Commons:Village pump/Copyright

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Welcome to the Village pump copyright section

This Wikimedia Commons page is used for general discussions relating to copyright and license issues, and for discussions relating to specific files' copyright issues. Discussions relating to specific copyright policies should take place on the talk page of the policy, but may be advertised here. Recent sections with no replies for 7 days and sections tagged with {{section resolved|1=~~~~}} may be archived; for old discussions, see the archives.

Commons discussion pages (index)

Please note
  1. One of Wikimedia Commons' basic principles is: "Only free content is allowed." Please do not ask why unfree material is not allowed at Wikimedia Commons or suggest that allowing it would be a good thing.
  2. Have you read the FAQ?
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Free Image?[edit]

Part of is on en-wiki as a non-free image. The text under the photo starts "U.S.N. 349." - is that enough to be able to use a {{PD-USGov-Military-Navy}} license? OR will a {{PD-US}} work? I've no idea where "North River" is. Ronhjones  (Talk) 20:58, 5 December 2017 (UTC)

This enthusiast site has rehosted the image from the NYPL and adds that the picture was taken in New York/New Jersey. That, the caption "USN 349" and the fact NYPL attributes the Navy Department Library as their source make me think these are strong enough suggestions of this being a military work. seb26 (talk) 00:44, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for that Ronhjones  (Talk) 00:20, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

File:Angela Boškin.jpg[edit]

I am wondering if the licensing of this file is correct. It was just uploaded the other day and there is a non-free file uploaded locally to English Wikipedia under the same name as en:File:Angela Boškin.jpg. The English Wikipedia file was uploaded back in September 2016 giving a different source, but it looks to be basically a crop of this photo. Because both files have the same name, the local file is shadowing the Commons one, which means that the local file will be used even if the person thinks they are using the Commons one. This can be a problem because the local file will called up even on pages where non-free use is not allowed on English Wikipedia. Usually, this shadowing can be resolved by simply changing one of the two file names, but in this case the files appear to be from the same original photo. If the Commons one's licensing is OK, then most likely the local file can be converted to that license; if, however, it's not OK, then it probably needs to be reassessed and even possibly be deleted. In the latter case, no file name change or license conversion would be needed for the lcoal file. Anyone have any opinions on whether the Commons file is really PD in both Slovenia and the US? -- Marchjuly (talk) 21:46, 5 December 2017 (UTC)

The English Wikipedia having the same file under a fair use license is rarely indicative of much, besides the fact that someone found it easier to upload under fair use than worry about the details. Assuming the identification of it as a WWI photo of her is correct, it's almost certainly PD in the US, provided it was published at the time. Given that there's no author or original publication information, there's no way to tell anything about its status in a life+70 nation like Slovenia; it's got another 20 years before we can assume it's PD in a life+70 nation (under the 120 years rule), even assuming it was published circa 1917.--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:53, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
Well, in the meantime, I tried to fix the horrible moire pattern on the image linked in the heading. Not sure how successful I was. Interestingly, the "crop" at has no such problem. Make of that what you will. -- Begoon 12:28, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
The en-wiki article says it is from her graduation in Vienna in 1914. If there is enough to assume anonymous publication around that time, such as being part of a graduating class' yearbook, it would be PD-anon-70-EU and PD-1923 for the US. Austria does have a shorter term for photographs as well, see {{PD-Austria-1932}} (the argument there is that a quirk in the wording of the implementation of the EU directive meant that such photographs were *not* retroactively restored in Austria). Whether Slovenia would qualify as the Berne country of origin, with that shorter term for photographs, harder to say. It was presumably published in Austria-Hungary, in the Austrian Empire portion, and Slovenia is indeed one of the successor nations -- so if "simultaneously published" in all successor nations, the country of origin would be the one with the shortest term. The "source country" for the URAA would be Austria, but that is likely irrelevant as it was published before 1923 anyways. Austria did not join the Berne Convention until 1920 though, by which time Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia (which joined Berne in 1930). The photo was apparently taken, and presumably published, in Vienna. I see another version of it here. It does seem as though there are multiple sources, which indicates publication around then. I think it's PD-1923, with possibly enough to assume anonymous publication, and PD-Austria-1932 would also apply. So maybe keep with that latter template instead of the Slovenian one. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:33, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes, Begoon, Clindberg: Thanks for all the time you have put into trying to figure this out. If it is determined that this photo is PD and the licensing is converted per Clindberg's suggestion, then can the local cropped version be converted to the same licensing even though the given source is different. -- Marchjuly (talk) 21:26, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
@Marchjuly: I was also looking at the Austrian angle and I think Carl has the right view on it. Personally I think one might be better off to make a cropped version of the commons file as then both will have the same source and a cropped version looks like it will be about the same resolution, and then let the non-free enwiki get deleted as a non-free orphan when it gets replaced in the article. Ww2censor (talk) 10:02, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
@Ww2censor: That's fine with me and I suggested that might be a possibility to the editor who uploaded the Wikipedia file. If that's what needs to be done, then perhaps you can explain it to her so that she doesn't re-add the local file after being notified that it's an orphan and will be deleted unless it's re-added to an article. -- Marchjuly (talk) 13:12, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
except the editor on english may not trust you not to delete it here in the future, and will want a local copy. can't say PD-1923 because Vienna, so you are at the mercy of european anonymous haters who insist on 120. Slowking4 § Sander.v.Ginkel's revenge 03:53, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

I have permission from the owner to use their images, where do I cite that please?[edit]

Hi, I wish to upload an image of a public figure. I do have "express permission" from this person to do so, but I cannot find where to cite that permission, or however that works.

I do not wish to accidentally violate the copyright terms, but if I do have permission, how do I make that work?

Thank you — Preceding unsigned comment added by VioletCharles (talk • contribs) 18:07, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

@VioletCharles: You (or the actual copyright holder) can send an email (see Commons:Email templates) to For a full description of this process, see Commons:OTRS, especially When do I contact OTRS? --Animalparty (talk) 18:42, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
You should also have a permission from the photographer. Ruslik (talk) 18:50, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

Using words / sentences from wiktionary for speech[edit]


I want to use words / sentences from wiktionary for a speech service (so using it "as speech" / in spoken form). The problem is, that I cannot point to the original page (license requirement), because there is no conventional user interface or web page.

How can I fulfill the license requirement?

Thanks for your help! —Preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:10, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

Single words are not protected by copyright. So, no attribution is required. Ruslik (talk) 19:57, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
I think the enquirer is thinking of quoting definitions from Wiktionary, not just single words. Something like honorable is defined in the dictionary as "Worthy of respect; respectable". The question how this should be attributed to a Wiktionary page. If this is a religious service in various countries then copyright exemptions may apply, but this is still a valid question. Verbcatcher (talk) 22:30, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
Yes, that is exactly the use case I meant. Using words and the definition of them. —Preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:13, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

Christmas village (miniatures) photos[edit]

This one in particular File:Dickens Village at night.jpg (or another one). These are installations made by Mary Ellen Page (a designer working for Department 56, if I understand properly). Are they correctly under a free license by uploaders?

I am not some bored Commons-lurker in search "what else to delete now?.." :-) But as I decided to write the Russian version of Christmas village (w:ru:Рождественский городок) then after some hesitation I decided to ask. It is better to clear all up now then having delinkers by Christmas (if there are any problems). --NeoLexx (talk) 18:23, 7 December 2017 (UTC)

File:MHBS Logo-shield[edit]

This file seems unlikely to be "own work", but I'm wondering if it can be converted to {{PD-logo}} since it looks to be below c:COM:TOO#United States. File is for en:Mars Hill Bible School and can be seen here. If not PD, then I think this would need to be deleted as COM:FAIR unless it's license can be OTRS verified. -- Marchjuly (talk) 05:07, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

Marchjuly: given that this is a U.S. logo not involving any other country and it more or less has the complexity of those shown at COM:TOO#United States, {{PD-textlogo}} looks okay to me. seb26 (talk) 12:25, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

Photograph of old painting[edit]

I'd like to upload this image: and another one just like it. The website clearly states that the painting is out of copyright due to the date of the author's death. However the website also states that "You may order a copy or use the online copy for research or study; for other uses Contact us.". Can I upload the image? Mrpalermo (talk) 09:01, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

Yes -- (talk) 10:17, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Mrpalermo, yes, this 1891 work is out of copyright in the U.S. because of its publication date, and out of copyright in Australia because its author died before 1955. Use {{PD-Art|PD-old-auto-1923|Australia|deathyear=1922}} and {{PD-Australia}} as the license. Cheers, seb26 (talk) 12:22, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Thankyou and thankyou seb26 for the explaination -- Mrpalermo (talk) 20:38, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
If you are in Australia (or the UK), local law *might* mean there is a copyright on the photograph separate from the painting's copyright. Commons policy is to ignore that aspect in this particular case -- see Commons:When to use the PD-Art tag. It's up to the uploader if they want to take the risk or not. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:13, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
As far as we can tell, nobody in either country has ever been successfully sued for damages, or even been taken to court. It's bunkum. -- (talk) 22:46, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Also true. But there was a reason we created the PD-Art tag in the first place, so it's still good to point that out, so that people are aware. It may count as a protected "simple photo" in some countries, for example. It's good to be aware of the situation in the uploader's own country. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:38, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

File:Ravinder Bhalla.png[edit]

Can anyone tell me how I can determine if User:ShoppingCartographer really works for MSNBC, and is really authorized to upload this screenshot from this video on MSNBC's YouTube channel to the Commons, for use in his Wikipedia article? Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 19:15, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

@Nightscream: Anyone can upload a screenshot from that video as {{cc-by-3.0}} per the license on YouTube, one doesn't have to work for MSNBC.   — Jeff G. ツ 19:54, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
This is allowable because of the license on the YouTube page. If you click on 'SHOW MORE' under MSNBC it says Licence - Creative Commons Attribution licence (reuse allowed). Verbcatcher (talk) 00:30, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Wow. That seems pretty unusual that a major commercial network would release material with a CC license on YouTube. Not that it necessarily matters to this particular case, but has anyone seen any documentation about this (e.g. an announcement by MSNBC or anything other than the existence of that license with the video)? — Rhododendrites talk |  03:06, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
I have tagged it with {{LicenseReview}}, as MSNBC might change their mind. Verbcatcher (talk) 03:29, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
Does it matter? That video is on MSNBC's official YT channel. Is its provenance in doubt? Nightscream (talk) 15:25, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
The LicenseReview is not about doubting the license, it's about having an administrator or license reviewer mark that the license was in fact correct, so if it does change, we can look at it and say that we have reason to in fact trust the license on it was correct.--Prosfilaes (talk) 17:14, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

File:DanielaSedelke.jpg & File:Daniela Sedelke.jpg[edit]

Err were do I start? A local politician has uploaded these two images and claiming copyright; presumably to use on her article about herself by drafting it on Benutzerin Diskussion:Daniela Sedelke but has instead drafted on WC's User:Daniela Sedelke. Does WC have widget that can just transfer it all over to Facebook or something, as it is promotional and conflicts with Wikipedia's Conflict of Interest policy too. I don't want to start deleting because like all politicians, their hearts are often in the right place but their brains are often scrambled. P.g.champion (talk) 23:37, 8 December 2017 (UTC)

@P.g.champion: No, sorry, we just have Commons:Deletion requests/Files uploaded by Daniela Sedelke.   — Jeff G. ツ 23:51, 8 December 2017 (UTC)
Oh well. I suppose thats how the cookie crumbles or in her case the aachener printen. P.g.champion (talk) 00:03, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

Image of Prince Harry and JJ Chalmers[edit]

Is this image in the public domain, or is one version in the public domain and another licensed as CC-BY-SA 2.0? I checked Flickr and saw the image tagged as CC-BY-SA. However, I also saw it in and, implying that it is in the public domain. The photographer's profile says that his on-duty works are in the public domain. Which one is more correct, Flickr account or the typical PD-USGov stuff? George Ho (talk) 05:34, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

George Ho, it is a military work and the CC license is not valid. There may be numerous reasons which could explain why the flickr photo has it labelled as CC, including it being a default setting in that user's flickr account, a casual oversight, etc. But if it was produced as part of the photographer's work for the DOD, then technically at no point was the power to decide licensing terms given to them. seb26 (talk) 03:15, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Although the image doesn't include the EXIF matadata, the MoD did include the EXIF 'short title' of 160508-D-DB155-006.JPG. This exposure series appears on File:Prince Harry speaks during the opening ceremony (26811260352).jpg of the same event, which does show the full EXIF including the 'short title'. So CC does seem very inappropriate. For on a paid assignment as an employee, one can't switch back-and-forth. The CC copyright on on the latter is also questionable. Someone with more understanding of US Gov copyright may agree to strip out the CC and leave them as US Gov PD. P.g.champion (talk) 19:26, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

Copyvios being overwritten with Japanese text[edit]

Can someone who reads Japanese please shed some light on what the small 180x30 pixel block of text says?

Users Fenrir Wolf, Taisyo, you are invited to this discussion. Could you please explain what your intention was when overwriting these images? I would like to know more, because we generally do not overwrite images that are copyright violations. If it is eligible to be speedily deleted and there is a clear source link, it is normally tagged with just {{copyvio}}. There is no need to overwrite the image because administrators review copyvios very quickly. If there is no clear source link, then the deletion request process is used and 7 days are allowed to pass so that others can contribute. This time period is important because without a source link it is only an accusation or suggestion of copyright violation, and so it is fair to give time to the uploader to appropriately respond. Cheers, seb26 (talk) 18:06, 9 December 2017 (UTC)

@Seb26: The text is basically a notice which says that the file has been nominated for deletion and further details can be found on the file's DR subpage. In a sense it's the same information provided in the deletion template, just more general and in image form. Perhaps, this is something used on Japanese Wikipedia for local file deletions, if they use do such a thing. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:50, 9 December 2017 (UTC)
The overwriting has now been reverted by Thibaut120094, citing COM:OVERWRITE. seb26 (talk) 15:48, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

Christmas lights?[edit]

Sometime in the next week I'm planning to head to a neighborhood of New York known for elaborate Christmas lights spectacles (Dyker Heights, Brooklyn for those in the area). It occurs to me FOP may be something I need to consider. I did a search for past discussions but haven't found anything definitive. To what extent are such displays copyrighted? — Rhododendrites talk |  02:18, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

I'm surprised at how difficult this has been to find an answer to. FWIW I've also asked on Reddit, with some responses but no real answer so far. — Rhododendrites talk |  19:57, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Also pinging Clindberg, who commented on a thread about this a few years ago (linking to a document that is now a broken link, with no backup on, unfortunately). — Rhododendrites talk |  20:09, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Of course Christmas displays can be copyrighted; taking a modern painting or photo and displaying it in Christmas lights is going to have the same copyright as the original. The letter of the law is going to be stricter here than current practice, I think. I think ultimately any elaborate Christmas lights display is going to be technically copyrighted. Just tossing lights on a tree or a house won't, but careful design will. The Christmas lights the image at the top of this article, to grab one example, is hard for me, because a lot of it is dictated by the form of the objects the lights are surrounding, and some of the patterns are, I'm guessing, off the shelf. But ultimately I'm tending towards a copyright for the whole thing.--Prosfilaes (talk) 21:01, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
That can be a tough question, since I'm not sure there is a lot of guidance about it. Kind of doubt a regular lighting display would be copyrightable, at least in the U.S. It's not in a fixed medium of expression. And you couldn't copyright anything as far as just following the form of trees that they are on, etc. -- the form would be dictated by those objects, not the person. The coloration and lighting effects also probably wouldn't count. But, if there are any sculptural works as part of the display... those would be copyrightable. And I guess if you strung lights together, in original delineations, in a self-supported display, that might count as a sculptural work. It wouldn't be the light aspect though -- if you used just normal strings (or whatever material) instead of lights, it would have to qualify for copyright as well. I'm not sure the selection and arrangement of a whole outdoor display is fixed in a medium, though. I'm sure many of the individual elements are copyrightable; the question is if the photograph is a derivative work of them, or if the elements qualify as "incidental" and the photograph not being derivative of them, but rather a wider scene. That could be a tough call, as I'm not sure I've read about a case along those lines. A lighting display in a NYC subway station was ruled uncopyrightable, although that was more just because of the simplistic shape (a grid of hexagons). A photo focusing on a particular copyrightable sculptural element would be derivative, but it gets harder depending on what else is in the frame. Carl Lindberg (talk) 02:41, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

Template:GobiernoEspaña - Images with broken sources[edit]

Hello everybody, a couple of weeks ago Discasto opened a discussion in the Copyright Village Pump on {{GobiernoEspaña}} in order to clarify its status. As you can read here there was no opposition to handle it as with other similar Spanish government templates (for instance, {{Attribution-gencat}}, which has the same legal conditions). Mind that the previous consensus was that only images published before 2012 in were valid (there was a license change in 2012 and that was the reason not to consider images from free any more).

Therefore, since images coming from "Pool-Moncloa" are considered free without restrictions (but attribution) I proceeded to restore all the images that were deleted on the grounds of uncompatible licenses (I've been able to deduce which are such images, as I was involved in the management of La Moncloa licensing conditions). As part of the process, we process to "LicenseReview" all the images (both the undeleted and the ones that remained, as they were published before 2012). Unfortunatelly, we've noticed that some of the images that remained in commons (that is, those from before 2012) are not available in any more. The site may have moved them to a different location or delete them, so now there are thirty one images with broken source in Category:Images from the Government of Spain with a broken source which seem to be irretrievably (tried in the Wayback Machine without luck). At the moment, some of them have a DR opened: See this, this and this other, for example. It is important to highlight that, in the process of deleting images published after 2012, the ones that remained were carefully scrutinised. At the moment, the use of {{LicenseReview}} was considered as not necessary.

A site has the right to move or remove their own material and that is something indiscutible and inevitable, but this fact should not affect Commons, as it does not affect us either when any Flickr images change their license in the site after they have been verified in Commons. In my opinion I consider once an image is uploaded here with a valid source and has been verified it should be kept.

Anyway, as this is only my point of view, I would like to put the issue under the community opinion to decide what to do with these images. In particular, given that the images were reviewed, although no {{LicenseReview}} was used, I consider that at least those currently used in any project (there's a handful of them that cannot be replaced by a picture of similar quality) should remain. Anna (Cookie) (talk) 02:59, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

  • Symbol keep vote.svg Keep IMHO, the images (some of them uploaded by me, for instance... as I was an admin at the moment, I'd like to think I was a trusted user and my uploads could be regarded as valid) were considered valid at the moment. The fact that no actual "stamp" was put on the images shouldn't be a problem for keeping the images, especially those that cannot be replaced. A fair compromise could be deleting only those pictures not actually used. --Discasto talk 20:36, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment: I have no objection to these Category:Images from the Government of Spain with a broken source images being kept with the suggested {{GobiernoEspaña}} template. images were free and I don't doubt they were available upon upload many years ago. --Leoboudv (talk) 21:11, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

New User Questions[edit]

So I am making a new article and I want to pull some pics off bing images. How do I find out if they are copyrighted and if they are not am I still allowed to put them on my article? Also, confused about putting references in my article. It's just really complicated to me. idk Maybe i'll figure it out in the future, but right now I really need help. Weebeecool (talk) 04:26, 10 December 2017 (UTC)

@Weebeecool: Hi there. So you're actually asking this question on Wikimedia Commons, which is a sister site to Wikipedia. This site is where most of the media you see on Wikipedia is stored, and this is the right venue to ask questions about copyright of those pictures. If you're looking for help outside of pictures themselves, a good place to start is the Teahouse (if on the English Wikipedia). As for the images, by default you'll need to assume that an image is copyrighted and cannot be used except in rare cases. Can't say I'm all that familiar with Bing images, but with Google Image search (as with Flickr, etc.) you can limit search results based on license (in Google, click on "tools" → "usage rights" → "labeled for reuse with modification"). Creative Commons search is a way to pull search results from many places. If an image is not clearly labeled with a compatible license and there's no reason to think it's in the public domain (rules vary by country), then it can't be uploaded to Commons. That said, there are specific ways non-free images can be used on Wikipedia (and uploaded only to Wikipedia for use only in a particular article). For more about that see this page. — Rhododendrites talk |  05:04, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) (Probably redundant to the above) @Weebeecool: Bing is just a search site, so there’s nothing one can say about pics it finds in general—except that you should always assume images to be under the photographer’s or artist’s copyright unless there’s good evidence to the contrary. If Bing has a search filter for “free to use” or some such, that would be a good place to start. But you should go to the source page for each and look for a caption with credits or licence information. A website’s home page will often link to a terms-of-use or copyright page that explains the site’s licensing policies. If your browser can show EXIF metadata, there’s sometimes copyright or licence info there. See COM:LIC for the terms that are considered free enough to upload to Commons. You’re welcome to post links to specific images here for assessment if you’re not sure.
As for articles, we don’t have those here, so I assume you’re referring to one of the Wikipedias. Please ask at that project: the English Wikipedia has a Help desk and also a Teahouse for new editors.—Odysseus1479 (talk) 05:09, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
tl;dr - bing image has a search by license. select "filter by license" i.e. [1] Slowking4 § Sander.v.Ginkel's revenge 04:36, 11 December 2017 (UTC)


Wondering if we can assume good faith with repsect to this file despite the apparent discrepency between the EXIF data and the information provided by the uploader? -- Marchjuly (talk) 01:27, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

A wrong date? No, don't think so. (Meaning, good faith should still apply.) Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:58, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
you realize we have many files that are uploaded decades after they are taken, and exif can be edited? Slowking4 § Sander.v.Ginkel's revenge 04:51, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant that is not a reason to ignore good faith. Just realized the question was phrased differently. If it is suspect, it would still be suspect with a correct date. I don't see a version on the Internet that predated the upload here, though. It does look like a professional publicity photo, but not sure where a source would be. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:14, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
It's not so much the difference between the EXIF data and the upload date, but rather the difference between the EXIF data and the date given by the uploader in the file's summary. -- Marchjuly (talk) 08:21, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
This looks like the kind of professional shot taken of an artist/musician which the musician themselves or the agent comes along to Commons to upload for their respective article. It also seems to be all over the internet. I would tag it with NPD to encourage them or the photographer to write to OTRS the usual way. With EXIF differences, believe it or not, cameras are very often misconfigured. On a batch of images from a police force Flickr account I have been maintaining, I've found about 100 or so images that have EXIF range from 12am to 6am (even though they are clearly in the day), in 2004 instead of 2014 (when 2014 was written on a banner visible in the photo), and on 1 January 1980. Yes we should assume good faith about the date and just treat the image like other professional-looking images with no permission. Cheers, seb26 (talk) 15:03, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Agreed. The date in the title, the description, and the upload date aren't all that different anyways -- just the EXIF is different. Unsure about NPD though -- there is no more and no less proof than most uploads. Not sure this existed on the Internet before upload -- that is usually the line we have for OTRS. It is not an obvious copyvio, nor does the uploader obviously not have the rights, so I don't think it qualifies for speedy at all. It has been here for five years without complaint -- would be more inclined to ask for clarification with an active uploader. It would depend on the contract with the photographer, but in many cases such things are in fact OK. Can understand the uncertainty, and a DR isn't unreasonable, but I won't nominate it (nor would argue much either way). Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:48, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
@Seb26, Clindberg: Thanks for taking the time to take a closer look. The photo does seem to be a publicity shot of some kind, but I too was unable to find it published anywhere else online prior upload. I have no problem assuming good faith if that what others feel should be done. I was just a little unsure if the discrepancies between the EXIF data and the data provided by the uploader was a major cause for concern. FWIW, the uploader only has one edit to their credit on Commons (one other upload seems to have been deleted as copyvio) and appears to be an en:WP:SPA on English Wikipedia with respect to en:Will Dailey; therefore, there's a fair chance that the uploader is either Dailey himself or someone connected to him. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:05, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

Copyright question abut illustration based on CC BY-SA photograph[edit]

If someone created an fairly photo realistic drawing based on a CC BY-SA photograph, is it required to credit the photographer? Is a drawing a derivative work or an entirely separate work?


John Cummings (talk) 10:57, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

@John Cummings: Yes, it is required to credit the photographer and license the drawing CC BY-SA.   — Jeff G. ツ 11:21, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

File deleted even though copyright permission sent by copyright holder[edit]

A file I uploaded was deleted, even though the copyright holder had sent permission by email. How do I resolve this and enable the file to reuploaded (as Wikicommons no longer allows me to do this, stating that the file was previously deleted)? — Preceding unsigned comment added by ColinHallmark (talk • contribs) 16:05, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

ColinHallmark, if they sent the permission by email, that's all that can be done on your part. Volunteers from the OTRS team are the ones that respond to the email but there are a large number of other queries at the moment. When they do respond and the permission is good to go, that member of the OTRS team will arrange for the image to be undeleted or undelete it themselves. Patience is all that's left at this point. Cheers, seb26 (talk) 16:14, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks, that's useful. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ColinHallmark (talk • contribs) 09:12, 12 December 2017‎ (UTC)

Posting a modified still image from my own YouTube video to Commons[edit]

Suppose I have created and posted a YouTube video. I take a still image from the video that I think makes an excellent foundation for a Wikipedia article illustration. The image gets augmented with text, cropped, and otherwise manipulated, all by me. The resulting picture is quite different from my original video frame, though there remain similarities. Any issue with posting this, my own modified work, to Commons? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Qwerty123uiop (talk • contribs) 16:06, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

No problems whatsoever. Ruslik (talk) 19:53, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
If your YouTube video has a non-free license then you may be asked to establish authorship using OTRS. Please consider assigning a commons-compatible license to your videos, unless you have already done so. Verbcatcher (talk) 20:49, 11 December 2017 (UTC)


Shell logo from petrol station.jpg

I found few images containing the current logo of Royal Dutch Shell where the logos do not qualify as de minimis. Can anybody point out a reason why the images can be considered free according to Wikimedia Commons requirements concerning derivative works? FOP? (the left image is from US, so no FOP...). Grandfathered? (well, no OTRS chance for free licence evidence for the right one; but was it reliable to believe we could receive one?) To simple for copyright? (in UK?).

The current logo (eg. accordimg to this article seems to be dated 1971, so copyright could not expire. Some Wikipedias present the logo SVG image as copyrighted Fair Use.

Maybe, I am missing something, but IMO the images should be nominated for deletion. Ankry (talk) 18:50, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

Copyright is likely expired in the U.S. due to publication without notice, if it's from 1971. And it sounds like the 1971 logo was designed by an American, so that may well be the country of origin anyways (sounds like the U.S. Shell Oil subsidiary was largely independent until the 1990s). And even if it is under copyright, it is still not obvious... that could qualify as the "incidental" part of the de minimis policy. For example, the Ets-Hokins decision said that a photograph of a bottle would not be derivative of a copyrightable label on the bottle (even if prominent in the photo); a photo would need to be focusing on the label in particular for it to be derivative. You could easily argue it is a photo of the entire price sign, and not focused on the logo in particular, and that the photo was not taken due to the expression in the logo. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:39, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
The shell is a conventional heraldic device (and IIRC this logo’s ancestor was actually excerpted from a coat of arms). The precise manner in which it’s drawn or painted (emblazoned in heraldic terms) is certainly copyrightable in general, but I think this instance falls below the USA’s TOO—assuming the designer was indeed American. Cf. the fleurs-de-lys among the examples at COM:TOO#United States.—Odysseus1479 (talk) 00:02, 12 December 2017 (UTC)

:File:At Santos, Brazil 2017 173.jpg[edit]

The work is located in Brazil where there is FOP. However, I doubt if we can consider this "accessory, and not detached from its surrounding elements." --Mhhossein talk 20:23, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

Seems fine to me. It is depicting the works in situ. It is not, for example, a photo of a public painting cropped to just be the painting (which would effectively be a reproduction). Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:24, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

File:Alex Mooney.jpg[edit]

This file is licensed as {{PD-USGov-Congress}}. There is, however, another file (File:MooneyAlex1.png) uploaded under a similar license which was deleted per Commons:Deletion requests/File:MooneyAlex1.png. The uploader has reuploaded the deleted file locally to Wikipedia as en:File:Mooney1.png under the "PD-USGov-Congress", but that license has been questioned and is now being discussed at en:Wikipedia:Files for discussion/2017 December 11#File:Mooney1.png. I realize that Commons and Wikipedia sometimes have different interpretations about certain types of licensing, but they should be pretty much in agreement when it comes to "PD-USGov" types of licenses. Anyway, the file's uploader has suggested during the Wikipedia discussion that the the local file and Commons file are the same photo, and that the Commons version is just zoomed in with the background colorized. If this is really the case, then that would make the Commons photo a derivative, wouldn't it? If so, then I believe the copyright status of not only the derivative, but also the original photo needs to be teken into account, right? Does anyone have any suggestion as to how this might possibly be sorted out? -- Marchjuly (talk) 21:53, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

The other file was deleted because the nominator could not find it on the claimed source ( This file is indeed at the named source, And I would agree that they are the same basic photo. The Commons version is higher-resolution. Unsure if the flag was added in the other photo, or the flag was removed in the and Commons version (more likely). I see the other version at and other places, though not on a .gov site. But I probably would just keep both as PD-USGov-Congress -- seems likely that different versions are used depending on the place, but if it was the official photo, it should be PD in either form. Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:15, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Thanks Clindberg for taking a look. The uploader feels the file is PD. If, as you point out, there's a good chance that it is, then I think it would be better for them to start a c:COM:DRV to get the original file undeleted on Commons. I can't see a reason for keeping a PD-Gov-Congress file locally on Wikipedia because such a license is/should be just as valid for Commons. Even if the file is kept locally, someone will eventually tag it with en:Template:Copy to Wikimedia Commons, but moving the file to Commons might just mean re-deletion unless the Commons issues are resolved first. English Wikipedia sometimes uses en:Template:PD-ineligible-USonly for some files, but that makes no sense for a PD-USGov file. -- Marchjuly (talk) 00:44, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
I just think the nominator did not realize they were the same photo (understandable), and proceeded accordingly. If they were in fact different photos, there would have been no evidence for keeping it. But in light of that, yes I think I would undelete the other one (though explain the discrepancy with the noted source). Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:13, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
how bitey. anything proven by shifting the burden to congressional staffers to prove this photo is on the web? you realize most of the state department head shots are dead links? want to challenge all of them? Slowking4 § Sander.v.Ginkel's revenge 01:51, 12 December 2017 (UTC)