Template talk:Flickr-no known copyright restrictions

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This template was nominated for deletion on December 27, 2008 but was kept.
The deletion debate is here. Please consider that decision before you re-nominate it.


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{{PD}} all over again[edit]

This template is bad. It doesn't state why an image is public domain (just like {{PD}}). This template should be converted into a notice and real license templates should be added. Multichill (talk) 16:54, 12 December 2009 (UTC)

This is absurd. There was a deletion debate, but now Multichill unilaterally decides that this template won't do. Which is putting loads of files in the no-license category, triggering bots threatening deletion to lots and lots of users. I find this dispruptive. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 12:18, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I was wondering why bots were suddenly tagging apparently innocent images. I must say it's troubling to see such a decision being made unilaterally, especially after a DR was closed as inconclusive. Even if we decide to deprecate this template, there's surely a smoother way of transitioning (it seems unlikely that those images will find a proper license tag within a week). –Tryphon 12:32, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I now reverted the change. Category:Media without a license as of 14 December 2009 contains now more than 300 files, loads of innocent users have received threatening and incomprehensible bot massages. this had to stop. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 12:42, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
With over 50 of mine being tagged today, this is extremely disruptive. The bot needs shut down, hit that emergency switch. — raeky (talk | edits) 13:20, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
※※※※ I AGREE. So many of my old LEGITIMATE uploads have been tagged for speedy delete, which is EXTREMELY annoying. Fix the box. Now. Please. Nesnad (talk) 15:43, 22 December 2009 (UTC)

These images are in the PD, which specific PD template they would fit under though would be problematic and time consuming to find out for every image we have under it. It's probably beyond the capabilities of the general uploader to know how to properly tag an image from Flickr Commons if we did require them to also seek out which specific PD tag is needed. The media owner (in this case it's almost universally a museum) has already determined it is no longer in copyright and tagged it as such by putting it in flickr commons. To tag every image we have as "to be deleted in 8 days" or whatever that template says is stupid. *sigh* — raeky (talk | edits) 13:27, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Just because template was not keept does not mean that it is a valid license. I think this template is more of an information than it is a license. The template has since 13 September 2009 said "This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required." If I grap an image from a book or from internet and say "I know no copyright restrictions for this image" then we would of course not keep this image. I had to find author or "proof" that this image was PD old or whatever. --MGA73 (talk) 14:32, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
In these cases, reputable and conservative institutions with professional expertise are declaring that they do not know of any copyright restrictions. It is rather silly that the amateurs on commons would not be satisfied with such a declaration without good reason. I propose to remove those additional sentences that it does not indicate the copyright status. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 14:38, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Sure reputable and conservative institutions are more trustworthy than unknown individuals. But the reason why it is stated as PD is still relevant. Somthing might be PD-old after 70 years somewhere and therefore have "no known copyright restrictions" but in other places it may be 100 years and therefore not be PD. And if the image looks "brand new" it can't be PD-old. Then it might be because it is taken from some governmental institution somewhere. I see no reason why we can't add a relevant license. --MGA73 (talk) 15:04, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
It makes sense to add more precise information, and then make this template a simple source tag. What doesn't make any sense is turning a copyright tag into a source tag without any warning, and letting all these images get marked for speedy deletion. We need to devise a procedure to make the transition as painless as possible. –Tryphon 15:18, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
There was a long debate when it was first introduced. Reasons #1 and #2 are in fact duplicates of other license templates, but #3 and #4 are separate conditions which justify their own template (i.e. this one). Like I said at the time, I think it would be best to add parameters to this template if we can determine which of the four conditions is the one being used, so that only that one shows up, but we need *some* template for semi-automated Flickr Commons uploads so that bots can use one. Even doing that though is not completely clean; we could have situations where copyright has expired in one country (meaning reason #1 would apply) but not another (meaning, say, reason #4 would apply). This tag at least represents the licensing statement for all Flickr Commons contributions. We do know that one of the four conditions apply and such images are acceptable on Commons; there should be no solution here which results in actual deletions (which appeared to be the case with the recent change -- that is terrible) but rather should focus on providing more precise information. Obviously, if there are indications that the claim from the source institution is incorrect, or perhaps not valid in the country of origin, that would be different. But this is still valid as a license tag. I would prefer something more precise (or at least the ability via parameters) but this is a somewhat odd situation. This template should not be used for any images which do not come from Flickr Commons, so I don't see any parallel with {{PD}} or its bad effects whatsoever. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:40, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Turning this template into a non-license template is bad for two reasons. Number one, it is extremely irresponsible to do without also organizing some effort to re-tag the affected photos. We are now in danger of having hundreds of rare public domain images speedy deleted from Commons. Number 2, the only license tag it makes since to add to these images (other than ones that are obviously ancient) is {{PD-because}} which would simply restate exactly what this tag already says. We have the exact same situation with hundreds of Library of Congress images. We tag them PD-because and explain that there are "no known copyright restrictions" according to the LOC. What's the difference between that and what this tag does? Kaldari (talk) 16:31, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
So one guy puts "This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required" in this template and suddenly this isn't a license template anymore? Disruptive indeed. While I certainly believe the various institutions involved may need an individual template eventually, this template, that states 4 different valid reasons for the "no copyright restrictions" phrase will do just fine for now. In the case of Het Nationaal Archief I happen to know that they even changed their copyright notice on request of Wikipedia the Commons to reflect their release into the public domain even more: "either because the Nationaal Archief owns the copyright of the photographs and authorizes others to use the work without restrictions, or because the copyright has expired." This is perfect material to bake a new template. Tekstman (talk) 17:16, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
More than that -- it was moved from the License tags category to Source tags. That in turn means automated bots no longer think there is a license tag on the image, and will tag it for speedy deletion. So the ultimate effect is to delete current and block future uploads from Flickr Commons which used the same mechanism as other Flickr uploads. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:58, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
If the guy is right then it is not disruptive. The template is a "cover my ass-template" that they use on Flickr. But I think it is a good idea to give users some extra time to find the right license. That can perhaps best be done by changing the no license/source-template on the images that is allready on Commons with an special one with a longer time period. --MGA73 (talk) 18:01, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
It is disruptive because it has been used as a licensing tag, and people have been operating under those assumptions. 99.99% (and probably higher) of the images on Flickr Commons are perfectly fine for Wikimedia Commons, so I don't think it is rational to mass-delete all of them just because one of the four explicit conditions is not identified. I don't think it is a cover-my-ass license at all -- they are claiming either they are the rightsholder to material they own, or the material is PD. If they are not the rightsholder, they could well be opening themselves up to lawsuits.
If there is a change, then all uploaded files should be exempt from deletion until they go through some other process; i.e. there needs to be an effort keep them, not one person deciding the template isn't good enough so delete them all, which is what happened. If you want to make the template parameterized with a better license tag, and have non-parameterized uses of the template be put in a category so others can go through them and pick one of the four reasons specifically, then fine. Mass deletions should not be a consideration, and unless you feel that Flickr Commons is a less trustworthy source of free images than normal Flickr CC-BY/CC-BY-SA images are, then we also need to figure a way for the semi-automatic Flickr upload tools to work for these images too, before making any change. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:12, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
I think the bot does not care about what the category is - just look at the dates. The template was changed in september but it seems that noone reads what the template says? If someone uploaded a file after september they should have known that they should also add PD-old, PD-author or whatever. I believe to remember that a few of the Flickr users used this "license" and had a note saying that you are allowed to use 1 copy for educational purpose and them we can hardly call it PD.
I think this should be stopped/fixed before it gets to used. If 30,000 images end up in this category I doubt anyone will start checking them. As it works now every file from Flickr is reviewed by the bot no matter if the Flickr user is trustworthy or not. So I think it is a good idea to inform user right after upload if somthing is missing.
Last thing. Just because a file is marked with some sort of deletion template does not mean that admins should delete them. They have to evaluete every single image and check if tag is correct and if uploader was informed and/or whatever is reasonable for that particular file. So it would only be a mass deletion if admins let it. But as I said somewhere else I have no problem with giving excisting files a longer period. --MGA73 (talk) 19:07, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
The bot looks at categories... this was for a very long time in {{License tags}} and then got unilaterally moved out of that, which made the bot think it wasn't a license tag, and it started mass tagging the images for deletion. This was quickly reverted but still several hundred images was tagged for deletion (and still are) as the result of this unilateral change in category for this template. — raeky (talk | edits) 07:33, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, good thing admins always carefully evaluate the copyright status of images before acting on speedy deletion tags :P Kaldari (talk) 20:28, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Speedies may be supposed to be checked, but once you get a mass of images in there, admins are just as likely to check as they would the maintenance category we were talking about -- result, mass deletion of files which are virtually certain to be free. That is the part which is puzzling to me -- these file should have had their copyright status checked by professionals, including research into renewals if need be I would think, but we are deciding not to trust them because they do not specify which of the four conditions applies to each image. If one of the institutions told someone that images uploaded to Flickr Commons were restricted to "one educational use copy" -- they would seem to be sorely misinformed about what "no known copyright restrictions" means, and maybe we should add them to the Flickr blacklist. I'd like to see a pointer to that. The conditions for participating seem pretty explicit to me -- the criteria says the uploaders have reasonably concluded that a photograph is free of copyright restrictions. They do note the complexity of the law, and make sure there is a disclaimer (just like us) -- but I haven't seen a good reason to presume their research isn't up to snuff. I have seen photographs from events held at the institutions uploaded -- presumably those would be reasons #3 or #4. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:07, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Bots could look at both categories and templates but if you want to know how it works ask the operator :-) Carl Lindberg can you tell me where someone says "We can't use the work of professionals"? If the professionals say "This image is PD-Old" then just add PD-Old etc. - why make that a problem? It is only a problem if they can't tell us why they think the image is free. --MGA73 (talk) 17:24, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Institutions are already putting for a lot of effort to digitize and upload these works, and they claim that they fall into one of four specific categories. Two of which overlap with existing tags, and two which need their own tag anyways. I don't think we can expect them to clarify on every individual image -- these are not individuals, and presumably Flickr has this catchall tag to reduce that particular administrative overhead to begin with. You are saying that if these institutions do not bother to specify which one of the four reasons they meant for every image, then Commons can't host it -- even that we are virtually certain one of the four (which all individually qualify) applies. Only these large institutions can use that tag to begin with -- so yes, it would appear that it is the word of professionals for every image under this tag on Flickr that one of the reasons apply, and you appear to be saying we can't trust them to keep them here unless they or others do further research and pick another tag. Obviously, more information is better, but I would rather see the community improve the information rather than trying to force it via the deletion process. Or do you have another solution in mind which would allow the Flickr bots to work just as easily on these image as they do with regular Flickr ones? Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:07, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Straw poll to restore this as a licensing template[edit]

Please indicate below whether you support or oppose this tag being used as a licensing tag.

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support - For all the reasons I mentioned in the thread above. Kaldari (talk) 16:33, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support - users can add a choice of one or several PD-tags if they wish. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 16:34, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support - I would prefer a parameter to specify which of the four conditions is being claimed, and perhaps transcluding other license templates like {{PD-Art}} can, but failing that keep as-is. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:41, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose for the same reasons I have brought up in the deletion debate. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 17:04, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support - While working towards individual templates for the various institutions eventually, as explained above. Tekstman (talk) 17:16, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose - we need to find out why it is claimed to be free. --MGA73 (talk) 17:54, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose - I'd like this license to be ok, and I have myself some uploads tagged, but we can't ask it to be accepted just because it's convenient. Carl Lindberg's argument on the above discussion about how the change is "unfair" tells more about our personal feeling than about the Foundation ultimate goal. we can't pretend it's ok just because it would be a pain in the ass to acknowledge it isn't. --Damiens.rf 19:13, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose - I didn't read anything anyone wrote on this page but voting is a cool thing! That means: Who had the idea to try to decide this question by starting a poll amongst some random users who happen to watch this discussion page? Of course nobody who has just more than random knowledge of how we deal with image icensing on Commons would ever assume that somebody who just doesn't know if an image is copyrighted would ever be able to release into the public domain. --Noddy93 (talk) 20:13, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose if this would be a license tag it would go against all Commons policies. Oh, and straw polls suck, Multichill (talk) 01:08, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support We need a general license tag for simi-automated uploads from Flickr Commons. The template should be worded that better license tags should be used if available. We have to assume that these institutions have vetted these images and are accurate in their claim that there is no known copyright restrictions on them. Sure errors occur, but the majority will be correct. If not this template then another needs made to suit this purpose and every existing image using this template will need migrated to the new one, so for simplistic sake adapting this one to meet the need would be ideal. I _strongly_ oppose marking many hundreds (likely thousands) of images already uploaded from Flickr Commons for speedy deletion. — raeky (talk | edits) 07:46, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support. If it's not specific enough, make it more specific and allow some time to re-tag images. Some files can easily be tagged with {{PD-old}} or some {{PD-USGov}} license instead of this template; but some are just PD because a respected institution says so (most likely the reason is that they became the copyright holder somehow, but they don't say so explicitly) and we need a generic way of tagging those. –Tryphon 09:04, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
We do not have to remove the template. --MGA73 (talk) 17:19, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose per «by asserting "no known copyright restrictions", participating institutions are sharing the benefit of their research without providing an expressed or implied warranty to others who would like to use or reproduce the photograph. If you make use of a photo from The Commons, you are reminded to conduct an independent analysis of applicable law before proceeding with a particular new use». By the way, I think that a task force should be start to re-tagging uploaded images; we should give it some time to do that.--Trixt (talk) 10:23, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
    Have you ever noticed the Commons:General disclaimer? Are you swallowing the uploads from User:Pikiwikisrael? /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 10:48, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
    Thats just a general legal disclaimer, anyone would have to do the same research to use an image found here as well... Why would Wikimedia be any more trustworthy to get it right then say the Smithsonian. — raeky (talk | edits) 14:04, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
    Agreed, no one who uploads or supplies images to Commons provides a warranty on the copyright status. Why should we start requiring one in this case? Kaldari (talk) 15:35, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
    Of course I not delete all CC-BY-SA-2.0 images from Flickr.com because there is no warranty. But if a transfer a Flickr image here on Commons I know that that image is under that license because the copyright holder has release it under that license, and an human review has been done to avoid copyright violations. So, an human review is needed also for The Flickr's The Commons and so, why we should not use a specific template for the reason that file is not copyrighted?--Trixt (talk) 20:39, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
    As one of the reviewers for flickr, what exactly do you want us to review? That it is indeed placed on flickr under the "no known copyright restrictions" or do you expect us to research a media file better than the library/museum who made that determination that there was no copyright restrictions? I'm not sure what your expectation here is. An image a general user uploads to flickr and puts a compatible free license on is a billion times more likely to be copyrighted and not the uploaders image then an image from one of these Flickr Commons partners. I'm a 1000x more likely to trust a museum to not be purposefully (or willfully ignorantly) committing copyright fraud, where a general flickr user you have to just assume they are the owner of that image and not just reuploading it to flickr. — raeky (talk | edits) 05:56, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
    We do not perform human reviews of CC-BY[-SA] Flickr images; we allow them to be uploaded without further intervention. All such images are checked by a bot to make sure that the stated license is in fact on the Flickr image; it is only if the Flickr page has a different license (or some other technical problem occurred) then we go through a human review (usually resulting in deletion). If the license here matches up with the Flickr page, nobody systematically checks to see if the Flickr image itself was a copyright violation to begin with -- that requires somebody noticing an image which seems bogus, investigates themselves, then submits a deletion request. I don't think the situation should be any different for these images, which are far, far less likely to be a copyright violation than usual Flickr ones. Obviously the bots should make very sure that this tag is also on the Flickr page, and it would be very good to also require a Flickr URL on the description page so it can be checked, since this tag is not valid for images from any other source. There is a Flickr user blacklist for known serial copyright violators; presumably we could add one of the Flickr Commons contributors if we determine that they upload a lot of images not acceptable to Commons (only reason I could think is images PD in the institution's country, but not in the country of origin). Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:09, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
    With "human review" I intend that if you see a Britney Spears album cover under CC-BY-SA you do not upload here. A Flickr.com --> Commons automatized upload of all images under CC-BY-SA only because they have a license OK for Commons is unacceptable; human review is needed. If {{Flickr-no known copyright restrictions}} is a copyright tag, an automatized upload (maybe via bot) will be accepted. Instead, I think that is an unacceptable pratice, because human review is needed; so, specific tags should be used.--Trixt (talk) 20:44, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
    We had bot uploads from the NPG in London - which led to them threatening legal action. We have automatic upload from Pikiwikisrael - uploads by people almost unaware of copyright. And you want to forbid bot upload from Flickr Commons? /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 20:50, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
    AFAIK files uploaded via User:Pikiwikisrael are all images under {{PD-Israel}} tag (I hope that this his only a tool, a ease, like User:Flickr upload bot, and somewhere there is an human review). If Flickr Commons is "an archive with only images in the PD due to 70 years pma", this would be another history. NPG images: a mistake is not a good reason for another one...--Trixt (talk) 22:29, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
    Of course -- that is "human review" of Flickr images, but the automated stuff wouldn't catch it. Those have a valid license tag too, it's just that its placement there is bogus -- it requires an ad-hoc human review to catch it. This particular Flickr license tag is available only to the institutional accounts which are part of Flickr Commons -- they are not available to the general public. Our bots will or can catch any image using this tag which does *not* exist on Flickr, and those should be deleted. Which means that the only images needing human review are ones actually uploaded by the institutions themselves, having gone through a review by that institution. You will never see a Britney Spears cover image with this license on Flickr Commons -- it quite simply cannot be abused like other tags can be. And yet we allow automated uploads of those images, but Oppose votes here are trying to say these are even less trustworthy and we shouldn't allow similar automated uploads for these, which makes absolutely no sense to me. They are claimed to be either PD, or the rights are owned by the institution but they are being released (or perhaps both, with one being true in one country, and another being true in a different country). Of course they are subject to the same human review as all images on Commons are -- some may be derivative works or something like that, and may need to be deleted despite the tag. But those are an extreme minority, and it's silly to block all of them (or put in more impediments than normal Flickr images) just for fear of that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:42, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support per Tryphon. The uploading institutions have expertise in this. If someone can find a better license tag, great, but if we can't, this should be sufficient. --GRuban (talk) 14:56, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Questions[edit]

  • Pictogram voting question.svg Question I'm sorry, a question before to vote. Example: an image is under "PD-Italy" on it.wiki, and (actually) is not uploadable here with {{PD-Italy}}. But if the same image is on Flickr Commons, can be uploaded here under {{Flickr-no known copyright restrictions}} (not de-licensed, of course)? Thank you--Trixt (talk) 22:04, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Why is it not uploadable here? If it's PD-Italy on it.wiki, you should be able to upload it under either {{PD-old}}, {{PD-Italy-audio}}, or {{Anonymous-EU}} depending on the circumstances. Is there another case that isn't covered by one of those? Kaldari (talk) 22:13, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
Yes, Italy has a 20-year term for "simple" photographs or something like that. We had discussions long ago, but decided not to try to decide what "simple" meant (I think for most it means "simple snapshots") and so we disallowed that template. Oddball case though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:09, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I think in that case it's different. If the Italian government itself is going to go to bat that the image is PD that's different than just us saying so, suddenly there's a definitive source saying the work is public domain. People aren't going to be looking accusingly at Commons, they're going to be looking at Italy. And in that case we can always monitor whether the copyright authorities there say the status is. If the official copyright authorities say there is no copyright, why would we, lovers of free works, disagree and say the work does have restrictions? -Nard the Bard 23:57, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

If we're not supposed to use this as a license tag, what tag are we supposed to use?[edit]

All of the editors who have argued for de-licensing this tag argue that more specific tags should be used for the licensing. In particular, many have suggested {{PD-old}} and {{PD-author}}. Unfortunately, for most of these images, neither of those tags are appropriate. Most of the images tagged with this template are images which have been uploaded by archives after they have acquired the images from a third party. The provenance of the images is often complex, and sometimes difficult or impossible to trace completely. The copyright status is often not 100% certain and never will be. Nevertheless, Commons has an established history of hosting images with this type of licensing scenario (including numerous images from the Library of Congress). Before the existence of this tag, many of these images were inaccurately tagged with either {{PD-old}} or {{PD-author}}. Should we go back to the dark ages of using those tags incorrectly? If not, what template should be used? Or are people happy with just having them all deleted in a flurry of copyright paranoia? Kaldari (talk) 20:21, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Either we trust the Flickr user or not. If we trust the Flickr user what is the harm in using a PD-whatever? If we do not trust the uploader then we should delete. If we can't find the basis for the PD then we are in a grey zone. Where should we stop then? --MGA73 (talk) 21:07, 14 December 2009 (UTC)
So a Flickr user who -- by the Flickr Commons rules -- needed to do a copyright review and research prior to uploading is less trustworthy than a normal Flickr user? Can't we block one of the institutional contributors via the Flickr blacklist, if it turns out they have a number of uploads which misinterprets copyright law (or are using U.S. law when Commons would apply another country's), just as easily as any other Flickr user? Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:06, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
What is the problem? Who ever uses "No known copyright restrictions" on Flickr should have a good reason. If we trust the user we just have to find out which reason and then we simply add the matching template on Commons. End of story! If we do not trust the user then we should not use this template as a bad excuse to keep the image(s). --MGA73 (talk) 17:17, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
And what if you cannot find such a template (see this image for instance; which tag would you use)? Should we simply delete the file just because we cannot retrace why it is PD (although a fully trusted institution tells us that, according to their own research, the image is PD)? Why should Commons trust its user's judgment more than the opinion of those institutions. Again, we assume good faith from flickr users when they claim an image is their own work (and we have a list of "bad" users), why doesn't the same apply to flickr Commons? –Tryphon 17:31, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Based on a 1 minute review I would say 1) create a special template to images from this source or 2) {{PD-because|the image comes from xxx that has verified that the image is either {{PD-old}} or auther gave permission.}}. Of course it would be a good idea to check this further - we have a PD-review team that might be able to assist :-) --MGA73 (talk) 18:00, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Both of your solutions basically amount to recreating this template. If that's the best solution, why not just use this template? Kaldari (talk) 18:06, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Exactly. 1) You can't expect user lambda to create a new template for each source on flickr Commons. 2) With this suggestion, we could basically delete all PD templates and let users fill in {{PD-because}} to their liking; I can't begin to imagine the mess it would create. –Tryphon 18:48, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
If someone uses PD-because then it is very clear that there is some special reasons for this claim. It has to be added by humans and with a good reason and ONLY if no other license is possible. If we use {{Flickr-no known copyright restrictions}} then it will go on Commons on auto pilot. That is of course bad. We can't be sure that only trusted users on Flickr will use Flickr-no known copyright restrictions. --MGA73 (talk) 19:04, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
To the best of my knowledge, only Flickr Commons contributors (institutions) can use that tag -- it is not generally available for just anyone. That is why it is presumably more trustworthy than most. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:46, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Well that would reduce the problem a lot. But as I said before we should try to find "a normal" license and only use special "homemade" licenses where no other option is possible.
Now to somthing similar File:Bendigo talking tram.jpg used {{PD}} and is now tagged with a {{nsd}} and we had a debate of suddenly start tagging "old" images with a speedy-tag here Commons:Undeletion_requests#Speedy.27ed_files_with_.7Bmilitary_Insignia.7D. It seems that was not as debated as this template is. Have you not noticed or do you think there is a difference? Anyway the templates involved there have a date and images after that date is handled after the normal set of rules and images before that date have a longer time period to fix problems. We could do the same here. But we should avoid to keep "unlicensed" images longer than needed. --MGA73 (talk) 22:16, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Yep, that is a problem -- the "correct" way to place your own work in those days was to to upload it and mark it with {{PD}}. So, now our requirements have changed. What to do? Same thing happened with Military insignia; people used that tag rather than {{own}} (and sometimes used it by copying images from the net). That is tangled, but the recent "solution" was to speedy-delete them all rather than trying to see if any other evidence existed. Same person who speedied those nominated this other image for deletion too. The user later was careful to specify which ones he took, and marked those with {{PD}} as well, but didn't explicitly say for that one. Probably PD-self, but not completely sure. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:54, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
We can only learn and try to do better this time. It seems everyone agrees that the "no known" is not a speedy. Now we only have to find out what to do with these images (also discussed below). Maybe we should make some detailed alternatives (like 1) Yes it is a license 2) It is only a valid license if no other licenses is possible 3) No it is never a license ... etc.) so it is easyer for others to put a vote on the one they likes the most. --MGA73 (talk) 14:04, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I think the LoC comparison is disingenuous. The old U.S. copyright system is tortuously complex, and complexities are still being added to it (like the URAA). Us not hosting foreign source works that are PD in the US is *our choice*. The images the LoC tags as not having restrictions are in fact public domain, in the United States. Works from most other countries would not have this problem. -Nard the Bard 00:01, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Fix what is already tagged for deletion BEFORE it's deleted[edit]

The bot needs to remove all those tagged images before they get deleted. Regardless of the discussion, this is a pretty immediately pressing issue right now that should be addressed. — raeky (talk | edits) 05:53, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Per your request, I'm running a bot to remove the "no license" tags now. Hopefully, we can get this issue sorted out before the tags are re-added by some other bot. Kaldari (talk) 16:22, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Why not add a temporary "This file has no valid license. Please help add one!"? Also normaly no file is deleted before after seven days so there was still time. --MGA73 (talk) 17:11, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Whether or not this template should serve as a valid license still seems to be a topic of debate. Since the community seems to be rather evenly split (judging by the straw poll), I'm not sure what a proper notice to add would be. Kaldari (talk) 17:20, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I think users should still try to find licenses where it is possible. Then lets see what is left. But a template could look somthing like "This file has no license. The file is marked with {{Flickr-no known copyright restrictions}} however is not a valid license (please read the text in the template). If no valid license is added within x weeks/months then the file might be deleted." That way users is encouraged to find a relevant template. --MGA73 (talk) 17:55, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
But {{PD-because|the Smithsonian says so}} is a valid license. So is {{Flickr-no known copyright restrictions}}. These are more reliably PD than the rest of the files on Commons. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 18:33, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Seems that we debate the same things three places. Maybe we could move debate up? --MGA73 (talk) 19:06, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
I AGREE with Raeky, where is the assumed good faith?? The bot is going around tagging TONS of my correct uploads with speedy delete and I don't have time to find all the ones it tagged before they are deleted. Please have it atleast fix the ones it marked for now. I for one never upload violations. Nesnad (talk) 15:47, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
Are there files that have been remarked for deletion? Kaldari (talk) 23:11, 22 December 2009 (UTC)
"Marked for deletion..." I do not think files were marked for deletion. They were marked with "Please add a license". Just add a license and then files are not deleted. Only problem is if we can't figure out why "someone" thinks the images are PD or if we do not trust them. As far as I know trust is only a problem if "Flickr-no known copyright restrictions" is added by someone not a museum or so. In these cases we should delete. So the only real problem is if we have no clue why on earth they added "Flickr-no known copyright restrictions". As I said somewhere else we could use "PD-because" or make a special template for these few cases. --MGA73 (talk) 10:07, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
That is the problem -- images which were labeled this way by a museum were in fact being deleted, or tagged for speedy deletion, simply because this was no longer deemed a "license tag" when it was OK before. This tag *is* the licensing statement for Flickr Commons material, which are uploaded by presumably-trusted museums and similar institutions, and should therefore be its own tag containing the exact language (and only reasons #1 or #2 should have a more specific tag; #3 and #4 are their own licenses). It should therefore remain as its own license tag, with preferably more specific tags being added but not required. This discussion is about making them *required*, which I think is silly in this case. Obviously, this tag is only valid for images with a verified link to Flickr which has the image using the associated Flickr -- any other use of this license is invalid and should be deleted. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:37, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Example[edit]

File:Henry Lawson.jpg is marked with {{Flickr-no known copyright restrictions}}. Source is "Henry Lawson ca. 1905 / by William Johnson" so next step is to find out when William Johnson died. All I have to do is the click the link in "Find more detailed information about this photograph: http://acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/item/itemDetailPaged.aspx?itemID=442278" and then I find this information Creator Johnson, William, fl. 1897 - 1921. It took me 30 seconds! So can anyone tell me why it is impossible to add an other template and why we have to delete the image if we do not accept {{Flickr-no known copyright restrictions}} as a license?

I say lets fix as many images as we can and when that is done lets see some examples where it is not possible to find a license but where the image is still believed to be ok. --MGA73 (talk) 17:39, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Yes, some images can use {{PD-old}}, but still no one has fully answered the question I asked above. What license should be used for images for which {{PD-old}} and {{PD-author}} are not appropriate? I'm talking about images from after 1923 that were not released explicitly by the author. I don't see how we can require uploaders to add a new license tag if there isn't an appropriate one for them to use. Kaldari (talk) 18:04, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
It looks like we can agree that an other license should always be used when possible. But it is all a matter of trust when no other license is possible. I suggest we move the debate up (or down) so we only discuss this in one place. It seems we discuss this in three places :-) --MGA73 (talk) 19:11, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
Actually that image is {{PD-Australia}} (taken before 1955). PD-Old works too for 70 pma countries if they do not use the rule of the shorter term, and PD-US would apply as well. Not all will be that simple though; in some cases photographs will have been unpublished until recently, and the institution may in fact be the copyright holder. For example, if a U.S. institution has an old negative (transferred to them prior to 1978), and is publishing it now, it is likely either 1) PD-US-no_notice or PD-US-not-renewed, if it was published long ago -- and the institution likely has no information on publication history, so they may not know -- or, if it is just being published for the first time, they may in fact own the copyright (which was either explicitly or presumably transferred along with the negative) and they are basically releasing it to the public domain. One of them is true, so it is fine for Commons, but it is not always clear which. It would be preferable for them to specify, but unless there is indication it may not be easy to decide which is the more appropriate license.
There are two major reasons why this tag exists. The primary reason is that we have several automated bots which pull images from Flickr; those bots pull the license from the Flickr page and need something to insert -- there is rarely any way it can figure out any more specific information, and we generally do not require people using those bots to do further research just to keep it from being deleted. Without this tag, then we are basically barring these images from being easily uploaded from Flickr via these tools, which is a bigger problem than the ambiguity in my opinion. The second is that this is the explicit language of the licensing statement from the uploader; they are saying either 1) it is public domain in their country, or 2) they are the rightsholder and they are releasing it without any copyright restrictions. It is important to keep the exact language they use, and not paraphrase (i.e. I'm not sure I like using PD-author, even for images where they are clearly the copyright owner; the language is slightly different). We have never had a problem with multiple license tags, so absolutely add more if applicable, and add more information like you discovered above. Everyone can contribute to the Commons project; it should not be entirely on the uploader. I would most prefer this stay as a license tag, with a request to add more (perhaps aided by parameters, and auto-categorization into a "more specific tag needed" category). I personally feel there is enough information provided to assume it is "free" in one of ways mentioned; removing this as a licensing tag is basically saying that we a) don't trust the Flickr Commons contributors to understand copyright, and b) will delete such images unless we get further information (which may not always be available). Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:59, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
In short: Different countries have different rules. Image might be free in some countries but not in others. If we use the right license then the template tells users where images can be used. If we use the "no known..." then users can't always know if image could be used in their country. But I hope that we can agree if it only takes 30 seconds to add a license then it is a good idea.
Then we just have to find out how. I agree that other users than the uploader can help review files. We could do that by creating a system where images with "no known" but without a license ends up in a special category. Then everyone that feels like it can help fixing the problem. If the file is not fixed within x days/weeks then it should probably be deleted. We delete Flickr images all the time because no one can or will find the source or asks Flickr user to change license etc. --MGA73 (talk) 22:24, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
This is absurd. Go delete the PD-Art images instead. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 22:40, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
To be honest, "no known copyright restrictions" is a more accurate version of what we call "public domain". Because, as you say, copyright is an impossibly complex subject in which different countries can treat things very differently, it is impossible to truly say a work is completely free of copyright issues everywhere in the world -- just that there aren't any "known" restrictions (given a decent amount of knowledge to begin with). Also, many people use "public domain" to mean no significant restrictions -- e.g. no trademark issues either -- but we use it for strictly copyright, but other institutions may not want to. For what it's worth, the phrase comes from the U.S. Library of Congress, who have far more experience with copyright than any of us could ever hope to have, and that is what they use. Realistically, that is all Commons claims as well (see Commons:General disclaimer). I agree that at the least we should have a way to indicate that more specific tags would be highly appreciated. I suggested having a parameter with a better tag, and if not supplied, add some text indicating less-than-desirable condition and put them in a category, which specifying the parameter then undo. But the discussion is about disallowing this as a license tag, which a) means that for any image where this is not done is deleted, and b) prevents the Flickr bots from uploading these images, which to my mind is too high a barrier for images which should be fine with a much greater-than-usual degree of confidence. We can do better than leaving this tag as-is, but it should remain until we have a better solution which deals with both above images (a process to fix existing images and also allow Flickr bots to work easily). These are not normal Flickr images; they are digitized by the uploading and so have a known source already. It is not an ideal situation but it is the best we have come up with so far. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:13, 15 December 2009 (UTC)
@Pieter Kuiper. No we should not start deleting PD-Art images. Do not try to make discussion harder than it is just because it is not going your way. If you think there is a problem with PD-Art start a new discussion.
@Carl Lindberg. I agree that "no known copyright restrictions" could be more accurate in some cases. That is the same as saying this might be a copyvio. I think we should avoid this whenever possible so we do not risk to damage the reputation of Wikimedia. And we should also do the best we can to tell why we think/hope that it is not a copyvio (author died either more than xx years ago or permission was given to some museum).
Bots can help us collect these images but I think we should not give it an "OK" without human assistance. So I think all images with this tag should start in a category with no license and then humans can add a PD-Old, PD-Art, PD-Unknown etc. to get the images out of this category.
If some images remain "unsure" I think we should either delete them or at least give them a license where we give a god reason for why we think it is ok. To me it does not matter if it is a new tag or a parameter for the "no known...". --MGA73 (talk) 13:55, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
Ah, OK, then that is the source of the misunderstanding. "No known copyright restrictions", as used by the Library of Congress and Flickr Commons, is exactly the same thing -- no difference whatsoever -- as what Commons calls "public domain". They are precisely the materials we should be hosting here. It is an easy argument to make that their description is much more accurate than the terminology we use (since "public domain" is often construed to mean something different by many folks, i.e. lack of trademark or other significant restrictions as well). Read Commons:General disclaimer carefully; we are also saying anything here might be a copyvio, so people should check for themselves -- just that to the best of our knowledge, there are no copyright restrictions (or they are licensed in a "free" manner). *All* images are "unsure" to some extent -- you can never predict if a future court case will determine that what we thought was OK was actually a copyright violation all along. The point is, these images in particular have been given a human look-over by one of the participating institutions before being posted to Flickr Commons; that is far better than virtually any other source we use and certainly far better than CC-BY-marked Flickr images which we allow without debate. As with any image on Commons, if the claims appear to be incorrect for whatever reason, they can always be submitted for deletion -- that is the "human review" we use for images from most other sources. Obviously, if someone posts an image using this tag and it does not exist on Flickr Commons, it should be deleted -- no different than other Flickr images. I'm all for setting something up where people can add better information (i.e. other tags) if it can be determined, but not to the point of deleting images or barring uploads purely on the basis that nothing better can be figured out. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:53, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

What about this image File:Batutara2.jpg it uses that template. If no review was requested we would probably never have noticed it. So we have to be careful to trust this template. --MGA73 (talk) 19:48, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

(Just like every image from Flickr - just a warning not to think if image uses this template then everything must be ok --MGA73 (talk) 20:03, 18 December 2009 (UTC))
FlickrReviewr should check these just like any other Flickr image -- if it's not actually listed there with the license, then of course we delete them. That can be automated. Additionally, we should require a Flickr URL if this tag is used so that FlickrReviewr does its thing; that should also be easy to automate. The situation above can happen with *any* of our tags -- they could have just as easily used PD-Romania or CC-BY or anything and we would be in the same situation; what makes this one different? At least with this tag we actually can have automated checks to ensure it actually is a Flickr Commons image. The question is what tag do we use if it *is* a Flickr Commons image. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:52, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

Is compromise possible?[edit]

From the discussions and straw poll, it looks like sentiments are widely split on the use of this template. Is there any compromise possible between the two viewpoints? Kaldari (talk) 21:36, 16 December 2009 (UTC)

It's probably headed to a "no consensus" for changing to how it has been being used, which would mean... Personally I'd like to see it more strongly worded as an actual license template and remove the "not an actual license" verbage, but there seems to be some people who don't feel the "no known copyright restrictions" which is how the LOC labels it's public domain images isn't public domain enough for our use of public domain. — raeky (talk | edits) 06:00, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree - remove the "not an actual license" phrases. These files are more reliably PD than the rest of the images here. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 06:52, 17 December 2009 (UTC)
If it is PD what is the good reason not to add a PD-license? Unless I'm wrong then PD is not the same in every country on the world so it is relevant for users to know what the basis for PD is. --MGA73 (talk) 14:14, 18 December 2009 (UTC)
Of course it's best to add as much information about the copyright status as possible, but that's not specific to flickr Commons images (if any image is PD for multiple reasons, one should add a template for each of those reasons). And it's definitely not a requirement, so this sentence should be removed. The last thing we need is pushing users to try and guess why an image might be PD when they have no other information than a museum or organization saying so.
In short, this license tag alone should be enough, and if we know for sure why exactly the image is PD, it is encouraged to add a second license tag; but it should not be a requirement. –Tryphon 14:24, 18 December 2009 (UTC)

This is about to become an issue again[edit]

We're about to have a big influx of people using this template since the US National archives just uploaded several collections to Flickr Commons. Do we want to go through the same debate again or can we fix this template to address everyone's concerns? Virtually all of the images uploaded by the Archives are newer than 1923 and offer no copyright information other than "No known copyright restrictions... Access Restrictions: Unrestricted; Use Restrictions: Unrestricted;", so I don't see how we can insist that people add other licensing tags besides this one. Kaldari (talk) 20:50, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

I just checked one of the images (http://www.flickr.com/photos/usnationalarchives/4309075659/) it says Photographer: Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984. Perhaps it is possible to find out why images can be used when he died in 1984? --MGA73 (talk) 20:57, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Remove this: "This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information."
These images are Public Domain, certified by the US National Archives. There is nothing unclear about the copyright statius of those images. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 20:59, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
I've replaced the warning notice with a request for additional copyright tags if appropriate. I realize there may not be consensus for doing this either, but I don't want to repeat the bot-delete-fest that happened last time. Kaldari (talk) 21:02, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Excellent. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 21:18, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
@MGA73: It may be possible to figure that out for Ansel Adams, and thus add an additional template. However, most of the photographers in these collections were obscure, so I doubt they could all be successfully resolved (more than has been done already by the archives). Kaldari (talk) 21:04, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Why not make a license template for each museum then stateing "This image is released into PD by xx museum" or what ever would be best for the specific museum? --MGA73 (talk) 21:26, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
That is an option. However, considering how obscure this template is, I have to wonder if anyone would ever find even more specific templates. Kaldari (talk) 21:42, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Also if ALL images using this template are PD then Category:Files from Flickr's 'The Commons' should be categorized under Category:Public domain. --MGA73 (talk) 21:29, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Good point. Kaldari (talk) 21:42, 3 February 2010 (UTC)


The National Archives holds material from U.S. Government sources; virtually all of it is PD-USGov (since that is NARA's function -- to store material generated by the federal government). The Ansel Adams images come from a series he did under contract to the government (National Park Service I believe), so those are works for hire and also PD-USGov. We already have some at Category:Ansel Adams (thought it looks like Adams also donated some images to the Library of Congress, so there are other images which got to PD status in a different manner as well). There is no more issue than there was before -- the National Archives will vet the images I would think, and make sure they only put up PD ones. (Very little will be authored by them, but rather other government departments.) Yes, these are all basically public domain, and should be categorized that way. Given the ambiguity in the licensing statement though, some are PD-USGov, some PD-old, and some the equivalent of PD-author, but it may not be easy to tell (and could have the situation where one is true in one jurisdiction, while a different one is true in another), so it seems easiest to leave just one tag. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:45, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

It also looks like some of the recent batch (DOCUMERICA Collection) might be able to use the {{PD-USGov-EPA}} template, although I have no idea what tags the various city collections would use. They seem to be more diverse, with things like this (1927 pamphlet cover) and this (1957 newspaper photograph), which most likely involve lack of copyright renewal or rights donation to the archive. Kaldari (talk) 03:41, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
There are lots of flavors of PD-USGov, yes; those are mostly for subcategorization purposes though -- PD-USGov is the single reason for being public domain, and all those other tags just repeat it (though, it is possible that certain agencies have better, more explicit worldwide copyright statements, so it is always better to document the agency if we can). Those last two are more interesting actually... they seem to be from District Court records, which I haven't seen on NARA before, and may mean they are part of evidence for court cases. The first one (book cover) is PD-ineligible frankly. It is also PD-US_no_notice (scans of the whole booklet can be seen on this National Archives exhibit; probably why they are completely fine with posting it). The second is a photograph taken during protests outside of a particular case (and is from the files of that case). Dunno, maybe it was a court employee taking photographs outside the courthouse. NARA's medium is "paper" but I don't think it is from a newspaper; there is a clearer copy here, and NARA also has a much (much) higher resolution version in their main catalog (direct PDF here; zoom in on it). That is an odd one; and their catalog record also notes unsure copyright status. Possibly they researched it for the online exhibit and now know it is fine, but ... hm. There is no copyright notice on it either, and odds of renewal are rather low, but it would be interesting to know what the exact source is. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:53, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Looks like it was taken by a newspaper photographer to me: "This photograph was taken by Howard Cooper while he was employed by The Nashville Tennessean". Most newspapers back then didn't renew their copyrights, so that's my best guess. Regardless, those are just two random examples that show how in some cases we might just have to trust the Archives' "no restrictions" statement. Kaldari (talk) 22:03, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Whoops, missed that, thanks. I was looking at NARA's record; they have far more information in the Flickr writeup. But yes, that newspaper was never renewed (otherwise it would be listed on this page), so that would be PD-US_not_renewed. And yes, we do have to trust NARA's copyright research -- but that will usually be better than ours. Most of NARA's material is US Government-produced works, which are automatically PD. Court case records are interesting; those are public records but not necessarily public domain and would require separate research (which I would hope they would do). The one category we need to worry about from their uploads is captured German WWII photographs; those are often PD in the U.S. due to URAA exceptions (and therefore NARA can make the "no known restrictions" statement since they are basing that on US law) but they are still usually copyrighted in Germany, which causes issues here. So, I'm sure there will be a small handful which need to be deleted -- but it's not worth preventing the easy upload of the rest of them from Flickr. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:22, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Template is wrong[edit]

The source page http://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/ says Participating institutions may have various reasons for determining that "no known copyright restrictions" exist, such as:... (listing the 4 reasons given on the template). The template says The uploading organization tagged it with no known copyright restrictions there because one or more of the following reasons apply:... The Flickr page is non-exclusive, while the template is exclusive. I suggest the easiest way to fix this (especially bearing in mind the need for translations) would be to add a fifth reason

5. Based on its archiving experience and an analysis of the photograph and its provenance, the institution has reasonably concluded that the photograph is free of copyright restrictions

Rd232 (talk) 11:10, 17 December 2012 (UTC)

Putting on my GLAM projects hat for a moment, we may want to have a slightly deeper discussion here in order to ensure there are no embarrassments for GLAM institutional partners who are, in good faith, working for the benefit of open knowledge when they make collections of material available on "Flickr Commons" using their official Flickrstreams. In order to use the "no copyright known" licence, the institution has to register an official account (it is not a licence that is available to normal accounts) and therefore they do take a level of demonstrable liability for their actions in releasing material. It is then reasonable for Wikimedia Commons users to attempt to batch upload from these streams on the basis that a professional review has been done in the background that they do not have to second-guess. Now, saying this, it may well be that our community understanding and standards for copyright interpretation are higher than some institutions ability to deliver, and there may also be issues with interpreting the law with a USA view rather than a local viewpoint (e.g. the UK case history on potential damages for what are seen as orphan works may be inferred quite differently to the history of existing USA cases).
I am deeply concerned that there may be an unnecessary rush to delete large numbers of images imported from Flickr Commons due to what some will claim as unclear licencing. I believe that in this scenario the possibility of any claim of damage or copyright theft is vanishingly small or will prove non-existent should we benefit from advice from an attorney. However, there should be a process of flagging concerns and a means to follow-up with the institutions involved to clarify, should they wish, something of the background of how the licence can be supported. Equally, further investigation may prove that some of the images can be validly changed to a CC-BY or CC0 licence - a situation that itself would be to the public benefit.
In conclusion, I suggest we do not hurry solutions. If a small number of ambiguous images get deleted right now, then fair enough, but I would like to see a more cautious approach to the collections overall, and something along the lines of a solid policy changing discussion with sets of case studies to support guidelines for implementation, along with advice for institutions, that may then drive GLAM projects in 2013 for better working with donating partner institutions. Thanks -- (talk) 11:41, 17 December 2012 (UTC)
There are two issues here:
(a) does the template reflect Flickr's description of what institutions are saying when they add a photo to "The Commons"; and
(b) does what they are saying mean that the photo can be uploaded to Wikimedia Commons (assuming it is otherwise in scope)?
The answer to (a) is clearly no, and we should fix this. I agree (b) is a difficult question, and that we shouldn't rush decisions on that front. It could certainly do with more discussion. But we don't need to wait for an answer to (b) before dealing with (a).
Personally I think the template's wording should stick quite closely to Flickr's. I'd prefer not to add a fifth reason, but instead to alter the text above and below the four reason examples they give, to better match their text. --Avenue (talk) 15:39, 21 December 2012 (UTC)
I just added a fifth reason, but please feel free to alter the text and removed it. Regards, --Flominator (talk)
The 5th reason seems to be redundant with the first 2 reasons. Regardless of what the Flickr page says, the 4 reasons listed are the only possible reasons an image could have no known copyright restrictions. Well, there is one other possibility: "The research institution did not investigate the copyright status of the work," but that possibility is excluded by Flickr's assurance that the copyright status was "reasonably concluded". Kaldari (talk) 19:25, 22 December 2012 (UTC)
I removed the 5th reason and changed the wording to match Flickr's. Kaldari (talk) 19:35, 22 December 2012 (UTC)

Proposal...[edit]

The wording on Flickr's own website is slightly more cautious than our note here.

The original website wording states, after the four conditions in our template, that "Photographs can be difficult to analyze under copyright law, not only because laws around the world differ with respect to scope and duration of protection, but because the photographs themselves often lack credit lines, dates and other identifying information. Libraries, museums and other cultural institutions have a great deal of experience with photographs because they frequently collect, preserve, document and study them in accordance with their nonprofit missions. However, in many instances, a cultural institution will not be the rights holder under copyright law. Therefore, it can neither grant permission to others who wish to use a photograph nor provide a guarantee that the photograph is in the public domain. BY ASSERTING "NO KNOWN COPYRIGHT RESTRICTIONS," PARTICIPATING INSTITUTIONS ARE SHARING THE BENEFIT OF THEIR RESEARCH WITHOUT PROVIDING AN EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED WARRANTY TO OTHERS WHO WOULD LIKE TO USE OR REPRODUCE THE PHOTOGRAPH. IF YOU MAKE USE OF A PHOTO FROM THE COMMONS, YOU ARE REMINDED TO CONDUCT AN INDEPENDENT ANALYSIS OF APPLICABLE LAW BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH A PARTICULAR NEW USE." NB: the capitals are in the original text, I'm not shouting... :)

I'd like to propose copying this wording to the bottom of the current template (minus the excessive capitalisation). It's an important caveat, particularly the final sentence, and while we link to it at the moment, many users will never click through it. It would make the template more accurate and ensure that anyone reusing the image understands the need for that independent check. Hchc2009 (talk) 09:51, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Wikimedia says basically the same thing; see Commons:General disclaimer (at the bottom of every page). We don't guarantee anything either. There is nothing particularly special about this license tag which would require this text over any others -- that warning really applies to all license tags here, to be honest. I could see adding a little bit of it, to make it better known those other institutions are not warranting anything either. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:00, 11 September 2013 (UTC)