Commons:Currency

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Currency is one of the most widely-available artifacts — practically anyone in a country using a certain currency can digitize it using a scanner. It's also highly informational, often pertinent not only to the currency itself, but to the subjects that it depicts, such as national symbols. This makes it a good candidate for inclusion in Wikimedia Commons. However, like other government works, the copyright status of currency designs varies from nation to nation and sometimes even between currencies in the same nation. Moreover, the use of reproductions of currency is carefully controlled by counterfeiting law. This page documents licensing requirements, tags, and printing requirements of various kinds of currency around the world and links the relevant categories on Wikimedia Commons.

Important points[edit]

  • Attention: a photograph of a coin has two requirements before it can be included. The first is that the design of the coin itself is not copyrighted, or permission has been obtained. The second is that the photographer agrees to license it under a free licence. A picture of a 3D-object creates in most jurisdictions a new copyright on the picture, something that is not the case when photographing pure 2D-objects. See "When to use the PD-Art tag" for more information.
  • Items of currency should not be included in photos for the purpose of indicating the scale or size of an object; a ruler or scale marking should be used instead. See the {{NoCoins}} tag for details.
  • With respect to similar images of currency, please respect others' work and avoid overwriting existing files (those uploaded by other users). In general, it is better to upload a new file, please refer to Commons:Overwriting existing files.
  • The {{counterfeiting}} tag is used to describe the terms under which an image on Commons may be printed without violating criminal counterfeiting law. This is particularly important for projects such as the print version of Wikipedia and other derivative print uses, which would wish to avoid inadvertently violating these laws. See the template page for an example of how this message is displayed.

Countries[edit]

Albania[edit]

✓OK {{PD-Albania-exempt}}

Algeria[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK for the currency issued by the current Bank of Algeria. According to the Algerian copyright act (English, The works of the State made licitly available to the public may be freely used for non commercial purpose [...]. There is a non-commercial restriction that makes both coins or banknotes incompatible with Commons licensing policy.

This does not apply to the banknotes and coins issued by the Banque de l'Algérie, the banking authority during French rule (until 1958), because it was not an official body of the current Algerian state. Copyright status of this currency is currently undetermined.

Angola[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK No exception for currency in the Angolan copyright law.

Argentina[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK No exception for currency in the Argentine copyright law.

Armenia[edit]

✓OK Armenian currency is not copyrighted. Monetary items, together with other state symbols, are explicitly excluded from copyright by article 6 of the copyright law of Armenia.

Please use {{PD-AM-exempt}} for Armenian currency images.

Aruba[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK The copyright on Aruban banknotes is owned by the Central Bank of Aruba.

Australia[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK for coins or banknotes designed after 1 May 1969. ✓OK for coins or banknotes designed before 1 May 1969, but under the following conditions: Derivative works of images of banknotes are expressly forbidden. Low resolution images of banknotes are allowed for editorial or educational purposes, as long as only one side of a bank note is featured. See website for details of exact size requirements for images.

Designs from prior to 1 May 1969 are in the public domain, and should use the tag {{PD-Australia-currency}}.

Austria[edit]

X mark.svg Most likely not OK

  • According to the coinciding austrian copyright literature, works like bank notes, coins and stamps are not to be considered works by the government and are not free.[1][2][3]

Azerbaijan[edit]

✓OK Azerbaijan currency is not copyrighted. Monetary items, together with other state symbols, are explicitly excluded from copyright by article 7 of Copyright law of Azerbaijan.

Please use {{PD-AZ-exempt}} for Azerbaijan currency images.

Bahamas, The[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Images of banknotes and coins denominated in Bahamian dollars are subject to copyright protection and are property of the Central Bank of The Bahamas. They cannot be reproduced or published without the expressed consent of the Central Bank of The Bahamas.

Belarus[edit]

✓OK Belarusian currency is not copyrighted. Monetary items, together with other state symbols, are explicitly excluded from copyright by article 8 of Copyright law of Belarus.

Please use {{PD-BY-exempt}} for Belarus currency images.

Belgium[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Banknotes denominated in Belgian francs issued by the National Bank of Belgium can still be exchanged for an undetermined period of time. The Bank still owns copyrights with regard to the design of the banknotes it has issued, in accordance with the legislation on intellectual property rights. Therefore, these banknotes may not be reproduced without the Bank's permission, subject to the observance of the conditions the Bank has laid down. Same kind of restrictions apply to reproductions of Belgium banknotes as do to #Euro banknotes.

Bolivia[edit]

Pictogram-voting-question.svg Unclear According to Article 8 of the Law No.1322 of April 13, 1992, on Copyright: "Only a natural person may be an author; however, the State, public law bodies and moral or legal entities may exercise copyright as derived owners, in accordance with the norms of this Law."

Article 5(i) of Law No. 1322 defines "derived work" as: "Any work arising from the adaptation, translation or other transformation of an original work, provided that it constitutes a separate creation."

The copyright law has provisions giving copyright to the State in national folklore and when Bolivian nationals die without heirs, so it is not clear if the government's right to hold copyright extends to banknotes.

Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK

Banknotes and coins of the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina can only be reproduced with the express permission of the Bank, as defined by the law «Official Gazette of BiH» 1/97, Chapter 5, Article 47.

Brazil[edit]

✓OK

According to the Industrial Property Law (Law 9.279 of May 14, 1996) (Portuguese original, English translation by WIPO), Section II Section 124, Brazilian money belongs to the Union, and all the works subsidized by the Union are not their domain (Law 9.610 of February 16 2008, Title I Article 6, Portuguese, English). However, reproductions that might mislead or confuse and the fraudulent usage is punishable by law (Law 9.279 Chap. IV Art. 191).

Please use: {{Money-BR}}.

Bulgaria[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK The Bulgarian National Bank requires written permission for reproduction of Bulgarian banknotes and coins of all emissions in physical or electronic form.

Cayman Islands[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK The Cayman Islands Money Authority holds the copyright on its currency notes. It permits reproductions with prior consultation with the Authority and if the reproduction is not on products for sale. Given the copyright status and the non-commercial use clause, their designs are not appropriate for use on Commons.

Canada[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK "The Bank of Canada is the registered copyright owner of all design elements of Canadian bank notes [...] [T]he Bank's written permission for the reproduction of bank note images must be obtained before the image is reproduced." The sole exception is that "It is not necessary to request the Bank's permission to use bank note images for film or video purposes, provided that the images are intended to show a general indication of currency, and that there is no danger that the images could be misused." Other images of Canadian currency might still be permitted on local Wikipedia projects under fair dealing.

Counterfeiting law will not apply to any printed replica of Canadian printed money that is "less than 3/4 or greater than 1 1/2 times the length or width of the bank note; and in black and white or only one-sided."

Coins are copyrighted by the Royal Canadian Mint. There are charges for educational and commercial use, so they cannot be shown on Commons before the expiration of fifty years.

Chile[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK The Central Bank of Chile holds the intellectual property for the designs of banknotes and coins in circulation, and those designs are registered with the Department of Intellectual Property (N° 115.594). This is expressed in Sections 28 of the Constitutional Organic Act. Publication or reproduction of such designs without the consent of the Bank is prohibited, and subject to criminal and civil sanctions, expressed in Sections 78 of the Act N° 17.336.

China[edit]

People's Republic of China

Pictogram-voting-question.svg Uncertain, but probably X mark.svg Not OK. See discussion on Category talk:Banknotes of China.

Taiwan

X mark.svg Not OK As documented in the OTRS ticket:2014050810011876, all New Taiwan Dollar bank notes are protected by copyright under the Copyright Act of Taiwan. The copyright holder is the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan) (中央銀行敬啟):

In response to the enquiry in your e-mail dated April 27, 2014, please be noted that the images of our national currency are strictly under the protection of the Copyright Act of Taiwan. That means all the pictures on the NTD banknotes are not allowed to be exhibited on any commercial websites without our permission in advance.

However, the Central Bank of the Republic of China is a governmental institution and its data is allowed to be used by the public. According to the CBC website: "In order to facilitate better utilization by the general public of the information on this website, all of the Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan)(herein known as CBC)’s publicly posted information and materials that are protected under copyright provisions may be utilized by the public without cost in a non-exclusive, reauthorization-available manner. The users may, without restriction on time and place, reproduce, adapt, edit, publicly transmit, or utilize in other ways, and develop various products or services (herein known as derivations)."[4] It is Pictogram-voting-question.svg unclear if this extends to images of national currency.

Congo, Democratic Republic of the (formerly Zaire)[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK The country joined the Berne Convention in 1963. The World Intellectual Property Organisation does not list any copyright-related laws prior to 1986. The country's main copyright-related law is Ordinance-Law No. 86-033 of April 5, 1986 on the Protection of Copyright and Neighboring Rights. Article 7 states:

"Official acts of the authority shall not give rise to any copyright. Any other literary, artistic, or scientific publications produced by the authorities shall generate copyright for the authorities."

Costa Rica[edit]

  • X mark.svg Not OK Currency less than 25 years old.
  • Pictogram-voting-question.svg Uncertain Currency between 25 and 50 years old.
  • ✓OK Currency more than 50 years old.

The Central Bank of Costa Rica (Banco Central de Costa Rica) is the "copyright holder of Costa Rica’s currency design -protected under Law No. 6683" ([1]). According to Costa Rica's intellectual property law (Law 6683, as amended by Law 8834 of 3 May 2010):

Artículo 63°.- El estado, los consejos municipales y las corporaciones oficiales gozarán de la protección de esta ley, pero , en cuanto a los derechos patrimoniales, los tendrán únicamente por veinticinco años, contados desde la publicación de la obra, salvo tratándose de entidades públicas, que tengan por objeto el ejercicio de esos derechos como actividad ordinaria; en cuyo caso la protección será de cincuenta años.

English translation from the 2000 revision (text of this article was unchanged between 2000 & 2010 revisions):

Article 63. The State, the municipal councils and the official corporations shall enjoy the protection of this Law, but, as far as economic rights are concerned, only for 25 years from the date of publication of the work, except in the case of public bodies whose purpose is the exercise of such rights as their normal activity, in which case protection shall be for 50 years.

"Economic rights" corresponds to copyright, since the law ("Law" in Article 63) covers intellectual property rights—not just copyright. The law also covers moral rights, the articles relevant to currency are:

Article 13. Independently of his economic rights, even after their assignment, the author shall retain entirely personal, inalienable, unrenounceable and perpetual rights in the work, called moral rights.
Article 14. Moral rights shall include the right:
(b) to demand that he be mentioned by his name or pseudonym as the author of the work in relation to all reproductions and uses thereof;
(c) to prevent any reproduction or communication to the public of his work if it has been distorted, mutilated or altered in any way;

All images of Costa Rican currency must use {{Currency}}, as the Central Bank of Costa Rica has placed several non-copyright restrictions on the use of images of Costa Rican currency.

Croatia[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK The Croatian National Bank is the holder of all proprietary rights and copyrights on kuna banknotes and kuna and lipa coins, and their reproduction is subject to prior approval of the Croatian National Bank. See: Article 24 of the Act on the Croatian National Bank, Official Gazette 75/2007.

Czech Republic[edit]

✓OK Common legal tender of the Czech Republic is not subject to copyright as there is public interest in their exclusion from copyright protection (Article 3 of the Copyright Act; English). This does not necessarily apply to special-issue coins, such as precious-metal coins, commemorative coins, special editions of coins for collectors, etc.

A decree of the Czech National Bank ([2]No. 274/2011 Coll.) defines the terms and conditions under which it is possible to reproduce banknotes and coins and to produce objects imitating them:

For intangible reproductions of banknotes, it is required that their resolution not exceed 72 dots per inch and that they are marked with the word “specimen” printed diagonally in an opaque colour and in a layer that cannot be separated from the image of the banknote, with the length of the word being at least 75% of the longer side of the banknote and the height being at least 15% of the shorter side of the banknote (or with another word of the same dimensions and similar meaning). Intangible images of coins may always be produced. Tangible reproductions of banknotes and images have different conditions.

Please use {{Money-CZ}} for Czech currency images.

Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (CSSR)[edit]

✓OK There is a legal succession of "Česká národní banka" (ČNB) for all precursor institutes ("Státní banka československá" (SBCS), "Národní banka Československá" until 1919). Therefore, {{Money-CZ}} can be applied for Czechoslovakian currency of former times and money of the first Slovakian Republic too.

Denmark[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK The National Bank of Denmark states "Danmarks Nationalbank's copyright to the banknote and coin designs must be respected."

Specifically regarding coins it is also stated that although "there are no special guidelines for reproduction of coins", "Anyone reproducing coins should also be aware that state symbols and portraits of the Queen may not be reproduced without the permission of the Danish National Archives and the Court, respectively."

Dominican Republic[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK There is no exception for currency under Dominican copyright law. Likewise, "rights in works created by public employees or officials in the performance of the duties inherent in their position shall be presumed to be assigned to the public organization in question."

Egypt[edit]

✓OK According to Article 141 of Law No. 82 of 2002 on the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights:

"[Copyright protection] shall not cover the following: Official documents, whatever their source or target language, such as laws, regulations, resolutions and decisions, international conventions, court decisions, award of arbitrators and decisions of administrative committees having judicial competence."

Estonia[edit]

Estonian currency was removed from the public domain in 2000. However, Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank), which holds the copyright to the design of the currency, has allowed reproduction under certain terms:

  • Banknotes: As long as reproductions in advertising or illustrations cannot be mistaken for genuine banknotes they can be used without prior authorisation of the Bank of Estonia. Same kind of restrictions apply to reproductions of Estonian kroon banknotes as do to euro banknotes (see #Euro).[5]
  • Coins: Reproduction in a non-relief (drawings, paintings, films) format is authorised, provided they are not detrimental to the image of the Estonian kroon.

Please use {{EEK banknote}} or {{EEK coin}} for Estonian currency images.

Ethiopia[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Ethiopia's copyright law excepts "any official text of a legislative, administrative or of legal nature, as well as official translations thereof" (§5(b) of Copyright and Neighboring Rights Protection Proclamation No. 410/2004). The term "official text" does not seem to include banknotes. Note that, as of May 2016, Ethiopia is not a party to the Berne Convention, so Ethiopian banknotes are not protected by US copyright law. However, Commons' policy is that works must be free in both the US and source country. See Commons:Licensing.

Euro[edit]

Shortcut
COM:EURO
Banknotes

✓OK under conditions. The rules for reproducing Euro banknotes were published in the Official Journal of the European Union, L078 of 25 March 2003, pages 16-19. In summary, Euro banknotes are copyright of the European Central Bank, and the following rules apply to one-sided reproductions, such as pictures on websites:

  • The size of the reproduction must be at least 125% or not greater than 75% of both the length and width of the banknote.
  • Reproductions depicting a part of either side of the note should be smaller than one-third of the original side.
  • On intangible reproductions (e.g. websites), the word SPECIMEN must be printed diagonally across the reproduction in Arial font or similar, in a non-transparent colour contrasting with the dominant colour of the note. The length of the word must be at least 75% of the length of the reproduction, and the height of the word must be at least 15% of the width of the reproduction. The resolution of the image must not exceed 72 dots per inch (dpi).
Coins

X mark.svg Most likely not OK. Copyright of the national side of the coin is determined by the individual Member States in accordance with national legislation. Copyright of the common side of the coin lies with the Commission of the European Union, which has determined that reproduction in a format without relief (e.g. drawing, pictures), provided that they are not detrimental to the image of the euro, is authorised [3] [4]. However, in the most recent deletion request regarding them (Commons:Deletion requests/Template:Euro coin common face 2) the conclusion was to delete them because this statement of authorization contains some onerous terms.

Finland[edit]

Pictogram-voting-question.svg Unsure. The Bank of Finland claims that using images of banknotes and Euro coins is subject to permission. For Euro banknotes and the shared side of Euro coins: see #Euro above. For markka banknotes, permission has been granted given provided certain guidelines are followed, see below. There is a statement from the Finnish Copyright Council (a semi-official body giving advice on copyright) that the use of an image on a markka coin is not subject to copyright and it seems that the statement could apply more broadly.

Decisions by governmental institutions are excepted from copyright. This includes images that are part of the decisions (see e.g. statement 1989:13 of the Finnish Copyright Council, on using the image of a coin), unless those are separate works, which is thought to apply only in unusual cases. In the old law on money there was no mention of copyright. Thus the images on markka banknotes and coins should be in the public domain, and likewise the images on the national side of euro coins.

There might be copyright issues, independent of the copyright by governmental bodies, if a design element is a derived work of a pre-existing work. The last 20 mark and 100 mark banknotes are known to be encumbered by this.

Counterfeit legislation does apply: it is criminal to publish images that are confusingly similar to legal tender (chapter 37, article 7 of the penal code). For instructions about Euro notes and coins see above.

The Bank of Finland claims it has copyright on Finnish (i.e. mark) banknotes and states that illegal reproduction of banknotes is punishable as counterfeit or fraud according to chapter 33 and 36 of the Penal Code (these seem not to apply to good faith use), or as breach of copyright.

According to the Bank of Finland permission from the Ministry of Finance must be obtained for reproduction of the shared or national side of Euro coins, or part of it. See Bank of Finland guidelines published 2007 (English).

France[edit]

✓OK Regarding former French currency (francs), case law states that copyright exists, but is paralysed by the ‘allocation to the general interest and character of public service’ of currency. See, for instance, Cour de Cassation 5 February 2002[6][7].

Please use {{Money-FR}}.

Germany[edit]

X mark.svg Most likely not OK except for Deutsche Mark bank notes.

  • At present many Commons images of German coins and banknotes use {{PD-GermanGov}}, but this template relies on § 5 Abs. 1 UrhG, which has recently been declared by a low German court (Landgericht) to apply only to text, not images. See Commons:Village_pump/Copyright/Archive/2012/07#German_currency.
  • Deutsche Bundesbank has confirmed public domain for German DM-banknotes 1949-2001 (see also their homepage, which is, however, a permission for simple usage only and not solely sufficient) towards Wikipedia.
  • According to the coinciding German copyright literature, works like bank notes, coins and stamps are not to be considered works by the government and are not free.[8] This, however, does not influence above-mentioned permission by Deutsche Bundesbank affecting Deutsche Mark bills (not coins!).

Georgia[edit]

✓OK Georgian currency is not copyrighted. Monetary items, together with other state symbols, are explicitly excluded from copyright by article 8 of Copyright law of Georgia.

Please use {{PD-GE-exempt}} for Georgian currency images.

Greece[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK According to the Greek legislation, neither the Bank of Greece not any other Greek authority is competent to provide you or any other interested party with any kind of permission to use the image of the Greek drachmae banknotes. However, without prejudice to the moral right of the designer recognized under Greek law (Law 2121/1993, as in force), there is no legal provision prohibiting the reproduction of drachmae banknotes.

Hong Kong[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK section 103(1) of the Crimes Ordinance (Chapter 200) of the Laws of Hong Kong stipulates that reproduction of currency notes without prior permission of the Monetary Authority is an offense, and individuals may be liable for imprisonment for 6 months and a fine of $20,000.

It is worth to note that any approved reproduction under section 103 does not permit further subsequent copies or reproductions to be made for other usage ends without the written consent of the Monetary Authority. Therefore, applications for reproduction of Hong Kong currency note images for further copying or reproduction by a third party will generally not be approved. This implies that digital reproductions (which by nature permit further reproductions) are unlikely to be approved by the Authority, and so are not legally appropriate for Commons.

Hungary[edit]

✓OK The Hungarian National Bank (MNB) issued an exemplary decree, which permits reproductions of all forms of Hungarian banknotes and coins in a way which they cannot be misidentified as original, with the most important factor being the usage of the same material as original. This essentially lifts the counterfeiting restriction from digital copies, without limits (since anyone in possession of a banknote could create a high-quality digital reproduction at ease). See 2/2010. (I. 28.) MNB rendelet, 3/2010. (I. 28.) MNB rendelet and Money Reproductions. See also a layman's summary of the rules released by MNB in Hungarian and in English.

Moreover, they have released a license to allow free usage (unless restricted by the aforementioned anti-counterfeiting decree) of the banknotes they possess direct copyright,[5] which covers most banknotes created since 1983. For all other notes and coins you should still have to locate the author and ask specifically for license, which is not impossible, but tough. In most cases the Magyar Nemzeti Bank is the copyright holder.

The {{HU banknote}} template should be used on recent banknotes. The copyright status for designs of coins should be researched individually. Out-of-copyright banknotes and coins can use {{PD-old}}.

Iceland[edit]

Coins designed after December 31, 1946 (current year minus 71 years)

X mark.svg Not OK Copyrights for coins designed after December 31, 1946 are held by the Central Bank of Iceland.

Coins designed before January 1, 1947 (current year minus 70 years)

✓OK Iceland Currency becomes public domain because the Icelandic Copyright law (§49) specifies that images considered to be "works of art" become public domain 70 years after creation. Please use {{Icelandic currency}} for currency designed before January 1, 1947.

India[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Indian currency is protected by copyright until 60 years after publication, see {{PD-India}}. The Indian Copyright Act, 1957 (Chapter V Section 28), government works, (including banknotes and coins) from India enter the public domain 60 years after the date on which they were first published, counted from the beginning of the following calendar year, i.e. banknotes and coins created after 31 December 1957 (current year minus 61 years) are copyrighted.

Indonesia[edit]

✓OK Article 14b of the Indonesian Copyright Act No. 19, 2002 states that "publication and/or reproduction of anything which is published by or on behalf of the Government, except if the Copyright is declared to be protected by law or regulation or by a statement on the work itself or at the time the work is published" is not an "infringement of Copyright". Indonesian banknotes are issued by Bank Indonesia and its predecessor Bank Negara Indonesia, which from 1953 to 1968 was "a corporate body belonging to the state" (Act No.11 of 1953), from 1968 to 1999 "belongs to the state" (Act No.17 of 1968) and from 1999 onwards is "a state institution" (Act No.23 of 1999 concerning Bank Indonesia, Article 4(2)), and they thus fall under the aegis of Article 14b.

Please use {{PD-IDGov}} for images of Indonesian currency.

Iran[edit]

  • X mark.svg Not OK For coins and banknotes designed after December 31, 1986 (current year minus 31 years)

According to the Law for the Protection of Authors, Composers and Artist Rights, Iran banknotes and coins designed after December 31, 1986 are copyrighted and their copyright belong to Central Bank of Iran.

  • ✓OK For coins and banknotes designed before January 1, 1987 (current year minus 30 years)

According to the Law for the Protection of Authors, Composers and Artist Rights, Iran banknotes and coins designed before January 1, 1987 become public domain after 30 years since, "In the following cases images fall into public domain after 30 years from the date of publication or public presentation (Article 16): In cases where the work belongs to a legal personality or rights are transferred to a legal personality." Iran banknotes and coins are copyrighted and their copyright belong to Central Bank of Iran which is a "legal personality".

Please use {{Iranian currency}} for banknotes/coinage designed before January 1, 1987.

Iraq[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Banknotes and coins are not covered by any known exception from copyright protection under Iraqi law. The website of the Central Bank of Iraq, which includes depictions of Iraqi coins and banknotes, has the following footer: "Copyright © 2011. Central Bank of Iraq. All rights reserved. Please read important disclaimer." The disclaimer further states: "All texts, data and information on this site are owned by the CBI. Digitized photographs, graphics, and logos contained are the property of the CBI, and may not be used without permission."

Ireland[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Irish money is copyrighted. According to the Irish Copyright Law of 2000, Chapter 24: Copyright: Legal Tender; §200, Irish coins and bank notes are copyrighted, even if issued before that provision became effective (§200(3)); i.e. older coins and bank notes are retroactively placed under copyright. The copyright on legal tender is perpetual, i.e. does not expire at all. The act applies to all coins and banknotes issued since 1926 (§200(9)).

Israel[edit]

✓OK Israeli currency is copyrighted. According to a statement from the Bank of Israel, Instructions concerning the use of photocopies and replicas of coins and banknotes", reproductions can be created and displayed within "catalog[s], book[s], research paper[s], etc", provided that they do not modify the colors or designs. Finally, the reproductions must credit the Bank of Israel. The complete Law of the Bank of Israel (unofficial English translation supplied by the Bank) does not specify these conditions, instead the above "Instructions" paper has detailed them. It is not known from which date the conditions are effective from.

Please use {{Money-IL}} for images of Israeli currency.

Italy[edit]

✓OK Regarding former Italian currency (lire), the copyright on the artwork is most likely in the public domain. "Copyright in works created and published under the name and at the expense of the State, shall belong to them"[9], and "the duration of the exploitation rights belonging to the State (…) shall be twenty years as from first publication, whatever the form in which publication was effected"[10]. The last distributed lira (the 500.000 bill) was distributed in the first half of 1997, more than 20 years ago[11].

Kazakhstan[edit]

✓OK Kazakhstan currency is not copyrighted. Monetary items, together with other state symbols, are explicitly excluded from copyright by article 8 of Copyright law of Kazakhstan.

Please use {{PD-KZ-exempt}} for Kazakhstan currency images.

Korea (South)[edit]

The current Bank of Korea owns copyright on all currency issued in South Korea since its establishment in 1950. The Bank of Korea allows anyone to reproduce and use the reproduction of its currency without requiring a permission but under certain restrictions, as explained in the Guidelines for the Reproduction of Bank of Korea Notes and Coins.

Please use {{South Korean currency}} for South Korean currency images that meet the requirement of Section 3.C (Intangible reproductions) of the currency reproduction guidelines.

Kyrgyzstan[edit]

✓OK Kyrgyzstan currency is not copyrighted. Monetary items, together with other state symbols, are explicitly excluded from copyright by article 8 of the copyright law of Kyrgyzstan.

Please use {{PD-KG-exempt}} for Kyrgyzstan currency images.

Latvia[edit]

Per Latvian copyright law, Chapter IV, section 171, copyright does not apply to units of currency. However either written permission must be obtained from the issuing bank or country or certain requirements must be followed when reproducing banknotes and coins. The copyright owner of Latvian lats per the law is the Bank of Latvia. Copyright for euro banknotes and common side of euro coins is determined by the European Central Bank (see #Euro), but copyright of national sides of euro coins is determined by national legislation. The website of Bank of Latvia suggests (Latvian, English), that Regulation for Reproducing the Lats Banknotes and Coins must be met to reproduce lats and ECB Reproduction rules must be met to reproduce euros. All photographic reproductions of banknotes and coins must comply those criteria. Prior to the amendments, which came into force in May 1 2004, currency was public domain in Latvia per both the unamended 2000 law and 1993 law, therefore any coins or banknotes that were no longer in circulation by 2004 date are public domain.

Please use {{Latvian coins}} for relevant Latvian coins images and {{Latvian banknote}} for images of Latvian banknotes, as {{PD-LV}} does not apply to Latvian currency.

Lithuania[edit]

✓OK The designs of Lithuanian currency are not copyrighted. Monetary items, together with other state symbols, are explicitly excluded from copyright by article 5 of Copyright law of Lithuania.

Please use {{PD-LT-exempt}} for Lithuanian currency images.

Macao[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Currency is copyrighted and reproduction requires approval from the Monetary Authority of Macao.

In accordance with article 14.2 of the Decree-Law No. 7/95/M of January 30, requests for reproduction of banknotes for educational and promotional purposes with justifiable reasons could be approved by the Government. In practice, such requests should be made to the Monetary Authority of Macao (AMCM).

Macedonia[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK According to the law for the National Bank of Macedonia, for each reproduction of the banknotes and coins that are in official use in Macedonia there should be an official written permission from the Bank itself. The Council of the Bank decides the ways and the procedures for publication of photos of the currency.

Malaysia[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK According to the GENERAL INFORMATION The Malaysian Currency by the BANK NEGARA MALAYSIA: You are not allowed to reproduce the Malaysian currency. It is also illegal for you to use any photograph, drawing or design of any note, coin or any part of the note or coin, of any size, scale or colour, in any advertising or on any merchandise or products, which are manufactured, sold, circulated or distributed except with the permission of BNM.

Malta[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK There is no copyright exception for Maltese currency or governmental work (see articles 2(1)a, 3(1)a and 6(1) of the Maltese copyright act). The Bank of Malta makes currency images available for use, but their disclaimer forbids any kind of derivative work, thus making these files impossible to host on Commons.

Mexico[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Mexican currency is copyrighted and the reproduction of designs is only permitted by seeking authorisation from the Ministry of Finance (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público).

Note: Coins and banknotes before the law change on 23 July 2003 (applicable for monetary items before 23 July 1928) are in public domain (see {{PD-Mexico}}). See Ley Federal del Derecho de Autor on WIPO Lex (Spanish, French).

Moldova[edit]

✓OK Moldova currency is not copyrighted. Monetary items, together with other state symbols, are explicitly excluded from copyright by article 8 of Law on Copyright and Related Rights of Moldova.

Please use {{PD-MD-exempt}} for Moldova currency images.

Mongolia[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Banknotes are copyrighted, as they do not fall within one of the copyright exemptions in Article 8 of the Law of Mongolia on Copyright and Related Rights (as last amended on January 19, 2006) (English).

Mozambique[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Mozambique's copyright law came into effect in February 2001, but there are no exceptions to copyright protection for works which were already in the public domain. Banknotes are not within the exceptions to copyright. There is a copyright exception for "official texts of a legislative, administrative or judicial nature, or to official translations thereof" (§5(a) of Law No. 4/2001 of February 27, 2001 (Copyright Law, approved by Decree-Law No. 46.980 of April 27, 1966). Because the exception uses "text", banknotes do not seem to be within the exception.

Copyright protection for collective works, such as banknotes, lasts 70 years under Mozambique law and also under US law, since Mozambique is a party to the Berne Convention. Since that is long before Mozambique gained independence, all Mozambique banknotes are copyrighted. For banknotes that circulated before independence, Portuguese law applies.

Nepal[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Banknote and coin designs are copyrighted. According to Section 40 of the Copyright Act, 2059 (2002) (English): "Government of Nepal shall have the copyright over the work prepared by Government of Nepal."

The Netherlands[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Guilder banknotes are subject to copyright 70 years after the first publication. De Nederlandsche Bank has been contacted and they state that the introduction of the Euro does not change this.

Pictogram-voting-question.svg Unclear Guilder coins may be OK to reproduce, since they are subject to art. 15b of the Auteurswet ([6]):

Als inbreuk op het auteursrecht op een door of vanwege de openbare macht openbaar gemaakt werk van letterkunde, wetenschap of kunst, waarvan de openbare macht de maker of rechtverkrijgende is, wordt niet beschouwd verdere openbaarmaking of verveelvoudiging daarvan, tenzij het auteursrecht, hetzij in het algemeen bij wet, besluit of verordening, hetzij in een bepaald geval blijkens mededeling op het werk zelf of bij de openbaarmaking daarvan uitdrukkelijk is voorbehouden. Ook als een zodanig voorbehoud niet is gemaakt, behoudt de maker echter het uitsluitend recht, zijn werken, die door of vanwege de openbare macht zijn openbaar gemaakt, in een bundel verenigd te doen verschijnen.
(In short: works published by or on behalf of the government can be reproduced, unless copyright has been reserved explicitly by the government at the time of publication. However, even if no reservation was made, only the author has the right to have those works published in a collection).

X mark.svg Not OK National sides of the Euro coins are subject to copyright as well, see rijksoverheid.nl. Although they are subject to the abovementioned art. 15b, an express reservation of rights has been made by the Dutch government.

For the Euro, see #Euro.

New Zealand[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK New Zealand coins and notes are copyrighted by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand. They note that "the Reserve Bank has no objection to reproducing our notes and coins as complete on-screen or printed images, typically for design, educational or illustrative purposes" but that "for intellectual property reasons we cannot grant permission to reproduce detail parts of these designs, and in particular that: (1) The ‘Pukaki’ image on the 20 cent coin is owned by Ngati Whakaue, used with permission by the Reserve Bank; (2) The image of H.M. The Queen on the obverse of our coins is owned by The Crown." This amounts to a restriction on derivative works, making the designs not appropriate for Commons.

Nigeria[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK No copyright exemption for government works. (discussion)

Norway[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Norwegian currency is protected by copyright. The Bank of Norway, which administrates the rights of the artists, states: "Use of illustrations of Norwegian coin- eg billpatterns must not violate the rights of the authors". This means, among other things, that the original pattern may not be manipulated. As they are non-derivative, images of Norwegian currency may not be used unless it is in the public domain due to age (70 years after end of year of author's death). When using images of Norwegian currency under fair use rules on other projects, see http://www.norges-bank.no/templates/article____12246.aspx for other conditions that apply, such as size regulations, maximum resolution etc.

Pakistan[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Although certain governments works are exempt from copyright, currency is not one of the exceptions.

s.57(1)(q)(i) (on what is not a copyright infringement) [reproduction of] any matter which has been published in any official Gazette, or the report of any committee, commission, council, board or other like body appointed by the Government unless the reproduction or publication of such matter or report is prohibited by the Government.

Peru[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Peruvian currency is not exempted from copyright. Law 26714 details the prohibition of reproduction in Article 256.


Philippines[edit]

Pictogram-voting-question.svg NotOK The Central Bank of the Philippines prohibits the distribution of materials "bearing the likeliness or similitude" of Philippine currency banknotes and coins. They permit reproductions only with the express written authority of the Central Bank, that the reproductions are for educational, historical or newsworthy purposes and that the reproduction will "maintain [...] the integrity and dignity" of the banknote or coin. These restrictions (not freely reproducible, under specific purposes only prohibiting non-commercial, and no derivative works) mean Philippine banknote and coin designs are not appropriate for Commons.

Poland[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Polish National Bank require written permission for reproduction of Polish banknotes and coins of all emissions in physical or electronic form.

Romania[edit]

✓OK Article 9(d) of the Romanian copyright law of March 14, 1996 excludes means of payment from copyright.

Use {{PD-money-Romania}} to tag reproductions of Romanian currency.

Russia[edit]

✓OK Russian currency is not copyrighted. Monetary items, together with other state symbols, are explicitly excluded from copyright by article 1259(6) of Part IV of the Civil Code of Russia (which covers intellectual property rights). Drafts for such items, however, are copyrighted by their authors. When a public body adopts such a draft and turns it into an official symbol, the resulting official symbol is not copyrighted and may be reproduced without mentioning the original author(s) of the draft. (See article 1264.)

Monetary items were already excluded from copyright in the 1993 legislation, which was in effect until the end of 2007. (See article 8 of the 1993 law, as amended in 2004).

Please use {{PD-RU-exempt}} for images of Russian currency.

Sierra Leone[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Government works are copyrighted. See article 8 of the The Copyright Act, 2011 (Act No. 8 of 2011) (English).

Singapore[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK. The copyright in the designs of banknotes and coins is held by the Government of Singapore. The designs may be regarded either as engravings, or as artistic works other than engravings or photographs, made by or under the direction or control of the Government, and under the Copyright Act (Cap. 63, 2006 Rev. Ed.):

  • an engraving enters the public domain after 70 years have passed since the end of the calendar year in which the work was first published; and
  • an artistic work other than an engraving or a photograph enters the public domain after 70 years have passed since the end of the calendar year in which the work was made.

Slovakia[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK. There is a lack of information about copyright on images of currency (Národná banka Slovenska). Some third parties, such as shops, have been granted permission to deal with Slovakian currency are known [7].

Slovakia has used the Euro since 2009. See the section #Euro for more information.

Slovenia[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK. The copyright on the design of the tolar and other obsolete currencies as well as the national sides of the euro coins is held by the Bank of Slovenia.

Slovenia has used the Euro since 1 January 2007. See the section #Euro for more information.

South Africa[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Copyright of the designs of South African banknotes and coins is owned by the South African Reserve Bank. Their document "Policy on the reproduction of images of South African Currency" sets out the policy of the bank in respect to the reproduction of South African coins and banknotes. In short, only news media can produce such images and then only because of time constraints in obsaining formal permission. Under the Copyright Act of 1978, such copyright lasts for 50 years.

Spain[edit]

✓OK Regarding former Spanish national currency, the pesetas, there is "no significant jurisprudence on the application of copyright to banknotes" per 1999 Report on the Legal Protection of Banknotes in the European Union Member States. Additionally, there is "no use of the copyright symbol: © on Spanish banknotes". The rules for reproduction of pesetas have only provisions for advertising purposes. Reproductions for teaching materials in particular do not require the authorisation of the Bank of Spain.

{{PD-SpanishGov-money}} can be used to tag images of Spanish pesetas.

Sri Lanka[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK The government works that are excepted from copyright are only "any official text of a legislative, administrative or legal nature, as well as any official translation thereof" (Intellectual Property Act, No. 36 of 2003, at Section 8B), so it is assumed that banknotes and coins are protected and not appropriate for Commons.

Sudan[edit]

  • ✓OK: Banknote designs before 18 December 1996
  • Pictogram-voting-question.svg Unclear: Banknote designs on or after 18 December 1996

Sudan's first copyright law entered into force on 18 December 1996 and did not extend protection to works already in the public domain. Banknotes issued before this date are therefore in the public domain in Sudan. Because these banknotes were in the public domain in Sudan before it joined the Berne Convention (28 December 2000), they are also in the public domain in the United States and may be uploaded to Commons.

The status of banknote designs released after 18 December 1996 is unclear. Under Sudanese copyright law, "official documents" are in the public domain, but banknotes may not fall under the definition of "official documents". If that definition does not include banknotes, then banknotes will be protected for 50 years after the death of the last contributing author. See Commons:Copyright rules by territory#Sudan.

Sweden[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Currency may be protected by copyright in Sweden. Riksbanken advices that the original authors of the works used on banknotes and coins may decide to sue if they feel their moral rights have been violated (which may mean the economic rights are not an issue for Swedish currency). There were undecided lawsuits on the matter at the time of the deletion request. Riksbanken itself seems not to have any claims. On the issue of counterfeit Riksbanken cites the Euro instructions as probably sufficient safeguards.

Switzerland[edit]

✓OK Currency is not covered by copyright in Switzerland. Article 5(1)(b) of the Swiss copyright law (Bundesgesetz über das Urheberrecht und verwandte Schutzrechte) from 1993 on works not subject to copyright explicitly excludes monetary items (Zahlungsmittel) from copyright.

Reproduction of banknotes that may be confused with genuine bills is prohibited by article 243 of the Swiss Penal Code.[8] The Swiss National Bank has issued some guidelines on how to reproduce banknotes in a way they believe are permissible. Printing "Specimen" across the image and not reproducing the bills at their true size or in their true colors are recommendations.

{{PD-Switzerland-official}} can be used to tag images of Swiss currency.

Syria[edit]

X mark.svg Most likely not OK. Syrian banknotes and coins are likely to be protected by copyright. The 2001 copyright law of Syria does not explicitly exempt the designs of banknotes and coins, only official documents and administrative decisions (Article 4). However, in 2013, Syrian copyright law was substantially changed with the repeal of this 2001 copyright law. However, there does not appear to be any changes to the protection of banknotes or coins.

Tajikistan[edit]

✓OK Tajikistan currency is not copyrighted. Monetary items, together with other state symbols, are explicitly excluded from copyright by article 7 of Copyright law of Tajikistan.

Please use {{PD-TJ-exempt}} for Tajikistan currency images.

Turkmenistan[edit]

✓OK Turkmenistan currency is not copyrighted. Monetary items, together with other state symbols, are explicitly excluded from copyright by article 1061 of Civil Code of Turkmenistan.

Please use {{PD-TK-exempt}} for Turkmenistan currency images.

Turkey[edit]

✓OK Electronic reproductions of banknotes and coins are permitted by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey, under the following conditions:

  • They must not exceed 72 dpi (dots per inch); and
  • The expression “ÖRNEKTİR GEÇMEZ” or “SPECIMEN” must be printed diagonally across the reproduction in Arial font or a font similar to Arial font. The length of the expression “ÖRNEKTİR GEÇMEZ” or “SPECIMEN” must be at least 75 percent of the length of reproduction, and the height thereof must be at least 15 percent of the width of the reproduction. The characters must be written in a non-transparent (opaque) color contrasting with the dominant color of the respective banknote. In two-sided reproductions, the abovementioned expression must be printed on both sides.

Please use {{PD-TR-currency}} for images of Turkish currency.

Uganda[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK. Bank of Uganda owns the copyright in its banknotes and coins. Under section 120(373) of the Penal Code, it is a criminal offence for any person to reproduce banknotes or coins to any degree without the prior consent in writing of the Bank of Uganda.

Ukraine[edit]

✓OK Ukrainian currency is not copyrighted. Monetary items, together with other state symbols, are explicitly excluded from copyright by article 10 of Copyright law of Ukraine.

Please use {{PD-UA-exempt}} for Ukrainian currency images.

United Arab Emirates[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Banknotes and coins are not exempted from copyright law in the United Arab Emirates, and so are protected in the same way as other works of applied and plastic art or drawings, with respect to reproduction and to the time period of copyright protection.

United States[edit]

Coins

✓OK for some but not all

Many but not all coins or bills produced by the United States Mint are in the public domain as works of the Federal Government. Some were designed by third parties who assigned rights to the Mint. These are typically commemorative coins for special occasions and the copyright is described in their marketing materials; another example is the obverse of the golden dollar.[9] The status of each coin or bill should be assessed individually.

Banknotes

X mark.svg Not OK

Federal law appears to speak in two directions about the reproduction of banknotes: illustrations and reproductions. "Color illustrations" of banknotes appear to be permitted if they respect the following conditions (from 18 U.S. Code § 504):

  • the illustration is of a size less than three-fourths or more than one and one-half, in linear dimension, of each part of the item illustrated;
  • the illustration is one-sided; and
  • all negatives, plates, positives, digitized storage medium, graphic files, magnetic medium, optical storage devices and any other thing used in the making of the illustration that contain an image of the illustration or any part thereof are destroyed and/or deleted or erased after their final use.

Printed reproductions, "including photographs of paper currency", are violations of 18 U.S.C. § 474. Even through its a non copyright restriction its not allowed on commons

Please use {{PD-USGov-money}} for relevant US currency images.

United Kingdom[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK UK banknotes are copyrighted. The Bank of England owns the copyright on its banknotes,[10] and banknotes carry a © notice.[11]

Coin designs are copyrighted by the Royal Mint.[12]

Publishing images of coins is not prohibited by the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 (c.45), because its section 19 refers only to "imitation British coins", defined as "any thing which resembles a British coin in shape, size and the substance of which it is made". The implication here is that images cannot resemble the substance of the real coins. However, images can only be published with the official consent of the Royal Mint.

Both the Bank of England's copyright on their banknotes and the Royal Mint's copyright on coin designs are instances of Crown Copyright. Published photographs or engravings subject to Crown Copyright which were created more than 50 years ago are now in the public domain (use {{PD-UKGov}}) and so images of British coins which were minted and circulated more than 50 years ago are permissible.

Scottish and Northern Irish banks will retain their own copyright on banknotes independent of the Bank of England; however, in the United Kingdom, it is a criminal offence under s18(1) of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 "to reproduce on any substance whatsoever, and whether or not on the correct scale, any British currency note or any part of a British currency note." The term "British currency note" is defined as something which "has been lawfully issued in England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland", "is or has been customarily used as money in the country where it was issued", and "is payable on demand" - this includes Scottish and Northern Irish banknotes, as well as those issued by the Bank of England

USSR[edit]

✓OK Former USSR currency is not copyrighted.

Please use {{PD-RU-exempt}} for images of Soviet (USSR) currency.

Uzbekistan[edit]

✓OK Uzbekistan currency is not copyrighted. Monetary items, together with other state symbols, are explicitly excluded from copyright by article 8 of Copyright law of Uzbekistan. Drafts for such items, however, are copyrighted by their authors. When a public body adopts such a draft and turns it into an official symbol, the resulting official symbol is not copyrighted and may be reproduced without mentioning the original author(s) of the draft (article 9).

Please use {{PD-UZ-exempt}} for Uzbekistan currency images.

Vietnam[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK. Banknotes and coins are not exempted from copyright law. Furthermore, duplication of Vietnamese banknotes or coins without the written consent of the State Bank is prohibited by an order of the Prime Minister in June 2003 (article 3).

Zambia[edit]

X mark.svg Not OK Banknotes and coins are not exempted from copyright, and are assumed to be treated normally as works produced by government officers. According to the Copyright and Performance Rights Act 1994, §12(2), the copyright on works made by government officers is held by the government, and the expiration of the protection is 50 years after the first publication of the work.

References[edit]

  1. Deutsch: Michel M. Walter, Anmerkung zu OGH 22.11.1994, 4 Ob 1105/94 – „Bundeshymne“, in: Medien und Recht international, Bd. 13, Nr. 5, 1995, S. 186 („Es kann mE aber nicht fraglich sein, daß ein Werk durch eine solche Veröffentlichung oder Aufnahme in ein amtliches Werk nicht seinen urheberrechtlichen Schutz verliert […] Dies gilt insbesondere für Briefmarken, Münzen oder Banknoten; sie werden durch die Veröffentlichung in Amtsblättern (Bundesgesetzblatt, Verordnungsblatt etc), in denen ihre Herausgabe (mit Verordnung) angeordnet wird, nicht zu amtlichen Werken.“);
  2. Deutsch: Michel M. Walter, Österreichisches Urheberrecht, 2008, Rn. 311 („Was schließlich die (grafische) Gestaltung von Münzen und Banknoten anlangt, können diese urheberrechtlich geschützt sein. Auch sie sind schon deshalb keine amtlichen Werke, weil sie nicht ausschließlich oder vorwiegend zum amtlichen Gebrauch bestimmt sind. Davon abgesehen handelt es sich auch nicht um Sprachwerke und in der Regel auch nicht um Werke wissenschaftlicher oder belehrender Art im Sinn des § 2 Z 3 UrhG.“);
  3. Deutsch: Ciresa in Ciresa, Österreichisches Urheberrecht, Stand: 18. EL 2015, § 7 Rn. 8 („Lehr- und Prüfungsmaterialien von Universitäten und Hochschulen sind ebenfalls keine amtlichen Werke […] Dies gilt auch für die grafische Gestaltung von Münzen und Banknoten“);
  4. http://www.cbc.gov.tw/content.asp?mp=2&CuItem=40419
  5. Copy of e-mail was forwarded to permissions-commons@wikimedia.org on 14 July 2008. (ticket:2008071410045309)
  6. Deutsch: Dreier/Schulze, 2004, § 5 Rn. 11: „Nicht § 5 II UrhG unterfallen nach Ansicht zumindest des überwiegenden Teils der Literatur […] Banknoten, Münzen und Briefmarken (Wandtke/Bullinger/Marquardt § 5 Rn. 19; Häde ZUM 1991, 356; Schricker GRUR 1991, 645, 657ff.; vgl. jedoch die insoweit abweichende Entscheidung des LG München I GRUR 1987, 436 – Briefmarke)“. Die letztgenannte Entscheidung des LG München ist mittlerweile hinfällig.
  7. Art. 11 Italian Copyright law.
  8. Art. 29 Italian Copyright law.
  9. Seduta della Commissione V BILANCIO, TESORO E PROGRAMMAZIONE (1996-09-18). Retrieved on 9 December 2017.

External links[edit]