User:SantaClaus/draft

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The Commons:Licensing page attempts to give non-lawyers an overview of complicated copyright laws through an example-based tutorial. It aims to help decide if one is allowed to upload a certain image or other media file within the Wikimedia Commons.

The Wikimedia Commons only accepts free content, that is, images and other media files that can be used by anyone, for any purpose [1]. The details are explained below. The Wikimedia Commons does not accept fair use; see below for the reasons. Commons also does not accept noncommercial-only content.

The license that applies to an image or media file must be indicated clearly on the image description page using a copyright tag. All information required by that license must be given on the description page. The information given on the description page should be sufficient to allow others to verify the license status. It would be best to do this immediately in the summary field on the upload form.

If you request permission from a copyright holder please use only the Email template to do so.

This cartoon demonstrates the utility of multi-licensing one's own work. Click to view the full-size image.

Contents

取り扱いが可能なイセンス[edit]

ウィキメディア・コモンズにある全ての素材は、著作権フリーなライセンスが添付されていなければなりません。著作権フリーとは、「誰もが、いかなる目的にも利用できるもの」です。(参照:Commons:プロジェクト基準


以下の要件は必須条件です:
  • 再配布が認められていなければならない
  • 二次的著作物の配布が認められていなければならない
  • 商業利用が認められていなければならない
  • 原作者や配布者に関する情報の提供(表示させること)が要求される場合がある
  • 二次的著作物の公開において原作と同じライセンス状態であることが要求される場合がある
  • 特許や電子署名など利用制限に影響されない、自由に使えるオープン・ファイル形式を利用することが要求される場合がある


以下のケースは、コモンズで許可されない範囲に該当します:
  • ウィキメディアだけで利用するファイル(コモンズで公開されている「フリーでないライセンス」の唯一の例外は、ウィキメディア財団(Wikimedia Foundation)が著作権を有するウィキメディア・ロゴや、その関連デザイン(つまり商標, サービス・マーク, その他のウィキメディア財団を特定できるデザイン要素を持つもの)
  • 非商業利用、教育利用の目的だけに利用されるファイル
  • フェアユースで利用するファイル
  • 全てのユーザー、あるいは一部のユーザのために、制作者の公示が要求される


一般的に許可されない具体例:

  • フリー・ライセンスによって提供されていないソフトウェアのスクリーン・ショット。(ただし、GPLやそれに類似したフリーなライセンスによって提供されたソフトウェアのスクリーン・ショットは一般的に可能とされています)
  • テレビ番組やテレビ・コマーシャルのスクリーン・ショット
  • スキャンや複写された著作権のある作品の写真。例:ブックカバー、CDアルバムなど。
  • 著作権シンボル、ロゴなど。
  • モデル、マスク、オモチャ、著作権の保護で再公開された物(役柄に関わらず、特定の俳優というより、むしろマンガや映画の登場人物)


コモンズでは、もちろん著作権保護の対象外にある全てのファイル(パブリック・ドメインにあるもの)も取り扱うことができます。しかしながら、国によって、どのような素材がパブリック・ドメインとして扱われるのか定義が明確ではありません。(参照:#パブリック・ドメイン


[マルチ・ライセンス][edit]

GFDLとCC-BY-SAのダブル・ライセンスで配布されたフリー画像の例(説明ページを参照してください)

少なくとも1つ以上のフリーライセンスの条件(上記参照)を満たしていれば、1つのライセンスに限らず、複数のライセンスでファイルを公開することができ、それを「マルチ・ライセンス」と言います。 例えば、"非商用ライセンス"のファイルであっても、同時に、もし商用利用が許可されているフリーライセンスで公開されている場合であれば、大丈夫です。

制限付きライセンスのマルチ・ライセンスは、他のプロジェクトのライセンス規定に適合することが望ましいかもしれません。また、マルチ・ライセンスは、制限付きライセンスの場合に限り、二次的著作物(複製・改ざん)の作成が許可されています - これは、もし希望するならば、二次的著作物の制作者が、その自分の作品に利用されるライセンスが、どれかに関連して、もっと自由度を提供するものです。


[有名なライセンス][edit]

コモンズで好まれるライセンス:

詳細参照:Commons:コピーライト・タグ


Free Cultural Worksの定義に一致するライセンスで有効でない作品は、明らかに許可されません。さらに詳しくは、ウィキメディア財団びboard resolution on licensingを参照してください。


コモンズで歓迎されないライセンス例:

以下のライセンスはインターネット上で非常に出回っていますが、ウィキメディア・コモンズでは禁止されているものです:

  • クリエイティブ・コモンズ 非商用のみ(-NC)ライセンス
  • クリエイティブ・コモンズ 二次的著作物の禁止(-ND)ライセンス
  • フェアユース、フェア扱い、あるいは同様の法的例外などの利用のみを許可するライセンスが添付されてない素材。(参考:フェアユース

許可されていないライセンスは、その作品が許可されたマルチ・ライセンスを持っていなければ、コモンズだけで利用されるかもしれません。


ライセンス情報[edit]

情報が十分に記載された画像の例(画像の詳細ページを参考)

コモンズで提供する全てのファイルは、その説明ページで、ライセンスの種類など、詳細情報を提供しなければならず、各ライセンス要件の情報(原作者など)を含んでいなければなりません、また、そのファイルを閲覧した利用者がライセンス状況を把握できる十分な情報(出典元のリンクなど)を含んでいる必要があります。


下記の情報は、ライセンスの種類に関わらず、常に必ず提供しなければなりません:
  • ファイルの説明 (description) このファイルが「どこ、何の、誰の」であるか、画像か容易に判断できる情報を書きましょう。また、この画像に関するデータも書きましょう。特に科学的データは大切です。
  • ファイルの制作者 (author/creator) ファイルの制作者を明記しましょう。またパブリック・ドメインについても、その素材が本当にパブリック・ドメインであるかどうかを判断するため、制作者の死亡日を書きましょう(参照:パブリック・ドメイン)。ライセンス・テンプレートには、この要件の代用ではありません
  • ファイルのソース ファイルの入手元(出典元)のリンクを明らかにしましょう。ただし、そのファイルがコモンズが初の公開場であり、かつ、アップロードした人が制作者本人である場合は例外とします。なお、このソースは明確に書く必要があります。


下記の情報は、必須ではありませんが、分かる限り、記述することが推奨されている情報です:
  • ファイルの作成日 および制作場所。特にパブリック・ドメインの場合は、その素材が本当にパブリック・ドメインであるかどうかを判断するため重要です。(参照:パブリック・ドメイン
コモンズでは、これを明記するためにInformation templateテンプレートを用意しています。このテンプレートの使用方法の詳しい説明はCommons:プロジェクト基準を参考にしてください。




Scope of Licensing[edit]

Note that in some cases, a document (media file) may have multiple aspects that can and have to be licensed: Every person that contributed a critical part of the work has rights to the results, and all have to make their contribution available under a free license - see derivative work. The distinctions are however not very clear and may differ from country to country. Here are a few examples to clarify:

  • For a recording of a song, the following aspects must be taken into account, each must be under a free license (or in the public domain):
    • The score of the music (rights by the composer)
    • The lyrics of the song (rights by the writer)
    • The performance (rights by the musicians, singers, etc)
    • The recording (rights by the technical personnel / recording company)
  • For a picture of artwork (also book covers and the like), it is similar:
    • The creator of the original artwork has rights to any reproductions and derivative work.
    • The photographer has rights to the image, if it is not a plain reproduction of the original.
  • For a picture of the interior of a building, note that the architect may hold some rights if distinct architectural features are shown (this is true at least in Germany).
  • For a picture of the exterior of a building, note that the architect may hold some rights; in some countries, this only applies if the picture was taken from a non-public place (Germany, Austria), but in some others this applies wherever the picture was taken from (France).

This is often problematic, if the artwork is not the primary content of the image or is not clearly recognizable: In that case, usually only the creator of the resulting picture (recording, etc) holds a copyright. For instance, when taking a photograph of a group of people in a museum, the photo may also show some painting on the walls. In that case the copyright of those painting does not have to be taken into account. The distinction however is not very clear.

Note that the License for all aspects has to be determined and mentioned explicitly.

Example of a reproduction of an old artwork within the public domain as its copyright is expired

Also note that reproductions are usually not eligible to copyright: The creator of a scan of a picture owns no copyright to the resulting digital image, the scan needs no license. The only license important in that case is the one of the original picture. This also applies to screenshots, see the section about screenshots below.

Material in the public domain[edit]

The commons accept material that is in the public domain, that is, documents that are not eligible to copyright or for which the copyright has expired. But the "public domain" is complicated: copyright laws vary between countries, and thus a work may be in the public domain in one country, but still be copyrighted in another country. There are international treaties such as the Berne Convention that set some minimum standards, but individual countries are free to go beyond these minimums. A general rule of thumb is that if the creator of a work has been dead for more than 70 years, his works are in the public domain in the country the creator was a citizen of and in the country where the work was first published. If the work is anonymous or a collaborative work (e.g. an encyclopaedia), it is typically in the public domain 70 years after the date of the first publication.

Many countries use such a copyright term of 70 years. A noteable exception is the U.S. Due to historical circumstances, the U.S. has more complex rules. In the United States, copyright generally lasts:

  • for works first published before 1978: until 95 years after the first publication, and
  • for works first published 1978 or later: until 70 years after the author's death, or for anonymous works or work made for hire, until the shorter of 95 years since the first publication or 120 years since the creation of the work.

For works created before 1978 but only published 1978 or later, there are some special rules. These terms apply in the U.S. also for foreign works.

However, the year and location of publication is essential. In several countries, material published before a certain year is in the public domain. In the U.S. this date is January 1, 1923. Furthermore, in some countries all material published by the government is public domain, while others claim some copyrights, yet others are very restrictive (see country specific details below).

Regarding the United States and non-U.S. works, one should bear in mind that the U.S. passed a law (the Uruguay Round Agreements Act, URAA) that restored copyrights in the U.S. on foreign works if that work was still copyrighted in the foreign source country on the URAA date. This URAA date was January 1, 1996 for most countries. This means that foreign works became copyrighted in the U.S. even if they had been in the public domain in the U.S. before the URAA date.

In some jurisdictions (like the United States), one can also explicitly donate work one has created oneself to the public domain. In other places (like the European Union) this is technically not possible, but one can grant the right to use the picture freely with, for example, a Creative Commons license.

Interaction of United States copyright law and foreign copyright law[edit]

It is important to remember when uploading a material from a country outside the United States that the copyright laws of both that country and of the United States apply to the upload. Beyond that if material that has been saved from a third party website is uploaded to Commons then the copyright laws of the United States, the country of residence of the uploader and the country of location of the webservers of the website apply. Consequently any licence to use the material should apply in all jurisdictions relevant and if the material is in the public domain in order for it to be allowable on Commons it must be in the public domain in all jurisdictions relevant.

For example, if a person in the United Kingdom uploads a picture that has been saved off a French website to the Commons server the upload is covered by UK, French and US copyright law. In order for a photograph to be acceptable for upload to Commons it must be public domain in France, the United Kingdom and the United States, or there must be an acceptable copyright licence for the photograph which covers the UK, US and France.

Material under the fair use clause is not allowed on the Commons[edit]

The Wikimedia Commons does not accept fair use content, because fair use laws vary from country to country - thus, content deemed acceptable under, for instance, US fair use concepts (which are very broad) is not usable in the majority of other countries.

Also, fair use depends on the context the image (or other media) is used in. That is, something that can be used on one page as fair use would be a copyright violation on another page. Especially, fair use does not allow collecting and distributing the images in a media database such as the commons. This means that fair use simply does not apply to the commons.

Both issues are against the commons policy to provide images that can be used by anyone anywhere for any purpose.

You are, however, welcome to submit such images to your local Wiki, if it allows fair use.

Screenshots[edit]

Screenshot of a demo program that was released under CC-BY-SA by its authors

Screenshots are copyrighted if the displayed program or operating system is copyrighted. For a detailed discussion see here. Thus, screenshots can not be used on the commons unless all components, programs and data shown in them are under some free license. As an example, Microsoft's guidelines do not allow derivatives (see here). This means that the use of screenshots of Microsoft products would go against commons policy.

Note that the screenshot may be published under this free license only if all the images used for the program GUI have a free license. If, for example, all of them are PD then the screenshot must be PD too because the creative work of creating a screenshot is zero. If the screenshot contains icons or content of nonfree sites, the screenshot is not free. See the reply to a message to debian-legal@lists.debian.org posted by User:Paddy on debian-legal@lists.debian.org: reply 1

Thus, if the programmers do not agree to publish the program under a free license, and they do not explicitly license the screenshot (or all screenshots) under a free license, the screenshot is not free. This may not be true in all jurisdictions, but holds at least in the U.S. (due to Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp.), in Germany (see Bildrechte in German Wikipedia), and probably all other countries of the European Union.

In some cases the program itself is a work of art - an example would be a demo (such as that illustrated to the right with the panda bear). Screenshots of such works are free if the program itself is free.

There may be exceptions to this if the screenshot shows only a work that was created using some program, not the program itself. This is especially true for fonts, which in some cases are considered programs.

Screenshot of the Free Software GPL licensed program Konqueror showing GFDL licensed Wikipedia main page

To create a free screenshot:

  1. Use a free program with a completely free skin. (A KDE Program using crystal images is an example)
  2. Cut away all possibly copyrighted stuff. Just show the content.
  3. The content of the screenshot must be free too. Make sure the screenshot does not contain trademarks, unfree text or images, or anything else that the general public does not have permission to make free use of.

Please tag screenshots that shown only free content with {{free screenshot}} in addition to an appropriate copyright tag. You should also indicate under what free license the program is.

Derivative works[edit]

This montage is an example of a derivative work. It combines various preexisting images that were released under the GFDL and other compatible free content licenses.

You want a picture of Mickey Mouse, but of course you can't just scan it in. Why not take a picture of a little action figure and then upload it? Don't. The reason why you can't upload photographs of such figures is that they are considered as derivative works. Such works can't be published without permission of the original creator.

The US Copyright Act of 1976, Section 101, says: "A derivative work is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted. A work consisting of editorial revisions, annotations, elaborations, or other modifications which, as a whole, represent an original work of authorship, is a “derivative work”." A photograph of a copyrighted item is considered a derivative work in US jurisdiction. US Copyright Act of 1976, Section 106: "(...) (T)he owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following: (...) (2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work;"

Therefore, "unauthorized" derivative works like pictures of action figures, toys etc. must be deleted.

For more information, see Commons:Derivative works.

Checklist[edit]

Let's assume you took a picture with your camera, or you've scanned it from somewhere, or you've downloaded it off a web server - and want to upload it to Wikimedia Commons. How do you know what's OK and what's not? Here's a simple chart that helps you decide. In cases of doubt, read the further advice for your country first. If you still don't know for sure, ask on Commons:Help desk or Commons:Village pump in your local language.

Definitely OK:

Own photos of:

  • Nature (forest, sky, etc.)
  • Animals (cats, dogs, etc.)
  • Insects (ants, beetles, etc.)
  • Produce (apples, tomatoes, etc.)
  • Foods (hot-dogs, cakes, etc.)
  • People who have given their consent
  • Yourself (as long as you don't use this as your private webspace)
  • Objects that are PD by age both in the United States and your jurisdiction:
    • Buildings built by an architect who died 70+ (preferably 100+) years ago
    • Works of art created by an artist who died 70+ (preferably 100+) years ago
    • Books by authors who died 70+ (preferably 100+) years ago

Own scans of:

  • Material where copyright has expired in your jurisdiction and the United States.

Material from web servers:

  • Material where copyright has expired in your jurisdiction, the United States and the jurisdiction of the web server.

Questionable, may or may not be OK:

All kinds of copyrighted material:

  • Logos (only very simple designs are OK)
  • Cars
  • Products of daily use (simple designs are OK)
  • Book covers (only very simple designs are OK)
  • Album / CD covers
  • Currency
  • Buildings built by an architect who died less than 70 years ago (or is still alive)
  • Permanently installed works of art in a public place, created by an artist who died less than 70 years ago (or is still alive)
  • Interiors of private houses, homes, museums
  • Screenshots (see Screenshots)
  • Celebrities

Definitely not OK

  • Fair use images
  • Fan art that closely resembles copyrighted material
  • Photographs, drawings, scans and other reproductions of objects that are copyrighted by someone other than yourself like the following:
    • Works that are not permanently installed, created by an artist who died less than 70 years ago (or is still alive)
    • Action figures, statuettes, costumes and other copyrighted material (see Derivative Works)

International law[edit]

Berne Convention[edit]

Almost all countries in the world are party to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (see here for the text). Following this convention, countries enforce copyrights from other countries, according to certain rules. One consequence of these rules is that we should always care about the laws of the country of origin of the work.

Most important is article 7, which sets the term of duration of the protections granted by the Convention. The Convention sets a minimal term of 50 years after the life of the authors (subject to some exceptions). However, each country is free to set longer terms.

In any case, the term shall be governed by the legislation of the country where protection is claimed; however, unless the legislation of that country otherwise provides, the term shall not exceed the term fixed in the country of origin of the work.

Even though many countries have accepted the rule of the shorter term based on Article 7 of the Convention, please note that the United States Copyright Act has not honored such a rule. For example, 17 U.S.C. 104A(a)(1)(B) may restore copyright on a work published outside the USA for the remaining American copyright term even if its copyright may expire sooner in its source country. This may affect works that were still copyrighted on 1 January 1996 in their source countries. This mean that a work now in the public domain in a Commons user's home country might still be legally copyrighted in the USA. For further details, please visit w:en:Wikipedia:Non-US_copyrights#Dates_of_restoration_and_terms_of_protection for a list of American copyright restoration dates.

European copyright law[edit]

The European Union has issued directives harmonizing copyright rules in the European Union (see Copyright law of the European Union). Note, however, that directives, unlike European regulations, do not apply uniformly. They have to be transposed into national law by each country's legislature, and they often offer significant leeway in doing so. This is, for instance, the case for the legal exemptions of copyright (equivalent of "fair use"), which are allowed to differ within certain limits.

The most important, for our purposes, is the Directive on harmonising the term of copyright protection (text). This directive sets the duration of copyright to 70 years following the death of the author (for multiple authors, of the last author; for collective, pseudonymous or anonymous works, following the date of publication).

However, this directive does not shorten already running extended copyright terms in countries that apply them.

The 2001 EUCD, article, 5 specifies exceptions to copyright. However, only one of these exceptions is mandatory (it concerns caching). The others are optional, meaning that for each exception, each country is free to choose whether it adopts it and how it restricts it. Thus, one should not assume that one exception true in one EU country (say, panorama right) applies in another.

Finally, there is considerable amounts of case law or jurisprudence on these issues. In some cases, they may create rights or restrictions that do not appear in the text of the law. Thus, one should always be wary in how the law is interpreted in the country of interest, as opposed to merely reading the legal texts.

Country-specific laws[edit]

Laws about copyright differ from country to country. Images uploaded to Commons, unless uploaded from the United States, involve the interaction of two or more copyright jurisdictions. Generally, the policy applied on Commons is to only allows images that can be used in all (or at least most) countries. The laws of individual countries differ especially in the following points:

  • The time for which a copyright applies. In most countries, copyright expires no later than 70 years after the death of the author.
  • Status of works of the government. In many (but not all) countries, documents published by the government for official use are in the public domain.
  • Material applicable for copyright. In some jurisdictions, pictures of artistic work like architecture, sculpures, clothing etc. can not be used freely without the consent of the creator of the original artwork.

The safest way to apply international copyright law is to consider the laws of all the relevant jurisdictions and then use the most restrictive combination of laws to determine whether something is copyrighted or not. The jurisdictions that might need to be considered are:

  • The place where the work was created;
  • The place where the work is being uploaded from;
  • The place that any web server the work has been downloaded from physically is;
  • The United States.

A work is only allowed on Commons if it is either public domain in all relevant jurisdictions or if there is a free licence which applies to the work in all relevant jurisdictions.

In the case of a painting published in France please do apply US-American copyright laws as those copyright laws apply to the servers of Commons. Also apply the copyright laws of the country you are in and the copyright laws of any web server you got the work off. In the case of a French painting uploaded to Commons from a French web server by someone living in the UK three copyright jurisdictions would apply: France, UK and US. US law would mean that if the painting had not been published before 1923 it would be in copyright. British law would mean that if the painting was by an artist who had been dead for less than 70 years it would be in copyright. French law would mean that if the painting was by an artist who died for France it would be in copyright for even longer than under British law. In this case the most restrictive combination of jurisdictions would be French and US. Only if the painting was legally in the public domain in both France and the United States could it be uploaded from a French web server to Commons.

UNESCO has a collection of national copyright laws that should be referred to when creating country-specific tags such as those below.

Relevant country-specific differences in the duration of copyright (from 70 years pma) and exceptions of the application of copyright are discussed below (countries are listed in alphabetical order):

Algeria[edit]

Algerian law states that photos and films are protected for 50 years starting from the end of the publication year, after which they are in the public domain.

Arab States[edit]

Laws are found in both Arab Committee for Protecting Intellectual Property and Arab Law Group Organization

Argentina[edit]

Available PD templates {{PD-AR-Photo}} (photos - not drawings or other works - published in Argentina 25 years ago or more), {{PD-AR-Movie}} (for movies 50 years after the death of the script writer, producer and director of the movie), {{PD-AR-Anonymous}} (for anoymous works belonging to an institution, corporation or legal entity, registered in Argentina published 50 years ago or more), and {{PD-AR-Presidency}} (status has to be clarified) for photos from the Argentine presidency site. See templates for details.

Australia[edit]

Government-produced works[edit]

According to [1] (pdf), copyright of works with Commonwealth, State, or Territory-owned copyright expires 50 years from the date of creation (rounded up to the nearest year). Following that logic, all government-created works created before 1 January 1957 should be in the public domain.

Non-government works[edit]

Presently, the Australian Copyright Act 1968[2] should be consulted to determine whether the copyright of a work produced or published in Australia has expired.

  • Australian copyright is applied to works published first in Australia or whose original author is/was an Australian citizen, Australian resident or person under protection of the Australian government.[3]
  • For published works, the copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author.[4]
  • For previously unpublished works, the copyright cannot expire less than 70 years after the first publication of the work. [5]
  • For anonymous/pseudonymous works, the copyright expires 70 years after the first publication of the work.[6]

Following this logic:

  • All published works whose author deceased before 1 January 1937 are in the public domain.
  • All anonymous/pseudonymous works published before 1 January 1937 are in the public domain.
  • Unpublished works are not in the public domain.

Belarus[edit]

The copyright law of Belarus states that the copyright term lasts for life, then extended for the next 50 years after the death of the author. In the case of more than one author, it will be 50 years p.m.a. after the death of the last author.

Brazil[edit]

According to Brazilian Copyright law of 1998 (in Portuguese) translation:

Chapter III -The Economic Rights of the Authors and Term Thereof

  • Art. 28. The author has the exclusive right to use his literary, artistic or scientific work, to derive benefit from it and to dispose of it.
  • Art. 41. The author's economic rights shall be protected for a period of 70 years as from the first of January of the year following his death, subject to observance of the order of succession under civil law.
  • Art. 42. Where a literary, artistic or scientific work of joint authorship is indivisible, the term of protection provided for in the foregoing Article shall be calculated from the death of the last surviving joint author.
  • Art. 43. The term of protection of economic rights in anonymous or pseudonymous works shall be 70 years counted from the first of January of the year following that of the first publication.

Sole Paragraph. The provisions of Articles 41 and its sole paragraph shall be applicable where the author makes his identity known before the expiry of the period referred to in the introduction to this Article.

  • Art. 44. The economic rights in audiovisual and photographic works shall be protected for a period of 70 years from the first of January of the year following that of their disclosure.
  • Art. 45. In addition to the works in respect of which the protection of the economic rights has expired, the following shall pass into the public domain:
    • I. the works of authors deceased without heir;
    • II. the works of unknown authors, subject to the legal protection of ethnic and traditional lore.

Chapter V - Term of Protection for Neighboring Rights

  • Art. 96. The term of protection of neighboring rights shall be 70 years from the first of January of the year following fixation for phonograms, transmission for the broadcasts of broadcasting organization, and public performance in other cases.

Freedom of panorama[edit]

  • Art. 48. Works permanently located in public places may be freely represented by painting, drawing, photography and audiovisual processes.

Canada[edit]

According to the Copyright Act, a copyright subsists for the life of the author plus 50 years following the end of the calendar year of death (section 6). If the work is anonymous or pseudonymous then the copyright lasts either 50 years following publication or 75 years after the making of the work, whichever is earlier (section 6.1).

China[edit]

People's Republic of China[edit]

According to the Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China [7] in effect in Mainland China:

  • Article 5: The law does not apply to those specified in Template:PD-PRC-exempt.
  • Article 20: The rights of authorship, alteration and integrity of an author shall be unlimited in time. These are moral rights.
  • Article 21:
    • A copyright subsists for the life of the author plus 50 years following the end of the calendar year of death.
    • A legal entity or other organization or in respect of a work created in the course of employment enjoys the copyright for 50 years since the first publication.
    • A cinematographic work, a work created by virtue of an analogous method of film production or a photographic work is copyrighted for 50 years since the first publication.
    • All of the preceeding terms expire on December 31 of the last year.
  • Article 59 has restored copyright. The same thing has also been written in Article 55 of the Copyright Law of the People's Republic of China dated 1990 (zh:中华人民共和国著作权法/1990年).[8] One should not simply assume that works made in China before the 1990 laws are in the public domain.

According to the Chinese Civil Law Article 100 photos of regular people may not be published without their consent, if the person can be identified. The use of the image for profit (commercially) without his consent shall be prohibited.

Hong Kong[edit]

According to Chapter 528 Copyright Ordinance, in Section 17 Duration of copyright in literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works, in the law of Hong Kong, a work's copyright expires 50 years after the last death of known authors, or the work's first publication for unknown authorship, or the year it made when the work is never made public and with unknown authorship. The above-mentioned ordinance does not apply to the work of Hong Kong Government, Legislative Council and certain international organizations. Their copyrights are under separate ordinances. [9]

Macau[edit]

According to the Copyright Law (Decree-Law n.o 43/99/M):

  • Article 6: Official works are not protected. See also Template:PD-MacaoGov.
  • Article 21: Generally, copyright shall lapse 50 years after the death of the creator of the work, even in the case of works disclosed or published posthumously, to expire at the end of the last year.
  • Article 51: Non-Macanese works are copyrightable in Macau for the Macanese copyright duration or the home country or area, whichever is less, i.e. the rule of the shorter term applies in Macau.
  • Article 106: The copyright in an audiovisual work shall lapse 50 years after its disclosure.
  • Article 148: The copyright in works of applied art shall lapse 25 years after the completion of the work.
  • Article 155: The copyright in photographic works shall lapse 25 years after their completion, even if they have never been disclosed or published.
  • Article 182: The rights of performers shall lapse 50 years after the performance.
  • Article 188: The rights of producers of phonograms and videograms shall lapse 50 years after fixation.
  • Article 192: The rights of broadcasting organizations shall lapse 20 years after the broadcast.

Republic of China[edit]

According to the Copyright Act of the Republic of China in effect in Taiwan Area:

  • Article 9: Works specified in Template:PD-ROC-exempt shall not be the subject matter of copyright.
  • Article 30:
    • Generally, economic rights endure for the life of the author and 50 years after the author's death.
    • Where a work is first publicly released between the 40th and 50th years after the author's death, the economic rights shall endure for a term of 10 years beginning from the time of the first public release.
  • Article 31: Economic rights in a joint work subsist for 50 years after the death of the last surviving author.
  • Article 32
    • Economic rights in a pseudonymous work or an anonymous work endure for 50 years from the time of public release; provided, the economic rights shall be extinguished where it can be proven that the author has been deceased for over 50 years.
    • The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not apply when the pseudonym of the author is well known to the public.
  • Article 33: Economic rights in works authored by a juristic person endure for 50 years after the public release of the work; provided, if the work is not publicly released within 50 years from the completion of the creation, the economic rights shall subsist for 50 years after completion of the creation.
  • Article 34:
    • Economic rights for photographic works, audiovisual works, sound recordings, and performances endure for 50 years after the public release of the work.
    • The proviso of the preceding article shall apply mutatis mutandis to the preceding paragraph.
  • Article 35: All terms of duration specified in Articles 30 through 34 terminate as of the last day of the last year of the term.

Czech Republic[edit]

According to the Czech Copyright Law [10], §3 a) there is no copyright on official works, such as legal acts, public documents including those in preparation, documents published by the House of Representatives and Senate, state symbols (flags, coats of arms, anthems) of countries and administrative subdivisions, municipal chronicles and any other works whose exclusion from copyright protection is in public interest.

Freedom of panorama: Works permanently displayed in public area (square, street, park, public road or another public space) can be freely recorded through drawing, painting, photograph or movie, but not through three-dimensional models. Author of the derivative work should only mention the author and name of the original work, if possible (§33).

In line with EU Copyright Directive, authors are entitled to royalties for usage of their works during their lifetime and 70 years after their death (§27). Performing artists (e.g., actors, musicians, dancers) are entitled to royalties for 50 years after publishing of their performance (§73). (All terms are computed from January 1 of the year following the respective event.)

Denmark[edit]

According to Danish law, Consolidated Act on Copyright 2003, the copyright on "photographic images" expire 50 years after the image's creation. However, for "photographic works" the copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author. The definition of a photographic work, as opposed to image is not precisely defined. In general a work is considered to have to display some form of originality or other special artistic properties. Simple snap-shots do not qualify as works. Interpretation is highly subjective. There is some debate as to whether all works by a professional photographer constitute works as opposed to simple images.

Egypt[edit]

Egyptian Law states that photos are protected for 15 years starting from the starting from the publication date, after which they are in public domain.

Finland[edit]

According to Finnish Copyright law of 2005 copyright expires for photographs not considered to be "works of art" fifty years after the photograph was taken. Photographs considered to be "works of art" are protected normally for 70 years after the death of the works creator. The difference between a photograph and photographic work of art is not precisely defined. As an example, the (legally not binding) opinion of the Finnish Copyright Council [11] is that this photograph of Paavo Nurmi "-- is despite its historical importance a regular photo of current events. The photograph does not demonstrate original and personal contribution from the photographer and so it can't be considered to be -- a photographic work.".

The copyright law of 1995 extended the copyright time from 25 years (according to the 1961 copyright law) to 50 years. However, material already released to public domain according to the 1961 law remain in public domain and therefore all photographs (but not photographic works of art) released before 1956 are in the public domain.

The textual representations of Finnish coat of arms of municipalities, regions and provinces are considered to be governmental decisions and therefore they are not protected by copyright. According to the opinions of the Finnish Copyright Council 1997:11 and 1998:5 also the graphical representation is thought not to meet the requirements for a original work of art and therefore is not protected by copyright. This is also thought to be true for the coat of arms of historical provinces and other historical coats of arms.

Photos of works of art exhibited in public spaces can only be used for non-commercial purposes, unless it is clear that the work is not the main subject in the photo (freedom of panorama). There are no restrictions on photos of general buildings but a single home or yard may not be photographed.

People[edit]

[12]

Photos of people who are of public interest (famous politician, artist, sportsman) and who are carrying out their public duties or work may be published without consent.

Photos of regular people in public places[13] may not be published without their consent unless the person is clearly not the main subject of the image and the picture does not cause damage, suffering or despisal to the person in the picture.

However, if the person can be identified, the image may never be used in advertisement (commercially) without consent.

France[edit]

The relevant laws are in the first book of the Code of Intellectual Property, or CPI (English version). The code includes dispositions transposed from the 1993 European directive on Copyright. France also enforces the Berne Convention.

The normal duration of copyright is 70 years following the death of the author (or the death of the last author for multiple authors); if the work is anonymous, pseudonymous or collective, it is 70 years following the publication of the work (unless the authors named themselves). See below for important extensions to copyright.

Images from public sites[edit]

Note that French government services often use professional photographers who are not government employees to make official photographs. These photographers then typically sell an usage right to the government. In such circumstances, the government does not own the copyright to the photograph, and thus could not give us a license to use it even if it wanted to.

The rules for protection of works by the government are somewhat fuzzy, and one should assume by default that anything from a government entity is copyrighted. One should refer to:

Unless you really know what you're doing, please abstain from copying photos from French government sites to the commons. Thanks.

Wartime copyright extensions[edit]

French law grants extensions to copyright because of the World Wars (see CPI L123-8 and following). The extensions are:

  • about 5 years for WW1
  • about 8.5 years for WW2
  • 30 years for people who died for France (only in WW2?); this includes, for instance, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

Several extensions can be added together.

The European directive on copyright does not necessarily suppress these extensions:

Article 10 - Where a term of protection, which is longer than the corresponding term provided for by this Directive, is already running in a Member State on the date referred to in Article 13 (1), this Directive shall not have the effect of shortening that term of protection in that Member State.

According to the French Ministry of Culture, the legal status of these extensions, adopted when copyright was 50 years after death, was unclear in the context of the new 70-year law; the Ministry called for erring on the side of caution and assuming they are valid. [14]

Note that one should not assume that copyright holders do not try enforce these extensions. In 2005, right holders demanded payment for a movie where a character whistled The Internationale, whose author died in 1932. On the other hand, the Paris Appeal Court ruled against applying the extensions in 2004 [15], but on 12 October 2005, another section of the same court applied the extension so that the works of a painter who died in 1931 will not enter the public domain before late 2016 [16].

On February 27, 2007, the Court of Cassation, supreme jurisdiction, first civil chamber, ruled in the Hazan case (arrêt n° 280 du 27 février 2007) that articles L123-8 and L123-9, extending the duration of protection to compensate for wartimes, were not applicable to works for which an extended protection period (beyond 70 years) had not started to elapse on July 1, 1995.[17][18]

Wikimédia France is investigating the case.

Works of arts, including architecture, exhibited in public spaces[edit]

The architect of a notable building owns copyright over the representations of that building, including postcards and photographs. For instance, the architect of the pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre Museum may claim copyright over images of the pyramid. This, for instance, extends to the designer of lighting systems; for instance, the company operating the Eiffel Tower claims copyright of images of the tower when lighted at night.

However, ruling #567 of March 15, 2005 of the Court of Cassation denied the right of producers of works of arts installed in a public plaza over photographs of the whole plaza:

Because the Court has noticed that, as it was shown in the incriminated images, the works of Mr X... and Z... blended into the architectural ensemble of the Terreaux plaza, of which it was a mere element, the appeals court correctly deduced that this presentation of the litigious work was accessory to the topic depicted, which was the representation of the plaza, so that the image did not constitute a communication of the litigious work to the public

The court draws a distinction between depictions of a work of art, and depictions of whole settings of which the work of art is a mere part, and denies the right of the artist over such images.

While architects have may have rights to works derived from their work of art, this is not the case of the owners of works of art or buildings, in general. The summary of the conclusions of a May 7, 2004 ruling by the Court of Cassation was:

The owner of a thing does not have an exclusive right over the image of this thing; he or she can however oppose the usage of this image by a third party if this usage results in an abnormal disturbance to him or her."

In this decision, the court excluded that the owner of a hotel, who had made extensive repairs and enhancements to the buildings at high costs, could claim exclusive rights to the image of that hotel: merely demonstrating that the costs supported did not demonstrate that the publishing of images was an abnormal disturbance.

The Court already ruled on June 5, 2003, that the right of property comprised absolutely no right to the image of this property. However, they also upheld the right to privacy of the homeowners: in this case, not only a photograph of a house was published, but also its exact location and the name of the owners. Earlier rulings (May 2, 2001) similarly rejected requests based on ownership without a justification of an abnormal disturbance.

Germany[edit]

freedom of panorama[edit]

Objects permanently located in public that can be photographed from public (accessible) grounds, without devices such as a ladder, can be used by its photographer for any purpose, regardless of wherther they display an artwork/building or not. This right is called Panoramafreiheit (freedom of panorama). However in some circumstances certain modifications (but not usage) of the image can be prohibited by the copyright owner of the object (artist or architect) if the copyright of that object has not expired. A notable exception from freedom of panorama was the wrapped German Reichstag by the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude since it was from the beginning not a permanent installation.

There are some cases (e.g. images of sculptures by living artists displayed in public) in which there is a discussion on whether they are acceptable on the commons in the future. (See discussion). When in doubt, German Wikipedia might be a better choice for upload.

official works[edit]

By German law, documents are in the public domain (gemeinfrei) if they have been published as part of a law or official decree or edict, or if they have been released as an official announcement or for public information. The relevant law is section 5 of the UrhG. The first and most important sentence states:

Gesetze, Verordnungen, amtliche Erlasse und Bekanntmachungen sowie Entscheidungen und amtlich verfaßte Leitsätze zu Entscheidungen genießen keinen urheberrechtlichen Schutz.

For more information about German copyright laws, see the meta-page Wikipedia:Bildrechte on the German Wikipedia.

India[edit]

According to Indian copyright law, all pictures published in India more than 60 years ago are in the public domain. [19] Official website

Indonesia[edit]

Translated from Indonesian Copyright Act No. 19, 2002 ([20] in Indonesian):

Chapter II, Section 5, about the limitation of copyright.

Article 14: Copyright violation cannot be claimed for:

  • Publication and/or distribution of the country insignia and national anthem whenever there is no modification from the original.
  • Publication and/or distribution of any object that has been published and/or distributed by or under the name of the Government, except if the copyright of the object is protected, either by law or by written consent, when the object was published and/or distributed.
  • Citing of actual news, fully or partially, from any news agency, broadcasting agency, and newspaper or any other publishing materials, with a complete description of the source.

Chapter III, about copyright duration.

Article 29

  • Copyright duration of book, pamphlet, and any writing materials, theatrical act and musical act, dance, choreography, all kind of art products, song and music with or without lyrics, architecture, presentation, course, map and translation is as long as the author live, or 50 years later after the author died.

Article 30

  • Copyright duration of software, cinematography, photography, database and engineering product is 50 years after the invention of the product.

Iran[edit]

According to the Iranian "Law for Supporting Authors, Composers, and Artists" (قانون حمایت حقوق مؤلفان و مصنفان و هنرمندان), passed on 11 Dey 1348 (January 1, 1970) and published in the official newspaper number 7288 on 21 Bahman 1348 (February 1, 1970), for many images, including paintings, the work is in the public domain if all of its authors have died for at least 30 Iranian years (may be different from 30 Gregorian years by a few days).

As special exceptions, if the work is cinematic or photographic or if the (economic) rights of a work have been transferred to a legal person, the work will become public domain after 30 Iranian years from its publication or offering.

Iraq[edit]

Iraqi Law states that photos are protected for 5 years, starting from the publication date, after which they are in public domain.

Israel[edit]

According to Israel's copyright law, works are protected until 70 years after their author's death. Pictures are protected for 50 years from the day the picture was taken, unless the pictures were taken by a public authority (the government) in which case the pictures are protected for 50 years from the day of publication. Freedom of Panorama applies: Taking and publishing photos of works of art – if these are permanently installed in a public place – and of architectural works is allowed.

Italy[edit]

In compliance to Italian copyright law term of copyright expires according to law of 22 April 1941 n. 633, revised by the law of 22 May 2004, n. 128 article 87 and article 92, all non artistic photographs enter the public domain after 20 years counted from the beginning of the following calendar year (ie. as of 2006, prior to the 1st of January, 1986) after they were first published, this rule is valid also for italian film's screenshot. Artistic photographs enter in the public domain after 70 years.

The theory that the 70 year rule applies to works of the Italian government is unproven and disputed. See Template talk:PD-ItalyGov.

Japan[edit]

According to the Japanese Copyright Law, the copyright subsists for the life of the author plus 50 years (article 51). If the work is anonymous or pseudonymous, the copyright lasts for 50 years after the publication or the death of the author, whichever is the earlier (article 52). The copyrights of the works in names of organizations expire in 50 years after the publication, or in 50 years after the creation if the works are not published within 50 years after the creation (article 53). Films are exceptionally protected for 70 years after the publication, or in 70 years after the creation if the films are not published within 70 years of the creation (article 54).

Works correspond to the following are not eligible for copyrights (article 13).

  • The constitution, and other laws and ordinances.
  • Announcements and notifications by the organizations of the national or local governments.
  • Judicial decisions of the law courts.

Jordan[edit]

Jordanian Law states that photos and two dimensional artistic works are protected for 25 years starting from the end of the publication year, after which they are in public domain.

Kenya[edit]

Copyright protection exists during the life of the author and 50 years after his or her death for works other than photographs or 50 years after the first publication for photographs. [21]

Kuwait[edit]

Kuwaiti Law states that photos, films and two dimensional artistic works are protected for 50 years starting from the end of the publication year, after which they are in public domain.

Lebanon[edit]

Lebanese Law states that photos and two dimensional artistic works are protected for 50 years starting from the end of the publication year, after which they should be under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5.

Mexico[edit]

According to the Mexican law (See Art. 29: Ley federal del derecho de autor, critical commentary, in Spanish) a copyright subsists for the life of the author plus 100 years following the end of the calendar year of death of the youngest author or the publication date in case of the federal, state or municipal governments. There is one exception: works that were already in the public domain before July 23, 2003. Generally speaking, that means works created by someone who had died before July 23, 1928 (75 years before).

For a brief guide to Mexican copyright law see User:Drini/Mexican copyright law. Also note works created by mexican goverment do not default to PD, they being protected 100 years after publishing (art. 29) -- Drini 02:21, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Morocco[edit]

Moroccan Law states that photos and films are Protected for 50 years starting from the end of the publication year, after which they are in public domain.

Netherlands[edit]

Dutch laws and legal judgements are completely free of copyright (Article 11 of Dutch copyright law of 1912).

Works of individual authors enjoy copyright protection until 70 years after the 1st January following the author's death. The duration of the copyright belonging jointly to two or more persons in their capacity as co-authors of a work shall be calculated from 1 January of the year following the year of the death of the last surviving co-author. The copyright in a work of which the author has not been indicated or has not been indicated in such a way that his identity is beyond doubt shall, or a public institution, association, foundation or company is deemed the author, expires 70 years after 1 January of the year following that in which the work was first lawfully communicated to the public.

Norway[edit]

Works are protected 70 years after author's death, or 70 years after publication if the author is unknown/anonymous. There is one exception: Photos that are not considered artistic works (i.e. snapshots) are protected until no less than 15 years after the photographer's death and no less than 50 years after publication.

Photos of works of art exhibited in public spaces can only be used for non-commercial purposes, unless it is clear that the work is not the main subject in the photo (freedom of panorama). There are no restrictions on photos of buildings.

Photos of people may not be published without their consent unless either a) the image illustrates a current event of interest the general public, or b) the person is clearly not the main subject of the image (i.e. passers-by may be included unless they fill an unreasonable amount of the image) or c) the image depicts a gathering, an outdoor parade or something which is of interest to the general public. This is part of the Copyright Act, and thus might affect the right to publish an image under a free license, as the person depicted retains the right to refuse use of the image.

Texts of laws and decisions, reports and statements made and published by state or local authorities are not protected by copyright, but images used in such publications may be protected unless they were made specifically for the publication.

Recordings of performances are copy-protected for 50 years[22], after which time they may be used freely (the material of the performance may still be bound by copyright, however).

Norwegian currency is protected by copyright (see Commons:Currency#Norway).

Pakistan[edit]

According to Pakistani copyright laws, all photographs enter the public domain fifty years after they were created, and all non-photographic works enter the public doman fifty years after the death of the creator.

The Philippines[edit]

Copyrighted photographs are protected for 50 years after publication. Works by the government of the Philippines are not protected by copyright. However, prior approval of the government agency or office wherein the work was created is necessary for exploitation of such works for profit. (Republic Act 8293)

Russia and former Soviet Union[edit]

Copyrights of works created in Russia is based on the Russian copyright law of 1993 and its amendments of 1995 and 2004 (Федеральный закон от 9.07.1993 № 5351-1).

The same law applies to the works from the former Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic of the USSR, since Russia is recognized as the successor of the state of the USSR. Copyrights of works originating from other former Soviet republics may be claimed by the corresponding w:post-Soviet states.

See Commons:Copyright tags#Russia and former Soviet Union for specific copyright tags.

Note: There was a discussion whether pre-1973 works from Soviet Union are copyright-free, originating in the period of uncertainty after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It was concuded that this theory is incorrect; see discussions in en:Template_talk:PD-USSR and Template talk:PD-Soviet.

Saudi Arabia[edit]

Saudi Arabian Law states that the "protection period for applied art (handcrafted or manufactured) and photographs shall be twenty five years of the date of publication." Films, sound and artistic works are protected for 50 years starting from the publication date, after which they are in the public domain.

Slovakia[edit]

According to section 27 of the Slovak copyright law, Slovakia has freedom of panorama. Works permanently located at public places may be freely reproduced by drawing, painting, graphics, relief picture or relief model, or by photography or film, and such reproductions may be freely published and sold without the consent of the original author.

Spain[edit]

In Spain the "copyright" is known as "intellectual property". Generally, according to Spanish law, Royal Act 1/1996, on april 12th, about Intellectual Property (Spanish PDF), the copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author. If the "intellectual property" of the work isn't owned by anybody, or it is a collective work where individual authors are not identifiable, this work would be on public domain after 70 years since the date of publication. However, works before 1987 are dealed with 1879 law, which sets a protection time of eighty years post mortem auctoris.

70-year limits are calculated from 1st January, the following year to the date of the death or publication.

Exceptions to this (that may be useful in commons) are:

  • The pieces of work situated permanently in parks, streets, squares and other public ways can be reproduced, distributed and communicated freely by using paintings, drawings, photographies and audiovisual procedures.
  • Legal or ruling dispositions and their correspondent projects, resolutions of jurisdictional organs and acts, agreements, deliberations and reports of public organizations, and so official translations of all these texts are not subjected to "intellectual property".

Sudan[edit]

Sudanese Law states that photos and films are protected for 25 years starting from the publication date, after which they are in public domain.

Sweden[edit]

Photographs published after 1994 are protected for 70 years after the author's death if they have an artistical or scientific value.[2] Photos that lack artistic value are only protected for 50 years after creation. If the photograph was published before 1994, transitional regulations apply -- see {{PD-Sweden}}.

Works of art permanently exhibited in public spaces can be used without consideration to the creator of the work of art, eg. freedom of panorama, and there are no restrictions on photos of buildings. (Upphovsrättslagen 24 §)

Governmental laws and ordinances, decisions and statements published by Swedish authorities, and official translations thereof, are not copyright protected. (Upphovsrättslagen 9 §)

An English translation of the Copyright Act is available at sweden.gov.se.

Switzerland[edit]

In Switzerland, copyright is covered in the Copyright Act (Urheberrechtsgesetz, URG, SR 231.1). Generally, copyright lasts for 70 years after the death of the (last) author. If authorship is unknown, copyright lasts for 70 years after the first publication.

Works not covered by copyright include:

  • laws, ordinances, international treaties and other official acts;
  • currency;
  • decisions, protocols and reports by public authorities;
  • patents and patent applications.

(see also template {{PD-Switzerland-official}})

To be eligible for copyright in the first place, a work must be of individual character, i.e. be an individual expression of thought (Art. 2 par. 1 URG). Many photographs are therefore not protected (see {{PD-Switzerland-photo}} for details).

Syria[edit]

Syrian Law states that photos and two dimensional artistic works are protected for 10 years starting from the production date, after which they are in public domain.

Taiwan[edit]

See #Republic of China above.

Tajikistan[edit]

See: here, copied from [23].

Copyright generally lasts for 50 years after the death of the author. Works not covered by Copyright are covered in Article 7.

  1. official documents (laws, court decisions, other texts of legislative, administrative or judicial character) and official translations thereof;
  2. state emblems and official signs (flags, armorial bearings, decorations, monetary signs and other State symbols and official signs);
  3. communications concerning events and facts that have informational character;
  4. works of folklore.

Anything that falls under this description can use {{PD-Tajikistan}}

United Kingdom[edit]

As with the rest of the European Union the basic copyright term in the United Kingdom is life of the author plus 70 years. There are a number of variations on this however. Works in the United Kingdom fall into two categories for the purposes of copyright duration: government works and non-government works. The former are covered by Crown copyright and Parliamentary copyright and their special duration rules and the latter by ordinary copyright duration rules.

Crown Copyright[edit]

Crown copyright works have a basic term of protection of 50 years from date of commercial publication. For Crown works created before the entry into force of the Copyright Act 1956 on 30 June 1957 other rules apply. Crown copyright photographs created prior to 30 June 1957 have a copyright term of 50 years from creation. Published Crown copyright engravings created prior to 30 June 1957 have a copyright term of 50 years from commercial publication. Unpublished Crown copyright engravings of the period come out of copyright at the end of 2039. Crown artistic works other than engravings and photographs created prior to 30 June 1957 have a copyright term of 50 years from creation.

Further special rules apply to Crown artistic works created between 30 June 1957 and the entry into force of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 on 1 August 1989. Published engravings created in this period are still out of copyright 50 years after commercial publication. Unpublished engravings created in this period come out of copyright at the end of 2039 as before. Published photographs are out of copyright 50 years after publication. Unpublished photographs come out of copyright at the end of 2039. Other artistic works come out of copyright 50 years after creation.

For a summary of these times see the flowchart at [24].

Crown copyright sound recordings are much more simple. Copyright expires 50 years after creation unless the work is commercially published during that period when copyright expires 50 years after first publication.

Parliamentary Copyright[edit]

Parliamentary copyright was created by the Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988 and its duration rules are the same as for Crown copyright materials created after 30 August 1989.

Ordinary Copyright[edit]

For ordinary copyright works the largest distinction is between those with a known author and those with a pseudonymous or anonymous author. There are also distinctions in copyright term between artistic works and sound recordings. The commencement dates for the Copyright Act 1957 and the Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988 are also crucial.

If the work was created after 30 August 1989 and has a known author copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author. If the work was photograph with a known author taken before 30 June 1957 then copyright also expires 70 years after the death of the author. If the work is a non-photograph artistic work with a known author which was created prior to 30 August 1989 then several scenarios can apply:

  1. If the work was published during the author's lifetime then copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author.
  2. If the work was published before 30 August 1989 and the author died more than 20 years before publication then copyright expires 50 years after publication.
  3. If the work was published before 30 August 1989 and the author died less than 20 years before publication then copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author.
  4. If the work was not published before 30 August 1989 and the author died after 1968 then copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author.
  5. If the work was not published before 30 August 1989 and the author died before 1969 then copyright expires at the end of 2039.

If the author is unknown then the basic time period to bear in mind is 70 years. If the work has an unknown author and was created after 30 August 1989 copyright expires either 70 years after creation or if during that period the work is made available to the public 70 years after that. If the work is a photograph with an unknown author taken before 1 June 1957 then copyright expires 70 years after creation or if during that period the work is made available to the public 70 years after that. If the work was created before 1969 with an unknown author then several scenarios can apply:

  1. If the work was published before 30 August 1989 then copyright expires 70 years after first publication.
  2. If the work is unpublished and was first made available to the public after 1968 then copyright expires 70 years after the work was first made available to the public.
  3. If the work is unpublished and has never been made available to the public then copyright expires at the end of 2039.
  4. If the work is unpublished and was first made available to the public before 1969 then copyright expires at the end of 2039.

For a summary of these rules see the flowchart [25].

The rules for ordinary copyright sound recordings are the same as for Crown copyright sound recordings.

Typographical Copyright[edit]

If scanning a copyright-expired work from a British publication typographical copyright must be borne in mind. This subsists for 25 years from creation of the publication and covers the typographical arrangement of the publication. It does not exist in the United States.

Publication Right[edit]

One related right to copyright that must be borne in mind in the United Kingdom is publication right. This applies to ordinary copyright works but does not apply to Crown copyright works. If the copyright of an unpublished work has expired (virtually impossible before 2039) then the first publisher of that work is entitled to publication right over that work. Publication right has the same rules as copyright but only lasts for 25 years. It does not exist in the United States.

Database Right[edit]

If scanning material from a publication from 1982 or later database right must also be borne in mind. This right normally lasts 15 years from creation or substantial amendment of the database. Many books count as databases due to their systematic arrangement of information. Under transitional provisions works created from 1982-1997 are also covered by database right until the end of 2012, ie 15 years after the passage of the original legislation. It does not exist in the United States.

Exceptions to Copyright[edit]

As with many other countries the UK defines an exception to copyright infringement for artistic works on public display. Section 62 of the Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988 states that it is not an infringement of copyright to film, photograph, broadcast or make a graphic image of a building, sculpture, models for buildings or work of artistic craftsmanship if that work is permanently situated in a public place or in premises open to the public.

United States[edit]

Anything published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain. Anything published before January 1, 1964 and not renewed is in the public domain (search the renewal records for books and maps here). Anything published before March 1, 1989 with no copyright notice ("©", "Copyright" or "Copr.") plus the year of publication (may be omitted in some cases) plus the copyright owner (or pseudonym) is in the public domain.

Photographic works created after January 1 1978 are protected for 70 years after the death of the creator. Works created but not published before January 1 1978 are protected for 95 years from the date they were registered for copyright, or 95 (for anonymous or pseudononymous works) resp. 120 years (for works by individuals) from year of creation, whichever expires first. (see [26] for more information)

Works by the US Government[edit]

A work by the US federal Government is in the public domain.

  • Images on government or government agency websites are not necessarily public domain; always look for copyright notices or similar. Especially the images on the favourite website "Astronomy Picture of the Day" are in most cases not within the public domain but all rights reserved by their individual authors (so please do not upload images from there to Wikimedia Commons).
  • This does not include governments of the individual states.
  • This does not include Government-funded corporations like Amtrak or the USPS. In particular, the USPS holds copyright on all US postage stamps produced after 1978 (older US stamps are all public domain).
  • This also does not include works commissioned by the US Government, but produced by contractors; in this case, the copyright may have been assigned to the US Government (for instance, the copyright of the official Ada programming language manual was assigned to the US Department of Defense).
  • Some US government agencies may work in cooperation with other agencies or corporations; this is in particular the case of NASA, which operates the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in cooperation with Caltech, and operates a number of space projects in cooperation with foreign agencies such as ESA and CNES. Only materials solely produced by NASA will be in the public domain. The other agencies may hold copyright on some material, including material published on NASA sites (there will be copyright notices in that case).
  • Commercial use of some Federal images, such as identifying insignian or identification, is prohibited however. Fraudulent use (such as wearing military decorations without authorization) is also banned.
    • The w:United States Army Institute of Heraldry - the official custodian of ALL United States governmental images has addressed this issue with its Copyright statement, which informs the reader as to how to meet any commercial needs under this statute.

Yemen[edit]

Yemeni Law states that photos and two dimensional artistic works are protected for 10 years starting from the beginning of the publication year. It also states that television screenshots are protected for 3 years starting from the original broadcast date.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. This may be regulated by geographical, trademark, or other laws unrelated to copyrights, which Wikimedia Commons can not account for. Wikimedia Commons tries to ensure that any such restrictions are mentioned on the image description page, but it is the responsibility of the user to ensure that the use of the media does not violate any applicable law. In particular, copyrights of certain material may have expired in one country, while still being applicable in another country. Furthermore, many commons licences, such as GFDL and Creative Commons Share-Alike, require that any derivatory work must be released under the same license conditions
  2. The definition of a photographic work, as opposed to a photo, is not precisely defined. There are still no precends on this, but in practice "artistical or scientific value" has come to apply only to photos with distinctive originality, not to snapshot-like photos such as press photos.

Weblinks[edit]

Collections of laws:

Copyright treaties:

Other: