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Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2015/01

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Modern edition of Bracton's De legibus et consuetudinibus Angliæ

I am wondering if it is possible to upload volumes 3 and 4 of a modern edition of De legibus et consuetudinibus Angliæ (The Laws and Customs of England) by Henry de Bracton (c. 1210 – c. 1268). I uploaded volume 1 and volume 2 as they were published in 1915 and 1922 respectively, but volume 3 and volume 4 were published in 1940 and 1942 respectively. Bracton's original text is in the public domain as it was first published in 1569, but does copyright subsist in the layout of volumes 3 and 4? — SMUconlaw (talk) 19:36, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

@Smuconlaw: Unfortunately, it looks like the answer is that they are still under copyright. Checking the Stanford database shows that the third volume was renewed in May of 1968 (see [1]), and the fourth volume was renewed in January of 1970 (see [2]). The copyright would only apply to the 'new material', however, not the 'layout', as there is no 'typographical copyright' in the United States. A 'redacted' version that omits the contributions by Woodbine, and only includes the original text, would be fine, but checking for any 'editorial changes' might be a bit tedious.
That being said, HathiTrust has a 1870/1880's edition here that is quite expired. Revent (talk) 22:10, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks, that's pretty much what I expected. (What does it mean, though, for copyright to be "renewed"?) Thanks for alerting me to the HathiTrust versions; I'll look into uploading the older edition(s) of the text. — SMUconlaw (talk) 00:27, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
@Smuconlaw: Under US copyright law, items have an 'initial' copyright term of 28 years, and then a 'second' term that lasts until expiration. Prior to the 'Copyright Renewal Act' of 1992, this meant that a copyright renewal had to be filed with the US Copyright Office in the 28th year after publication (though sometimes they were done a bit early, or there was a backlog that meant they were 'published' late). The 1992 law made renewal 'automatic', which means anything still in it's first term (anything published after 1964) did not have to have a renewal filed. For anything published between 1923 and 1964, it is only still in copyright if it was not only originally copyrighted (i.e. had a notice on initial publication, or the omission was corrected by filing within five years) and a renewal was filed. There was a study done by the copyright office decades ago showing that only something like 15% of copyrights were renewed, so most things published between 1923 and 1964 in the US are in the public domain, but you have to check. There is a searchable database at the USCO that has filings and renewals from 1978 on, a 'incomplete' database of earlier filings at Stanford, and scanned copies of the published records at the Internet Archive. There is a good index to the 'scanned' versions and various databases at the University of Pennsylvania's Online Books Page here. Revent (talk) 00:47, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
I should point out that my 'explanation' here is a bit simplified, but generally correct. For anything initially or 'simultaneously' (i.e. within 30 days) published in the US you can pretend it's true. :) Revent (talk) 00:57, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the comprehensive explanation! As for the HathiTrust files, it looks like "for copyright reasons" the full text of the 19th-century versions of Bracton are not available in full. No worries. — SMUconlaw (talk) 14:00, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
They aren't available to people outside the US. US law is easier to figure out in many cases, and if you have to do US law and no other any way, it's easier to just assume that many books are in copyright outside the US. I don't have the time to do so right now, but someone else can download it and upload it here. Try asking at the English Wikisource if all else fails.--Prosfilaes (talk) 14:33, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
OK, thanks. — SMUconlaw (talk) 09:54, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

"Flatboat on river" engraving by Alfred Waud

For the image on this page, there is the question of whether {{PD-art}} applies to the digital reproduction(s), given that the original work is a wood engraving that might have texture though it exists in a 2D plane. (The Commons page on using the PD-art tag specifies that the tag is usually OK for photos of stained glass and tapestries but that it is not OK for photos of coins, and from what one understands, using PD-art for photos of cave paintings is problematic because the surface for a cave painting is not totally 2D.)

There is also the question as to whether the original engraving itself is out of copyright. This seems likely, given that the author, Alfred Waud, died in 1891, more than 100 years ago, but it is somewhat hard to tell because it is not indicated as to when the work was first published in the form of reproductions. (As a side note, the US Library of Congress has mentioned a "Pioneers on the Ohio" image that looks similar and the book "The Fight for the Yazoo, August 1862-July 1864: Swamps, Forts and Fleets on Vicksburg's Northern Flank" mentions a similar-looking "Traveling by Flatboat" image that was indicated as having been done by Alfred Waud.) --Gazebo (talk) 10:41, 31 December 2014 (UTC)

The image on the Library of Congress website, is from "Midwest Heritage: with hundreds of old engravings" by John Drury, published in 1948, and registered as A27138. It would have been due for renewal in 1976, and does not appear to have been renewed. The image in the 2012 book, since it's attributed to the Library of Congress, is almost certainly the same one, and to me looks identical to the engraving. The 1948 book was also reprinted in 2013 by "Literary Licensing, LLC", presumably as a reprint of an 'old PD work'.
The 'original', if never itself registered, would not have been 'protected' under federal law until the 1976 act, which extended copyright to works 'upon realization' with a term of fifty years after the death of the author, which would put the original as having entered the public domain in the 1940s at the latest. A 'very' non-exhaustive search of the post-1923 records (just using search engines) doesn't show any evidence that it was itself registered, and a publication in 1948 as part of a 'collective work' without a separate notice would have put it into the public domain at that time, or when it came up for renewal in 1976. I think it's fairly safe to say it entered the public domain in the 1940s at the latest, and was published as a PD work in 1948.
As far as the photograph, I think the existence of prints from the engraving with essentially the identical appearance to the original wood plate would strongly indicate it's two-dimensional. 'Three dimensionality' only matters in cases where there needs to be a 'creative' choice of lighting and composition of the photograph, if all faithful photographs would look essentially identical then there is no creativity involved. Revent (talk) 21:01, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
The 1976 act did not extend copyright to works with a term of fifty years after the death of the author; it extended copyright to unpublished works, with the cumulative effect with later extensions of protecting pre-1978 works to at least 2002; or 2047 if published before 2002; or life+70 if that's longer then 2047.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:52, 1 January 2015 (UTC)I
Sorry if my wording was unclear, I did not mean 'extended the copyright of such works to fifty years', but 'extended copyright to' such works, with a term of fifty years. Previously unpublished works had no protection under federal law. The 'pre-1978 works' language about protection until 2002 or 2027 (later 2047) explicitly did not apply to anything that was previously under copyright or in the public domain. Revent (talk) 14:12, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
Works created before 1978 but not published by 1978 got a term of 50pma or (if a corporate work) 75 years from publication (since extended to 70pma and 95), but there was an additional minimum 25-year term (extendable to 50, later upped to 70, if the work was published before 2003, so if that happened the term will not expire before 2049 even if 70pma has passed). Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:33, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
@Clindberg: (Ignoring later extensions, for the sake of simplicity) My reading of the 1976 law is that, because it 'voided' all state copyright laws and common law copyrights, that a 'previously unpublished' work by an author who had been dead for more than 50 years at that point (i.e. before 1927, given the law went into effect in 1978) was placed in the public domain at that time, and thus wasn't eligible for the 25 year term because it was 'already' in the public domain. To read it otherwise would have place 'any' previously unpublished work under copyright for a 25 year term, regardless of age, and the law seems specifically intended to not do so. Revent (talk) 19:22, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
That was indeed the intent -- to give such works a little bit of federal protection, since they had never had any (and their common-law protection was being removed). No unpublished works became PD in 1978; they were protected through at least 2002. All such works were therefore eligible for the 20-year extensions enacted in 1998. Now if those works were still not published by 2003, then their term became a straight 70pma (or for corporate works, the earlier of 120 years from creation or 95 from publication). If pre-1978 unpublished works were published from 1978 through 2002, they are still under copyright regardless of how old they are, and will be until 2048. See the Hirtle chart. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:51, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
One more note... the UK did the exact same thing when they ended their perpetual copyright for unpublished works in their 1988 law (took effect 1989). Those works got 50 years of protection regardless of age, so such works would not expire until 2040. Thankfully that status does not affect photographs, which if created before 1957 had a term based on date of creation, so they expired even if unpublished. The subsequent EU extensions exceeded that term in most cases. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:06, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
@Clindberg: I'm familiar with the Hirtle chart, but it doesn't go into details about the 'historical' rules, and like I said the text of the law itself is 'open to interpretation', though I'm sure looking into the 'legislative history' would clarify it (yawn). The way that you describe it is also 'reasonable', though, and I'm perfectly willing to accept it as correct. It simply seems odd that something like, say, an unpublished 1700s letter would gain statutory protection in 1978. For most cases this is all rather moot, anyhow. Revent (talk) 19:52, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
There is some sort of common law public domain status for most unpublished letters from the 1700s; the details are unclear, but old works where no one actively held the common law copyright lost it. It doesn't however seem odd to me at all that the government would tell copyright holders that it was going to put these works in the PD in the future, but they could publish now and get a full 50 70 years of copyright. Otherwise these works would be losing legal protection (statutory or not) on short notice, which would have brought out opposition to the law.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:51, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
The legislative notes are a bit more explicit: Its basic purpose is to substitute statutory for common law copyright for everything now protected at common law, and to substitute reasonable time limits for the perpetual protection now available. In general, the substituted time limits are those applicable to works created after the effective date of the law [Jan. 1, 1978]; for example, an unpublished work written in 1945 whose author dies in 1980 would be protected under the statute from the effective date [Jan. 1, 1978] through 2030 (50 years after the author’s death).
A special problem under this provision is what to do with works whose ordinary statutory terms will have expired or will be nearing expiration on the effective date [Jan. 1, 1978]. The committee believes that a provision taking away subsisting common law rights and substituting statutory rights for a reasonable period is fully in harmony with the constitutional requirements of due process, but it is necessary to fix a “reasonable period” for this purpose. Section 303 provides that under no circumstances would copyright protection expire before December 31, 2002, and also attempts to encourage publication by providing 25 years more protection (through 2027) if the work were published before the end of 2002. As Prosfilaes notes, a work would have had to still be protected under common-law copyright for that term to take effect, and there were some common-sense limits on those (though no hard rules; probably case-by-case). Carl Lindberg (talk) 08:23, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
If by wood engraving a print rather than the original plate is meant, I would not think it would have any more texture than a block print or lithograph, ie only the thickness of the ink Dankarl (talk) 02:00, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
I think you meant "if never published", not "if never registered". Federal protection started upon publication or registration, whichever came first, until 1978 when the 1976 Act came into effect. And if the photo was published, that would basically publish the original work, or at least as much of it was present in the photograph. The odds of it being published previously are pretty high, unless the book authors got it from the artist's heirs or something. As for the original question, I would agree that PD-Art probably applies. I don't think there is enough there to cause any real creativity in the photographer. Technically, a painting canvas has texture too but that aspect really isn't there in photographs. Carl Lindberg (talk) 09:30, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
Getting into technicalities. Under the 1909 act, protection began upon publication with notice, but registration was also required... no action for copyright infringement was allowed unless the requirement for 'prompt registration after publication' had been complied with, and if a 'demand' to register and deposit copies was not complied with then the owner was subject to a fine and the copyright became void. We can treat anything 'published with notice but not registered' from that time period as in the public domain, though I suspect this was rare. Revent (talk) 14:23, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, this is technicalities and getting a bit off-topic... registration was only required for a renewal (and as you note, to start a court case). But the term of protection started with either publication or registration, whichever came first. You could wait 28 years to register though (and could send the registration along with the renewal). The 1976 Act did not change that. The 1909 law did ask for a prompt registration (or at least the deposit of copies), but there was no real penalty or possible loss of copyright unless a direct demand for registration came from the Copyright Office (and was ignored), which I assume rarely happened. But yes, from that time frame, being published without a registration means it is PD-US-not_renewed. It's highly likely to have been published before 1923 anyways... you usually made engravings to be published. If it has never been "legally published" it would still be PD as 70pma. There is the more vague {{PD-US}} tag for when the exact reason is unclear, but I would probably assume {{PD-1923}} in this case given the work's age, unless there is documentation that it was unknown until longer after the author's death. I do see it was also published in the June 1916 Century Magazine as "Immigrants traveling by flatboat on the Tennessee". So I would just go with PD-1923 for this one. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:33, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. On the issue of publication, there is the question as to whether the 1948 "Midwest Heritage" book constitutes a case of the original Alfred Waud engraving being published in noncompliance with US formalities. From what one understands, prior to 1978, unpublished works were automatically covered by common law copyright unless the work was either published (with the permission of the copyright holder) or registered for copyright with the US Copyright Office. In this FAQ on copyright renewals, an issue mentioned is that if a book contains material that was previously published then it is possible that the included material was renewed separately. For collective works (such as periodicials) it has been mentioned on Commons that the copyright notice for a collective work does not cover third-party advertisements (which had to have their own copyright notice) but it is not mentioned that separate copyright notices were needed for third party items that were not advertisements.
Given the nature of the original engraving, it seems likely that there would have been an interest in officially making the work (or reproductions) available to the public and it would not be surprising, given that the work is specified as having been created between 1855 and 1890 that it was published before the 1948 "Midwest Heritage" book, or, for that matter, published before the cutoff year of 1923 for US copyright. At the same time, uploading media to Commons includes specifying a licensing tag and therefore it is useful to know when the initial publication occurred. (As a side note, the image of the original engraving is of particular interest because it can be downloaded to produce a very high resolution image.) --Gazebo (talk) 11:25, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
The actual language effectively said that 'works republished with new matter' would be regarded as new works with regards to copyright, but that the publication and registration of the 'new work' did not affect the validity of the existing copyright in the 'included' work, and did not not secure or extend copyright in the 'included work'. If the 1948 printing was the original publication, and not 'piratical', then it was apparently noncompliant (though like I said, my search was not extensive). To actually track down an original registration for this would require a highly tedious manual search of 'not searchable' book scans, and would probably be fruitless since the relevant records from before 1891 are not, AFAIK, even available as book scans. Revent (talk) 15:03, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
For 'information's sake', having just looked, this image is not among Waud's several dozen contributions to "Picturesque America" by William Cullen Bryant. Waud apparently also contributed illustrations to quite a few other works during that time period, though, including Harper's Weekly. That being said, there are quite a few nice PD engravings in the two volumes by Bryant. Revent (talk) 16:05, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
Given Clindberg's discovery of a pre-1923 publication (good job!), I think we can call this 'resolved', though {{PD-old-auto-1923}} would IMO be better than just {{PD-1923}}, as it will add the 'author has been dead more than 100 years' language to cover the status in non-US places as well. Having the original publication date (which was probably not the 1916 publication either) would be nice, but not relevant to it being PD Revent (talk) 18:32, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
An image of the engraving has been uploaded as File:Traveling-by-flatboat-engraving-by-Alfred-R-Waud.png. And once again, thanks for the feedback. --Gazebo (talk) 01:21, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Russian army maps

Do Russian army maps fall under "official documents of state government agencies" clause of {{PD-RU-exempt}}? They could well be considered "other materials of legislative, administrative and judicial character", but things like that tend to get handled differently depending on the jurisdiction. Any insight in this context? It would be relevant eg. for material found on, which is a helpful reference in any case, but would be even more practical if we could copy the actual files. --Latebird (talk) 17:03, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Money of Poland

Hi, I am trying to restore some of Commons:Deletion requests/Money of Poland (from 1944), but I wonder which license should apply to these reproductions. In all files I checked in Category:Banknotes of Poland and subcategories, {{PolishSymbol}} is used, but that deletion request seems to mean that this is not appropriate for banknotes of Poland. So?... Meanwhile I've checked and reviewed some other banknotes from Poland, and nominated some for deletion, because of a claim of own work. Regards, Yann (talk) 15:50, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Polish copyright law is weird. From reading the WIPO translation, unless the actual 'employment contract' stated otherwise, then upon 'acceptance' of the work of an employee, the employer acquired the economic rights to the work, and when the such rights are 'enjoyed' by a person other than the author (I think we can assume the National Bank is a legal person) the term begins when the work is disseminated. The National Bank claims ownership of the designs here, so the term would have begun in 1944, expired in 1995, been reinstated in 2003, and then expired again on December 31st, 2014 (and, strangely, have 'skipped around' the URAA date). I think the 'right' tagging for these is a combination of {{PD-old-70}} and {{PD-1996}}, best with a bit of 'explanation' added in the reason field of PD-1996. Revent (talk) 19:23, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Following some Google searching, and discussion with our resident Polack on IRC... these 1944 bills were apparently printed in Moscow, under the mandate of the Polish Committee of National Liberation, and the 'Polish National Bank' did not exist until 1945. It's really not clear if they would be under Soviet law, or Polish law (they were apparently printed in Moscow, but 'distributed' in the area of Poland under Soviet control). In January of 1945, the Polish Comittee of National Liberation became the 'new' Polish state... so, if distributed before then, they would be under the 'old' Polish law, and if afterward the 'new' Polish law. This becomes a bit moot later on, as the 'old' Polish government (the government in exile) handed over it's responsibilities to the 'current' Polish government in 1990. So, we are left with these under Soviet (now Russian Federation) law, or Polish law. In both cases, they were under a 50 year pma term on the URAA date, later a 70 year term, which would leave what I said earlier about the tagging (probably) correct, unless someone else has better info. Revent (talk) 21:45, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

MV Cemfjord

Is this image of MV Cemfjord on a licence suitable for uploading to Commons? Mjroots (talk) 15:32, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

Sadly not due to the noncommercial restriction. --Denniss (talk) 16:04, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
@Denniss: - thanks. I wasn't sure which is why I asked. Saves wasting time uploading only to have it deleted. Mjroots (talk) 17:02, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

Copyright status of Rhodesian government works

I have two questions on the issue of works by the government in Rhodesia/Southern Rhodesia (today's Zimbabwe) between 1923 and 1980. I consulted User:Crisco 1492 on where the best place to start a topic on this would be and he advised me to come here. My queries are:

1. From 1923 onwards Southern Rhodesia had responsible government—it had its own government, parliament, armed forces and so on and was essentially independent except for in international relations, which were controlled from London. Would works created by the colonial government be, for copyright purposes:
a) UK government works
b) works of the Southern Rhodesian government (antecedent of the Zimbabwean government)
c) something else?
2. On 11 November 1965 the aforementioned colonial government issued a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI). Britain had the colonial Governor formally sack the ministers who had declared independence and passed acts essentially outlawing the Rhodesian government, but Rhodesia continued essentially as before except for claiming that it was now a fully independent country. This situation continued until 1979 when the post-UDI government, by now calling itself Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, dissolved itself and Britain took interim control. No country ever formally recognised the post-UDI authorities in Rhodesia but the Rhodesian High Court did from 1968. My question here is this: would works created by the post-UDI government between 1965 and 1979 be, for copyright purposes:
a) works of the Zimbabwean government's antecedent (the Zimbabwean government is successor to the post-UDI government and so holds copyright)
b) works of an entity that no longer exists (the Zimbabwean government is successor to the colonial government, not the post-UDI one, so works of the latter have no copyright protection)
c) works of private citizens and/or groups thereof in Rhodesia (even if the post-UDI government was not recognised, the people in it remained citizens, so the creators should have their works protected to the same extent as non-government works from the same period)
d) something else?

The conclusion Crisco and I came to between ourselves was that in the first case the answer could be either a) or b), and that in the second case the answer was probably c). It should be noted that despite not recognising the UDI government, the Zimbabwean government has retained its legislation after 1980; the Copyright Act has been altered a couple of times since then but is still basically based on the act passed under UDI in 1967 (see here). What do all of you think? Cheers Cliftonian (talk) 14:30, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

I would guess b) for the first question, and a) for the second. They are not UK government works; that was a separate country and while the UK laws often applied to colonies, they were separate entities. (India joined the Berne Convention in the 1920s for example, long before actual independence.) So, I would presume such works would just be owned by the current Zimbabwe government if they are still under copyright. That copyright may not have been recognized outside the country until they joined the Berne Convention in the early 1980s but it seems like it was valid enough inside the country during that time, and would therefore presumably be recognized elsewhere after they joined Berne. Maybe the UK would rule differently, but it sounds like the government was briefly suspended in the transition away from the UDI and to an independent country but I'm guessing they would be considered the same basic entity and successor internally. As you note, the basic copyright law itself was created in the 1960s (which was an updating of copyright based on the 1956 UK copyright act), and that has continued in force -- so the laws created by that government presumably all still apply internally, so I don't see why the copyrights created by those laws wouldn't do the same. Carl Lindberg (talk) 09:16, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for this Carl, this reasoning makes sense. So would this mean that the rule for Rhodesian/Southern Rhodesian government works is the same as civil works, that is anything up to 1946 is okay (because of URAA renewing copyright in the US in 1996)? Something I forget to mention before: how about works of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland government that existed from 1953 to 1963? I imagine the successor of that would be Zimbabwe as well as the capital was in Salisbury (Harare) and the Southern Rhodesian government got almost all of the Federal assets when it split up. Might it be worth attempting to contact the Zimbabwean government to ask to what extent they claim copyright over all this stuff? If so, how might be the best way to word this, as I've never done anything like this before. These seem to be the people we'd need to contact. Cliftonian (talk) 17:14, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
I've written to the Controller of Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Copyright and Neighbouring Rights, Mr Fidelis Maredza, to ask for clarification. My message is here. Cliftonian (talk) 17:43, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I guess. Personally, I would prefer to treat government works which have expired in their own country as PD, at least if they have a separate, explicit term for them. We have gotten declarations from a couple (UK, Canada) which have declared that Crown Copyright expires worldwide, so I think the preference is to get such a statement in order to ignore any URAA complications for them. If they are laws or similar text with legal effect, the U.S. would not recognize a copyright regardless, so the URAA would be moot ({{PD-EdictGov}}). But failing that, then yes, before 1946. As for the second question, it's probably moot for a while if 1946 holds, but if Zimbabwe inherited almost all the material you could just go that way, or consider all three governments as co-authors, or consider them an international organization which no longer exists. I suspect there is no real difference between the first two (country of origin may be the one with the shortest term, but copyright laws are likely similar). If the third it gets thornier, as copyright is not automatically recognized for all such organizations. It generally is for the UN, but it can differ by country. For example, here is Australia's list. It's all theoretical though since it's pretty unlikely that any government work -- let alone one from that Federation -- has had any court case to give any guidance. But if there were explicit terms of how the Federation's copyrights were divided, that would probably hold sway. It might be easiest to just assume a 50-year thing for them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:31, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Spectra London

I was hoping for a quick copyright check for en:File:Spectra by the Victoria Tower.jpg and similar files. This was an art installation which existed for about a week and was then dismantled. My opinion is that under COM:FOP#United Kingdom this would count as a permanent work (it spent its entire life in public) and is thus fine for Commons. -mattbuck (Talk) 13:04, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

A work is only copyrightable if it's 'recorded in a fixed medium'... I don't think that would be considered to apply to mere beams of light, since the actual 'appearance' at any particular moment would be subject to atmospheric conditions and not under the control of the artist. Only specific images of them would be copyrightable. Revent (talk) 14:23, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
That's a good argument too. Thanks. -mattbuck (Talk) 11:55, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

piet Mondriaan

Mondriaan's work came in the public domain in the NL, but there is a trust that claims to hold copyright of 45% of the US works. Could someone experienced with this give their opinion at Category talk:Paintings by Piet Mondriaan#Copyright problem where I have tried to analyse the situation? L.tak (talk) 15:52, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Left a comment there. Lupo 16:20, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
tnx! L.tak (talk) 20:39, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

"Game Wizard" and "Super 8" video game accessories - country of origin?

Among other items, this image shows a "Game Wizard" and a "Super 8" video game accessory items. The question is, is there an easy way to determine the country of origin for these two items? It has been mentioned that the Game Wizard and Super 8 accessories were made by a company called "Innovation," but details about the manufacturer are not clear. (It would seem likely that the accessories were made in China and may have been designed in China or somewhere else in Far East Asia.) There is a GameFAQs entry that mentions a US address for Innovation and there is an archived page for the Web site corresponding to the US address that has an image of a Super 8 box. In addition, there is the question of Innovation having done business with Datel.This issue is of interest because from what one understands, there are countries where utilitarian items can be copyrighted (in particular, France and Sweden come to mind) and where the threshold of originality for logos is very low, which affects whether freely licensed photos of such subjects can be uploaded to Commons. (In comparison, for the purposes of US copyright, useful articles are not copyrighted and it would seem that the logos on the Game Wizard and Super 8 accessories would be below the threshold of originality.) --Gazebo (talk) 07:27, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

ShareAlike and using latest license version

I plan on downloading File:Map of USA highlighting euthanasia.svg (licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5) and using info from File:Map of U S states that allow physiian-assisted suicide.png (licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0) to upload a new SVG. Would it satisfy the original ShareAlike requirements if I chose the most recent version of CC BY-SA? Athelwulf (talk) 22:12, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes. Versions of the CC-BY-SA license from 2.0 on allow licensing of derivative works under the 'same or a compatible license'. The list is given here, and later versions of the same license are considered to be 'compatible'. Revent (talk) 22:57, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Just to make it more clear, the material you are using from the CC-BY-SA-2.5 work will still be under that license, you can't 'relicense' it under the later version, but licensing 'your contributions' to the derivative work under the new version fulfills the SA requirement. You'll need to make it clear that reusers of your derivative work must comply with the requirements of 'both' licenses. With 4.0 (and presumably later versions) this is changed, works under 4.0 can be relicensed under a newer version by an adapter. Revent (talk) 23:12, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

Upload a map based on an other map


I have created a map based on and I want to upload it. I'm sure that this is legal, but where and what do I have to write ? I have chosen the licence by default. Is that compatible with the licence used by Tschubby for the original file? Javeec (talk) 23:45, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

See my response to a very similar question in the last section. :) You should use {{Derived from}} in the source field, and then license your contributions under CC-BY-SA-3.0 or later. The link to his work as the 'source', where he licensed it himself, will meet the requirements for attribution, though if you wish you can use {{Infosplit}} in various fields and make it more explicit (but you don't have to). It's also nice if you use {{Derivative versions}} on the page of the source, under 'other versions', but again it's not required. Revent (talk) 00:18, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
Thank you for your answer. Javeec (talk) 00:44, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

Keeping the copyrighted logos at bay

Since the files listed here will be deleted if no permission is given, can you run through the OTRS ticket system to prevent from being deleted? Needs confirmation!

FreshCorp619 (talk) 02:27, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

Soccer kick picture copyright question

I am trying to get a picture of a soccer kick for the article in the English Wikipedia. I have found this one (the image at the top) which is coming up as labelled for reuse and modification. Is this acceptable and what tag is needed for it if it is?

— Preceding unsigned comment added by The C of E (talk • contribs) 09:02, 9 January 2015‎ (UTC)
No, it's not acceptable. No evidence of free license. Lupo 10:16, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
Doing a Google Images search with the "Labeled for reuse with modification" condition specified can be useful for finding images that are likely available under a free license; at the same time, image results that come up should be checked as to whether the image is actually under a free license or whether it was included in the search results for another reason. --Gazebo (talk) 11:07, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

Photo of 2008 Yosemite rockfall - work of the US government (National Park Service)?

Would it be possible to treat this image as a case of {{PD-USGov-NPS}}? In this article, "Rock Fall Risk Study Leads to Closures at Yosemite National Park," the photo is credited as "Courtesy: National Park Service." In addition, there is a report, "Quantitative Rock-Fall Hazard and Risk Assessment for Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California," from the US Geological Survey and the US National Park Service in which a smaller version of the same photo appears on page 5. A note on page ii indicates that most of the report is in the public domain (likely as a work of the US government) but that "it also may contain copyrighted materials as noted in the text." The photograph on the report cover page is credited to a private individual (Peter Girling) but there is no such indication for the photo on page 5. --Gazebo (talk) 11:43, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

You correctly answered you own question. Ruslik (talk) 20:15, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

Question about art forgeries created before 1923

Hi I am wondering about forged paintings in 19th- and 20th-century art catalogs that have been recently discovered to be forgeries. Since sometimes the forger is known but mostly not, how to handle these? Are they protected? I am interested specifically in the case of paintings previously attributed to Frans Hals, such as this one: File:Frans Hals - Portrait of a man dressed in black with a white collar and cuffs and holding a silver-topped cane - 1643.jpg. I think this one is pretty old and so is PD anyway, but what about paintings made later, so around 1900? If they were cataloged in a pre-1923 art catalog, can I use the black&white illustration from the catalog? What license should I use? In the linked file, I used PD-Art-100, but that is probably wrong, though the painting was documented everywhere as 1643. Note that I think it is original and not a copy. Thanks in advance, Jane023 (talk) 15:56, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

A forgery that is a 'copy' of an original painting would be a derivative work, and it seems fair to assume that since the forger would be (presumably) attempting to make their copy as exact as possible that they were expressly avoiding having any 'creative input' into the copy. That being said, I don't think such a forgery would create any new copyright. In the case of a forgery that is 'after the style' of another artist, the forger was (obviously) making a deliberate choice to remain anonymous, and (in most cases) committing an illegal act by 'passing off' their work as that of someone else. They would arguably have a copyright in the forgery, but it seems unlikely that such a copyright would be legally enforceable, and I think most such cases could be treated as a 'published anonymous work' if they were ever offered for public sale (such a sale would obviously have been 'with the permission' of the forger). For the work to not be anonymous would require the creator to have actually 'asserted' that they were the author... I don't think even a finding by a court, in the absence of such an admission, would make the work not 'anonymous' in copyright terms. Revent (talk) 20:13, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Interesting, thanks. So copies, anonymous or not, passed off as real, can be treated as copies - I get that. Forgeries that are actually new works (I am thinking here of Han van Meekeren's Vermeer forgeries for example) need to be treated as anonymous works until if and when the forger's name is discovered. But if that happens, you think that copyright cannot be claimed for the simple reason that the forger was being a criminal at the moment of original sale? I guess I follow your reasoning, so I am going to just upload these "possible forgeries" of Frans Hals paintings with the PD-Art-100 license as I did for the one I mentioned. thx, Jane023 (talk) 23:22, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
It's similar to the way we treat the copyright in anonymous grafitti... there's theoretically a copyright there, somewhere, but a court would probably void it if someone tried to make the claim... it would take a very good laywer to convince a judge to let someone profit from an overtly criminal act. Revent (talk)
Actually that makes pretty good sense - thx Jane023 (talk) 09:35, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

British "Open Government Licence 3.0"

Hi, is it possible, to upload pictures, which are published unter the "Open Government Licence 3.0", f. e. pictures from the homepage of the Home Office? The licence terms are quoted here. Thank you. --Opihuck (talk) 20:55, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes. See {{OGL3}}. Revent (talk) 21:24, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

Question re: usability of Template:MONCopyright

Hi. I have a question about the legal usability of this template, Template:MONCopyright, based on permission registered at User:Nemo5576/MON. To begin with, it's pretty irregular to host a permission on Commons without going through OTRS, where the domain of the permission sender can be verified. But even if it went through OTRS, I am concerned this permission would not be usable:

In request for an answer to Ministry of Defence Information Center I kindly inform, that you may freely use photos published in MoD web page ( The only condition is indication of source each time.

This is quite vague - does not indicate if it is a general release or a personal one and certainly does not indicate that the content can be modified.

The template, used on images such as this, says "According to a relevant permission, the Polish Ministry of National Defence which is the copyright holder of this work, allows anyone to use this media for any purpose including unrestricted redistribution, modification and commercial use, provided indication of the original source."

I happened to look into this as I am investigating some text copyright issues on English Wikipedia related to Polish government material and have recently reviewed the Ministry of Defence's copyright policy. There's some pretty specific restrictions there: "Any changes of the integrity of the photo including zooming or graphic processing are not allowed. Using photos from MOD website for commercial, including advertising and marketing purposes is not allowed. Publication or the context of using the photo cannot damage good name of Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Poland as well as military and civilian personnel of Polish Armed Forces."

Rather than nominating this template for deletion, as it is transcluded to 4638 images, I really thought it might be a good idea to bring it up here to see what those of you who do image copyright issues think. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:45, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

This seems to apply only to photos that are: "signed in the following way: Name, Surname/Public Information Department MOD, Republic of Poland". Ruslik (talk) 18:50, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Hi, Ruslik. :) That's true - with regards to everything else, it says, "Copyrights to all images posted on the website of the Ministry of Defence is entitled to their authors", so not owned by the Ministry of Defence. That's another layer of complication here - is this permission being taken for images that are not owned by the MOD? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 19:17, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Are there any image owned by MoD and not signed in that particular way? Ruslik (talk) 20:12, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
No idea, Ruslik; all I know is what it says at the link I gave above. One of many questions. The lack of wider response here, though, is making me wonder if perhaps I should be trying a different venue or reaching out to the legal team? We don't want to lose 4,638 images unnecessarily, but what the template says is quite different from what the posted email said (again, no indication of under what circumstances the images can be used - commercially? Modified?), and there's no context. :/ I reached out to User:Nemo5576 to invite his feedback, since he posted the email, but he hasn't been on Commons in a few weeks. I'll try his home wiki. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:23, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
Just in case, the permission has a 2005 date on a 2008 subpage translated by another user. COM:OTRS was started in 2006, that could explain an apparent irregularity as best effort before OTRS existed. –Be..anyone (talk) 00:21, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
That's helpful, Be..anyone. :) Maybe outreach to the MOD to see if they can clarify the terms and what it covers would be the best approach. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 20:31, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Okay, in the absence of much response here, I guess I'll check with the OTRS team and see if we can perhaps reach out directly. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:31, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

Old wire photo

I would like to use this image of en:Fortunato Catalon from 1923 and I've a feeling that the image may be public domain. Basically it looks like an old wire service image and there's no photo attribution at time of publication. It falls narrowly outside of the public domain 1923 parameters and was wondering: can anyone else can help identify if this falls under a free license for upload? Thanks. Sillyfolkboy (talk) 17:42, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

The Evening Independent doesn't appear to have renewed any of its copyrights,[3] so it qualifies as {{PD-US-not renewed}}. But it doesn't seem the newspaper provides the source for any of its images, oddly. Does anyone here know more about the publishing industry at the time? Magog the Ogre (talk) (contribs) 02:09, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
OK-I checked for other sources of the photo with my subscription. This is a copy of the same photo and it attributed NEA National Editorial Association as the photo source. I checked artwork (the category also covers photos) for the years where a renewal would need to happen, 1950 and 1951. There were no renewals shown in either year for NEA or National Editorial Association. You're good to go with Copyright not renewed! :) We hope (talk) 02:29, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
@We hope, Magog the Ogre: Great stuff! Thanks for the help, it's much appreciated. Sillyfolkboy (talk)

Check if the licensing conditions for an image are sufficient for Commons

I can't tell if the resale/sublicensing requirements of this file make this image unsuitable for Commons:Licensing. My feeling is that yes, probably, but I am by no means a lawyer. Magog the Ogre (talk) (contribs) 02:13, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

I think 'prohibited use' #4 (that you can't distribute it unless it is an an inseparable part of a product) is a showstopper, though yeah, the legalese is rather dense. Revent (talk) 03:28, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
#7 even more so. Absolutely fails our free license criteria. Huntster (t @ c) 05:27, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Can you get the image in that archive page? I couldn't display the image. PlanetStar (talk) 03:48, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
@PlanetStar: this is a different one in the same set. The internet archive doesn't have the original for your image.[4] But it's usually safe to assume that a bulk uploader will provide the same license for each image, especially when the license is self-written and full of legalese (i.e., usually the house lawyer came up with the language, and advised the company to always use it). You might consider using Flickr and only search for CC-content which is free to use commercially and free to adapt upon.
Also, apologies for deleting the image. Please don't take this the wrong way; Commons can still be a positive experience. Magog the Ogre (talk) (contribs) 02:03, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Copyright status of war booty aerial reconnaissance photos

I had a Luftwaffe aerial reconnaissance photo deleted as unfree at Commons:Deletion requests/File:Kronshtadt1.jpg, but I'm not at all sure that the editor was correct. The US Navy acquired the photo at the end of WW2 and has been freely distributing it ever since. I had it tagged as an official USN photo as that was the closest PD-tag that I could find. This was obviously not correct and formed part of the editor's justification to delete, but I want the copyright status clarified, both under US and German copyright law.

As an aerial reconnaissance photo there can be no question of the usual pma+70 rule, which means that it's a work of the German government, but I can find no information in the articles on German copyright law on how that works. Do they retain copyright indefinitely? And how does the seizure of the photo by the US as war booty affect the situation?

And what is the situation under US copyright law? Given that it's been distributed by the Navy for decades, I cannot imagine that it's considered in copyright in the US.

If the ruling is that it's PD in the US, but not in Germany, that's OK, but I want some sort of tag that explains the situation when I upload it at en:Wiki so some well-meaning, but ill-informed, editor doesn't try to delete it there as well.--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 16:34, 26 December 2014 (UTC)

The "war booty" part would only be relevant within the U.S. So yes, it would probably be PD in the U.S. based on that status. That is enough for en-wiki, but Commons needs to show it is PD in Germany as well. German photographs at the time had a shorter term (25 years), so it would have become public domain in the 1960s in Germany. However, in 1995 or thereabouts (each country had to pass a law so the dates differed a little, though Germany was prompt), European works had their copyright restored to 70 pma even if their copyright had already expired, so it would have become re-copyrighted. (The U.S. in general restored copyright to lost foreign works in 1996, so normally this type of thing would have been re-copyrighted in the U.S. as well for a 95-year term, but there was a special exception for WWII war booty so that would not have happened with this photo.) Things get more interesting though... anonymous works have a term of 70 years from publication, or if not published within 70 years, then 70 years from creation. There is some uncertainty involved, but it may be PD in Germany now due to {{Anonymous-EU}}. But, that could depend on when it was "made available to the public" -- if that was not until the U.S. published it after the war, then it may have a couple years to go yet. But if that was without permission, meaning it has never been officially published, then it became PD in Germany the Jan 1 following 70 years after creation, which would have been in 2012. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:46, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
Thank you, Carl, for your thorough response. So what exact tag would I use to show that it was free for use in the US? A simple {{PD-1996}}? And, AFAIK, the German government has never authorized its publication, so that returns the termination of copyright to 1942; am I understanding you correctly?--Sturmvogel 66 (talk) 19:19, 31 December 2014 (UTC)
I guess we don't have a PD-US-URAA-AlienProperty tag... there has not been much cause to use that rationale (though that will increase; I'm guessing we'll need one for Mein Kampf a year from now). I guess there can be a 25-year publication right in the EU as well; not sure how that would apply in odd cases like this. I guess PD-1996 is the closest, though mention the alien property exception by hand. Carl Lindberg (talk) 09:59, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
If Mein Kampf remains banned in Germany after the expiration of the copyright, what means this for Wikimedia projects? -- 20:58, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
A legal ban on it in Germany would not affect hosting it on Commons, as we do not respect 'non-copyright' legal restrictions. Something like {{Nazi symbol}} would be appropriate. Revent (talk)
That being said, I don't think we're going to be able to have Mein Kampf next year anyhow... after a bit of looking (I was curious) Adolph registered copyrights on the two volumes with the USCO in 1925 (AF28722) and 1927 (AF34076). These are the copyrights that were seized by the Alien Property Custodian, and then sold to Houghton Mifflin in 1979. They apparently have a few years left to run yet. There are a lot of copyvio versions floating around, tho. Revent (talk) 05:59, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
The Stanford database has a renewal for the latter one, but I don't see a renewal for AF28722 . Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:31, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
@Clindberg: (nods) I'm not certain if that renewal was 'valid', really... it was by Houghton-Mifflin, and by that point in time the copyright had long since been 'seized' by the Alien Property Custodian. I'm somewhat basing my assumption that they were both 'validly renewed' at some point on the anecdotes about the 'copyrights' having been sold by the US Government in 1979, since the original terms would have long expired by then. Revent (talk) 01:52, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Modified skull drawing from scientific paper

This drawing File:Sorex ornatus skull.svg was developed by me, through modification the source drawing (linked on the file itself, with clear attribution, and also here). Images on these small mammals are hard to come by; I have been developing a series of article on En:Wikipedia. After uploading the image, I have concerns now that this may be copyvio, since it is essentially derivative work. I don't know enough about copyright to know if a scientific drawing is covered separately from an intended work of art. My revision is obviously (and intentionally) a degraded quality work. There are some other similar skull drawings that I have derived, but I want to wait prior to uploading. I may change skull dimensions, thus creating an artistic interpretation of a hypothetical animal skull, but could consider still using some of the lines/material from the original (which is very easy to do using InkScape). Thoughts on this??

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Gaff (talk • contribs)
The copyright rules are same for any creative work be it a scientific drawing or an "intended work of art". Ruslik (talk) 18:39, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Agreed, the creator of the original drawing engaged in a 'creative act' by how they chose to render the skull, and that places it under copyright. Only an explicitly 'exact' rendering, such as made by a computer from a three-dimensional scan of the object, with no creative input from a human, would be exempt. Revent (talk) 19:40, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Not all parts of the drawing are copyrighted, but only those that required creative input by the original author. This is neither the case for the shape of the scull and its parts (hopefully, for a scientific illustration), nor for the type of views chosen (standard blueprint views: top, bottom, side). The only aspects subject to copyright here are the drawing style and the layout of the three views on the page. User Gaff changed both of those significantly in his reinterpretation, so it's not really obvious how there can be a copyvio. --Latebird (talk) 10:56, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
A 'drawing after a photograph', or a 'drawing after a drawing', is a derivative work, as discussed at COM:CB. Any 'non-copyrightable' aspects of the original drawing are inseparable from the copyrightable aspects without reference to the original object, and the original drawing itself, as a whole, is undoubtedly copyrightable as an artistic rendering. Revent (talk) 19:45, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
That may make sense for drawings with primarily artistic intent. But many scientific illustrations are really closer to diagrams than to drawings. And the information in a diagram is definitively not eligible for copyright. It is perfectily fine to create a new diagram showing the same information as the original one, as long as the design is different. I realize that it can be difficult to draw a clear line between the two cases, but I think applying the "drawing after a photograph" rule summarily will give us unnecessarily restrictive results in many situations. --Latebird (talk) 21:58, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
@Latebird: You are completely correct that 'factual information' isn't copyrightable. The problem with a drawing like this (the original) is that we have no way of separating what is copyrightable from what isn't without reference to the original object.. we don't know how much (if any) artistic license was taken in how the skull was drawn. Presumably none, as it is a drawing in a scientific paper, but we don't really 'know' without seeing other images. That being said, I'm not going to DR it on that basis, my comments were aimed more at the 'status' of the original drawing. It is entirely possible to 'remove the copyrightable aspects' when creating a derivative work (think cropping the frame from a photo of PD-Art), and I agree that it is probably correct that this particular DW is sufficiently 'vague' as to the exact details shown in the original drawing, and it has a different arrangement. I just think the 'presumption' needs to be that drawings as the original are actually copyrightable, and that derivatives should only show the 'general shape and arrangement' of the actual object, should not show any kind of specific details unless they are actually known to be exact, and should be clearly marked (as this one is) as a derivative work. Revent (talk) 20:57, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Is a logo of a company free of right?

Hello, I'm creating a page for a company, can I upload their logo to Commons (and use is it in wikipedia)? Thanks! --ClaireEmilie (talk) 11:22, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Three answers, fair use in a Wikipedia allowing that, e.g., w:en:, yes, upload here with "all rights reserved" no, upload here with a free "some rights reserved" license + {{Trademark}} info if applicable, yes. For a very simple logo in the public domain it could be yes-yes-yes. ;-) –Be..anyone (talk) 11:29, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
For a specific logo, it's worth evaluating it in terms of the 'argument' made at {{PD-textlogo}}.. many corporate logos are not copyrightable (see the contents of Category:Simple text logos). Revent (talk) 21:08, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Screenshots of GPL games

Hi all, there's an ongoing discussion in Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Battle for Wesnoth title screen about the eligibility for commons of this game screenshots. The game seems to be under the GPL, and there seems to be enough (see Category:GPL), but at the same time I find some contradictory statements: Commons:Deletion requests/GPL screenshots. Any additional comment or opinion will be welcome. Best regards --Discasto talk | contr. | analysis 10:34, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/GPL screenshots seems to be about screenshots where the player has significant input with respect to the content displayed on the screen at the time the screenshot was captured. Arguably, when the player has control over objects and camera angles in a virtual 3D environment, they have creative input into the resulting image. In other words, there is no question that the graphics of the game are covered by the GPL, but there is some question whether the person creating the screenshot also has to agree to publication under a free license. The files listed in Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Battle for Wesnoth title screen, by contrast, show only graphics distributed under the GPL with no creative input from the person creating the screenshot. {{Free screenshot|GPL}} applies. LX (talk, contribs) 16:09, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

File:Logo Universidad La Salle Pachuca.jpg

Hi, Is this too complex for {{PD-textlogo}}? Regards, Yann (talk) 11:53, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't think it would be, though I don't find any 'specific' points of comparison for the Spanish TOO. It definitely needs a {{Trademark}} though. Revent (talk) 12:36, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

CC-By-SA for Library uploads by librarian?

Please see this gallery of images uploaded by a Montana State University Library librarian who releases copyrights on images in their holdings dating from the 1800s to the 1960s. (Most images bear the following "• I represent Montana State University Library and we are releasing this image into the Creative Commons.") The oldest images may be able to be correctly licensed, and at least one appears to be created by a Federal Agency. However, the use of CC-By-SA for all these images is obviously incorrect - especially for creator unknown images which date after 1945 - and thus I am concerned that many/most/all of the post 1923 images may be COM:COPYVIOs incorrectly licensed.

I nominated a booklet cover from the series for deletion, then noticed the size and scope of the issue and am seeking guidance on what should or should not be done with these images. Cheers! Ellin Beltz (talk) 18:05, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

Some of these images, such as File:Women Repairing Bicycle, c. 1895.jpg, might be {{PD-1923}} anyway (public domain, CC-BY-SA not applicable), if first published prior to 1923. However, if the Commons upload is the first publication, copyright might still be applicable if not created before 1895 (for a never published, never registered work with unknown author, according to the Hirtle chart). Gestumblindi (talk) 18:57, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

I understand that some of these images may be {{PD-1923}} however my problem is the "represent Montana State University Library" statement and all so the CC-By-SA current licences on the entire series of images. What do you advise we do about this gallery? Ellin Beltz (talk) 00:58, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure. Did you try to contact the uploader? I see that you nominated File:Chicago Milwaukee St Paul and Pacific Railroad Booklet on Montana Dude Ranches.jpg for deletion and it was deleted. Maybe rightly so; it's unlikely that the library owns the copyright. However, maybe even this deletion was premature - after all, it's a 1941 US publication, so maybe it's {{PD-US-no notice}}, or, if published with copyright notice, {{PD-US-not renewed}}? I think that would be worth checking, but there was not really a discussion on this deletion request... Even this Christmas card from 1974, File:The meadow's such a busy place, Christmas Card from the 320 Ranch.jpg, might be in the public domain if published without copyright notice (see Commons:Hirtle chart). So - I try to ping User:Magolleh through this message (Echo should work, I think), maybe the library indeed owns some of the copyrights, though it seems unlikely? Gestumblindi (talk) 21:00, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Book covers using PD artworks

I've read over Commons:Copyright rules by subject matter#Book covers, including the exceptions under which such covers are suitable for upload to Commons. Does this pertain to covers with simple elements and the use of PD art as the sole components of the cover? I am specifically asking about the file Rubare ai ricchi non è peccato.jpg I recently uploaded to English Wikipedia, which uses a portion of the public domain artwork File:Fonteghetto della farina, Canaletto, circa 1730.jpg created in 1730, and plain text to denote the author, book's title, and publisher. Is this file acceptable on Commons? Mindmatrix 00:54, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

It's fine for the U.S. I'm not sure if Italy has a typographical arrangement copyright but I'd guess it's OK there too (and even those copyrights are for something more involved than a book cover I'd guess). It can be possible for works to have a "selection and arrangement" copyright even if it solely uses PD images (say perhaps a collage of PD paintings) but stuff like that does not rise to that kind of a copyright. Titles and names are not copyrightable, in most places, and this is just centered text. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:53, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
That's what I suspected. I've uploaded a copy to Commons and tagged it as {{PD-ineligible}}, and I suppose if anyone objects, they can nominate it for deletion. Mindmatrix 17:21, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Copyright status of safety signs and symbols?

I was just wondering if anyone knew the copyright status of safety symbols and signs.

Such as the symbols used on the following pages:


— Preceding unsigned comment added by Shatteredankle (talk • contribs) 11:21, 20 January 2015‎ (UTC)
It depends on the relevant jurisdictions, the complexity of the symbols, when they were created, and to what extent they were based on older designs. For specific details for each image, click on them to see their individual file descriptions. Some of them are non-free and therefore not hosted here on Commons. LX (talk, contribs) 11:54, 20 January 2015 (UTC)

Comments about an image

Hi all, I was thinking about uploading the 3GPP logo. Before doing it I'd like to get some feedback. I think it's simple enough not to be copyright-eligible, but I'd rather get some feedback before uploading it. Best regards and many thanks into advance --Discasto talk | contr. | analysis 17:18, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Before you ignore their rules better read what they say, notably they have an EPS that might be better than JPG if you can convert it to something allowed here. The LTE logo is already here (as JPG). The logo isn't too simple, 3GPP is drawn in some peculiar way not covered by "plain text". If it's non-free better upload it to Wikipedia. –Be..anyone (talk) 18:14, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
I actually might be a bit hesitant to upload that. The particular shape of the radio waves (or whatever they are) below the G might exceed PD-shape, even if the general idea of those is common. Not positive on the arrangement of the main letters, either -- slight chance of a copyright there, though less likely. That's one which is right on the borderline for me. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:41, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
Also, the 3PP is headquartered in France, so we might consider that as the country of origin, and France isn't exactly known for having a particularly high threshold of originality. LX (talk, contribs) 09:50, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

about copyright of two antique images

File:松石間意琴腹.jpg and File:松石間意琴面.jpg, It is a Chinese intrument Guqin made in c.1120. I can not see if these pictures (flat pictures showing only one side of the object) meet any threshold of originality, though the object itself should be a 3D work. I am using {{PD-scan}} and wondering if it is correct.--淺藍雪 (talk) 16:38, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

I don't think it is OK. These are not 2D works, like a painting. Regards, Yann (talk) 09:36, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Rather big to pull a {{PD-scan}}, some folks here even delete flat scans of coins. (IMNSHO misguided folks, but that's another story.) –Be..anyone (talk) 01:57, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Per en:Wikipedia_talk:Non-free_content/Archive_25#Photographs_of_ancient_coins, the WMF general counsel's opinion from a number of years ago recommended deleting photographs of coins. So, we generally act accordingly -- if something can amount to a slavish copy (such as a photo of a 2D painting) then there may be an additional copyright, but a photo of a 3-D object leaves some of the copyrightable aspects of a photograph open. If you point a coin on a flatbed scanner, that may be different. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:54, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
eh...seems the rule is not really clear. So shall I nominate them for deletion, or according to Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag, keep them here as they are "purely mechanical scan" until there is "a complaint from the person who worked on the image and who can establish that a significant level of personal creative input did in fact go into the digital enhancements."?--淺藍雪 (talk) 12:02, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Treating these images as {{PD-scan}} or {{PD-art}} seems dubious, given that the surface itself of the front part of the depicted instruments is curved (i.e., 3D) and as Yann mentioned, the instruments are not the same as a 2D work. From looking at the images, there is a sense of lighter and darker areas; File:松石間意琴腹.jpg is more illuminated in the upper left and File:松石間意琴面.jpg is considerably more illuminated near the top. It would be worth considering as to whether the positioning of lighting for the photographing of the instruments could be creative input and thus copyrightable. --Gazebo (talk) 09:29, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Clarification sought: who owns copyright for retouched images?

I'd like to see some clarification (and perhaps even changes to guideline pages for everyone's benefit) regarding ownership and copyright of retouched/modified images. I've seen editors claim {{Own}}, introduce new CC licenses, and/or list themselves as author for uploading crops or color-manipulated versions of existing CC-licensed works, which I feel is intellectually dishonest (cropping is neither original work nor derivative) and unduly assumes credit for sometimes trivial edits. I try to replace such "ownership" with {{Retouched}}, leaving the original creator as author and crediting the new edits in the template, and using the original license. Is there anywhere that discusses how much derivation/retouching is required to claim ownership? I thought Commons:Threshold of originality would offer clarification, but it seems only to discuss PD issues, which can obviate attribution and authorship. Commons:Derivative works briefly defines Derivative works, but mainly deals with photographs of 3D works rather than modifications of existing, free 2D images. As some examples: File:Catherine Elizabeth Middleton (colorized).jpg is a colorized version of File:Catherine Elizabeth Middleton.jpg. I feel that both images should retain the copyright and authorship of the original photographer, with colorization credited in {{Retouched}}. Others may argue that colorization creates a "new, creatively original work". A good centralized Commons page discussing how and when new authorship/copyright is warranted would be most welcome. -Animalparty (talk) 20:43, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Claiming authorship on this image is mistaken, at best, since the edits are relatively minor. I've left a message at the user's talk page. I'm not an expert, but have read what "guidelines" on here that I can find, and agree with you that it is not always remotely clear. In general, seems best to err on the side of an excess of caution, and give credit to the original, even if it is under free license. --Gaff (talk) 21:53, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments. I'd just like to clarify that I'm not singling out any specific examples or users here, nor wish to discuss any on an individual basis (at least not in this thread). I'm seeking more overarching guidelines or consensus (legal, rules-of-thumb, "best practices", or otherwise) that can accommodate or inform all types of modifications. Animalparty (talk) 22:30, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
I agree that colorizing an image does not establish ownership. I didn't intend to mark it as my own work, I simply rushed through the upload. I've since gone and restored the copyright information from the source image to the colorized version. It seems like a fairly clear cut answer to me, because the original license specified that permission was granted to "remix" the image, so long as the author was properly attributed. I fail to see how colorizing would not constitute a "remix".
There is a question, however about public domain images and colorization. In the past, I may have colorized public domain images and listed them as my own work, but only when I could not determine the original authorship.
My opinion on the subject is that all but the simplest of colorized works represents dual authorship, due to the difficulty in reproducing lifelike colors. However, as I'm here to contribute to Wikipedia, and not to attempt to forward my own views or engage in self-aggrandizement, it seems best to me to attribute only the original author, and allow the file log to stand as testament to my contributions. That, to me, seems the best route for Wikimedia Commons, as well. It does not fail to credit an artist who spent hours painstakingly colorizing a work, nor does it steal credit for the original work. MjolnirPants (talk) 00:15, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, when I update pages for some reason, I keep the original author, and add "modified by 'other user'" (or similar) in the same line. Or I use |other_versions={{derived from|example.jpg}}. In the example here that info was in the |description=, also okay. –Be..anyone (talk) 03:32, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Legally speaking in the US, colorizing a static image is not copyrightable.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:48, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
{{Infosplit}} exists for the purpose of separating information about the original as opposed to a derivative. It's vastly underused. Revent (talk) 03:03, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for everyone's comments. It seems like a "best practices" guideline or essay does not exist yet on commons, so I've started a very rough draft of one at User:Animalparty/commons attribution, and all are welcome to contribute or discuss. I am not well versed in legal issues or copyright law, and any links to relevant law, Wikimedia guidelines, or other resources would be most appreciated. @MjolnirPants:, @Gaff:, @Be..anyone:, @Prosfilaes: @Revent:

It seems this is related to Commons:Adaptation and Collection. Jee 06:30, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Copyright issue

Something bad happened with this photo. I tried to ask Fastily for clarification, but recieved chaotic response. The description actually DID have a link to actress' blog but it WASN'T the picture, it was link to some different stuff (maybe main page maybe different low-quality image). So i want to clarify the situation: can administrator delete image just because of wrong descriprion or suspicion without any reason? --Алый Король (talk) 02:19, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

File descriptions must contain correct information about the file's source, authorship and licensing. If those details are wrong, that is a reason for deletion. Administrators may not delete files without any reason, but it doesn't look like that's the case here. There is a reason provided in the deletion log, which you can see if you click the file name above. If you disagree with that reason, you can request undeletion. LX (talk, contribs) 10:00, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
That file contained right information. The author is uploader, only the name of file wasn't correct and uploader posted link to actress blog (I don't know for which reason, but it caused a big problem). And now we have the same problem with the another photo of that uploader. Someone (I believe it's registered user who doesn't want to reveal his identity) post template No permission since. Reason? The other photo of Elly Akira uploaded by User:Yamamotomasahiro is deleted because of copyvio Absolute nonsense. It means that I can request OTRS-permission for ANY photo on Commons uploaded by author and after 7 days this photo will be deleted?--Алый Король (talk) 17:57, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
I can't comment on the deleted file, because I can't see that. You asked if an administrator can delete an image if the file description is incorrect, and I answered that.
Usually if there are concerns with one file of a passing contributor with a small number of uploads, there will be concerns with the other ones as well. If you disagree with the tagging, you can convert it to a regular deletion nomination to invite wider discussion. LX (talk, contribs) 19:15, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Would these London Underground posters be a case of PD-text or PD-textlogo?

Would either of the following two London Underground posters be a case of {{PD-text}} or {{PD-textlogo}}?

--Gazebo (talk) 09:06, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Unfortunately, the British threshold of originality is ridiculuously low. There is also COM:CRT#Typographical copyright to consider. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:16, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
These are just text with a very standard font. So yes. Regards, Yann (talk) 17:45, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
That's not a correct argument. w:File:EDGE magazine (logo).svg is just text with a very standard font, but it is still not {{PD-textlogo}}. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:07, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
The E is not a standard font. And I think that extrapolating this case is dangerous. Regards, Yann (talk) 19:06, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
The only non-standard thing about the E is that the bar extends beyond the stem. The London Underground posters are set in Johnston, which was specifically commissioned for that purpose. The diamond-shaped tittle (a later addition to the typeface) is arguably as original as that extended bar (which is to say not very original at all, but that doesn't change what the man in the wig decided). LX (talk, contribs) 20:00, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Since File:Johnston 2.png is published here under a free license, you can difficultly argue that these have a copyright. As I said, extrapolating over the EDGE case is a dangerous exercise, which would not sustain any criticism. I could easily find 10 counter-examples, i.e. public domain works with the same level of complexity. Regards, Yann (talk) 20:21, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Copyright Status of Scans of Historical Manuscripts from Cambridge Digital Library

In 2007 there has been a discussion on COM:HD on whether or not licensing scans and photographs of historical manuscripts (such as Newton's Principia Mathematica) by Cambridge Digital Library under CC-BY-NC-3.0 is Copyright misuse. In that discussion, Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. was mentioned as a similar case which had the following court ruling[5]:

"[1] On November 13, 1998, this Court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing plaintiff's copyright infringement claim on the alternative grounds that the allegedly infringed works -- color transparencies of paintings which themselves are in the public domain -- were not original and therefore not permissible subjects of valid copyright and, in any case, were not infringed. [n1] It applied United Kingdom law in determining whether plaintiff's transparencies were copyrightable. [n2] The Court noted, however, that it would have reached the same result under United States law. [n3]"

Cory Doctorow also wrote a blog post about the topic in 2011 (mentioning National Portrait Gallery vs. WMF) and writes[6]:

"Sadly, these images are licensed under CC noncommercial, which means that Cambridge is asserting a copyright over these ancient manuscripts. UK law does make some provision for asserting a copyright in photos of public domain works, though to do so certainly runs contrary to the ethic of scholarship that the Cambridge name evokes. However, readers in the USA should know that these images are not in copyright there, and they could be downloaded and reused in any way, in keeping with the principle of a robust public domain."

Consdering that that there are already a number of such works from Cambridge Digital Library uploaded as PD-scan, it seems needed to revisit the issue.

The question is how should Commons community interpret Erik Möller's closing remarks in his blog post regarding NPG vs. WMF? Should there be templates like Template:SourceNPGLondon for every similar institution which digitizes PD works and claims Copyright over them?

What are your views on this? --Shervinafshar (talk) 21:22, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:53, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Good pointer, but does not answer my question regarding content from Cambridge Digital Library. Is it acceptable to download this image from CDL, remove the copyright notice which is added to the image and upload it to Commons as PD-scan (like File:Benedictional of Robert de Clercq.jpg)? --Shervinafshar (talk) 21:46, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes. Yann (talk) 22:00, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

A question about contributing the work of students in my class.

Hi- I teach physics classes through Wikiversity, and am acutely aware of the dearth of pedagogical physics diagrams. It occurred to me that one remedy is to have students make and post drawings on (this) commons. A good example of this is an image I posted on Wikiversity: v:File:Student_ballistic_pendulum.jpg. The quality is low, but it was the best in that day's class. And, it is the best open source image of a ballistic pendulum that I know about. My idea is to challenge future students to make better drawings and then do a replacement (thus not polluting name-space).

I did this on Wikiversity because I don't know the propriety of using commons for this purpose. I would prefer to use commons because it is quicker and more convenient for me to situate all my contributed images on one platform. I thought of the following protocol and wondered if it is legitimate on (this) commons:

  1. Students are first encouraged to register on commons and contribute under their own accounts.
  2. Students have the option of having me, the instructor, contribute, always with the understanding that a better diagram will eventually replace the original one (at the same namespace file location).
  3. Students will sign a release form for me to keep in my records. In addition, they may sign the actual drawing (in a corner as an artist would sign a painting).

Or, would you prefer that I use Wikiversity for these "drawing contests"? --Guy vandegrift (talk) 13:05, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

I want to add that even in this era of computer-generated graphics, the ability to make a hand-drawn diagram remains a useful skill. As this drawing of the ballistic pendulum will improve over the years (as students draw better versions), Wikipedia and Wikiversity authors will have the option of inserting a hand-drawn diagram, or (probably) an svg copy of it.--Guy vandegrift (talk) 13:24, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
@Guy vandegrift: That sounds like a great idea! Educational images are always welcome on Commons. I suspect that, since these would be an example of student work, not just of the subjects of the works, they may stay on Commons even after better versions become available, since they serve the additional educational purpose of illustrating the kind/quality of work created by students. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:48, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Re: Copyright: If you could forward a copy of the copyright releases to permissions-commons from your university email account, that would probably be the best (though not only) way to verify the copyright status of the images. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:51, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
I find it easier to have the student write the release form right on the sketch. When we get a really good one, we can document it more carefully. Is that all right? --Guy vandegrift (talk) 19:10, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

File:Pigna e aghi.svg

I have uploaded this image. It has been taken from a copyrighted book (Gli alberi d'Italia, 1973), nevertheless it is a minimal detail, it has been simplified, rotated, and changed perspective. Is it OK for Commons? I have been warned that could be not suitable. I was conscious there could be some problems, but I decided to upload it anyway. Feel free to delete it if it is against the site copyright policy.--Carnby (talk) 17:25, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

I tagged it with the appropriate tag for your claim, {{Pd-shape}}. That said, I don't think it falls under that, so I've tagged it for deletion. And I guess we'll see what everyone else thinks. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 01:13, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Is imagery from press a sort of 'daily news or details of current events that constitue regular press information' and that is why free?

Two images (File:Damaged monument at Savur-Mohyla.jpg, File:Ukrainian paratroopers at Savur-Mohyla.jpg) were uploaded and tagged with PD-UA-exempt (a) daily news or details of current events that constitute regular press information. In my opinion regular press information are facts, names, figures but not an imagery. But User:RGloucester supports tagging photos from press with 'regular press information' and so being valid for Commons. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 19:36, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

There is no FoP in Ukraine, so those are not really good for Commons.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:39, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Not good. Yann (talk) 21:56, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  • But the question was about tagging; this topic is a possible precedent as everybody can claim every image from press a 'regular press information' and valid to upload at Commons. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 22:09, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
    • I highly doubt there is no copyright on photographic snapshots like that. That clause would seem to be more for the factual details that comprise reporting of current events and the like. If those photos were not taken by the uploader they should be deleted. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:44, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
The “own work” claim on that file is problematic, regardless of the larger copyright & procedural questions.—Odysseus1479 (talk) 06:34, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
This is really something a lawyer versed in Ukrainian copyright law should answer. But I also expect that your interpretation is correct, Bogomolov.PL. --Sebari (talk) 01:37, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

I own the coprights of all pics

Hi, I own the copyrights of all my uploaded pics but still they got deleted. I took the pics, I edited them, I created the final pic, Logo, CD Cover or whatever...

So why are they deleted?

— Preceding unsigned comment added by SiegfriedWhite (talk • contribs)
user:Motopark directed you at least 3 times to com:OTRS on your talk page, you should read it. In case of logos and highly processed posters which look like they were downloaded from some webpage, we usually request an email to OTRS, in which you state that you are the copyright owner of a given image. Publishing unprocessed images in a full resolution would also be helpful. --Jarekt (talk) 17:41, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Family photos

Hello, I have a lot of family photos some are very old with unknown author, some are made by my grand-grandfather. How can I upload these photos if I inherited ownership and they wasn't published anywhere? Dominikmatus (talk) 15:19, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

If you are sure that the images were taken by family members and you inherited their copyrights, than you can use {{PD-heir}} template. In some locations {{PD-UK-unknown}}, {{PD-Canada-anon}}, {{PD-US-unpublished}} might also apply. --Jarekt (talk) 17:32, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks fo info. Dominikmatus (talk) 14:15, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

License statement and CCL


While reviewing File:Minho Choi at the SHINee World Concert III in Jakarta 05.jpg, I found this source - at the bottom, there is CC BY icon linking to CC BY 4.0 deed - and also there is a statement (below)

"*Please take out with FULL CREDITS and DO NOT replace my LOGO with your own if you edit my photos. Commercial use is prohibited"

(emphasis mine, color by original author)

I'm not sure if we can review this or not, so I would like to ask for second opinion. — Revi 05:22, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

"Commercial use is prohibited" is contradicting with CC BY 4.0; so better decline per COM:PRP. Jee 05:33, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Gotcha. All files from that source detected by Special:LinkSearch sent to DR. — Revi 05:38, 29 January 2015 (UTC)


I tagged the file for speedy delete under copyvio, but another user undid my edit because the logo might be free under COM:TOO. The description box of the file claims that it is the uploader's own work, but I doubt that it is the case here. The logo seems to be taken from here. What should I do about it? --Joshua (talk) 04:38, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

I think users who are no sysops are not supposed to remove speedy templates, they can contest (=replace) a speedy by an ordinary deletion request with a "keep" rationale. But that might be not exactly obvious, you could just do it yourself with a "delete" rationale. –Be..anyone (talk) 13:55, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
That should be PD-ineligible in the US -- it is just letters in a circle. Not really sure about Egypt. It's possible someone re-created the logo thus thought they could put on the license, though it's dubious... while it's possible that there could be a copyright in some country somewhere in the world, you'd think the copyright would be with the logo designers in those places. Usually I prefer to keep free licenses just in case the uploader did work which would be considered copyrightable in some country, but this one feels more appropriate to change to PD-ineligible since if there is any copyright somewhere it probably doesn't lie with the uploader. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:06, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

2 images to be de minimis

Are these two pictures COM:De minimis?

Spotlight in OS X Yosemite

The Safari icon is shown as an icon of default web browser in OSX, it has nothing to do with Spotlight (topic of this image) itself, so it is de minimis.


This file manager is licensed under GNU General Public License. It's showing some shell icons of MS Windows, but it's acceptable in de minimis, as it's not the significant field of work.


--Rezonansowy (talk) 11:10, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Hello? --Rezonansowy (talk) 10:17, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Using copyrighted images to make 3D models

Two questions:

  1. Suppose I take a copyrighted image such as this, take measurements from the image and construct a 3D model using Solidworks, rotate the image so that it bears little resemblance to the photo, and put it on commons. Is this a violation? My instincts tell me it is, but I am hoping I am wrong.
  2. Same image, same question. But this time its a hand-drawn sketch made by a student, also rotated so as to not look like the photo. How bad does it have to be before the sketch is "original" and therefore permissible on commons?--Guy vandegrift (talk) 01:34, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
If your 3D model is independent of the creative inspiration of the photo, you don't have to worry about the copyright of the photo. Same thing with a sketch. The problem is, with only one photo, you're showing in detail what the photo shows in detail and you have no detail on what the photo doesn't show. In this case, maybe it's simple enough.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:35, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
The information about spatial positions and shapes of 3D objects in this particular photo can not be copyrighted itself. The copyrightable elements in the photo are only angle at which it was taken, a particular illumination and other elements which can be changed by the photographer. So, it would be ok to create a 3D model as you described above. The same logic applies to the sketch. Ruslik (talk) 17:32, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks.--Guy vandegrift (talk) 21:39, 31 January 2015 (UTC)