Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 30

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

Public domain watch

Is there a site, that would watch new works released to PD? Like with patents, I can imagine as the time flows, more and more historical media are released to Public domain, because the author dies befor 70 years or earlier... Would be interesting to watch the new releases and see how one can use them within free content projects like Commons for example.--Kozuch (talk) 11:09, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

There are such projects, also on Wikimedia, but for a certain project to be complete, it would have to know every work that has been published (or even made). Here some deleted files are marked for undeletion a certain year, on wikisource they have lists of some writers' years of death. Probably there are larger projects also. --LPfi (talk) 11:05, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Copyright of tickets

Because of a speedy delete of one of my images File:Crete Moni Arkadiou V.jpg which is a scan of an entrance ticket I would like to know how it is with the copyright of tickets such as in the Category:Tickets. When is there copyright and when not? Wouter (talk) 18:43, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

A good question, so I have converted the speedy to a nominate for deletion here with this comment: "convert speedy to a nominate for deletion because this might count as text-ineligible together with de minimis, or may only need blurring of the pictorial parts; nominator votes for neutral". I would wait for more expert opinion; it may be that the picture parts are old, or at worse can be blurred. -84user (talk) 23:30, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

File:Qua Candiani corteEDITnovo.jpg

The uploader of this file also edited this article pt:Augusta Candiani and was promptly reverted as VDA. However, this image is surely PD-old as the singer died in 1890, long after falling out of fame. Although I have no info about this image, is it possible to change its license to PD-old, or should it be deleted as unsourced or incorrect license? Thanks --Santosga (talk) 13:09, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

It appears to be a photo of a painting; I think that's a frame in the top left. Unsure what to do. If the photo was taken by the uploader, in some jurisdictions, there can be a copyright on the photographic part, so such licenses are not necessarily "incorrect" (even if Commons applies PD-Art to them). Not sure about this one though... possibly OK, but there is a pretty bad lack of sourcing. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:05, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't think there is enough evidence for {{PD-art}} or {{PD-old}} to apply. Even if the singer in question died in 1890, who is to say that the painting was painted in her lifetime? It could have been done in 2010 for all we know. Without more information the image must, I'm afraid, be deleted. — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:39, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Old Portrait Illustration - Copyright Question

I have a portrait illustration that I want to use in a Wikipedia entry. The name of the artist is plainly on the image, but this illustration was made so long ago, probably 1950 give or take five years, that the artist is likely not alive to claim any copyright protection. My questions are, can I use it? and How do I designate the copyright category Wikimedia asks before uploading the picture. Thanks.

Likely not, depends on the country of first publication and in case of the U.S. on circumstances of publication. See Commons:Licensing. Presumably with 1950 it is not old enough for any public domain reason but still in copyright, many countries have a copyright term of 70 years following the authors death. For your argument that the copyright holder will never note an illegitimate reuse please see COM:PRP and Commons:What Commons is not#Commons is not concerned about copyright holders not caring. You may however provide some more information regarding country of first publication and how it was published if you have such information. --Martin H. (talk) 03:41, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

digital "Faithful representations" of out-of-copyright maps

The World Map Collection, published by the State University of Florida has digital images of many out-of-copyright 19th century maps. Yet, in their records, they claim "All rights reserved" . It would seem to me that these individual images (not the collection qua collection) are still public domain due to age and that it is a simple digital reproduction (jpeg).

They do give some guidelines at but I haven't found the information indicated there to be on any map I've examined.

Obviously anyone can claim "all rights reserved" without it being true, but I would prefer to be on the conservative side. What do you think? Deb

Acts of creation through 1879 (>170 years ago) should be fine (over 70 years pma; 100 years between original act and death); after then, we should wait unless we have author information and author's death information.   — Jeff G. ツ 03:11, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
American maps only have to be published prior to 1923, and we can usually either get a name or EU-Anon, which is only 70 years ago. In the case of the question at hand, the University scanning these maps does not give them a copyright, so they are uploadable provided they're out of copyright in their country of origin.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:44, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Question about mosaics.

Here is a photograph of an ancient mosaic:

Note that it is placed under three licenses, but I don't believe that any of these licenses are valid; I think the photograph is in the public domain because there is no originality in the photograph.

Wikipedia doesn't seem to have an official policy on mosaics.

Here are the points of discussion:

  • For an ancient mosaic on a flat wall or flat ceiling/roof, is it reasonable to assume that the mosaic is 2-dimensional?
  • If so, is it reasonable to assume that a photograph of such an ancient mosaic that does not reveal any variation on lighting (such as the example) is in the public domain?
  • What about photographs that do reveal variation in lighting, or photographs of the walls/ceilings/floors themselves, at an angle? Should those be in the public domain?

(reposting from

--Agamemnus (talk) 23:54, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to note that, even if the photo is in fact PD (under U.S. law and Commons policy), that doesn't make the licenses invalid, merely at worst vacuous. They are also of significant potential value to reusers in jurisdictions that do provide copyright (or related) protection to such photos. This may include many European countries where "simple photographs" are protected for a limited term regardless of originality. I'd say that any {{PD-Art}} or similar tags, if applicable, should be added alongside the licenses, not replacing them. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 01:20, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I'd say that a flat mosaic should be treated as a two-dimensional work, and therefore a frontal photograph can be treated as a slavish reproduction. However, the former does not apply if the mosaic is on a three-dimensional surface (e.g., a concave or convex surface), or the image shows the mosaic in three dimensions (e.g., a photograph of a mosaic taken at an angle, or a photograph of two mosaic-covered walls forming a corner). I also agree with Ilmari Karonen that there is nothing wrong with the uploader adding CC and GFDL licences to the image if he or she took the photograph of the mosaic, though the licences may in fact be redundant. Having the licences also avoids the argument that the mosaic is not in fact two-dimensional in nature, and thus the consent of the photographer is required. — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:45, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

File:سلمان المرشد (Sulayman al-Murshid), Beit Burghal village, Latakia, Syria - 1944.jpg

Heydrich10 uploaded "File:سلمان المرشد (Sulayman al-Murshid), Beit Burghal village, Latakia, Syria - 1944.jpg" on 19 August 2009, but then blanked the image description page on 23 October 2010. I restored it and applied {{PD-Syria}} to the file (photograph is asserted to have been taken in 1944). However, Heydrich10 blanked the image description page again on 25 October 2010, this time with the edit summary "Copy right for private usage Belongs to heydrich10". What should be done? Should the image be nominated for deletion, perhaps on the basis that there is no evidence that it was first published in Syria and thus Syrian law may not apply to it? I am not familiar with Syrian law, but I note that {{PD-Syria}} states "This work was created in Syria ..." which the photograph in question clearly was, so it may not be necessary that the first publication of the photograph took place outside Syria. Or should a courtesy deletion be done of this otherwise useful image, which could be used in the article "Sulayman al-Murshid"? — Cheers, JackLee talk 17:41, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Photo question

I have a photo of the Curtiss America H1 airplane under construction. It is clearly the America, with handwritten across the top "America - 1914" which is consistent with the history of this airplane. The author is unknown, the photo is an original, in a private collection. Is this acceptable to upload? If so, under what licensing? 16:39, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Can you provide a link to the image? Is it online? — Cheers, JackLee talk 12:06, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Need check on NASA and friends image

Can someone double-check the licensing on this image for me? It's credited to "NASA/WMAP Science Team", so I'm not sure what that entails exactly. The image and derivatives of it are used in numerous high profile and featured articles on and elsewhere. Just want to make sure it's really PD. Kaldari (talk) 07:02, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Going through the links, looks like WMAP is just a specialized part of NASA: (talk) 03:19, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Self photos by a third party

Hey all, as a result of a recent deletion discussion, I just noticed the following text on this page:

"Pictures of yourself taken by a third party (Normally ok if it's a candid or casual shot made on your request. Formal or professional snapshots require a formal release. Also subject Commons:Project scope restrictions on how many you may upload)"

Considering that the copyright of a "candid or casual shot made on your request" normally resides with the photographer and not the subject, this seems to admit images where the uploader is not the copyright holder nor has the copyright holder given permission. I'd like to suggest the following revision:

"Pictures of yourself taken by a third party (You must seek permission from the photographer and submit it as described at Commons:OTRS, even for a casual or candid photograph. The only exception is where copyright was transferred by contract to the subject, or in some nations if it was a work for hire by the subject. Ownership of the camera is irrelevant. Also see Commons:Project scope regarding how many you may upload.)"

I certainly understand the need for an exception to scope policy for this type of image, but I don't believe we should host images without a license from the copyright holder under any circumstances. Dcoetzee (talk) 11:24, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree, but remove the parentheses, which only make the statement unclear and harder to read. For reference, the paragraph was inserted here, originally with a statement that permission is required, which was removed in the following edit. I don't think the result says quite what it was intended to say. LX (talk, contribs) 11:41, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
I think in Finland the copyright of such photos is thought to be transferred right away by an implicit contract. Otherwise those photos would more or less be restricted to personal use (you would e.g. not be able to show them when telling publicly about your voyage), with no gain for the photographer.
If the same reasoning of implicit contract is valid in other jurisdictions, the present wording seems quite ok and the suggested totally wrong. Having to use OTRS to prove permission from a stranger that took the photo is in any case absurd.
--LPfi (talk) 11:59, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
Do you have a reference for that claim? LX (talk, contribs) 12:10, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
My understanding is that if a photographer is hired, the work is implicitly licensed to the employer, but copyright is not transferred, nor does the license include the ability to sublicense. There are some good details regarding works for hire in this reference. Note that a work for hire, at least in the US, generally would not cover a "casual or candid" photo where there is no explicit contract. I don't know much about Finnish law, but around here portrait photographers often explicitly retain rights to their work for use in their portfolio. The fact that it may be impossible to track down the photographer of a casual photo is just another unfortunate case of orphaned works. Dcoetzee (talk) 12:45, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
I think the laws on work for hire are similar in Finland (as you explained it, I did not yet read the referenced paper). The implicit contract is for "casual or candid" photos. I do not find the source for this my conception right now, but I find it very reasonable: a stranger that takes a photo with your camera does not suppose to get any benefits of the copyright and he certainly understands that the photo may get used, without any chance to contact him. If he would like to restrict the use of the photo, he should state it there and then. --LPfi (talk) 14:40, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
If I take a photo for a stranger, my expectation is that they will use it privately – for their own memories and to share with personal friends. This is in no way an infringement of my copyright. I certainly don't expect them to publish it and grant anyone the right to use my work for any purpose, including commercial purposes, without my consent. LX (talk, contribs) 15:26, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
Would you refrain from using such photos when talking publicly about your journey? Would you expect the person for whom you took the photo to refrain from using it when talking publicly about his journey? Usually your "work" when taking the photo is quite minimal. I would expect to get my say if the photo was published in my name - or without, if the other person knew I was a celebrated photographer. If I do not tell my name while taking the photo I am not expecting to have any control of it. --LPfi (talk) 08:11, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
My journeys rarely prompt public seminars. :-) I suppose if I were to undertake an expedition worth documenting for such purposes, I would make proper licensing arrangements. If I hadn't, fair use might still apply, but that doesn't mean I would be able to issue a valid license. LX (talk, contribs) 17:18, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
See also this photo and it's DR: The man in the photo apparently released it, and OTRS accepted, yet there is no proof he owns the photo. FunkMonk (talk) 13:47, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
For situations where you ask a friend or random person nearby to take a picture with you own camera, the situation would seem to be rather different than when getting a portrait from a photographer using their own equipment. The second situation seems pretty clear; that is not a work for hire situation but rather a contract, and the details of the contract matter, and if not spelled out the copyright would remain with the photographer. Before 1978 in the U.S., I think it would have been easy to assume copyright remained with the person owning the camera, but after that the technicalities seem to indicate that copyright is not transferred. Realistically though, the copyright owner can usually never be identified, and it seems silly to prevent uploads in that situation -- any there may well be a case when the photo is made with your own equipment that it *may* be a work for hire. I think that situation is more what the parenthetical part of the guidelines was referring to, not a situation where a friend makes a portrait with the friend's own camera -- copyright is pretty clearly owned by the friend in that case. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:15, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm skeptical of the argument - essentially you're arguing that orphaned works - where the author cannot be identified - are okay for Commons, which might be the case if we actually had sensible orphaned works laws, but we don't. In addition, there's no reason not to exclude these photos, since self-photos are usually easy to replace (by taking another photo of oneself). I'll admit there are some fuzzy boundaries when it comes to photos taken using the subject's equipment, but I think to be safe such photos ought to be excluded regardless. Local projects might permit these and regulate their use - but we at Commons don't have the power to regulate the use of images on local projects, so we could not (for example) specify that these images must not be used in articles. Recall that many of our editors are also notable individuals with articles - it can be all too easy to copy an image from their user page into their article without paying careful attention to licensing. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:00, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Not really -- I'm arguing an implied license for such images, enough so that the person who owns the camera would be enough of a rightsholder to subsequently freely license it. I'm only suggesting this for images taken with the subject's own equipment, not for snapshots sent to them after being taken by others -- I agree the copyright lies with another party in that case. In no way am I suggesting it would apply to any orphan work situation, where the original owner of the original negative etc. is unknown. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:20, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I've already weighed in on this at the deletion discussion in question. Permitting uploads where the photographer cannot be identified seems out of keeping with the Precautionary principle. It's certainly out of keeping with the wmf:Resolution:Licensing policy, which requires that (with the exception of the "Exemption Doctrine Policy", from which Commons is explicitly excluded), "All projects are expected to host only content which is under a Free Content License, or which is otherwise free as recognized by the 'Definition of Free Cultural Works' as referenced above." The subject of a photograph may not release it under free license unless copyright was legally conveyed to him, which is seldom the case; our permitting such content on Commons misleads our reusers, which contravenes the WMF:Terms of Use: "Where not otherwise noted, non-text media files are available under various free culture licenses...." Commons should by no means be granting minor exceptions to its copyright policy given that the WMF Licensing policy does explicitly note that Wikimedia Commons is not permitted an Exemption Doctrine Policy. As an OTRS agent, I know that the Wikimedia Foundation requests that we seek confirmation of copyright when photographs are submitted by subjects (we use [1]). To maintain the Wikimedia Foundations' resolutions for Commons and Commons' own policy, we need verification of permission from photographers...unless we don't really mean that whole "Nobody knows who the copyright owner is, so it really doesn’t matter" thing at COM:PRP. I support Dcoetzee's proposed change. If local projects want to provide an exemption for such photos under their "Exemption Doctrine Policy" allowances, that's a separate matter, but content on Commons is theoretically supposed to be free. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:16, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
    • In general, I'd agree -- the typical situation of not knowing the photographer is no reason to keep an image. There is a narrow situation though where you can ask photos be taken of yourself from strangers, using your own camera -- that situation seems different to me. If taken using that other person's camera, I think we'd need permission from that other person. In the situation where it is your own camera though, it does feel rather different. Reading the letter of U.S. law, I don't think that it can technically be a work for hire. Rather though, there is very likely (legally speaking) an implied license for you to do whatever you want with it -- including licensing it freely. In that situation, the uploader is not the photographer, but they are a rightsholder, which is really all we require. In this particular narrow situation, the actual photographer does not retain any of the negatives or any other element typical of ownership... it seems most likely in that particular situation, the person who asked for the picture has sufficient rights, and therefore uploads are OK. I think that is the narrow situation referred to in the guideline, so I would not support removing it altogether. I don't think that really could apply to the mentioned deletion request though, so perhaps we should reword it more narrowly... it does seem overly vague. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:17, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
      • FWIW, the copyright on a photo does not necessarily belong to the person who clicks the shutter. For example, consider File:Wired up for a sleep study 02A.jpg. I'm the subject, and I certainly claim copyright. A med tech snapped the shutter, but the photo was my idea, and I made pretty much all the compositional decisions (angle, exposure setting, etc.). I can't imagine any court saying the med tech owns the copyright, if it were to come to that. - Jmabel ! talk 05:22, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
        • In that example, you could probably also say the med tech gave you the photograph and the rights to it. Jonathunder (talk) 02:06, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
          • I would say it is more analogous to someone taking dictation: even if they occasionally clear up a grammatical infelicity they still don't own the copyright, the person dictating does. - Jmabel ! talk 03:30, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
Previously discuused at Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 20#A stranger takes a photo of me with my own camera, who owns the copyright?. And in video, it is the director who has copyright, not the cameraman. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 06:47, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

I wholeheartedly agree with Dcoetzee's suggested change as it is in keeping with COM:PRP. Please forgive me if I'm leaving out some international considerations, as I am most familiar with US law. I don't believe there can be any legitimate question that the actual copyright resides with the photographer in these situations; the person having the picture taken of them is not the creator of the content in the situations we're considering and so does not initially hold the copyright. The movie director/cameraman analogy likely falls under works for hire, which isn't what we're talking about here. The person in the photograph could acquire an exclusive license from the copyright holder, but that would require consideration from the requester, which (in my personally experience) is rather uncommon.

Given that, the issue is really one of an implied nonexclusive license. The catch is that an implied license is restricted by the intent of the person who requests the photo - if the request is explicit (e.g., can you take a picture of me that I can release under CC-BY-SA) then it's sufficient. As is (again in my personal experience) usually the case, however, the intent must be assumed, and I don't know that we can categorically state that casual photographers would be okay with their work being commercially exploited. There's also the issue that a nonexclusive license is revocable, which I feel is another strike against allowing implied licenses. VernoWhitney (talk) 18:10, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Use of photos

From how I am reading the Creative Commons, is the law pertaining to my reuse of photos from wikipedia commons is pretty much toothless? I mean, who is really going to stop someone from downloading a photo and presenting it as their own? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jumboclip (talk • contribs) (UTC)

Err, what? If you falsely claim that a photo is your own, you will have violated the copyright license and be open to a copyright suit from the owner of the copyright, which could potentially open you to large legal damages. Will someone do that? Maybe, maybe not. But that has nothing to do with the CC licenses; court cases and copyright suits are complex, expensive things.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:05, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

But photos on commons are freely licensable and the CC licenses are written so broadly and vaguely, that essentially most material here on WP can be used in violation of its "license" and there is nothing really to enforce? Is that how I am understanding it? Anyone can change anything about a file here, even its description and then claim it as their own with no real reprocussions other than toothless threats? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jumboclip (talk • contribs) (UTC)

essentially most material here on WP can be used in violation of its "license" leaves me confused. Any material can be used in violation of its license, except for public domain material. If you fail to provide the attribution in the way the CC-BY demands, or fail to "share alike" as per the similar but distinct requirements of the CC-BY-SA or GFDL, then the copyright owners have the option of suing you, which may not be a toothless threat.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:04, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
If you reuse a CC image from the Commons, you are supposed to comply with the terms of the CC licence (for example, by indicating who the creator of the image is and providing a link to the CC licence at If you do not, it may be difficult for the copyright holder to find out, but if she does it is open to her to take out legal proceedings against you. Of course the copyright holder will have to decide if the expense and time required for this is worth it. Copyright owners may be more inclined to take legal action if you reuse images for a commercial purpose such as publishing them in a book, and you could be placed in an embarrassing situation if it becomes publicly known that you have used copyrighted material without proper attribution. (By the way, please sign your posts by typing four tildes ("~~~~") after them. Thanks.) — Cheers, JackLee talk 10:11, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
If the cc license requirements are not fulfilled the license contract will terminate automatically, if you find your work used without complying the license requirements you can sue the bad reuser in court. It does not matter if you license your work under CC or not, your rights are the same and the law is the same. --Martin H. (talk) 16:30, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
That is probably the case if the licence is ignored by the reuser. In other cases the reuser is breaching the licence, not without a licence (depending on where you and the reuser are and where you go to court). The licence may also be relevant for how much damages the reuser will have to pay. --LPfi (talk) 10:43, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
As a practical matter, copyright suits are expensive to conduct and so "small time" offenders are usually not sued (unless you are the RIAA and out to make a point). But certainly anyone who uses an image without fulfilling the terms of its license is open to being sued (and besides that it's just polite to credit people who wish to be credited for their work). Dcoetzee (talk) 18:05, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Question about coins.

So, the rule seems to be that photographs of coins, even if emitting a tiny shadow, can be considered not in the public domain.

  • What about a derived work that removes the "originality" aspect of the coin? IE: stripping out the shadow and/or any visible angled rim. Could that be placed in the public domain?

In my view, it would be akin to taking a photograph of a painting inside of a frame (with the frame visible), stripping the frame, and then making the new image public domain, which seems to be the typical M.O.

  • Assume that only the shadow required stripping for it to become a frontal frontal image with no 3D aspects. Instead of adding another separate image, Could the old image be replaced by an image of no shadow and modified to a public domain license? (again similar to removing the frame from a painting photograph)

--Agamemnus (talk) 23:42, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

There are two issues to consider here:
  1. Does the law of the country issuing the coin provide that the designs of coins (which are artworks) are in the public domain?
  2. If the answer to the first question is "yes", can photographs of coins taken by third parties be freely used?
If the law of the country issuing the coin does not state that the designs of coins (and paper notes) are in the public domain, then the short answer is that such designs are copyrighted and we cannot host them at the Commons. Assuming that the designs are not copyrighted, then as you correctly note, the issue is whether any creativity has been employed in photographing the coins. I would suggest that if the coin is photographed straight on so that it appears flat, then the photograph should be treated as a slavish reproduction of what is essentially a two-dimensional design. Thus, such photographs taken by third parties can be freely used under the Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. principle. However, if a coin is photographed at an angle so that it appears as a three-dimensional object (for example, to show its milling and any inscription around its edge), or special lighting effects are used to make the design show up more clearly, then it has to be treated like a sculpture. The result would be that third-party photographs of this nature cannot be freely used (but of course it is open to the uploader to take his or her own photographs of the coin).
Provided that a photograph is of a coin straight on, I see no objection to uploading a version of the image over the original with the shadows removed (since the original, if taken by a third party, would be unauthorized and would have to be deleted anyway). I'm not entirely sure what you mean by modifying the licence of an existing image to a public domain licence. If a photographer has already freely licensed an image of a coin with shadows to the Commons, it is not necessary to upload a version without the shadows. If this is done for aesthetic reasons, then it should be uploaded as a separate image, and the licences of the original image must be applied to it together with a public domain tag since you have created a derivative work from the original image. — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:54, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
A coin is a 3D object. The only way to remove all effects from lighting is to photograph it in complete darkness. That would be public domain. Even if you photograph it straight on, if you move your light source a few inches, you end up with a completely different photograph. This is why photographs of 3D works are considered inherently "creative" and not eligible for exemption from copyright protection. Kaldari (talk) 20:59, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, I see your point. On the other hand, I recall that on other occasions views have been expressed that inscriptions and reliefs on two-dimensional surfaces, though themselves three-dimensional in nature, can be treated as effectively two-dimensional if photographed straight on. — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:21, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
First of all, if you yourself take a photograph of a public domain coin, then that's just fine. For actively circulating currency, this is typically possible. If the coin casts no shadows because its surface is painted/printed, rather than engraved, then that would also be fine (I've never seen such a coin, but I wouldn't rule out that one exists). People will typically accept some amount of relief in a larger work such as a painting just because from the distance at which it is normally viewed, that relief does not significantly impact the image. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:01, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

How to give credit for Digitalisation: own work

I have taken large format photographs (not scans) of 300 portraits from a book I possess (1889, full text PD on Gallica)), see Category:Engravings from Album du Centenaire and I am uploading those. Jarekt made a nice Template:Album du Centenaire which I use at uploading. But in using this, there is no mention of the photographer; which was not important at first. I now found THIS SITE, which has published a number of digitalised portraits from the book and, according to German and Dutch law, has copyright of its digital versions. How do I introduce user-credit for the versions I digitalised independently of that German site. Something like: Digitalisation = Own work? For full discussion about the album, see User_talk:Jarekt#Template_to_fix_.2B_artists_names; User_talk:Jarekt#Editeur and for the question itselves see User_talk:Jarekt#Photo_licensing. --Havang(nl) (talk) 10:24, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

IMO the person who made the scan is not considered an author, for a scanned photo the photographer will be the author. For a PD photo scanned from a book copied from a website and attributed to a person or organization who made the scan a source information can be source= Citation of book. Scan by person, retrieved from The proper license tag will be {{PD-scan|pd license tag}}. --Martin H. (talk) 10:35, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
The explanation of PD-scan says When should the {{PD-scan}} tag not be used? When you yourself personally made the scan and enhanced the image.. Which I did. So the License PD-old is OKE. But what I am looking for is a sentence to prevent copyvio calls based on the existence of those other digitalised versions on that German website. --Havang(nl) (talk) 11:09, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Our position is that the German scanner/photographer does not have a copyright because no copyright exists in a scan or photograph of a 2-D work that is PD-old. Therefore you can use {{PD-Art}}. I would list the source as the book, perhaps as "source = Album du Centenaire, as digitized by Havang(nl)". As for copyvio calls, I don't think you will get many from an 1889 source, although, of course, if one of the portraits was made by someone who died after 1940, it would not be PD. Among those listed on the template, all except Valnay appear to have died before 1940 -- I cannot find a date for Valnay.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 12:27, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. As the basic upload form was replaced by the template, I have to improvise, but is this form File:AduC 001 Montesquieu (1689-1755).JPG OKE? If not, can you improve it. --Havang(nl) (talk) 13:05, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Indepedant of authorship etc. I don't see a problem in adding a line like "Scanned by yourname". --Túrelio (talk) 13:08, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
If these are *photographs*, and not scans, then {{PD-Art}} seems appropriate (and by the EXIF, yes these are photos). That *may* give rise to a copyright in some countries (though not the U.S.), so mentioning yourself as the photographer in an author field, and even giving a separate license, for use in such countries, would not be out of line. Maybe actually add an "Information" template to the image pages :-) The few I looked at had no description area at all; it seems we are trying to figure out who the pictured person is via the title and/or category. It may be good to add such a section, and mention that these are photographs, and not scans, in the Source section. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:21, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, good suggestion. First I had the general upload form, but it was replaced by the Album-template, so I used that one. Now I made a combined upload form, see the try-out File:AduC 050 (Klootz (A., 1755-1794).JPG. To be checked, improved. --Havang(nl) (talk) 22:58, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Non-free map data

Several UK public bodies have map data (in GIS formats) available for free download (as in no payment) for example Natural England. The Natural England terms of use are here and permit personal and non-commercial use (but forbid commercial usage) of the data.

What I'm not sure of is if I can use this data to create freely-licensed maps. I want to avoid copyright paranoia, but is it wishful thinking that I can use the non-free data to create free images (under UK law)? If so I'll just have to try the hard way and go through the OTRS rituals...--Nilfanion (talk) 22:12, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

I'd say not; the best source would be, which is designed to get around problems like this.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:59, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Openstreetmap is handy yes (the free Ordance Survey data is too). However, neither of those have the data of the more specialised organisations which would let me produce maps similar to this one.--Nilfanion (talk) 23:06, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
It might be worth asking Natural England if they would give you a license to make maps for Commons with a limited scope and credit to them.      Jim . . . . Jameslwoodward (talk to me) 10:06, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Yep, that's my thinking too, as I could create restricted resolution PNGs, which shouldn't impair commercial value of the data whilst still serving the encyclopaedic purpose (as in Forest of Bowland). I think I'll get that discussion started and see if they are amenable.--Nilfanion (talk) 10:40, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm not familiar with GIS. What exactly does "map data" mean? Is the data presented in a pictorial form, or as mere figures and letters? If the former, then I would say it is probably not permissible to create derivatives of the non-free data. If the latter, on the other hand, then arguably you are not relying on any expression of information (which is what copyright protects) but merely the information itself. — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:24, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

GIS data is held in filetypes like shapefiles. Effectively this is a vector image format, with additional info that lets you plot precisely onto a map and with map projection data to allow you to change the map's projection if required. Once the map projection is selected, its easy to export to a SVG.--Nilfanion (talk) 11:58, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
In its terms of use, Natural England asserts that its data is protected by the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. I suppose what is being protected is the compilation of data that makes up each shapefile (which is a literary work) rather than any particular visual output that can be generated by using the data in a shapefile. Therefore, I think Natural England is entitled to assert copyright over its shapefiles, and they are not in the public domain. I agree with Jameslwoodward that it is probably best to try and negotiate something with Natural England. — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:00, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Bear in mind w:database right which was introduced in the 1990s. I don't know if Natural England data is protected by that right which, unlike copyright, protects data. This means that even though copyright law may permit some geographical data on Commons, it may be unlawful for an EU person to upload it. --InfantGorilla (talk) 17:35, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Natural England's data might well be protected by a database right, though it doesn't assert so in its terms of use. However, how much recognition do we give to database rights here at the Commons? Do they amount to non-copyright restrictions that we generally ignore? — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:15, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I've made initial contact to Natural England now, hopefully I'll get a helpful response (and can let people know how it goes if interested). However, I think the general aspects of this issue are still worth considering.--Nilfanion (talk) 22:24, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Japanese coins

We seem to have plenty of images under Category:Coins of Japan, including both historical and modern coins. However, I don't see anything indicating that the designs of the latter would be in the public domain. (Most of the files seem to be just tagged with a CC/GFDL license by their uploaders.) Should I file a mass DR for all of them, or is there some reason I'm missing why these images are free? —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 18:55, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Dunno, but generally images of coins can be placed by the uploader in the public domain. You should check the copyright rules for modern Japanese coins.--Agamemnus (talk) 14:41, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
You definitely has to check the relevant copyright laws. You can't assume that the designs of coins and banknotes are always in the public domain. (They aren't in Singapore, for example.) If they aren't in a particular country, then it makes no difference if the photographer licenses them to the Commons under a free licence or releases his own photographs into the public domain, because the photographs are unauthorized derivative works. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:26, 30 October 2010 (UTC)A

If you find out the answer, please add it at Commons:Currency. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:10, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Euro coin common face

For those who have not already commented, I invite feedback at Commons:Deletion requests/Template:Euro coin common face 2 regarding the copyright status of the common face of Euro coins. This is presently the oldest open deletion request, from March 2010. In particular, I still have doubt regarding the "faithful likeless" clause - the outcome of this deletion basically depends on whether it's a non-copyright requirement or a licensing requirement. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:13, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Public domain sound recordings

According to Cornell's public domain guide, virtually no published or unpublished commercial sound recordings created in the United States are in the public domain today. The only exceptions are:

  • Published 15 Feb 1972 to 1978 without notice (i.e, , year of publication, and name of copyright owner)
  • Published 1978 to 1 March 1989 without notice, and without subsequent registration

As such, this implies we need to delete nearly all audio files marked PD-old or PD-US on Commons, e.g. File:Tiger Rag ODJB.ogg. I estimate that there are at least 1900 of these. Finding and mass nominating these all seems like a daunting task, so I wanted to get some agreement about this before proceeding. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:22, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

I've actually been preparing a proposal to update {{PD-US-record}} to something like this because of this issue. The current wording is obviously wrong - we can't just assume that things are protected when they in reality most likely are, and the "except in New York" part is completely false in any case. That said, there has been a lot of opposition in the past for removing pre-1923 sound recordings, even if there's no actual basis for that date in law. Jafeluv (talk) 07:46, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
By the way, the previous discussion from June is here. Jafeluv (talk) 07:49, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
U.S. sound files published prior to 1972 are indeed messy, but the protection is common law copyright, not federal copyright, which can muddy things quite a bit -- common sense comes into play, and it is not necessarily an absolute "everything is copyrighted" like federal copyright law mandates. The emphasis would likely be on commercial (particularly music) recordings. There are also likely exceptions for recordings made by the U.S. federal government (I know we have some of those here); those should usually be fine. I believe foreign recordings were brought under federal copyright law by the URAA, so those may well follow 1923 rules, I think. Obviously, the compositions are still subject to federal copyright, if those can still apply. I would therefore not mass-delete all recordings, at least without examining them. The one you mention could well be a problem; while the composition would be PD-1923, that was a Victor recording, and the common-law rights may still be owned by Sony (via RCA). It's probably not worth it for them to sue (no money is being made), but if someone made and sold albums containing it, it could be a issue for them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:28, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
It's not common law; it's enacted legislation, at least in Florida and Massachusetts, where I've looked. The Mass. law says:
Section 143A. Whoever directly or indirectly by any means, knowingly transfers or causes to be transferred any sound recorded on a phonograph record, disc, wire, tape, film, videocassette or other article on which such sound is recorded, with intent to sell, rent or transport, or cause to be sold, rented or transported, or to use or cause to be used for profit through public performance such article on which such sound is so transferred, without the consent of the owner, or whoever sells any such article with the knowledge that the sound thereon has been so transferred without the consent of the owner, shall be punished as provided in section 143E.

Section 143, 143A-143E

There's no exceptions for foreign copyright, no expiration date, no exceptions for anything but law enforcement, radio, TV and archival preservation[2]. I'm sure the details vary state by state, but at least here it's more restrictive, not less restrictive.--Prosfilaes (talk) 16:38, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, there are anti-piracy laws as well. Those are not copyright laws; we are not distributing albums for profit here. These are separate from any notion of common-law copyright, I'm pretty sure, which would prohibit copying no matter the intent. Per the above, "without consent of the owner" -- what if there is no longer any owner? The New York case (which did involve common-law copyright) also involved unfair competition laws, and misappropriation laws. It was, I believe, found subject to New York common-law copyright, as well as violating the other laws. The New York case in question also involved works which had expired in the UK prior to the URAA date, so they were not restored that way, meaning they were apparently still subject to common-law copyright, at least in New York. The government sponsored a study on sound recording law, described here, and the five reports are here. This one even tried to analyze whether they believed certain recordings were protected or not based on tracing the rights; many small companies simply folded apparently with no rights being passed down, so that study did consider some works to be unprotected (though most are still protected). This is not an easy area, and we may have to use some common-sense judgement -- I don't think deleting all recordings regardless of type makes any sense. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:23, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
I see why common-copyright law is muddier - and I like Jafeluv's revision (provided it's accurate it seems clearer). But it's difficult to argue that a lot of the recordings we host currently would be protected by common law copyright due to having obvious commercial value. Individually evaluating these works for commercial value, much less tracing the companies inheriting ownership to these works, would be a daunting task due to their sheer number.
My goal here is to address this enormous backlog of questionably licensed files. I don't think we want to nominate each one individually for deletion, but rather to set a clear policy about which ones can be kept, which ones can be speedy-deleted, and which ones should be nominated individually for deletion (maybe a Commons:Sound recordings?). It will also be important to tag recordings that have not yet been evaluated so that we can systematically process them all (maybe Template:Sound recording review?). Dcoetzee (talk) 01:12, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment I recently found this study by Library of Congress with a whole chapter devoted to copyright issues as related to of old recordings and their preservation. It can be a good source to reference. --Jarekt (talk) 01:59, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Ah cool, didn't know about that one. It appears to be the sixth report in the series (the other five are linked here); several others devote a lot more than a chapter to the copyright topic. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:04, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Undated photo of a subject that died in the 19th century

A photo from the Nevada State Museum shows Abraham Curry, a historical figure who died in 1873. Though the photo is undated, would it be reasonable to assume the image is public domain because it is at least 137 years old? KimChee (talk) 23:30, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:05, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Probably. If the photo was unpublished until recently (but before 2003), and was not an anonymous work, and the author died after 1940 (e.g. they may have been 18 in 1873 and died at the age of 86), then the photo is not in the public domain. This is so unlikely that I would just assume it's not the case. Dcoetzee (talk) 02:38, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

No restrictions automatically on passport photos?

I have a picture of John Lennon's passport that I witnessed at the John Lennon Museum here in Japan, shortly before it closed forever. Am I able to upload it here to Wikimedia Commons? It is of great historical importance, but I wanted to make sure of my ability to upload it here before doing so. It is the details page showing his photo and occupation, etc. Cheers, Nesnad (talk) 07:55, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

It's hard to say without looking at the passport, but I think it likely that there would be no element that would be copyrightable except the passport photo, which is possibly under copyright in the US.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:01, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
But wa not John Lennon British? /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 08:07, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Probably. It's a touch more concerning in that case, since the UK has crown copyright for stuff that would PD if done by the US government.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:25, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Are passports under crown copyright?? Regarding hard to say unless you see it, should I just upload it and see the results? Nesnad (talk) 08:34, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

PD-text and the length issue

Please see Template_talk:PD-text. In short, sometimes contributors argue that images consisting only of text should be copyright ineligible, even if the image contains extensive text. I'd like to modify the template to clarify this. Dcoetzee (talk) 22:16, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Photo question

I want to upload a picture taken before ww1, so I assume the guy who took it it´s already dead, and it´s in a dutch website. Does it have a free license? What is it´s copyright? Can I upload it? Mmasalleras (talk).

It's definitely in the public domain in the United States, provided it was first published before 1923. As such, the English Wikipedia would accept it as a local upload. It may or may not be in the public domain in its source country, which it would have to be to upload it here - that depends on factors such as: 1. was the author anonymous/pseudonymous? 2. was it a work for hire? 3. when did the author die? See Commons:Public domain. If you don't have access to this information, or can't make a confident guess about it, we would have to conservatively exclude it. Dcoetzee (talk) 04:45, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Suggested revision of "Commons:Licensing#Germany"

As discussed in "Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 29#German copyright law relating to photographs", I have created a draft revision "Commons:Licensing#Germany" to try and make it clearer. Please have a look at "Commons:Licensing/sandbox" and comment on it here.

As regards the "Official works" section, I have removed the part which mentioned that official works published for public information are in the public domain, because that seemed to be an incomplete description of the relevant German legal provision. The UrhG, §5, states that such works are in the public domain only if the terms of, among others, §§62(l) to (3) are adhered to. §62(1) states that no alterations are permitted to the work. This is qualified by §62(3) which states that where works of fine art and photographic works are concerned, adjusting the size of the work and making other alterations required by the reproduction method are permissible. It seems to me that these restrictions make such works incompatible with the Commons requirement that content must be freely modifiable. I'd like to hear what you think. — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:37, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

If there are no objections by 26 October, I shall be bold and update the text. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:23, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
"photographs or scans of two-dimensional artworks that are in the public domain" -- Commons treats that as {{PD-Art}}. I believe we voted to ignore the law in the source countries in that particular case, just as we ignore the UK version. Even more so for scans, {{PD-scan}}; are those really protected at all there? There is nothing original about that at all; in most cases that is just making a copy. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:01, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
That's my understanding of the Eurobike case, in which the court expressed the view that slavish copies of existing images amounted to Lichtbild. However, let me re-read the English translation of the case and see if the court distinguished between reproductions of public domain materials and copyrighted materials. Also, even if the court was not clear on the issue, I can update the draft to assert the Commons position on the matter. Thanks for pointing that out. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:46, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I have read a rather bad machine translation of the Eurobike case, and it seems the court did not specifically address the point, so I will update the draft to mention the Commons position on the matter. — Cheers, JackLee talk 09:06, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Draft updated. — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:56, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I was trying to make distinction between {{PD-Art}} (which is a photograph taken from a distance), and {{PD-scan}} (which is the result of someone sticking a work in a scanner; no real photography involved). I could see the former being a "simple photo", but still have a hard time on the latter -- that seems to be a straight-up copy. For the former, we should document the position in German law if we think it would be a "simple photo" there, but still mention the Commons decision to ignore a possible copyright inside Germany and still use them under PD-Art. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:31, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm. Well, the Eurobike case doesn't shed any light on the issue (it doesn't, for example, say anything about the distinction between rephotographing a painting and sticking a print of it in a scanner), so I'm not sure what else to say about it apart from what I've already indicated in the draft. Do feel free to improve the draft yourself. — Cheers, JackLee talk 13:18, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment It would be good to not create to much redundancy to the European Union section / and/or to concentrate on that section and only emphasize the difference in the country sections. This proposal can be anounced at Commons:Forum maybe? --Martin H. (talk) 19:52, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for commenting. The "European copyright law" section is quite short and also mentions that "directives, unlike European regulations, do not apply uniformly. They have to be transposed into national law by each country's legislature, and they often offer significant leeway in doing so". Thus, I don't think the expanded "Germany" draft that I've been working on creates too much redundancy. Rather, I am trying to clarify certain aspects of German copyright law that were not mentioned anywhere in the guideline. Have left a message at "Commons:Forum". — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:46, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment Talking about the Eurobike case: This was Austria and not Germany! -- 08:26, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes, but as indicated in the draft, Austrian law is similar to German law in this respect, and the Austrian court specifically looked at German law on the matter. If anyone is aware of any German cases on the matter, do let me know. — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:42, 26 October 2010 (UTC)


Please do not update this yet. Unfortunately I just got aware of this discussion right now and I have some objections but cannot comment on this in-depth in this moment. I will attempt to do this in the evening (European time). Thanks for your patience. --AFBorchert (talk) 09:12, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Sure, no problem. — Cheers, JackLee talk 12:06, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I can see no need to amend the chapter on Germany at all. The existing text is written according to our best understanting of the law and after consultation of the relevant legal literature. The Eurobike decision is not applicable, as is is a verdict by an Austrian court. Under German law every photography is a Lichtbildwerk, besides a) reproductions of 2D-originals - then no protection whatsoever is applicable or b) photo booths, serial aerial shots, medical X-rays and the like, where there is no creative input - those are Lichtbilder. There is a legal discussion about serial photography where for example a number of persons sits in the same position after the light has been arranged once to have their picture taken for a passport. And there is one singular court verdict on the issue. A professional photographer took his camera and held onto the unplanned interaction of two people that happened in front of him. The court stated that those were simple Lichtbilder, not Lichtbildwerke: LG München I vom 25. April 2002 (Az.: 7 O 16110/01). This verdict never became valid because the parties settled out of court instead of a formal appeal. It has been criticized for blurring the lines between Lichtbildwerk and Lichtbild in the legal literature. So I suggest to leave the existing definition as it is and drop the draft in the sandbox. It is not an improvement. --h-stt !? 18:43, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
If I may respond, I think it is very necessary for the Germany section to be expanded because at the moment nothing which you mentioned in your message is stated in the section. There is no "existing definition" at all. The section only talks about freedom of panorama and official works, which is why I feel there needs to be some guidance on when Lichtbildwerke and Lichtbilder may be uploaded to the Commons. I had a look at "de:Wikipedia:Bildrechte" and other sources referred to by people participating in the discussion at "Commons talk:Licensing/Archive 29#German copyright law relating to photographs" but only found one relevant German decision (Case No. I ZR 55/97) which I mentioned in the draft. However, as I also stated in the draft and in my postings above, the Austrian court in Eurobike actually consulted German law when reaching its decision. Of course, it would be most helpful if other relevant German decisions or legal commentaries that explain the distinction between Lichtbildwerke and Lichtbilder and provide examples can be brought to our attention. Finally, if the decision Az.: 7 O 16110/01 of the Munich court was not a final one and is criticized, we don't have to rely on it in our guideline. — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:18, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Some comments to the proposed text:

  • The distinction between Lichtbildwerke and Lichtbilder exists but is non-trivial or debated (see the comment by H-stt above). An extension as proposed is likely to end up in corresponding copyright tags. What shall we do if someone tags an upload as PD as it is considered by the uploader as Lichtbild because it has been published more than 50 years ago and the case is non-trivial?
  • Regarding the reproduction of two-dimensional originals we should refer to BGH, Urteil vom 8. November 1989, Az. I ZR 14/88, Bibelreproduktion which matches {{PD-Art}}, i.e. 2D reproductions do not meet a minimal threshold of originality and have in consequence not the protection of Lichtbilder. See also de:Bildrechte#Zweidimensionale Vorlagen.
  • In the section about freedom of panorama, the German term Plätze shall not be translated to places in this context — this is wrong and leads to misunderstandings. A better translation is squares. Example: A church, a museum, or other public buildings could be public places but they are not included by the German law which restricts FOP to public locations outside of buildings.

Like H-stt, I fail to see a real benefit from this update. --AFBorchert (talk) 22:02, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

  • I was prompted to prepare this proposed revision because the issue came up during a deletion review. A user argued that a 50-year copyright period applied, and when I looked at "Commons:Licensing#Germany" the guideline was entirely silent on the issue. That is why I feel we must revise the section. If the Commons wishes to make a policy choice and say that we will only accept images that are 70 pma, I have no objection to that – but the guideline should explicitly state this and explain why we do not accept Lichtbilder.
  • The source you have provided regarding the reproduction of two-dimensional originals is very relevant, and I will incorporate it into the draft.
  • Thanks also for clarifying the meaning of Plätze. Of course, as ich spreche nicht Deutsch, it is difficult for me to realize the subtleties of the meanings of terms. I should point out that the draft does state that freedom of panorama only applies to outdoor locations (though I could only find an academic authority and not a case for this proposition). — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:44, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Leute, die kein Deutsch können sollten die Finger von solchen Seiten lassen. Danke

Bei allen für Commons brauchbaren Fotos ist von Lichtbildwerken auszugehen, von daher ist es irreführend, die Unterscheidung Lichtbilder/Lichtbildwerke in den Vordergrund zu stellen. Eine besondere Kreativität ist nicht mehr erforderlich. Es muss dringend verdeutlicht werden, dass sicherheitshalber nur folgende Kategorien von Lichtbildern tatsächlich die kürzere Schutzfrist haben:

  • Webcams
  • Satellitenbilder, automatisiert aufgenommene Luftbilder
  • Röntgenbilder und Vergleichbares
  • Automatenfotos
  • Fotos von reliefartigen Gegenständen, soweit nicht PD-Scan

Bei amtlichen Werken stellt w:Amtliche Werke klar, dass Fotos grundsätzlich keine amtlichen Werke sind. --Historiograf (talk) 17:11, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

[Google translation: People who do not know German should keep away from such sites. Thanks.

We can assume that all photos suitable for Commons are "photographic works" (70 years protection). Therefore, it's misleading to pronounce the distinction photographs / photographic works. A special creativity is no longer required for a "photographic work". It urgently needs to be stated that for safety's sake, only the following categories of pictures actually have a shorter term of copyright:

  • Webcam stills
  • Satellite images, aerial photographs taken automatically
  • X-ray images and comparable
  • Automatic photos
  • Photos of relief-like articles, as long as they aren't PD-scan

de:Amtliches Werk clarifies that photos are never official works[3] (discussion in German).]

But some of those categories may well be suitable for commons, like aerial photographs and X-ray images.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:45, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
If I understand Historiograf, he is not saying that we can't have such images in the Commons. In fact, he is pointing out that such images are subject to a shorter copyright term (50 years). — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:14, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
Right --Historiograf (talk) 14:08, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

I hope I've answered all the queries sufficiently. Do we have consensus for the revision to go live? — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:24, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Certainly not. We all doubt your qualification to write about German copyright issues. --h-stt !? 23:30, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Do focus on the draft and not on my supposed lack of qualifications or otherwise to clarify the guideline. Is there still any portion of the draft that is incorrect or needs improvement? Also, I don't think that there has been any response to my point that the current guideline is defective because it does not even advise users that in general under German law the copyright period for photographs is 70 years pma. It also does not mention the difference between Lichtbildwerke and Lichtbilder, which has been raised in deletion reviews. All it talks about is freedom of panorama and government works (and, arguably, what is stated about government works is incorrect). — Cheers, JackLee talk 08:14, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

Futuristic Sex Robotz, "Fuck the MPAA" from the album Hotel Coral Essex (2006).ogg

Suggestions are welcome as to how "File:Futuristic Sex Robotz, "Fuck the MPAA" from the album Hotel Coral Essex (2006).ogg" should be licensed or otherwise dealt with. Uploader asserts that the album was released by the (now defunct) band for free download in 2006. However, he sourced it from "Peer2Peer network, ...". I don't see any reason why CC-BY-SA-2.5 should be chosen for it – why not PD-self? But is there enough evidence to indicate that the file is indeed free? — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:12, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

The uploader simply assumed a license, we can't do that, we need evidence of permission. Hekerui (talk) 16:20, 7 November 2010 (UTC)
I can find several references which mention a "Creative Commons license", but we need to have a reference of which one it was exactly. The original distribution site has been blocked from Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:14, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Oooh. According to this, it was the Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 license. That may be oh-so-close-but-not-quite-free license... I think derivative works can be used commercially, but not the work itself -- that can be copied for non-commercial uses. Hrm. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:24, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Well done with the research (as usual)! So, I guess we have to nominate the file for deletion? — Cheers, JackLee talk 03:28, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, think so. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:40, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Just noticed that Hekerui has already tagged it with "no permission". — Cheers, JackLee talk 06:05, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the detective work :) Hekerui (talk) 09:48, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Also thanks for the detective work! It's not easy finding info on this band. We'll keep on working on the proposed FSR article, and if we find any primary-sourced licensed material suitable for commons, will then add. Eclipsed (talk) 11:00, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, don't lose heart! :-) — Cheers, JackLee talk 12:10, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Photographs of Ukraine

[Copied from "User talk:Jacklee".] Can you advice a solution in mentioned below images - per this [4] and this [5] and several more sources - the listed below pictures taken in early 1920s at Russia but have been used to depict the Great Famine-Genocide in Ukraine in 1932-1933 as original photographs of the Ukraine Famine in 1932-1933.

[6] [7] [8] [9] [

How to deal with this issue - simply to rename and recitegorize? Or?

Also about copyright issue [10] [11] [12] [13] described [14] as having been taken by an Austrian technical specialist in Kharkiv in the summer of 1933. And printed in Wien [Vienna] in 1935 - i.e. not in Ukraine (were they can not printed before 1990s) - so there no clear infor about author Alexander Wienerberger does he died or not in 1930s - please advice how to handle this.Jo0doe (talk) 09:26, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

If you have some reliable evidence that the photographs were wrongly described, I would suggest that you state this source on the image description page of each photograph. If possible, provide a link to an appropriate website, but an offline source such as a book or journal article is fine too. You can then recategorize the photographs and ask for them to be renamed.
As for your second question, according to {{PD-Ukraine}} a work is only in the public domain in Ukraine if it was published before 1 January 1951 and the creator (if known) died before that date. In this case we know that the photographs were published in Vienna in 1935, so the first requirement is satisfied. However, you have said that the photographer is known (Alexander Wienerberger) but you do not know whether he died before 1 January 1951. This may be a problem, though perhaps since the photographs were published so long ago it is all right to assume that Wienerberger died before that date. Let's see what other people think. — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:21, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
While I can't find anything reliable about Alexander Wienerberger's birth or death, according to this webpage he was a POW in Ukriaine in 1915, so assuming he was a young man, say 20 though he could have been younger, then in 1951, he would have been 61, so he could well have been alive, even if he was up to 5 years younger or 20 years older. In that case the photographs would still be copyright. If possible, some more searching needs to be done to find a death date. Ww2censor (talk) 16:17, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
These images were apparently first published in Vienna 1935 (In a book by Ewald Ammende, entitled "Muss Russland hungern?"[15]) and possibly also in Salzburg in 1939 (in Wienerberger's own book "Hart auf hart").[16] Therefore, {{PD-Ukraine}} is not interesting at all for us. The Ukraine is not the country of origin in the sense of the copyright law, and so whether these images are or are not PD in the Ukraine has no bearing at all on the question of whether or not we may treat these images as PD. We only care about the status in the U.S. and in the country of origin, which would be Austria in this case, because Austria is the country of first publication.
Alexander Wienerberger published two books, one in 1939 and one in 1942.[17] So we may assume he was alive in 1942. Copyright term in Austria is 70 years p.m.a. and thus his works would still be copyrighted in Austria, and through the URAA also in the U.S. Lupo 09:31, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't know the legal position, but is it not possible that Ukraine accords local copyright to images taken in the country? But you may be right, so go ahead and nominate the images for deletion if you see fit. Thanks. — Cheers, JackLee talk 09:34, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
The Ukraine may treat these images in whatever way it likes according to its own copyright law. But we don't care. These are Austrian works, and thus for us the status of these images in a third country (Ukraine) is utterly irrelevant. We care about the status in the country of origin (which for published photos is the country of first publication), and in the U.S. The images may or may not be PD in the Ukraine, but it's not important at all for us. Lupo 09:40, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Which jurisdiction's law determines that the country of origin is to be identified by looking only at the place of first publication? US law? Or do the laws of other jurisdictions need to be considered as well? My point was that perhaps under Ukrainian law the country of origin might be regarded as Ukraine. Oh, well, since I know nuts about Ukrainian law, never mind. :-) — Cheers, JackLee talk 09:44, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Berne Convention, article 5(4). Lupo 10:52, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Yup, per Lupo. One reason we follow the Berne definition is that any work PD in that country of origin will then also be PD in any country using the Berne-allowed rule of the shorter term, which is a good number of them. The U.S. does not use that specific definition for URAA restorations when determining the "source country", but it is very similar and also based on first publication. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:47, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
    • Thank you for for professional assessment of the situation – the issue with Wienerberger's pictures in the fact that “these twenty-one pictures are the only photographs of the famine that may be accepted as both genuine and authentic images of the 1933 Ukrainian Famine - per [18] – the rest ([19] [20] [21][22] [23] [24]) “As a rule, such photos come from the period of the first Soviet famine in 1921-1922 (see [25] page 49) . – So what to do with both set a} 1920s in whole labelled as 1930s and b) one and only set of genuine and authentic 1933 fails to copyright restriction ?Jo0doe (talk) 10:01, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, there seems to be consensus among the historians debating all this that the 1920s photos come from some other famine and were widely circulated before 1930. Nobody seems to know who took them, and Ammende's book was not the original publication. These might pass as "anonymous works" I guess. Lupo 10:52, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Stereo card from 1925

As many of you know, we have an enormous collection of stereo cards from the New York Public Library and nearly all of these are PD-1923. However, I just noticed one (File:A Few of the Remaining American Bison, Yellowstone National Park, by A.C. Co..jpg / File:A Few of the Remaining American Bison, Yellowstone National Park, by A.C. Co..png) from 1925. I suspect we cannot be confident it is in the public domain, but someone may know something I don't about the status of this collection, so I'm bringing it here rather than nominating for deletion. - Jmabel ! talk 04:38, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

If it was really published in 1925 as stated, this is likely ok. Almost certainly the copyright wasn't renewed. Trycatch (talk) 06:08, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
I automatically tagged any files not clearly published before 1923 with Category:PD files for review (for precisely this reason). These tags were later systematically removed by User:MGA73bot2, but are still in the history. I uploaded the complete set because the NYPL assured me there were no known copyright restrictions on this set - they may be wrong, but I thought they were at least worth inspection by a human. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:10, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Copyright renewals, other than music, are now pretty much all online here. We can now search for these visual arts works, and if we don't find them, a reasonable case can be made for PD-US_no_renewal. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:32, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, it's a good site, I've OCRed several years of artwork renewals from there some time ago: User:Trycatch/Copyright renewals for artwork/1970. Trycatch (talk) 05:07, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
A number of the volumes (the upenn site has many such links) are online at, some of which may be getting the benefit of Google's OCR. Seems very hit and miss though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:19, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

Japan, Korea, or other

I have been asked here for my opinion on the correct license tag for File:Righteous army in Korea.JPG.

It appears to be created before 1910. One editor feels it should be {{PD-Japan-oldphoto}} because "Book was published in Japan, therefore ja-licence necessary", another feels instead it should be {{PD-South Korea}} because "published England parson". Can anyone help advise, as this is outside my expertise. The given source appears to be Asahi chronicle, the 20th century published Tokyo 2000 ([26]), but if that was the first publication (unlikely) then I cannot see either PD-South Korea or PD-Japan being correct. -84user (talk) 09:47, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

FWIW, Google Translate for the image date field "1907년 영국의 신문 특파원 메켄지가 찍음" gives 1907 Mekenjiga, a British newspaper correspondent jjikeum, which implies the photo may have been published then. -84user (talk) 10:05, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
The first version of this file page does not contain the korean information which indicate that the japanese information is more trustable. Unfortunately, the User, who included that information quite a long time after the image was uploaded ([27]), seems to be not anymore active on Commons. Nevertheless, I wrote him a message on his user page but I doubt we will receive an answer. I also wrote the uploader of that image. Maybee he can clearify this situation. --Valentim (talk) 13:17, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Neither, correct license is {{PD-old}} or {{PD-UK-known}}, plus {{PD-1923}} for the U.S. side. It comes from between pages 206 and 207 of the book "The Tragedy of Korea", by Frederick Arthur MacKenzie (1869-1931), published in London in 1908. The credit of the photo indicates MacKenzie took it. The caption is "A company of Korean rebels". Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:13, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

That is good Google work. So far I can see:

  • Frederick Arthur Mackenzie was a British correspondent (died 1931) that wrote The tragedy of Korea, [28] published 1908 by E. P. DUTTON & CO., New York, possibly jointly with Unwin Brothers Ltd in England; Hodder and Stoughton, London, appears to have published another 1908 edition
  • This Internet Archive scan of page 206 shows the uncropped original photo with caption "A COMPANY OF KOREAN REBELS" and attribution "Photograph by] [F.A. McKenzie."
  • On pages 205 to 206 Mackenzie writes how he came to take the photograph
  • The Google preview of the 1969 fascimile reprint of the 1908 Hodder and Stoughton edition omits the pages between 206 and 207

On the above basis I have now added both {{PD-UK-known}} and {{PD-1923}}. -84user (talk) 04:06, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

200 year old map + recent digitization = what copyright status?

This map: File:St James's Square 1799.jpg is a scan of a 211 year-old map. The map itself is clearly out of copyright - and the tag on the image says as much. It also says that the full image is available at - but when I go there, it says:

"The images were photographed digitally from an original map in the Motco collection. The copyright of the (digital) images is owned by Motco. They may only be copied for personal use, which specifically excludes use on a website. If you require access to the images for commercial or other use, in hard copy or digital form, please contact Motco."

It seems highly likely that the person who added this map to Commons didn't do an original scan - and aside from the statement that the original image is in the public domain - there is no mention of any other copyright owned by Motco or of any permission granted by them.

I am interested in using the entire image set from the Motco site for a project I'm doing - can I just ignore their claim of copyright ownership?

What is right? Is the statement on the Motco site nonsense - or are all of the dozens of maps that we have from that source in need of removal?

I vaguely recall there being a case with some major portrait gallery over copyright ownership of photos they had taken of their art and posted on their website. Is this the same deal? Is there hard legal precedent for this?

SteveBaker (talk) 06:10, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Yes, same thing. See Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag (the image in question ought to be marked with that tag). We can't claim that you would not face possible legal consequences by using the works, due to limited case law in this area - but we ignore such copyright claims. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:41, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

State seals of Burma

Unfortunately, I think we are going to have some copyright issues with our images of the state seal of Burma. I had a look at the applicable law on the WIPO Lex website, which is the Burma Copyright Act 1914, and it appears that the copyright in a Government work only expires 50 years from the date of publication of the work. There is no provision stating that Government works are in the public domain. (See "Commons:Licensing#Burma", which I just updated.)

There are three versions of the state seal of Burma:

Therefore, it appears we will have to delete all the files in "Category:State seal of Burma (1974-2008)" and "Category:State seal of Myanmar (from 2008)" unless there is evidence that the editors who created the files based them solely on blazons and not on any official pictorial representations of the seals: COM:COA. Have I got this right? Does anyone have any suggestions as to how these files may be "saved"?

Some good news: I have discovered that the copyright in a photograph expires 50 years after the date of the making of the original negative from which the photograph was directly or indirectly derived, and not 50 years pma. — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:42, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Honestly, I can't see a big reason to worry about these -- none seem copied from government websites (other than the PD one) so their copyright law wouldn't come into it at all (again other than the first one). Most of the details of the seal remained the same, so older PD graphic versions can certainly be used to make modern ones (only new material is copyrightable; mostly seems the star and the outline of the country). These have significant original work by the uploaders; I would think differently (obviously) about images taken from other websites, or obvious tracings, or obvious derivatives of still-copyrighted versions. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:13, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
OK, glad to hear that! — Cheers, JackLee talk 02:34, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

I have created the template {{PD-Burma}}. — Cheers, JackLee talk 21:06, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Does that then mean we do not have to worry about these being deleted?--Kintetsubuffalo (talk) 11:10, 16 November 2010 (UTC)
If someone can demonstrate an external source from which it turns out these have simply copied much of the expression (detailed outlines etc.) then sure they could be deleted. I did miss one of the 2008 versions, which I first thought was merely based on a small black and white version in the header, but now I see may have been taken directly from a government publication (their Constitution) -- that could very well be a problem (though it is likely OK in the U.S., since the version appears to actually be part of the constitution, so it would be considered PD-EdictGov there I think). Of course it sounds like Burma/Myanmar pretty much ignores their own copyright law, reading the above links, but we are still likely to respect it. The one thing would be if the primary outlines of the lions etc. are the same as 50+ year-old government versions -- in that case that part of the expression would still be PD (much of it is very close to the PD 1948 version which is scanned here, but not all the details are). Sometimes determining if "expression" was copied or not can be a pretty subjective issue, and others may have different opinions, of course. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:41, 16 November 2010 (UTC)

COM:FOP for Cyprus

FYI: CT:FOP#Cyprus. Thanks. Wknight94 talk 19:42, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

A big mess

Red clock.png

The icon at right is used in dozens of derivative images on Commons and on thousands of Wikimedia pages across numerous projects. Here's where the graphic comes from:

The clock hands and colors come from:

  • File:Current_event_marker.png - created by User:Denelson83 - licensing is "All rights reserved, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc." (presumably as a derivative of the Wikinews logo) - no licensing information is given for the clock.

The frame of the clock comes from:

  • File:Stock_alarm.svg - created by David Vignoni (Nuvola) - licensed GNU LGPL (which is somewhat meaningless for images)

The two were combined together by User:Davidgothberg who also added the 4 tick marks. No specific licensing is given for his work.

The resulting graphic was licensed GNU LGPL, presumably with neither Denelson83 nor David Göthberg claiming copyright over their contributions. This icon has been combined with numerous other graphics—some public domain, some CC-by-sa, some GPL—and the resulting derivative works have been licensed under any license or combination you can imagine.

A few questions:

  1. Who should be given credit for the red clock icon at right?
  2. Who owns copyright in the image?
  3. Is GNU LGPL a valid license for this image?
  4. Can this graphic be combined with CC-by-sa graphics?
  5. If so, what should the derivatives be licensed under?

Kaldari (talk) 22:39, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

The GNU LGPL is good for computer code, and SVG is computer code. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 23:01, 9 November 2010 (UTC)
File:Current_event_marker.png has to be deleted. Because the original clock is available only under the LGPL, the derivative work must also be released under the LGPL; but because the Wikinews logo is copyright WMF and they won't license it under the LGPL, it cannot be licensed under the LGPL. However, User:Denelson83 may be willing to upload and license the clock alone under the LGPL, if he is asked to do so - in which case any derivative work which removes the Wikinews logo and also released under the LGPL could remain. Any derivative work not released under the LGPL must be released under the LGPL by its original uploader, or else must be deleted (if they waive rights to any modifications, or if their modifications are ineligible for copyright, we can update the license ourselves). Dcoetzee (talk) 02:15, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
This is why simple icon graphics should never be licensed under strong-copyleft. They should ideally be Public Domain like the Tango icons. Kaldari (talk) 20:51, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
Following up on this, how do you know the frame of the clock came from File:Stock_alarm.svg? It looks totally different. If it was based on the prior version, that version has been lost. This will make deleting it quite difficult... Dcoetzee (talk) 23:55, 12 November 2010 (UTC)
Am I missing something here. What is wrong in generating a new image- from just looking at the image, but not refering to the code- and then overwriting the file, keeping the same file name? It looks like a two hour Inkscape task. Then there is cat full of clock icons.--ClemRutter (talk) 11:03, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Current event clock.svg

I think we can safely say, that this clock is PD-ineligible. I fail to see how this should pass the Threshold of originality. Btw: At the right we have a very similar clock as PD-ineligible.Amada44  talk to me 13:06, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

I think that's wrong, in both cases. Pixel images can be PD-ineligible; all but the most trivial vector images are copyrightable computer code that's not PD-ineligible even if what they display is.--Prosfilaes (talk) 13:33, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
right, so open in Illustrator, save as svg and then open in Inkscape and save as plain svg should remove any copyrightable coding. Amada44  talk to me 13:39, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
and the image above is a png. I don't see how you want to apply the svg 'computer code' there. Amada44  talk to me 13:43, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
I'll try again. Do we just want a replacement image that looks identical to the one above? If that was done in Inkscape with no reference to the svg code of the one above would that be acceptable? Were that to be done- what licence tag would it need to carry? --ClemRutter (talk) 14:57, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

I brought this to village pump. Esp. the point about all svg images contain copyrightable code needs broader discussion. Amada44  talk to me 10:44, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

Wow, that got off-topic fast. So does anyone have any answers to any of my original questions? Kaldari (talk) 05:41, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

I have been uploading advertisement and brochures that were published before 1978 without a copyright notice. The rules in the United States are simple, no notice no copyright. For material published before 1989 the rules are a bit more complicated but most advertisements and brochures published without notice are in public domain.

The US Copyright Office Circular 3, "Copyright Notice", explains the procedure on the corrective action to restore a copyright on material published without a proper notice. There are two steps (page 5):

  • The work must have been registered before it was published in any form or before the omission occurred, or it must have been registered within five years after the date of publication without notice; and
  • The copyright owner must have made a reasonable effort to add the notice to all copies or phonorecords that were distributed to the public in the United States after the omission was discovered.

The registration would be relativity easy to do and easy to confirm with the online copyright records. However it would be very difficult to add the notice to advertisements and brochures after they were distributed to the public. The second requirement probably discouraged companies from trying to regain a copyright on sales material (if they even cared about it.) They were trying to make money by selling their trademarked Widget; the ads were of no monetary value.

Microsoft Windows 1.0 brochure, 1986 -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 04:23, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

After reading the above, I think the second clause is that the material distributed after they discovered the error had a correction. Nevermind. -- Swtpc6800 (talk) 04:35, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

Common sense

File:1995 John Lennon..jpg
public domain or copyvio?

No matter what the laws of Azerbaijan say, I'm sure that the image at right is a copyright infringement. The drawing is copyrighted by John Lenon's estate, was first published in the US, and is clearly prominent enough to fail de minimus. I nominated it for deletion and was overwhelmingly defeated. Am I off my rocker here? Kaldari (talk) 23:30, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

First, I think we should assume good faith and presume that the Azerbaijan authorities obtained a licence from the rights holders to use the images on the stamp. However, it seems to me that even if the Azerbaijan authorities did so, the fact that official publications of the Azerbaijan government are in the public domain certainly does not mean that any copyrighted works in such publications used under licence automatically enter the public domain as well. It depends on the terms of their licence. Therefore, although the design of the stamp may be in the public domain as far as Azerbaijan is concerned, it could well be that we cannot host an image of it in the Commons because there are non-free works embodied in it.
Here is an example for comparison: I want to use an image of George Clooney to sell coffee that I make, so I contact the copyright holder of a photograph of Clooney and pay for a licence to use the photograph on a billboard (and for no other purpose). I then take a photograph of the billboard, the copyright of which I own, and purport to release it into the public domain. I think this amounts to an unauthorized use of the Clooney photograph in breach of the licence I obtained to use the photograph on the billboard. So, my question is, do we assume that the Azerbaijan authorities had permission from the rights holders to release the caricature and photograph of Lennon into the public domain, or do we require further evidence (and delete the image if such evidence is not forthcoming)? — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:14, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
This issue is tying me up in knots! On further reflection, it seems to me it may be fair to regard the rights holders as being fully aware that their copyrighted Lennon images would be released on to public domain stamps which might be reproduced by the Azerbaijan authorities (e.g., put on websites and in catalogues to encourage sales). However, when licensing the images did the rights holders contemplate that images of the stamps would be circulated on the Internet by third parties? — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:39, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
It is still copyrighted in the U.S., for sure, regardless of the situation in Azerbaijan. The photo and the drawing would be copyrightable most everywhere else as well, as those were not first published in Azerbaijan. It could be deleted under the "free in the U.S." part of the policy, though that has been ignored at times. Not sure this is a good one to ignore though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:38, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
Not sure what the "free in the U.S." part of the policy is – care to explain or point me to a guideline? But I agree that the image should be renominated for deletion. It seems rather unlikely that the rights holders gave the Azerbaijan authorities a licence to release the images into the public domain. If there isn't any evidence of such a licence, I would incline on the side of caution and vote "delete". — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:06, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
He means the part which says "public domain in at least the United States and in the source country of the work" (third paragraph). The image should indeed be deleted unless there's evidence that it's in the public domain in the US as well. Jafeluv (talk) 16:18, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

I reopened this, it was a non-admin closure and clearly not enough discussion happened. Looks like a case of over-eager keeping. Hekerui (talk) 18:04, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

"Over-eager keeping"?? I had closed this in January, after about half a year. DRs need to be closed at some point. (If stamps are PD in the source country, I cannot see what problem they would be in the US.) /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 18:22, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
The U.S. don't follow the rule of the shorter term and content needs to be in the public domain in the U.S. to be hosted here. And there are questions whether Azerbaijan is the source country at all. None of this was considered in your non-admin closure, so I relisted the discussion. Hekerui (talk) 18:30, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
This is obviously an Azerbeijani stamp. The lengths of copyright periods in different countries are not relevant for this case. And it is because so few admins do any work on DRs that there are these very long backlogs. This was no over-eager closure, and your reverting it ten months later was not constructive. The proper way would have been to make a new DR. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 19:23, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
The photo and the drawing are pre-existing works and are not Azerbaijani; they have a separate pre-existing copyright. I presume that Azerbaijan's government has a license to use them on this stamp, within Azerbaijan, but that almost certainly doesn't extend to the rest of the world, and doesn't make it "free". It may well widen the fair use case, but I really can't see it being PD in the U.S. (or really anywhere). Agreed that a separate DR could have been opened -- don't see anything all that wrong with the closure, and this isn't an open-and-shut case anyways. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:08, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it's fair to call it over-eager keeping; it certainly wasn't going to get more discussion back in the archives.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:52, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

File:Chollet 9.11.2010 2a.jpg

What's the better way? The data doesn't show, that the auther and the uploader are the same person, so it is not sure, that the license is valid. Is it better to ask the uploader for a OTRS or is a delete-request the better way? -- Badener  18:42, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

I suggest leaving an urgent message on the uploader's talk page asking him or her for OTRS confirmation. If there's no response, the image will eventually be deleted as it has already been tagged as a copyright violation. — Cheers, JackLee talk 06:30, 28 November 2010 (UTC)
Here is the same problem. -- Badener  16:45, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

Text published by has a lot of useful text. Does the CC licence here apply to the image- or the text as well? I could certainly use it to do a cut and paste into a Category description- even before this image gets transfered. Any opinions? --ClemRutter (talk) 19:23, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

I have no knowledge about the licence covering the text but any prose found on geograph will probably not be considered as reliable as it is added by uploaders without any source information, so may not even be usable, even if it is freely licenced. Ww2censor (talk) 19:29, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Adding the references and checking it is really no problem- it is just the concept of cut and pasting the text that interests me!?--ClemRutter (talk) 21:27, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
The text is CC-BY-SA too. The terms aren't as clear everywhere as we'd like, but Ticket:2010082610008795 establishes that this is their intent since this situation came up at Wikipedia a few months ago. VernoWhitney (talk) 04:18, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

U.S. government building image

Hello, I am double checking image sources in advance of a GA review. File:Federal Bureau of Prisons Central office.jpg is an official photo of a U.S. federal government office from the official government website. However, the website does not identify the photographer or date the photo. What is the opinion of the copyright status of such an image? KimChee (talk) 21:36, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

To be conservative one could argue that the webmaster for the government site may have either licensed this photo from a third party, or even yanked it off the web. There's no evidence it was taken by a federal employee in the course of their duties. However, I don't think it would be deleted if put up for review - it's from a federal government website and doesn't turn up on Tineye or anything, so it's reasonable to assume it's okay. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:40, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the TinEye suggestion. This was helpful. KimChee (talk) 00:12, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
Isn't there a difference between retaining tbe image on commons and meeting the GA review criteria? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs)
The solution is to assume that a USGov employee did it unless you have evidence to the contrary.
WhisperToMe (talk) 17:15, 29 November 2010 (UTC)


{{Anonymous-EU}} claims PD for anonymous works older than 70 years; while this is correct for EU law, such works made after 1926 might not be PD in the US because of URAA. This has been mentioned on the talk page of the license, but did not generate much discussion. --Tgr (talk) 23:06, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Many of the works at Commons are in copyright in the US, usually due to the URAA. There has historically been a lack of concern about this, no matter what Commons:Licensing says.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:02, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
There has been a fair amount of discussion, though not recently. Best "solution" so far has been to add {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} so we can easily find such works if it is ever decided differently. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:27, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
I added a note to the tag advising to add this tag to media with copyright restored under the URAA (generally anything published 1926 or later, but it varies by nation a bit). Dcoetzee (talk) 06:03, 30 November 2010 (UTC)
True. In fact there are many countries in Europe where the line is not 1926... I think it's most of them actually. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:30, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

Tagging with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} for works definitely not free in the U.S. is a good idea but at the official policy needs to be enforced and such works need to be deleted. Hekerui (talk) 11:06, 30 November 2010 (UTC)

File:Kristofer Janson.jpg

What is a proper licence for "File:Kristofer Janson.jpg"? {{PD-old-70}}, which I've temporarily applied to the image? The subject of the photograph died in 1917, so it seems likely that 70 years have passed since the death of the photographer (currently unidentified) – assuming the photographer was 21 years old and the photograph was taken in 1917, the photographer would be 114 years old this year. — Cheers, JackLee talk 19:43, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Reread your numbers; if the photographer would be 114 this year, for him to have been dead 70 years would imply that he died before he was 44. US copyright law gives special protection to using a work 120 years old that may still be copyrighted if the life of the author is not available. Each discussion on Commons on the subject seems to start de novo, but I would say that assuming anything less than 100 years would be unrealistic.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:32, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, my brain took a holiday. I forgot that the rule is 70 years after the author's death. I guess the image should be nominated for deletion? — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:11, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
I've tagged the image with "no source". — Cheers, JackLee talk 16:08, 26 November 2010 (UTC)
If a source is what you're missing, then it isn't too hard to find something on the net, for example [29]. And I think this qualifies as a simple photograph by Norwegian standards, which would that the much less strict criteria of {{PD-Norway50}} would do. As he lived in Minneapolis for 12 years, it might not be a Norwegian photo at all, for all I know, though. {{PD-1923}} might apply for US copyright status, but some sort of publication info would be nice. Peter Alberti (talk) 11:11, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
The problem is, we don't have any information about the photographer at the moment. Has anyone tried to identify him or her – if not, how do we know if the photographer is "unknown"? There is very little information at "Commons:Licensing#Norway" about "simple photographs" – it just says "Photos that are not considered artistic works (i.e. snapshots) are protected until no less than 15 years after the photographer's death and no less than 50 years after publication". However, without knowing when the photographer died, we cannot determine if 15 years have elapsed since his or her death. As for the possibility of {{PD-1923}} applying, we also do not know when the photograph was first published. Are we prepared to assume that it was? — Cheers, JackLee talk 12:01, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
There is another photograph of Janson in a 1913 book he wrote here; it is much later photo than this one. There is no author listed other than Janson; that would seem to be both {{PD-1923}} and {{PD-EU-no author disclosure}}. This would seem to be an 1800s photo... odds are it was published during those years, but more information would be better. It does appear on the cover of this 1976 book; but can't see the contents to see if there is any further info on it. Odds are very high that it is at least PD in the US, but it would be good to at least get some publication info. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:44, 27 November 2010 (UTC)
Another photo here; 1901 book. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:02, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

So ... are we happy applying {{PD-1923}} and {{PD-EU-no author disclosure}} to the image? Otherwise, it's going to be deleted for having no source. — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:18, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Given that (based on the other photos I linked) this photo seems to be from the 1870s or 1880s.. probably 1890 at the latest (120 or more years old), I may be OK with just leaving PD-old. A 1917 date is an entirely different matter, but this was clearly a much earlier photograph. I don't like applying PD-EU-no-author-disclosure unless we can see there was no author mentioned on the original publication, of which we have no information about. I would just upload the larger version at this page (as mentioned above) and use that as a source I think. It seems it is not some recently-discovered photo, as it was apparently used on the cover of this 1976 U.S. book. That book's content was actually republished in board postings here (second half starting here); the author mentions obtaining a photograph "taken in the early years of their stay in America" ... wonder if this is that one. The book [ mentions people selling photographs of him too, and of Janson having photographs of himself and giving out copies on occasion. But, the bibliography is not in those postings, and I don't see any photo credits mentioned in the parts that were. I'd prefer having more information, but this does seem to be an 1880s photo, most likely, so it may be a bit much to delete it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:49, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
OK, do you want to upload the higher resolution image, update the licence, remove the "no source" tag, and add a note summarizing the evidence you have marshalled that the photograph was most likely taken in the 1880s? That will resolve the issue. — Cheers, JackLee talk 14:55, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Ukranian photographs

Your input at "File talk:Child affected by malnutrition 1921-1923 Famine in Soviet Russia.jpg" is welcome. — Cheers, JackLee talk 11:00, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Family photographs

See "File:Norman Paine.jpg". I seem to recall we have a special copyright tag for images like these. Anyone know what it is? — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:06, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

We have {{PD-heirs}}. However, that tag is for the (sole) heir of the photographer not the heir of the subject or a photo of someones Grandfather, so not appropriate here. The whole thing of I, the copyright holder of this work[...] with this upload is faulty. The special tag for this image is imo {{subst:nsd}}, the coypright holder is not sufficiently explained in the source and author information. --Martin H. (talk) 18:19, 3 December 2010 (UTC)
That's the one I was thinking of. Yes, I did think that there would be a problem with the image since there's no evidence that the copyright in the photograph passed to the grandson, even if it was owned by the subject of the photograph in the first place (of which there is no evidence). — Cheers, JackLee talk 18:53, 3 December 2010 (UTC)

Classical music files

Dear colleagues, I am involved in negotiations between one of the WMF chapters and a tertiary music institution concerning a possible collaboration to encourage the uploading of copyright-free files of high-quality classical music recordings by students. While most recordings might be of music from pre-20th-century times, there will inevitably be applications to include more recently composed works.

Copyright is a thorny issue: there's the composer, the publisher of the score, the performer(s), and the audio engineer(s). We need to create a set of simple guidelines so that the institution and the students can choose works for which there will be no copyright issue. The recordings would be made in a jurisdiction with the same copyright laws as the US in this respect. The student performer(s) (and student audio engineer(s)?) would provide copyright releases to participate in the scheme.

We would be most appreciate if experts here can respond to these questions:

  1. Is the date of the composer's death relevant (i.e., up to but not after 1940, seventy years ago)? Or is it the date of composition (hard to determine sometimes, although it would be on the boundary in very cases)—or the date of the first publication of the score? If a work was first published in, say, 1934, is that in itself enough to be certain there are no copyright issues? (Again, whether the composer is still alive doesn't matter, does it, if there's a publisher? I see uploads of music files on Commons, say, of a Stravinsky work written in the 1920s/1930s. He died in 1971. Boosey and Hawkes still publishes the score.)
  2. Since new editions of scores almost never make substantive changes to the notation, we presume they are not at issue.
  3. Is the 70-year-rule applied from the actual date of uploading? That is, if a file is uploaded 14 June 2011, does the 70 years go back to 15 June 1941?
  4. Do all student performers and student audio engineers involved in a performance need to sign, somehow? One of them would presumably upload, or could the institution do that for them? Do we need to upload boilerplate emails from all concerned (that would be a nuisance, but is viable if necessary)? Presumably electronic signatures would not be required, in that case (might be a hassle). We plan to restrict ensembles to two performers at this stage (e.g., solo, or soloist and keyboard accompanist).
  5. If a contemporary composer provides an email releasing copyright for an unpublished performance, would that be enough? If the work is published, presumably the composer has signed away the rights to the publisher, and would be irrelevant to such a copyright release. Then, I think we would exclude from the scheme for the sake of practicality.
  6. Should publication details be provided on the description page?
  7. What kind of licence(s) is/are most suitable? We envisage the freest possible, but the students might be attracted to the notion of insisting they be acknowledged in subsequent usage. I think we would prefer to be utterly free about allowing the files to be modified for artistic or even commercial purposes. Can we insist that the collaborative scheme between WMF and the institution be acknowledged?
  8. Are there any issues we haven't mentioned?

Thanks in advance. Tony1 (talk) 07:06, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

There's lots of questions there, not all of which are trivial; I'll only touch on a few. I don't know what you mean by "a jurisdiction with the same copyright laws as the US in this respect"--the only such jurisdiction is the US. US copyright law is a beast unto itself. If done in the US, the law demands that the work have been published before 1923, or published before 1964 and various arcane facts be true about it. I.e. published before 1923. Commons, in an attempt to be more world-wide, also concerns itself with the law in the nation of origin; presumably that would mean in this case, that European composers would need to be dead 70 years. (Exact numbers can be found on COM:L, as not all European nations are life+70, and other nations range all over the spectrum.) For American composers, death date would be irrelevant. (This might not be true if you're recording outside the US.) 70 years is from January 1st of whatever year it is; if the file is uploaded in 2011, the author would have to have died before 1941.
License-wise, there's really three options IMO; CC-Zero, CC-BY, CC-BY-SA. CC-Zero would put it into the public domain, CC-BY demands attribution, and CC-BY-SA demands attribution and that derivative works also be licensed under the CC-BY-SA and thus can be copied freely. There are other licenses you could use, you could make your own, but unless your lawyer is getting fussy, it's best to go with one of those. (And if your lawyer is getting fussy, we could get the contact information for someone at the Creative Commons--Lessig, maybe--who could hopefully convince him that a CC license really is a good idea.) It is a requirement that any Commons license permit virtually unlimited derivative works to be made and for commercial use to permitted.
So back at you; what jurisdiction are we talking about exactly? If you feel sensitive about giving out exact location, the nation will be plenty.--Prosfilaes (talk) 08:07, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
[Edit conflict] I assume that this tertiary institution is in the US? This is relevant, because it determines which jurisdiction's laws are relevant. Some general thoughts off the top of my head:
  • Yes, it is important to know when the composer died, because in many jurisdictions copyright in musical works lasts 70 years from the end of the year in which the composer died. (This also answers your third question. It is probably best not to count backwards from the time of uploading but forwards from the end of the year in which the composer died.)
  • A musicologist who has done extensive research into reconstructing an incomplete piece of music that is in the public domain may be entitled to copyright in the reconstructed work, at least in the UK: see Hyperion Records Limited v. Sawkins [2005] EWCA Civ 565, [2005] 1 W.L.R. 3281, Court of Appeal (England and Wales).
  • It sounds like the plan is for the institution to assist in preparing new recordings, which would then be published for the first time in the Commons. If that's not the case, and the intention is to use already-published recordings, then the publishers of the sound recordings must license them to the Commons.
  • Performers are most likely entitled to a performance right (which is distinct from copyright), so they should be requested to transfer this right to the Commons or provide a suitable free licence.
  • I don't see why any release is required from an audio engineer. As far as I am aware, under most copyright regimes, audio engineers are not regarded as authors of copyrightable works.
  • Concerning music by living composers, it depends on whether the composer has transferred his or her copyright to the publisher or merely licensed it. In the first scenario, the Commons has to seek a licence from the publisher since the composer no longer holds the copyright in the music. In the second scenario, it depends on the terms of the licence between the composer and the publisher. If it is an exclusive licence, the composer may not grant a further licence to the Commons, so the publisher would have to be approached. If it is a non-exclusive licence, the composer may licence the use of his or her music to the Commons. And, yes, a clearly worded e-mail would suffice.
— Cheers, JackLee talk 08:11, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Guys, thanks heaps for your replies, which I haven't quite digested yet. The country of origin would be Australia; since the free-trade agreement struck in 2007 with the US, I believe copyright law is very similar (except we have no fair use, which is irrelevant for this purpose anyway). There's certainly a 70-year rule (up from 50). No agreement has yet been signed between the Chapter and the institution, so I won't mention which institution; but we have in-principle agreement. As far as I can tell, this would be the first ever such collaboration. My understanding is, though, that the country of recording is irrelevant, since the students and engineers will sign away their performance rights to participate in the scheme [my later tweaks]. It's more to do with ownership of music scores. Ravel, I've been told, is copyrighted in France until 2016 ... so commons goes with the law in the country of origin, I presume. Tony1 (talk) 15:23, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
As a formality, I need to stress that the prerogative to decide the nature of the scheme lies with the WM Chapter and the institution. I am merely a volunteer functionary, doing some of the groundwork for both institutions.
User:Graham87 informs me that the safe, simple date is 1924 for the first publication of the work (i.e., in the US, pre-1924 is public domain), with at least one conspicuous exception: Maurice Ravel, whose copyright expires in France in 2016. Luckily, most applications by students (via the institution) will be to record 18th- and 19th-century works, which I presume can be waved through; but there will be a persistent issue about 20th-century music.
Thanks for the advice about the contractual relationship between contemporary composers and their publishers. We don't want the hassle of approaching publishers, although I suppose a student could do so if they're really keen.
New recordings only, and with a slant towards "encyclopedic value", as yet not firmly defined.
Taking the audio-engineers out of the copyright equation is great, although the plan is to offer motivational rewards for their excellence as well as that of the performers. I think the students would like to be attributed (and the engineers should be mentioned on description pages always, when known, IMO). Beyond this, my personal preference is that the licence allow the re-use and remixing of the files completely freely. I must say my impression is that many Commons classical-music sound files suffer from suboptimal engineering. This scheme, in part, would aim to set new standards of engineering for the uploading of files of new performances to Commons, as well as promoting the idea of donating quality recordings of what is a huge classical music literature, much of it trodden over many times commercially, but almost untouched in terms of free recordings. In motivational terms, top-notch students and young professionals are the target of WM Australia's idea.
I hope we might be able to pass by an expert here the wording of a boilerplate email releasing performance rights. Tony1 (talk) 16:19, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
There's still a lot of differences between US law and Australian laws in the matters that concern us here. 1924 is not safe, in two ways; in the US, pre-1923 is public domain, not pre-1924; and there's a lot of stuff done by authors who lived past 1940 published before 1924. (I'm not a music expert, but when I went through a book of modern art, there was a lot of stuff done pre-1923 by authors who lived into the 1980s sometimes.) I'll post this now, and pick up on other things later.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:10, 4 December 2010 (UTC)
Wow. Yes, this can raise a number of tough questions, but hopefully there are ways of dealing with them. Commons, in general, requires works to be in the public domain in the country of origin (which is country of first publication usually), and also in the U.S. (since the Foundation is subject to U.S. law). As far as I can see, there are three major rights -- the copyright in the composition, the copyright in the sound recording, and performer's rights. Australia does have fair dealing, somewhat akin to the U.S. fair use, but Commons will not host any material which relies on those concepts -- copyrights must either be expired or freely licensed. Few of the contributors here are actual lawyers though (and I'm not one either), so keep that in mind with all replies here.
  • The copyright of the composer is going to be quite varied, as they will come from different countries. The date of publication and the date of death of the composer can both matter. Most countries will use the date of death plus a fixed amount; for the U.S., the term is essentially based on the date of publication (not for works published since 1978, but those will be irrelevant here). However, for works of non-U.S. composers, most of those copyrights were restored, and those restorations are based on the laws of the country of origin of that composer. This can vary quite a bit, and the restorations are actually based on if the work was still copyrighted in those countries on the "URAA date" (January 1, 1996 for most countries), ignoring changes in copyright law since then. Commons will respect the current law in the country of origin as well. For example, for an Australian composer who died in 1940, the copyright would be OK for Commons, as the work would have expired in Australia on January 1, 1991, and was thus not restored in the U.S., nor was it restored by the extension of the Australian term to 70 years in 2005, I'm pretty sure. For the U.S. side, anything published before 1923 is OK, no matter when the composer died or where they were from. If published in 1923 or later, it very well may still be protected in the United States, and further research would have to be done. If it is a U.S. composer, then the restorations do not apply, but the old U.S. laws on copyright renewals still would, which requires further research. A lot of country-by-country details can be found at en:Wikipedia:Non-U.S. copyrights, although there are probably some omissions as to the status on the URAA date for some countries. This can all be complicated, but given the country of the composer, the date of their death, and the date of publication, it can all generally be worked out. This is the area folks here have the most experience with ;-) French composers have a twist (look at the page linked to above); Ravel's French copyright either expires in 2016 or may have expired already (based on how a court ruling is interpreted), however his U.S. status is clear -- for works published in 1922 or before, they are public domain now, and for works published in 1923 or later, they will remain copyrighted in the U.S. for 95 years after publication (so 2019 is the earliest any of those will expire).
  • The sound recording is going to be an Australian work, and will need to follow the laws there to determine copyright ownership. I think they allow works for hire, i.e. the copyright will be owned by the institution or person owning the recording equipment, unless some other arrangement is made by everyone involved. I see that Australian copyright law does allow a single agent to act as licensor for a group which owns the copyright, if that route is chosen (section 113A). It is probably best to consult your lawyers about who owns the copyright in the recording, and therefore who has authority to license it. I think section 97 is the relevant bit of Australian law. As mentioned by others, it is most preferable if the license could be one of the acceptable Creative Commons variants, but can be a custom license if it needs to be.
  • Performer's rights is a separate question. It appears to be for Australian law, it includes "each person who contributed to the sounds of the performance". I don't know if that includes engineers or not. These rights are separate from the copyright in the recording, and actually are not directly enforceable in the U.S., as I don't think the U.S. has signed the Rome Convention. I believe U.S. performer's rights are limited only to the permission to record in the first place (and whatever contracts can be drawn by giving that permission). However, these rights would be enforceable in many other countries, and I think Wikimedia Commons would require those rights to be licensed too. I'm not sure Creative Commons licenses cover those, but they might. Again, best to have an Australian lawyer deal with that.
  • Moral rights are a separate from the economic right, and usually cannot be transferred or waived. These do not explicitly exist in the U.S., but do in Australia, for both copyright owners and performers. That would include the right to be attributed, and also the right to not be attributed. So yes, we should name all the performers, unless they explicitly want to be left out, regardless of what license is chosen (even if "public domain"). As a technicality, a license such as CC-BY makes lack of attribution a full-blown copyright violation, as opposed to just a moral rights violation (which typically have lesser penalties), as well as specifying some aspects on how the attribution is done.
Hope this all helps; this sounds like a wonderful project, and would be great to have media like this. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:15, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

Electromagnetic clutch

I don't know if this article ( is in violation of copy-right or not. The fact is that the article reads like a text book and only sites 4 references (which only site for the "Construction" heading.). There are lots of problems, though, with this article. It is filled with a lot of jargon that someone (like me) who is unfamiliar with the topic can't understand. It also features poor formating in mathematical formula.

Based on the rules of plagiarism and proper citation that I learned through out my education, I would say this article at least needs more references. But my gut instinct tells me that someone just copied this out of their text book and there are too many people listed on the history of the article to figure out who contributed the majority of the text. It seems that one of the images in the article was deleted at some point, but I'm not very wiki-savvy, so I don't know if that's what it was or not.

I hope someone can clear this up or at least put this article in the category of needing citations and formatting.--Animemonster (talk) 07:38, 4 December 2010 (UTC)

You have accidentally posted this message at the Wikimedia Commons and not the English Wikipedia. You should repost the message at the "Wikipedia:Village pump". — Cheers, JackLee talk 07:54, 4 December 2010 (UTC)