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How do I find out if a license tag is legitimate?

If an image has been tagged as PD, is there a way of checking whether this is correct? · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 13:00, 7 August 2017 (UTC)

@Pbsouthwood: There should be a plausible reason for such a tag on the file description page. You can ask the person who placed the tag or the uploader, or you can start a COM:DR.   — Jeff G. ツ 13:17, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
Depends on the claimed rationale for PD.
  • If claimed PD for being old, one can check whether it is really/likely as old as required by the copyright laws of the respective country of origin.
  • If claimed PD as "work by US gov" one should check at the given source whether this is really true (US gov websites also publish "not US-gov" works).
  • If claimed as "PD-self" one needs to check whether its truely own work by the uploader.
--Túrelio (talk) 13:19, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
I have no wish to have the file deleted, but the license has been questioned in a featured article review on Wikipedia. The file is File:ROV working on a subsea structure.jpg and the uploader to Wikipedia has not edited for several years and appears to have vanished. This is unfortunate, as it is a really good image for my purpose. Cheers, · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 18:31, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
That is old enough to qualify for COM:GOF, when permission-by-claim was not required to have a COM:OTRS email to verify it. Comes down to if you think the original uploader was lying, really. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:47, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
I have no reason to assume the original uploader was lying. Thanks, · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:09, 8 August 2017 (UTC)
I have tagged as grandfathered, if this is not appropriate, please advise. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:04, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

Inappropriate license?

I have been told that [[File:Pavillon_rouge_avec_une_diagonale_blanche.svg]] is too simple to warrant copyright protection. Should I change the tag to CC0? (I did not create or upload the file) · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:08, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

I see this has been done at a similar file, so have followed precedent. Consider this resolved unless there is a problem. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:02, 8 August 2017 (UTC)

Appropriate Licence and data?

I uploaded a my photo Vergine e Bambino con san Giuseppe, il beato Amato e san Carlo Borromeo (Cialdieri), made by myself to a painting of the XXVII century. Have I chosen the right licence declaration? Which date do I have to choose? The moment I've taken the photo (last Saturday), or when the painting has been concluded (1621 c.a.)? Who is the ower? Myself (the author of the photo) or the painter (Girolamo Cialdieri, the author of the painting)? --Skyfall (talk) 13:58, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

@Skyfall: Hi,
What is important here is the painting. So the author is the painter, and the date should be when it was painted. I fixed the license for you. Additionally, you can mention that you are the photographer. Regards, Yann (talk) 14:43, 7 September 2017 (UTC)
Thank you! --Skyfall (talk) 15:16, 7 September 2017 (UTC)

Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO

Is ist possible to upload pictures licensed under Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 IGO? --Giftzwerg 88 (talk) 10:40, 10 September 2017 (UTC)

Yes; the template is called {{cc-by-sa-3.0-igo}}. LX (talk, contribs) 11:22, 10 September 2017 (UTC)

Creative commons section

If I might make a suggestion for this page, as an editor I would find it a lot easier to digest the information about Creative Commons licensing if it were presented in a more visual, iconographic way. I find the explanation on the Upload work from Flickr tool really clear, as it requires less ploughing through text. If it could be expanded/adapted for this page, it would help editors greatly. Cnbrb (talk) 12:55, 30 August 2017 (UTC)

@Cnbrb: Agreed! As an irregularly-active editor, I don't have all the CC licenses memorized. Which licenses are (or are not) allowed should be clearly displayed here on this official policy page so I and others don't have to spend 5 minutes digging to figure out if, for example, Attribution-NoDerivs is allowable. --NoGhost (talk) 18:31, 10 September 2017 (UTC)
@NoGhost: No, Attribution-NoDerivs is NOT allowed here. All allowed licenses must explicitly allow derivatives and commercial use.   — Jeff G. ツ 01:46, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
@Jeff G.: Haha, yes I figured that out for the time-being. My point is that the next time I might want to upload something, perhaps a month or more from now, I won't remember this and will have to spend yet another 5 minutes digging through unhelpful sections to find what should be clear and well-defined policy. I can't think of any reason why an easy-to-understand graph explaining CC licenses shouldn't be included here for those editors (like me) who are less than active! --NoGhost (talk) 02:37, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
@NoGhost: Do you mean something like Commons:Copyright tags#Free Creative Commons licenses or Commons:Creative Commons copyright tags?   — Jeff G. ツ 03:04, 11 September 2017 (UTC)
As I mentioned above, something like the presentation style of Upload work from Flickr would be very helpful. Also, it should not be buried away in some obscure policy page, it should be right there on the Special:UploadWizard Upload Wizard so editors can consult it immediately instead of having to hunt for it. Cnbrb (talk) 16:47, 13 September 2017 (UTC)
So is anybody able to do this? I would offer to work on it but I don't think my copyright knowledge is strong enough to make a good job of it. I'm pasting the code below - this is specific to Flickr, so it will need to be adapted. If someone could please review it and make use of it, that would be really great for all editors. @NoGhost: @Jeff G.: Cnbrb (talk) 12:32, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
Statement on image page. License OK here?
© All rights reserved Unlicensed   NOT OK
    Some rights reserved CC-BY-NC-ND   NOT OK
    Some rights reserved CC-BY-NC-SA   NOT OK
   Some rights reserved CC-BY-NC   NOT OK
   Some rights reserved CC-BY-ND   NOT OK
  Some rights reserved CC-BY   OK
   Some rights reserved CC-BY-SA   OK
No known copyright restrictions. Public Domain   OK
@Cnbrb, NoGhost: I reworked it as follows.   — Jeff G. ツ 14:36, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
Creative Commons license icons and names Abbreviations & versions OK here?
  Zero Public Domain, "No Rights Reserved" CC0   OK
  Attribution CC-BY (1.0 2.0 2.5 3.0 4.0)   OK
  Attribution-NonCommercial CC-BY-NC (1.0 2.0 2.5 3.0 4.0)   NOT OK
  Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC-BY-NC-ND (2.0 2.5 3.0 4.0)   NOT OK
  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC-BY-NC-SA (1.0 2.0 2.5 3.0 4.0)   NOT OK
  Attribution-NoDerivs CC-BY-ND (1.0 2.0 2.5 3.0 4.0)   NOT OK
  Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial CC-BY-ND-NC (1.0)   NOT OK
  Attribution-ShareAlike CC-BY-SA (1.0 2.0 2.5 3.0 4.0)   OK


@Jeff G.:, that's fantastic, thank you! That was quite a bit of work, I really appreciate your contribution! If I can make a suggestion, the icons are a bit small to read - could we maybe stretch to 100x35px?   Cnbrb (talk) 15:23, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
@Cnbrb: sure, 35px high rows it is, I copied from the previous table, which didn't have icons with much to read.   — Jeff G. ツ 15:37, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
@Jeff G.:, great stuff, thanks again! So have we covered all the CC scenarios appropriate for this page? I think we should insert this into the main project page, in the Acceptable licenses section. The cartoons are cute, but we may have to shuffle them around to accommodate this table, as I think this is more important. Cnbrb (talk) 15:49, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
@Cnbrb: Exactly how would you change the structure of the project page to accommodate this table? I envision a "Creative Commons licenses" section near the bottom, linked from the "Well-known licenses" subsection.   — Jeff G. ツ 16:06, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
@Jeff G.: I reckon this is really essential information and should be near the top in the first section where the reader can at once refer to it when trying to find out if an image is allowed or not. I think this is the key goal for reading this page. Maybe it would sit naturally in the Well-known licenses section? When I mention layout, I was really concerned about a table sitting next to right-aligned images and crashing into them! Cnbrb (talk) 16:28, 21 September 2017 (UTC)
Hi again @Jeff G.:, I have inserted your recommended table into the main page. Feel free to revert if it's not quite right yet. Thanks   Cnbrb (talk) 13:09, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Just a thought. Would you not consider it a better layout to move "by-sa" up to position #3 so all the acceptable and non-acceptable licenses are grouped together? Otherwise it looks great. Ww2censor (talk) 13:46, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
Sure, seems like a good idea. I'll make the adjustment. Cnbrb (talk) 14:56, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

Thanks for your help & collaboration on this everyone. I think it makes the page easier to refer to when the prose is supported by simple, tabular information and a few relevant CC symbols to assist rapid identification of licenses. There are other license symbols that could possibly be added, for example   the GNU, and   Art Libre... but as this isn't my area of expertise, I'll stop here. Maybe other editors will want to add to this. Cnbrb (talk) 15:15, 22 September 2017 (UTC)

Is CC-by-sa a reason to delete?

Is a CC-by-sa licence (as opposed to CC-by-sa-2.0 / CC-by-sa-4.0) a sufficient reason to delete? Andy Dingley (talk) 18:44, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Short answer: Not without discussion of history of the individual file, because clearly someone wanted a license there, and the reason it's not showing up is probably a combination of bot errors or interwiki misunderstandings, and probably not because the user didn't actually want a license. Long answer: If someone placed {{cc-by-sa}} on a file before 2016-12-30, that certainly meant the same thing as {{cc-by-sa-1.0}} (or {{cc-by-sa-old}} if you wish). It was replaced with the current warning, without discussion or community consent, on 2016-12-30, as you probably remember from Commons:Village pump/Archive/2017/01#Another bulk process to delete large numbers of licensed files. Considering the circumstances under which Template:cc-by-sa was changed without consent, I have no reason to believe that "In order for this license to be valid, a version number must be given", regardless of whether it's in bold, since that claim is written by the same editor that was illogical enough to falsely remove a proper license from thousands of files over 10 years with one edit merely he didn't like how short the template's own name was. And regardless of whether a version number "must be given", that template was valid for 10 years, and probably still is valid on some wikis, and so the license version the uploader saw and used is probably discernible for each file that has that tag. --Closeapple (talk) 19:33, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
This is a 2014 file Commons:Deletion requests/File:Dorset crosswheel buttons.jpg
Here: User_talk:Green_Giant#License_review_question we have an admin and a 'licence reviewer' claiming "Without a version number, we cannot host it, nor can we assume which license it might be." Andy Dingley (talk) 20:22, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Those are two instances where the licensing originated off-wiki and was already ambiguous at the time the licenses were issued (2014 and 2015). What a mess! I've left opinions on both Commons:Deletion requests/File:Dorset crosswheel buttons.jpg and Commons:Deletion requests/File:Cloudmaze.jpg. General rule, in my opinion: Each case needs to be traced back to the original conditions when it was licensed, to see if it was really ambiguous at the time. Then, if it was truly ambiguous, then one might explore whether every possible interpretation leads to a legal path to the same specific version of a specific license. (In the case of CC-BY-SA lacking a version number, I don't think every possible interpretation can lead to the same specific version: versions 2 and later allow version upgrades only for derivatives, and version 1.0 doesn't even allow that.) --Closeapple (talk) 07:00, 15 January 2018 (UTC)

Review for transfer to commons

There is a picture on German Wiki Torpedo-Test 15 Okt 1805 Ship Dorothea sunk in 20 seconds.jpg. It was first time published in 1810 in US, and author - Robert Fulton - died on February 24, 1815. Can it be transfered from de: to Commons? It is over 200 years since original author passed. --Matrek (talk) 20:52, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

Holomráz Tour

Dobrý den, chci přidat fotografie z koncertu Holomráz Tour, ale nevím zda by to porušilo autorská práva. Nad podiem je upravený obal alba Holomráz. Zde je odkaz na video, kde jde vidět podium: --Patriccck (talk) 18:04, 5 March 2018 (UTC)


Can a copy of the last supper be purchased? Msrfranklin (talk) 21:56, 13 March 2018 (UTC)

@Msrfranklin: File:Última Cena - Da Vinci 5.jpg is considered the best display of Leonardo Da Vinci's painting of the Last Supper on English Wikipedia. File:Leonardo da Vinci - The Last Supper high res.jpg is considered better here because it is entirely in the Public Domain. You may print either for private use, or the latter for commercial use. Yes, you may also buy such a print.   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 22:16, 13 March 2018 (UTC)
Private use or commercial use is (most likely) neither here nor there, nor do I see that the second file "is considered better here". In fact, they both come from the same source, so they both have the same legal issues!
@Msrfranklin: should look at Commons:Reuse of PD-Art photographs and consider their personal tolerance for legal risk. I don't think that private or commercial use changes whether it's legal, though it may change risk assessment. I had OfficeMax produce a copy of a painting on Commons for me, and it was quite reasonable and easy, though this shouldn't be taken as an endorsement of OfficeMax over anyone else; I suspect any number of small or chain shops offer similar reasonably priced printing services.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:33, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

1923 is now irrelevant

I'm changing the sentence that says Works published before 1923 are PD in the US, because it's irrelevant. The grandfather clause has now been completely subsumed by the general rule that works published 95 years ago are PD in the US, and the 1923 line is now just a historical footnote. Next year works published before 1924 will be PD, then 1925 the year after that, and so on.--Prosfilaes (talk) 19:30, 4 May 2018 (UTC)

No, there must be a predicate of published before 1978. If you publish something today and die 50 years from today, the copyright will be 120 years: not 95 years after today's publication. You can say the 1923 is now irrelevant and delete it completely, but the correct statement next year would be "published before 1924". Glrx (talk) 19:37, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
It will be over 50 years before the distinction of 95 years from publication and 95 years from publication and published before 1978 matters, assuming it hasn't changed.
This is a useful work, not a pedantic description of the law. However we cut it, we should communicate the idea that the main line to look for is 95 years from publication, not changing it every year as if it's an arbitrary unpredictable line. --Prosfilaes (talk) 19:53, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
So you added a line that is wrong in the exact same way as what I wrote, yet hides the consistent pattern from the reader?--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:41, 5 May 2018 (UTC)

Question regarding a schematic depiction

Hello, I'm planning to illustrate an article for the German Wikipedia by using this image (PDF, p. 7). Would it be OK to upload it to Commons under the PD-license considering it to be quite schematic and only showing physical laws? --Clemens Stockner (talk) 19:02, 29 March 2018 (UTC)

OK, I've done it with slightly changes and CC to my name. Let's hope it stays online. --Clemens Stockner (talk) 14:26, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
@Clemens Stockner: It looks good, but what is "Fc"?   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 14:56, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
Fc is the calving force, I'm going to add a legend in the description. --Clemens Stockner (talk) 15:01, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
@Clemens Stockner: Thank you.   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 15:13, 1 April 2018 (UTC)
Hmm, so we are talkig about threshold of originality? Ok, maybe that sketch is below, but is it really neccessary to redraw it one-to-one, even the waves? --Gretarsson (talk) 18:08, 8 May 2018 (UTC)

Ms. Gilani's Image

I have been authorized by the owner to publish this image File:Kimia.gilani.jpg Alikaremi (talk) 13:45, 16 May 2018 (UTC)

@Alikaremi: You are welcome to prove that by having the copyright holder send permission via OTRS. @Hanooz: What do you think? I have started Commons:Deletion requests/File:Kimia.gilani.jpg.   — Jeff G. ツ please ping or talk to me 14:02, 16 May 2018 (UTC)

The Music Modernization Act and pre-1972 sound recordings

On the Village pump/Copyright, there was a discussion about the Music Modernization Act (MMA), which was signed into law in October of this year. From what I understand, and from what others have said, some of the provisions of the MMA mean that all sound recordings that were first fixed prior to February 15, 1972 are now covered solely by US federal copyright. (Prior to the MMA being enacted, sound recordings that were first fixed prior to February 15, 1972 were not covered by US federal copyright law but could be copyrighted under state laws and/or common law copyright at the state level. An exception to the previous statement is that certain foreign (non-U.S.) sound recordings could be subject to federal copyright (or, possibly, both federal and state-level copyright simultaneously) under the URAA.) Under the MMA, a pre-1972 recording's copyright term under federal copyright depends on when the recording was first published. From this, it seems that the information on Commons:Licensing about sound recordings, specifically some of the information in the section "Material in the public domain", is now outdated.

Based on the referenced VP/C discussion, and assuming that the MMA means that certain pre-1972 recordings will fully enter the public domain sooner than they would have done otherwise, and assuming that sound recordings first fixed on or after February 15, 1972 are subject to the same US copyright provisions as other works, I propose the following text for information on sound recordings and US copyright:

In the US, the copyright situation for sound recordings (including those published before 1923) is a special case. Under the Music Modernization Act, recordings that were first fixed prior to February 15, 1972 are copyrighted for a period of time under US federal copyright that depends on when the recording was first published. The specific copyright term lengths are as follows:
  • Recordings that were first published prior to 1923 will enter the public domain on January 1, 2022.
  • Recordings that were first published between 1923 and 1946 are copyrighted for a period of 100 years after first publication.
  • Recordings that were first published between 1947 and 1956 are copyrighted for a period of 110 years after first publication.
  • Recordings that were published after 1956 and first fixed prior to February 15, 1972 will enter the public domain on February 15, 2067.
Note that the copyright terms given above are not subject to the same formalities as other works. In particular, these copyright terms for sound recordings that were first fixed prior to February 15, 1972 apply regardless of whether a recording was published with a copyright notice, or whether a recording was registered with the US Copyright Office, or whether a recording's copyright was renewed.
Sound recordings that were first fixed on or after February 15, 1972 are subject to the same US copyright law term lengths and provisions as other works.

--Gazebo (talk) 07:50, 6 November 2018 (UTC)

Sounds good. I would put the documentation of the specific terms in the CLASSICS section of the Music Modernization Act wiki article, and link directly to that (probably good to add the article as both a reference and an external link there). I don't see the need to put that entire text in all places, but PD-US-record should be updated with that info, as should be the talk page (with a section at the top probably) so that links there see the updated information, and other places can just reference it. COM:L could perhaps list the bulleted special terms, but not sure it needs all the caveat text. w:Wikipedia:Public_domain#Sound_recordings needs updating.
I suppose there could be an ambiguity with URAA works starting in 2046, and a few countries possibly earlier, though it may take a while before any court case works that out :-) At first blush, these new clauses seem to apply to any recording made before 1972, not just ones not yet under federal protection. I would probably guess foreign works get the extended terms too (since they were supposed to be given the equivalent U.S. terms by the URAA). URAA works got the extended terms given in 1998; presumably they would get the longer terms here too unless a court says otherwise. Probably not worth it to mention.
Another bit of good information is that there is a special procedure which acts as the equivalent of registration for pre-1972 recordings. While not required to preserve copyright, it affects the damages you can get in return for violations (like registration still does for normal copyrighted works, and 1972 and later sound recordings). There is more info here, and a page here where these schedules will be searchable. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:23, 6 November 2018 (UTC)
@Clindberg: I have updated the text on COM:L. In the updated text, I included a sentence about formalities (namely that formalities do not affect the copyright term for pre-1972 recordings) but I did not mention anything about the URAA and non-US recordings. Presumably, the updated text can be revised by others, but it seemed useful to update the existing outdated information. (As far as COM:L being official policy, there is still the issue of pre-1972 recordings that were uploaded to Commons prior to the MMA taking effect (at least some of those recordings were tagged with {{PD-US-record}}) but that issue may not be applicable to the COM:L text.) --Gazebo (talk) 07:34, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

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

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 2012

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?

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 Government

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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