Template talk:PD-RusEmpire

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You cannot simultaneously claim that the current Russian copyright law (art 1256) does and doesn't apply to Tsarist Russia. There is nothing in article 1256 about photographs taken before 7 November 1917 not being in copyright in Russia today. If the author is known, copyright depends on when he or she died (pma + 70 years + 4 more years if he/she worked or fought in WWII). Someone not using his real name (talk) 02:56, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

  • There are not two assertion "does and doesn't". There are assertion "doesn't in RF" and "doesn't in other states".
    PMA+70/74y term (Article 1281) is valid only if requirements of Article 1256 are fulfilled. For copyright protection in RF work must be published in RF (1), or his author must be RF citizen (2), or due to interstate/international agreement (3). For Commons clause (1) is important only.
    The RF is state arisen on 7 November 1917 and cut off legal connections with the Russian Empire and the Russian Republic - this is very important part in RF-laws (see supplementaries in Russian) - many legislators want to restore legal connections, but this can be very, very expensive procedure (debts of RE, possible restitution of nationalized properties, possible compensations of expense for the Allied intervention in 1918-1921 and many others). It is very important - was some territory part of RF at publication moment or not? It is unimportant - who does acclaim this territory now. For example, until 1954 Crimea was the part of RF, and works published until 1954 in Crimea was published in RF, after 1954 was published in Ukraine. If and when RF will restore legal connections with RE, works will be copyrighted in RF.
    Though, RE is not fully "dead" - it is "freezed" (like Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia was "freezed" in 1940-1990) - and RE-works could be copyrighted in RE (if and when RE will be restored) and RE-works could be copyrighted in other states, if RE had been participant of interstate/international agreements (Berne Convention as variant), but RE had refused signed such agreements. Alex Spade (talk) 09:43, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
  • In other words, this is not RF (Russia) lic.tag, this is RE lic.tag. We can emphasize this in tag, but essence will be same (even flag will be same, current RF-flag and last RE/RR-flag practically identical). Alex Spade (talk) 09:54, 10 August 2013 (UTC)

The "supplementary material" is about the Soviet Union choosing to selectively honor only some of its international obligations; in the sources provided there, there are examples of Tsarist-era treaties which the Soviets honored, and some which they didn't. If we were talking about whether another country (like the US) would have have chosen to honor Tsarits copyrights after the October revolution, this might be valid argument. But we are talking a about the Soviet Union honoring Tsarist Russian copyrights. We have published, reliable sources saying that the copyrights from the Tsarist era continued to be recognized in the Soviet Union. (See the books by Elst or Levitsky in the Wikipedia article) Like in any country, the copyright terms can be adjusted by law. And they were several times in the Soviet Union. Present day Russia chose to restore most of the abutments made by the Soviets, retroactively. A 1998 decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation found this restoration constitutional (see ref in the aforementioned article.) The 2006/2008 law is largely similar to the 1993 law upheld in 1998, except it grants 70/74 instead of 50/54 years. My conclusion is that this template is serious misinterpretation of Russian law as it is currently written, advancing a novel legal theory not supported by the law itself or any secondary sources, and contradicted by analysis published in reliable secondary legal sources. (As an aside here, this template also incorrectly states that Tsarist Russia "wasn't a participant in international copyright agreements". It had bilateral agreements with France, Germany, Belgium and Denmark; see Levistky, p. 29. This particular issue is irrelevant to the main point that the template is trying to argue, but it does show the lack of knowledge of the editor who drafted it--Alex Spade.) Someone not using his real name (talk) 13:24, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Yes, I have written this template, but I am not sole its author - so abstain from my person - you don't know history of its creation/discussion, and your weak (no-native) Russian / my weak (no-native) English will have made situation worse only.
    I know vulnerable points of this template perfectly, you have said nothing new compared to previous discussions with the exception of your thesis about bilateral agreements with France and etc. (about them later). There is many, many tags on Commons with potential problems (for example: most of PD in Russia has ND-status (No Derivative works), incompatible with definition of FCW; {{PD-Ukraine}} is used incorrectly for works published in USSR, but outside Ukraine SSR). Someone says "There is probability, lets use it, there is not any direct court decision against this probability" (like this template or {{PD-Ukraine}}), someone says "There is only probability, it is not guaranteed, lets don't use it, there is not any direct court decision supported this probability". Sometimes situation gets worse (deprecation of {{PD-USSR}}, deprecation of initial version of {{Vector-Images.com}}), sometimes situation gets better (OTRS-recreation of {{Kremlin.ru}}). Alex Spade (talk) 15:57, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Do you want to delete/deprecate this template? No problem, I have not (and had not) a burning desire to protect it firmly. Just start discussion in compliance with commons:Deletion requests and let other editors to post their opinions and make (new) consensus decision. Alex Spade (talk) 17:35, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Afterword - could you provide links to bilateral agreements with France, Germany, Belgium and Denmark (in any languages)? They can help with some other aspect. Alex Spade (talk) 15:57, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  • In theory, any country could decide to unilaterally grant copyright protection to works from the Russian Empire, although I'm not sure whether any country does this. The international copyright treaties do not mandate protection for works from non-treaty countries, but do not outlaw protection either. For example, USA provides copyright protection for unpublished works from any country, regardless of whether any international treaty requires this or not. One problem I'm seeing with templates like this is that they require evidence of publication but that many users don't provide that evidence. Then you have no way to tell whether the terms in the template are satisfied. --Stefan4 (talk) 21:12, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
    Publication is indeed a problem for some object classes (for example graphic works), it is less problem for paintings (if smth was hanging in a public museum, it was published), but it is not a problem at all for buildings - most of the former USSR countries do not have FoP, and it is essential that pre-1917 buildings are free.--Ymblanter (talk) 07:30, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
    In the last sentence phrase "... not protected by copyright internationally" does not mean "... not protected by copyright internationally anywhere in the World". We can remove this statement fully, for work published in RE exclusively other countries than RF can not be the source countries definitely.
    Evidence of publication is not problem of this template - this is problem of all PD-old group of lic.tags ("PD-old group" means "PD - because it was published before some date 1 or/and author died before some date 2"). Alex Spade (talk) 10:57, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
    I think what Stefan means is that there is no problem with the template per se, but it is a widely used practice to put this template to two works created prior to 1917 even if there is no evidence they were published before 1917. I agree though that this is not a problem of the template, it is a problem of the policy implementation.--Ymblanter (talk) 11:04, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
    Yes, that's what I meant: someone adds this template to an image which was created before 1917 but without specifying where it was published. "Not protected anywhere in the world" may not be true as any country is permitted to provide copyright protection for any work and for any reason. --Stefan4 (talk) 16:08, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
    I repeat, last sentence phrase of template is not meant work is "... not protected by copyright internationally anywhere in the World". Alex Spade (talk) 11:26, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  • As for the main point of the discussion here, it doesn't matter how weak my Russian is when when we have reliable sources in English saying that the Soviet Union recognized copyrights for works made during the Tsarist rule. The "supplementary" Russian sources invoked do not specifically refute this point or even address copyrights at all [1] [2]. All they say is that the Soviet did not honor all international agreements of Tsarist Russia, but that they were selective. But this does not really imply anything about the (internal) continuity of copyrights, just like marriages made in Tsarist Russia didn't suddenly become null and void in the Soviet Union because the latter chose to ignore some international treaty from Tsarist times. To sum this up, we have reliable sources (in English) that say the was a continuity of copyrights Levitsky, pp. 28-29, Elst ISBN 9004140875, pp. 71-74 (e.g. "a number of nationalization decrees were issued, among others with regard to the works of seventeen deceased Russian composers [...] However, for the authors of works, which had not been declared part of the state patrimony, the pre-Revolutionary copyright law retained its relevance. [...] The continued existence of the czarist law of copyright was again—implicitly—affirmed by a Decree of the Council of People’s Commissariats of 10 October 1919 which declared invalid all agreements by which the authors transferred literary, musical, or artistic works to their publishers in full ownership. Until that moment, then, the pre-Revolutionary agreements on publishing had remained valid.") and some Wikimedian building a contrary legal theory based on sources (in Russian) which don't address copyrights. If you want a book in Russian, OCLC 33129050 is probably a good source--the author is Сергеев; I have not read this book myself, but the snippets visible in Google Books [3] indicate that it covers the laws and decrees from the revolutionary period (1918-1919), so it probably says something about the copyright continuity issue; I couldn't see any snippet about that through Google though. Someone not using his real name (talk) 15:25, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
    When I had written about languages, I had not meant - "ability to read and understand sources", I had meant "ability to understand or explain someone actions" only.
    These sources (or similar) were known and discussed (Levitsky repeats statement from Soviet/Russian textbooks on copyright), you have not found anything new compared to previous discussions.
    There are three ways of copyright protection granting in the RF: 1) country of the first publication, 2) citizenship of author, and 3) international agreement. On commons after the principle "Must be free/PD in the US" it is used only the first way. Mentioned sources (and similar) are talking about the second way primary (and about third way somehow) - yes, RE-works could be protected by second way (author was alive after Revolution and had become inhabitant of new Soviet state), but second way is not taken into account on Commons. Is template describing this situation poor? May be. It can be rewritten more accurately. Alex Spade (talk) 11:26, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  • I have checked a more recent book by Sergeev (Право интеллектуальной собственности в Российской Федерации: Учеб. — 2-е изд., перераб. и доп. — М.: Проспект, 2003. ISBN 5-98032-051-2), pp. 35-40. It is is basically in agreement with the books in English. (You can read a [most likely plagiarized/pirated excerpt] on the web: [4].) So, this template should have the fate of {{PD-Soviet}} because there is no simple or single rule that can be applied to works made in the RE as "source country". Most of their citizens became SU citizens, and there was internal copyright continuity from RE to SU. "Source country" today depends in which of the SU successor states the publication location and author ended up, usually Russia, but could also be Ukraine, etc. Someone not using his real name (talk) 15:42, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
    The (re)checking was superfluous; it is same description of history of copyright in Russia as in most other copyright textbooks.
    As I know, the current practice on commons is next: source country is country at moment of publication, not now.
    And if there is full internal copyright continuity, then it is continuity between the RE to the RF, not the SU. In the SU the copyright legislation (as part of civil legislation) was regulated on republic level (republics of the first level) in the first place, not on union level - Union defined only general bracket (as the EU defines it for EU-members) or temporarily substituted republic civil legislation then it was unavailability. So if we have forgot for a moment about the RE: then, for example, if work was published in the Crimea before 1956 it was published in the RSFSR (the RF now), if work was published after - it was published in Ukrainian SSR (Ukraine now), if work was published in Königsberg before 1945 it was published in Germany, if it was published after - it was published in the RSFSR (the RF now). Alex Spade (talk) 17:56, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
    Yes, you're right about the Soviet republics' laws each regulating copyright in their own territory, but those just followed whatever was passed down from the SU legislation, so it didn't make any practical difference. As for practice on Commons, an interesting example is Commons:Deletion requests/File:5th ordinary songfestival riga 1910.jpg deleted even though Riga was part of the Russian empire in 1910. The author was a Latvian citizen in his later years, although he died in 1970, well before Latvia regained its independence (1991). Someone not using his real name (talk) 23:39, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
    I can not see deleted revisions on Commons and Fastily has not make any comment about deletion reason, so I can not appreciate the correction of license, source and authorship by myself and can not comment why has he not relicensed file by {{PD-RusEmpire}} (which had beed valid at moment of discussion), sysops could also make mistakes. Alex Spade (talk) 09:21, 26 August 2013 (UTC)