Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2012/01

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


Happy pan advertisement

Is this legit?

Happy Pan Poster.jpg

Am looking for Teflon stuff. This is much nicer than our other frying pan pictures.

P.s. If anyone could find me a picture of electrical insulation that is heart would swell!

TCO (talk) 03:52, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

The licence statement on that page is wrong, but it seems to be a pre-1978 United States advertisement without a copyright notice, so it should be in the public domain. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:38, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Coins and banknotes


I have a collection of photos of old and new swedish coins, swedish banknotes and german commemorative coins. I started uploading them but then I stumbled upon this deletion request [1]. It held references to a genereal money copyright page [2]. But I still have some questions. Accordign to the pages above it's not ok to upload a photo of a banknote or coin since it may be a copyright violation. Would it still be a copyright violation if the banknote/coin only made up part of the image? And if it's still a violation then why aren't all pictures of swedish coins marked for deletion?

Regarding german coins i couldn't find any information at all...

I hope someone can giva a little guidance concerning uploading pictures of coins. The bulk of the photos look like [3] or [4].

Regards Dgse87 (talk) 20:15, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Swedish currency, or parts of Swedish currency, can't be uploaded unless the designer has been dead for at least 70 years. Thus, you can upload ancient coins and notes but not current ones. If you have a photo of a coin, note that it is a 3D object, so you must also have permission from the photographer to publish it under a free licence. Permission from the photographer isn't needed for banknote images. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:35, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Copyright problem

I would like to upload a picture of the obverse and reverse of the 10 zloty note for Wikipedia, and I am not sure if it needs a fair use rationale.
It is from the National Bank of Poland's website and in the copyright policy of the NBP it says:

“Narodowy Bank Polski nie zgłasza zastrzeżeń do zapisywania plików, kopiowania stron w całości lub części oraz dokonywania wydruków do użytku osobistego lub służbowego pod warunkiem, że nie służą one celom komercyjnym.”
“The National Bank of Poland does not object to save files, copy pages in whole or in part, and making prints for personal use or business, provided that they do not serve for commercial purposes.”

Can I use it for the Wikipage 10 zlotych note. Plarem (talk) 22:35, 1 January 2012 (UTC) (signed late)

This is Commons, we require all images be free to use, not fair use - your image would be immediately deleted as a copyvio. -mattbuck (Talk) 22:28, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Chlor alkali drawing

Is this legit? Want it for an FAC's illo, but worried about source.

TCO (talk) 07:22, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

I've nominated it for deletion here. I have also nominated another image by the same uploader here. -84user (talk) 10:56, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
You could see if someone from the Illustration Workshop can help redraw a free version. — Cheers, JackLee talk 12:48, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Good point. OK, slow down the deletion request a little (tee hee hee), while we get it worked on!  ;) BTW, which is better, Commons illo requests or Wiki? Wiki seems very fast and good and the one time I tried Commons, nothing happened, but I could be misremembering. TCO (talk) 16:58, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
No idea. By all means, ask for help at the English Wikipedia and then transfer the image over to the Commons (or ask the artist to upload it to the Commons directly), if you wish. — Cheers, JackLee talk 12:07, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Copyright status of File:Zamora esp 1926.jpeg

Is this a photo? It is actually a magazine cover to me; magazine covers do not qualify as photos, do they? Since there is no known magazine editor of this cover, can I change it to {{PD-AR-Anonymous}}? --George Ho (talk) 19:14, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

  • The magazine cover would be a derivative work of the photo, so the copyright status of both is relevant. - Jmabel ! talk 19:49, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Copyright status of File:Tesoriere isus 1927.jpeg

This is a magazine cover; can the law consider this image of either a photograph reproduced in a magazine or a magazine cover? --George Ho (talk) 19:20, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Same as above. The cover is a derivative work of both photographs, and the drawing in the upper right, so all must be in the public domain. The design of the cover itself is rather trivial and probably not copyrightable in itself, although I don't know much about Argentinian threshold of originality. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:11, 2 January 2012 (UTC)


Hi, I would like to ask if it is correct to use a watermark with "Copyright: author name" like in this case File:Isabelle Patissier.JPG. Thanks in advance. --Rotpunkt (talk) 00:52, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Such photos aren't banned from Commons (unless the photographer makes preserving the mark be a condition of being allowed to use the image), but images without watermarks are generally greatly preferred ({{Watermark}}). AnonMoos (talk) 03:38, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Category:Isabelle Patissier

The author of those photos has uploaded them on Wikimedia Commons. But those photos were already published here: So the author should have used the OTRS system. Am I wrong? --Rotpunkt (talk) 11:16, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I think that's advisable. — Cheers, JackLee talk 12:04, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Associated Press

Can anyone with experience in Associated Press images state if they were renewed? I'm not looking for someone's opinion if they're unsure, rather someone who is knowledgeable about the field. I ask because File:Eddie August Schneider.jpg was first published by the New York Times (which clearly renewed its copyrights for this time period [5]), but if it was published in multiple papers, then the copyright belonged to the AP. I'm assuming every paper in which it would be published had a copyright notice, so all AP had to do was renew the copyright on behalf of the family in 1968. Magog the Ogre (talk) 21:08, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

You might find some information in the ongoing Commons:Deletion requests/File:Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.png which is about a different AP image and contains search results from copyright renewal records. The Associated Press renewed something called "The Associated Press news annual 1945" (and probably similar annuals from other years), but it seems that nothing else from 1945 was renewed. I'm not sure if a renewal of the annual automatically would renew the photos in it since they were (I suppose) published much earlier in various newspapers. I also suppose that the annual doesn't contain all AP photos from each year. I assume that you are already aware of Project Gutenberg. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:51, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
If as the description page says, the image was provided by the family to the Associated Press, does that imply Associated Press copyright? Or did they simply distribute it under explicit or implied license? Dankarl (talk) 00:40, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
There is no way of knowing without further research (it's possible the information doesn't even exist anymore). But it could go either way; the family may have signed over copyrights, or AP could have been using it with permission, or it may have been fair use. Magog the Ogre (talk) 03:34, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
If we cannot determine, shouldn't the precautionary principle apply? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:09, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

File:Pumas1979 porta.jpeg

Does PD-AR-Photo apply to this photo? It was reproduced into a magazine; does a magazine cover count as a photograph? --George Ho (talk) 07:26, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Magazine cover like that would possibly be a collective/composite work containing several other works, like the logo and the photograph. I'd think the photo itself would qualify for the template, and is most of the cover. If you want to blur the logo to be safe, that would be fine. If you think the composite work is enough to qualify for its own copyright by the arrangement (not really sure it does, but I have no good idea of the threshold in Argentina), then perhaps we should blur other stuff as well. But I think the base photo itself is fine, though it needs the {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} tag. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:22, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Logo use in templates

Hello everyone. As part of a new GLAM project starting in the National Library of Israel, I'm trying to create a template for images uploaded during the project. We'd like to use the library's logo, but it's copyright protected. The library's more than willing to give it's permission for use of the logo on Wikimedia projects, but it can't legally relinquish copyright (or give a free license). Is such a thing acceptable on commons? Daniel Tzvi 08:38, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

In my opinion, the logo may not have any copyright protection as it consists only of simple geometric shapes and text. --Claritas (talk) 09:14, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
The words are OK, but I'm not sure about the book logo with shading. That part might be copyrighted. I can see why the Library might not be able to relinquish copyright over the logo if that is not permitted under Israeli law, but why can't the Library license it under a free licence? — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:00, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Book logo is a simple geometrical shape IMO. --Claritas (talk) 11:02, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Putting aside whether the book logo is copyrightable or not, the fact that the Library happy for their logo to be used for Commons purposes is generally not enough for the logo to be hosted here at the Commons. It must be usable for all purposes, including commercial purposes, by anyone, and must be modifiable. Maybe this is the issue they have with licensing the logo under a free licence? — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:09, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
I guess they are just asking if Commons has the potential for files to be uploaded for administrative use, but not be available in the more general library. I don't think we have that ability. Well, I guess we have {{Copyright by Wikimedia}} for our own stuff, but we may need to get a Foundation exception to have anything similar from other entities. And the image would be available on all Wikimedia projects, with no real way to mark it non-free there. As for the logo... I think Israel inherited the "skill, labour, and judgement" copyrightability test from the UK, which is a very low threshold... not sure I want to claim ineligible there without some court guidance indicating a different level than the UK. There are some cases on the subject... this one discusses the concept, but is not about a graphic work, though does give some other court case references. Israel did change their law in 2007 and moved away from some of the UK wording (though the official law is now only in Hebrew and thus differences could just be changes in translation). I think we would probably need a free license to keep it (though do note that the trademark does not need to be licensed -- only the copyright does). Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:16, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

{{PD-US-no notice}}

If a press image was used in several newspapers, is it enough if it lacks a copyright notice in at least one of them? I have found a newspaper containing a press photo listed as fair use on English Wikipedia where the caption just states "- Associated Press Wirephoto" (no "©", no "Copr.", no "Copyright", no year). Can I safely move the image to Commons? The image was published before 1978, so there was no way to get US copyright without any copyright notice. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:13, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Never mind, I moved it over since I found it without a copyright notice at so many different places: File:TrangBang.jpg. --Stefan4 (talk) 22:11, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
No, the copyright notice on the overall newspaper would cover any works contained therein (even if the incorrect author is named). See this link, and Circular 3 (particular the "Contributions to collective works" section). The only exception was advertisements, which needed their own notice. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:13, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
I placed a notice at the version of this image asking for it to not be moved to Commons in the future. The Commons version should probably be deleted in light of the above. Huntster (t @ c) 23:36, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Argh! I thought that the general copyright notices in the newspapers would be invalidated due to the fact that they all list the wrong (and different) copyright holders. But wait a minute: does this newspaper really have a general copyright notice? The comics have copyright notices, but those clearly only refer to the comics, and there is a copyright notice on an advertisement on page 8, and there are some articles on page 8 and 12 which have notices, but those clearly only refer to those articles, and besides those pages aren't allowed locations per the PDF file. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:39, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
I think the theory of the "Error in name" notices is that you are supposed to ask permission from the paper (since that is the visible notice), and they could direct you to the actual copyright owners. Or something like that. On this one... my gut feeling is that even if that newspaper was published without a notice, a judge would probably not decide the photo copyright was lost just because one small newspaper forgot notices when the photo in question was distributed to a wide array of papers (particularly as the AP was not directly responsible for the lack of notice). I think there were court cases which ruled that a low percentage/number of forgotten notices would not invalidate copyright. But you're right, I do not see an overall copyright notice offhand on that paper. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:16, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Magazine ads are generally considered published with no notice, because they were distributed to multiple carriers, and did not carry a general notice. I don't know why; maybe you'd have to look it up. Magog the Ogre (talk) 20:09, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, there was a court case on that (from memory, a newspaper owner was trying to prevent ads from appearing in other newspapers, claiming some sort of copyright because of the collective work thing -- or some sort of game with the wording of copyright law like that, which the judge disallowed). It was later explicitly made part of the law (17 USC 404); advertisements are therefore treated differently than other types of contributed works for better or worse, even though they may seem conceptually similar. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:58, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Trying to solve my errors, I put it up for deletion here: Commons:Deletion requests/File:TrangBang.jpg. Feel free to comment and sorry for my earlier mistake. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:11, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Banknotes of Malaysia

Hello. I'd like some advice regarding the use of banknote images used in the English Wikipedia article Malaysian ringgit. With the recent announcement of new Malaysian currency designs, I've been actively updating said article, and one of the things I plan of doing is to add MYR banknotes into the article to illustrate design changes between the four series released. With Wikipedia's fair use policy though, these images might be removed. The central bank of Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) outlined in Section 27a of the Central Bank Act 1958 that the use of these images need their permission in advertisements, which I believe for Wikipedia's purpose isn't. The copyright is still held by BNM. Can I have some advice on this matter? — — Blue 13:37, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

I think the short answer is that you can't upload the banknote images to the Commons as they are subject to government copyright, and therefore can only use them at the English Wikipedia if you comply with the fair-use criteria. — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:49, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, Jack Lee. — Blue 12:00, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

3D artwork in a public place

Having become aware that some members of the community were wrestling with issues related to this question, the legal team would like to add some information. I expect it will be placed here very soon (am creating the section for it). I'll make sure the interested editors from that discussion are notified, once it is.  :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 19:25, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the interest in this somewhat convoluted topic. I would like to stress that this preliminary research and does not represent final statements on the issue. It does not represent legal advice from WMF. This is simply a starting point to encourage discussion on this issue. We encourage the community to review, comment on, and even correct if appropriate.
With these caveats, here are some initial thoughts on the issue for discussion purposes:
I look forward to hearing your thoughts. --User:Lmallek talk 19:39, 5 January 2012‎ (UTC)
This content should probably be moved to a more public place like Commons:Public art and copyrights in the US. Kaldari (talk) 20:24, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure a non-existent project-space page is "more public" than this well-known talk page. Powers (talk) 21:54, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
I think that it would be best to create a new project-space page and adding a summary (with a link to the full text) at COM:FOP#United States. I think that the text is very clarifying and it has given me a better understanding of the copyright of US statues. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:17, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Oops, I meant "more permanent" not "more public" :) Kaldari (talk) 08:35, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
These findings comport with what I've found to be our understanding of the relevant laws; I believe we've been applying the law correctly in most cases. Is this in response to any specific incident? Powers (talk) 21:54, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Just in response to the questions raised in the section linked above, where some individuals were talking about asking for input from the legal team. Would have been nice to get it a little earlier, before it archived, but, alas, holidays and all. :) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 21:57, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Nice (and nice to see that it's pretty much identical to our current understanding of the topic). But maybe there is too little about copyright renewals (even if the old sculpture was published with a copyright notice, it's not very likely its copyright was renewed), and maybe too much about >=1978 sculptures, anyway all this post-1977 stuff is mostly useless for Commons -- generally it's too hard to prove in a deletion request that the sculpture was indeed published (I am not aware about a single picture that was kept -- correctly -- with this rationale). Trycatch (talk) 09:46, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I think one point is to show how problematic the post-1978 stuff is, for people who are surprised about it ;-) On the content... yes, it looks very good and is more or less the interpretation we have been using for some time, which is also good. One note -- the offering to distribute copies to a group of persons for purposes of further distribution or public display also constitutes publication since 1978 -- sales are not strictly necessary. The original version of a statue is also a "copy" per the definition in 17 USC 101; it's the use of the plural word "copies" of course which makes things ambiguous when it comes to paintings and statues. Also from 1978 and 1989, if the notice was originally forgotten, the authors can register within 5 years to restore it, but the law also requires that a reasonable effort is made to add notice to all copies or phonorecords that are distributed to the public in the United States after the omission has been discovered -- in many cases that would be hard to prove, but it would seem to me that in the case of statues, they would have to add the notice somehow to the main version actually on public display. By the way, the Wall Street Bull was installed in late 1989, so the question of publication is moot on that one. In the pre-1978 section, for "comply with the copyright formalities (notice requirements)", we might say "notice and renewal requirements". In the 1978-1989 section, the sentence "If authorized tangible copies were not made available to, then copyright protections [...] " seems to be missing a word or two. In the first section, it was technically called the Copyright Act of 1976, though it did not go into effect until 1978. Thanks quite a bit for the work on the topic though; hopefully it will make discussions around such topics a lot more clear. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:51, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Correct tagging of File:Le Violon brisé (couverture du petit format, 1885).jpg

Though the image is clearly in the public domain, its description links to this, same as this in English, which states the description of the image is under CC-BY-SA and should be attributed to his author. How then should the file be copyright tagged at Commons ? Should there be a public domain copyright template for the image and a CC-BY-SA for the description ? If so how ? Other thoughts ? Thanks, — Racconish Tk 09:35, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

The text of the description on that Medihal page is said to be under "CC-BY-CA", which means... nothing. It could perhaps have been meant to say CC-BY-2.5-Canada, or CC-BY-SA-3.0-Unported, or something else, but we can't tell for sure. So, if we had this situation in another context, I would recommend caution and to treat the text as unlicensed. Now, just for the benefit of the discussion, let's suppose that we faced an original copyrighted text, duly licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0-Unported only. Then, it could not be copied to Commons through the use of that license, because the staff of the Wikimedia Foundation requires that all texts on Commons be dual-licensed under both the CC-BY-SA-3.0-Unported license and the GFDL, and we can't violate the author's copyright by offering it under the GFDL when the author did not offer that license. However, for this particular file, there is no problem. Because, firstly, the description contains mostly unoriginal factual information, which is uncopyrightable and such information can be reused without breaching any copyright. Secondly, even if the description on the Medihal page contains anything copyrightable, the person who uploaded the file to Commons and wrote the description page on Commons is the same person who wrote the description on the Medihal page, so she doesn't violate her own copyright and, by posting her text to Commons, she voluntarily published it under CC-BY-SA-3.0-Unported and GFDL on Commons. -- Asclepias (talk) 16:35, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. — Racconish Tk 16:56, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Mount Rainier maps

Would people generally agree that the maps linked from appear to be work of the U.S. government, and therefore public domain? - Jmabel ! talk 05:21, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Most likely, yes, unless any of them have alternative authorship/copyright data on them (I only looked at one, which did not). Powers (talk) 15:51, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Joint Operations Graphic

Hi every one,

I uploaded the (approx.) 25 really beatiful maps of the Category:Joint Operations Graphic and I had begun to use them. But I have a doubt now.

I have seen that some of the uploaded maps bear the iscription (e.g. File:Txu-oclc-224571178-sf19-06.jpg File:Txu-oclc-224571173-se19-15.jpg)

Copyright 1996 by the United States Government / No Copyright claimed under title 17 U.S.C.

This allow us to use the map in Wikicommons. But other maps (most of the 25) don't bear the inscription, and don't bear any copyright inscription (e.g File:Txu-oclc-224571173-si19-02.jpg).

There is a lot of Joint Operations Graphic-maps in the web site "Perry-Castañeda Library" and many of them, as far as I saw, bear the inscription "17 USC".

I think we can use the JOG maps, because they bear the inscription "17 USC" or because they don't bear any copyright warning or because they are edited by a US govern institution.

Am I right?. --Createaccount 10:35, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

I don't see the inscription on File:Txu-oclc-224571178-sf19-06.jpg, though maybe I just missed it... from looking, that was a 1974 map made by the Defense Mapping Agency, and reprinted in 2002 by NIMA (the successor agency, which today is the w:National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency). Could use {{PD-USGov-Military-NGA}} as the tag; bit more accurate. "17 USC" is just an overall reference to U.S. copyright law, which is Title 17 of the United States Code. But anyways, yes, they should be useable since they are works created by the U.S. federal government. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:10, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, sf19-06 doesn't bear the inscription but se19-15. Thank you for the information. --Createaccount 20:00, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Ah OK. You might consider naming those files better -- I'm sure the current naming means something somewhere, but a layperson would have no clue what was in the image based on the name as it stands :-) We generally prefer descriptive file names. As for the notice... it's either a copyright which was transferred to the U.S. Government which they are simply disclaiming (at least inside the U.S.), or just mentioning the nebulous possibility they could claim copyright protection in foreign countries (it looks like the map was once classified; perhaps it would give the government a possible angle if the map had leaked out before it was declassified or something). Anyways, either way, it should be OK. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:08, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
I prefer to conserve the name, because if one day another user try to commit the same image, commons-loader will warn him that a file with that name already exists (if he uses the same name... ). Furthermore, the work is complete only if we offer the editors a imagemap to show where they can find a map of the region. The imagemap can show a brief description of the zone when the mouse cursor is on the sector (as I did in Category:Joint Operations Graphic or in Atlas of Chile). Thanks, --Createaccount 21:15, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

National Archives Canada

Are images from the National Archives Canada under any copyright restrictions which I'm not aware of? I'd like to upload a few different images for John Turner, seeing as our current image isn't very flattering. These are the images: [6][7][8]. It says nil for restrictions, but sometimes I know there are funny clauses embedded within that I'm not familiar with. Magog the Ogre (talk) 03:56, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Restrictions NIL means you can access the file, obtain copies or reproduce it on a visit without further asking for permission ([9]). The file is however in copyright and you can not modify it and the permission for use only includeds non-commercial purposes ([10]), that makes this files unfree. Only those files from LAC with copyright expired are ok for Commons. --Martin H. (talk) 04:35, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

That is disappointing. And confusing; it is borderline misleading to state on an image's page that its copyright restrictions are 'nil' but to bury in the fine print a non-commercial clause. Magog the Ogre (talk) 07:11, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Not what you're looking for, but websites have these pictures from his student years [11] (1947) [12] (1948), which are PD-Canada but Not-PD-US-URAA, as they're from the period 1946-1948. Or one might grab from this CBC video [13] some of the pictures from the same era. Would also be PD-Canada any pictures of him taken before 1962 and authored by a corporate entity (that is the case of most pictures taken by staff photographers for newspapers). However he began his political career in 1962, so most pictures would be from 1962 and later, although one might find pictures of his 1959 dance. -- Asclepias (talk) 15:08, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

We know that the UK crown copyright files are OK to upload because the Queen's office will not be pursuing the copyright abroad (they did it out of a good faith jesture; there is an OTRS ticket IIRC). Is this true of Canadian crown copyright? Magog the Ogre (talk) 20:03, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

The position of the UK Office seems to imply that they will not pursue their copyright on a work abroad when their copyright on the work has expired in the UK [14]. I am not aware of any such declaration about the Canadian Crown copyright. However, I am under the impression that some Commons sysops tend to apply a principle inspired from the UK position to the copyrights of the governments of other countries. But I don't think there is a Commons policy about it. Anyway, in the case of John Turner, this question is probably hypothetical, because there are probabbly no available photographs of him that meet both conditions of having been under Canadian Crown copyright and of having that Crown copyright expired in Canada. We might begin to have some such photographs next year, as the Crown copyrighted photographs published in 1962 will enter the public domain. (The bad news is that corporate photographs, including corporate media photographs, created in 1962 and later, will stop entering the public domain 50 years after their creation (as they did until now), as a result of a modification proposed by the Conservative government to the Canadian Copyright Act that will probably be adopted and extending the copyright term of copyrights owned by corporations.) -- Asclepias (talk) 21:55, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Category:Memorial of Rebirth

I notice that this entire category is full of images similar to several photos I took that were deleted as copyright violations (lack of relevant FOP in Romania). Could someone work out whether my photos should be restored or these should be deleted, because pretty clearly one or the other is the case. - Jmabel ! talk 18:13, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

The monument seems to be recent (so the creator can impossibly have been dead for at least 70 years). I assume that most of them should be deleted per COM:FOP#Romania, but a few of them might get away with de minimis. I don't know whether the buildings in the background are old enough or if they also need to be de minimis in order to be included. --Stefan4 (talk) 00:27, 8 January 2012 (UTC)


This 3d artwork is still copyrighted in Argentina, and no publications of this artwork in US are known at this time. However, the two-dimensional representation is licensed under GFDL. How can I find a template to notify the status of this 3d artwork? --George Ho (talk) 23:14, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

The tag you look for is {{FOP}}. But if this sculpture is in Argentina and is in copyright than this is not ok to upload per Commons:FOP#Argentina. --Martin H. (talk) 02:06, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Policy on images already published elsewhere under a non-free licence

Model situation: I have published my own image elsewhere on the internet, under a non-free licence. Is it all right if I upload it on Commons now, under Creative Commons? Thanks, --Vojtech.dostal (talk) 15:35, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Yes. As long as you are the copyright holder, you are allowed to upload it under a Creative Commons licence. However, if the image already appears elsewhere, you might need to prove that you really are the owner to the image. See COM:OTRS for more information about this. --Stefan4 (talk) 15:45, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Charts of experimental data: Derivative work?

I've a question regarding the following image: File:KEplot.png. This chart is based on experimental data and a similar chart published in Am. J. of Phys. in 1964. Is this allowed or does this fall into the category "derivative work", since it is based on the 1964 publication? The reason I ask is, that I want to draw a different version of this simple chart myself with w:Gnuplot, based on the same experimental data (a combination of 10 values - 5 denoting the energy and 5 denoting the speed of electrons), and then upload it here under CC-By-Sa. --D.H (talk) 09:29, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Photo OK?

Want to upload this photo, which is from the original run of the show from 1966-1969 on NBC. The logo on it is the "second peacock" which would indicate it's pre-1975 ("N" logo), however the newspaper it's from has marked it with a 1990 "pic ran" stamp. Can I upload this without any issues re: the timeframe the photo was taken and distributed? Thanks, We hope (talk) 16:10, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

The text "Most photos have never been seen by the public." looks problematic. If unpublished, it is copyrighted for 70 years after the death of the photographer, or if the photographer is unknown, for 120 years since creation. In any case, it looks as if there is too little information available to upload it here. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:13, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
I think it's OK actually. The moment the studio distributed the photo to the newspaper would seem to be the moment of publication, not when it ran in the newspaper itself. The back does indicate that the photo was from when the series was still on the air. And there is no copyright notice on it. Uploading the reverse side is helpful as well (using the same filename, then overwrite with the real photo). The only real issue is if the photo was distributed from the studio after 1989 (seems doubtful). Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:38, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Always do upload both sides of photos. ;-) What was bothering me was the "pic used" for 1990. Realize the newspapers keep photo files for many years and dip into them when needed, but usually there's a date stamp by the paper for when they received the image. We hope (talk) 17:44, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Commons:Currency has no entry for Italy?

Hi there. I wanted to upload an image for a 1,000 lira banknote but I have no idea what tag to use. Most, if not all, such images already uploaded use either PD-self or GFDL/CC tags but I am not sure this is correct. Unfortunately, the page I wanted to check about this, Commons:Currency, does not have an entry for Italy. Has anyone knowledge of the Italian law concerning banknotes and their copyright? Regards SoWhy 23:09, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

AFAIK there are not exceptions for currency in the Italian Copyright Law. However, I believe that it's 70 pma (this because {{PD-ItalyGov}} has been deleted).--Trixt (talk) 12:15, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
So probably all Italian banknote images here have to be deleted since they are most likely all copyrighted? Oo Regards SoWhy 16:33, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
I saw something on en.wp that seemed to indicate they are not free in the home country, but it wasn't an official law so I didn't add it to COM:MONEY. If anyone can find a law or court case, we should add it. Magog the Ogre (talk) 06:19, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

1910s Japanese book

I was wondering whether it is possible to upload any of the artwork from this book. If yes, under which license? The book is a 1910s reprint of a book from the 1850s. The 1850s book is a woodblock print (ukiyo-e) reproduction of a full color painting scroll (emaki) from the 13th century (Murasaki Shikibu Diary Emaki). All three works were published in Japan. bamse (talk) 22:19, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

It is out of copyright in the United States since it was published before 1923. The 1850s reproduction might have gained new copyright in Japan, but if the 1910s edition is an exact reprint of the 1850s book, the 1910s one would not get a new copyright. It would definitely be possible to upload the image if the author behind the 1850s book died in 1961 or earlier (most likely the case). It might even suffice if the 13th century artist died in 1961 or earlier (if the 1850s changes were insignificant). I guess the images could be added as {{PD-1923}}{{PD-Japan}}. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:44, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. bamse (talk) 10:04, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

CC BY-SA 3.0 and the original image quality

It must be something obvious but I didn't manage to read it out from the CC BY-SA 3.0 itself. The "Work" as defined in the license applies only to that specific resolution and quality uploaded to Commons? Assuming I have a digital snapshot of some "scene" in 2048×1080 resolution. If I upload a copy of it to Commons in a decreased 800×600 quality under CC BY-SA 3.0, it doesn't affect my exclusive rights for the 2048×1080 original or any other copy better than 800×600? In particular if someone obtains a copy 1280×720 and replaces the uploaded 800×600 as "quality improvement", that would be not right? --Neolexx (talk) 09:06, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

That is at least the mayority position, though I don't remember to have seen anything definitive about that question. --Túrelio (talk) 09:35, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
See also this older discussion about the same topic: Commons:Village_pump/Copyright/Archive/2011/12#free_license_for_low_resolution.2C_copyrighted_higher_res.3F. --Saibo (Δ) 16:38, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
You can't stop someone from taking the 800x600 version and scaling it up to make it bigger, but otherwise, yes I think you are correct. You are the copyright owner, so you get to define the exact content you are licensing, and what scope. From a practical perspective, it probably increases the chances that people use a larger version accidentally, but if you make the original permission very explicit that should help. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:12, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you all. With CC-BY-SA-3.0 Unported the current consensus license reading is clear to me. The last puzzling part remains with the German ported version where 1.j says "...und umfasst auch den Vorgang, erstmals körperliche Fixierungen des Schutzgegenstandes..." (...and includes this upload, the first physical fixations of the Work...) My German is not sufficient to decide if it is my bad translation in the context or a principal difference from the unported version. --Neolexx (talk) 17:21, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
That's just defining "copying". It doesn't affect the definition of Work. Per Carl, I think the creator can decide exactly what Work the license applies to. Rd232 (talk) 18:59, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
It is possible to specify a low resolution image in the OTRS permission (and in the image description). I did that for the Ed Roberts photo. "Spencer Smith of Smith's Studio, 5417 Main Street, Eastman, GA 31023 releases this low resolution copy (232 by 300 pixels) under a Creative Commons - Attribution 3.0 license." -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 21:19, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Well... the licensing there doesn't contain a statement regarding the resolution. So I wonder: If we assume that one can indeed release a picture only in a specific (lower) resolution, there's still the question what we should assume as the default release if no resolution is explicitly stated. A) Release applies only to the specific resolution uploaded by default, or rather B) if not otherwise stated, release applies to all resolutions by default? Gestumblindi (talk) 00:38, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I would assume they only licensed what they uploaded, i.e. what they applied the license too. If they intended to license a larger version, they would have uploaded it in the first place I'd think. We can always ask if someone would license a larger version, but that file looks to be part of an organized upload project from an institution, which (like Bundesarchiv) may well have only intended to upload these lower-resolution versions. Obviously, if the copyright has expired, then all versions are fair game. Otherwise, like anything else under full copyright, I'd you have to obtain a license before copying it, etc. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:40, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Exactly with Bundesarchiv the intentions once slashed rather strongly leaving a semi-bitter taste to the contributor. The "human readable" form of CC-BY-SA-3.0 is still in a hidden contradiction with its own legal code. "You must attribute the work in the manner specified by the author or licensor" may be treated rather far from what the licence really says. As the result as a part of quality improvement Commons participants started to cut the photo margins with the Bundesarchiv credentials and Bundesarchiv representatives tried to revert changes to "the manner specified by the author or licensor". As the result they knew a lot of new about the current consensus reading of the license.
IMHO The same "ticking bomb" is for the "Work" as applied to a digital copy of a still or motion picture. Without any intention to argue out of theoretical purposes with the common understating and application of the license at Commons, I'd still would like to get some better insight on this, just in order to be able to explain it shortly and correctly to potential contributors I am contacting with.
Let's say there is a digital photo (the original scene fixation) 1280x1024 copyrighted by the author (A). There is 400x300 scaled down digital copy if of it contributed to Commons under CC-3.0 (B). There is a derivative work at Commons of B where B scaled up to 1280x1024 (C). The difference in quality between A and C are rather obvious to a casual viewer or to a OTRS checker. Yet what exact wording to use to differ A and C in the "quality/resolution" sense to chain unambiguously both technical and legal issues? --Neolexx (talk) 14:19, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

License enforcement

I've drafted a section at Commons:Reusing_content_outside_Wikimedia#Enforcing_license_terms on enforcing license terms when reusers violate licenses, as there doesn't seem to have been anything written on the subject (that I could find, anyway). Note also the related {{License enforcement request}}. Please have a look at both the section and the template and help improve them if you can. Thanks. Rd232 (talk) 18:53, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Why is that in template namespace? Just put it on a page such as Commons:Email templates. For example the German Commons:Emailvorlagen contains such a text. --Martin H. (talk) 01:52, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Image available for download legally

Can an image available for download on the internet (e.g. from a publicity campaign) be uploaded on WikiCommons? By publishing the image on the download link, does the author of the image imply his work to be copied freely, even if the copyright license is not mentioned? e.g. would pictures here be OK to use? Thanks. Tinpisa (talk) 00:15, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

To the first question: Only if it is freely licensed or if it has entered the public domain. For details, please see scope and licensing.
To the second question: No.
To the third question: On Commons, probably not, because the conditions on the linked website do not seem explicit about the possibility of modification. But the point could be disputed. For use outside of Commons, see the terms of use of that website, especially the first two paragraphs.
-- Asclepias (talk) 00:32, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Licence violation outside wikimedia

Hi, I wonder what happens when we have a CC licence violated? Can you see here please? Here is the source. No attribution at all. --MrPanyGoff 07:54, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

That's actually not directly a Wikimedia/Wikipedia matter, but rather an issue between the image copyright holder (you) and the infringer. See Commons:Village_pump#Gizmodo_shamelessly_snarfing_Commons_content etc. AnonMoos (talk) 08:28, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
I think this is exactly Wikimedia/Wikipedia matter because without good images no media or encyclopedia can exist. What if I or people like me stop donating photos for Wikimedia because of lack of protection? Or Wikimedia think that my photos are not good enough to pay attention? Should I stop uploading until solving the problem?--MrPanyGoff 11:30, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure if Wikimedia can do anything (apart from notifying you if a violation is found). The copyright holder is you, not Wikimedia. If anyone chooses not to follow licence requirements for your own photos, you can, however, take legal action yourself and sue the person for infringing your copyright. --Stefan4 (talk) 11:47, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree. The Commons is like a library; we exist to provide a resource to people looking for media content. A library does not generally take legal action against people who breach copyright in the works it holds. That is for the copyright holders to deal with. — Cheers, JackLee talk 12:03, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

{{License enforcement request}} may be helpful for users who wish to enforce their license terms. Rd232 (talk) 06:03, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

This is not a license violation. Your license says they must attribute the photo to you and the source you have linked to does. Hazmat2 (talk) 18:16, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Yes, it does now. That could be since the author contacted them after December 28. Currently, the absence of the mention of the licence would still make it a copyright violation, normally. However, the particular wording of the personal template used on the Commons page by the author might be read by some reusers as a special instruction from the author asking them to mention only the requested line, thus releasing them from the obligation of mentioning anything else. That may or may not be the intention of the author, but the reuser might say that he followed the instruction given by the author. -- Asclepias (talk) 22:35, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Can I use this photo?

Hello Can I use photos from this collection? The flickr account is the North Carolina National Guard so can I use Thank you! Starship.paint (talk) 03:22, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

You must work with the federal government; yours is a state. Nevertheless, if you want to release them in Commons, maybe permission from the National Guard can do? Otherwise, you can license it with {{Attribution}} or {{GFDL-self}}? How about uploading them as non-free in English Wikipedia, not Commons which forbids non-free images here? --George Ho (talk) 07:38, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
@The license suggestion: They are not his photos. Huh? The comment about en.wikipedia is not very helpful for Commons. --Saibo (Δ) 15:53, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure the members of the state chapters of the National Guard are federal employees. Many are really volunteers; their home page does have a copyright notice on it. I'm not sure I would assume they are federal government works. Oh... I see on that collection page in particular it says "Photos by Air Force Staff Sergeant Kyle S. Richardson, NCNG Public Affairs". Those may be {{PD-USGov-Military-Air Force}} then. This link shows some other photos by that person which are credited to the U.S. Air Force. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:25, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Do you think that the words "member or" should be removed from the template:PD-USGov-Military-National Guard? -- Asclepias (talk) 17:15, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Probably. The National Guard Bureau is a federal government organization, and there is some federal funding for state chapters overall, but the state chapters are generally run and mostly funded by the states. The tag does specify "U.S. National Guard" which implies the federal organization a bit. National Guard does get a bit odd due to its dual nature ;-) Unless on active duty though, most national guard troops are volunteers with regular jobs who train one weekend a month, I believe. A harder question is the state national guard offices, which are employees -- but I think those are more considered part of state government, not federal. It probably does get fuzzy when the federal government calls up guard troops for duty and then sends them overseas -- photos taken in those engagements as part of their duties may well fall under the federal rule. I'm not sure of the best way to word the template. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:12, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Due to the National Defense Act of 1916, in times of war, the National Guard units all come under the umbrella of the Army, making them federal employees. (We're at war.) I'm not sure that makes it any clearer. However, all those pictures are published on Flickr with a non-derivative CC copyright which is incompatible with Commons. I'm sure I just made it even more ambiguous, but I think the point should be that if we think there's a possibility they're not PD, and they were uploaded to Flickr with an incompatible copyright tag (which may be incorrect if PD applies) then we might have to just say no unless/until the photographer clears up the confusion. Hazmat2 (talk) 03:26, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
The actual photographer is documented as an Air Force employee... so I think that should be enough for those in particular. The ND license they have is probably the default for the Flickr account, which is probably valid for many of their photos (I don't think there is any easy way for them to mark them as PD-USGov in certain cases, except as they did with the explicit credit to the photographer). As for the other stuff... when the troops are actually serving under the Army, you're probably right (I assume the Army picks up the paychecks at that point, right?) but I'm not sure about when stationed at home. I would also doubt that PD-USGov could ever apply for administrative employees of the state organizations, which the public affairs office would probably be. The National Guard Bureau, of course, is the federal organization which coordinates all of them, and that is PD-USGov. But, I believe the state agencies are part of state government. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:57, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
My thanks to everyone who replied here, thank you very much! Starship.paint (talk) 09:42, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Licensing for Donated Images

What license is appropriate for donated images? For example, a picture was donated to a Museum by the original photographer. Can the Museum, as the current owner of the image and its copyright, make the image free-for-use? When uploading to Wikipedia Commons, should the Museum use the link as if it was the original creator of the image? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pcalnan (talk • contribs)

Donating a work not neccessarily include copyright transfer. Copyright transfer is the unlikely case I'd think. If the museum is the copyright holder however, they can license it. --Martin H. (talk) 01:48, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Just to clarify that last: transfer of a physical work of art rarely includes transfer of the copyright. - Jmabel ! talk 05:21, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
However, in some cases one might, maybe, argue that an Implied-in-fact contract took place, transferring the rights e.g. for a painting together with the physical work even if not explicitly stated. Gestumblindi (talk) 21:48, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Not in the US. Title 17, section 204 (a) says "A transfer of copyright ownership, other than by operation of law, is not valid unless an instrument of conveyance, or a note or memorandum of the transfer, is in writing and signed by the owner of the rights conveyed or such owner's duly authorized agent."--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:14, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
That's interesting, thank you. However I believe that in other countries there is no such explicit requirement of a written document, e.g. AFAIK there's no such thing in Swiss copyright law. Gestumblindi (talk) 00:24, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Still. Transfer of physical copies of works does not transfer copyright. That being a general rule, there would be no implication-in-fact of a transfer of copyright with the physical work, because the implication is that copyright doesn't transfer.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:45, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Italian law still specifies that transfer of a photographic negative implies transfer of the photograph copyright, I think. And court cases were mixed in the U.S. before 1978 (which is when the wording you mention went into effect), per w:Copyright Act of 1976#Transfer_of_copyright. But yes, in most countries, ownership of the copyright is distinct from ownership of the items. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:46, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Answering more to the first question... as mentioned above, under many copyright laws (not sure which country you are in), the ownership of the copyright is separate -- donation of the item does not necessarily imply donation of the copyright, unless that was part of the gift as well. If the museum really is the copyright owner though, then yes they can license the image just like any other copyright owner can. I suppose that would be the appropriate link to use, although the Author should be attributed correctly either in the upload wizard (not sure if that is possible) or by editing the page after the upload, as that would probably be incorrect afterwards. Also, if Source is "own work", that may need to be further edited to indicate it was uploaded by the museum (since the museum is not the author). For items which have been previously published elsewhere, it would probably be required to send an email from the institution following the procedures at COM:OTRS -- since accounts here are basically anonymous, we have no way of really knowing if someone unaffiliated simply uploaded the images and claimed it was OK. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:46, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Furniture Village logo (UK company)

In view of the above discussion on the BBC logo and the lower threshold of originality in the UK, could the use of two different fonts and the slant in the word "Village" put File:Furniture Village logo.jpg over the threshold? January (talk) 21:18, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

I would hope not, but it's entirely possible. Powers (talk) 02:41, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, because in Britain there is virtually no threshold of originality for text-logos. --Claritas (talk) 12:37, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Use of Wikimedia files on facebook pages

Last week I noticed facebook not only uses text from Wikipedia, but includes photos as well. For example, my former school: [15]. At the bottom of the page, there is a heading "Source" where it says information was taken from Wikipedia and is licensed under CC-BY-SA. So far, so good. At the top of the page, it uses the photo from the Dutch Wikipedia page which requires attribution, but nowhere does it mention the name of the author (which happens to be me). Is this legal? -- ZanderZ (talk) 15:29, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

No, you do not transfer the copyright to Wikipedia, (or even to Wikimedia). Thus whatever licence you have selected would apply. If the licence requires them to credit you and/or to state that others are free to reuse that image under the same conditions and they don't do that, you can demand the take down. VolodyA! V Anarhist Beta_M (converse) 15:41, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
It is no more or no less legal than what Wikipedia does with your photo, because both the Wikipedia article and the Facebook page use your photo in exactly the same way, i.e. the photo is linked directly to the file description page, which contains the attribution and the license and which the reader can access with one click on the photo. So, you decide if you think that Wikipedia's and facebook's way to use your picture is legal or not from your point of view. But you should treat the two sites similarly, because they do exactly the same thing. if you think it's ok from Wikipedia, then it should be ok from Facebook. If you think it's not ok from Facebook, then it should not be ok from Wikipedia. -- Asclepias (talk) 20:34, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Not that my opinion means much, but this is exactly what I was going to write. Hazmat2 (talk) 03:33, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
That's a good point. Still, if a photo is used on Wikipedia, the user knows (I assume) that the photo "belongs" to Wikipedia. On facebook, this is not very clear since they don't mention they take the photo from Wikipedia. -- ZanderZ (talk) 15:31, 15 January 2012 (UTC)


File:Tall_Betsy.jpg was uploaded in November 2011. It existed elsewhere at least as far back as 2003 - see this at Wayback. I can find no copyright statement on the website but according to en-WP here the Tall Betsy character was created by the Tennessee businessman, Allan Jones. The uploader claims to be the creator of the image and has used the appropriate permission tag.

I've had some bad experiences here recently with supposedly self-created content. To what extent do we assume good faith at Commons? Should we be requesting OTRS permission? - Sitush (talk) 17:19, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

I agree completely and have placed an appropriate tag on the file page and have notified the uploader. Hazmat2 (talk) 18:10, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
At the very least we need permission of whoever made the drawing. Given that it existed elsewhere previous to upload, yes we need OTRS permission. It looks like File:Allan Jones Aquatic Center.jpg was lifted by that user from the home page as well, and the user also recently upload File:W._Allan_Jones.jpg, which looks like it comes from . If that uploader *is* Allan Jones, we would need OTRS confirmation, otherwise, they should be nominated for deletion. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:06, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
That's great, thanks. I'll keep an eye out on en-WP as there are some other concerns regarding Jones-related content. - Sitush (talk) 20:19, 14 January 2012 (UTC)


Wondering if someone could give me an opinion on any copyright issues with this photo of a statue of William S. Clark. A reviewer mentioned that, as it is a photo of relatively new artwork, it is not public domain and should not be used. The statue is in Japan. Any help would be very much appreciated. Thanks. Historical Perspective (talk) 19:13, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

I can't speak to Japanese law, but in the U.S. this would be a copyright violation. A good explanation is here: Again though, I'm not sure what the law is there. Hazmat2 (talk) 19:47, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
This is a good source too: Hazmat2 (talk) 19:51, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
The statue is from 1976. Japanese statues are only allowed here if the sculptor died at least 50 years ago, which is impossible in this case. I'm moving all pictures of this statue to Japanese Wikipedia as fair use if used there, and after that I'll propose them for deletion per COM:FOP#Japan. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:55, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
Now see Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Statue of William S. Clark (Hitsujigaoka observation hill). I'm still moving some things there. It seems that Japanese Wikipedia doesn't allow me to use the same name as on Commons, which is a bit annoying. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:18, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for this feedback. Too bad the pictures can't be used as the statue is a significant cultural icon in Japan. But that's just the way it goes, I suppose. Thanks for answering the question so speedily. Historical Perspective (talk) 22:39, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Images from Somalia.

Somalia has no copyright law or intellectual property relations with the United States, as stated on Template:PD-Somalia. However, Somaliland has a functioning judicial system, and they have some primitive copyright law, based on the 1955 copyright law of Italy. See here for further discussion. I recently nominated File:Edna-adan-maternity-hospital-hargeisa.jpg for Valued Image status. It was claimed as "own work" by the uploader, but it in fact seems to come from the hospital's website.

I believe it is the case that we respect the copyright law of Iran here, despite the fact that there are no copyright relations between Iran and the US. Should we do the same for Somaliland ? If not, are all the photographs on the hospital's website in the public domain, if they are all works of Somaliland ? --Claritas (talk) 12:46, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

This is also relevant to North Korea, since the copyright laws of North Korea differs from those of South Korea (e.g. in terms of freedom of panorama). The United States recognises neither North Korea nor Somalia, and it is unclear how the country of origin is defined if it was made in an entity not recognised by the United States. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:32, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
There are also issues with images on free webhosting sites. If a Somali photographer uploads an image taken in Somalia to Flickr, has the work now been published in the US, and thus subject to copyright protection ? Or is it still free of copyright due to the Somali origin ? --Claritas (talk) 13:36, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
If first published on Flickr (or Wikimedia Commons or any other US web site), I would assume that it was first published in the United States and that copyright applies, but I might be wrong. --Stefan4 (talk) 13:59, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
I understand that the issues are legally unclear, but I'm sure that any court would give the copyright holder the benefit of the doubt; that if they uploaded it to Flickr or Commons, that would be considered first published in the US and thus under copyright.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:27, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Any idea about whether we should change the Template:PD-Somalia to state that works of Somaliland are excluded ? We'd probably have to delete a few files. --Claritas (talk) 08:57, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Not sure about the usefulness of the North Korea parallel -- the U.S. and North Korea have never exchanged ambassadors, but the two have negotiated in a variety of contexts, and Madeleine Albright visited Pyongyang, so it's in a different class than Somaliland... AnonMoos (talk) 09:43, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Wait; the US does have copyright relations with North Korea. Copyright Office circular 38a lists North Korea as being a signer of the Berne Convention as of Apr. 28, 2003. (Interestingly, it lists Somalia as Unclear instead of None.)--Prosfilaes (talk) 18:42, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Right, North Korea and Somaliland are different. In the North Korean case, copyright relations exist, but the United States does not recognise statehood. In the Somaliland case, neither copyright relations nor recognition of statehood exist. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:50, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Incorrect copyright?

This file, FRISCH_AUF!-Logo.png has been on Commons for awhile now, but it seems strange that an organization would have released their logo under CC BY 3.0 when the only real source (with a strange color) is found on this page: [16]. Now, in the U.S. it would probably be considered not copyrightable as it's just text and two rectangles. However it would be borderline. In Germany, where the file is from, I'm not so sure. It's why I put the SVG on WP with a FUR and appropriate tag.

I'm not so sure it can be on Commons without proof that it has been re-released under this license. Hazmat2 (talk) 03:17, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

It is much too simple to get a copyright. I changed the license to PD-textlogo. Yann (talk) 07:52, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
I'd call it {{PD-textlogo}} anyways (Germany's threshold is really high for logos, much higher than the U.S.), so agreed with the license change made by Yann. It would be good to forward permission to OTRS if they did in fact license whatever copyright may exist with CC-BY. (Some organizations may license the copyright to a logo, since trademark is usually the more relevant protection, but yes many organizations don't want to even risk that.) Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:10, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
There is no such license on their downloads page [17] or in their impressum [18]. -- Asclepias (talk) 18:31, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
I looked up German copyright law and it looks like the threshold of originality is about the same (judging by examples more complex than this one that weren't allowed to be copyrighted). Hazmat2 (talk) 17:40, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Not all CDC images PD?

All display {{PD-USGov-HHS-CDC}} yet the CDC page with the image claims:

"Copyright Restrictions: Yes - This image is copyright protected. Any public or private use of this image is subject to prevailing copyright laws. Please contact the content provider of this image for permission requests."

I understand why it is labeled PD, but if that's the case, why is the CDC providing a note that it is copyright protected? Any opinions on this would be helpful. Hazmat2 (talk) 03:05, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

That's... interesting. The {{CDC-PHIL}} template does warn that some of the images available on that site are not created by the CDC, and therefore may be under copyright -- those should be avoided. The one you mention does say it's under copyright, but the CDC is labeled as the "content provider" (who is also the entity to contact to obtain permission). Not sure on that... I'm not sure I would ignore the copyright claim without further information though; perhaps the CDC is just acting as an agent for the actual copyright owner. Or, perhaps the copyright note is a mistake. On the other hand... the File:Streptococcus pyogenes.jpg version, the earliest upload from the looks of it, has the text normally seen on PHIL when an image really is public domain -- perhaps it was once marked that way? That seems the most likely explanation, actually. Would be good to find out the story on that, if the status changed on the CDC site and why. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:37, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
While it's not possible for US federal agency to create a copyright protected work, they can obtain copyright from somebody else (for example by contracting them to do some particular job for them). So it may be a case here. VolodyA! V Anarhist Beta_M (converse) 05:49, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Right. The caveats I know of that might apply here:
-A federal government work can be copyrighted if it was made outside the United States.
-If they hold an obtained copyright, the copyright protections afforded still apply.
I emailed PHIL about this image; they replied that the image is indeed under copyright and should not be used. So, these need to be nominated for deletion. They did not clarify if the image was once marked public domain or not, so I don't know if the original error was on PHIL's side (since corrected) or if multiple editors here ignored the "Copyrighted" tag and even copied in a public domain declaration (that would be troubling). Either way, a mistake was made, and these need to be removed (unfortunately). Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:10, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

2nd Opinion needed on copy write question... ILO file

Here is the source and page number... p.17 ILO-OSH 2001 Any chance this graphic can be put back??? Thanks. Kurt Dundy (talk) 07:05, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Yep, there it is. The copyright notice is on page 6: "Copyright © International Labour Organization 2001", so I don't think we can use it. More on copyright at Commons:Licensing. Best. --Old Moonraker (talk) 19:54, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
ok but what about the part "Nevertheless, short excerpts from them may be reproduced without authorization, on condition that the source is indicated."

Copyright © International Labour Organization 2001 First published 2001 Publications of the International Labour Office enjoy copyright under Protocol 2 of the Universal Copyright Convention. Nevertheless, short excerpts from them may be reproduced without authorization, on condition that the source is indicated. For rights of reproduction or translation, application should be made to the Publications Bureau (Rights and Permissions), International Labour Office, CH-1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland. The International Labour Office welcomes such applications.

Second opinion available here--Old Moonraker (talk) 07:03, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
The copyright notice on the ILO website is not sufficient for us to permit the image to be uploaded to the Commons without further authorization. We only allow such uploads where the notice makes it clear that content can be used freely for all purposes, including commercial purposes and where modification of the original content can occur. The copyright notice only permits the use of "short excerpts" (and it is not clear how this applies to images as opposed to text, as we would be reproducing an entire image rather than a portion of it), and explicitly requires further permission for "reproduction". What you could do, of course, is to contact the ILO and request that they license the image in question under a free licence. But, without such authorization, I don't think we can have the image here. — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:45, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Theft of images

Hi, my name is Jonathan Borchard and I am a photographer, it came to my attention that User:Fcb981 has been uploading photos to wikimedia in his name when the photos are, and always have been, my property. The photos appeared on a CD that I gave to my nephew some years back, and i guess someone he might know is now claiming to be the owner. Anyway, as the photos were never the property of the uploading account, I request they be deleted. Thanks, JB - 22:18, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure what's happening here. First, the user Fcb981 himself made an edit to his talk page, making this accusation and claiming to be Jonathan Borchard. Then, with the next edit, IP changed the signature. Please,, tell us honestly: are you indeed Jonathan Borchard - or maybe rather Fcb981 (whose name is Eric Baetscher, according to to the image descriptions) who wants his own pictures deleted from Commons? It's very difficult for me to think of another explanation for Fcb981's edit as "Jonathan Bochard", or why should you have access to Fcb981's account? Gestumblindi (talk) 22:44, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe a checkuser could be asked about this for verification, but given the edit by Fcb981, it looks as if it is in fact Fcb981 who wants his own photos deleted. --Stefan4 (talk) 22:48, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
A plausible, but unfortunately incorrect, theory. Jonathan Borchard came to my house demanding to speak with me, and used my unsecured WIFI to post while he was outside waiting. I also confirm I stole his images. My bad. -Fcb981 (talk) 22:55, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh I really hope Jonathan Borchard doesn't press civil charges! -Fcb981 (talk) 22:57, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
This looks even more suspicious. If I use someone's insecure Wi-Fi while waiting outside someone's house, I would not be using the Wi-Fi network owner's computer (since it would most likely be inside the house). Instead, I would be using my own laptop computer or my mobile phone, both which would have different cookies than the Wi-Fi network owner's computer (so impersonation wouldn't be possible). --Stefan4 (talk) 23:00, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
you're right, we're in collusion, thought it doesn't change the fact that I uploaded photos that aren't mine. -Fcb981 (talk) 23:05, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
As you have gone to comparatively great lengths to make the copyright situation clear on your image description pages (random example: File:Portland Night panorama.jpg, a very fine, featured picture by the way), including "To purchase rights to this photo, email me at ..." statements, I really feel not very inclined to believe this sudden "image theft" story. Eric, your pictures are wonderful! They are very valuable for this project and, rightly so, widely used in many language versions of Wikipedia. I do have some sympathy for your wish to have them removed, as you maybe could sell them better if they weren't available under a free license, but you have chosen this license and you know that you can't revoke it. But if the story is really true, I would suggest using Commons:OTRS to e-mail proof of Jonathan Borchard's identity and the accusations (or has someone a better suggestion for handling this?) Gestumblindi (talk) 23:16, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Since he never had authority to license the pictures in the first place, that point is moot. But hypothetically, seeing the english wikipedia community response to the SOPA blackout might erase all faith in the project for someone like Fcb981. To watch as this bastion of neutral information blatantly torpedoes its own credibility taking a stand on a piece of legislation that wouldn't have made it out of the house, much less onto the desk of Obama, could be rather disenchanting- this. So for the kind words, I'm sure the actual photographer thanks you. It is never the institution or organization that advocates for something, it is leaders within it. In the case of, you have chosen yours, and his name is Jimmy Wales. Those here who assumed they were part of a neutral organization have seen the reality. The images you speak highly of might have contributed in some tiny measure to the success of wikipedia. If that success and power is only a tool to be used on the floors of congress for political gain, then I'm sorry but the project doesn't deserve the images. - 23:42, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, hypothetically, if I were to speak to Fcb981 and Fcb981 were the real photographer ;-) - you should be aware that Wikimedia and Wikipedia as a project are far more than only the English-language Wikipedia, and deleting your images would also harm e.g. the Bulgarian, the Faroese, or the Japanese Wikipedia, all of which are using your photos and all of which aren't deeply involved in the whole SOPA protest business, though many of them have chosen to display a banner in solidarity (but many of the users on those Wikipedias don't even understand English). From my limited understanding of the SOPA thingy, and being from Switzerland, I support the blackout as I can't really judge whether this is indeed "a piece of legislation that wouldn't have made it out of the house, much less onto the desk of Obama", and though the blackout might seem somewhat extreme and very well may be an overreaction, better safe than sorry, wouldn't you say? As it seems to me that the legislation as originally proposed could greatly hamper Wikipedia (the need to check all external links for possible copyright violations etc.) But even if I'm completely wrong, Wikipedia is first and foremost a great encyclopedia created by countless contributors, most of them probably don't particularly care about American politics, but of course don't want to see Wikipedia's future threatened by legislation. - Anyway: As said above, if you insist on being Jonathan Borchard and that Fcb981 has "stolen your images", I think you need to prove this and probably could use the OTRS in order to achieve this. Gestumblindi (talk) 00:07, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
I appreciate the points you make. Perhaps best put as: overreaction, real or perceived, is not best countered by reacting in kind. Though as it seems the secret is out that they were improperly obtained, I suppose it's best to have them deleted anyway. I truly do apologize to anyone, and mostly contributors, who that will adversely effect. The pictures aren't that unique after all, and my clear conscience for them not being used in the games of Jimmy Wales is probably worth more. Cheers to neutrality! ;) -Fcb981 (talk) 04:05, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Quite interestingly, the IP address points at an obscure page, en:Wikipedia talk:SOPA initiative/Action#The Glorious Leader Implores us to Act, where Fcb981 has been commenting. It is possible that Fcb981 is upset about the SOPA initiative, but he should be aware of what it says in the licences that he has agreed upon: images may be used in any context (political, religious, commercial or whatever) by anyone. Even if Wikimedia had decided not to act, it would still be possible for any political party to use his pictures as part of the party's propaganda. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:58, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Copyright claimed on possibly PD images

I've seen a couple of old images for which the sources are claiming copyright but I think are public domain. Country of origin is the UK:

Are these PD and would the suggested license tags be valid? January (talk) 11:27, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

The underlying Rudolph photo is in the public domain in the United Kingdom. The picture is hosted by the National Portrait Gallery in London, and that gallery sometimes claims copyright for things not copyrighted in the United States but copyrighted in the United Kingdom. {{SourceNPGLondon}}{{PD-Art}} can be used for this.
If the photo was first published (or registered at the US Copyright Office) between 1923 and 2002 (inclusive), it might still be copyrighted in the United States. Since the photographer died more than 70 years before 1996, this would only be the case if every publication of the photo was in compliance with all of the relevant formalities (copyright notices, renewals, late registrations). If published before 1923, or not published at all before 2003, it would be in the public domain in the United States. I'm not sure how to prove whether it was published or not.
A photographer who took a photo in 1855 most likely died at least 70 years ago, so the second photo is probably not copyrighted in the UK, even if the photographer would happen to be known. If the photographer is unknown, it is in the public domain in the UK. The same trouble with US publications also apply to that photo. I'm not really sure how to deal with that possibility since there always is a possibility that something might have been published somewhere. Even if something is thousands of years old, but not published anywhere before 1923 and published before 2003, it may be copyrighted in the United States because of the year of publication rule. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:43, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

URAA affirmed by US Supreme Court - deletion request opened

In a 6-2 decision, SCOTUS affirmed the decision of the district court. The principle findings were: "1. Section 514 [of the URAA] does not exceed Congress’ authority under the Copyright Clause. [...] 2. The First Amendment does not inhibit the restoration authorized by §514." Supporters were Ginsburg, Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Sotomeyer. Breyer and Alito dissented. Kagan recused. See SCOTUS Blog.

Regrettably, this means we can no longer defend our long-held position that the URAA is probably unconstitutional, and that our publication of files bearing the {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} in contravention of that law is justified. As such, I have opened Commons:Deletion requests/All files copyrighted in the US under the URAA and invite your opinions there. Over 3000 files are affected. Please post your opinions regarding deletion there. Please don't post here to avoid dividing discussion, as I'm posting this notice in multiple locations. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:14, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

possible massive upload of maps

I recently ran across the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library's photostream on Flickr ( ). All 2,000 plus maps appear to have Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) licensees attached to them. I was looking to up load one map of Northbridge, Massachusetts, but i thought i should ask if A) the copyright info appears legit and B) if they are all free to use why don't we upload them all?--Found5dollar (talk) 14:10, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

I have several reservations about mass uploads.
  • When it is done from a database that has been available for a while, it can lead to a lot of duplication and wasted effort, as was just demonstrated by a large block of NOAA uploads. We have some capability to detect duplicates but it misses items sometimes, and I do not think we fully understand why. Please do some systematic checks for duplicates.
  • There are a limited number of editors available to catagorize and describe images and a chronically large backlog of uncatagorized images. Except in unusual circumstances, I think the uploader retains the responsibility to catagorize and describe the images. The exceptions would be for truly massive uploads where there is consensus that
a) the images will be an enhancement to Commons, and
b) posting to Commons will make the images substantially more accessible to the public.
(An example of a worthwhile mass upload is the recent NARA upload which has made much higher resolution scans of historic images widely available, and was done with the cooperation of the institution.)
  • I am concerned that a pattern of widespread mass uploading from working databases will eventually have a detrimental effect: If all their content is available on Commons, they will see a falloff in traffic, and thus in support, and will no longer have the resources to continue to grow their sites. They have to look successful and that means citations, links, and traffic count. (I'm not sure that applies to a Flickr page, however - Anyone know?) Sites with the resources to scan and upload unique, large, or high-resolution images are particularly valuable. When we selectively upload a few images, we create backlinks that lead to their site, which can be helpful to them. When we get greedy we risk killing the golden goose. If we make a habit of it, we risk undermining not only individual sites but the whole idea that libraries and archives should put their collections online.
An exception would be if we have the enthusiastic cooperation of the institution. Another exception would be if the site is known to be in danger of going offline, or is chronically unreliable. Apart from these situations I suggest restraint. Dankarl (talk) 15:52, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Image of one-line from Jack Kerouac


Does {{fop}} apply for this image? --George Ho (talk) 08:38, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but FoP in the US only applies to buildings. This isn't one, unfortunately. — Cheers, JackLee talk 09:49, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Still, this is a two-dimensional representation of Jack Kerouac's one-line poem. With what else can we tag it? --George Ho (talk) 10:19, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Do you know when it was installed? Perhaps {{PD-US-not renewed}} (published in the United States between 1923 and 1963, with its copyright not renewed), {{PD-US-no notice}} (any work first published without copyright notice prior to 1978) or {{PD-US-1978-89}} (published in the United States between 1978 and March 1, 1989 with neither copyright notice nor registration within 5 years) may apply to it. See "Commons:Copyright tags#United States". — Cheers, JackLee talk 10:36, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Hmmm, it appears that Jack Kerouac Alley was only created in 1988, and it's not clear to me whether the plaques were installed in that year or later. Looks like the only tag that might possibly apply is {{PD-US-1978-89}}, and only if the plaques were installed prior to March 1, 1989 and all other conditions of that tag are met. — Cheers, JackLee talk 10:41, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
It is also necessary to determine whether it was published or not. The definition of publication was changed in 1978, and judging from #3D artwork in a public place above, this stone thing in the street was probably not published, so rules for unpublished works would apply. On the other hand, the poem was probably published somewhere. --Stefan4 (talk) 10:56, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
That line came from On the Road, as I researched. I searched the novel On the Road, and I found two renewal registrations of the novel in Here's the article:; I'm not sure how helpful, but that's all I found. --George Ho (talk) 11:10, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
The literary copyright might not be a problem since it is one line out a whole book and so de minimis (though I'd like to her other views on this). So what are the rules on unpublished works in the US? — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:18, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
The project design must have been shown in 1988 to the city council, yet 19 years passed, and I don't know how long the alley received the facelift. Does it count as a "publication"? If unpublished, a copyright would be protected with terms of an author's life plus 70 years. If a joint authorship, the last survivng author plus 70; if for hire, 120 years.[20] --George Ho (talk) 11:25, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't think there is anything copyrightable about the design. Only the text might qualify, and I don't think I'd delete over that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:37, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

So, {{PD-text}} plus the photographer's licence? — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:27, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

That would categorize the image improperly. Just use the correct licensing tag for the photograph and explain in the Information template that the underlying work is PD. Powers (talk) 20:57, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

{{CC-zero}} license link required?

Looking at the metadata for {{CC-zero}}, I see it has "licensetpl_link_req" as "true". But I can't find anything in to indicate that there is any requirement to link to the license, or to do anything else for that matter. Is this an error, or am I missing something? Anomie (talk) 20:46, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

I think it's an error. The whole idea of CC-zero is that there are no requirements whatsoever. Gestumblindi (talk) 20:53, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

I found some photos on Flickr I would like to upload but....

I am wondering if they are not just copyrighted photos uploaded on Flickr... Is there a way to tell/see this? I am talking about this photostream. — Yulia Romero • Talk to me! 22:19, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

The ones I checked all had a "no commercial use" restriction, which makes them unusable here. --Carnildo (talk) 22:43, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Images for a gratis software wikibook reference, free of charge but not FOSS

I'm writing a reference book for free software for image processing. My contribution is welcomed by the author, and my wish to support the textual infomration about it with screen captures of the tools, menus and such, also accepted by the author. They don't have a Licence per se but a Terms Of Service doc, which refers to the trademark logo, and source code, neither of which is open to use. I have the image, painstakingly grabbed by myself (in french and english because I'mm writing both in parallel). I don't mind putting a CC-BY-SA licence or any other for that matter, because anybody can do as I, and go grab that image anyhow since it is freely available. But because it is ABOUT someone else's software, that is free but not under an accepted licence I'm afraid that all my efforts might be for nothing. This particularly haunts me:the [uploadWizard] the page, at STOP (second block, about screencapture of software) !!! I have already told the author I was going to publish the images as mine, and not that they are from is Software... thanks in advance, Jmdeschamps (talk) 12:37, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

I am not quite sure if there is any reason why nobody has answered you so far, maybe I miss a point? You are not the author by screenshoting and hence you cannot choose a license at your will. If the program is not freely licensed then it is like the most programs (in Windows world). See Commons:Screenshots for more info. In short: if the screenshot doesn't contain copyright eligible parts then it is okay ({{PD-ineligible}}) - otherwise not. Very likely you need to ask the author for a permission for the screenshots (COM:OTRS) in which he can mass-license all screenshots of his program. A general tip: be sure not to include other parts outside the program window in the screenshots: needless, distracting and can cause copyright problems. Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 06:29, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Category:René Lalique

Hi, Lalique died in 1945 and a number of photographs of his work in galleries and museums are in the category above. The photographs appear correctly released on free licenses, however I am unclear what the particular situation would be for copyright for the artworks in the various countries they are on display. As freedom of panorama is unlikely to apply within all the exhibitions, I suspect that his estate may still claim copyright on photographs taken. Any counter-views? -- (talk) 00:35, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Use of image without permission

Hi - One of my images has been used on Wikimedi without my permission. Here is the image on the Wiki: File:Alisterus_scapularis_-perching_on_a_man_with_binoculars-8.jpg. Here is my original image which is all rights reserved: Some time ago another flickr account took my image and placed it on their own account. This is the link that can be found at the bottom of the Wikimedia page: If you follow that link you will find it no longer active - that is becaue I contacted the person and requested that they remove the image from their account. Could someone please help remove the image from Wikimedia? Thanks

I just nominated it for deletion. If you find any more (hopefully not), you can use the "Nominate for deletion" link on the left side when looking at the image page. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:58, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Image published in 1934 magazine = now free?

I want to clarify something. This image of a teenage Katharine Hepburn was published in Liberty magazine in 1934. The PDF can be seen here, with the specific image on the second page. It is clearly not marked with a copyright notice (either on the full image, as I linked to, or in the magazine), but Liberty was distributed all across America, with one of the highest circulations of any magazine at that time. Does that mean the image has entered the public domain (ie, publication without copyright notice prior to 1977)? It is also reproduced in Hepburn's autobiography, and she doesn't give any author credit for it (even though she does for other images). It was probably taken c. 1923. --Lobo512 (talk) 15:11, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Based on that alone, probably not. A single copyright notice on the magazine itself could serve to protect the image (the PDF does not contain the entire issue but rather just the one article). Per this page, Liberty Magazine issues from 1924 onwards were properly renewed. So if that truly was the first publication, then it is probably still copyrighted. The caption says the image was from just before she entered college... so perhaps it had previously been published in a high school yearbook or something. But, the above evidence does not indicate PD status (rather quite the opposite). Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:17, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Really, they could claim copyright over someone else's image just by being the first to publish it? Gosh, copyright law used to be weird! I don't actually know if this is the first time it was published, but it can't have been in a yearbook because she didn't attend high school (she was privately tutored) and it's definitely not her college yearbook photo. Like I said, Hepburn reproduces it in her book without any mention of copyright...does that count for anything? --Lobo512 (talk) 16:29, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
They couldn't necessarily claim the copyright itself, but they could act as agent for the copyright holder, and preserve the copyright. You still needed to contact the magazine to get permission, or at least get forwarded to the person who did own copyright. It is of course possible the photo was already PD by that time, but ... may need some evidence. The lack of a copyright in her own book does not necessarily mean anything either -- she may have owned the copyright herself, if it was something taken by her parents, and covered by the book's overall copyright notice. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:54, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Okay, thank you for the information. It's too difficult to use this image. I have, however, located her college yearbook photo, so I am contacting Bryn Mawr College to find out if I'm allowed to use it. --Lobo512 (talk) 17:12, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Copyright of works before 1978

OK, so according to the Hirtle chart (using the original link because it's fuller than the local copy), authors are required to go through formalities with the copyright office or their works were not considered copyrighted. This includes foreign works published prior to 1978.

Does anyone know how often movie studios completed formalities? Was it always? How about foreign movies? While I doubt that the studio would want to publish a work and have it go into the public domain immediately, deposit and registration was probably also a hassle.

This is a very important question because we have a lot of movie stills in Category:PD Italy (20 years after creation). Per my handy chart (Template talk:PD-Italy#Alignment with .7B.7BPD-US-URAA.7D.7D), this means that basically any of these works published post-1963 are not PD in the US. Magog the Ogre (talk) 01:21, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Um... yes, copyright notices on published copies were required for all authors, foreign or U.S., until March 1, 1989. Renewals were abolished for works published 1964 and later, so those are not required. However, if foreign authors did not comply with the formalities, provided that the work was still under copyright in their own country on the URAA date (usually January 1, 1996), then the U.S. copyright was restored regardless if formalities had previously been missing. You can search for renewals online (the paper volumes have been scanned). I don't know how often foreign movies remembered to include a copyright notice. Most U.S. movies and books would have remembered I'd think, and probably renewed as well, but there are some which did not. If the interpretation of Italian law making stills of movies PD after 20 years is correct, then ones from 1976 or later are copyrighted in the U.S., 1964-1976 would depend on if the movie had a copyright notice, and pre-1964 would depend on both the notice and the renewal. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:41, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Screenshots of films may not apply.[21] [22] Under Italy law, films may be copyrighted under 70 pma of last surviving author. --George Ho (talk) 02:47, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm talking about the definition of simple photographs in Article 87 of their current law (which was worded the same in 1996, I think). That seems to say frames of film get the shorter term. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:20, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
...I'm confused. Why are non-still screenshots of movies categorized as 20+-year-old pictures, such as File:Addiofratellocrudele-Testi.png? This image may seem to me as part of 70pma. --George Ho (talk) 06:06, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
I would have thought a screenshot would be a "still"... not sure how you differentiate between screenshots and stills. But I'm really not sure about the interpretation of that law. Perhaps it only meant stills from newsreels and similar-type videos taken of everyday life. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:42, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Stills were taken by an on-set photographer, and count as entirely separate photographs (technically, no connection to the film). They required their own copyright - which most studios never bothered to secure. See en:Film still.--Lobo512 (talk) 15:17, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
OK -- those are straight photographs. The Italian law though says "frames of film" (per the Google translation anyways) are subject to the 20-year rule. Those sound like screenshots, basically. Carl Lindberg (talk)
I'm not entirely understanding this discussion, but surely screenshots are a completely modern phenomenon (since we had the technology). Any other images from films, before we had the capacity for making screenshots, would have been production stills - entirely separate photographs. I don't know if that makes any difference here, but I just thought I'd clarify that. --Lobo512 (talk) 16:38, 22 January 2012 (UTC)


Unfortunately, I don't think screenshots of Italian movies by modern technology qualify for Commons if 70pma has not yet passed; not sure about the law, though. By the way, there is no tag yet that explains the 70pma for Italian films. Mere scans of photo prints are fine, nevertheless, including promotional materials. --George Ho (talk) 19:26, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

If someone uploads an Italian film, I suppose it gets the PD-old-70 tag. -- Asclepias (talk) 20:58, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
I still don't get it. File:Addiofratellocrudele-Testi.png is a simple single frame or a frame of the 70pma film? I recently tagged it for copyvio. --George Ho (talk) 23:00, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Before anything else, it is good to remember that, as far as I can tell, we (i.e. we the people in this discussion so far) are not specialists of the Italian copyright law. So, like others, I'm only trying to reflect on what seems to be our current understanding and practice, from what we can understand from the text of the law. We could be right or we could be wrong. Now, from what I seem to understand, if it is a frame, then it is a frame. It gets the 20-year-from creation protection. If someone wants to publish in Italy a video file reproducing a whole film or even some sequence of a film, 70 years p.m.a. must have passed. But if someone wants to publish in Italy a copy of a frame from the film, only 20 years from creation must have passed. But of course if we want a real answer, we would need a jurist who specializes in the copyright law of Italy or we would need to search and find something in the Italian jurisprudence and doctrine about this topic. -- Asclepias (talk) 23:37, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Right now, the image is speedily deleted. --George Ho (talk) 06:47, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
The Italian text uses the word "fotogrammi", which means the individual frames of the film. I suppose that the logic of the law is that each individual frame, on its own, is considered to be a photograph, whereas the film as a whole (or some continuous portion of the film), with its plot, the moving performances, etc., is an artistic work. It makes some sense. I don't think that the technological means of further reproduction matters. A screenshot will still be a reproduction of an individual frame. -- Asclepias (talk) 20:58, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

French military insignia (apparently not very old according to uploader's comment)

As tried (I was simply reverted by the user) to explain and discuss at régimentaire du 86e Régiment d'Infanterie.jpg user talk page (read there for some more info): we have a problem with about 500 files uploaded by this user: French military insignia all only licensed PD-self without a explanation why the depicted work (it is a scan) is free (as far as I could see by some samples). I have found Template:PD-France but it doesn't mention government works (couuuuld be that insignia count as such). Examples: File:Insigne du 5e Régiment de Hussards..jpg, File:Insigne du Groupe d’Instruction Troupes De Marine.jpg. Any hints or mass DR? --Saibo (Δ) 20:56, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Ah, that. Well, it seems somewhat unclear. Whatever the eventual conclusion about the copyright status of the images, it must be said that the instructions given to that user were often contradictory. Before he began his work of uploading those files, some years ago, he took the precaution of asking several sysops on fr.wikipedia about it, and they all told him those images were accepted on fr.wikipedia. And then after a long time and his uploading hundreds of images, it was suddenly decided to delete them. That was quite brutal. Of course, this has no impact on the objective determination we must make about the copyright status of the images, but it sort of colors the issue. His answers about the validity of the images are not always clear either. I haven't really followed the whole story, so I'm not sure what to think of it all. I can try to dig out some of the discussions about the deletion on fr.wikipedia and direct you to it. Anyway, apparently, his uploads to Commons began in 2009. And they don't seem to have been challenged here, except for a few exceptions. If you decide to mass delete them, you might want to prepare the user to it. -- Asclepias (talk) 21:31, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks so far! Well, if he perfectly knows that his license tags are not sufficient and that there already were deletions but continues to upload... hmm. It would be very kind of you or somebody else who is knowledgeable about the status (pro or con) to dig something clear out. --Saibo (Δ) 21:55, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
I really don't know what is his level of good faith or bad faith. I'm not sure we can say that "he perfectly knows that his license tags are not sufficient". It seems that what was told to him is inconsistent. People tell him one thing, then they tell him the opposite, and then they act in a completely different way. No surprise that he may be confused. Here on Commons, his uploads were mostly left alone. In one of the very few cases that were brought to discussion in a deletion request, the nominator accepted his explanations and withdrew the nomination, but then the closing admin deleted the file anyway without any further explanation. One problem may be that he does not document enough the origin of the insigna. Many of the original insigna are really old, even if more recent replicas have been made. In general, those objects were designed by unknown persons and they are identified only to the companies that manufactured them in series. Anyway, I will try to find more and post back here or ask someone that dealt directly with him to comment here. It could take a few days though. -- Asclepias (talk) 22:48, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Template:ISC - valid license?

Template:ISC seems somehow similar to template:BSD and seems to be imported from en:template:ISC (but was deleted en:Wikipedia:Templates_for_discussion/Log/2011_December_20#Template:ISC at 20 December 2011) . If this tag is okay it needs the license tag categories if not: trash. ;-) --Saibo (Δ) 03:50, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

It was only deleted on en-wiki because it was orphaned. It would seem to be free. Per en:ISC license its use has spread beyond the original organization. Probably should have a parameter to identify the copyright owner though, in case it's not the uploader. But yes, it looks like it inherited the en-wiki categories as well and that needs to be fixed. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:49, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! Okay, created doc page, linked the enwp article in the doc page's desc. Seems not to be a homebrew license. ;-) Cheers --Saibo (Δ) 00:32, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Checkmark This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. Saibo (Δ) 00:32, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Irish signatures: OK or not?

Per COM:SIG#UK, it is not allowed to upload British signatures here. The Republic of Ireland gained independence from the UK in 1922 and inherited many laws. Are Irish signatures thus also disallowed here? I took a look at Category:Signatures of writers from Ireland and saw that most signatures were very old: at least {{PD-old-70}} and {{PD-1923}}. I assume that {{PD-1923}} isn't necessary (they're {{PD-signature}} in the US anyway) but is {{PD-old-70}} a requirement? Two of the signatures are too recent for that. Should they be removed?

The second one was written while the Republic of Ireland was still a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, so would the country of origin be defined as the UK or as Ireland? Stefan4 (talk) 00:02, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

File:General Butler's Monument (Rear).jpg

General Butler's Monument (Rear).jpg

Can anyone identify when this 3D work was erected? I cannot find it, and I'm worried it was first erected 1978 or later, in which case it is not public domain and thus this would constitute a derivative work. Magog the Ogre (talk) 20:31, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

The most I can find about it is here: Magog the Ogre (talk) 20:35, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Um... it's a gravestone for someone who died in 1893. The weathering is pretty old. Anyways, here is the info. Sculptor is Bela Lyon Pratt (1867-1917), date of 1902. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:10, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
How did you find that? Magog the Ogre (talk) 21:45, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Searched on SIRIS Art Inventories (a terrific database from the Smithsonian on public art). There is a link at COM:FOP#United States. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:00, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Can a screenshot of Wikipedia be licensed under Free Art License ?

Hi there, I was intrigued to see File:Firefox.8.0.png licensed under FAL. Shouldn't it be licensed under Creative Commons, as similar screenshots like File:Firefox9.png. Thanks, Dodoïste (talk) 12:50, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

The licence statement on that page was wrong. I've changed it and I believe that it is now correct. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:57, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Stefan4! Dodoïste (talk) 13:29, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Mobile phones

Quick question - do pictures of mobile phones constitute an unauthorized derivative work? I previously thought so, but just wanted to get a second opinion. Thanks, Acather96 (talk) 20:06, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

No, unless you're talking about screenshots, or something which prominently features something copyrightable on their screen. The phone itself is a utilitarian object. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:08, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh, all right - thanks for clearing this up :) Acather96 (talk) 19:34, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

"Subject to disclaimers"

I have been moving some images from Japanese Wikipedia and I just noticed something interesting. Most pictures on Japanese Wikipedia are tagged with ja:Template:GFDL and I just spotted this text in the template: "Subject to disclaimers." Does it mean that I have been doing something wrong while copying images from Japanese Wikipedia and that all of them should be re-tagged as some new Template:GFDL-user-ja-with-disclaimers (which currently doesn't exist)? It might require retagging quite a lot of images moved from Japanese Wikipedia and I'm not sure if there is an easy way to locate them. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:49, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

  1. As you can see from the English interwiki listed at the left, the disclaimer page is the equivalent of's Wikipedia:Copyrights. That is, the disclaimers are just the "normal" disclaimers which all the GFDLed content in Wikipedia is currently subject to.
  2. And regardless of that, a disclaimer is not a copyright notice, instead it is a warning given in advance to the user in order to prevent subsequent legal action, which may be felt as needed in one country but not in another, and as such it does not change the copyright status of the image, which is nothing more than GFDL (otherwise, the guys at would have named the template "GFDL-user-ja-with-disclaimers" instead of plain "GFDL") -- 07:56, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

File:Earth western hemisphere from Suomi NPP.jpg PD?

I was wondering if this new image from NASA falls under {{PD-USGov-NASA}} instead of the cc-by license it shows on Flickr. I've seen the same photo on NASA's website. It was taken on their new satellite, Suomi NPP, which is own by them. Techman224Talk 01:59, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I think it does. The credit line (also seen here) is "NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring", which are all NASA entities. The usage link on the Flickr page itself goes to NASA's usual image rights page, which states that still images are generally not copyrighted. I would imagine that their Flickr account has not gotten the setup to use the "US Government work" license. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:42, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

PD-textlogo; second opinions

There are numerous logos that are borderline PD-textlogos that I'd like to ask a second opinion about. I'm asking because they were originally or also uploaded to English Wikipedia, and I don't want to delete them there unless we are confident they are not uncopyrightable. Please note that some of the logos may be mistagged as self-created (the uploaders are sometimes lying or not paying attention); others might be properly tagged as self created (uploaded by copyright holders) but are missing proof of permission:

I realize some of these might seem obviously free to you guys but I just want to double check before deletion at English Wikipedia. Magog the Ogre (talk) 06:06, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

In the absence of any evidence to the contrary, Commons has to treat these images with caution by assuming that these are all non-free images. Since a logo is a graphic mark or emblem commonly used to add value to commercial enterprises by identifying their product, service or organisation through branding, you should err on the side of caution by assuming that these logos are registered trade marks, and as such are afforded special copyright protection.
On the other hand, if you do have any evidence that they were published without copyright protection, or their design has been identified by a third party source as being judged to be beneath the threshold of originality, then they just might be in the public domain. However, I would suggest to you that this is very unlikely.
What we can't do is to assume that the images are in the public domain simply because there no information available about their copyright status at the time they were uploaded into Commons. At the very least, we have to assume that these designs were created by a graphic designer, and that uploading them into Commons is an infringement of the designers' copyright.
Lets be absolutely clear, an OTRS ticket from the designer, publisher or registered trademark holder is needed before these images can be classed as being in the public domain. In the absence of an OTRS ticket, the {{fair use}} template should be placed on each of these image so that they be removed from Commons. --Gavin Collins (talk) 09:59, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Most of these are well over the line. The Tron image is most probably OK (that is only lettering and everything is just centered), and the Cleveland show might be OK, except that the letters may be arranged so to draw a copyrightable shape. Not sure on that one; probably safer to delete it. The Escogido baseball team I'm also not sure about; it may not reach the threshold in the U.S. but that is a Venezuelan logo and I have no clue what the situation would be there. So, I'd probably only keep the Tron Legacy one. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:13, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't see how you could come to this conclusion, Carl, based purely on your own opinion. In the case of artwork for Tron Legacy Reconfigured, this is an intergral part of the artwork for an album cover published by Walt Disney Records. if you have a look at this website, you will see that the uploaded file is only a small fragment of a much larger graphic design that goes way above the threshold of originality.
Carl, you are way out of line to suggest that Commons can keep this artwork and ignore the copyright of the designer and publishers in this particular case. Contributors to Commons cannot make judgements about whether an artwork is original or not based on personal opinion; we need to provide third party sources to identify such works for us. --Gavin Collins (talk) 17:23, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
You are out of line to suggest that we are not allowed to interpret copyright law -- of course we can make judgements. That is copyright paranoia otherwise. See Commons:Threshold of originality and many of the decisions of the U.S. copyright appeals board here; many of them deal with this sort of thing. To suggest we cannot apply the same arguments to other works is incorrect. Copyright is determined by the uploaded expression only -- if something non-copyrightable is pulled out of a larger work, that element is still non-copyrightable. That does not affect the copyright on other elements, and of course we could not upload the larger work. If you think that being part of a work which contains other copyrighted items somehow "infects" this work with a copyright, that is mistaken, and a fairly significant misunderstanding of copyright law. The Tron image above contains purely non-copyrightable phrases, and is entirely text ("typeface as typeface" is not copyrightable in the U.S. -- see here). The arrangement is entirely centered, and is therefore too simplistic to me to support a copyright -- there is no creativity in the arrangement. You have to treat each upload on its own merits. Some designs are too simple to support a copyright, as numerous court decisions and copyright office decisions have found; I reject the proposition that we are not allowed to make our own judgements on the matter following case law and other precedents. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:26, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
In fairness to me, I am not suggesting that we are not allowed to interpret copyright law. Of course we can make judgments, but can only do so if there is third party evidence about this specific image to support our opinions. We cannot form opinions from mere generalization.
The reason why I can't rely on your personal judgement is that, as a contributor to Commons, there is no real evidence that you (or I exist): therefore, everything we say has to be taken with a pinch of salt, because what we write is nothing more than hearsay when viewed from the perspective of the real world. Since our personal interpretations of the law cannot be used on their own as a basis to make judgement on copyright law, then we need to provide third party evidence (real world evidence) to back them up.
Take the example of File:Tronlegacyreconfigured.jpg: it is not a very complex graphic design I grant you, but to suggest that something pulled out of a larger work is not "copyrightable" if there is no creativity in the arrangement is just another way of saying that we don't have to give attribution to an artist if we were to cut there work into little parts where their creativity could not be seen. That is a way of evading copyright law in my book, simply by saying that the sum is subject to copyright, but the parts are not. This is a classic example of a derivative work: it is just a paired down version of the whole design that can be seen here.
Having said that, the evidence that this is a "copyrightable" work is there for all to see: both you and I can see the Disney logo is clearly displayed within the design. I don't know if the Disney logo is itself subject to copyright, but, regardless, if this image has their logo on it, then they are clearly asserting ownership of this work, in which case I suggest to you their copyright should be respected, regardless of merit.
Simply put, I reject the proposition that we are allowed to use our own judgments to brush aside claims to copyright simply by using case law and other precedents (regarding registered trademarks) that do not apply to this case (regarding original artworks). That would be wishful thinking, and is not an argument that would stand up in court of law in the real world, where such opinions would be subjected to peer reveiw.
Think I am being too abstract in this view? Put it another way, if you want to go toe to toe with Disney's legal representatives in a court of law, then if you were to treat this image as public domain and start printing t-shirts based on this or any part of the album artwork (including just the text bits) and offering them for sale, then you would risk being sued for copyright infringement just as you would do for stealing part of any other Disney designs.--Gavin Collins (talk) 21:53, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
The threshold of originality is part of copyright law. To suggest that we are not allowed to interpret that with respect for a particular image, but instead must rely on an outside person's interpretation on every specific image, is basically saying we are not allowed to interpret that aspect of copyright law. There are plenty of examples, and the rationales and wording used by the courts and copyright office are applicable to all works, not just ones they happen to consider. That is the entire idea, that people get better guidance on making their own decisions. I may or may not exist ;-) but any argument is here on its own merits. Just because we are WIkimedia contributors do not mean that our opinions have no weight -- in the end, we need to interpret copyright law and there are inherently lots of boundary issues. I believe in respecting the public domain as much as respecting copyright; you appear to want to acquiesce to any copyright claim no matter how novel or unsupported it is. The Disney logo is not evidence of copyright (nor is it copyrightable itself as it is just lettering); it obviously identifies the author though. Every precedent I mention above is about copyright specifically; I'm not sure why you would think those are about trademark. I would certainly agree the Tron image is trademarkable, and almost certainly trademarked, and if you made a t-shirt with it, you would be committing an obvious trademark violation. However, I don't think that would be a copyright violation. Trademark and copyright can overlap, but there are items which are trademarkable but not copyrightable (such as the Tron one, I think, and many other logos), and there are many which are both (most of the rest of the examples above). And there are things you can't trademark, but can copyright, of course. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:14, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Let's be absolutely clear, when Gavin says "Lets be absolutely clear, an OTRS ticket from the designer, publisher or registered trademark holder is needed", he phrases his own idiosyncratic opinion as policy. That is not standard operating procedure for Commons.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:20, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Setting aside our differences of opinion for a moment, at the very least we are agreed that Tron Reconfigured artwork is the intellectual property of Walt Disney Records. Whether or not Disney can enforce intellectual rights over this work is a matter of speculation. Either way, we can only form an opinion based on the evidence in front of us.
Whether this artwork is original or copyrightable or not, I personally cannot say in the absence of a specific court judgement or other third pary evidence relating to this image. However, if we are agreed that the artwork is owned by Walt Disney Records, then that is evidence that it is a non-free image until proven otherwise. I can understand why some editors might disagree with this view, and if they want to upload similar works of Walt Disney into Commons, all I can do is to suggest to them that it is the wrong thing to do. However, you should know that an identical image that has been uploaded at Wikipedia is categorised as a non-free image, so I am not alone in the view, despite what Prosfilaes would like to think. --Gavin Collins (talk) 09:48, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
If you can't say it's copyrightable, then you cant say it's non-free. Trademark is a non-copyright restriction, and does not have a bearing on whether the work is "free" or not. "Intellectual property" is therefore not a specific enough term on this site; we are concerned purely about the copyright. Disney owns the trademark, yes, the keep-or-delete question is if this rises above the threshold of originality for copyright or not. All you have been saying is that you don't want to give an opinion -- that is fine, but then please don't call other opinions wrong without saying explicitly why you think this does rise above the threshold. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:58, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Symbol keep vote.svg Keep the Tron image. It is just text. Symbol keep vote.svg Keep the Cleveland image. Calligraphy is not copyrightable in the United States. Maybe Symbol keep vote.svg Keep the baseball club image, but it really depends on how {{PD-ineligible}} is defined in the source country. Symbol delete vote.svg Delete most or all of the rest as they seem to be more complex. Category:Logos suggests that the first two, and maybe the third, but hardly the rest are fine. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:20, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Its not my fault that the editor who uploaded the file did not upload any copyright information that demonstrates that the artwork is non-free or in the public domain, but in the absence of such information, we cannot disregard the wishes and the rights of the copyright holder based on our personal opinions. We need third party evidence to support the extraordinary claim that it is non-copyrightable.
If we cast our net wider in our search for evidence, and go to the website of Walt Disney Records, you will find clear assertion of copyright over everything (including the artwork) that Disney produce. This is a good reason to treat the artwork as non-free, because we don't have any third party evidence to support a contrary position.
It it fair to say that based on the real world evidence that we have before us (rather our own opinions), Disney are claiming in good faith that their artwork is subject to copyright, and so we should respect that, regardless of our personal opinions. --Gavin Collins (talk) 17:30, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Copyrightability should be able to be decided by looking at the work; that is not something that the uploader necessarily needs to provide evidence for (though it would always help). We do not need explicit third party evidence; we do need to base it on solid legal arguments however. Those arguments do come from third parties. You say "copyright holder"; that says you are assuming there is a copyright to begin with, so you are assuming the question -- that is circular reasoning or rather begging the question. Of course Disney claims copyright over everything they are legally allowed to copyright; the notice is for the composite work of the website, but the copyright of a composite work, has no bearing on the individual parts that make up that work -- if separated, copyright is applied to that piece only. Obviously, many portions (such as the other part of the album cover you pointed out) do have their own copyright, but the only thing in question here is the image actually uploaded. If that is copyrightable on its own, then we should delete it, if not, then it should be kept. The arguments though need to be based on legal precedent -- copyright is not granted based on whether there is a claim or not; it is automatic if it is eligible, and obviously does not exist at all if a work is not eligible. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:54, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Intellectual property is a vague term unhelpful in discussions like this. I feel the idea that Disney owns it is tantamount to claiming it has a copyright; a trademark is not ownership, it's merely exclusive right to use it in some commercial cases.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:36, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I would say that the Walt Disney Company tries to claim copyright for anything ever made by that company, hoping that no one will contest that. However, this does not mean that Disney holds any copyright of the item; it just means that Disney has issued a statement that it owns the item, which may or may not be true. To this discussion, I would also like to add (Commons:Deletion requests/File:Disney Junior Logo.png) which is similar. It would be nice to be able to finish that discussion at some point. It is also interesting to see how easy it is for Wikimedia to claim that a third-party logo isn't copyrightable while still claiming copyright for some of its own very simple logos (see Wikimedia). At least Testwiki-favicon.png and Wiktionary-favicon.png look like {{PD-textlogo}} to me, and some more of the images on that page would probably also go under that tag. --Stefan4 (talk) 18:06, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Clearly my earlier arguments have not been accepted.
However, the knockout reason why Commons should respect Disney's copyright claim is because the artwork can only be used for the same purpose as a non-free would be used. Since the whole context of this discussion is whether this album art is non-free or not, then if it can only be used to identify a specific product of Walt Disney Records, that clearly indicates that it is a non-free image.
Put this another way: if the uploader wanted to use an image that is not "copyrightable" to visually identify the album "Tron: Legacy Reconfigured", then the uploader had the option to create his own artwork for this purpose, and release it into the public domain. Instead, he chose to upload Disney's own design because:
"...the image is cover art, a form of product packaging, the entire image is needed to identify the product, properly convey the meaning and branding intended, and avoid tarnishing or misrepresenting the image".
My own personal view is that this artwork is more than simple text and geometric shapes: it actually identifies the product in a unique and recognisable way. If there was any other purpose to which the image of this artwork could be used, I would be inclined to agree with Carl Lindberg. However, since image that cannot be used for any other purpose other than as visual identification of Disney's work, and that is the killer argument as to why it is copyrightable, and hence this is a non-free image. --Gavin Collins (talk) 09:39, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
You are talking in terms of trademark -- symbolic value (and visual effect) are not used in determining copyrightability (as mentioned many times over in the appeals decisions). You seem to feel that a trademarked item is non-free since it can only be used in limited contexts without violating trademark; that is however explicitly not Commons policy. And making custom artwork that uses a trademarked name would likely inherently be a trademark violation itself, and thus not acceptable here -- we accept trademarked items, but of course can not use them in any way which violates trademark. That is part of the issue -- there is no real other way to represent the logos without uploading only the approved designs which make use of the trademark. If such logos are not copyrightable, by copyright law, then they are considered "free" and can be uploaded to Commons. Otherwise, they remain fair-use only on local projects. In any event, looks like it was deleted without discussion anyways. (file was restored) Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:35, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I am not concerned with the trademark in the image, other than it does serve to identify Walt Disney Records as the maker of the product, whose terms and conditions (displayed on their website) make it clear that they assert copyright over everything they make. This is on reason why we should accept their copyright claim at face value, but it is not the only argument.
The killer argument for treating the image of the album artwork as a non-free image that it clearly identifies the album "Tron: Legacy Reconfigured", and there no other use to which the image could be used in Commons other than "to identify the product, properly convey the meaning and branding intended". Simply put, if there is no other use to which this image could be put other than piracy, then from the perspective of Commons, it must be a non-free image. --Gavin Collins (talk) 15:08, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Simply put, that is no argument at all. Its inability to be used for other purposes is only due to the trademark, and therefore no bearing on what we consider "free". Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:12, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
That is wishful thinking, Carl. Even without the Disney's trademark, the cover art still identifies the product in a way that a free image could not. Proof of this is that the uploader clearly intended that the image should be used to illustrate the article about the product in Italian Wikipedia. Lets be honest with each other, if an non-free image of the cover art is uploaded and used in this way, it is to "properly convey the meaning and branding" that a free alternative cannot. --Gavin Collins (talk) 16:10, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment: The art can be used for several things without voiding Disney's trademark. For example, you could create your own custom font and use some of the letters on this image in that font. The fact that there might not be any potentially useful derivative works that you can make out of an image is irrelevant. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:15, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
There are many things that could be done with this artwork, in theory, but in reality that is implausible because it would be easier to create your own artwork that is fit for purpose, rather than trying to make a square peg fit into round hole.
For example, if you were to attempt the creation of a derivative work from this image, you would have to ensure that it "will be of inferior quality, unsuitable as artwork on pirate versions or other uses that would compete with the commercial purpose of the original artwork. Simply put, anyone using this non-free artwork for any other purpose other than to illustrate the article about the product risks the accusation of copyright infringement. --Gavin Collins (talk) 16:40, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
You are talking about a fair use rationale, which is only needed if there is a copyright in the first place. If this is below the threshold of originality, then there is no copyright to begin with, and no copyright holder, and it is free, and everything you keep repeating is meaningless. The fact it is used to identify a product is immaterial -- the copyrightability is exactly the same whether it refers to a product or not. And yes, you could possibly extract small bits to use elsewhere (the main problem is that the starting image is so simple there is not much to extract). You still seem to be fundamentally misunderstanding something -- File:Best Western logo.svg cannot be used for much other than identifying the company either, but that doesn't change the fact that it is not copyrightable and therefore "free". The question here is threshold of originality per U.S. law, and nothing else, and you are basing your argument on factors which do not enter into that determination. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:30, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
At some point, Gavin, you need to acknowledge the distinction between trademark and copyright, which Clindberg has made heroic efforts to make clear to you. Copyright is a form of intellectual property protection which provides protection for creative works for a limited period after creation; a trademark provides potentially unlimited protection for unique identification of something (so long as the trademark remains in use). Copyright requires creativity in a design, and no usage; trademark is about usage, and requires no creativity. It is perfectly possible to have a copyright-ineligible trademark, and such files can usefully and legitimately be hosted on Commons for usage in Wikipedia (and perhaps other Wikimedia sites) in ways that do not constitute trademark infringement (i.e. by identifying the trademarked item on a fair use basis - an issue to watch out for at the Wikipedia end as the assumption will usually be that items from Commons can be used without fair use declaration). That it is often nearly impossible to find other legitimate uses is irrelevant. That is why we have {{Trademarked}}. Rd232 (talk) 17:49, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I have acknowledgded the distinction between trademark and copyright, and I understand the point you are making: you are of the opinion that copyright protection does not apply to this image, but I don't accept this opinion, because it is not based on any real world evidence, just hearsay. The real world evidence I have seen here, suggests to me that the artwork for this album is way above the threshold of originality, but that is just my opinion, and this can be ignored not only because this too is hearsay, but also because I do not claim to have a perspective on this issue that is superior to you or Carl or any other Commons participant.
The reason why this is a non-free image is indicated by the use to which it has been put, and also by the fact there is no other legitimate use to which it could be put, i.e. fair use image. The uploader has used it to identify the album "Tron: Legacy Reconfigured" because there is no free alternative that could be used to "properly convey the meaning and branding" that this image of the artwork conveys. The use of the term "branding" in this context is not about trademarking of Walt Disney Records per se, but used in the sense that the artwork is sufficently original to associate the product with the film franchise, which is the purpose for which "copyrightable" artwork of this sort is created. It was apparent to the uploader that this artwork achieves for exactly the reason why Walt Disney Records is likely to have commissioned this artwork in the first place: to be sufficiently original and distinct so as to identify the product as special or different from other products in the market place. This image can serve no other purpose other than to used as a non-free image for these reasons. --Gavin Collins (talk) 00:56, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
"The reason why this is a non-free image is indicated by the use to which it has been put, and also by the fact there is no other legitimate use to which it could be put". Cite the law that says that matters in a copyright sense. There's no legitimate use for the word Disney other than to identify the company or one of the family members, but that doesn't make it copyrighted. (Or "I'm Mitt Romney, and I approve this message.") --Prosfilaes (talk) 02:26, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Legal Precedent

For your information: I added a link to a different ongoing deletion request which may be relevant to this discussion. --Stefan4 (talk) 01:16, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

The (excerpted section of the) Tron Legacy album cover is clearly not copyrightable; we have countless legal precedents from the U.S. Copyright Office that make that painfully clear to anyone who cares to investigate. (That the album cover as a whole includes copyrightable artwork has no bearing on the copyrightability of any particular part of that album cover.) In my opinion, the Cleveland Show log and the RuPaul graphic are also not copyrightable. The others I would delete from Commons (unless we can find out more about the threshold of originality in Venezuela). Powers (talk) 01:31, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Which legal precedents from the U.S. Copyright Office apply to Tron artwork? Could you be more specific? Please be aware that we cannot rely on hearsay in these matters. --Gavin Collins (talk) 09:19, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Which legal precedents from the U.S. Copyright Office apply to the Mona Lisa? Once again, you're applying a different standard to applying the "too simple to be copyrighted" rules then you apply the "too old to be copyrighted" rules.--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:44, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
In fairness to me, I am not applying different standards; the analogy you are using is too trite to support this view. It is a matter of fact the Mona Lisa is in the public domain by virtue of its age, but it is a matter of personal opinion whether this album cover is original or not. If there are legal precedents from the U.S. Copyright Office apply to Tron artwork that can be brought to this discussion, these would be better than hearsay. --Gavin Collins (talk) 13:49, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Above, Gavin, you said (on whether these images meet COM:TOO) but that is just my opinion, and this can be ignored not only because this too is hearsay, but also because I do not claim to have a perspective on this issue that is superior to you or Carl or any other Commons participant. You claim not to put your opinion above anyone else's (in a manner that implies you've never even heard of the community's "consensus" approach to matters of opinion), but at the same time you seek to overturn the way the community has handled these matters for a long time, with no evidence that is really relevant to your argument (which seems to be, when it boils down to it, that trademark use somehow confers copyright protection). At this point it should be abundantly clear that you're not going to change the community's approach by discussing this matter in this thread. If you really think you're right, you should approach the WMF legal counsel (email is listed somewhere); if the WMF issues a legal opinion on this, the community will be forced to listen. Rd232 (talk) 14:20, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Obviously there is a wider picture to consider, but it does not matter who is right or wrong in this regard. If the legal counsel of Walt Disney Records were to contact the WMF legal counsel and request the image to be removed, then there is a risk that our discussions here would become irrelevant, as it would be left to the lawyers to decide. However, if we deal with this case in a cautious way by treating it as a fair use image, then we can keep the lawyers out and avoid the Judgment of Solomon.
I think this fits in with the wider community's "consensus" approach to legal matters: we should try to avoid the risk of legal action where it unnecessary. Commons does not really have any use for this artwork image outside of "fair use" (which is what it is being used for, afterall), so why Commons needs to dispute Disney's claim of copyright over album covers they have created is beyond me. --Gavin Collins (talk) 15:32, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
You're making it sound like Commons is trying to make this case an exception; but it isn't, there is a well-established principle backed by a range of legal precedents (COM:TOO) and it is being applied here. You're seeking to overturn that principle, and you're not going to succeed by continuing this thread, which originated with a discussion of the application of that principle before you took it in a rather different direction. Rd232 (talk) 16:16, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Not at all. What is extraordinary about this whole discussion is the number of claims that are being made without any third party evidence that this album cover is not subject to copyright protection. The unanswered question in this regard still stands: "Which legal precedents from the U.S. Copyright Office apply to Tron artwork?" --Gavin Collins (talk) 16:50, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Gavin, we're getting into IDIDNTHEARTHAT territory in your failure to acknowledge that Commons:TOO#United_States lists relevant precedents, most obviously the Best Western one. Rd232 (talk) 20:37, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
The problem is that none of us here at Commons are qualified to pronounce whether the rulings of the US Copyright Office are relevant to this case, let alone be taken as precedents. The correct answer is that, while there might be a precedent out there somewhere, we don't really know if there are any precedents from the U.S. Copyright Office that apply to Tron artwork.
Please forgive me if I don't acknowledge your point of view, but consider the situation that we are in. The US Copyright Office probably receives thousands of requests to register graphic designs every year, most of which they accept, some of which they must refuse. If the artwork for the album "Tron: Legacy Reconfigured" were submitted for to their office for registration tomorrow, we have no way of telling whether they would grant or refuse the request. More importantly, for all we know an application to register the Tron Legacy artwork may have already been submitted and accepted. I think you have to acknowledge, no matter how reasonable it is to pronounce the Best Western logo as being applicable to this case, we cannot rely on such pronouncements because, given the lack of third party evidence to support this view, it is little more than hearsay, but more importantly, it could be entirely false. --Gavin Collins (talk) 08:44, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't think you're using the word wikt:hearsay correctly. We are not reporting what another said. It could be totally false; that's not the standard that we've used before, for practical reasons. Any "own work" could be copyvio; even reproductions of old paintings could be modern hoaxes. (I've looked for a book I could scan a better version of File:Nymph with morning glory flowers.jpg from, but I've never found a printed source that shows it.)--Prosfilaes (talk) 09:50, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
So, basically, you're saying we cannot accept reasonable consensus judgement by Commons users on an issue where some judgement about licensing is required - and that's just about everything Commons does, since judgement is required on whether users' declarations about licensing of uploaded media are reasonable. In this case, we'd need nothing less than an OTRS ticket from Disney saying "yes, this is PD-textlogo". Except, OTRS is staffed by volunteers as well, so how can we trust that? So basically, we need to shut down Commons (since WMF can hardly afford to replace the volunteers with paid staff copyright lawyers). Do you want to tell Jimbo or shall I? Rd232 (talk) 17:08, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
OTRS is staffed by unpaid volunteers, but at least they are operating in real world, whereas we are not. If we want to keep Commons free of lawyers, then we don't want to upload non-free files that would require them to monitor our actions, or worse still, have to defend our actions in court.
Going back to your earlier point about "reasonable consensus judgement by Commons users", of course I respect your right to exercise judgement about licensing, but my gut feeling is that the pronouncements made by Carl, yourself and other users may be based on a category mistake relating to the nature of image that we are looking at, and the conclusions that you have jumped to may be erroneous as a result. On the one hand, I accept the consensus view that simple text, coloring and geometrical shapes "without a spark of creativity" fall below the threshold of originality required by the U.S. Copyright Office. Nonetheless, there is evidence to suggest that this album cover is entitled to copyright protection because its design should be categorized, not as a simple design, but as a derivative work because it is being used to illustrate a product that is part of the Tron franchise for which Walt Disney would receive copyright protection under Title 17 of the US Code.
The evidence for this is based on typeface used on the album cover, which is based on the same typeface that used for the promotion of the film Tron: Legacy. This typeface has been in development before the film release (see for example, this image from the 2009 Toronto Fan Expo, and has been used in film posters and other forms of derivative work ever since, which I think we can agree is subject to copyright. A reasonable judgement based on the typeface would suggest that the album cover for "Tron: Legacy Reconfigured" would be entitled to copyright protection, because it falls under the category described in COM:DW as being of "such design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independ­ently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article".
The question here is not whether or not there is consensus judgement, but which consensus judgement applies. --Gavin Collins (talk) 09:22, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
If the typeface was copyrightable in the U.S., I'd agree with you. But Congress was pretty explicit that it is not: The Committee does not regard the design of typeface, as thus defined, to be a copyrightable pictorial, graphic or sculptural work within the meaning of this bill and the application of the dividing line in section 101. A work which does not rise to the threshold of originality cannot be a derivative work, because it's not a "work". It would not matter if it was used as a component in a different copyrightable work; any public domain element can be extracted and used (though of course that would not affect the copyrightability of that other work). Symbolic value also is not relevant in determining copyrightability; it is based solely on the expression actually present. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:19, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
If we were solely focused on the typeface as the "work" in question, I would be inclined to accept your counter argument. However the album cover in question is more than just a typeface, it also explicitly identifies the film franchise ("TRON LEGACY") by name, as well as using an original arrangement of that typeface ("R£CONFIGUR3D") that does not appear anywhere else. Lets be honest, this album cover has been copied wholesale in order to preserve its originality, and there has been no attempt to extract or use the typeface separately from the design of the album cover. Based on a unique combination elements, the "spark of originality" is actually present in this album cover, such that we know it to be a derivative work from the film "Tron: Legacy" which is the work in question. --Gavin Collins (talk) 00:14, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
And since you criticize us for interpreting the law without evidence, do you have any law or court cases to buttress your position? Because I find your interpretation of law to be without precedent.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:10, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
The fact it identifies the film franchise by name is immaterial (at least in a copyright context; that is of course precisely what trademark is about though). Copyright is not based on symbolic value. Additionally, names, short phrases, slogans, and that sort of thing are not protected by copyright: Even if a name, title, or short phrase is novel or distinctive or lends itself to a play on words, it cannot be protected by copyright. As for "original arrangement of typeface"... um... that is called a "word". "Reconfigured" is not an original word. And the result of using reversed characters is still just a typeface; they are meant to be read as letters, and are still just typographic ornamentation. The fact they used numbers for a couple letters is barely novel; it's done in en:leet all the time, and to me is not the type of original expression protected by copyright anways, but rather at best "novel and distinctive" in the way that slogans are yet still not subject to copyright (and not really novel anymore, either). Of course the image was uploaded because it identifies the album; someone found a portion of the cover which was too simple in and of itself to copyright, but can still be used to identify the album -- that kind of thing is routinely uploaded. For a fuller description of what a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work needs to be to attain copyright, look at the Copyright Compendium: Copyrightability depends upon the presence of creative expression in a work, and not upon aesthetic merit, commercial appeal, or symbolic value. Thus, registration cannot be based upon the simplicity of standard ornamentation such as chevron stripes, the attractiveness of a conventional fleur-de-lys design, or the religious significance of a plain, ordinary cross. Similarly, it is not possible to copyright common geometric figures or shapes such as the hexagon or the ellipse, a standard symbol such as an arrow or a five-pointed star. Likewise, mere coloration cannot support a copyright even though it may enhance the aesthetic appeal or commercial value of a work. For example, it is not possible to copyright a new version of a textile design merely because the colors of red and blue appearing in the design have been replaced by green and yellow, respectively. The same is true of a simple combination of a few standard symbols such as a circle, a star, and a triangle, with minor linear or spatial variations. To me, the graphic is a series of non-copyrightable words, arranged in a centered column. It's certainly not a derivative work of the film -- that implies specific, identifiable expression from the film is present here, which really would only be the word 'TRON LEGACY" in its typeface (which is not copyrightable, as mentioned, and thus not protected expression). Carl Lindberg (talk) 09:33, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
In fairness to me , I have said all along that my opinion can be ignored because it is hearsay when viewed from a real world perspective, but also because I do not have a superior perspective relative to any other Commons participant. However, for Prosfilaes to dismiss my views as being "without precedent" is little more than a trite insult.
As explained earlier, we need to look at the evidence that is before us, and the knockout reason why this artwork is a non-free image is demonstrated by its "fair use" to which the uploader clearly intended, namely to illustrate an article about the product. Fair use in this context means that the image is "...cover art, a form of product packaging..." and that the rational for using it is that "...the entire image is needed to identify the product, properly convey the meaning and branding intended, and avoid tarnishing or misrepresenting the image". If proof is needed, the proof of the pudding is in the eating: its a non-free image being used for a fair use illustration.
On the issue of fair use, I would illustrate this point with reference to Castle Rock v. Carol Publishing. Although the crux of the Castle Rock case is centered on what constitutes commerical use vs. fair use, the case is relevant to us because it describes the characteristics of a derivative work that would be subject to copyright in terms of the use to which it is being put.
  1. There is no dispute as to whether Walt Disney holds copyright over the album "Tron:Legacy Reconfigured" nor is it disputed that uploader of this image copied the artwork directly from the album cover;
  2. The uploader clearly intended fair use of the image, as there has been no attempt to create his own artwork to illustrate the article about the album, nor was there attempt to extract or use the typeface separately as has been done elsewhere;
  3. It would be hard to argue that the work was not subject to a claim to copyright, since if the image copied directly from website of Walt Disney Records, whose terms of use mades their claim explicit;
  4. There no alternative or transformative use to which this image could be put, other than for the purposes of fair use;
  5. The album cover is derivative work, because it is promotional material that the copyright holder (Disney) would generally develop or license to identify their products, a secondary user of the image (Commons) could not develop or license the artwork in this way (unless it received an OTRS ticket).
  6. When taking all factors together, the the only reasonable use that could be made of this image is fair use, and the only reasonable conclusion from its use is that it is non-free image.
I admit that this case is not directly relevant, so again, feel free to ignore my opinions. Having said that, I think these arguments do counter Carl's assertion that this album cover cannot be categorized as a derivative work because it's not a "work" in the first place. I think if we are honest with each other, we could agree that this album cover does contain the "spark of originality" and that it is a derivative work, and this is why the uploader chose to to copy this album cover in the first place, because a free image would not contain that spark (i.e. public interest in the "Tron:Legacy" franchise) that this artwork provides. --Gavin Collins (talk) 10:36, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
  1. There is indeed a dispute that Disney owns copyright over the portion of the cover as uploaded here; if this portion does not reach the threshold of originality then there is no copyright to own in the first place. Ownership of other works is not relevant.
  2. A fair use claim, and all the language surrounding it, is not necessary if the image is not copyrightable. You seem to be assuming the question again.
  3. It is certainly possible to argue the work is not subject to copyright per law; that is what we are doing.
  4. Transformative use is a fair use term; again not necessary if not copyrightable.
  5. The fact that it is promotional material has no bearing on its copyrightability, as mentioned previously. Copyright does not protect ideas or symbolism, only expression.
  6. Every single argument you present in your list above presupposes it is copyrightable, so none of those arguments really address the question at hand, and don't advance the discussion much. Your previous two posts had come closer to why you thought it passed the threshold of originality, even if not supplying any references, but now it seems like you are circling back to a "it's copyrightable because it's copyrighted" argument or something like that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:19, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
That is an over simplification of my position, and does not invalidate my arguments. Looking at the evidence and infering that the album cover is subject to copyright is not the same as presupposition. This is not a circular argument as you suggest; rather this is an example of strong inference. Not only can we observe what the uploader has done in the past (2), what the status of the work is in the present (1 & 3), but more importantly, it is possible to predict that the use of this image must be restricted to fair use, rather than piracy, in the future (4 & 5). Castle Rock v. Carol Publishing is a useful case, because the court's decision about non-fair use was inferred from the evidence, not presupposition.
My argument still stands, but I do concede that there is not have any direct evidence that the album cover is subject to copyright. You are entirely correct to say that copyright does not apply to mere text, common geometric figures or shapes, typefaces and simple colouring. Having said that, whether this applies to the design of this album cover is a matter of opinion, and clearly is a source of disagreement between us. At its lowest level, every artwork is composed of simple graphic elements, but when assembled together, an artwork can become more than just the sum of its parts, and my personal view is that this is an uncommon arrangement of these elements in which the "spark of originality" is present. --Gavin Collins (talk) 04:48, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

New upload

This was just added (copied from English Wikipedia) and I'm suspicious about it. Note that it is a British logo, so it must require less skill and labour than a simple signature in order to be {{PD-textlogo}}. Any opinions? --Stefan4 (talk) 23:41, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Best guidance I have seen is here and here, which indicate the pure text logos probably don't, but if there is any artistic element, then it probably does. Given the little graphic on the right... I'd probably lean towards copyrightable there. And there was a case (full text here) just recently where special treatment of the letter "E" was deemed enough for copyright there. The case was mostly about trademark, and rejected a laundry list of defenses, but copyright and the "originality" question was mentioned in one paragraph, saying what is required for artistic originality is the expenditure of more than negligible or trivial effort or relevant skill in the creation of the work and citing a 1966 precedent. They seem to use "original" in the sense that it was not a copy of something that came before. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:11, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. I have proposed both logos for deletion at Commons:Deletion requests/Two British logos. I am not at all happy with the Edge logo copyright, but we can't go against a British court. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:46, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

I've added a few more {{seealso}} references because I noticed that some of the images that we were discussing have been proposed for deletion. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:14, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/Two British logos closed as keep which has now started a discussion at User talk:Yann#Two British logos decision. --Stefan4 (talk) 14:09, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I would be quite concerned if we delete such simple logos because of copyright. To me, it is similar to the {{PD-Art}} issue: there is a threshold beyond which we declare that we don't accept copyright claims. Accepting such claims would open a lot of issues: what if I create a similar file myself? Which copyright law would you apply? I don't ask that we change our current rules, just that we apply what the template says: simple logos do not get a copyright. I am pretty sure that most companies claim a copyright over their logos, even very simple ones, but we don't accept these claims. Yann (talk) 16:25, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
You ask that we don't change our current rules, yet you ask that we change our current rules, which only list an exception for {{PD-Art}} but not for {{PD-textlogo}}. If you also want an exception for {{PD-textlogo}}, I think that COM:L needs to be changed first. If you make a logo yourself, I suppose what matters is where it was published first. I think that a claim by the en:High Court of Justice (as in the Edge case) should be taken much more seriously than a claim by some company. --Stefan4 (talk) 17:24, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

BBC logos

Commons hosts a lot of logos for the en:British Broadcasting Corporation. Here are some examples of the letters "BBC" written in different fonts:

I'm a bit suspicious about these logos; I suspect that they might pass the threshold of originality in the UK since they don't seem to be simpler than the Edge logo. There are also a lot of derivative works of them (BBC Scotland, BBC Wales etc.) and they are used on a lot of pages on Wikipedia in a lot of languages, so before nominating them for deletion, I'd like to hear the opinion of other people: how do these logos stand in terms of British copyright?

Some logos are quite old and BBC is owned by the British government. Are the logos Crown Copyrights? If so, the oldest versions would be in the public domain because of age. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:07, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

The BBC thinks that their logo is subject to copyright under their terms of use, but whether this could apply to simple designs has been questioned by Carl Lindberg and others, and to some extent they have a valid point. I have come to the view from the above discussions is that if an image of a logo, packaging or an advertisement is being used for fair use purposes, then it should be classed as a non-free image regardless of its originality, unless there is specific third party evidence (such as a ruling in court of law about the particualr image) that indicates the otherwise.
The reason for this view is two fold: partly as a precautionary measure (to avoid disputes over copyright with the creators of the artwork, original or not), but also because if the artwork is being used to illustrate a product, its packaging or the organisation that created it, then acknowledgement of copyright should be given to that organisation. I don't understand how it is possible to argue that a particular image "originates" from an organisation on the one hand, and then say but it is not "original" enough to acknowldge their copyright on the other: its like saying something has a "creator" but is not a "creation" at the same.
I understand that a particular piece of artwork can be beneath the threshold of originality, but I see inherent conflict in the template pd-textlogo, which contains the disclaimer "Although it is free of copyright restrictions, this image may still be subject to other restrictions". Not only do I view this template with its disclaimer as a cheap excuse to ignore the creator's assertion of copyright and to evade the terms of use that may be attatched to it, but also because a template that claims content to be in the public domain subject to other restrictions is not based on truly valid claim to be in the public domain at all, particularly if the creator clearly claims it is subject to copyright. --Gavin Collins (talk) 18:57, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
The statement obviously refers to the fact that a textlogo might be trademarked and that trademark restrictions may prevent some use of the logo. I suppose that the statement could be removed from the template since there is supposed to be a {{trademarked}} template present if a logo is a trademark. All images are subject to some restrictions (for example, it might be impossible to legally using them for defamation, racism or other things), so there is no completely free image. If an image is subject to specific restrictions, it might be categorised under specific templates on Commons, e.g. {{trademarked}} or {{Nazi symbol}}, but this doesn't prevent the image from being here. A good example is Wikileaks, which, as far as I have understood, mainly deals with documents which are {{PD-USGov}}, but there are still complaints and lawsuits against the site and the people involved behind the site because of "other restrictions". The only issue which matters here is the threshold of originality, which varies from country to country. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:55, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
The issue is not only that the threshold of originality varies from country to country, but opinion varies between Commons users in terms of how we interpret where the threshold is set and how it is applied. We have discussed earlier that Commons users can use their judgement as to whether an image can be hosted here, but the inherent conflict in this approach is still unresolved: on the one hand, the BBC claims copyright, and on the other, Commons users might validly argue that their logo falls beneath the threshold such that their claim to copyright is invalid. So who is right and who is wrong?
The threshold of originality is a grey area, where arguments about the threshold of originality cannot be resolved by discussion alone. Even though the BBC's claim to copyright may be technically doubtful, Commons users are not in a position to provide a definitive legal opinion that their logo is not "copyrightable". Even if Commons users are adamant that a piece of artwork is beneath the threshold, this may be a just a legal technicality that has no effect in the real world, where the copyright holder may be able to enforce their copyright claim, regardless of originality. It would be better for us to agree on a simple "fair use doctrine" which says if logos or artwork is being used to identify a product, its packaging or the organisation that created it in a Wikimedia webspace, then it should be treated it as if it is subject to copyright, even if Commons users have reasonable grounds to think that it is not. --Gavin Collins (talk) 15:53, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Er no, if something is below the threshold of originality in a country, that has a very real effect in the real world, as in that case there is no copyright to be infringed. Many, many court cases have been decided along such lines. Including the UK -- this case ruled that the Star Wars stormtrooper helmets were not subject to copyright protection in the UK, but only industrial design rights, which last for 25 years. If below the threshold, there is no copyright, and there is no copyright owner. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:35, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Er, are you sure? It says 15 years in that BBC article, not 25 years. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:38, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
I know that Commons has a blanket ban on Fair Use, but... would it be so terrible to make an exception for logos in use on Wikimedia projects? Rd232 (talk) 16:39, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Section 52 of their law says 25 years (1988 law), and so does the court decision and the 2009 appeal (which was basically upheld in the recent decision). However, the 2011 decision also mentions there was a 15 year term under an older 1968 act, so it may have been either a typo or a mix-up, or maybe the 1988 law did not extend the earlier term for the 1976 stormtrooper helmet (though I think it did). Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:40, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Not sure I understand you. Are you refering to Wikimedia logos, or commercial logos? If you are refering to the latter, then to keep the "fair-use doctrine" simple, there would be no exceptions. Simply put, if a piece of artwork has an "originator", then we would treat it as if it was above the threshold of "originality". So in the case we see before us, we would delete all of these logos even though they are simple, but in the knowledge that they would be preserved for fair use purposes (together with their history and context) in such articles as Logo of the BBC. --Gavin Collins (talk) 18:22, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Well obviously I meant commercial logos, like the BBC - we already have Wikimedia logos. Yes, "fair use" can be applied locally; but that means managing copies on X different projects, and Commons exists precisely to avoid that. And I don't think distinguishing logos in use on projects as logos from other stuff is all that hard. The problem comes really from the fact that some projects don't allow fair use locally, and it would perhaps cause them problems if they had to check every Commons-hosted logo for whether it's fair use or not. Rd232 (talk) 18:33, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
To help resolve things, here is the 1988 Act with amendments: --George Ho (talk) 18:28, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
The Edge logo ruling was based on the fact that the font was stretched horizontally, and special treatment was given to the "E"s that was different than the original font (the middle bar was extended out left). Both that ruling, and this and this guidance, imply that just the name in a standard font is not enough for copyright protection, but that some "design elements" are required (which also must be "original"). Some of the logos above may qualify for that... not the second-to-last though, I don't think. The BBC terms of use, of course, lump trademark, copyright, and design rights together -- basically, if those rights exist, then of course the BBC reserves all of them. I'm not sure I consider that an explicit claim, rather just claiming their rights as far as they may exist. But, some of the above logos may be problematic (particularly the one with color). Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:35, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
My experience is that companies try to claim all possible rights for everything they've made, even if they aren't eligible to those rights. There is no need to care about any such claims if they are invalid.
I'm in particular worried about the last logo, since it is used as an element in a number of other Commons-hosted logos: Category:BBC logos. If that one is ruled too complex, it will cause a huge mess since all the other related logos would have to go away too. Some of those logos also have other aspects which look complex, so some of them probably have to go away even if the one saying just "BBC" can stay. I see that it was restored on English Wikipedia shortly after I started the discussion here, so it seems that someone might have the same fears as I do.
Commons requires that logos be out of copyright in their country of origin. What is the country of origin if a logo reads "BBC Germany"? Is it Britain, Germany or both? There are quite a few logos mentioning other countries than the UK.
Is a copyrighted BBC logo a crown copyright, i.e. are all BBC logos made before 1965 in the public domain? --Stefan4 (talk) 00:07, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
The BBC is an autonomous corporation in its own right (i.e. its a "Quango"), so crown copyright does not apply. The country of origin would depend on location that particular organisation operates from, e.g. "BBC Germany" (trading as BBC Worldwide Limited) and "BBC World Service" operate from the UK, whereas "BBC America" operates in US under terms of use for that jurisdiction. --Gavin Collins (talk) 09:47, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
The Berne definition of country of origin is country of first publication. It gets a lot more fun when things are "simultaneously" (within 30 days) published in multiple countries. ;-) As for the current BBC logo... oof, really not sure. The font is straight Gill Sans, so no embellishment there. The question is if using the square blocks elevates it to being copyrightable... and if that concept has been used before (seems likely), then that aspect may not be "original" (the other requirement the law has). Really not sure. From the looks though, there are a couple logos in Category:BBC logos which contain graphic elements outside of the BBC logo portion, which should probably be reconsidered. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:40, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I'm aware that some other logos in that category need to be deleted because of very complex elements. --Stefan4 (talk) 12:37, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
These logos are too simple to be above the threshold of originality, but this is my personal opinion and should be ignored because it is hearsay.
Despite this, the "fair-use doctrine" should apply: if they are being used to identify the organisation for which they were created under a fair use rationale, then we should treat them as non-free if they were more complex and ignore whether they are above or beneath the threshold of originality, so we don't get bogged down in arguments if they are in a grey area.
Stefan4 has argued that there is no need to care about a claim to copyright if the artwork falls beneath the threshold of originality, but we have to be honest and agree that we are not in a position to determine whether this is the case without third party evidence to back up such a claim, even if it might appear obvious that these are really simple designs. For all we know, the BBC may have sucessfully prosecuted cases of copyright infringment relating their logo on many occasion, but we have just no way of knowing. However, we do know that the BBC take their branding seriously: check out the BBC branding policy.
The "fair-use doctrine" makes a lot of sense if we are going to use the artwork as non-free in any case, but also because it is always sensible to be cautious about copyright where there is no third party evidence that we can rely on. --Gavin Collins (talk) 20:08, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
There is a big difference between opinion and hearsay. Gavin.collins' "fair-use doctrine" (it's his creation) has no basis in reality. It privileges copyright paranoia in one part of the law above other parts of the law, and seriously hurts our ability to support Wikipedias without fair-use exemptions.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:57, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm thinking of proposing most of the BBC logos for deletion per COM:TOO#UK and COM:PRP. In the meanwhile, I started a deletion request for multiple other British logos: Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Logos of companies of the United Kingdom. --Stefan4 (talk) 19:59, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Whatever copyright restrictions exist, it is a bad idea to create a DR for a whole category. Please don't do that. Yann (talk) 20:13, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
That wasn't a whole category; it was only about half a category. I thought that it would be more convenient to have all of the files at the same place since the reason was the same. --Stefan4 (talk) 20:57, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

New Hampshire Marine Memorial

Does anyone know the copyright status of the New Hampshire Marine Memorial, dedicated May 30, 1957? - Jmabel ! talk 07:13, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Info is here; looks like there is no copyright notice. I also didn't find a renewal (which should be online at if it exists). Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:47, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Photo of document of such low quality that the text cannot be made out

Specifically I ask about File:Texas Government Newsletter April 25 1994.jpg, which is indeed of very low quality. Its permission is insufficient ("released for use on Wikipedia") and lacking proof regardless, but I don't think this is copyrightable. Can anyone assist me with this? Perhaps it's {{PD-text}}. Magog the Ogre (talk) 02:44, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Also, I (or another user), foolishly uploaded an older version of the file which is of high-enough resolution to have the text read; we'll probably have to delete that. Magog the Ogre (talk) 02:45, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

In my opinion, the low-quality version is probably not of any use. One can barely read the heading "Texas Government Newsletter", and that's all. Where do you see the potential use of such a file? So, I would be inclined do delete File:Texas Government Newsletter April 25 1994.jpg altogether. Gestumblindi (talk) 02:53, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Looks like it is a scaled-down duplicate of File:TGN large.JPG anyways. It looks like it was uploaded by a former editor of that newsletter (a Don Martin), so permission is quite probable. If the text is unreadable, there is probably no copyright for it, but obviously the text itself is copyrightable. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:31, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Threshold of originality for music?

COM:TOO only describes the threshold of originality for images. Sometimes, I stumble upon music files which may or may not be eligible for copyright. For example, I have just found the following two files:

This appears to come from en:Suite for Microtonal Piano which was made by en:Ben Johnston (composer) in 1977 and first published in 1978. Since he is still alive, the US copyright chart tells that copyright to the suite will expire 70 years after his death. But might these two files be below the threshold of originality so that they already are in the public domain? --Stefan4 (talk) 13:22, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

    • The image and MIDI file do not appear to be excerpts from the piece, but rather factual data about what notes are used in the piece. Assuming that to be the case, then they are not creative works, and so they do not need to meet the TOO. Facts (i.e., 'these are the notes in this piece') cannot be copyrighted, only a specific expression of those facts. Powers (talk) 21:51, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Are those icons ineligible for copyright?

This user's uploads on 2012-01-17: the social network icons (maybe exept the identica icons) and the arrows seem to have a copyfraud license tag. Do you agree that this is all {{PD-shape}}+{{PD-text}} (and should have been tagged that or of public domain license by the uploader)? I will re-tag then. I couldn't discuss it with the user since he just had reverted my question/note. Thanks. --Saibo (Δ) 21:49, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, the Twitter icon got moved off-wiki because it was non-free copyrighted. The rest of these look {{PD-textlogo}}, including the ones with the Wikipedia "W" like File:WP SOPA Screenshot Final.png. Saibo pointed out on IRC the "shadow" design of the screenshot may be copyrightable, but I believe that was created by a contributor and the file is here on Commons somewhere under a free license. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:16, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Update: it appears at W:Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative/Blackout_screen_designs that these designs were created by WMF staff or contractors and uploaded directly by WMF, so they can indeed claim copyright to File:WP SOPA Screenshot Final.png. Dcoetzee (talk) 21:29, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Corrected the license for all those simple logos and addded cats, unprotected wrongly indef protected files... took about 16 minutes. Yeay! --Saibo (Δ) 21:46, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Checkmark This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. Saibo (Δ) 21:46, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Company logo on building in London

Shakies milk shake bar close to Victoria station London.jpg

Is a photograph taken of a 2D logo on the outside of a building in London considered free? Obviously it is still trademarked, but does FoP apply here as far as copyright? ▫ JohnnyMrNinja (talk / en) 21:32, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

See Commons:Freedom_of_panorama#United_Kingdom: I guess logos count as "graphic works" which are not covered by UK's FoP. Just another info: we don't care for trademarks as we think they are irrelevant for us (we just leave a note for possible reusers with {{trademarked}}. Oh, actually you were querying about the photo you have placed in this section? Well, according to my previous reply the logo and other artwork is probably not covered by FoP (but I am not from UK, I may be wrong) so it needs to be DM for the whole photo to make the photo permitted here. DM? - Doubtful at least. Most prominent is the drawing of the cup, mug, whatever on the door. --Saibo (Δ) 21:56, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Just to expand on the DM point, I believe there is room for interpretation here. The stickers on the door are reasonably interpreted to be incidental to the overall image of a shop front as they are actually around 20% of the image. Compare with File:Toy shop.jpg (also taken in London) which has a mass of copyrightable detail, some more prominent than others, but they are incidental to the overall photograph. -- (talk) 00:05, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
If you want to photograph a Shakies shop they are not really incidental. Without them the photo is much less valuable to depict "Shakies". Why should we compare with an arbitrary image you found? ;-) We all do well know that there is much stuff at Commons which shouldn't be there, don't you agree? --Saibo (Δ) 03:24, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Warner Bro.'s cartoons

Various Warner Brothers cartoons fell into the public domain due to copyright neglect, according to this site: However, just because something falls into the public domain does not always mean it can be shown freely (e.g., some movies fell into the public domain, but songs that are part of their soundtrack did not). In this case, it contains the image of Foxy (Merrie Melodies), a possibly copyrighted character.

How can we determine if the character of Foxy is itself copyrighted, in the same way that Mickey Mouse is apparently copyrighted? (side note: I have no idea why Mickey Mouse is considered copyrighted instead of trademarked). Magog the Ogre (talk) 07:41, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Are you aware of The Uncensored Mouse which contains several Mickey Mouse comic strips which are supposed to be in the public domain in the United States? Disney started a lawsuit but couldn't, as far as I can tell, prove that any copyright violations had been made. The series was discontinued after only two issues, but according to the third page of Bill Blackbeard's article in the first issue, "the saga of the One Real Mouse is to be reprinted in full in the present series, from its first episode of January 13, 1930 until at least 1936, daily and Sunday." I take it that the publisher had some kind of proof that all Mickey Mouse daily and Sunday strips up until at least 1936 are {{PD-US-not renewed}} and that even Mickey Mouse stuff may be fine if you're carefully checking what you're doing. --Stefan4 (talk)
The general copyright of the character drawing is established by the first publication, usually (so the first cartoon). I'm not sure a single drawing is enough to establish a character, but a full cartoon would be (which is lots of drawings). If that cartoon fell into the public domain, then so did all the drawings contained in it. At that point, any other images of the character should be fine, if those derivative drawings themselves also became public domain in their own right, unless possibly they incorporate aspects of the character only introduced in intermediate cartoons which are still under copyright. The Warner Brothers court case recently showed, if the initial work establishing the character remains under copyright, then other cartoons using the character can still be considered derivative works even if copyright lapsed on the later works due to lack of renewal, and distribution is still subject to the copyright on that original work. (As for your side note -- trademark and copyright can overlap in the U.S., so Mickey Mouse is almost certainly trademarked as well as copyrighted. There have been court cases, involving people making and selling unauthorized costumes of characters, which convicted on both trademark and copyright grounds.) Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:12, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
The "Fleischer" Superman cartoons are widely openly sold on non-licensed DVD's, and I'm not sure why there would be more concern about "Foxy" than Superman... AnonMoos (talk) 03:09, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Florida Department of State copyrights

I've seen comments that works of the State of Florida are in the public domain, unless a particular department is exempt, with some uncertainty about whether the Florida Department of State is exempt (i.e., whether it does hold copyright on works it produces). I've run across this site, which states,

No material from WWW.DOS.STATE.FL.US or any Web site owned, operated, licensed or controlled by THE STATE OF FLORIDA or DOS may be copied, reproduced, republished, uploaded, posted, transmitted, or distributed in any way, except that you may download the materials on any single computer for your personal, non-commercial use only, provided you keep intact all copyright and other proprietary notices. Modification of the materials or use of the materials for any other purpose is a violation of THE STATE OF FLORIDA and DOS's copyright and other proprietary rights. For purposes of this Agreement, the use of any such material on any other Web site or networked computer environment is prohibited.

So, what does that mean for us? I know some files have been uploaded to Commons as PD produced by the State of Florida. How can we be sure about the status of a product of the State of Florida? -- Donald Albury (talk) 19:04, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Some info at en:Copyright status of work by U.S. state governments... -- AnonMoos (talk) 03:01, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
The Florida Department of State was, and probably still is, allowed to retain copyrights. See en:Copyright status of work by the Florida government, its talk page], and this document, which (on page 4) states [t]he Department of State is authorized to do and perform any and all things necessary to secure letters patent, copyright and trademark on any invention or otherwise, and to enforce the rights of the state therein; to license, lease, assign, or otherwise give written consent to any person, firm or corporation for the manufacture or use thereof, on a royalty basis, or for such other consideration as said department shall deem proper; to take any and all action necessary, including legal actions, to protect the same against improper or unlawful use or infringement, and to enforce the collection of any sums due the state... So, at least in 2006, they were allowed to copyright their material, and unless we know for sure that law has lapsed or been changed I would continue to assume that it's still valid. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:46, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Scan of pre-1939 UK image

Could somebody please advise the action to take regarding File:Ship of the cinque ports.JPG? This has been uploaded as {{self|cc-by-sa-3.0}}, with source {{own}} and date 2012-01-28, but no way is any of this true. This is clearly a scan of a en:cigarette card marked "Churchman's Cigarettes" (this defunct UK brand was supposedly a subsidiary of en:Imperial Tobacco which is still in business), and so predates en:World War II, which is when cigarette cards stopped being produced. As I understand it, scanning an old picture does not transfer the copyright. Should the licensing be altered, or the image deleted? --Redrose64 (talk) 16:49, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

According to this page, it dates from 1937, and this, 1936. Likely no author named (the backs don't mention any, from images seen on the web), so it's probably {{PD-UK-unknown}} since 2007 or 2008. However, its U.S. copyright would have been restored, and will expire in 2032 or 2033. We may want to keep temporarily, though also adding {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}, until that current discussion plays itself out. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:22, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Software-generated images

Can I upload a software-generated image, provided it was generated on uncopyrighted input data, and the sw license does not allow me to use the software for commercial purposes (but does not mention the use of works generated by the software itself)? Example. --LoStrangolatore (talk) 01:00, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Using the software to create images for commercial use by oneself seems a clear violation of the terms. Creating images for general use is hardly commercial use of the program, even if commercial use is permitted. Unless you or somebody affiliated by you use the images commercially I see no problem (in that case original intension seems to be what matters).
Anyway the copyright of those images is yours and uploading them is allowed. If there is a breach of contract or licence (i.e. you use Commons just to justify your own commercial use of the program), it is to be treated as such.
--LPfi (talk) 10:27, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

PD-Gov templates

There are plenty of templates on Commons regarding public domain conditions for government (or other public) works. Sometimes, governments have stated that this applies worldwide.[23] Sometimes, governments have stated that this does not apply worldwide and that the government will fight for its rights in foreign countries.[24] Copyright may be established in the United States for a number of reasons:

  1. First published after 1923 and before 1 March 1989 in accordance with US formalities
  2. First published on 1 March 1989 or later
  3. First published in 1923 or later and copyrighted in the source country on 1 January 1996

For some countries, the dates 1 March 1989 and/or 1 January 1996 should be changed to later dates, depending on when relevant copyright treaties were signed. I sometimes see Canadian crown copyright templates marked with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} but people are happily uploading Russian money issued after 13 March 1995 (when Russia joined the Berne Convention) without considering any copyright issues. Are these treatments of government copyrights correct and is there some list of governments which act in the British way (by declaring the works to be in the public domain worldwide) and governments which act in the American way (by only declaring the works to be in the public domain domestically)? This has troubled me a bit and it would be nice to make sure that {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} and similar templates are applied properly. I think I saw a discussion about this somewhere but I don't remember where. --Stefan4 (talk) 23:53, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Links to two recent short discussions, but they only state the same doubts and questions you expressed above.
Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2012/01#National Archives Canada
Commons:Deletion requests/All files copyrighted in the US under the URAA (search the keyword "Canadian" if you don't want to get lost in that page)
There may be something more substantial in older discussions. If some sort of consensual position can be defined, it might be useful. -- Asclepias (talk) 03:12, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

File:Mrbdrawing.PNG not really PD US Government?

The cited PDF from which this drawing was taken contains references to HNTB, a private engineering firm, and to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDot), but has no reference to the U.S. federal government. I see nothing to support the uploader's claim that this is {{PD-USGov}}. Copyright probably belongs to HNTB. Or perhaps copyright belongs to MoDot if it is a work-for-hire; Missouri governement is not the federal governemnt, and its works are copyrighted. Regardless, I see no work of the federal governement. The site the file was taken from itself contains copyright notices for MoDot and IDot. Kbh3rd (talk) 00:08, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Have to agree with you. There is no such thing as the "Federal Highway Commission" anyways (it's Federal Highway Administration), but the source document has "Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission" which is not a USGov entity. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:54, 31 January 2012 (UTC)