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Commons talk:Licensing


This is the talk page for discussing improvements to Commons:Licensing.

For discussions of specific copyright questions, please go to Commons:Village pump/Copyright. Discussions that do not relate to changes to the page Commons:Licensing may be moved, with participants notified with the template {{subst:moved to VPC|Commons talk:Licensing}}.

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Archived discussionsEdit

Kendi Çalışmamın Başkasının Çalışması Diye Silme Adayı GösterilmesiEdit Dosyanın bana ait olduğunu teyid ederim. Herhangi bir vikimedia commons kullanıcısının şikayeti ile çalışmamın silme adayı gösterilmesine ve üstelik kendi çalışmamın bana ait olmadığı mesaj ile iletilmesi gerçekten üzdü beni. Tekrar ediyorum kendi çalışmam ve diğer bütün dosyalar benim kendi çalışmalarımdır. Dosyalarımı herhangi bir stock sitesinde kendi satışım dışında, satışta gördüğüm takdirde konuyu yargıya taşıyacağımıda iletmek istiyorum. İyi günler.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Yimazbeyazduman (talk • contribs) 06:33, 25 May 2018 (UTC)

Anyone else think Wikipedia servers should be moved to a non-URAA country or international territory?Edit

This page says: "Commons is an international project, but its servers are located in the U.S., and its content should be maximally reusable. Uploads of non-U.S. works are normally allowed only if the work is either in the public domain or covered by a valid free license in both the U.S. and the country of origin of the work. The "country of origin" of a work is generally the country where the work was first published."

Anyone else think Wikipedia servers should be moved to a non-URAA country or international territory? An inherent bias is created by requiring items on Commons to be public domain in the United States - which is reflected by a major bias (of increased coverage) in most wikis of United-States related topics and significantly less coverage of non-US topics.--PlanespotterA320 (talk) 19:48, 26 December 2018 (UTC)

@PlanespotterA320: Do you want to host them in Uzbekistan?   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 20:20, 26 December 2018 (UTC)
I have no preference for which non-URAA country, other than that the area must not be underwater in a few decades (So not Narau, Palau, or the Aral region) and be "internet-friendly" (so not Turkmenistan because of the insane internet laws). It was just a thought of something to consider one day - It's no secret that media on Commons has a disproportionate amount of American and European content - in fact, while Commons servers are already in the US, very few countries besides the US release government-made official photos under free licenses. --PlanespotterA320 (talk) 20:28, 26 December 2018 (UTC)
You mean a nation with the rule of the shorter term. I don't think that has any connection with the bias towards US and the other nations with widespread PC ownership and Internet access in homes. It seems the bias might even be less if we dropped the rule of the country of origin, which is under our control; works published more than 95 years ago would be a clean consistent line.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:44, 26 December 2018 (UTC)
a) Not gonna happen and this is the wrong place to ask the WMF to move. b) There are much bigger issues than duration of copyright terms with many other jurisdictions. For one example, the UK (among many others) allows copyright to be held in reproductions of 2D artworks (see Template:PD-art), and allows censorship of news about public figures by courts. The US is far from perfect but many fires exist in addition to the frying-pan. Think about such other concerns first. —innotata 00:14, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
Hi, The issue is not really where the files are hosted, because the WMF will never allow displaying files live on Wikipedia from an external source. However, you can host files on Wikilivres, which is now hosted in South Korea with a 50 years pma. Regards, Yann (talk) 15:01, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
Because of the URAA, few works that are public domain in their country of origin are public domain in the United States. Many works public domain in the United States are not public domain internationally, and if there was a rule that items on Commons had to be public domain in both the country of origin and a different URAA signatory, then many, many, many old American photos would have to be deleted. Now, about what you said about the UK - we have many Wikipedians in the UK that are available for photo requests of public domain reproductions of 2D artworks, and historic UK copyright law is much shorter than other countries (50 years instead of 70+). Copyright duration is actually quite important - and setting copyright to last 95 years after first publication is actually too long when you realize that most stuff goes out of print, gets "lost" by history, becomes a "rare book" or "rare photo", then is literally never seen again...disappearing long before it can be saved to a site like Commons. There are less Wikipedians per square mile in Russia, Mexico, and Cuba, all of which have some of the least Commons-friendly copyright laws. If there were some way that Commons could allow items public domain in their country of origin (but not the US), it would significantly improve the quality of Wikipedia content.--PlanespotterA320 (talk) 22:34, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
Let's be clear here; we're talking about the rule of the shorter term, which the US doesn't have. The URAA is really a side complication, best treated as leaving certain works in the public domain in the US that were in the public domain in their home countries in 1996. Many other countries signed the w:Marrakesh Agreement of 1994 produced at the end of the w:Uruguay Round, but only the US, due to its long defiance of international copyright, changed its copyright laws because of it.
Most works that are out of copyright in the EU or US are out of copyright in both; the difference between life+70 and publication+95 is not that huge. Publication+95 may be not great, but Mexico is life+100 (with works by authors who died by 1944 staying in the PD), which is quite a bit worse. Whatever historic UK law was, it is now fully life+70. Cuba's copyright law is life+50, but from what I've read, Internet there is largely by sneaker net, with shops offering curated collections downloaded from the net by those with net access. Nothing Commons can do will help that much.
I don't know what might be up with Russia, except that as one of the least densely populated countries on the planet, one expect fewer Wikipedians per square mile than in the rest of the world.
Commons could allow works that are PD in the US and not in their country of origin. Either way, I doubt the difference would "significantly improve the quality of Wikipedia content"; the disposition of some of the artistic and historical works from about 1900 to 1948 is important, but hardly significant given the thousands of years available and 70-120 (or flat 95) years of most recent works not available.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:19, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
If Commons allowed items that were public domain in the US but not their country of origin, the differences would be minimal. But there are far more well-needed items that are public domain in their country of origin, but not the US. I don't think my point was clearly understood - requringing all items to be public domain in a random country not always the country of origin (currently the US) means that that one country will basically end up with "most-favored-nation-status" on the wiki (ie, more photos from that country will be usable.). As for Cuba, I meant that their copyright law is crazy for the eternal copyright of postage stamps, postal issues, etc.
Take this one example of how copyright and image use policies make "wikipedia-ing" hard. There are many pictures that we know have reached the public domain that are very needed in Wikipedia articles. You save scans of all those newspaper clippings containing needed photos of deceased people for Commons. But the originals in actual quality (and not the torn, wrinkled, grainy, and stained newspaper clipping from WWII that is not "presentable" in an infobox) are in a specific museum in Belarus, Udmurtia, Kazan, or somewhere where no Wikipedian wants to go on a field-trip to. (By the way... over 99% of stuff from 1940 to 1948 from the Russian SFSR is not eligible for Commons. And nothing later is. And because of the copyright laws of the Soviet Union and the retroactive nature of Russian copyright law, nobody thought they would need to specifically release their works into the public domain.
95 years after publication is nice for books with clear-cut first publication dates like in the West, but sadly not everything is as clear-cut as we would like. Remember how often in the Soviet Union a small town's newspaper would be completely "lost" forever, becoming toilet paper and food wrappers? Right now, the existing archives of stuff published long ago enough are incredibly hard to acess, to the point it is more likely you will find what you are looking for "dumpster diving" through a couple auction websites and random blogs than you will be able to veiw the old newspapers and photo archives from a particular library. And if you find one public domain item, you are very, very lucky if you find the "match" (ie, a photo original that corresponds to a newspaper clipping).--PlanespotterA320 (talk) 15:29, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
Yes, long copyright terms suck, but Russian copyright terms and archive access are what they are. This seems disconnected from the proposal.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:31, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
Works PD in the country of origin but not the US are not "far more" really -- 95 years from publication is probably on average similar to 70pma -- you probably have as many works last longer in the US as there are works which are longer in other countries (well 70pma countries anyhow). Any work where the author lives more than 25 years after creation will last longer in the EU (and many other countries) than it does in the US. It's understandably frustrating that copyright terms last so long, and that countries have thus far refused to really deal with en:orphan works where the copyright status is difficult to determine due to lack of information. That is, however, the law. It is frustrating to wait for long terms to expire in one country, but then have another country's law last even longer. However, that happens the other way -- there are lots of pre-1923 works that we cannot host due to the term in other countries. If you move out of the U.S., you lose PD-Art (as mentioned above), you lose the strong fair use protection in U.S. law (only a couple other countries have that, and not near the legal history of it) for situations where mistakes are made, and even in shorter term countries you may well lose PD-US-no_notice and PD-US_not_renewed, since the Berne Convention does not allow formalities and it's not clear that the "shorter term" rule would allow terms shortened by formalities, or would require the 95 years from publication be used. And for any countries that the U.S. signed an old copyright treaty where the other country gave U.S. authors the same term as national authors (as the U.S. did in reciprocation), you would lose PD-1923 as well -- there was a case in Germany where that old treaty was ruled to still be in effect, and gave U.S. authors the full 70pma term in Germany regardless if it became PD in the US. The U.S. signed a bunch of those old treaties before the en:Universal Copyright Convention was created. There are some admins who ignore the URAA, so at times you will see the {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} tag applied instead, but any such work is subject to a DMCA takedown which would be respected. The Anne Frank stuff recently went through that -- the WMF took down the works after a DMCA was filed, as they are still protected by U.S. law. The URAA restorations really were similar to the EU restorations. As for Russia, yes it's rather unfortunate that they made their copyright fully retroactive to 70pma. They were at least 50pma on the URAA date so there is less chance of works PD in Russia still being copyrighted in the US. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:59, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
As a side, if you've ever wondered what that treaty with Germany might impose on the US? Nothing. It required that President McKinley announce to Congress that we had a bilateral copyright treaty with Germany, but now that that has been done, there are absolutely no obligations on the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:56, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
It obligated the U.S. to treat German authors' works the same as U.S. authors. The U.S. can't use the rule of the shorter term with German works either. Of course, at the time, that also meant German authors had to have copyright notices, file renewals, etc., which was even harder for them to follow than U.S. authors. But the existence of those treaties is probably why the U.S. could not really adopt the rule of the shorter term, as the EU does, when it joined Berne. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:01, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
The treaty, at least the English version, can be found at s:Page:United_States_Statutes_at_Large_Volume_27.djvu/1043. The appropriate section says:
The United States Government engages, in return, that the President of the United States shall, in pursuance of section 13 of the Act of Congress of March 3, 1891, issue the proclamation therein provided for in regard to the extension of the provisions of that Act to German subjects, as soon as the Secretary of State shall have been officially notified that the present agreement has received the necessary legislative sanction in the German Empire.
We've done that. Other treaties might be different, but a strict reading of this treaty puts no obligation on us.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:25, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
Well, that act triggered the section of copyright law (26 stat 1110; sec. 13 there) which applied U.S. copyright law in full to German citizens. But yes, you could possibly read the treaty as the U.S. only granting the rights in the 1891 copyright law via the treaty, and no more. But that proclamation still triggers 17 USC 104(b)(6) of the current law. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:18, 31 December 2018 (UTC)

The servers are very fine at the US, for what Prosfilaes and others have said. EU countries in special should be avoided now, as there seems to be a trend here to be "more papist than the pope". It would be great, however, if a server (kind of Commons-B) would be mounted in another country to temporarily host files in PD in their country of origin, but not in the US because of URAA. Then they would be transferred to Commons as soon as they get PD in the US.-- Darwin Ahoy! 15:29, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

@DarwIn: Wikilivres can be used for that. Regards, Yann (talk) 15:32, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
@Yann: Apparently it doesn't use the central auth from the Wikimedia projects, so I thought it was disconnected. Nice to know it exists, I'll explore it better. Thanks, -- Darwin Ahoy! 15:46, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
For obvious legal reasons, it is not managed by the WMF, but by an independent team. BTW donations welcome. Regards, Yann (talk) 17:14, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
Donate to whom? The "about" page no longer states what person or entity holds the domain or server and the donation/PayPal page don't say who controls the account. Nemo 16:56, 1 January 2019 (UTC)
@Nemo bis: Per "All donations are handled by Jeff, and go directly to website hosting costs." Not me, another Jeff.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 04:13, 2 January 2019 (UTC)
So it's still a personal account? (I would edit the wiki directly but it seems my account was deactivated.) Nemo 09:28, 2 January 2019 (UTC)
Yes, there is no formal structure for managing the website, just a group of people. And it seems there was some technical issue while moving the site from Canada to South Korea. The content was copied alright, but the accounts were not. So you have to recreate your account. I lost all my edit history. :( Regards, Yann (talk) 11:52, 2 January 2019 (UTC)

URAA template and files uploaded after 1 March 2012Edit

Can we change "Files affected by the URAA should be tagged with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}" to include the recommendation on that template's page: "This template should NOT be applied to files uploaded after 1 March 2012," so that the new text reads "Files affected by the URAA and uploaded after 1 March 2012 should be tagged with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}"? Qono (talk) 16:10, 13 January 2019 (UTC)


I get picture to post Gbagam (talk) 20:17, 5 February 2019 (UTC)

@Gbagam: Please follow COM:FS.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 08:27, 6 February 2019 (UTC)

Wrong license for fragments of sheet music?Edit

From May 12 till December 15, 2010 a large number of fragments of sheet music was uploaded by Nlkalwien with Source=own, overview here. The componist of each fragment is included in the name of each file. I don't think they are similar to user Nlkalwien. Several fragments are from works published by Molenaar Edition (Wormerveer, The Netherlands). This company uses the following statement: "No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form of print, photoprint, film or any other means without written permission of the publisher.". The Geo (talk) 11:32, 8 February 2019 (UTC)

@De Geo: Please feel free to start a DR.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 11:48, 8 February 2019 (UTC)

Works by the US GovernmentEdit

Question: Are works taken by United States federal employees as part of their official duties and posted on the federal agency's official flickr account in the public domain even though they are tagged as having "All rights reserved" on the flickr page itself?--TriiipleThreat (talk) 21:22, 12 February 2019 (UTC)

@TriiipleThreat: They should be, do you have an example?   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 21:25, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
@Jeff G.: How's this or anything uploaded here?--TriiipleThreat (talk) 21:36, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
@TriiipleThreat: Thanks. I posted a comment with a question on that Flickr photo.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 21:50, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
@Jeff G.: Thanks but it wasn't really about that specific photo, I've noticed a trend on a lot of U.S. agencies' flickr accounts. They all seem to be defaulted to "All rights reserved" despite U.S. copyright law. See the AFDW page given above and Nellis AFB as more examples. The AFDW even credits the official photographer in most cases.--TriiipleThreat (talk) 22:04, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
@TriiipleThreat: I wonder if such actions will stand up to inquiries from the House Oversight Committee.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 22:11, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
@Jeff G.: I wouldn't hold my breath. In the meantime, do you think it would be okay upload photos from these accounts?--TriiipleThreat (talk) 22:18, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
@TriiipleThreat: I think we probably need a Flickr whitelist first.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 22:20, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
@Jeff G.: How do we go about that?--TriiipleThreat (talk) 22:20, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
@TriiipleThreat: You could propose it at COM:VPP. You seem to have more evidence.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 22:40, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
@Jeff G.: Done.--TriiipleThreat (talk) 22:52, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
@TriiipleThreat: Thanks.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 23:02, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
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