Commons:Village pump/Copyright

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Welcome to the Village pump copyright section

This Wikimedia Commons page is used for general discussions relating to copyright and license issues, and for discussions relating to specific files' copyright issues. Discussions relating to specific copyright policies should take place on the talk page of the policy, but may be advertised here. Recent sections with no replies for 7 days may be archived; for old discussions, see the archives.

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Restarting the discussion[edit]

Link to earlier part of this discussion

I noticed that @Jkadavoor: marked this for archiving, but I'd rather we tried to kickstart the discussion again, because these changes are (potentially) important: they impact how we present information about reuse to millions of people, on millions of pieces of content. In particular, they impact how we present information to unskilled reusers - the people who we'd really like to (1) use more of our content and (2) comply more with our license. That's too important to let this discussion go away. So maybe the right question is: does anyone *object* to @Multichill:, WMF, and others creating a more fleshed-out mockup based on @MGalloway (WMF): 's mockups above? —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 15:42, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Pinging all early participants to check any disagreement on using the new wordings ("Option 3/ 6") with the new layout by MGalloway_(WMF). @ChrisiPK, Saffron Blaze, FDMS4:, @El Grafo, , Dereckson:, @Jarekt, Gazebo, Kaldari:, @Stefan4, Colin, Graphium:... Jee 07:56, 1 December 2014 (UTC)

  • Thanks Luis Villa (WMF); and no oppose from my side. :) Jee 16:04, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
  • No objections from me, too. I fully agree that it's very important that "unskilled reusers" will be enabled to comply with our license(s) as intuitively as possible. People just don't read lengthy terms; you can tell them a thousand times to read the actual license, they won't... so the big challenge is to create a summary that is on the one hand very compact, but on the other hand precise enough to make license-compliant reuse more likely. Gestumblindi (talk) 14:39, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
  • No objections, just one Pictogram voting question.svg Question: Is the "must provide a link to the license" a new thing of the CC-4.0 or has that always been there? If it's new, we may need different wordings for different versions? --El Grafo (talk) 09:36, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
  • @El Grafo: It is a requirement from version 1.0 onward. Jee 09:52, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
    • The proposed licence templates do not link to the licence itself but to CC's simplified explanation of the licence. Is this compliant with the licence. Instead of linking to the licence, you can satisfy the requirement by including a copy of the licence, but maybe the template shouldn't mention that as the template otherwise risks being too long. Several of the suggestions already seem to be too long. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:33, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
      • @Stefan4: Option 6 links to legalcode; so I'm striking off Option 3. The new layout has a collapsible "read more" feature; so we can expand the text if required. Do you have any additions to the proposed text? Jee 16:00, 1 December 2014 (UTC) We already provided several links to CC FAQs to explain the brief wording in detail. For example, CreativeCommonsWiki:License_Versions#Detailed_attribution_comparison_chart well explains every attribution parameter in detail. Jee 16:06, 1 December 2014 (UTC)
I think it is OK to link to the summary rather than the legalcode; you're right that a literal reading of the license probably requires pointing to the legal code, but I've never seen that done in the wild, even by CC themselves. (See, for example, the suggested links in this attribution guide from CC Australia.)—Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 01:46, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
Luis Villa (WMF): It may be legally OK to link to the summary; but there is a difference in our perspective. In all other sites (like Flickr), they give a simple notice stating "this media is CC XX license and linking to the deed. But in our case, we are not mentioning any think near the usage; just hyper-linking to the "file page" where we state the license and terms of use. It will add one more layer of complexity, keeping the actual license one more step away. That's why we prefer to provide a summary of the license there (in the file page). Since this summary (license tag) is almost exact duplicate of the CC deed, linking it again to the deed (which again linking to the license code) is very redundant and useless (as Colin stated earlier). Jee 14:21, 8 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment. All of my work is PD, but I do have to use another license when that is what I am updating, so my preference is to make it shorter than the current version, not longer. A link can be used for details, but taking up more real estate on every image page is not a good idea. Delphi234 (talk) 05:38, 5 December 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I think May's mockups (above) can be very small/slim. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 01:46, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Maybe I should have asked Jee to hide the first round of options :) A reminder that May posted some proposals, which I think reflect some thinking on how to do this in a way that is both cleaner and more informative. Copied them in-line here for reference. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 01:46, 6 December 2014 (UTC)
“I have some initial thoughts and mock-ups to illustrate. Thanks for being so patient! Wikimania prep has been taking up pretty much all my time. Here
is an attempt to connect the usage and terms more than we previously did, by stating in one place and sentence "Under this license terms*, you are free to…:" and then a list of things you're free to do and what you must do after, which is to attribute and sharealike. But I began by questioning why we care about CC license banner and the purpose of the license. Because people tend to be unaware of their boundaries, a CC license is there to protect the work of the creator and the fair usage of the user of the work. Since CC license permits users to do a lot of things (which they already have no problems with) so long as they are in compliant with license. I thought it was more important for users to know know what they must do if they choose to use the work, because without following terms, they risk getting in trouble. Here
, I made the entire banner look like a single important message with a very clear hierarchy of info, as if saying: Attribute and Sharealike and you'll be fine. Same thing here
, just with different language that's more actionable, "You are free to share & adapt…as long as you…Give attribution, Share Again." I've moved around some sentences here and there but don't claim to for them to be more appropriate for legal purposes, but is what I think could be more understandable. A more condensed version could look like this
. On a side note, I really like how The Noun Project has done to educate icon downloaders to properly attribute the author. When you click on the Download button, you are required to agree to attribute the author (3.0). Once downloaded, you are directed to a page where you get pretty specific instructions on where to attribute the author depending on popular medium usages. We should do something similar!MGalloway (WMF) (talk) 13:56, 7 August 2014 (UTC)”
  • @MGalloway (WMF), LuisV (WMF): Do you need any further comments on this topic? Otherwise we can ask a crat to close it. I see no opposes now, and this discussion is running for a long-while. :) Jee 16:08, 10 December 2014 (UTC)

OK, I can close this. Do we have anyone to implement the outcome of this RfC? --Dschwen (talk) 16:15, 15 December 2014 (UTC)

A question about contributing the work of students in my class.[edit]

Hi- I teach physics classes through Wikiversity, and am acutely aware of the dearth of pedagogical physics diagrams. It occurred to me that one remedy is to have students make and post drawings on (this) commons. A good example of this is an image I posted on Wikiversity: v:File:Student_ballistic_pendulum.jpg. The quality is low, but it was the best in that day's class. And, it is the best open source image of a ballistic pendulum that I know about. My idea is to challenge future students to make better drawings and then do a replacement (thus not polluting name-space).

I did this on Wikiversity because I don't know the propriety of using commons for this purpose. I would prefer to use commons because it is quicker and more convenient for me to situate all my contributed images on one platform. I thought of the following protocol and wondered if it is legitimate on (this) commons:

  1. Students are first encouraged to register on commons and contribute under their own accounts.
  2. Students have the option of having me, the instructor, contribute, always with the understanding that a better diagram will eventually replace the original one (at the same namespace file location).
  3. Students will sign a release form for me to keep in my records. In addition, they may sign the actual drawing (in a corner as an artist would sign a painting).

Or, would you prefer that I use Wikiversity for these "drawing contests"? --Guy vandegrift (talk) 13:05, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

I want to add that even in this era of computer-generated graphics, the ability to make a hand-drawn diagram remains a useful skill. As this drawing of the ballistic pendulum will improve over the years (as students draw better versions), Wikipedia and Wikiversity authors will have the option of inserting a hand-drawn diagram, or (probably) an svg copy of it.--Guy vandegrift (talk) 13:24, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
@Guy vandegrift: That sounds like a great idea! Educational images are always welcome on Commons. I suspect that, since these would be an example of student work, not just of the subjects of the works, they may stay on Commons even after better versions become available, since they serve the additional educational purpose of illustrating the kind/quality of work created by students. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:48, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
Re: Copyright: If you could forward a copy of the copyright releases to from your university email account, that would probably be the best (though not only) way to verify the copyright status of the images. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 00:51, 20 January 2015 (UTC)
I find it easier to have the student write the release form right on the sketch. When we get a really good one, we can document it more carefully. Is that all right? --Guy vandegrift (talk) 19:10, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Copyright Status of Scans of Historical Manuscripts from Cambridge Digital Library[edit]

In 2007 there has been a discussion on COM:HD on whether or not licensing scans and photographs of historical manuscripts (such as Newton's Principia Mathematica) by Cambridge Digital Library under CC-BY-NC-3.0 is Copyright misuse. In that discussion, Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. was mentioned as a similar case which had the following court ruling[1]:

“[1] On November 13, 1998, this Court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing plaintiff's copyright infringement claim on the alternative grounds that the allegedly infringed works -- color transparencies of paintings which themselves are in the public domain -- were not original and therefore not permissible subjects of valid copyright and, in any case, were not infringed. [n1] It applied United Kingdom law in determining whether plaintiff's transparencies were copyrightable. [n2] The Court noted, however, that it would have reached the same result under United States law. [n3]”

Cory Doctorow also wrote a blog post about the topic in 2011 (mentioning National Portrait Gallery vs. WMF) and writes[2]:

“Sadly, these images are licensed under CC noncommercial, which means that Cambridge is asserting a copyright over these ancient manuscripts. UK law does make some provision for asserting a copyright in photos of public domain works, though to do so certainly runs contrary to the ethic of scholarship that the Cambridge name evokes. However, readers in the USA should know that these images are not in copyright there, and they could be downloaded and reused in any way, in keeping with the principle of a robust public domain.”

Consdering that that there are already a number of such works from Cambridge Digital Library uploaded as PD-scan, it seems needed to revisit the issue.

The question is how should Commons community interpret Erik Möller's closing remarks in his blog post regarding NPG vs. WMF? Should there be templates like Template:SourceNPGLondon for every similar institution which digitizes PD works and claims Copyright over them?

What are your views on this? --Shervinafshar (talk) 21:22, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:53, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Good pointer, but does not answer my question regarding content from Cambridge Digital Library. Is it acceptable to download this image from CDL, remove the copyright notice which is added to the image and upload it to Commons as PD-scan (like File:Benedictional of Robert de Clercq.jpg)? --Shervinafshar (talk) 21:46, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes. Yann (talk) 22:00, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Video of rock concert[edit]

Hello! I am wondering if a short clip of a rock concert can be uploaded without sound? I know that a video cannot contain copyrighted audio, so of course it is not ok with sound. If the audio is removed, can a 10 second clip be uploaded to illustrate how a rock singer moves on stage? Just wondering. Thank you! Teemeah (talk) 12:48, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

Subject to what I mention in the next sentence, I don't see why not if the person who recorded the video (and who thus owns the copyright in it) freely licenses it. Note, though, that in some jurisdictions people can assert performers' rights over their performances. I'm not sure what our policy is on recognizing such rights, since they are strictly speaking not a form of copyright. "Commons:Non-copyright restrictions" doesn't mention them. — SMUconlaw (talk) 19:46, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
@Smuconlaw: I think we don't consider performing rights, as there are a lot of videos of orchestra performances, too, performing already public domain pieces of music. And it's not a full concert, 10 seconds of movement on stage (not really "performance"). (I shot the video) Teemeah (talk) 20:12, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Under copyright law, protection of performances is no different to protection of sound recordings, and we do not accept non-free sound recordings as far as I know. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:23, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
This is without sound. Teemeah (talk) 20:40, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
That doesn't change the fact that sound recordings and performances are treated identically under copyright law. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:45, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
@Stefan4: Then how can Category:Videos of music exist at all? Teemeah (talk) 21:42, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Under Swedish copyright law, you need permission from the "performing artist" in order to make a sound or video recording of a performance of a work, if the performance was made less than 50 years ago. Otherwise, you may neither create the recording nor distribute copies of it. If a singer merely is standing on a scene while singing, then I am not sure if his standing there has anything to do with him performing the work, so maybe only sound recordings are protected in that situation. A work is something which meets certain quality requirements, so a film of some people who are merely walking along a street would not count as a video recording of a performance as written instructions on how to walk along a street doesn't meet those quality requirements. A video recording of a play at a theatre is more likely to be a problem, though. --Stefan4 (talk) 22:02, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Generally a video without sound does not constitute a derivative of a concert, which is essentially music. That may be different for a dance performance. Regards, Yann (talk) 21:58, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
It sounds like we may need to have a wider discussion about whether the Commons should take account of performers' rights. — SMUconlaw (talk) 07:50, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

This is a rock concert. It hardly constitutes of copyrighted coreography that the singer is pogoing. Nor is it art in any sense. It may illustrate an article about pogoing en:Pogo (dance), and it has no music. Generally, I think this is an interesting discussion, also considering the fact that we have other concert videos with sound. Even if an orchestra is playing a public domain piece of music, if what Stefan4 says is true then we shouldn't have the video at all because it is a "performance". Though I cannot really see what performance can be in sitting on chairs and playing instruments. A coreographed dance performance, including a pop concert where the dancers are dancing behind the singer is a different topic I think. Random movements on stage, without copyrighted sound (eg. during a short break) should not cause copyright problems. Teemeah (talk) 17:41, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Is imagery from press a sort of 'daily news or details of current events that constitue regular press information' and that is why free?[edit]

Two images (File:Damaged monument at Savur-Mohyla.jpg, File:Ukrainian paratroopers at Savur-Mohyla.jpg) were uploaded and tagged with PD-UA-exempt (a) daily news or details of current events that constitute regular press information. In my opinion regular press information are facts, names, figures but not an imagery. But User:RGloucester supports tagging photos from press with 'regular press information' and so being valid for Commons. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 19:36, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

There is no FoP in Ukraine, so those are not really good for Commons.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:39, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Not good. Yann (talk) 21:56, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
  • But the question was about tagging; this topic is a possible precedent as everybody can claim every image from press a 'regular press information' and valid to upload at Commons. Bogomolov.PL (talk) 22:09, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
    • I highly doubt there is no copyright on photographic snapshots like that. That clause would seem to be more for the factual details that comprise reporting of current events and the like. If those photos were not taken by the uploader they should be deleted. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:44, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
The “own work” claim on that file is problematic, regardless of the larger copyright & procedural questions.—Odysseus1479 (talk) 06:34, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
This is really something a lawyer versed in Ukrainian copyright law should answer. But I also expect that your interpretation is correct, Bogomolov.PL. --Sebari (talk) 01:37, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

File:Pigna e aghi.svg[edit]

I have uploaded this image. It has been taken from a copyrighted book (Gli alberi d'Italia, 1973), nevertheless it is a minimal detail, it has been simplified, rotated, and changed perspective. Is it OK for Commons? I have been warned that could be not suitable. I was conscious there could be some problems, but I decided to upload it anyway. Feel free to delete it if it is against the site copyright policy.--Carnby (talk) 17:25, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

I tagged it with the appropriate tag for your claim, {{pd-shape}}. That said, I don't think it falls under that, so I've tagged it for deletion. And I guess we'll see what everyone else thinks. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 01:13, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Family photos[edit]

Hello, I have a lot of family photos some are very old with unknown author, some are made by my grand-grandfather. How can I upload these photos if I inherited ownership and they wasn't published anywhere? Dominikmatus (talk) 15:19, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

If you are sure that the images were taken by family members and you inherited their copyrights, than you can use {{PD-heir}} template. In some locations {{PD-UK-unknown}}, {{PD-Canada-anon}}, {{PD-US-unpublished}} might also apply. --Jarekt (talk) 17:32, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks fo info. Dominikmatus (talk) 14:15, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

I own the coprights of all pics[edit]

Hi, I own the copyrights of all my uploaded pics but still they got deleted. I took the pics, I edited them, I created the final pic, Logo, CD Cover or whatever...

So why are they deleted? — Preceding unsigned comment added by SiegfriedWhite (talk • contribs)

user:Motopark directed you at least 3 times to com:OTRS on your talk page, you should read it. In case of logos and highly processed posters which look like they were downloaded from some webpage, we usually request an email to OTRS, in which you state that you are the copyright owner of a given image. Publishing unprocessed images in a full resolution would also be helpful. --Jarekt (talk) 17:41, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

URAA on WWII photos of Nazi extermination camps[edit]

Hi, sorry if this has already come up, but before I use these images I just wanted to check that they are licensed OK on Commons. See here: Commons:Village_pump#Auschwitz_Album and it's about the images here Category:Auschwitz_Album Thanks, Jane023 (talk) 23:32, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Some context: pictures are labeled PD at the website of Yad Vashem (owner of the collection,, and labeled as PD at the United States Holocaust Museum ( But not explained why. I choose PD-EU-anonymous. --Hannolans (talk) 00:02, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Why? The photographers are clearly named. LX (talk, contribs) 00:34, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
good point. On wikipedia is written:"The identity of the photographer has never been determined. They may have been taken by either Ernst Hoffmann or Bernhard Walter, two SS men responsible for fingerprinting and taking photo IDs of those prisoners who were not selected for extermination.", so I wrote as author "anonymous, possibly SS officers Ernst Hoffmann or Bernhard Walter".
so author: SS ? if SS as author what would you propose instead. PD-OLD ? --Hannolans (talk) 00:53, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
A list of potential authors that only includes two names seems like stretching the definition of "anonymous" a bit, but I suppose it's a possible interpretation. LX (talk, contribs) 01:15, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
And of course, one of the potential authors claimed in 1963 he did not take them,[3] even though one of the prisoners there was pretty sure he had. The other potential author went missing after the war apparently. This is one of those situations where the author would probably rather disown any copyrights (or not admit to having them in the first place). Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:20, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the reactions here! Shouldn't we have some sort of license specifically for media taken by SS? Clearly the SS archives are officially "owned" by the German government, but the current German government would never admit that protection of copyrights of SS officers is worth defending. I suppose there are privacy issues for "portrait rights" of descendants of SS officers in such media, but surely if the subjects are camp prisoners no one could object? I am thinking along the lines of the risk of publishing on Wikipedia. No court case could be won that is defending the rights of SS photographers. I think of it as being the same thing as art forgers. Images of art forgeries by art forgers who are forging PD works can also be PD, since they will be able to claim copyright of their forgeries, but any *defense* of such copyright would be thrown out in court. Jane023 (talk) 10:05, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, interesting in this case is that SS was probably not part of the German government, it was part of the nazi-party NDSAP. SS and NDSAP became officially a criminal and illegal organisation since 1945. Probably we need a label for PD-criminal organisation ? Who will get the authorship of a criminal organisation, will it become de facto PD? Or the owner of the collection, or the government? --Hannolans (talk) 11:17, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Another viewpoint: "The Allies confiscated [..] German patents, copyrights and trademarks." ( Might this also have included copyright of pictures and movies made by the German government and SS? If so, the authorship of this pictures could be the Russian government as they liberated Auschwitz, or the governments of the Allies. --Hannolans (talk) 22:57, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Just a side note: it doesnt matter if the author is a government employee or not. There is no copyright transfer in germany, only by inheritance. The author of a work is the copyright holder. There are no Pictures or movies made by the German government and the SS. --Martin H. (talk) 00:27, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
The Allies may have confiscated a lot, but that doesn't change the copyright situation in Germany. The US e. g. considers the photographs of Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler's favorite photographer, to be in the PD, but German law doesn't care about that, so Hoffmann's photos are still protected in Germany. --Rosenzweig τ 00:49, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for that info about Hoffmann, but does that mean that those picture can or cannot reside on Commons? Also, it is still unclear to me whether these specific pictures released by Yad Vashem can reside on Commons. Thanks, Jane023 (talk) 22:33, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

The case Hoffman is very interesting, although a different situation. In this case is work of an artist and not of the government nor SS. Already during the War Hoffman got royalities of his pictures. The authorship of Hoffman seemed transfered to the American businessman Price, but the US gov disputes his claims. I am also wondering what this mean: "The Allies confiscated [..] German patents, copyrights and trademarks." What copyrights are confiscated? Is there any example of confiscated copyright or is this sentence not true? Patents seems to be published as PD by the US governement to be used by the American industry. If copyrights were confiscated, were they returned to the German government later on? --Hannolans (talk) 09:23, 1 February 2015 (UTC)


I tagged the file for speedy delete under copyvio, but another user undid my edit because the logo might be free under COM:TOO. The description box of the file claims that it is the uploader's own work, but I doubt that it is the case here. The logo seems to be taken from here. What should I do about it? --Joshua (talk) 04:38, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

I think users who are no sysops are not supposed to remove speedy templates, they can contest (=replace) a speedy by an ordinary deletion request with a "keep" rationale. But that might be not exactly obvious, you could just do it yourself with a "delete" rationale. –Be..anyone (talk) 13:55, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
That should be PD-ineligible in the US -- it is just letters in a circle. Not really sure about Egypt. It's possible someone re-created the logo thus thought they could put on the license, though it's dubious... while it's possible that there could be a copyright in some country somewhere in the world, you'd think the copyright would be with the logo designers in those places. Usually I prefer to keep free licenses just in case the uploader did work which would be considered copyrightable in some country, but this one feels more appropriate to change to PD-ineligible since if there is any copyright somewhere it probably doesn't lie with the uploader. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:06, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Je souhaite uploader une image qui n'est pas de ma création et qui n'est sous aucune licence[edit]


Je suis nouveau ici et je rédige depuis peu l'article Français portant sur le jeu The Talos Principle. Je souhaite uploader une image afin d'illustrer l'infobox de mon article seulement j'ai un soucis avec le processus d'upload qui m'impose de renseigner une licence de partage.

L'image que je souhaite uploader a été obtenue depuis le Dropbox entretenu par Croteam avec leur permission (obtenue via une conversation privée depuis leur page Facebook officielle). Quelle option dois-je sélectionner au moment de l'upload pour ne pas risquer de voir mon image supprimée ?

La précédente image que j'avais uploadé provenait de la page Anglaise traitant de Elle s'est vue supprimée un instant après l'upload, d'où ma confusion et mon inquiétude actuelle.

La personne chez Croteam a répondu cela quand je lui ai demandé sous quelle licence étaient les images de leur Dropbox : "This is picture made by ourselves, robot is our own 3D model and cat is a pet from our level designer. Therefore, we didn't use any 3rd party assets for which we would need to obtain license. We give you permission to use this pictures freely in your Wikipedia article."

Cordialement — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gamerizer (talk • contribs) 09:06, 28 January 2015‎ (UTC)

2 images to be de minimis[edit]

Are these two pictures COM:De minimis?

Spotlight in OS X Yosemite

The Safari icon is shown as an icon of default web browser in OSX, it has nothing to do with Spotlight (topic of this image) itself, so it is de minimis.


This file manager is licensed under GNU General Public License. It's showing some shell icons of MS Windows, but it's acceptable in de minimis, as it's not the significant field of work.


--Rezonansowy (talk) 11:10, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Hello? --Rezonansowy (talk) 10:17, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Copyright status of "Physical Therapy Department, Deshon General Hospital" photo in the US National Library of Medicine[edit]

For this image, there is a "Copyright Statement" that "The National Library of Medicine believes this item to be in the public domain." At the same time, the home page for the Images from the History of Medicine (IHM) collection indicates that some of the material in the collection is copyrighted, which is likely the case. Though the "Publication Information" item for the image seems to specify the year 1946, it is not mentioned as to who the author is. --Gazebo (talk) 11:14, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

More specifically, is there a useful way to determine the copyright status of this image? (The {{PD-USGov-NIH}} template suggests that the source site be contacted in the event that "is not clearly stated that this specific work is in the public domain.") --Gazebo (talk) 06:31, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
It sounds like Deshon was an Army hospital through 1946, and later a VA hospital. I do see other images from Deshon dated 1946 in the NLM library, and I see that this Army page has an image which looks like a cutout from an older publication where a different photo of Deshon was credited to the National Library of Medicine. Given that it was an Army hospital, it is probably PD-USGov in one form or another. PD-USGov-NIH may be as good a guess as any. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:58, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. The information here (under "Conversion of existing facilities") seems to indicate that Deshon General Hospital was in operation as an Army hospital by 1943, which was some years before 1946. It does seem more likely that the image in question was taken by a US government employee than a private contractor, though it would be interesting to know how the National Library of Medicine came up with the "believed to be public domain" assessment. For applying a license tag to a work, it can be useful to use a specific tag such as {{PD-USGov-NIH}} or {{PD-USGov-Military-Army}} instead of a more general tag such as {{PD-USGov}}. At the same time, when determining if a work is a US government work for the purposes of US copyright, knowing that the work was produced by a US government employee as part of their official duties would seem sufficient even it is not known as to which specific agency or department the government employee was working for. The thought now is whether the information about this image satisfies the precautionary principle on Commons as far as the image being out of copyright. --Gazebo (talk) 13:06, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
Those are really all the same copyright tag, just categorized some. There is no legal difference based on which part of the government authored the file, so PD-USGov really is enough; that should give re-users enough information on whether they can use it or not. It's tags like PD-US which are more preferably avoided if possible. Anyways, the NLM was part of the Army in those days -- it was called the Army Medical Library (and there was an Army Medical Museum); it wasn't transferred to the Public Health Service and renamed until 1956. So either tag would make sense depending on your perspective. It is entirely possible the Library was just documenting the hospital, either for posterity or for a particular publication. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:46, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Why national symbols are copyrighted?[edit]

I have always wanted to know why national symbols are copyrighted?, since they are in public display, are of common use and they have no author in the common meaning of the word, when somebody design a flag or coat of arm for a national or subnational entity they release their rights to that state. I could understand if the rights are about who draw a flag? for instance: we are not allowed to copy and paste flags and coats of arms from any website. I understand that. On the other hand the flags and coats of arms drawn by wikipedia users keep being erased by librarians in regarding of licenses and I don't understand why?. Why if I draw my own flag do I need a license? Which license do I need? How can I prevent the flag from being erased? (They are erased without question) By the way, I don't post flags or coats on commons anymore, I just want to know why they are erased since I always find articles in wikipedia about countries, states, municipalities, provinces, cities, parishes, counties without flag or coat because somebody erased it because of a license.Andrew Mc Andrew (talk) 17:21, 28 January 2015 (UTC) (moved from Talk:Main_Page)

From your description, no I don't think such items should be deleted, if you drew them yourself. See Commons:Coats of arms. It is possible that if you drew a version which is too close to an existing graphical version which is copyrighted (i.e. it duplicates the copyrightable expression found in that rendition), it could still be a derivative work of that copyrighted rendition, and therefore a problem. But, there can also be a misunderstanding from editors who assume that any rendition is a derivative work of the country/municipality/etc., which is generally not the case. Do you have any examples you can point to? It's possible works were deleted for other reasons I'm not anticipating. If you think a work was deleted incorrectly, you can post a request to Commons:Undeletion requests. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:13, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
This is an example File:Bandera_del_Estado_Guárico.PNG, maybe not the best one, but it keeps happening. This is the flag of one of Venezuela's states, I wonder why it was erased?.Andrew Mc Andrew (talk) 02:31, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
If something is marked "own work" but already exists on the web, that puts "own work" in doubt. That particular image is a low-resolution PNG of an image which is all over the web, if I'm seeing the image right with Google cache. It is not "own work" to take an image off the web (even if changing a color) and upload it. However, one of the original sources appears to be File:Flag of Guarico State.svg, which was deleted for "no source", so that may not have been marked as "own work". I'm not sure when that file was uploaded; the log doesn't have a date so it may have been a long time ago. Sometimes a page might be vandalized, then a page gets marked for deletion, and the admins may not notice, or maybe it was uploaded long enough that some of our current standards were not in place. It's possible that original SVG was deleted in error, but I can't see the deleted file, so I'm not sure. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:13, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Another example Escudo Girardot Aragua.PNG, this file was modified from another from the web, if nobody can modify a file so no symbols can exists on Wikipedia, I'm not defending the copy and paste, but even the modified ones are deleted. Andrew Mc Andrew (talk) 02:28, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
If the modified version still contains copyrightable expression from the original, then it is a Commons:derivative work, which is where additional expression is added to underlying work, and the distribution is therefore still controlled by the copyright of the underlying work. That is the way copyright law works, for better or worse. Versions need to be modified such that all of the copyrightable content from the original is removed -- usually that is removal of all the outlines, etc., specific to the copyrighted version. If a file still contains copyrighted material from web versions, that is a legitimate reason for deletion. It's not enough to just modify something a little. That is the reason claimed for the image you mention. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:47, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

License statement and CCL[edit]

Yes check.svg Resolved

While reviewing File:Minho Choi at the SHINee World Concert III in Jakarta 05.jpg, I found this source - at the bottom, there is CC BY icon linking to CC BY 4.0 deed - and also there is a statement (below)

*Please take out with FULL CREDITS and DO NOT replace my LOGO with your own if you edit my photos. Commercial use is prohibited

(emphasis mine, color by original author)

I'm not sure if we can review this or not, so I would like to ask for second opinion. — Revi 05:22, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

"Commercial use is prohibited" is contradicting with CC BY 4.0; so better decline per COM:PRP. Jee 05:33, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Gotcha. All files from that source detected by Special:LinkSearch sent to DR. — Revi 05:38, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Costa Rica government works (help with Spanish-language copyright law)[edit]

I am trying to determine if I can upload scans of an old Costa Rican banknote. An English translation of Costa Rica's current copyright/intellectual property law (Law 6683, as amended by Law 8834 of 3 May 2010) is not available on the WIPO website, only the Spanish version. The Central Bank of Costa Rica has information on their website about the use of images of CR banknotes, but it is focused on commercial use which can be confused with real banknotes, and only mentions copyright when saying that they are the "copyright holder of Costa Rica’s currency design -protected under Law No. 6683".

A search for "estado" (state) in the current copyright law points to Article 63:

"Artículo 63°.- El estado, los consejos municipales y las corporaciones oficiales gozarán de la protección de esta ley, pero , en cuanto a los derechos patrimoniales , los tendrán únicamente por veinticinco años, contados desde la publicación de la obra, salvo tratándose de entidades públicas, que tengan por objeto el ejercicio de esos derechos como actividad ordinaria; en cuyo caso la protección será de cincuenta años."

Which Google Translate says is:

"Article 63 - The state, municipal councils and the official corporations shall enjoy the protection of the law, but in terms of the economic rights concerned, only twenty-five years from the publication of the work, except in the case of public bodies who have aimed at exercising these rights as ordinary activity; in which case protection shall be fifty years."

This doesn't appear any different from the previous version (from 2000), for which the English translation states:

"63. The State, the municipal councils and the official corporations shall enjoy the protection of this Law, but, as far as economic rights are concerned, only for 25 years from the date of publication of the work, except in the case of public bodies whose purpose is the exercise of such rights as their normal activity, in which case protection shall be for 50 years."

In addition to "Economic rights", the copyright law also provides for "moral rights", of which the relevant parts are (from an English translation of the 2000 law...the 2010 updated law, available only in Spanish, needs to be checked):

"13. Independently of his economic rights, even after their assignment, the author shall retain entirely personal, inalienable, unrenounceable and perpetual rights in the work, called moral rights.
14.Moral rights shall include the right:
(b) to demand that he be mentioned by his name or pseudonym as the author of the work in relation to all reproductions and uses thereof;
(c) to prevent any reproduction or communication to the public of his work if it has been distorted, mutilated or altered in any way;"

My interpretation of that suggests that a copyright holder can prevent derivative works, but that is not automatic. Worded a different way: derivative works are permitted, unless the author prevents derivative works. Therefore, works by the Costa Rican government over 25 years old (or in some cases 50 years) meet Commons criteria unless the copyright owner specifies that derivatives cannot be made. The restrictions on commercial use made by the Central Bank of Costa Rica sound like non-copyright restrictions, much like personality rights and freedom of panorama which don't prohibit uploads to Commons, and is covered by Template:Currency.

Can someone who understands Spanish well look at the copyright law to verify this interpretation of copyright on government works in Costa Rica, please? Not only does this apply to my issue with a banknote (from 1960, so over 50 years old) and update to Commons:Currency, but will also allow Commons:Copyright rules by territory#Costa Rica to be expanded with information about government works, which would be a real benefit to Commons. A copyright template for CR government works can then be made. AHeneen (talk) 09:07, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm going off the English description you gave, but it does sound most likely that banknotes are OK after 25 years. Moral rights are separate from copyright, and do not cause something to be non-free. They generally do not control all derivative works like the economic right does ("copyright" is generally equivalent to the economic right); rather they just disallow changes which can prejudice the reputation of the author of the original (such as an unlabeled alteration which can cause people to think that it came from the original author, that sort of thing). So, I would not worry about the moral rights section, and just deal with the economic right, which seems to have a good translation from the earlier law. And yes, it sounds like it is a term of 25 years most likely. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:21, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Copyright in space[edit]

Quick query - I took this photo at an event last year. However, it's obviously a derivative work (fails DM) of an astronaut's photo. I don't know offhand which astronaut took the photo, but would copyright apply on the International Space Station anyway? If it does, can we assume it's PD-NASA? -mattbuck (Talk) 13:22, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

I think copyright would apply to the author, yes. Just like if one country's citizen took a picture on vacation, the country of origin would still be where it was first published. If it was taken by a NASA astronaut in the course of duties (good chance on a spacewalk; that's not downtime), then it would be PD-USGov. You could also argue that it's incidental; it was the photo that happened to be there (more a question if the expression in that photo adds to the expression of yours), as incidental inclusion does not necessarily cause something to be a derivative work. But I think I found the photo here, taken during the STS-100 mission, so it looks to be PD-USGov-NASA. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:39, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Wouldn't the first publication have taken place somewhere on Earth? — SMUconlaw (talk) 15:25, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, the point of potentially legally recognized publication and IP claims has to be on Earth. To date, there are space cowboys but no practising lawyers in orbit, they need too much oxygen.
I would not presume that NASA own the IP. Missions are frequently joint ventures with a number of organizations or public bodies having rights on later publications. Saying that, I would give bags of time to research the background before anyone starting worrying about possible deletion due to uncertainty. -- (talk) 15:40, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

now commons vs. never commons[edit]

One of the POTY candidates is Shop_of_Tingqua,_the_painter.jpg. This artist also had a studio, Tingqua_-_The_studio_of_Tingqua_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg. The latter is published with several warnings that this image (in a Hongkong museum) will self-destruct if moved to commons. The former in a U.S. museum is apparently no problem. Is that as it should be? –Be..anyone (talk) 23:47, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm confident that this is {{PD-old-100}}. I don't see why the copy on the English Wikipedia can't be moved to Commons (or deleted as a duplicate). Anon126 ( ) 01:52, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I raised the issue at the English Wikipedia's media copyright questions page. Anon126 ( ) 01:58, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
The author is Tingqua (Guan Lianchang) (1809-1870). - {{PD-Art|PD-old-auto-1923|deathyear=1870}}. -- Geagea (talk) 02:48, 30 January 2015 (UTC)

Using copyrighted images to make 3D models[edit]

Two questions:

  1. Suppose I take a copyrighted image such as this, take measurements from the image and construct a 3D model using Solidworks, rotate the image so that it bears little resemblance to the photo, and put it on commons. Is this a violation? My instincts tell me it is, but I am hoping I am wrong.
  2. Same image, same question. But this time its a hand-drawn sketch made by a student, also rotated so as to not look like the photo. How bad does it have to be before the sketch is "original" and therefore permissible on commons?--Guy vandegrift (talk) 01:34, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
If your 3D model is independent of the creative inspiration of the photo, you don't have to worry about the copyright of the photo. Same thing with a sketch. The problem is, with only one photo, you're showing in detail what the photo shows in detail and you have no detail on what the photo doesn't show. In this case, maybe it's simple enough.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:35, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
The information about spatial positions and shapes of 3D objects in this particular photo can not be copyrighted itself. The copyrightable elements in the photo are only angle at which it was taken, a particular illumination and other elements which can be changed by the photographer. So, it would be ok to create a 3D model as you described above. The same logic applies to the sketch. Ruslik (talk) 17:32, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks.--Guy vandegrift (talk) 21:39, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Template for illegal documents[edit]


Could we make a template showing that illegal documents are in the public domain, because a copyright cannot be claimed? This would include, among others, counterfeit money/stamps, virus, (allegedly) fake documents, etc. Regards, Yann (talk) 12:28, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

There are lots of reasons why a document might be illegal here or there. How sure are you that illegal (where? when?) is always public domain? –Be..anyone (talk) 13:28, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Not always, but based on the same rational as {{Non-free graffiti}}, where the author obviously cannot claim a copyright. We can restrict this template to these cases. Regards, Yann (talk) 13:55, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
The rationale is that "an author might be denied any copyright relief based on an illegal act". I'm not sure that there's any basis in law for invalidating a copyright in that way. In some countries a court may however try to seize any royalty payments arising from an illegal work. --ghouston (talk) 22:34, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
The rationale isn't that the court would invalidate a copyright, but that the author cannot claim it, either because he would be in jail immediately, or because it would prove that the document is fake. Even if the author of an allegedly fake banknote/stamp/book could evade jail, he could not claim that he is the author, as it would defeat the purpose of the creation of the document in the first place. Regards, Yann (talk) 23:01, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, I was talking about the statement on the graffiti template. A fake is a copy of something else and so may not have enough originality for a copyright claim. Also many crimes are subject to a statute of limitations, while copyright lasts for more than a lifetime. Anyone making copyright claims would still need decent evidence that they are the true author however. --ghouston (talk) 00:21, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Uploading logos allowed?[edit]

Is it allowed to upload logos:

  • company logos?
  • logos of not-for-profit organisations?

The upload wizard seems to EXclude these uploads, yet the commons categories

  • Category:Logos of companies
  • Category:Logos of organizations

seem full of just such logos

(have checked FAQs not found the answer) tnx Robberd77 (talk) 11:28, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Logos are a common situation. Suggestion: I would like to see llicense-related dialog handled by the upload process. A progressive answer-driven set of questions leading to clear choices of license banners.Pierre5018 (talk) 13:13, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
Commons:Copyright rules by subject matter#Trademarks LX (talk, contribs) 15:47, 1 February 2015 (UTC)