Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 1

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Re public domain (I don't want to clutter the page, you may copy this if you think it's okay there):

Our lawyers in Hungary (and I reckon those in the EU) know two things which US people call PD:

  • things are too old to be protected
    • these are okay, the berne convention is generally accepted, so I guess old stuff is fairly safely assumed to be free
  • things "released to the public domain" (in the US)
    • problem: it is not possible here (and I think in Europe) to drop the personal copyright, and not possible to sell it either. It is stuck to your person till you die (tough if you're immortal). all the stuff "released to PD" is gray area here, since the author let me use it but didn't provide a licence. a lawyer told me that she believes it is okay to use them because the author intended to let it used, but the way of use and modifications are not following the Law, so the author basically could pop up and demand the work to be removed from the site. The author probably cannot sue me since he "acted like permitting the usage" but he have the right to change his mind anytime, since there's no written contract or licence.

IANAL --Grin 12:04, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Old Public Domain Materials[edit]

I've uploaded many images scanned from original 19th century and early 20th century sources to en:Wikipedia, and hope to do many more to the Commons. I would like guidelines as to determining when to safely and accurately label something as "PD" rather than just "PD-US". -- Infrogmation 14:59, 13 Nov 2004 (UTC)

GFDL compliance[edit]

If person A puts an image on en:Wikipedia (GFDL by default), person B edits it, and then person C moves it to Commons and person D changes it, what has happened to the history? Only C and D can be found. This isn't how I read the GFDL. 12:36, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Good question, I assume person C should (must if he respects the GFDL?) include all the (relevant?) information from en: when C moved it. I know I've moved images from de: and copied over the author's name, date, license, and other information, but don't recall having moved a multi-author image. In such a case I would copy-and-paste all authors from the history. -Wikibob 02:12, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

German pre-WW2 photos and postcards[edit]

Are German pre-WW2 photos and postcards Public Domain or not? Kneiphof 11:12, 25 Dec 2004 (UTC)

According to the german law, the images are PD when the autor (the photographer) of that images died 70 years before now - will say, all photos of photographers who died befor 1935 are PD. -- 13:17, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Derivative works[edit]

It says there publication of derivative works must be allowed. I don't see why. That commercial use and redistribution must be allowed, I have no problem. But I do not see how prohibiting derivative works could be detrimental. notafish }<';> 11:03, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Think of a new picture with arrows and highlights added to point out features of interest. Stan Shebs 17:13, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You do have a point. I am not saying we have to push people to upload media that can't be changed and amanded, but I believe we are preventing ourselves from many media if we do not allow such a constraint. That's all :) notafish }<';> 18:36, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Undelete multi-licensed photo?[edit]

Now that the multi-licensing is clarified, can someone please undelete Image:Floppy-discs-8-5.25-3.5.jpeg which was multi-licensed with the FDL? — Jeandré, 2005-04-11t14:19z

Unfortunately, no, deleted images cannot be undeleted (in the current MediaWiki version). --Mormegil 12:58, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Date for public domain materials[edit]

I have removed the exact day and month from the public domain information. I believe that in many jurisdictions, the exact day and month of the death is not important. E.g. in Czechia,

The period of duration of economic rights shall be calculated always from the first day of the year following the year in which the event decisive for its calculation occurred. [1]

--Mormegil 16:02, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

In different countries[edit]

We need more details about quirky things such as the rights of the architects of monuments, the rights of the owners of an object, the rights of individuals photographed, etc. in different juridictions. David.Monniaux 20:43, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

A very nice approach to this whole licensing stuff is w:de:Wikipedia:Bildrechte. It is a nice tutorial regarding image licensing in de-Wikipedia with examples that can be understand by everyone also by persons that never have anything to do with laws (okay you need to speak German ;-) ). So I would suggest adopting this tutorial for the Commons here and add stuff already summed up here. Arnomane 15:13, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

ICH KANN DEUTSCH SPRECHEN UND ZWAR SEHR GUT. Arnomane does not tell here the truth, the German citation right goes very far and is very similar to the FairUse. He is a dictator and u together with a clique to administrators, and blocks votes for the citation right. See. Neues_Meinungsbild_Urheberrecht

77 users are for exceptions, 70 against it. When stood out, alternative 3 = GFDL + citation right wins, he has shifted during the running vote, against the rules in red, the appointment on later.

Then then he has suggested many things which undermine the exceptions, we must all on the Commons uploads, only administrators may the pictures after discussions uploads and other things.

Arnomane represents GFDL like a leader of a sect, another user was closed in the quarrel with him because he called him fascist.

It stated there, the Commons rules apply actually also to all local countries Wikipedias, it uses it against us!

Many people of the German Wikipedia have no problem with fair Use or the similar citation right! do not please, does other countries, like Germany, the example for the Commons!

The main cause why in the German Wikipedia, exceptions are not permitted, is because people say like he, on the Commons are also not permitted!

Greetings from Germany, protects to you your freedoms. Mr.Do! 15:50, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

No personal attacks, please. -- Joolz 19:37, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
He wants to do the Commons to of a castle against the FairUse and all others not to licenses GPL, so that he can appeal to it. For me this was personal, sorry. Mr.Do! 20:59, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
[ ] Yo can read Wikibär/Mr.Do? I suppose not. Even if you take fair Use right the Wikimedia Commons are legally forced not to allow Fair Use as it always needs the embeding in the context, which is not in the Commons. But you will never ever accept this simple fact. You simply want to get attention nothing more. As you have lost on de.wikipedia you now try to start the whole matter again here. Arnomane 23:00, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
We are a democracy, here the facts are accepted. But you want them as a law for all, even if they have voted democratically against it. This is what completely other, this is a dictatorship.
You have during a running vote on de.wikipedia, the rules changed, see [2] then came later many new ideas of you who ignored the result totally. We have lost in de.wikipedia however only because is no democracy there. I and many different ignore these rules also, therefore say I, de.wikipedia is no example and you not their voice. Mr.Do! 23:54, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
Again this time in English: Wikipedia is no democracy. Period. If you don't like it and want a vote before every edit you want to make please make a fork but don't bother us with your democracy trolling. And I certainly don't need to be teached in democracy rules by you. I know them and I respect them very accurately in real life. Beside that in de.Wikipedia exist no strict binding votings except for person related ones (admin ship, user blocking etc.). There is a reason why "policy votings" are called Meinungsbild (image of opinions). An image of opinions is only sucessful if you have a large majority of more than 2/3 behind one idea and this was not the case. Beside that I don't want to change the proposal that got the majority in its juristical aspects but in technical aspects (switch normal upload directly to the Commons and a special upload for de.wikipedia directly as done in en.wikinews) but you simply don't get this point into your mind and you'r telling lies again and again. All what you will get with you trolling is that the vote of the white list of exceptions will get delayed because of you constant vandalism on that page everytime it is not protected. And of course if you're doing you copyvio crusade even longer I'm quite sure every single exception will be denied in the voting. But his is off-Topic Wikimedia Commons. End of discussion. Arnomane 01:20, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

This was no normal opinion picture, because in the red rules 2 great statements were in all have believed.
1. Es gibt nur einen Wahlgang. Die Alternative, die die meisten Stimmen auf sich vereint, ist die neue gewählte Richtlinie. = There is only one vote. The alternative, which unites most voices on itself, is the new selected guideline.
2.Im Gegensatz zur Abstimmungsmodalität im alten Meinungsbild gibt es stets einen eindeutigen Sieger, außer im unwahrscheinlichen Fall, dass zwei Alternativen die gleiche Stimmenzahl haben. = In contrast to Vote-Modalität in the old opinion picture there is always an unequivocal winner, except in the unlikely case that two alternatives have the identical voice number.

Therefore, this was definitively a vote with an easy majority and no 2/3 choice! The vote was announced before about the main side and mailing list. Many democrats in de.wikipedia are frustrated over it and you are debt! We became unlawful because we are democrats!

Your "special upload for de ." was to be provided in reality only one attempt about the Commons a RAMP which distinguishes good from bad pictures, so that you later only somebody must switch off the special side, and we would have had the complete dictatorship GPL! This was no rational necessity! You use the Commons as a weapon! Mr.Do! 08:56, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

Fair Use[edit]

"The Wikimedia Commons does not allow material under the fair use clause."

Why not? There must be a reason for this. What's weird is that Wikipedia et al. DO accept material under the fair use clause. How come what's good enough for Wikipedia isn't good enough for commons? There must be some reason for Commons to not accept fair use material, but no one seems to know what it is. As Shakespeare said: "Though this be madness, yet there is method in it."

- Pioneer-12 12:35, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This topic has been already discussed long ago here on the Commons in detail (see eg the archived version of this article page at Commons:Licensing/Discussion). Of course as this question arises often, so this topic should be pointed out more prominent on Commons:FAQ or here. First short answer: The Wikimedia Commons image license policy simply forbids Fair Use. This policy is not negotiable like the NPOV-policy of Wikipedia. Like it or not but that's a matter of fact. The Wikimedia Commons want to be a free as in speech image archive that might come one day a great project of its own not some random image dump. Second short answer: Fair Use does not exist outside the US. As the Wikimedia Commons are used by non-US projects as de-Wikipedia (even if the servers are located in the US de-Wikipedia is under US-American and German jurisdiction, like it or not but this is true) and others they are legally forced to dissallow Fair Use or to disable the use of Wikimedia Commons in all other Wikipedias than en-Wikipedia and that would be the point that would make the Commons nonsense. Arnomane 15:57, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Good answer. I knew it had some sort of reasonable reason and was discussed long ago in detail somewhere. But as often happens on wikimedia, things are discussed somewhere but not linked where people would go to actually find out about them.
I'm surprised that fair use is a concept unique to the U.S. It just seems like a natural, sensible aspect of copyright law. Looks like our European brothers are being trounced by American innovation. :-) Actually, according to the w:Fair use article "comparable copyright limitations can be found in many nations' copyright statutes, though these differ in scope". Hmmm!
I find the "like it or not but that's a matter of fact" attitude amusing. Now we seem stuck with two seperate places for images until someone bothers to update the Commons software to include sections/notation for country specific licenses. What a pain in the a**. I don't like it. No-sir-ee. - Pioneer-12 19:51, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
There are two problems with "fair use":
1) the concept exists in many countries but in very different forms and with different restrictions / scope ("fair use" in the US, "fair dealing" in the UK, "Zitatrecht" in germany, Droit de citation in France -added by notafish-etc.pp.). The explain wich images can be used where under wich circumstances is pretty much impossible, and as the commons aim to collect media that can be used by anyone anywhere for any purpose, it was decided not to allow images under the fair use clause. For the same reason, fair use images are not allowed on many wikipedias, for example the german wp.
2) Images under "fair use" can be used only in a specific context (this also applies to the images on the en:wp) - that is, you can for instance use a logo of company XYZ in the article about XYZ, but not on your user page. That is, the image can not be used for any purpose - thus it is not allowed on the commons.
I hope this clarifies the position. Maybe we should put an explanation like this on the Licensing page... -- Duesentrieb 21:00, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Well explained. I've added brief explanations to Commons:Licensing and to the Commons:FAQ. The rationale for the commons not including fair use content is reasonable. However, fair use content, despite the issues with it, is useful and will continue to be used on Wikipedia. Thus we are left with two separate archives for images (or a multitude of archives for images, when you include the different language versions of Wikipedia). So now we have an overly complex system... different, distinct, yet overlapping archives. What a mess! Why are we making things difficult for ourselves?
There seem to be two ways out of this. One is to have the Commons include sections/attributes for fair use content by country. (Which would make the Commons an image/content resource without peer and give people absolutely no reason not to use it.) The other is to make integration between the commons image archives and the Wikipedia image archives seamless. (Currently, image linking is seamless, but uploading and searching for images on the separate archives is clearly not.) In the meantime, it seems like the sensible thing to do would be to move all free images to Commons and leave only local fair use images on the Wikipedias. This would at least separate the images by copyright type (which is a logical and reasonable separation). Though ultimately, the mediawiki software needs to be updated in one way or the other to make integration between the Wikipedias and the Commons seamless.
- Pioneer-12 22:41, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Free->commons:, fair use->en: is indeed the grand plan. People have been moving free images incrementally already; part of the en: problem is that many images were not even tagged correctly until quite recently, so mass moving would not have gone well. Keep in mind that fair use is officially deprecated even on en:, so there isn't a lot of interest in inventing elaborate schemes to support that kind of image in any case. Stan Shebs 00:13, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Just like like the "deprecated" html tags. Some people have ideological issues against them so they deprecate them. But they're too useful to ever go away. 10 years from now the English Wikipedia will still be using fair use images. Hopefully, the software will be updated before then. :-) Prefer free use, but utilize fair use images when necessary. Flexibility is the key!
And making things easy to use is not an "elaborate scheme". What we have now is an elaborate scheme. It can and should be fixed. Implementing the master plan will definitely fix most of the problem. I'm glad there is a wise and elegant plan for all this. Is there a main page describing or discussing the image move plan? It needs to be referenced on all relevant help pages. Thanks for the info. I will do my part to assist with the master image move plan. - Pioneer-12 02:24, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Perhaps I exaggerated; Commons:Project plan is the master plan, but it only makes a couple allusions to local vs common images. There is also the proposal Commons:Transfer script. As for fair use, de: is already fanatical about not having anything under fair use (witness some of the discussion on this page), and despite not having any corporate logos and such, it's well-regarded for its quality. So fair use is more convenient than crucial. Stan Shebs 02:46, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think people should get clear about what fair use really means - the way it is used on the en:wp is inflatory at best. Fair use does for example not mean the you can use any image you find on the web on the en:wp - it does mean that some images can be used freely in a specific context. So, it's like that: Flags/Coats of Arms: yes. Logos: yes. Book covers: maybe. Promotional photos of people: no.

I belive that the fair use tag on en should force people to state a specific context the image can be used in - like I said, a company logo can be put into an article about that company under fair use - put you can't put it on your user page, and you definitely are not allowed to print t-shirs showing the logo. Because wikimedia-projects aim to offer free content only, i belive fair use should be abolished on en also; but people have to decide for themselves. I think as it is now, there is going to be trouble when fair use images first appear on print media.

Ther's only one wikimedia-projects that really needs fair use images, and wher ethey are really usefaul: Wikinews. Ironically, that also the only (?) project that uses only commons images and has no image repository of itself. They really need a repository of fair use images, each tagged for where it can be used. Just my 2¢... -- Duesentrieb 08:10, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Time for another 2 cents. Let us not forget the concept of common sense, aka sensible use. What this boils down to is: "Will they care?" If put a company's logo on a t-shirt or a sports car, the company will probably love me and send me free samples of their products, even if I didn't explicitly ask permission to use the logo. OTOH, if I start trying to sell t-shirts with their logos on it, they'll probably get annoyed and want royalties. (Or alternately, they could just be pleased that I'm helping advertise their brand name.)
Most companies would probably be happy to have their logos splashed all around Wikipedia, as long as it's not appearing on pages that say "this company sucks". And their opinion isn't going to change because their local country happens to have some odd copyright laws. I'm not saying ignore the law, but if you combine a good faith "Will they care?" policy with fair use you'll stay out of trouble even if you do accidentally mess up the exact legal details once in a while.
My two cents. - Pioneer-12 12:27, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
"Common sense"? You must be new around here. :-) Stan Shebs 15:13, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the "odd copyright laws" ;-). Well, sorry, I don't find this odd. Actually, I find the fair use idea kind of odd, even if I can understand its interests. I agree very much with Duesentrieb that in the long run, fair use should be abolished from all Wikimedia projects, as it has been on de. Fair use is "tolerated" on fr but rarely used for example. The "will they care" argument is too thin in my opinion to build a case, I am not in favor of the Wikimedia projects advocating free usage and freedom and not doing everything to stick to it. Your example of use of a logo (on a car, on a t-shirt) sounds very ok in an American context, it does not in a more European one. Companies in France for example will be very very careful how their image is spread, by whom etc. It might be a cultural difference, set in "stone" by the law, but it is a difference we must consider and respect. notafish }<';> 17:24, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Well, if French companies tend to be jerks about copyrights, then you consider that. :-) My point is the economic motives of profit are the same no matter what country the company is in. It doesn't matter is you're in an American, European, South American, Asian, African, or outer space context; the profit motives are the same.
Now, some companies are smarter then others. Even in America--(which, it needs to be repeated, is not the only country with fair use laws; it just happens to be the leader in the field)--even in America there are plenty of companies that don't act in their own best interest when it comes to copyright laws. Still, the "will they care" methodology applies. Sure, plenty of American companies are jerks about copyright laws, (Maybe they learned it from the French--just kidding!) but many are not.
Re: Advocating freedom. I'm all for advocating freedom. But I'm against people trying to shove their "one-true-version of freedom" (TM) down my throat. If you think something is better, promote it. But don't tell me I can't do something because you find the method to be inferior. That's an arrogant, totalitarian attitude. That's an inherently unfree attitude.
For example, Ogg Vorbis is an open source audio media format. If Wikimedia wants to support Ogg Vorbis, then I agree with that. I support supporting the use of Ogg Vorbis. However, if Wikimedia says "You must use Vorbis. You cannot use mp3, and if you do so we will send the stormtroopers of freedom to your house and burn it down." Then I have a problem with that--I have a big problem with that. (OK, they're not gonna burn the house down, but you get the idea.)
There can be no freedom without the freedom to disagree. - Pioneer-12 11:20, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
You're free to disagree, but you're not free to disregard the rules of this project. You're also free to start up your own competing file repository, and you can even seed it with the free images here! Since you're not the owner of the servers that host Wikimedia, the better analogy is that you're coming into someone else's house, and it would be rather impolite to declare it "totalitarianism" when they ask you to not to put your muddy boots on the couch. Stan Shebs 12:08, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)
What an insulting and illogical analogy. A better one would be "In my house, you must eat with a fork. You must not use chopsticks! Chopsticks are inferior and feel to me like mud." That sentiment might be able to survive in Europe and a few parts of America, but if some Chinese come to visit, they'll be ticked off. Of course, in China some people will reverse the edict and say "In my house, you must eat with chopsticks. You must not use forks. Forks are inferior and feel to me like mud."
Chopsticks are useful to some people. Just because you don't like them doesn't mean it's fair or right to ban their use. That sort of activity is systematic arrogance and totalitarianism. "Totalitarian governments do not tolerate activities by individuals or groups such as labor unions that are not directed by the state's goals." Totalitarian regimes are repressive of pluralism. - Pioneer-12 00:30, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm sorry to say, but you are on the wrong track: You think that Wikimedia projects are or have to be a democracy or democracy simulation. We aren't and will never be, we are an open source community. We feel very happy beeing totalitarian with respect to Fair Use. There are some basic rules that were decided in the beginning and now we build our project upon these rules and it has nothing to do with ignorance that we don't want to start every day with our fundaments. We give you the Freedom to take our content and to make a project of your own with your own rules. Where else do you get so much freedom? We don't restrict freedom if we don't accept every position within our community as you are free to fork. Arnomane 11:25, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Arnomane, you've got alot of explaining to do. "We are an open source community". The concept "an open source community" can mean several different things. What do you mean when you use it in reference to Wikimedia? "You think that Wikimedia projects are or have to be a democracy or democracy simulation. We aren't and will never be" Wikipedia not democratic? What the hell do you call consensus then? Wikimedia may not be a democracy in the traditional sense, but Wikimedia is democratic.
"We feel very happy being totalitarian with respect to fair use." WRONG! You feel happy being totalitarian with respect to fair use. I don't, and I'm part of the "we". Why do you feel this way? Because, like chopsticks, it is a foreign concept to you. You have an inherent cultural bias against it because you have not experienced it personally. (I have an inherent cultural bias against chopsticks myself.) The current fair use policy on the Commons only exists due to the current consensus on the Common, and it can be changed if the consensus changes. Why does the English Wikipedia have fair use and not commons? Because the English Wikipedia has a much higher ratio of Americans on it, who have experienced fair use and thus appreciate it. - Pioneer-12 14:52, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well, one problem for instance, which exists in France but also in other countries such as the United States, is that company logos are trade marks. This means that you cannot use them on a page where they could be construed to mislead the user into believing that some product which does not belong to the trademarked brand is being sold by that brand.

The problem with "fair use", as explained above, is that it's context-dependent. The very same image used on the very same site may be "fairly used" in one page and unfairly used in another.

I must also say, in that respect, that it is the United States which has the odd copyright laws (and also the odd patent laws). Fair use is actually not even a law guaranteed by statute — it's a toleration exception that US courts have defined, and which they may grant or not grant on a case-by-case basis (to be fair, the citation clause of the French IP laws is quite vaguely worded and essentially defers a lot to court appreciation). David.Monniaux 07:03, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Oddness is a matter of perspective. Naturally, I find French laws as odd as you find US laws. That's ok. That's normal. - Pioneer-12 14:59, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

@Pioneer-12 once again:

  1. Fair use ist not foreign to me, there is an (somewhat weaker) equivalent in German copyright law it's called "Zitatrecht". Fair Use, Zitatrecht and what ever it is called requires two things:
    1. You are not allowed by law to use it outside the context where you need it. Your article explicitely needs to refer to it. The Commons are a separate project from e.g. a specific Wikipedia article where you could embedd an image according to this right. And of course it is not allowed to use this image for making the article looking nicer only.
    2. You are legally forced to make spare use of Fair use, Zitatrecht or whatever. You are never allowed to embedd 5 fair use images within a short article of lets say 1 DIN A4 page (US-Letter is almost the same size).
  2. Fair use in en-Wikipedia was used far too often (as Duesentrieb said, inflationary). It was in most cases in the past a weak excuse for lazybones that don't want to look for equivalent free alternatives or simply didn't want to add the proper license tag. And yes I have investigated that.
  3. Although I'm no law expert I'm involved in image right topics quite some time in Wikipedia and Commons. And if I say we I mean the vast majority and not every single person and you can be asured I only use this word "we" if I'm very sure of that.
  4. An open source communities are in most cases groups of experts that work together in virtual clans. The entry barrier is in most cases quite high. Usually you are a hang-around for some time that provides some work and is hoping that it gets accepted. After this phase you might get an account to their project servers. So open source communities are not organized as democracies, although the work flow and the decissions are very transparent to the interested public. And yes there are quite a lot case studies that proved this "transparent-clan-model". The radical new within Wikipedia with respect to other open source porjects was the very low entry barrier. But again here you get the clan structure. There is a small fraction that does the most parts of the work and working on a project is not done by democratic votings but by simply just doing it. And right from the beginning there was just decided not to allow fair use. It was just done. Things that where just done and have worked so far are not to be changed. But you can build upon that and can even build a higher bulding upon these fundaments. But don't try to destroy the fundaments of a building. If you do that you can start right from the beginning and we don't want to to so.
  5. And the most important point: Fair Use within Commons would just dissallow by law some very important projects as de-Wikipedia to use them. So fair use would destroy the basic justification of the Commons to have a Common image repository for all Wikimedia projects.

I hope you now understand that I don't want to play little dictator here and that I don't want to annoy you and why fair use is not possible here. Arnomane 15:59, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Fair Use and Wikimedia projects[edit]

Own photos of people[edit]

Definitely not OK

  • Photographs of normal people who have not given their consent

I assume that this does not cover photo's that just happen to have people in them?

Even if a picture of a person is taken without consent, that may be a violation of privacy, but I don't see that it is a copyright vio? If so, how do paparazi survive? I don't believe that the law makes any allowance for the 'normality' of a subject? Regards, Ben Aveling 18:04, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

yes, that is about privacy, not about copyright. After all, we have to make sure it's legal to show the image on commons at all. The right to privacy has to be considered for any image on which people can be recognized. It does not (fully) apply to images of crowds, especially not for demonstrations, festivals, etc. It also does not apply for people appearing publically (like giving a speach) or performing (though in the latter case, copyright may have to be considered). Note that for images taken in public places, US laws are generally less restrictive than the laws of the EU countries. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 19:21, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
Paparazzi don't photograph "normal people", they photograph celebrities. That's OK to upload. But you shouldn't upload images of your neighbours. / Fred Chess 20:59, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
OK, thanks. That makes sense. Ben Aveling 17:54, 3 March 2006 (UTC)


This text was moved from the now obsolete Category:Screenshot. It contains contributions by User:Chris 73 and User:Paddy. -- Duesentrieb 19:17, 28 Apr 2005 (UTC)

These images are screenshots. Screenshots may be copyrighted if the displayed program or operating system is copyrighted. For a detailed discussion see here. Microsofts guidelines do not allow derivatives (see here). Category:Copyright violations Category:Urheberrechtsverletzungen

my mail on: de:Benutzer:Paddy/mail an following reply: relpy 1

This means to me only if all the images used for the program GUI have free License only then the screenshot may be published under this free license. If all of them are PD for example then the screenshot must be PD too because the creative work of creating a screenshot is ZERO! If the screenshot contains icons or content of nonfree sites than the discussion about it is needless!



  1. Use a free program with a comletely free skin. NB: GPL is not GFDL compatible. Easy solution cut away all possibly copyrighted stuff. Just show the content (A KDE Program using crystal images is an example).
  2. The content of the screenshot must be free too. Make sure the screenshot does not contain:
    1. unfree fonts.
    2. commercial tradmarked logos or icons.
    3. unfree text.
    4. ...

end of original text, please discuss below -- Duesentrieb 13:59, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Please forget the GPL versus GFDL bullshit. I'm sorry but it is bullshit to make such fine grained distinctions for screenshots (it maybe is justified for other things, I'll explain why screenhots are a special case). Here e.g.: this screenshot taken by me Image:Konqueror-Screenshot.png. The Application shown is entirely GPL'd the website is GFDL. Both are free content. How can a combination of free content be unfree?

The GPL requires that any derivative work be licenced under the GPL. This is spelled out several times. Here is one:
But when you distribute the same sections as part of a whole which is a work based on the Program, the distribution of the whole must be on the terms of this License, whose permissions for other licensees extend to the entire whole, and thus to each and every part regardless of who wrote it.
The GFDL requires any derivative work be licenced under the GFDL. This is spelled out in several places as well. One example:
You may copy and distribute a Modified Version of the Document under the conditions of sections 2 and 3 above, provided that you release the Modified Version under precisely this License
It should be clear from the above that it is not legal, in general, to combine GPL and GFDL works into a derivative work. Derobert 19:57, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

And of course I can't dual license it with GPL and GFDL according to your argumentation, as I would license the whole content either GPL or GFDL. If you go further you can argue with the same point that the fonts shown own this screenhots have their own license. By the way the website font is "Verdana" certainly not a free font. If you want to go further down the road: Do you want to make all diagramms here using such fonts unfree? Here my less polemical points why to put screenhots of GPL'd programs under GFDL:

Font's are a clearly seperate issue, at least in the US, because while the program that generates the font may be copyrighted, the font itself can not be. A bitmap font (as is the case in a bitmap screenshot) is not copyrightable, and thus has no licence restrictions. Derobert 19:57, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
  • GFDL is the documentation equivalent for the software license GPL.
    I strongly disagree that it is equivalanet in any normal meaning of the word; its terms are quite different. Even ignoring that point, that does not make it legal to do so. If you are using copyrightable expression from a GPL'd program, you must release your derivative work under the GPL. Derobert 19:57, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
  • You can't extract the same GUI out of a screenshot of a program as it is high manual work (saying own creativity) to extract the single GUI elements out of the screenshot. So a screenshot is not exactly the same as the GUI of a program.
    Of course it's not exactly the same --- but that's irrelevant, really. Copyright doesn't cover exact copying only.Derobert 19:57, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Of course the program author holds some copyright on the screenshot. In order to avoid ridicolous distinctions please use for screenshots of BSD-style programs the Public-domain-tag and for screenshots of GPL'd programms the GFDL tag.
    The BSD licence is not public domain (though close, as long as you're talking about the new one, not the old one). The GPL is most certainly not GFDL. The distinctions are hardly rediculous. Not only that, they are legally required.Derobert 19:57, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

And I would recommend not to use Debian legal here as reliable source. Those guys have proven to be completely off the road. For them even CC-BY is unfree. Arnomane 07:25, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Take the time to read the discussion of CC-BY. It's hardly "off the road;" instead, it is backed by a fair bit of logical, solid arguments. The same, to an even greater extent, is true of the GFDL discussion. Derobert 19:59, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

GFDL text is not reusable with text under other copyleft licenses like GPL and cc-by-sa. On the other hand, we've decided that they're compatible enough for pictures. Basically, as I understand it:

  • The text is GFDL, but the text only contains a placeholder to the picture.
  • The picture can thus be anything copyleft or weaker (or fair use on the Wikipedias that allow it).
  • The only restriction is that parts of two pictures released under incompatible licenses cannot be used to make a single composite image (like if I had a photo of George Bush's head under GFDL and an elephant's body under cc-by-sa, I couldn't stick one on the other (at least without claiming fair use). This is rare enough that we've decided that it's not an issue worth caring about when compared to the large number of images under incompatible copyleft images.

And I think fonts were treated separately - the actual algorithms for the letters can be copyrighted but not the appearance? No lawyers in the hizzy. --SPUI 08:34, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • I agree that GFDL vs GPL is not an issue here, simply because we have decided that GPL is a vlaid license on the commons (the remaining question is if you can GFDL a screenshot of a GPL program, or if you have to use GPL - this seems academic, however). For this reason, I have removed this argument from the text I put on the Licensing page.
  • For fonts, see the current discussion on the village pump - in short, I belive fonts should basically be treated like programs: to distribute the program itself, you need permission. To distribute work created using the program, you do not (unless the EULA requires it explicitely). I have put a short not on the Licensing page about this, but once the discussion on VP is more mature, we should probably put an extra section up.
  • GUI elements are protected by copyright laws, there have been several cases about this between MS, Apple and Sun (for instance Sun was forced to disable the Java's Windows Look and Feel on non-Windows platforms). Also, AFAIK the MS EULA does not allow modifications to screenshots, thus restricting the screenshots to a non-derivative license.
-- Duesentrieb 13:59, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)


If a licence a photo I took under what copyright notice, and then I decide I want to use a different copyright, is that allowed? -- Joolz 00:22, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

If you are the copyright holder you can add different licenses as much as you want to it, even afterwards, but you cannot revoke an old license but add new (also completly different) ones. The only thing you are not allowed to: If you gave someone the so called exclusive rights (saying you have selled all your rights to someone else) you can't license the image any longer. Arnomane 01:32, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
Thanks, but how about between cc-by-sa-2.0 and cc-by-sa (which is 1.0)? My intention was to release the images under the latest version of the licence, which I assumed would have been the default one, however some of them were tagged as 1.0, I'll have to multi-licence using both? -- Joolz 13:30, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
No you don't explicitly need to place both version templates here in this case, as the old version can be seen in the file history anyways. Simply replace it by the 2.0 version template. And regarding to your error: Yes we have a small problem with our template names in this case, as CC-BY and CC-BY-SA link to the 1.0 version and not the current one as most people would suspect. Arnomane 13:46, 2 May 2005 (UTC)
Thanks! I think it's a bit silly that the default isn't the latest one though. -- Joolz 01:05, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

Time limited images[edit]

A sequence of images such as Image:Barbro_Holmberg.jpg and Image:Jens_Orback.jpg are limited for use between now and October 2006. Is that permissible here in Wikipedia?

There seems to be a template {{SwedishGovernment}} which surprised me! LoopZilla 08:06, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

No of course not those images need to be deleted and of course this template and all images using it are also against our policy. Thanks for pointing to this images. Arnomane 10:53, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
I agree: A "fee" license can not be time limited - it must guarantee the usability of the image forever. -- Duesentrieb 11:47, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Anonymous works[edit]


I didn't see any policy regarding anonymous works, or works from unreachable authors. As proposed on the VP, I propose authorising works by anonymous or unreachable authors if the works are more than 70 years old with a Template:Anonymous work. The Bern convention says that anonymous work is protected 70 years after its publication ([3], article 7, alinea 3). I don't think we should do more than that in term of protection. Yann 15:34, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Public domain
Warning sign
The author of this work is anonymous and this work is more than 50 years old. According to the Berne convention Art. 7, and the laws of many countries, this work is in the public domain.

Note: This template does not apply to works from countries that extended the Berne Convention or that did not sign it. In particular, this includes the European Union, the United States, India, and Russia. Please use {{Anonymous-EU}}, {{PD-US}}, {{PD-India}}, {{PD-Russia-2008}}, etc. in such cases and check Commons:Copyright rules by territory every time, carefully!

asturianu | azərbaycanca | català | čeština | dansk | Deutsch | Ελληνικά | English | español | euskara | suomi | français | galego | magyar | italiano | 日本語 | Kurdî | македонски | português | português do Brasil | русский | slovenčina | slovenščina | svenska | vèneto | Yorùbá | +/−

So we also have to define:

  1. What are the criterias for an anonymous work and unreachable authors ?
  2. The text of the template.

Add Insignia Section[edit]



Someone not me, requested this.

actually, this placeholder dates back to the time where this polcy page was just a kollection of keywords. But non the less, we should have some explanations about insignia and the restrictions that apply to them. -- Duesentrieb 11:50, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Golden Rule: country of publication[edit]

Currently, the golden rule states that the laws of the country where the image was first published should be applied. This is problematic, because I keep hearing that if an image is first published on the commons, US law applies because that's where the servers are. That way, the laws of all other countries could be circumvented - we could just all publish our pictures in some country that has no or mimimal copyright laws and thus get rid of any restrictions.

This should be clarified, but i'm not sure how. I beleve that the place the image was taken is also relevant, and the location of the uploder can probably be considered the country of publications. Can someone please clarify this? -- Duesentrieb 11:50, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

No this golden rule has nothing to do with own images. it is about third party pictures we have no influence about. So with this rule it is not possible to circumvent copyright laws as we can't publish pictures for others that were already published. And of course a valid legal publication can only do the copyright owner(s) /author(s). So there is no need to worry about IMHO. Arnomane 21:55, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Why doesn't this rule apply to images taken by Commons users? Uploading the image here counts as publication, I should think. I find Duesentrieb's questions relevant. dbenbenn | talk 23:53, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)
There is a simple reason: You can of course aplly it but it is irrelevant. Commons users release theier images under a free license. I really can't see how this thing here can be misleading. This "rule" is about the question when we can see a picture out of copyright. Arnomane 05:06, 13 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Here is an example where it's relevant. You take a photo in Germany that according to German law isn't free (say, a copyrighted sculpture or something). You upload it here. Can the image be kept, or not? According to the golden rule, it would seem that United States law applies, and not German law, so it can be kept. dbenbenn | talk 00:14, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Well of course you can see it that way but it is legally very questionable to name a location in the internet (so I would be carfully mixing internet publication and "real world" publication). This rule was only meant as a quick and easy to remember help for answering the question: Is this old work out of copyright or not? It's not aiming at new material at all. Despite of that internet location problem: In Germany e.g. a website has two juristdictions. First the jurisdiction of the nation where the server is physically located at and second the jurisdiction of the nation(s) towards the servers content is mainly targeted at. So e.g. de.wikipedia must follow additionally to US-Amercian laws also German laws and the Wikimedia Commons very likely too. Arnomane 13:47, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Chemical structures[edit]

Are re-drawn chemical structures from published works OK for inclusion here? Or is that a copyright violation. I've uploaded 3 such images into the Wikipedia space and would like to determine whether I can transfer them here, or I need to delete them.

Thanks for the input.

Courtland 20:11, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I think this is OK: the chemical structure itself is free anyway, and technical diagrams/representations of it may not even be copyrightable. If you redraw the image completely, trying to reproduce the structure but not necessarily the look it had in the book, this is perfectly OK (scanning would probably not be OK, though). -- Duesentrieb 20:19, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Thanks. That was pretty much my take on things as well. As long as I indicate that I drew it myself from an image using tool X and attribute the original source of the information, it should be OK. Good. Courtland 21:00, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Is Template:Notify acceptable at Wikimedia?


I noticed a user created it and started uploading images under this liscence. (Unsigned comment by User:Quasipalm)

It's freer than the GFDL in that it permits the same unrestricted usage but imposes less in the way of conditions (the sending of a mere e-mail rather than the full text of a long licence having to be included with every distribution). Chamaeleon June 27, 2005 20:06 (UTC)
A "must notify" is not practically manageable and restricts thatfor free usage much more than other free licenses as free usage means that you don't need to ask/notify the author previous. So it is in it's strict form unfree. Please don't insist on a must notify but a should notify an everything is okay. Arnomane June 28, 2005 13:08 (UTC)
What's not practically manageable is the conditions imposed by the GFDL (note that Commons:Licensing says The GFDL is rather impractical for images and short text, especially for print media, because it requires the full text of the GFDL to be printed along with the picture or text.). It essentially impossible for a magazine to use one of our GFDL images.
Look, I'd prefer everything in the world to be public domain with no conditions, but the fact is that we can't use these images without notifying the photographer (which takes a moment). Rather than delete all GFDL and Notify images, I'd prefer to tolerate the existence of conditions and keep this valuable resource. Chamaeleon June 28, 2005 13:44 (UTC)
There are quite some pictures that are owned by the uploaders on commons that released those images under a free license and additionally wish a notification. It as also nothing to do with the GFDL. This notification thing is in that cases a wish although a strong one but nothing more it does not violate our current license conditions. There is absolutley no need to make for every single sentence a template and I strongly oppose the "must notify" as it is not true for those images that where uploaded by the owners. Arnomane 29 June 2005 21:09 (UTC)
You're right that we don't need a template for every sentence, but you seem to be confusing two things: (1) images licensed under the GFDL or similar that happen to have an additional comment saying "it would be nice if you let me know if you use my pic"; (2) images which are under a licence that stipulates quite clearly that such notification is a legal condition of their use.
In this case, we are talking about situation number 2. The template is on dozens of images and it would be no more sensible to subst it that it would to subst the GFDL template. Let me reinterate that I would very much like all images which are currently licensed under slightly restrictive licences (such as Notify or the even worse GFDL) to be relicensed as CC-BY-SA or public domain, but I do not have the power to do so since I am not the copyright holder of these thousands of images. The only choice we have is between (a) accepting the fact that people reusing our pics might be slightly inconvenienced by conditions; and (b) deleting all but CC and PD images, which would be a catastrophe. Chamaeleon June 29, 2005 22:06 (UTC)

Yes, images requiring you to {{notify}} before use are acceptable. The requirement doesn't restrict the use at all. The template should make it clear that modifying the image is allowed, however.

Note that one of the possible restrictions of stock.xchng photos is "Contact me". dbenbenn | talk 30 June 2005 00:54 (UTC)

I don't want to be overruling here, but let's make a realistic example: Someone creates a DVD of the let's say German Wikipedia. Should I now spam all the users for the usage of every single picture? That's the very strong reason why a should notify is enough. This DVD exists by the way (and was a incredible great success in Germany) and the next DVD of de.wikipedia will be published in Autum 2005, see de:Wikipedia:Wikipedia-Distribution, Arnomane 30 June 2005 11:39 (UTC)
Spam is unsolicited e-mail. That e-mail would be explicitly solicited. Also, I'd say that once such a photographer is notified that his or her pics are being used in the Wikipedia project, it could be argued that it is not necessary to send a second message just because we're putting it on DVD instead of online. And even if we had dozens of such photographers, it would still be quite simple to send an e-mail out to all of them if we wanted to. It's really no big deal. You'd be better off trying to convince people who have released photos under the GFDL to dual license them under Creative Commons licences. That would help the copyright situation more. Chamaeleon June 30, 2005 14:41 (UTC)
Arnomane, you seem to be under a misapprehension. You write "That's the very strong reason why a should notify is enough." Enough? If someone at, for example, Stock.xchng releases their work under a license that requires notification, we don't have any control over that. The question is simply whether such material can be included here, and I think the answer is that it can. dbenbenn | talk 30 June 2005 22:49 (UTC)
No I didn't missunderstand you I only didn't write clearly enough. ;-) I'm aware that there are pictures e.g at Stock.xchng that have a must notify condition. But those conditions aren't written in stone. You can always ask the author of the file if he wants to change the conditions and I assume you are sucessfull if your explanation is reasonable (and in this case with the DVD-example it is really). And of course if such a template gets accepted I'm very sure it would be used by quite number of Commons upladers as well for their own stuff. And in the end we would really have serious problems in fullfilling this condition for large derived works as you then can't simply make a derived work without asking/notifying the authors first. Sidenote: I see as well that GFDL is rather impractical for printed works but it does not prevent you from making a derived work prior to notification. Arnomane 2 July 2005 09:24 (UTC)
The GFDL is even worse: it actually makes it impossible for derived (or non-derived) work to be published in certain media because it is so impractical. Try distributing a GFDL image on a postcard, or even a magazine. Chamaeleon July 2, 2005 09:55 (UTC)


Probably not all of you are aware that Template:PD-US and Template:PD-USGov are not the same thing:

  • Template:PD-US is about pictures published previous to 1923 in the US and that are because of US-american copyright law within the public domain.
  • Template:PD-USGov is about pictures published by federal offices of the US. As any work published by federal US offices cannot be copyrighted they are within the public domain (e.g. NASA pictures).

The problems are:

  • Many people have uploaded pictures at the Commons that were released previous to 1923 but were published outside the US and are still copyrighted (e.g. all paintings of Henri Matisse and Edvard Munch, see Commons:Deletion_requests/Archives04#All_images_of_Henri_Matisse). So those images need to be deleted at the Commons as they were not published in the US and thatfor US american copyright laws do not apply (see "golden rule").
  • Many people have wrongly tagged PD-US-GOV images with PD-US, so they need to be retagged.

As there are too many pictures that need to be identified and deleted I call for help that we all help together putting all the images in question into a list so that we can after that delete them quickly all together. Arnomane 29 June 2005 21:31 (UTC)

Screenshots of Micirosoft product excluding X-box[edit]

Except for Microsoft product boot-up screens, opening screens, "splash screens," or screens from products that have not been commercially released (including beta versions), you may use screen shots in advertising, in documentation (including educational brochures), in tutorial books, in videotapes, or on Web sites, provided you adhere to the following guidelines:"
The conclusion is that from Microsoft's point of view an Access ERD is completely legal to publish. GerardM 14:44, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Legal, yes, but not compliant to the licensing policy: Microsoft forbids explicitely to publish modified versions of screenshots, but that freedom is required for content on the commons (MS screenshot guidelines in german - if you dig a bit, you can probably find it in english somewhere). -- Duesentrieb 20:32, 31 July 2005 (UTC)

"No slander" restrictions[edit]

I'm curious about several images which seem to have nonfree restrictions on derivative works, because they do not allow libel or slanderous derivative works. An example is Image:Marcel Junod-6.jpg, which requires attribution, and prevents any use which is "libel or slander" to the Junod family or to any part of the International Red Cross. This seems a lot like a "No Commercial Use" clause, because it restricts my ability to use the image freely in a class of derivative works. Furthermore, "libel or slander" isn't defined here, and I worry about such restrictions in an encyclopedic work (if they don't like the article, presumably they can threaten us with making us remove the image?). Isn't this a nonfree license? I'm particularly interested because the image is used in the en:Marcel Junod article, which has been nominated as a Featured Article candidate on the English Wikipedia . -- Creidieki 02:59, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

This is a little problematic, and the legal situation is confusing. Generally, the policy is that there must be no restriction in the license terms which relate to the copyright or equivalent. Restrictions imposed by separate laws are OK - for example, any picture of any person could be used in ways that is illegal, because demaging to their reputations. Similarly, use of nazi symbols is restricted to educational use in germany, etc.
So, if the Junod family relies on general libel and slander laws to protect their reputation, that's find. If they make this (redundantly) part of a license / terms of use, it becomes problematic - it is a matter of discussion if and in how far such restrictions are allowed: on the one hand, the policy is that derivative work must be allowed without restriction - on the other hand, it seems pointles to be picky about a restriction that is imposed by a separate law anyway.
So, ther's no simple answer to your question. -- Duesentrieb 10:54, 1 August 2005 (UTC)

EFF's OAL superseded[edit]

According to the EFF, its Open Audio License has been replaced by the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license. I have therefore removed the EFF license from the list of recommended licenses. --Leif Arne Storset 03:15, 13 August 2005 (UTC)


The page currently says that trademarked logos should not put on Commons. I don't agree. The copyright status of an image is completly independent from the status of a trademark depicted. Also, there are big differences between trademark and copyright law:

  • A free image can be registered as a trademark. For example, someone could register Mona Lisa as a trademark for schoes. A free image always stays free wrt copyright.
  • Trademarks only cover the use to label certain goods and services (e.g. shoes). Using the image for anything else than labelling goods or services is always "fair use" (or no relevant use at all) and unlike with copyright fair use, this is true worldwide. For example, you can sell an art catalogue showing Mona Lisa or sell computer software labelled with her image. This is different from "non-commercial" copyright licenses, which usually restrict any for-profit use.
  • Trademarks are only valid where they are registered (or obtained by use). For example, Mona Lisa might be trademarked in South Africa only. Copyright is valid worldwide. (This is a concept inherent to trademarks; a worldwide registry would not make sense for the bulk of trademarks, the use of which is local).
  • Trademarks also cover the use of "confusingly similar" images.

Because trademarks are so different, Wikimedia Commons should not care about the trademark status of an image but only about the copyright status. Requiring images to be free from tradermarks also results in practical problems:

  • Free images would have to be removed from Wikimedia Commons when someone registeres a trademark.
  • One would have to do a worldwide research whether an image is trademarked.

On the other hand, Wikimedia already allows images, which have a free copyright license, but the use of which is restricted by other laws:

  • Normal criminal and tort laws apply to free images. (Libel is not allowed even if you use images "free for any purpose", you can't steal a CD containing "free" images, etc.)
  • Nazi symbols may only be used for education, etc., in Germany, Austria, Hungary. (This is much more restrictive than any "free use" clause).
  • Red cross (Flag of the Red Cross.png, 18px) and olympic (Olympic flag.svg) symbols are protected by international treaties (which are very similar to trademark protection).
  • Names and isignia of humans, states, governmental organisations, etc. (also very similar to trademark protection).

Of course, trademarks (and insignia, etc.) should be labeled with a template if the main purpose of the image is to be used as a trademark (i.e. not the Mona Lisa, which primarily is a work of art, but company logos). The template could look like this:

Trademarked This image depicts a registered, unregistered or well-known trade mark or service mark. Altough this image is released under a free copyright license, the use of the mark to label goods or services is restricted by trademark law.

-- 3247 14:09, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree with you in principle, but i don't think this would be workable in practice - one probelm is that people may upload logos which or not free and then say "but you said it was ok". But a far more importantly, I don't belive you will find many trademarks that are under a free license. The only situation I can think of are very old logos, which are PD by age. Could you give some examples where this would be applicable? -- Duesentrieb(?!) 01:04, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
Image:Gnomelogo.png is an example (though I can't verify the LGPL copyright status). dbenbenn | talk 03:38, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
Well, first of all, there are the Creative Commons "buttons", which are currently going to be deleted because they are trademarked (but released under a CC-BY copyright licence). Then, many company logos are simply below the "original artwork" line. Just taking a standard font with a certain colour does not make a copyrightable work (e.g. Image:Philips_logo.jpg or Image:Logo_siemens.gif). And yes, logos of open source software projects are often a candidate, too. -- 3247 03:49, 10 September 2005 (UTC)
No, the Creative Commons logos are not released under a cc-by license. Please read their policies page, which states that "Except where noted otherwise below in our Trademark Policy, all content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license." dbenbenn | talk 02:52, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
The trademark policy does not say that they have a different copyright license, therefore they haven't. The restrictions are based on trademark law (hence "trademark policy"), not copyright (some of the "license buttons" are too simple to be elegible for copyright anyway). -- 3247 11:07, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
Alright, I see how it could be ambiguous. I'll go email the Creative Commons to clarify the issue. If they really are cc-by-2.0, I think we can keep them after all. dbenbenn | talk 13:40, 13 September 2005 (UTC)
Hm, interresting - maybe we should discuss this more broadly on COM:VP and on the mailing list. As I said, on the one hand, I would support this, on the other hand, I fear that this will lead too even more confusion for inexperienced users. The tags used should be very clear and explicite, for instance, the (R) tag should say that the license of the image must be stated separately, and it must be a free license. Otherwise, people will interpret this as fair-use-is-ok-for-logos. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 10:17, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

FWIW, I've contacted Creative Commons directly and asked them to weigh in on the issue. We're very big and very famous, and have a pretty good track record too, from their political point of view -- so I think it's quite possible they'll work to make everything okay -- somehow. — Xiongtalk* 04:18, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Wrong license?[edit]

If you look at this picture, according to the license tag, it was published before it was shot... Someone please fix if possible. --Hullbr3ach 17:39, 23 September 2005 (UTC)

Dutch postage stamp copyright[edit]

How does this apply to postage stamp images?

"Publications from the Dutch government are copyrighted only if there is a copyright notice on it. See for the Dutch copyright law, this exception is in article 15b."

Individual Dutch stamps do not have copyright notices, although in the US the USPS covers this base by putting the copyright notice in the margin of a sheet of stamps. (I note that TGP Post seems to have been privatized in 1989, so this is likely a consideration too.) Stan Shebs 18:25, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

Why 'Commercial use of the work must be allowed' ?[edit]

Somebody asked me this question and I find it hard to answer. Is it only beacuse of the Mandrake Linux? I got permission from a historical game publisher to use hundreds of their images on Wiki, but with attribution and not for commercial purposes? Can I upload them to en-Wikipedia? If so, under what license? What arguments could I use to ask them to allow commercial use, and what license can I recommend to them? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 14:55, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Because a) we want the content to be really free, and b) because there are several WP-spinnoffs (Wikipress, etc), that are commercial. Wikipedia-on-DVD would not work with NC licenses. Also, have a look at this post at kuro5hin: [4] by User:Eloquence. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 15:34, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
Also, there are plenty of commercial mirrors of Wikipedia, such as dbenbenn | talk 21:49, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
Would it not be ok to allow Non-Commercial licenses if they allow charge for distribution costs like it is in gpl? --helohe (talk) 13:58, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
We don't want non-commercial licenses. Simple as that. This is one of the basic rules of Wikimedia Commons. We want to grant everyone the right to do use (for any purpose), modify (whatever he wants) and distribute (for any price) every bit (as long as they follow the licenses and as long it doesn't touch other rights beside copyright but that's not our problem). Arnomane 20:19, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Seeking confirmation on Crown Copyright[edit]

I tried asking at w:Wikipedia:Image copyright tags and haven't gotten a response so I'll see if anyone here by chance knows. Am I correct that this image of Sembawang Naval Base, taken in 1945, would fall under w:Template:PD-British-gov (Crown copyright)? Is public domain Crown Copyright content permissible on Commons? (I notice there's no tag for it here like on en:wikipedia.) I'm not sure if I'm reading the photo credit right but I think it's been taken by a member of the IX MONAB stationed there, which would seem to qualify... just wanting to make sure before I upload, if anyone can advise with a message to my talk page I'd appreciate it! MC MasterChef 05:37, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Technically, there is no such thing as "public domain Crown Copyright" - once something has passed into the public domain, doesn't matter what its copyright was formerly. Not sure about the picture's source, the photo credit doesn't seem to mention official vs personal photo, nor when first published. -- Stan Shebs 12:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Works under Commonwealth Crown Copyright are not public domain. They are quite free, but not free enough: the Crown Copyright requires "acurate reproduction", i.e. derivative work is not allowed. For this reason, Crown Copyright tags for Australia, Canada, etc, have been removed or redirected to deletion templates, and images under those licenses have been deleted.
If the Crown Copyright has expired, however, the works really are in the public domain, i.e. no restrictions apply, and they would be ok on the commons. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 12:42, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, copyright really isn't my speciality... I think that's what I was trying to get at. Assuming this is in fact a photo originally falling under Crown Copyright (I've sent an e-mail to the site trying to get more detail on the photo's source in order to verify this; we'll see what kind of response I get), the fact that it was taken in 1945 would mean that it has now passed into the public domain and is free to use on Commons, right? MC MasterChef 13:02, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Not "taken", but "published" before 1955, as the WP article points out. Stan Shebs 13:10, 25 October 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, yes, published. MC MasterChef 04:59, 26 October 2005 (UTC)


If I've copyleft multi-licensed an image, derivative works are required to be released under at least one of those licenses, correct? — Omegatron 17:18, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

yes. Or a license that is allowed explicitely for derivative work by a license you specified (GFDL traditionally comes with the "or any later version" addition, for example) -- Duesentrieb(?!) 20:24, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Derivated GFDL image[edit]

I think I made a mistake. Used to release all my work under CC licences, I also did this with Image:Nasmyth-Telescope.svg yesterday. But this morning it came to my mind that the original illustration (named on the image description page) is released unter GFDL.

  • So I guess I must release my image under GFDL too–I want to be sure before doing so.
  • Would a double licencing GFDL/CC-BY-SA also be ok (I fear no)?
  • Hypothetical question, what if my image would only be inspired by the GFDL work? Derived is loading the original work into an programm and chaning it until something else comes out. Inspired is doing a work in the same style, colours, dimension. --Jailbird 10:59, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

If you create derivative work of something under the GFDL, you must license the result under the GFDL, and only under that license. If you want to use a different license for your work, ask the author of the original for permission for that, or better, to also license the original under cc-by-sa or whatever you want.
What exactly qualifies as derivative work is not exactly defined. Whenever you use the creative work of someone else as a basis of your own work, I would say it qualifies as "derivative". If you copy a file or not does not matter: replicating a design by re-drawing it does not make it original work (for a faithful replication, you may in fact not have any copyright, because your work was purely technical).
As a rule of thumb I would say that as long as parts of the original are clearly recognizable, it's derivative work.
HTH -- Duesentrieb(?!) 12:19, 16 November 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. I'll resolve the problem with the wrong licence. --Jailbird 12:58, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

Assume PD for Images older than 100 years[edit]

The German Wikipedia has adoped a policy by which images, that where created more than 100 years ago, are assumed to be PD, if ther's no indication of the creator not being dead for 70 years (see Wikipedia:Bildrechte#Geschützte_Fotos). User:Historiograf proposed to do the same on the commons, and I belive that would be reasonable - as of yet, we don't have a clear policy how old an image has to be until it can be assumed to be PD. The Idea has gotten some support on Commons:Forum#Ein_paar_Jahre_mehr_in_de. For legal questions about this, please ask User:Historiograf. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 23:30, 7 January 2006 (UTC)

This seems like a good idea. Of course, you still have to cite a source indicating the image is more than 100 years old. Just saying "it looks old" isn't good enough, in my opinion.
Also, I remember an image being deleted on Commons:Deletion requests a while ago that was more than 100 years old, but had only been published recently. The publisher claimed copyright, and specifically asked us to delete it. User:dbenbenn 01:19, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Information about source and thourship should of course be provided as precise as possible. About the "publisher claims copyright" thing... can you give me a link to that deletion request? I don't see how that claim can be valid. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 19:36, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
See w:User talk:Duncharris/archive8#Copyright violation request, w:User talk:CopyrightProtection, Image:Wintu Women circa 1900.jpg, and Commons:Deletion_requests/Archives05#Image:Wintu Women circa 1900.jpg. User:dbenbenn 20:17, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks - I don't know the deatils of US copyright law, but if the claim is correct, my proposal would have to be adjusted to apply only to images published more than 100 years ago. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 21:15, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

I do not think this adjustment is helpful. We should make a difference between pictures made or first published in the US and all other countries.

  • If a photograph is made or first published in the US it is considered Public Domain in Commons only if it is Public Domain according US law.
  • In all other cases it is considered Public Domain provided that
    • it is proven that it is older than 100 years OR
    • the creator is 70 years dead OR
    • it falls under an accepted Commons template.

In this proposal the problem of anonymous works is ignored. We do not have yet an anonymous works template, do we? --Historiograf 21:51, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree to Histo --Steschke 22:27, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Support this proposal. See also my discussion here Kneiphof 22:39, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Support the proposal. --Elya 13:17, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
What do you think of a separate template for the images in your second case (e. g. "PD-work-100")? --Svencb
Where is a legal basis? The laws of USA give the 95/120-year terms for anonymous works (Copyright). In Germany an anonymus work is public domain after 70 years after publication. If the author stayed anonymus or pseudonymus within this period a later naming would not change this (§ 66 UrhG).
For other works (author not investigated by the user) this proposal means some fair use and not a license. -- Simplicius 18:38, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

Simplicius is simplifying the complicated German law, see Anonymes Werk at de. The proposal does NOT concern anonymous works and therefore we should dicuss FIRST the proposal as it is. --Historiograf 02:01, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

May I point you to the correct term: Works Originally Created on or after January 1, 1978 [...] For works made for hire, and for anonymous and pseudonymous works (unless the author's identity is revealed in Copyright Office records), the duration of copyright will be 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter. This seems me not relevant for us because this is only a rule for photos after 1977. My proposal says that for photos made or first published in the US US law applies. Thus we do not bother for anon. works. The problem is to find a reasonable rule for foreign photos. An anonymous German caricature (it is important do make a difference to a photo!) first published 1937 is definitively not PD because before 1995 § 66 UrhG doesn't apply for works of art with the consequence that the term was 70 years pma. The term is now 70 years after publication or 70 years after the dead of the creator whatever is longer. If no one knows when the creator died one has to wait a very long time to be on the safe side. Let us say that the creator was at least ten years in 1937 then he could live say until 2037 and now let us add 70 years: 2107. Funny, isn't it? --Historiograf 02:26, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

As in preceding instances, some Germans users mistakenly believe that German law applies in other countries. For instance, the copyright term in France is 70 years + years of world wars counted in a weird way + possibly 30 years for people who died for France (such as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry). As an example, recently some minor filmmaker was asked royalties by a society of management of rights because in his movie somebody whistled the Internationale (copyright term on the music extended because of the war).

I think there's little point on voting on such issues. We should instead get people with legal knowledge on a variety of countries to write a memo, then we'll decide. David.Monniaux 13:35, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

French law isn't relevant for us. We have to take only into account the clear regulations of the Europe Union which defines the copyright term 70 years pma. The Berne convention confirms a term 50 years pma. A litigation concerning specific French copyright law would be only successful in France. I do not think French decisions could be a reason to make rules on the lowest level. We cannot exclude ANY risk here. And PLEASE David.Monniaux quote the relevant French Law that one can verify your opinion. --Historiograf 17:57, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

The European Union has no regulations that I know of concerning copyright. It has directives, which each member country can choose how to transpose into national law, with some leeway.
The Berne convention, as far as I know, allows one right holder to have the rights one owns in the country of creation of a work be recognized in another country. (Note that this, for instance, made a number of foreign works which were public domain in the US become copyrighted in that country when the US ratified the convention.)
The place to look for French copyright law is the first book of the French code of Intellectual Property. The extensions to the legal duration of 70 years are L123-8 (First World War), L123-9 (Second World War), L123-10 (authors dead for France).
As for not caring about French law: as it has been explained again and again, a French author (or, more probably, the heirs thereof) having created works in France can sue us for broadcasting his copyrighted work in France. He or she can very probably sue the Foundation or its representative, Wikimédia France, before a French court. If the Foundation is sued, the civil decision can be enforced in the US through an exequatur procedure.
So, PLEASE. We should ask people with real legal knowledge on this. Havr you asked juriwiki-l, or people like Villy or Soufron? David.Monniaux 13:19, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Why do you think I have no real legal knowlegde? For the Berne convention AND the Directive 93/98 EEC harmonising the term of protection of copyright AND German law we know what we have to know. French law is in the same way irrelevant as the copyright term of 100 (instead 70) years in Mexico. One can sue us at a Mexican court. So what? No other country in the European Union is forced to respect ridiculous laws of the GRANDE NATION nor is it the USA. I have sent a personal message regarding the Karsh photos to Soufron and a message to juriwiki-l - no answer! You can try your luck again. --Historiograf 21:54, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
You have no legal knowledge on French law, that is pretty clear. Since you start playing the nationalism card, I may also point out that these copyright extensions that you find absurd and pointless were enacted following wars of aggression waged by Germany against the rest of Europe.
I thus remind you that Germany lost the war in 1945, that the application of German law stops at the German border (apart from some cases agreed upon by treaty), and that a European directive is not a European regulation (i.e. each and every European country sets its own rules within the directive guidelines).
As for the Berne convention, the rules are set partly the country in which the work was created, partly by the country in which the work is displayed. In the case of the US, I think there's an extremely convoluted system for applying Berne, since before adopting Berne the US functioned in a totally different way (with copyright registrations). David.Monniaux 23:20, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Historiograf, you are suggesting something that would create enormous risks notably for the French chapter of Wikipedia (not to mention a gazillion other things). I do not know whether this is indicative of the fact that you have temporary lost your nerves, or that you have indeed no clue whatsoever about legal matters, but either way I have to ask you to stop suggesting silly things and gratuitously irritate other contributors. Thank you. Rama 23:43, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Furthermore, 100 years absolutely nothing. Assuming the optimistic case of German law, you can very well have a photo published in 1900 by a young photographer in his 20s, who would have died at 80, that is in 1960. 1960 is not 70 years ago. This 100 year thing is pure non-sense. Rama 01:18, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Very obviously, we cannot arbitrarly decide to which laws we fancy to abide. This proposal strikes me as pointless, especially in absence of educated legal opinions. Rama 13:35, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Ok, to clarify... I chose a bad title for this discussion. The probosal is actually to accept PD claims for images older than 100 years, if there is no evidence to the opposite. The idea is that for such images it is unlikely (though possible), that they are still copyrighted, but this is often quite hard to check. Normally, uploaders are expected to provide specific resoning for a picture to be PD - the proposal is to invert this for images older than 100 years: they would be acceptable, unless someone finds out they are in fact still protected.

This is in fact common practice: for "very old" images, PD-old is accepted as a license, even if the creator is unknown. But as of now, there is no clear guideline as to how old an images has to be to be accepted as PD-old without further ado. I belive we should have a clear guideline for this - 100 years, or 120, or whatever - but a clear number. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 19:06, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

For me the classic example is a picture postcard from 1903, which may not mention the publisher even, let alone the photographer (and/or tinter :-) ). A 100-year rule for such is very conservative, and seems quite reasonable for commons. Stan Shebs 21:05, 15 January 2006 (UTC)
I fear that a reasonable timeline is something like 100+something years: very few Humans live much over 100 years; assuming the "worst case scenario" of an artist who publishes something while still young (make it 20 years old to fix ideas), we count 100 years from then (we assume that 120 years after his birth, the artist will be quite dead). Then we still have to add the running time of the copyright relevant for the time/place where the image was published (this is where legal expertise comes into play).
For instance, this image was taken before 1914 (the ship was scrapped then); the worst case scenario is that the image was taken in 1914 by a young photographer in his 20s (I will rule out the little child using his father's camera), who lived to his 100s (we are now in 1994), whose copyright will be running for 70 years + 10 bonus years for the years of war, which brings us into 2084. Rama 09:11, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
Agree partially with Duesentrieb. "Assume" would perhaps be better expressed as "Accept", i.e. Accept PD for images over a hundred years old.
The Swedish law requires "reasonable researches" of the photograpger being made before assuming PD. I suggest we have the same rule.
If a photograph is published in a book, we have to look up the book, and year it was published, and possibly the photographer. However, in the case of postcards and old photos from photo collections, this is more difficult. In those cases, a rule of "accepting PD" is reasonable. We don't need to credit people who don't even claim the copyrights, a hundred years ago nobody thought of that.
I've for instance uploaded Image:Fosie kyrka 1891.jpg. I think we need to assume PD at some stage, and 100 years seem safe. Possible we can shrink this limit later, to 80 years or 60 years.
Fred Chess 16:47, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
@Rama: if the artist is known, this proposal does not apply anyway. The question is how to handle cases in which the creator is not known, and can't be determined with a reasonable amount of research. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 16:54, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
I do not understand what is not clear with my answer, so I will try to make it as plain as possible, but don't hesitate to finger a specific point that should still be addressed if I fail to explain properly
  • If the author is unknown to us, we must assume that heirs might someday show up and complain or sue. So we must make certain that things cannot possibly not be in the public domain.
  • For things to be in the public domain, usually it is the death of the author which is relevant, + a number of years depending of the country
    • For the death of the author, since we do not know him, we have to evaluate a pessimistic (in our case, late) date of death. I say [date of publication]+100 years is safe. Most authors are dead 100 years after they publish their earliest work.
    • Most countries allow copyright to run longer; often 70 years, sometimes 50; Mexico makes it 100 years, which is the longest, so most pessimistic, that I know of. So we make is 100 years too.
So we add the two and we can be quite safe in saying that if a work of art has been published for more than 200 years, it is in the public domain. Less than 200 years will not be iron-clad certain.
Now, we can always hold reasonings like "we can plead good faith in saying that the photo is more than 100 years old and the author is unknown" or "this photo was made by a Nazi, people will not claim to have been Nazis so they will not claim copyright"; they might make some sense to some extend, but this is taking risks. Rama 15:46, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
We're always taking some risks. For instance, we assume that uploaders are being truthful when they say that they took a picture themselves, or that they scanned from the book that they say they scanned from - we don't require signed affidavits by witnesses, or proofs of identity, anything like that. I think a 100-year rule is in that category; yes, there is always the chance that some heir will show up and make a claim on an apparently-anonymous picture from 1903, but it's just really unlikely, and even if it does happen, we would just take it down (and write a WP article about the bizarre event :-) ). Someone setting out to attack wikimedia would have a better chance finding stolen images among recent ones claimed to be GFDL. Stan Shebs 20:42, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, it's really not for the shake of annoying people, but I can't assimilate the risk of someone falsely reporting a safe status and the risk of an intrinsically unsafe status. We might want to cross the line of tolerating contributions with a moderately unsafe status; but I still think that there is a line there. Rama 12:20, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
Maybe it would be a good idea to have a special tag for such cases, like PD-old-assumed or something. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 12:57, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
The risks are the same to me because they are both in the category of "we don't know for sure" - we don't know if contributors are being truthful, we don't know if an image is really PD or not. As en: and de: have both learned the hard way, trusting contributors is actually quite a substantial risk that we deliberately take. In any case, I agree with having a distinct tag; people who want to research can work through the category (for instance, there are postcard experts who know something about the obscure publishers). Stan Shebs 17:32, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Life is risk. It is absurd to calculate with 200 years if it is much more likely that someone will sue us because of faked PD. I estimate the probability that a litigation arises from a picture older than 100 years lower than 5 % --Historiograf 02:37, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

And who is going to pay for the trails induced by the 5 % ? You ? Have you calculated the risk of someone suing use because of a screenshot, too, because perhaps we might want to take that chance as well ?
The problem is not whether we are willing to play the Russian roulette with the law. The problem is what is safe and what is not. I say that 200 years is reasonably safe. You might want to say that 150 or 100 year is safe, but please don't come with arguments like "I think that we can take the risk". Rama 19:37, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

If fear that this whole debate has missed shortly after the beginning the point Duesentrieb tried to explain (and please let us forget some silly debates about the past). This PD-old thing with images previous to 1900 works pretty well in de.wikipedia and we are definitely not giving up our principles (I suppose that de.wikipedia is one of the strictest wikipedias within this respect). This template and policy was introduced in de.wikipedia in order to free the image collection effectivly from unfree material (many people were uploading images without the slightest knowledge on copyright, as in every wikipedia). So previous to the first Wikipedia CD and later the Wikipedia DVD's we needed to go through thousands and thousands of images (don't know it exactly but several ten thousands images were deleted in a very short time). For every image you do not want to spend more than 5 minutes looking into google image search in order to melt down the huge mountain of clearly unfree pictures. This policy and a very heroic effort of some people (as eg. Crux) made it possible that we reduced the percentage of unfree material (and increasing the descriptions of free ones) by a large number (I hope that en.wikipedia will finally draw the line and make such an effort too, they are compareable by size and it is manageable with significant results within 3 months).

In Wikimedia Commons we face the same problem: Many people have uploaded material without thinking what they were doing. Now we have to go through this material efficently in order to remove the unfree material fast (so that the amount of unfree material in commons is at any given time as low as possible). And such a PD-old template will help us a lot. This template is not about people encouraging uploading every damn image previous to 1900 (or 100+).

To give you an example what it is mostly about: Image:1099jerusalem.jpg. I'm unable to tell you the painter of this image but it is very safe to assume that he has died a long long time ago. Then there are a lot of paintings and etchings of famous people from times when photography did not exist or was simply to poor or not widespread. These images are mostly from the 18. or 19. century. In a lot of cases you are unable to determine (without very good detailed knowledge in history of arts) who made this artwork but you can say which time it has been created. Then another subject are old postcards and some early historic photographies (in case of post cards they often have the year of creation written in one edge of the image). That are the cases we are talking about. So in case of such artworks from the end of the 19. century there you need to draw a line somewhere you can resonable say "Okay I have searched everything, until I do not get better information I mark this image uploaded by someone else as PD-old and I will drop him/her a note that next time he/she should make better image descriptions with correct sources." And remember everyone of us makes failures also with newly created images as you did not read the usage terms fully or the website you took the image from made a failure or whatever (I'd suppose everyone of us has a failure rate falsely determining an image as free in the order of 1% and higher) so it would be ridiculous to say: "Ok I do not know the author, with a percentage of 1% it is still coyprighted so we delete it." This is in the same magnitude as you are making everytime false assumptions.

So this template will help Commons enforcing the policy of "only free images are allowed". And this enforcing of the policy in practice not in theory is what we badly need. Arnomane 19:26, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

In fact, this is a project with the purpose of being developed and used by further projects - the idea of GNU/FDL. Every user has to know exactly how he can use material found in Commons for other purposes.
I do not suggest to delete old pictures - but the background for EU laws is that the longest protection in a member state is a benchmark: Spain, 1879, Ley de Propiedad intelectual, 80 years post mortem auctoris. It is said that this gives photos etc. a long protection ex post for the actual 70 pma standard. So a "Your risk to be sued is under 5 %" is definitely no legal basis.
More helpful should be a hint "name of author and year of death is urgently needed to approve public domain". The category for these pictures should be a sort of "very old but public domain unproofed" - because this is the truth. -- Simplicius 11:56, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Well, there are things which are simply too old to possibly not be in the Public Domain -- either because there was no notion of copyright, right of authorship or public domain at the time, or because all copyright laws have been extinct since. For these works, it is not "unproofed".
This said, I fully agree that playing the Russian roulette with some putative "5% chance of trial" is out of the question. The discussion should revolve around which time makes it 100% certain that things have been put into the Public domain. Rama 12:22, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
No, concerning "no notion of copyright, right of authorship or public domain at the time, or because all copyright laws have been extinct since." please note that the European law reverts some works from public domain if it would have been protected in a members country - such as Spain.
This makes the author's year of death to become the only indicator for public domain. -- Simplicius 20:47, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
You are looking at the problem from the wrong side. Let's face some facts: We have a lot of pictures at Commons we have to look at. We have to increase the image descriptions and need to remove copyright violations. And we have to do it efficently in order to get a result: I don't want to spend two days for one picture on a regular basis (yes I have done such things and got a result). I want to clean the Commons efficently. I do not talk about newly uploaded material. Arnomane 12:37, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
I think, marking old photos with a request for authors name and year of death and an explicite warning for external users should be enough. -- Simplicius 20:58, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
In principle you are right but we both know from de.wikipedia that at maximum only 20% of the users will answer you and correct the thing and many images are simply to important not to try to prove if they are freely licensed. So in the majority of cases you are in charge correcting the thing. :-( And well if you say everytime "It's the uploaders problem to find the source" and lets say you say that for 5000+ images you know what happens... If I want to clean the Commons I want to avoid creating a large amount of trolls that vandal my contributions (as I had such pepole enough); it's simply a question of economics. What is easier? Correcting the thing in as many cases as possible by yourself and dropping a note at the userpage afterwards and thus showing the people that you are doing something and try to help or simply say "Hey correct the images or I will destroy them". I want to reserve the second option for the real problematic persons that proved to be resistant to knowlegde. Arnomane 11:45, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Asking for 100% certainty is an example of "copyright paranoia". Are there any real-life examples of a 100-year-old anonymously-published photograph suddenly becoming the subject of a courtroom battle? I would be astonished if it has ever occurred. If there are such examples, let's get some details to see how it applies to us. If there aren't any, then let's stop worrying about what isn't real. Stan Shebs 05:12, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

There are very real examples of people getting charged for old works which they believe were in the public domain. In one famous occurrence, a film maker was charged because a character wistles The Internationale for a few seconds; while this is neither a photograph not an anonymous work, the work was certainly over 100 years old.
You have to understand that Commons is meant to be a repository of free work. Not work that might be free. Not work over which we think people won't bother to sue. This is not Russian-Roulette-pedia. Rama 08:13, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Well let us look at the Internationale (simply a short look into Wikipedia):
  • The text is from Eugène Edine Pottier (* 4. Oktober 1816 in Paris, † 6. November 1887)
  • The melody is from Pierre Degeyter (* 1848 in Gent; † 1932 in Saint-Denis)
So the copyright of the text is expired in any case regardless of any wartime expansions. But the song writer lived quite long and the 70 years pma was just 2002. And: This song is not an anonymous work. To get those informations was easy. So in case of a promiment work it is much more likely that someone gets the dollar signs in his eyes and wants to sue you... We had also a somewhat related case here in Commons: A image agency from Berlin said that we have to remove all images of Mahatma Ghandi that were made and published in India by a citizen of India, because they own the rights of the images... Well in India, they are in Public Domain so we told them that and asked them for more details how they can claim a copyright... We never heard anything again from them... I would do the same if someone has claimed the same for the Internationale and if they then can give valid information well then I will consider it and act according to it. Simple as that (I know that many people sue you inmediatly and do not try to solve things in a friendly manner but our basic principle is in fact "Assume good faith" and it worked up to now quite well if we consider all the hairy cases we had especially in such cases with images). And of course there are always crazy people out there that will sue you regardless what you are doing (without loosing your goal), see e.g. (used to be a redirect for up to some days ago...) or w:Tron (Hacker). The only thing is: We need to be carefully but should also see the fact that there will definitly be the day that someone will make big trouble with Commons with a very very questionable case and we have to stand up and be prepared. Arnomane 11:45, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
In the case of the Internationale, the period may be extended in France as compensation for war years (and the Ministry of Culture advises people to assume it is extended). See Commons:Licensing#France. Furthermore, the company which requested money is not "anybody" or "crazy people" — it is one of the government-authorized societies that collect money on behalf of right holders (SPRD). David.Monniaux 13:57, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
All very interesting, but totally irrelevant to the question at hand. What are the actual court cases for 100-year-old anonymous photographs? Here's an idea; set the number at 10 years more than the oldest anonymous photograph copyright claim by heirs upheld by a court decision, anywhere in the world. If we hear about a new case, then we push the line back further and scrub photos in the gap (which suggests subdividing this category of image by year). Stan Shebs 14:19, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Dangerous, and utterly impossible to implement and maintain. And whether or not it is easy to exhibit cases of people getting sued, we do not do illegal things; we do not pretend things are in the public domain when we cannot be certain; the law does not write itself in court, it exists outside and we respect it. Rama 19:28, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
"Dangerous"? Let's get a grip here - we're talking about pictures apparently of so little value that not one person could be bothered to take credit for them in a century. If you can't exhibit actual case law, then you're just fearmongering. And yes, the law does indeed "write itself in court"; since the laws do not always make specific provisions for these kinds of obscure situations, the law is effectively made by judges setting precedents. If there is no written law, and no court cases, then it's a gross exaggeration to say we're doing "illegal things". We say "in the public domain to the best of our knowledge", and that is completely truthful and legal. Stan Shebs 23:07, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
Speak for your own country, will you ? What you say is true of case law countries, much less of common law ones. And with your "If there is no written law, and no court cases", you are assuming that things never happen because you have never seen it happen. Rama 19:00, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

Some comments..

1. Regarding one modified version of the proposal that suggests that we treat photos first created or published in the U.S. differently. The rationale given to this is that for such works, the U.S. law is the relevant law. I have to disagree on this. If the photo is first published in the U.S. and France, or the author is a French national, for example, the Berne Convention would treat France as the "country of origin" for that work. This means that regardless of the U.S. law, Berne Convention signatories will protect the work according to their domestic law, or, when the domestic law specifically says it, until the protection expires under the French law. Berne Convention's art.3 and art.5 are the most relevant parts for this issue, I think.

2. It is one thing to accept such image to Commons, but it is another thing to represent such image to be in public domain. The latter sounds quite dangerous and misleading, given that such works may or may not be usable under many many national laws that are relevant for various wikimedia projects.

3. I tend to agree with Rama that commons should not accept mere 100 year-old images. I doubt if the Foundation, Chapters, or individual administrators of commons and other projects have spare money to fight a lawsuit, or pay lawyers for settlement negotiations.

In Japan, there have been lawsuits pursuing protections of works originally created in the U.S., whose protection has been expired in the U.S.

One such example have been a series of lawsuit regarding kewpie figures' copyright whose protections have long been expired in the U.S. (since 1941, if I remember correctly). But because of the complicated series of war compensation, bilateral treaties, and multilateral treaties, some of the works were found to be still under copyright in Japan. The defendant so far found to be not liable, because the original work and defendant's works were different enough, or for other reasons. Many of the full text of court's opinions are available online, such as here and here.

Another example is regarding the works of Dale Carnegie. Court again found the works protected under the Japanese law, though the protection has expired in the U.S. (during the 1960's, if I remember correctly). This time, defendants were not so fortunate, and they were ordered to pay for the damages. (Full texts of the appeals court decision is here.)

Tomos 17:59, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Copyright of Nazi organizations[edit]

Image:Pink triangle prisoner.jpg was taken, obviously, by the SS guarding the concentration camp. What is the copyright status of images taken by German organizations found to be criminal by the International military tribunal of Nuremberg? (Please, I'm asking for legal advice here, not for what the law should be.) David.Monniaux 17:05, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

There is no special Nazi copyright law. The heirs of the creators have the copyright until it expires. --Historiograf 21:42, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Organizations don't have heirs. I'm asking about organizations. David.Monniaux 23:16, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Organizations don't have heirs, they may have legal successors. But that's not important here - the creator is (according to German law) always a human, in this case the SS guard, if your presumption is right. And as Historiograf pointed out, there is no special legal status because of the SS membership. --Svencb 19:52, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

ACK. In Germany organizations do not have any copyright. The Urheber is always a person and Urheberrechte cannot be given away. It is only possible to give rights like Verwertungsrechte (ausschließliches Nutzungsrecht, einfaches Nutzungsrecht) or Ausübung des Urheberpersönlichkeitsrechts. --Historiograf 20:09, 12 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't understand German. What happens if a person is an employee of an organization such that the employment conditions of that person specify that copyright of works done during their work time belongs to the employer (an organization), and the employer disappears? David.Monniaux 20:52, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
It's just not possible. The Urheberrecht (copyright) cannot be given to any firm/organization while the creator is alive. Employee conditions may require that Nutzungsrechte (usage rights) are transferred to the employer, but this does not affect the Urheberrecht (copyright).
So even in the case that the employer disappears without any legal successor, the copyright still belongs to the creator. --Svencb 21:22, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Ah, this clears it all for me. Thanks! David.Monniaux 21:28, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
So I was over-optimistic here, right ? Rama 13:48, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Because the image was published first in France you have to ask the homme de lettre Monsieur Monniaux. Arguing with German law it could be PD as a Bekanntmachung (§ 5 I UrhG). --Historiograf 02:40, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

I am unsure about the situation of works produced by the Nazi government in occupied France. Perhaps we can just apply the idea that works expression government laws, regulations, decisions etc. are not covered by copyright (I am too lazy to find a source for this). David.Monniaux 18:19, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
If someone works for an organisation it is normaly clear that the usage rights belong to the organisation. As these include right of selling a work, publishing a work and so on, the author and heirs are rather irrelevant.
Further, the photo is just a normal work, there is no creative power: You cannot recognize the "artist" from this work. Any other photographer would have done the same work. Concerning German copy right, such works are protected for 50 years after publishing, or if not published, 50 years after creation.
About criminal persons: Adolf Hitler's things and rights went to the state Bavaria. I suppose something like this for organisations. But if this is recognized as a crime, the rights might be misgotten (if you buy a car and it was stolen it will not belong to you even if you have paid for it).
I suggest to keep Image:Pink triangle prisoner.jpg. -- Simplicius 21:41, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

There is nothing right what Simplicius writes. believe it or not. --Historiograf 17:04, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Contents with usage restricted by US law outside of copyright[edit]

Certain US government organizations have logos, or other documents, that are in the public domain with respect to copyright law (because of the general rule on productions from the US government), but whose usage is severely restricted by other laws.

The usual justification for such restrictions is that these organizations don't want their logos or other insignia to be used as endorsements of things they have no control upon, in advertisements, etc. (this is not an uncommon case: the Wikimedia Foundation does the same with its logos, and the European Space Agency has a somewhat less stringent policy with its photographs).

One example is Image:Logo-nasa-800px.png.

Question: what do we do with such content? David.Monniaux 17:53, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

According to w:NASA logo, Image:Logo-nasa-800px.png is not public domain.
Also, note that any picture of a living person will be "severely restricted by other laws", namely privacy laws. For example, even though Image:David Benbennick.jpg is under a free license, you couldn't use it in an ad campaign without my permission. For that reason, I think we can keep content that is restricted by other laws, as long as our use on the Commons itself obeys the law. User:dbenbenn 19:45, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
One issue is whether this restriction is imposed by US copyright law or by other US laws that are separate from the copyright law. (Note that Wikipedia is not a reliable source for legal information, by the way... :-) )
I think we should remove this picture, because Wikimedia's main servers are in the US. However, the question whether this is a copyright issue or not would have implications if our servers were located elsewhere: international agreements (Berne convention etc.) will cover copyright, but perhaps not other laws restricting usage. David.Monniaux 20:56, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Keep. We have to respect ONLY copyright law. dbenbenn is right. In the German Wikipedia we accept logos if there is no copyright regardless trademark protection. --Historiograf 21:58, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Historiograf that we can host images with restricted use (coats of arms, portraits of living people, etc). However, on the commons, trademarks are frowned uppon - it's defacto policy not to have trademarked logos here.
As to the NASA logo - i actually have no idea what the exact legal status is. Is it PD (not neccessarily, if NASA licensed it from someone else). Is it trademarked? Is it an official insignia, and thus protected by special laws? -- Duesentrieb(?!) 22:43, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I totally disagree with Historiograph. Hosting this image on our site is (apparently) prohibited by US law, and our main servers are on US soil.
His point is, I think, totally bogus from a legal point of view. Trademark law prohibits using trademarks in a way that could confuse the customer, or somewhat cause losses to the trademark owner. Including a trade mark from a corporation on Wikipedia certainly does not induce confusion in the heads of a customer (i.e. you don't think you're buying a Renault Wikipedia because you see a Renault logo).
On the other hand, the US federal government has enacted legislation or regulations punishing any use of some federal emblems outside of the federal government. In the case of NASA, it's apparently 14CFR1221.109:
Use of the NASA Seal for any purpose other than as prescribed in this section is prohibited, except that the Associate Deputy Administrator may authorize, on a case-by-case basis, the use of the NASA Seal for purposes other than those prescribed when the Associate Deputy Administrator deems such use to be appropriate.
Again, we're not discussing policy, we're discussing law. David.Monniaux 23:14, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
@Historiograf: we only have to care about copyright when it comes to allowing others to re-use the image. However, we also have to make sure that the commons itself does not break the law by using an image. As far as I understand the law David cited, it would actually be illegal for the commons to use the seal - however, we should have a closer look at the purposes prescribed in this section. Maybe informational use is allowed after all?
In any case, it would be good to know if simmilar laws where in effect for the seals of other US agencies. Also, maybe we gould get permission to use the NASA seal? But if we got permission for ourselves only... would that still be "free enough"? From the "copyright only" point of view, it would... but on the other hand, we also don't have trademarks on the commons, because they can't be used freely... hm. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 22:08, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

No problem with that. We are creating a free encyclopedia, meaning our use of third-party-works must be legal. We also take care, that taking any part of the Wikipedia from here is legal from the copyright point of view. We cannot asure, that there are no other laws, limiting the use of material taken from the Wikipedia for any possible purpose. Otherwise we must not use the words Apple or Windows or Sun, as they are registered trademarks and their use as names for computer and in case of Apple music editions is limited by the existing trademarks. --h-stt 19:50, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Agree with h-stt --Historiograf 21:47, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

"CNN Common Use License"[edit]

Image:MiyakeIsland.jpg mentions a "CNN Common Use License" that is copyrighted free use. Has anyone heard of such a thing? I'm dubious myself, CNN is not normally that generous. Stan Shebs 18:01, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I've contacted CNN and am waiting for their answer. David.Monniaux 10:26, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
The photo is credited to the Associated Press anyway... I doubt that CNN can apply their terms on the work of others. Rama 14:44, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
CNN says no such license exists. Delete. David.Monniaux 00:05, 20 January 2006 (UTC)
This picture cannot be used because of Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 tagging - originally by flicr (see here


Commercial use rule[edit]

Commercial use of the work must be allowed is not understandable. The Wikimedia Foundation is not a company and what the wikimedia mirror pages with commercial interest do should not bother. So I'm asking you guys: Why do we have the rule? Just because of WikiBooks? I ask, because flicr and other sources provide licenses wich do not allow commercial use. Millions of pictures cannot be used here because of that rule.

Because it's one of the basic Golden Rules of the Wikimedia foundation to provide content that is usable by anyone, for any purpose. That's part of the "free" in "free content". Note that there are several commercial projects (Wikipress, Wikipedia 1.0, Wikipedia on DVD, etc) that use the content commercially, and give back to the community.
I understand that people don't want to put all their work under a license that is that free. I'm a programmer, and some of my projects I release "completely" free, others only for non-commercial use.
Sure, we could allow stuff with non-commercial licenses, wikimedia-only licenses, maybe fair use, etc... but then we'd just be another flickr. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 01:10, 28 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Jou, OK danke. Mattes 04:01, 29 January 2006 (UTC)

Warranty disclaimers[edit]

For photographs including people (who's identity can be recognized) and industrial products copyrighted by the manufacturer, we need a new license. It should have two main features :

  • It is a copyleft license
  • It includes a limitation of liability, like this : The licensee shall in every case bear full responsibility for the publication or distribution of the photograph. The licensor rejects any liability - in particular in the event of a breach of personal rights or third-party rights.

Because I am afraid that when a licensee breaches a third party's right when using a GFDL image, the third party could sue the licensor as well, by stressing the fact that the GFDL's terms : You may copy and distribute the Document in any medium, either commercially or noncommercially imply that the licensor took responsibility for all these uses, including the breach. The GFLD licensor could be accused of carelessness for the subsequent use of his photo. --Teofilo 01:09, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

No we don't need yet another license. There are enough. Licenses are about copyright nothing more nothing less. Rights of persons displayed or e.g. the rights on trade marks or coats of arms have nothing to do with such a license at all. You cannot handle such things within a license despite a general disclaimer like "be aware..." but you can add and remove such disclaimers at any time without changing the license at all. And of course we have such disclaimers. In case of persons displayed (that gave you the permission or are famous people) yoo could add a disclaimer that you can use it under a free license but that you should be aware that personal rights of of the persons displayed need to be considered too (also in case the person gave you the permission publishing it under a free license they can sue people that published a harmfull modification). Arnomane 01:21, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
You're right the GFDL includes the statement : The Document may include Warranty Disclaimers next to the notice which states that this License applies to the Document. These Warranty Disclaimers are considered to be included by reference in this License, but only as regards disclaiming warranties: any other implication that these Warranty Disclaimers may have is void and has no effect on the meaning of this License. So we may not need a new licence (so I change the title of this section We need a new license into "warranty disclaimers") , but we should really implement this option of adding a warranty disclaimer in cases where we know the possibility to infringe a third party's rights exists. Licenses are about copyright : I am suspicious of copyright claims made within a car picture's license, because the main copyright ownership on a car's shape belongs to the car manufacturer. Photographing a car without the car manufacturer's consent is the same as translating a book in a foreign language without the original author's consent. It is OK in every case where "Fair use" may apply, but a source of conflict with the original copyright owner in all other cases.--Teofilo 16:22, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
No it is not exactly the same. For sure there exist a protection on the shape of a car but that does not necessarily mean that you are not allowed to take a picture and release it under a free license. There you have to consider extra laws and these are different from country to country (and what the picture displays and such). E.g. in Germany Austria and Switzerland you can take a picture of a bulding from public space and do with the picture nearly everything you want regadless if the architect has a right on the shape of the building. Arnomane 19:58, 2 February 2006 (UTC)
It is possible to put a car picture under GFDL, but I think it is better to add a warranty disclaimer saying that the licensor bears no responsibility for any infringement to the car manufacturer's rights in case of commercial uses, such as printing postcards or making merchandising goods (mugs, key-holders, and so on). What I mean, is that in such a case, a picture can be released both under "fair use" and a "free license" at the same time. "Fair use" addresses the status of one given publication regarding third parties. "Free license" addresses the relations between the photographer and the publisher. "Fair use" and "free license" do not contradict each other, provided the "free license" includes a disclaimer taking into consideration the third party's rights. --Teofilo 02:54, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
No be carefully with the definitions. Fair use has an much weaker equivalent in Germany which is the right to quote something. Taking a picture of a car is not a quote as a quote is an exact reproduction of something. A photo of a car is not a reproduction of that car. So you are allowed to do quite a lot with the picture itself but you are not allowed to extract out of the picture a model of the car and reproduce the shape of the car. Arnomane 12:19, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
I don't know which exceptions to the German copyright law may apply to cars. If you can find no exception to Germany's copyright law allowing you to use a car picture in an encyclopedia, on a mug or on a key-holder, you'll have to just refrain from making such encyclopedias, mugs or key-holders. GFDLising the picture will be no help. Panoramafreiheit applies for works die sich bleibend an öffentlichen Wegen, Straßen oder Plätzen befinden (...) Bleibend sind keine Gegenstände, die sich nur zeitweilig in der Öffentlichkeit befinden. Umstritten ist, ob Veranstaltungsplakate und Fahrzeuge unter die Panoramafreiheit fallen. Die herrschende juristische Meinung dürfte dies ablehnen. (works which are found staying in open lanes, streets or squares (...) Staying excludes things which are only temporarily disclosed. Whether advertising posters and vehicles fall under the panorama liberty is disputed. The dominant legal doctrine should reject this.) (quoted and translated from de:Panoramafreiheit). If Panoramafreiheit doesn't apply, and if you can find no other German law allowing you to take car pictures, then please stop publishing car pictures at all in Germany ! (except, of course, when you receive a permission from the car manufacturer)--Teofilo 17:10, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
At first it is quite different from car to car and how this car is being displayed. If the car is not a central part of the image you can do what you want in any case. So let's take a picture of a single car. This picture can be prohibited if the car shape is a trade mark or something similar (like the manufacturers logo, which you aren't allowed to reproduce). As far as I know the shape of the w:InterCity Express is beeing protected but I don't know the details of that case. So in any case a photo of a product is something problematic but so far I don't know of any serious threats towards us. And of course not every photo that shows a product is problematic. Currently we have the rule that a 2D-Photo of a 3D-object that is not a 3D-Trademark is considered non problematic but 2D-Reproductions of 2D-originals are a copyvio. Hopes that this clarifies it a bit. Arnomane 17:36, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
Currently we have the rule that a 2D-Photo of a 3D-object that is not a 3D-Trademark is considered non problematic but 2D-Reproductions of 2D-originals are a copyvio. Is this rule written somewhere? If this is a wikipedia rule, I think my "duty" is to ask to rethink it, because it sounds to me quite unreliable, and many people, not only me, seem to object it. For example user:Fb78 said about Image:Bart Simpson Stoffpupe 2005-06-11 17-24.jpg : Taking a picture of a copyrighted object does not void the original copyright. It only creates an additional copyright for the photograph - if it is artful enough to be accepted as a derivative work. Otherwise, you have created a copy of the original, which infringes the copyrights of Matt Groening. Ask him about copyrighting dolls, if you don't believe me. --Fb78 17:24, 23 January 2006 (UTC) link and I agree with him.--Teofilo 18:22, 3 February 2006 (UTC)
A wiki lives mostly because of informal agreements. Not everything is written in stone and changes with knowledge. Apart from that we have lots of copyvio problems that are much more urgent. But if you can give a reasonable example in a certain case the picture will be deleted. Arnomane 19:10, 3 February 2006 (UTC)

Teofilo writes nonsense, agree with Arnomane. He has all said what one has to say to this topic. --Historiograf 19:41, 2 February 2006 (UTC)

Permission requests[edit]

Copy from Deletion requests: I have suggested (without any reaction!!) on the German Commons:Forum that my suggestion at the German WP for a new permission request should be translated into English. Rights holders should simply send the suggested declaration/license back. Formulated in the form of a subjective declaration (the following is only a stub of the full text): I declare hereby that I am the rights holder of ... I put the work ... under the ... license (or PD etc.). I am aware of the fact that this license is only referring on copyright not on rights of other nature (trademark laws, personality laws ...) I am aware of the fact that third parties can use the picture commercially and can make derivative works. I am aware of the fact that Commons has no liability to host the picture forever (it could be deleted for some reasons of if the Wikimedia projects are finished ...) This would avoid some trouble --Historiograf 18:15, 12 February 2006 (UTC)

Unusual template[edit]

Check out {{Photo-by-Wojciechowscy-GFDL}} for an unusual modification to GFDL. I think this pushes the envelope on "free", not sure if it's valid. Stan Shebs 04:22, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Commons:Licensing rightly states that licenses must not require notification of the author. Have you talked to the creator of the template? --Fb78 01:06, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
I notfied User:Piotrus on his talk page. --Fb78 01:48, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Well, the authors are willing to change the license on the images we are using, but they want to know - out of curiosity - what images we are using and where. I think it's a reasonable request, considering it gives us access to over 15k of great images. Note it works like this: the images on their site are not licenced under a (free enough for us) license, but the authors agree to 'relicense' anything we use - provided that we tell them what we use (they won't veto, they just want to know). Is it more clear now? Since I am not a copyright-expert, if you think we should adjust the wording of this template (there is a corresponding one on en and pl wikis), please let me know.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 21:41, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
What does "we" mean? Suppose that tomorrow Encyclopedia Britannica changes direction and decides to publish a 20-volume print Wikipedia, but using only the free images. When something is GFDL, EB has to know that they can just use it, without trying to contact every image copyright holder first. Now if "we" just means that the uploader has to send a note saying "I uploaded this to commons and it's in a gallery, don't know which if any WP article will ever use it" and they say, "OK your copy is GFDL forever afterwards then", that's cool - you're essentially asking for GFDL license one-by-one, not efficient but acceptable. But once the GFDL is on, it can't be revoked, even if the authors get mad because they never hear from us again. Stan Shebs 00:09, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Well the problem is this is the "must notify" option we cannot accept out of practical reasons. Imagine someone wants to make an offspring of these databases or articles that uses them and publish a book (like me) or makes a DVD (like the German Wikipedia DVD with lots of images). I for sure do not want to notify everyone as a must (I'm using 200+ different images). For sure we can add something like a "wish disclaimer" ala "The copyright holders would find it nice if you can tell them where you reuse this image.". But this is the maximum we can do simply out of very practical reasons. Arnomane 00:11, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
I am pretty sure that the notification applies on the 'first use' basis, after which GFDL 'takes over' and obviously does not necessitates notification of author, as this would invalidate the GFDL. I'd think that common human decency would kick in here, and as the thanks to the authors people who would use their images would go to the trouble of notifying them where they are using their images. So I think that Arnomane wish disclaimer is quite a good idea.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 19:05, 18 February 2006 (UTC)
I am sure of that now, as the author(s) have confirmed my interpatation above.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 15:41, 19 February 2006 (UTC)
On a side-note, a week or so ago I mailed the guy and thanked him for allowing us to use his precious pictures (with a hidden agenda of double confirmation of his consent :) ) and he replied with something like wiki is what these pics were made for. And the reply came in less than 5 minutes, so there's really no fire anywhere. Halibutt 04:43, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

suggestion: photographer/scanner[edit]

This (Commons:Licensing#Scope_of_Licensing) says that the photographer holds some rights. sure. In my opinion a person who scanned a pd picture holds the same rights. This is part of another discussion. Clarifiy? Comments?127.0.0.l 08:19, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

No, scanning does not give you any copyright - copyright is based on creative originality, which scanning is not. For the US, see Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. and similar cases. Most other countries handle it like that, too. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 11:43, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
(queue jump)
Question, Questions, Questions: Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. is only US, the library refered to UK law, but this was irrelvant for the court (thus ignoring the Berne convention??). Should wp wait for a uk suit as the reproduction was under uk-law? The German wp says that reproductions of an pd artwork are pd, too. This text here says its not ok for photos - but the caption of the painting states it is ok. Thus: ???
All i can ask is what should be the guidelines here for:
  • Scans of 2d pd-artwork (eg if this original is supposed to be pd [5]
  • Photos of a 2d pd-artwork (eg taken in museums)
  • Photos of a 3d pd-artwork (eg may I upload a photo of the roman glass in the british museum [6])
lost in copyright127.0.0.l 13:22, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Thanks 127.0.0.l for notifying me about this thread.
I'd just like to add that a photo may say to always contain some creative originality, because it is difficult to create two photos that look exactly the same unless they solely depict a 2D-object (i.e. a painting). Creating a scan, however, is no different than creating a photo-copy (a.k.a. Xerox), and I've never seen anyone claiming copyright of a photo-copy.
I'd personally still recommend that people mention who created the scan, for feedback, etc.
Fred Chess 12:10, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
As soon anyone sees money in doing this… :( . I see some contradictory guidelines. But maybe I'm just not smart enough.127.0.0.l 13:22, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

@127.0.0.l: You have to separate things. Don't mix up to much. ;-)

  • At first as others said taking a photo/scan/whatever reproduction of a two-dimensional work (book page, painting in a frame in a museum) does not result in own copyright. This is called "lack of own creativity". Trivial things can't be copyrighted. This is international. What is indeed different from nation to nation is how high the lower limit for protectable own creativitiy is. And well creativity has also not necessarily something to do with how hard the work was. E.g. scanning a whole library of PD-books is indeed hard work but the single scans are still in the public domain (but most people don't believe it until you show them the relevant laws and court decissions and explain that "lack of creativity =! lack of own hard work"). So even if you take a scan of an old PD image out of a new book and reuse it for whatever purpose nobody can sue you for this.
  • A photo of a 3D-object (let's say an old greek sculpture) however is protected by copyright as the photographer could decide within his creativity which perspective and which light and shaddow effects he could use in order to let the object look good at the photo. So his photo is a new artwork and not identical to the original.
  • And last but not least: If I create a database out of PD artwork the database itself but not it's single parts are copyrighted. In Germany for example these are so called database rights that last as far as I know 20 years in Germany (the protection period for databases differs from nation to nation). So you can extract the single parts of content out of the database in a normal way and do legally what you want. Sounds strange I know. In fact many digital libraries do base their claims on this very weak database copyright and make very big confusion in their legal disclaimers with "all rights reserved"-blabla in order to have control over "their property" but these general confusion disclaimers are in case of pure PD content plain rubbish. Arnomane 14:12, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Thank you Arnomane for the detailed description. Some notes on it: I mean the user won't be sued (anonymous login, dynamic ip) its the wikipedia. So should one read it as a general policy to
  • upload 2d scans and even photos of pd as pd without contacting the scanner/photographer
  • don't touch reproductions of pd 3d objects
  • and don't care databases when uploading a single pd pic?
regardless of the country of origin?127.0.0.l 14:52, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
pretty much right - although it is also possible that the uploader may be sued. Also, when uploading 2d scans, please mention the source (i.e. the scanner) - if not known, at least say where you got the image from. Also give info about why the original is PD (age, creator, date of death of creator).
The issue of reproductive photography that is used to reproduce paintings is a bit tricky. Generally, we belive that the photographer has no rights to the image, since it's a reproduction - this belive is represented by {{PD-Art}}. However, this is sometimes challanged, and may be handeled different in some places (France is pretty unclear, I think).
Database rights only apply if you use substantial parts of the collection. Note that db rights also apply if you simply list what's in the database! That'S because it's the compilation that is copyrighted, not the content (well, not if the content is PD on its own). -- Duesentrieb(?!) 15:05, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
I've just dicovered: UK has a protection for databases. The painting of Celsius in the article is an oil painting -> it's 3d (at least lawers would say so).
I think it is rather hard for a user to get all the facts. Is there any chance to have a proper decision tree. If I had known about the scan-issue one year ealier I would have uploaded 100mb more (and used in wp).127.0.0.l 15:18, 28 February 2006 (UTC)
Again: There is still something fishy. According this argumentation it would be ok to upload a ripped Buster Keaton movie. These are scans of stills. Or???127.0.0.l 08:32, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
Most Buster Keaton movies are probably PD - at least the ones published prior to 1923. Oil paintings are considered to be 2D images - you'll probably find a lawyer that will argue that they are 3D, but I doupt any judge would follow that argument. And yes, it is hard to get all the facts, and a decision tree that covers all jurisdictions, special cases, etc, is pretty much impossible. I don't think anyone can give definitive answers on internalional copyright in all cases, especially not with regards to an international project like the commons. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 11:32, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

A painting is 2D. We have the Bridgeman v. Corel-Policy als consensus (also in de Wikipedia) and there is no need for further discussion here. One can take single PD items from protected databases without problems (all EU courties have database protection, US have not). EOD --Historiograf 22:16, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

I suggest to add the following sentence to checklist: definitevly ok

  • Reproductions (photos, scans…) of 2 dimensional objects (photos, books, paintings, movies…) if the originals are in the pd.

It would have saved me a lot of time/trouble.127.0.0.l 07:44, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

The site does say that it's ok to upload "photos (of) Works of art created by an artist who died 70+ (preferrably 100+) years ago". Under Scope of Licensing it says: "Also note that reproductions are usually not eligible to copyright: The creator of a scan of a picture owns no copyright to the resulting digital image, the scan needs no license." I think that's clear enough. --Fb78 16:04, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
First consider somebody with no knowledge at all who just want to upload something in his article of wp. It takes very long to get the info. And now the problem with the text:…created by an artist … What? The artist who created the photo or the art? And nothing about 2d. The latter is quite hidden under Scope of Licensing. Where are you looking for a quick info if it is ok to ul? I go to the checkliste.127.0.0.l 18:13, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Someone with no knowledge at all should first try to learn a little bit about copyright. Copyright is quite tricky sometimes, so it's not a good idea to just search for information in a hurry. You better read through the whole thing and try to grasp the basic rules. --Fb78 22:40, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
But there is no reason to make it harder than neccessary, is there? If the questionable picture is undisputable ok why should anybody dig deeper?127.0.0.l 08:11, 6 March 2006 (UTC)
I agree it's unclear. I was trying to find out whether scans of old prints were allowed, and I couldn't tell from Commons:Licensing#Scope_of_Licensing, so I had to look around to find this discussion. -- Avenue 00:05, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

Newbie question[edit]

Hi. Is it acceptable to take a picture of a regular boxing glove and upload it here? (if it is, then does it matter whether the boxing glove shows the name of the company that produced it?) ---Marcus- 16:16, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

That should be OK. It's also Ok if the name of the company can be seen. --Fb78 18:00, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
If i'm understanding this correctly, it is OK to release images of boxing gloves into the public domain because they are some kind of "common item"? Similarly it would be legal to actually produce similar copies of the boxing glove, because nobody holds any rights to the design of boxing gloves? ---Marcus- 20:35, 1 March 2006 (UTC)
That's pretty much the right way to see it. you can assume that no one can claim a copyright on it. Might be different for trademarked items - we've been discussing for some time how we should deal with trademarked items - but I assume that boxing gloves are all pretty similiar in shape, which leaves little space for trademarked designs. --Fb78 20:42, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

(Copy)right issues of a work used to create my own[edit]

Hello, I am doing a political map of Asia, in basque and then in other languages. I was going to use an image from as a basis for my work, and from there create my own map, by hand or whatever. So, my plan is to use it only as a reference. Am I violating any copyright? In the about page, it says that no image can be used without written permission. But what I'm doing is take it as a reference to create my own work. And what about if I take an image from any other site? These copyright issues are a nightmare for me :) Any input is much appreciated! Keta 14:14, 8 March 2006 (UTC) ¨

Ich bin kein Lawyer, but I'd say that if your map is so rudimentary that it is impossible to pinpoint the reference, then it's OK.
Fred Chess 21:51, 8 March 2006 (UTC)
The boundaries would be the same, so maybe somebody could see a connection between them. But I guess it's not enough to violate the copyright. Thanks! Keta 11:50, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
The boundaries are facts, and facts are not copyrightable, afaik -- Duesentrieb(?!) 11:52, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
True, all maps have boundaries.
But for example, I would recommend you do not make a map of the same size with the same colors. If there is text on the map, don't copy every word and put it on the exact same location as the original. Basicially, try to create something original that serves the required purpose optimal. (Many maps created in a certain context has stuff that isn't necessary in other contexts)
Fred Chess 13:03, 9 March 2006 (UTC)
Yes that's what I'm going to do. Everything (colors, text, alternative info...) is going to be made by me. Even the country limits will be different, well not different but created by me. The only thing that's going to remain the same is the limits of the map, i.e. the map ends in Germany in the west, etc. I hope there is no problem with that. Keta 15:34, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

Copyright on images of fonts[edit]

Hello. I was wondering whether it is allowed to take a screenshot of a few characters of a copyrighted font family (such as Microsoft Arial or Microsoft Impact), and then upload it to commons? If yes, which licence should then be used? Thanks for any suggestions, Sander Spek 13:17, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Afaik, fonts are not copyrightable in most jurisdictions (US, Europe, ...), never mind what the companies claim; at least, the matter of copyrighting fonts is unclear (see [7] for instance). In fact, Microsoft is (in)famous for stealing fonts :) -- Duesentrieb(?!) 13:28, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
Ah, that is good news. Well, in some way. Thanks! Sander Spek 16:45, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

Tagging Difficulties[edit]

I have recently uploaded some images but i can't seem to find the right tags for them. Are they allowed to be uploaded? They are licensed under Creative Commons Licenses. They are

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Image:Libyan_Children.jpg

Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Image:Tripoli_Museum.jpg

Please help me with these images. I think they are beautiful and would look great in the Libya page Jaw101ie 17:29, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

No, all images here must allow commercial use and derivative work. The images you uploaded will have to be deleted, sorry. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 18:32, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

What do you mean "must allow" commerial use and derivative? Do you mean "must not" and why are commercial and derivative works not allowed? Also, is it o.k. if I delete the images from Wikimedia but keep them on Wikipedia? Jaw101ie 21:00, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

I understand now! thank you for clearing it up but the second question still stands. Can I still use these pictures on Wikipedia? Jaw101ie 21:04, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
depends on which Wikipedia, I guess. Ask policy questions at the project the refer to. As to the english wikipedia, I don't think they allow non-commercial images, but they do allow fair use (I don't understand that, but hey...) -- Duesentrieb(?!) 21:46, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

ESA and NASA License[edit]

Hi all. I noticed that there's no ESA license similar to the NASA license, although the copyright systems of both agencies are similar. I uploaded Image:Envisat_dgr.jpg and used the NASA license because of that. Is it possible to create the ESA license field so that everybody could easily use ESA images? Thanks, Lmp 03:01, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Actually, we don't accept ESA images here, because the ESA doesn't allow commercial use of their images. User:dbenbenn 04:20, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
The ESA dislaimer has similar wording as the NASA but ESA is for educational and non-commercial purpose only as you can read in their conditions, while NASA has the important sentence "NASA material is in general copyright free" and simlar wordings, due to an exception in the US american copyright law that prohibits that US-gov material is copyrighted. I can also assure you personally that ESA images are unfree as I and others have been in personal direct contact with the relevant ESA representatives several times and up to now ESA did not relicense their images and wants me to take care that we don't upload it with a false free license until their policy has changed. That's why I had to delete your image. I know that it is sad and want these images too (and in order to be fair and honest with ESA: It it is not the lack of will inside ESA releasing the pictures under a free license but it is not that easy doing so). Arnomane 11:38, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Images of a TV[edit]

If I take a picture of a TV where is displayed a scene from a movie or other TV show, can I license it in Public Domain? See, for example: Image:Televisor LG - CRT.jpg... I think it could be used, because is a 3D Work - but I'm not sure... Manuel Anastácio 23:50, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

No - a screenshot is a reproduction. Whoever created the original has all rights to it, 2D or 3D. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 12:12, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

"Can be used without permission"[edit]

The WTC Towers Memorial site says "Material on this Web site can be used without permission." How should I interpret that in terms of free licenses or public domain? Specifically, what tag should I use if I upload an image from it? LeoO3 01:47, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

You shouldn't. The site says nothing about allowing derivative works, and they don't say what kind of uses are allowed. User:dbenbenn 04:08, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Argentina, pictures of the presidency[edit]

Dear all,

is it now consensus to tag pictures downloaded from as {{PD-AR-Presidency}} (template:PD-AR-Presidency)? I always tagged them as GNU FDL. Can a "licence expert" comment on that, please. --ALE! 08:34, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Never ever assume a license! Only the creator can specify a license, please make sure to accurately reproduce the terms of use for all images. Imposing a license on someone elses work is not possible and may even be cosidered fraudulent.
ALE, please go through all images you uploaded now and change the tags to reflect the original terms of use! -- Duesentrieb(?!) 12:14, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
Dear Düsentrieb. Tell me what were the original term of use. Because I can not see that from the correspondance. And that correspondance - if you don't know it - was done by me with the author.
I'm only asking here, how the correspondance is interpreted now. Not less and not more. Therefore I will not retag any picture as long as it is not clearfied here, how to tag these pictures.
But if you are in a hurry, do the retagging job yourself.
Und noch was: Immer freundlich bleiben. So wie Du schreibst kommt das beim Empfänger wie eine Beleidigung an. Keep cool and watch your language. --ALE! 10:17, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, I sure did not want to sound insulting, but I am in fact angry about this happening over and over again: people seem to think they can just slap on some license tag that "somehow fits", and someone else will sort out the details for them. Same with "permissions" from webmasters, who usually a) don't know much about licenses and b) usually don't have the right to license anything (though this may be different in this case). Please keep in mind: you are responsible for providing complete and accurate source and license info for asything you upload. Images missing such info will be deleted.
Now, back to the case at hand: if you do not know the exact terms of use, do not upload, or better, ask! I don't understand why you want the correspondence to be interpreted if you could simply ask the creator (or webmaster, or whatever) for clarification. From what I see, I would tag the images with {{attribution}}, or the more specifc {{PD-AR-Presidency}}, definitely NOT GFDL or CC-BY - those specific licenses can only be given by the creator (not the webmaster!). Also, the response from the webmaster talks about "public use", it remains unclear if this includes derivative work and commercial use.
{{PD-AR-Presidency}} is also slighly inaccurate, as it sais "PD provided the source is attributed"... that's a contradiction: if it's PD, there are no conditions. Either it's PD and attribution is only requested (as with NASA images, for instance), or it's not PD and requires attribution.

Licence Tag for slightly modified PD-USGov Image?[edit]

I just uploaded three versions of an illustration that is PD-USGov-NPS:

What is the best licence tag for the blank and the german version? I labeled them PD-USGov-NPS as the original, but wouldn't PD-self be appropriate? --h-stt 17:30, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

You can add both if you'd like. You can also add {{PD-because}} and write the reasons.
Fred Chess 22:24, 23 March 2006 (UTC)

Acceptable for commons (correct Public Domain licence?)[edit] contains a lot of useable images for articles related to clothes. Their copyrightnotice claims the books are public domain, it just seems slightly weird to me. Can somebody confirm this site is allowed?

Henna 17:28, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Photograph of Camel Ad[edit]

Hi all. I recently uploaded Image:Camel math ad.jpg, but I just realized that this image may be copyrighted. My friend took the photograph, but as I understand it, almost exact representations of a copyrighted work are also copyrighted. Can someone review this image, and if need be, nominate it for deletion or whatever the policy is here on the Commons for removal of copyrighted works? Thanks! ~MDD4696 01:20, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Not "almost exact representations" are copyrighted, indeed you can't reproduce any copyrighted object without the creator's permission. (Exceptions see Commons:Licensing. I'll mark the image as "Copyvio". Thanks for being so honest! --Fb78 10:21, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Pic from Hebrew Wiki[edit]

I would like the following pic to be transferred to the Commons so that I can use it in the English and German wikis. Unfortunately, I don't understand the Hebrew license informations. Would someone be so kind as to do that for me ? Thanks ... -HH58 11:39, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

The Hebrew license information states that the image was taken from the English wikipedia, but apparently the image did'nt had copyright information, and was removed from the English wikipeda. So you should not use this image and it probably will be removed from the Hebrew wikipedia as well. Hashekemist 16:15, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Image from stock.xchng[edit]

I found this image which was copied from stock.xchng [8] and there I found this text in the image licence [9] (capitalisation not my work):


Always ask permission from the photographer if you want to use the Image

* In website templates that You intend to sell or distribute.
* For creating printed reproductions that You intend to sell.
* On "print on demand" items such as t-shirts, postcards, mouse pads, mugs (e.g. on sites like
  Cafepress), or on any similar mass produced item that would contain the Image in a dominant way.

Does that fit with Template:Copyrighted free use?

--L.m.k 00:45, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

At the moment yes, because the author states on the page "There are no usage restrictions for this photo" and we have a policy COM:SXC. SXC changed their license text significantly after we wrote our policy. Villy is working on an updated policy and when it is released, such photos might have to be deleted. But for the moment they are fine. pfctdayelise (translate?) 02:29, 8 May 2006 (UTC)
That shows me, that I should read source pages more carefully ;-). I just saw the link "view image license" and found the text above. --L.m.k 11:15, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Psychoanalysis by Franz Tassigny[edit]

Psychoanalysis by Franz Tassigny

Proposition 1. If there is a slumbering poet in every psychoanalyst and in every poet a psychoanalyst caught unawares it is because they both evoke an articulated language, that of the unconscious. For the first it unfolds in a rigorous closerous closed field and for the second it expands in lyrical and wild romanticism.

Proposition 2. Chess masters possess the art of people who have none, psychoanalysts that of healing; poets that of enchanting. All three are confronted with their solitude; often in research sometimes in music and innermost joy.

Proposition 3. There are no established poets and no street poets, only poets, full stop. On the other hand, there are no psychoanalysts as such. There are solicitors of the mind, mayors of the unconscious, pedagogues, teachers, doctors or theoreticians, but, they are in good lodgings.

Proposition 4. Poets all belong or have belonged to a "wandering academy". For the most rebellious that of the aristocracy of the proletariat; for the others, let's say that they simply indulge in lyricism. Analyst apart from a few dissenters are keyed to established power rarely or never offering an ear to anarchy.

Proposition 5. Supposing poets were in fact only false misfits surreptitiously hiding their dishonour unan ear to anarchy.

Proposition 6. Supposing poets were in fact only false misfits surreptitiously hiding their dishonour under the mask of inconsolable gloom, society romantics and lyrical hucksters. Then, in order to repair the good they failed to bestow or the evil of their mediocrity, fully fledged analysts will be required to heal their imposture.

Proposition 7. If analysts read Nerval, it is because he hung himself in the street providing them with an almost monstrous clinical case. Poets, on the other hand recall that he was Gerard Labrunie, stretcher bearer and poet at the time of the Commune when letters killed.

Proposition 8. Maïakowski desired to live a double choice: that of renouncing the memory of his father and that of choosing the exact hour of his death. can you imagine an analyst elsewhere than in the shadow of Freud, succumbing to a cotton-woolly death on a couch maybe... P.S. Maïakovski's death was an outcome of a Stalinian purge and Freud's one that of an excess of cocaine?

Proposition 9. Poets belong to a secret brotherhood: sea captains, night porters, circus folks... The latter are to be found proposition 8. Poets belong to a secret brotherhood: sea captains, night porters, circus folks... The latter are to be found paradoxically in the dreams of the subject undergoing psychoanalysis, to be deciphered by the analyst. You will now understand the solitude of poets. One only understands real solitude and its weight when one is surrounded by friends who distract you from your creative awakening. Remember Milosz, when a friend expressed concern about his absence and asked him "Master, how is your solitude?" Because one is alone, always alone, everything aims at solitude.

Proposition 10. The psychoanalytical process for Lacan is what epiphany means for Joyce, the labyrinth for Borges, the Madeleine for Proust and light for the Impressionists. All these concepts have had their Schools, a þre acknowledged friends, except perhaps the work of Arthur Rimbaud that will only emerge in the genesis of future man.

Proposition 11. One must absolutely direct oneself from the author towards his work, that is to say: it is because a creator possesses a given personality that he produces a given work. But never, amongst the characteris to say: it is because a creator possesses a given personality that he produces a given work. But never, amongst the characteristic specificities of a text to outline the psychological profile of an author and to draw a series of conclusions, in a dichotomy of various preaching.

It would be vain to interpret the verses of Paul Panel "The black milk of dawn is drunk at sunset" as the gruesome representation of Auschwitz, the concentration camp where they were written; as also to call Ezra Pound a fascist as a consequence of a few interviews given during the war on Radio Rome where aesthetics and politics were cleverly blended.

Proposition 12. If on the fingers of the hand, the painter maintains the palette with his thumb, the politician the forefinger of the agora, the craftsman the middle finger that builds, the musician the ring finger that sings out the soul of violin and the analyst the little finger of the Ear, then the poet is the palm where all come to meditate; as for the philosopher, he is the tool, the plume that vacillates stealthily subtle and transient.

Proposition 13. The subject undergoing psychoanalysis mainool, the plume that vacillates stealthily subtle and transient.

Proposition 14. The subject undergoing psychoanalysis maintains the great "other" in state. the latter as James Joyce on the banks of the Liffley is in pursuit of new epiphanies. And although his poetry is a sufficiently profound art to include everything, one dimension is lacking: mystery, enigma that only a great "other" can reveal.

Proposition 15.

The making of a poet requires a clean shirt every morning and no shame. The making of an analyst imperatively requires a social status, he is in need of a master, a recognised school of thought. Paradoxically for the analyst, the written word is prone to stage-fright leading almost to pride in commenting and producing in a rigorous and faithful manner closest to the chosen master.For the poet, the password is a tempest under a skull, for the analyst, it dithers on a comma.

Proposition 16. Between psychoanalysts, there is alas the word reason. On the other hand, between poets, the concept of discovery which amounts to saying: a great poet is not only he who writes verse but he who finds and enhances the work cept of discovery which amounts to saying: a great poet is not only he who writes verse but he who finds and enhances the work of other poets. And it is mainly this availability that makes him great. They therefore acquire the capacity of outgrowing personal resentment which no psychoanalytical school has so far been able to do. On the other hand, psychoanalysts do not try to please, whereas poets major or minor try to catch the tune of the day living in the future of the work to come.

Proposition 17. In the field of the Odyssey as the Ulysses of Homer born of the surf of the sea symbolising man with the thousand ideas and written in the dynamics of the tropical waves episode open to the sky of adventure, carnal links, knightly combats, the hero is only free in the epics of virile action, the great nomadic wanderings. In contrast, the field of the analyst is an interior world with an economy of words, availability in a sedentary empty theatre like an inner oasis.

Proposition 18. If poetry is a language in the highest meaning of the word, it is because it is the knot, the furnace, the vortex of logopeïa (significance of the woe in the highest meaning of the word, it is because it is the knot, the furnace, the vortex of logopeïa (significance of the word), phalopoeïa (originality of the image) and finally of meloeïa (assonance of sounds). It is this later quality which is rare as we can also imagine in the analyst with a difference: the poet perceives the "hymn of the world" and the analyst, the secret mechanism of the unconscious, the interior path of man.

Proposition 19. If the poet lives the anxiety of the blank sheet and the analyst the ruin of an empty consulting room, it is because both live up to their art as an armrest for their solitude and not as an awakening of thought.