Commons:2D copying

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2D copying refers to making a two-dimensional facsimile of a two-dimensional object.

Examples of this include:

  • using a digital scanner
  • taking a screenshot of a computer program, computer game, TV program or film
  • photographing books, etc. with the intention of faithfully reproducing the 2D content
  • photographing 2D art (e.g. paintings)
  • using a photocopier
  • line tracing

2D copying does not generate any new copyright because the resulting work is defined entirely by the original work; there is no creative input. Therefore, authors who create 2D copies are not entitled to copyright for these works, and the copyright of the original work applies.

For Commons, this means 2D copies are only free if the original is also free. A book or photograph whose copyright has expired is free, as are computer programs if and only if the program is licensed under open source licenses such as the GPL.


Main gallery: Commons:Screenshots.

Screenshots of free computer programs can be tagged as follows: {{free screenshot|license=<LICENSE NAME>}} A link should also be provided to the copyright notice of the program so that its license is verifiable.

See also