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Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2013/05

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TV logos

Hi. Are all these logos in Category:Television of Bulgaria copyrighted or I am mistaken? I see they claim {{PD-textlogo}} but if someone could doublecheck that would be helpful. Thanks. --Петър Петров (talk) 10:59, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Some of them are, some of them aren't. You'd have difficulty arguing that e.g. File:Tv evropa.svg is copyrightable, but something like File:Bulgariaonair.png clearly is. As these media are more relevant to, one of those which doesn't allow local uploads, you can expect people to stretch the truth on what is PD just for the sake of having an image to use in an article –⁠moogsi (blah) 11:24, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
I have nominated some of the most obvious violations for deletion, but there may be more images to delete. There is no section for Bulgaria at COM:TOO. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:10, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
Okay, I get it. Thanks. --Петър Петров (talk) 15:18, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
The logos of the national TV stations, like BNT, bTV, Nova TV, TV7 are public domain, along with the stations which are broadcasting via DVB-T. Me and Raskoyu have asked the stations for permision for using their logos on bg.wikipedia. Unfortunatly, for unknown for me reasons, lockal uploading is banned on, so we have no opportunity but to upload them here, or provide a link to a logo gallery at TV Boy (talk · contribs) 17:34, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
What basis do you have for your claim that the logotypes of all DVB-T channels in Bulgaria are in the public domain? That sounds very unlikely. Having permission to use the logotypes on a specific Wikipedia project does not mean that they are in the public domain, and Commons cannot host copyrighted content under such a permission. We only host content that is free for anyone to use for any purpose. Local uploading on the Bulgarian Wikipedia project has been disabled because the project does not accept any non-free content. Since anything that would be accepted there is accepted here on Commons, and files uploaded on Commons can be used on all Wikimedia projects, there is no point in allowing local uploads. The fact that Bulgarian Wikipedia has elected not to host any non-free content should not be interpreted to mean that you have no choice but to upload non-free content to Commons instead; it should be interpreted to mean that such content should not be uploaded at all. LX (talk, contribs) 07:36, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Does this count as art?

I bought this set of Christmas lights a few years back, and they're more or less next on my list of stuff to upload (almost up to 2013!). However, I am worried it may count as a derivative work. Can someone tell me whether this is suitable for upload? -mattbuck (Talk) 01:12, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Utilitarian and thus ineligible for copyright, I would say. Can we treat them the same as lampshades?--Canoe1967 (talk) 05:04, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Simultaneously published books

Some of the images in Commons:Deletion requests/PJ Smit are from a book apparently published simultaneously in the U.K. and the U.S. The book is from 1892, and the artist died in 1960. Is the book public domain in the U.K., then? (If it was published in the U.S. first, it would would be PD per the rule of the shorter term.) If it is copyright in one, what do we consider to be the source country for our purposes? —innotata 17:26, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Simultaneous publication usually means that for local law, both are considered "the source country". So US law considers it a US publication, and UK law considers it a UK publication; I would assume this means both give it the full protection of local law regardless of the rule of the shorter term. Andrew Gray (talk) 23:02, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
That's what I thought. If this really is simultaneous (it looks like we can't be sure), can we ignore one of the source countries in terms of Commons policy? —innotata 02:53, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
If a user hadn't removed my comment to the deletion request, then you would have known how the rule of the shorter term works. Comment restored now.
A work is normally considered as "domestic" if the author is a citizen or resident of the country or of it was first or simultaneously published there. EEA countries additionally treat works as "domestic" if the author is an EEA citizen. URAA and the rule of the shorter term do not apply to domestic works. Other countries think that the source country is the country with the shortest copyright term (in this case the US, if the publication was simultaneous). I assume that Commons only cares about the United States and the country with the shortest copyright term. I'm not sure if Commons would accept copyright registration as "publication" when determining the source country as only the US seems to treat that as publication whereas other countries don't seem to treat that as publication.
It is only simultaneous if the publication in both countries was within 30 days of each other, and we only seem to know the year, not the exact date. Without the exact date, it isn't possible to tell whether it was simultaneous or not. --Stefan4 (talk) 07:32, 2 May 2013 (UTC)


I uploaded a picture I took and gave permission for it to be used by anyone without any terms. I would now like to make one change to that permission: that there must be an attribution. How do I do this without taking down the photo completely? Thanks in advance for your help.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Hershel (talk • contribs) 22:00, 1 May 2013 (UTC) (UTC)
You can't, because you have already granted people the right to use it without attribution. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:43, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

File:Eilean Donan Castle Panorama.jpg

What approximately could be the reciprocal relations of licenses for File:Eilean Donan Castle Panorama.jpg: Free Art License + CC-Attribution-NonCommercial-NonDerivative ? At the Russian copyright forum there was a brainstorming with a suggestion (among others) "commercial use with non-commercial purposes". Given the creativity of such interpretation it would be nice to hear some more sain explanation... Does Free Art License now overrides limitations of any joint license? --NeoLexx (talk) 22:46, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

There is no relation between the licenses. Each offer of license is independent of the other. A reuser who wants to reuse the unmodified work for a non-commercial purpose will choose to reuse the work either under the Free Art licence or under the CC-by-nc-nd license. A reuser who wants to reuse the work for a commercial purpose, or who wants to modify the work, will reuse it under the Free Art licence, because the CC-by-nc-nd option is not available for a commercial purpose or for modifications. -- Asclepias (talk) 23:04, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
I cannot say that this explanation makes a lot of sense to me: probably I missed some very important developments at Commons and I would be graceful to be pointed to a relevant discussion(s). Otherwise any file license(s) at Commons must allow to i) reuse, ii) modify and iii) create derivative works — all three options either for commercial or non-commercial purposes. That can be a combo of several licenses: where each fits to these requirements yet requires different license type and authorship indication when reusing — whichever fits better for particular circumstances (CC-BY-SA + GFDL for instance). The statement of the kind "You can freely reuse and modify this photo commercially, also/or you can not modify this photo or use it commercially" is exactly as it looks like: plain gibberish.
Another point is that it is not allowed to revoke some originally given rights and to replace/extent by a more restrictive license. If initially uploaded (diff) under {{FAL}} then later addon (diff) of Attribution-NonCommercial-NonDerivative has neither sense nor legal value. It is for a reason that Commons even doesn't have BY-NC-ND license template so a hand made markup have been used.
To total I see the need to revert the licensing to the original state under {{FAL}} unless some global structural changes at Commons have been discussed and adopted. --NeoLexx (talk) 09:28, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
It's not plain gibberish. You get your choice of licenses, and the Creative Commons licenses are well-known and relatively easy to use. It should be clearer that there is an option of licenses, and it should be clear that "please send me a wiki email (wiki account necessary) or leave a message on my user profile, or send me a email direct to: my email account" is not an obligation, unlike "Please take note of and stick to the license agreement", but the basic concept of dual-licensing is perfectly fine.--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:19, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
See Commons:Licensing#Multi-licensing and Commons:Multi-licensing for more info. The license situation is OK, when atleast one of its licenses meets Commons free license definition. Not all offered choices need to be free licenses. A brief addition ("Pick one license of your choice") would make the situation clearer, as noted. GermanJoe (talk) 10:26, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
Umm... So a reuser can either take a free content from Commons and to distribute her derivatives freely as well (under the same freedom as taken). Or she can take a free content from Commons and to distribute her derivatives with no modifications or commercial use allowed. This is that more freedom (italic from the original) as I understand it. What I don't understand then is how does it go with "The additional restrictions imposed by our license policy are driven by our ultimate goal, which is to enable all Wikimedia site content— both media and text — to be creatively reused in a variety of contexts, in any country, without the imposition of cumbersome requirements or fees." and the original project intentions like in this letter for instance. The fact that from the same image it can be made a backward free compatible and a backward free incompatible destructions is too strange to miss it for so many years (I am 5 years in the project). Is it some relatively recent creative development? Is it fine now to license Wikipedia articles as well both under CC-BY-SA and BY-NC-ND, so text reusers would have "more freedom" as well, or this extra freedom for Commons only? --NeoLexx (talk) 11:42, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
No. If a reuser makes a derivative work, then the derivative work has to be licensed under {{FAL}} or a licence compatible with {{FAL}} as CC-BY-NC-ND doesn't allow derivative works. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:19, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
We do permit public domain, CC-0 and CC-BY licenses, which would let reusers distribute a derivative version under a non-free license. That Wikipedia doesn't use such a license doesn't mean we don't accepted images under such a license.--Prosfilaes (talk) 13:57, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
That was my point #1: having exactly the same image from Commons one can either distribute it under {{FAL}} or under CC-BY-NC-ND requesting no alterations and no commercial use. And by altering the image the only option to upload that derivative back to Commons is to drop CC-BY-NC-ND and to indicate FAL only. I might be not from the intellectual elite of the project :-) but the attempt to grasp any sense from this "more freedom" of mutually exclusive licenses making me feel like a complete idiot :-( Some real life sample might help. Say publisher A used the image in a free educational book under CC-BY-NC-ND. Then publisher B used a slightly altered version of the image in a commercial book under FAL. Should (and could) A now sue B for the license violation? --NeoLexx (talk) 13:50, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
A has no rights over the image just because they used it unaltered. Only the copyright holder can sue for license violations.--Prosfilaes (talk) 13:57, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
@Neolexx: those "freer" licenses aren't Commons choice. It's just the uploader's choice to give that choice to the reusers. It is the autor's right to use his work in the way he choses, and to publish it under the terms he wants - here or wherever he wants. We just ask him to give a certain rights to reusers. Depriving our contributors to choose the licenses they want and make them use only "share alike" licenses wouldn't made any good to our contributors nor the project.
And about using different licenses in Wikipedia, please notice that some contributors used their userpages to release their contributions to Wikipedia under additional licenses (some of them public domain, and others used CC-BY-SA when Wikipedia was still under GFDL). Furthermore, some WMF projects use different (not SA) licenses: Wikinews uses CC-BY. In Commons is just easier to use different licenses for different images than in other projects, since it's easier to tell apart the work of each individual contributor.--Pere prlpz (talk) 15:11, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
It is not a difference between Wikipedia and Commons. It is a difference between the textual contents and the non-text media on the Wikimedia websites. Please see the Wikimedia Terms of Use, in particular sections 7a and 7d, for details about this distinction between textual contents and non-text media. The Wikimedia Terms of Use are complemented here on Commons by the particular Commons licensing policy. Textual contents on Wikipedia and on Commons must be under the CC-by-sa license. Non-text media may be offered under any license(s), as long as at least one of the licenses that are offered is a free license. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:41, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

A photo of Telemark cattle.

I was wondering about this file of Telemark cattle. It has been noticed that the photo is elsewhere credited Anna Rehnberg. Are you confident that this file is out of copyright? Regards, Iselilja (talk) 11:35, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Nominated for deletion as copyright violation. Also, File:Vache vänekor.jpg should maybe be deleted per COM:PRP. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:18, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

Free films?

I am hoping that this is as obvious as I think (hope) it is. I'd like to upload two short films to Commons, both of which are over 100 years old. Could someone let me know if there are problems doing this? The two films in question are:

  1. An Obstinate Cork with Dan Leno filmed in 1902
  2. Little Tich and His Big Boots filmed in 1900. Further information from the BFI

If anyone could advise on whether these are OK or not, I'd be much obliged. - SchroCat (talk) 07:36, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Little Tich is not in the public domain in its home country of France, as the director Alice Guy lived to 1968 according to the IMDB. I don't know about An Obstinate Cork, as the IMDB doesn't list a director and the BFI doesn't say anything about it, but it's probably okay.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:51, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Interesting - many thanks. I didn't realise the copyright was held by the director, rather than the company, so thanks you for that. I'll try and sort out the Leno film. - SchroCat (talk) 08:53, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
The copyright in the EU is 70 years from the death of the author no matter who owns the copyright. For films, "the term of protection of cinematographic or audiovisual works was set at 70 years after the death of the last from among a fixed list of persons: the principal director, the author of the screenplay, the author of the dialogue and the composer of the music specifically created for use in the work." ( page 10, and then it goes into a list of exceptions.) It's really rather complex.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:28, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
It certainly is complex! I'm glad I asked, as I thought it was obviously free! Many thanks indeed for the initial advice and the further clarity: much appreciated! - SchroCat (talk) 09:30, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Additionally, this document tells that "Where a term of protection, which is longer than the corresponding term provided for by this Directive, is already running in a Member State on the date referred to in Article 13 (1), this Directive shall not have the effect of shortening that term of protection in that Member State." That is, if the former copyright law of France said that you should check the year of death of other people, then you might still have to do that (but possibly use the copyright term in the old copyright law for those people), as the directive would otherwise have the effect of shortening the copyright term of the film. I'm not sure if the old copyright law of any EU country said that you should check the year of death of more people than the three people listed by User:Prosfilaes. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:49, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Many thanks for that. I shall drape cold cloths around my head and try and decipher (or at least translate)! Many thanks! - SchroCat (talk) 12:52, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
The PDF I linked to goes into some of that; it's pretty heavy-going, but does seem to be pretty definitive on the subject.--Prosfilaes (talk) 12:58, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
The PDF file you linked seems to confirm my fears. It seems that to determine whether the copyright has expired, you need to begin with determining the copyright term under both the current and the former copyright laws:
Current copyright law:
  • Authors used for determining copyright term: The principal director, the author of the screenplay, the author of the dialogue and the composer of the music specifically created for use in the work. All of them must have been dead for at least 70 years.
Former copyright law:
  • Authors used for determining copyright term: Depends on the country. Sometimes only the principal director, sometimes everyone mentioned in the credits. In some countries, all of the authors must have been dead for 50, 60, 70 or 80 years, depending on the country, and add any potential wartime copyright extension. In other countries, you can maybe ignore the old copyright law altogether.
Now compare both terms and check which one gives you the longer term, and use that term. 50 years after the death of a child actor might be later than 70 years after the death of the principal director, which may give considerably different copyright terms. Also, to make it more fun, check for any buildings and other things which are not de minimis if there is no freedom of panorama. Some other related things:
  • Authors who may claim moral rights: Possibly other people than the ones used for determining the copyright term, depending on the country.
  • Copyright holder: Not necessarily any of the above (depends on the country).
Conclusion: The copyright term for a film is a very interesting and complicated thing. I think that we should have a page about film copyright somewhere which lists all of this. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:37, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

If we delete this one, more will follow

Hi, this map : File:Location European nation states.svg is based on another one : Image:Location Spain EU Europe 1.svg that was deleted since it missed sources. The point is that if we logically follow the same policy for the aforementioned one, then many more should follow. What should be done ?--Kimdime (talk) 08:25, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

I have restored the file and tagged it for deletion instead, it should not have been tagged for speedy deletion especially with the unfunded claim of being a derivative work. --Denniss (talk) 08:35, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Legitimate owner--uploaded pictures that were already published on the web

I sometimes tag pictures as copyvio that were uploaded with permission suspiciously claiming to be the owner. However, what if a user is legitimately the owner? Generally, how does someone that does a random spotcheck (like myself) avoid incorrectly tagging an image that has already been verified to be uploaded by the owner? For example, see File:Kareem-Abdul-Jabbar Lipofsky.jpg. User:Cavic is the uploader, while the owner is "Steve lipofsky" and the source already exists on the web. There is no OTRS note. How would I know not to do a mass copyvio tag on all of this user's uploads (which I assume are legitimate since the photos have been here for years)? My main concern is incorrectly accusing users of copyvios and scaring them off when they actually are releasing their own pictures.Bagumba (talk) 19:23, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

He seems to have had some images kept and some deleted. I think that it would be much better if this could be sorted out once and for all through OTRS. See also Commons:Deletion requests/File:Erving Lipofsky.jpg.
If there is a reasonable chance that the uploader might be the copyright holder, I prefer to use "no permission" instead of "copyvio" so that the person gets some time to sort out the problem. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:28, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. I wasn't aware of "no permission" (even though the link is right there). So I think my answer is that an OTRS indication should ideally be on an image when the source was also previously on the web.Bagumba (talk) 20:47, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
May I suggest a common sense (intrusion) on this:
  1. The uploader's last name and email, phone #, and his handle (user name) are all consistant with one another.
  2. Clearly, he's a photographer, and from his web page, also an accredited sports photographer (He lists two other web page url's, one an NBA web page) - which at the least explains his image topics,
  3. Add in all the deleted photos deleted for copyvio on his talk page
  4. Crank in the Pic on his web page of him standing with his photography tools in a friendly pose with superstar Kevin McHale after the later became General Manager of the MN Timberwolves.
  5. My read on all of that is he's become fed up with accusations of legitimate work released into the public domain, and is tired of being hassled. Clearly, by releasing small photos of superstars, he was probably hoping to build business and indirectly sell bigger ones as a side operation. OTOH, a free good quality photo of NBA stars is a high value possession, useful in dozens of sister projects. In sum, THIS SITE was likely in error and effectively harassing him for not dotting tees and crossing eyes, and you all should consider reinstating all those deleted now listed on his talk and have a formal letter sent requesting that he specifically add the license you find suitable by corporate.
You all need to think about how coercive and hostile such a string of adverse results seems to someone giving you a donation. Do you smile at the guy who keeps slapping your attempt to help? This is culture clash and rampant over rule of an entrenched self-styled experts, elitism. The elite 'rules' on most all these Wikimedia sites are such that most anyone will get bogged down in perusing them that isn't dedicated to the culture. Trust me it's hostile. See the above section, but as much as my eyes gave trouble I had my desire to contribute sapped by the constant demands of dealing with the elitism mindset. Unconscionable and uncaring in it's insensitivity. My big bugaboo was w:WP:OWN, an overly large set of editors who cavalierly would toss out an edit (a two hour painstaking edit) by reverts or rollbacks...
That he released said photos elsewhere on the web is not germane. You have no idea of their history, they could have been copied from this very site by a simple browser operation and posted by the other party who stole them. If he also released them elsewhere, clearly he's happy to have them in the public domain. Think about how hostile all this is to someone just taking a moment to share. The time to worry about a copyvio, is 'not here' (and all the time), but when someone makes a complaint, legal or privately. Until then, you should perhaps have a tag "Copy right status of this photo is unclear, but has been represented to Wikimedia Foundation as private work released into the public domain by one or more such applicable licenses". Set it aside after sending an email and posting talk and let it ride. Deletion just pisses people off. // FrankB 03:28, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
We don't have a tag that says "copyright status of this photo is unclear", just like pawn stores don't have signs saying "this stuff may have been stolen." It's our role to be reasonably comfortable that's not true before putting it on the shelves.--Prosfilaes (talk) 06:35, 28 April 2013 (UTC)
Except that we allow anyone to come into our store (without bothering to identify themselves) and put anything on the shelves. Sometimes we notice that it was stolen, sometimes we don't, but it's there on the shelf if anyone wants to take it without us even having a chance to look it over. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 03:11, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
I do not see that as an argument to not delete stuff.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:13, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
One has to dig all the way to to see that the email there matches his Commons handle. Too bad his user name wasn't a more obvious Lipofsky. Should we just update his user page to say that he runs the website and list his real name? The problem is if anyone else but himself or an admin does it, one would think it is fraud.Bagumba (talk) 01:48, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

PD not renewed

w:Nighthawks is being discussed as fair use at en:wp. Someone brought up that the copyright may not have existed or not been renewed. There is a 1993 copyright filed for a lithograph photo of it though. Are there online records we can check for copyright status? I emailed that sells a version online to see if they have a licence from the estate or if it is public domain.--Canoe1967 (talk) 18:48, 2 May 2013 (UTC)

As I said at w:Wikipedia:Non-free_content_review#File:Nighthawks.jpg, which you didn't bother linking, you have to look through the scans of the physical books, available at .--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:44, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
I just got an email back from They state PD not renewed or no notice. Would you like their email to verify? . I may upload the high resolution one they sent and see if it survives deletion review.--Canoe1967 (talk) 03:30, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Is there a legal time frame in the above scans to narrow the search? The AIC states they did exhibit it in 1942 so that would be the date of first publication. The author died May 15, 1967, and his wife 10 months later. The article doesn't list any children so there may be no heirs that recieved copyrights to renew. I will also send an email to a law firm that was concerned about a similar case. I may upload the high resolution image anyway and if the AIC whines to WMF then they can provide the year of renewal and/or registry number. If not then we can assume it was either never copyright registered or never renewed. I can't see the print company violating copyright as they do state that all of their prints are licensed or public domain.--Canoe1967 (talk) 14:47, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
I found the time frame, searched 1969 to 1971 in the books above, didn't find a renewal or original copyright for 1942, recieved more emails from experts that agree that it is public domain, and uploaded File:Nighthawks by Edward Hopper 1942.jpg. If someone wishes to find a copyright then feel free to do so and put it in deletion review with the registry number. I don't think Mr. and Mrs. Hopper had any heirs and she bequeathed works she still owned to the w:Whitney Museum of American Art. They may have recieved copyrights but I doubt it. If they wish to email WMF for a removal then they had better provide a renewal number as I will reach out to online friends to do a manual search in Washington or possibly find the $330 funding needed for to do one.--Canoe1967 (talk) 18:31, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
That stands as good enough for me.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:27, 5 May 2013 (UTC) The AIC wouldn't have a copyright and they seem to sell them. w:Whitney Museum of American Art would be the rights holder if anyone is and they are not mentioned on any of the AIC pages. I will wait patiently for any OTRS attempt to remove it and request a renewal number. Does anyone want to put in back in all the en:wp articles it was removed from after the fair use discussion over there?--Canoe1967 (talk) 05:04, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
  This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. --Canoe1967 (talk) 22:45, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
I think we need more eyes on this at the DR linked above. The issue seems to be on the aspect of whether a work displayed in a museum (and subsequently photographed and those photographs distributed widely by the museum) is considered published under US law (meaning registration would have had to be needed to keep copyright) or unpublished (meaning that we have life + 70 by default). --Masem (talk) 05:39, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree. I will also note that since the post above, new evidence has come to light about first publictation being in 1942. The DR is a little out of time order so I hope the closing admin reads it thoroughly before making a decision. Can we put the crucial points in posts at the bottom or talk page of the DR? I feel it should probably close as a keep and hope to recieve copies of both Mr. and Mrs. Hopper's wills soon. I can't repeat info from emails but I do believe that the blood heirs did not renew and that the Whitney Museum did not recieve any copyrights in Mrs. Hopper's bequest.--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:19, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Rule of the shorter term

This doesn't directly impact us, but it may have consequences on some of our reusers. To quote from page 19:

More interesting results can transpire. In 2009 the French Cour de cassation65 ruled on a case concerning the American film “His Girl Friday”. Although only created in 1940, the film fell out of copyright in the US in 1968 due to non-compliance with the renewal registration formality applicable at the time under US law. However, the prohibition of formalities under Article 5(2) of the Berne Convention meant that the requirements for declining protection in France did not apply. To the contrary, France was obliged to comply with the minimum protection rules set out in Article 7(2) Berne Convention. The provisions of Article 18 of the Berne Convention proved central to this reasoning, as they only permit a Contracting State to opt out of protecting a work if its term of protection has expired in the country of origin and not if it has fallen out of copyright for other reasons.66 The case is a good illustration of how a shorter term of protection can apply within a country of origin for a work attracting a much longer term of protection abroad.

That is, in France and possibly the rest of the EU and arguably anywhere else depending on Article 18 of the Berne Convention for the rule of the shorter term, US works that are out of copyright due to failure to renew are not out of copyright by the rule of the shorter term. Arguably only US works older then 1923 would be out of copyright in France due to that rule.--Prosfilaes (talk) 13:02, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Additionally, there are the w:Bilateral copyright agreements of the United States. A German court found that the bilateral treaty with Germany states that there shouldn't be any rule of the shorter term on US works in Germany, at least not if the work was published after the treaty entered force. A lot of other countries, including France, also have bilateral treaties with the United States. Do all of those bilateral treaties disable the rule of the shorter term on US works? That is, can the rule of the shorter term only be used on US works in France if the work was published before 1 July 1891? --Stefan4 (talk) 13:45, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Some of this is already in {{PD-US-not renewed}}, but it probably needs to be reworded to warn reusers outside the US better. It could need to include cite more countries, or at least to make clear that it might be a lot or countries or the whole European Union, not just a few exceptions. {{PD-1923}} should be reworded in a similar way.--Pere prlpz (talk) 14:34, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
The template provides an extra warning if you view the template in German: Template:PD-US-not renewed?uselang=de, {{Urheberrechtlich geschützt}}. Maybe a similar warning could be added to a lot of other languages. The warning mentions Austria, but has there ever been any Austrian court ruling on this matter? --Stefan4 (talk) 14:57, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
Each bilateral treaty would have had to have been negotiated separately, so they may be entirely different. I doubt the French one prohibits the rule of the shorter term, or the court case would have probably focused on that, but maybe not.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:39, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
Are the bilateral treaties available somewhere? Since at least the German treaty says that there is no rule of the shorter term, there is a risk that other treaties contain a similar statement, so unless we have other information, it may be a good idea to warn about bilateral treaties in general and that we don't always know whether the rule of the shorter term applies or not in countries with bilateral treaties. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:31, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Restoring deleted due to lack of FOP images to En Wikipedia

Is there a proper review system for images affected by Category:FOP-related deletion requests, checking whether they would be eligible for restoration to English Wikipedia under w:template:FoP-USonly? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 05:30, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

There is no formal system, but if you make a request to COM:UNDEL and explain that you want to transfer it to English Wikipedia I'm sure someone will help you. -- King of ♠ 06:58, 5 May 2013 (UTC)


Hi, a user (from it:wiki) just uploaded the aforementioned image, and readily put it on the Italian Minecraft page (it:Minecraft) substituting another similar image (File:Minecraft man.svg). I think it may be copyviol, as it represents the player ingame. Cheers, --Amendola90 (talk) 21:34, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

The source is at ; it is marked as CC-BY-NC-3.0 there (thus not free and the license here is wrong) and additionally derivative of others' work (thus also not free). So yes, it should be deleted. There was once a nebulous {{Minecraft}} template but it was deleted as a result of Commons:Deletion requests/File:Minecraft 1.1 Title.png. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:48, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
It has been thrashed out in DR (linked above) whether Minecraft screenshots/assets/etc. are free enough, and it was decided that they're not. Mojang is fairly permissive with screenshots and videos of Minecraft for obvious reasons, but they aren't free media, and it's not free software –⁠moogsi (blah) 09:49, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Discussion about Moldovan stamps

I would like to advertise a discussion at Commons_talk:Stamps/Public_domain#Moldovan_Stamps about the public domain status of Moldovan stamps that hasn't drawn much attention. It could possibly affect many images which would have to be deleted, or otherwise a few images which might be undeleted. --rimshottalk 19:22, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Beyoncé Knowles

I uploaded a file at File:Beyoncemrscartershowparis.jpg from Flickr, but was wondering whether it was legitimate? Thanks. Jennie--x (talk) 19:50, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

No, almost all files from this Flickr Strema are illegitimately offered with a free license. This Stream is now blocked. --Denniss (talk) 20:12, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
For future reference, how can I know user's stream is illegitimate/blocked? Jennie--x (talk) 20:39, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
I think commons has a list somewhere and the flickrbot checks it. Deletion reviews pick up new ones to add the the list.--Canoe1967 (talk) 00:44, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Copyright Credits For Permission Granted Images

I am a new editor and have had a number of images deleted due to incorrect copyright permissions. The images I am posting are not my own work but photographs I have permission to post by the copyright holder - my employer. I have found it very hard to figure out how to source an image that I have the right to dissemminate on the source orgnisation's behalf. I have been altering them to

  This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Shropshire Museums. This applies worldwide.
In some countries this may not be legally possible; if so:
Shropshire Museums grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.

Permission granted to wiki user KateMuse to publish on behalf of Shropshire Museums.

Is this correct? Or for historic images should I credit these to the original artist/photographer where known and mark as copyright expired? Your feedback would be most welcome. KateMuse (talk) 19:54, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

The copyright holder, who is usually the original photographer or his heir, needs to send permission to OTRS. See COM:OTRS for instructions. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:27, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
Where any artists are known, please do credit them. And where the copyright has expired due to old age (70 years after death of the creator for works from the UK), please use {{PD-old}} and a statement why the work is also in the public domain in the United States. The latter is important because the servers for Wikimedia Commons are in Florida, and copyright expiration in the US is not so much based on the age of the work itself but on the date of first publication. Generally, anything that was published before 1923 is public domain in the US and should additionally be marked with {{PD-1923}}. De728631 (talk) 20:36, 7 May 2013 (UTC)

Can OTRS be done third-party?

I came across File:Serpent Mound.jpg, and noticed that the description claims the file was uploaded by the author. The description then indicates that the file was created by "Timothy A. Price and Nichole (sic) I. Stump." I thought that was an odd spelling, and it shows up everywhere because of this file, so I located Mr. Price's thesis on his website where he indicates he was aided in his thesis by "fellow cartographer and Ohio University alumnus Nicole Stump." Also according to Price, "Geographic Information Science was also used in the spring of 2002 when the Great Serpent Mound, located in Adams County, was mapped using Global Positioning Satellites....The final product was a 30” X 36” map....The project was printed and submitted to the Ohio Historical Society." Therefore, I'm skeptical that Price couldn't spell his co-researcher's name on the upload, and because the image actually bears an Ohio Historical Society logo in the lower right-hand corner, I'm not sure if Price actually a) made that particular file, or b) even had the right to upload the file as licensed. I know OTRS usually comes from the author, but is there some way to check the licensing proactively from this side? MSJapan (talk) 21:02, 3 May 2013 (UTC)

Since Mr Price has both the image and an email address on his website, you could ask him directly. You could also ask the historical society. Dankarl (talk) 21:23, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
That image dates from a time before OTRS (Commons:Grandfathered old files), and when transfers of images from en.wikipedia to Commons often didn't record the original upload information on en.wikipedia... AnonMoos (talk) 08:07, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

User:Dickelbers/Police patches

Can someone have a look at the images on User:Dickelbers/Police patches, I suspect most of them are derivative photos of copyright badges, any guidelines on what should be done. LGA talkedits 11:49, 5 May 2013 (UTC)

anyone ? LGA talkedits 18:45, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Looks like a couple have been proposed for deletion, with various results. It appears the images are of patches in a museum collection. I'd ask the uploader first how he believes they are ok. If not then satisfied I'd suggest researching the issue, finding a set with clear legal standing as copyrighted (maybe most US states) and nominating for deletion. Dankarl (talk) 19:05, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Bear in mind that a lot of older US state patches will likely be PD-US-no notice. Dankarl (talk) 19:09, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Photograph of PD Statue in Finland and URAA

Hi, i am trying to undestand what actually means commons accepts only works that are explicitly freely licensed and/or that are in the public domain in at least the United States and in the source country of the work.

In example case there is picture of statue of File:Kolme seppää.jpg (1932) by fi:Felix Nylund (1879 - 1940) which is PD in Finland because the author is died more than 70 years ago. Because the URAA it is not free yet in United States.

So can one take picture of the statue and upload it to commons like the copyright rules by territory says and why URAA is not affected in this case? Nearest what i could figure out it is because the photo of PD works which is taken in Finland is new work which is copyrighted only to photographer.

However if i scan the photograph of the statue of Kolmen sepän patsas made by Felix Nylund it would be covered by copyrights of United States and could not be saved to Commons. --Zache (talk) 07:02, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

I don't see any reason it's not copyrighted; the URAA restored the rights to it, and Finland has no FOP* for statues to confuse the issue, so derivative works of it are still covered by its copyright in the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:42, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
why local FOP would change the situation if expiration by finnish law would not ? --Zache (talk) 07:47, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
We've been keeping works that are okay in their source nation by FOP. There's no much case law on how FOP works across international borders. Given the number of pictures we'd have to delete and the fact that it's somewhat unclear under international law, most of us have just left it alone.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:54, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
I have still hard to understand why local FOP matters. If photo is taken from object which is protected only by US copyright law where is no such thing as FOP then it is somehow illogical to say that local law override it in one case and in another case it does not. Anyway do you know if there is some example law cases which would be in same scope than my kolmen sepän patsas case? --Zache (talk) 09:59, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
At the URAA date (1 January 1996), the statue was still protected even in Finland. That's why it became protected under US law too on that day for a period of 95 years. So when you now take a photograph of it, it will still count as a derivative work in the US with original copyright by Nylund or his heirs for that matter, even though the statue itself is now PD in Finland. This affects the possibilities of publishing your derivative work, based on location. While you're free to publish photos or paintings or whatever based on the statue in Finland and the rest of the European Union, you would, strictly speaking, require the consent of Nylund's heirs for any such works in the US. De728631 (talk) 14:09, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
The difference between FOP and expired copyright is that there is a lot of treaties, laws and case law regarding when copyright of a foreign work expires in the US, but there is nearly no information (no court cases) about if a work of art not protected in another country for a reason different than expired copyright is anyway protected in the US. Your reasoning about protection of a FOP-Finland work in the US might be right, or maybe it isn't, but we don't know because such a question hasn't still been taken to court. Furthermore, lack of case law also means that authors of FOP works in other countries don't try to enforce their supposed rights in US courts, and therefore it's reasonably safe to keep those works in Commons until we get any positive evidence.
I think we have similar doubts about de minimis and threshold of originality differences between US and other countries law.--Pere prlpz (talk) 14:44, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
There are a few court rulings about works not copyrightable in one country but copyrightable in another country. For example, in this case, a US toy (Furby) was found not to be eligible for copyright in Japan, although it is eligible in the United States (the source country of the work). Toys frequently seem to be ineligible for copyright in Japan (so COM:TOYS doesn't hold for Japanese toys). Meanwhile, in the case Hasbro Bradley, Inc. v. Sparkle Toys, Inc., some Japanese toys were found to be protected by copyright in the United States, although the same toys aren't protected by copyright in Japan. So for threshold of originality matters, it seems that you need to verify that the work is below the threshold of originality of the United States in addition to the threshold of originality of the country of origin.
For FOP matters, there is also the question about who's the copyright holder of the photo. If I take a photo of a statue in Sweden, then I alone decide how to use the photo in Sweden. However, if I take a photo of a statue in Finland, then the sculptor gets to decide a few things about how the photo is used. You could say that this means that I am the sole copyright holder of the Swedish photo within Sweden, but that I am not the sole copyright holder of the Finnish photo within Finland. In the case Itar-Tass Russian News Agency v. Russian Kurier, it was concluded that you should use the copyright law of the source country to determine the copyright holder. If I am the sole copyright holder to the Swedish photo within Sweden, then with that arguing, I would be the sole copyright holder to that photo within the United States too. There is also a risk that a US court would argue differently and find that my photo violates the sculptor's copyright within the United States. This is largely untested territory. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:19, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Copyright and dead states

I suspect there's no clear answer to this, but I'd like to know what people think.

File:5th ordinary songfestival riga 1910.jpg was taken in Riga (then in the Russian Empire) in 1910. Its author died in Riga (then Soviet-occupied) in 1970. I want to say that this is copyrighted in Latvia until 2041, according to the current Latvian law of 70 pma, even though the Republic of Latvia didn't formally exist until 1991 (I assume the law applies retroactively). Anyone? :) –⁠moogsi (blah) 09:43, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

{{PD-RusEmpire}} is pretty permissive in that it states outright that anything created in the Russian Empire is PD (at least in Russia), and it can't be copyrighted anywhere else because the Russian Empire didn't have any international copyright agreements or legal successor states, so maybe that counts for something here –⁠moogsi (blah) 09:52, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

I'm guessing that it is protected by copyright in the entire European Union until 2041 if the author was a citizen of an EU country. I'm not sure how to decide whether a citizen of the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia counts as a citizen of the European Union. Some of the countries previously contained in those countries are part of the European Union while some are not. Also, if the man was a resident of Latvia or if it was first published there, then it is supposed to be protected for life+70 years in Latvia. I'm not sure how Latvian law defines country of residence or publication in cases like this. I'm guessing that {{PD-RusEmpire}} makes this PD in Russia, but I have no clue about the copyright status in other countries. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:27, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Jan Luyken etchings

Many of Jan Luyken's etchings are in Commons under free licences, when they really should be public domain as he died in 1712.

Can we change them to PD? --Curiousdannii (talk) 14:05, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

There is {{Licensed-PD-Art-two}} which seems to be for this situation. It is important that the CC license be retained in some form, for countries where {{PD-Art}} does not apply, in this case including the source country of the upload.Dankarl (talk) 15:02, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree. Ruslik (talk) 15:08, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
How does that relate to {{PD-art}} in general? According to that license, "faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain works of art are public domain, and that claims to the contrary represent an assault on the very concept of a public domain". So either we consider all 2D-reproduction of works with an expired copyright to be PD, or we need a separate license for all reproductions. I suppose that {{Licensed-PD-Art-two}} is in fact meant for photographs of paintings with a frame and such, i.e. for reproductions of PD art where the artwork itself is not the only object depicted. De728631 (talk) 19:10, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Faithful reproductions of two-dimensional public domain artworks are in the public domain in the United States, but not in certain other countries, depending on national law. Without a free licence for the reproduction, it is impossible to use the image in many countries. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:33, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Note to self: always read the full disclaimer. De728631 (talk) 19:44, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Then we should in fact apply {{Licensed-PD-art|PD-old-100|<photographer's license>}}. De728631 (talk) 19:54, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
My take was that we needed the US rationale for the original too. In fact I'm hard pressed to think of a case where we would not. Dankarl (talk) 20:25, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
{{PD-old-100}} has already a note that "this work is in the public domain in the United States". De728631 (talk) 22:28, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Well that's curious. {{PD-old-90}} for instance does not make the US claim. There is no statement of the rationale but I guess we are not to the point of requiring that yet. Dankarl (talk) 22:41, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Death more than 100 years ago does not automatically mean that a work is out of copyright in the United States. That is why we also have {{PD-old-100-1923}} and {{PD-old-100-1996}}. I'm not sure why {{PD-old-100}} states that works with that template are out of copyright in the United States. This is usually the case, but there are a few exceptions. I don't see what information {{PD-old-90}} provides in addition to {{PD-old-80}}. {{PD-old-90}} mentions USA in some languages but not in other languages. --Stefan4 (talk) 08:34, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

Death more than 100 years ago does not automatically mean that a work is out of copyright in the United States. True, but in this case it does work because these etchings were published before 1923. So adding an additional PD-1923 to the collection would be for informational purposes only. De728631 (talk) 14:15, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

work based on OSM map

I found a file credited as "own work" ( File:AlterSüdfriedhof.png ). I used subst:dw-nsd and tried to contact the uploader who didn't respond yet. So I tried to fix the problem but now I'm not sure if my fix is ok and how to proceed concerning the mentioned tag. Can I just delete it or is an admin preferred to do it? --Einemnet (talk) 15:18, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Thanks for adding the OSM link and copyright info. It seems to me that the problem has been solved. De728631 (talk) 19:17, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the confirmation and for the removal of the "no source" tag. --Einemnet (talk) 08:46, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

New issues of works in public domain

I uploaded two volumes of works of Olha Kobylianska. The author died in on 21 March 1942, so as far I understand her works are in public domain starting from 2013. The question is if the collection of her works published in 1988 is also in public domain? I guess that the answer is positive, but I just want to be sure. Also, is Template:PD-Ukraine a proper licensing template? I'm talking specifically about these two files, if it helps: File:Твори в двох томах (Ольга Кобилянська). Том 1.djvu and File:Твори в двох томах (Ольга Кобилянська). Том 2.djvu--DixonD (talk) 06:57, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

For a Russian work to be public domain in the US, it had to be published without US formalities (a certainty for Russian works in 1942, but not so much in 1988) prior to 1989. Then it had to be either out of copyright in Russian in 1996 (~ they died before 1946) or published before 1923. This is important, since Commons works under US law. What collection of her works published where? Frequently editors might claim a copyright in modern collection of works, and if it did somehow gain copyright in the US (like if they put a copyright notice on it), it would have that copyright at least through 2047 (extended posthumous copyrights were a compromise when switching over to life+n rules which ran out in 2002.)
PD-Ukraine is a perfectly fine licensing template, but a mildly controversial one on Commons, after many debates whether the source country on works was Russian or Ukrainian. Generally, you have to establish that the works were first published in the Ukraine, not in Russia (or in this case Romania).--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:36, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
Not sure why you are talking about Russian copyrights. This collection is published in 1988 in Kyiv (Ukrainian SSR at that time). For instance, the first volume contains a novel first published in 1896 (I don't know where though) and a number of short stories (I haven't checked publication information about them yet, but presumably they were published before the death of the author in 1942). I don't see any copyright notices in the very scan of the book. So what would be your judgment according to the information given - a copyright status and a license template that fits the best? --DixonD (talk) 08:06, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
Because you said "The author died in on 21 March 1942, so as far I understand her works are in public domain starting from 2013." That's not true if you're talking about Ukraine; it left copyright in Ukraine in 1992.
I'm not comfortable speaking about the collection you're talking about. You don't get a new copyright by just republishing older works, but you can for editing. How much editing has been done a book can be hard to tell, and the line in both the US and the Ukraine is probably judge-dependent. Certainly footnotes, endnotes, introductions, new illustrations, etc. get a new copyright; this page is definitely copyrighted in the Ukraine and US, and this illustration may well be.--Prosfilaes (talk) 11:24, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, your comments were helpful. --DixonD (talk) 17:15, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

Totem pole & housepost

I'm wondering about the copyright status of a Coast Salish housepost and Haida totem pole I've recently photographed in a park in White Rock, British Columbia. Images are at (Obviously, the one painted building is copyrighted.) I've included photos of all of the plaques available at the site. I can't work out whether the totem poles are recent original works, historic pieces, or replicas of historic pieces, and nothing on the plaques offhand makes that clear. I couldn't quickly find anything online about the pieces. Anyone have a clue? If we can accept these on Commons, I'd love to upload them here. - Jmabel ! talk 14:49, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

The plaques would be copyvio of the text. The building is a 2D work so it is copyvio. The 3D totems are fine because Canada does have FOP.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:04, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
w:Robert Davidson (artist) did one totem if I read the plaque correctly. Leonard Wells may have done the other.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:21, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
I just spotted four others in the 'Carvers' section of the one plaque. They are hard to read but look like Ben Davidson, Leslie Wells, Reg Davidson, and an xxx Livingston. Don't trust my eyes though.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:29, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Thanks. Yes, I was aware the plaques were not suitable for Commons, I pointed to them only for reference. I was not aware Canada had FOP for sculpture; good to know. - Jmabel ! talk 01:02, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
You are very welcome. The ones with websites probably have email if you wish to contact them for more details. They may wish to even provide images of their works if we create nice categories in their own names.--Canoe1967 (talk) 01:26, 11 May 2013 (UTC)


I just wanted to update {{PD-Internationale}} as it still said "However, the melody by Pierre Degeyter is or may be copyrighted in: Colombia until 2013 (life + 80 years)". As the composer died in 1932, the life + 80 years copyright term in Colombia has expired on December 31, 2012. The mention of Mexico was already correctly removed earlier, as the current 100 years pma term doesn't apply to authors who died before 1952 according to Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Mexico. So it seemed that the melody of the Internationale should now be in the public domain everywhere. There seems to be no country with a copyright term of more than 80 years for something published that long ago. - Well, but when I tried to update the template in other languages, I was becoming a bit unsure. In its last incarnation, the French template at Template:PD-Internationale/fr also only mentioned Colombia and Mexico as exceptions, which can be discounted now. So I changed it as the English template. But then I noticed that an earlier version of the French template said that the melody is copyrighted in France and Côte d'Ivoire until October, 2017. This seems to be based on French wartime copyright extensions, and English Wikipedia says the same thing at en:The_Internationale#Original_lyrics_and_copyright: Apparently, the melody is indeed still copyrighted in France. So I'm going to change the templates again and adding resp. re-adding the protection in France. If this is wrong, please correct me (and Wikipedia) ;-) Gestumblindi (talk) 23:49, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

By the way: If it is indeed the case that the Internationale's music is still protected in France, wouldn't we even need to the delete files containing the melody? The country of origin is apparently France, and Commons hosts only files that are free in the U.S. and in the country of origin... Gestumblindi (talk) 23:52, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
Yes. Per the policy of Commons, the files must be deleted. I don't like it, but currently it's the policy. See also Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-Internationale. That deletion request was well founded. Its closure as keep was a mistake. if we read the three keep comments, we see that they are in error. The first user offers no rationale but a vague comment about arithmetic, although his own arithmetic is apparently off, as he didn't seem to realize that 1932 + 84 years and 272 days = 2017, which is exactly what the template correctly and clearly explained (in the template's version at that point). The second user advocated that the policy of Commons should be changed and/or ignored, which unfortunately is not much of a valid rationale for keeping a file in contradiction of the current policy. The third user invokes the French Cour of Cassation, but he apparently missed the fact that the Court clarified that works that, as of July 1995, were under a term of protection in France longer than 70 years kept that longer term. That is the case for musical works, which in July 1995 did have that longer term (for example, for some works, it was 84 years and 272 days), and so they kept that longer term, which was not shortened to 70 years. -- Asclepias (talk) 05:20, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
the Court clarified that works that, as of July 1995, were under a term of protection in France longer than 70 years kept that longer term - yes, but the question is whether this applies also to works where the "extended protection period (beyond 70 years) had not started to elapse on July 1, 1995". The Internationale was still in the regular protection period then, so the longer term might not be applicable? See also the comment by Carl Lindberg further below. Gestumblindi (talk) 14:54, 1 May 2013 (UTC)

Oh, I'm confused... I reverted the French template back to the "copyrighted in France until 2017" version, but now noticed that Yann with this edit in 2009 said "PD in France now, war extensions no longer apply". I wonder why? As Commons:Copyright_rules_by_territory#Wartime_copyright_extensions is still mentioning the Internationale as an example, however in a 2005 case. What changed in 2009? I'm going to ask Yann. Hopefully it will turn out that it's indeed PD in France now, then we can keep it :-) Gestumblindi (talk) 23:58, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Okay, I think I get it now (and sorry for the soliloquy): I didn't read the introduction of Commons:Copyright_rules_by_territory#Wartime_copyright_extensions carefully enough. It says On February 27, 2007, the Court of Cassation, supreme jurisdiction, first civil chamber, ruled in the Hazan case (arrêt n° 280 du 27 février 2007) that articles L123-8 and L123-9, extending the duration of protection to compensate for wartimes, were not applicable to works for which an extended protection period (beyond 70 years) had not started to elapse on July 1, 1995]]. As the composer of the "Internationale" died in 1932, in 1995 there was still the regular term of protection of 70 years in effect (until 2002). So, no extended protection period "had started to elapse". I assume that this is the decision Yann was referring to, and that it indeed means that the Internationale is now in in the public domain in France, too. But before I change the French template again, I would be grateful for some confirmation... or correction :-) Also, then the article in English Wikipedia would need an update soon. French Wikipedia seems simply to say that it's in the public domain and doesn't mention any wartime extensions. Gestumblindi (talk) 00:17, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
By the way, I didn't change the Chinese (simplified/traditional) templates as yet. These still contain the "protected in France until 2017" part. If this is wrong, it should be removed there as well, of course. Gestumblindi (talk) 00:24, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
The annual report of the Cour de Cassation for the year 2007 gave a short and quite clear summary on the matter. The relevant part of the report can be read at this webpage. The basic rationale of the Court is that the copyright terms that, under the previous version of the law, were shorter than 70 years, were extended to 70 years by the new law, but the copyright terms that, under the previous version of the law, were longer than 70 years, were not retroactively shortened to 70 years by the new law. The question to consider is: under the version of the law that was in force on the reference date of 1 July 1995, did a given work enjoy a copyright term that was shorter or that was longer than the 70 years now provided by the new law? In July 1995, most types of works (i.e. works other than musical works) enjoyed a copyright of at most 64 years and 272 days. So, the duration of the copyright of those types of works was extended to 70 years by the new law. However, in July 1995, musical works enjoyed a term of protection that was longer than 70 years. For example, their copyright could be 78 years and 120 days or 84 years and 272 days. So, the duration of their copyright was not shortened to 70 years by the new law. Instead, they continued to enjoy their longer term of copyright. -- Asclepias (talk) 05:20, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Right, but I think the question is on the precise meaning of "extended protection period (beyond 70 years) had not started to elapse on July 1, 1995". Does that mean that the term had to already be beyond 70pma on that date (i.e. only works where the author died before 1925 could keep their longer terms), or does it mean that the author had died before 1995 and thus the longer (in previous law) term with a known end date had started to elapse, or did it mean that the works merely needed to be created before 1995, such that its copyright existed and had an assumed longer term which was shortened? The first interpretation makes some sense as it would normalize most works at 70pma within a relatively short period of time, but it would have the effect of shortening the expectations of some existing terms. The other interpretations could leave the previously varied terms which existed across Europe in place for another 100ish years, if they were longer than 70pma. The ruling definitely made clear that the EU directive could not be used to extend any term beyond 70pma, but the question is about terms which were already above 70pma (such as some of Spain's 80pma terms) -- what does "extended period started to elapse" mean exactly? The terminology comes straight from the EU directive so presumably the reasoning would be EU-wide. There is another consideration for France, which might affect a very few musical works -- the extension to 70pma for those became effective January 1, 1986 per here; I'm not sure if that was retroactive or not -- if not, then musical works where the 50pma plus wartime extensions had expired by January 1, 1986 were not extended to the longer terms. That distinction is probably moot by now in France but might have URAA implications for a very small sliver of works (those published 1923 and later but where the author died before 1927ish). Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:43, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
According to Article 10 of the w:Copyright Duration Directive, the directive didn't shorten any copyright terms: "Where a term of protection, which is longer than the corresponding term provided for by this Directive, is already running in a Member State on the date referred to in Article 13 (1), this Directive shall not have the effect of shortening that term of protection in that Member State." That is, if the term under the old law is longer than than EU term, then the old term should be used. If the EU term is longer than the old term, then the EU term should be used. This meant (for example):
  • Old Spanish works use {{PD-old-80}} instead of {{PD-old-70}}, and possibly also instead of {{Anonymous-EU}}.
  • British photos taken since 1957 use 70 years pma or 50 years pd, whichever is longer. 50 years pd is longer for unpublished photos whereas 70 years pma is longer for photos published within 20 years after they were taken.
  • Certain anonymous German works use {{PD-old-70}} instead of {{Anonymous-EU}}.
My assumption was that this meant that French works get 50 years pma with wartime extensions (old term), or 70 years pma without wartime extensions (EU term), whichever is longer. Only "death for France" gives a term which is longer than life+70 years under the old law. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:24, 1 May 2013 (UTC)
Yep, so it comes down to what "already running" means precisely. I have seen people give the opinion that it did mean that it had to already be longer than 70pma on that 1995 date. But I'm really not sure. Does an existing work get a longer term even if the author had not died by 1995, when the end date wasn't even known? Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:08, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
I would say: of course. Copyright starts running with the creation of the work, or its publication, not with the death of its author. So if an author born in 1910 created/published a musical work in 1938, that work intially had a copyright of term of 50y p.m.a., then the wartime extensions for WWII (8y 120d) were added, giving 58y 120d p.m.a. The 1985 law increased that by 20years (for musical works only) to 78y 120d p.m.a. according to fr:Prorogations de guerre. Now, irrespective of whether the author still lived on July 1, 1995, the musical work had a copyright term longer than 70y p.m.a. on that date, and that longer term remained valid. Let our hypothetical author now die in 2000 at the age of 90. His musical work from 1910 is copyrighted in France until the end of 2078. If the work was a non-musical work, its term on July 1, 1995 was 58y 120d p.m.a, which got extended to 70y p.m.a. flat by the 1997 law.
Now, factor in mort pour la France (still with our author born 1910, work created/published 1938):
  • Author died before July 1, 1995, and was recognized mort pour la France before July 1, 1995: copyright got extended before July 1, 1995 to 88y 120d (non-musical work) or 108y 120d (musical work), and that longer term was still valid on July 1, 1995, and remained valid.
  • Author died before July 1, 1995, but was recognized mort pour la France after July 1, 1995: copyright on July 1, 1995 was 58y 120d (non-musical work) or 78y 120d (musical work), got extended to 70y (non-musical) or left at 78y 120d (musical work), then 30y were added for mort pour la France: term is 100y (non-musical work) or 108y 120d (musical work).
    • (Edit 22:25, 5 May 2013 (UTC): That's not just a theoretical case; Irène Némirovsky was recognized mort pour la France in 2010, and the copyright on her works was extended: [1]. Lupo 22:25, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Author died after July 1, 1995, and logically was recognized mort pour la France after July 1, 1995: as above: copyright on July 1, 1995 was 58y 120d (non-musical work) or 78y 120d (musical work), got extended to 70y (non-musical) or left at 78y 120d (musical work), then 30y were added for mort pour la France: term is 100y (non-musical work) or 108y 120d (musical work).
Lupo 17:18, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
You could also argue that the regular term had started running but the 30-year mort pour la France extension term had not yet started in 1995, if the authors died 1945 or later (possibly earlier if in combination with other extension terms). That question was brought up in this book (and not really answered) and it appears the Cour de Cassation did not have to directly deal with it. By that parsing of words, you could treat the combination-of-separate-terms situation differently than the straight-up 80pma of Spain, for example. That was part of the argument noted at Commons:Undeletion_requests/Archive/2012-02#Works_of_Maurice_Ravel, although that may further distinguish the "died for France" extension and the other wartime extensions since the latter were not directly tied to the author. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:28, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
That's an interesting idea. Unfortunately I don't see anything in either the two decisions by the Court de Cassation (CC)[2][3] nor in the original 1951 law[4] for the WWII copyright extensions that would say so. The CC dealt with non-musical works only (two paintings, by Monet and Boldini), stated that 70y applied unless a longer term was already running on July 1, 1995 (hormis les cas où au 1er juillet 1995, une période de protection plus longue avait, dans ces pays, commencé à courir, laquelle est alors seule applicable). They do not say that 70y applied unless the work was already in its extension period. It's possible that they might have meant to say that, but the text doesn't. The 1951 law also doesn't say that new terms were tacked onto the normal copyright term but says that the copyrights are prolonged by a certain number of days (or 30y in the case of mort pour la France). The Annual report 2007 also does not seem to support this "individual terms that get to run one after the other" theory. In fact, the examples given at the end of that report quite clearly point to the other direction: it's one single copyright term that may have been extended by wartime extension or by mort pour la France. If the so extended term is longer than 70 years, that longer term remains applicable. If it is shorter than 70 years, it was extended to 70years, and subsumed the wartime extensions that were made earlier (so from 50 + 14y 272d it went to 70y, not to 70y + 14y 272d). I find the "individual terms that get to run one after the other" theory rather unfounded and adventurous. Do we have any reliable sources that would back it up? Lupo 19:14, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure. The court decision was just repeating the text from the French law I think, which in turn repeated the EU directive. The 2009 book I linked mentions the possibility of that interpretation, but doesn't really give an answer. They do reference an 2007 article titled Impression, soleil couchant... pour les prorogations de guerre by a Thibault Lancrenon, but not sure if it touches on the matter or not. User:Hsarrazin was one user involved in the Maurice Ravel discussions, and per a comment on my talk page has some expertise, so perhaps they could be asked -- I believe the combination of terms argument was given there. Agreed that the 2007 annual report does not seem to support the combined-terms reasoning, and neither does paragraph 9 of the original EU directive. The two court cases did not have to deal with the musical works term question though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:16, 5 May 2013 (UTC)
The old French copyright law defined a term of life+70 years+war extension for music, right? So in this case, we shouldn't add the war extension to a 50 years pma term but to a 70 years pma term, which gives a term longer than 70 years pma. Delete, then? --Stefan4 (talk) 14:40, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
I think so. The French article fr:Prorogations de guerre claims, however, that the 1992 law had shortened the 70y + wartime extension for musical works to plain 70y. If that is correct, the switch for musical works from 70y + wartime extensions to plain 70y occurred not on July 1, 1995 but already on July 1, 1992. In other words: musical works created before July 1, 1992 have 70y + wartime extensions, musical works created created after have plain 70y. But that difference of three years certainly has no effect on the Internationale. Lupo 21:28, 6 May 2013 (UTC)
Actually that is more interesting. The 1986 extension to 70pma was apparently not clear on whether that new term could be added to by the war extensions, and there were no court cases to clarify it during that period, though it was assumed so. The 1992 law did seem to clarify things, such that the extensions were only added to the 50pma term (i.e. rights granted by the 1866 law only). I don't see why that would not serve to shorten any terms beyond 70pma if they were in fact considered longer briefly (from 1986 to 1992); were there any transitional sections which said a longer term for earlier works would be preserved? Laws can shorten terms just as much as lengthen them, and that may well have been a clarification of intent, and that the (possibly) longer terms had not been intended. If so, that would be a more satisfying explanation of why musical works are still limited to a straight 70pma. I have to admit though that the law does read to me as though just the WWI and WWII extensions would not be applicable; the 30-year term for "mort pour la France" would seem to be validly added to the 70pma term, as that does not have the explicit reference to the 1866 rights, just that it is added to the two war extensions if they are applicable. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:35, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
If that were so, then the examples given by the CC in its annual report 2007 would be wrong. The CC was in its two decisions quite adamant that already acquired rights remained valid, so works that already had gotten a wartime extension (and since that concerns works published before the wars, all such works are also created long before 1992), would still have that wartime extension in excess of 70y. If the 1992 law had abolished the wartime extensions for musical works, effectively shortening already existing terms, there's no way any musical work could have had a term longer than 70y in 1995 or in 2007 (except mort pour la France), and thus the CC would not have written in the annual report of 2007: les oeuvres musicales : pour lesquelles la loi du 3 juillet 1985 avait porté à 70 ans la durée de protection normale, de sorte que les bénéficiaires des prorogations de guerre applicables à cette date pouvaient prétendre à une durée de protection excédant 70 ans (dans l’hypothèse maximum : 84 ans et 272 jours) This case then would just not have existed. Therefore, the 1992 law did not shorten existing longer terms. Otherwise, we'd have to assume that the CC made an error, and while I cannot (of course) rule that out completely, I think that is now a really adventurous supposition. Lupo 05:36, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
It could have been a mistake, as the court never really had to look into that detail. Granted, that report is the major indication that the 1986 law did in fact apply the extensions to musical works (which was unclear but had been generally assumed per the fr-wiki article), but the references to the 1866 law are pretty subtle and I can't imagine that situation was really brought in detail up during the 2007 cases since neither involved musical works. More to the point, I don't see any part of the 1992 law which would exempt existing musical works from the new terms. The EU directive contained language which clearly intended to not reduce any longer terms already running, and the 1987 Spanish law had an explicit transitional section which exempted existing works whose authors had died before that date from the new shorter terms. But I don't see anything in that 1992 law which would do the same -- it just says the earlier laws are abrogated as of the effective date and replaced with the new text. I of course could be missing or misunderstanding some other aspect of their law, but the normal way which we would read and apply laws would point to the 1992 law simply replacing the previous one wholesale going forward. I suppose it's possible the interpretation of the extensions only extending the 1866 rights could be wrong, i.e. the 1992 law did not reduce anything at all, but if it is correct... I can't see how the previous situation could be continued under the 1992 law. The 2007 annual report is hard to ignore, agreed, but it's also hard to ignore the text of actual law, to me. Does the annual report have any legal effect, or is that reserved for just the text of the decisions themselves, of which the annual report is a summary? Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:34, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't know, but I would guess that the annual report is not a legal document. Still, it is the best commentary on that subject we have, from a reputable source. The mention of the 1866 law also occurs in the original 1951 law introducing the wartime extensions for WWII. The 1985 law didn't touch that at all, it just modified the earlier 1957 law, which had abolished and completely replaced the 1866 law (plus a number of other laws dating back as far as 1791). The 1957 law also makes no reference to the wartime extensions or the 1951 law. So, by that logic, even under the 1985 law, the wartime extension would not have been added to the 70y for musical works. But quite evidently the CC thinks they were, and according to Prorogations de guerre, that is the generally accepted idea: La doctrine a cependant majoritairement conservé l'idée que les durées de protection précédentes continuaient à courir pour les œuvres qui en bénéficiaient [...], au titre d'un « respect des droits acquis », aboutissant à la règle pratique (mais sans fondement textuel) que pour les œuvres musicales, « les prorogations (des articles 123-8 et suivants) s'ajoutent (depuis 1985) aux 70 ans post mortem (codifié par l'article 123-1). » Lupo 13:49, 7 May 2013 (UTC)
OK, but then what was the aspect of the 1992 law that the fr-wiki article says reduced the terms? Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:34, 8 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure. I wrote above "If that is correct..." I find that section of the French article badly sourced and unclear. I also find the image caption for Halphen rather strange (and again, unsourced). Also, at the end of the section "Régime introduit par la loi Lang de 1985" the article claims the annual report of the CC were wrong (no source either). Lupo 13:19, 8 May 2013 (UTC)

Thank you all for the interesting discussion! So, as much as I dislike deleting this important melody which seems to be in the public domain everywhere except possibly for France, it seems we have to delete the files currently using this template, according to Commons' policy that files must be free in the source country, and according to COM:PRP, with restoration possible in November 2017. I'll wait for maybe some more discussion, then I'm going to file deletion requests... Gestumblindi (talk) 12:24, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Copyright searches

I am looking for copyright on a USA painting that was created and published between 1971 and 1979. I have details of the first few searches here. Did paintings in the USA need to be registered in the above .pdfs? I brought this up before when I uploaded photos I took of a version I own. A rep of Mr. Miracle emailed OTRS and I conceded to delete the images because I knew far less of copyright issues at that time. Should I continue to search the remaining years?--Canoe1967 (talk) 23:41, 9 May 2013 (UTC)

No, works published after 1963 don't need to be registered, though it really hurts their case in court.--Prosfilaes (talk) 04:59, 10 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. With so many pirated bootlegs it would be hard to prove no proper notice.--Canoe1967 (talk) 02:29, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
  This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. --Canoe1967 (talk) 02:29, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Check copyright

I just uploaded File:Branson Belle stage curtain 2005.jpg that may be copyvio. Is it too simple to qualify for TOO in the USA? Admin can feel free to delete if they think it is copyvio.--Canoe1967 (talk) 23:48, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

Low quality web screenshots

I just downloaded [5], a massive declassified tome from the NSA, released under a FOIA request, with all kinds of tips about how to do good Web searches. It contains an abundance of low-quality, grainy, black and white screenshots from various commercial websites. It is definitely legal under Fair Use, but is it acceptable under Commons policy? Wnt (talk) 06:32, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

No, sorry. Commons does not allow 'fair use' under any circumstances. See Commons:Fair use --MichaelMaggs (talk) 07:36, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, but Commons allows de minimis. The problem is that coming from the U.S., where Fair Use is the standard, I have no idea whether these would count as "trifles" or not. I don't know what the "de minimis criteria" would be. The thing is, I cannot imagine those webshots being used to compete with the original website or design a website similar to the original website. Wnt (talk) 19:27, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
On the basis of the link you've provided I definitely do not think that the embedded images have much chance of being considered de minimis. The only feasible option, if you want to upload it here, would be to blank out all of the images first. Alternatively, the English Wikipedia might be able to accept it with the fair use rationale. --MichaelMaggs (talk) 20:09, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
Wikisources? Dankarl (talk) 23:11, 12 May 2013 (UTC)

Brasilian licenses

Is {{Attribution-PresidenciaBr}} a valid license tag? I don't quite see how one can leap from "use free of charge as long as the source is acknowledged" to "use it for any purpose, provided that the copyright holder is properly attributed. Redistribution, derivative work, commercial use, and all other use is permitted." Is that interpretation fine or not?

The question occurred to me on this DR, where a photo from "Ricardo Stuckert/PR" (Presidência da República) was licensed as {{Agência Brasil}} (which is a CC-BY-3.0-br license) because it was redistributed by that agency. Seems to me Stuckert's photos should be {{Attribution-PresidenciaBr}} instead, but if that license itself is not valid, that wouldn't help. Lupo 12:45, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Imo not free. Two reasons:
  • "Use" not includes modification / derivative works.
  • Today they restrict commercial reuse. Can I still use a file for commercial purposes just because a Wikimedia Commons user downloaded the file in the past when commercial reuse was allowed, and still offers me to reuse it commercially? On what legal ground does this Wikimedia Commons user perpetually allow commercial reuse to third parties while the original source not longer grants this permission and never granted commercial reuse perpetually?
--Martin H. (talk) 12:51, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

Need a hand confirming copyright status

So File:Eunuco haciendo guardia en un harén.jpg is linked to a Flickr page as the source, which claims CC-BY. Same page has a link to the "original" on Flickr, which says "No known copyright restrictions", and has a link to the file at Spaarnestad Photo ([6]). Problem is... I can't figure out from that page exactly what this image's copyright status is. It seems to say "photographer unknown", and may have been published in Life. Any thoughts? —/Mendaliv//Δ's/ 13:51, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

If it is 1931 it may be hard to find the photographer, first publication date, and where it was first published. Without more info it should probably be tagged for deletion review.--Canoe1967 (talk) 07:20, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Australian hot air balloons and FOP

Commons:Freedom of Panorama#Australia applies only when the work is "situated, otherwise than temporarily, in a public place, or in premises open to the public". My understanding of this is that FOP does not apply to the creative designs of hot air balloons, which are normally exhibited to the public at individual, temporary events rather than on a permanent basis. If this interpretation is correct, then many of the photographs at Category:Hot air balloons of Australia and Category:The Skywhale (at least, those balloons made to resemble creatures, or with sufficiently original 2D artwork) are infringing and should be deleted. Or am I overlooking something? —Psychonaut (talk) 11:32, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Australian FOP somewhat means (but doesn't restrict) "otherwise than temporarily in a public place..." as an artwork being transported from Point A to Point B. Whether a hot air balloon would fit into this, given that they are meant to in public as part of their utility, I'm not too sure, but it might be worth exploring. russavia (talk) 12:27, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
What's the source of the claim that "otherwise than temporarily" refers only to the work's transportation as opposed to temporary exhibition at a fixed location? (That is, is this definition in the statute itself, or is this an interpretation which has arisen from case law? In any case, is there a Commons page summarizing this?) Even under the "transportation" definition, though, it seems reasonable that this would apply to vehicular works of art, which are almost always exhibited in operation (i.e., transporting themselves). —Psychonaut (talk) 07:36, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I considered this issue before I uploaded the photos of Category:The Skywhale. As hot air balloons are, by their nature, on highly public display each and every time they're flown and not much else is typically ever done with them, I judged that they were for all intents and purposes on permanent public display in the same way that other types of aircraft are (a Qantas plane which is parked in a hanger when its not flying around, for example), and as such freedom of panorama applied to these images. Given that zillions of photos of Australian hot air balloons have been published all over the internet (including previous balloons designed by artists), have there ever been any instances of their owners complaining about reproductions, and having these complaints upheld? Googling "hot air balloon freedom of panorama" returns no results on this whatsoever, 'hot air balloon "freedom of panorama"' returns only some Wikimedia discussions of balloons in Mexico and 'hot air balloon "copyright violation"' returns random images uploaded to YouTube and the like which have been tagged as problematic. There are no news stories or legal articles/guidance on this issue I can see. Given that something like this would attract attention from the legal and general media if it was ever raised, it's likely that there's no grounds for concern. Nick-D (talk) 10:04, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Agree. JKadavoor Jee 10:34, 16 May 2013 (UTC)


File:Weidenfeller.jpg comes from a Flickr account belonging to the City of Dortmund, but the Flickr account claims that the author is "Soeren Spoo, Dortmund-Agentur". Do you think that the city had permission to publish this photo under a CC licence? Also, the comment field says that it is available under version 3.0 of a CC licence but if you look for the licence at the normal place, it says that it is version 2.0 of a CC licence. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:23, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

From what I can understand, Dortmund-Agentur is the communication branch of the administration of the town of Dortmund, and is the employer of Soeren Spoo, right? If so, I guess that yes, we can assume that the town is acting in good faith and that it owns the copyright (or that it has otherwise correcty cleared the rights or obtained the license from Spoo). However, the fact that they offer the photograph under some mysterious "3.0" license, without telling which license, shows that they don't completely know what they're doing. But I don't think that this "3.0" license, whatever it is, is meant to contradict or to forbid the use of the CC-by-2.0 license, so I don't think there's a problem in using the file. Dortmund-Agentur can be contacted to clarify that. Spoo seems to have an internet presence and can probably also be contacted independently if necessary. -- Asclepias (talk) 23:59, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
"cc 3.0 Lizenz: Soeren Spoo, Dortmund-Agentur" may be an update to the 2.0 that they either couldn't change or didn't bother to change. Their translation or interpretation of CC licenses they may feel that their name in place of -by is a form of attribution. I think the uploader and WMF are okay keeping it and any legal issues arising can be with the Flickr account and the rights holders. We should be covered as it doesn't seem like Flickr washing.--Canoe1967 (talk) 07:11, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Signatures in USSR / Armenia

I'm wondering if we could claim {{PD-signature}} for this signature of Yakov Zarobyan. The question is whether personal signatures were original enough for copyright in the Soviet Union or if they're copyrightable nowadays in Armenia. Zarobyan died in 1980, so this might still be copyrighted. De728631 (talk) 13:06, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Ethics of snagging free images

What are the ethics of snagging freely licensed (and useful, instructive) images, say from Flickr, and uploading them here; only to find that at a later date, the original image on Flickr is now restricted to full copyright? Are there any discussions regarding this here on Commons? One can't help but wonder if the original Creative Commons licensing was an error, and if "grabbing" those images is in some way unethical. – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 01:26, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Aside from the question of whether it's ethical, it is of course entirely legal, as CC licenses are irrevocable. However, we're not robots, and it is possible for someone to make a mistake or change their mind. For example, Commons:Deletion requests/Simpio96 Flickr stream is a case of a user being apparently strongarmed into relicensing their files on Flickr, without understanding what they were doing. Of course it's dependent on the situation, and you will hear different opinions about it, but I personally think that there is no point in pissing someone off and acting against their wishes for the sake of a few free images.
In cases where people later change the license on Flickr, and apparently don't care what happens to their files, there is {{Flickr-change-of-license}}. Of course there is little point in complying with someone's wishes to remove a file on Commons when it has been available here for a long time, the best thing to do then is explain the situation to them and hope they get it. I'm not aware of a case of someone changing their Flickr files to "all rights reserved" and then trying to get them removed from Commons. It's debatable what should happen in that case, and I can't give you a real-world example –⁠moogsi (talk) 01:52, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
I grabbed File:Unknown hairy creature on stump.jpg in a hurry because I thought the licence may change but it hasn't. He still has many fine images on Flickr that someone should grab as well. File:1960s Batmobile (FMC).jpg is a very rare one by Jennifer Graylock. Ford had it as CC-by-2.0 and later changed it to non-commercial. If Jennifer wanted to kick up a fuss then she could probably do so with Ford Co. She makes a living selling images through her services and Getty so I doubt she would ever have allowed a free licence.--Canoe1967 (talk) 02:22, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
(Temporary hijack of my own thread) Not to open a can of worms, but regarding the Batman image, Ford may not have the right to release that image. Would I be wrong in thinking this? Warner Bros. just won a huge lawsuit this year over the Batmobile; not sure how it carries over to photographs. Thanks for the replies, I hope more people dive in! – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 04:54, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
I think it was decided at the DR for Batmobile images that the court ruling was not for photographs just replica makers.--Canoe1967 (talk) 06:37, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Interesting... always fascinating stuff going on around here :) – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 18:22, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
File:PopeDementia.jpg is a real-world example that's passed a couple DRs, helped by the fact that nobody likes to be called a liar and a thief.--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:40, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Another interesting example, I read the talk page. Thanks! – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 18:22, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Legal; but unethical in my opinion. But change in license in Flickr doesn't always mean that the contributor change his mind (as in my case). Earlier my works in Flickr are CC-BY-SA and people transferred my files to here. Later I found this place and started contributing here too. It made some issues; many files I try to upload here are already here. Further, my Flickr uploads are very tight crops; but my uploads here are as original as possible. So I decided to change my Flickr license to CC-BY-NC-SA; thus preventing third party uploads. :) JKadavoor Jee 06:05, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
In practice it's a balancing act. Requests from the author to delete their file are viewed as requests, rather than legal obligations, and factors like privacy are weighed against factors like usefulness of the media. In some cases, the "third option" of anonymization (asking the original author to release their work under CC0 by OTRS, then stripping their name from the file history) has also been a successful compromise. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:40, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

A 1905 photograph from a French museum

Hello, to answer a question on the French village pump I thought the easiest way is to ask here. It is a rather famous picture, used in many places on the net without proper attribution.

  • Attribution is here on (Larousse dictionary) : "Ph. Coll. Archives Larousse" = photographic collection, Larousse archives,
  • but here it says it is from 1905 and located in the Quai Branly museum, and it comes with "Restrictions" claiming commercial use needs authorisation from the web site.

The French village pump has recently mentioned copyfraud several times. The question is now :

  • is the author considered anonymous in this case ?
  • is 1905 old enough if the author is unknown but not considered anonymous ?
  • if the photograph itself proves to be public domain, can a site or museum restrict things like this ?

Any insight is appreciated, thank you. Oliv0 (talk) 17:00, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

First of all it should be determined which state's copyright is applicable in this case. The caption at Scala Archives says that the photo was taken in 1905 in the Likouanga region of the Congo which was then part of the French colony in Congo. Today this a department of the Republic of Congo. If we assume that the photographer was a Frenchman, then the image should be subject to French copyright law, which has a copyright term of 70 years following the first publication of anonymous works. The other but rather unlikely possibility is that the photographer settled there and lived on for some 55 years to become a citizen of the Republic of Congo in 1960, in which case the image would be out of copyright, since the term for photographs in the Rep. of Congo is 25 years from creation. De728631 (talk) 18:27, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Should be Likouala Dankarl (talk) 19:14, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Bonjour, This picture is from a postcard published in the collection Leray. François Leray (1869-1934) [7] published many of those postcards circa 1910. Leray took photographs himself and he also published photographs taken by his colleagues missionaries of the Congrégation du Saint-Esprit. [8] They were printed by the Imprimeries réunies de Nancy, in Nancy, France. It makes sense to consider that they were first published in France rather than in Congo, as Europe would likely be their primary market. The photographer is typically credited on the postcard in the following way: "Collection Leray. Cliché [name of photographer]." (examples: [9], [10]). The published postcard with the photo you are talking about has only the mention "Collection Leray" with no other name. ( It is reasonable to conclude that Leray was the photographer of the photographs when another photographer is not credited. Anyway, the French copyright law provides that the author of a work is deemed to be the person under whose name the work is published. Those facts in mind, it would be reasonable to credit Leray as author, or you could perhaps consider it anonymous if you think that the absence a specific mention of "Cliché:" has this consequence. Also, remember that before 1995, the copyright term in France was 50 years p.m.a. for works of known authors, and 50 years from publication for anonymous works, but you must add the war prolongations. Remember also that French jurisprudence is to the effect that ordinary photographs, without very special creative originality, do not generate a copyright. Finally, we don't know exactly when the postcard was published, although other postcards from the Leray collection are often presented on websites as being from circa 1910. (÷&scs=1&pageid=r&query=Leray) In this case, it's reasonable to assume that this postcard was almost certainly published before 1923. The congregation published some postcards until 1930, but there's no particular reason to believe that this postcard waited that long if the photo was created in 1905. So, you have a few choices as to what Commons tags you may decide to attribute to that photograph. IMO, the most probable reality is PD-1923 + a mention that the photo is not copyrightable in France. But some people are not used to the latter mention, so I believe that most people on Commons might feel more comfortable with the tags PD-1923 + PD-old-70 (I suppose there's no actual harm done in possibly falsely claiming that a work has been under copyright in France in the past, as long as it is not claimed to be under copyright now). Or if you opt for anonymous, then PD-1923 + Anonymous-EU. In conclusion, it is immaterial which of the possible above paths you take to determine the copyright status of this photograph, you always arrive at the conclusion that it is in the public domain in the United States, and in France, and in Congo. (The only problem, and that's stretching it, would be if you decided to retain the unlikely possibility that the postcard was published after 1922 while attributing it to Leray, because then it would risk being caught by the URAA (1934+50+15=1999>1996), although there would still be no problem if you attribute it to anonymous, even if published as late as 1930 (1930+50+15=1995<1996), using PD-1996 + Anonymous-EU.) -- Asclepias (talk) 05:57, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks a lot, I uploaded it: File:Ekanghila, catéchiste prisonnier dans un filet, Les Baloïs (Haut-Oubanghi), 1905.jpg, and I found a detailed account about that picture [11]: he was a local catechist and was not caught by Europeans but by a chief who disapproved of Christianity, so that most captions and uses of this picture about slavery are in fact wrong. Oliv0 (talk) 08:52, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
Excellent find. This text has a lot of useful informations : name of author, date of publication, context of creation. N.B. You may want to ask a rename of the file to remove the name. According to the text, Ekanghila is not the man on the photo but the man in charge of the community. The man on the photo was another cathechist whose name was apparently not transmitted in the sources. -- Asclepias (talk) 11:35, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
That is right, note 7 in the text makes it quite clear, it will be renamed to File:Catéchiste prisonnier dans un filet, Les Baloïs (Haut-Oubanghi), 1905.jpg without the name in the title, thank you. Oliv0 (talk) 13:32, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I just noticed that the photograph on the postcard reproduced on the Delcampe and Postcardman websites is not exactly the same as the photograph reproduced at your source (the Larousse website) and on the Scala website, as can be seen from the small difference in the position of the hands of the person. Leray would have taken more than one shot of the scene, although they are very similar. The above comments apply to the photographs published on the postcards (the text by De Banville confirms that the postcards were published between 1905 and 1911). The text of De Banville about the photograph of the postcard is illustrated with the photograph reproduced on Larousse and Scala. This could mean that both photos were published on postcards. Or it could mean that the magazine used the wrong version. The Scala reproduction shows that that version was also part of the collection Leray and mounted at an early date. The distribution by Leray to whoever used this photograph could perhaps constitute publication anyway (in the acception of the U.S. copyright law). I think it's fine to consider that this photo was also published on a postcard, as its use by the magazine indicates, and that's by far the most interesting source we have, or that it was otherwise published. But other people on Commons may display more zeal than me and may argue and question the year of publication of this particular shot. It may not be a bad idea to upload also another file with the other photograph with the postcard text on it. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:52, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

(Edit conflict) It is possible that the website just lists any image as copyrighted regardless of whether this is true. Any copyright statement that you see may be wrong.

  • In Europe, there is the w:Publication right. If an image is unpublished when it enters the public domain, anyone choosing to publish it gets a 25-year "publication right" which is essentially identical to the economical parts of copyright. It doesn't say when the image was first published, so it might have remained unpublished in a drawer and first published less than 25 years ago. I don't know if France is the country of origin. It says that the photo was taken in Congo, so the source country might be French Congo or Belgian Congo instead. The source country is normally the country where the work was first published.
FWIW Likouala is in Republic of Congo. Dankarl (talk) 19:14, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
  • In the United States, the copyright to an anonymous unpublished photo lasts for 120 years since the photo was taken. The photo might not have been published until recently, and Commons can't accept photos which aren't in the public domain in the United States.

The main problem is that copyright too often depends on when and where something was published for the first time, which often causes problems since that information often isn't available. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:38, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for all your answers. So

  • copyright laws concerning France or the former French Congo province seem to be OK,
  • what should be investigated but is quite probable is that such an emblematic picture of slavery has been published for exhibition since more than 25 years ago: the Quai Branly museum is rather new but received collections formerly on display in Musée de l'Homme,
  • in this case {{PD-1923}}{{Anonymous-EU}} would be correct I suppose. Oliv0 (talk) 20:55, 15 May 2013 (UTC)
Used in many places on the net without proper attribution or not knowing the photographer because archives not write the photographers name in their online databases does not mean that the photographer is unknown or that the photographer published this photo anonymously. It would be necessary to contact those archives and ask for author imprints on the originals or on supplemental sheets and to check previous publications of the photo. --Martin H. (talk) 02:25, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
You were right, the author is known: Father François Leray (1869-1934), so there is no problem. Oliv0 (talk) 09:31, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
There is a problem, and it's called URAA. On 1 January 1996, the image was not yet out of copyright in France, so it became copyrighted in the US too. That means we can't host it on Commons. De728631 (talk) 19:08, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
COM:URAA#Preliminary tests says there is no US copyright if it was published before 01/01/1923, and the reference given says this exact photograph (as displayed there, not the different position of hands on the Delcampe postcard) belongs to the second series of postcards published by chanoine (canon) Augouard before 1912. Oliv0 (talk) 20:07, 16 May 2013 (UTC)
I think that postcard just says "Collection Leray" ( -- may not imply that Leray is the author. But yes, that is a slightly different photo. But, it sounds pretty likely that it was first published in France. Pretty clearly PD-US-1923 for the US side of things, so just need to be sure of current French copyright. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:34, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
As discussed above:
  • 1. Judging from the reproductions that can be found on the internet, the Leray collection normally credits each photograph to the name of its photographer, whenever it's not one of the photographs by Leray himself. A contrario, it seems reasonable to assume that Leray is the photographer of the photographs that are not credited to another photographer.
  • 2. The French copyright law edicts the rule that the person under whose name a work is published must be considered as the author. In the absence of another name, it looks like Leray would be the best candidate to fit this condition.
  • 3. There is no particular reason to doubt the statement of archivist De Banville, whose account is so far the most complete source available on this image, who specifically attributes this photograph to Leray as the photographer.
If that is not enough, we can add:
  • 4. There is no particular reason to doubt the statement of the Musée du Quai Branly, the museum who exhibits a copy of the photo, who attributes this photo to Leray as the photographer ([12], search with keyword "Leray").
In the absence of anything that would contradict those elements and sources, I'm not sure what more it takes to accept the available evidence. If you don't accept Leray as author, then your only other choice is to consider it anonymous, as it seems that no other photographer name has ever been suggested in connection with this photograph. Either way, there's no problem with French copyright (unless perhaps in the hypothesis where it would be an anonymous work published between 1943 and 1955).
-- Asclepias (talk) 06:51, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
As my removal of references to the postcards implies, in my opinion there is no longer any need to discuss the different notices from postcards and museums (all mistaken in some way, as it appears now, the smallest mistake being the exact location), since now there is a reference to a detailed account which tells us exactly how this was photographed, by whom, where and when it was published as a postcard, etc. There do not seem to be reasons to doubt what it says, it has good sources (shown in notes 2 and 5). Oliv0 (talk) 08:32, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
The only small thing that may be marginally confusing is the existence of two photographs. For simplicity, let us call them "photo H" (the photo where the hands are positioned higher, on the postcard on the Delcampe website) and "photo L" (the photo where the hands are positioned lower, on the print of the Quai Branly Museum). Banville's article seems to say that photo L was published as a postcard, before 1912. However, we don't find reproductions on the internet of photo L in the form of a postcard. We do find reproductions of photo H in the form of a postcard. Were both photos published as postcards, then? Okay, that is quite possible and we can just trust Banville. Or is it possible that he confused the two photos? Anyway, the museum's notice mentions that Leray himself donated a print of his photo L to the predecessor museum. That transmission might have constituted publication under U.S. law and, although the notice does not specify the year of donation, it is probable that it occurred before 1930. -- Asclepias (talk) 06:48, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

File:Melissa Grelo CP24.jpg

I just saw that the above file was deleted. I received CC-BY release (can't remember which version) via a 2010 tweet. Skeezix1000 found it an unorthodox method in April 2012, but suspected the method was valid. He posed a question about the practice on a common talk page, and no one replied, except me.

In August 2012, Rosenzweig deleted with the comment: "License review NOT passed: Author on source webpage is using all rights reserved. Permission via twitter unsure." I'm unsure what he means that Ms. Grelo was using "all rights reserved", as there's no easy way to declare one copyright or another on twitpic or whatever service she used. Can anyone tell me what the URL for the tweet is, at minimum, so I can see what he was refering to?

More importantly, is or isn't this an acceptable technique, it situations where you cannot easily contact a celeb via email. -- Nick Moreau (talk) 16:47, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

I'm not an OTRS volunteer, but I'd say that there is nothing wrong with the method per se. However, you need to be able to (1) show that the Twitter account is owned by the copyright holder; and (2) make a record of the tweet in some way which can be forwarded to OTRS. — SMUconlaw (talk) 19:10, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
This conversation is difficult to follow without actually seeing who wrote what and where. It would be much easier with links, and without the need to dig into old Commons logs and into the twitter accounts to find them. For the convenience of users who may want to reply, the photo is probably there, or at least that is the source that you gave upon upload. I guess that maybe Rosenzweig was refering to the standard Twitpic copyright notice at the bottom of that page. That could be a mistake to attribute that particular notice to the photo, but in the absence of a free license on that page, the photo is assumed to be all rights reserved anyway, and thus, for someone whose only information is that page, the result is the same. Upon upload, the reference you gave for the permission was this link, which lacks a tweet number and leads nowhere. I don't know if that was corrected later. As far as I can tell from your tweets from around the upload date of 2010-02-26, your request seems to be this. The specification of "for Wikipedia" in that request may have the consequence of misleading the correspondent into believing that the request is for a use limited to Wikipedia, if the correspondent is unfamiliar with CC licenses and with what the expression "CC-by" implies, and thus invalidate the consent. I don't know how familiar melissagrelo was with CC licenses. Also the request asks the correspondent if she would consider releasing photo A or photo B, which inserts another ambiguity, especially given the unspecific nature of the reply. The reply from melissagrelo seems to be this. I'm not a license reviewer or an OTRS volunteer either, but I agree with Smuconlaw that it should be verifiable that the copyright owner of the photo is the same person as the twitter account user. Even in the case where the method may be considered acceptable, you would also need to have the file validated by a license reviewer who will access the picture webpage and the tweet webpage while they are still available and witness their existence and validity. Apparently, that's what Rosenzweig refused to do. This method of obtaining permission seems complicated and shaky. I'm guessing it's that whole situation to which Rosenzweig was refering when writing "Permission via twitter unsure". I'm not saying that the method is not valid, but given the unorthodoxy of the method, plus the ambiguities in the wordings of both the request and the reply, plus the absence of a clear statement of authorship, I think I can understand why a cautious license rewiever would prefer not to engage his responsibility and prefer not to validate the file in that situation. -- Asclepias (talk) 23:18, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

Public domain in US?

Is this image in public domain in US, i used pd calculator on this site and checked is it eligible for copyright restoration on the same site and it is not. But it was deleted two times on commons? Tnx. Milicevic01 (talk) 21:35, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

If 1919 is the year of publication, then yes, because 1919<1923. If the year of publication is after 1922, then no, because 1953+ 50+1= 2004>1996, the URAA reference year for Serbia. -- Asclepias (talk) 23:58, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

A question about licensing

Does this mean that I can assign licenses to pictures I created using materials provided by him?--K1234567890y (talk) 07:03, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

The english translation of the page is very confusing. If possible contact the author for clarification. - Nbound (talk) 07:15, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

"No known copyright restrictions", is not necessarily PD.

Wikimedia commons currently states that images that have "No known copyright restrictions" are ok for upload, when this is not necessarily the case. A supporting license statement should be added as to why the image is actually out of copyright. I am also bringing this up over at Wikipedia*. -- Nbound (talk) 01:46, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
*Discussion on wikipedia concluded that discussion should be moved here

Can you think of any specific examples of where this might be the case? If it's just something like the White House, well it's clearly PD due to being a US government work. -- King of ♠ 02:03, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Flickr have stated that the system does not guarantee any files are PD, and that users should find out for themselves. But your example is actually a good one, the license would/should state that the image is PD due to being a US government work, rather than being PD because Flickr claims there are "no known copyright restrictions". There may be images in these sets that arent such clear cut cases, equating one status with the other may result in images incorrectly being uploaded. (Or with the wrong tag, as some images may only be PD in certain countries at the time, AUS photography PD= Pre 1955, US photoggraphy PD = Pre 1923, etc.). -- Nbound (talk) 02:16, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Example of further claims of not necessarily PD, by a participating institution: [Copyright Statement - State Library of Queensland] - Nbound (talk) 02:22, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I havent looked specifically into this one, but as an image by an AU organisation in 1956, but released as a Public Record in UK, this one might be a little harder to figure out (It quite possibly still is PD, but its not as clear cut) - -- Nbound (talk) 02:46, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
The Smithsonian makes a similar statement to the SLQ above: [13] - Nbound (talk) 03:20, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Some of these sites are also claiming reproduction rights -- I dont know how this affects Wikimedia/pedia -- Nbound (talk) 03:20, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
"No known copyright restrictions" is, basically, the same thing that we call "public domain" (just a more accurate way to say it). Many people use "public domain" to mean something is free of all rights, such as trademark or personality rights, things like that -- whereas we use it for copyright strictly. All works we have here really are "no known copyright restrictions" -- if some information comes to light which shows that our determination was incorrect, we'll delete them. There is almost never going to be 100% certainty on anything, so whatever caveats apply to the Flickr Commons works also applies to basically every upload on Commons (see Commons:General disclaimer). The phrase "no known copyright restrictions" is used by the Library of Congress for any of their works which they believe are out of copyright; they never use the term "public domain". Since they were one of the primary original contributors to the Flickr Commons, that drove the terminology which is used there. The {{Flickr-no known copyright restrictions}} tag is a genuine license tag if they are reasons 3 or 4, but it would indeed be best to figure out the actual reason why the institution thinks they are out of copyright if reasons 1 or 2, and to add that tag. But I'm not sure that lack of knowing the specific reason is enough to keep those works off of Commons. Some of the institutions do have some slightly conflicting statements on their websites, but the statement on Flickr commons is pretty unambiguous, and any remaining rights would be Commons:non-copyright restrictions, if in fact any such restrictions exist. Really, the one thing to be careful about images from the Flickr Commons is to realize that the institutions are probably basing their determination on their own national laws alone, while Commons needs the works to be PD (er, have "no known copyright restrictions") in both the U.S. and the country of origin, and sometimes that's not true even if they are OK in the institution's country (which is not necessarily either of the countries needed for Commons). Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:06, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
I agree, which is why I am saying it should be supported by a specific reasoning (treat them separately to the rest of the Flickr images. ie. case-by-case), and not all images in these categories may meet PD requirements for the required nations for Wikipedia/media. Im not saying we should remove content, just that we should to the best of our ability, make sure they fit the PD requirements of Wikimedia. If not, then, and only then, remove them. Also remove text around Wikipedia/media, that does equate the two to each other for this specific Flickr circumstance, as it isnt necessarily a proclamation of PD status. - Nbound (talk) 04:50, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
For that example above, the image may still be in copyright in Australia as only pre-1955 images are definately out of copyright (it quite probably isnt copyrighted, i havent looked into it). Which country counts as the country of origin, the UK or AUS? was it published in AUS as well as being published in the UK? Is there some kind of reciprocity between the two nations as far as copyright recognition goes, do these affect the US? So on and so forth... -- Nbound (talk) 05:06, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

I should make it clear, as I seem to not have so far (my mistake), that I am referring mainly to Flickr Commons images. - Nbound (talk) 05:09, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
The institutions involved have presumably done some copyright research -- we should only add more tags if we are fairly sure about the reasons why things are PD. It could be that the institutions themselves own the rights and are releasing them. I think there should be a general presumption that the images are OK, and further tags should not be required. But, just like any other image here, if there is information which casts significant doubt on the Commons status, they should be nominated for deletion -- the Flickr tag doesn't automatically exempt them or anything like that. As for your example, the photo is a bit different situation than normal copyright, as it would be Australian Crown Copyright (it was a federal government organization). The country of origin is typically the country of first publication. If it was a UK government work, it would be unambiguous (they have explicitly stated that their Crown Copyright expirations apply worldwide so there are no URAA complications to worry about); we are sort of assuming the same about Australia (where it would be PD now per {{PD-Australia}}) but without the explicit statement of worldwide status -- but there is some logic to that, as it amounts to sort of a PD-author situation. If it was a 1956 privately-owned photo, you would be correct -- the Australian copyright would have not yet expired, and (even for something in 1954 or 1946) the U.S. copyright would have been restored by the URAA, and we would have a problem on Wikimedia Commons. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:34, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Im sure they have done it, for their particular usage. These images are released if likely PD in their own country, which may not be enough for our usage here. For US images, a its quite likely that these images are all PD as far as wikipedia/media are concerned. But there are contributors from throughout the world, while an image may likely be PD in one country, it may not be another (perhaps not in one of the ones it needs to be in - the source, and the US). And the site which has contributed it, may not be hosted in the photograph's the country of origin, where an image may not be PD. Many of these sites do host images from private collections aswell. -- Nbound (talk) 06:44, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Yep, indeed. If, by the information provided, it is not PD in the U.S. (and the URAA can mean that quite a few foreign works are in fact copyrighted there) or the country of first publication, then it should be nominated for deletion. I think we are saying the same thing :-) There's nothing special about the Flickr images in that regard though, just something to be aware of if uploading an image from there. Usually the country of origin would happen to be the same country as the institution which provided the material -- they usually have material of local interest -- but there are always exceptions. The U.S. situation must be considered based on the information provided, and works where the country of origin is different must be more carefully examined. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:53, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Yep agreed, my original point of contention was pages like this one on Wikipedia: , that equate one with the other, there may be commons examples of this aswell (Edit: indeed the same information is here on Commons: ). Of course any image claiming to be PD purely because of the tag "No known copyright restrictions" should also be treated with caution. (ie. find a PD license which covers it in source country and US for one reason or another). -- Nbound (talk) 07:12, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
That is more (broad) guidance about which images are OK to even think about uploading. It doesn't get into other areas like being derivative of other works, and other reasons that could get images deleted. You can only get into so much complexity on the upload page, though it could mention a couple of the caveats in passing. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:05, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Definately, it cant be a catch-all (as always, vigilance on the part of users here will be required), even just stating something simple like "likely to be public domain" and/or "likely ok", would be better by a fair margin IMHO. It already links to the correct page on Flickr Commons, but I dont know how many editors will read the information in its entirety. Of course, if others have better ideas... -- Nbound (talk) 15:32, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
It would be good if we could make more use of {{Flickr-no known copyright restrictions}}, or an updated permissions section closer to what George Oates (heading the Flickr Commons project) had in mind in his correspondence with commons. Though I doubt we should mention it on the upload page. Regardless, at the very least we should minimise any equation of "not known" and definitely being public domain -- Nbound (talk) 02:15, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Copyright of diagrams / graphs / plots

Hi all,

I've got a question regarding copyright of diagrams / graphs / plots visualizing data. As an example consider File:PMS evolution tracks.svg or File:Global Distribution of Wealth v3.svg (but I do not want to discuss these specific files but similar files in general).

  1. Both images are very simple – would they qualify for {{PD-shape}}?
  2. If answer to 1. question is yes and I find such a file in a scientific publication or some yearly report of a company or something: Can I copy it directly?
  3. Finally if answer to 1. question (and therefore 2. question) is no: Is there a copyright on the pure numbers? That means can I take numbers from a graph (or extract coordinates from a plot with suitable software) and create a new graphic out of them?
  4. Anything else I might have overlooked regarding copyright?

Regards, --Patrick87 (talk) 22:43, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

If we do agree that they can be made from scratch with the research of others or the originals are PD then we could use for en:wp in a few hundred articles.--Canoe1967 (talk) 23:04, 18 May 2013 (UTC)
Copying such graphics seems to be a bad idea to me because one could really argue about their simplicity, and the sources are almost always coprighted anyway. However, redrawing figures with published numbers is an option. De728631 (talk) 13:13, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
A generated image would not have creative copyright if the underpinning numbers are not creative.
Examples where the underpinning numbers are creative or derived works and therefore may have a licence that applies:
  • A 3D data model showing a reconstruction of an ancient temple.
  • A data model based on estimates. The estimates themselves require creativity (often from experts) and may be considered to have creative content as a set of numbers.
  • A dataset based on an in-copyright work. For example a 3D scan of an in-copyright sculpture. The dataset might be created automatically but the dataset is a faithful representation (in limited form prehaps) of a creative work and itself becomes a derived work.
Examples of likely non-creative sets of numbers and non-copyright derivations:
  • A 3D map of an out of copyright work, even where the map is created by hand and has some artisan-ship.
  • An accurate data model of any naturally occurring object where the choice of initial parameters are insufficient to be creative content (this excludes datasets where choice of lighting, colouring, or temporal changes might be argued to introduce artistic creativity).
  • Simple graphs of released non-copyrighted or non-copyrightable survey results and statistics. "Simple" excludes complex choices of colour and artistic arrangements of the graph itself, past examples include newly created graphs to remove creative elements where the data itself has no creative content but the source graph was arguable.
-- (talk) 13:19, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

A bunch of copyvios

I am sorry to have to report another of my students. I am 99% sure that all images here are copyvios (no source/tagged as own work, where it's pretty clear they are not). I am going to talk to him in class tomorrow; please leave whatever warning templates/etc. are necessary on his talk page. I already had three, I think, sections of my lectures about free licenses, but obviously this is not enough :( --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 09:19, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

All uploads by Khyji0723 have been deleted. De728631 (talk) 13:04, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

UK law for publications by companies

Hi everyone, I'm trying to figure out what the United Kingdom's provisions for works created and published by companies are. I was thinking it would be in accordance with Template:PD-UK-known, but I don't think it fits very well: at the very least we know the name of the company, so it's not quite "unknown". And since companies can't die, no PD-old-70 either...Crisco 1492 (talk) 14:46, 17 May 2013 (UTC)

This issue was dealt with by the Court of Appeal of Singapore in a 2011 case called Asia Pacific Publishing Pte. Ltd. v. Pioneers & Leaders (Publishers) Pte. Ltd.. Essentially, for copyright to exist there must be an author of a work who is a natural person. Companies cannot be authors, though they can own the copyrights in works created by natural persons. Therefore, if no natural persons can be identified to be the authors of a work, the work is not copyrighted. A work can be created by a natural person and the copyright in it transferred to a company. In that case, the period of copyright would still be calculated based on the lifetime of the author. The Court mentioned that the position in the UK is the same. — SMUconlaw (talk) 16:30, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
That might not be the whole truth since the Copyright law of the United Kingdom apparently accepts the authorship of "a body incorporated under the law of a part of the United Kingdom, or another country to which the qualification clause extends." De728631 (talk) 18:04, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
The copyright term is based on the individual employee who made the work. It doesn't matter that the employee isn't the copyright holder. However, works for hire (works for which the initial copyight holder is a legal person) seem to use a different definition of the word "anonymous" than other works. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:19, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
I thinks that's a good summary of the situation. Indeed, in many countries, a company can be the first owner of the copyright when the author is one of its regular employees, and then the term of the company's coyright is calculated from the employee's death date, assuming that the identity of the employee is known. However, IMO, there's only a problem with your sentence beginning with "therefore", which seems to overinterpret the Court's opinion in the case linked. That sentence sounds like you're saying that works by unidentified authors (or anonymous works) are not subject to copyright. I don't think that's what the Court implied. My understanding is that the Court merely says that a copyrightable work must be something that, by its nature, is an original creation by a human (whose identity may or may not be known), as opposed, for example, to a preexisting fact, or to something that results from a high degree of automation, where there is no original work produced because there simply is no sufficient human intervention in the process. However, when it is obvious that something is the product of the original and creative work of a human, it is copyrightable, because there was actually a human author, even if the identity of that author is not known. -- Asclepias (talk) 20:04, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I didn't intend to imply anything about copyright not subsisting in anonymous works or works by unidentified persons. — SMUconlaw (talk) 20:22, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
  • So, in short, it would be PD-UK-Unknown as the individual employee is not known (even if the company is?)? Crisco 1492 (talk) 22:22, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Is the question about an actual work or is it a question of pure theory? If about a work, it may help to know what work and its context. -- Asclepias (talk) 23:37, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
  • Both, but we can use File:Marie Lloyd 02.jpg (which I uploaded after this discussion) as a case study. This image was taken by The Hana Studios Ltd., with no named photographer, in the mid-1890s and published as a postcard; the subject was an actress popular at the time and this appears to have been, in part, for promotion.Crisco 1492 (talk) 00:02, 18 May 2013 (UTC)

I'd say the situation where a photograph is taken in a studio by an unknown photographer is quite different from the situation in the Asia Pacific Publishing case. In the latter, the court found that it was not possible to identify who the author(s) of the work were. Even the company claiming to be the copyright holder did not identify the employees involved. Thus, I think the former situation should be treated as a work created by an anonymous author. — SMUconlaw (talk) 21:00, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Statue inventory

Does normally list any active copyrights? I am wondering about File:The Bullwacker by John Weaver.jpg.--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:37, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

I remember we had a discussion about Weaver's Bullwacker. Was this not settled at Commons:Undeletion_requests/Archive/2013-01#File:The_Bullwacker_by_John_Weaver.jpg? However, the description page is still missing a method of verification of the license from the photographer, for example a link to the photographer's statement or a copy of an email from him archived through OTRS. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:48, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
I lost the photographer's email with my last hard drive. I may be able to contact him the same way I did before through Panoramio. He had no issues at all and was happy to host his image here. He viewed the page and approved the license but I didn't realize I should have gone through OTRS. If that fails then I can probably email 1/2 of Helena to see if they can take pictures for us. I hope to keep his because it is a good shot with and he mentioned stance and angle he needed to take it.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:12, 19 May 2013 (UTC)--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:12, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
I managed to recover my account and send an email. The file page has a better source now.--Canoe1967 (talk) 21:36, 19 May 2013 (UTC)
If the permission he sent was the one written in the metadata ("permission to use on wikipedia with attribution"), it can't do. Please make sure that the request is for a free license. For the source, I thought you said the Panoramio version was not the source of the Commons version. -- Asclepias (talk) 21:48, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

He emailed me the original image before. I adjusted brightness/contrast/metadata and uploaded it with the attribution license. He emailed back that all was fine. The source before I changed it today was just his name with no urls. If/when he contacts OTRS then they should be able to sort it, I hope.--Canoe1967 (talk) 22:06, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

  This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. --Canoe1967 (talk) 12:17, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

He is in contact with OTRS now.


May some adminis take in charge User:Didjou who do not respect copyright by re-uploading deleted images. Thx--LPLT (talk) 17:50, 19 May 2013 (UTC)

Detail of a building still FOP ?

I am not sure whether this image I just uploaded File:Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation visitor center.JPG qualifies for freedom of panorama because of the artwork on the facade and the shadows it creates. Please feel free to delete it if it is not the case.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Adbar (talk • contribs) 2013-05-20T23:15:07 (UTC)
This is in the United States, so there is freedom of panorama for buildings. In the case Leicester v. Warner Brothers, it was decided that a sculpture was covered by freedom of panorama because it was part of a building, so I would assume that any artistic aspects with this image are covered by COM:FOP#United States. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:20, 20 May 2013 (UTC)

File:Goldhairnet.jpg image should be removed' copyright violation

The person who uploaded this file, Ubc.roman.women, is not the copyright holder of the image. The VRoma Project holds the copyright (; I took this photo and did NOT release it into the public domain. The uploader also took 3 other images from VRoma, but these 3 have already been deleted for copyright violations. This image should also be deleted. Barbara McManus, Co-Director, the VRoma Project

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Bfmcmanus (talk • contribs) 2013-05-21T00:26:49‎ (UTC)
Deleted and uploader blocked. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. russavia (talk) 00:38, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Cleanup of Category:Logos needed

Most logos should be using {{PD-textlogo}}{{Trademarked}} combo, I think. Instead, most have CC/GFDL mess... And no, I won't SOFIXIT because 1) I am not sure I am right and 2) I have enough other wiki work. Just reporting this one. Cheers, --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 02:05, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Can a bot be made to go through the whole cat and sub-cats and tag them all with {{Trademarked}}. I assume if they are logos then they would be TM. Another bot could go through and put any that don't have a PD text tag they would be put in a cat marking wrong licence. The bot could leave messages like "This was tagged TM because it is in a logo category, please check...."--Canoe1967 (talk) 02:25, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
While putting {{trademarked}} on every logo wouldn't hurt, it would be still misplaced in many cases. Most logos of free software, but also logos of smaller companies or those used for private purposes are not trademarked after all. So this definitely needs broad consensus before doing anything.
Automatically putting a license tag is probably not possible at all. Many logos already carry a PD license although they actually are neither PD nor below the threshold of originality. Although wrongly licensed those wouldn't be touched at all. Other logos might carry different licenses (e.g. CC licenses): Most of the time those are probably used in error, but how should a bot recognize those cases were they are not? Any way one would need a manual review of the files (and I highly doubt we ever have the manpower for this).
The only thing I could imagine would be creating a license tag specific for logos (similar to {{Self}}) that puts a given license, might also add {{trademarked}}, sorts the file into an appropriate category per license and accepts an optional "reviewed" parameter. The "reviewed" parameter could then be set for files where the license was checked to be valid and the files could be moved into a special "reviewed" category per license tag. However this still would need immense resources and probably isn't worth the effort. --Patrick87 (talk) 03:03, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
File:Branson Belle stage curtain 2005.jpg is a dual case where it needs photographer license as well as PD logo and TM. They could be hard to sort in cases like this.--Canoe1967 (talk) 03:23, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Many of the logos in that category seem to be copyright violations. I think that the category needs a careful review.
CC/GFDL is useful for SVG logos as it tells that the SVG source code is licensed under a free licence. --Stefan4 (talk) 08:46, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Files uploaded by Mediocrity

Hi, it seems that all or almost all of the files uploaded as own work by User:Mediocrity have been ascribed to two authors. Should an OTRS-confirmed permission be requested for all of them? (I've also left a message at the user's talk page so that he/she will be able to help us sort this out.) --Eleassar (t/p) 08:55, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Commons files have to be free in both the United States and the source country, and the source country appears to be Austria. I think that someone once wrote that USA law only demands permission from one author if there are several, so if the uploader is at least one of the named photographers, then I believe that the images are freely licensed in the United States. The question is then whether this also is the case in Austria or whether Austrian law requires permission from both photographers. An easier solution may be to simply get an OTRS ticket. --Stefan4 (talk) 10:10, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

Template:PD-Switzerland-photo only? Don't we need to respect copyright status in the US anymore?


User:Sanandros is currently uploading loads of photographs like File:StG4 GUERNICA CARBINE 14.5” - od-green.png with {{PD-Switzerland-photo}} being the only "License"-tag and nobody seems to care. I thought we had to respect the copyright status in the US too (see Commons:PD#Material_in_the_public_domain), or did I miss something? Those pics might be fine in Switzerland, but what about the US? I noticed that (unlike e.g. {{PD-old-70}}) {{PD-Switzerland-photo}} does not have a reminder like "You must also include a United States public domain tag […]" – is there a reason for that (apart from "nobody did it yet")? And in case I didn't miss anything and those files can not stay here: Would it be possible to move them to dewiki? Greetings, --El Grafo (talk) 11:47, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

According to the case Hasbro Bradley, Inc. v. Sparkle Toys, Inc., the photos additionally have to be below the threshold of originality of the United States, or in the public domain in the United States for some other reason. It is unclear whether Swiss photos published without a copyright notice before 1 March 1989 were restored by URAA or not if they were below the threshold of originality of Switzerland. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:16, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the opinion. Let's stop this here and move over to Commons:Deletion_requests/Files_uploaded_by_Sanandros. --El Grafo (talk) 08:11, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Copyright of republication of PD documents

Please see this file and this file. Both are Public Domain books in Malayalam language. The second book is really big with 862 pages.

  • These books are scanned with the aim of digitizing it in Malayalam Wikisource.
  • Both books are republication of some really old public domain works.(public domain because the authors of both the books are expired at least 100 years ago)
  • Both books are republished by prominent publishers of Kerala, India. In one case, a PD book is published by DC books which is one of the very famous publishing group of India.
  • Both the books has footnotes, extra texts, and so on which are add by publisher and which is not part of PD document.
  • In some case these type of new editions are the first ever edition (and may be the only available version) of some really ancient documents.

Now the questions are:

  1. Do we have a policy on these type of PDF/DjVu files?
  2. Since the publisher has copyright on footnotes/extra texts they add, can they claim copy right on the whole book?
  3. If we edit out all publisher footnotes, extra text (for an 800 page book it is really time consuming and boring) can we keep that in Commons or other wiki projects?
  4. Can the publisher claim copyright on Layout of the book. If they can, then what we do in the previous step will not help us.
  5. Can the publisher claim copyright on the typeface/font they used for printing this book.

I request the community to frame a clear policy on these type of documents since that will save much volunteer time. --Shijualex (talk) 07:08, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

In the US at least, layout and fonts aren't copyrightable. But removing the footnotes and extra text is a requirement, as is verifying this is actually the public domain text, and not a version reedited by an editor.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:23, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
In the UK and some former UK colonies, there is a typographic copyright which in the UK lasts for 25 years since publication which covers typographical arrangements in a book. India belonged to the UK in the past and the copyright law of India is similar to that of the UK in several aspects, so it is possible that India also has a typographic copyright, although I don't know what copyright term India uses for that. Recently written footnotes can of course not be used. --Stefan4 (talk) 09:43, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
As set forth above, the general rule is that simply reprinting a PD work does not give rise to a new copyright. I don't think that the UK typography rule would apply to a simple reprinting in a different type face, provided that it was an "ordinary" face and that the layout was also "ordinary". The problem arises with the text itself. If the original is 100+ years old, it almost certainly has mistakes -- spelling and other typos. If, in resetting the type, the new publisher fixed those mistakes, there may be enough to give rise to a new copyright -- it would be a very fine point, as simply fixing spelling errors, as a computer spell-checker would do, may or may not have enough originality. Given the effort required to remove footnotes, it might be best to leave these alone. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 10:52, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
As far as I have understood, the COM:CRT#Typographical copyright is meant to protect things such as the choice of how many words to have on each line, where to put the line breaks, how many lines to have on each page and similar things. As India essentially has an earlier version of the British copyright law, but with some subsequent Indian modifications, there is a risk that India also may have a typographical copyright. I don't know whether correcting errors would be copyrightable. This probably depends on the kinds of errors you correct. For example, if you only correct spelling errors, then this would seem to follow a given algorithm, which doesn't seem copyrightable. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:03, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

The query is mostly about the copyright of Layout, typeface, design, and other non-textual things that publisher add. We all agree to the point of removing FootNotes and non-PD extra text that is added by publisher. My question is, even if we remove Footnotes and other non-PD extra text will the documents stay in Commons or in other WMF wikis (here wikisource). --Shijualex (talk) 11:27, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Conflicting license

Hi, I'm not sure what is the license of the image published at It links to cc-zero but requires a mandatory citation of 'this particular page' (which one, actually? the one of the license or of the image?). I've currently used cc-zero at File:Hayrack full.jpg but another opinion would be welcome. Thanks, regards. --Eleassar (t/p) 09:05, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

They mean that is must link to the CC-0 license which our CC-0 template does. They probably want to make sure that all re-uses link back to that and keep it PD for all uses. You may wish to add that to the file page as well for any that re-use it from there.--Canoe1967 (talk) 09:26, 22 May 2013 (UTC) has many nice ones that someone should download.--Canoe1967 (talk) 09:42, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Agreed. That site looks like a future botjob. De728631 (talk) 14:31, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Caution please on the botjob. Site has a lot of great pictures but often with totally inadequate description. A lot were harvested from other public domain sources but left the relevant details behind, so better sources may be found with some digging. Research and curatorial judgement is to be preferred to mass uploading. Dankarl (talk) 15:00, 22 May 2013 (UTC) Also we have already had a number of bulk uploads from this site, some duplicating existing files of higher resolution. Dankarl (talk) 21:08, 22 May 2013 (UTC)


Hi, what's the current stance about models? The guideline [14] states that models are copyrighted in the United States, but there are numbers of categories containing images of models (e.g. Category:Majorette, Category:Lego train etc.). --Eleassar (t/p) 23:36, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

It is very clear that models may be copyrighted in the US -- they are specifically mentioned in the law (17 USC 101) -- see User:Elcobbola/Models. I think that they are copyrighted in most other countries as well. Note that in both cases, it is irrelevant whether the prototype has a copyright -- the model has a copyright in its own right whether or not the prototype has one. Of course, if the prototype also has a copyright, then we must consider both.
With that understood however, remember that in the USA until 1977 (1989 without registration), a work had to have notice in order to have a copyright. In my experience most model cars, trains, and other similar works have a copyright notice on their underside, but it is certainly possible that some of the models we have on Commons are PD-no-notice. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 09:58, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Thank you. --Eleassar (t/p) 12:40, 23 May 2013 (UTC)


I just created Category:National Statuary Hall Collection 1963 to 1977 that should contain eight statues from w:National Statuary Hall Collection. Should we sort out the copyrights on the others and make sub-cats by copyright year for them? We could also just delete my cat as a bad plan.--Canoe1967 (talk) 10:47, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Lettera di accompagnamento nomina Cavaliere di Malta (Fabio Amerighi).jpg

This seems to be a very complex situation. Does anyone know if Ferdinando d'Afflitto would be considered to be the author of this document? Also, what is the source country, Italy or the Sovereign Military Order of Malta? --Stefan4 (talk) 15:23, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Conflicting license information

Hi. Please have a look at File:Brown Pelican at the Indian River Lagoon - Flickr - Andrea Westmoreland.jpg. It is tagged as CC-BY-SA at Flickr but the description has conflicting information ("No use of my photos in any way without my express permission").

IMO, there are two explanations: The author did not understand what CC-BY-SA means (does the license still hold if it was not the author's intention but maybe a mistake while using the Flickr interface?) or the author changed the license on Flickr but forgot to update the image description (in which case we could safely delete this part of the description.)

Maybe some admin should contact the author for clarification. I assume that the import of her images was done without her knowledge but it would really be a shame if we needed to delete them, these are about 1000 high quality pictures of plants and animals in Florida!

There was another picture that had the text "All rights reserved" in the description, which I deleted. I am not sure if that was conflicting too and unfortunately I don't remember the file name (I categorized about 300 of her pictures.) --Zeitlupe (talk) 15:18, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Both the statements "no use without permission" and "all rights reserved" are incompatible with CC-BY-SA and Commons. You can ask the author for clarification yourself, there's no need for an admin to do it –⁠moogsi (talk) 19:44, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
I won't contact the author myself because I don't have a Flickr account (and no intention of getting one). --Zeitlupe (talk) 11:00, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Note also that as a general rule of law, specifically added provisions that contradict a standard document (in this case the CC license) are controlling, so unless Ms. Westmoreland changes her mind, we cannot keep any of these. Her Flickr page aggressively claims copyright and prohibits any use without her permission. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 10:26, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Jim - Two questions on that point.
  • First, in general, how do you tell, with "no use without permission" accompanied by a CC license whether this is a qualifying provision modifying the CC license or multilicensing, ie that the CC license is the permission spoken of, or that the CC license of a given page is specific language modifying the general language on her Flickr user page. Relevant to that point is that her copyright claim begins: "With the exception of certain photos where I have assigned a different license the following applies:" Most of her photo pages do not appear to have have either "no use without permission" or "all rights reserved" on the page itself (I spot-checked 15 or so without finding an instance).
  • Second, If general copyright language on a Flickr user page undermines a specific license granted on a photo page, does not this undermine the logic of our bot review and authentication of licenses? Dankarl (talk) 13:39, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
After reading her Flickr page, I also think that the pictures need to be deleted. I informed the operator of Slick-o-bot to carefully check the Flickr user pages for such conflicts in the future before triggering a mass import. I leave it to some admin to decide if these pictures should be speedily deleted or if a formal mass deletion request is necessary. --Zeitlupe (talk) 11:58, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I did run the bot (as requested at here), but I dont known there was a copyright statemant on another page. I only checked the CC-BY-SA on the images. So my opinion about this is, a given CC-BY-SA on a image is a given CC-BY-SA and can not revert by a licence text on another page? What if nobody red this page and use the image under CC-BY-SA? It is not legal too? If they is no able to apply the right licence to the images, it is not our problem. It is like on ebay. If I sell an item for 1$, I can not explain the cost is 1000$ an another page. --Slick (talk) 12:13, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
My comments above notwithstanding I would support speedy deletion. If someone wants to try for clarification and specific permission via OTRS she has an email on her user page but I suggest getting them down first as a sign of good faith. Dankarl (talk) 13:37, 23 May 2013 (UTC) Dankarl (talk) 13:39, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm not a lawyer, but I've done a lot of contract work over the last 45 years, so I'll take another try at the generalization I made above. As a rule, the specific overrides the general. Thus, a handwritten provision of a contract (or license) overrides something typewritten (or out of a laser printer) and specifically written language overrides words pre-printed on a form. Anything that the user says about licensing overrides any provisions of a general license. Thus "You must notify me before using an image of mine" overrides a CC-BY license and makes it unacceptable to us. Also, a provision on a specific Flickr page overrides anything on the user's home Flicker page. A Flickr user who is doing it "right" will say on his home page, "All images are All Rights Reserved except as noted on any specific image", but it's not essential. If a Flickr user says "All Rights Reserved" on his home page and then marks an image CC-BY, the CC-BY controls that particular image. See Lex specialis for a discussion of this in the context of interpretation of laws. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 13:53, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
I informed the user on his Flickr page; so we can wait for a few days for any response. We can think about a DR for all of his works, if the response is negative. His profile page says “ With the exception of certain photos where I have assigned a different license the following applies” so I assume this is an experienced user who knows what a license is. So I assume he would not have a problem if we use his CC BY-SA 2.0 works (unless he replies soon). (Note that his new works are “All rights reserved” to which he is talking about on the profile page. “A different license” means some old works in CC BY-SA 2.0) © Andrea Westmoreland on his work doesn’t mean “all rights reserved”. I think “No use of my photos in any way without my express permission.” Can be neglected; which is very common in many self uploads here too.
A general suggestion: It will be nice if our admin/OTRS team maintain a Flickr account to contact Flickr users through Flickrmail or through comment on Flickr pages. Then they can inform the user about the transfer of their files to Commons, if it is transfer for thr first time from a new user. (I remember how ComputerHotLine informed me about the transfer for the first time). JKadavoor Jee 15:47, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
@Jkadavoor I can't follow your reasoning. According to her Flickr page she has 1104 photos on Flickr and we have imported 999 of them, which were all (I assume) checked by the Flickr-Bot to be tagged as CC-BY-SA on Flickr. So if she says "ALERT! With the exception of certain photos where I have assigned a different license the following applies" but 90 percent of her photos are tagged as CC-BY-SA then this is not an exception and it doesn't look at all to me that she knew what she was doing and that she chose CC-BY-SA intentionally. --Zeitlupe (talk) 06:55, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes; most of her encyclopedic works (like [15], [16], [17], etc.) are CC-BY-SA 2.0 and others (like [18], [19], [20], etc.) are All rights reserved which endorse my assumption that she did her licensing wisely. (As a Flickr user for years, I know it is difficult and less chance for an accident if we choose different license for different works in between.) JKadavoor Jee 08:28, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Maud Tindal Atkinson

A couple of questions about images of works by this author: first, this image has "b bridgeman art culture history" written across it; since I doubt that the original bears that text, how can this be regarded as a "faithful reproduction"? It might perhaps be argued that even if the painting is in the public domain, the text added to it is not? And yes, I've asked a question similar to this before, in relation to digital watermarks. This isn't digital, it's right in-yer-face.

Secondly, if this artist died on 20 May 1954, as this possibly entirely unreliable site suggests, should any of these pictures be here at all? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 18:23, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Text is not copyrightable as pictures; as text, it needs a lot more text to be copyrightable. If she did die in 1954, then her works would generally be in copyright in UK and not be acceptable for Commons.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:15, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
I've added Category:Maud Tindal Atkinson; note that two of the paintings (one, rather) are of her, not by her, should you start a DR.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:48, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Those that were published or copyright in US before 1923 could be moved to English Wikipedia as PD-US, and those published elsewhere before 1923 as PD-US-1923-abroad. Dankarl (talk) 22:11, 22 May 2013 (UTC)
Thank you both for replying. Yes, of course the portrait of her by Byam Shaw (1872 – 1919) is a different case and should not have been included in my blanket question. So, in the opinion of others, should a deletion request be made for the other images, some of which seem to carry the wrong licence? Re Dankarl's suggestion, I see that the book cover could be moved to wikipedia as there is a definite date of publication before 1923; but not how that could be justified for the others. Please excuse my limitless ignorance. And I'm sorry, but are we really convinced that the phrase "Bridgeman art" is completely free of all copyright and intellectual property restrictions in the United States? Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 20:49, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
They were all published before 1923; I don't know why we should be paranoid about it. She was a commercial illustrator working for children's books; their publications are going to shortly after their paintings and shouldn't be hard to find. The Sir Galahad picture was registered with the US copyright office in 1920, as its page shows, so there's absolutely no question for it being out of copyright in the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:14, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Phrases can not be copyrighted in the US, no way, no how.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:14, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Confused about consent template

I'm not clear on {{Consent}} and would like advice on which tag I should use. First, the subject: A photograph hosted on Flickr of a child wearing a costume, photographed in a public place at a public event in England. The photographer has agreed to allow the photograph to be used in accordance with a Creative Commons license, and he will request the consent of the parent(s)... but consent to what? Publication? To me, the best consent tag appears to be {{consent|hosted}}, which reads: "This media was copied from an image hosting website at the source indicated, where it was uploaded by a third party. Evidence of consent is provided at the source location." For one thing, most of the consent tags say "I personally created this media", which I did not, unless uploading to Commons is considered "creating". So I want to avoid that language. If evidence of consent is provided at the source location, that would mean he needs to update the image's description at Flickr with consent. But again, consent to what? What phrase is considered "consent" that would allow the image to be used? I also plan on using the {{Personality rights}} tag for the image. Thanks! – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 19:09, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

I use {{consent|appearspublic}} for images like that as well as {{Personality rights}}.--Canoe1967 (talk) 20:20, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
I am still going to try to get consent for the image; if I understand correctly, consent should probably have been obtained for the image to be published on Flickr at any rate, but now consent will be obtained with the knowledge that the image will be licensed for free use. – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 20:59, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Photo of a sculpture not located in its source country

Maybe someone would be willing to comment on Commons:Deletion requests/File:Mariehamn aland (3).jpg? The country of origin is Sweden but the sculpture is located in Finland, so this raises an interesting issue for the FOP situation. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:13, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

File:The Mikado Chappell Vocal Score cover, c.1895.jpg

Does the likely work-for-hire status of this image cause any copyright issues? Adam Cuerden (talk) 22:41, 24 May 2013 (UTC)

Just to clarify Adam's question, which arose here, the question is whether this would be considered an anonymous work in the UK, or a corporate work by its publisher. My own view is that it is a corporate work, in which case copyright in the UK would be held by Warner Brothers, the buyer of the original publisher, while it would be public domain in the US as pre-1923. Since Adam and I disagree about this, we need a third opinion. Thanks.Chick Bowen (talk) 23:38, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
...But just belonging to a corporation doesn't grant a permanent, never-ending copyright. Copyrights do expire in the UK, and we don't have a method to assure they never will (outside of explicit act of Parliament, as with the KJV and Peter Pan). Adam Cuerden (talk) 23:43, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't understand; what duration of copyright do you think it has? Life+x rules never have anything to do with the "life" of the corporation.--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:18, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
If it is a truly anonymous work, or a corporate work, then it is long out of UK copyright. If, however, the author is simply unknown to us, then it may still be in copyright, although 1895 is early enough so that is less then 50/50. The best thing would be if the person who made the scan were to examine it carefully for a credit to the illustrator. .     Jim . . . . (Jameslwoodward) (talk to me) 11:10, 25 May 2013 (UTC)
If the actual employee's name was made known, even if it is considered a corporate work, then the term is life+70 in the UK. Otherwise, {{PD-UK-unknown}} would apply, and the term would be 70 years from publication whoever owns it. In the UK (and EU), the "author" is always the actual human being and the term can only be based on their life -- it is only if that person is unknown (in the UK) or anonymous/pseudonymous (most other countries) that the term is based on publication and/or creation. In this case, the author doesn't seem to be named (normally, they would be credited right in the original publication), in which case it was published anonymously, so copyright probably expired in the 1940s and was not restored by the EU copyright extensions in 1996. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:50, 25 May 2013 (UTC)


I like to make sure if I am correct or otherwise mistaken. This photo is of the statue designed by Jitsuzo Hinako(1982-1945) in Japan. The photo was taken by a newspaper photographer in ca.1953, thus the copyright of photograph itself has expired already(as tagged {{PD-Japan-oldphoto}}). In my understanding, the copyright of the statue author is not restored per COM:URAA because the author died in 1945 and his copyright expired in the end of 1995 in Japan. I therefore consider that the statue is in PD in US as well as in Japan. Thank you for your advice in advance. --Nightingale (talk) 07:05, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

That appears to be correct. Adam Cuerden (talk) 09:32, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

Finnish Defense Forces WWII photographs

A large archive of high-resolution photographs from Finland's Winter War, Continuation War, and Lapland War has become available at Please take a look particularly at the terms of use. Are these suitable for Commons now or should we ask for clarification on any issues?

See also Alan Taylor's article.Dankarl (talk) 22:50, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

It may be possible that {{PD-Finland50}} would apply to some images if they were previously published.
It would certainly be best to contact them for clarification to confirm that these images are truly free. If we can get a single statement to that effect from SA-kuva (about who holds the copyright if any, and what specific re-use is allowed), then maybe some kind of mass import is in order. The statement "free for anyone to use" is promising, but "free" and "use" are not unambiguous. There are certainly some amazing pictures in there –⁠moogsi (talk) 07:37, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
{{PD-Finland50}} applies to all of them, but {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} applies to those which weren't published before 1966, so only the published ones can be uploaded. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:53, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
If the template PD-Finland50 is correct, then it seems that the URAA does not apply to any of those photos created before 1946. Could we not say that all those photos published before 1989 are okay for Commons? -- Asclepias (talk) 17:24, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
Hm, yes, it seems that the law switched from 25 years pd to 50 years pr before the URAA date. However, Commons:Subsisting copyright is a problem for photos not published before 1 March 1989. Also, if they were published after 1963, then a subsisting copyright is much more likely for published photos as all it needed was a copyright notice. --Stefan4 (talk) 17:33, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
At terms of use they clearly say that they can be used only with a citation. That would be the same as claming a cc-by license. -Theklan (talk) 22:44, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

file from presscentre

Hi is it legal to upload files from presscentres with this license:(german:)Rechtlicher Hinweis: Die zur Verfügung gestellten Cover, Fotos und Texte dürfen ausschließlich einmalig und nur zu Werbezwecken oder für redaktionelle Berichterstattungen verwendet werden. Es ist nicht zulässig, die Cover, Fotos oder Texte zu verändern, zu ergänzen oder zu bearbeiten. Im Falle einer missbräuchlichen Nutzung behalten wir uns ausdrücklich vor, die Nutzungsbefugnis jederzeit zu entziehen. (English (computer translation):)Disclaimer: The author of the art, photos and text may only once and only for advertising purposes or to be used for editorial coverage. It is not permissible to change the art, photos or texts to add or edit. In the case of misuse we reserve the right to revoke the authorization to use any time. Thanks for help...--Edit1306 (talk) 04:50, 26 May 2013 (UTC) PS: link to website: [21] --Edit1306 (talk) 04:52, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

No. Commons only accepts content that anyone can use for any purpose, and the terms must permit modification. (See Commons:Licensing.) The terms you cite prohibit most uses and prohibit modification. LX (talk, contribs) 09:15, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Would be a selftaken picture of the cover ok? (I don't think so) But where do the pictures of covers in WIKIPEDIA come from ex.[22]. Please explain ways to get Book covers into Wiki-Articles??? Other Websites??? --Edit1306 (talk) 19:03, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Those are uploaded directly to the English Wikipedia under a "fair use" rationale. They are not on Wikimedia Commons (which is a different project), as we can't accept anything under a "fair use" rationale. See w:Wikipedia:Non-free content#Images for more information on Wikipedia's policy, and which images they will accept on that project. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:09, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
No, making a copy of someone else's non-free work (whether by taking a photo of it or otherwise) does not "liberate" it from their copyright. en:File:Inferno-cover.jpg is hosted locally on the English Wikipedia project under fair use provisions. This is not possible on Commons; see Commons:Fair use. LX (talk, contribs) 19:10, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

Signing an agreement with a museum?

Last month, I emailed the Harvard Art Museum for a high-resolution copy of a painting, noting that the painting (and therefore their scan) is in the public domain and, in a rush of adrenaline and completely ignoring their fee schedule, I said the total fee I would be paying is $0. I didn't think anything would come of it, but turns out they approved my request, as long as I sign an agreement. For anyone curious, the agreement is here: page 1 and page 2. They also request (like any contributor would) a link to the image and the article it is used in. This kind of stunned me; has anyone had to do something like this before? And should I proceed?—or if that last question is a legal question, then don't answer. The thing is, I'd love to have the painting here on Commons. Advice completely welcome. – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 02:26, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

You can't be serious. You tell them that the image is in the public domain and then you consider signing a contract where you would turn around 180 degrees and state exactly the opposite. Unless the Board of directors of the Wikimedia Foundation mandated you as its representative to sign or to negociate a contract in the name of Wikimedia or of its projects, you can't. Seeing how every paragraph of this contract is a direct contradiction of the basic principles of Wikimedia, any claim or even any suggestion by any unauthorized user to associate Wikimedia with that sort of action should, IMO, result in the immediate and infinite blocking of all the accounts of that user. If you want to tie yourself personally into that sort of agreement in your own name, that would be your call. But, as the terms of that contract are in complete contradiction with the terms of use and with the nature of Wikimedia on practically every point, then if you want to respect the terms of that contract, you can't use the image on the Wikimedia projects. Or, if you use the image on Wikimedia in conformity of the terms of Wikimedia with a statement that it is freely usable, then you would ignore the terms of your personal contract with the Museum, which includes the obligation to use the image for a single printing, to be used on a date in 2014 (!), without reuse, etc. -- Asclepias (talk) 03:23, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
All the paragraphs on the Terms of Agreement page certainly seemed limiting and contradictory with the public domain or even with the restrictions on reproductions and derivatives, but I wanted second opinions to be sure. And I never intended on presenting myself as a representative of Wikipedia in that way (I would think Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. would be more correct at any rate), I only told them I was an editor at Wikipedia. So apparently this is turning into scarier stuff and all for a stupid painting that I have a book scan of anyway. – Kerαunoςcopiagalaxies 03:46, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Ancient papyri as 2D public domain works or copyright-able 3D works? Potential batch upload from the Laurentian Library

I have been pointed to the recent release of a large collection of high quality photographs of important papyri (papiri / papyrus) in the collection of the Papyri of the Italian Society (PSI) stored at the Laurentian Library and made available online at, example research quality image of PSI XII 201285. Images of the site are protected as "It is forbidden to make any further reproduction by any means" as defined in the site terms here. The images are excellent, and have great educational value and for these reasons I would like to batch upload these to Commons for the public benefit, but am in a quandary as the institutions involved are unlikely to ever change to a Public Domain licence through patient discussion, and I do not want to risk prosecution or financial claims for damages for copyright theft.

Previously, on Commons, the community has tended to avoid generalizing or accepting the position that all papyri may be interpreted as 3D works, see this reference 2011 discussion on this noticeboard. However, in the academic world, photographs of papyri are normally accepted as 3D works and publishers tend to keenly stick to this "rule", even if the legal precedent or national copyright law is non-existent.

I propose that Commons establish a policy that:

Photographs of ancient papyri are considered faithful reproductions of 2D objects, unless the photograph was clearly and unambiguously taken with the intention to show the materials of the papyri (intended to show its construction, fibres or microscopic detail) rather than intended to fully and accurately represent the available text of the papyri as a 2D work to be read.
  1. PSI XII 201285 is clearly intended to fully represent the text for the purposes of reading and transcription, and it is not a research image intended to show, say, damage, restoration, microscopic detail or partial detail that does not represent the text.
  2. The Heracles Papyrus, this photograph has no source information and has been retained under a PD-Art licence on Commons since 2005 on the assumption that this is a 2D work.
  3. Wenamun-Ende, this (poor quality) photocopy of printed photograph of a papyrus, is from a 1960 publication, uploaded to Commons in 2011 on the basis that the author is an "Ancient Egyptian Writer", though the author of the 1960 work (Korostovcev) died in 1980. The licence of PD-Art-100 makes the assumption that this is a 2D work.
  4. P. Chester Beatty VI fragments, uploaded in 2007 (by someone who is now an OTRS member), there is no linked source given for this archive quality high resolution photograph apart from "University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Library" and the only internet cross-matches I can find are mirrors of the Commons image. There is no evidence that the photographer released the rights to this photograph. The licence of PD-Art-100 makes the assumption that this is a 2D work.

Feedback, and in particular links to legal precedent, are appreciated. -- (talk) 09:19, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

I don't have any particular expertise on the 2d- or 3d-ness of papyrii. But as a comment on procedure, we certainly shouldn't make a policy like this. At most it should get a section in the subject casebook. Even still I'd be hesitant to put a claim like yours in there, because it goes beyond the WMF PD-art legal opinion (by seeking to claim papyrii as definitively 2d). The uploader is the one who bears legal responsibility, so we should not guide them with policy-looking entries that could set them up for a fall if declared false when later debated in a court. If you are the uploader, you *will* bear the financial/legal risk, guideline/policy or not. It would be a mistake for us to give you possibly false comfort. If lots of DRs go the same way, then I'd be fine with listing it as a common outcome. Regarding whether to upload or not, I think you have to make the call over whether it is worth the risk, how sure you are of winning the case, and how much you want the next copyright precedent to be named after you :-) (I know of at least one Wikimedian who wants to be a named party on an Australian case against copyright in 2d-mechanical scans). --99of9 (talk) 11:11, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
Ouch  . I could imagine having a dialogue with the organization making a claim of copyright, such as this one, where I give every possible opportunity for an objection within copyright legislation to be explained and state my case in clear terms as to why it is a fair and reasonable interpretation that faithful 2D scans do not create new copyright in ancient works, and give the organization/publisher the opportunity to request deletion of any uploads without resorting to take-down notices. The protection for the uploader is then being able to demonstrate their good faith attempts to determine the copyright status of these works, and giving plenty of opportunity for objections to be stated and for Commons uploads to be deleted through a simple deletion discussion process. I'll ponder this further. I have no desire to suffer the stress of prosecution for copyright theft, so dialogue might be the best option here, unless an anonymous account wishes to perform the actual upload at some point in the future (having been outed, I have no option of anonymity to protect me from prosecution). -- (talk) 11:35, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
This isn't the place for it, but beyond the legalities of any given case we need to have a general discussion of both the ethics and the practicalities of bulk uploads. Just because something is on the web does not mean we need to copy it here. Dankarl (talk) 16:23, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
There are regular presentations and discussions about Copyfraud at every Wikimania and most other larger open knowledge conferences. I believe this may fall under that category. Happy to join a discussion elsewhere about respecting the retrospective copyright of ancient documents or allowing copyright for publishers to 'monetize' historic public domain documents, if you wish to link to it. -- (talk) 18:00, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
My concern is neither copyright nor copyfraud, see Commons:Village pump#Our response to the appearance of a new resource on the web should not be "Hey let's do a batch upload". However, you should also keep in mind that some countries have database rights that impact bulk but nor single uploads. I don't know whether we recognize those or not. Dankarl (talk) 20:00, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, it does seem a different topic, I'm only interested in preserving public domain works. -- (talk) 20:19, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Picasso problems

I'm worried about the copyright status of items in Category: Works by Pablo Picasso. I saw a reproduction of Guernica when, to my knowledge, it has been taken out of the public domain in the US. Similarly there's a bunch of photos of sculptures and stuff which appear to post-date 1923. What ought to be done? Brownie Charles (talk) 06:30, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Can you be more specific? Ruslik (talk) 10:59, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
The OP may be referring to newer versions of w:File:PicassoGuernica.jpg like in Category:Mural Guernica, Gernika--Canoe1967 (talk) 17:17, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
Photos of sculptures in countries that let you take pictures of sculptures on public display without respect to the underlying copyright (COM:FOP) are accepted on Commons. The Chicago Picasso lost copyright in the US, and as an American work, didn't get it restored.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:22, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Orphan works

What is the policy in Commons (and probably other Wikimedia projects like Wikisource) about orphan works? Can we use them? --DixonD (talk) 09:33, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

In general, these files have been deleted. Unknown author does not make a work free. --Eleassar (t/p) 09:42, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Sometimes it is known that the last author died a while ago and the publisher went out of business. So I had in mind this case, when I was asking. But thanks, I've got your point. -DixonD (talk)

Canada US PD

I have seen a few discussions (I forget where) about works being PD in Canada and when they become PD in the USA. One user seems to interpret the USA law as being 'when they become PD in Canada they become PD in the US as well'. Other users read it differently. Should one of us email in the USA and Canada to sort this out? Template:PD-Canada has different time frames than Template:PD-old-50 because one deals with date of creation and the other deals with date of publication. We may wish to get this sorted out and create an entry somewhere on it.--Canoe1967 (talk) 16:53, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

Copyright terms are different in different countries, as are the rules about public domain, and the U.S. Copyright Act doesn't have a "shorter term" clause. You can suggest the user to consult the WP articles about U.S. copyright law or the WP project pages about copyright or the general policy and help pages on Commons. -- Asclepias (talk) 17:22, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
I think I found some in w:Trans-Pacific Partnership Intellectual Property Provisions and some in w:NAFTA. I think the law that the user was talking about was a 1923 agreement. NAFTA has 50 years from creation as a minimum and seems to uphold the 1923 agreement. The w:Berne Convention states " author is normally not entitled a longer copyright abroad than at home, even if the laws abroad give a longer term." I take this to mean that Canadian rights holders can't extend past the January 1, 1949 creation date. The USA doesn't agree with the 'rule of the shorter term' but Canada has. If Canadians try to claim a longer term in the USA then that violates the 'shorter term' clause of the Berne Convention that Canada agreed to. I can't find anything on the 1923 agreement.--Canoe1967 (talk) 19:04, 28 May 2013 (UTC)
w:Rule_of_the_shorter_term#Worldwide_situation says Canada does not have the rule of the shorter term with respect to NAFTA nations. I do not believe the Canadians would sign such a treaty and let us apply the rule of the shorter term to Canadian works.
Laws are rarely apply outside the borders of the country, and I can't imagine any country having a law that says citizens of that nation can't enforce their copyright outside the nation. Why would Canada want to stop Americans from giving money to Canadians that American law requires?--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:53, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

I think I found it in Copyright in restored works: 17 USC § 104A (h)(6) "The term “restored work” means an original work of authorship that— (B) is not in the public domain in its source country through expiration of term of protection;" --Canoe1967 (talk) 00:59, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

You have found the only thing resembling a shorter term rule in U.S. law. But it applies only under special circumstances. In general, the U.S. does not have a "rule of the shorter term", so the general formulation at the top of this section 'when they become PD in Canada they become PD in the US as well' is not correct. In general, U.S. law grants Canadian (or other non-domestic) works the same copyright terms as U.S. works.
However, that had not always been so. Historically, the U.S. required copyright registration and renewal, and considered any published work that failed that to be not copyrighted. Including foreign works. Since many foreign works never were registered in the U.S., foreign rights holders evidently didn't like that. When the U.S. joined the Berne Convention in 1989, which says that copyrights must be granted without registration requirements, the U.S. had to adapt its laws, which they did in 1994/1995 through a piece of legislation called the URAA, which resulted in 17 USC 104A. It rectifies this discrepancy for works published 1923-1989 by basically saying that if a foreign work is still copyrighted in its foreign source country on January 1, 1996, then it would be considered copyrighted in the U.S. with the full U.S. copyright term, as if its copyright had been registered and properly renewed in the U.S. That's the "restored copyright". So, in this particular case (and only in this case), there is a kind of shorter term: if the foreign work had been PD in the foreign country on January 1, 1996, it didn't get a U.S. copyright. But once a work has a U.S. copyright (either restored, or because the work was registered and properly renewed in the U.S to begin with), and then later goes out of copyright in the foreign country, that doesn't terminate the U.S. copyright. (The precise date is not always January 1, 1996; it depends on which foreign country the work is from. See en:Wikipedia:Non-U.S. copyrights.)
For Canadian works the issue may be muddied by several other factors. Some (many?) Canadian works actually were properly registered and renewed in the U.S., so all that restoration business with the January 1, 1996 date is moot. And then I don't know what treaties exist and existed between Canada and the U.S. that might have had an effect on copyrights on Canadian works in the U.S.
Works published on or after March 1, 1989 did get a full U.S. copyright in the U.S. automatically by virtue of the Berne Convention.
In summary: once a work has a U.S. copyright, that U.S. copyright is not terminated in the U.S. by the work becoming PD in a foreign country. The U.S. has no general rule of the shorter term. It only has a weaker rule about restoring copyrights, with a fixed date.
HTH, Lupo 06:22, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
On "The USA doesn't agree with the 'rule of the shorter term' but Canada has. If Canadians try to claim a longer term in the USA then that violates the 'shorter term' clause of the Berne Convention that Canada agreed to" above: you've got that backwards. Canadian law can only say something about copyrights in Canada. It cannot possibly say anything about copyrights in the U.S.: that's alone the business of U.S. law. Of course a Canadian can got to court in the U.S. and claim a U.S. copyright on his Canadian work, even if that Canadian work is not copyrighted in Canada. Lupo 06:32, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
I was wondering about images like File:VeronicaFoster-RonnieBrenGunGirl-smoke.jpg. Do we need to show that it meets the three criteria in the US PD license?--Canoe1967 (talk) 18:47, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Strictly speaking, yes. In this case, you would have to show that it was published without compliance with US copyright formalities before 1 March 1989 or that it satisfies {{PD-US-unpublished}}. The main problem with photos is that their publication history is unknown. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:35, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Work published in Lviv in 1930

Hi! We need help in determining the copyright status of a book with the following information. It was published in 1930 in Lviv, which is now in Ukraine but in 1930 it was a part of Poland. The author died in 1940. What is the copyright status in the United States? --DixonD (talk) 20:08, 28 May 2013 (UTC)

The URAA says a restored work "has at least one author or rightholder who was, at the time the work was created, a national or domiciliary of an eligible country, and if published, was first published in an eligible country and not published in the United States during the 30-day period following publication in such eligible country" and the source country is "the eligible country in which the work is first published...". (s:United States Code/Title 17/Chapter 1/Section 104A) I'm not terribly confident about the reading, but I'm going with the eligible nation and source nation here is Poland. Who's the author? That might make some difference (though I don't really see how.)
It can be uploaded to Wikilivres, and it will leave copyright in the US for sure in 2026.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:14, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
The author is Osyp Nazaruk (uk:Назарук Осип, unfortunately there is no article about him in English Wikipedia) He was Ukrainian and published his works in Ukrainian. It happened historically that that part of Ukraine was in Poland at that time when he published some of his books, otherwise we could use Ukrainian laws according to which the work entered public domain in 1981 1991 (i.e. before URAA date).--DixonD (talk) 05:03, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Anything that was published before 1923 is in the PD in the US, and likely anything first published in the US is also PD. If he took American citizenship, that would also put the restoration in question (I'd have to look up the details, since I don't trust my reading of the law; in any case the Wikipedia article doesn't imply he did. (I don't read Ukrainian, but I do read Google Translate.)) Otherwise, yes, works published in Poland after he returned there are still in copyright in the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:15, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Pretty sure that both Poland and Ukraine were 50pma countries in 1996, so I don't think there were any URAA restorations. Carl Lindberg (talk) 12:24, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
That is what COM:L says; good, this is public domain in the US and its source nation.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:53, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Exhibition poster copyright status

There is this case of a (1970 deceased) painter, covered on Wikipedia, I have the exhibition poster of an exhibition from 1998 dedicated to her. What is the copyright status of such an exhibition poster? If its purpose was to be distributed for free, could it be uploaded here on Commons (to use it in her article)? It contains the edited image of one of her paintings. Yarikata (talk) 14:36, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Free distribution does not impact the copyright status of the poster, and inclusion in a poster in 1998 does not impact the copyright status of the painting. These factors might be relevant to a fair-use rationale on WP, but in the absence of an explicit free license from the publisher it can't go here. The publisher probably can't grant such a license without permission of the rights-holder of the painting. But you could ask. See Commons:OTRS for permission procedures. Dankarl (talk) 15:19, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
OK, thank you for your reply. Yarikata (talk) 18:18, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Public domain

Is it ok to write that this file is a public domain file?/Bro(sv) (talk) 12:09, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

IANAL but I think it's simple enough so yes. Palosirkka (talk) 12:44, 29 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I think that this appears to be too simple for copyright. It is an American work with a common font, not a unique drawing of the letters. See Commons:Threshold of originality#Logos and flags for other logos that have light and shadow like this but are kept on Commons. --Closeapple (talk) 07:13, 30 May 2013 (UTC)
Ok thanks for the help/Bro(sv) (talk) 20:37, 31 May 2013 (UTC)