Template talk:Anonymous work

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This template was nominated for deletion and kept, see Commons:Deletion requests/Template:Anonymous work.--Nilfanion 19:04, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

This template was nominated for deletion once again and kept, see Commons:Deletion requests/Template:Anonymous work, take 2.--Andros64 12:59, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

"unknown author" does not mean "anonymous"[edit]

The wording is misleading, IMHO - it implies that an image is PD after 70 years if I don't know the author (maybe after a quick google search or something). But as far as I know, a work can only be considered anonymous if the creator never disclosed his/her authorship of the work - that is, it was published anonymously, and no one has claimed authorship withing the 70 (or 50) years of protection. This makes is very hard to determine if an image is really anonymous work - I can't think of a way, actually. So, when is this tag applicable? Simply saying "I don't know the author, so it's anonymous" is clearly not good enough. Are images like Image:Caproni CA 2.jpg really "anonymous" if the artist isn't explicitely mentioned in the book? Perhaps the book'S author is the artist? Can we be sure? -- Duesentrieb(?!) 10:34, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

For example, it could apply to posters, postcards, and a SS Handbuch from 1936. It could also apply to compliation works with no stated illustrator/photographer, such as encyclopedias, magazines and other periodicals.
I'm not sure what to do about Image:Caproni CA 2.jpg.
Fred Chess 16:24, 26 November 2006 (UTC)
Uhm, why do you think it could apply to posters, postcards, and a SS Handbuch? The fact that no name is printed on such a piece does not imply that it was published anonymously, afaik. -- Duesentrieb(?!) 22:19, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

The Berne Convention leaves acutally no doubt about that: "In the case of anonymous or pseudonymous works, the term of protection granted by this Convention shall expire fifty years [these 50years are superseded by 70 in most countries;author's note] after the work has been lawfully made available to the public. However, when the pseudonym adopted by the author leaves no doubt as to his identity, the term of protection shall be that provided in paragraph (1)." So this only applies to truly anonymous work. So I changed the template from "is unknown" to "is anonymous" -- Gorgo 02:52, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Yes, but the law of some countries is not so clear. If we use 70 years after publication, then we have to look at each law. ;o) For example, UK law says If the author is unknown, copyright will last for 70 years from end of the calendar year in which the work was created [1], and 50 years for sound recordings. It doesn't say that the author was never known to be applicable. Any jurisprudence about that? Yann 22:05, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
The Swedish copyright law also says that after 70 years works "published without mention of the author's or generally known pseudonym or signature" are PD ( §44 ). I have, to my regret, suggested to several Swedish users to use this template for cases that apply to §44 in the Swedish copyright law.
I propose that a different template be created, that deals with these cases. Before I do that, I will wait for a while and request direct feedback whether such a template would be acceptable by a majority of our larger Wikipedia projects, or whether it is just a minefield that we shouldn't venture into.
Fred Chess 00:51, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
since we have that country of origin aproach on commons right now, I guess it's probably better to refer only to some country specific law (like {{PD-China}} for example) and not something generic but without much practical use like this template. -- Gorgo 14:30, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

50 or 70 years?[edit]


Something is wrong here. Either the Berne convention is used and mentioned, and then the template should say 50 years, or another rationale should be found if we want to say that this applies to 70 years after publication. Yann 21:45, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

No comment for last 40 days. I changed the template to 50 years. The Berne Convention says: "(3) In the case of anonymous or pseudonymous works, the term of protection granted by this Convention shall expire fifty years after the work has been lawfully made available to the public." See [2] Yann 17:05, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
but it says the same (50 years) for old images (pd-old). The berne-convention is superseded by country specific laws and this usually means 70 years for pd-old. But please read the comments above, because country specific laws for anonymous works are a mess and way to different to just replace them by a simple template like that. And that's what I meant with "I guess it's probably better to refer only to some country specific law (like {{PD-China}} for example) and not something generic but without much practical use like this template." -- Gorgo 19:13, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
The 50 is only a minimum of protection length, it can be extended by each country that signed the Berne conventiion. At least in Germany it would be 70 years, I guess it won't be different in other EU states. --Matt314 14:15, 12 February 2007 (UTC)
I reverted it back to 70 years, but I still think this template is useless without specifically mentioning the countries to which it applies. -- Gorgo 16:06, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Since this template is called anonymous work and not "berne convention" (see w:Berne_convention) I changed the template to refer to a specific law:

Directive 93/98/EEC harmonizing the term of protection of copyright and certain related rights of the European Union

3. In the case of anonymous or pseudonymous works, the term of protection shall run for seventy years after the work is lawfully made available to the public. However, when the pseudonym adopted by the author leaves no doubt as to his identity, or if the author discloses his identity during the period referred to in the first sentence, the term of protection applicable shall be that laid down in paragraph 1.

please note: this does not apply to the United states [3]

ANONYMOUS AND PSEUDONYMOUS WORKS The bill also amends current law to grant an additional 20 years of protection to anonymous and pseudonymous works. While such works currently have a copyright term that endures for 75 years from the year of first publication, or for 100 years from the year of creation, whichever expires first, the bill extends that protection to 95 and 120 years respectively.

So it's actually 95 years for the United states, I'm not that sure what to do about it. Maybe we should create something like {{anonymous_work_US}} -- Gorgo 03:14, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Yes, that would be useful. I have already done one for the UK called Template:PD-UK-unknown. --MichaelMaggs 17:51, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
is it really 1st January 1937 instead of 70 years? -- Gorgo 18:11, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
1937 is a calculated not a fixed date within the template. Have a look at the code. --MichaelMaggs 18:44, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
Gorgo: One way to do it, for now, is to add to the template in which countries it does not apply to, as per Template:PD-US. As long as we note important country specific laws, we should be OK, and so should anyone intending to use the media. / Fred Chess 18:49, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

70 years is a rule valid in the European Union, so create a template {{Anonymous-EU}} instead of changing this template. Regards, Yann 20:36, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Actually I did it. Yann 20:38, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
but please add countries where this template is valid, right now this leads to the wrong assumption it is valid everywhere. Please also note that the vast majority of images in commons where taken in the EU or the US and this template cannot apply to them, there should be at least a big red warning sign about that. -- Gorgo 22:13, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that this template can only be used for pictures taken outside of the US and Europe, but that still let a big part of the world. Please keep in mind that 80 % of the world population live outside of USA and Europe. Regards, Yann 19:22, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
we already have {{PD-China}}, {{PD-India}}, {{PD-Arab}} and probably more I'm not aware of right now, so this doesn't leave that many important countries where this 50-years-berne-convention-template could possibly apply to. -- Gorgo 20:10, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
I added the mention "Please first check that there is not another template which applies in your case in Commons:Licensing." Yann 21:46, 21 February 2007 (UTC)
what about something similar to {{PD-US}} "Warning sign please note: This template does not apply to images from countries that extended the Berne Convention or that did not sign it. This is for example the European Union, the United States, Canada, China, India, countries of the Arab Law Group and others, please always check which License applies in your case on Commons:Licensing." -- Gorgo 22:01, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

I strongly suggest to revert this to saying 70 years - even if some counties only have 50 (or 25 or 10 or whatever) years of protecttion for anonymous work, we should err on the side of safety and use the longer term in the generic template, just as we do with PD-old, etc. Also not that all translated versions still talk about 70 years - this is inconsistent and confusing. Afaik, the term of 70 years after publication is applicable in the EU, in the US (effectively - the exact rules are complicated), and several other countires that we get a lot of content from.

In the current form, this template is an invitation to upload any anonymous work old than 50 years - which is bad, because a lot of such content is not PD. Also not that the date of publication is generally the crucial point, not the date of creation. -- Duesentrieb 11:18, 1 March 2007 (UTC)

Just for your information, the Japanese copyright law says something like this:

  • (1) 50 years after publication.
    • If the pseudonym is known to be that of specific author, (1) doesn't apply.
    • If the pseudonym is registered in a proper way within 50 years, (1) doesn't apply.
    • If the work is published later with the author's real name or known pseudonym within 50 years, (1) does not apply.

These three exceptions make it very difficult to determine which work is truly anonymous/pseudonymous work. Very troubling.

English version of the Japanese copyright law is available here: [4] (linking to the relevant part of the law).

Tomos 15:25, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

I added a warning now -- Gorgo 17:15, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

English and Japanese texts use 50 years. Other languages use 70 years. This is no good.--Jusjih (talk) 02:10, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Somewhat OT[edit]

But since people taking part in the discussion appear to have a decent understanding of copyright as applicable to anonymous work is anyone interested in taking part in the discussion at Wikipedia:Talk:Hitler Has Only Got One Ball. The discussion is largely dead but it's been a lengthy one on whether the lyrics are likely to be copyrighted. Having read what people have said here, I'm guessing in fact in the US and Europe and a few other places, they probably technically would be since it's unlikely to have be 70 years. In countries with the 50 years however they wouldn't be. Nil Einne 22:34, 1 March 2007 (UTC)