the complexity of establishing publication, and what stance we're taken. If we do that, we should also keep track of publications that we can confirm are pre-1923, as there's a fair share of those.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:45, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Maybe a tag "No publication date" could look like this:

  This work was created before 1923, but the description currently gives no information on the date of first publication. If the work was first published in 1923 or later, it could still be in copyright in the United States.

Not sure whether to choose red. What do you think? Gestumblindi (talk) 21:33, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

I oppose this; we should limit ourselves to paintings where it's hard to establish publication but not unlikely that it was published, and make it clear we're taking a keep stance barring other information on publication status. Something like that box is only a justification for deletion.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:45, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, if the painter died in the 19th century, then there's a fairly big chance that the painting either is {{PD-1923}} or {{PD-US-unpublished}}, but if it was made in, say, 1922, it immediately gets a lot scarier. Even if the painter might have been asked to make a painting for an exhibition, the painting might have been at the end of the year and the exhibition might have been a few months later during the next year. It is of course no option to host no paintings before 2073 when we can safely use {{PD-old-70}} for all of them, so we need to make some kind of guess about publications. We have the same problem with old photos used with templates such as {{PD-Sweden-photo}} and {{PD-Canada}} which state that photos enter the public domain a certain number of years after they were taken. Unpublished photos still have to comply with {{PD-US-unpublished}} in order to be hosted here, and often it doesn't say whether the photos have been published or not.
I think that we should only use the warning template if the painting was created shortly before 1923 limit (say, within 5 or 10 years before 1923) or if we have a person like Paul Klee where we won't always know whether the source country is Germany or Switzerland or if the painter had problems selling/exhibiting his artworks early in his life or similar things. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:30, 19 February 2013 (UTC)
I would support such a warning template to indicate critical uncertainties about missing proof of publication. It's much better to tag "we don't know, but it's likely enough to be OK that we're going to host it absent further information" than to tag "it's definitely OK" or even simply leave a doubtful case without any tag or warning of the doubt. More information is better, both for maintenance and for reusers. Bottom line: tagging things with the explicit or implicit claim "this was published before 1923" when we don't actually have a source for that claim is bad. If we're sure enough that it was probably published before 1923 it's OK to keep it with an appropriate warning, but not OK to claim that we know it was definitely published. I know I've been guilty of making such claims myself (turning "probably" into "definitely" when tagging), because it's so commonly done, and I've never been comfortable with it. Rd232 (talk) 16:30, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

Maybe this could be a compromise solution, taking into account the remarks by Prosfilaes, Stefan4 and Rd232: Create a warning/information template, but not in "deletion red", and limit its application to works created in 1900 or later; continue to assume that publication happened before 1923 if the work is from the 1800s or older. The template then could look like this:

  This work was created between 1900 and 1922. It is likely in the public domain in the United States, but the description currently gives no information on the date of first publication. If the work was first published in 1923 or later, it could still be in copyright in the United States.

What do you think? We could even use the green variant of the semi/maybe-PD logo. Gestumblindi (talk) 21:06, 20 February 2013 (UTC)

No opinions regarding this proposal? Gestumblindi (talk) 22:42, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Change copyright choice

In order to upload images I needed for author pages I used the wrong license. The only license code that I could get to work -or even find- was what I used

This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
Attribution: Canoe and his cat
You are free:
  • to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
  • to remix – to adapt the work
Under the following conditions:
  • attribution – You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

. What I need to change it to is an attribution license as the image is from the author herself and given to me for creating their internet presence/webpage/books/etc. What code should I use and how do I change the license code?

I adjusted the template above to show where names go.--Canoe1967 (talk) 23:05, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Tabasco Logo Replacement

Hi, my name is Shane K. Bernard and I am a long-time Wikipedia editor and a member of Wikimedia Commons for some time.

I also work for McIlhenny Company, maker of Tabasco brand products since 1868.

My employer's trademark and licensing department asked me to replace the incorrect Tabasco diamond logo trademark presently used on Wikipedia's entry for "Tabasco Sauce" with the correct version. (As explained to me by our trademark and licensing department, the logo currently used on Wikipedia contains an error, namely, there is small dot beside the letter "c" in "McIlhenny" when in fact the dot should be below the letter "c" -- a small issue, but one with possible legal complications.)

In any event, my employer would like the correct logo to replace the incorrect logo, and it is happy to provide the correct logo for the purpose.

However, I myself don't know how to initiate this process: I tried to upload the correct logo per Wikimedia Commons and I selected the "trademark" wikitext tag -- but I was not permitted to upload the the correct logo.

Can someone assist me with this effort?


Shane K. Bernard, Ph.D.

Historian & Curator

McIlhenny Company

General Delivery

Avery Island LA 70513

Wikimedia Commons and Wikipedia username skb8721

--Skb8721 (talk) 22:43, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

It is in .svg format which I can't do otherwise I could fix. If it is just the fair use image at the English Wikipedia you could have someone in your graphics department upload a newer image to that file page: "Upload new version of this file" under the file history section. That will replace it in the article. The old one can be deleted then. Is it in use in other language wikipedias as well? I should be able to upload to those once I have a copy of the newer .svg file.--Canoe1967 (talk) 01:05, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Hi, When you say that you were "not permitted to upload" the logo, you don't describe what the problem was, so it's hard to guess what its nature might be or to give any advice. I don't notice anything relating to this subject in your recent contributions or logs, so I can only guess that it had to do with the technicalities of the upload process. Did you receive an error message? What did it say? We probably should not try to give too much advice about what to do on another project, but you could try again to upload your file to Wikipedia, choose a good descriptive filename, with the proper filetype. If the problem is getting through the labirynth of the upload wizard form, use the more friendly upload form instead. Add the templates with the fair use rationale and the non-free logo status, basically almost the same information as is on the current logo page, except for the different source. -- Asclepias (talk) 07:01, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
It is on en:wp as fair use. He may have gotten the replace .svg with .jpg error I got with it. Does it quailfy for copyright under TOO? Should we upload a version to commons and see if it survives a DR?--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:16, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Hi Shane! I enjoy your products – particularly the habanero sauce. I see what you mean regarding the placement of the dot below the C, and I think it's in everyone's interest that the logotype is represented accurately.
en:File:Tabasco.svg is currently uploaded locally to the English Wikipedia project under a fair use rationale, not to Wikimedia Commons. Here at Wikimedia Commons, we cannot host non-free content under fair use provisions, because fair use only applies to specific uses in specific contexts, and Wikimedia Commons is a general-purpose media repository. Content here has to be published under a free license or free from copyright restrictions. Content subject to trademark protection and other non-copyright related restrictions is still fine, but it has to be free with respect to copyright. While the Tabasco logo is certainly subject to trademark protection, I question whether it is subject to copyright protection as claimed at English Wikipedia. Firstly, the logo appears to consist of plain text and simple geometric shapes which would not meet the threshold of originality required for copyright protection in the United States. Secondly, it is presumably old enough that even if it had been eligible for copyright protection, that would have expired. (Perhaps as company historian, you can provide some info about the history of the logo?) That means that we should be able to host it here with a public domain tag such as {{PD-textlogo}} or e.g. {{PD-1923}} it combination with {{Trademarked}}.
From the sound of things, you tried to upload the logo here using the Upload Wizard, selecting "This file is not my own work", "Another reason not mentioned above" and entering {{Trademarked}} in the field labeled "The license is described by the following wikitext (must contain a valid copyright tag)". Presumably, the error message you got was "This does not seem to be valid wikitext, or does not contain a license" (which appears in red above the input field). This is because {{Trademarked}} is indeed not a license or PD tag; it does not explain why the logo is free. You'll need to also use something like {{PD-textlogo}}. LX (talk, contribs) 17:32, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
I bought a bottle, took a picture, then cropped to logo as a temporary fix. It may not be the best quailty but it is the correct logo now in the article on en:wp.--Canoe1967 (talk) 18:53, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
I'll try to do some SVG-fu and see if I can't move that dot around. I'm no expert, but will give it a shot this weekend. Huntster (t @ c) 23:04, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I have downloaded a copy of the faulty one in case it gets deleted. I hope my homemade logo doesn't fault the article too much until we can get an .svg or better .jpg. Are we allowed to be paid in sauce for our efforts?--Canoe1967 (talk) 23:18, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Penyulap beat me to the punch and performed the necessary SVG surgery on the logo, uploading it to File:Tabasco Sauce.svg, for which I thank him. However, I wanted to check with others to see if this really should be {{Pd-text}} or if it should go back to as a fair-use item. Huntster (t @ c) 03:56, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
The article shows a very similar logo in 1905 and the category shows one from 1900. PD-100 then? File:Victorian Tabasco Box.jpg. See the logo on the bottle in his hand? --Canoe1967 (talk) 16:12, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
No. While they share similarities, both the two early graphics and the current logo are different from one another. Can't apply a PD-old type license to this logo unless its actual age can be determined. Huntster (t @ c) 02:33, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
If the current logo is based on an older logo for which the copyright has expired and if the modifications made to it are not eligible for copyright protection in their own right, then the end result is also in the public domain. In my opinion, the current logo appears to be below the threshold of originality as a whole. Considering only the changes that have been applied, it seems even less of an original expression. LX (talk, contribs) 07:00, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Does the {{Self}} tag indicate ownership?

User:High Contrast and I seem to have a disagreement on a subject. S/he believes that COM:L requires that a user specifically state that self-created works must state as much in the source field; I maintain that it is enough to do so in the license field.

This comes into application here: File:Joan and Andy Horner Ballpark, Dallas Baptist University.jpg. The user uploaded it to English Wikipedia with the {{Self}} tag, choosing the "self-created" option in the upload wizard. I believe this is a good enough license for us to keep it.

This follows the spirit of COM:L, which was created to avoid users who never state who the author is at all, whether through the license or through the source. If users are reading it differently, then we need to update it post-haste, as there are literally millions of properly sourced images on Commons which would be deleted under a technicality. Magog the Ogre (talk) (contribs) 18:43, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

See also the discussions at my talk page, section "File source is not properly indicated: File:Joan and Andy Horner Ballpark, Dallas Baptist University.jpg" (how do I link to it?), and User talk:Magog the Ogre#File:Joan and Andy Horner Ballpark, Dallas Baptist University.jpg. In this case, the uploader didn't only use the {{Self}} template (which states that the uploader is the copyright holder), but also entered his user name in the "author" field in the {{Information}} template, thereby explicitly stating that the uploader is the author. Additionally, the photo was uploaded only four days after it was taken, and the uploader has uploaded multiple other images taken using the same camera model, thereby also implying own work.
In my opinion, we should assume good faith if the uploader uses a template which states that the uploader is the copyright holder, and only nominate for deletion if it is likely that the uploader is lying (e.g EXIF saying that the image comes from Getty or unreasonably many camera models). --Stefan4 (talk) 22:26, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
I see no reason to assume that when this person writes "Regrothenberger at English Wikipedia, the copyright holder of this work" and puts themself as Author not to accept that.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:51, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Magog the Ogre is trying to construct some personal dispute between him and me which is not given. In short: I am driven only by COM:L and COM:PRP - COM:L is distinct enoight in this question. As such, we must add something there or we respect what is written there. --High Contrast (talk) 17:28, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Distinct enough in what way? Add something where? The author is Regrothenberger, it came from the camera, and he gives us permission. What more do we need?--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:53, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I thought you were aware of the problem: Commons:L#License information requires a clear source information who created a file: If the uploader is the author, this should be stated explicitly. (e.g. "Created by uploader", "Self-made", "Own work", etc.). If "Regrothenberger at English Wikipedia, the copyright holder of this work" should also be sufficient we should add that to that text - if not we should act accordingly. --High Contrast (talk) 18:35, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
If by the license or other provided information the source is obvious, I see no problem. If you want to fix the image page to note that, fine, but deletion over a technicality is silly to me. We just need to be able to verify the license, and we should be able to use common sense to figure out the self-work claim by whatever information was provided in whatever field. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:38, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
I basically do agree with you but it should be included in the licensing-text on COM:L in order to have a back up in consistency to handle such issues. By now, a clear source statement of the creator is required. --High Contrast (talk) 16:36, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Images inside Merces-Benz Museum for commercial use are not allowed

There are hundreds of photos of cars, trucks, buses and architecture from inside the Mercedes-Benz Museum on Commons, cf. Categories like

Mercedes-Benz officialy disallows photos inside their Museum for commercial use and only allows photography for personal and press usage, see de en (the english version sounds more liberal to me, but it still definitely forbids usage that is necessarily allowed in gfdl/cc-*). Is there any legal basis that allows the upload of these images or, if that is not the case, does anyone see a possibility to make this legal? --Julian H. (talk/files) 14:40, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

See "Commons:Copyright rules by subject matter#Museum and interior photography". Essentially, the photographer is the copyright owner of the photographs and may license them under a free licence and thus upload them to the Commons if he or she wishes. It may be the case that the photographer has breached his or her contract with the museum. This is a matter between the photographer and the museum, and the photographer has to decide whether he or she wishes to risk the museum taking action against him or her (such as suing for breach of contract or barring the photographer from the museum). My guess would be that this seldom happens. — SMUconlaw (talk) 15:41, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the answer. So for the photos I uploaded myself, I have to figure this out myself. --Julian H. (talk/files) 07:24, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

File:Makarova pistola.jpg

The file, showing a Chinese made Makarov pistol from Norinco, was uploaded yesterday by User:Fangoh, claiming that it is a self made photo. The style and quality of the picture however, IMHO at least, makes it highly probable that it is a commercial product photo, which makes the claim "own photo" highly dubious. And the fact that it according to a quick image search on Google has been used on a number of computer game related forums on the 'Net for at least a couple of years doesn't make it a free image. Should it be recommended for speedy deletion or not? Thomas.W (talk) 16:08, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, if you think it isn't by the uploader. Add a link to one or more websites (with dates, if possible) showing that the photograph was already in circulation before it was uploaded. — SMUconlaw (talk) 16:51, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
I recommended it for speedy deletion, and the image was almost instantly deleted. So the problem has been solved. I have uploaded images here but have never been involved in any discussions on Commons, so I didn't know what the usual procedure was, or rather how strictly enforced the rules are. Thomas.W (talk) 20:31, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

U.S. military uploads photos to flickr, CC-BY-2.0 or PD-gov?


I hope this question wasn't answered yet. The U.S. military uploaded some pictures to flickr under the CC-BY-2.0 license. For example The U.S. Army uploaded File:Riot control training Hohenfels 2008 (2625237586).jpg here and the picture File:Civil disturbance exercise (6442155103).jpg was uploaded by Georgia National Guard here with the text "Not Released" in the description.

What about these pictures, are they PD-gov or CC-BY-2.0?

Thanks! --Indeedous (talk) 16:18, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

PD-Gov may not apply if he was not employed by the gov as a photograher for those images. has an email in the photos section that you could ask about those images.--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:40, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
The photos would be in the public domain in the United States, their creators having created them in the course of their employment for the U.S. Army. The 2008 photo by Kerry Fox is there and the 2011 photo by Arnell Ord is there on the website This site tells, in the "photos" part of its FAQ, that "photographs and imagery on the Army's website at, unless otherwise noted, are in the public domain. Attribution of the source is always appreciated by the military photographer." On Commons, such photos would be accepted with a United States gov public domain tag, such as PD-USGov-Military-Army. However, reusers outside the Unites States may want to reuse the 2008 Fox photo under the CC-by license from the U.S. Army's flickr account. However, the 2011 Ord photo is "all rights reserved" on the JMRC flickr account [12] and it's unclear how the Georgia National Guard would have a right to claim a copyright on it and to release it under a free license. This 2011 photo is in the public domain in the United States, as explained above, but it should probably not be tagged with the CC license if the only source for that tagging is the Georgia NG account. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:48, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Ok, thank you! --Indeedous (talk) 14:11, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

How to delete an image which I have uploaded

Hello I'm a newbie and before doing enough research I uploaded a logo to Wikimedia Commons, however I realised that you should upload such images directly to Wikipedia. Now I can't seem to delete the uploaded image, here is the name of the image File:Madani Channel Urdu.jpg sorry for the inconvenience. I have updated the image with the relevant copyright information so will this image be scheduled for automatic deletion or do I have the option to manually delete it beforehand

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Mufc786 (talk • contribs) 19:13, 26 February 2013‎ (UTC)
Looks like it's correctly tagged for deletion. An administrator should come around and delete it shortly. No further action is needed on your behalf. LX (talk, contribs) 19:17, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
  This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. LX (talk, contribs) 19:17, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

FOP in Slovenia before 1995

The law from 1995 doesn't allow FOP in Slovenia, but the old Yugoslav law did allow it. So is there FOP for photograhs taken before 1995 or is the new law retroactively disallowing it? --Sporti (talk) 06:48, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

I don't see anything retroactive if one commercially reuses the photo (e.g. as a postcard or in a book) after the law has changed. The reusage would be done after the new act has been passed in this case. See also a similar case regarding Germany.[13] --Eleassar (t/p) 08:17, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

File:Michael Gething.jpg

I have not encountered {{PD-ineligible}} before. Can it really be applicable to a 1990 photograph of a living person? JohnCD (talk) 17:17, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

The uploader may have 'found it free on the net' confused with 'public domain' like far too many do. Speedy tag may be the best.--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:23, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

NOAA Russian meteor animation

I found this image on an NOAA site. The images were taken by METEOSAT but the terms of use state simply "Please credit NOAA". I couldn't find anything on their site hinting that they don't own the rights to this or any other images in their galleries. So, does anyone know of a reason not to upload it here? I want to be sure before proceeding with the upload. Cheers! -- Orionisttalk 16:41, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Anyone wants to take a look at this? -- Orionisttalk 11:26, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

FoP-UK - premises open to the public (for payment of a fee)

Commons:Freedom of panorama#United Kingdom states "if permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public". In connection with images such as those within Category:Legoland Windsor, I'm concerned that FOP may not extend to works which are only accessible to the public if they pay an entrance fee. For further reference, this request is made as a result of an attempted cleanup of Legoland Windsor on en-wp. Advice greatly appreciated. Thanks. -- Trevj (talk) 09:23, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

I doubt there's any issue with copyright here. The section UK FOP also states "The expression "open to the public" presumably extends the section to premises to which the public are admitted only on licence or on payment", referencing one of the standard works on UK copyright, which is logical as "public place or in premises open to the public" clearly should have a broader meaning than "public place". It applies in museums and art galleries (even if there's an entrance fee), so why should a theme park be any different?--Nilfanion (talk) 10:37, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I admit to having somehow missed that.
  • The question seems to then be whether or not "presumably" amounts to "significant doubt".
  • The distinction I see between works in theme parks and those within museums and art galleries (with an entrance fee) is that such 3D works in galleries are often either too old for copyright to be applied, or are part of touring exhibitions and therefore excluded for not being permanently on display.
I'll see what further comments arise here and then consider the merits of a deletion nomination. Cheers. -- Trevj (talk) 16:01, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
OK. After further thought, I understand that the opinion here on Commons is that such works are free of copyright. Therefore, models such as this London Underground carriage can be freely reproduced by others elsewhere. As most of the images are within the project scope, I don't expect to be nominating any for deletion on the basis of copyright infringement. Thanks for the advice. -- Trevj (talk) 08:56, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
"... that such works are free of copyright": only if by "such works" you mean the photographs (not the pictured works) and if by "free of copyright" you mean that the use of those photographs inside the territory of the UK does not infringe the copyright of the owners of the copyright on the pictured works. But the pictured works are not free of copyright. And the photographs are not free of the copyright on the photographic work (unless they were released from copyright for some reason). -- Asclepias (talk) 17:05, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
On your first point, I think there is no significant doubt if the UK legal community in general presumes that this is the meaning of the UK law, and the rights management organizations in the UK acknowledge that opinion. Of course, this relies on the information provided on Commons by the users who wrote the UK sections of the help pages. There might be doubt if you find a trend of serious UK legal doctrine to the contrary. You second point is not related to FOP, as it explicitely excludes it. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:05, 28 February 2013 (UTC)