Commons:Village pump/Copyright

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Propose to update CC license tags to comply with the new wordings in CC deeds[edit]

I'm proposing this matter here per the advice of ChrisiPK at AN.

As we all know, CC had updated all of their license deeds after the release of CC 4.0 licenses. It is to educate the licensees (and licensors too) about the legal terms by highlighting them more promptly. And, we can see some terms like "remix", "work", "file" are not perfectly conveying the copyright terms. So CC changed them to "adapt", "material" to satisfy all types of works, means and medium we are using.

There is also a warning about the third party rights (like publicity, privacy and moral rights) that may limit the reuse. Our current practice is to add specific tags on individual files, which is time consuming and not perfect as we can't check all files.


Marking your work with a CC license "Example: Image"
Choose a license
Best practices for attribution
Best Practices for Creative Commons attributions
Creative Commons Attribution For Photos

So I propose to update the layout templates:

Existing Proposed
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons <license name with link to deed> license. "Foo" <title of the work with link to URI> by Real name ( <attribution parameter provided in author field with a link to user page> is licensed under a <license name with link to deed> license.
You are free: You are free to:
to share - to copy, distribute and transmit the work Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
to remix – to adapt the work Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
Under the following conditions: Under the following terms:
attribution – You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work). Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
share alike – If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one. ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.
This deed highlights only some of the key features and terms of the actual license. It is not a license and has no legal value. You should carefully review all of the terms and conditions of the actual license (link to legal code) before using the licensed material.

Current tag (CC BY lacks the ShareAlike clause):

w:en:Creative Commons
attribution share alike
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
Attribution: Real name (
You are free:
  • to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
  • to remix – to adapt the work
Under the following conditions:
  • attribution – You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor (but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work).
  • share alike – If you alter, transform, or build upon this work, you may distribute the resulting work only under the same or similar license to this one.

Option 1 Proposed tag (CC BY lacks the ShareAlike clause):

Cc primary srr.gif
By large.png Sa large.png
"Foo" by Real name ( is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
You are free to:
  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
Under the following terms:
  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
  • No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.
  • This deed highlights only some of the key features and terms of the actual license. It is not a license and has no legal value. You should carefully review all of the terms and conditions of the actual license before using the licensed material.

Option 2 Proposed tag including all terms in the deed as suggested below (CC BY lacks the ShareAlike clause):

Cc primary srr.gif
By large.png Sa large.png
"Foo" by Real name ( is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
You are free to:
  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
for any purpose, even commercially.
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.
Under the following terms:
  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
  • You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.
  • No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.
  • This deed highlights only some of the key features and terms of the actual license. It is not a license and has no legal value. You should carefully review all of the terms and conditions of the actual license before using the licensed material.

Option 3 Proposed tag without a "title" (CC BY lacks the ShareAlike clause):

Cc primary srr.gif
By large.png Sa large.png
This work by Real name ( is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available here.
You are free to:
  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
for any purpose, even commercially.
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.
Under the following terms:
  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.
  • You do not have to comply with the license for elements of the material in the public domain or where your use is permitted by an applicable exception or limitation.
  • No warranties are given. The license may not give you all of the permissions necessary for your intended use. For example, other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights may limit how you use the material.
  • This deed highlights only some of the key features and terms of the actual license. It is not a license and has no legal value. You should carefully review all of the terms and conditions of the actual license before using the licensed material.

Option 4 Proposed tag (CC BY lacks the ShareAlike clause):

Cc primary srr.gif
By large.png Sa large.png
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
Attribution: Real name (
You are free to:
  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
Under the following terms:
  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.

Option 5 Proposed tag (CC BY lacks the ShareAlike icon):

Cc primary srr.gif
By large.png Sa large.png
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
Attribution: Real name (

Option 6 Proposed tag without a "title" (CC BY lacks the ShareAlike clause):

Cc primary srr.gif
By large.png Sa large.png
This media by Real name ( is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
You are free to:
  • Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material
for any purpose, even commercially.
The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.
Under the following terms:
  • Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
  • ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
  • No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally restrict others from doing anything the license permits.


  • Symbol support vote.svg Support Option 4 or 3. Jee 07:05, 3 July 2014 (UTC) Option 6 considering new suggestions. The layout, design, colours, icons, etc. can be changed/improved. I'm only concerned about the wordings. Jee 02:35, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support option 4 or 2. --Graphium 15:26, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support option 3 and 4.    FDMS  4    14:16, 10 July 2014 (UTC)Time2wait.svg On hold
  • Pictogram voting question-blue.svg Request Please wait as we are waiting for the WMF input (see below). Jee 15:54, 10 July 2014 (UTC) See the WMF input below. Jee 07:58, 11 July 2014 (UTC)


Welcome to any suggestions. Jee 07:40, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

The layout of this proposal is confusing, it took me a few minutes to work out that this was a "from existing text" to "new text" proposal with them side by side. Adding to the confusion is that this appears to be trying to do all variations of Commons allowed CC licences in one go. I suggest the "from" and "to" texts are side by side in a wiki table and that each licence, or each licence component in CC0, CC-BY, CC-BY-SA are made clear rather than bundling. To go the extra mile, I suggest creating the new draft licences in a sandbox and linking to them here, so that the end result can be seen as it will appear on an image page. -- (talk) 08:21, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Those license tags are so complicated; so difficult to understand for an ordinary volunteer. Probably Multichill can help. All tags of version 1.0 to 4.0 except CC 0 use that same components. CC BY doesn't use the "ShareAlike" part. I didn't look on NC as it is out of my interest. Will try to improve the presentation. Jee 08:33, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
@: Hope ✓ Done. Jee 09:42, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't like the bolding of the links in the explanations …    FDMS  4    18:17, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Bolding can be avoided if links can be highlighted by a separate color or any other means. Jee 02:41, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Links are generally highlighted in blue …    FDMS  4    08:03, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I would clearly prefer to use a more grammatically correct presentation (like Wikimedia Commons does currently) than a BuzzImportantWordInCamelCase (like ShareAlike) terminology (like the new proposal offer to uniformize with Creative Commons text). --Dereckson (talk) 20:14, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
Use of separate words than in the legal code will affect the legal validity in case of disputes. Jee 02:41, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

I just noticed that the links in the icons on the current tags are not working. It seems link= only works if full URI is provided. Jee 03:53, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

This looks like a useful improvement and brings our CC4 template in line with their deed.

  • I'm not clear how the ""Foo" by Real name ( " bit works. Could someone give examples for Commons-sourced files and perhaps indicate if e.g., Flickr-sourced files would be done differently.
  • I like how "This file is licenced" has been dropped since CC have admitted they don't consider any of their licences to be file-based [something to consider changing in earlier templates too, but that's for another day].
  • I don't think the "You are free to" or "Under the following terms" should be in bold, nor the links.
  • I think "Notices" should better be titled "Caveats", since that's what they are.
  • The "No warranties are given" sentence should best link to the Commons:General disclaimer.
  • The CC4 deed also has "for any purpose, even commercially." and "The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms". These are both important points and I don't see why we should miss them out.
  • I don't see why our "deed", if that is what this is, needs to link to CC's deed in the word "deed". It is just confusing to read "This dead" which contains a link to something else. Since ours is nearly the same, we've made theirs redundant and so re-users would be best jumping straight to the full licence text.

-- Colin (talk) 07:21, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

  • @Colin: Thanks for the review.
  • 1. "Foo" by Real name ( is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
I had spend a lot of time to understand the "marking" and "attributing" procedure. "A good rule of thumb is to use the acronym TASL, which stands for Title, Author, Source, License." It covers all the necessary information for attributing a licensed material (work). I understand your question as "original source" of third party uploads are different. In that case we may consider to add the source parameter too as in the Media Viewer. Then it will look like "Foo" by Real name ( (Own work/external source) is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.
Note that we try to provide attribution parameters through various ways (Creditline, attribution= in license tag, etc. But I noticed that external sites like only look into the author= field in Commons.)
  • 2. This update will affect all CC tags except CC 0 as this edit request is on Template:CC-Layout.
  • 3 Done.
  • 4 Considerable if enough consensus (I'm not a native English speaker).
  • 5 Done.
  • 6 Considerable if enough consensus
  • 7 Done. Jee 09:18, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
On point 1, I still don't understand and need an example. Since this is a generated template, where would one get "Real name" or "" from. Please can you give a few examples from real Commons images. -- Colin (talk) 11:31, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
@Colin: Sure; you can see here how I provide attribution to the POTY winners.
1. Real name is given.
2. Only user name given.
4. Flickr user name, Flickr source, and name of adapter provided.
5 & 8. Real name with website link provided.
The template only need to look into author (and source for not {{own}} if needed). Jee 14:03, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support the text of {{Cc-by-4.0}} should match I did not check word by word the match of the proposed text with version but it should be close. The same goes with all the translations already done by CC. One concern I have is with "Foo": most photographs do not have titles and we should not expect people to title them, but should allow someone to add title if desired. I would also like to keep the suggested attribution part as a separate field. Incorporating it into sentence will cause trouble as people can put all kind of nonsense there making the sentence incomprehensible. Current approach isolates injected text so it is less of an issue. We should probably update Commons:Credit line. --Jarekt (talk) 16:19, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
@Jarekt: Thanks.
"Foo" is "file name without extensions" as followed in Media Viewer. If it is not practical, we can satisfy with "This Licensed Material".
"Incorporating it into sentence" is the "preferred" way suggested by CC in Best practices for attribution.
The second option is "Attribution: Photo by Example / CC BY-SA" as a second line as in current template. But the current problem is we only (most people) provide attribution as "author name" only. It gives the re user a false idea that only author name is required as attribution. In fact, attribution requires Title (optional), Author, Source, License. Jee 17:18, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree that the "attribution" statement might be misleading as it often only mentions author. Maybe we should update and expand Commons:Credit line and link to it (we might want to also rename it to something like Commons:License attribution). I do not think filename and title are equivalent: our filenames can be up to 240 bytes long and the only requirement are that they are unique. Many were chosen not by authors but by the uploaders, for example in case of flickr images (like all files here) --Jarekt (talk) 19:25, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I understand; and wonder how Media viewer handle this: <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Areca catechu nuts at Kadavoor.jpg" height="480" width="360"></a><br>"<a href="">Areca catechu nuts at Kadavoor</a>" by <a href="//" title="User:Jkadavoor">Jeevan Jose, Kerala, India</a> - <span class="int-own-work">Own work</span>. Licensed under <a href="" title="Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0">CC BY-SA 4.0</a> via <a href="//">Wikimedia Commons</a>.</p> displays "Areca catechu nuts at Kadavoor" by Jeevan Jose, Kerala, India - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
Note that we need "title" or a word like "Photo" or "Media" at least to link it to the source. Further not that, according to CC this attribution may not be immediate visibility under the use. It can be in page footer, tail page of a book, or in a "credit page" especially created for that purpose alone in a website. In such cases, a meaningful tittle explains the media is the only way to associate them together. Jee 02:25, 10 June 2014 (UTC)

I got the ping. I still had this somewhere on my list. My main concern is that it's going to become some massive bulky template. The first prototype doesn't look promising at all. We should focus on getting a slick small template, not trying to teach copyright in a template. I'm inviting some of the WMF legal and design people to pitch in. Multichill (talk) 19:57, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

I'm aware of it. But my opposing arguments are:
If we use a small template just covering the first line, people use their own templates to convey the remaining parts.
We our self applying {{Personality}}, {{Trademarked}}, {{Consent}}, etc. in selected works with makes the page more bulky than this. Further, that practice is not perfect as we can't filter all such files easily from our collection.
I think educating people is more important than limiting the page size; if it leads to misuse, thus makes damage to our potential contributors.
I agree with you that sound review by a legal team is necessary before applying the change. I think Media Viewer team can help us. Pinging Keegan (WMF). Jee 02:40, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping, Jee. I'll have to read up on this and see how I can help pass it along, and to which part of the WMF, if appropriate. Pesky note: it's the Multimedia team ;) Keegan (WMF) (talk) 08:40, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Keegan (WMF). I know you're not from the legal but hope you get enough support from them. And it will be nice if the attribution requirement is provided in the same way in the "file page" and "Media Viewer". Otherwise it will add another confusion and annoying too. :)
What is your (team) opinion about "title" = "file name without extension"? It will be nice if we can add an extra field title= in {{information}}. But we already have so many files. So I think adding it now is difficult? Jee 09:15, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
@Jkadavoor:: The Multimedia team opinion is that adding these fields isn't difficult, you can use a bot or a Lua module to take care of it. In the long run, looking at Wikidata integration, it might even be beneficial. Structured data=good data. So yeah, go for it if the community agrees. No problem from this end. As for the legal aspect, I've passed that along for someone else to look at since it's outside my purview. HTH. Keegan (WMF) (talk) 18:06, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Keegan (WMF); this is interesting. I think adding such a field to {{Information}} will be a great improvement. May be a bot can set the default value for all existing files as "file name without extension" so that authors can change it later if they wish so. @Jarekt:, Multichill, Jean-Frédéric... what do you think? ({{Specimen}}, etc. based on Photograph template have already has a field "title"; so it can be used.) Jee 02:07, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Many Artworks and artistic photographs have official titles, snapshots do not. As an uploader of a lot of photographs I think it would be pointless to title them and using a filename sounds like even worse idea: filenames were not designed to be titles they are only supposed to be unique. Welived for so long without titles for our photos why do we need them now? If I want a title to be mentioned in my cc license I will add it to the attribution string, since that what it was designed to do. Also you can always use {{Artwork}} or {{Photograph}} template if you need that field. But even there people are encouraged to use {{Title}} template or templates like Category:Multilingual tags: Title, which can be hard to fit in an attribution field. --Jarekt (talk) 02:59, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Jarekt: But how then people can specify source in the attribution? There is no need of a word if the image is hyper linked in a website or attribution is mentioned near the use. But it is not applicable for all cases. See, an e-book is published with 100 photos from Commons and attribution is provided altogether in the last page. Then it is better if we can "Common Lime Butterfly Papilio demoleus by Kadavoor" by Jeevan Jose...., "Acmella ciliata by Kadavoor" by Jeevan Jose...., etc than "Photo" by Jeevan Jose...., "Photo" by Jeevan Jose...., etc. It will be far better if we can mention better titles than "file names". ("Papilio demoleus at Kadavoor" is better).
If it is a paperback book, title is more meaningful. See "Common Lime Butterfly Papilio demoleus by Kadavoor" (Source: by Jeevan Jose...., "Acmella ciliata by Kadavoor" (Source: by Jeevan Jose.... Jee 03:19, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
But not everybody names their files that way. I always try to concatenate few fields: a place or source, subject or species, and some number to make it unique. Others pick names differently like for example File:I got my Honda Accord 1990 4 door 4 cylinder power windows power door lock run good engine and transmission good 120,000 miles do you want to contact me text me or call me 8608406395- 2014-05-28 20-07.jpg --Jarekt (talk) 13:51, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Jarekt, I understand; and some file names by bots are also very lengthy. So what about picking title from {{credit line}} if provided, else from {{Title}} if provided, else use file name without extension as a compromise? (BTW, that example is com:ADVERT and need to be renamed. :)) Jee 14:37, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
I am fine with picking titles from license attribution string, {{credit line}} or {{Title}}, but if those are not provided than I would assume the uploader did not wish to title his/her images, like I do not care about titles in all the images I uploded over the years. Creating default titles for others would need to be a bot job and I doubt it would be approved. But we can offer a service where people that want titles can request for them to be added to their files. --Jarekt (talk) 14:53, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Jarekt: Then what about using a word like "media" to link to the source if no {{credit line}} or {{Title}}? The Media Viwers also need to to updated; as it is now using file name as title. I think they did it on the advice of Legal. So we need to consult them (legal) too? Jee 15:14, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
The Media Viwer is not suggesting attribution strings. I do not see any problem with it. I also do not see how is it related to the discussion about a license template. --Jarekt (talk) 15:45, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Jarekt: See this discussion. Media Viewer or any other third party automated tools need to pick the license and attribution string properly from our tags. A manual user can pick it even from data scattered in various locations. Jee 16:00, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Jarekt: While experimenting with [1], I found another option without title: "This work by <author name with url> is licensed under a <License name with url>. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at <source url>". Can we proceed this way? See Option 3. Jee 09:34, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support the changes, but it would be good to include the "Licensor cannot revoke the licence" part in all the deeds here, and the CC Some Rights Reserved image on the left would look better using the version on our current commons deeds. --Graphium 07:16, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
  • @Graphium: I included an example showing those information too. Regarding logo, they are a collection of three separate logos; will change automatically in the layout template to match with the license used. (eg: CC BY, CC BY-SA, etc.). Regarding the design, see It should be a "double C in a circle". Jee 03:08, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
  • @Jkadavoor: Ok noted. Just adding one more suggestion. There should be a spacing between the "CC Some Rights Reserved" logo and the "Attribution" and/or "ShareAlike" buttons. The template appears better that way IMO. --Graphium 05:32, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Hope the alignment problem will be solved by the code experts while implementing. Jee 06:09, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment As far as I know, the CC-licenses also require the re-user to name the license the work is made available under. That's something we have always neglected for reasons I don't remember, but this seems like a good opportunity to re-think the issue and maybe put an additional notice into the templates. --El Grafo (talk) 08:50, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
  • El Grafo, I think it is well mentioned under the "appropriate credit" link. There is some more conditions for adaptations of BY-SA licenses. They are mentioned under "same license". Jee 14:28, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Thanks, Jee, I must admit I didn't notice that when I first looked through the proposal. All in all, it looks very reasonable to me. Are the wiki pages linked in the new template available in other languages than english? Couldn't find any direct links there … --El Grafo (talk) 15:03, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Noted; will look into it. Thanks. Jee 15:07, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Any news on that? If there are no translations of that, we should think about other ways to make sure people know they have to name the license. (I think that's a very important part that has been neglected far too long). --El Grafo (talk) 09:28, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I like the approach this is taking and have promoted these changes in the past. Our license templates should at a minimum contain all the things the relevent CC Deed does. BTW, the word Notices is bolded and need not be to create a common format. Otherwise bold the other section headings. When there is a final version it should be put up for a !Vote, not yet while discussion ensues. Saffron Blaze (talk) 15:54, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Oops; I forgot it while correcting per Colin. Jee 14:36, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Fix the English please. "Foo" by Real name ( is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. --> "Foo" by Real name ( is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. --Graphium 16:13, 10 June 2014 (UTC)
    There no "the" at CreativeCommonsWiki:Best practices for attribution or in the attribution link generated by Media Viewer. So I doubt with is the best English style. Jee 14:31, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
    That's because they never spell out the full name with "License" at the end. "the" is required here for style reasons, without it it sounds clumsy. Regards, --ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 09:19, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
    Thanks ChrisiPK, I re checked and found that they use a whenever full name is spelled. They use "License" and "license". So the or a? Jee 09:30, 12 June 2014 (UTC)
    @Jkadavoor: It would be good to follow what CC uses, which in this case is "a". However English-wise I think "the" is more appropriate. Let's wait for Chris' input. --Graphium 09:42, 12 June 2014 (UTC)

I added a second example covering all CC terms in the deed. Note that I included the "exception" clause too under "notices". Jee 15:05, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

The advice of the legal team is requested, and LuisV (WMF) offered to help. Jee 06:27, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

  • Files on Flickr have a headline and a description. The headline could arguably be a title, but is sometimes something useless such as "IMG1234.JPG". Should we interpret it as a title? --Stefan4 (talk) 00:08, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Be careful with how you use words such as "material" and "work" and how you name the rights holder. They have different definitions, and if the licence uses a different word than the template proposals above, this could have strange results in court. For example, the Swedish copyright law provides protection to the following kinds of material:
Kind of material Rights holder Explanation
Works Author A work is something which meets certain quality requirements, see COM:TOO. Parts of the quality requirements come from the notion that a work must be "created", and parts of them come from the word "work" itself. Split in two groups: "artworks" and "literary works", with different degrees of protection.
Performances Performing artist Only performances of literary works are protected, see "works" above. The performance itself doesn't need to meet any quality requirements. On Commons, this should only affect sound and video files.
Sound and video recordings Producer No quality requirements needed, but protection is only given to the first fixation. Mere duplication doesn't reset the term. Some recordings are also protected as works and/or performances.
Catalogues et cetera Producer See w:Database Directive.
Photographic images Producer It must be a photograph and it must be an image. Some photographs are also protected as works. No quality requirements needed, but it seems that only new photographic images are protected and that new copies of existing photographic images aren't separately protected. Strange applications of COM:DW, see e.g. NJA 1989 p. 315 (drawings based on photographs weren't copyright violations). Single frames in films count as photographs if created using a camera.

Stefan4 (talk) 00:08, 1 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks Stefan4. My understanding form the previous discussions with CC community is that they changed the word "Work" to "Licensed Material" to accommodate databases. (See [2], [3]).) They replaced the word in almost every places; but still using "work" in marking guides. I don't know whether it is an unnoticed error or not. I can see many such errors (like license text changed to CC BY 4.0; but links till to CC BY 3.0) in their sites. Reported to them; but doesn't get any reply so far. Jee 02:44, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, different versions of CC licences use different words. Use the word "work" in the templates for licences which license works, and use the word "material" in the templates for licences which license material. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:52, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
@Stefan4: But they (CC) changed the word "work" to "material" in all of their deeds, even in CC BY-SA 1.0. We need not compelled to follow them; but I wonder what they mean by such changes. Jee 17:05, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
That's strange. We should try to figure out why they did this. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:20, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
I believe the intent was to have a more generic term that would not depend on what is used in a specific jurisdiction, so that the license would be more robust across national boundaries and types of material. "work" can still be found in the body of the license itself, as part of the definition of "Licensed Material" in 4.0: "the artistic or literary work, database, or other material to which the Licensor applied this Public License".
I'm not sure I would have made this change to the older deeds, but it is important to keep in mind that in the situations where the work/material distinction is legally important, the legal code, not the deed, is likely to be what is getting read/interpreted. So being consistent and easy-to-understand is arguably more important than being legally precise in this particular situation. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 00:37, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
By the way, with smart templates we could avoid this problem by saying "image", "video", "recording", etc. (depending on mimetype) instead of "work" or "material". This would be more clear for most non-lawyer users and not bother the lawyers (since they'd read the full license anyway). CC is stuck using generic words, but we don't have to be. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 16:39, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes. Or we can use the word "media" to cover all of our contents (if a mimetype check is not practical)? Jee 17:16, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
@Stefan4: @Jkadavoor: @LuisV (WMF): "Material" was used because the license is not always being applied to the entirety of what most people would consider a "work", and sometimes what the license is applied to isn't considered a work of authorship. So yes, databases—not generally considered works of authorship, but are "licensed material"; other things that don't strictly fall under the definition of "work" in a jurisdiction but include rights that are licensable under CC licenses might also count. But also it is more accurate in the case where only certain elements are being released under the CC license—only an excerpt from a book, only the music from a video, only the content from a website but not its copyrightable design elements. You could still accurately call these "works" (the wording on the older licenses isn't wrong in these cases) but it is confusing to people who see that the license applies to the work and don't know that "work" may be defined to be a smaller subset of the more obvious thing. We chose "material" not only to be more broadly inclusive but to indicate that a license may not necessarily apply to the entirety of a thing, but only to a separately copyrightable element. (Not that CC encourages people licensing things in a confusing fashion--if you license a bunch of different elements of a larger work differently, even if you mark them all as clearly as possible, it is probably just asking for trouble. But it is legally possible and people were in fact doing this with their materials.) Using "work" is not wrong; using "material" is more generic. Kat Walsh (spill your mind?) 19:19, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I think this is moving in the entirely wrong direction. The licensing notices are already too verbose. The proposed versions are twice as long and guarantee that no one will ever bother reading them. Why do we always have to make things more complicated (to the point of absurdity), rather than simplifying. Does anyone think that users actually read the wall of text at Special:Upload, for example? Less is more. Kaldari (talk) 23:42, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Kaldari: We had considers a brief option too at Template talk:Cc-by-sa-4.0. So either it can be as brief as a 1. single line (This work/material by <author> is licensed under a <license name with link to deed>. You can find a specimen of this license at <link to legal code>.) or 2. a summary of the license. Most of our other license tags are very brief. I don't know why CC tags are designed in a different way. Anyway the current tag is not acceptable as CC already changed many words/explanations in their deeds. Jee 03:35, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Jkadavoor: I'm fine with changing the wording, but can we have a simpler option to vote on? I don't like any of the lengthy ones suggested above and actually think they would make people less likely to understand the licensing. Kaldari (talk) 05:18, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Kaldari: Sure. Could you add one as option 4? I'm happy to wait more time for further suggestions before the voting start. Jee 05:27, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I added a 4th option which keeps things simple, but still emphasizes the most important piece of information, the attribution. Kaldari (talk) 05:55, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Kaldari: Thanks; it is an acceptable compromise for me. One minor suggestion. The word "file" is a bit confusing as it was a matter of debate here. According to CC's stand the license is applicable to the Licensed Material without considering the medium of expression or quality. So I think a word "Material", "Work" or "Media" may more suitable than "File". Jee 06:05, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Good point. I'll change it. Kaldari (talk) 06:48, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm not yet sure whether I'd prefer a long or a short version, but what I do like a lot about option 4 is the emphasis on the attribution part. I'd very much prefer this. --El Grafo (talk) 09:36, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Of the current options given, a useful possibility would be Option 1 with the title and author of the work being optional i.e. the top line could read "This work by Real name ( is licensed under" or "This work is licensed under". Wikimedia Commons has many already uploaded works for which changing the deed markup would not automatically cause the work title and author info to appear in the deed. In addition, it may happen where an altered version (i.e. a derivative work) of a CC-licensed work is uploaded and in such a case, assuming that there is only one author name may be problematic. For the Option 1 deed, it would also be useful for the deed to mention that commercial usage is allowed, possibly by changing "upon the material" to "upon the material, even commercially" for clarification. --Gazebo (talk) 10:25, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Pinging early participants for further input: @, FDMS4, Dereckson:, @Colin, Jarekt, Multichill:, @El Grafo, Saffron Blaze, ChrisiPK:... Jee 09:13, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
    Sorry, I had totally forgotten about this discussion and now I am somewhat late to the party. The current suggestions are all still too explanatory for my taste. Note that we don't provide for any other licenses (e.g. {{GFDL}}, {{FAL}}) and from looking at the WMF input below it seems this is a good idea to protect both us and reusers. So my recommendation would be to change the template to visibly identify the licensing elements but not explain what they entail. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 11:54, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
    Thanks ChrisiPK. I like simple tags like {{GFDL}} and {{FAL}}) too. Since this is an important step, let us wait and see what WMF will say. Jee 13:57, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
    @Jkadavoor: then maybe we should abort the voting for now and postpone it? --El Grafo (talk) 14:32, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
    I've no clear idea. Usually Legal take much time to make any comment. In the mean time, I will try to add a simple option too as ChrisiPK suggested. Jee 15:07, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I didn't follow the discussion either, but has it been discussed whether we could make the license details collapsible? They could be expanded by default for logged-out and new users, and collapsed by default for experienced users …    FDMS  4    15:41, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

WMF input[edit]

Hi everyone, I asked the WMF people for input. Actually for two types of input:

  1. Legal part: The license templates should be as short as possible (less is more!), but legally sound
  2. Design part: Our current layout has been in use for quite some time and can use an update. If we're rebuilding all cc license templates we might as well make them look more appealing

They're not telling us what to do, but advising us (the community) so we can make a decision. The people who'll take the lead from the WMF side:

  1. Legal part: Luis Villa (WMF wiki / wp entry). He knows quite a bit about copyright and cc licenses specifically, he's even doing a presentation about it on Wikimania
  2. Design part: Mun May Tee-Galloway (WMF wiki). One of the designers who will have a fresh view on the layout here. She has a specialty: icons!

Some other WMF people might help out too. I hope this helps to increase the quality of our licensing templates. Multichill (talk) 09:42, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Hi Multichill, thanks for asking them. Nothing wrong with a design overhaul in general, but I'd suggest to keep that separate from the content part this discussion is about. It's already complicated enough, imho. --El Grafo (talk) 09:58, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Thanks Multichill and El Grafo. It will be very helpful if WMF can advise/help us. I too mentioned this with Luis Villa earlier. So I think we can wait a bit more? Jee 10:17, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
  • If we wait for WMF legal we may be here until next year. I say we provide a license template that replicates the deed offered by CC (their legal obviously had input into that and thinks they are valid) Then link to the license itself only. As to design, make that a separate issue. No need waiting for this cosmetic update as that can be done only after we decide on content anyway. Saffron Blaze (talk) 17:37, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment So, some preliminary thoughts from me - thanks to Multichill and Jee for asking me to weigh in; sorry I couldn't do it more promptly.

  • There is no legally right/wrong answer, because there isn't much precedent for analyzing this sort of "summary" of a legal agreement. So these comments are even less legal advice than usual. They're essentially opinions of what I would think about if I were doing this for the Foundation; they're not statements of the law/meaning of the license, and they aren't the Foundation saying "do X".
  • I think it would be very good if design could weigh in before any decisions are made about which words to use, for two reasons. First, readability: more words + better visual design might be just as readable as fewer words + current (not very good) visual design. So the design may impact how many words we choose. Second, design will influence content and vice-versa: design may have creative ideas on how to present the core ideas, like a complete reorganization, or suggesting a "hide this in future" button, or many other things. They don't just simply make the words we choose prettier :)
  • This is probably obvious, but most of the wording improvements suggested by CC are, I think, no-brainers to adopt. For example, the new attribution language is much more helpful to readers than the old attribution language. So I'm glad to see that mostly reflected in the options above.
  • I suspect that attribution and the license information should not be mixed together. That can make it very confusing to know what attribution a user should use - the one in the "use this file" widget? The one in the license text? ...? There is also a lot of duplication- many repetitions of the file name, author name, etc. (I should also say that I'm pointing out the problem, but design will probably have better solutions for it than I will :)
  • If design and/or the community wants to cut word count, I would suggest leaving in restrictions (DRM clause, "may not give you all of the rights") and leaving out the non-core permissions ("licensor cannot revoke", "exception or limitation"). Prioritizing this way respects licensors and reduces the risk of a mistake for users.
  • I am biased, because I pushed CC to add it to the deed, but I think the "no additional restrictions" language needs to be in the summary. That is a core requirement of the license and should be visible to reusers.
  • The "no warranties are given" and "only some of the key features" language might make sense to move outside of the CC template, and use more widely, since those are true of essentially all of the license templates as far as I know (with the obvious exception of PD, since there is no "actual license" to link to).

Those are my preliminary thoughts; sorry they can't be more concrete/specific but this isn't that sort of problem :/ Hope they are helpful. I'm very busy in the run up to Wikimania but will try to be as responsive as possible here. Thanks! —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 01:59, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Based on your points I'm wondering if we should work on a expandable show/hide template like at this example. We could show the minimum information in normal view and have the option to expand to show more information. Just a thought.... Multichill (talk) 11:50, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
@Multichill: Seems a good idea. I already implemented it for my old licenses. (FDMS4 also made a similar suggestion above.) Jee 15:56, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Both of those examples hide the whole thing. I think I was thinking of hiding just the new "notices" section, since that is secondary information. In my mind, the important thing (that many of the PD templates get wrong :/ ) is to clearly explain to users what rights they have, so I would think we would always want to show the rights/basic responsibilities.
They also seem to default to closed, which is probably not ideal, but then again, I'm not a designer - I'd just like to be one in my next life ;) —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 16:28, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
@LuisV (WMF): Dou you mean option 6? Jee 17:33, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, something like that! I might consider calling them "Additional details" instead of "notices" if we went this route - the extra word won't hurt since so much else is hidden. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 17:53, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
  • I can live with version 6. Version 6 still links to the deed instead of the actual license. Saffron Blaze (talk) 17:58, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Saffron Blaze: It has two links. One to deed and one to actual license under "Additional details". I think the CC deed is available in more languages than the legal code (not sure). I think it is OK; but open for further suggestions. Jee 03:56, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
  • Sorry Jee, but from the beginning it was pointed out that the template was in effect a deed and linking to it was redundant. The header link should be to the full text of the license and thus the link in the sentences would serve no further purpose. Saffron Blaze (talk) 14:06, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
  • @Saffron Blaze: I understand, and agree. Since our new template cover almost everything in the deed, there is no need to link again to it. Jee 15:40, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
Hi Multichill, any response from Mun May Tee-Galloway? Jee 15:48, 17 July 2014 (UTC)
Still working on it. But I agree with showing the most important info first and then make it an option to expand the rest if users want to find out more. I'll get back to you guys hopefully at latest the end of next week. MGalloway (WMF) (talk) 16:43, 17 July 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)
I want to thank May for working on this - it has challenged me to think hard about what should be in the templates. Three quick comments:
  1. It took me a while to wrap my head around it, but I like the idea of de-emphasizing the permissions (which I think are widely assumed) and emphasizing the restrictions.
  2. It is not obvious from the mockup, but the idea with 2.2 is that there could be mouseovers, popups, or other expansion which would show more information around the two primary restrictions.
  3. 2.2 scared me at first (fewer words == worried lawyer) but the more I think about it, the more it could free us up to do some interesting things in the expanded area. I still want to discuss it some with others on the legal team, but I think it's very promising.
My two cents. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk)
Do we really want to give specific instructions how to follow the license? Looking at the screenshot of the Noun Project, they tell you clearly what you need to do, e.g. to "Include the attribution either on the page where the symbol is displayed, or in About or Credits pages.". The problem with CC licenses is that we do not know what exactly they require. Threads about whether CC-by mandates that you put the attribution next to the image pop up regularly. The Commons/Wikimedia community may have an idea of how to interpret the license but who tells us that this is the one true way? Thinking ahead: What happens if we propagate this interpretation via our license templates and some court decides that it is invalid? Which ramifications would this have for us; would people even be able to extract damages from WMF because they followed the interpretation on the license template and were subsequently sued themselves? Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 08:25, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
To a large extent, we already give instructions on how to follow the licenses. The template contains statements about compliance, and the various attribution gadgets make (implicit) statements about how to comply. So, sure, we have to do it carefully (and ultimately it has to be a collective/community decision) but that shouldn't stop us from thinking creatively about how to encourage people to attribute correctly/easily. Or perhaps to put it another way: anecdote suggests people fail to understand how to comply the vast majority of the time. If we try to help fix that, of course there is some risk that we get it wrong, but it is hard to see how we could get it so wrong that we make it worse than the current situation. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 10:03, 8 August 2014 (UTC)
Multichill, what about this new layout? I think "texts" of "Option 6" can be used with any of these layout, hiding bottom parts under "Read more". Jee 11:28, 15 August 2014 (UTC)

Restarting the discussion[edit]

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)

  • 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)

Can't upload CC-licensed images to Facebook?[edit]

I just found this discussion on OTRSN, in which King of Hearts states that Facebook's ToS has certain terms that conflict with CC BY-SA (?). I am curious as to what terms these are, so I thought I'd raise a discussion here. (I hope this is the right place.) Anon126 ( ) 07:04, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

I answered there. Actually, King of Hearts is wrong. Regards, Yann (talk) 09:45, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, that's not correct. Only the copyright owner can grant such a license. For more details, see the Wikilegal post. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 14:46, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
Copied discussion from revision 138970393 (OTRSN)
@LuisV (WMF), Yann: If I'm not mistaken, practically every site with user-generated content has a condition similar to Facebook's. Maybe for Facebook this is inconsequential, as it's mostly original content there. But what about a site like YouTube, where users often rely on others' work? This interpretation would imply that no CC-licensed material (under any of the licenses, free or not) can be shared on any such website.
I believe that Sections 8(a)-(b) in the 3.0 Unported licenses and Section 2(a)(5) in the 4.0 International licenses resolve this: Under these provisions, the copyright owner grants all recipients the same license.
Anon126 ( ) 21:03, 6 November 2014 (UTC)
For YouTube as for everywhere else, you can only offer a work under a different license if the work is in the public domain, or if it is your own. Regards, Yann (talk) 10:17, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

I think this page is more appropriate for this sort of discussion, so I am moving it here; I hope to get further input.

I feel as if I'm repeating myself, but here it is: I understand the reasoning behind this interpretation of the CC licenses, but it seems rather strange. If taken to its logical extremes, it severely restricts usage of CC-licensed material created by others. For example, I would not be able to use CC-licensed photos in a presentation on YouTube, or in a blog post on Tumblr, if this interpretation is correct.

Is Creative Commons aware of this issue? If so, what do they have to say about it? Anon126 ( ) 22:34, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

The question is not the interpretation of the CC license, but the interpretation of the Facebook license; "you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook" on the face of it is going to be problematic if you can not provide an unrestricted license. There is nothing in there that restricts Facebook to the terms of the CC license, nor is there any reason to think that Facebook will be aware of such a license.--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:47, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
Do the terms of YouTube and Tumblr, mentioned by Anon126, actually have such a condition to grant them such a license as Facebook requires? At least YouTube has a CC-BY (though not CC-BY-SA, I think) option for content posted there. Gestumblindi (talk) 20:04, 14 November 2014 (UTC)
Yes, and as far as I can tell, this is fairly standard. Check YouTube's terms in Section 6(C) and Tumblr's in Section 6 ("Subscriber Content License to Tumblr"). I'll throw in deviantArt's (Section II(16)) and even Flickr's (Yahoo's) (Section 9(b)) for good measure.
And Gestumblindi is correct, it is only CC BY (3.0 Unported to be specific). Anon126 ( ) 07:48, 15 November 2014 (UTC)
That's rather a vexing state of affairs, then. On the one hand, it's pretty clear: As a re-user of CC-BY(-SA) licensed material you didn't create yourself, you simply aren't able to grant a license of the kind Facebook etc. require for content posted there. You can only use it under the conditions of the CC license, but Facebook (and others) want more: They want you to grant them an unrestricted license to use the material without any kind of "BY" or "SA". So the answer to the question "Can you post CC-BY-SA content that a third party produced on Facebook?" in the Wikilegal post mentioned by Luis Villa was No, and it seems that this also applies to Youtube, Tumblr, deviantArt, Flickr etc. As these are extremely popular platforms, this is a huge restriction faced by re-users of CC-licensed content, and I also wonder what Creative Commons has to say about it - and what could be done to fix the problem; but I fear the only solution would be to convince Facebook etc. to create more CC-friendly terms, probably not an easy thing. Gestumblindi (talk) 00:50, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
This is neither a "problem" of CC, nor of FB, Youtube or Flickr. Youtube [4] and Flickr [5] explicitly stated in their community guidelines that do not post contents that someone else owns the copyright. FB terms are not that much clear; but I believe they too intended it. Jee 02:52, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Well, at least for the Creative Commons movement, I think it is a problem: The purpose of the CC licenses is to allow broad re-use, remixes and so on; the possibility to create free content based on CC-licensed content which you then can show to others. If that's not possible through the most popular platforms on the web due to their licensing requirements, it may not bother Facebook etc., but I suppose it should bother CC a lot. Gestumblindi (talk) 17:28, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Nothing prevent us from sharing a link from another FB account, Commons or Flickr in Facebook (if I understand it properly). But some sites don't like we upload files whose copyright is not with us. (I think it is a good feature to prevent abuse. I upload a lot of my works in many FB groups and lot of my friends share those links. But if they download and upload it under their account, chances that credit information will loss, even if carefully handled.) And this is a generic matter applicable for every license, including CC/FAL/GFDL; nothing in particular to CC. Jee 02:39, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
Without speaking for Creative Commons on this issue, I know they are aware of it, they agree that it is a problem, and they are thinking about how to handle it. I do wish that had been done as part of the 4.0 process, but such is life. —Luis Villa (WMF) (talk) 22:17, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
I personally think that there should be some effort/campaign to get these websites to at least be a little more nuanced in their copyright terms. CC's already working hard on internationalizing 4.0, so I'm not sure if they can do this on their end. Anon126 ( ) 05:14, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
And as Jkadavoor (Jee) points out, this is a problem with other free/open licenses that forbid sublicensing, so I think it wouldn't make much sense to ask the developers of all these other licenses to add accomodations. Anon126 ( ) 05:17, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • The CC licence says that you only are able to use the image under the CC licence. If you are uploading the image to Facebook, are you then attempting to use the image under the Facebook terms of use licence, or are you only trying to use it under the CC licence? If you are only trying to use the image under the CC licence, then I do not see how uploading the image to Facebook is a violation of the CC licence. It is a violation of the Facebook terms of use, true, but that is a matter between Facebook and the Facebook uploader.
I note that Facebook demands a worldwide licence. If I find a United States work which is {{PD-US-not renewed}}, then I am not able to give Facebook a worldwide licence, since the work is copyrighted in France.[6] Furthermore, I can not grant Facebook a worldwide licence to a photograph of the Category:Scottish Parliament Building, since I am not allowed to grant Facebook a licence to use the photograph in France. Furthermore, it is unclear whether I can upload an image to Facebook which depends on de minimis, since Facebook's terms of use may require me to grant Facebook a licence which allows Facebook to crop the image in any way Facebook wants. It seems that Facebook's terms of use limit you to only two sets of images:
  1. Photos and drawings which you have made yourself, provided that there are no copyrighted works anywhere on the picture.
  2. Pictures which are in the public domain in the entire world (or licensed under {{cc-zero}} or equivalent).
Obviously, Facebook users upload lots of other images all of the time. It seems that Facebook's terms of use restrict users from uploading almost anything but that Facebook doesn't bother enforcing the terms of use (and Facebook would probably lose lots of its customers if an attempt were made to enforce the terms of use). Also, Facebook's users do not seem to understand what they are agreeing to when they agree to the terms of use. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:28, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Well, you could also see it that way: If you upload an image to Facebook, you are supposed to have read and understand their terms of use. So, you are also supposed to be fully aware that Facebook wants you to give them an unrestricted license for the image you're uploading - so you're attempting to use the image under the Facebook terms of use, in violation of the CC license. - Of course, that's a bit unrealistic, as people rarely read terms of use at all... Gestumblindi (talk) 20:12, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Why not just post a link to the Commons file on Facebook? Then you are not technically "uploading" though the image will still appear on Facebook. If a user clicks on the image they see on Facebook they will be taken to the file page here on Commons with the licence details. Cfynn (talk) 00:46, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
I suppose that would be an interesting workaround, but this doesn't address the larger issue of CC licenses on popular websites.
On a semi-related note, should I bring this up on the cc-community mailing list? Anon126 ( ) 01:25, 26 November 2014‎ (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea! Gestumblindi (talk) 20:35, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Note: Facebook updated there ToU; but I didn't see much difference. Jee 02:23, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Copyright of photo taken by US Government contractor[edit]

If the photo referenced in Commons:Featured_picture_candidates/File:CF-1_flight_test.jpg had been taken by a US military officer or enlisted person then it would be in public domain. However the person who took the photo is Andy Wolfe, who appears to be an employee of Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin is the company that sells the F-35 to the government. It is unclear to me if the photo is public domain because of Lockheed Martin's status as a government contractor (especially if their contract with the government says that photos produced in close connection with the contracted work are the property of the government), if the copyright is owned by Lockheed Martin, or if Lockheed Martin donated this image to the public domain by allowing the US military to publish it at the link originally provided as a source for the photo, which is now a dead link. What do others think? --Pine 09:59, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

Regrettably, the original source-site is no longer available. Captions like "courtesy of Andy Wolfe/Lockheed Martin" would have been a clear indicator of the photo not being PD-USGov. However, one might try to contact Wolfe via ISAP. --Túrelio (talk) 10:08, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
The new source URL is (all Navy photo description page URLs were idea why they didn't simply do a redirect). Also note this image is on the Navy's Flickr stream at, along with extensive EXIF data. Both give a credit line of "U.S. Navy photo courtesy Lockheed Martin/Released". I would suggest this is properly copyright Lockheed Martin. Huntster (t @ c) 11:24, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Now the facts are rather clear. However, instead of simply deleting it, would somebody be willing to ask Andy Wolfe for a permission/release under a CC license? --Túrelio (talk) 12:59, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
The additional issue: is the image copyright to Andy Wolfe, or copyright to Lockheed Martin? As Wolfe appears to be a LM employee, and photos were presumably taken during the course of his duties as Multimedia lead, I would assume copyright would fall to LM and he wouldn't be able to choose a license himself. Huntster (t @ c) 14:20, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Anyway, it's likely easier to contact him than LM. Being a pro-photographer he would know about pitfalls. --Túrelio (talk) 14:23, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Point well taken. Huntster (t @ c) 14:23, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
It would almost certainly be a work for hire of Lockheed Martin. But, the company may have agreed to let the photo be distributed by the Navy, which may imply a PD-author situation, or at least CC-BY, as the U.S. Navy image page says. I doubt they would put the page up on their Flickr stream under that license if they did not have the rights to do so. It even says "U.S. Navy photo" which implies some ownership so the rights may have been transferred. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:31, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
The military branches, NASA, and other U.S. Government entities routinely use inappropriate licenses in Flickr. Most use a Cc-by or even All Rights Reserved for their own images, in direct violation of U.S. law; or they host outside entities' copyrighted work under a free license. The displayed Flickr license on any given image is absolutely a terrible way to judge the validity of said image, at least when posted by a U.S. Gov acct (ESA, on the other hand, does a fantastic job of managing their licenses). Huntster (t @ c) 21:55, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough on the too-restrictive licenses; however, virtually always images released by the official Navy etc. channels have had their rights cleared, and are generally assumed public domain one way or another. It is labeled a "U. S. Navy photo", which does imply they control the rights (or there are none anymore). It would be great to get clarification but I'm not sure there is enough doubt to delete. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:02, 16 November 2014 (UTC)
Courtesy to xxx is a clear indication it's not their own image and does not fall under USGov copyright regulation. These images should be tagged as no permission (or if new uploads deleted on sight). Remember, these images are only free if made by a direct USGov employee.--Denniss (talk) 00:23, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
  • It may be that Lockheed Martin released the image to the US Government and the public through an arrangement something like CC-BY. Thinking about this from Lockheed Martin's point of view, they probably want publicity photos of their work to be distributed widely. Would someone who is familiar with contacting press offices be willing to contact the US Navy and ask them to clarify under what terms Lockheed Martin released the photo to them for publication? --Pine 07:48, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
We can't assume anything here, we need a verified license. That's why these courtesy images are not accepted here at all unless a permission is received via OTRS.--Denniss (talk) 02:48, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Courtesy of xxx is a clear indication that it was not *authored* by the government, correct. So, technically, it is not PD-USGov. However the "U.S. Navy photo" does seem to indicate the *ownership* is with the U.S. Navy, at which point they can license it as they wish, and the general assumption for images in that photo stream is public domain, as has long been indicated by their privacy page statements. (And yes, of course we assume things; we need to on just about every image we have. It's just a matter if the doubt is significant.) If it was truly an image there only by permission, I would expect a much clearer rights statement indicating reuse permission must be sought elsewhere, and not a claim of "U.S. Navy photo". The technicalities may be different but I still don't see a good enough reason to delete. The terms of that particular Lockheed contract may also transfer rights, who knows. I would almost never delete an image from that photo stream labeled "U.S. Navy photo", basically, unless there is an indication that there is a separate rights owner. They know what the assumptions of use are for their images and I don't think would put an image there which had reuse conditions without very clearly labeling it. By all means, it would be good to get better license information, but I don't think it's a significant enough doubt to delete. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:08, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
"U.S. Navy photo" does not indicate anything, that's a standard term slapped over almost every image they use on their site. This is more an indication which military branch is responsible for operating with this image. We had too many cases (not only Navy) where this term was placed on clearly copyrighted images. Many initial F-22 and F-35 images were labeled this way but also courtesy Lockheed/Boeing and metadata proved it to be a clear copyright violation. --Denniss (talk) 14:46, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Denniss' explanations. Given the vast number of U.S. Military, NASA, and other government photos that we host and that get uploaded every day, I wonder if it might not be prudent to develop a Commons: namespace page where consensus on how to handle this thing could be clearly established, and eventually to which DR discussions could point. Huntster (t @ c) 20:52, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Photos going through the main US Navy photo stream are rather different to me -- at the very least they were consciously submitted to that stream. Images from other sites, sure, and maybe if there is obvious foreign source, but not stuff knowingly submitted for publication on that stream, to me. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:29, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Misdated file - copyright question[edit]

Image:Drapeaux_1929.jpg is clearly not from 1929. The "ONU" (United Nations) and Pakistan did not exist untill after the second world war. Does this make the PD of claim of life + 70 dubious enough to put up for deletion? 20:53, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

The image is used on a discussion page in the French Wikipedia, fr:Discussion:Protectorat français au Maroc, the uploader mentions there "Larousse du XX° siècle, 1929 (éd. révisée 1949)" as a source, so this table seems to be from the revised 1949 edition of the book. At least the description should be changed accordingly; I'm not sure whether this simple compilation of flags is copyrightable? The flags of the Vatican and of Switzerland have the wrong shape, by the way (should be square). Gestumblindi (talk) 22:00, 19 November 2014 (UTC)
The Larousse Encyclopedia flag chart page seems to have contained errors -- and sometimes strangenesses -- for a large chunk of the 20th century. See en:Talk:Flag of Mandatory Palestine for a recent edit war caused by a bizarre entry in the 1924-1939 Larousse flag chart pages. The 1965 Larousse still shows the Swiss flag as rectangular! (Corrected by the time of the 2004 Larousse, thank goodness...) AnonMoos (talk) 10:24, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
Well, for now I have changed the description to reflect that these flags are from the 1949 edition. The next step would be to rename File:Drapeaux 1929.jpg, but I think before this, I'm now opening a deletion request so we cann discuss whether there's anything copyrightable in this table of flags. Gestumblindi (talk) 20:27, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Shop signs in Japan[edit]

The file in question

I'm not sure of the threshold for shop signs in Japan. Is File:Shinjuku 14 (15112430933).jpg OK or not? If not, can I solve it with a Gaussian blur over the small representation of a pig? - Jmabel ! talk 01:34, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

PD-Text applies to most of the sign, the pig is de minimis. -mattbuck (Talk) 09:12, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Reuse and adaptation of SVG images[edit]

I have been uploading large numbers of SVG files to Wikimedia and used to illustrate horse-racing related pages on Wikipedia.

The uploaded files are licensed (more by accident than design) as CC by SA 3.0

I have now been contacted by a commercial organisation, saying that they intend to adapt my SVG template and so create similar SVG files for use on their own site. Their question to me is "How would you like your attribution to be added to the SVG source files we make?"

Can you advise? -- 22:00, 20 November 2014

That's somewhat up to you. I presume that you don't want to be credited as "". Just tell them what you do want to be credited as... AnonMoos (talk) 10:11, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
At least they asked. I've seen CC by SA 3.0 SVG images I've made and uploaded to Commons being sold on commercial web sites without any attribution or similar licence - or they are attributed to someone else - and none of these people ever asked. Cfynn (talk) 00:26, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

File:Ginza Sony building.jpg[edit]

Is the toy copyrightable? template:FoP-Japan says freedom of panorama won't apply to artistic works. I think this is artistic, right? --George Ho (talk) 19:34, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

Toys are generally ineligible for copyright protection in Japan. See for example this case where an American toy (w:File:Furby picture.jpg or some variant thereof) was declared uncopyrightable as an artistic work. The dog might therefore be uncopyrightable in Japan.
The problem for Commons is that Commons demands that files also must be free in the United States. Toys are eligible for copyright in the United States even if they are ineligible for copyright in the source country (see this court ruling). --Stefan4 (talk) 18:39, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
If the Japanese toy is not eligible in Japan, then it won't be protected by the URAA. Correct? --George Ho (talk) 06:31, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Never mind; shall I nominate every picture the user uploaded for deletion? --George Ho (talk) 06:32, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
URAA is only relevant for works published before 1 March 1989. All Japanese works created and published on or after 1 March 1989 are copyrighted in the United States, without any involvement of URAA. All of the files in Category:Aibo seem to be unfree in the United States. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:58, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
....Those are a lot of files to nominate. Can I just tirelessly nominate all of them at the same time, or just one-by-one? --George Ho (talk) 06:27, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Possible mass copyright infringement[edit]

I'd like someone with some Russian language skills help with verifying King Muay Thai's uploads. It seems quite unlikely to me that the pictures he's uploading are his own work. However, since I can't read Russian I cannot verify this. If the files aren't his, is some kind of mass deletion possible? I know how to use the copyvio template but don't feel like adding it to all of his uploads. -- (talk) 09:12, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

You could raise the matter at COM:AN/U... -- AnonMoos (talk) 10:06, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
DR created. Regards, Yann (talk) 18:46, 24 November 2014 (UTC)

Graph based on data from external source[edit]

I have created a graph of data from an external source, who gave me permission by email to use the data, provided the data source is acknowledged, which I have done in the Summary and in the graph itself. Will this graph be a candidate for deletion? Sorry if this issue has been discussed before. FW (talk) 15:55, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Abstract ideas and raw data are not generally copyrightable as such. Rather, only realizations or expressions of such ideas fixed in a particular form are copyrightable, so you seem quite safe... AnonMoos (talk) 08:26, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

Uncle Tom's Cabin[edit]

I uploaded in good faith File:Henson NHS 2.jpg from the English Wikipedia. However the name Tony White does not appear on the link provided. Therefore I have doubts about the copyright. Even more confusing is the copyright situation with File:UncleTomsCabin.jpg. Could anyone verify or delete these files, please? --NearEMPTiness (talk) 06:38, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Did you ask the original uploader? Ruslik (talk) 11:22, 27 November 2014 (UTC)


Are these photos acceptable?

Feed description in IE11.png
Feed showing in IE11.png

The photos are both based on IE11 , but I am a bit doubtful whether the file is acceptable because it includes portions of the MediaWiki website. Just the other day , I was given a notice for a similar picture that contained a picture of MSN India. --Leaderboard (talk) 15:06, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

MSN India is a completely non-free web site, so of course you can't upload screenshots of that to Commons. The Mediawiki website is free, so screenshots of it may be uploaded here. The icons from the browser and desktop environment may be problematic. For File:Feed description in IE11.png, that's easily addressed by cropping it. File:Feed showing in IE11.png would probably be best recreated using a free browser (e.g. Firefox or Chromium). LX (talk, contribs) 19:57, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
The problem here is that these photos are to be used in the wikibook Internet Explorer and so I can't follow your suggestion to use Chromium/Firefox for File:Feed showing in IE11.png. I'm not sure either to crop the browser in File:Feed description in IE11.png , as it is probably an important part in this wikibook.--Leaderboard (talk) 15:47, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Commons material being sold on commercial stock sites[edit]

I've noticed some images being sold on commercial sites with no proper attribution which are straight copies of CC by SA 3.0 SVG images I've made and uploaded to Commons or clearly derived from the same with minor changes. Usually someone else is actually taking credit as the author and claiming copyright. What is the best way to deal with this? If this is happening to images I've created, it must be happening to material created by other users. Cfynn (talk) 00:19, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

The copyright owner can send them a bill. That's what I would do. Yann (talk) 10:18, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Post the links to the sites here. I'm sure many other copyright holders here would be interested in recouping their losses. —Psychonaut (talk) 11:06, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
The best way to deal with it depends on the circumstances and the results you want to achieve. Anything from sending an informal complaint to telling your crack team of bloodthirsty lawyers to haul the copyright violator in front of a judge is technically an option. If it looks like an honest mistake, I might start with an e-mail stating that you are the rightful copyright holder and that you're glad to see that your work is useful, but that failure to abide by the licensing terms constitutes copyright infringement. I would also give a date by which I'd expect any continued use to be compliant, at which time I'd re-evaluate the situation. If they don't get their act together, I might start discussing compensation or legal action, and if it looks like they've been making money from the copyright infringement, I might go to there right away. You also have to consider who your counterpart is. Is it an individual user or the site itself? If the site is a serious operation, they'll be quick to take the content down and probably ban the user, but for compensation, they may try to shift the blame. When it comes to other people's content, do keep in mind that only the copyright holder has the right to take action, and that it is possible that other licensing arrangements were made. So please do notify people of things you come across, but make as few assumptions as possible and don't go policing on their behalf. Cheers, LX (talk, contribs) 19:46, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
@LX, Psychonaut, Yann: A good example is one of the SVG images I've created and uploaded to Commons : File:OM MANI PADME HUM-bw.svg and its derivative File:OM MANI PADME HUM.svg (which were uploaded here in Oct. 2008) - copies of these images are now found all over the www. Just one example of a site using these images for commercial purposes with no proper attribution is - they are selling scores (maybe 100s) of their products directly using this image, or clear derivatives, printed on them (while looking at this I also noticed products with many other images taken from Commons on that site as well). This particular image on their products is individually credited to at least six of their so-called "creators" (BuddhaGift, livingzen, SupportforTibet, [AsianOrientation, martstore2014, and SeleneArielleZombie - not one of these people contacted me to make "other licensing arrangements". Just a few of the literally 100s of pages on that site where this image is used are: [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], (I've already taken the precaution of taking screen shots and saving copies of these and many other pages.) The same thing is happening on Zazzle's UK, Canadian, German, Spanish, French, Portugese and several other international sites Someone from the Wikimedia Foundation should really look at all these Zazzle sites as, while checking this out, I saw there innumerable other images from Commons being used in the same way. In this case the scope of infringements really seems to be on quite a global industrial scale and Zazzle and some of there "creators" must be making an awful lot of money by leaching images off Commons and using them on their products without giving proper attribution. This is particularly galling to me as I have been working as a volunteer in a developing country (Bhutan) for the past ten years living only on a local salary. Some of the T-shirts with this image these people are selling are being sold for more than many people here earn in a month. I was starting to try to get local photographers, and artists to contribute to Commons and local high school and college students to write articles for Dzongkha Wikipedia - but if their voluntary contributions are simply going to be exploited like this by people in rich first world countries, I now think the whole effort would be counter productive and just leave them all feeling used and violated.
Of course Zazzle Inc. is only one, but particularly egregious, example of this behaviour. (Looking at some of the comments on this PC Mag article it seems Zazzle treat some of their customers badly too.)
Cfynn (talk) 11:23, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
As LX said above, the WMF can't do anything. Only the copyright owner (you), can do something. Regards, Yann (talk) 12:05, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Good to know that the WMF can't, or won't, stick up for their contributors. As I said I live in a developing country and here there are no fancy lawyers - let alone any with experience in copyright matters. Anyway seriously how much do you think I should send a bill for? (Trouble is that, from here, I suspect the chances of successfully taking on some rich American corporation and getting any sort of compensation may be virtually nil.) Cfynn (talk) 12:17, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Don't tell them where you live. They most probably don't know. Make a reference to the law where the offender is situated. Tell them to send some money to some international payment system (i.e. Paypal, etc.). Of course, if you have a bank account in the country where the problem occurs, it may help. Some companies would rather pay a few dozen dollars than get engaged in court. Regards, Yann (talk) 12:58, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
CFYNN, some of your images may not qualify for copyright under US law (simple geometric shapes + text). In any case, so-called licences like these open-source ones are badly drafted and not easily enforceable in law against commercial infringers. HRA1924 (talk) 13:11, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
You fail to understand the law. The only thing that protects reusers from the full force of the copyright acts is having a license; if it's a so-called license, the reuser doesn't have that protection. It's not the license that is enforced against infringers; it's the copyright.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:22, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  • I probably understand it quite well, but nonetheless, the poor text of the so-called licence will constitute a part of the infringer's defence. HRA1924 (talk) 16:38, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. The text in the images is from a font I also made - but that font was licensed under the Open Font Licence so anyone can use it. Would I stand a better chance where they have directly copied the multi-coloured version? I also noticed quite a lot of instances where they used File:Om Mani Padme Hum.jpg which is a photograph (though not mine) - and as well as many other photographs from Commons. Perhaps the authors of those files would stand a better chance than I. They are also using my images (and other Commons images) on their sites in Germany, UK, Australia, France, Spain, Australia, NZ, Korea, Japan, etc. and they seem to be manufacturing and shipping some of their products from these different locations. Cfynn (talk) 13:38, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Let me be quite blunt, you (or the other (uploaders) have a very faint copyright claim for either compensation or damages. You have a somewhat better claim for "attribution". What goes against you is the wording of the "licence" you used on Commons. If I were representing the infringers (and I often do) I would straightaway ask WMF to disclose / confirm the identity of their anonymous uploader before the complaint is even taken on record. "You" wouldn't be able to prove you are the creator of these files, unless you had published it elsewhere under your own name previously. HRA1924 (talk) 14:20, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
So you're going to walk into court and say that my clients knowingly stole this file from someone else and are actively committing copyright infringement, but the court should ignore this and ignore the fact that you have no evidence against the other party being the copyright holder? Ballsy, but I suspect you'll set most judges against you from the start. I have the camera, and I have an affidavit from a third party that I was there at the time timestamped on the photo, and I have photos I took immediately before and after this photo, should do great for establishing the preponderance of evidence that I took this photo.--Prosfilaes ( talk) 15:22, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Don't troll. The onus of proof is on he who alleges the fact. That you have a camera and only an affidavit from a stranger who I have the right to cross-examine in person proves nothing until all procedural elements are complied with, especially if it is a digital photograph, does not make the publication of the photograph a fact. HRA1924 (talk) 16:30, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

@HRA1924: Thanks for being blunt. I have always uploaded images here using my real name, so I'm not exactly anonymous. Anyway this whole thing is going to make me seriously reconsider contributing files to Commons in future. I also think not allowing "no-commercial" licences on Commons is a pretty major disincentive for many people to freely contribute a lot of educationally valuable material - however I was happy to contribute under the present rules as long as I thought I would at least be properly attributed. But if large commercial companies are simply going to use material leached from Commons without giving proper attribution, or attributing the work to someone else entirely, things do look very different and it hardly seems worthwhile. The stupid thing is that under CC by SA such companies could legitimately use such artwork if they properly attributed it. I'm sure they must know just what is going on and it would only take them a couple of minutes for such businesses to do a Google image search as a reasonable check to see if images submitted to them do not infringe copyright - but they are obviously not even making a simple basic check - or just don't care. Cfynn (talk) 14:57, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

I really doubt that someone who doesn't care about the existing licensing conditions (which are easy to comply with) would care about one more condition (NC). LX (talk, contribs) 15:54, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
You are presuming that the infringer downloaded it from Commons or was aware of the licence.HRA1924 (talk) 16:14, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
I'm not really presuming anything. If they're not aware of the license, they have no business using someone else's work, since all creative works are copyrighted and non-free by default. My point stands: if Commons were to start accepting files with licenses restricting commercial use (which isn't going to happen), it wouldn't change how such people and organisations act. LX (talk, contribs) 16:24, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
I see, and how does Bhutan's copyright law permit assignation, renunciation, or licencing of an author's copyright in his Work ? HRA1924 (talk) 16:35, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
That's irrelevant. LX (talk, contribs) 17:41, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Under international law, his CC licence never happened. HRA1924 (talk) 18:56, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Not true, but if it were, nothing else would give anyone the right to use the work in question. LX (talk, contribs) 20:31, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
See [13]. Given by Russavia on IRC. Yann (talk) 14:49, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks Yann I'll look into trying that. Did Russavia, or anyone else, have any luck with it? Cfynn (talk) 14:57, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
In copyright law 2 things are important, (a) proving you are the author, (b) proving the factum of first "publication" / "expression". The jurisdiction of the applicable copyright law flows from these. Obviously the copyright law for India or Nepal would be different to USA or Australia. The territorial jurisdiction of (a), (b) is more important than that of where the infringer is located. If you ask me, the publisher (WMF in your case) is ordinarily responsible for enforcing the licence they induced you to sign. See this for how we release our movement images for use on online encyclopedias.HRA1924 (talk) 15:15, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
The jurisdiction of the appropriate copyright law is where the infringement is happening. That country may or may not take into account various other copyright laws in various ways, but if your work is being infringed in the US, you can sue in a US court, and they would take Title 17 and US case law into account.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:26, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
That is incorrect, the copyright of the work is determined by where it was first expressed. The jurisdiction for a copyright claim is determined by the infringer's location and/or the infringement's location. That is what we have international treaties and conventions for. HRA1924 (talk) 15:34, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
CFYNN. Bhutan's Copyright Law 2001, may just have a few loopholes in your favour re CC. Enforcing it is another matter. HRA1924 (talk) 16:21, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
And which provisions or "loopholes" are those? - I can't spot them. Because the image is a version of a Buddhist symbol I'm sure any judge in Bhutan would take a particularly dim view of some of the inappropriate products this image is being used on - and just to the idea of the crass commercialization and exploitation of such a symbol. However you're right, enforcing Bhutan copyright beyond the borders of Bhutan would be very difficult. Cfynn (talk) 18:07, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
eg. How did you validly "sign" this CC licence in 2008 under Bhutanese law? (I'm assuming you were then a "habitual resident" of Bhutan). Actually, its not too difficult to taken on infringers for a Bhutanese copyright holder. For instance curbing imports of these goods into the whole of SAARC is simple. The USA, Germany, and France would also honor your claim to block imports of any infringing goods you specify. These sites are probably importing these items from China or Bangladesh in any case. HRA1924 (talk) 18:32, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Given the situation as described here, I'm not even certain there's a problem.
It is commonplace, amongst commercial product developers who respect copyright and licensing, to produce products using resources from Commons. That is in fact, one of the things Commons is here to support (It's not maybe within COM:SCOPE unless it's also educational, but Commons generally acts to support and encourage such use, even when commercial).
Where an attribution licence is used, it is common to attribute with the product. It would be quite remarkable to start attributing a design component on an Etsy or Zazzle page, before the customer has even bought it.
Now on the whole, it's probable that these products are just taking the unfortunately common "If I can grab it, I will grab it" approach to IP and they're not attributing anything, anywhere. However before claiming that, it might be wise just to confirm that they're not crediting authorship on the purchased product. I usually do this on the packaging materials, along with the CE marking and the 3+ age restrictions, and sometimes I do even write it onto the product itself. I'm sure I'm not alone in that. I'd never think to credit such things on Etsy. I do credit them on Thingiverse, but only when it's a derivative of something also on Thingiverse.
Watch out also for "Copyright white knights" - idiots who've read a few pages of Commons DRs and then decided that your work is COPYVIO and will shout and bleat to Etsy or eBay to have it pulled off. Even when you're the original uploader. Andy Dingley (talk) 17:59, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

I've actually even seen people issue takedown notices for material hosted on our site, claiming it was their own. In this OTRS thread, he did just that, although it looks like he actually just hijacked a site name and uploaded his own site right over that, as everything is back to normal now. Kevin Rutherford (talk) 19:55, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Africa Center for Strategic Studies[edit]

Hi. This organisation was founded and is funded by the US Department of Defense. Their website ( doesn't list any copyright information. Can I assume that their images would be covered by a PD-US-Gov license? Thanks Gbawden (talk) 08:37, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

You cannot assume that all images on that website are in the public domain. This is easy to confirm, as one of the images currently on the front page is a screenshot of a CNN broadcast.
It's important to understand that {{PD-USGov}} is not a license. A copyright license is a statement that gives someone the right to use a copyrighted work. {{PD-USGov}}, by contrast, indicates that the work in question is legally exempt from copyright protection. It only applies to works created by officers or employees of the United States Federal Government as part of their official duties. It does not apply to works created by volunteers, independent contractors, employees of independent agencies. It does not apply to works created by government employees while off duty. Most importantly, it does not apply to content from other sources such as stock photo agencies or news outlets, even if they appear on a government website.
That said, I'll leave it up to others to comment on whether the ACSS is part of the US Federal Government in the sense relevant here. (It looks like they might be part of the National Defense University, if that helps.) I notice that the photos in their Flickr stream are marked as "© All Rights Reserved". LX (talk, contribs) 20:24, 26 November 2014 (UTC)

Logo of 'India Against Corruption' again[edit]

Sorry to trouble Commons again. Please recall Commons:Deletion_requests/Files_uploaded_by_Senthil524 and findings of your esteemed Common users on it.

Now Commons "File:IAC-pune-protesters3.jpg", and its version "File:IAC-pune-protesters2.jpg" are also controversial for the IAC logo, because

  1. The India Against Corruption logo used in these is an obvious forgery.
  2. No permission was requested from or given to use the logo by the logo owners.
  3. Anna Hazare has agreed not to use IAC logo or name w.e.f 6 Feb 2011, and this image is dated 8 April 2011, and he also couldn't agree for his photograph being used with IAC logo on this alleged date.
  4. The title of the image is misleading to suggest it depicts either (a) IAC / India Against Corruption or (b) a protest / protestors. It seems to be a low to medium resolution randomly taken street photo of a few bystanders holding their self-created banners for welcoming a passing cavalcade, and there is nothing in the image to suggest it is of a protest. The people in this image are peacefully doing everyday activities eg. waiting at a bus stop or to cross the street.
  5. The urgency is because this image is being used very recently in on English language Wikipedia at India Against Corruption article to misuse IAC logo to promote the impersonation of the India Against Corruption organisation which filed the earlier DMCA complaint complaining of forgeries and copyvio on Commons. IAC logo DMCA which was upheld by WMF after legal counsel.

So please assist in solving this image use involving logo issue also and as soon as you can please.HRA1924 (talk) 06:28, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

Some points about this image:
  1. Forgery of not, this is a photo of a real protest and as such can be uploaded to the Commons
  2. In this context the photo is de minimis—the main focus is on the demonstration not on the logo.
  3. Who is Anna Hazare? Probably very powerful person as she can ban photographs of a public protest.
  4. If the title is misleading, change the title.
  5. You have an option to file another DMCA complaint.
Ruslik (talk) 11:42, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
I don't see the issue here. You can't ban pictures because you don't like how people made the banners. This is not how Commons works (nor how democracy works BTW). Regards, Yann (talk) 12:01, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  1. I don't see any "protest" leave alone a "real" protest or any form of "demonstration". This is photo of many ordinary people standing peacefully on a crowded Indian road, at bus stops or waiting to cross the street, in which only about 4 persons are holding up 2 banners.
  2. The logo is the main focus of its use on ENWP to prop up a fake article on the impersonators of India Against Corruption organisation who own the brand name and the logo, and who complained to WMF about misuse of their logo. The logo is a forgery, and should not be published on Wikipedia after the last DMCA's outcome. Several such forgeries uploaded to Commons had been removed by site clerks.
  3. Anna Hazare's photo is on the banner. On 6.Feb.2011 he had agreed not to use the IAC logo in any manner, so the date of this photo is also doubtful
  4. Surely after the outcome of the last DMCA finding this logo to be copyrighted, the community should self-regulate and respect WMF's findings.
  5. Thanks for advising me to change the title, how do I do that ?
  6. Since nobody wants to "ban" pictures or restrict free expression here, can I democratically upload a new version of this image, after greying out / fuzzing the copyrighted logo ? HRA1924 (talk) 12:26, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
This is about India Against Corruption and Anna Hazare. Three points:
  1. judging from File:SHAMIM-ARVIND.jpg, the logo does not appear to be "a forgery".
  2. User:HRA1924 himself had pointed to a "real" logo in this edit. That logo looks identical to the one shown in the two images he's now complaining about, and in File:SHAMIM-ARVIND.jpg. It appears the main issue is that the banner the people are holding also shows Anna Hazare.
  3. judging from HRA1924's contributions, this is about some conflict between people from that protest movement who, after that movement split, seem to think that some other people do not and never did belong to the movement. At least that's how this looks to me. Some of the category removals look rather dubious. Some may be fine.
Other than that, I agree with the comments above: I don't see an issue with those pictures either. And I see no reason to assume that the two photos mentioned by the OP initially were forged, and I see no reason to support revisionist attempts to suppress these images or to blur the banners. Lupo 12:40, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
  1. The File:SHAMIM-ARVIND.jpg is also a photo-shopped forgery which will be directly handled with WMF as the uploader's identity is known. The original image is with the IAC movement, and is the legal property of IAC organisation. The uploader was never the copyright holder.
  2. The riseup logo (the official one) is noticeably different from the logo in this image. This image's logo is identical to the copies which were removed earlier under DMCA from Commons as copyvio/forgery.
  3. There is no revisionism attempt here, and FYI the IAC movement never split. HRA1924 (talk) 12:55, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
So you say. India Against Corruption says differently. Lupo 13:09, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
The India Against Corruption is a fabrication. If they exist where are they ? Where is their address, their website ? See Anna denounces Brand IAC, to scale up BVJA. The brand name and logo is always with the IAC organisation, and the WMF has upheld their claims,and Commons volunteers should respect WMF's legal team's opinion. HRA1924 (talk) 13:18, 27 November 2014 (UTC)