Open main menu
Archive This is an archive of past discussions. Do not edit the contents of this page. If you wish to start a new discussion or revive an old one, please do so on the current talk page.
Archive 7 |
Archive 8
| Archive 9


Case of Copyvio

This image: 50px has been taken from there: --Atirador 18:50, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Deleted. Please use {{Copyvio}} next time. LX (talk, contribs) 20:25, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Will do --Atirador 07:23, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Source only URL

The upload dialogue only says "Source URL". Can the source of an image be specified as "e-mail-attachement", meaning an e-mail by the person who owns the rights to me as the uploader?--Peter Eisenburger 08:29, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

The source can be anything reasonably verifiable. Sources are described in a way not entirely unlike the way it's done in academic papers. URLs and ISBNs are preferred for their verifiability, but personal correspondence is also accepted. If you do use personal correspondence as a source, please be sure to forward evidence that the copyright holder agreed to publish the work under a free license or to release it into the public domain to For more information on this procedure, see COM:OTRS. LX (talk, contribs) 19:35, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

inaccuracy for egypt term?

It says 15 years but it links to an Arabic site, which I can't read. The English-language sources say life + 50 years. See and Calliopejen 08:18, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

I just checked this with a copyright lawyer and she confirmed that Law #354 of 1954 was replaced a few years ago with a new law. The Egyptian official websites were not updated. She provided me with a link to a private law firm with an Arabic Document file of the text of new law. According the Arabic text, Paintings, drawings and photographic work is protected for 25 years from the date of creation. Images that were PD at the time will remain to be so. The life+50 is for the authored work. I will update the templates, and check the images. Thanks--Tarawneh 02:37, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Done... Updated the templates and checked the 20 images in the Category, all ok. I will check the help files now. --Tarawneh 02:47, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Did you consider the retroactivity of the law? What about works already PD when the law changed? -Nard 02:52, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes I did. Work done bofre 1987 is PD. --Tarawneh 03:16, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Old logos of living companies

Is it possible to upload to Commons the old logos of living companies, for example, pre-1937 w:Siemens logos, pre-1923 w:General Electric logos? The copyrights on such works expired, they could be being defended by trademark law. Alex Spade 10:00, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

  • Should be ok if the copyright's expired. -Nard 02:53, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
  • The Siemens logo could merely be tagged with {{PD-textlogo}}; but is the current GE logo the same one being used as when GE was first established? --Iamunknown 17:32, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Can I use these maps for commercial purposes.

Someone placed some images of maps on this website.

They are all covered under the "GNU Free Documentation License"

There are about 10 images that I want to use on a commercial website.

Can I freely use these maps?

I do not plan on selling them or anything of that nature; they will just be used for informational purposes on a commercial website.

Thanks for your help!!! the preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 14:18, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

You can use any image of Commons for commercial purpose, including selling them. You must, however, credit the author of the image and state its licence. Rama 14:26, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, but also what if I modify them? Am I allowed to do that? If so, do I still need to credit the author? I'm not trying to discredit anyone, I think some of the images will need some very minor changes whereas some may be used exactly as is. the preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) 15:02, 1 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, you may (so long as the license person issuing the license was the legitimate copyright holder). See Section 4 of the GNU Free Documentation License. You are still required to credit the author, and you are required to explicitly license the resulting work, including your modifications, under the GNU Free Documentation License. The license text is not very long and explains all this as well as how to properly state the license and credit the other copyright holders. LX (talk, contribs) 18:41, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Book cover

May I reproduce a book cover to illustrate a bibliography - I'll caption the details of course. Presumably this is OK, as it would be if I was writing a review. - Tony in Devon 19:56, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Eric Gill

Howdy. There is an incorrect tag (GPL) and no source on Image:Ericgill.gif (used in en:Eric Gill and others). Hopefully this is the right place to ask for help with fixing it, as I don't know my way around image policy or commons. Thanks :) Quiddity 00:43, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

  • I will tag the image as a copyvio. Eric Gill died in 1940. The image will enter the public domain January 1st after life+70 years, or January 1, 2011. Thanks. -Nard 00:55, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Minnesota Public Domain

As a result of the creation of Image:Minneapolis_I-35W_map1.JPG which was tagged as US DOT PD although it was a work of the State of Minnesota, I investigated our licenses and determined that we did not have a license tag for Minnesota state works (or I couldn't find it) so I created the tag {{PD-MNGov}} and the category Category:PD Minnesota ... please advise if this was incorrect. ++Lar: t/c 15:33, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

I was looking at this earlier, and I really don't know. Minnesota websites still have copyright notices, but that law does make things almost public domain if not entirely so. I found some info here and here (the law may have changed a bit since that last link was authored). Seems like Minnesota authorities had different opinions on the matter too. Carl Lindberg 16:34, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
I read those sections too, and now I think the state is asserting copyright. Then it would appear we have a potential problem. I went to w:TIGER to see if I could make up a substitute map in a hurry, but failed. I beleive this is the approximate area: Tiger or Google maps but it is beyond my skill to create a free replacement for this map quickly (someone created an SVG of it already, I note) The map data itself isn't copyrightable, as we discussed in the NYC subway maps case recently, only that particular realization of it... I would ask that rather than deleting the images we get them replaced as fast as possible as they are high visibility, let's not make Wikinews folk jump through hoops. ++Lar: t/c 17:38, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

WWI US copyright question

So, I have a collection of unpublished photographs from an ancestor who was a Army Air Corps trainer during WWI. Some of them were obviously taken during the course of aerial photography training flights (I have a complete aerial map of 1918 Carlisle, AR for all that's worth), others were taken on the ground or in the air with his personal camera, so not as part of his duties. The former should be marked with {{PD-USGov}}, but the latter I can license however I see fit, right? What about cases where it's unclear whether they were taken in the course of his duties or not? — Laura Scudder | Talk 00:44, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes. Photos taken for the Air Corps would be PD-USGov-Military-Army (or maybe {{PD-USGov-Military-Air Force}}, the successor of the Air Corps). For any others, if they are still unpublished at this point (unpublished as of 2003 to be precise), the term is 70 years p.m.a. So if your ancestor died before 1937, they would be PD-Old. Otherwise, you own the copyright until the 70-year term expires, and can license them as you wish. If you are unsure and want to upload them, I would license them with your preferred free license to be safe (that way, they are usable on commons no matter which is true). Carl Lindberg 02:45, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
He actually lived to a remarkably ripe old age, so not PD-Old. Now that I think about it a bit, based on what I think a copyright term should be (as opposed to our lovely Congress) these should all be PD, which really turns it into the less important question of which get a PD-USGov versus PD-self. — Laura Scudder | Talk 03:53, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Images by User:Tletelli

Tletelli puts all his uploads under the GPL, but also says "Permission=using this picture is permit <<<<< except for military use >>>>>". So, is this allowed on Commons? -- 21:33, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

No. If the user has been warned and persists, the matter should be brought to Commons:Administrators' noticeboard/User problems for attention. ++Lar: t/c 21:39, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Images from movie trailers

Image:Errol Flynn in Operation Burma.jpg is claimed as PD on the grounds that it comes from a pre-1964 movie trailer and that the copyright in the trailer was never renewed, as per this site. This seems like a singularly weak argument to me: s. 3 of the Copyright Act of 1909 states:

The copyright provided by this title shall protect all the copyrightable component parts of the work copyrighted, and all matter therein in which copyright is already subsisting, but without extending the duration or scope of such copyright.

which would seem to imply that the renewal of the copyright of the film would also renew the copyright of any images of the film used in the trailer. Physchim62 16:18, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

That's an interesting argument... which may hold true if the trailer is considered published. If it is, since it came first, I think the actual film would then be a derivative work of the trailer (since portions were previously published), and therefore those sections do not fall under the copyright of the film itself (since that would only apply to new elements). However determining "published" isn't so simple. Simply playing it in a theater does not constitute publishing; in the U.S. you need to make copies and distribute them to the public. Obviously many copies were made, but there is also a concept of "restricted publication" versus "general publication", and only the latter counts for copyright. Copies of the trailer may have been sent to theater owners, but I'm not certain if that would constitute "general publication". I think the number of copies enters into it... I can't find a decent reference at the moment though. It would also be a good idea to check the date the actual film was registered for copyright; if that was done in advance of the trailers being distributed then the situation is reversed and the trailer is a derivative of the film. Carl Lindberg 05:21, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I hadn't even thought of that, but you're right of course. The mere public display or performance of a work does not constitute general publication, as per Ferris v. Frohman: "The public representation of a dramatic composition, not printed and published, does not deprive the owner of his common-law right, save by operation of statute. At common law, the public performance of the play is not an abandonment of it to the public use." Another get out for the film companies would be to register the film with the date of first publication as the date on which the trailer was released: there is no problem in giving an earlier publication date in copyright registration, as the effect is to reduce the length of copyright protection. I can't find any decent database of copyright registrations for films: suggestions anyone? Physchim62 11:41, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
The copyright act says: The offering to distribute copies or phonorecords to a group of persons for purposes of further distribution, public performance, or public display, constitutes publication. So, that does sounds like it would apply to film trailers. I guess this image would then depend on when the original film was registered. Carl Lindberg 13:59, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
According to IMDB the movie was released in New York on January 26, 1945, and to the rest of the U.S. on February 17, 1945. Motion picture copyright records for 1940-49 are available here; the picture was registered on March 10, 1945. [Other available records: 1894-1912; 1912-1939; 1950-1959; and 1960-1969. There are several formats including DjVu; maybe they could be uploaded here.] So, it appears to me this image is OK. PD-Old is not correct though; it should be tagged {{PD-US-not renewed}}. Carl Lindberg 16:32, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
It can't be tagged {{PD-US-not renewed}}, as the copyright was renewed in 1972, reference R538961 (info courtesy of the U.S. Copyright Office). Physchim62 17:04, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Is that the copyright for the trailer, or the film itself? Since the trailer came out in advance as a separate work, it would need to be copyrighted and renewed separately. The film copyright (and the renewal) would apply to all the scenes not contained in the trailer. If the renewal you cite above is for the trailer itself, then indeed the image is not free, otherwise PD-US-not renewed would apply (presuming the image does come from the trailer like it says). Carl Lindberg 19:09, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Company Logos

"logos" are on the list of things which only may or may not be OK, with the comment that "only very simple designs" are allowed. Category:Company logos has quite a few logos in it (including some up for current deletion discussion) that seem rather unsimple. I think we may need some clarification on this. ++Lar: t/c 17:32, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Common sense dictates (suggests?) that it depends on the context. It really should not be the complexity (simple or not simple) of the logo, but the way in which it is used. If an article is talking about a company and says in effect, "This is its logo," I consider that as fine. If the logo is played with, used out of context, or satirically(?), or not acknowledged... well, you get the message... it's the context. I fully appreciate the Wiki concerns re copyright, but let's apply common sense here rather than legal considerations gone mad... OK, I admit I'm trying to suggest overall Wikimedia policy may be a bit too defensive. If I was editing an article in the UK about a product... no one would ever object to me including photo of company's logo from the surface of the product. If I am writing about the history of a company in an encyclopaedia, no one would ever object to me including the company's logo. If you change the logo, or do not relate it to the company... well, that's wrong - at the borderline, we get into the subject of fair use, which has been defined in different ways, as you know, in various States - let me move on from there and say I have a photo I took, and digitally adjusted levels, which is a detail from a painting which has been on the exterior wall of a theatre for years and would beautifully illustrate a Wikipedia article about the individual after (USA: for) whom the theatre was named... I think Wiki policy says NO, DON'T USE but common sense says YES. Comments?Tony in Devon 18:27, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Your entire argument is justifying fair use. I agree with it as a valid justification of fair use. But Commons does not allow images that are fair use. My question relates to clarification of the existing Commons Licensing Policy regarding company logos, which you have not addressed. Finally, if an image is admittedly against policy by the uploader, it needs deleting, whether you think common sense says differently or not. That is our policy. We cannot afford the legal exposure of doing differently. ++Lar: t/c 21:01, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Copyright status does not depend on context. Trademark violations do, and qualification for fair use does, but not the copyright status itself. Many logos are used on en-wiki under the fair use clause, that is fine. Commons does not allow that though; we need media with a clear copyright status (even if trademarked).
As for copyrightability... photos with logos in them are often OK; that is very different than the actual logo. The use of actual logos is probably restricted to the articles of the represented company itself due to trademark law; still that may be reason enough to host them on commons if we can. I had previously run across this link, which is from a U.S. Copyright Office document detailing copyrightable matter, which gives several examples of non-copyrightable matter. In reading that, and looking at the category, I don't see very many that would qualify. A couple that might be are too old (copyright expired). I would say only three may be problems: possibly Image:Wise_group_logo.svg, possibly Image:1000889749_m.jpg, and almost certainly Image:Paulaner_Logo.jpg. The licenses on those seem dubious to me; permission to use them on the company articles only may not be good enough (even if that is what trademark law restricts us to anyways). Foreign logos may be held to different copyrightability standards though... one of those is Swedish and one is German. Carl Lindberg 04:59, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
Use restrictions of logo is another issue
This is the kind of restriction you find in Image:Great Seal of the US.png or Image:Logo de la République française.svg. There is no copyright restriction on it, but a clear usage restriction: obviously, you can't use it in such a way as to induce a confusion with an official product, and this is protected by law= if you do, you go to jail, and that's that. This is the same with logos, the very nature of which (they represent a company or a line of products) induce two usage restrictions: (1) you can't use it in such a way as to induce a confusion with official product, and (2) using it in an offensive context allows the rightholder to defend its image. Sometimes there is another restriction: (3) advertizing may be illegal in some contexts. These restrictions are protected by law, and you can't do anything about it. You may conclude that "unfair uses are legally forbidden", which is correct, but if it comes to "fair uses are admitted" there is a potential confusion: this does not refer to the US law on fair use, but simply on internationnaly accepted fair usages, and the legal discussions involved are therefore different (though the US law on fair use may be invoqued for logos).

Commons does not accept usage restrictions imposed by the licence, but here this is not the case, the restrictions are imposed by law. So whatever the "free" licence, logo images will always justify a disclaimer saying that legal restrictions may apply, and this is accepted.

This being said, the complexity of the logo is in fact irrelevant. Indeed, a logo may also be a work of art, but this issue is oliterated by its very nature. The logo represents a company or a line of product, and its usage is the same as that of a proper name: anybody can use it freely to represent its owner. This corresponds to international usages, and is not problematic. When legal action against a third party is observed, it is never because of the reproduction as such, but always because of illegal usage. The "author's right" issue is only relevant between the actual author and the company that uses it and holds the rights (and some legal actions indeed reflect this); for the rest of the world, it's just a logo and can be used as such (there is interesting similarities with the font design regime, for those who care).

As for the usage on the company articles, this is common sense and de facto necessities: legal restrictions must be respected, and most of the time there is no point in using it outside the corresponding article. Michelet-密是力 06:39, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

In my opinion, company logos which are designed in a very recognizable way (aside from the name) as being written a particular way only in that logo, such as the CocaCola logo, would qualify as a copyrightable piece of art and not usable on the Commons. I would say that a high number of logos at Category:Company_logos are copyrightable when claimed otherwise (and I doubt the companies were consulted before the claims were made) and really need to be removed from the Commons. It is true that many logos seem to be written in a standard font with simple color variations, but many are more than that. The IBM logo, for example, is written in the company's font and has been modified in a very recognizable way (stripes going through the letters in such a way). On the topic of logos being used improperly, the MINOL logo,, Wise Group logo, LSR logo, Mesko logo, Paulaner logo, Schocken logo, Linksys logo and others are claimed as being in the public domain or otherwise free with no proof or insufficient proof. Other logos like D-Link, Oracle, Elisa, Trek, Canon, and L'Oréal don't list which common font these are written in, and thus also have insufficient proof (the statement that they are in a standard typeface may or may not be correct in any of these cases). I think there needs to be a great inspection into these logos and a massive delete from the Commons. They can either be sufficiently demonstrated as being free, or they can be located on Wikipedia itself. Althepal 04:52, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

The "recognizable" aspect is a part of trademark law, not copyright. The two are very, very different. Here is a quick primer found via search. Carl Lindberg 06:06, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
>Althepal, you stated your opinions why you think they are copyrightable, I explained the legal reasons why logos are never problematic as far as copyright is concerned (though indeed they carry artistical property rights, see above). If you need to be reassured, consult a lawer on this point, but the logo usage problem is quite technical, and can't be solved out of fear alone. Fear and misunderstanding can only do harm to Commons and client wikis.

Logos are ruled by the Paris convention on industrial property, not the Berne convention on author's rights, and the Paris convention allows reproductions whatever the design. The IBM logo has stripes - so what? As far as "copy-rights" are concerned, a logo is public domain: there is no need of authorisation to reproduce it (though legal restrictions of usage clearly apply, according to the Paris convention), and this is plainly legal.

To prove the point, just find me a single example of logo usage being condemned, outside the two contexts I quoted: unfair usage condemned by the Paris convention, or litigeous relation between the artist (that has the initial intellectual property rights) and the company that eventually owns the trademark and associated property rights. Michelet-密是力 06:26, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

I also stated that the logos need to meet the legal requirements, which they don't explain how they do on their image pages. Althepal 17:43, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Which "legal requirements"? (please be specific: no evasive formulations, references needed... you know ;o) There is an easy point, though: fonts typefaces are explicitely excluded from artistic property considerations (Berne conventions) and can only be protected through industrial property (Paris convention). So the argument of "specific font" is quite irrelevant in that case. Michelet-密是力 18:54, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
The legal restrictions are defined by trademark law and the Paris convention, not the company itself. The company may reduce those restrictions on its own volition but it can't increase them. Copying is not a restriction of trademark law -- that is what copyright is for. Trademark law does severely restrict Wikimedia's (and everyone else's) usage of the logo; still we can use it on the company pages themselves and that seems reason enough to keep them. Carl Lindberg 19:04, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Getty image from 1914

Can we use or ? The former is a Getty image from 1914 and the latter is 1907. They were probably published in the UK (in other words, not PD US). --BigDT 05:48, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

When did the author(s) of the images die? (O - RLY?) 07:11, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
No idea. Presumably, the copyright (if it exists) is owned by Getty. What is the UK rule for corporate authorship? (In the US, it's 95 years). Would {{PD-UK-unknown}} be applicable? (I don't know anything about UK copyrights.) --BigDT 12:45, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Looks like the question now is when the images were first made available to the public. (O - RLY?) 12:48, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
The company that took the photo is [1]. The fact that they have been out of business for 50 years probably bolsters an unknowable contention as far as authorship. I can't imagine them not having published the photos (they were quality press photos of a very important man), though I can't exactly prove it. --BigDT 12:56, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
It's a bit more complicated than that. The 1907 image was never under copyright in the UK, while the copyright on the 1914 image expired in 1964 (50 years after creation, Copyright Act 1911, s. 21). However, if the images were under copyright in any EU country on 1995-07-01, the copyright was "revived" on 1996-01-01 and runs until 70 pma of the photographer (Duration of Copyright and Rights in Performances Regulations 1995, r. 16(d)). For works of unknown authorship, the UK copyright duration is 70 years from creation or making available to the public, whichever is the longer (Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, s. 12, as inserted by Duration of Copyright and Rights in Performances Regulations 1995, r. 5). So, would these images have been copyrighted elsewhere in the EU? I doubt it, but... Physchim62 16:11, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
But we're only concerned with US + Country of origin, right? Do we care if they were/are copyrighted in some other unrelated country? --BigDT 17:06, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
Usually but not always. There's been a continuing row on Commons over some European nations protecting "simple" works for less tham pma+70. -Nard 17:23, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
In this case, the copyright in the source country (UK) might depend on copyright elsewhere in the EU, because of term length harmonization. I would say it's unlikely, but it comes down to a bit of a policy call: are wee willing to treat this work as anonymous? Physchim62 21:41, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

So what's the final decision here, can we put this on commons or not?Rlevse 23:45, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

  • The image linked to is watermarked. This cannot be used on Commons. Find a non-watermarked image and upload it and we'll talk. -Nard 00:02, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Huh? The watermarks are unobtrusive. If the images are public domain, they can easily be removed. --BigDT 12:37, 6 August 2007 (UTC) 12:37, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Template:PD-BH-exempt seems mighty sketchy.

{{PD-BH-exempt}} seems a bit implausible, plus it doesn't define "public". Is this an acceptable tag? grendel|khan 19:37, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

We need someone that speaks Bosnian to read the law and correct the wording of the template in my view. As it stands I agree wiht you... it is ambiguously worded in my view. ++Lar: t/c 23:28, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
No need, the English version is here. Needless to say, article 3 doesn't say what this tag pretends that it says: the official translation reads
The terms "public" or “publicity”, in terms of this Law, shall mean availability of works of an unspecified number of people (individuals) with no family or other ties who have free access to the works through its public presentation.
In other words, it is a simple definition of "public" (javan in Bosnian). The real copyright exemptions are in article 10.1, which reads
Copyright protection shall not be afforded to:
a) ideas, plans, procedures, working methods, mathematical operations, principles, discoveries;
b) official texts from legislative, administrative and judicial areas.
c) professional reports, referrals, official acts or works like these made during the performance of working obligations in economic or other activity.
What should be done with tag? Physchim62 00:11, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
The tag is used for official images (14 of them): unfortunately, article 10.1 is specific that only official texts (zvanični tekstovi) are exempt from copyright. Physchim62 01:32, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
I've cleaned up the template based on the similar one for Georgia. My take would be that the images all have to go, including the heraldic images. Such images are exempt from copyright in the ex-USSR nations and several other East European nations, but the ex-Yugoslav nations don't seem to have similar laws. Which means that there is also some cleanup to do regarding these nations. Valentinian (talk) 12:21, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

US Congress Library

How appropriate would you find this licence proposal? Is there any similar tag? --Alex:D 01:36, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Such tags have been deleted in the past. If something is PD at the Library of Congress you still have to say why and use a specific tag, either because of its age, or being a work of the government, or being gifted to the US government, or whatnot. -Nard 01:39, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
  • {{PD-LOC}} was the previous version of this license, and is now deprecated (there were many discussions about it). The Library of Congress holds material from a great variety of sources; some of it is federal government material (and thus PD-USGov) but most is not. In other situations the copyright has expired (use PD-Old or PD-US), in other cases the original owner placed them into the public domain, or sold the rights to the Library of Congress (who would then put them in to the public domain), or became public domain through some other condition placed by the donee. Those cases have separate tags like {{PD-Highsmith}}, {{PD-Bain}}, {{PD-Van Vechten}}, etc. since they are public domain for different reasons. For each image we need to find the appropriate underlying tag and apply it. In a few cases the LoC has foreign material which is PD in the US, but still copyrighted in the country of origin, and in those situations Commons can't host it even though it says "no known restrictions". Those are relatively rare but we do need to be aware of them. The Library of Congress is usually not the copyright owner and has no rights to license anything, so a generic template can't work as a license. The "no known restrictions" statement is a very strong indicator that the material is in fact public domain; we just need to determine the reason and apply the appropriate tag. Carl Lindberg 19:34, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, sometimes the image is relatively new (I mean under or around 70 years old), but it is captioned with "no known restrictions". No additional info. So, in some cases, "guessing" the apropriate tag is rather difficult. That's why I asked. --Alex:D 21:51, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
That's where Commons differs from most people. If you do not know why the image is public domain, then you cannot use it on Commons. There's lots of old pictures (and some new pictures, like the Bin Laden videos) that people use without any regard for the original copyright because they think they can get away with it, or because they assume it's public domain. If you can't see any obvious reason the image is public domain then you shouldn't assume it is, even if the Library of Congress says it is. You should make sure it is (by searching the US copyright registration and renewal records and such) and then indicate why you think it is PD (and state the searches you did). And of course just because something has no copyright in the US, but may in its home country, you cannot use it on Commons. You may be able to use such material on your local wiki (the US Wikipedia usually allows PD-US images that are still copyrighted in their home countries). -Nard 22:31, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Which images are you wondering about in particular? Maybe we can help. Usually there is information there to figure out why it's public domain. For example if it is linked to a collection there is usually a corresponding rights page that talks about the copyright status. Carl Lindberg 22:51, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Merit badge

Can someone look over these? I tagged 3 of them for deletion on 4 Aug because I am most familiar with BSA copyrights, but most, possible all, of the other images here contain logos (from other than America) and should perhaps not be on WikiCommons.Rlevse 23:22, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Any patch published in the US before 1978 without a copyright notice is public domain, right? I would assume the ones from Canada (everything with a red border on the page Rlevse linked) are still under copyright, though. --BigDT 12:44, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Most of the non-U.S. badges will be under copyright. The U.S. badges have been copyrighted by the Boy Scouts of America (presumably the ones with a merit badge in IP law ;)—for example, the painting merit badge was copyrighted on August 2, 1954 (A151769) and renewed on November 1, 1982 (RE-148-919)—but I would image that there is a problem with publication without notice, especially for the local badges. Physchim62 21:47, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Photo of Ordinary Object

May I use a photo taken by me of an ordinary crucifix (cross with Christ), purchased at a religious store? Thanks.

See Category:Crucifix. No one should complain IMHO :) A.J. 10:12, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Disneyworld Photo

Can I use a photo taken by me of outdoor scenery at Disneyworld--including the Cinderella Castle? Thanks! ) at 10:13, 7 August 2007 (UTC) the preceding unsigned comment was added by Laracroft NYC (talk • contribs) 12:13, 7. Aug. 2007 [2]

  • Is it a building or is it art? (Very fine line, as freedom of panorama in the US only includes buildings) And is it a panorama or is it a closeup of artistic detail? How old is the building? In reality I always advise people in close cases where they believe in good faith they can use the item to just upload the item. If someone tries to get it deleted later they can always try. -Nard 14:50, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Template:Seal looks like a fair use tag.

We appear to have plenty of official seals here (see Image:US-DeptOfState-Seal.jpg, for example) which are in the public domain, but {{Seal}} appears to be a copy of a fair use tag from Should it be nominated for deletion? grendel|khan 21:48, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

It's a speedy deletion template. If anybody tries to use it the image will be deleted. Exactly as things should be. -Nard 22:00, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
It is now a speedy template because I changed it. Fair use is not accepted here. Maybe we should take a look at en fair use templates and create them here at Commons as redirect to fair use to avoid further template copy problems. --Denniss 00:17, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
People use templates like that on en.wp and on here to just categorize images. Great call on the speedy decision. User:Zscout370 (Return fire) 03:38, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
For sure this tag needed to be redirected. However all but one of the images that use it predate the tag being created (June 26 this year), so they may be collateral damage. Kinda weird; I don't see any previously deleted versions of the template. Some of the images are problems for sure, but not all. Image:2430 E Street.png is PD-USGov; I think it used the seal template instead of {{Insignia}} by mistake and it should probably stay. Image:MMCA(28Tetovo)29.png and Image:MMCA(Skopje).png are both also marked GFDL here and on en-wiki where they came from; maybe they meant the insignia tag as well (though they don't *look* self created; didn't investigate much). Image:Coat of Arms Sarawak.png and Image:Duke Rothesay.gif are also both marked GFDL, but the en-wiki source images have since been deleted for no license. Not sure what to make of those. Image:Mazatlan Coat of Arms.png was originally PD-self but an anon user changed it to use the seal tag. Image:Galveston County tx seal.gif and Image:CinciSeal.gif never had any other license tag, but both predated the current seal tag... odd. They both look like they need to go though. Image:Seal of the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee.jpg was originally marked PD-self, but the uploader changed it to use the seal tag later that day... in May, before the current seal tag existed. Not sure what to think about that. Image:Sdzgr.gif is the one image that this seal tag was created to use on... not knowing much about it though, could it be PD-old? Good catch on the tag to be sure, but a couple of the images maybe should stay (and are all now marked speedy delete). Carl Lindberg 05:17, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

OK. I reformulated the redirection to reflect that: template:seal is not a valid licence tag (its inclusion is now "void"), and the template itself will have to be deleted (when all indexed images have been examined). Michelet-密是力 06:03, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

The correct restriction tag is {{Insignia}}. Michelet-密是力 06:10, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Will the template be redirected to insignia once the copyright status of the images is clear ? Just deleting the template is not good as it may pop up again. --Denniss 09:25, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
It seems OK that way. Michelet-密是力 11:57, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Credit Line and License Text For Downloaded Art

When using/printing downloaded art (photos and/or illustrations) how should we show the credit line for art/artist/creator/photographer for art that is licensed under CC and/or GFDL? And we understand that CC (Creative Commons) does not require us to print the license itself, but GFDL does require us to print the GFDL license. Is this correct? Can we print the GFDL license in the back and refer to it in the credit line? Or, is it sufficient to just print the URL at wikimedia of the GFDL text in the credit line without the text itself? How should the credit line read exactly for CC or GFDL? Both? (~Very Confused. We cannot find anyplace on wikimedia/wikipedia where it specifies this plainly/flatly/clearly.) Thanks in advance for your assistance!

With the GFDL, it should be fine to print it in the back and then refer to it with the credit line. The GFDL requires that the text of the license is distributed with the publication itself (i.e. printed in the same book). Beware that there may or may not be legal problems with printing GFDL pictures in the same book as non-GFDL material with an incompatible license (i.e. CC); you may want to talk to the authors of the photos about that.
As for the CC licenses that are acceptable here, yes you are right, you only have to print the URI of the license. Lewis Collard! (talk, contribs, en.wp) 16:12, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

published images and no-renewal

As part of s:Henry Ford on his plans and his philosophy I have chopped up two of the images and uploaded them here, however I am not 100% sure that "no-renewal" applies to photos.

Image:Henry Ford (Literary Digest 1928-01-07 Interview).jpg Image:Ford Motor Company assembly line.jpg

Are these OK? Jayvdb 09:05, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes. -- Bryan (talk to me) 19:07, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Use outside wikipedia

I may have misunderstood the licensing and upload processes, but is a phrase like "If you want to use my graphic outside Wikipedia, and its resolution or license doesn't satisfy you, write to me". I thought images on commons had to be available outside wikipedia, and even for commercial use.

The images I found it attached to are [[Image:BXVI CoA like gfx PioM.svg]] and [[Image:Coabxvi.png]] --Barliner 09:37, 9 August 2007 (UTC)--Barliner 09:24, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Copied from village pump

  • It's just an invitation to negotiate other license not GFDL. One can do that, even when there's no such message in picture description. It doesn't mean "you're not allowed to use it outside Wikipedia". A.J. 13:40, 9 August 2007 (UTC)
    • Thanks. Because and its resolution or license doesn't satisfy you was in commas I took it as a parenthetical phrase, so of course to me it read If you want to use my graphic outside Wikipedia, write to me. --Barliner 10:05, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

Copyright on old Postcards vs when was Scanned / Photographed

I found these fantastic hand-drawings of buildings on old postcards on someone's website that I'd love to add to the Wikipedia articles of those buildings. The postcards have dates of around 1896 written on them but I have no idea who photographed / scanned / or otherwise digitized these postcards or when. My question is, is this work in the public domain because it was created more than a hundred years ago or not because it was digitized recently? thanks! - Goldfishbutt 23:03, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

♦ Digitalizing a post card does not create an author's right, since there is no artistic creativity in that operation, only technique. Thus, the only author's right involved is that of the 1896 drawings. ♦ The corresponding property rights may not have expired, though, the author may have lived long after 1896 - this has to be checked. But if it's anonymous, it's PD indeed. Michelet-密是力 06:18, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
"Found on the internet" is not free
Artistic right is not the only thing that may have to be correctly licenced; property rights may have to be considered as well for copying rights (though it's not the same protection mechanism). The post card or the picture is a private property, and if your copying it may cause an economical prejudice to the owner, then you must respect the conditions that the owner states (whatever the artistic right involved). So, make sure the site is non-commercial and the picture has no potential economical value. Michelet-密是力 06:18, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

CC 3.0 (again)

The 3.0 templates have been modified to remove the clause and admitting them as "free" (whatever that means). Having read the threads, I personally think this is the right end result and the concerns about the moral rights are not sufficient to justify rejecting it. I suspect the board would say as much if we forced it up to their level. Given that should we start the chore of changing the Commons:Upload pages to preferentially use 3.0 over 2.5?--Nilfanion 01:26, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Not sure there is much point. You can use 2.5 under 3.0Geni 10:17, 12 August 2007 (UTC)


Two Images I uploaded myself on Wikimedia Commons are tagged with the (ugly) Template:FOP by admins (from NoFOP countries):

  • 1. Image:Andreas Freyer1.JPG
  • 2. Image:Leonard Wübbena Atlasring 2004.JPG

Both Images are taken in Germany (FOP country) from works by German artists (I happen to know personally) for years now in the public space. I have uploaded many Images on the subject: Modern sculptures and linked them to various categories and/or articles in local WP(s). What is exactly the purpose of this Template as NoFOP Images are deleted rapidly (as I know from experience). If not a NoFOP Image of a sculpture, it can only be categorized as FOP. So why are not all free Images tagged FOP. What is exactly the meaning of this tagging? Can another admin remove the Template or does that action needs higher authority? What is the policy behind this Template? I asked this (I thought simple) questions to admin:Siebrand (who comes, as I do, from the Netherlands), but he showed me the way to Commons Talk:Licensing. Please give me your comment--Gerardus 07:50, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Seems crazy to me, copyright paranoia and overkill to avoid some known problems about images of certain French works. I have replaced it on the two images concerned by a new {{PD-FOP-DE}}. Physchim62 11:50, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for your prompt action--Gerardus 07:24, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Creative Commons 3.0 (last time, hopefully)

Jimbo Wales and Joichi Ito, the chair of CC have commented on the issue in various posts on the mailing list. It appears to me that most objections have been taken away. Shall we move on and switch Commons to CC-3.0? -- Bryan (talk to me) 22:39, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Some comments by Jimbo, such as this are reassuring. I say OK, lets go. But I can't speak for everyone. / Fred J 00:12, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes. Reverting Siebrand was IMO unnecessary. --Kjetil r 00:17, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree. Let's just move on already. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 00:23, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
Obviously I also agree. Cheers! Siebrand 06:58, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, I believed that such a change should at least be discussed. But don't worry, if there are no objections the coming days, I will change it back. -- Bryan (talk to me) 14:35, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Please re-revert ;) Siebrand 22:10, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
This "moral rights" issue is really irrelevant
Consider the way moral rights are taken into account in France: they just can't be waved, they are not limited in time, they exist as soon as the work is created, they... OK, so what? This is not a "licence" limitation, but clearly a "legal" limitation - just like the one that prevents you from using the great seal of the US on your ads, and such legal limitations are admitted on Commons. Furthermore, even without such an explicit legal limitation, any court (in common law) would condemn abusive usages, insofar as it would obviously go beyond the rights owner's intention. "Free of right" does not mean that you can use it for any purpose, the user is always responsible for its own acts, whatever the licence says. No legal system will ever legalize clearly "unfair" practices, so "fair use" is allways more or less assumed in a licence. Pretending the contrary is just an irresponsible attitude. Michelet-密是力 15:05, 12 August 2007 (UTC) So, yes, go ahead with the 3.0, of course !

We're at CC 3.0 now. -- Bryan (talk to me) 18:24, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Good :) --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:12, 14 August 2007 (UTC)

Stuff we put in the license drop down

Say that we accept CC 3.0, what will we put in the (localized) license drop downs? Creative Commons discourages the use the unported version. So do we put in the dropdown of the (for example) Dutch language license chooser the Dutch version (cc-by-3.0-nl)? And how about languages that are spoken in multiple countries, as for example German? Do we put in only cc-by-3.0-de, or also cc-by-3.0-at and cc-by-3.0-ch? And about the general english version; do we add the unported version, or also the US and GB version? -- Bryan (talk to me) 20:23, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

I think the easiest thing for us is to keep using the unported version. They still haven't made any announcement about why they discourage it. It's simply far more convenient for a web-based thing like us. Legally they are all equivalent anyway. pfctdayelise (说什么?) 21:37, 12 August 2007 (UTC)
We could use the language versions, but currently 3.0 has only been ported for Dutch and United States law, and we have not used ported version in the localised MediaWiki:Licenses before. Many ported versions are still ar 2.0 or 2.1. I think the unported version is currently the least complicated to implement. Cheers! Siebrand 22:08, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Wannsee Protocol

I would like to upload the pages of the original Wannsee Protocol (extracted from the PDF as the JPG's are low quality), to use as illustrations for w:Wannsee Protocol and s:Wannsee Protocol. My guess is that if it was included as evidence at the Nuremberg Trials, then it is PD. However, I havent found any firm ground for the trial at the evidence being PD, and I havent found clear evidence that it was submitted as evidence. Yale merely says that the document was a "Key Documents". Jayvdb 10:18, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

Use at a trial never (on its own) makes a document PD—if it did, copyright infringement cases would be pointless because, even if you won, you would lose the protection of copyright! The document also seems to fall through the lines of art. 5 of German copyright law: it doesn't fall into the categories of paragraph 1 (don't be confused by the translation of Entscheidung as "decision", this isn't an "Entscheidung" as far as my understanding of the term goes), and it wasn't meant to be published so paragraph 2 doesn't apply. I can also quite imagine the German government (if indeed they are the copyright holders) applying restrictions on the preparation and use of derivative works, even if they helpfully publish various versions of the original document. So my PoV would be not for Commons. Probably not for WP either, as a link to the Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz site would provide the same, if not more and more reliable, information. Physchim62 23:19, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I have downloaded a few volumes of the Nuremberg Trials, and couldn't see any mention of copyright, which may mean that {{PD-US-no-notice}} applies to any evidence that is contained in the work.
The German copy on Wikisource (s:de:Protokoll der Wannsee-Konferenz has been deleted twice, but I cant work out why (what is URV?).
URV is "Urheberrechtsverletzung" = copyvio = copyright violation. Lupo 06:34, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Establishing who holds the copyrights previously held by the Third Reich is a more useful approach and of wider utility. Searching on the web indicates it is messy, and some strange theories exist ("to the victor goes the spoils"). w:Alien Property Custodian appears to have been primarily to do with property acquired during the war. w:Allied Control Council took over the civil govt, and w:Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany (1990) handed back the territory; but I am sure it is not that simple. Jayvdb 05:58, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
According to this, which we use as a reference on {{PD-US-no-renewal}}, "Works whose copyright was once owned or administered by the Alien Property Custodian, and whose copyright, if restored, would as of January 1, 1996, be owned by a government," ... are ... "Not protected by US copyright law". wrt in case it helps, the Wannsee Protocol, the translation appears to be called "C193-5-10", and the original German document is "Nuremberg Document NG-2586". Jayvdb 14:48, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Non-PD image

What is the template to use if we believe a PD image is improperly tagged as such? --Selket 18:02, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

{{delete|reason=Explain the problem here and sign. ~~~~}}, then save and follow the instructions in the template. Lupo 18:50, 15 August 2007 (UTC)


Why deleted you the screenshot? I have no photo's from a game O_o! The screenshots is for Wikipedi I don't know why? 1 thing, unacceptable!!!--Snipersnoop 03:34, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Wikimedia Commons staat alleen vrije afbeeldingen toe, afbeeldingen die door iedereen vrij gebruikt en bewerkt kunnen worden. Zie Commons:Licensing (Engels) voor meer details. -- Bryan (talk to me) 08:42, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Kan gebruikt worden maar als m'n een game wilt voorstellen horen er geen screenshits bij? Wat moeten ze gaan doen. Decor kopen en alles na bouwen zoals game?
Nee, want dan creeër je een afgeleid werk (en). Dit is simpel weg niet mogelijk op Commons, of de Nederlandse Wikipedia (expliciet weggestemd). -- Bryan (talk to me) 19:49, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

CC or PD-US-GOV ? CC is fine for us but I wonder whether there is a copyright protection in the US because phot. is an empl. of fed. gov. --Historiograf 19:05, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

  • The US Army maintains a Flickr site as well with a cc-by license. Sure the photos are probably PD, but the cc-by license is just fine...for one thing it doesn't even obligate downstream users to accept the license (because it's not sharealike) meaning they could re-proprietize the work. When I uploaded such a photo, I merely used the cc tag and noted in text I believed the work was actually PD. -Nard 00:18, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

NeoOffice Screenshots

The image Image:Neo2 screenshot.jpg is licensed under the GFDL, but the program itself is under the GPL. The GPL and GFDL are famously incompatible with each other, so I think that the easiest thing to do in that case is just change the license right?

Also, the license for the image Image:Neooffice2 header.png is questionable. According to NeoOffice's CD Distribution & Trademark Usage page, the icons and logo's are copyrighted and not released under any free license. There is no way that the image should be GFDL. -Royalguard11(Talk·@en) 23:21, 20 August 2007 (UTC)

For the first screenshot, I don't think there is creativity from the screenshot taker involved, so we can safely change the license to GPL, if there weren't copyrighted icons all over the shot :( -- Bryan (talk to me) 09:51, 21 August 2007 (UTC)

Iraqi money

Anybody here who knows the copyright status of Iraqi money? It concerns at least the following images:

-- Bryan (talk to me) 14:04, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Image:Seal of Livingston County, New York.jpg

On OTRS an email has been received: [...] The use of Livingston County's seal or any replica or simulation thereof, in form or substance, by any unauthorized person, is prohibited. [...] However, the seal itself is from the 19th century and thus {{PD-US}}. Sounds to me like those restrictions independent of its copyright status, and thus allowable on Commons. Opinions? -- Bryan (talk to me) 14:16, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like a non-copyright restriction to me, although I would like to know on what basis they (pretend to) restict use. Physchim62 15:11, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
There is also an ongoing discussion [3] about this on the WikiEN-l mailing list. It seems to have been mostly resolved in favor of keeping the image; the county law seems to be inapplicable in this case. --bdesham  15:16, 22 August 2007 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) Oi. From whom is the e-mail? See en:User talk:Bdesham#That seal and the mailing list thread starting here. If that e-mail is from the County, pass it on to Mike Godwin. Lupo 15:19, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Revision of Portugal Legislation regarding to Public Domain

(post removed, double posted as Commons:Village_pump#Revision of Portugal Legislation regarding to Public Domain) --User:Fred J 08:23, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Government of India images

The Government of India website rule states that the images in the website can be used similar to the New Zealand Crown copyright. So can there be a similar copyright created in Wikipedia, for the images from websites. Chanakyathegreat -- 15:19, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

wyłąčenie spod ochrony

Tzo to znači, že vynik diałania programmu komputerovego vyłąča się spod ochrony prav authorskich? O iakie programmy chodi? Či plik utvořony při pomotzi programmu COPY naleži do tei kathegorji? --Yecril71pl 11:16, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Bad news about status of {{PD-Russia}} since January 1 2008

Moved to Template talk:PD-Russia Alex Spade 08:41, 23 August 2007 (UTC)

Copyright status of Notgeld issued following World War I

Does anybody know what the correct copyright status is of the various German Notgeld notes issued following WWI? The images on the German Wikipedia seem to be tagged with generic PD tags but I'd like to know for sure, e.g. if they qualify as Amtliche Werke? The word normally used on them is "Gutschein" and they were normally signed by the local Gemeindevorsteher.

I have a couple of notes in my collection relating to the Schleswig Plebiscites (1919-20) and they would make nice illustrations on this article, but I don't have any hard knowledge about this aspect of German law, so any help is appreciated. Thanks in advance. Valentinian (talk) 23:02, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

It might be more efficient to ask that question on Commons:Forum‎, in German if that's possible. -- Túrelio 18:31, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Danke für den Hinweis. Ich habe einen solches Versuch gemacht. Valentinian (talk) 21:26, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Mechanical scans of public domain works not copyrightable

If I remember correctly, it has been established in copyright law and under Commons practices that a mechanical scan of a 2-dimensional published work that has fallen into the public domain is likewise in the public domain. If I am wrong please correct me; and if not, a pointer to the relevent guideline please? I ask due to discussion with another editor over Image:Queen of Sheba visits Solomon.jpg, by an artist who died in 1872, but which a website claims a copyright on since they scanned it from a book. -- Infrogmation 18:07, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag -- Bryan (talk to me) 22:00, 24 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. -- Infrogmation 00:04, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

Model Ship

Could I upload a picture taken by me of a model ship that I own but did not make? --Digon3 talk 15:22, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, I don't think model ships are usually an expression of free artistic creativity, so it should be OK. In Europe, that is. Ownership doesn't matter at all when it comes to intellectual property, btw. --Fb78 08:28, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
I can't find the reference right now, but I do recall reading that model ships and similar are covered by copyright, because their scale necessitates simplification when compared to the full-scale counterpart. Thus, designing a model involves copyrightable creative and original decision-making in the selection of which details to simplify and how (and unlike the full-scale objects, models are not utilitarian objects). LX (talk, contribs) 15:19, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Template talk:PD-Canada

Can some more eyes be applied to this to help figure out when copyrights on Canadian media expire in the US, so we can safely upload them to commons? From what I gather at first, anything PD in Canada on Jan 1, 1996 should be PD-US, but maybe not, since there's all this other tricky business. Specifically, photos taken before January 1, 1946 should be at first glance PD-Canada and PD-US, those from January 1 1946 - December 31, 1948 should be PD-Canada but not US (unless they meet the US criteria seperately, which might be possible with copyright notice and renewal silliness), and post 1949 Canadian pictures should be copyrighted, unless explicitly released as PD. But ... there's these treaty complications. Anyways, I'd like a few more eyes to look it over. WilyD 17:43, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Attribution restrictions on free images?

User:Digon3 has a sub-page which his images reference: User:Digon3/Attribution. This page says that, in addition to the CC-By-SA license, his images impose further restrictions on non-Wikimedia recipients of the work. Specifically, any use of the image must be directly accompanied by attribution in a particular form and font size. Right off the bat, all Wikipedia down-stream sites are violating this today because the credit given on the front page of Wikipedia for one of his images is different from his requirements (not to mention any use of his images on articles that are not the front page, and which typically do not give credit on the article page). Are such add-on restrictions in keeping with Commons licensing policy? -Harmil 04:07, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

I think that one can safely say that not allowing such restrictive terms has become the established rule in Commons. We usually ask that people give up such restrictions so that we don't need to remove their image. Most of the time people agree to do so. Samulili 14:04, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
I had copied it from Fcb981's (now defunct) attribution template. I removed the particular form and font size bit as that really doesn't matter. Feel free to make suggestion to make it less restrictive. --Digon3 talk 14:24, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
It has always seemed to me that the attribution requirements in the CC-By-SA-2.x and 3.x are sufficient guidelines. They say:
If You Distribute ... You must ... keep intact all copyright notices for the Work and provide, reasonable to the medium or means You are utilizing: (i) the name of the Original Author ... (ii) the title of the Work if supplied; (iii) the URI, if any ... ; and (iv) in the case of an Adaptation, a credit identifying the use of the Work in the Adaptation ... You may not implicitly or explicitly assert or imply any connection with, sponsorship or endorsement by the Original Author ...
I'm not sure what creating your own attribution requirements gains you, above and beyond what's in the license. -Harmil 19:41, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
The idea behind this was that some people don't bother to read the attribution requirements in the CC-By-SA-2.x license. Its still a work in progress, but the idea was to summerize and restate the requirements in simpler terms. --Digon3 talk 23:09, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Wikisource logo: wrong licence


The Wikisource logo (Image:Wikisource-logo.jpg) can't be "© & ™ All rights reserved, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc." because the original file (Image:Iceberg.jpg) is GFDL. See Image talk:Wikisource-logo.jpg#Wrong licence. Yann 22:56, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Helmet designs

I asked this question at the help desk but no one answered so I'll try here. I've been creating svg representations of Formula One helmet designs - see Category:Formula One helmet designs for the works in question. However, on Wikipedia, someone said that the designs themselves might be under copyright. I thought they would be fine as I created the images myself and they are not derivatives of any existing work, but artistic interpretation of helmets that F1 drivers use. As far as I can see it would be no different to painting a picture. I'm sure everyone here knows more about copyright law than I do so I'd like to hear some opinions. Thanks. Readro 15:34, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

I suspect it would fall under the same cateogry as logos, so I think it could be a violation of copyright. But IANAL. Regards, Ben Aveling 08:39, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
No they are not because they are utility items. Please see COM:DW#Isn't every product copyrighted by someone? What about cars? Or kitchen chairs? My computer case?. Regards, Fred J 14:08, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
“the design of a useful article * * * shall be considered a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work only if, and only to the extent that, such design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independ­ently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.”
Unfortunately, it is the graphic features that we want, and I think this is saying that those bits are copyrightable, even though a generic helmet would not be. Regards, Ben Aveling 11:15, 30 August 2007 (UTC).
Nope... there is no graphical feature of the helmet that could exist independantly of the helmet itself. Such an item could for example be a sculpture or other decorative item. Regards, Fred J 08:37, 31 August 2007 (UTC)
Sorry -- I thought we were talking about the shape of the helmets. If we are talking about the surface painting then yes it is copyrighted. / Fred J 09:12, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

No attribution

Tonight they showed this picture of mine on a quiz show on Belgian television (canvascrack), without any contribution whatsoever. Should I do something about this, and if yes what? Thanks Lycaon 20:37, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

You may either claim that their show is released with a compatible cc-by-sa license, or you may claim for remuneration for using your work without permission. Depending on the Belgian legislation. Samulili 11:41, 25 August 2007 (UTC)
Nonsense. Just send them an invoice for EUR 100,-. They aren't using it under the licensing conditions, so they're obliged to pay. If they don't, sue. --Fb78 08:27, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll do something like that. I'll keep you posted! ;-) -- Lycaon 12:19, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by "nonsense"? If I'm reading correctly, I wrote "or you may claim for remuneration for using your work without permission" and you wrote "Just send them an invoice for EUR 100,-. They aren't using it under the licensing conditions, so they're obliged to pay." Samulili 16:18, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Excuse my wording. Asking that "their show is released with a compatible cc-by-sa license" is nonsense, if that was your major advice, because it will never happen. But I think now that that was a joke by you, right? --Fb78 14:23, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, it was a joke, really. Although, it would be fun if one could see what happens inside a broadcasting copmany if you wrote them a letter saying "thanks for agreeing to the terms of CC-by-sa, I have added your show to YouTube". Samulili 16:39, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
 :) --Fb78 06:57, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
 :) That would likely get their attention. FloNight♥♥♥ 17:23, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
@Lycaon, if a print medium uses a picture without a license or without mentioning the author, photographers usually charge at least twice their regular price for using that image. -- Túrelio 07:07, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
What would be a resonable regular price? --Digon3 talk 14:13, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
I work in publishing, so I can tell you what photographers and image banks charge for printing a picture - the range is from EUR 30 (1/8 page) up to EUR 250 (cover page, full size). Exclusive rights, special photoshoots etc may go beyond that. In print, prices differ by print run and size of the picture. I don't really know what TV stations usually pay, but as they make more money with their shows, they can also afford to pay more. EUR 100 seemed like a reasonable price, since they didn't ask for permission.--Fb78 14:19, 29 August 2007 (UTC)
The British Imperial War Museum asks for 55 GBP for national use of images[4]. So EUR 100 might be about right. Worth a try. I doubt they'll want to make a fuss. Do let us know how you go. Regards, Ben Aveling 11:21, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
I'm interested to see if they pay and how long it takes to cut through the red tape to make it happen. FloNight♥♥♥ 17:23, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes it is important that people respect our licensing, or otherwise it will become difficult to get others to license their work with a GFDL or CC-SA license for use on Commons. But maybe the network will argue that the need for attribution should be mentioned at the image itself, because that's how it is commonly done on other sites and in magazines and newspapers. There was a post with this message on the mailinglist recently. I agree that it would be most useful to add next to all Wikipedia thumbnails something like "This image may be subject to licensing restrictions. Please click on it for information." / Fred J 08:32, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Copyrigtht of statistical data

Does anyone know about the copyright status of statistical material? Lets say I want to produce a graph out of statistical raw data published by the Statistisches Bundesamt in Germany. Is such material produced by state departements always common. Am I allowed to package this material into a new meta-dataset and publish it via wikimedia commons. Were can I get information about this questions? Europol 12:04, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Statistical (and any other) data by itself is not copyrightable at all, so you may use it as you wish. What can be copyrighted is the specific way of organizing and displaying them (i.e. a concrete graph made from that data etc.). You also need to be careful regarding a sui generis protection of databases (see e.g. w:Database rights) – if the data is compiled into a „database“, you cannot extract substantial parts from it without a permission of the database creator. IANAL. --Mormegil 15:41, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your reply. Interesting and confusing. So -as far as I understand you and your references - I am allowed to take any data I find as long it is not in an certain database-file, e.g. Excel or SPSS-stuff. What about taking numbers out of books or webpages? Is it possible that they are copyrighted also? Is this what means sui generis? So how am I able to confirm that data is free useable? I want to start a wikiversity project collecting meta-datasets for scientific use and for the purpose of wikipedia-illustrations. ( wikiversity:de:Interdisziplinäres Zentrum OpenStat ) Who can help clearify the problem? Europol 18:34, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

I stress I am not a lawyer and you are asking quite difficult questions (since this matter is quite foggy, IMHO). I should also remind that this protection is mainly a matter of EU, I believe database protection is not applied in the US (but I might be mistaken).
To the point: No, the fact whether the information is in a special file format (Excel etc.) is not relevant. The respective direction defines a database as “a collection of independent works, data or other materials arranged in a systematic or methodical way and individually accessible by electronic or other means” and covers even non-electronic databases. The important definitory criterion is whether there has been “qualitatively and/or quantitatively [a] substantial investment in either the obtaining, verification or presentation of the contents”.
I repeat: the individual numbers are definitely not copyrightable. You are allowed to normally use the data from database in any way you want as long as you do not extract substantial parts of the database or “perform acts which conflict with normal exploitation of the database or unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the maker of the database”. Simply said, it is a question of measure; the protection is meant to prevent copying (almost) the whole database, not using the data in it.
Sui generis means that this is a new specific type of protection, not just an application of copyright. The protection is not limited by the definition of copyrightable work etc.
I am afraid I can’t provide more help; the best thing would be a consulation with a lawyer. I believe you might also try to ask at de:Wikipedia:Urheberrechtsfragen. (In that case, I would ask you to report any potential results, as it might help other users.)
--Mormegil 16:58, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Hallo Mormegil, thank you for your precise summary of your knowledge. After your insightful posting the exciting question in the context of the aim to package meta-datasets is what can be declared a "subtantial part" of a dataset. It would be easy for providers to claim that certain index-variables are the outcome of a very expensive "substantial investment in [...] the obtianing [...] of the contents". I will present the question to de.Wikipedia and repost the answer here. Europol 21:57, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

User:Yug/Stroke order

I have no idea whether this was discussed before but I have some small problems with this license tag:

  1. It is not a template in the template namespace.
  2. Although Muke or Yug agree to give away the images as CC-by-sa-2.0. They say: " may use it in all Wikipedias, or improve upon it. For other uses, just contact us." This sounds like a required permission for other uses. Which is too restricted for Commons. This underlined by the following phrase: "We are willing to share it for other uses in exchange for some other share".

I do not know what you folks think about this. --ALE! ¿…? 14:14, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

  • It is too restricted for Commons. Ask them if they would please remove the "share it" bit. If they don't, the files are still under the cc-by-sa-2.0... --Digon3 talk 15:05, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
    • I informed them about the discussion here. So let's see what they say. --ALE! ¿…? 07:02, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

The following comment was copied here from my talk page: --ALE! ¿…? 08:19, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Hello ALE!, I'm Yug. The template requesting somes "other shares" is just a comment to encourage people to send us/me some feed backs. The template also provide a clear CC licence template, which make that the user may in reality do want he want, and if I get nothing back, I will do nothing. If you can correct my english to be clearer and always in this spirit, that's welcome.

Yug (talk) 08:16, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

I made some changes. Are they acceptable to you? I also think that We are willing to share it for other uses in exchange for some other share like the http of your website or one sample of your book (even small :). is unclear. I don't really understand what you mean with it.
Furthermore, I propose to split the license template from this template, and have a bot add the license to all pages that transclude this template. -- Bryan (talk to me) 10:12, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Ok, many thanks. I, Yug (talk), agree with the changes made by Bryan.
Then, I will also talk with him to know if so automatic Bot change of the license are possible.
Yug (talk) 09:38, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

Uploading squat flyers

I have a number of nice flyers for events at a few Italian squats from the '80's and '90's that would make nice additions to pages about them (the squats). Are they usable in this manner? I can't find any specifics about this. I have no concrete way of proving this, but as they are/were anarchist endeavors, they would be, arguably, safely anti-copyright. Thoughts?-E. abu Filumena 03:15, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

I am sure that the creators of that material would be happy to have them here, but we need a written permission. Just an impield consent on the basis of the ideology of the creators is not not sufficient. What a shame, but so it must be. Otherwise, someone might make squat-looking material, have it uploaded here by an innocent commonist, and then sue Wikipedia for copyright infringement. And we would be wrong, indeed. --MPorciusCato 08:33, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

GFDL presumption permitted here?

User:Mike.lifeguard recently asked me at User_talk:Jusjih#Image:Oxygen_kit_breathing_and_constant_flow.JPG about an image that lost its log from English Wikipedia and presumed it under GFDL. While English Wikipedia may presume some older images with GFDL, can we do this here? If not, we have to delete the image in question and leave it to English Wikipedia.--Jusjih 01:09, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Additional info. There is a disscusion in En-Wiki en:Wikipedia:Non-free content/templates, that GFDL-presumed must be remolded to Non-free license tag. Alex Spade 20:17, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Template:GFDL-presumed redirects to Template:copyvio... -- Bryan (talk to me) 08:14, 8 September 2007 (UTC)
Thank you. I will tell Mike.lifeguard this.--Jusjih 19:04, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

museums and copyright issues.

assistance please. I have uploaded some images [5] at [6] for example. The copyright is o.k. -Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License- in that it says the image is free for others to use as long as acknowledgment is made but it also states that I took the photograph. I may have, others may have, the image belongs to the heritage service I work for. That organisation is happy for the images to be in the public domain under the above license. Where am I going wrong in getting myself as the copyright owner. I will need to sort this out as I hope to add other images to Commons. Thanks --Edmund Patrick 08:57, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

If you did take that photo, then the license is ok. The photo is not a derivative work of that mannequin and/or the dress: it's a hotly debated topic (in some circles :-) whether fashion should be copyrighted. Currently, it isn't, AFAIK. If you did not take that photo, take a look at {{Self}} (it's got a usage description!). You can add "|author=XYZ" to indicate the true rights owner. Lupo 09:13, 10 September 2007 (UTC)


So far we do not have a PD image of w:W. H. R. Rivers. The few images that are on the English pedia do not have clear source/date/owner information so I am not confident enough to move them to the commons. I have found one photo on The Royal Society; on that page they hint they own the copyright but there is no date provided. Any clues would be appreciated. Jayvdb 08:45, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

All right, I'll tell you what kind of research I do in such cases. First, we have River's life dates: born 1864, died 1922. In the image, he may be about 40. That places the image at 1900 to 1910. Next, we know it was taken by "Maull & Fox". Googling for this brings up this page as one of the first hits. (You probably already knew that page: it's also from the Royal Society.) Here we find out that "Maull" referes to a certain "Henry Maull". Googling for this brings up this link, which gives me a bloody server error. Luckily, there's a Google cache for it. Bingo! Henry Maull (1829 - 1914), and John Fox (1832 - 1907). The Maull & Fox studio existed as such from 1879 until 1928. Searching for "Maull and Fox" bring up this 1909 publication: "The two portraits of Darwin are reproduced by permission of Messrs Maull and Fox and...". So clearly, at the time that book was prepared, Henry Maull still owned the studio. So I'd say this is a clear {{PD-Old}}. (And even PD in the U.S., too, since the photo was certainly published back then, see Carte de visite.) Oh, and incidentally, Getty is wrong about Polyblank being unknown. See the Google cache mentioned before. :-) Lupo 09:50, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
I wasnt so much asking for someone to do the research; I was hoping there was a {{PD-common-sense-,-people-die-,-must-have-been-a-while-ago}} tag I hadnt yet found. Anyway, I've started w:Henry Maull because these are very nice collections if we can get our hands on them. I've yet to add your findings to that article, but now that Fox also died a while ago I am happy to go with PD-old. Many thanks. Jayvdb 12:16, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
There is such a "PD-common-sense" tag on de-WP, called the 100-years-rule, i.e. if an anonymous work of art was created more than 100 years ago, we consider it PD by rule of thumb. I don't know if this is a good idea for Commons - it could work perfectly fine, or people could misunderstand it as a legal ruling and create chaos. Somehow, it seems to be pretty difficult to make common sense a prerequisite ... :) --Fb78 14:24, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Where may I find this haven of common sense that you speak of? Jayvdb 14:36, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
He's talking about the German Wikipedia. We don't have that rule of thumb here at the Commons. We've got enough problems already with "anonymous work" claims that aren't backed by any evidence to that effect whatsoever. Lupo 15:07, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Yea, I can imagine. Where is the template on the German Wikipedia? I'd like to see how it is written & used. John Vandenberg 15:34, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Check out de:Vorlage:Bild-PD-alt-100. --Fb78 12:54, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Add SIL Open Font License as permissible upload license?

Would it be a good idea to add the SIL Open Font License to the list of selectable licenses at upload? Or at least create a nice template for it and declare it to be acceptable on commons? For example, Image:Ironieteken.svg has been extracted from such a font. See also User talk:Jusjih#Image:Ironieteken.svg. – gpvos (talk) 20:51, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

As it is rarely used, I'd not make an upload option. But a template would be OK. If the FSF thinks it's free, it's free enough for us. --Fb78 14:20, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Please feel free to work on {{Open Font}} --Fb78 14:32, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Pomological Watercolors

Would someone please take a look at the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection and tell me if we can use these images here? Thanks, Dietzel 07:40, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm rather sure we can. They were created by "USDA employed artists" (website), which means they are {{PD-USGov-USDA}}, and most of them should also be {{PD-old}}. Nice collection! although the scans are not as perfect as they should. --Fb78 08:44, 13 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for your quick response! --Dietzel 10:17, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Vague Licensing

"You can use our images, if you leave watermark or reference Please do not image link us. Thanks." -- If I'm not mistaken, the usual thinking is that this license does not permit derivitive works and thus is unfree, right? It's very hard to tell. WilyD 15:08, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Derivative works must be explicitly allowed, or else it's not free. Delete. --Fb78 07:42, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, it's not actually around to delete, but yes, thanks. I wasn't sure I remembered that correctly. WilyD 16:08, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

New site Commons:Copyright forum

Hi everybody, I suggest a new discussion page Commons:Copyright forum. Like the Village pump or de:Wikipedia:Urheberrechtsfragen, it could become the central place to discuss all things copyright. (Commons talk:Licensing should be used to discuss Commons:Licensing, the Village pump is too crowded anyway.) Objections, suggestions? --Fb78 08:54, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

Sounds good; it would be great if it worked like the Help Desk on enwiki, where unanswered questions are kept open. (see here for late arriving answers).
I think it would also be helpful to openly encourage copyright questions from any source/purpose (i.e. including other foundation projects and/or even questions by the public) to increase the involvement of people from various countries in resolving copyright questions. John Vandenberg 01:52, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Fb78, have you noticed the message at the top of this discussion page, suggesting that copyright questions be asked at the help desk? / Fred J 02:31, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

This is not appropriate. We need a special page for copyright questions. Help desk is too unspecific --Historiograf 15:32, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Template {{FOP}}

I have uploaded two images in Category:Willem de Kooning from a sculpture since 1984 in Willem de Kooning's birthplace Rotterdam/The Netherlands (Freedom of Panorama): Image:Rotterdam_034.jpg and Image:Rotterdam_o44.jpg I find the Copyright Warning added to this Cat. by User:Gryffindor very confusing and after his answer to my question why he put the Template there, even more. Is this a correct Template? Can you please enlighten me. Greetings--Gerardus 16:42, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

I've wondered this myself (as you can see by my unanswered question on the talk page). I'm pretty sure the restrictions it talks about are specific to German law, and maybe a couple of others. I think there was a court case of a photo taken in Austria (similar but not the same laws as Germany) where the copyright owner of the photo's subject sued in Germany and won. The warnings and design of the template seem far more alarming than called for. I could see it for pictures taken in Germany/Austria/similar which use the FOP exception, but we already have a {{PD-FOP-DE}} template which is far less alarming than this one. Carl Lindberg 00:49, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Screenshots of free software on nonfree operating systems

The Screenshots section says that the screenshot is copyrighted if the underlying OS is copyrighted (even if the software itself is free). I've recently read that Apple v. Microsoft 35F.3d 1435 9th Circuit september 19 1994 said that OS GUI elements like icons and window frames are not copyrightable. Maybe somebody who is more familiar with US legal stuff could check up on that... --Tgr 13:15, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Apple Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corporation says that "After long arguments, the judge insisted on an analysis of specific GUI elements that Apple claimed were infringements. Apple came up with a list of 189 GUI elements; the judge decided that 179 of these elements had been licensed to Microsoft in the Windows 1.0 agreement, and most of the remaining 10 elements were not copyrightable"
and "The fact that Apple and Microsoft had entered into the licensing agreement for Windows 1.0 made a large part of the case a mere contractual matter rather than a matter of copyright law".
Fred J 20:19, 17 September 2007 (UTC)


What's this? And why do we even have images using it? Looks unfree to me... Lupo 16:07, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

It's a byproduct of a long and painful debate about the representation of recent buildings in France at Commons:Bistro#Un_autre_d.C3.A9sert_:_les_b.C3.A2timents_de_France. To make it very short, French IP law protects buildings as well as paintings, scuptures and so on (see Commons:Freedom_of_panorama#France); the problem is, do we have to delete every picture representing every recent building, be it plain and unimaginative? What do we do with pictures representing a landscape and including a recent building (e.g. the Louvre Pyramid in the Louvre)? That's why Micheletb devised this template. I don't like it very much. Jastrow (Λέγετε) 16:27, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
I wonder what the point of that template is, too. It should be clearly a "no", "yes" or "additional info" template.
Btw, an {{FOP}} template with the country as a parametre would be nice. Some #switch magic, and voilà. Samulili 16:28, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
A particular example can be found at Commons:Undeletion requests/Current requests#Image:Louvre_2007_02_24_c.jpg where this template has been applied even though the main subject of the image is a copyright building. The image has been undeleted essentially based on the proportion of the overall area taken up by the copyright building, which sounds pretty dubious to me.
I can't see that this template does much good. It's commonplace, isn't it, that courts are likely to avoid enforcing penalties for copyright infringement where the importance of the infringement is minimal, for example because it is entirely peripheral or incidental to the main subject of the image. Why do we need a special French tempate to tell us that? Substantially the same issues occur with, say, a photo of a magazine-seller's stand on which very small representations of a variety of magazine covers can just be made out. Such a photo would be accepted here, even though if someone enlarged it and closely cropped around one of the magazines the resulting image would not be allowed as it infringes the magazine's copyright.
I agree with Lupo, and would delete the template, or at least convert it to a non-country-specific template warning that the incidental inclusion of copyright material does not mean that that material can be cropped out and used on its own. --MichaelMaggs 17:22, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
That template does not harm in my opinion. To me it really doesn't matter that it's specific to France or not, as long as it warns the viewer, which is to me the most important. I also read the talk pointed out by Jastrow, and agree pretty much with Michelet, that is that pictures which are likely within the scope of the french case law should be kept and removed only if we are sure they violate copyrights. Benh 20:21, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Potentially unfree license at Image:DM-ST-85-10488.JPEG

Please see Image:DM-ST-85-10488.JPEG. It's one of a class of many images from the same site. The way it reads to me is that derivative or commercial works need approval by the Assistant secretary of defense or his or her designee. If so, that's not a free license. see [7] and [8] and [9] particularly the last... that's a non commercial license. I'd like to be wrong but that's my read. ++Lar: t/c 04:01, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I think they're fine... from a copyright perspective, as USGov works they are public domain without question, so there are no copyright restrictions. The first "ethics" link you posted is specifically for "persons acting for or on behalf of the DoD", not the general public (i.e. follow these rules if you wish to stay employed by or contracted to the DoD). The second and third links just remind you of restrictions which exist outside of copyright (personality rights of individuals pictured also still apply, there are no model releases, and the DoD has marketing rights in that you can't imply that the DoD is endorsing your product with your usage). The last is also mainly for people purchasing copies which are not available on the website... it says "The images on our web site can be downloaded at screen resolution (72 dpi or high resolution) at no cost and/or limit." None of the above is a copyright license; they are public domain from that standpoint. Carl Lindberg 07:32, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
I agree. These works are US government works (the federal government, not the states) so they are free. The DVIC does not and cannot add any copyright to the images by displaying them on the internet, as it is an organ of the US government. The guidelines for use are only guidelines, not legally binding. However, the US government employees had better follow them. The US government may hold the phyical images and refrain from giving them to you unless you accept some further terms. However, if you somehow get the material without those terms, then you are free to utilize it. It's the same as with the museums: they can prevent you from taking photographs of PD paintings and require you to sign a contract before entering. If you break that contract and take pictures, giving them to others, only you are responsible for the damage. Others have no obligations towards the museum. (Can the DVIC require people to accept any terms? Is the FOIA not binding it to release non-classified material anyhow?) --MPorciusCato 09:51, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
To summarise then, the assertion here is that since DVIC is an arm of the government, and these images are unclassified (by virtue of being on a publicly accessible website) that any additional restrictions that DVID places are bogus. If that's the consensus I'm comfortable but you know me, I tend to double check things. Perhaps we should make up a special license template for these images which outlines these points, so we can avoid this in future, instead of the standard PD US Airforce one on these now. If that makes sense I can put it on the to-do list for my AWB runs... Is that the consensus then? ++Lar: t/c 15:19, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Note the big sticking point I saw in all this was the phrase "If still media images are to be used for commercial advertisement, the proposed ad layout with its accompanying copy must be approved by the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs." which is a kind of restriction on derivative works. (advertising is a kind of derivative work after all). What you all seem to be saying is that this is an unenforcable restriction on the image itself (although it may be something that the DoD may go after the advertiser for on other grounds like implied endorsement etc) ++Lar: t/c 15:22, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
It is unenforceable under copyright law, as far as my knowledge goes. If the user planned to use the DoD's name in the advertisement, then the DoD's marketing rights would come into play allowing them to make that requirement. And since my reading of that page is that it pertains to people purchasing copies of items not available on the website, they could very well make that a contractual provision of the sale, and enforce it that way. As far as copyright is concerned though (the part commons mainly cares about), it is public domain.
I'm borderline on the template, since the true author is the Air Force (thus more specific, and also the specific reason for being PD) while DVIC is mainly a DoD distribution mechanism, and I don't think there are any outside-of-Wikimedia restrictions outside of the standard personality rights, etc. If you were going to do it, it probably makes sense to make a source tag like DVIC-image. Maybe it could take a licensing template parameter and transclude it, defaulting to PD-USGov-Military, rather than creating an actual new license tag. Carl Lindberg 04:18, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Nevermind, there is already a {{PD-USGov-Military-DVIC}} tag. Only a couple images use it though. Could be converted to a source tag maybe if that seems like a better idea. Carl Lindberg 04:32, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
The idea of the tag/license would be to point out the unenforceable/inapplicable things so that in future, others would not go down the rathole I just did. :) I'm open as to whether it should be a license or a tag. Once that's sorted I'm considering an AWB run to find the other images that came from there and license/tag them appropriately. Seems to me all the images from there ought to have the same license, whichever it is. Airforce, or Military, or DVIC... seems these images now use at least these three (if not more) different licenses. Maybe move them all to military and then tag? ++Lar: t/c 10:54, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

The copyright on German recordings of music

The City Library of Helsinki has digitalized and published a rather large amount of classical music into the internet recently. The music has been selected from works which are in PD according to any conceivable legislation (100+ years p.m.a.) and the recordings are all over 50 years old. In Finland, the producer of the recording and the artists on the recording have a related right which lasts 50 years. I suppose the case is same for the European Union, but I am not sure.

The music is mainly from German and US companies. In some cases, the recording place is clearly stated to be in Germany. In others, it only says "RCA", which we must assume to be in New York State to be on the safe side. So, we cannot upload any US recordings here. What about the recordings made in European Union, especially Germany?

In Finnish law, the digitalization itself does not establish copyright, as it is a mechanical procedure. The City Library of Helsinki recognizes this and unlike some other digitalizers, does not even try to claim copyright. On the contrary, they joyously claim the material to be PD. If we could use this resource, it would be of great use to many Wikiprojects. --MPorciusCato 15:37, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

The composers and/or songwriters copyright lasts 70 years pma, like with any other works. Concerning the specific records, people have to differentiate:
  • The actors/performers
    • Moral rights: moral rights cover the recognition of the artist's performance (usually expressed by attribution of the artist) and the right of denying defacements. Moral rights expire with the artist's death but at the earliest 50 years after the performance
    • Commercial rights: copying, recording, distribution, public performance... Commercial rights expire 50 years after the release of the recording or 50 years after the recording when it was never released.
  • The record company
    • The record company has rights similar to the commercial rights of the artist, they expire 50 years after release/recording as well
Since the works are older than 100 years and the recordings are older than 50 years i think that your example should be suitable for commons.--Wiggum 16:53, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
That's correct for the EU, but I fear we may have a problem with the status of these recordings in the U.S. If any of these rights (composer/texter's copyrights; performers/recorders/broadcasters neighbouring rights) had not expired in 1996 in the source country of the work or of the performance/record/broadcast, their copyright may have been restored in the U.S. by the URAA. And the U.S. does not have such a shorter "neighbouring rights" term for sound recordings. Even worse, if the copyright was not restored by the URAA, and the sound recording dates from before February 15, 1972 (which seems to be the case here), the sound recordings are subject to U.S. state common or statutory laws and may be copyrighted under such laws. Please see en:WP:PD#Sound recordings and in particular the case of Capitol records v. Naxos of America, in which British recordings that were PD in the UK were considered eligible for state copyright in the U.S. state of New York. Also check Besek, June M.: Copyright Issues Relevant to Digital Preservation and Dissemination of Pre-1972 Commercial Sound Recordings by Libraries and Archives, CLIR pub. #135, December 2005, ISBN 1-932326-23-5. Lupo 19:40, 19 September 2007 (UTC)


  This image is in the public domain according to Article 31 of the "Law on Copyright and Related Rights" of the Republic of Macedonia, and it is in free use:
  • for the purpose of acquiring informations of general significance;
  • for teaching purposes;
  • for private and other individual reproduction;
  • quotation and other cases, according to this Law.

Fellow Wikipedians, I am new in WikiMedia and in Wikipedia in general, but I am willing to give contributions on Macedonia related articles. Yesterday I created this PD-RM Template which is in accordance with the "Law on Copyright and Related Rights" of the Republic of Macedonia. But several minutes ago it was proposed for deletion. I know that you are busy, but could you please check the template, and see if it is all right. And if there is something that you disapprove, could you please help me improve the template. I would be very grateful. Thanks in advance. Revizionist 19:33, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

The issue is that the rights conveyed by the template are not sufficient for media on commons (we need rights to do ANYTHING with the work, not just teaching or private reproduction etc)... that is, the template does not convey rights broad enough to fit the charter of Commons. (work through the example given in Commons:Licensing to see why) Proposing deletion of the template is often a way to spark discussion of whether the template conveys rights sufficent for the materials licensed under it to remain. Hope that helps. Items that use the template are themselves subject to review and possible deletion, unfortunately. ++Lar: t/c 19:04, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Stained-glass windows in an Irish church

I would like to get informed opinions whether it is acceptable to upload images of stained-glass windows of an Irish church. The church in question is the Roman Catholic Church of St. Finian in Clonard, County Meath. The stained glass windows were created by Hogan in 1957. Ireland supports freedom of panorama for works of artistic craftsmanship that are permanently located in public places or premises open to the public. I would consider stained glass windows as works of artistic craftsmanship and likewise this church is open to the public, i.e. there is no entrance fee and the entrance is open most of the time. Am I right with my assumptions? Thanks for your time, AFBorchert 20:37, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

No, I'm afraid you're not. In Common Law jurisdictions such as Ireland and the UK "work of artistic craftsmanship" is a legal term with a very specific meaning. It effectively means a three-dimensional works of truly artistic merit. Examples might include a piece of fine jewellery, or something like that. Two-dimensional works such as stained glass, paintings and so on are referred to by the legal term "artistic work", which is something quite different and to which Freedom of panorama does not apply. Sorry, but such stained glass windows are regularly being deleted from the Commons, except for ones that are old enough to be in the public domain. Note that in one or two other countries such windows would be ok, but in Ireland definitely not. --MichaelMaggs 21:28, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I know of the specific meaning of this term. However, as far as I can see from the texts I have found so far, it is not a question of being two or three dimensional. There exists an interesting decision by the High Court of Australia from 26 April 2007 regarding this term which named stained-glass windows as example for "work of artistic craftmanship". Let me quote the relevant section from the judgement:
In Hensher[93], Lord Simon asked whether the work in question was "the work of one who was in this respect an artist-craftsman?" He referred to "aim and impact"[94]. The works of a cobbler or dental mechanic, and a wheelwright were not works of artistic craftsmanship[95]. At the other extreme, the work of the maker of hand-painted tiles would be so regarded. Lord Simon went on[96]:
"In between lie a host of crafts some of whose practitioners can claim artistic craftsmanship, some not - or whose practitioners sometimes exercise artistic craftsmanship, sometimes not. In the former class, for example, are glaziers. The ordinary glazier is a craftsman, but he could not properly claim that his craftsmanship is artistic in the common acceptation. But the maker of stained glass windows could properly make such a claim; and, indeed, the revival of stained glass work was one of the high achievements of the Arts and Crafts movement. In the latter class is the blacksmith - a craftsman in all his business, and exercising artistic craftsmanship perhaps in making wrought-iron gates, but certainly not in shoeing a horse or repairing a ploughshare. In these intermediate - or rather, straddling - classes come, too, the woodworkers, ranging from carpenters to cabinet-makers: some of their work would be generally accepted as artistic craftsmanship, most not. Similarly, printers, bookbinders, cutlers, needleworkers, weavers - and many others. In this straddling class also fall, in my judgment, the makers of furniture. Some of their products would be, I think, almost universally accepted as 'works of artistic craftsmanship'; but it would be a misuse of language to describe the bulk of their products as such."
Cited from [10], section 81.
--AFBorchert 23:00, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
That's a very interesting quote. I'll try to look up some legal texts on this today. --MichaelMaggs 06:22, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
I’ve done some more reading about the UK case law, resulting in a fairly substantial re-write of the UK section of the Freedom of panorama page. Backed by some additional case law we can now I think accept stained glass and certain other “works of artistic craftsmanship” as falling under the FoP provisions, at least in the UK. I don’t I’m afraid have access to Irish case law but unless anyone knows to the contrary it is reasonable to assume that an Irish court would follow UK precedents and would also consider stained glass to fall within their FoP provisions which are after all worded almost identically to the UK version. --MichaelMaggs 17:38, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Thousand thanks, Michael, for investigating this and for extending the FoP page. Regards, AFBorchert 18:42, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

PD-author without author → no source?

Would there be any objections if I modified the {{PD-author}} template so that it would check whether the parameter (specifying the author) is filled in, and if it is not, the template would automatically include {{No source}}? (Note that this could not work correctly using {{No source since}}, but at least something, I would think. --Mormegil 12:51, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

I changed it like that. See Template talk:PD-author. --Mormegil 20:46, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

{{PD-FOP-DE}} versus {{FOP}}

I have seen today, that there is a new template Germany specific template {{PD-FOP-DE}} which is used to indicated that the subject shown in the image falls under the freedom of panorama rule of the German copyright law.

I do not quite understand, why we need an additional template while we already have a comprehensive template in the form of {{FOP}} which also covers the German cases.

In addition to that, the no-copyright-sign on the left might be missunderstood as a license statement. Which is not the case. The images using this German template also need a proper license by the author of the image.

I await your comments on that. --ALE! ¿…? 14:41, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Having a variety of FOP tags does not help.--MichaelMaggs 14:51, 19 September 2007 (UTC)--MichaelMaggs 14:52, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
I think we should have one FOP-template with the country as a parametre. Samulili 15:09, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
Can you (or someone) write it? Excellent plan. --MichaelMaggs 17:17, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
While we're on the subject, I think people should take a close look at en:Freedom of panorama and especially en:Talk:Freedom of panorama. We have an editor there who claims FOP applied nowhere else but Germany, despite having been pointed to several sources. I won't be around for some time, and I'm tiring rapidly of arguing with this guy anyway. Michael, does this concept have a name in the UK? Are there any cases in the UK where it was applied? Lupo 18:42, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure what good a combined template would do -- looking at {{FOP}}, {{PD-FOP-DE}}, and {{FoP-France}} I'm not sure how much common text there could be. If the content is completely different in each case, we may as well have separate templates. FoP-France is probably applicable to most any country with no freedom of panorama at all (wouldn't virtually all countries allow photos of copyrighted objects if not the main subject?), FOP seems overly dire and mostly specific to German and maybe Austrian law (many countries have no such restrictions in their FoP laws), and PD-FOP-DE seems more generically applicable to countries which do have freedom of panorama for buildings (although parts of it are definitely specific to Germany). I do agree with ALE!'s position on the copyright sign and "PD-" prefix on the template though; while this is sort of a license tag for part of the copyright it is not a license tag for the entire image. Carl Lindberg 15:57, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Madame Tussauds

I'm not sure - are photographs of en:Madame Tussauds exhibits free or subject to Madame Tussauds copyright ? Could I move them to commons from en wiki ? (ofc PD or on copyleft licences) Jacek FH 21:57, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Copyrighted. (They're also copyrighted over at en-WP, of course. They should all be deleted or be marked "fair use".) Lupo 06:22, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
If I'm not mistaken, these images are free thanks to the freedom of panorama in UK. Samulili 08:36, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
That depends on whether Tussaud's is a "premise open to the public". Michael? At en-WP, which works under U.S. law exclusively, these can be only "fair use". Lupo 08:51, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Section 62 of the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, allows photographers to take pictures of, amongst other things, sculptures and works of artistic craftsmanship "if permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public". Such photographs may be published in any way. I assume that the models are part of the permanent display and are not simple part of a temporary exhibit. The models must pretty clearly count as works of artistic craftsmanship, and as Lupo says, the only question is then whether Madame Tussaud's counts as "premises open to the public". Clearly, the expression "open to the public" must mean something more than "public place", and although I'm not aware of any specific case law, one of the major texts on UK copyright, Copinger and Skoane James, states that "The expression "open to the public" presumably extends the section to premises to which the public are admitted only on licence or on payment". On that basis I think these pictures are allowable on Commons. --MichaelMaggs 16:30, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
Stop! We need better information on this. If what you say is true, we can also photograph paintings and statues in any British museum. Which I doubt. --Fb78 07:41, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Not paintings, but yes for statues: Samulili 08:41, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Yes, that's correct: Under UK law statues are OK (as 'sculpures'), but not paintings. The UK 'freedom of panorama' provisions are extremely broad compared with those of most other countries, which is good for Commons. See Freedom of panorama#United Kingdom for more details. This isn't just some strange interpretation: the law is clear and is not in dispute. --MichaelMaggs 09:14, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
I say, that looks good. Great for us. --Fb78 12:50, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Lucien Walery and French War extensions

There is a deletion request Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Josephine Baker 4.jpg that potentially affects all the images in Category:Lucien Walery. Could somebody who understands French copyright issues please comment? --Simonxag 21:44, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

  Done - Jurisprudential issues cannot be clear-cut in France anyway... Though the case has been judged by the "cour de cassassion", ako supreme court, there is no stare decisis in France, so any "local" or "appeal" court can still resist and judge otherwise (French law is logical, but French lawers have no discipline ;o). But usually, they don't, and the legal doctrine is on the cassassion's side, so I guess it's safe. Michelet-密是力 05:33, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Portrait of an artist

Hi. I uploaded this picture : Image:Seen ua paris 2007 jnl.jpg. It shows a graffiti-artist named Seen standing before his canvas. The question is : does such images have copyright issues ? Jean-no 10:31, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Wouldn't bother with it. The photograph is not really a reproduction of the canvas, since it only shows a small part and is mostly covered by the person standing in front of it. --Fb78 10:46, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
It was my opinion too but I thought it was better to ask. Jean-no 10:54, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Memorials in Denmark

I am forwarding this notice by Christian Bickel which has been posted to our general forum in the German language as he writes only in German -- he will, however, according to his own assessment on his user page, be able to read English responses.

His original notice in German:
In Commons ist zu lesen, dass in Dänemark zwar Panoramafreiheit besteht, darunter aber keine öffentlich aufgestellten Kunstwerke (Denkmäler) fallen, wenn sie das Hauptmotiv des Bildes darstellen.
Es gibt eine eigene Kategorie für Denkmäler in Kopenhagen, die voll mit solchen Bildern sind. Wie das nun? --Christian Bickel 08:10, 29 September 2007 (UTC)
My translation:
In Commons is to be read that while Denmark provides freedom of panorama this privilege does not extend to public works of art or memorials if they constitute the main motive of a picture.
There is a category of statues in Copenhagen which is full of such pictures. How is this possible?

Some additional remarks from my side:

  • The relevant summary of Danish law is to be found here.
  • Christian is speaking about this this category.
  • An example of a statue which cannot have been erected before 1972 is to be found here.

--AFBorchert 11:20, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Fingalo alias Christian Bickel has quoted some Danish law texts regarding the freedom of panorama and translated them into German. According to this text, freedom of panorama is granted except if the piece of art is the main motive and the picture is used commercially. If I understand this correctly, this means that we cannot accept pictures of Danish pieces of art as main motive using the privilege of freedom of panorama.

Consequently, as I see this issue, we need to know when the copyright expires in Denmark. Unfortunately Commons:Licensing#Denmark just provides the expiration times in case of photographs but not for sculptures and other pieces of art. In the next step it seems to be necessary to find all pictures of Danish statues whose copyright has not expired yet or where we aren't sure about their status. --AFBorchert 15:33, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Fingalo alias Christian Bickel continued his research into Danish law (the relevant text is to be found here in § 63). According to Fingalos translation into German and my understanding, the copyright of a work expires 70 years after the year of the death of the author or artist who, if there are multiple authors or artists, lived for the longest time. If the author or artist is not known, the 70 years start after the year of the publication, or if it was never published, after the year when the work was finished.

According to Fingalo's research, similar rules apply in Norway, Sweden and Iceland. Detailed references and his translation are to be found here.

Another point I forgot to mention above: Pictures of buildings are under the terms of freedom of panorama no problem including commercial use. Norway and Sweden are similar in this regard.

Does anyone object if I attempt to include the results of Fingalo's research into the corresponding sections? --AFBorchert 20:36, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Some pictures of statues in Denmark have been nominated for deletion. --AFBorchert 06:03, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Apache Logo/Apache License

Hi, this is my first contribution to Wikipedia/Commons. I uploaded an SVG version of the Apache Software Foundation's logo here. According to the copyright metadata inside the file, it is licensed under the Apache License 2.0. I included this information under a Licensing header. But Wikimedia Commons is complainig about not having sufficient information about its copyright status, and will delete the image in seven days.

I wanted to include a copyright tag, but I can't find an appropriate tag for the Apache License. Is this lincense considered non-free on Wikimedia Commons? Apache considers it to be a free license, and according to Wikipedia (, it is compatible with GPL 3.0, final draft.

I checked the previous low-res images in Wikipedia/Commons, which claimed to be GPL. But this contradicts the metadata inside this SVG image.(

Someone can help, please? I don't know what to do! Jjalocha 16:12, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Not sure:
6. Trademarks. This License does not grant permission to use the trade names, trademarks, service marks, or product names of the Licensor, except as required for reasonable and customary use in describing the origin of the Work and reproducing the content of the NOTICE file.
I am not sure whether this section actually refers to the fact that the trademarks do not fall under the license, or that use of the trademark is not free per the license. I believe it is actually the first one and that the file is acceptable on Commons, but I think input from others would be a good idea. -- Bryan (talk to me) 17:14, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
I read it that way too; it is just a clarification that Apache retains full trademark rights. The FSF document (page 9) spells this out, stating why this clause is compatible... the GPL 3.0 license permits addition of terms that decline to grant rights under trademark law for use of trademarks. We have no objection to such terms, since they do not limit the rights of users beyond what applicable trademark law would itself require. However, mandatorily-worded trademark clauses that purport to use the power of copyright or contract to affirmatively prohibit users from exercising rights otherwise available under trademark law continue to be incompatible with the GPL. Like the GPL, I'm not sure how appropriate the Apache license normally is for images, but it seems to make sense for this one at least. The image does need a {{Trademarked}} tag though. Carl Lindberg 14:28, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Photos before 1923

I'm under the impression, that anything published before 1923 in the US is in the public domain, but I just want to make sure that photos like [this one from 1904] which have stamps from museums on them are clear for uploading. Murderbike 20:04, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

The stamp is almost certianly protected by copyright.Geni 15:31, 30 September 2007 (UTC)
Is it eligible for copyright? I mean, does the stamp fulfil the criteria of being a "work"? The construction of the stamp is by no means original. Anyone can make a similar stamp using WordArt or any other similar program, without seeing the original. The idea of putting a name into a circle is hardly an original thought. Putting the stamp on the picture is likely done by automated process and does not constitute an artistic creation. --MPorciusCato 11:32, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Hm. The original 1904 image should be PD-US, but the museum adding their watermark might argue that it makes that version a new derviative work? In any case, Commons prefers not to have watermarked images, so I'd reccomend avoiding such images unless there is some particular overriding reason. -- Infrogmation 12:47, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Was the photo actually published before 1923? If it was an unpublished photo which was only published by the museum many years later, it may not be OK. The photo page is here but it doesn't give much additional information. The museum stamp itself is not eligible for copyright (it's only text), and this would not qualify as a derivative work anyways. We would definitely prefer a non-watermarked version of course, as mentioned. However if we don't know if it was published prior to 1923 or not, and if we don't know the author, this may fall into the "uknown author" gray area which commons is generally not comfortable with (since there are no specific U.S. laws about it). Carl Lindberg 15:09, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Copyright status of stamps of the Netherlands

I just happened to see photos of stamps. As I can scan quite a number of Dutch stamps I like to know what the copyright status of stamps of the Netherlands is and what phrase to be used; Thanks. -Wouter 19:48, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Normal copyright applies to stamps. That is, they are protected until 70 years after publication if a public institution, association, foundation or company is deemed the author, which is the case. Therefore, all stamps published after 1936 are likely to be copyright violations. -- Bryan (talk to me) 20:00, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Logos of Mexico City metro system


I've read the page regarding copyright in Mexico, but I'm still not clear on this (and I was unable to find information in this regard on their website): are the logos for each metro station under any form of copyright? (example:[11]) [STC website] Richardmtl 17:41, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Placido Domingo photos that I received with permission from Domingo office

Shortly after published them in here, Image:Domingo_OtelloJay2.jpg and Image:DomingoJay1.jpg have been put for deletion request because of the remarks that I wrote. I wrote there as promotional because I thought that is how it should be written based on what I saw many people doing it in Wiki. The photos were given with unconditional permission straight from the PR in Placido Domingo office that hold all the events, publicities, his official website etc. The PR never state any terms and condition at all. When I requested for permission, I sent e-mail through the e-mail BOX in Placido Domingo official website, not from some agents or recording companies because I believe the consent should come from the company of the singer itself. I was expecting people here to advice me on what to write in the remarks or at least discuss with me if I have done or write anything wrong. I never expect the admin could easily come up to the conclusion for the photos to be deleted as soon as I uploaded it. The PR as a matter of fact, didn’t give me photos that I asked because according to her, all the photos that I asked have copyrights. She then, sending me photos approved by her company for various purposes including promotional etc to be published. So, it is still wrong to publish in here? Please reply or advise me what I actually need to do instead deleteing them - Whjayg 09:56, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

See my comment at Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Domingo OtelloJay2.jpg. -- Túrelio 10:08, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
I know that was the mistake I made and hoping if any of you could ask (at least), so then I can re-write in a proper manner - not suggesting for deletion like what what GeorgHH does. The photos were given without any terms and condition (unconditional). I will change the remark again and see how it goes from here - Whjayg 10:16, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
For me that looks fine. But if others and especially the admin who takes care of the deletion request doesn't think the same way, it might be safer to ask the image-delivering office formally for a permission as described in Commons:OTRS. -- Túrelio 13:03, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the info and I will do as described in Commons:OTRS after receiving all the photos from them. They will send more after screening the copyrights, thats why the photos were sent to me partially. In the earlier remarks (before I changed to the new one) I did wrote Should any enquiries needed, the admin of Wikicommons can contact me at my e-mail in my userpage to obtain the name of contact or the e-mail sent to me by Mr. Domingo PR - in case if the admin like to verify. - Whjayg 13:12, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Better do not publish your real email adress here, the email function on your user page should be sufficient to contact you. Nice cats you have ;-) -- Túrelio 13:27, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Pandora Music

Looking for some more knowledgeable input on Commons:Deletion requests/Rachmaninoff recordings from Pandora Records. Ignore the question of whether some of the works are PD for the moment; see my comment toward the end - I'm interested in whether Pandora can freely release their recordings of copyrighted works, for which they (presumably) obtained ASCAP licenses. I'm raising this here because I notice that several other files from Category:Pandora Music have been speedied while this request is still open. --Davepape 16:51, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

  • They cannot. Presenting these files here is considered to be "public performance", not "mechantical licensing" in the case of streaming, but fixed copies in the case of download. In one case (public performance) ASCAP would apply. In the other, it would be the Harry Fox agency or the publisher in the US. They probably had a mechanicals contract which specified payment for each copy made (although I can't known that until I see the actual contact). Who's paying for the copies downloaded here? And if they're streamed, that doesn't fall under a "mechanicals" license" but under public performance, since these performances are "on-demand". Nobody's paying for those: certainly not the WMF. There is no way that this falls under any agreement that Pandora made with either Fox (or the publisher) or ASCAP, or both (or neither, as the case may be...) Gretab 20:50, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Copyright of sound recordings


During the past year I've gotten to know the deal with the copyright law surrounding images quite well. Is there a page on Commons or meta or somewhere else on the internets where the copyright law surrounding sound recordings is explained? For instance, when does a sound recording fall into the public domain. If someone rerecords Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven, is a new copyright created or does is the original copyright inherited?

  • If a new copyright is created, then surely that counts for my recording (piano solo, for instance) of a Tori Amos or Yann Tiersen song?
  • If a new copyright isn't created, does that mean that modern recordings (covers) of songs already in the public domain are also in the public domain?

I'd like to contribute what I can to the Commons' sound archive, but am unsure of the legalities surrounding such a project. 20:37, 2 October 2007 (UTC) (User:Anrie)

This is a very complex question. You are speaking of several kinds of rights. First of all, there are the rights of those who create the song in the first place. Second of all, there are the rights of those who "arrange the music" or adapt it for a specific instrument. Lastly, there are the rights of those who perform music.

The most important right is that of the people who create a work of music. These people have the most rights of all. They can say that "this is the piece of music I wrote" or "this is not the piece of music I wrote". These are called moral rights and, although they are not as strong in the US as they are elsewhere, until the initial creator of a piece of music says "this is what I wrote", no other rights exist. Once these rights are fixed, ie the piece is published or recorded, then these rights are established.

If someone writes a piece for piano and then somebody else says "I want to play this piece for cowbell and kazoo", the person who wrote the song first can say "Sorry, that's not what I wrote. This isn't my song". When the person who wrote the song says "this is my song in this version", the arranger can then also be paid (or not) for his work, according to the agreement with the original creator. If he or she doesn't like it, they can write their own song. If however they have an agreement, then they also have the right to say "this is my arrangement" or "this isn't my arrangement".

Finally, we have what is called "neighboring right" which means the rights of those who perform the music; This is especially important for Jazz musicians who create new things from older works, but all performers have neighboring rights (except that in the US they are much weaker than elsewhere). This means that you can expect to "own" your own performances.

However, if the initial song creator says "this is not my song", you do not have any rights at all. And if you're performing an arrangement and the arranger says "this is not my song", you do not have rights either.

So, although by performing something, you do have rights, you only have the rights that the initial creator (and/or his publishers or agents) grants to you. If they grant you nothing, there is no notion of rights at all.

In the case of Beethoven's "Moonlight" (a name not given by Beethoven) Sonata, that work is in the public domain, so you can do what you want with it. However, if you're playing a "simplified" or "arranged version (ie for concert band or for flute and piano), that might be in copyright. Whether you can record it or not depends on determining whether you control the rights or not. If you're recording a public domain score (ie a work which says © for a date before 1923 in the US) and there are no arrangers involved, you're probably fine. Gretab 21:04, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

So, if I understand you correctly, it's a bit of a grey area: if you produce a new version of, for instance, Unchained Melody, which isn't in the public domain, it'll basically depend on whether or not the copyright holders of the original score think you're ripping them off or not (and that it will be up to a court, if they sue you, to decide whether they are right or not). So you can't be sure until the guillotine falls... Anrie 07:50, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Actually, no, it's not a grey area at all. If you record and distribute a non-public domain piece without permission from the copyright holders, you're opening yourself (and the project) up to attack. Most people bank on the "they'll never find us" idea that the internet is a very big place, but sometimes they do find you. It's better to either 1. get permission or 2. only record original pieces (which you can release under a CC license or even public domain if you want) or pieces that you know are in the public domain.
If you record something and just keep it for yourself (ie only play it for friends at your home and don't make any copies), that's fine. It's when you distribute something (ie any time you make it available to someone else) that the problems start. 08:16, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

PDF of US Congressional transcript/statement

Hello, I asked this question on Wikipedia, and was referred here. Is this transcript of a Congressional statement something that can be uploaded here to hold at a neutral source? What is the best way to use that? The statement is a source on one article. • Lawrence Cohen 17:49, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Nevermind, sorry to bother. We found the original copy so don't need it here. • Lawrence Cohen 20:47, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Licence and commercial use

Hello, I saw a very good picture of Naomi Klein on Flikr, and I contacted the author of the picture who was very motivated that her picture could be used in Wikipedia. However, I discovered that current licence policies of Wiki Commons require that the picture could be used for commercial purposes, what was not accepted by the author.

Why is it so???? Why, for totally un-commercial purposes such as Wikipedia encyclopedia (isn't it??) should Wiki require that the pictures could be used for commercial purposes. What is wrong in my understanding here???

I hope to have a convincing answer. Best, Gcompere 03:14, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

This licensing policy allows others to print texts and pictures out of the Wikimedia projects as books. Such an endeavour is typically a commercial project. There exists already a series of paperbacks which started in December 2005. It's called Wikipress and provides, among others, volumes about our solar system, bikes, desktop publishing, or seals. To learn more about the philosophy of these free licenses I recommend this page. Regards, AFBorchert 06:06, 4 October 2007 (UTC)


The GDFDL is likely to play a significant role in the future of commons this it is important that it is got right comments are requested at Commons:GSFDL.Geni 02:58, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

From public domain

Hi, I have compiled nex picture from two pictures, which are public domains. Can I do this? Which licence will have this new picture? See example: --Juan de Vojníkov 13:50, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

PD + PD = PD. Just give them the tags of the original pictures. Please also specify the source images. --Fb78 14:58, 5 October 2007 (UTC)


I know this license is not allowed, but I found a photo of a UK politician on Flickr. I had the following simple correspondence with the Flickr user:

To: Labour Party
From: Tomtheman5
Subject: Durkan
I'd like to crop a part of the picture below and use it for Mark Durkan's page on the English Wikipedia, but your license restricts derivative works. Will you permit it in this case?
Thank you.
To: Tomtheman5
From: Labour Party
Subject: RE: Durkan
Thats no problem at all, work away.

Does this mean I can re-license it? tiZom(2¢) 17:41, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

No. Anybody must be allowed to make derivative works for any purpose. This means that the image really must be relicensed under a non ND license. "You can use it", "Wikipedia can use it", "You are allowed to crop" etc. are not sufficient. You need to have the author say "I, the copyright holder, hereby license image XYZ under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike". -- Bryan (talk to me) 17:43, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Logos of public transport

Im very active in creating (SVG-)logos of public transport. This logos are very simple in nearly all cases (2 colours maximum). When possible i tag them as PD-ineligible, but some logos are copyrighted.

Now my question is, how to handle them. On the one hand they are copyrighted - on the other hand they are part of public life in the cities and sometimes already in use at a network-map on commons. Furthermore, they are visible at every subway entrance in the cities.

They are an identifying mark of the subway systems and their purpose is to sign subway stations and to inform people: Here is the subway! They can be seen like traffic signs - not at least because they are found in a non-profit context.

I suggest a template wich says that:

  • This logo is copyrighted by <<company x>>
  • but it can be used in related articles...
  • ...

Have a look at Category:Diagrams of railway symbols to get a deeper understanding of my point of view. Furthermore it is noteworthy, that many of this logos are already in use in the different wikipedias (where they are treated as logos) - why not loading them on commons? Siegele Roland 09:22, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

+1 = My suggestion would indeed be to accept any logo as such, with a logo warning and no licence consideration.
The logo rationale is in a nutshell, Since a given picture has been chosen by the rightsowner to designate an entity, the (very) same picture can be used by third-parties to designate the (very) same entity. Logo choice and usage is essentially a matter of right of the personnality, not of artistic property right, and follows the same logic as for the title of a book: although the title is (explicitely!) protected as such under artistic property right, it can be freely reproduce to designate the work.
Of course, usage restrictions apply (logos cannot be used for deceptive usages) and no modification can be allowed (a modified logo is not the one chosen by the rightholder, hence cannot be used as "logo" anymore, but is still a derivative work, and may be an infraction against artistic property law). A simple warning template is enough to settle that.
As for the usage in wikipedia, logo usage restrictions are the same as for US official seals, and such restrictions have never been considered a problem.
And furthermore, I can't see where the decision of not admitting logos has been taken on commons. As far as I understand, logos have been used on en: under the "fair use" exception, and refused after that because the "fair use" was banned on commons, but then, there was no need for the "fair use" exception in the first place, since the exception is de facto international (see the Paris convention on trademarks).
Well, that's my opinion and my analysis anyway, feel free to discuss it ;o) Michelet-密是力 12:47, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
What you're suggesting is basically a Fair Use rationale specifically for logos. I say that like all other images if it's not under a free license or PD we can't have it. If the logo is sufficiently simple to not qualify for copyright then tag it as such and add {{Trademarked}} but if it is copyrightable then upload it locally to those wikipedias which allow Fair Use. /Lokal_Profil 23:13, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
US official seals are just like trademarks, i.e. the restrictions are unrelated to copyright. You can use them, even commercially, if you can't be confused with the entity who "owns" the seal. --  (talk) 09:25, 12 October 2007 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Licensing/Archive 8".