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Arabic Laws

A new template {{template:PD-Arabic}} is to be considered,

  • Jordan Law states starting for the date of Publication, a 25 years protection for photos after which it is in Public Domain.
  • Syrian Law states that starting for the date of Publication, a 10 years protection for photos after which it is in Public Domain. It states also, that any one included in any photo has the right to use it with no ristricion.
  • Egypt Law states that starting for the date of Publication, a 15 years protection for photos after which it is in Public Domain.
  • Algerian Law states that starting for the date of Publication, a 50 years protection for photos after which it is in Public Domain.
  • Sudanese Law states that starting for the date of Publication, a 50 years protection for photos after which it is in Public Domain.
  • Iraq Law states that starting for the date of Publication, a 5 years protection for photos after which it is in Public Domain.
  • Kuwait Law stats that starting for the date of Publication, a 50 years protection for photos after which it is in Public Domain.
  • Yemen Law states that starting for the date of Publication, a 10 years protection for photos after which it is in Public Domain.
  • Algerian law states a 50 years protection after the Death of the photos auther after which it is in Public Domain.
  • Lebanon Law states that starting for the date of Publication, a 50 years protection for photos after which it is in Public Domain.

I will check for other Arabic countries laws. If needed some one can recheck the laws, as they were written in Arabic --Tarawneh 21:29, 18 March 2006 (UTC)

Images of public places

It seems that this topic was mentioned somewhere in the talk page, but I cannot see any kind of summary here or on the project page. So let me sum up the issue here.

  • The photographs of sculptures or buildings are derivative works.
  • In case of the derivative works, the copyright law requires the consent of the primary author to publish the derivative work.
  • However, all the jurisdictions I know make an exception for the case of works that are presented in public areas under the "fair use" clause and allow to do almost anything one wants with the picture.
  • This means that virtually all the pictures of the public places are here under the "fair use" clause which is forbidden.

This inconsistency gives rise to the following possible solutions:

  1. to ban all such pictures,
  2. to allow such pictures and make an additional explanation on the Commons:Licensing page,
  3. to allow such pictures and make no additional explanation on the Commons:Licensing page.

IMHO option 2 is the best one, but it will require some good formulation, because this is law and all kinds of strange court ruling are possible here (like the ruling for the en:Eiffel Tower#Image_copyright). Any comments? Alx 14:37, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

The national laws are differing, see the German article Panoramafreiheit. We accept here without problems copyright protected works from the German speaking countries de,at,ch at public places according the Panoramafreiheit in their laws. --Historiograf 23:32, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

This is something I was afraid of here. The issue is complicated and not so obvious when one goes from one country to the other even in EU where the copyright law is to be harmonized. Maybe there should be an article on that topic here on commons (starting with the information from de:Panoramafreiheit)? Or maybe link to the German article is enough? I can help a bit on translating Panoramafreiheit, but this makes sense only when the expertise of people from many coutries can be used. Of course, I can use also the GfD process and de:Panoramafreiheit to get to know on the licences in cases I have doubts, but then it will be only me to gather the expertese. Alx 12:14, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

As main author of the de article I can give some support --Historiograf 18:36, 27 April 2006 (UTC)

Hi. May I point out that the difference in national laws sometimes is critical enough to make a photo legal or illegal?

The U.S. copyright law has the provision to limit copyright with regards to some architectural works [1]. But this does not apply to sculpture. Leicester v Warner Bros. (232 F.3d 1212 (9th Cir. 2000)) was in part on this point - wheather a given work which appeared in a movie was "architecture" or "sculpture." In the context of Japanese law, original artistic works that are permanently installed outside and architectural works are subject to copyright restrictions. This obviously includes sclupture. Yet the restriction does not cover as much freedom as Wikimedia Commons requires, I think. Namely, commercial use of photographic reproduction of the said artistic works, as well as sales of the reproduction, are prohibited when the use mainly features the work. To boldly simplify, it is okay to include public art pieces in a photo if the inclusion is incidental. It is also okay to include public art pieces in a photo if the inclusion is not for commercial purpose. Yet it is a copyvio to produce postcard or T-shirt featuring picture of that kind of art work.

(Please note I am not a lawyer.) Tomos 10:38, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

United Kingdom There is a freedom of panorama in the UK, according to this 1988 law, assuming it has not been replaced. I don't know what "works of artistic craftsmanship" are—they are not defined in the Act. However it is pretty clear about non-infringing images of buildings, models of buildings and sculptures. Could someone draft an explanation of this for the Commons:Licensing article, please? --InfantGorilla 12:53, 20 October 2006 (UTC)
ref. United Kingdom. A Google search turned up more links on "works of artistic craftsmanship". I am not a lawyer, but it seems that pictures, paintings and photographs displayed in a public place are not given freedom by this rule, while pottery and holograms are. I am curious about maps. Links: UK Patent Office artquest Edin.Univ. --InfantGorilla 13:10, 20 October 2006
UK law is not mentioned at Commons:Licensing, but it is explained at COM:FOP#Great_Britain which I was not aware of when I asked the above question. Should Commons:Licensing carry links to COM:FOP?
Anyone any opinion about maps in public places in the UK? --InfantGorilla 19:58, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Crown Copyright illegal?

There are those here who believe the EUCD invalidates the laws of countries which conflict with the their understand of the 70 year pma provision.

Under this argument, Crown copyright is illegal according to the EUCD, because works of the UK government fall into the public domain after 50 years, not 70 years after the death of the author of the work.

Is there an exception that applies to the UK? If so, what is it? -Mak 17:37, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

The crown is according to English law rights holder and will not sue users in other countries. Stop confusing things you have no knowledge of --Historiograf 14:48, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

What's the difference? According to Italian law, the Italian government is a rights holder. You assert that you know something about this subject as well you may. Yet you refuse to display your knowlege. It was a simple question. Show us why EUCD does not apply to UK, while it does to other countries. -Mak 17:32, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
IIRC, Crown Copyright is not allowed here, due to it not allowing for commercial use. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 06:05, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
The issue was that the EUCD allows crown copyright which is shorter, while some here contend that EUCD rules mean it is 70 years after the death of the author in other countries. Just trying to clear up the contradiction. Whether or not crown copyright is usable on commons is a distinct (orthogonal) issue. -Mak 16:13, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
There is no contradiction. Copyright in government works has always been a separate issue to copyright in private works. Since the government itself is the rights holder it is quite open to them to pass legislation granting themselves a shorter, or indeed a far longer, term of protection than ordinary works. I would point out that copyright in works assigned to the Crown has the same duration as private copyrights and that international organisations like the UN and Organisation of American States have copyright protection of the same length as the British Government in UK law. Historiograf is correct to say to you to stop confusing things that you have no knowledge of. Things under Crown copyright are not allowed on Commons since, as Zachary mentions, the Crown copyright waivers have conditions which are incompatible with copyleft. However it is quite correct to use the PD-UKGov template on Commons as OPSI is the rights holder for Crown copyright and I have an email from one of their senior people saying that OPSI consider the expiry of Crown copyright in the UK to apply worldwide. David Newton 11:59, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Hello Mak, the Italian law I believe you have in mind is not an analogy to the UK situation. The article in question (Art. 11) does not apply exclusively to works of the state, but also to those published in the name and at the expense of e. g. "private legal entities of a non-profit-making character", if there's no other agreement. That means that if somebody takes pictures of his boccia club's tournament, which are paid for and published in the club's newsletter (a non-profit organisation) without mentioning the author's name and with no special agreement, they will fall under the regulation of this law. The state is not even involved in these cases.
If a state decides to waive his rights and make his works enter the public domain earlier than their copyright expires abroad, one may well take his word for it that he is not going to sue anybody for copyright infringement, even though he possibly could abroad. The situation in the Italian law is very different in that it covers works of private persons not at all in the civil service, too.
--Wikipeder 13:45, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
David, I think you misunderstand my point. Folks on this forum have been waving the 70 year pma rule from the EU directive as some sort of blanket rule. According to article 11 of Italian copyright law, "Copyright in works created and published under the name and at the expense of the State, the Provinces or the Communes shall belong to them." [2] Wikipeder in fact is a party who believes that the Italian law is wrong. Read the Unesco translation of the passage and then read Wikipeder's statement above. Does the second paragraph treating the rights of non governmental entities somehow invalidate or make the copyright ownership of the Italian state different in kind from the copyright ownership of the UK government as Wikipeder suggests? How is it germaine at all to consideration of the rights of the Italian state?
Something allows the UK and Italian government to declare an exception from the 70 year pma rule. You have declared they are handled differently and I am inclined to believe you since both the UK and Italian laws have exceptions for government works. My question remains unanswered though. What in the EU harmonization directive allows this separate treatment of governmental versus personal works. If you know the specific passage that allows what you say, that would be most helpful.
It is a side issue, because as of January 1, 1996, under existing Italian law, the Italian government works that had been published 20 years prior were in the public domain. Since they were PD in the country of origin, they are PD in the US, under Title17, 104A h6b.
-Mak 00:37, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Anyone can give up one's copyright after e.g. twenty years without violating any EU law. You can also make provisions for the future, e.g. give up the copyright 37 years after your death or license everything you have under the GPL 5 years after the first human sets step on Mars. A company like Disney could say: "For all works for which we hold copyright, we hereby give up copyright 50 years after the death of the last living author."
There are no reasons to believe that a government could not do a similar thing with respect to works for which it holds copyright (note that the member states also define details on who owns the copyright) nor that EU law cares whether a member state does this by passing a law or by releasing any other official statement. -- 3247 14:58, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Even closer to home, we have lots of EU-dwelling uploaders to commons explicitly waiving their copyright, apparently in violation of EU harmonization directives! Prison time for all!! Too bad no death penalty, we could get that 70-year-pma clock running sooner! :-) :-) Stan Shebs 16:08, 24 August 2006 (UTC)


Commons:Licensing#Screenshots has a bad picture.. The wikipedia logo is copyrighted, which doesnt jive with the text.-Ravedave 05:07, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

"Thus, if the programmers do .... not explicitly license the screenshot (or all screenshots) under a free license, the screenshot is not free." => How can programmers explicitly license the screenshot?-- 12:53, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
If they say "We license this specific screenshot under this license." Since they are the program's copyright holders, they can say what people can and cannot do with screenshots in general or specific screenshots. For example, they could release a specific screenshot for promotional purposes. ~MDD4696 15:10, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Capitulating clarification of copyright status

I am concerned that we may be capitulating effort at determining the copyright status of various images by way of asserting they came from <x> website which has a free-use license associated with all images on the site. There are several such sites we associated tags here and on other language wikipedias. For example, Image:Coat of arms of Israel.png is considered free-use because it comes from What assurances do we have that all of the content from that website is in fact verified on a case by case basis as being available under the licenses they indicate? We are making assumptions about these images without verification of our own. I think in a project our size, with the visibility we have, we need to be more cautious than this. Such assumptions open us up to potentially serious copyright issues if the sites we are assuming are ok turn out not to be ok. To further illustrate this, I'd like to point to [3], which is another site hosting the Israel coat of arms. The license they are offering the image under is considerably different; see [4]. Which website do we trust to have it right? I say neither; we should verify ourselves, from the original author (or copyright holder), what the copyright status of the image is. Thoughts? --Durin-en 18:45, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Also I'd like to point out a case where seems to have it wrong. Observe:'s version of the Arizona State Seal. Then, have a look at en.wikipedia's version. There, it states "The Arizona State seal has limited use under Arizona Revised Statutes and cannot be used for commercial purposes. Those wishing to use the seal must first obtain permission from the Arizona Secretary of State's Office, who is the keeper of the Great Seal of Arizona. Contact them at 602-542-4285." This is codified within the Arizona State Statutes at [5]. I think we can generally conclude from that statute that use of the Seal of Arizona is under a non-commercial license. Thus, has it wrong. --Durin-en 18:51, 9 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't think the 'Arizona Revised Statutes' are a copyright restriction. They're a...other restriction. We tend to allow these. For example you can't use the Red Cross symbol to just put on your doctor's surgery sign, that kind of thing. It's a restriction, but not because of the copyright status/ For official symbols such as seals, this is very common. See {{PD-Seal}}. pfctdayelise (translate?) 13:14, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I agree with the distinction we're making here between copyright and "other" (local legislative restriction). If the usage of a state seal went to court, copyright probably wouldn't enter into it. This makes it a little difficult for us to evaluate how freely reusable these things are. Aside from that, why do we think, for instance, that the original design of Image:Coat of arms of Israel.png is freely licensed or in the public domain? We actually do need to keep track of that sort of thing, and I think Durin is right that we cannot rely upon to do that work for us. Jkelly 20:37, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Also, the vector-images information only relates to the work going into the image and not the original image itself. Cary "Bastique" Bass parler voir 20:48, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Scans of Sheet Music

It appears that there are some scans of sheet music on Commons, and was wondering whether it might be possible to make these more comprehensive. I have a few DVDs of sheet music published by [6]. The publishers state that the scans are accurate scans of public domain sheet music, but then go on to say that they hold copyright on the files. I believe that this is not true, at least in the US, due to Bridgeman vs. Corel.

Is this the case? Can these be uploaded to Commons legally if I remove the logo on the pages? If so, would these be acceptable contributions, or should they go somewhere else (Wikisource perhaps, though they are talking about moving page scans here?). --Constantine Evans 22:42, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Sheet music would be acceptable here. Whether or not these are legal is not immediately clear to me. Is it possible the music is PD but the sheet representation you should is not? (I don't know.) Does converting music to sheet-music representation have a legitimate copyright claim? I will look into it. pfctdayelise (translate?) 07:20, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

The arrangement of music that is under copyright is protected separately from the music itself. If it is a recent arrangement of a public domain work, then the arrangement itself may be protected even though the original work is not. Protection in this instance depends on whether there is a sufficient degree of originality in the arrangement to constitute separate copyright protection in the arrangement. Copyright lasts for the life of the arranger plus 70 years after their death. "

from [7]Australian infosheet on "Copying print music". Although this is an Australian source I have a feeling law would be similar elsewhere. I could be wrong.
BTW are you aware of the Mutopia project? I don't think we should duplicate their efforts just to try and be the archive of everything. :) --pfctdayelise (translate?) 07:44, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
That makes sense, but the issue here is that the arrangements are in the public domain. What the company claims copyright over are the scans of printed music where the prints are in the public domain. They have just scanned the pages and put their logo in the corner. --Constantine Evans 18:33, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Oh. Well if you're totally sure that the pages were already PD, then I agree, scanning them and putting a logo on them doesn't create copyright. pfctdayelise (translate?) 14:12, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Well in that case you would be wrong. Scanning them is making a slavish copy and thus does not cross the originality boundary for making a copyrighted work. However the act of sticking their logo in the corner means that they have now created a new copyrighted work by combining the scan and their logo. It's an awful practice but completely legal and there is nothing we can do about it. David Newton 11:42, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
I don't see how sticking a logo on it consitutes "creative originality". The logo itself may be a problem, however. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 16:13, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that if we removed the logo, the company would not be able to claim copyright. Without the logo it would basically return to being a copy of the original work, despite the process by which the image was obtained (scan, logo, logo removal). ~MDD4696 06:23, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

What they may do is claim copyright over the files under software copyright rather than the information presented in those files. This is how fonts are copyrighted even though the typeface design itself is not copyrightable in the US. – flamurai 04:28, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Copyright? Brand?

I've taken a photo of a pair of thai shorts and now I'm wondering what kind of copyright template should I use on it if I want to release it to Wikimedia? It got a small patch on it that states that it's made by "Fighter". Could that be a problem? Thanks for the help! --NoNo 13:14, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

You can probably release it under free license. Chose one of the "Own work" licenses in the list of the upload form. / Fred Chess 10:12, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Okey, great thanks! there it is. Sweet. --NoNo 19:01, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Boardgames photo

I would ask an opinion about some photo in Category:Board games, I'm not sure if they are or not copyright violation

  • Image:Doom boardgame finnish cover.jpg Boxcover of the Doom boardgame - I think this is a copyright violation - it's not differente from a scan of the cover
  • Image:Game of life board.jpg takd during play, with mapboard, card, dice and other game element. It's a copyright violation because it's a derivative artkwork or no ?
  • Image:Roborally cards.jpg gamecards for the game Roborally, again can be considered a derivative artwork and must be deleted ?
  • Image:VII Legio Boardgame.jpg boxcover and game screen. It's a derivative artwork? (I have uploaded this image, but now I'm not sure if can be keep on Commons).

I want to upload other image of boardgame during play, but before I start I want to be sure they can be uploaded.--Moroboshi 08:29, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

The doom cover is a clear copyvio, I'll delete it. The Game of Life image seems OK to me, since it doesn't reproduce substntial parts of the graphics in a recognizable/reusable manner. The Roborally cards seem to be a copyvio (pleain 2D reproduction of the top card), will be deleted. I'm unsure about VII Legio - it's not plain reproductive, but it does show substantial parts of a copyrighted work in a plain and reusable manner. I'd recommend to file a (regular) deletion request for it, so this can be discussed. maybe do teh same for the Game of Life image, just to be sure.
A note about the Game of Life image: it probably is derivative work, but fair use of a type we do allow here. It's not talked about much, and probably shouldn't be advertized, in order to avoid confusion: we do not, and cannot allow "fair use" of images themselves, i.e. of images that are not under a free license. However, if the image is under a free license, but shows part of copyrighted works in a "fair" way, the copyright holders of the "originals" don't get coypright to the resulting image, and the image is fine under a free license. An example would be a picture of a bookshop, with some covers visible. Note that we are treading a thin line here, especially if the copyrighted work (the board, in this case) is the main subject ob the image. I'd like to get some more input on that from people that know more about copyright law.
IANAL -- Duesentrieb(?!) 12:15, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
It is a fine line. I was reading some court case linked from an en: article, and it was a question of ownership of a photograph of a Skyy vodka bottle, where the bottle was the main element of the picture (intended for an ad campaign, I think - photographer wanted his pics back), and one of the considerations was how much copyrightable material was contained in the rather plain bottle design. I recall that a point of discussion in en:'s fair-use images was that CD covers at a too-high resolution would actually be printed out and used as covers of bootlegs; it suggests that a useful criterion might be to say that if the would-be copier couldn't find enough bits in the image to make a plausible copy of the work, then it's not really a copyvio. Stan Shebs 14:38, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
Thank you for you help, I nominate for deletion the Game of Life, VII Legio and another image to start a discussion.--Moroboshi 13:26, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
I would say that images whose only purpose is to illustrate a copyrighted game board do not belong on Commons. (Such seem reasonable fair use for illustrating articles about the games on en:Wikipedia.) For the above images, if the game in question is under copyright, these seem too derivitive to put under a free licence. -- Infrogmation 13:45, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
Before you read this post, scroll up a few lines and read Duesentrieb's "A note about the Game of Life image" again.
Now, derivative works are not obivous copyrights, but some users considered them not to be free enough for Commons, and wrote the page Commons:Derivative work. I wrote my disagreements of that page here. This has been discussed on the mailinglist here (scroll down to "Models, toys, and other objects can be copyrighted" ), but the opinions differed. The problem is that legally, the photos are probably OK to host on Commons, and they would be OK to use commercially in books, magazines and the like, but they can not be sold separately.
Fred Chess 17:01, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Licensing for medical x-rays, etc.?

I typically write for the medical section of the English Wikipedia. Many a time, I have been unable to find a public domain radiologic image for an article which would truly benefit from one. However, I do have access to electronic patient x-rays which could be removed of all identifying information. Does anyone know if this is legal (in America)? Could they be licensed public domain? There are certainly things on Wikipedia/Commons such as pathology slides, intraoperative photographs, etc. I would love to be able to contribute but just don't know enough! InvictaHOG 18:55, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

  • You might want to check to make sure that doing so is compliant with HIPPA requirements, and seek out good advice to make absolutely certain that you strip out anything that might be considered possibly iffy in that regard. I work with MRI data myself, and personally wouldn't want to risk my job or the university department in which I work over anything like that. If you have the opportunity, you might want to x-ray yourself to reduce a possible cause of concern involved with scanning someone else. --Improv 19:45, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
I read through the HIPAA website today to try and find any mention. It seems that it would probably be okay as far as the website was concerned, though IANAL. Maybe I'll ask the hospital lawyers. Is there a WikiMedia protocol/licensing procedence for such media? We certainly have radiologic images here which were not submitted by the subject. InvictaHOG 20:52, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

According to German law they are Lichtbilder (§ 72 UrhG). Creator is the person who make the x-ray representation. There are strong personality rights regarding medical records. --Historiograf 20:05, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

There are strong rights in America, too. Are you saying that the creator is the radiologist or the patient? InvictaHOG 20:52, 21 August 2006 (UTC)
Creator is the radiologist, but copyright might rest with hospital or whatever organization the radiologist works for ("work for hire"), so ability to do PDness depends on agreement of whoever the copyright holder is. The patient should not be identifiable from the image, else you would need a "model release" as you see on a number of photographs of private individuals here. Stan Shebs 02:43, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
In the United States, if there are no identifyable characteristics of the X-Ray'd individual, the free nature of the item will not be contested. Any notes provided to explain the x-ray, however, are probably copyrighted by the radiologist or physician making the diagnosis. Therefore, if the x-ray itself contains handwritten notes, it's probably an infringement of copyright. Cary "Bastique" Bass parler voir 17:12, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Revert- Italian government works

Histrograf reverted a change to Commons Licensing which discusses support for the assertion that Italian goverment works are Public domain after 20years.

His justification was that there was no concensus on the point. As with the PD-Soviet case, I think it is fair to reflect the fact that the blanket assertion of the 70 year pma rule to Italy is disputed, citing the case for the dispute. PD-ItalyGov exists with this reasoning, and it is fair to notify people of the existence and use of this template on Commons. -Mak 00:48, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

The Soviet statement is:

"This theory is unproven and disputed. See en:Template_talk:PD-USSR, and also Template talk:PD-Soviet."

The proposed Italy statement is:

"The theory that the 70 year pma rule applies to works of the Italian government is unproven and disputed. See Template talk:PD-ItalyGov."

I shall then move all relevant discussion to PD-ItalyGov and invite further discussion there. How does that sound to people? -Mak 16:11, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Sounds OK. / Fred Chess 16:51, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
Not for me. Nonsense remains Nonsense --Historiograf 00:20, 23 August 2006 (UTC)
Labeling and dismissing does nothing to illuminate anyone on this subject. Muster an argument and back it up with citation of law. To do otherwise is not what I would colorfully describe as nonsense, but it does not help anyone come to an understanding of what is true and what is false. Your theory that the so called 70 year pma rule overides Italian law that government works pass into the PD after 20 years is just that- unproven. If I am mistaken on this, show us the case where it has been proved that your theory is correct. If not, this is no different than the PD-Soviet situation, and it is fair to use the same language. -Mak 00:36, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Image:EUSP logo lowres.jpg licensing help needed

Can't find an appropriate license for low resolution organisation logotypes. I saw one at the English Wikipedia but the {{logo}} does not work here. An explicit permission to use this image was granted by the University administration (Head of the Information Dept.) Just as I uploaded the image, a notice about possible speedy deletion appeared (authomatically, I assume). I badly need a consultation for, as far as I know, no laws are violated in this case. I am open to any suggestions. Alexei Kouprianov 05:50, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Laws are probably not violated, but the question is if the permission you got is compatible with commons policy. Permission to use the image has to be granted to everyone, for any purpose, including modification and commercial use. Preferrably, a free license like cc-by-sa should be selected. IN any case, the permission must be documented, best by copying it to the description page and by sending it to -- Duesentrieb(?!) 10:51, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

My photos of possibly copyrighted content

I took some photos of maps and pictures in museums which may be copyrighted. Can I upload my photos to Commons?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 12:31, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

We try to abide by the regulations of the agency wherever possible. It all depends on the requirements of the museum in question, however, most museums have no issue with image use so long as it's properly sourced as the location. As our license requires that anyone using our images adequatly source Commons, this is likely not a problem. As far as individual items are concerned, however, they may have individual copyrights and be entirely ineligible for upload. Cary "Bastique" Bass parler voir 17:07, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

Creative Commons. ShareAlike 2.0

Can I upload photos licensed under Creative Commons, ShareAlike 2.0 to Wikipedia Commons?

ie. Rune X2 07:39, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Not with "nc" (non-commercial). {{Cc-by-sa-2.0}} is accepted. / Fred Chess 07:42, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
Ok. thanks Rune X2 08:13, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Metadata database of Japanese old photographs in Bakumatsu-Meiji Period

Am I understanding Commons:Licensing#Japan correctly when I have to recognize that none of the photos provided on this website can be uploaded here with Template:PD-Japan-oldphoto (unless the photographer is provided and his biographical data is known and he's been dead for more than 50 70 years) since even photos like this one (which has been taken before 1896) are not provided with any information on any initial publication data (if existant) prior to being published on said website? --Melanom 02:57, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Generally, yes, this appears to be so: we need to know the photographer and his/her date of death, or, for anonymous or collective works, the date of first publication. The publication date for the 1896 picture is irelevant, since it's not anonymous: the photographer was Kazumasa Ogawa. According to [8] he died in 1929, and thus his images have been PD since 1980 -- Duesentrieb(?!) 08:44, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Btw: The website appears to claim copyright to all images [9]. I don't know if Japanese law allows for this (i.e. grants copyright for reproduction/digitalization). -- Duesentrieb(?!) 08:48, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
Precisely your last observation has been the point why I hesistated on uploading any pictures from there even when the photographers clearly had been dead longer than 70 years ago. I also have the feeling that Commons:Licensing#Japan and Template:PD-Japan-oldphoto slightly contradict each other or at least not talking about the same legislation... --Melanom 14:15, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
The description leaves out information. That may or may not have been purposeful. The rules discussed appear to cover the situation in post WWII Japan. There is no reference to the interaction between the copyright law of the Imperial Japanese government and the current government of Japan.
This points to a larger issue. While the Commons:Licensing page is useful to get an overview of the laws for various nations, we need more voluminous pages that describe the details of each of these countries so that whatever facts and detail support for the overview statement that is uncovered in discussions may be recorded in one place. For example, consider the detail concerning works of the Imperial Japanese government in the following thread. We should have for example, a PD-JapaneseImperialMilitary template- if uploader can show that a photo was taken by the Japanese WWII military, (EG- the recon photos of Pearl harbor by Japanese pilots after the suprise attack) it is public domain. Photographer info is irrelevant.
-Mak 16:39, 28 August 2006 (UTC)
So the bottom line here is that nobody is sure of anything? Don't we have some japanese users with legal skills who could help out here? --Melanom 20:37, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
I'll be poking around a lot more on the sites dealing with Japanese copyright law- a lot of the stuff I have seen so far also is also in english, so it probably will not be that bad for people to understand and independently corroborate the statements made. So far though, I have only taken a cursory look at this area. -Mak 00:01, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Works of the Japanese Imperial Government

Article 6. of Japan's Old Copyright law, cited in Template:PD-Japan-oldphoto states: "Copyright in a work published or publicly performed under the name of a governmental or public agency, school, shrine or temple, association, company or any other organization as its author shall endure for thirty years from the time of such publication or public performance." [10]

The curent text only makes exception for a very restricted set of works- laws, constitution, etc. The rules for works of the Imperial government (through 1945), are all inclusive, and extend to many other public sector entities.

This should be noted in the text for Japan, since it is incorrect in its current state.

Comments? -Mak 09:29, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't want to comment on Japanese copyright law. Make any change you think is necessary. / Fred Chess 10:42, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
Okey dokey. I'll take a look around and make an addition as a basis for further discussion/ fist fights. -Mak 23:55, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
From my inquires into the Swedish copyright law, I realized how difficult laws are-- there are transitional regulations and addendums; and sometimes the definitions of the laws are only possible to understand when reading through committte reports and presendenting cases. Well, but good luck ;-)
Fred Chess 08:56, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

I think the ignorance and incompetence of admin Fred Chess is evident. Mak has shown that he is not a valid user. He has no deep knowledge of international Copyright contracts like user Lupo. It is useless to have pictures which are only PD in one single country. The US does'nt accept the rule of the shorter term. --Historiograf 16:48, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Hey- if you want to dig into the Japanese law and show why, based on law and caselaw that we cannot host the Japanese imperial government works on Commons, please do so. You seem instead to want to base your evaluation of truth based on an evaluation of personalities. Placing your faith in proxies is an abdication of personal responsibility. I encourage you to instead focus on law. I will be very interested in what you learn if you choose to make a contribution to the investigation on Japanese government works. In the case of PD-ItalyGov, I think the truth was borne out by a reading of the law. As David Newton put it, "Reading the translations of the law at UNESCO things seem to be fairly unambiguous."
Really, what you are promoting is not a very healthy approach. The Hero worship is not a substitute for good reasoning. Truth is derived from the validity of what is stated, not the belief in infallible authorities. It doesn't matter that Lupo is not a lawyer, the arguments he presented on the Soviet Template appear to be correct. Likewise, it doesn't matter to me that you have a considerable history of presenting positions based entirely on fallicious reasoning. I will read and consider what you say regardless of that history. If you have a valid point, I will accept it. I suggest you approach others with the same atmosphere of open minded respect. -Mak 20:12, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

PD recordings on a commercial CD

I am in the process of getting this CD in the mail. I was wondering, for those who are knowledgeable in Japanese copyright law, can determine if some of the recordings on this CD can grace the servers of the Commons or not. TIA. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 02:10, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

You would probably at least have to know when the performers died - or, if the works are definitely anonymous, when they where first published. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 08:30, 29 August 2006 (UTC)
And from what I found out so far, it is 50 year p.m.a for Japan, so if the creator died in 1955, then it should be PD. I'll check for dates, but I know there is at least a few records I could use (I will check the actual audio when I get the CD. I figured that if I am getting stuff like this, and the Commons wants it, yall can have it). User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 05:43, 30 August 2006 (UTC)


Shouldn't Template:MosNews include a warning that third-party images republished on their websites are copyrighted? See [11]. Lupo 08:54, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

I clarified it a little. [12] Hope this is sufficient. / Fred Chess 13:01, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

Portraits with unclear copyright status from the U.S. Federal Government

  • The following is a continuation of the debate found here:


This debate was moved from: w:Wikipedia:Possibly unfree images/US government portraits

Reviving discussion There has been no discussion on this for over two months now. When discussion was active, it was too often heated. I hope that a calm discussion based on the facts can follow, without insults or accusations from any quarter.

I would like to summarize the facts as I understand them. I don't think anyone disagrees with the following statements, but if you do, please say so and why.

Findings of fact:

  1. Who owns the physical painting is irrelevant. What's important is, who owns the copyright (if anyone).
  2. If an image is copyrighted, then it is not in the public domain, by definition. Put another way, an image is only in the public domain if no one holds the copyright.
  3. The U.S. government may own copyrights. If a government agency owns the copyright of a painting, then that painting is not in the public domain, as #2 above states.
  4. "Works of the United States Government" are in the public domain because they were never eligible for copyright in the first place.
  5. If an artist creates a presidential portrait under contract, then that painting is not "a work of the United States Government", and it is copyrighted (unless the painting enters the public domain for another reason).

Can we all agree on the above points? If so, it would seem to logically follow that we can only declare a presidential portrait to be PD if we can show that:

  • either the portrait is "a work of the United States Government" because it was "prepared by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties" and was never eligible for copyright,
  • or the copyright holder (whether the artist or a government agency) specifically and in writing released all copyright claims to the work and therefore donated it to the public domain,
  • or else that the copyright has expired due to age.

All portraits that do not fit one of these categories should not be tagged PD. As I understand it, this applies to Image:Barbara Bush.jpg, Image:Clinton.jpg, Image:Fordportrait.gif, Image:Betty Ford.gif, Image:Elizabeth Truman.gif, Image:Lady Bird Johnson.gif, Image:Pat nixon.jpg, Image:Mamie eisenhower.gif, Image:HRC.jpg, Image:Lyndon B. Johnson - portrait.gif, Image:Hhover.gif, and Image:Grace Coolidge.gif. Incidentally, all of these images are housed on Commons, not on Wikipedia.

If you think that these images should be tagged PD, please explain which of the "findings of fact" above you disagree with. (Please comment below, rather than above, so that the discussion is not broken up.) – Quadell (talk) (bounties) 16:48, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

  • Agreed on all points. User:Fred Chess was responsible for closing the discussion on commons and removing the deletion tags. He should also be made aware of this discussion.--Jiang 02:22, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Disagree on the findings of fact. They incorrectly summarize the situation. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to engage in this debate this week. I suggest that we ask Brad Patrick, to contact some copyright experts to give a more expert opinion. Oh yeah I think this discussion should move to, or remain on the commons. --evrik 03:56, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
    • So you disagree, but you won't say why? If you don't have time to participate in the debate, the debate can continue just fine without you. It has been several months, after all. – Quadell (talk) (bounties) 14:38, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
  • The findings of fact are completely correct; the paintings are not in the public domain. Evrik has clamored for us to defer until "copyright experts" comment simply because he cannot support his position, not because we need to exhume Nimmer in order to understand anything (I am an attorney, btw). The meritless public domain claims should simply be set aside so we can resolve the actual issues relevant to whether we can use these at all: 1) did the artist in fact assign the copyright to the government as part of the commission; 2) did the copyright holder (whether the artist or the government) release the paintings for public use under an express license; or 3) is there a basis for claiming that the painting has been released for public use under an implied license? Postdlf 05:36, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
    • Postdlf's comments that I have "clamored" and that public domain claims are "meritless" border on being incivil and are not assuming good faith. They are ad hominem attacks. The fact that he is an attorney has no bearing on this discussion, because he may or not may not have expertise in copyright. I have more pressing issues to deal with this month, and don’t want to have to engage in this debate right now. --Evrik 15:48, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I largely agree, although I am not sure if point 5 is accurate. In any case, the burden of proof is on those wishing to keep the paintings, ie argue for their free-ness, not the opposite. A substantial amount of time has passed and no convincing proof has been provided. Therefore, they should be deleted. If in the future they are shown to be PD, they can be undeleted. pfctdayelise (translate?) 06:32, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I haven't followed this case, but I agree that points 1 to 5 expressed above are correct. For confirmation on point 5, see the CENDI Copyright FAQ list, section 4.0. Lupo 15:44, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
  • My comments on the “Findings of Fact” - when the paintings are created, it is done by a commission of an artist by a group of friends or supporters of that public official. The paintings are donated by the friends or supporters to the U.S. Government. The artists specifically release all copyright claims to the work and therefore it is donated it to the public domain. I never heard back in writing from the WH Curator about this, but my verbal conversation with him confirmed this. Here is a link to the Presidential Collection housed at the LOC.
--Evrik 16:18, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
    • I have still not seen any evidence for the claim that "The artists specifically release all copyright claims to the work and therefore it is donated it to the public domain." I don't believe that this is true. Quadell (talk) 17:01, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

The senator and former President Clinton unveiled their National Portrait Gallery representations Monday night at a private ceremony for friends and patrons who helped underwrite part of the commissions.

There are also these news articles that describe the event, or the process:
--Evrik 18:31, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
        • I fail to see how any of those news stories provide a single shred of evidence for your claim. Postdlf 14:15, 31 August 2006 (UTC)
  • I added some comments on the assumptions above. I think that we really need to do a FOIA request on the artist commissions in order to resolve this issue since calls and letter seemed not to have brought a response. (my comments on the "Findings" are in this colorTrödel 21:23, 30 August 2006 (UTC)
    • 2.(However, when copyrighted item is donated/dedicated to the public domain, the artist or copyright holder is often still identified as a courtesy)
    • 3.Not necessarily - depends on whether the government agency owns the copyright because it was a "work for hire," in which case it may or may not be dedicated to the public domain upon completion depending on the circumstances; howver in most cases works for hire of the federal government are dedicated to the public domain.
    • 5.generally works performed for payment by another become copyrighted by the purchaser, unless specified otherwise (which is why you the fine print with Olan Mills, or even your school pictures says you agree that the photographer holds the copyright). So this issue depends on the agreement between the artist and the government. Which by the way could say alot of things besides that it is a work for hire.
      • I've moved your comments from where you inserted them, unsigned, right in the middle of Quadell's proposed statements,[13] which was, to be honest, poor etiquette as well as extraordinarily confusing. Your attempt to distinguish your comments from his by formatting alone didn't even show up (on my computer, at least). Postdlf 14:15, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Unclear public domain US fed gov

I have seen these 2 pics (but other are in same situation) :

Image:1973 Yom Kippur War - Golan heights theater.jpg

Image:1973 sinai war maps.jpg

they were primary copied from this site :[14].

Licence for these pics is not easy to determinate.

Pics are licencied with this permissionBut on this site we see also this page which says "The Department of History, USMA, does not provide printed or electronic copies of these documents. Please contact the following publishers for these atlases" and also that on this page that "information presented on the USMA WWW service is considered public information and may be distributed or copied for non-commercial purposes. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested."

I understand that :

  • It's no possible to copy document for commercial utilisation.
  • Maps licences are to control with atlases editors

If my version is correct, these pics can't stay here and are to delete.

Generally on US governemental site Licences are very clear. It's not that here Oxam Hartog 20:56, 31 August 2006 (UTC)


This image exists on tagged as {{logo}}. It exists here tagged as {{GFDL-en}}. This not being the flag of a nation, but of an organized sporting event, I suspect this image is copyrighted and use would be under terms of fair use. If so, it should be deleted here. --Durin-en 12:59, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

It should go. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 18:02, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

Image:Laetitia casta jat.jpg

This image is obviously a professionnal (printed) material. The copyright status is weird (taken from a website that no longer exists but the former webmaster says it's okay...). I think that Image:Laetitia casta br.jpg and Image:Laetitia casta bikini.jpg have the same problem : the permission is given by somebody who cannot give it. Worst is this one : Image:Laetitia casta child.jpg... It shows Laeticia Casta and here daughter. In France, such a picture might be totally illegal as children shouldn't be exposed without the parent's signed agreement. All that should be trashed. Jean-no 16:23, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Corbis claiming copyright is no proof a PD license templates are invalid

    National Archives #80-G-16871
    According to the National Archives, this image was made by a Navy photographer. [15]
Besides the claim that NARA makes that materials on its site are in the PD, the fact that it was taken by a navy photographer makes it PD-Navy.
Yet Corbis Claims: © 2001-2006 Corbis Corporation. All visual media © by Corbis Corporation [16] (also found by searching on Pearl harbor, item #U640029ACME
It may come as some surprize to Robert McMahan Photography and The RMP Archive, because they claim copyright too [17], citing a mysterious "OMI" in the Photographer credit.
    National Archives # 80-G-19947
    According to Nara, this photo is PD. Ibiblio states it is Department of the Navy photo Nara 80-G-19947
Corbis claims they own copyright. Item SF28096
    US Navy Photo #C-5904
    According to Nara, this is US Navy photo #C-5904.
Corbis claims they own copyright on this photo- Item BE001061
    National Archives #26-G-2343
    This photo was taken by Chief Photographer's Mate Robert F. Sargent. It is National archives number 26-G-2343.
Corbis claims they own copyright on this photo- Item BE001074.

Recently, one well known personality claimed that if Corbis was charging $10,000 for the right to use its images, if they claim copyright on an image, then anyone claiming otherwise (including governments) must be wrong. A rather absurd position, as the evidence points out, since if we accept this notion, we ought to delete all PD-USGOV templates and disregard US law. If law states that all of these images were created by employees of the US government while carrying out official duties and are therefore in the public domain, then we should follow the law. If a large company wishes to disregard the law, and make gratuitous claims of copyright, then we are not compelled to follow suit. Corbis has in fact given the public cause not to take their claims of copyright seriously. -Mak 09:22, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

Good point, Mak. It would be better if the appropriate term would be use to name this: COPYFRAUD --Historiograf 16:00, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Mak, how about cleaning up the formatting above? Anyway, of course a Corbis claim is not "proof" that an image was copyrighted. But it shows that someone with a direct economic interest is involved and claims he managed the copyright. Unfortunately, these image banks also have money enough to get nasty, so if we want to claim that such an image was PD all the same, we'd better make a pretty much watertight case. (E.g. by finding it at the NARA, as you did for those above.) Dismissing a copyright claim lightly would be too risky, but we should fight copyfraud wherever we can. (Thanks, Histo, for the copyfraud link, I couldn't find it just now.) Lupo 16:05, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Possibly you need to consider a browser that can understand a larger subset of HTML. The wikitext is a simple list with images and no esoteric codes. I will stick in some <div style="clear: both"> html. You can't expect all users to understand these tricks, so if you can't read some message due to formatting that any sane editor could not possibly have intended, try fixing it yourself if you prefer to stay with your favorite browser. If this doesn't clear up the problem with your browser let me know which browser you are using.
Regarding the predisposition to caution, consider the page Historio linked to. Copyright law encourages such fraudulent notices. What you are effectively suggesting is that an effective strategy to shut down the free information movement is simply to claim copyright on all PD content, then count on the responsible editors at those sites cow themselves into submission.
Assessment of risk is not your call. I think it is very responsible to be informative of potential risks, but evaluating whether risks of particular moves are worth the benefits is not at all your call to make. At one level, the entire free information movement is highly risky. Welcome to the real world of corporate hanky panky. -Mak 17:58, 4 September 2006 (UTC)
Just a note: The mysterious "OWI" (which was spelled above as "OMI") mentioned by Mak is likely the Office of War Information, which collected and gathered photographs during the War. --tomf688 (talk - email) 01:47, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Hey Mak, what's your problem? You can't go around ignoring copyright claims lightly. IMO one can only do so if one can indeed show that a claim is very likely wrong and if one can make a good case for the work actually being PD. Anything else is irresponsible. And, BTW, it's certainly my call to express my opinion on that matter. Lupo 08:55, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Kindly show me where I advocated ignoring copyright claims. I pointed out that Corbis was ignoring the law but that it doesn't mean that we should follow suit and also ignore the law. If a person ignores the rights they are entitled to under law, and is instead cowed by those breaking the law, then the person is taking steps towards a lawless society. Is that what you are advocating Lupo? -Mak 11:13, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
We seem to be talking at cross-purposes, yet agree on the matter. The "you" above was meant in the general sense. (I got more prudent in the second phrase, using the more clearly impersonal "one", but apparently I forgot the first sentence.) Care to point out to me where I advocated "cowing to those who break the law"? I wrote that one should be careful, and one should be able to make a good case. I also wrote one should fight copyfraud where possible. Do not try to twist my words. Lupo 11:21, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
I see. So you were asking what my problem was in some more general sense? Or were you asking what the more general Wikimedia community's problem is?
Do not be mistaken in what I am asserting- nearly all lawyers have a deep and abiding respect for the law- does that imply they are all in fundamental agreement? What a lovely world that would be.

In fact, our positions could not be further apart. It is a time-honored practice for the powerful to use law to intimidate the weak. Intentionally or not, by repeating exaggerated threat assessments, we become tools of that intimidation and the pernicious assault on our rights. Remember that copyright law is just as much about what protects our rights to use Public Domain works. Let's not participate in that quiet assault by the powerful on those protections.
It is proper to identify risks- please continue to do so, especially in the cases where you are able to cite law or case law. This can be very illuminating and benefits everyone. Unfortunately, this is often not the case among some who wish to severely restrict the PD rights asserted on our templates.
Also unfortunate is a confusion between risk identification and risk assessment. They are not the same thing. It is good to point out the risk of being struck by lightning is very real. There is science there to understand- it is highly factual. But that identification process is quite separate from evaluating what the risks imply for our behavior. In the separate process of risk assessment, we decide whether or not we need to install a lightning rod on our house. Some may advocate going much further and advocate not leaving the house on days when thunderclouds appear. Where the wikimedia community draws the line is a matter of continuing and lively debate.
I merely pointed out that the decision on where that line is to be drawn is not a decision for you to make. It's not your call, but some in the community would like to change that. They for whatever reason advocate in a language that most here do not understand that you should become and administrator with the hope that you could in time put yourself in a position of deciding such things. It is my personal belief that allowing this to happen would be an error in judgment for the wikimedia community. It's nothing personal, and it has nothing to do with assumptions of your agenda, whatever it may be. I simply don't see a good fit between the goals of the wikimedia community and your assessments of what threats are real and which constitute abdication of our public domain rights. Maybe I am wrong- maybe the foundation is under dire threat of destruction from mega lawsuits.
Maybe it's just me, but I am bold enough to screw up my courage and walk outside when clouds appear. What you do is your choice. -Mak 20:08, 5 September 2006 (UTC)
Reply on your talk page. Lupo 08:21, 6 September 2006 (UTC) repository of CC-by images

This may be interesting to spanish speaking users. The image repository at recently made available all its images under CC-by licenses allowing us to use their content (they were previously -nc). Here's the link: [18]

Esto puede interesarle a los usuarios de habla hispana. El sitio de imágenes recientemente liberó todas us imágenes bajo la licencia CC-by, permitiéndonos su uso (previamente era bajo la claúsula no ocmercial, por lo que no podíamos usarlas). El enlace: [19] Drini 20:57, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Image:Massachusetts state seal.png

Back in June, I found this image tagged as {{PD-Seal}}. I put the image up for speedy deletion because it appears its been copyrighted [20]. I could be incorrect, as of course usage restrictions are not the same as copyright. Shortly thereafter, my change was reverted back to {{PD-Seal}} with an edit summary "Rev, PD (Should be PD-USGov) is correct and usage restrictions are shown" [21]. The edit summary is incorrect. This image is not a work of the U.S. federal government, but of a U.S. state government. U.S. federal government images are, in the very vast majority of cases, in the public domain. State government images vary by state. Though no source is stated on the image, the source is of course implied as the State of Massachusetts. Still, we have no proactive verification that this image is in the public domain. Thoughts? --Durin-en 17:55, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

I nominated it for deletion. / Fred Chess 17:23, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

copyrighted, not durable installations on public places

Why are pictures like Image:Nuernberg_football_globe.jpg allowed here? I thought photos of copyrighted, not durable installations are not allowed to publish. -- 20:02, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Germany has freedom of panorama for buildings and statues. This image is perfectly fine. howcheng {chat} 16:20, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
The problem I sense is, that this wasn't a building or statue. Freedom of panorama requires a durable installation, but the globe was only installed for one or two months. -- 21:16, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

Is this website {{PD-USGov-Military}} ?

Office of Medical History - what do you think? I think it seems unlikely... if anyone is certain about this, please nominate Image:Coccidioidomycosis granulomas on forehead.gif for deletion. pfctdayelise (translate?) 08:58, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

What's the problem? Their ownership and copyright statement says:
  1. The Office of Medical History Web site is a public information service provided by the Office of the Army Surgeon General, Public Affairs, and the Directorate of Information Management, Fort Detrick, Md.
  2. Information presented on this web site is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. Use of appropriate byline/photo/image credits is requested.
Looks like {{PD-USGov-Military}} to me... Lupo 09:09, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
To me too. Angr 09:11, 13 September 2006 (UTC)
Hm, OK. I guess I am just surprised that the US military produces and makes available such good quality resources. :) pfctdayelise (translate?) 09:57, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

May this page and icons in it exist?

Nethac DIU, always would speak here
10:51, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Sure. Open Office is a w:free software released under the GPL license. / Fred Chess 17:38, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Image:Sieur de Sainte Colombe.jpg

Should this image tagged with {{the author Horacio Bollini ist attributed}} or with {{PD-Old}}? I think PD-Old is the right, because the author can´t have a copyright on this scanned image. I this right?--GeorgHH 08:57, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

Who's the painter? Anyway, if Mr. Bollini just scanned the picture, he has no copyright over it. If the painter died more than 70 years ago (seems likely), it's {{PD-Art}}. Lupo 09:23, 14 September 2006 (UTC)
Mr Bollini is the painter, as it is mentioned in the wiki commons page. Since Bollini is the painter, and he also made the scanning, then he has the copyright on the scanned image too. Regards, Tasc 12:48, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Question about expiration of copyright after author's been dead for 70 years

It is often argued that copyright depends on the year its creator died. I know this is how it is in Germany and in Sweden. But is this so worldwide? For example, images with {{PD-US}} do not care when its creator died. They are public domain today and tomorrow.

Just now, Image:Red army soldiers raising the soviet flag on the roof of the reichstag berlin germany.jpg was nominated for deletion. The creator died in 1997. But he was Russian. Is it possible that the contracted owners of an image release it to the public domain?

Fred Chess 17:36, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

It would be helpful if Commons admins like Fred Chess would learn at least the basics of international copyright issues. In all EU conutries the 70 years pma rule is valid. There are some exceptions (UK crown copyright e.g.) but mostly the term depends on the year the creator died. See also the Berne convention (50 year pma). See also I do not think it is likely that the Rusion picture was released to the PD --Historiograf 01:53, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

It is very complicated. In the United States, for example, the 70 years pma rule applies mostly only to unpublished works and to works published since 1978. Most things published between 1923 and 1977 (unless they fell into public domain because their copyright wasn't renewed) retain copyright until 95 years after their publication date, regardless of when the author died. So if an author published something in, say, 1925, and died in 1930, the work won't be public domain in the U.S. (assuming the author's heirs renewed the copyright) until 2021 (95 years after publication), even though in the EU it's already been public domain since 2001 (70 years pma). This may actually present a problem since {{PD-old}} says it's valid in the U.S., but I'm not convinced it always is. Angr 06:43, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
That's my understanding, too. In fact, the above applies even if a foreign author's heirs did not renew the copyright, or if the work was never registered for copyright in the U.S. at all. If it was still copyrighted on the URAA date (usually Jan 1, 1996, except for coutries who joined the Berne Convention later) in its country of origin, its copyright was automatically restored in the U.S.! Thus, if our author, who died 1930 and published a work in 1925, first published his work in 1925 in, say, France, his work work was still copyrighted in France in 1996 and thus became copyrighted that year in the U.S., where it has a coypright term of 95 years since publication, even if it had never been copyrighted there before. Commons makes this mistake all over the place. "70y p.m.a." applies in the U.S. only for post-1978 works. For foreign works published 1923-1977, PD-Old is wrong for the U.S. But that has got nothing to do with the Reichstag flag image, which, although not released into the PD, is probably PD all the same because of coypright expiry -- if TASS (a news agency, i.e. a legal entity) held the copyright, it expired in 1995. (See my comment on its deletion request. Histo, if I should have misunderstood §7 of 93/98/EEC, please say so.) And news agencies in Russia usually do hold the copyright on their stuff, contrary to newspapers. (See Itar-Tass Russian News Agency v. Russian Kurier, Inc..) Lupo 22:38, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
As a proposal for a possible reform, I plead for commons to make a uniform policy, only to accept 70 pma as PD-old, for any kind of work (make no difference for photos, except reproductions), and erase any template that contradicts this policy. It's the trend internationally in copyright law and it would stop time wasting copyright discussions and law twisting and provide a simple and efficient standard which makes sense in the international setting in which Commons takes place. PD-US should be moved to en wikipedia. --Rtc 02:19, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Moving PD-US to en-wiki won't solve the problem that there are potentially many images labeled PD-old that are nevertheless not public domain in the U.S. even though they are in the EU. The situations Lupo and I outlined above are cases in which a work is still under copyright in the U.S. even though the author has been dead more than 70 years. Since Wikimedia's servers are hosted in the U.S., complying with EU law only is not sufficient. Perhaps we need like a template Template:PD-EU for such images, which ultimately would have to be uploaded locally to the French, German, Italian, etc. Wikipedias, but deleted from Commons as copyvios in the U.S. Angr 09:57, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
If you want to argue that, "[s]ince Wikimedia's servers are hosted in the U.S., complying with EU law only is not sufficient" consequentially, "upload[ing] locally to the French, German, Italian, etc. Wikipedias" would not be permitted either, for their servers are in the US as well. Wikimedia projects would have to comply with US law AND with the laws of the audience the projects are directed at. I do not reject that claim outright, but you should apply it consistently. --Rtc 13:14, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Good point. But I for one don't have the strength to go through the thousands of images in Category:PD Old and find which ones are not actually PD in the U.S. Angr 13:51, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0.

Would like to upload Is under Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0. Am I allowed to upload this? As far as I understand Attribution 2.5 is not the same. Is Attribution-NoDerivs general possible to use? TomAlt 13:48, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

NoDerivs = non-derivative = non-compatible license for the Commons. The same with a CC non-commercial license versions. --Denniss 14:43, 16 September 2006 (UTC)
Thx, TomAlt 00:21, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I't not quite clear for me...

What to do in case I want to ADD MY OWN PICTURE, TAKEN BY ME. A PICTURE WHICH I AM TO DECIDE IF IT IS FREE OR COPY RIGHTED? What information I should provide when Uploading the picture?

Thanks! Vinoda

If it's your own picture, taken by you, you get to decide how to release it. You are the copyright holder, but you can choose to release all or some of your rights to it. If you want to release absolutely all rights to it, put {{PD-self}} as the license. If you want to be acknowledged as the photographer in any future reuse, but nothing else, put {{Self|cc-by}}. If you want to be acknowledged as the photographer, and you want to make sure that any future reuse isn't licensed more strictly than you licensed your original work, put {{Self2|GFDL|cc-by-sa-2.5,2.0,1.0}}. Angr 09:50, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

Flag of the United Nations

Hi. I'm sure, this has already been discussed, but I couldn't find anything about this topic. On page two in article seven, stsgb132.pdf (on states:

7. Prohibition
The Flag shall not be used in any manner inconsistent with this Code or any regulations made pursuant thereto. On no account shall the flag or a replica thereof be used for commercial purposes or in direct association with an article of merchandise.

commercial use is clearly prohibited. Do we have a problem here, since it is not free in the sense of wikimedia commons, or is there an other common consensus on flags and such stuff? --Addicted 17:54, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

This is a good question, and needs to be addressed, because on one hand, flags such as this that are not covered under national flags, and city arms and such are in fact generally not available for commercial use. On the other hand, it would be entirely impossible for any of these items to be misused on our projects, and we would not be responsible for misuse of derivation. These items should be hosted at Commons, in spite of our policies. Cary "Bastiqe" Bass demandez 18:54, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I tend to disagree here. If the United Nations does indeed holds copyright and this does not fall under a free license, then the image should not be hosted here. Use on other Wikimedia projects could be under terms of fair use. In effect, their statement is a non-commercial use only license, which is not permitted for Commons. However, the apparent source of this image [22] is the Open Clip Art Library. Currently, we accept materials from the Open Clip Art Library as being presumed to be in the public domain. Thus, the image here is "properly" tagged. However, I've noted elsewhere here before that I think it a bad idea to capitulate our copyright clearance concerns to third parties when we should be doing this work ourselves. --Durin-en 17:41, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
    • This is the same issue that is going on with the UNESCO flag image; PD image from OpenClipArt that is being deleted due to a non-commercial clause from the UNESCO website. I agree that a solution should be found soon, but playing email tag with UNESCO is coming up with nothing. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 01:30, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Die Flagge erreicht keinesfalls die erforderliche Schöpfungshöhe um einen urheberrechtlichen Schutz auszulösen. Die verwendeten Symbole sind viel zu einfach gestaltet. Die Weltkarte ist vor der Veröffentlichung als UN-Flagge vielfch in unterschiedlichsten Versionen veröffentlicht worden. Das Motiv ist somit vorvorhanden und kann als Derivat keinen Schutz genießen. Das gleiche gilt für den Ehrenkranz, der schon seit hunderten von Jahren Verwendung findet. Die konzentrischen Kreise sind eine Spielerei, die jedes Kind, das zum ersten mal einen Zirkel in die Hand nimmt, in sein Schulheft kritzelt. Der von der UN geltend gemachte Schutzanspruch beruht auf den Namens- Persönlichkeits- und Markenrechten. Diese werden jedoch durch eine reine Darstellung nicht verletzt. --Steschke 19:08, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
    • assuming I'm translating more or less correctly Whether elements of the image existed before its creation or no, the sum creative effect is what the copyright covers, not the various elements. Also, we do not evaluate the hosting of images here based on whether the copyright holder would be harmed by having the image here. That evaluation isn't for us to decide, but one for the courts or the copyright holder to decide. Err on the side of caution. --Durin-en 13:11, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
      • Steschke was refering to the concept of Threshold of originality (Schöpfungshöhe), when stateing since all parts of the flag where existing and used before the creation of the flag of the UN, the flag itself is due to lack of originality not protected by copyright laws. But none the less, I assume, the prohibition of commercial use in the flag code still may have some legal foundation, which - even if not highly possible - could be brought forth against wikimedia. -- 21:35, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

other flag

What about "selfmade" flags than like this of that organisation where a policy is not to find and contact very difficult? The elements are very simple as in many flags of organisations. By what copyright section are they covered? --Mandavi 15:54, 21 September 2006 (UTC)


HI, I'm new here so excuse my ignorance.

I've been reading through all tutorials and stuff, but am still a little confused.

Am I allowed to upload an image from a site? I know that the logo in question is not a copyrighted logo, does that mean that I am allowed to upload it?

The logo is located , its the Gaelic football crest in the middle of the page.

Go easy on my stupidity, I'm new. (Derry Boi 17:49, 20 September 2006 (UTC))

  • Looking at that page, there's no apparent reason to believe the image is in the public domain. The lack of a copyright statement on the page does not mean it is not copyrighted. We work on positive affirmation that something is free of copyright, i.e. an explicit release of rights. Do you have something that asserts this image is free of copyright? Welcome aboard, by the way, glad to have you here! --Durin-en 22:01, 20 September 2006 (UTC)


I recently stumbled accross a collection of old books (published 1900-1950 or so). I immediately thought they may be in the public domain, so I did some research. First place was obviously this page, where I found that in Australia copyright expired after the author died, and then another 70 years. After further research into the authors, I found that even the oldest of these books (other than one painting from the mid 1800s) were still covered by copyright. A few weeks later (i.e. this afternoon) I found an FAQ on copyright on the New South Wales state library site. [23], which states that by a 2005 ammendment to copyright law, any photograph taken before 1955 was no longer covered. (note this is "photo taken" not "author died" before 1955) This puts the images from almost all of these books into the public domain.. but the problem is that it is contrary to what this page says, so I have not got a clue what to do. Is the info on this page out of date or am I missing something? I'd like it if somebody who knew a bit more as far as copyright goes could check this out before I upload them.. and potentially make a mistake. MichaelBillington 07:29, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Copyright law varies from country to country. While there are international standards, various countries have laws which may or may not be supersets of the international law. Since managing our copyright situation with respect to the laws of nearly 200 countries in the world would be quite difficult, and since the majority of Wikipedia's assets exist in one country, we adhere to the copyright laws of one country. To my knowledge (I could be wrong), all language Wikipedias and Commons adhere to copyright law as it exists in the United States. Hope that helps, --Durin-en 12:17, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
    • My impression was more that Wikimedia Projects try to adhere to the copyright laws of at least the U.S. and the country where the work was made, so in this case the images would (ideally at least) have to be copyright-free in both the U.S. and Australia to be used here. Angr 17:50, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

FBI image

Image:Anthraxnote1.jpg is tagged with {{PD-USGov-FBI}} from the en wikipedia. This is not availale on commons. Is {{PD-USGov}} the correct license for the image on commons? --GeorgHH 21:17, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

  • It would be, if the image was made by "a Federal Bureau of Investigation employee, taken or made during the course of the employee's official duties". That's not the case, though? / Fred Chess 21:37, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  • The en. image is inadequately sourced (suprise!). That means nsd is appropriate for the Commons image (and the en. one). Having said that we might as well copy the en. template over here...--Nilfanion 22:33, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Original source is, i have added it to the description page an tagged with {{PD-USGov}}. --GeorgHH 14:30, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • I've deleted the copy on en.wikipedia, as it is an exact duplicate and we've rectified the source/licensing issues here. --Durin-en 18:20, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Eiffel tower

Hi, I've uploaded a night shot of the Eiffel tower with it games of light. In the discussion that followed on the "featured picture candidate" it came that there is a copyright on those light games.

The shot is taken with the obturer in B position, so that the lights are taken for a few seconds and giving a particular pasty touch to the pic. In fact the shot represent something that you cannot see without this technique.

What do I have to do? The pic can remain in Wiki commons?

Thank You.
Serendipità 08:29, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

  • Apparently according to French law, yes the creator of the lights display (an artwork) retains rights. You have rights to the artistry involved in the taking of the image, and the creator(s) of the light display retain rights to their artistic elements. Neither of you can use the image free of restriction without the consent of the other. --Durin-en 13:40, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
    • You're right. This link confirm it.

I'll take it away from featured picture candidate.
Serendipità 14:07, 30 September 2006 (UTC)


I just brought a picture (Image:Dehkhoda stamp.JPG) from en:w: which had the template . I wonder why Commons does not use this PD template. --Javier Carro 05:59, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

We don't have that template because stamsp aren't automatically in public domain. We have some country specific tags: {{PD-Canada-stamp}}, {{PD-German stamps}}. -Samulili 06:30, 30 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually, no special reason not to have a "PD-stamp" tag. It would be somewhat redundant, since (as far as I know) no government has put their stamps under CC or GFDL, so all legitimate images here are going to be PD. Per-country PD stamp tags are useful in that they can reference the basis for the PDness claim. Stan Shebs 23:44, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin

Why should these paintings be in public domain, if the author didn't die more than 70 years ago (1939)? --Polarlys 17:09, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

They probably aren't, but there was a difficult situation recently when we banned the {{PD-Soviet}} tag. We'll look into the images of Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin soon. / Fred Chess 18:00, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

city arms, province logos etc.

Sorry if I am the 400th person to ask the same question, but what do the US copyright laws say about local government official seals etc.? I have a seal from the province of Pampanga in the Philippines, the web site from which I got it is fully copyrighted, but this seal is an official seal for a local goverment. Can I upload it and if yes, under which licence? Thanks a lot in advance for your help. Lag 20:26, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

  • It varies on a case by case basis. For U.S. federal level, almost all image is in the public domain. As soon as you get below that, to state or local government, it varies case by case. For the Philippines, I believe there is something similar for federal works, but for local works it may be case by case as well. When in doubt, assume no free license until you can affirmatively assert otherwise. --Durin-en 15:22, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Lgriot 21:26, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Photo from the White House Photo Office

Hi. I've uploaded this photo of the former Bulgarian President Zhelev, made by the White House Photo Office, file found at the Library of Congress website [24]. I believe it is in the Public domain but would like more experienced administrators to have a look here and confirm this. There are no other free pictures of Dr. Zhelev, and we could use a cropped version in the biographical articles. Thanks, --5ko 04:52, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

Cropped version: Image:Zhelev-1990.jpg (if it needs to be deleted). --5ko 05:00, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

I think this is ok, can't see an obvious reason why the PD claim should be bogus. Since there is no photographer's name, {{PD-USGov}} isn't really applicable, i change the license to {{PD-LOC}}.--Wiggum 09:18, 2 October 2006 (UTC)
Thank you! --5ko 07:12, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

Specific clause about commercial use

I am looking at Image:EUROMONEY.jpg. The BigPhoto license [25] places restrictions on commercial use in print. I am not even sure if these restrictions are compatible with Wikipedia. "For use in the print media, the homepage address must be shown together with the images." How could this restriction be honoured when people are likely to remove things like this as adverts? I observe that the Article "Euro" in English Wikipedia had a photo credit added to the text of the article (not the caption), which has now been removed; this suggests (not checked) that someone was aware of this restriction when adding the image to commons, and was trying to honour it. Any thoughts? Notinasnaid 07:37, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

I changed the license to {{Attribution}}. I think we can regard all the Wikimedia-Sites as one project so that attribution requirement is met with the credit on commons. However, the en-WP will not take damage if the credit is repeated within the text or the caption ;-)--Wiggum 08:09, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
That clause is really no different from GFDL. If you use a GFDL image in an advertisement, the advertisement must include the entire GFDL license! Consequently, that is why most Commoners and Commons promotes Creative Commons: Image:BD-propagande colour en.jpg. -Samulili 13:38, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

I've found the image with the same source: Image:SmartiesUK.jpg. --Panther 12:56, 6 October 2006 (UTC)

Georges Brassens music files

A user started to upload several music files [26] with pieces from Georges Brassens who died 1981 so it should be still protected even if the recordings are from 1953, shouldn't they? --Matt314 17:14, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

I'm this user. Brassens died in 1981. Its works are thus protegegees until 2051 !. But the recordings fall into the public domain 50 years after their recording. For 1953 and 1954 it is thus ok. cordially Inocybe 17:25, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
No sorry, but you are completely wrong. Don't confuse the copyright of the musical work which is with the composer /song writer and the copyright of a certain recording. Both copyrights have to be expired! Copyright on music is much more difficult than that on pictures, sadly Commons has no policy concerning music though. There are some levels of copyright: first and all, the composer has the copyright on his muscial work (which is the melody). Secondly, if there is a song text and the composer and the song text writer are different persons there is a separate copyright on the song text which is with the text writer. Both copyrights expire 70 years pma. Simple example is the European anthem - the music has been composed by Beethoven and the text was written by Friedrich Schiller. Next level is a certain performance or recording. The artists (singer, musicians) acquire a copyright for this defined performance. Usually those copyrights expire 50 years after publication or with the death of the artist(s), this may depend by country. A 1950 performance of the european anthem might be public domain in some countries (not in all!). Finally, if we have a recording there usually is another copyright, that is to say the copyright of the producer of the sound storage medium.--Wiggum 19:08, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
Hello ! I understand yours arguments. But, excuse me, I am not a lawyer. I have place these recordings by basing me on the text of wikipedia-fr durée : Dans le cas des œuvres phonographiques (chansons par exemple), le délai n'est que de 50 ans après l'enregistrement ; In the case of the phonographic works (songs for example), the time is only 50 years after the recording. Can be it is valid only in France. I ask for that frenchs lawyers of Wikipédia [27]. While waiting for the answer, I stop the remote loadings. Cordially Inocybe 06:38, 10 October 2006 (UTC)


I'm trying to add an image of the New York Times headline from October 31, 1938. That was the day after the Orson Welles broadcast of War of the Worlds. There has been some question as to the veracity of the claims that there was widespread panic after the broadcast.

A copy of the actual headline would help to confirm those claims and also help to illustrate the level and significance of the hysteria generated. It would seem that the Template:Newspapercover tag would be appropriate, but there are two problems: First, it's not a full-page scan. The headline was not a banner headline, and any image that runs the full width of a broadsheet would require too high a resolution to make the headline readable. So it's a clip from the middle of the page, with the logo, date and headline.

Second, I'm not the New York Times, so do I upload fair use stuff here? What do I do about the Permission: statement?

If you are uploading just an image of the actual headline (and nothing else) it would probably be {{PD-ineligible}}. A full page would still be copyrighted and cannot be uploaded without a permission. --Matt314 20:31, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
Alas, I think that headlines are still copyrightable. I know that people are still employed for writing headlines, though single headlines, reproduced to reference particular articles are certainly fair use. I'm pretty sure that you can get sued if you copy someone else's headline and paste your article below. What's more, the "The New York Times." logo is almost certainly copyrightable, as we have a copy of the NYT logo here that has a copyright tag affixed.--Superluser 22:43, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
Nevermind. I found the upload page for Wikipedia. I am an idiot.--Superluser 23:03, 9 October 2006 (UTC)
Err, the template says "protected by copyright and/or trademark". In this case, it probably is trademark law only. --  (talk) 10:52, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Scans of public domain maps

Do the template {{PD-Art}} and Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. apply to scans of old maps? I am not sure whether a map is a "work of art" or something else. One example is this scan: Image:Corsham map 1773.jpg (a British map scanned in the UK by a local government public library service.) I can't find any rubrics on the site I downloaded it from. If I have tagged it incorrectly, please re-tag the file more appropriately. --InfantGorilla 10:08, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. also applies to maps. If you don't want to use {{PD-Art}} you can use {{PD-old}} instead, but I think it does not really matter in that case. --Matt314 10:37, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Good. Does the case apply to recent scans (of old maps) made in the UK? --InfantGorilla 11:03, 10 October 2006 (UTC)
Probably. Please see en:Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp.
Quote from that page: the Court is persuaded that plaintiff's copyright claim would fail even if the governing law were that of the United Kingdom.
Fred Chess 06:45, 11 October 2006 (UTC)
Interesting — thank you. --InfantGorilla 12:18, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

Diagram of a solar-type star

If possible I would like to use the image at, showing a cross-section of a solar-type star, in the wikipedia star article. (I plan to convert it to jpg.) Is {{PD-USGov-NASA}} an appropriate license for this image? Thank you. — RJHall 15:53, 13 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes, you can upload the image with this tag. The people who created this image work for NASA [28] and there is no copyright restriction, so the image is in the public domain. --Matt314 18:51, 13 October 2006 (UTC)
Excellent, thank you. I shall make prompt use of it. — RJHall 18:24, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
It would probably be better to use .png for this image instead of .jpg. --tomf688 (talk - email) 22:36, 15 October 2006 (UTC)


Hi, I have uploaded a photograph that i took myself of a design made in the Victorian era (Image:RNLI Flag.jpg). While I beleive the design is out of copyright, the RNLI still trade under that design so it is protected by trademark law, thus restricting its usage in certain situations where it may be regarded as passing off. Is there a template, category or standard boilerplate text that I may add to the description page to state this? Cheers. MrWeeble 11:40, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes actually there is. It is called {{Trademarked}}. Good of you to keep it in mind.
Fred Chess 12:19, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Can I upload this image ?

Can I upload this image: [29]. It is in a context and it doesn't especially focus on the Simpsons logo. This i my life project. NorwegianMarcus 18:32, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

I am afraid that you may not upload that here. The Simpsons logos are still visible and there may not have been sufficient new creation. Please see Commons:Derivative works. However, you may be able to claim fair use at English Wikipedia, but you have to obey the policy there.--Jusjih 10:17, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

United Nations works

As an admin at English and Chinese Wikisource, I would like to ask anyone here before I copy s:en:Template:PD-UN and its Chinese and French versions hereto. When Wikisource was a multilingual site accepting all languages, it had so many UN Security Council resolutions posted by various users unaware of UN copyright. As the UN Headquarters is subject to the same USA laws, works published there are copyrighted in the same way as works published in the USA.

Works published in the USA between 1978 and 1 March 1989 without copyright notices and without subsequent copyright registrations are in the public domain in the USA, but should subsequent copyright registrations be validly made, the works become copyrighted. I would like to ask if these works are acceptable here. This is critical as most, if not all, images at Category:Stamps of United Nations may be indeed copyrighted. In addition, are Image:R32AsambleaGeneralONU.jpg and Image:R39AsambleaGeneralONU.jpg really acceptable as PD-ineligible?--Jusjih 10:27, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

I've asked around but nobody seems to know. My gut feeling tells me that we on Commons should avoid such complex definitions of public domain. Instead use {{PD-US-not renewed}}, {{PD-USGov}} or {{PD-US}} as applicable.
user:David.Monniaux thought that "the UN headquarters are in extraterritorial territory". Is he wrong?
Fred Chess 20:50, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Re:Stamps. IMO the stamps have no reason for being public domain and should best be nominated for deletion. / Fred Chess 20:53, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Please see User talk:David.Monniaux#UN works and User talk:Lupo#UN: at least in the U.S., UN works are covered by copyright, even if the UN headquarters may be extraterritorial. Lupo 21:10, 24 October 2006 (UTC)
Besides, whether the UN HQ is extraterritorial or not is irrelevant, as the United States Headquarters Agreement, Public Law 80-357 from August 4, 1947 clearly states in article 7 that
(b) Except as otherwise provided in this agreement or in the General Convention, the federal, state and local law of the United States shall apply within the headquarters district.
(c) Except as otherwise provided in this agreement or in the General Convention, the federal, state and local courts of the United States shall have Jurisdiction over acts done and transactions taking place in the headquarters district as provided in applicable federal, state and local laws.
The U.S. Copyright Law reinforces that in 17 USC 104(b)(5), where it says that
(b) Published Works. — [...] works [...] are subject to protection under this title if —
(5) the work is first published by the United Nations or any of its specialized agencies, or by the Organization of American States;
Lupo 10:28, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Do we have any PD tags for having no copyright notices on works published in the USA through 1978? {{PD-US-not renewed}} may be used for UNHQ works published through 1963 if no renewal record, but {{PD-US}} cannot apply to UN works since there was no UN in 1923. Perhaps UN agencies outside the USA would be subject to different copyright laws. As Template talk:UN map suggests receiving copyright permission, I will email the UNHQ to ask if it can still prove that its works published through 1963 have had their copyright renewed. If proved to have no renewal record, maybe we can modify {{PD-US-not renewed}} to include the UNHQ if you do not support bringing s:en:Template:PD-UN to Commons.--Jusjih 15:53, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
I have found a very important discovery at English Wikisource that paragraph 2 of s:en:ST/AI/189/Add.9/Rev.2 has been discovered to release official Records and United Nations Documents, including resolutions, into the public domain. s:en:Template:PD-UN has been modified to reflect this after English Wikisource has suffered a major copyright turmoil about UN resolutions since November 2005. UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library web site has ST/AI/189/Add.9/Rev.2 available in English only. I have notified English Wikipedia of this discovery so w:en:Wikipedia:Public domain now includes this.--Jusjih 10:20, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Image:German Battleship Bismarck May 1941 from PE.jpg

Image:German Battleship Bismarck May 1941 from PE.jpg currently has a licensing statement stating that it was taken by a member of the US military during the course of his duties, and so is public domain. Since I'm of the understanding that the US was at war with Germany during this time, I find this to be an unlikely scenario. How should this image be referenced, or should it be deleted? --Badger 151 17:17, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

There has been a deletionrequest on the Bismarck pictures (compare [30]) but it was decided with "kept". I agree to your argumentation since most of the pictures are undisputed taken from a german report or file.--Wiggum 17:41, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
I thought the images of DKM Bismark were covered by the discussions on Template:PD-USGov-Military-Navy-NHC? / Fred Chess 17:53, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
The deletion request was closed to save space ?! The images should be deleted, as neither {{PD-old}}, {{PD-USGov}} nor {{PD-USGov-Military-Navy}} applies. -- 19:52, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
That was based on a misunderstanding-- it was closed under the assumption that the deletion debate regarded the same images as those under Commons:Deletion requests/Template:PD-USGov-Military-Navy-NHC. Since this wasn't the case, I think the images should again be nominated for deletion. / Fred Chess 16:27, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Photo of a sport-organization president

Hello. I was wondering if there is any problem with uploading this photo (here or on Wikipedia): [31]? It's the main photo of the Portuguese Olympic Committee (COP) president, housed on the organization's official website. What's the most appropriate licensing, copyright tag? I don't see any privacy policy page, so i have this doubt. Parutakupiu 19:44, 23 October 2006 (UTC)

Without a permission you might use the picture under "fair use", which is not allowed on Commons (but at the English Wikipedia). Only if you have a permission by the copyright owner for a free license you may upload the file. On the main page it clearly says "© Comité Olímpico de Portugal" on the bottom so don't upload the picture here without a permission. --Matt314 20:04, 23 October 2006 (UTC)
Thank you very much for clearing this issue Parutakupiu 22:39, 23 October 2006 (UTC)


Hi all. This should be an easy one. Image:SevenWondersOfTheWorld.jpg is a photo montage of 6 public domain images and one GFDL image. As a derivative work, I believe it is also required to be licensed under the GFDL, so I've switched the license. Can someone please review? Thanks. ~MDD4696 01:58, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Well, as Image:Pyramide Kheops.JPG is dual-licensed under the GFDL and cc-by-sa, the maker of the derivative work can choose one of them (or both). We should ask User:Pixeltoo which license he prefers. --Kjetil_r 03:56, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Image:Rudolf Mossbauer 1961.jpg

Guys, please look at the image discussion page: is such a permission prohibitive for Commons? Thanks. ACrush 09:20, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Yes, the image has to be deleted.--Wiggum 09:29, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
OK, I'll try to persuade her to release a low-res image under a free license. Anyway, I just can't upload it normally - it breaks up in the middle. ACrush 10:12, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
BTW, please keep the discussion page - I'll reupload the image soon, I hope.ACrush 10:13, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Spanish licence

Hello, can someone please look at [32] and verify the copyright status. I think it say that any use is prohibited, is this right? Images from this source: Image:Video01.PNG and Image:Fondasusilla.jpg. --GeorgHH 11:37, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

"Todos los derechos reservados" means "All rights reserved", so use is clearly prohibited. Cnyborg 13:15, 25 October 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your help, Cnyborg! --GeorgHH 22:03, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Freedom of panorama and international issues

What are our precise rules for freedom of panorama? I am not aware of any concrete rules in this respect. I know that User:Historiograf has called for a general application of the principle and to consider all images taken from public places subject only to the photographer's copyright, but clearly there is no consensus to follow this. Instead, it appears that we try to follow the same rules we usually do. We typically delete images of copyrighted sculptures in the U.S. because the U.S. copyright law has no freedom of panorama for these. However, we have several other images of sculptures or statues in other countries. Even if these images might be fine under the local laws, they'd still fail U.S. law if the depicted sculpture was still under copyright. Do we truly apply the laws of both the country of origin and of the U.S.? If so, we could delete all images of copyrighted sculptures right away (unless there's permission to publish the image under a free license from the copyright holder of the shown work, of course), as the U.S. law is strict and has no freedom of panorama exception for statues and sculptures.

The same principle applies to buildings, and that gets very annoying when considering images of copyrighted buildings from in particular Eastern European countries. Many of these countries have a "freedom of panorama" rule that is restricted to non-commercial uses only, or to uses where the copyrighted building is not the main subject of the image. As an example, see §21 of the Russian copyright law, and the situation is similar in many other Eastern European countries. These laws are stricter than the U.S. law, which exempts images of buildings from a possible copyright of the building.17 USC 120 (That means that one can photograph any building in the U.S. and the photographer is the sole opyright holder and can publish the image under any license he or she likes.) Not so in Eastern Europe. For instance, this image shows the Konstantin E.Tsiolkovsky State Museum of The History of Cosmonautics in Kaluga, Russia. The construction of the museum began on June 13, 1961; it opened on October 3, 1967. Architects were Boris G. Barkhin, Evgeniy I. Kireev, Nataliya G. Orlova, Valentin A. Strogy, and Kirill D. Fomin, making it—in terms of copyright—a joint work. It falls under the normal Russian copyright rules and would thus be copyrighted today in Russia. (I have not found any exception to "works of architecture" that would make this building not copyrighted :-( and I have looked pretty thoroughly, even in the 700+ page tour-de-force book by Michiel Elst, Copyright, Freedom of Speech, and Cultural Policy in the Russian Federation, Martinus Nijhoff, Leiden/Boston, 2005; ISBN 9-004-14087-5.) In Russia, the image is thus useable only non-commercially and thus might need to be removed from the commons, but in the U.S. and in other countries that do have a freedom of panorama for buildings, it would be fine under its original dual {{GFDL}}/{{Cc-by-2.5}} license because of the "national treatment" afforded by international copyright treaties. Now what?

If we want to follow a strict application of the rule that the law of the source country and the U.S. law have to be applied, we always have to use the stricter law of the two...

Or do (and can?) we take an even more complex route? The uploader (and hence publisher) of that image, who also is the photographer, appears to be Dutch. The Netherlands and the U.S. both do have freedom of panorama for buildings (see COM:FOP). According to the Berne Convention, article 5, the country of origin of the building is Russia, but the country of origin of the image is not where it was taken, but determined by its first publication or, if unpublished, the nationality of the photographer. So the image has a country of origin of either the Netherlands or the U.S., if we consider the upload to our servers based in Florida the first publication. I think that in both these jurisdictions, the photograph would be fine under its original free license, despite the non-commercial restriction in Russia.

Comments, please? Lupo 10:27, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Wow! a long essay. I am not a lawyer, but I think that neither the Berne Convention nor US law gives an author any additional rights in the US over those that they have in the country where they create/publish the work. That means that if a photo of a UK sculpture in a public place in the UK is not a derivative work in UK law, the sculptor has no rights over the photo anywhere in the world. The US lack of an FOP law can't magically give the sculptor rights in the US, can it?
  • The UK FOP law seems to be about the copyright of the sculpture, not of the image, so your complex route to avoid local law by publishing in another country sounds unlikely. --InfantGorilla 20:18, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
    • The copyrighted sculpture in the UK is also copyrighted in the U.S. In the UK, if the sculpture is in a public place, freedom of panorama allows taking and publishing an image of that sculpture without consent of the sculptor. But in the U.S., there is no such rule. To publish that same image in the U.S., the publisher of the image must have the sculptors permission. (The sculpture is copyrighted in the U.S. under U.S. law, not under UK law!) Compare with the "Hundertwasserhaus" case in Austria/Germany: the Hundertwasserhaus is in Vienna, Austria; built by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. It is copyrighted. Someone took a picture of the building from an apartment on the first floor of the building across the street and commercially published that image in Austria as a postcard. That was perfectly fine in Austria, where freedom of panorama allowed this. But when that same postcard was to be distributed (sold) in Germany, a lawsuit in German courts ensued. German courts decided that German freedom of panorma did not cover that image, because a private apartment in a building across the street was not a "public place". Since the image was not taken from a public place, it didn't fall under freedom of panorama in Germany, and thus the postcard could only be published in Germany with the consent of the copyright holders of the "Hundertwasserhaus" in Austria! As a result, publishing this postcard in Germany was illegal. (If the image had been taken not from that first floor apartment but from the sidewalk, it would have been fine in Germany, too.) It's a canonical case illustrating the effects of the "national treatment" prescribed by the Berne Convention. Lupo 08:54, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Are you 100% sure that works covered by panorama freedom in the country of origin may be protected by copyrights in the U.S.? (I understand that the Hundertwasserhaus was protected by German copyright, since the architect was Austrian and German copyright law gives protection, in Germany, to all citizens of the E.U. , § 120) / Fred Chess 14:32, 28 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes. Architectural and sculptural works are works like any other, and may be protected in the U.S. by virtue of the Berne Convention (which explicitly includes such works, see article 2) or other international copyright treaties. They're no different from other works. If the base work is copyrighted in the U.S. (despite being located somewhere else), it is copyrighted in the U.S. according to the rules of U.S. copyright law (national treatment), and the image is a derivative work. If the sculpture is copyrighted in the U.S., publishing an image of the sculpture in the U.S. is subject to the sculptor's agreement. On that, I'm 100% sure.
The "Hundertwasserhaus" was just an example showing how this works—or rather, doesn't work :-(—in an international context. (Note that if we only regard Austrian and U.S. copyright laws, I think we could publish the image of the "Hundertwasserhaus" case, as it'd be fine under both laws. It'd still be illegal to publish it in Germany, so it shouldn't be used at the German Wikipedia.) For works of architecture, we have no problems in U.S. law, thanks to 17 USC 120. But we may have a problem with the source country of the building, if that country's law restricts the freedom of panorama, like in these Eastern European countries. For sculptures, we do have a problem with U.S. law, but we don't have a problem in many source countries. (Concerning Eastern Europe, we have a problem with both laws regarding sculptures.) Lupo 14:58, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Supporting free content means also avoiding Copyright PARANOIA. My position is clear: Until we get problems in the U.S. we should follow reasonable rules like accepting Panorama freedom in the E.U. Lupo should care about more important copyvios. Tehere are thousands of pictures concerned we should keep --Historiograf 23:26, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Man, cut down on the polemics. I'm asking which rules we apply. Source country + U.S.? Only source country? Only U.S.? We can't just choose differently on each image. If the source country places a "non-commercial" restriction on freedom-of-panorama images, do we honor that? If not, why not? Lupo 19:04, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Besides, supporting free content first and foremost means figuring out what content is "free". Claiming something were free if it isn't is just dishonest if we know better. (As long as we don't know better, it's just an error we should strive to fix when we become aware of it). But again, for now I'm just asking which rules apply. Lupo 19:10, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Lupo, I'd like to know how statues outside of the U.S. can be copyright protected in the U.S.? Doesn't U.S. copyright law require registration of the work? Or at least, isn't this how it was just 10-20 years ago (so that older sculptures are public domain)? And how come that the decision of the {{PD-Soviet}} case was based off of Russian law (according to the pdf document you presented), when in this case it is U.S. law that is decisive? / Fred Chess 12:34, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
The PD-Soviet case worked as follows:
  1. In 1993, Russia passed a new copyright law that placed works under copyright again, even if their former copyright term in the USSR or Russia had expired. The copyright term was 50 years after the authors's death, and the law was declared (in the implementation act, confirmed in 2006 by the Russian Supreme Court) to apply retroactively for 50 years. That placed Soviet/Russian works published 1943 or later, or of Soviet/Russian authors who died 1943 or later, under copyright again in Russia.
  2. Russia joined the Berne Convention in 1995. The Berne Convention applies to all works that are copyrighted in their source country on the date a country joins. In 1995, all Soviet/Russian works that were still copyrighted in Russia (i.e. published 1945 or later, or author died 1945 or later) became thus copyrighted in other countries that had signed the Berne Convention.
  3. The U.S. also was a member of the Berne Convention at that time (it had joined in 1989), but it was a highly special case. Prior to 1989, the U.S. had required registration. When they joined the Berne Convention, they only granted automatic copyright to (foreign) works published from 1989 on, and protected older works only if they were registered. That practice was counter to the terms of the Berne Convention. In the Uruguay round of GATT treaties, the U.S. thus had to agree to rectify this situation. They did so with the Uruguay Round Agreement Act (URAA), which automatically restored copyright inn the U.S. on all foreign works that were not copyrighted there due to formality problems (such as no registration), but that were still copyrighted in their source country on January 1, 1996. For Russian/Soviet works that means their copyright was restored in the U.S. if they were still coyprighted in Russia on that date, i.e. published 1946 or later, or author died 1946 or later. That brings us to the text of PD-Russia.
Ok so far? (I've glossed over some details, such as the Russian reservation when joining the Berne Convention, which has no bearing on Soviet works, or the WWII veterans special case, or the bilateral treaties of the USSR with Austria and Sweden and other countries, which expicitly applied to pre-1973 works.) So that case was decided due to Russian law, the Berne Convention, and U.S. law with its URAA. Both the Russian 1993 law and the U.S. URAA are retroactive: the Russian law restoring previously expired copyrights on Russian/Soviet works, and the URAA restoring copyrights in the U.S.
Now, the same URAA also restores the copyright of foreign buildings, sculptures and statues in the U.S., even if they were never registered there, if they were still copyrighted in the source country on January 1, 1996. That case, too, is decided by the law of the source country, the Berne Convention, and U.S. law and its URAA. It's the same mechanism. For Berne Convention members other than the U.S., the Berne Convention makes works copyrighted in one country copyrighted in the other countries (under their own laws; national treatment). For the U.S., the URAA has the same effect. On top of all that, we now have images of buildings and sculptures. Such images are derivative works, but some such derivative works are exempted from the copyright on the base work through freedom of panorama. And here we are again at my initial question...
Does that answer your question? (I'm a bit pressed for time, so no links right now. You know where to find the ones about PD-Soviet, and the URAA copyright restoration is in 17 USC 104A.) Lupo 16:11, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
I still don't understand: Are you saying that photos of sculptures located in Sweden are copyright protected in the US? Would that be according to pma 70 or could {{PD-US-not-renewed}} be applied? I find the claim essentially fishy.
When it comes to photos of buildings in Russia and other east Europe countries, which can only be used under a non-commercial license in those countries, I think we should keep them for now because:
  1. Non-commercial is not the same as a copyright violation
  2. The only ones who should complain are the Wikipedians from affected projects. If they think it is OK to host it on Commons then I have no complaints...
Fred Chess 18:08, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
  • On the first point: yes. This sculpture, for instance, is coyprighted. The image is a derivative work. Under Swedish (and also German) law, publishing the image is fine, though, because it falls in both countries under the special exception of freedom of panorama. The sculpture is also copyrighted in the U.S. by virtue of the URAA (see below). The U.S. copyright law does not have this special "freedom of panorama" exception. Thus publishing this image in the U.S. is subject to the artist's (or his estate) consent. The sculpture was erected in 1965. If I read sv:Kristinehamn#Picasso-skulpturen_på_Strandudden correctly, Picasso agreed in 1964 to have images of his sculptures in Kristinehamn included (and presumably published) in a photomontage. (Is there a source for that statement in the article?) But is this consent for publication of such images in other contexts, as we'd need to satisfy U.S. law? (Note: I'm not arguing for the deletion of this image. I'm just using it as an example to explain why I wonder what our policy is or should be. This particular image appears to be used only at the de, sv, eo, and hr Wikipedias.)
  • On the second point: no, {{PD-US-not renewed}} is not applicable. That tag is only applicable to U.S. works. Copyright in the U.S. on foreign works that were not registered in the U.S., but that were still copyrighted in the source country on January 1, 1996, was restored (reactivated) on that date by the Uruguay Rounds Agreement Act (17 USC 104A). Thus, the statue is copyrighted in the U.S. under U.S. law; with a publication date of 1965 it is copyrighted in the U.S. until 95 years after the publication, i.e. until the end of 2060! Blergh.
  • On the third point (Eastern Europe): I never said "non-commercial use only" equalled "copyvio". But I thought (1) that Jimbo's statement on "non-commercial-only" images also applied here, and (2) Commons did not host images with "non-commercial only" restrictions. Did I misunderstand something?
  • On the fourth point: what do you mean? If an image can be used only on a few Wikipedias, it should be hosted on these Wikipedias locally. If an image is fine on most, but not all Wikipedias, how can the local Wikipedias enforce that the image hosted at the Commons is not used there? Is there some software support for this? What about images that are fine in most countries, but not in the U.S.? Does hosting them on the Commons servers in Florida, where they are accessible to anyone from anywhere, constitute publication in the U.S.? (For local WPs, one could argue that the fact that they're in a foreign language (e.g. Swedish) and their target audience clearly are typically the local populations that speaks these languages (e.g. Sweden, Swedes; let's ignore Swedish-speaking people living elsewhere :-) makes the physical location of the server less important. But for the Commons and the en-Wikipedia, this attempt to bail-out from U.S. law doesn't work.) Lupo 10:37, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
There is some software support to block Common images locally: See this for example. --Matt314 18:59, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Where should I start...

Regarding non-commercial images, Jimbo's post was mainly intended for those images that were licensed under a non-commercial license, that could well be replaced by free equivalents. So it does not necessarily reflect itself in all images. There are many images that have commercial restrictions on Commons; trademarked items include the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Empire State Building, and Harley Davidson motorcycles, and other laws also restricts commercial use of our many seals, crests, and other insignias.

So complete commercial availability is not possible, or at the least it is very difficult to achieve, since there is always some law that becomes problematic. In the end it is a question of what the Commons users want to have here. Jimbo said, when Commons started, that he leaves it to Commons's users to set the borders. He said as an example that a logo of McDonalds is not OK, while a building with a McDonalds sign is OK. (a post somewhere far back in the mailinglist)

I will give you my opinion to the fourth point. If a particular set of images is not allowed, for whatever reason, on e.g. Hewbrew Wikipedia, then my suggestion is that those image description pages on Commons gets a note saying they are not allowed on Hebrew Wikipedia. For individual images, the MediaWiki:Bad_image_list can also be used, as Matt314 said.

But, as you said, I think if an image isn't allowed on most Wikipedia projects, it should be deleted from Commons.

Thirdly, if an image can not be freely licensed on English Wikipedia in particular, while being allowed on most other projects, I still think we should keep it. If it is separate images, MediaWiki:Bad_image_list can be utilized. For a set of images, it could be added a template to the images that they are not allowed on English Wikipedia.

Now maybe you will think that the third option will lead to lawsuits because the servers are located in Florida. However, since Commons is a non-commercial image provided and its images aren't invoked on any U.S. project, I think the risk is slim. For example, I think hosting the photos of the Picasso statue in Kristinehamn is quite unproblematic. It could even be used on English Wikipedia, although it would then need an additional tag to say that the statue itself can only be depicted on the fair use principle in the U.S.

I want to clarify that these are all just my opinions. They do not necessarily reflect the stands of Commons or of Commons's other administrators. They might also not reflect my opinions tomorrow.

Fred Chess 16:36, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Hm. I'm not sure I understand you right. Essentially it appears to me that you would apply for freedom of panorama images only the law of the source country, and additionally ignore the non-commercial-only restriction of Eastern European countries because it is an externally imposed restriction akin to the trademark issues, not a question of the image license itself? (Assuming that the image itself was published here under a free license. If the image license itself were "non-commercial only", the image would not be acceptable anyway. Right?) Lupo 22:59, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Three questions:
  1. To Fred: did I summarize your statement correctly, or did I misunderstand?
  2. To others: What do you think of this?
  3. If that indeed is the consensus here, shouldn't we mention somewhere that for freedom of panorama images, we do not apply our general rule of "law of the source country + law of the U.S.", but only the law of the source country?
Lupo 22:59, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Question about Image:Frederic Leighton-Orfeo ed Euridice-1864.jpg

I have noticed at 20.10.2006 that the Image:Orfeo ed Euridice-wiki.jpg is mirror-inverted. The user Twice25 has changed the image as a result of my remark and added the correct designation. He specifies as source his own file. The source is not clear enough for me, it´s may be an external site. Is something like that allowed? (sorry for my bad english) 13:52, 27 October 2006 (UTC) User Nutu, ro.wikipedia

Image:Frederic Leighton-Orfeo ed Euridice-1864.jpg is in public domain so everyone is allowded to do everthing with it without stating the original author. Generaly it is still nice to say who really made the photo, but not really needed. --Nux (talk/dyskusja) 16:49, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

It is not certain at all that the picture was initial in public domain. I meaned that the current image is maybe downloaded from net. The mirror-inverted one, also without source specification, was black-and-withe, this one was downloaded probably as a result of my remark. However, some sites are protected by copyright, therefore the user would have to indicate its source! Someone should verify this picture, please! 08:49, 4 November 2006 (UTC) User Nutu, ro.wikipedia

Frederic Leighton died more than 70 years ago (1896), so it would be PD anyway. See also Template:PD-old. -- Bryan (talk to me) 11:29, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

I´m writing now in german, because I can speak this beautiful language better: Als Kunsthistorikerin bin ich zwar weiterhin skeptisch gegenüber dieser Auslegung der Copyright-Gesetze, aber ich werde diese Angelegenheit nicht mehr weiter verfolgen. Bedenken Sie aber, das nicht das Gemälde an sich geschützt werden muss, sondern seine Aufnahme. Es ist unredlich, diese Aufnahme, die übrigens farblich ziemlich gut gelungen ist, ohne Quelle zu verwenden. Da bin ich mir ganz sicher, weil ich in Fachpublikationen auch Copyright-Bestimmungen respektieren muss. Wenn ich zum Bsp. ein Gemälde aus dem 16. Jh. als Abbildung verwende, muss ich dafür dem Inhaber der Bildrechte Gebühren erstatten. 14:58, 4 November 2006 (UTC) User Nutu, ro.wikipedia

Gar nichts mußt Du! Der Urheber ist länger als 70 Jahre tot, also ist das Werk gemeinfrei - vollständig losgelöst von den Eigentumsrechten am Original! Das ist keine "Auslegung der Copyright-Gesetze", sondern deren wesentlichste Kernaussage: einmal muß es vorbei sein! Auch wenn naturgemäß Museen, Sammler etc. behaupten, "Dass mit jeder Bearbeitung einer Kopie eine neue Schicht des Urheberrechts über ein Werk gelegt werde" (einmal in den Lizenzbedingungen einer Bildagentur gelesen...)- es ist schlichtweg gelogen. Eine Nennung des Eigentümers ist aus dokumentarischer Sicht zweifellos nicht falsch, einen Anspruch hat er aber nicht. Siehe dazu de:Schutzrechtsberühmung, de:Wikipedia:Bildrechte, en:Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp.
Es ist wohl wahr, dass eine Reprofotografie, ein hochwertiger Scan etc. ein hartes Stück Arbeit sein kann, aber es ist eben keine kreative, schöpferische Tätigkeit (und nur diese schützt das Urheberrecht) sondern Handwerk. Es gibt Gerichtsurteile, die diese Auffassung bestätigen! --Hemulen 20:14, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Uploading images that have copyright logos

A contact has agreed to allow me to upload a number of his images under the GPL license or equivalent. However, these images already have a copyright logo with his name behind it in the lower left corner. Would this not be a problem, or should I ask him to remove the copyright logos first? --Jwinius 15:31, 27 October 2006 (UTC)

Copyright stays with the original author and he may wish to say this on the picture, but if I would have the ability between using a picture with and without such logo I would use the one without. --Nux (talk/dyskusja) 16:53, 27 October 2006 (UTC).
First of all: GPL is a very bad choice for anything but programs. GFDL is better, but only really good for (printed) text. CC license are preferrable for images.
Secondly, copyright stamps or watermarks on images are allowed, but frowned upon. The "copyleft" licenses already require that creator to be attributed, and they also allow anyone to crop or otherwise remove the notice from the image. So, they simply don't make much sense in the context of copyleft, and it would be much nicer to have the images without them. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 13:54, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Pre-1978 American television commercials

According to this chart, any works published before 1978 in the U.S. without a copyright are public domain in the U.S. This apparently extends to movie trailers (screenshots from many trailers of the era during which no copyright notice ever appears onscreen have made their way onto Wikimedia Commons, see Category:North by Northwest (1959 film) for example). So what I want to know is, does this also apply to American television commercials prior to 1978 which do not include a copyright notice? Andrew Levine 18:14, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

Commercials may be owned by the advertising company that produced them or by the organization that paid the money to have them created. As for the movie trailers, it isn't that a copyright notice didn't appear in the advertisement (since work that is copyrighted doesn't necessarily have to have a copyright notice associated with it), it is because movie trailers before 1964 were not copyrighted at all; at least that is my understanding. --tomf688 (talk - email) 21:36, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
If Commons:Licensing is correct, works published before 1989 in the US do have to have an explicite copyright notice in order to be copyrighted - if they don't, they are PD. But to me it's unclear what that means for movie trailers, commercials, etc - does the copyright notice have to appear visible in the film, or would a sticker on the tape roll / casette / whatever be sufficient? Or maybe the pre-1989-rule only applies to printed work? -- Duesentrieb(?!) 13:50, 23 November 2006 (UTC)


I while ago, I asked a question on Wikipedia's media copyright questions page relating to photographs from the Library of Congress' LOOK Magazine Photograph Collection. See the template at {{PD-Look}}. Having read through the disclaimer, I was and still am certain that these images are public domain and usable on Commons, in the manner of {{PD-Van Vechten}}, and both Lupo and Howcheng agreed with my assessment. I have spent a great deal of time scanning and uploading images under this template, and before I spend any more time I just want to seek some sort of formal approval from the Commons community, since I did after all create this license template without asking anyone on Commons. I am prepared to defend the use of these images in case of any doubts as to their usability. Andrew Levine 19:54, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

  • If Lupo thinks it's ok, it probably is... / Fred Chess 13:04, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
    • Ouch! I don't think that's the answer either he or I were expecting... I guess Andrew hoped that other people would take an independent look at it, compare it with the Van Vechten case, and then either say they agreed or disagreed. Andrew, I don't think you're going to get some sort of "formal approval by the community". Probably the best you can get is absence of dissent. Lupo 15:20, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
      • Yeah, that's what I was looking for. Still, I'm fine with the apparent "absence of dissent," and in the meantime I will see if my grandmother has more old Look Magazines in her attic... Andrew Levine 16:36, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
        • Ah, well: based on the facts presented, I don't see any problem with the template. / Fred Chess 17:20, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Permission granted by David Crown - now what?

Hi! I just got the following letter by David Crown, a mezzotinto author. Please advise how to UL some of his pictures and under what license? --Vinoda 22:16, 29 October 2006 (UTC)

You'll need to tell him more about Free licences and/or if it will be OK to publish under CC-BY-SA for example. --Nux (talk/dyskusja) 23:27, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Ok, I'll ask him further. Is the CC-BY-SA enough for the Wikipedia commons? Plus, I myself do not know much about licenses. I'm a bit confused. --Vinoda 23:58, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Yes, it is enough. Pretty much, we need a license to where the image can be produced commercially and modified by anyone. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 04:58, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
So, I'll UL some under CC-BY-SA license. Shall I ask the author for any other and what? --Vinoda 05:44, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Permission for Wikipedia only is NOT STRONG ENOUGH. We strongly recommend using a email template and forwarding the email to OTRS per Commons:OTRS. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 11:02, 30 October 2006 (UTC)
Ok. let me make it simple (for me): May I UL them to Commons with the permission I have now under the {{cc-by-sa-2.5}} - Attribution-Sharealike 2.5 license? I do not want to just send him a letter "all or nothing". There should be some options, so that he may choose. No? If the CC-BY-SA is good, but not strong enough and if the email template is great for Wiki but too strong for the author, then what? I hope you understand me properly: I do not want to make him feel pushed. he may refuse. That's all. Thanks though for the advices so far! --Vinoda 19:21, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

End of the story

Here is the final letter from David Crown clearly answering my license question. Please, advise may I UL the pictures to Commons under his conditions? --Vinoda 23:57, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Based on the last message, no. Commercial use and use outside of Wikipedia is a must. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 00:15, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Sad! --Vinoda 00:22, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
Sad, but only if it were true. It's not. If commercial use is a must, then we should immediately delete all the images copyrighted as ShareAlike 2.5 since they explicity preclude commercial use. Hmmm? Rklawton 20:47, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Of course it's true. Look at – by-sa-2.5 clearly allows commercial use. Only by-nc-sa and by-nc-nd-sa precludes it. Cnyborg 00:00, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
I recommend uploading them to English Wikipedia (NOT Commons) under their fair use guidelines. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 01:30, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
I also recommend that you make sure you read all of their fair use guidelines before you upload them there. There are a handful of admins on the English Wikipedia that enforce them very strictly. Good luck. Zzyzx11 06:13, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
You could probably propose him to license them only under GFDL. This way the image is free, but newspapers and other papermedia will have severe constraints regarding using them, since the MUST also print the complete GFDL license. -- Bryan (talk to me) 09:15, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

Still, it is not quite clear for me if I cannot use the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license? This image has Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license and it is here, on commons. –Vinoda 20:29, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

No because or say "You are free [...] to make commercial use of the work", so that is a must. / Fred Chess 20:59, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Beverage cans with unlicensed logos

There are several cans at Category:Canned drink, and elsewhere, where the unlicensed trademark artwork is visible. The images obviously contain creative content and so are copyrightable by the photographer, but I think they are also derivative works, so the photographer is not free to license them to Commons. I tagged one as {{logo}}, which put it up for speedy deletion, but before I tag more I wanted to explain my actions in a public forum, here.

  1. Does anyone disagree with adding the logo tag to such images as Image:Pocari Sweat English.jpg and Image:Fanta orange.jpg?
  2. Is this can, Image:Can(Easy Open Can).JPG, where the graphics are largely obscured, ok to keep?
  3. In this Belgian beer can, Image:Beverage can.JPG, the graphic designer may have had little creative input into an old bottle label that would be eligible for {{PD-old}}. Ok to keep with information on source of artwork?
  4. In these displays of large numbers of cans, the copyrighted package artwork is incidental: Image:Softdrinks in supermarket.jpg, Image:242656183 8367c9e9c1.jpg. Does that make a difference to their freedom, or to the correct deletion process?
  5. Do you prefer to open {{delete}} discussions for any of these cases?

--InfantGorilla 10:34, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

There is an open deletion request on some cans, at Commons:Deletion requests/Soda cans (August 2006). There is no formal decision on Commons whether we accept such images or not. If one wants to be strict, I would say that cans and other containers are copyrighted items since their only possible use is to represent the company logo. I.e. the logo is clearly not incidental. / Fred Chess 17:37, 10 November 2006 (UTC)


MosNews says anyone can freely reprint, manipulate and redistribute to websites.

As for any materials, originating from the MosNews.Com editorial office, and copyrighted as our own stuff (including both texts and graphics), you may freely reprint and redistribute them, in full or in part, in any form you find suitable, including, but not limited to, websites, printed and broadcast media.

Any news, articles and photos, created by MosNews.Com staff, are public domain freeware since the moment of original publication, so please feel free to help yourself, if you find any item on this website (including this very copyright notice) worth a reprint elsewhere. Of course, you are supposed to make due reference both to MosNews.Com as source, and to the reprinted material’s author, wherever appropriate. ([33])

- can this material be uploaded to commons? Rune X2 09:41, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, if it is from MosNews themselves. Images that come from third-party sources such as news agencies are copyrighted by these third parties and thus cannot be used. (So, if MosNews says "AP image" or "Itar-Tass image" or some such: hands off!) Images produced by MosNews themselves are fine: tag them as {{MosNews}} and provide a source link. Lupo 10:00, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Of course, images where MosNews states they came from some other website do not fall under {{MosNews}}. Image:Budyonnovsk.jpg, for instance, is credited by MosNews to, where it is credited to photographer Sergey Kuznetsov, S.A.K. (see the image properties, alternate text). It's not a MosNews image. So be careful. Lupo 10:38, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Shetland diploma from 1509

The diploma on this page is from 24 november 1509. Can I upload this image to Commons and under what license? The homepage belongs to The University Library, University of Bergen, Norway. mali 21:41, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

The photograph isn't merely a reproduction of a 2D object so I would say no. / Fred Chess 15:18, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
I think it is, because it is the main subject (in fact, the only), so I would say yes -- Bryan (talk to me) 19:42, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
ACK Bryan --Historiograf 22:55, 10 November 2006 (UTC)


Is this license: {{CopyrightedFreeUseProvided}} ok for Commons?--Teveten 12:43, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, as long as the requirements are valid. / Fred Chess 15:12, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
Thank You.--Teveten 07:58, 10 November 2006 (UTC) may be against Commons policy. It restricts the creation of derative work, according to [34]:

  • 1.2.1b (...)and cannot be in a downloadable or FTP format.
  • 1.2.1c the images (Licensed Material) may not be incorporated into a logo, trademark or service mark;
  • 1.2.1d Pornographic, defamatory, libelous or otherwise unlawful use of Licensed Material is strictly prohibited whether directly or in context or juxtaposition with specific subject matter.

-- Bryan (talk to me) 19:41, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

The following sentence in the second paragraph of their terms of use page, is against Commons policy to me: "You can not in any way make the images available for download or distribution, or give permission to download or save the images from your project as clipart or graphics." Zzyzx11 00:32, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Please note that Terms of use is about vector images, {{}} is about bitmap images.
I think this question was discussed before on Template May be template text should be reworded to avoid such confusion in future.
EugeneZelenko 16:20, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I think the template should be changed to avoid confusion. Zzyzx11 16:22, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
Ugh. It's still a problem. Image which may only be used in web pages (and only with a hyperlink, no less) are not sufficiently free for commons. Content on commons must be free for use in all mediums. --Gmaxwell 06:55, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I think this issue could be resolved. This is question of additional communication with site owner (as in case with original permission). --EugeneZelenko 16:51, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Can I upload this image?

The newspaper invites people to upload this image onto their websites/blogs, ( , I answered fcbbbbe) so I can safely assume that there are no copyright restrictions, however, I still need confirmation of the author (the Cherwell I presume) and the licence. LeighvsOptimvsMaximvs 12:36, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

they probably are protected by copyright since no right to redistribute is given.Geni 00:46, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Italian copyright of photos

I'd like to use the last picture on this website but I'm unable to work out the copyright rules for Italian pictures. The owner of the website says the picture, taken in the 1960s, is public domain and the following info on the licensing page tends to support that.

The text on the articleIn compliance to Italian copyright law term of copyright expires according to law of 22 April 1941 n. 633, revised by the law of 22 May 2004, n. 128 article 87 and article 92, all non artistic photographs enter the public domain after 20 years counted from the beginning of the following calendar year (ie. as of 2006, prior to the 1st of January, 1986) after they were first published, this rule is valid also for italian film's screenshot. Artistic photographs enter in the public domain after 70 years.

However, elsewhere it says that the US rules also apply. It's said that for pictures of that date the US 70-year rule doesn't apply if the item wasn't marked as copyright. In addition, in the US I imagine its use would, in any case, be fair use.

Any help on whether this picture is usable would be much appreciated. Adrian Robson 10:19, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

It was indeed 20 years in Itally. However, thanks to the harmonization within the EU, it has now become 70 years or so. See also the page {{PD-Italy}}. -- Bryan (talk to me) 10:45, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Is the source required for a PD document ?

Commons require all images to be accompanied by a source. If the image is public domain, and this fact can be inferred from the image itself (e.g. because it is dated), can we do without it ? I am thinking of images that have been reproduced for example in recent publications, and for which indicating one of these publications as a source would be completely irrelevant to the copyright status of the image. Thanks in advance, Schutz 15:58, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Source info is useful for more than just copyright status. It could be considered equivalent to references for an article. With the source info, other people can potentially verify that the image really is what it says it is (and not a forgery, or an incorrect identification by the uploader). --Davepape 18:36, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough. Thanks for the answer, Schutz 20:03, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
I always give the source where I got an image from as the immediate source. If I can determine the original source, I also give it. Lupo 08:10, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
And how to deal with images in {{PD-old}} originally placed at websites that claims copyright of something that he isn't the owner? This is a very common issue. Lugusto҉ 15:42, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
And to cases like this. This is a picture, and a picture can be made a century ago or yesterday. IMHO is necessary to give the original author and/or year of publication for PD-old images, not the source. Lugusto҉ 15:45, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
A website claiming copyright on a PD-old image would have to be dealt with case-by-case. It's always possible that the website owner did some slight but creative modifications, giving him copyright.
For your second point, yes the "original author and/or year of publication" should always be identified, but if the image came from a website, that should also be given, not necessarily for copyright reasons, but as a matter of academic honesty and completeness (continuing my comparison to article references, see WP:CITE - "It is improper to copy a citation from an intermediate source without making clear that you saw only that intermediate source.")
In short, the more information, the better. If we knew where Image:Papst_Clemens_IV.jpg came from, it might aid in getting a better copy without the nasty JPEG artifacts. --Davepape 21:51, 21 November 2006 (UTC)


Not much traffic at Commons talk:Copyright tags, so I'll post this here: Please take a look at Commons_talk:Copyright_tags#Template:PD-IDGov. Cnyborg 16:32, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Air Force roundels, etc.

User:Slady has uploaded a number of Air Force roundels and other recreations and claimed copyright on them. Shouldn't these be PD? e.g. Image:RDAF.svg. – flamurai 04:23, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

If the country has their symbols, including military markings, as PD, then change the tag accordingly. If not, then just leave it be. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 02:25, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Wrong Company Logo/ can I just change it to new one?

I noticed that the Electronic Arts company logo is still the old one. I work for Electronic Arts and would like to change it to the new one. Which tag do I have to use for licensing? the preceding unsigned comment is by Kmueller272 (talk • contribs)

Because the EA logo is copyrighted, this file should not be stored here on the Wikimedia Commons because of our free content-only policy. Instead, you should upload it directly onto the English Wikipedia. Thanks. Zzyzx11 03:44, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Is there a Third Reich specialist in the house?

Hi ! I have a question on the Source status of an image that I assume is an official 3rd Reich photograph. The image in question is Image:Kurt Student.jpg, which I uploaded some time ago, taking it from the Italian Wikipedia. I noticed it was tagged as PD in it:wiki, and reproduced the copyright info here. A few days ago, Svencb realized that I did not put the Source information. He is totally right, I thanked him and went to fix the situation. My first impulse was to go to it:wiki and ask the original uploader (Usuario Resigua) for details. From my (very) poor understanding of Italian, I gathered that he is no longer my open question here is, is there anybody that could help me determine the status of this picture? Are there similar cases in other 3rd Reich official photographs? What is the usual treatment we have to these kind of media in Commons? According to Sven, if it proceeds from NARA or LOC, it may have a chance.

In advance, many many thanks! Regards --Sergio 04:42, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Navigating the Commons:Licensig page, I arrived to this section of the German Wikipedia. I do not know German, but my guess is that the section Amtliche Werke may be helpful. Could any German-speaker please help me with this: Da Deutschland Rechtsnachfolger der DDR und (geographisch) teilidentisch mit dem Deutschen Reich ist, fallen unter § 5 UrhG auch alle amtlichen Werke dieser Vorgängerstaaten. The keyword for me was "Reich", but I'm afraid I cannot make more of this text. In advance thanks again. --Sergio 18:19, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
This image is probably still copyrighted (at least in Germany). §5 UrhG does definitly not apply, this is only for amtliche Werke (sorry, don't know how to translate this into English, but it only refers to texts of laws etc, see images in {{PD-GermanGov}} or German coat of arms). No photographic works are covered by this law though. --Matt314 22:58, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

no chance 4 commons --Historiograf 03:44, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Screenshot = "own work"?

Image:Klimadiagramm-Vila Luso-Angola-metrisch-deutsch.png and hundred others are obviously screenshots of the software Geoklima [35]. It is not only a visualisation of the software, but its content. If some day all diagrams of the software are uploaded, nobody needs to buy the software anymore, they can use Commons instead. I cannot believe that this is no copyvio. -- 10:23, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

Screenshots are generally no work at all, they are reproductions. So the question is always who created the content that is reproduced, i.e. the graphics. If you take a screenshot of the user interface of a software, the programmer has rights to the resulting image (unless the user interface is trivial). However, if you use a text processor, graphics program, etc, to create some work, the result is yours (screenshot or no), since the software was only used as a tool to create your own original work (this gets complicated however if you are using non-trivial elements provided by the software developers, like clip art).
Regarding the concrete case, we have to consider two things: the climate data, and their graphical representation. The data itself is factual, and facts cannot be copyrighted. The graphical representation appears to be trivial in the sense of standard technical diagrams, which are not copyrightable either. I do no see how the screenshots countain any work of creative originality by the programmers - thus I do not believe they have rights the the screenshots (note however that the terms of use of the software may forbid the publication of screenshots - then the images would consitute breach of contract, but not a copyright violation). I do not see how the images involve any creative originality on part of the user either, however - thus they should probably be tagged as {{PD-ineligible}}.
In any case it would be good to state where the base data came from, and to use free software to create the diagrams. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 12:13, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

"Press Gallery"

A while ago, I uploaded Image:Many Conkers on String.jpg and Image:Conker in Mid Swing.jpg under {{Copyrighted free use}} because they were in the "Press Gallery" of However, I am having second thoughts on whether this applies. Can someone clarify? On a funny side note, they used our pictures! NauticaShades 10:02, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't see any clear copyright notices, but that doesn't mean they are free use. You could always send them an email. --tomf688 (talk - email) 13:43, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Promotional or "press" material is generally not free enough for commons - usually, derivative work is not allowed, and commercial use is limited. When dealing with other people copyright, always assume that everything not explicitely allowed is forbidden. Please ask them to explicitely release some images under a specific free license, see Commons:Email templates for a boilerplate text. Note that in order to do that, they would have to own the full and exclusive copyright (or exploitation right); it may be necessary to ask the photographer. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 13:45, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
So, should I tag them with deletion? NauticaShades 16:01, 23 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, please - you can reupload them should you get a positive response from the rights-holders. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 16:43, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

I want to upload 30-sec sound clips of a musician's songs.

His music is published material of course, but to my understanding if you just make 30 second sound clips of his songs to put it up on Wikipedia, I think it should be legal. Can you confirm it for me? Also, is there a limit to the number of 30-second sound clips I can put up? I'm intending on putting up 30 - 40 of different songs. Cheers. AppleJuggler 04:56, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Even thirty-second sound clips are copyrighted and therefore can't be uploaded to Commons. If you can make a valid fair-use rationale explaining why each sound clip is absolutely essential to each article you want to use it in, you can upload it to English Wikipedia locally, with the appropriate fair-use tag. —Angr 10:12, 25 November 2006 (UTC)


Can somebody who speaks turkish confirm the license tag of Image:Ortahisar.jpg? -- Bryan (talk to me) 15:38, 25 November 2006 (UTC)


Now here's a page that should get archived. Any thoughts about whether we should enable Werdnabot here and if so what time length?--Nilfanion 20:03, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

As discussions tend to be quite long lasting here I would say about a month.

South Korean currency

I just uploaded Image:1 won 1983 obverse.jpeg. Permission is given by the Bank of Korea to reproduce any images of the bank's currency, in whole or in part, as long as the requirements of article 3 of the Guidelines for the Reproduction of Bank of Korea Notes and Coins are met. But in the case of coins, only article 3.D applies to web images. I've used the copyright tag {{Copyrighted free use provided that}} and cited the requirements. I want to know if this image is approriate for use in the Commons and if the description and copyright tags have been properly used before I uploaded any other Korean currency images. — Luccas 22:28, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

I suspect a limitation on derative works:
  • Reproductions are prohibited that might undermine the integrity of the national currency through modifications to them, :addition of advertising to them, or their distortion, mutilation.
  • Reproductions shall not be used for commercial advertising that may encourage obscenity, violence, extravagance or gambling, or in the advertising of photocopiers and scanners that might be used to counterfeit or forge banknotes.
But i am not very sure about that. -- Bryan (talk to me) 12:44, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
I think that second rule may be a little too restrictive for Commons. Zzyzx11 17:18, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

I know those restrictions may seem a bit hard for the Commons, considering that I've seen plenty of advertising where US currency was used to encourage extravagance or gambling. But those being their rules, and as explaned in the Guidelines, given exemptions to those rules are only valid for 1 year, this is what we all have do deal with.
So if in a week time I haven't got any objections I'll upload the rest with the same licence tag. — Luccas 05:03, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Renderings of boats

I am fond of creating three dimensional renderings of boats and boat designs that I see in the world through the use of the opensource software Freeship. These renderings are especially useful as visualization tools, in that they can be rotated in three dimensions. I presume that per US Title 17, Chapter 13, that the renderings of these vessels, if the vessel is not registered as a Protected Design, after two years, and if the vessel is registered as a Protected Design, after ten years; that these renderings could be allowed to be contributed into the Wikimedia Commons. Is this correct? BruceHallman 20:43, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

If the answer is not no, then I would like to learn the procedure in Wikimedia to get permission to contribute these three dimensional renderings, created in the opensource file type 'fbm'. See an example here[36]. BruceHallman 20:44, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

New file types are not added very frequently. Would an animated image that rotated be a substitute (however poor)? I see no responses here yet after some days so there may be a better place to ask about new file type support. Hope that helps. ++Lar: t/c 17:06, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Image:Flying of the Raiders.jpg

This image is described as a "photo" by the uploader, but it is clearly a painting (albeit a very good one).

Please, someone with more knowledge about what should be done should investigate this issue.

Thank you.Randroide 15:47, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Well for starters, "taken by personnel of the USN (United States Army)" (sic) is not really enough source info, so I've tagged it nsd. --Davepape 17:09, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Cox & Forkum

I have written Cox & Forkum and gotten permisson to use some (four) of their drawings. Can I upload them to commons? Rune X2 11:33, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

It depends what kind of permission you got, commercial use of the picture must be allowed, as well as modifications. Please forward the permission you received to OTRS. --Matt314 13:11, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
(editconflict) Depends on the permission you've got. If you have a 'wikipedia only' permission, probably not. If you have contacted them by email, you can forward the email to The excact conditions for images to be uploaded here can be found at COM:L. -- Bryan (talk to me) 13:15, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
My email:
I have been writing a small article on Cox & Forkum on the (Danish) Internet Encyclopaedia called Wikipedia. Perhaps there is a drawing you'd like to accompany the article (also the English Wikipedia) and could give permission to use for this purpose?
Here are a few representative cartoons from which to choose:
If for some reason you can't use the GIFs from the Web site, let me know.
Also, could you fix an error in the entry? Instead of "illustrated by Allen Forkum" it should be "written by".
In addition their site has this (about resizing):
BLOGS: We presently allow blogs to post Cox & Forkum cartoons appearing on this site at no charge. We ask that bloggers host the cartoon image file on their own server
If you plan to re-size the cartoon to fit your blog, we recommend converting the file to grayscale first (e.g., JPG, TIFF). This will enable the re-sized image to retain detail and not become jagged
Rune X2 15:49, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, this is not good enough. You have only permission for wikipedia use. To upload it here at commons, it must comply with COM:L. Please see Commons:Email_templates for a waterproof permissions template. -- Bryan (talk to me) 16:30, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Romanov photos from the Beinecke Library at Yale

I uploaded some photos from the Beinecke Library at Yale of the Romanov family albums. The library was listed under the public domain images page at Wikipedia and I can find no reference on the library's page to copyrighted images. Are these items actually in the public domain? The site is --Bookworm857158367 02:25, 7 December 2006 (UTC)


This image is tagged as CC but clicking through to the source at Flickr shows it to be "all rights reserved". I can't find the right way to tag/dispute this. Rmhermen 02:44, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I've used {{Flickrreview}} on it. Cnyborg 13:55, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Reproductions of old prints, artifacts etc.

Hello. I am interested, whether and how it is possible to include the reproductions of old prints, manuscripts, museal artifacts and others. The objects themselves have been public domain since a long ago, but the source where to take them can be copyrighted (either museum or archive webpages or books). Thanks. Okino 19:58, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

See {{PD-art}} -- Bryan (talk to me) 14:54, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
PD-art might not be descriptive enough to answer your question. If you take a picture of an old object yourself, the picture is either PD or your copyright (depending on the degree of copyrightability of your work). If you're asking about a reproduction, if the original work was 2D and reproduced accurately without creative input then, per Bridgeman v. Corel, the reproduction didn't gain a copyright and you can upload it here. If the underlying work was, for example, a sculpture you'll need to get permission to free license the work from the photographer. Clear as mud? --Gmaxwell 18:23, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your answers. Okino 18:32, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Patriarch Bartholomew

On page it says: These photos (...) are available for press use with the proper credit used.

Can I freely upload them?--Kostisl 10:33, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

No, you cannot upload them to Commons because "for press use" often means that you can only use them when writing about a certain matter, modified versions are unsually not allowed, as well. You may kindly ask them to release their fotos under a free license using this email template. --Matt314 11:37, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Rachel Bilson photo

I found a photo of Rachel Bilson online (here) and it's licensed under a CC 1.0 license (see bottom right of that page for the CC license info), which means I can upload it here, right? I'm a bit hesitant because the photo looks so professional. Thanks! Jayden54 14:14, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

I think this is a press photo, it looks to professional to me, to be a user pic. If it would have been taken by the user, it would have been allowed here. -- Bryan (talk to me) 14:53, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
That's what I thought. Thanks for your help! Jayden54 19:28, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

CSSR stamps

Hi, we do have some stamps from CSSR here: Image:Jindrich Jindrich-stamp.jpg / Image:Ivan Krasko-stamp.jpg. Is there a reason to assume pd status? --Svencb 11:52, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

No - most countries' recent stamps are not PD. It would be helpful if someone who could read Czech could study the laws and see what they say on copyright term for government productions such as stamps. Stan Shebs 14:07, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

ESA - European Space Agency

Hi, on ESAs website there are hundreds of high resolution images that would be nice to have. They are located in the ESA Multimedia Gallerie. Before you can view or download a high resolution picture, you have to accept these terms and conditions of use:

Copyright Notice

The ESA Portal Multimedia Gallery contains images and videos used throughout the ESA Portal. The images are offered in the Gallery in the highest resolution available.

Most images have been released publicly from ESA. You may use ESA images or videos for educational or informational purposes. The publicly released ESA images may be reproduced without fee, on the following conditions:

  • Credit ESA as the source of the images:

Examples: Photo: ESA; Photo: ESA/Cluster; Image: ESA/NASA - SOHO/LASCO

  • ESA images may not be used to state or imply the endorsement by ESA or any ESA employee of a commercial product, process or service, or used in any other manner that might mislead.
  • If an image includes an identifiable person, using that image for commercial purposes may infringe that person's right of privacy, and separate permission should be obtained from the individual.

If these images are to be used in advertising or any commercial promotion, layout and copy must be submitted to ESA beforehand for approval ( esaCP/ contact_us.html)

Some images contained in this Gallery have come from other sources, and this is indicated in the Copyright notice. For re-use of non-ESA images contact the designated authority. Use of ESA videos

The use of ESA video images in streaming and downloadable format is limited to direct viewing and/or file storage on a single computer per stream and/or download. Forwarding of files or streams to other computers, or use on any non-ESA Web is prohibited. For the authorisation of any such use, please contact the ESA Web Portal team.

Do you accept all the terms and conditions of use above stated? To download this file, you must accept this agreement.

Since they point out that “You may use ESA images or videos for educational or informational purposes.”, can't we make a license template of this and put it under Commons:Copyright_tags#Other_free_tags? --Enricopedia 17:16, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

This is a NoCommercial license, and thus not allowed here. The matter is far more complicated, and if you spit out some archives you might find some usefull explanation there. -- Bryan (talk to me) 17:49, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Pictures from Probert Encyclopeaedia

Commons has many images (almost all of them photos of guns) from the Probert Encyclopaedia. They are tagged as "PD because from Probert Encyclopaedia" (example: Image:Browning_1910_-_PE.jpg). Probert Encyclopaedia says that all the images they're using are in the Public Domain, but their FAQ also says "Please note: some pictures in The Probert Encyclopaedia have been obtained from the public domain in good faith, but may have been released without the copyright holder's permission', while we never knowingly include any copyright images accidents can happen and we cannot guarantee the status of images you choose to copy."

From what I've seen the images on that site have no information about their sources or author. So what should be done with these images? -- 00:32, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Strikes me that we do not have a clear license to the images if the source can't warrant they are really in the Public domain... Theoretically all of them should be reviewed to see if there is another source for them? I am not sure though. ++Lar: t/c 23:13, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Panorama freedom in a museum

Hi all, I have a question regarding Image:Dali Teatro-Museu painting.jpg. It's a picture of a ceiling painted by Dalí in what is now the Teatre-Museu Dalí in Figueres, Spain, which is apparently owned by the Gala-Salvador Dalí Fundació. Dalí himsef having died in 1989, it's clear his works are still copyrighted. The question is, does panorama freedom apply? Can a museum be considered as a public space? Jastrow (Λέγετε) 12:13, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

According to Commons:Freedom_of_panorama#Spain the Spanish law reads "Works permanently located in parks or on streets, squares or other public thoroughfares". A museum does not fulfil this criteria, therefore the image is still copyrighted. --Matt314 13:30, 11 December 2006 (UTC)


Is this image free? It uses the Petrucci fonts from --Eleassar (t/p) 16:51, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

In the United States, fonts are ineligible for copyright protection. Check their status in your local jurisdiction. Jkelly 18:19, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Why dual license?

Note: The GFDL is rather impractical for images and short text, especially for print media, because it requires the full text of the GFDL to be printed along with the picture or text. Dual licensing with a license which allows the image or text to be used more easily, like a Creative Commons license, is thus preferred. Also, if you can avoid it, do not use GPL or LGPL as the only license for media you create.

Why don't you ask GFDL-only users, to use the Creative Commons licence exclusively, rather than to dual license? --w:User:Masatran 17:01, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

If somone copies text from Wikipedia or another project licensed under GFDL, they need to deal with that license anyway; by dual-licensing, they will only have to deal with one license rather than having to specify that the text is under GFDL while the images are under CC. Those who are only using images can however select a license that is easier to use. Cnyborg 17:43, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

About Template:GFDL-CC-triple

I found this template today. Is it normal to find a non commercial license on Commons ? Shouldn't it be deleted ? Sting 12:15, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Any file licensed under any restrictive license is allowed on Commons only if it is multi licensed with a free license. Which is CC-BY-SA and GFDL in this case. See also COM:L -- Bryan (talk to me) 12:17, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Ah ! Yes, right. Subtle… but strange (for me). Thanks for the answer. Sting 13:26, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Hm, but why include CC-BY-SA AND CC-BY-NC-SA in the triple license package? Isn't CC-BY-NC-SA some kind of "subset" of CC-BY-SA? --Svencb 22:59, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Templates Census

{{Pd-USCensus}} and {{PD-USGov-DOC-Census}} describe the same, i think. Should we redirecting the first? --GeorgHH 12:26, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Actually, I think a merge would be better than a pure redirect. One has a ParserFunction while the other has a bit more detail about the licensing reasons. Zzyzx11 01:21, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I'll take a whack at that, stay tuned. (or post that you beat me to it :) ) ++Lar: t/c 23:45, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Merged {{Pd-USCensus}} into {{PD-USGov-DOC-Census}} functionality wise. Did not yet go change all usages of {{Pd-USCensus}}, anyone spot anything broken? Changes need an AWB run I think, although could be done by hand. I'll do it tomorrow if no one shouts out STOP! ++Lar: t/c 05:47, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Call me impatient, I nuked it out of all the images that used it, there were only a few. It's now deletable I expect. ++Lar: t/c 06:15, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Screenshots of videos

Although I'm quite sure what the answer will be, it doesn't hurt to ask. Is it "ok" to upload screenshots from movies or documentaries, and use them as illustrations in other articles than the ones about the movie/documentary itself? I was in this case thinking of the BBC documentary series Planet Earth, which features some really nice photos of the world's wildlife. --D.K.D. 12:25, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

No it isn't, unless the videos are uploaded under some free license. You can upload them however at the English wikipedia under the fair use citeria. -- Bryan (talk to me) 12:42, 17 December 2006 (UTC)
The BBC is know to be relatively friendly towards the idea of open source & content. Wouldn't hurt to ask them for permission to use to release some material under a free license. Please use the boiler plate text at COM:ET when asking them. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 20:47, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

is there a liscnese like ours?

To my best understanding, GNU means a picture under that license is free for all use, and can not become protected again, i.e. it can not be a part of any comercial enterprize which may be protected under copyright law (for example - a GNU picture may be used for commercial uses such as commercials, but can not be used as part of a book which is sold or can not, in itself, be sold for money, as it is in breach of GNU). the "atribute" licesnce allows such usage. In Hebrew Wiki we have a licnse which is a mixture - it requires an atribute, but allow all uses provided that the picture remains free (i.e. there is a limit on some commercial uses). Under which license can these pictures be uploaded here, and is ther an equivelent license? Deror avi 17:09, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

This understanding of the GFDL is wrong. A GFDL-licensed image can be used commercially or otherwise, as long as it's accompanied by the full text of the GFDL. Thus a GFDL image can be used in a commercially sold, copyrighted book if the GFDL is reprinted in an appendix (and the author of the image is attributed). The copyright on the book would, of course, not extend to the GFDL image included—the image would remain under the GFDL. So I don't see the need for a special license at the Hebrew Wikipedia... Lupo 17:28, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Lupo is correct. The requirements of the GFDL are like any other copyleft, although it is a little more agressive in that it requires the license be included (cc-by-sa only requires a URL, which in some ways is a taller request if you're not interested in promoting the CreativeCommons website).--Gmaxwell 17:35, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
What is the deference between "atribute" license and the GFDL (apart from the requirement to attach the license)? Deror avi 17:50, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
The requirement to include the license text is the main difference between the GFDL and CC-by-sa as well as other "attribution/share-alike" licenses; The "share-alike" part means that if you create derivative work, you have to release it under the same license (note that including an image in a book does not make the entire book a derivative work of the image) - CC has attribution licenses with and without share-alike requirement. The rest is pretty much legalistic details - there are some things in the GFDL that may be interesting for printed text, but get in the way for online images - for example the concepts of a "cover text" and sections that can be marked unmodifiable. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 20:43, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Doubts regarding pictures of museum artwork and brand names


I've been shooting a lot of pictures lately of things here in Portugal, and I already put some of them available here in commons under public domain. My question, though, is regarding ownership and licensing of certain of my pictures that I haven't uploaded yet.

I go to art expositions and museums oftenly, and I'm allowed to take pictures. However, I'm not sure if I can put them under public domain since they might showcase artwork that is (or still is) copyrighted by the artists. I do not wish to claim ownership of other people's artistic works, but since the photos are mine can I still license them under PD? I do not understand how the copyright law (both European and American) applies on this issue, and thus why I'm hoping someone in the know will clear things out for me before I majorly screw up.

I've heard also of "multi-licensing", but I reckon you cannot license something as PD and then put a copyright in it. I might be wrong, of course.

On a related topic, I also planned to shoot some pictures of old electronic devices (like computer hardware), but since the name brand of the companies that fabricated them is present, I've no idea if I can or not put said pictures in the PD.

Clarifications are most welcome.--Saoshyant 14:37, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

P.S: Under my contributions you may find quite a bunch of pictures of Portugal (especially trains) under the PD. If you like any of them, don't forget to vote on making the photo a featured image.

In US {{PD-art}} applies, I don't know how about portugal. -- Bryan (talk to me) 14:50, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply, but due to your rush to answer you failed to understand the issue at hand. Or maybe I wasn't clear enough—that's probably it. We're talking about modern art. And not only that, but I also have concerns regarding trademarked logos that are present in things like electronic devices.--Saoshyant 14:58, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
You're absolutely right about the art. If the work is modern, the copyright of the artist applies no matter who took the picture. You may not upload such works to commons unless the artist has released them under a free license. As far as the brand names go, there are two angles: (1) the device is a useful object, in the US (and many other countries) the design of a useful object gains no copyright and (2) the inclusion of a logo as part of an overall photograph of an object is an unavoidable incidental inclusion, and such things are permitted in most countries. As such, these images are permitted. --Gmaxwell 15:03, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict):On art: If the artwork is still copyrighted, you cannot publish your image of that work without the consent of the copyright holder on the artwork. Your photo is a derivative work, and you would need to negotiate a publishing contract of some kind with the copyright holder on the artwork (which, BTW, would in all likelihood not be the museum/exhibitor but the artist). The artist would have to agree to your publishing your image of his copyrighted artwork under a free license. Multi-licensing doesn't help you there. If the artwork itself is in the public domain, you are free to publish your image under whatever license you choose.
Note that the above applies to artworks at exhibitions in museums and such. Artworks permanently installed in public places are subject to an exception called "freedom of panorama", which does exist in Portugal (§75(2)q). According to Portuguese law, such works (including buildings and sculptures) may be photographed and the photograph may be published without the consent of the artist, even if they are still copyrighted. Not all countries have such an exception in their copyright laws. In the U.S., the exception is limited to images of buildings; for sculptures, there is no such exception in the U.S. Copyright law. Lupo 15:25, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Thank you both. This information is most welcome, and I'll refrain from posting non-PD art as I had originally planned.
I have another question, though. Lupo, if you do not mind, could you clarify the following: if Portuguese law allows photos of street sculptures to be published without consent, but the US one doesn't, does that mean I cannot publish photos of said public art in Commons due to conflict of laws? As in, the Commons servers are in the USA, while the photos were taken in Portugal.--Saoshyant 16:27, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Very good question. I don't know, and I'm not even sure there is an established policy on the commons concerning this issue. See #Freedom of panorama and international issues above, where I tried to initiate a discussion on exactly that subject with the goal of finding out what others thought we should do. Unfortunately, only very few people commented, and the discussion petered out without any real conclusion. Lupo 16:49, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

What is the{{self2|GFDL|cc-by-sa-2.5,2.0,1.0}} stands for?

I always get confused when I see this tag... Yuval YChat • 07:16, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

It is an own work ("self") double licenesed ("2") under GDFL and the CC-BY-SA (versions 1.0, 2.0 and 2.5). --Matt314 09:22, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, but that's not what I meant. What is the "GFDL or cc-by-sa-2.5,2.0,1.0" stands for? Sould I refer that as {{GDFL}}, {{Cc-by-sa-1.0}}, {{Cc-by-sa-2.0}} or {{Cc-by-sa-2.5}}? Or maybe it doesn't matter, since both GFDL and CC-by requiring the details...? Yuval YChat • 10:47, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
It means you should choose one of the licences (with any of versions os CC-BY-SA). the preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 14:21, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
In the case of an external source link, it means that the source page must mention all those licenses, or either page must have some proof (same username, explicit permissions, etc) that the author is the same and can choose different licensing. The "self" templates are suspicious as people who don't pay attention to licensing often choose one of the first "own work" licenses from the license selector, even if they just downloaded the image from some third party site. --Para 14:46, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
I see... How about removing {{self2|GFDL|cc-by-sa-2.5,2.0,1.0}} from the dropdown box, and adding {{self|CC-by-2.5}} instead? Yuval YChat • 18:07, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
If you really created the pictures yourself it's obviously better to license them under as many licenses as possible, so everybody can choose whatever license fits best. -- Gorgo 22:34, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Krishan Bheel

Link to image

Its from the Government of Pakistan on a government website. Can I upload it?KingromT 17:25, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Photo of Buzz Lightyear

Any copyright problems with a photo of Buzz Lightyear? ~MDD4696 01:36, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Surely you have read Commons:Derivative works? --Fb78 10:03, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Orphaned works

The English Wikisource is currently hosting images of "orphaned" works, presuming that they are in the public domain in the United States. See en:wikisource:template:OrphanWork and en:wikisource:category:Orphan works. Could these be hosted on Wikimedia Commons? --Benn Newman 02:05, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Hahah. Only on Wikimedia would you see someone whos gotten in trouble for copyright infrigement able to use bill which hasn't even passed a single house of congress to rewrite policy to permit whatever that person wants. The orphan works act has not yet passed, and the whispers I hear is that it probably wont.. At least not yet... There is a lot of desire for it. Even if such a bill passes it's not at all clear that it would be sufficient for any of purposes (the copyright holder can find you and while they couldn't get damages they can force you to pay the fair market rate for their work... such costs could easily sink Wikipedia). Even if we get past that hump such works are not Free Content, so I think we can declare any argument for putting them on commons dead on arrival.
Also, note how the template is used on Wikisource. If anyone thinks that we need to worry about copyright infringement with those documents, I'll be happy to introduce them to my friend Mr. Cluestick. :) --Gmaxwell 02:32, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree, no on the orphaned works on Commons. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 02:59, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
Is this point only related to the images on en-wikisource, or is it finally related to all orphaned images currently hosted in Commons? In that case you have to delete loads of images from earlier centuries here where the author is unknown. Much fun! --Eva K. Message 14:18, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
It affects mostly images from the end of the 19th/beginning of the 20th century. If the work can be shown to be old enough to infer that the author must have died so long ago that any copyright must have expired, it's not so important to know who the author was :-) For published U.S. works, there's pre-1923, and for unpublished U.S. works, the copyright term is 70 years p.m.a. if the author is known and 120 years after the creation of the work, if the author is unknown; except if the unpublished work was first published 1978 - 2002: in that case, the old work is copyrighted at least until the end of 2047. See [37]. Lupo 15:39, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
What is with non-U-S. works, such as old images from different European countries, e.g. Germany? As a precaution I just gave a warning in de-wiki not to upload or move orphaned historic images to Commons. Finally I tend to move all "my" historic images back to de-wiki. Once I was naive enough to take Commons as central archive for a great idea but under recent circumstances I believe it failed and is only red tape (just don't remind me of some idignorant people's crusade against public German coats of arms) --Eva K. Message 17:33, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

As I got no answer by now, I suppose that your discussion above beetween just two people was only about U.S. copyright. You can't spread this to Europe; so please don't make any global statements in other discussions like you did. --Eva K. Message 13:10, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

By the time you responded the thread was so old that I did not see it again, and your complaints about commons were far enough off topic that they make it uninteresting to reply.
If you can demonstrate that a work is so old that there is no conceivable way that author could be alive recently enough for the work to still be copyrighted, then yes we will accept the work as free without knowing exactly when the author died. That has nothing to do with 'orphan works' and everything to do with a sane policy of handling copyright.--Gmaxwell 13:30, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't see how you can upload historic images to the german wikipedia without knowing their copyright status and then complaining about copyright policy on commons. pictures that are ok there are ok here as well of course. -- Gorgo 22:30, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
Eva, have you read de:Verwaistes Werk or en:Orphan works? Or also de:Anonymes Werk (Urheberrecht)? The problem with orphaned works is that legislators around the world largely ignore the issue. Orphan works may technically still be copyrighted and thus cannot be legally used without a permission or license of some sort, even if the copyright holder may have vanished. Such abandoned copyrights prevent the use of works that could otherwise be used, either freely if it could be determined that the work actually was no longer copyrighted or, if indeed still copyrighted, under an appropriate license. I agree that this is most annoying. But copyright legislation in virtually all countries of the world (the exception being Canada) cannot deal with this at present. There are no provisions in the laws allowing the use of such orphan works without license in any copyright law I've seen. I'm not aware of any such rules in the U.S., in Germany, or in the EU in general (nor elsewhere). In the U.S., there is a bill that aims at introducing provisions for orphaned works into the copyright law, but not law has been passed yet.
The German WP has, AFAIK, made the decision to allow the use of such anonymous, orphaned works if they are older than 100 years. That's a rule of thumb, not backed by any legal provisions, and it doesn't make the works PD. (Maybe they should be tagged as "presumed orphan" on the German WP?)
The commons has not made such a rule. It's that simple. AFAIK, the consensus at the commons is to not accept orphan works. Lupo 08:28, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

That's nonsense. It would prefer Lupo would go back to en Wikipedia and not demonstrating his Copyright Paranoia in such ugly form. There was a discussion about the n-100 rule here but no consensus. If there is a proof of a ligigation concerning a n-100 picture in a country I would be glad to know them. German courts have been never decided such a case AFAIK. The risk being sued for falsely as own work posted photos is several times higher than for using orphaned OR anonymous works (which is not the same, Lupo!) older than 100 years. Our German rule is reasonable and should be imported here. --Historiograf 18:47, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

But it hasn't yet been imported here. Please try to be civil.
I agree that we should consider it. This thread came out of discussion related to orphan works which are not old enough to be expired. (In the US it is much simpler, because all works *published* prior to 1909 are now PD no matter the identity of the author, language origin of the work,.. and even in the worst case: Unpublished/anonymous works are PD within 120 years of publication in the US.). --Gmaxwell 23:44, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
It is just unfair to make accusations against Commons for things we have never discussed. In other words, lets calm down, stop with name calling and threats of abandoning Commons, and start to discuss the issue again.
Fred Chess 00:15, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
All right, maybe I should have written "there is no consensus to accept orphan works" (under a 100-years rule) instead of "there is consensus to not accept ...". Seems I misremembered it slightly, but the end result is the same: the commons currently does not have such a 100-years rule. See Commons_talk:Licensing/Archive 1#Assume PD for Images older than 100 years for a previous discussion on this very topic. (So much for the baseless claims aired on the German WP that only two people had expressed an opinion.[38]) Lupo 13:49, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
But the previous discussion was about when the photographer was unknown. Is that still what we are discussing? Or are we discussing Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Edvard Munch im Lindeschen Garten, Lübeck 1902.jpg, when the photographer is known? Or are we discussing the recent Orphan Work bill in the U.S. senate?
If we are talking about the previous discussion, it didn't reach any conclusion, and can't be regarded as an official stand of Commons. In fact, I spoke myself in favour of accepting such images, since their legal state in Sweden is at least doubtlessly safe. If U.S. law is different, I suggest that additional care be taken with U.S. images.
I don't know of any image older than 100 years with an unidentified author that has been deleted. Historiograf should know that too.
Fred Chess 16:58, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
the thing is that people tend to get confused with all these similar sounding legal stuff (anonymous author, orphaned image, unknown author,..) having totaly different meaning in every country. This discussion startet with orphaned work a U.S. law (which didn't pass yet) and then moved to unknown author and if we can assume that an author is already dead for over 70 years if the image was published a certain time ago.
In this case I agree with Fred and I think it's reasonable to think that 70 + 30 years should be enough. If the author is known this rule doesn't apply of course. We should probably create a template which asks for help in identifying the author and which says clearly that pd-old is just an assumption. -- Gorgo 01:52, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

This generalisation is wrong. As I wrote on Template talk:Anonymous work, the law of some countries is not so clear. If we use 70 years after publication, then we have to look at each law. ;o) For example, UK law says If the author is unknown, copyright will last for 70 years from end of the calendar year in which the work was created [39], and 50 years for sound recordings. It doesn't say that the author was never known to be applicable. Any jurisprudence about that? Yann 22:18, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

The Berne convention says that anonymous works are in the public domain 50 years after publication. I think we should use this rule unless we have suspicion that the author is known, and if no other rule applies. Yann 21:18, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

well right now we are talking about countries where there is a 70 years after dead rule, nothing more. In all cases where copyright is not so clear we tend to be quite strict and I guess it should stay that way. A 50 years after publication if author unknown rule just encourages people to upload all images and hoping nobody will find the author. This would mean that nobody could have any trust in commons licenses anymore. Also right now we have the country of origin policy and most countrys don't have that rule with 50 years. -- Gorgo 01:06, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Stop confusing different things.

Orphaned work I: I cannot find the creator, his heirs or the rights holder with reasonable efforts (RE).

Oprhaned work II: I know the name of the creator but cannot find the date of his dead with RE .

Anonymous work: I do not know who the creator is.

Anonymous work according national law and international conventions: The author has to be treated as anonymous. The protection ends mostly n (e.g. 70) years after creation not after the death of the unknown author.

The de Wikipedia rule cited above is: For ALL four cases works created before date-100 (now: works from 1906 and earlyer) are tagged PD-old. How complicated German law regarding anonymous works according national law is can be seen at w:Anonymes Werk. To avoid trouble we have no own anonymous-work-template. If there is any evidence ("konkrete Anhaltspunkte") that the author is'nt 70 years dead the PD-old tag has to be rejected. We haven't any problem with this rule. We should adopt it at least for the cases 1-3 and before 1923 published works (avoiding trouble with the unpublished US problem) --Historiograf 01:54, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

  1. What is "reasonable effort"?
  2. Copyright on anonymous works in 70y p.m.a. countries expires generally 70 years after the creation of the work, unless it was published within that time: if so, copyright expires 70 years after the first publication. See e.g. the UK rules Yann linked above. Or to express this differently: copyright on an anonymous work expires 70 years after the first publication, or 70 years after the creation of the work if it wasn't published in that time.
Lupo 23:19, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

There is no need to define "reasonable effort". I would like to underline that I have more experience in an. works according german law as you. --Historiograf 01:41, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Histo that Commons could accept images that are at least 100 years old for the above stated cases I, II and III, if they are from Germany or many other countries. However, I am not certain if it could be applied to suit images from the US? Lupo?
Fred Chess 01:56, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I'm strongly opposed to any application of any such rule unless "reasonable effort" is defined. This is not Histo's private show, and I don't care how much experience he claims to have. If Histo wants to argue for a rule applicable on commons, he'd better present a sensible rule that can be applied by others who not necessarily have his "experience". What shall be required before one is allowed to conclude that a work was an "orphan work"? What traceable, verifiable proof of search efforts needs to be presented here? (Especially in cases I and II, where we do know the author. For cases III and IV, I'd expect to see at least some indication of when the work was first published.) Let's define "reasonable effort"!
  • In the U.S., works published (nor created!) before 1909 and works published anywhere in any language with a copyright notice before 1923 are always ok. Works published without copyright notice in an English language publication before 1923 are most probably also always ok (if published before 1923 in the U.S., or they're definitely ok). Works published 1909-1922 without copyright notice in a non-English language publication may not be ok. Unpublished works with known authors are ok if the author died more than 70 years ago, unless they were published 1978-2002: in that case the works are copyrighted at least until the end of 2047. Unpublished anyonymous works or unpublished works where the author's death year is unknown are copyrighted until 120 years after their creation (again subject to the 1978-2002 exception). See Hirtle's chart.
  • Fred, you wrote "if they [the works] are from Germany or many other countries". What countries were you thinking of? And why those countries? Why not generally? Lupo 10:36, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Licence request by newbie


I like a pic in WP:DE. Its licence is tagged de:Vorlage:Bild-CC-by-sa/2.0/de. Is it proper to upload it in Commons ? In that case, what would be the proper equivalent down there ?


IP86.208.180.81 17:34, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

(copied to Commons help desk, please answer there) 17:37, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

case is answered on the other page : {{Cc-by-sa-2.0-de}}. IP86.208.180.81 20:06, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Policy: distribute or modify

The essence of GFDL has always been that every bit can be freely distributied and modified . What is current policy on commons? Do we accept media which can be freely distributed but not freely modified?

For example, I came across {{Template:PolishSenateCopyright}} which allows free distribution but doesnt say anything about free modification.

If we allow licenses which admit free publication, but not free modification, we should also consider press photos by companies, which they issue for free publication but for which they retain all further rights, including modification.

One might argue that being able to modify a photo is not a big deal, as 99% of our photos is never modified. We should realize that allowing such photos does complicate to our policy, as they can not be userd for composite media, for example an illustration realized by the artistic blending of several such pix.

TeunSpaans 07:35, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Nope this is forbidden. The Senate Copyright is currently of an unknown nature, see COM:CT. -- Bryan (talk to me) 10:53, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
We need the rights to be able to compose derivative works, which may be as simple as cropping, or enhancing an image. I'd not favour allowing nonmodifiable images, so I think the current policy is fine. ++Lar: t/c 00:10, 25 December 2006 (UTC)


Hi, i found this image, but i'm not sure which licence is right for it. PD or not PD?? --GeorgHH 21:08, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't know either. Could perhaps be discussed at a regular deletion request, doesn't appear to be an obvious copyvio to me. / Fred Chess 00:35, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Pat on back or dunce cap?

Hello all. My first upload: Image:Jacob Schaefer, Sr.jpg. Please check whether this is proper (or fixable), and if okay, feedback for improvement is, of course, welcome. I plan to upload similarly situated images if I this one is proper, but I don't want to make work for experienced users here by uploading more before making sure.--Fuhghettaboutit 23:38, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

The licensing is OK. I you do have however some higher resolution versions, that would be even better. -- Bryan (talk to me) 09:35, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately I don't. But I have been working for three weeks on a Wikipedia article which this will appear in so thanks fo the green light.--Fuhghettaboutit 12:41, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Images by User:Ftlauddude

Ftlauddude (talk · contribs) uploads images without license. Do we have any PD license for these COAs, or should they be deleted as copyvio? -- Bryan (talk to me) 22:16, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

The site he says they're from says "© 2002, Fundacite Aragua," so they're copyvios. --Rory096 02:26, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
But is the recreation of COAs on the computer enough creative work to make it eligible for copyright? -- Bryan (talk to me) 13:36, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
I think so, as, if I recall correctly, coat of arms are actually just descriptions of what it would look like, and it's the artist who actually creates it, making it a creative work (enwiki says "coats of arms have a formal description, that is expressed as a blazon." The maps are certainly subject to copyright. --Rory096 06:53, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Facsimile of 1681 Text?

I'm writing to see what the status of a 1681 text that was reproduced via facsimile and printed in 1980 (in Barcelona, Spain) would be. What, if anything, could be reproduced from a scan from this 1980 facsimile? The cover? A few pages? The whole thing? In English or any wikipedia? I'd like to include whatever possible in the commons but am unsure of its status and thus wanted to ask first. Bewtros 21:58, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

On Commons, we usually assume that a facsimile does not justify a new copyright. So the whole thing could be scanned and uploaded - it would be just the same as scanning from the original 1681 book. --Fb78 17:20, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Great! What kinds of files are best? I have a PDF of the entire text and hi-res images of every 2 pages.Bewtros 17:48, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
PDF is okay, DjVu would probably be ideal for this. --Fb78 17:27, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Caracas Metro diagram

Do you think there's any copyright violation on this image: , i made the image myself and uploaded it a few days ago, but got into an edit war, and was deleted in my opinion rather arbitrarily, no discussion was held on whether it qualifies as a copyright violation or not, the use of the logos is in the main dispute, which i argue that according to Commons:Deletion_guidelines : Questionable, may or may not be OK:

All kinds of copyrighted material:

  • Logos (only very simple designs are OK)

easily qualifies as OK since the designs are indeed very simple, used in a very small size at a low resolution, what's your opinion?. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Okty (talk • contribs) at 22:42, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't think a big red M is eligible for copyright. -- Bryan (talk to me) 09:27, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Ok I'm gonna re upload it, in hopes that even if those who already deleted it without even nominating it for deletion, will at least discuss it on the image page, I've seen many other subway maps with official logos on commons, seems unfair that because someone with a bit of power doesn't like me is going to delete it without even listening to other's opinions. Okty 17:44, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Better than to upload again is probably to use Commons:Undeletion requests / Fred Chess 11:44, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Old Spanish law

The page says:

However, works before 1987 are dealed with 1879 law, which sets a protection time of eighty years post mortem auctoris.

From es:Wikipedia:Café/Portal/Archivo/Miscelánea/2006/05#ESPASA (my bolding and reformat):

1º. Se aplica la Ley de Propiedad Intelectual del 96 (LPI´96, en adelante) que deroga las anteriores, no obstante tenemos que tener en cuenta las Disposiciones Transitorias 1ª y 2ª de esta ley, que afectan al tema que nos ocupa:

  • Disp. Transitoria Primera. Derechos adquiridos. Las modificaciones introducidas por esta Ley, que perjudiquen derechos adquiridos según la legislación anterior, no tendrán efecto retroactivo, salvo lo que se establece en las disposiciones siguientes.
    • Esto está redactado de forma un poco confusa, hay que entenderlo al contrario, que se aplican retroactivamente las disposiciones favorables.
  • Disp. Transitoria Segunda. Derechos de personas jurídicas protegidos por la Ley de 10 de enero de 1879 sobre Propiedad Intelectual. Las personas jurídicas que en virtud de la Ley de 10 de enero de 1879 sobre Propiedad Intelectual hayan adquirido a título originario la propiedad intelectual de una obra ejercerán los derechos de explotación por el plazo de ochenta años desde su publicación.
    • Esto es importante, ya que creo que se aplica a nuestro caso porque según el art.8, com habéis indicado, una enciclopedia es una obra colectiva y la titularidad del derecho de explotación pertenece a la editorial (persona jurídica). Y "adquisición originaria" significa que el derecho de propiedad se constituyó inicialmente en la titularidad de la persona jurídica afectada, no la adquirió por una cesión posterior. Esto quiere decir que aunque la regla es que las disposiciones que perjudiquen a titulares del derecho de explotación no pueden tener caracter retroactivo se excepciona este supuesto, es decir, aunque la editorial Espasa tuviese los derechos de explotación por 1500 años en todo caso el tiempo de duración será de 70 hasta un máximo de 80 años.

--Error 03:22, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

EU copyright term directive says: term is 70 years pma for all EU countries. Our contry of origin rule is ridicolous --Historiograf 01:12, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

It is a directive. So afaik EU countries are obligated to implement it in their national law, but can give their own interpretation to it. -- Bryan (talk to me) 10:14, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

U.S. copyright

I am not sure whether i should use "first published in the United States before 1923" or "Work of a U.S. Government agency" licensing concerning some documents found here. -- FayssalF 11:25, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

{{PD-old}} is more universal; I'd recommend you use that... / Fred Chess 11:46, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Fred. -- FayssalF 12:01, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
{{PD-USGov}} is more specific; I'd recommend you use that... -- Duesentrieb(?!) 13:42, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
Even if the material is over 130 years old? / Fred Chess 15:27, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Use both --Historiograf 01:13, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Like Fred Chess my opinion is than after the legal time of copyright (during which documents can be put in {{PD-specific}} at convenience of rights holder) all documents fall down in {{PD-old}} which is really universal. Oxam Hartog 02:14, 6 January 2007 (UTC)


"This image comes from the National Archives and Records Administration, the vast majority of whose images and documents are in the public domain in the United States." (Emphasis added)

Close, but no license, I'd say. -Samulili 11:26, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Rather an information than a license tag I agree. -- Bryan (talk to me) 11:32, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Using images from Commons in

I would like to use anyone expert in this matter:

  1. Is it possible to use images from Wikimedia Commons in the proyects of
  2. If yes, which are the most basic rules about doing it?
  3. And what is the afinity between Wikimedia and

El Viajero Paisa

  1. yes - at least in theory, all content on commons is free content and can be used anywhere. But as you know, it's a wiki, and you should always look for your self if the claims made by the uploader seem sound and if the license info is complete (see #2). Also note that you alre not allowed to "hot-link" the images - to use them, copy them (the notable exception to this are all wikimedia projects, of course).
  2. the rule is: follow the terms of the license given on each image description page. Generally, you need to do the following:
    1. state your immediate source (commons) with a link to the image description page here. ideally, also say who uploaded the file here.
    2. attribute the original source (if applicable) and the creator of the image, as given on the description page here.
    3. state the license given for the image on the description page, and the rationale in case of PD tags. Ideally, copy all information given on the description page, and attribute the author(s) of this information if different from the uploader.
    4. follow any additional requirements the license may have - for example, the GFDL requires you to have a copy of the full text of the GFDL locally on your site.
  3. I don't know of any affiliation of Wikimedia with (but that's just me)
HTH -- Duesentrieb(?!) 11:51, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Project Gutenberg

I've found a few pictures but i am not sure about the following:

  • Project Gutenberg is an open source project and falls under the terms of the GFDL. Is that only applied to text or images as well?
  • The pics in question concern images taken by foreigners in Morocco around late 19th and early 20th century. I know already that the Moroccan law states that photos and films are Protected for 50 years starting from the end of the publication year, after which they are in public domain. Can {{PD-old}} do the work? -- FayssalF 11:18, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Question 1: Anything on Project Gutenberg that is PD by age can't be GFDL.
Question 2: Yes, PD-old sis appropriate. --Fb78 15:07, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks Fb78. So do you mean that the pics at the link above are PD-Old and thus can be uploaded under that licence? -- FayssalF 16:18, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes they can. Don't forget to add the link to Project Gutenberg to the image description page when you upload them. Also for non-70 years Public Domain images, more appropriate tags may exist at Commons:Copyright tags. -- Bryan (talk to me) 16:32, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your help guys. -- FayssalF 18:21, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Spanish panorama

en:Freedom of panorama#Spain:

Any work liable to be seen or heard in the reporting of current events may be reproduced, distributed and communicated to the public, but only to the extent justified by the informatory purpose.

Should this be in this page or is it too limiting for Commons? --Error 03:56, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

What is the licensing status of photos taken at live performances/concerts (paid admission)?

The photo in question is this: Image:CroppedCarrieUnderwoodAtTheWorldArena.jpg
The photo (JPG file) itself is from Flickr released under CC 2.0 by the photographer but the subject matter itself is a celebrity (Carrie Underwood, notable country singer) singing at live concert performance (un-free, paid admission). It currently has an IFD request in the works but is not generating enough feedback on the question: Commons:Deletion requests/Image:CroppedCarrieUnderwoodAtTheWorldArena.jpg.

Does this picture fall into the realm of Derivative works? A derivative work is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted.

In this case, the musical arrangement/dramatization (the dancing and emoting around on stage) performed by Carrie Underwood (and band members, not to mention lighting and possible pyrotechnics). We also expect the concert/performance to be have all their various copyrights reserved. IE: Broadcasting rights (where the concert is taped for possible later TV broadcasts and DVD releases) and publishing rights (publicity?) in which the concert organizers have their own licensed (commissioned) photographers to take photographs for later publication of posters and books of the concert/performance.

  • Are photos taken during a paid concert/performances (un-free, paid admission) covered by third party copyrights (ref above paragraph) eligible for Wikimedia commons?
  • If not, what is the status? Completely free once the photographer releases the rights under CC 2.0 (or similar)?
  • Are such photos actually "fair use" if used in Wikipedia (the encyclopedia)?

Thanks in advance on any advice and comments --Eqdoktor 00:30, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

That's going to depend entirely on the contract between the photographer and the venue. As a condition of attendance, some venues prohibit all photography, some prohibit commercial photography, and some make no mention of photography at all. The question at hand, then, is should we require the photographer to make stipulation permission was granted? At present, all we require of photographers is that they provide appropriate copyright information and that the copyright conforms to policy (boiling down to either free or fair-use). Since we don't require photographers to provide any other information (model releases, etc), it makes little sense to require more of this photographer just because the image was taken at a private venue under terms we would have a heck of a time trying to verify. Rklawton 04:19, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
So long as that photographer didn't agree to assign copyright, his breach of contract with the venue is mostly not our concern. The image should be clear from a copyright perspective. Perhaps someday the venue (or more likely the performers) might go after the copyright holder but that shouldn't impact us. Since it's so unlikely in most cases I see no problem letting the photographer carry that risk. --Gmaxwell 14:35, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Concur with Gmaxwell. The same applies to any photograph taken at a venue that has

photography restriction such as a Zoo or biological garden... Cary "Bastiqe" Bass demandez 14:59, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Or any museum... 15:59, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Agree on the house rules/contract thing, but the OP brought up another issue: is a photograph of a performance a "fixation" of the performance and as such subject to the copyright on the performance?? (Which is radically different from the zoo/museum case!) If not, would a set of photos be? What about a video clip of the whole performance? (Yes, surely.) A clip of a song? (Yes.) A clip of 10secs? A video still? A photo? I think that's the issue here. Lupo 16:35, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
I don't know about US legislation but there was a case in Paris (TGI, 07/05/1980) concerning pictures of football players shot during a match. Those pics were used against the players' consent in an advertising campaign. The court ruled that football players, being public figures, cannot oppose the diffusion of their pictures, taking during the exercise of their duties, for informative purpose. However, they retain the right to commercialise their image and thus the right to use it for advertising purpose. This would mean that photos taken at live performances/concerts cannot be released under a free license. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 17:46, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Is a soccer match a performance? I don't think so. I don't know the details of the case you mentioned, but it seems to me that this is more a personality rights issue. AFAIK, one cannot use any person's portrait (and that probably also extends to group portraits, such as of the whole team) for advertising purposes without the subject's consent. Lupo 20:14, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) IANAL, but I would consider it a matter of personality rights, not copyright, that the image of a person cannot be used to indicate endorsement without the person's consent. I also think that the house rules have nothing to do with copyright.
On the other hand - if the visible performance is artful, then images of it are copyrighted. I'm pretty sure that a theatre or musical performance is copyrighted - as for musicians, it probably depends on the show. A guy with a guitar and a microphone on a stool? Not copyrighted. Ramstein's pyro-show? copyrighted.
Just my 2¢ -- Duesentrieb(?!) 20:16, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes, personality rights come into play any time you use a picture of a person for advertising / promotion. Not all of our content is entire free for those applications, it's not even clear how someone would draft a model release which would manage to be transferable in that sense. This is a seperate issue that can arise any time there is an identifyable person in the image.--Gmaxwell 22:04, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
No, this case is neither about privacy law nor about personality rights (nor about copyright, which is a distinct issue here indeed). In France, the authorization to publish pictures of public figures is presumed as long as the said pictures represent their public or professional duties. This applies to a soccer match for a soccer player, a performance for an artist or a public meeting for a politician. *But* the pictures ditto must be used for informative purpose, and not for commercial purpose: the issue here is to protect the right of public figures to commercialize their image. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 22:50, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
en:Personality_rights--Gmaxwell 23:18, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, this is a translation problem here. I thought the expression could translate the French “droit à l'image”. Apparently not :-) Jastrow (Λέγετε) 07:22, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes. :) --Gmaxwell 17:20, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

House rules

You mention that violation of rules in places like museums are between photographer and venue. The article should treat or point this issue. --Error 03:54, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

According to french law

"What is the licensing status of photos taken at live performances/concerts (paid admission)?" = ♦ It is derivative work. ♦ "Paid admission" is irrelevant, it's derivative even for street performances. ♦ Most of the time, photographs are expressely forbidden, but it is not necessary to state it. ♦ This does not forbids private photographies, but a use on wikipedia may be seen as of a professionnal kind.

On the other hand, there is of course a tolerance for information use, but the derivative uses alowed for a picture on Wikipedia is much wider than that. The conclusion is: unless you have explicit authorisation from the performance/concert organisation, don't do it. Wikipedia would probably not be in trouble, but derivative works would be prevented. Micheletb 07:43, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Free / Not free

Hi, quotation is not free (as there are limitations on reuse) and thus not allowed on Commons. -- Bryan (talk to me) 22:36, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

What do you mean by "free"? Is there a reference definition somewhere? IMHO, it is "free" to the extent that it may be used without having to pay or to ask for it (which is the case here). Is there something else? Micheletb 06:40, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Say I create a derivative work from from an image under "quotation terms". Then somebody wants to create a derivative work from my derivative work. This can however only be under the following term: and their extent does not exceed that justified by the purpose. Free means at least for all purposes.
Btw, afaik, fair use is just an extension of the quotation right given by the berne convention -- Bryan (talk to me) 09:44, 11 January 2007 (UTC) [I agree, but the Berne convention is internationally recognized, whereas fair use only depends on US spécific law. So I prefer to use international conventions to discuss the matter, and "quotation" is not "fair use", it's - different. Micheletb 12:59, 11 January 2007 (UTC) ]

For any kind of reasonable use I can think of, the "quotation" constraint can be ignored, as long as the "GFDL+By" is respected. If the picture is inserted in any kind of GFDL text, and the author is acknowledged, the result will de facto be a quotation. Even if the image itself is badly transformed, as long as there is a reason for inserting this special image in a text, together with the author's name, it is a quotation-like use (psychologically, there is no random choice).

Actually, the mention of Berne convention, art. 10-1 in the Template:Quotation-GFDL proposition does not make it clear wether it is "informative" or "prescriptive".

  • If it is explicitely declared as "informative" (=this is the reason the excerpt was initially made), does it make it acceptable? The licence won't have any formal restriction on the purpose; for all pracical use the result will be the same, and for devious uses the author must carefully consider what he is doing anyway, so the result is the same as well. What kind of responsability do I face by doing that? Micheletb 12:55, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Alternatively, if the section is "prescriptive", this means that any "non standard citation" used must be examined and weighed by its author. Knowing that (1) most of the time (copy of the article that contains the picture) the "citation" use is trivially the case, (2) the same problem holds for textual citations; => is this really a problem for the wikipedia internal policy?

Right to reproduce graphical artwork

Afaik, the DAVSI law introduced a new exception to droit d'auteur, which is the right to reproduce part or all of a graphical artwork (art. L.122-5-9, in French), provided that you clearly mention the author's name, that the picture is used for immediate informative purpose in link with said artwork and that it does not cause an unjustified damage to the legitimate interests of author nor impede the normal exploitation of the work. If I understood this correctly, this is not free enough for Commons. David Monniaux knows about everything about DAVSI, I will ask him. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 10:29, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Transferred + See argument above. (Salut, Jastrow! ça nous change de l'inquisition ;o) Micheletb 13:13, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

DAVSI law excluded, is the quotation right applicable to graphical works at all? This does not seem very clear to me. The Berne Convention also protects the right for the author “to object to any distortion, mutilation or other modification of, or other derogatory action in relation to, the said work, which would be prejudicial to his honor or reputation” (art. 6bis-1). To excerpt a part from the whole artwork could be construed as distorting or mutilating the work. Plus, it can be argued that a quotation right applied to graphical works deprive the artist from the right to exploit his work in the form of fragments. (eh oui :-) bonne année Michelet !) Jastrow (Λέγετε) 13:19, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
  • Indeed, but any objection to quotation also holds for text quotations: it may interfere with a legitimate copyright, but it's legal, so that's that. This only means that the "quotation exception" tends to be interpreted strictly (a general trend in courts), but it does not forbid the quotation per se, which is a positive right (explicit & protected by an international convention).
  • Berne convention makes no allusion to the kind of creative/artistic work that is protected. Hence, in any context where a textual quotation may be used and is accepted, a graphical / audio / choregraphic / ... quotation may be considered as well. Unless the very nature of a picture makes it impossible to make excerpts, an excerpt can be made, and can be used as a pictural quotation. Or is there jurisprudential data against that? Micheletb 15:37, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Is excerpting a graphical artwork a “fair practice”, as the Berne Convention requires it (art.10-1)? It is traditionally accepted for texts: afaik, the publication of excerpted versions of a book is not seen as a violation of the author's moral right. On the contrary, the right of the artist to have the integrity of his work preserved has been repeatedly asserted. It may not be totally relevant here, but there is a funny case (Buffet vs. Fersing, 1962) about a fridge decorated with six paintings by Bernard Buffet, with only one of them bearing a signature. A buyer disassembled the fridge components to sell the paintings one by one. The court held that the single signature was evidence of Buffet's intention that the work be understood as a whole, and Buffet was awarded damages.
As far as graphical works are concerned, the quotation right is more often invoked about full reproductions of the said artwork, though in a reduced format. This interpretation has never been accepted in France (e.g. Fabris vs. Loudmer, 1991 & 1993), with the exception of catalogues for judicial auctions (L.122-5d CPI). A quotation right for musical works has never been accepted by the Cour de Cassation either. (It must be said that the French doctrine holds that the quotation right is more a tolerance than a positive right, which may explain a lot of things.) I don't know about other countries. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 17:04, 11 January 2007 (UTC) (Jastrow, la cour de cassation ne juge que la forme, pas le fond...;o) [et la marmotte, elle enveloppe le chocolat dans le papier alu…]
♦ Intersting example, this B.Buffet story, but they deal with the work itself & not a reproduction of it, so it's not really relevant.
♦ Indeed, "quotation" of pictures is often invoqued for full reproductions, which is clearly not a quotation (since the whole work is concerned). This is not the case here, see Image:Anemelectrorecul.jpg, it's 1/6 of the original page, and the book has ~ 80 such pages (not numpered - too lazy to count'em). It is but a tiny fragment of the whole published work.
♦ Disagree: the "citation exception" in France is ruled by art. 122-5 CPI which alows "short citations". There is indeed a lot of negative jurisprudence, ruling out clearly abusive cases, but the principle of quotation for musical work has been plainly accepted (TGI Paris, 6 juin 1986), and the principle of pictural quotation (including movies) has never been ruled out.
IMHO, if a clear and reasonable policy is defined on Wikipedia, stating what is "accepted" as reasonable pictural citation and what is excluded, and if this policy is enforced by admins as usual, (1) the chances of being involved in a judiciary conflict are *very* slim, and (2) the juged is *very* likely to appreciate a defined-reasonable-enforced policy and give right to Wikipedia. This is what I call "legal security". Micheletb 20:04, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
I maintain that the French doctrine considers the quotation right as a tolerance, or, to put like Bochurberg (Le droit de citation, 1994), an “exception in defense, a judicial privilege”. The exceptions from L.122-5 CPI, being mentioned in a restrictive and limitative way, are not considered to create a positive right for users comparable with that of the author.
I suppose you mean TGI Paris 6 juin 19*9*6 (Jacques Dutronc et autres c/ Société Musidisc): “Il est acquis que l'exception de l'article L122-5 CPI, ayant trait aux courtes citations, en matière littéraire, portant dérogation au principe de nécessité de l'autorisation préalable de l'auteur avant toute reproduction, n'est pas transposable en matière musicale, pour diverses raisons, dont une essentielle : l'impossible mention de la source et du nom de l'auteur, condition sine qua non de la dispense de consentement de l'auteur.” You can try to create such a regime for Commons where the provisions of L.122-5 would be respected and the quotation right thus extended to music or graphical works, but I wonder how. Matt314's objection (“Quotation needs context to be embedded into. The nature of Commons is an image repository, so there is no embedding context.”) seems pretty strong to me.
The final word has been repeated by many users here: the quotation right from Berne Convention is exactly Fair Use, thus not accepted on Commons. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 10:25, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
The "TGI Paris" has been strict in his jugement of 30/09/83, more laxist on 6/06/86 to allow musical quotations in partitions... it's as usual a matter of appreciation, not a principle of exclusion "outright". The point apparently made by the 19*9*6 jugement is simply that the legal conditions should be observed (here: mention the author). ♦ The GFDL makes it possible to make sure the author is mentionned, precisely by inserting a "-by" clause in an invariant section (since it is the only possible mechanism in the GFDL context). ♦ Indeed, I am exploring wether this regime can be translated in the GFDL context.

Technically, the "embedding context" is always present if the image is placed under a GFDL licence (see infra). It's just a matter of realizing it. So why not take advantage of the GFDL inconveniences? There's no harm in discuting it. Micheletb 19:03, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

The GFDL has inconveniences only if you want to re-use the file. Speaking in extremes, you might say that a GFDL picture is useless, but it's not illegal per se. Right of quotation cannot be claimed for standalone pictures such as Commons stores them, period. If you can't see any difference, I'm afraid all this debate is pretty useless. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 09:08, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
I think I see your point, I can try to reformulate it this way: (a) Placing a picture on Commons is a publication per se, since Commons is legally independant from other Wikipedia projects. (b) When in such a publication, images excerpts (ment to be used as quotations) cannot be considered as quotations (which would require a context) so the right of quotation cannot apply in that case (even though it could be invoqued for articles using the pictures, which was my first consideration). (c) Therefore, image excerpts cannot be legally accepted on commons on a "citation" base, unless there is also a justification (typically: a licence) for their stand-alone publication. Is that correct? Micheletb 10:42, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Limitations on reuse

Hi, (quotation is not free as) there are limitations on reuse and thus not allowed on Commons. -- Bryan (talk to me) 22:36, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
  • The "Limitations" are those of the GFDL license: the picture under such a licence cannot be used outside a documentation contexte, but this is imposed by the GFDL stipulations. Since GFDL is (presumably) allowed on commons, & nothing more is added, is there a problem?
  • The formal limitation (invariant section added) is simply ment to insure that copyright information will be correctly reproduced, which is the equivalent of a CC-By (accepted on commons).

... so what is the limitation ? Micheletb 07:09, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

No the GFDL does nowhere prohibit the use of licensed material outside a documentation context. If I want to create a porn picture from a GFDL licensed picture I am free to do so — if it weren't prohibited by other laws. -- Bryan (talk to me) 09:47, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes & No. Yes, you can make a porn version of the picture, but then it will inherit the GFDL licence, so No, you won't be able to use it as a stand-alone picture & use it outside a documentation context. This is a well known problem of the GFDL licence, it makes it impractical to use pictures since the GFDL licence itself must be printed somewhere, clearly attached to it. Use it on a Web site, the Web site becomes GFDL. Use it in a book, the book becomes GFDL. Use it on a post card, you must print the GFDL licence somewhere: You can't? Well, then you are not licenced to do it, although the picture itself is reputatedly "free". If you try to cheat with the constraint, the result will be based on bad faith, and won't stand at a trial. GFDL means GNU Free Documentation Licence, if you use it outside a documentation context, it is de facto illegal, because the licence looses its wery object... Micheletb 13:12, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Do not spread misinformation about the GFDL. Nothing in the GFDL requires the images be used only in a documentation context, nor is the GFDL any more 'infectious' than cc-by-sa.. their rules on aggregations are fairly similar. Please substantiate your claims with quotations from the licenses or discontinue making them. Thanks. --Gmaxwell 17:08, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

OK, shure. Follow me, the references are here.

  • (§1) This License applies to any manual or other work, in any medium, that contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it can be distributed under the terms of this License.


This sounds very much like a non-commercial (thus not allowed) license. /Lokal_Profil 01:40, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

No, a quotation may be used in a commercial context. Micheletb 06:40, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

No discussion, Napalm !

Why? Why are we having this discussion? For the sake of academic hair splitting or what? Commons does not host materia used under the "quotation" exception of the Berne treaty no matter how legal or illegal it is. The only thing this template deserves is napalm. Samulili 21:23, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

??? Says who? My problem is precisely to determine what and where are the corresponding rules, so please help: where ARE they?
We are having this discussion, because the "case study" I fell upon raises quite a number of unclear legal points, which IMHO need to be clarified. What is "free material"? What is the difference between "fair use" and "fair practice"? Is a "citation" possible of a pictural work, and what is the difference with a "reproduction"? Is quotation material admitted on commons (for texts, pictures, musics,...) and where are the corresponding guidelines/rules? Where is the definition of "free material" and "derivative work" used for licence legal discussion ? Is the use of an invariant GFDL section accepted on commons? There is nothing academic to it (though, indeed, hairsplitting may be a correct description of legal work). As the legal saying goes, ubi lex distinguat, distinguere debemus, if the law makes a distinction, we must take this distinction into account. Micheletb 07:15, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Commons:Project scope: “Wikimedia Commons only accepts free content. So all content of the Wikimedia Commons is available under some free license, meaning that it may be used by anyone for any purpose (if not prohibited by other laws). Namely, commercial use and publication of derivative work is allowed. The license may however require that the author be named ("attribution") and that derivative work be licensed under the same terms as the original ("share alike"). Consequently, media files which are available only under non-derivative, non-commercial licenses, or that have restricted usage or fall under the fair use clause, are generally not accepted on the Wikimedia Commons. The licensing policy is defined in detail at Commons:Licensing.” (Emphasis added.) None of these images may not be used by anyone for any purpose, say, in a poster promoting my band. -Samulili 10:38, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
False. You can't use a GFDL image in a poster promoting your band, you will need a CC licence for that. A "free" licence does not mean you can do anything with the picture, the "any purpose" is always restricted to what the "free" licence states. Micheletb 15:28, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually, you can use it, you just have to print the full text of the GFDL on the poster, too. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 16:10, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
This would be compliant to the GFDL stipulations, indeed, but is that "any purpose"? and who wants to do that? For all practical use, it is restricted to textual insertion. Micheletb 18:20, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Fair use / Fair practice

(edit conflict:agree completely-speedy it) This tag should be deleted ASAP. A quotation under the Berne Convention is a case of "fair use"/"fair dealing" (called "fair practice" in the Berne Convention). Re-read the §10(1) which the tag itself quotes:

"It shall be permissible to make quotations from a work which has already been lawfully made available to the public, provided that their making is compatible with fair practice, and their extent does not exceed that justified by the purpose, including quotations from newspaper articles and periodicals in the form of press summaries."Berne Convention, §10(1), emphasis added by Lupo

Image quotations are not free. Lupo 21:29, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

This point has been discussed above (free / not free). Indeed, there is the word "fair" in the english version of the Berne convention, but as far as I understand it, the "fair use" not accepted on commons is the one precisely defined by US law. "Fair practice" is always required, whatever the licence. The Berne stipulation adds tothing to it.
If I put a picture of myself under CC licence and you use it to disguise me with a nazi uniform and make a poster of it, I have the right to sue you - and will win - whatever the license says about derivative work. Under french law, this is called "droit moral de l'auteur", and these cannot be transferred or abandoned ("imprescriptible rights" for french law, art. 121-1 of the "code de la propriété intellectuele"). No transfer, no cancellation, no time limit. It's legally absolute. Bad news, then, if this is what you mean by "free", then all the material in commons is not-free : start deleting everything? abandon ship, it was based on a misconception? ;o)
Let us not play upon word, then. (1) Fair practice is always legaly required, and can lead to trials if not respected. (2) The mention of it in the Berne treaty is therefore not an additionnal stipulation. (3) This being the only limitation imposed by the Berne treaty, Citations are free to the extent that any artwork may be free, that is, as far as "fair practice" is respected. Micheletb 06:38, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
First, U.S. "fair use" is not precisely defined; each and every single "fair use" is ultimately a judgment call. Which is why en-WP has such immense problems with it. Second, commons does not only disallow U.S. "fair use", it disallows also UK-style "fair dealing" and also images created under the similar exceptions that exist in droit d'auteur or Urheberrecht countries. Commons does not host "fair practice" images. Third, Berne "fair practice" does indeed mean "fair use", "fair dealing", and these exceptions in civil law countries. See e.g. Fourth, "fair practice" has nothing to do with personality rights (which is the problem with your "uniform" example. The problem is not the moral rights, unless you were talking about the moral right to integrity of the work). Fifth, "integrity of the work" and the right to make derivative works are two different rights. If an author grants someone the right to make derivative works, he can, under his moral right to the integrity of the work, impose conditions under which such derivative works may be made. (See e.g. [40].) A publication under CC-BY or some such would amount to granting the right to make derivative works without conditions. Commons does not accept any such conditions. Lupo 07:58, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
♦ 1 & 2 : No comment. ♦ 3 : Only says that quotation is acceptedly included in the UK definition of fair use, this does not mean that fair use is the only way to make a quotation. Since quotations are also defined in an internationnal convention, this convention can be the legal justification as well. ♦ 4, 5:Yes, the uniform is just an example, the problem is indeed integrity of work, which is legally protected. This is a generic problem for any kind of derivative work, whatever the licence. There is no need to make a "special condition" to derivative work, since it is legally protected (at least, formally in France) whatever the licence says: if a derivation is abusive, the original author may forbid it. This is the case even with CC licenses, according to french law.

The definition of "any kind of derivative work" cannot therefore be that wide, because it would not stand before french courts. So when "any kind of derivative work" is required, if you do not add immediately "provide of course fair practice is kept", the answer is: this is legally impossible. Period. Micheletb 18:45, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

It can be formulated the other way round: Let's make a bet. State any instance of "derivative work" where accepted "fair practice" would obviously be violated, and my shallenge is to explain how the author of the original work could make a claim against such use and win in court, even if the work has been placed under a "free licence". Is that enough? Who starts? Micheletb 19:09, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Speedy deletion

I deleted it. In the future please discuss your ideas about Berne, "fair dealing/use/practice" and the GFDL before making a template out of them. Jkelly 21:36, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

The template was made for the sake of discussion, can somebody recover the model and put it somewhere so we can visualise what the discussion is about? Micheletb 06:38, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Invariant section=

I think this deletion may make sense. Can I just draw attention to one thing here: The GFDL used by the foundation for projects is the base GFDL with no invariant sections. A GFDL with an invariant section is not exactly the same, and may be outright incompatible (anyone have a better knowledge of how invariant sections work?). Whether the invariant section used here or not is valid in the legal sense, may well be irrelevant as content released under GFDL and this invariant section may or may not be usable in the projects, making it a waste of time.--Nilfanion 22:10, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for raising this important point (actually, i've studied this invariant section mechanism, this is why it was inserted in the proposed model - & thank you for making it available somewhere ;o).

  • The problem is not the invariant section itself, but what is put inside. The problem has indeed been pointed out that the legal clauses contained in such sections could be used to pollute the "free" nature of the material. So this content must indeed be carefully examined, the same way any "special condition" must be. This being made, "invariant section" simply means that the information is definitely attached to the material, and nobody can change it without breaking the licence. It's a problem of information transfer, not of conditions per se.
  • To my understanding, the "no invariant section" used in the GFDL descriptions is factual, I've never seen that this was mandatory. If the Wikipedia policy is to use GFDL licence, and invariant sections are allowed in this licence, then they are allowed in wikipedia. Right ou wrong?

Micheletb 06:38, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

This is just 'fair use'

The right of quotation in French law and the Berne Convention is just the analogue, in a different legal system, of the American 'fair use'. Such content is not admissible here, period. David.Monniaux 08:58, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Plainly False. Fair use defenitely has a legal content, see [here] for instance, or Google search : definitely a legal context. "Fair practice" (see Google) only means some kind of accepted code of conduct, nothing legal-like. You can't say it's "just the analogue", it will never stand in court. Micheletb 18:28, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Regardless, fair use is not allowed on the Commons. There is no point discussing this further. Cary "Bastiqe" Bass demandez 19:24, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
[edit conflict] This is getting preposterous. “Fair use” means exactly the same thing than “fair dealing” or “fair practice”. All these expressions mean the same thing, viz. exceptions to intellectual property rights, are are formed with “fair” + use/practice/dealing/insert your favourite synonym here. It's plain, basic English, with both a general meaning and a more precise, legal one. Every two instances, you find the expression in quotation marks or preceded with something like “the doctrine of” or “the principle of”. Almost all States have certain exceptions to intellectual property rights, which are named “fair use” (US), “fair dealing” (UK), “fair practice” (Berne Convention) or anything else of the same kind. How can you pick up an expression from an international treaty and say it's “nothing legal-like”?
If you want proof, I suggest you download this EU report (PDF), which describes the legislation and case on moral rights in EU member States. What do I read about Austria? “Modifications are allowed under the principle of fair use” (p.7). When did Austria got invaded by the Americans? And wait, when the report mentions Fair Use as you understand it, they say “the American ‘fair use’”.
Fair practice = fair use, which means “not on Commons”. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 19:37, 12 January 2007 (UTC) [Actually, Austria has been occupied by americans, just like Germany... ;o) This is history, of course. Micheletb 11:19, 13 January 2007 (UTC) ]

You missed the point

This community is overreacting to the word "fair", apparently because "fair use" practice has been banned.

  • The thing excluded on commons (whatever the name is) is the use of copyrighted material without licence, justified by the kind of use intended (even if this use is supposed to be "fair"). OK.
  • What I am pointing out is that even when the use of copyrighted material is allowed (by law, or by an explicit licence), it cannot be used "for any purpose", the use is still supposed to be "fair". OK? let me explain.

A "free licence" does not mean you can do anything you want. See Commons:Project scope#Wikimedia Commons is freely licensed : "all content of the Wikimedia Commons is available under some free license, meaning that it may be used by anyone for any purpose (if not prohibited by other laws)" (my emphasis). The restriction is not limited to laws, actually. If the "any purpose" leads to something unfair to somebody, this somebody may complain and undertake legal action. This is true for any kind of material under any kind of licence.

This is the essence of responsibility, the conterpart of liberty: you may do whatever you want with it, there is no specific restriction, but you are responsible of what you do: if it is unfair to someone, he can complain and obtain a reparation if justified. No "free" licence will ever say "any use, including illegal ones". Similarily, no "free" licence has ever stated "may be used for any purpose, including unfair ones, simply ignore whatever other people may feel about it and have it your way". This is just impossible.

So basically, every time you see "provide the use conforms to fair practices", this is not a restriction to a "free licence", it is plainly the statement of a common truth: any human action is supposed to conform to fair practice, and if not, may bring legal problem to its author. It goes without saying, and the sentence may or may not be explicitely written in a licence or an international treaty, it makes no real difference. It goes without saing, but most of the time, saying it is a useful reminder.

And anyway, as far as "fair practice" is concerned, Wikipedia's problem is limited to the use made on wikipedia. If a given derivative work is considered unfair, the author of the derivative work is responsible of that, not Wikipedia who made the file available - as long as making it available is not reprehensible. Micheletb 08:22, 13 January 2007 (UTC)


Is this a derivative work? I think it is. --GeorgHH 14:03, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Me too. If the author would have been dead for more than 70 years, it would qualify {{PD-Art}}, however he died in 1986. -- Bryan (talk to me) 14:57, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
If it is a photo of Beuys in front of one of his works I tend to says that the artwork in the background is "Beiwerk", although it's a borderline case. Someone could also remove the chalk sketch with Photoshop. --Matt314 18:04, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
The problem is that this is a picture of a picture I believe, and not the chalk part. But I'm not sure. -- Bryan (talk to me) 22:13, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
In that case it would certainly be COM:DW, I wrote my answer after I read this (sorry, it's in German). I'll just ask the uploader if it's his (or her) own picture or a picture of a picture. --Matt314 00:35, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
the "try" of an explanation (cause it was my question): the main problem is that a simple photo of beuys in front of his works might be a copyright infringement (so e.g. in Germany or other countries). either the rights are at the german VG Bild-Kunst or the Nachlass from beuys... but...on the other hand it seems to be a photo taken from a photo in a museum, so the author has to decide about his own rights, or am I wrong? it's complicated, i know... unfortunately the author himself hasn't given more infos...hendrike 11:20, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

I'm the author of the photo. I'm here to explain, and clarify. Beuys in 1980 had a meeting in Perugia with another artist, Alberto Burri. The Museum of "della Penna" Palace in Perugia has an entire section dedicated to that event, and in the Museum there're also the original 6 blackboards of Beuys exhibition. There's also a blowup (3 metres*1 of width) of the original photo shooted on 3 April 1980 to the artist. So I simply photographed a blowup (of a photo of an artist, not of an artistic photo) inside a Museum. Anyway I'm sorry if I eventually did a copyright infringment.--Grifomaniacs 11:25, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

You reproduced a photograph that was made by someone else. That is actually a copyright infringement. I'll delete it. --Fb78 17:22, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Anyway not in Italy where's already in the public domain. Why these rules so restrictive also when a State has a copyright policy more enveloped than others?--Grifomaniacs 20:56, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
Even if the image falls into the public domain in Italy, it may still be copyrighted in the rest of the EU as well as in the US. Since Commons is an international project, we must apply the most restrictive legislations here, not the most liberal ones. No German, French, US court will accept the "but it's PD in Italy" claim (for which you didn't even show proof, btw). --Fb78 17:33, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
But in this case the photo was taken under the jurisdiction territoriality of Italy. And that picture (as I think that's not artistic, or, better, that this is not mainly artistic, even if it was taken during an artistic exhibition in Italy; but I'de like to know the opinion of an expert about this) is in the public domain since 3 April 2000 according to Italy, the place where the photo was originally made. Otherwise Commons has choosen to do not accept the PD-Italy, and I've to respect (but criticize) this decision.--Grifomaniacs 23:07, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't actually matter where the picture was taken, but where it is published. Fact is, Wikimedia Commons "publishes" in a lot of countries. Like it or not, we can't just pick the place where we publish. --Fb78 01:16, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm wondering if there is an updated list of jurisdictions wikipedia publishes in? And what resources there may be for determining copyright status of IP in those jurisdictions. Presumably that info is accessible to would-be litigants of Commons (or likely requestors to remove content) so could it be presented on the site? Hakluyt bean 23:18, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
On the Web, you always publish in all jurisdictions, no? As to the servers: some are in Florida, some in Seoul, plus some proxies in Amsterdam - but that's hardly relevant. I could give you a list if languages Wikimedia has wikis for (I count about 250, 100 with more than 10k pages). -- Duesentrieb(?!) 14:04, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Thx. I took my cue from Fb78's Commons "publishes" in a lot of countries'

- ie some definition more restricted than that determined by every browser loading a page. I note however that in criminal matters server location is important. For example British courts occasionally restrict publication of this or that. This does not extend to hosting on non-UK servers, and the complaint always goes up that this is absurd as UK citizens can access the prohibited material on foreign servers without penalty. Ie 'browsing' is not 'publishing'. It's clear in that case that restriction is Uk-only. Copyright extends further afield, but not necessarily everywhere. If an image is copyrighted in Lithuania, but no-where else, how can I find this out, and can Commons publish it? Hakluyt bean 15:05, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Romanian PD-Gov-Pictures?

Hi there, is this picture licensed correctly and if so, can we create a license tag for such pictures? Regards, --Flominator 13:19, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

This specific image has at least no source, and it's status is thus unverifiable. -- Bryan (talk to me) 14:17, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

License status for Croatian gouvernment related flags and coats of arms

I've recently nominated for deletion many Croatian flags and coats of arms that had simply been tagged PD on nl.wp. On nl.wp there is however nothing known on the license status for these types of images. Has there been previous discussion or clarity on the status of Croatian coats of arms and flags related to provinces and municipalities? Siebrand 10:45, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

I have no idea, but if you give me a few days, I can email Croatian Vexillogist Zeljko Heimer and ask him. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 10:50, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
That would be great. I'll be wating... Siebrand 12:13, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Email sent, waiting for a response. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 23:55, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Any progress? Siebrand 17:25, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Picture excerpt copyright tag = Template:Quotation-GFDL ?

Hello everybody, I would like to submit the following "case study" : Image:Anemelectrorecul.jpg. This picture was wrongly tagged "PD" (hence the deletion tag). Indeed, the comic strips in which it was taken is still copyrighted until 2015 under french law (8 years to go - a trial will probably last longer!) but is free since 1995 under Berne convention.

But - the "case study" is:

  • This is not a stand-alone picture, but an excerpt from a global one (from a 1900 early comic strip).
  • Quotation is a legal practice (see Berne convention, art. 10-1), not just "fair use".

If this is legal:

I made a tentative "licence tag" to describe the situation : Template:Quotation-GFDL. I would like feedback on the folowing points:

  • Is quotation material admitted on commons (for texts, pictures, musics,...) and where are the corresponding guidelines/rules?
  • Where is the definition of "free material" and "derivative work" used for licence legal discussion ?
  • Is the use of an invariant GFDL section accepted on commons?

The village pump may not be the most convenient place to discuss these matters, so the last question is:

  • Where should such a discussion take place?

Thanks in advandce (and a thousand apologies for raising so much questions - Happy new year for everyone). Micheletb 22:25, 10 January 2007 (UTC) => This may include electronic files or databases. In the case of a picture on Commons, the "document" is not the picture itself, but at least the set "picture + GFDL licence notice" (i.e., the "page" on which the picture is stored).

  • (§2) You may copy and distribute the Document in any medium, either commercially or noncommercially, provided that this License, the copyright notices, and the license notice saying this License applies to the Document are reproduced in all copies, and that you add no other conditions whatsoever to those of this License.

=> As soon as you copy the picture, the "document" cannot be the stand-alone picture, it must be at least (the picture + the copyright notice )+ the licence. Otherwise, the resulting copy does not conform to the licence stipulation. Of course, as soon as the picture is copied, the original GFDL-"document" is modified. Technically, you can of course do whatever modification you want, but it must be kept private. This makes it possible to do the work without being bothered by licence considerations. BUT... As soon as the derivative work is "released", it mus comply to the GFDL stipulations. Modifications are allowed, but it must be made according to §4:

  • (§4) You may copy and distribute a Modified Version of the Document under the conditions of sections 2 and 3 above, provided that provided that you release the Modified Version under precisely this License [...] you must do these things in the Modified Version: [...] Include an unaltered copy of this License.

=> There is no way to separate the picture under a GFDL licence from a textual document. After each modification, whatever the "derivative work" intended, you must at least put back a copy of the GFDL licence.

  • (§2) You may not use technical measures to obstruct or control the reading or further copying of the copies you make or distribute.

=> There is no way to "hide" the licence, vg by printing it so small it takes almost no place.

So, how do you print a poster or a post card with a GFDL licenced picture? How can you use such a picture without linking it to a document somehow (since the GFDL licence must be readable)? Hence my claim: a GFDL licence makes it impossible to use the picture outside a documentation context, de jure and de facto. At least, a dual licence is required for a stand-alone use. Micheletb 16:13, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

So where is the prohibition against non-documentation uses which you claimed existed above? Please be specific or revoke your claim. If you continue to evade my question I will just consider your response an attempt to be dishonest. In particular you claim that it is impossible to make aggregates under the GFDL, yet the terms of the CC-SA are very similar. Both allow mere aggregation (i.e. web use) without making the whole subject to the new licenses.
As far as postcards go, indeed, the requirement to include the license is a problem, although in GFDL-1.2 it's not clear if the requirement wouldn't be met by including one card in the pack with the licenses: Since the downstream user does not perform any 'copying' when he mails the card, he doesn't engage in a behavior which makes him subject to the license. So even if I conceded post cards can be problematic for an 'include the license' license, we're still nowhere near the expansive claims you made above. --Gmaxwell 23:31, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
When a picture is placed under GFDL licence, the "document" according to the licence termes is the set [picture + copyright tag + GFDL licence]. Taking out the "naked" picture & place it on an Internet page is a derivative work, which is allowed only if the page itself is GFDL (the derivative work must be GFDL). The alternative is to keep the picture canned in its GFDL mini-document, but then, you cannot use it "naked", which is incompatible with any practical Internet use. Micheletb 07:08, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
You can indeed meet the requirement by including one licence card un the pack, but then, you must consider that the "document" covered by the licence is the whole pack. When you open the pack to sell the cards, it is a modification of that "document", since it looses its integrity. Therefore, the "derivative work" must also be given the licence card, since it is a new "document" obtained by modifying the previous one. Of cours, no retailer will ever do that. So, going back to the pack, though it complies to the stipulations, it can be seen as an "unfair" manoever to cancel the effect of the GFDL licence, and can be condemned as such (a general principle of contracts is that they must be fulfilled with good faith, according to what appears to be the intention of contractors). Micheletb 08:20, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

{{The NOT image gallery}} Is it suitable for Commons?

I made {{The NOT image gallery}}-Temlate. But now I'm doubting about them. Is it suitable for Commons or not? There are many intresting images in this gallery.--Alex Spade 14:08, 12 January 2007 (UTC) says image can be reproduced. What about unrestricted modifications? --EugeneZelenko 16:09, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Hmm. Ok. I've just wrote a letter them with this question and now I'm waiting an answer.--Alex Spade 19:12, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Hi. We've got your feedback through NOT's webpage. I haven't checked our policy on the photo gallery, but a number of those are not property of NOT (but of individuals) and we shouldn't be able to allow anybody their unrestricted use. I'll come back when I have more about this. Heimy 20:48, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
There's no permission to create derivative works. --  (talk) 14:21, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Right. I've been informed that, as implied by the text on the web, there's only right for unmodified reproduction. Furthermore, any commercial use of those images and non-commercial modification require the prior written permission of the NOTSA director. We'll modify our gallery to make this wording explicit rather than implicit. Heimy 10:48, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

I have redirected this template to {{Noncommercial}}. They are now eligible for speedy deletion. -- Bryan (talk to me) 12:05, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

For what? :-) Why we need redirect? Wikicommons has got only two images with this template. All of them are unused [41] [42] at any of Wiki. Simple DELETE them with template (now redirect). I'd made template (with ru-translation Template:The NOT image gallery/ru) and loaded these images and haven't got any claim to use further. --Alex Spade 15:02, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Done. -- Bryan (talk to me) 15:19, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Copyright of typographical arrangement

In which countries does this exist (except of UK mentioned here)? I've found at de:Rechtsschutz von Schriftzeichen: Ireland (50 years), Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, South Africa (25 years), Hong Kong (?) --Historiograf 21:32, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Copyright notice on Template:Europe location

Template:Europe location contains the following copyright licence:

The copyright holder of this file allows anyone to use it for any purpose, provided that the copyright holder David Liuzzo is properly attributed. Newly created maps based on this material may only be used together with the original images if they stay in line with the corporate design scheme and its intention. Redistribution, derivative work, commercial use, and all other use is permitted if the copyright holder gets informed about it beforehand..

Am I right in thinking that this is not ok on commons (in particular the last sentence, but maybe the previous one as well) ? Schutz 15:52, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

The last sentence would make it a {{Notify}}. --Matt314 17:59, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
This is being discussed with the author, I'm checking it out right know. -- Bryan (talk to me) 18:10, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
The author is willing to license it under the cc-by-sa license, but is currently on a wikibreak. -- Bryan (talk to me) 18:12, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
My interpretation of the second sentence is that it prohibits certain types of derivative works. Indeed the author has made a deletion request based on this sentence on a derivative map: see Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Europe location TUR2.png, where the author uses the violation of the common design scheme as justification for deletion from Commons. Kelvinc 12:09, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Author is currently not on a wikibreak (he has been active in a number of projects yesterday) and must justify the license he has placed on all maps, especially as they are bing implemented across many many projects. If the relicensing doesn't occur, shouldn't they all be deleted according to commons rules? -- 15:32, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I asked the author when he is going to change the license. -- Bryan (talk to me) 19:44, 21 January 2007 (UTC)


I have some concerns about the wording and accuracy of Template:EdwardCurtis. (I'm bringing it here because I don't expect Template talk:EdwardCurtis attracts much traffic.) The text of the template is as follows:

  This image came from The North American Indian of Edward S. Curtis. This photo was made between 1907 and 1930. The ones which were made before 1923 are in the public domain. The others can be used for any purpose, provided that the copyright holder is properly attributed. Redistribution, derivative work, commercial use, and all other use is permitted.

Credits: Northwestern University Library, Edward S. Curtis's "The North American Indian": the Photographic Images, 2001.

The copyright statement from Northwestern University Library is at, and it says something different. It says, "Northwestern University Library is not aware of any current U.S. copyright or other restrictions on the use of the publication" but goes on to claim its own copyright over "the images produced for this digital collection". Now, thanks to Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. we all know that a library or museum can't claim its own copyright on its reproductions (including digital ones) of 2-dimensional works of art like photographs. So we can ignore their copyright claim as unenforceable. But can we take the fact that they are not aware of any copyright to mean that all the images (including those from 1923 and after) are public domain? If not, and if there's no evidence that the copyright didn't get renewed, then we have to assume the images taken in and after 1923 are still copyrighted, don't we? —Angr 16:37, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

The Library of Congress' other page on the collection's copyright states, more explicitly, "Photographs in this collection were deposited for copyright bewtween 1899 and 1929. Works copyrighted before 1923 are now in the public domain. The copyright for the works after 1923 was not renewed, so they are also in the public domain." --Davepape 19:23, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Logo of "Sinistra Liberale"

I have had a discussion with the "IT head" of Sinistra Liberale, and he wants to publish the logo here. I first deleted it, because trademarked logos are not allowed here. He however told me that the logo was not trademarked. So is it allowed here? Relevant discussions: [43] [44] -- Bryan (talk to me) 09:29, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

And if I send a mail explaining everything at Could be the right solution? Thanx -- Claxroma 12:24, 20 January 2007 (UTC)
  1. The trademark restriction is debated. Trademarks may be allowed, sometimes, because -- as the arguments go -- almost anything can be trademarked. For example, don't you think that Image:User browser firefox.png is trademark protected? Could you use this logo for your own company? The answer: No you cannot, because you would violate trademark, because people associate this type of logo with FireFox. (Note: You might be able to use it if your company is doing something completely different, such as selling ham)
  2. Of course a logo is trademarked. No other company can use the same logo.
  3. However, a more important point is whether the logo is copyrighted. I think we have decided that most logos are copyrighted, so we don't have to engage in debating where the differences lay... If the owner/creator explicitly releases his copyrights of a logo, it may be OK.
Fred Chess 11:45, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

American non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term

Please be aware that m:American non-acceptance of the rule of the shorter term means that even if a work has enter the public domain in its source country, it might remain legally copyrighted in the USA. This Meta link include a proposed petition to the United States Congressmembers to seek law changes that will benefit Wikimedia Commons and its sister projects. Please join the discussion, or even non-American users will be prevented from legally contributing their public domain sources to Wiki sites if still legally copyrighted in the USA.--Jusjih 08:00, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

I have added this important information to the project page.--Jusjih 15:16, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Image:Joseph beuys signature.jpg

hi, i've just another joseph beuys picture problem... this image seems to be a photograph from a book cover: a scribble and a signature. both but mainly the signature of beuys are copyrighted by the Nachlass (Estate of Joseph Beuys) at the VG Bild-Kunst in Germany. the usufruct/copyright of this image could be uncertain...¿§? greetings hendrike 09:15, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Personal signatures are generally not copyrightable in Germany, see de:Unterschrift#Urheberrecht and de:Rechtsschutz von Schriftzeichen#Schutz handschriftlicher Schriftarten und Gestaltungen. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 10:39, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
thanx! try and error, let's see... greetings/danke! -- hendrike 04:34, 29 January 2007 (UTC)


Please, check my English grammar in sections Comment and Warning of this template. This text in future will be (must be?) added to other PD-exUSSR-exempt License tags.--Alex Spade 07:06, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Old art : frames and licensing questions

I came across Image:Claude Monet Bouquet of Sunflowers.jpg by Claude Monet. It is tagged as {{Cc-by-2.0}} and nothing else. My questions are:

  1. Because the frame is included in the photograph, does it make it a non-free image? Specifically, it seems like it should not be tagged with {{PD-Art}}, since it is more than a ...a faithful reproduction of a two-dimensional work of art.
  2. If it is a free image, should it also be tagged with {{PD-Art}}?

Thank you. --09:17, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Because the photo includes the frame, it's not as plain reproduction. Thus, the photographer has some rights, and PD-Art does not apply. The photographer releases his work under CC-by-2.0, which is a free license, so the photo is ok. The description should also mention that the painting itself is PD, but since the artist and year of creation are mentioned, this is fine too.
The only thin that may be confusing is this: if you crop away everything but the painting itself - would that be PD-Art, or would you have to respect the CC-by license? But that doesn't really matter I guess, since even for PD photos, giving a source is required. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 12:15, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Your final comment actually brings up another question I wanted to ask. For PD-Art and PD-ineligible images, is a source necessary? (Well, it is for PD-Art like you said, but for PD-ineligible?) I've been totally confused on it, and have gotten totally different answers by different people on Wikibooks and Wikipedia. --Iamunknown 00:52, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes. Three reasons: first, it's handy for verification purposes. Second, it's more encyclopedic if you give as much information as you can: who created the work, and when, and maybe even where or why. Third, in several countries, the moral rights of authors (in particular the right to be attributed) are perpetual. So, name the author, if you can. (For PD-ineligible, the third reason obviously doesn't hold, but the other two are still valid.) We should always give the source, at the very least the immediate image source. Lupo 07:54, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
in short: not by law, but it's "best practice", and even required by commons policy. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 12:09, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

Photos of commercials

Hi. I want to ask how come if "TV Screenshots (programs and commercials)." are not allowed then why photos of commercials seem to be allowed? I believe this is all fair use:

40px   40px   40px   40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px

BTW in Poland we have a law that says that "One is allowed to distribute: works that are permanently displayed on publicly available road, streets, squares or gardens, but not for the same use". I believe that commercial posters do not match this description. Not sure if there are other laws in other countries that should be considered.

Nux (talk··dyskusja) 10:27, 24 January 2007 (UTC).

They should be. See Commons:Derivative works. Samulili 10:55, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
They should be what? Deleted? —Angr 11:15, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Reproducing a commercial, by whatever means, is not OK for commons. Showing it in context however (like as part of a public space) is OK. There's obviously some grey area in between, which has to be dealt with on a case by case basis. For TV commercials, i would say that screenshots are definitely not ok, but a picture of a TV set that happens to be showing a comemrcial would be Ok.

Note that the "in context" argument implies that if you crop the image so it only shows the commercial, it would be no longer ok. This may seem strange at first, but we should keep in mind that derivative work of a free image may still violate a copyright and may thus be unsuitable for redistribution - an obvious example would be adding something non-free to the free work. But it's also true for reducing the free work to something that is copyrighted by someone else. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 11:42, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Agree. All of them have to be deleted. They clearly intend to show the content of the poster/advertising, not its surroundings. --Fb78 13:03, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

I agree in general, but I think I've copy&pasted too many photos (from my talk page). I belive we could leave this one: Image:Coca Cola fcm.jpg, as it shows much more then just the commercial and I think the topic of the photo is not the commercial itself, but it's condition. Well at least I wouldn't delete it as speedy, but rather after a vote. --Nux (talk··dyskusja) 18:47, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree that Image:Coca Cola fcm.jpg might be OK -- it appears to be permanently located outdoors, which is one of the criterias we go by when deciding whether to keep an image.
I furthermore think Image:Wrap advertising light rail.jpg might be OK. It is a photo of a vehicle and not an advertizing.
Fred Chess 11:40, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Photos intending to show the content may still be OK if the country's freedom of panorama laws allow it (which may well be the case in Poland, as mentioned). If there is no such freedom (such as in France or Italy), then those would not be allowed (since the "permanent" exception comes from those laws). Pictures which are a head-on closeup of the ad showing little or no surrounding details should probably be deleted either way. I agree with the two exceptions noted above, and Image:Sixtwerbung flughafen stuttgart.jpg might be OK as well. The permanency of billboards is debatable... sometimes those are around for years, and the billboard itself is a permanent fixture (unlike say a traveling art exhibit). If so, then Image:ZUZANA MARTINAKOVA NA BILBOARDE.JPG and Image:Pavol Hrušovský.JPG are OK as well. I think the rest need to be deleted. Carl Lindberg 15:56, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

The content would only be free content in the US if the commercial works were included incidentally, i.e. not the primary subject. So, no. --Gmaxwell 07:27, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

We have to debate if they're eligible for copyright at all. The ones that include photographs definitely are - if only by the fact that photographs are automatically protected. The rest are probably ok (avoid paranoia.) --Fb78 13:29, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

I have deleted those that I think we agreed on could be deleted. I ask kindly that the remaining images shouldn't be speedy deleted. / Fred Chess 16:01, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Images from Coppermine Photo Gallery

There are many images available on en wikipedia here from AWMN Photo Gallery which are powered and licensed by Coppermine Photo Gallery. I could not find out any license which is most appropriate for this. The disclaimer is as follows: Coppermine Photo Gallery Copyright 2003-2005. Coppermine Photo Gallery (CPG) is an open source project released under the GNU/GPL terms. Other trademarks are properties of their respective companies.. Please suggest whether a new license tag should be created or which tag is the most suitable for these images. Regards, Shyam (T/C) 18:31, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Coppermine is just software, just like MediaWiki. The fact that they use coppermine doesn't tell us anything about the image licenses. Without some more information these images are unlicensed and not appropriate for our sites. --Gmaxwell 18:40, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
    • Thanks for the replies. But, under which license these image can be assumed? Are they acceptable on enwp? Shyam (T/C) 17:23, 30 January 2007 (UTC)
      • You cannot assume anything just by the software use. It's like saying "it was typed with word, which license is it under?" The question doesn't really make much sense. If no license is specified explicitly, you cannot assume anything. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 17:53, 30 January 2007 (UTC) PS: you are asking about the AWMN website - so, ask AWMN for the license of the images they have there...
        • Thanks for the clarifications. Shyam (T/C) 22:01, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Can someone do a check for copyrights?


can someone more experienced in finding copyright status of pictures (especially pictures from en:Library and Archives Canada) look over uploads by HawkFest (talkcontribs)? Some of his uploads are good (Image:Lpatrick.jpg, LAC says PD), but I find others questionable: see for instance Image:Punch Line.jpg, which claims "As a National Canadian public library material, it lies within the public domain scope", contrary to what LAC itself says. Some other interesting ones are Image:Rocket Richard.jpg, which apparently is both PD and cc-by-sa-2.5-CA, and Image:Guy Lafleur action3.jpg, PD, cc-by-sa-2.5-CA, and sourced from AP...

Thanks. --user:Qviri 01:17, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Deleted Guy_Lafleur_action3.jpg -- Duesentrieb(?!) 09:48, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I have asked HawkFest about this - why havn't you btw? The first step should always be to talk to the uploader. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 10:09, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
These images are OK for use within the scope of Wiki's Web site. But Ok, I understand that images have to be available for commercialization by Wiki without any royalties obligations to anyone it seems. Btw, if the images have to be free (as they are, their licenses are ok for use within the SCOPE OF THIS WEB SITE), WHY does Wiki's ultimate goal seems to be the commercialization of its content, like here (I've noticed this yesterday), and considering your very tight requirements?... Clever... I wanna be a share holder!!!!!!!!!! ;-)... Oh true, it is disguised as some "non-profit organization"... I wonder about the salaries wiki people are putting into their pockets... Please provide a clear bi-annual financial statement. Or better : give all your revenues to poor countries/people. So unless that happens, please do the job of asking for permissions yourself, if you see that copyrights are not ok for book selling Wiki's content (or state this later fact clearly for new content providers, this is really misleading), or provide a template already filled for me to send them for requesting their permission: I am not a slave who gives his FREE time and work for others to capitalize on it, especially the textual work! lol... Also, please explain clearly to new content providers how their work will actually be used : for commercial purposes over which they will get nada. Best regards, HawkFest 22:05, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I have a better idea : instead of p*ssing off people who give their free time and work, and who do not wish to loose their valuable time into some commercial considerations in regards to images (they are not here for these considerations, since they are not paid), leave all the images that are ok in regards to the scope of this web site, and then have someone do the filtering for the commercial edition. The commercial part of Wiki should NOT be imposed upon those who are giving (and providing) their work for free on the web site. Thanks. HawkFest 22:42, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

The Wikimedia Foundation could not commercialize the sites - people would just take all the content, for free, and go somewhere else. The requirement that all content must be usable commercially is part of the "freedom" of free content, and rather practically, is a prerequisite to the goal to make information available to as many people as possible - dvd releases and print copies usually are not possible without chargin money. going through all images ond text and find out wich may not be used commercially would be a herculean task to be performed by the team that does such a release. It makes much more sense to spread that work on the commonity - which is what we are doing here.

The goal of Commons is to be a place wher eyou can find media you can use for whatever you are doing - all you need to do is give due credit. which is enough for most people. If you don't like it, go somewhere else. There are several Wikipedia clones/rip-offs around with varying license and content policies. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 23:23, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

HUm hum... Go see somewhere else? Dude you are rude. And what about THIS?!?!

On Amazon:
Wikipedia - Die freie Enzyklopädie 2006/2007
ASIN: 3898530213

Do you mean that I could publish a print copy using the Wikipedia foundation name and logo without any prejudice to anyone? Are you so sure about what you said? Because FACTS are showing the opposite... I don't think that many people around the globe have access to your database so as to publish a book so fast, mister! Go see somewhere else? The only "somewhere else" I will see are journalists so they tell people that their "free contributions" will be used by others who will capitalize on it and on their back : The Wikipedia foundation itself! I have raised legitimate concerns, in the most polite manner, and I don't need that kind of ill-communication from your part! The only "somewhere else" I will go, mister, is to a lawyer to raise a collective lawsuit against your activities which are misleading contributors. So be polite, or that will happen! Capice? Oh, and tag whatever you want, be my guest and have fun, I really don't care anymore. HawkFest 08:04, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Anyone has access to the database - help yourself: - as for wikipedia mirrors/forks, see en:Wikipedia:Content_forking and en:Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks. You can indeed publish a print version or DVD release, as long as you follow the terms of the GFDL - the only thing you need extra permission for is use of Wikimedia logos and trademarks. Note however that the GFDL requires "share-alike": any derivative work must be released under the same terms - which include the possibility of commercial user. If also ensures that all content will always be available for free, so no one can take it away from the community, or monopolize the data.
Keep in mind that the free software and free content movements are based on the concept that everything is usable also commercially - this applies to the well known OSS projects like Linux, BSD, Apache, MySQL, PHP, etc. And it also applies to Wikimedia projects such as Wikipedia and Commons, as per statute and requirement of the people that founded and run those projects. Perhaps read the articles I linked to...
The DVD you linked to is released by Directmedia [45], which is a company like any other (onf frindly terms with wikimedia, but that's about it).
Also note that I'm a user here, just like you. I have been truested with three extra options by the community: delete, protect, and block. That's what "admin" means. that's it.
If you don't like the idea that other people can benefit from your work, commercially or otherwise, this is simply the wrong place for you. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 11:31, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
I tagged some more images as lacking source or licensing information. Since the uploader didn't give a source beyond "Archives Canada", it is very difficult to verify the rest of the images. See Category:Library and Archives Canada for a lot of actual free content -- it is a great source, but it is really important to understand that a lot of their archives are not free. Jkelly 00:02, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

This is why I haven't asked first. If someone could go through and verify the licensing (which I understand is hard 'cause the LAC website doesn't exactly have a great seach engine; I tried myself), then inform HawkFest "this, this, and this image you uploaded are not free, are thus incompatible with Commons' project scope, and will be deleted shortly. Please check the copyright status of the pictures before you upload them in the future. Thanks, and if you have any questions, contact me," maybe the above wouldn't be there. Oh well. --user:Qviri 20:11, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

TV/Radio Images

Would TV or Radio images (such as images taken from take of the stations logo) or screenshots of those logos be classified as free images? If not, could they be made to be free images? - SVRTVDude 16:17, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

no and no. You cannot "make" a copyrighted work free. See Commons:Derivative work -- Duesentrieb(?!) 17:43, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Newbie Question

I'm new here--how do I go about seeing if this image is copyrighted or not? Here's a link to the site it's from.JeffKo427 16:38, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Aren't all NASA photos public domain? —Angr 16:56, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes. But the question is whether this is a NASA picture. Its description is located here and has: Credits: Romano Corradi, Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, Tenerife, Spain; Mario Livio, Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.; Ulisse Munari, Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova-Asiago, Italy; Hugo Schwarz, Nordic Optical Telescope, Canarias, Spain; and NASA
I honestly don't know what the copyright status is. -- Bryan (talk to me) 16:59, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Hubble images that list non-NASA contributors are generally copyrighted. See; this image is on hubblesite at [46]. (Images credited to just ESA & NASA might also be PD, but that doesn't apply in this case.) --Davepape 18:04, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
So would this image be copyrighted? It's pulled straight from the NASA website. Also, would I be allowed to crop it to get rid of the caption box before uploading?JeffKo427 09:57, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't matter from which website it comes. It only matters who created it. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 11:23, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

Book published in UK

I want to scan "Chopin's Greater Works" by Jan Kleczyński (1837-1895) translated by Natalja Janotha (1856-1932). Book was published in UK, London by W. Reeves (probably in 1896) (details). I think it should be {{PD-old}}, but I want to be sure. Thank you for help. --EugeneZelenko 16:37, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

I think PD-old is applicable since 1973.--Wiggum 22:25, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Why do you think this? EU copyright term is 70 years pma --Historiograf 18:52, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I see no problem with PD-Old. / Fred Chess 10:24, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Second Life screenshots


I'm unsure if this ( GFDL doesn't conflict with a possible copyright of Second Life, however reading their Terms of Use didn't immediately show any conflict, but I'm still not sure so I wanted to ask here.

--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 12:21, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

The avatar's creator has rights to the image, IMHO. It cannot be freely licensed without his/her consent -- Duesentrieb(?!) 14:14, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
Yes. In fact, Linden Labs was quite progressive in officially giving users the intellectual property rights to their in-game creations - see --Davepape 14:36, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
I created {{Second Life}} -- Bryan (talk to me) 14:52, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
... In addition, Second Life has committed to exploring technologies to make it easy for creators to license their content under Creative Commons licenses. neat. And it's free software (at least the viewer is). And their developer documentation uses mediawiki. Damn, I may have to take a look at this after all... -- Duesentrieb(?!) 17:47, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
My impression is that en:User:Carnildo knows something about this. You may want to ask him about it. Jkelly 17:53, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Didn't the creator of the Avatar give permission by uploading it to the wiki? I don't know if they have licence tags, but it says that "content is available under the GFDL"?--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 18:55, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
Oops yes creator... mmh that's a different story. So it's no then.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 18:56, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

Hi, there are planty of high quality images on the site, and I would really like to have some of them on commons. Some photos are made by USDA employees, so I probably could upload them under the {{PD-USGov-USDA}} license, but I've also found that note(Image Use section) and that note, so I'm not so sure any more. I've found 3 photos from that site already uploaded on commons: one copyrighted Image:Neodiprion lecontei.jpg, and two PD USDA: Image:Serrated tussock.jpg, Image:Osmoderma eremita.jpg. Can someone clarify the terms of usage of USDA photos from that site? Thanks --Nova 13:02, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Hi Nova! According to their image usage policy the images are not allowed here on commons, because they use a non-commercial license. Because of this, I will check the sources and mark the images as {{Copyvio}}. Greetings! Enricopedia 21:41, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
STOP: This so called license is en:copyfraud as far as images by USDA employees are concerned. Those images are PD in the moment, they are taken, so no one can legally constrict their use by any kind of a license. --h-stt !? 22:42, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
I understand what you mean. So how should we handle them? PS: There is no en:copyfraud article. Enricopedia 22:46, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Here is something about copyfraud. Enricopedia 22:48, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Only USDA images from their website are PD. The others are NonCommercial. If there is no source given at the website, there is no way for us to find out :(. -- Bryan (talk to me) 22:49, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
The sources are given, the photographer is named. I removed the copyvio tag from the second image, because it was taken by an USDA employee. The other two remain copyvios. Enricopedia 22:56, 5 February 2007 (UTC)
Deleted them. So the conclusion is that only image explicitly created by USDA employers are allowed here on commons using {{PD-USGov-USDA}}. -- Bryan (talk to me) 08:48, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks a lot, all of you, pleasure to read such good news :) --Nova 21:52, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

Canadian Government Public Domain: Canadian Government license needed in drop down menu


Dr. J.H.C. Willoughy land patent grant from the Dominion Government 1870-1930

Date February 7, 2007
Author Search the database - Western Land Grants (1870-1930) - ArchiviaNet - Library and Archives Canada
(Reusing this file)

  • unrestricted public domain material, which can be reproduced without permission. You may reproduce material from the Library and Archives Canada website provided that:
  • Library and Archives Canada is identified as the source;
  • You exercise due diligence in ensuring the accuracy of the material reproduced;
  • You do not manipulate and/or modify the material reproduced; and
  • The reproduction is not represented as an official version of the material reproduced or as having been made in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of, Library and Archives Canada.
Other versions

Can I upload this picture...weblinks given aboveSriMesh (talk to me)

Yes...but putting something in the licensing dropdown would quickly lead to all sorts of bad Crown Copyright uploads. See Category:Library and Archives Canada for PD material from the Canadian gov't archives. Jkelly 05:17, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
I would say no. "You do not manipulate and/or modify the material reproduced" is not a free license and conflicts with the "unrestricted PD above" ++Lar: t/c 12:40, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
They can request that as a courtesy, but it is unrelated to copyright on public domain material. Jkelly 20:37, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Thank you very much - I have added it and looked at other items previously uploaded from Library and Archives Canada It is at Image:JHC-Willoughby.jpg SriMesh (talk to me)

Product shots

Consider this image... Image:dhilip.jpg Is that really PD? real king maker. I have some shots of a different consumer product I want to post as well but had expected they were FU and had to go on en, not here. The contents (its w:Corn Nuts ) I figured were ok as it's not specific. Guidance welcom ++Lar: t/c 12:18, 7 February 2007 (UTC)

The KitKat image seems a clear copyright violation, and I have tagged it for speedy deletion. --MichaelMaggs 14:03, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Templates for dual-licensed GFDL and non-commercial

Commons forbids non-commercial licenses (eg. CC-by-nc-sa) unless a work is also released under a license allowing free commercial use. The GFDL is an obvious choice. But, since the template Template:Cc-by-nc-sa-2.5 carries a big red label warning that the work will be speedily deleted, it's not palatable to use this template along with Template:GFDL when dual-licensing.

Should we have a single template which incorporates both GFDL and CC-by-nc-sa which does not have the red label? (And perhaps one for GFDL and CC-by-nc-nd?) 03:32, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Ummm maybe. What you are suggesting is acceptable of course. (see eg Image:Angela Beesley.jpg). I'm not sure it's something we'd want to encourage to the extent of having a template. For the moment, I would just manually write in "I dual-license this file under the GFDL and CC whichever license", and link the license name to the license text on the Creative Commons website. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 04:30, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
That's what {{CC}} is for -- Duesentrieb(?!) 11:13, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Who is "we", and why discourage the combination of licenses described? Is there an article that says why it's bad (and which has some consensus on WP)? 06:02, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
Commons:Licensing#Well-known licenses describes why GFDL-only licensing is not the most preferred way, though it is allowable. The addition of an nc or nd commons license doesn't hurt but it also doesn't help either, so I can see why we may not want to encourage it with explicit templates. I assume there were problems with folks using {{Cc-by-nc-sa-2.5}} and the like assuming they were free enough by themselves, as they have long been redirected to a speedy-delete tag. As noted, you can use {{CC|Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5|by-nc-sa/2.5}} in your image page to show the extra license, which is somewhat inconvenient but not awful. Unfortunately though there does not seem to be a way to use that inside of a {{Self}} template. Carl Lindberg 06:50, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
By "we" I meant "Wikimedia Commons". Some relevant documents: w:Wikipedia:Multi-licensing, w:GNU_Free_Documentation_License#Burdens_when_printing, COM:L (as Carl pointed out)
There is no existing consensus that it is a bad combination of licenses because AFAIK the topic has never come up. This is why I think it is bad: GFDL-only is bad because the requirement to print the license with each use is a nuisance. Dual-licensing with another free license (you may as well read: CC-BY or CC-BY-SA) is good because these additional licenses are easy to understand and follow the terms of, as well as being free. Dual-licensing with only non-free licenses (anything NC or ND) will be bad because the nuisance of the GFDL will encourage people to choose the non-free alternative license instead. We want the net effect to be the wider propagation of free licenses, not non-free ones!
Multi-licensing with the GFDL and a combination of free and non-free CC licenses may be good, because it offers the work to a variety of projects that have NC or ND restrictions (I know some wikis choose these terms), as well as offering easy, free licenses for any use.
OK the self tag as it currently stands won't accept {{CC|Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5|by-nc-sa/2.5}}. As it's one of our most widely used templates it's unlikely to undergo a major rewrite any time soon. I recommend manually writing in such terms (you are welcome to create a userspace template to subst: into each image page, if you like).
BTW the issue is of wider concern than Wikipedia. Not all Wikimedia projects use the GFDL. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 07:13, 9 February 2007 (UTC)


I'm intending to improve and expand this template (which identifies UK Government works in the public domain). The first thing that's not quite correct is the title: it should be Template:PD-UKGov, since the template relates to the whole of the UK, including Northern Ireland, and not just to Great Britain. Can I just move it, or would there be repercussions? --MichaelMaggs 10:59, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

  • Answer there came none. OK - I'm just going to do it. No doubt somebody will let me know if it mucks anything else up. --MichaelMaggs 17:51, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

New UK Public domain templates

I have created two new templates for UK public domain images:

  • {{PD-UK-known}} - for UK images having a known author who died more than 70 years ago
  • {{PD-UK-unknown}} - for old UK images of unknown authorship where copyright has expired.

The UK rules are pretty complex and there seems to be a common, but quite incorrect, assumption that the copyright term in the UK for an image whose authorship is not known is 70 years after the author's (assumed) date of death. In fact, if the author isn't known and can't be ascertained by reasonable enquiry, the 70-year term normally runs from the publication date or from the creation date if the work has never been published. Using the correct rule allows many more images to be freely used on Commons than does the incorrect one. --MichaelMaggs 13:26, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

That makes sense for PD-UK-unknown, but is there a particular reason one would want PD-UK-known instead of {{PD-old}} (which mentions the EU, of which the UK is usually a member)? --Davepape 16:03, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
The trouble with PD-old is that it doesn't distinguish between known and unknown authors (which is essential to determining the correct date of copyright expiry in the UK). Its misuse when the author is actually unknown contributes, I think, to the confusion I mentioned. So, although PD-old and PD-UK-known do use the same rule, only the latter makes it clear when the tag can and cannot legally be used for UK works. I don't know about other EU countries, I'm afraid, so I wouldn't want to change pd-old except (perhaps) to recommend the use of the new UK tags when the image is a UK one. What do you think? --MichaelMaggs 18:31, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I think PD-old is meant for use when the author is known, or if it's so old that the unknown author is very very likely to have died more than 70 years ago anyways. {{Anonymous work}} is the somewhat-nebulous template used (and sometimes abused) when the author is unknown. I still don't see the need for a separate UK-known template, since UK copyright law in that area is essentially the same as the rest of the EU. It does appear that the UK has more explicit rules for when the author is unknown (which makes the typical EU term impossible to calculate), so I can definitely see PD-UK-unknown as much more preferable than Anonymous-work. Although, I do wonder how other EU countries would treat it, given the rule-of-the-longer-term used between member states, and I also wonder what the U.S. law would be (if free in the UK but not in many other countries, it may not qualify for commons). On the other hand that may be paranoia... if an author makes themselves known at a later date, the tag can be fixed then (and the pic deleted if need be). The problem is ensuring that "reasonable enquiries" were in fact made, and the tag is not abused as an excuse to upload lots of images without attribution. Carl Lindberg 07:18, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree that if pd-old were to be changed to make it clear that it can only be used when the author is known, then we wouldn't need PD-UK-known. --MichaelMaggs 13:18, 9 February 2007 (UTC)
PD-old is for when the author has been dead for 70 years, as it says. In other words, either the author must be known (to ascertain the dates), or the image be so old that the distinction is irrelevent. Carl Lindberg 19:16, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree that PD-UK-known seems essentially the same as PD-old and thus no need for a separate template. The PD-UK-unknown seems pretty helpful though. The options are listed as 1a, 1a, and 2 at the moment -- did you mean 1a, 1b, and 2? Maybe a simpler 1,2,3 points would be better... I think it looks better with numbered-list wiki syntax (prefixing the three categories with '#') anyways. Is there any definition of "reasonable enquiry" though? I'm sure it's more than "I didn't see an author's name on the web page I took it from", and we may want to be careful about ways this template could be abused by defining that more explicitly. Carl Lindberg 17:12, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I have changed to a bulletted list in the text of {{PD-UK-unknown}}. There's no definition in the UK statute as to what 'reasonable enquiry' means, but I'm sure you're right that it means more than "I can't see any author's name". Should the template perhaps ask the user to specify what enquiries have been carried out? If none, then the image shouldn't be accepted, but occasionally someone else other than the uploader might think it worth doing that enquiry. --MichaelMaggs 18:16, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
We discussed the reasonable enquiry recently, in connection with the German copyright law. It was disputed by user:Lupo, but I still think it is self-explanatory. Just ask yourself if you have made reasonable efforts to locate the copyright holder. If you find an image on a website, it would certainly not be an unreasonable effort to send an email to the webmaster. If it is a postcard, it is not unreasonable to contact the original publisher. In essence: you should be inclined to LOCATE THE COPYRIGHT HOLDER. You should NOT think I don't want to locate the copyright holder. You should say: "I really would like to locate the copyright holder because I want him to receive due credit for his work. Alas, after making reasonable efforts, I have not succeeded." If you do that, you , and we, will be happy to use the work. We should never be happy to use a work where there has been made reasonable efforts to avoid tracking down the copyright holder. / Fred Chess 10:34, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
I agree, be we should require the efforts to be documented -- Duesentrieb(?!) 15:28, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Template:PD-old. What about unknown authors?

In the UK, at least, this template only works when the author is actually known. When the author is unknown and can't easily be found the rules are quite different. I don't know about the US and other EU countries, but it seems to me that uploaders using this tag ought to specify who the author is, and his/her known or assumed date of death. And perhaps there should be another generic tag for anonymous US/other EU works? --MichaelMaggs 18:47, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

I think it would be orphan works, not anonymous. There is a template {{Anonymous work}}, but it is unclear to me if it is meant for orphan (with an unknown author) or anonymous work (see [47]). This template was nominated for deletion but kept. --Matt314 21:47, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

National Ocean & Atmospheric Administration

National Ocean & Atmospheric Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce ( is a US state department. Can images from the site be uploaded to commons? Rune X2 00:10, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Images from the site, which are created by NOAA can be uploaded using {{PD-USGov-NOAA}}. Images on their site may not necessarily be their work though.--Nilfanion 00:16, 10 February 2007 (UTC)


Microsoft Programm and you see on the screenshoot the copyrith mark of Microsoft.

Maybe it works with PD-ineligible, but I'm sure that PD-self is wrong.

Image:Qbasic.gif is similar, but here is the shown source also copyrigthed ...

-- MichaelFrey 13:06, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

National anthems

When visiting [48], I find that even though the US Navy site is generally in the public domain, "[T]he music files on this website are intended for official use by Department of Defense and U.S. government offices only. Exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis." I would like to ask if we can copy them here.--Jusjih 17:53, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

One problem is that many of the anthems themselves may be copyrighted, since they weren't written by the US Navy. If you can determine that a particular song is PD, and the recording is a performance by the US Navy Band, recorded by Navy personnel, then you could probably argue for PD-USGov licensing (on a case-by-case basis). --Davepape 18:00, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Image:Flag of Karnataka.svg

Should Image:Flag of Karnataka.svg be PD-self? I thought it should be something different. --Iamunknown 07:41, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

How about {{PD-ineligible}}? --Matt314 12:43, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't know. I thought it would be a non-PD license. --Iamunknown 19:24, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
There is insufficient authorship for claiming copyright. Nothing wrong with the creator saying he created it though. / Fred Chess 21:55, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

US military personnel chart

Is it OK to upload this image? I'm not quite sure. I heard that all .edu sites are PD, but which license should I take? --Predator capitalism 09:30, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Not all .edu sites are PD. Not even all .gov sites are PD - but both often have a lot of PD material. Generally, you can't make any assumption about the copyright status just by the site an image comes from - you have to determine who created it. Works created by employees/members of the federal US government as part of their duty are PD - works created by other people not necessarily, even if bought/licensed/used by the federal government.
So, this image is PD if it was for example created by members of the US army as part of their job. If it was just made by someone at the university, it isn't automatically PD.
Two more things: people in educational institutions are often open for the idea of free content / copyleft - so it may be enough to just ask them, to officially release it under cc-by-sa or whatever. Also, diagrams are PD-ineligible if they are a purely technical representation of facts (lack of creative originality) - this one is a bit more stylish, so it might be copyrighted. You can always use it as a source to draw your own though, since facts can not be copyrighted. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 10:37, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Isle of Man copyright law

Is here someone who knows about Isle of Man copyright law? Specifically, I'm interested in the copyright ststus of postcard from 1907. ([49], from here). Can it be PD or not? Kneiphof 13:02, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

I can't find the full text of the law, but it looks like they have 50 pma terms according to this. The postcard does say "registered copyright"... did the UK once have a copyright registry? If so more information can probably be found there. It's also quite possible that the full copyright law may specify different rules on older photos, much like UK law (maybe even the same as UK law). So, if anyone can find the full text of their copyright, that may help as well... I couldn't find it in a brief search though. I would honestly be surprised if this wasn't PD, but without more info it's hard to be sure. Carl Lindberg 08:51, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

EFP image

Would the image on be public domain? The en:Picatinny Arsenal article and their website are quite vague about it's relationship with the U.S. military.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 18:59, 12 February 2007 (UTC) Picatinny is a U.S. government base.[50] Rmhermen 00:59, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Pics taken by an agency of a city government in the US: Public domain?

Hi there-

I know that pics taken by US federal employees in the course of their duties are considered to be in the public domain; wondering if the same is true for US cities. Thanks! --Jfruh 23:26, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

No. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 00:11, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
If you can find a statement on the city's web site that declares its images to be public domain, then yes. Otherwise, I would assume they are copyrighted. howcheng {chat} 00:12, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Is it PD?

First, there are some old questions of mine that were unanswered at Commons:Help_desk_archive/2006Dec#PD_or_not_questions. Second, what about some items I own. If I own a painting, can I share it online as PD/copyleft/etc. or does the artist still owns the copyright? Is there a difference if it is a unique painting (I own the only copy), or when the artists makes dozens of similar paitings of the same object and I own only one of them? What about a poster-map from a magazine? Finally, photos. If I take a photo of a publicly displayed item - a building, a car, a poster, a monument, an piece of art - can I share the photo under PD online? What about photos of copyrighted items I own (for example, a wargaming miniature, contents of a board game, a cellphone, a book...)?--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 23:16, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

First, general comments on your questions above.

Ownership of (a copy of) a work of art does not in any way grant the right to make (additional) copies of that work of art. If the work is previously unpublished, ownership does not inherently grant the right to publish. If you own a painting (even if it is unique and you own the only original), you generally do not own the copyright, and the consent of the original creator is required to copy or publish it. This even includes public exhibition of the original, something which many people do not realize.

Generally, you may not take a photograph of any thing which embodies a copyright, and share the photograph online, or generally publish it in any way. There are several exceptions to this. First, in some, but not all, countries, there is a doctrine called the "freedom of panorama", which allows for the inclusion of copyrighted works in a photograph under certain conditions, which vary from country to country, but typically involve works of art installed in a public place where the public may reasonably view them. The United States (and possibly other countries) has a doctrine of "incidental inclusion", which allows for the inclusion of copyrighted works in a photograph when such inclusion is "incidental" to the subject of the work. And, of course, there are always uses which fall within the ambit of "fair use". However, in general, if the subject of your photograph is a work of art (as defined by copyright law) and you are not licensed by the holder of the copyrights to that work of art to make derivative works from that work of art, then you may not publish or otherwise distribute that photograph. So, you may not take pictures of wargaming miniatures, board games, book covers, etc. and publish them without the consent of the copyright owner of the work in question (except to the extent that you can utilize a fair use justification). The cellphone is a different situation; the shape and design of a cellphone is not subject to copyright in the United States; it is, instead, subject to something called a "design patent". However, a cellphone which somehow embodies a copyrighted image (say, a Hello Kitty cellphone) would still be protected by copyright in the manner I have described above.

Now, on to your specific questions:

  • scanned from book published in United Kingdom in 1915
I'm not sure. The answer is probably, but not necessarily, depending on when the author died. Also, keep in mind that scans of an a out-of-copyright British publication bear a "publication right" that persists for 25 years from the date of the first publication of the scan; if you did not do the scan and you live in the UK, you need to be aware of this.
  • The en:Publication right also exists in other countries, but it applies only to previously unpublished works. Lupo 08:24, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
  • from German postcards from 1918 and earlier (some 1915, 1914, others before the IWW but unknown exactly when)
Probably public domain, but again not guaranteed.
  • unknown photographer, 1915
Probably public domain, but not guaranteed, depending on nation of publication and other details.
  • from relativly new copyrighted books reprinting photos from that period
Reprinting content does not regenerate a copyright. But be aware of the British publication right I mentioned above.
  • Only if those photographs were unpublished before. Lupo 08:24, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
  • scanned from a book published in Germany in 1936
Probably not yet public domain; may be soon depending on when the original author died.
  • unknown source, probably German photos from Second World War (1944)
Probably not yet public domain.

Sorry I can't be more specific, but copyright law is annoying that way: the details matter a great deal. There are scenarios that might allow a work to remain in copyright for over 250 years past its original creation (for example, a book written in the United States in 1790, but not published until 1977, will have a copyright that persists until 2072, if I've understood the law correctly), but the basic rule of thumb seems to be that generally works over 100 years old are probably in the public domain (with endless exceptions) Conversely, anything under 70 years old is probably not in the public domain (again, with endless exceptions). Kelly Martin 23:58, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

Unpublished works first published in the U.S. between 1978 to 2002 (inclusive) are copyrighted in the U.S. until at least 2047 (not 2072). Lupo 08:24, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Which is why my hypothetical has a first publication date of 1977. Like I said, details matter. Kelly Martin 11:57, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
I that case I misread your statement. Under U.S. law, a book written in 1790 and first published before 1978 (or after 2002) is PD, AFAIK. If it was published while it was still copyrighted, that copyright has long expired for sure. (1790 is the year of the first U.S. Copyright Act, which had a copyright term of 14 years since publication, plus a renewal term of again 14 years if the author hadn't died during the first term and a renewal was indeed registered. See Patry.) If it wasn't published during these at most 28 years, it remained an unpublished work. As such, it is subject to the U.S. rules for unpublished works. See Hirtle's chart for the details. In short: unless the work was first published 1978 - 2002, it's PD in the U.S. if the author died more than 70 years ago or the work was created more than 120 years ago. Both would surely be true for a 1790 work. Only if it was published 1978 - 2002, it'd be copyrighted until at least 2047. Lupo 19:32, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Your understanding of US copyright law appears to be incorrect. Under US law, prior to 1978, unpublished works, in most cases, enjoyed perpetual copyright under state law (as federal copyright law did not regulate copyright in unpublished works prior to 1978). A work first published and registered in 1977 would have gained a 28 year copyright under the 1909 Act. The 1978 Act would have entitled it to a 47 year extension (augmented to 67 years by the CTEA). None of the other rules you reference apply because the copyright was subsisting on January 1, 1978. See 17 USC 304. I am not 100% certain that the 304(a)(1)(B) or (C) renewal term is available to a work under these conditions, in which case the copyright would have expired in 2005. Kelly Martin 19:41, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. Thanks for setting me straight; I wasn't thinking clearly. If the hitherto unpublished work was published 1923 - 1977, it became a published work, eligible to copyright because of the perpetual common law copyright on unpublished works prior to 1978. (Also if it was published before 1923, but then it is PD.) If published 1978 - 2002, we have that pesky "at least until 2047" rule, only for those first published in 2003 or later we have Hirtle's case of 120 years since creation/70 years p.m.a. Lupo 20:51, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

What about digitzed images of stereopticon cards?

Many were uploaded to the English-language Wikipedia by en:User:Infrogmation. See 1, 2, 3, [51]. None have explicit source information or dates nor were they originally digitized elsewhere .. so it seems to me to be very difficult to verify and determine the copyright status. --Iamunknown 02:39, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Those really should have either a declaration of being original content, or a more specific statement of origin than "19th century" to document. It is generally safe to presume that works over 120 years old are out of copyright; the problem is that "19th century" merely asserts 107 years old, so the case is marginal. The digitization itself does not create a new copyright (but does createa a "publication right" in the UK which, while in effect a copyright, is not recognized outside the UK and can be safely ignored outside the UK). Kelly Martin 03:06, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
More information would definitely be helpful, including publisher and country info. If they were published in the U.S., then they are probably fine, as U.S. works published before 1923 are public domain. If they are from another country, it's dicier. Any information would help -- where do they come from, what information (if any) is printed on them, etc. If there is some info printed but not the author, they may qualify as "anonymous" works, for example. But the less information, the less sure you can be. Carl Lindberg 04:04, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Again, AFAIK the "publication right" applies only to unpublished works. Lupo 08:24, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Hmmmm. Thanks for the answer. Since I am the copyright law are not best of friends, let me repeat one question that I'd like to get right: can I upload photos of buildings to Commons? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 22:51, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Usually yes. Where are you and the buildings? --Gmaxwell 23:33, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Currently in Pittsburgh, and the buildings - Pitt campus and other interesting things I stumble upon. See also my gallery (contribs).--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:16, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Should be ok, then. The U.S. has freedom of panorama for buildings; see 17 USC 120(a). Uploading your own photos of U.S. buildings (or uploading others' such photos, if they're freely licensed) is thus fine. Lupo 21:00, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Is this PD?

I uploaded this file Image:Younghusband-team-1904.jpg and assumed it would be PD since it was taken out >100 years ago. However I can't clearly ascertain if it is PD as I don't know who the author is or when he died. A copyright RCS is watermarked on the image, but considering its age, I assume it should have fallen under PD. Is this PD? and if so under what tag should I mark it under? Nichalp 07:17, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

The source says “Photo: Unknown”. If that is true, you may tag it as an {{Anonymous work}}. But one should always investigate further before tagging it as such. Kjetil_r 07:51, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll tag it as such. Nichalp 09:41, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
Well... It's not really an anonymous work; there is a difference between an anonymous work and a work where the author is unknown. We'r discussing the problem at Template_talk:Anonymous work, but without reaching a conclusion. / Fred Chess 11:03, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Copyright free use

I'm sorry for flooding this talk page with questions. I have so many legal-related quesitons and don't know how to answer them. This one is about {{Copyrighted free use}}. Is it the same as PD-self, Attribution, or PD-release? I would tend to think not. In particular, it seems like someone could claim ownership over an image released under the former license whereas they could not if they released their image into the public domain. I'm kind of worried that the license was deleted at the English-language Wikipedia, and even more worried that all instances were replaced with other licenses (in particular PD-release). I also tend to think that we should not change licenses of images that are other users'. It seems ify. But before I can judge anything I need to know more information. I'd appreciate any thoughts and input. --Iamunknown 05:24, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, it seems like it isn't attribution because the author require attribution (although law may).
And I really don't understand what it means when people "release something to public domain" as that is not possible in many jurisdiction and in US the "law is somewhat unclear" (en:Public domain). However, true public domain, AFAIK, never requires attribution while {{Copyrighted free use}} does sometimes or even most of the time. So there seems to be a difference. Samulili 17:27, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
And finally, IANAL :) Samulili 17:28, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Nor am I. :( I think that you are probably correct about the attribution; if a work is in the public domain, it really does not require attribution (although for our purposes of verification, it does), but if it is copyrighted, it would..maybe? I think I need to talk to a lawyer. *sigh* --Iamunknown 03:07, 19 February 2007 (UTC)


Does anyone know about the copyright policy in Afghanistan? Jahongard 01:47, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Afghanistan has not (as far as I know) acceeded to any international copyright treaty. As a result, Afghan copyright is not enforceable anywhere but in Afghanistan. Furthermore, as far as I can tell, Afghanistan also has no internal copyright law; while efforts have been under way to develop one since approximately 2003, as far as I can tell nothing has been adopted yet. Legally, this means that works by Afghans published in Afghanistan are effectively in the public domain. Jimbo has instructed us to honor the copyright law of nations who do not subscribe to any of the international copyright treaties; however, in this case there is no national law to honor.
Please be advised that works published by Afghans in other nations will likely be protected by the copyright law of the nation in which publication occurs; similarly, works published in Afghanistan by nationals of other countries will likely be protected by the copyright law of the home country of the author. (Most importantly, this means that any published work from Afghanistan you find has probably been published in a nation other than Afghanistan, and is therefore likely copyrighted in that nation, with whatever law applies there.) Do you have a specific work in mind with your question? Kelly Martin 04:14, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm more concerned about the Afghan governmental images and maps. If what you are saying is true, those govermental works are in public domain. In that case, it's better to have a template for them. Jahongard 06:00, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Such images are presumably in the public domain. A template is a good idea, especially as it will need to be updated if and when Afghanistan adopts a copyright law and (potentially) accedes to a copyright treaty. Having a specific template will make it easier to find works that may be affected by future events in Afghanistan. Again, be aware that a work published in a Berne treaty partner and simultaneously in a non-treaty partner (such as Afghanistan) is protected under the law of the treaty partner; for this purpose, "simultaneously" is defined as "within thirty days". Kelly Martin 06:12, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Image:Oesapa Besar, Timor - Sparrow force landing site.jpg

What to do with that image? It has been made in 1945, maybe by Australian troops. Copyright might not have been expired, because the photographer seems to be unknown, so 50 years (Australias law until 2005) PMA doesn't fit. If it's public domain anyway, can AWM restrict commercial use or is it copyfraud? Enricopedia 18:01, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

I thought that copyright on photographs taken before 1955 had expired in Australia, even if the author was unknown and even if the work was under Crown Copyright. See Infosheet G-23. I don't know why the AWM thinks it could place any restrictions on this image, but I may be missing something. Lupo 13:19, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
As a pre-1946 image, it appears to me that it would be even in the public domain in the U.S. because it wasn't subject to any URAA copyright restorations. Lupo 22:08, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Werdnabot's archiving

Why has the bot just archived a lot of sections that were edited less than 14 days ago?[52] Some of the archived sections were even posted just minutes before the bot archived them! Lupo 16:22, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Now also at the Commons:Help desk. How does one shut down this bot run amok? Lupo 16:26, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Blocked on 1 day. --EugeneZelenko 16:35, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I think I have rolled back all strange user talk page archivations. / Fred Chess 16:53, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Don't you also have to rollback the archives? Lupo 21:32, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Bondi beach picture

I was wondering if someone could take a look at these two pictures:

At the very least, one of them should be deleted, because they're clear duplicates. What's more worrisome to me is the tag on one of them, "This file is in the public domain, because it comes from" I'm sorry, but this is patently untrue. Stock Xchange's photographs are explicitly not public domain (just read their copyright policies). These two images should be deleted as not suitable for inclusion on Commons. --Cyde Weys 16:35, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Recent works of art

Hi ! I've just uploaded those pictures : Voisins LB Vitrail1.jpg, Voisins LB Vitrail2.jpg,Voisins LB Vitrail3.jpg and I'm wondering whether they can be accepted on WP because these works of art are relatively recent. Can anyone help me ? Thanks, ℍenry, encyclophile (Jaser !) 20:13, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Please specify "relatively recent". Who made them when? -- Duesentrieb 23:00, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
I really don't remember exactly, maybe 1950s or 1970s. I shall go and see it again, the name of the artist and the date are painted on one glass ! ℍenry, encyclophile (Jaser !) 06:09, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
If they're that recent, the windows are copyrighted. Your photos are derivative works and may be published only with the consent of the artist who created the windows. (Unless the windows were restorations of older works, which I doubt in this case because of the modern-style letters used.) Hence you cannot just publish your images under a free license, and the images are not acceptable here. Sorry. Lupo 07:39, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, don't be sorry ! I'm not ! In fact not only letters are modern-style, all the design is so ! Have a last glance to those beautiful windows while I ask for an immediate deletion (with no regret as there are so many other marvellous things to see !). Cordially, ℍenry, encyclophile (Jaser !) 11:46, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Deleted. -- Bryan (talk to me) 13:14, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

coats of arms concerning Luxembourg

Hello, User:Polarlys replaced the license tags on a large number of coat of arms images concerning Luxembourg. Special:Contributions/Polarlys He is basing these changes on a law that clearly does not apply (the law about national emblems, which gives special status to the use, not image of certain flags and coats of arms). In essence he denies anyone any sort of rights on coats of arms related to Luxembourg. From my point of view the images have to be reverted to whatever license they had before (most cases I believe double license). I only learned of these changes today (as none of my images are affected though I contributed to user:Spanish Inquisition's creations with advice on composition...). I'm not sure how to proceed at this point. I just now asked Polarlys to revert his changes (my tone was probably too harsh, but what he did was essentially illegal). This is also a topic on the French wikipedia Projet Blasons where I learned of the problem. Note: I believe Spanish Inquisition is not reachable at present, at least I sent him some requests a while ago on his English wikipedia account without reply... --Caranorn 12:53, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

Caranorn, rather than posting this here, I suggest you copy your note to the Commons:Administrators' noticeboard. You'll likely get more help. —RP88 13:10, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Nonetheless, I agree with you :-) If Polarlys believes the copyright licenses assigned to all of those coat of arms images should be PD-ineligible for some reason, he shouldn't just strip off the licenses applied by the authors, he instead should instead take it with the uploaders or even nominate them at Commons:Deletion requests. I note that there is even a bit of edit "ping pong" going on where he is marking arms PD-ineligible, the authors attempt to restore their licenses, and he then changes them back to PD-ineligible. —RP88 13:28, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Polarlys corrects the objectively incorrect tags about the legal status of these pictures. The uploaders, even if they drew them, do not have anything to say about these images concerning copyright, so there is really nothing to discuss with them. They simply have to understand their misunderstanding about copyright, and all is well. --Rtc 13:45, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
It would be easier to «understand our misunderstanding» if you gave us any good reason to follow your opinion, which you do not. Your only reason is «because it is the law»; prove it, please; give us an applicable text of law stating that when we draw a picture of our own of a coat of arms, from a mere description, we do not have the right to upload it with a GFDL/CC license. Bruno Vallette 20:19, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Go ahead and set a good example by proving the opposite. It is you who claims to have exclusive rights on these pictures, not me. --Rtc 21:38, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
Actually you went ahead and changed licenses (well actually Polarlys did after consulting with you) and claim that the people who created those images have no rights to them and therefore cannot determine a license to publish the image under. So I think the burden of proof at this point is on your side. If you are so familiar with copyright laws (Luxembourgish for some images, French for others) it shouldn't be too hard to provide some links for others to verify your claims.--Caranorn 22:02, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
It is a very basic fact of copyright law that it protects works, not design. I had this discussion a thousand times, and I won't do it again. Search for "typeface copyright", which is the most prominent part of the "copyright for design" controversy, if you want to know more about it. Note that even the CoAs as such are applied art, not fine art. While copyright for CoAs as such already requires a high amount of creativity, to prevent design patent registration and fees from being circumvented, that amount should be in practice insurmountable for mere design of some of the elements of existing CoAs. --Rtc 22:43, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
First of all, national legislations seem to vary greatly concerning copyright on design (and in particular with your example of typeface which is not copyrightable in the US but seems to be copyrightable in the UK, France and Germany). Secondly it is you who claims that a graphical representation of a coat of arms is design (which does not fit any definition of design I know) and not graphics (it doesn't even matter whether it's art or not) which are protected by most copyright laws. In these cases the design would be the blasoning (though to be more precise these blasonings are protected by much older laws and principles in most countries), the image is a graphic representation which can be protected, considering how any image of a coat of arms involves a lot of interpretation it is also original which is definitely protectable. Finally, instead of sending people to chase straws to disprove your point you should yourself show a minimum of good will and support your own arguments with proof. The fact that you don't could be seen as an indication that no such proof exists. In which case all you are doing is pushing POV.
I really don't appreciate that I've had to research copyright for several hours today to disprove your theory that images of coats of arms are not copyrightable and thereby such images cannot be licensed by their author.--Caranorn 23:36, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
You did not disprove anything. You are right that design is copyrightable in UK and other commonwealth countries with the "sweat of the brow" doctrine, but commons clearly has spoken out against accepting the copyright anomalies of all countries, and this anomaly of UK and others is one of the things not accepted here. In France and Germany as well as about any other country, design, except works of applied art (that's design that surpasses the average clearly) is not copyrightable. It may be registered as design patents there, for a fee. Secondly, it is you who claims that a graphical representation of a coat of arms is not design. Parts of coat of arms are design in the core sense of the word, since they are utility articles serving as a purpose: To be used to decorate coat of arms. Just in the same way as a typeface serves the purpose of printing letters. All that you are doing by making a coa drawing from a description is to work out the design of the actual elements, just the same as working out the design of letters if you are doing a font. And please accept that I am not claiming that I have proof for what I say, but I am claiming that it is true what I say. I suggest you correct the license tags of your image voluntarily and we stop this really boring discussion now. PS: Please read Wikipedia:Copyright on emblems in case you didn't do already. PPS: The point "An emblazon of a coat of arms is thus always copyrightable in itself as an original work." that it tries to make is IMO incorrect or at least misleading—I am discussing this with the author. --Rtc 00:18, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Are you joking? You refer yourself to a page where it is clearly established that you are wrong, with a detailed explaination of the reasons of this copyrightability (very near of the reasons I used before), and you want to use it as an argument in your favour. At least if you are discussing this point with the author of the article, you should wait that this point is decided in your favour before altering or demanding the modification of the license tags. I agree with you: this discussion is very boring. But who began? Bruno Vallette 12:55, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
It is not established on this page that I am wrong. It is established by me that the page, while certainly containing a good overall summary, is wrong or at least misleading. It does not consider the character of applied art that is present in the transfer of a heraldic description into a drawing in most practical cases. I think we agree that one is not free to draw the CoA's elements in any way. What you draw is mostly constrained by the traditional appearance of the element you are drawing, and your own decisions are constrained to subtleties in the shape. There is also no expression of thoughts present in this process, but purely aesthetic judgements that do not transcend the visible (in contrast to a text or a painting, who have such a content, a 'message'). That's mere design exactly parallel to typefaces, where you also have the basic form of the letter, and where you are merely deciding upon subtleties. --Rtc 13:29, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
(de-indent) Sorry, Rtc. Where have you established that COAs were works of applied art? I propose that we keep this discussion in one place (namely here). For the part "discussing this with the author", see en:User talk:Lupo. It may not be my day today, but still... I don't see why graphical representations of COAs should be not copyrightable. Lupo 15:20, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
The part about establishing was a joke. Of course I have not "established" my position, it was a humorous hint that the article hasn't either. Please note that I do not claim that COAs are works of applied art – I claim the opposite, since a work of applied art is copyrightable! But an utility article that contains applied art is not yet automatically a work of applied art. For a utility article to become a work, it needs to have additional creativity clearly above the average. Applied art is the only kind of art where this is so; it's an anomaly in copyright law that is caused by the existence of design patent law and its applicability as a lex specialis. This is so since nobody would register and pay for design patents if the average design would enjoy copyright protection. --Rtc 16:14, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
I generally agree with the Wikipedia:Copyright on emblems article. Though I should note that that is an article specifically dealing with US law. The case here is at least in part governed my Luxembourgish and French law as these are 1) the residences of the people who drew the coats of arms in question, thereby the places to determine droit d'auteur. 2) The national and communal coats of arms of Luxembourg are defined by law (the blason, while the laws are always accompanied by an illustration, the laws do specify that the text is binding, not the image (in several cases errors can be found in the illustrations)). But back to the more general considerations which are probably common to most laws on copyright. I think the originality of the form of the shield (in most cases, I know of a few heraldists who swear that shield shape is predefined, though these heraldists form a very small minority contradicting the findings of more renowned heraldists and heraldic societies) is a very important factor, in almost every case the heraldic artist is free to chose the form of the shield (it doesn't even have to be a shield, in many ways flags are heraldic devices, though the modern standards would remove any originality from their shapes), that shape again is a determining factor (badly assembled coats of arms can include charges that are in contradiction to the shield form, which while an estethic error is in itself an indication of originality) for the shape and size of any charges placed on the shield... An example I gave to Bruno yesterday on french wikipedia, by close study of many coats of arms found on the internet I can identify the heraldic artist who drew them, I do this by looking at shield shape, form and placement of charges, use of shadows etc. That is also how I was able to determine the origin of a large number of coats of arms circulating on various language editions of wikipedia and which were in violation of existing copyrights (I could verify copyright on books the coats of arms were originally published in, until now I was certain I could also verify copyright of the artist, the current discussion has made me wonder about the second part though I still have seen no argument to truly invalidate that notion), one of the reasons why I started a personal project to replace all coats of arms of Luxembourgish municipalities (which project Spanish Inquisition then took over). Now those same images are in question and will without proper license (as the 1993 law is clearly not applicable) be free for deletion. To the point that today I've been asked to backup the images and upload them to the luxembourgish language wikipedia (I plan to do the backup (the original license which still applies as far as I'm concerned permits that), but believe the images will eventually be salvaged so there is no need to create duplicate uploads).
Long post and possibly somewhat confusing (some health problems I fear are interfering). But in short, first local laws have to be considered as technically (no one is planning to sue anyone or anything, therefore technical) local courts would have jurisdiction. Secondly the principle of originality is clearly met by the form of the heraldic shield alone. Thirdly the current situation is bad as a large number of coats of arms are now without license as proper procedures were not met (removal of licenses, correct or not does not equal public domain).--Caranorn 21:25, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Actually, Image:Coat of arms Grand Duchy of Luxembourg large.png is interesting. This graphic representation differs quite a bit from the official version. It appears to me that by article 10(8) of the Copyright law of Luxembourg, official publications (such as laws, or their publication in the Mémorials) are not copyrighted. (I'm not sure, though; the phrasing is a bit strange ("L'auteur ne peut interdire: ... les actes officielles ...").) That would surely place the official reference graphics from the 1993 law on national emblems in the public domain. (Subject to the usual trademark-related restrictions on commercial uses and on misrepresentations that generally apply to national emblems, but that are unrelated to copyright per se.) SO why don't we use this official reference graphics? Lupo 08:13, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
But that same article ends in Toutefois, l'auteur a seul le droit de tirer à part ou de réunir en receuil ses discours. (rough translation: Neverless, the author alone has the right to separate or combine his speeches in a collection). This might apply only to speeches (in parliament for instance) but I'm not certain. I'd interprete it generally that in this case the exact image cannot be employed separately from the text of the law, except of course with the authorisation of the author. Another note, the images in the 1993 law are misguiding, they are only included as examples, the law clearly states that the law (that is the blason) has legal effect. So the images attached to that law have no more legal importance then the current image here.--Caranorn 12:53, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Sure, one can draw this COA in many ways. The point was that if that image was PD because it was published as a reference image in the law (as is the case with the German Bundesdienstflagge), it could be used as a PD image of that COA. Lupo 15:07, 27 February 2007 (UTC)

Floats in public parades in the United States

I've had another user raise a question about some photos I uploaded in Category:Floats of New Orleans Mardi Gras. My impression has been that floats in public parades could be photographed and the photographer (me in this case) could release the photos under a free licence. Is there a reason to think this is not so, or that there are exceptions? Wondering, -- Infrogmation 15:42, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Unclear to me. Someone recently mentioned at Commons talk:Freedom of panorama#Sculptures and public art in the United States the case of Carns v. Keefe Bros. (1917, DC Mont) 242 F 745, which appears to have been about a similar question. However, I have two problems with this case: first, it is from 1917, and I'd like confirmation that it is still valid, and second, the Judge's comments on the Dewey Arch etc. seem to be out of context (as the mentioned statues were not erected "to attract people"). I'd like to see the full text of that court decision (together with some authoritative comment on whether it's still applicable). Lupo 16:20, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
It would be my impression that carnival floats do fall within the scope of copyright but do not fall within the scope of the US freedom of panorama. I am very reluctant to place a great deal of weight on a 1917 case with questionable applicability, especially when the plain language of the statute very clearly leans in the other direction. The only case I can find with my limited resources that cites Carns is the case invalidating the copyright in Picasso's "Head of a Woman", and it only does so to assert that a statue (or other similar work) may reasonably be the subject of copyright. [53] Kelly Martin 17:34, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Exactly. I am very sceptic that this 1917 case is sound and still valid. I just mentioned this case because it also was about some temporary sculpture at a party, created to attract people. But you mentioned "U.S. freedom of panorama"... doesn't that apply only to buildings? Lupo 21:01, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, freedom of panorama in the US is limited to buildings. As I understand it, even in countries where it is broader (such as Germany), it still only applies to permanently installed structures. I am pretty certain that photographs of the floats are derivative works which require the permission of the copyright holder for publication. Kelly Martin 21:54, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

The pix which are topic of discussion are the likes of:

I had tagged some as of questionable copyright, as they seem mostly photographs of 2D objects, which would make them copyvios, unless there is a US provision for commons:Panoramafreiheit. I read no apllicable remark in the US-section, which doesnt mean that there exists none. Teun Spaans 17:57, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Well, freedom of panorama is not applicable anyway because these floats are not permanently installed. Lupo 21:01, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I do not consider freedom of panorama applicable to floats. Otherwise, we could reproduce Walt Disney's floats freely. Even new building designs are copyrightable.--Jusjih 10:48, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Well, in addition to the Disney copyrights, note that Disneyland parades are on private property where people pay admission, whereas the Mardi Gras parades are a free public open event. Isn't there some allowing use of photography at public events, or is that not relevent here? -- Infrogmation 15:53, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
  • Carnival parades are a public event at which many parade goes take photos. I have never seen a New Orleans Carnival float or parade with a copyright notice, nor do I recall ever seeing an attribution line such as "by permission of Krewe such & so" or "copyright by floatbuilder so and so" when photos of the floats are reproduced in the local media. I certainly want to respect any relevent copyrights, but Commons shouldn't impose some hypothetical copyright standard if such is not actually observed by the parties involved. I have aquaintances who have taken Carnival float photos professionally that have been reproduced in newspapers, magazines, and books. I also have aquaintances in the Krewe of Muses, the parade which the images Teun Spaans questions above are from. Any specific questions I should ask them towards clarifying this issue? -- Infrogmation 18:48, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

The problem is that local newspapers may be able to publish under fair use provisions. unfortunately, we can't. --MichaelMaggs 18:52, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

So reccomendations? Should I ask individual Krewes if photos may be taken of their floats without copyright violation? Should I start deleting all float photos not old enough to have passed into public domain through age unless I get such assurance? Other suggestions/paths? -- Infrogmation 15:53, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

For images such as those above, in which a two-dimensional artwork is prominent, the only option is deletion unless a formal licence can be obtained from the creator. It isn't enough simply to get informal approval from the people manning the float, as they will themselves will probably not be entitled to license the copyright. Only the creator or someone deriving title from the creator can do that. In practice, proper approval may prove hard to get and I think we may have to lose the images, interesting though they are. --MichaelMaggs 23:07, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
As you stress the two-dimensional aspect of those, are you suggesting that photos of float artwork that is mostly 3-d may be a different case? -- Infrogmation 23:25, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, there is a fundamental difference between 2D and 3D. Have a look at Commons:Derivative works.--MichaelMaggs 18:17, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

To clean up old business, I am deleting my uploads mentioned above. But for the record, I have yet to talk with anyone here in New Orleans who thinks they present a copyright problem, and I personally think this is a bit of copyright paranoia. -- Infrogmation 15:53, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Pre World War I Austria-Hungary military maps

Could somebody familiar with Austrian/Hungarian copyrights laws look to this site and check is it appropriate for Commons material (are these maps in PD)? Thank you. --EugeneZelenko 16:00, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Gosh. While geodata is still generally not copyrightable (bare facts), maps generally are copyrightable. According to the Austrian Society for Cartography and Geoinformation, the legal situation in Austria is very similar to the one in Germany. According to de:Rechte an Geoinformationen, maps are considered in Germany joint works of all the cartographers who collaborated in drawing them, although the rights may be held by their employer. The copyrights on maps expire in Germany (and in Austria) 70 years after the death of the last surviving co-author, i.e., cartographer. I have no idea at all about the situation in Hungary, and I neither speak nor read Hungarian, otherwise this page might maybe have been interesting. But note that the source page does give the names of the cartographers (they all appear to have been officers), and according to [54], they were working for the de:Militärgeographisches Institut in Vienna. In fact, these maps are from the third general survey (1869-1887), apparently with some corrections from the beginning of the fourth survey (1896 - 1914). See also [55].
Now, these maps are from a military survey and were published 1914 or earlier, the majority around 1910 according to the source. As pre-1923 works, they'd be PD in the U.S. Even taking into account the 1909 special case in U.S. law, they'd at worst probably be considered works made for hire and thus would be copyrighted until 95 years after the initial publication: those sheets published before 2007 - 95 = 1912 would be PD, I guess.
Remains the question whether these maps would be PD in Hungary or Austria. From the above, it seems to me that we'd need to know when these cartographers died... Or you could boldly ask the successor of the Militärgeographisches Institut, the Austrian de:Bundesamt für Eich- und Vermessungswesen.
Lupo 22:51, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your analysis!
Situation is definitely not trivial, especially if to take in account that only surnames and initials of authors are known in most cases. I doubt that this organization will make big archive research :-( However I'll try to e-mail them.
EugeneZelenko 17:07, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Proposed new guidelines: Commons:Photographs of identifiable people

Further to the discussion above, I have prepared some suggested guidelines for uploading images of identifiable people, with particular emphasis on when the subject's consent may be needed. The guidelines are based on some generic legal principles and some fairly universal moral precepts that I hope should find general agreement here. Please feel free to comment and discuss at Commons talk:Photographs of identifiable people. --MichaelMaggs 18:15, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

this is new.

It seems that Nut-meg (talk · contribs) (an SPA?) has created a new licensing tag for Image:Abeerh.jpg. This was originally deleted (twice actually) for missing licensing information, so the user appears to have created their own. I don't know whether the C&P licensing there stands up to scrutiny or not, and am not an authority to decide so.

However, to throw my 3¢ in, the supposed licensing claims that "All photographs released by Iraqi state and Ba'ath party organs before 2003 invasion that are without a clear copyright notice are assumed to be in the public domain.". If this should be true, and Commons accepts this licensing; the image has two further problems. The girl to whom this document belonged died in 2006, and I presume that the document was released in conjunction with her death -- I doubt the sovereign Iraqi government before 2003 had any reason to release this document (a citizen's ID card, containing private information) publicly before her death. Secondly, the image is sourced to Reuters, not the "Iraqi state and Ba'ath party organ". — pd_THOR | =/\= | 18:09, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I am not aware of any solid legal reason to hold that Iraqi state documents prior to 2003 are without clear copyright. I believe these claims rely mainly on the fact that the former Iraqi government and the Ba'ath party have both been disbanded; however, the current Iraqi state is the successor-in-law to both entities and can, in theory, enforce any copyrights which it came to possess as the successor of those entities. Note also that Iraq did not prior to the U.S. invasion participate in any international copyright treaty agreements; however, it appears that the occupation government made Iraq a Berne treaty partner, at least in principle; however, this is probably not guaranteed to persist now that Iraq is under (nominal) self-rule and will have to be ratified by the new government. Similarly, the Iraqi copyright term of 25 years p.m.a. was extended to 50 years p.m.a. by Paul Bremer, but this too may not last through the transition. Works copyrighted prior to the invasion would have remained copyrighted except where explicitly voided by the transitional authority or the new civil government. Kelly Martin 20:29, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
I've replaced this from the archive because I was hoping somebody (mayhaps an administrator) would look more in depth at this discussion and the image and make a conclusive decision about its copyright status. — pd_THOR | =/\= | 18:00, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Anybody? — pd_THOR | =/\= | 16:46, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia to Commons?

I recently uploaded free use images to Wikipedia. But now I want to upload them here. What should I do? --Imdanumber1 20:32, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Take a look here: Moving images to the Commons. Dantadd 21:12, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Flickr CC-by-SA-NC

I'm a little irritated. I just read the above archived discussion on this, which would have been more useful to me an hour ago. Why is there a Flickr CC-by-SA-NC licensing tag if all it does is put a speedy delete tag on an article? I saw the tag was there, assumed that meant it was all right to use an image off Flickr with this licensing, and proceeded to download some images. A little comment next to this option in the licensing drop-down section of the upload file page would be helpful to know that this license is disallowed. Maybe this could also be pointed out on the Commons:Flickr images page. --Joelmills 02:34, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

I may not recall this correctly, but I think part of the problem was that any attempt to either omit CC-BY-SA-NC from the menu or mention the unsuitability of CC-BY-SA-NC in the upload page resulted in a lot of uploads that were incorrectly tagged (uploaders would apparently not see a permitted choice that exactly matched the license on the source image and simply instead choose the closest permitted license). The -NC licenses are omitted from the list of permitted CC licenses on the page that lists the available copyright tags as well as the master table of permitted CC licenses. The Commons:Flickr images page encourages the use of the FlickrLickr system to upload Flickr images - it checks the license on the source image and only allows free images to be uploaded. I think there is some movement toward incorporating something like this directly into the Upload file screens. —RP88 03:05, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. I should have checked those pages. But from what I understood on the FlickrLickr page the images could only be uploaded in bulk. I can easily be wrong, of course. --Joelmills 04:57, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

No, you're right. The FlickrLickr system is a bulk upload system - it isn't the right choice if there is a specific Flickr image that you'd like to see on Commons. —RP88 05:52, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Copyright in Austria

Wikimedia contains pictures of a Teniers taken from the web site of the Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum. The museum's web site states flatly that all images are copyright and all rights are reserved. In Austria, does this blanket statement apply to a painting so old as a Teniers?

Return to the project page "Licensing/Archive 5".