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Commons talk:Threshold of originality

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KoreaEdit

South Korea's TOO is very similar to the USA and Japan. --47.150.72.56

Source? Ixfd64 (talk) 23:14, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

Edit

Is the CFP logo really above the TOO? TjBison (talk) 06:13, 6 April 2019 (UTC)

Game of Thrones and Slza (in Czechia)Edit

Hi, please add comment to this talk page. Can I upload these files to Commons? --Patriccck (talk) 12:25, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

  • The files being [1]] and [2]. A work qualifies for protection if it is "a unique outcome of the creative activity of the author". I would say that is true of these two, which are both very distinctive, so they should not be uploaded. Aymatth2 (talk) 12:54, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

Can this chart use Template:PD-ineligible?Edit

Deletion discussion. Does this FRED chart meet the threshold?Edit

Note: The Oct 24, 2019 closing said: "Data itself cannot be copyrighted. Just the display of that data. This is a basic chart. {{PD-chart}}."

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Federal Funds Rate and interest rates.png

Does this FRED chart meet the threshold of originality?:

See w:Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED) and w:Federal Reserve Bank. I am not sure about whether they are considered to be part of the federal government as concerns their publications being in the public domain.

At the deletion discussion User:clpo13 wrote this:

  • Feist v. Rural doesn't appear to support Freddie Mac's copyright claim.

--Timeshifter (talk) 21:42, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Mere facts are not subject to copyright, but their selection and arrangement may be if there is a degree of creativity. In this case the choice of fonts and colors, juxtaposition of the four line graphs over vertical bars representing recessions and the placement of the caption could be seen as creative. An equivalent diagram using the same data with a different look and feel would be free, in my view. Aymatth2 (talk) 12:43, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
See: https://web.archive.org/web/20120801211652/https://open.umich.edu/wiki/Casebook#Charts
I see no creativity in this graph. If one strips out the graph lines and leaves the recession bars, then one has a standard form with recession bars. These have been in use for a long time. Graphs have been in use a long time. Labels are not copyrightable. Placement to the top, bottom, left, or right, is standard. So that is not copyrightable. The link I provided is very enlightening, and it provides case law for every chart, graph, and diagram it says is not copyrightable. That page says this often: "This depiction shows common/standard/typical/ordinary/basic/routine choices for the content type."
I see nothing that contradicts this from these U.S. Copyright Office documents:
I think I am beginning to understand a main principle of copyright law. Which is to encourage creativity. Once something becomes standard, it is no longer creative, and to allow it to be copyrighted would only discourage creativity. Expired copyrights, like expired patents, free up knowledge. That knowledge is no longer creative. Just like "common/standard/typical/ordinary/basic/routine choices for the content type".
Some more confirmation: Copyright articles I just found on charts, graphs, diagrams:
-- Timeshifter (talk) 17:33, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Copyright law encourages creativity by letting the author and their heirs benefit from the creation. Data and ideas cannot be copyrighted. A visual technique like a pie chart is no more subject to copyright than a common word or phrase. But a judge may consider that a particular selection and arrangement of words and visual techniques to present data and ideas is creative and can be protected.
This source, cited above, gets it dead wrong. It quotes section 102(b): "In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work." It then incorrectly concludes that a graph, chart or table cannot be protected.
This is wishful thinking. A graph, chart or table may well be considered an original work of authorship that is protected, although the protection does not extend to the underlying ideas or data. The safest approach with graphs, charts or tables is to take the data and use a tool like OpenOffice Calc to create a fresh visual representation.
See The Compendium of U.S. Copyright Office Practices: Chapter 921 Graphs, Charts, Tables, and Figures: "... the Office will register any copyrightable expression presented in a graph, chart, table, or figure, such as a copyrightable compilation of data, facts, or information." The glossary defines "compilation" as "a work formed by the collection and assembling of preexisting materials or of data that are selected, coordinated, or arranged in such a way that the resulting work as a whole constitutes an original work of authorship." Aymatth2 (talk) 18:55, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
I used to think as you do. The only examples of copyrightable graphs, charts, or tables in the 3 links I provided are those that went beyond just presentation of the data. They had additional annotations, explanations, illustrations, etc.. I read those articles pretty thoroughly. I emphasized them just now. The underlying basic graphs, charts, or tables are not copyrightable since they are just presentation of uncopyrightable data. See also:
The law is clear. Facts, ideas, procedures etc. cannot be copyrighted, but a work of authorship can be copyrighted if it is creative in the way it selects and arranges facts, ideas etc. Nobody can predict how a judge will rule in a particular case, but a visual representation of data may be considered original enough to merit protection. The simpler it is the less likely it is to be considered original enough, but also the easier it is to take the data and create a representation that is free of all doubt. Aymatth2 (talk) 19:26, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
Frequently asked questions | UC Copyright. University of California. Scroll down to "What is the copyright status of charts, tables and graphs created from data?" It refers to Copyrightability of Tables, Charts, and Graphs. 2011. Bobby Glushko. University of Michigan.
See also:
en:Feist Publications, Inc., v. Rural Telephone Service Co.
And see the previous Commons discussions linked from here:
Commons:Threshold of originality#Charts - For example;
User talk:Elcobbola#Re: Commons:Deletion requests/File:UNODC definition of homicide.png
User:Elcobbola wrote:
:Verily, facts are not eligible for copyright protection; a presentation of facts can potentially be eligible for copyright protection iff it is sufficiently original. This presentation is not. For example, the copyright office identifies as "designs not subject to protection" those that are “staple or commonplace, such as a standard geometric figure, a familiar symbol, an emblem, or a motif, or another shape, pattern, or configuration which has become standard, common, prevalent, or ordinary.” This presentation is a mere drop-line chart--common, prevalent, and ordinary, especially in genealogy. Further, "In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work" (17 U.S.C. § 102(b)) A mere simplistic arrangement of non-protectable elements does not demonstrate the level of creativity necessary to warrant protection. I do not see, and you have not identified, a "creative spark" (Feist Pubs., Inc. v. Rural Tel. Svc. Co., Inc., 499 U.S. 340 (1991)) or anything beyond "mere trivial variation" (Alfred Bell & Co. v. Catalda Fine Arts, Inc. , 191 F.2d 99, 102-03 (2d Cir. 1951)) of a drop-line chart. Although not authoritative like my previous references, you may find this page has more specific germane examples than COM:TOO. Эlcobbola talk 19:43, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
--Timeshifter (talk) 20:37, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
The Open.Michigan Wiki is not a good source. There is a continuum between extremely simple representations of data where no creativity can be detected, and elaborate representations that are highly creative. The image being discussed here, combining five different datasets into a single graphic, could be considered original by some judges. The data and the individual graphic elements are not subject to copyright, but the selection and arrangement may be. Aymatth2 (talk) 21:04, 18 June 2019 (UTC)
https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu is part of the University of Michigan. The article from there is fairly authoritative since it is used concerning scholarly publishing. The article has a graph that has more graph lines than the FRED graph. Article says:
The above images are graphs, and the appearance of those graphs is dictated by the data which the graphs represent. As such, they do not merit copyright protection. While the creators of the graphs did have some creative control over the type of graph they chose, the colors they used to represent data, etc., those choices only served to represent the underlying data.
That article references the open.umich.edu wiki article. The wiki was also part of the University of Michigan. See the wiki home page. It is a university wiki, and not a Wikimedia wiki that anybody can edit. So it also is fairly authoritative.
And User:Elcobbola cites chapter and verse. Data is data, and just representing it is not enough for copyright protection.
--Timeshifter (talk) 13:36, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I said "Verily, facts are not eligible for copyright protection; a presentation of facts can potentially be eligible for copyright protection iff it is sufficiently original." (The linked "iff" is crucial: if and only if.) Whether a given representation is eligible of copyright protection requires an assessment of originality. This is entirely consistent with what Aymatth2 has said: "a work of authorship can be copyrighted if it is creative in the way it selects and arranges facts, ideas etc." I also explicitly called the Open.Michigan wiki "not authoritative." Its intended utility was to give you examples of certain considerations, not to be an authoritative guide. Эlcobbola talk 15:02, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

┌─────────────────────────────────┘
When Bobby Glushko states that "... a graph, chart, or table that expresses data is treated the same as the underlying data" he is misinterpreting "In no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, method of operation, concept, principle, or discovery, regardless of the form in which it is described, explained, illustrated, or embodied in such work." Put simply, a work can be protected, including the form in which it expresses ideas or information, but protection never extends to the idea or information itself.

Later Glushko says, correctly, "That is not to say that just because something represents data it cannot be subject to copyright." A simple, unformatted tabular representation of data clearly cannot be protected, but a highly creative representation can. There is some point in between where a judge would consider that copyright starts to apply, but as Judge Learned Hand said in 1930, "Nobody has ever been able to fix that boundary, and nobody ever can".

Cannot ever be protected Grey area Clearly could be protected
Alabama: 4,887,871
Alaska: 737,438
Arizona: 7,171,646
Arkansas: 3,013,825
California: 39,557,045
Colorado: 5,695,564
 

A great deal has been written about the "idea–expression divide", but in the end it comes down to a subjective opinion on whether a work is sufficiently creative in its expression to merit protection. Aymatth2 (talk) 15:16, 19 June 2019 (UTC)

elcobbola and Aymatth2. I disagree. I believe both of the University of Michigan articles are fairly authoritative because they both refer to case law, and give many examples. Whereas you and Aymatth2 are ignoring those examples.
Those examples include detailed schematics, detailed charts, and detailed graphs. None of which are copyrightable if they do not go beyond just presentation of the data. Those detailed images obviously required a lot of work, but copyright is not based on "sweat of the brow".
Here is some more case law: en:Ho v. Taflove. "equations, figures, and text from research materials that the plaintiffs had produced." ... "The appeals court confirmed the judgment, concluding that the research materials were unprotectable ideas."
Aymatth2 is incorrect in this statement: "Put simply, a work can be protected, including the form in which it expresses ideas or information," No it can't, not if it is nothing but a representation of noncopyrightable data.
File:Federal Funds Rate and interest rates.png is not copyrightable. There is nothing creative about it. It's a rate chart combined with a recession timeline. 2 types of uncopyrightable data. Not a single bit of additional discussion, creative annotation, original analysis, etc.. Strictly a presentation of data.
On the deletion discussion page User:Wikiacc is inclined to agree, and provided this link:
I find this relevant:
The copyright in a derivative work covers only the additions, changes, or other new material appearing for the first time in the work. Protection does not extend to any preexisting material, that is, previously published or previously registered works or works in the public domain or owned by a third party.
Data is in the public domain. Representing that data is in the public domain. Copyrightable material exists only with "additions, changes, or other new material appearing for the first time in the work."
And those additions themselves must be copyrightable. Nothing copyrightable has been added to the FRED data. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:34, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I have taken and take no position on File:Federal Funds Rate and interest rates.png, or this larger conversation, one way or another. My comment here was solely to point out that you have misread and thus misrepresented my previous statement. Not a word of this is untrue (statutes, case law, regulations, etc. are authorities--authoritative. Secondary works like treatises and law articles are merely informative), so I, frankly, have no idea what you're talking about when you accuse me of "ignoring examples"--and I'm quite certain you don't either. Эlcobbola talk 19:42, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I think we are going round in circles, but will make one last try. A book about electricity could be purely a compilation of facts, theories, discoveries etc., none of which can be copyright protected. The book itself can be copyrighted. Copying of text or illustrations from the book would be illegal unless it can be shown that there was no creativity in the expression. A chemical formula or atomic diagram might be seen as too simple to be copyrighted, but a full paragraph of text or a complex illustration would be protected unless it could be shown that there was no other way to express the information. The idea that non-fiction is by definition not subject to copyright is ridiculous. Aymatth2 (talk) 20:51, 19 June 2019 (UTC)
I agree. We are going around in circles. We need more info and experts.
I am not sure though whether either one of you (Aymatth2 or elcobbola) have thoroughly read the many examples in the wiki article:
https://web.archive.org/web/20120801211652/https://open.umich.edu/wiki/Casebook#Charts
Or maybe you read it, but don't know whether to believe it.
When Bobby Glushko wrote his article in 2011 he linked to that detailed wiki article for further examples. That gives me more confidence. He linked to it while it was still an active web site. He did not link to the archive.org location. Both of those sites are official University of Michigan websites. The domain name is the same: umich.edu
I think maybe you both saw the word "wiki", and may have only skimmed the article. You may not understand wikis outside Wikimedia like I do. Authorship and editor privileges can be set up as restrictively or openly as the people controlling the wiki desire. It can be done on a per article basis. Beyond just full protection and semi-protection. Whole new restrictive classes can be set up. Specific individual editors can be allowed to edit specific articles without being given admin rights. I know because I control 2 wikis outside Wikimedia.
I Google searched for Bobby Glushko. He is no lightweight.
Bobby Glushko - Google Scholar Citations.
That 2011 article he wrote was the University of Michigan library's policy. See the abstract page for that article:
Copyrightability of Tables, Charts, and Graphs. "Read on for a brief discussion of the Library's policy."
University of Illinois refers to his article. See Copyright Guide for Undergraduate Journals: Using Others' Work.
See also:
Profile of Bobby Glushko. NASIG Newsletter. May 2014.
Emphasis added:
April 29, 2014. Bobby Glushko heads the recently created Scholarly Communications and Copyright Office at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada. He is not a member of NASIG but his work, background,and observations are relevant to serialists and will be of interest to many readers of the NASIG Newsletter. Bobby is in the enviable position of understanding both Canadian and American copyright and scholarly communication laws and issues, as well as those of many other countries. Bobby arrived in Canada and assumed his new responsibilities as the scholarly communications and copyright librarian at the University of Toronto in the spring of 2013. Prior to moving to the University of Toronto, Bobby worked for the University of Michigan Copyright Office, where he managed an Institute for Museum and Library Services-funded National Leadership Grantwhich aimed to expand access to works in the HathiTrust through researching author death dates to determine copyright term. As a lecturer at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, Bobby also taught an intellectual property and information law course. ...
I think this summarizes much of what Bobby Glushko wrote in the 2011 article:
Particularly in the sciences, scholarly works include substantial amounts of tables, charts, and graphs, and many of these objects are of such explanatory value that other scholars wish to cite them in their own writing. While there are ways that a scholar can pay for a license to use such materials, they really don't need to go to the trouble, as charts, graphs,and tables are not the proper subject matter for copyright protection. Let's unpack that last statement. Charts, graphs, and tables are not subject to copyright protection because they do not meet the first requirement for copyright protection, that is, they are not “original works of authorship,” under the definitions in the Act. At first glance, this probably doesn't make much sense; if a researcher runs a series of experiments and collects a data set, isn't that original, and aren't they the author of it? In a sense, yes, but in the sense that's important for copyright, no.
--Timeshifter (talk) 07:16, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
Maybe someone can contact Bobby Glushko or his office. Preferably someone using their real name. Ask him if he agrees with all of the many examples and legal references in the umich.edu wiki article. Point out this discussion to him. Here is more info about him:
--Timeshifter (talk) 01:34, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

Bobby Glushko communicationsEdit

I contacted him via rglushko@uwo.ca and got permission to pass on our emails. Here is the email thread:

Me: Dear Bobby Glushko,

I am a Wikipedia editor. Some of us Wikipedia editors want to know if all the info about charts and related legal references in this archived University of Michigan page is accurate concerning public domain copyrights and the threshold of originality:

It is the most detailed page on the subject we have found.

Please see the discussion here for more info:

BG: Hello, thank you for your question!

Those are as accurate as it’s possible for the answers to be. The challenge with copyright is that as a court applied doctrine, there aren’t always hard and fast answers. That said, I stand by my original analysis, which is to the best of my knowledge consistent with the case law.

Does that help? I would be happy to answer more.

Bobby Glushko
Associate Chief Librarian
Western Libraries

Me: Thanks Bobby Glushko,

That helps a lot! We are developing a charts section on this page:

Most Wikipedia editors do not know that many charts are in the public domain. I didn't until recently. There aren't enough chartmakers on Wikipedia, and even fewer that can make charts as good as those already on the web elsewhere. So this helps a lot, both on and off Wikipedia.

There is so much helpful copyright info on this page:

I guess the main question I and other Wikipedia editors have is whether you signed off on everything on that page. Even though you may not have done all the writing.

BG: I did. Given my above caveats I vouch for its accuracy.

Enjoy!

Me: Great! May I copy and forward your email messages to other editors, and to the talk page?:

BG: Absolutely. I'd be available to communicate further or to answer any questions which should arise.


--Timeshifter (talk) 01:33, 13 July 2019 (UTC)

Casebook. More locationsEdit

The Casebook is still on the University of Michigan website in a wiki archive of Open.Michigan materials. The archive is explained on the Main Page. The Casebook is archived here:

It presents the same exact info as the version at archive.org except for some minor changes in the introductory sections before the actual cases. And it is missing the CSS styling. I copied it over to a Shoutwiki page, and added the CSS styling to MediaWiki:Common.css there. See:

I also copied over the archive.org version to here:

You can see that they present as exactly the same page for the cases. Internally, the wikitext in the current umich.edu page uses wikitable wikitext. The archive.org version uses HTML table coding. But the pages end up looking exactly the same once the Commons.css styling is in place.

That CSS styling is here:

It is also at the end of this page:

That styling needs to be copied to this currently blank MediaWiki:Common.css page at umich.edu:

I sent an email about this to the University of Michigan Library Copyright Office. Email address (copyright@umich.edu) came from here:

There is a listing of staff and email addresses here:

--Timeshifter (talk) 10:50, 15 July 2019 (UTC)

Casebook. Possible Wikimedia project locations that allow fair use imagesEdit

The Commons unfortunately will not be able to host the Casebook due to its strict rule against hosting any fair use images. See Commons: Fair use. MediaWiki.org also does not allow fair use images. See list of Wikimedia projects (listed by language) that allow fair use images: Meta: Non-free content.

English Wikipedia and English Wikiversity allow fair use images. See: Wikipedia: Non-free content and Wikiversity: Fair use. --Timeshifter (talk) 17:41, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

Casebook. Possible free or cheap wiki hosting with custom domain nameEdit

See mw:Hosting services at MediaWiki.org site. I recommend letting experts host your wiki site, and do the work of maintaining the MediaWiki software.

Many of the hosting sites let you pick a subdomain name for your site. Some also allow you to choose a custom domain name that you own. So, for example; you can easily choose a URL based on a university domain name and subdomain.

I recommend using an ad-supported wiki farm that allows one to remove ads by paying a fee. That is what I do. I recently started paying 50 pounds a year to do so. I am in the US, and so that comes to around $62 a year to remove the ads.

That way the site never disappears if the wiki host continues to exist. And that is more likely if they are ad-supported. The staff has a steady source of income, unlike some of the donation supported wiki hosts. And if I choose not to pay, then my site still exists due to the ads.

I recommend using a wiki host that has been around awhile, and that hosts many wikis. Shoutwiki for example, hosts over 12,000 wikis.

An advantage of using a wiki host is that one can completely control who has access to editing one's wiki. Unlike on a Wikimedia Project where usually anybody can edit a page. That can be a problem unless one looks at the watchlist on a daily basis. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:22, 17 July 2019 (UTC)

Casebook. Use Special:Export of Category:Casebook. Then Special:ImportEdit

No matter where one wants to put the Casebook page one starts by exporting it and its image description pages via Special:Export found on the wiki where it is currently installed. List the Casebook page along with all the image description pages. Also, the Fair Use template.

If all those pages are in Category:Casebook, then all one needs is to put that in Special:Export and let it list all the pages in that category. It can then export them all in a single .xml file that can be imported into almost any MediaWiki wiki via Special:Import. You may need staff help to import. Then upload the images. Copy and paste the relevant Commons.css code.

Here are the relevant pages:

--Timeshifter (talk) 06:42, 20 July 2019 (UTC)

Another FRED chartEdit

I noticed that this chart I recently updated is also a FRED chart: (Later note: Actually it is another w:Federal Reserve Bank chart):

I added a couple lines of explanatory text to it.

The location of the original version of this chart through 1st quarter 2019 is from page 3 of this PDF.

I believe that the original chart in the PDF is {{PD-ineligible}}. There is nothing original (per copyright law) in it. It is a timeline of stacked bars. Very common format in charts. --Timeshifter (talk) 01:49, 29 June 2019 (UTC)

I uploaded the original chart too. It is here. --Timeshifter (talk) 02:33, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
@Timeshifter:: this isn't a FRED chart. FRED is a service of the Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis at https://fred.stlouisfed.org/. This chart was made by the Center for Microeconomic Data at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Different organizations. Wikiacc (talk) 22:29, 3 July 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. I struck it out. I guess the relationship between the charts is that they are both from Federal Reserve Banks. And those banks are not federal government agencies, at least for copyright purposes. According to my tentative understanding of this:
w:Federal Reserve Bank#Legal status
--Timeshifter (talk) 05:10, 4 July 2019 (UTC)
I changed the license template on the image page to {{PD-ineligible}}. --Timeshifter (talk) 05:05, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
License template has been changed to {{PD-chart}}. --Timeshifter (talk) 19:44, 15 August 2019 (UTC)

The Onion logo: below the US threshold of originality?Edit

The Onion logo has been uploaded at English Wikipedia as a copyrighted logo since 2006. The text portion clearly falls below the US threshold of originality. My question: is the green-and-white onion logo also below the US threshold of originality? It's extremely minimal and simplistic, just a shade more complex than CarCreditCity.png. But unlike the CarCreditCity image, the Onion logo is not abstract: it represents something and is perhaps closer to a copyrightable illustration. Incidentally, the logo of Onion sister site Clickhole is uploaded here at Commons. Thoughts? Brandt Luke Zorn (talk) 19:46, 3 July 2019 (UTC)

Return to the project page "Threshold of originality".