Commons talk:When to use the PD-scan tag

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Info non-talk.svg This page is for discussing improvements to Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag. For discussions of specific copyright questions, please go to Commons:Village pump/Copyright. Discussions that do not relate to changes to the page Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag may be moved, with participants notified with the template {{subst:moved to VPC|Commons talk:When to use the PD-scan tag}}.


See also Commons:Village pump/Archive/2007Sep#Google Pdf Scan, Commons:Village pump/Archive/2008Jan#Google Book Search, Commons:Village pump/Archive/2008Apr#Images ripped from Google Books, Commons:Village pump/Archive/2009Nov#Google copyright.3F

Question[edit]

If the image was digitally altered than it's not merely a scan anymore, right? It's the same as if we download an image and alter it. No scanning there. So would this apply to those too? And why does it say if someone else scans it. Why does it matter who does it? Rocket000 13:43, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

This covers scans/photocopies which are then (digitally) altered. Other originating sources such a photographs are legally different from the copyright point of view (in some countries virtually any photo of a PD original is entitled to copyright, but nowhere is a raw scan so protected). The article isn't concerned with scans you make and enhance yourself, since those can always be suitably licensed. It's dealing with the problem of images, eg from the internet, where we may suspect but do not know for sure that the file as uploaded is legally PD. I've tweaked the 1st sentence so that the actual file being uploaded, which may have been enhanced, is now referred to as an image not as a 'scan'.--MichaelMaggs 14:22, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Ah, ok. Got it. Thanks. Rocket000 12:35, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

UK Law[edit]

...if a scanned image were then to be digitally enhanced or manipulated, this may well qualify the digitesed image for separate copyright protection.
(Simon Stokes, "Copyright, art and digitisation" in Karsten Schubert & Daniel McClean (eds) Dear Images: Art, Copyright and Culture, London : Ridinghouse, 2002, at p. 130.)

Please note that he knows Reject Shop v Manners [1995] F.S.R. 870. In fact he cites it in the very previous sentence. Moreover, it is true that in the decisions Leggat LJ held that there was no autonomous copyright in the copy, but he highlight the fact that the editing was just a 10% enlargement. He doesn't exclude that more skill and labour may confer originality, and thus copyright. You might also be interested in the case comment: Mark Elmslie, "Copyright: criminal prosecution - subsistence of copyright in enlarged photocopies" E.I.P.R. 1996, 18(5), D144-145. The grey area in UK law is larger than it seems from this guideline, and the Darwin Online images might be protected by copyright. Obviously I cannot be sure that they are, and I hope that they are not. But it is dangerous to assume that they are not, even if the contrary would be quite absurd. That case is of the High Court, not of the Court of Appeal: I have corrected it. --Jaqen 11:25, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

I don't disagree with much of that, and indeed it is possible if we had full knowledge of the evidence that at least some of the Darwin images may turn out to be copyright-protected in the UK. However, the legal basis on which copyright has been asserted so far (by analogy with architectural copyright) does not hold water. Ultimately only a court could decide. The purpose of the tag is to state that, so far as we can tell, the website owner has not put forward any argument on which he could expect to succeed. If more evidence of the amount of skill and labour required by the operatives who did the digitizing were to come to light it is possible that we may have to alter our view. But at the moment - on the evidence before us - these images are so similar to the originals that it is reasonable to expect that no new copyright will arise. --MichaelMaggs 20:14, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Leaving the Darwin Online case aside, you will agree with me that the guidelines should make it clear that it may be that not all scans of PD images are PD themselves, and that there is a grey area in UK law. It should make clear that the threshold of originality is low: it does not require creativity, just a minimal amount of skill and labour. --Jaqen 21:13, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Request new tag for case not covered yet[edit]

I uploaded this set of scans made by me. The source is PD not due age, but by {{PD-USGov}}. I looked at {{PD-USGov-Military-Navy}}, but the work is a text, the image is by me. None of the {{PD-old}} apply, neither does {{PD-scan}}. I'd have created my own variant of the tag, but the trickery of licensing isn't exactly my forte. Could someone please make a suitable tag, e. g. {{PD-USGov-own-scan}}? While we're at it, how about a generic template, like {{PD-own-scan-and-source-license-info|sourcelicense=some_license}}? I can write the template no problem, but I need the legalese vetted. Regards, Paradoctor (talk) 19:19, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

The correct tag is {{PD-USGov-Military-Navy}}. You don't establish any copyright for yourself by scanning a free document. Sv1xv (talk) 19:41, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I know. But {{PD-USGov-Military-Navy}} says "This image is a work" (my emphasis), which doesn't apply here. We need either a new tag, or {{PD-USGov-Military-Navy}} has to be changed to talk about works in general. Paradoctor (talk) 20:05, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
OK, modifying the text in the tag is reasonable, because it also applies to videos, sound recordings etc. Sv1xv (talk) 20:21, 27 November 2009 (UTC)
Updated the set's license. Thanks in advance, Paradoctor (talk) 20:32, 27 November 2009 (UTC)

Database protection[edit]

In my opinion, this is also a matter of database protection (for works with PD-scan tag such as books). We can't copy a substancial part of a database even if its content is under public domain. But if the database doesn't contain a minimum level of creativity, it's not protectable under the Copyright Act in U.S. (see Feist v. Rural). Giro720 (talk) 01:04, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Database rights do not exist in the United States, which is the jurisdiction of the Wikimedia servers. Unless the community decides that they want to enact a database rights policy, such rights do not affect the guidelines here (which are concerned with copyrights). As stated at Commons:Non-copyright restrictions: "non-copyright related restrictions are not considered relevant to the freeness requirements of Commons or by Wikimedia, and the licensing policies are accordingly limited to regulating copyright related obligations." Kaldari (talk) 23:02, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Proposed change about primary license[edit]

I would like to propose adding extra bullet to Commons:When_to_use_the_PD-scan_tag#What_does_the_.7B.7BPD-scan.7D.7D_tag_mean.3F section:

* The scanned original is in public domain or distributed under open license. Each image using PD-Scan needs primary license and source data to support it.

As discussed at Commons:Village_pump#{{PD-scan}} PD-scan is a secondary license asserting that process of scanning does not add any new licenses to PD files. However majority of files using {{PD-scan}} do not provide primary license, see Category:PD-scan without primary license --Jarekt (talk) 14:17, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

The {{PD-scan}} license specifically states that the scan is of "a public domain original". Thus the primary license is Public Domain, just like for PD-Art. How about:
* The scanned original is in the public domain. Each image using PD-Scan needs source data to support this.
I don't like the idea of requiring a separate license tag for these images, as it will confuse uploaders and lead to more deletion wars. I'm fine with encouraging it, but I don't think it should be required. If a second license tag isn't included, we should assume that the original is PD-Old. If we want a template that is only for dispelling bogus copyrights on scans, regardless of the license of the original, that should be a different tag, not {{PD-scan}}. PD-scan is only for scans of public domain originals, and thus shouldn't need an extra license tag, IMO. Kaldari (talk) 02:41, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm partly agree with Kaldari: I think that a second license tag is not required, but only if we stated in this copyright tag that original is in the public domain due to its age (70 years pma). Otherwise, a second tag is necessary (in this case, embedded on {{PD-scan}} is the best way, IMHO). We need to explain the reason for public domain, we cannot assume it.--Trixt (talk) 08:23, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
{{PD-Art}} currently embeds {{PD-Old}}, perhaps we should do the same with PD-scan. Kaldari (talk) 01:43, 25 July 2011 (UTC)lication
I do not think we need separate license only parameter in PD-scan to tell us why it is PD: {{PD-scan|PD-.....}}. I would like to use the same approach as {{PD-Art}} which assumes that if no license is given that it was PD-old. However I am not sure what to do with current 70k files without primary license. We do not know under what rationale they were assumed to be PD. We could change all current {{PD-scan}} to {{PD-scan|PD-scan/NoPrimaryLicense}} and than add PD-old or PD-old-100 as default.
Also I do not like "Each image using PD-Scan needs source data to support this." proposed by Kaldari, since requirements of different PD licenses are so different. In case of PD-old you are looking for year of author's death, in case of PD-US you are looking for year and place of publication, for PD-USGov you need place of authors employment info, etc. Also we have large number of nation specific PD licenses - we need to know which one is used. At the same time I am trying to step lightly since last thing I want to cause is some sort of deletion war. --Jarekt (talk) 03:58, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, it's a tricky problem to fix. Personally, I think it should just default to PD-Old, since that's what I've always assumed was meant by the tag, but this may lead to a few incorrect licenses. I doubt any other solution would be practical, as I can't imagine getting 70K files reviewed in a timely manner. Kaldari (talk) 04:43, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
It might not be so tricky. It seems like 77k out of 82k in Category:PD-scan without primary license come from Category:Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views and all those files should be {{PD-1923}} so I will change those licenses. Than I can do a DB query to find files with some sort of PD-old licenses and merge those. Finally I will add {{PD-scan|PD-scan/NoPrimaryLicense}} to the rest and than change {{PD-scan}} to it looks like current {{PD-scan|PD-old}}. Does that seem like reasonable plan? --Jarekt (talk) 18:37, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Question about PD-Art vs PD-Scan when source not given[edit]

I've been working on cleaning up some files that are images of 18th and 19th century portraits (or even earlier). Many of them use the Information and PD-Old templates, which I've been changing to Artwork and PD-Art templates. I just found this page because I was searching for information about how to handle an image that was uploaded without a source back in 2006. I changed it to use Artwork and PD-Art and now it says "This file is lacking source information." The original image could be a scan or something from the web. I'm concerned that this could now be flagged for deletion somehow because it "lacks" a "source."

So how do I handle this? I was really looking for a template I could put in the source field that says basically that the image is either a scan or an image collected from the web of a PD-Art object, so the actual source, though unknown, is not relevant: the metadata is all about the underlying object (the painting), after all.

Similarly, I frequently come across PD-Art-qualifying images that is licensed as some variation of "own work." Should these be changed to PD-Art? (I realize this is probably the wrong page to ask that.)

I'm trying to get a grip on when to use or add PD-Art and/or PD-scan to files that other people have uploaded and not sourced or licensed correctly, or at all. So what exactly is the intended usage difference between PD-Art and PD-scan? Does it really matter to Commons that a file originated in a scanner or a camera?

Edited to add: In the PD-Art template page, the following text is bolded: "This template is only for use when the initial reproduction was by means of a photograph, rather than a scan or a photocopy." But on the "When to use the PD-Art tag" page, the following examples are provided:

  • "Photograph of an Old Master scanned in from a recently published book
    • "OK. The WMF takes the view that as long as the reproduction is a faithful reproduction of the original it falls into the public domain.
  • "Copy of an old public domain photograph that you have scanned in from a recently published book
    • "Use PD-oldrather than PD-Art provided you are satisfied that the book publishers have not significantly modified the photograph for publication, e.g. by adding artificial colour. If the old photograph was, e.g., a portrait, PD-Art does not apply as there was no underlying work of art. If the photograph was of an earlier work of art such as an old painting, PD-Art could be used but is not needed as it no longer matters whether the photograph at the time attracted copyright or not."

I find that last paragraph completely confusing. Perhaps my questions really do belong over on the PD-Art talk page but I already put it all here.

Thank you for any guidance you can provide. Laura1822 (talk) 19:04, 27 August 2011 (UTC)