Commons:Stamps/Public domain

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This project page in other languages:
English: The goal of this project page is to clarify the copyright situation of postage stamps for each country.
Deutsch: Urheberrecht für Briefmarken nach Ländern.
Español: Esta pagina contiene una relación de todos los sellos postales que son de dominio público, ordenados por país.
Français : Le but de cette page est de faire le point sur la situation des timbres poste en matière de droits d'auteur.
Русский: Список почтовых марок, находящихся в общественном достоянии, по странам.
中文: 本页以国别来对处于公共领域的邮票版权标志进行分类
Status of postage stamps in Eurasia.
* Grey - stamps enter the public domain after the author has been dead for a certain number of years (70 in Europe, depends on the country in Asia)
* Red - Stamps are in Public Domain
* Yellow - Copyright of stamps expires 50 years after publication
** In the case of Ireland post-1984 stamps copyright is extended up by 70 years.
* Brown - Copyright of stamps expires a different number of years after publication (Iran 30 years, India 60 years)
* Green - Rule varies by country. Netherlands: Stamps are copyrighted, but term differs depending on whether published before 1989 or not. Finland: Stamps published by the government (pre-1990 in Finland except Åland, presumably pre-2009 in Åland) are in the public domain. Stamps published by private companies such as Itella Oyj Abp and Posten Åland Ab are copyrighted and enter the public domain 70 years after the death of the author.


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Georgia#Abkhazia stamps

Public domain use {{PD-RU-exempt|stamps}}

per Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Russia#Stamps



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Public domain use {{PD-Albania-exempt}}.



Antigua and Barbuda[edit]

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Antigua and Barbuda#Stamps

Copyrighted Public domain for the stamps published before 1 January 1968 (older than 50 years) if the work is anonymous. See {{PD-Antigua and Barbuda}}.


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Copyrighted The basic copyright law of Argentina is Law No. 11.723 of September 28, 1933, on Legal Intellectual Property Regime (Copyright Law, as last amended by Law No. 26.570 of November 25, 2009).[1] English translation here. There is no mention of stamps or official works in the law, but Article 8 (as translated) says that "The ownership of anonymous intellectual works belonging to institutions, corporations or legal persons shall last for 50 years from the date of publication of those works." The government of Argentina is an institution and not a natural person so assume that where a stamp is anonymous, it is out of copyright after 50 years. Use {{PD-AR-Anonymous}} where applicable. If the designer of the stamp is shown, the stamp will remain in copyright for seventy years after death.


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Public domain use {{PD-AM-exempt}}.


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The Austrian postal service (Österreichische Post) has limited copyright for all stamps and the displayed images. The stamps can be used for sale, manufacture and advertising. For all other imaging requests (such as printing works, books or encyclopedias) the respective postage stamp designer needs to be contacted, since it is not advertising. This eliminates a general license as template for the German stamps. For each stamp a release must be obtained individually. The contact addresses of the designers are subject to data privacy. See de:Wikipedia:Briefmarken#.C3.96sterreichische_Post.


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Public domain use {{PD-AZ-exempt}}

An exception is File:1995 John Lennon..jpg.



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No Bangladeshi stamps might be uploaded before 2032 because the first stamps were issued on 29 July 1971 and the copyright term is 60 year pma. See: Copyright law of Bangladesh, or this legal review of the current law. The 1971 stamps might be uploaded by 2032.



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Public domain use {{PD-BY-exempt}}

According to the Copyright Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 370-XIII of May 16, 1996, "state symbols and signs (flag, coat of arms, anthem, awards, banknotes and other signs)" are not copyrightable.[2] According to the Postage Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 258-З of December 15, 2003, "postage stamp is an official (state) sign of postage printed on paper and carrying an artwork, and inscriptions "БЕЛАРУСЬ", "BELARUS", year of issue (in Arabic letters) and a par value (in Arabic figures). The par value of postage stamp may be designated in letters."[3]


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For Belgium applies the following rule: The image of a stamp is copyright free when the following conditions are fulfilled: 70 years after La Poste / De Post have issued the stamp AND 70 years after the designer of the image on the stamp has died.

The following list is non-exhaustive :

Name Born Died Public domain status
Artists whose works are in public domain because they died before 31 December 1945.
Meunier, Henri 1873 1922 public domain
...and any artist dead before 31 December 1945.
Name Born Died Public domain status
Rights reserved; their works will be in public domain on 1 January following 70 years after their death
Van Noten, Jean 1903 1982 2053
Vloors, Émile 1871 1952 2022
Dolphyn, William 1935 2016 2087
Any living artists or artists deceased less than 70 years ago : rights reserved


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Copyrighted According Belize's Copyright Act of 2000], where a protected work has been made by or under the direction or control of the Government and, apart from this subsection no copyright would subsist in the work, then copyright shall subsist therein by virtue of this subsection and shall initially belong to the State [Cap.252/2000 Section 25(4)]. No special terms are specified for stamps or other government works, so standard copyright rules apply (See {{PD-Belize}}). For stamps issued before Belizean independence (in the territory of British Honduras), crown copyright applies (See {{PD-UKGov}}).



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Copyrighted The Law No.1322 of April 13, 1992 on Copyright states that copyright protection expires 50 years after the author's death calculated from 1 January following the year of death [1322/1992 Article 18]. For "anonymous works ... and in pseudonymous works, the economic rights shall last 50 years after the works have been made known" also calculated from 1 January of the following year [1322/1992 Article 19].

For stamps published before 1st of January 1968 please use {{PD-Bolivia}}.

Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]



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Before 1983

Public domain use {{PD-BrazilGov}}

After 1983




See Myanmar.


Burkina Faso[edit]



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Copyrighted There is no special provision for postage stamps. Section 12 of the 1921 Copyright Act of Canada states that for government works (work that is, or has been, prepared or published by or under the direction or control of Her Majesty or any government department) the copyright is 50 years following the end of the calendar year during which the work has been published. This is known as Crown copyright.



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Copyrighted Stamps appear to be out of copyright after 70 years. If stamp is published before 1 January 1948 please use {{PD-Colombia}}.


Costa Rica[edit]

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Costa Rica#Stamps

Copyrighted The basic copyright law of Costa Rica is: Ley Nº 6683 - Ley de Derechos de Autor y Derechos Conexos. There are no specific provision for copyrights of postage stamps, but all works are copyrighted until 70 years after the author's death. In the case of government agencies and other public entities the copyrights of official works expired after 25 years, and in special cases after 50 years (i.e. books), both since the original publication date.


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Copyrighted Modern stamps of this country are not in public domain or their status is unknown. Cuba was under Spanish control until 1898 and then under U.S. control until the Republic was established on May 20, 1902. Accordingly, the copyright applicable to stamps issued during those time periods would be Spain and the U.S.


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Copyrighted Postage stamps of Czechoslovakia (published in 1918-1939 and in 1945-1992) are copyrighted 70 years after the author's death by both authors: an engraver and a graphic artist. (see overview of artists)

Czech Republic[edit]

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Czech Republic#Stamps

Copyrighted Postal stamps of Czech Republic (they are since 1993) are copyrighted 70 years after the author's death by both authors: an engraver and a graphic artist. They are not official works. Stamps are officially announced in Poštovní věstník (Postal bulletin, it is published at least since 2000) and texts in this bulletin is public domain but the stamps are copyrighted.


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Public domain use {{PD-EC-exempt}}

[P]er email received from Sr. Eduardo Espinosa of their Philatelic Bureau in response to my inquiry. Their Copyright Law is: LEY DE PROPIEDAD INTELECTUAL, Ley No. 83. Jack Child 00:40, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

El Salvador[edit]

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El Salvador#Stamps

Copyrighted According to the 2017 revision, Article 86(c), legal entity works are protected for 70 years counted from January 1 of the year following that of first publication. Translation of the specific permission to use images of postage stamps for non-commercial educational, philatelic and cultural purposes was contained in an email message dated 11 January 2007 from Silvia María Orantes, Head of the Philatelic Office, Government of El Salvador but commercial restriction images are not permitted here.


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Copyrighted. There are no specific laws on the copyright status of stamps. Ethiopian stamps are in the public domain 50 years after the date of issue, per the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Protection Proclamation No. 410/2004, which states that "Economic rights shall belong to the author during his lifetime and to the heirs or legatees for fifty years from the date of death of the author" (Art. 20) and "The economic rights relating to an audiovisual work shall be protected for fifty years beginning from the date of making of the work or communication of the work to the public, which ever date is the latest."

Faroe Islands[edit]

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Faroe Islands#Stamps

Public domain use {{PD-Faroe stamps}}

See Template talk:Faroe stamps.


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Issued before 1990

Public domain use {{PD-FinlandStamp}}.

They are parts of decisions by an authority of Finland. The Finnish copyright law of 2005 specifies that no copyright exists in decisions or statements by an authority of Finland (§ 9).

Issued 1990 onwards


Postage stamps first published after 1989, issued by Itella, are not in the public domain, and they should not be uploaded. Note however that Åland has its own stamps, which are not handled by Itella and different considerations apply. Because Posti- ja telelaitos, the authority for mail services, was changed from an authority to a company in the beginning of 1990, postage stamps published by Posti- ja telelaitos were not anymore parts of decisions by an authority. Most probably the copyright owner of postage stamps published after 1989 are the corporation Posti Group or the stamps' designer. A picture of a Finnish postage stamp first published after 1989 should be speedily deleted, unless permission has been granted by Posti Group, the designer of the postage stamp or a possible other copyright owner.


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This document, published on a website of La Poste, explains that French stamps have the same legal status as any other work of art. Stamps by designers deceased more than 70 years ago (plus years of war) are public domain.

The names of the artists are generally printed at the bottom of the stamps or its main picture. Check the individual artists death dates in the frwiki category: Dessinateur de timbres/Stamp designers and also the French Phil-ouest website that lists many more than have wiki articles.

On 1st January 2015, it appears that all postage stamps of France issued until 1922 are in the public domain (doubts about the 1919 stamp known as "The Two Orphans" - cause: no information found on the date of death of Surand and Jarraud).

The following list is non-exhaustive :

Name Born Died Public domain status
Artists whose works are in public domain because they died before 31 December 1945.
Barre, Jacques-Jean 1793 1855 public domain
Delacroix, Ferdinand Victor Eugène 1798 1863 public domain
Barre, Désiré-Albert 1818 1878 public domain
Merwart, Paul 1855 1902 public domain
Blanc, Joseph 1846 1904 public domain
Dubois, Alphée 1831 1905 public domain
Sage, Jules-Auguste 1840 1910 public domain
Roty, Oscar 1846 1911 public domain
Mouchon, Louis-Eugène 1843 1914 public domain
Nézière, Georges de la 1878 1914 public domain
Puyplat, Jules-Jacques 1843 1915 public domain
Froment, Eugène 1844 1916 public domain
Merson, Luc-Olivier 1846 1920 public domain
Thévenin, Auguste 1856 1921 public domain
Dumoulin, Louis 1860 1924 public domain
Ruffé, Léon 1864 1935 public domain
Mignon, Justin Abel Francois Xaviér 1861 1936 public domain
Dezarrois, Antoine 1864 1939 domaine public
Gandon, Gaston 1872 1941 public domain
Delzers, Jean Antonin 1873 1943 public domain
Degorce, Georges Léo 1894 1943 public domain
Nézière, Joseph de La 1873 1944 public domain
Grégoire, René 1871 1945 public domain
Prudhomme, George Henri 1873 1947 public domain
...and any artist dead before 31 December 1945.
Name Born Died Public domain status
Rights reserved; their works will be in public domain on 1 January following 70 years after their death
Cortot, Henri 1892 1950 see this 2022
Ouvré, Achille 1872 1951 2022
Hourriez, Georges 1878 c1952
see this and this
Dulac, Edmond 1882 1953 2024
Nézière, Raymond de la 1865 1953 2024
Barlangue, Gabriel Antoine 1874 1956 2027
Dufresne, Charles Paul 1885 1956 2027
Lemasson, Henri 1870 1956 2027
Cheffer, Henry 1880 1957 2028
Munier, Pierre 1889 1962 2033
Cocteau, Jean 1889 1963 2034
Mazelin, Charles 1882 1964 2035
Louis, Robert 1902 1965 2036
Serres, Raoul 1881 1971 2042
Cami, Robert 1900 1973 2044
Lemagny, Paul Pierre 1905 1977 2048
Spitz, André 1883 1977 2048
Piel, Jules 1882 1978 2049
Picart Le Doux, Jean 1902 1982 2053
Monvoisin, Michel 193 1982 2053
Miró, Joan 1893 1983 2054
Fernez Louis 1900 1984 2055
Decaris, Albert 1901 1988 2059
Delpech, Jean 1916 1988 2059
Haley, Claude 1923 1988 2059
Gandon, Pierre 1899 1990 2061
Pheulpin, Jean 1907 1991 2062
Cottet, René 1902 1992 2063
Combet, Jacque 1920 1993 2064
Peynet, Raymond 1908 1999 2070
Hundertwasser, Friedensreich 1928 2000 2071
Leguay, Marc 1910 2001 2072
Durrens, Claude 1921 2002 2073
Hertenberger, Claude 1912 2002 2073
Bridoux, Charles 1942 2003 2074
Dessirier, René 1919 2003 2074 [4]
Guillame, Cécile 1933 2004 2075
Folon, Jean-Michel 1934 2005 2076
Forget, Pierre 1923 2005 2076
Lacaque, Eugène 1914 2005 2076
Słania, Czesław 1921 2005 2076
Schach-Duc, Yvonne 1933 2009 2080
Saison, Huguette 1929 2011 2082
Mathieu, Georges 1921 2012 2083
Béquet, Pierre 1932 2012 2083
Leliepvre, Eugène 1908 2013 2084
Wou-Ki, Zao 1920 2013 2084
Markó, Serge 1926 2014 2085
Taraskoff, Mark 1955 2015 2086
Quillivic, René 1925 2016 2087
Andréotto, Claude 1949 2017 2088
Any living artists or artists deceased less than 70 years ago : rights reserved
  • Feltesse, Émile Henri - born 1881? - unknown death date - likely copyright until at least 2040 or later.


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Public domain use {{PD-GE-exempt}}.

Abkhazia stamps[edit]

Public domain use {{PD-RU-exempt|stamps}}

per Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Russia#Stamps


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According to a decision by a German regional court (Landgericht Berlin) in a case of the heirs of German artist Loriot against the Wikimedia Foundation, announced 27 March 2012, German postage stamps are not "official works" according to § 5 I or II UrhG and are therefore not in the public domain, as previously assumed on Commons.

Stamps of other private entities are copyrighted as well. However, the usual German copyright expiration term applies - copyright expires 70 years after 1 January after death of the creator. Some individual stamps may be copyright-free for other reasons (e.g. simple graphic design).

For a further discussion, see Wikilegal/Copyright of Images in German Postage Stamps

Outdated license templates, to be deleted or changed: (see Commons:WikiProject Public Domain/German stamps review)


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Stamps by artists deceased more than 70 years ago (or pseudonymously designed more than 70 years ago, before 1 January 1948) are free. The copyright status of all other stamps issued before 1970 is disputed (possibly {{PD-GreekGov}} as government administrative documents). Stamps issued since 1970 follow the 70 years pma rule.


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Stamps by artists deceased more than 60 years ago (or pseudonymously designed more than 60 years ago, before 1 January 1958) are free. See the Haitian law on copyright (Articles 20 to 23).


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Copyrighted Stamps of Hungary are probably not in the public domain. Although Hungarian copyright law denies copyright protection for "means of state direction" (Act No. LXXVI. of 1999, I.4), the recommendation 2001/9 by the Council of Copyright Experts rejects a similar arguments for banknotes and suggests that "means of state direction" applies to specific, "official" uses of a work. The same logic is presumed to apply to stamps as well. Assume copyrighted until general term of protection expires.

Also refer to Commons talk:Stamps/Public domain#Hungary and Commons:Undeletion requests/Archive/2013-10#File:1888 Kodaly 500.jpg



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Free license

Stamps are now covered under {{GODL-India}}. In addition, all Indian stamps made before 1 January 1958 (older than 60 years) are in the public domain. See en.wikipedia discussion here and here.

Use either {{GODL-India}} or {{PD-India}} where appropriate. Material issued by the Government of India before independence may be covered by {{PD-UKGov}}.


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Public domain use {{PD-IDGov}}.


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All stamps published before 1 January 1988 are in the public domain because according to the Law for the Protection of Authors, Composers and Artist Rights, Iran banknotes and coins designed before 1 January 1988 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".


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All stamps published in Iraq before 1 January 1968 are in the public domain. Use {{PD-Iraq}} to tag them.


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Copyrighted Irish stamps issued by the Department of Posts and Telegraphs before 1984 are official works and those over 50 years old are in the public domain (published before 1 January 1968). Use {{PD-IrishGov}} to tag them. Since 1 January 1984, when An Post was established Irish stamps are copyright to the company.


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Copyrighted Paragraph 51 of Israeli Postal Services Statute 1986, in its 2004 revised version (חוק הדואר התשמ"ו, תיקון התשס"ד), stipulates that the State owns full copyrights for Israeli stamps. The Israeli copyright statute from 2007 determines that the State's copyrights expire on 1 January of the 51st year after the creation of the work. Hence, only stamps created 50 or more years ago are in the public domain. Template:PD-IsraelGov would be appropriate to indicate their copyright status.


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Until specific information becomes available, apply the 70 years pma rule (or 70 years after issue for anonymous/pseudonymous stamps), so stamps by designers deceased more than 70 years are public domain. Where there are joint authors, such as an engraver and a designer, the copyright term starts following the death of the last survivor.

{{PD-Italy}} does not apply to Italian stamps. The law contains no exceptions to standard copyright law for stamps.

Stamps sometimes contain date and author and this blog, while not necessarily reliable, does list designers and some engravers, of Italian stamps and Italian stamp designers, so may be worth reviewing.

The following list is non-exhaustive :

Name Born Died Public domain status
Artists whose works are in public domain because they died before 31 December 1946.
Ferraris, Giuseppe (engraver) it 1791 1869 public domain
Joubert Ferdinand 1810 1884 public domain
Matraire, Francesco c1884 public domain
Wyon, Leonard Charles 1826 1891 public domain
Bigola, Ludovico 1822 1905 public domain
Michetti, Francesco Paolo it fr de 1851 1929 public domain
Del Neri, Edoardo it 1890 1932 public domain
Calcagnadoro, Antonino it 1876 1935 public domain
Sezanne, Augusto fr 1856 1935 public domain
D'Urso, Nicola 1877 1937 public domain
Cellini, Guiseppe it 1855 1940 public domain
Savage, Robert
(engraver American Bank Note Company}
1868 1943 public domain
Terzi, Aleardo it ru 1870 1943 public domain
Chiappelli, Francesco it 1890 1947 public domain
...and any artist dead before 31 December 1946.
Name Born Died Public domain status
Mezzana, Corrado 1890 1952 2023
Rondini, Guiseppe 1881 1955 2026
Paschetto, Paolo Antonio* it de fr 1885 1956 2027
Grassi, Vittorio it 1878 1958 2029
Frigerio, Federico it 1873 1959 2060
Cambellotti, Duilio it 1876 1960 2031
Morbiducci, Publius 1889 1963 2034
Cossio, Carlo it 1907 1964 2035
Di Fausto, Florestano it fr de 1890 1965 2036
Parmeggiani, Carlo 1881 1967 2038
Parrini, Manlio 1901 1968 2039
Conti, Gian Battista 1878 1971 2042
Lalia, Alfredo 1907 1971 2042
Marussig, Guido it de 1885 1972 2043
Guerrini, Giovanni it 1887 1972 2043
Garelli, Franco 1909 1973 2044
Lerario, Giovanni it 1913 1973 2044
Retrosi, Virgilio 1892 1975 2046
Morelli, Enzo it 1896 1976 2047
Ortona, Ugo it 1888 1977 2048
Cisari, Giulio it 1892 1979 2050
Melis, Melkiorre it 1889 1982 2053
Garrasi, Renato 1915 1990 2061
Dominioni, Paolo Caccia it 1896 1992 2063
Marangoni, Tranquillo it 1912 1992 2063
Ferrini, Renato it 1910 2005 2076
Tuccelli, Maria Maddalena 1951
Any living artists or artists deceased less than 70 years are all rights reserved
* dates need verification
Unknown death dates
  • Liana Ferri (stamp designs 1934) [2] [3]
  • Gustavo Petronio (active c1920s-1950s) [4]
  • Alberto Repettati (engraver of stamp designs c1920s-1930s)
  • Dino Tofani (1895-? (stamp designs 1930)
  • C. Vincenti (stamp designs 1930s)


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Stamps more than 50 years old are in the public domain (published before 1 January 1968), per {{PD-Japan}}.


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Public domain use {{PD-KZ-exempt}}

Pursuant to Article 8 of Law No. 6-I of the Republic of Kazakhstan On Copyright and Associated Rights dated June 10, 1996, "official symbols and signs (flags, coats of arms, decorations, bills and coins and other official symbols and signs)" are not copyrighted. Pursuant to Article 1 of Law No. 386-II of Kazakhstan On Post dated February 8, 2003, official signs of postage include "stamps, souvenir sheets, stamped covers, postcards, postage meter marks and other signs introduced into circulation by the authorised agency, which confirm that postal operator services have been paid."


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Copyrighted. The Copyright Act 1966 states that "any work eligible for copyright which has been created pursuant to a commission from the Government" is copyrighted "until the end of the expiration of fifty years from the end of the year in which it was first published" [5]. For stamps published before 1 January 1968 use {{PD-Kenya|1}}.

Public domain (if prior to December 1965) per {{PD-UKGov}}


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According to section 93 of the Lao People's Democratic Republic's Intellectual Property Laws No. 08/NA of December 24, 2007, in force on April 14, 2008, stamps which were published more than 50 years ago (before 1 January 1968) are in public domain. See Commons:Licensing#Laos for details.


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Public domain use {{PD-LV-exempt}}

According to the Copyright Law of the Republic of Latvia: of April 6, 2000, Section 6, "State approved, as well as internationally recognised official symbols and signs" are "Non-Protected Works", therefore all stamps are in Public Domain.


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Public domain?

According to the Law of May 19, 1999, on Copyright and Neighboring Rights, Copyright protection shall not subsist in ... means of payment. However, Liechtenstein generally emulates Swiss law, and Liechtenstein's Copyright Act is based on the Swiss text. As the majority of Swiss copyright law commentaries does not consider stamps "means of payment",[5] it is likely that Lichtenstein stamps are protected by copyright as well. There doesn't seem to be a treatise or commentary on Liechtenstein copyright law.

In the past, {{PD-Liechtenstein}} was used for uploads of stamps from Liechtenstein, but this shouldn't be done in the future, unless it's possible to produce evidence for the public domain claim.


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Public domain use {{PD-LT-exempt}}.


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Copyrighted According to article 23 of The Copyright Act 1987 (act 332) works by the Government Organizations are subject to copyright until the beginning of the year following 50 years after publication, so only stamps more than 50 years old (published before 1 January 1968) may be uploaded and they should use the template {{PD-Malaysia}}. This applies until 1992 when the Malaysian post office was corporatized as Pos Malaysia, so the normal artistic copyright term likely applies which is 50 years pma, unless as a corporate work the regular term of 50 years applies.


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Copyrighted Under Section 13 of Malawi's Copyright Act, 1989, the copyright term for works by the government is 50 years from the date of first publication and for works by individual authors is life of the author plus fifty years.[6] Since the first stamps of Malawi were issued on 6 July 1964,[7] the earliest any stamp of Malawi will be PD is 2015 (and even then only if the artwork depicted on the stamp is a government work).


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Public domain use {{PD-Manchukuo-stamps}}.

As China has always claimed Northeast China without recognizing Manchukuo, any copyright of Manchukuo stamps would have expired no later on 1 January 1996 as China limits corporate copyright to 50 years since publication and it is no longer clear which individual designed these stamps.



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Public domain use {{PD-MD-exempt}}.

According to the law on Copyright of the Republic of Moldova no. 293-XIII of 23 November 1994 (Amended by Law no. 1268-XV, of 25 July 2002) Article 7. refers to "State emblems and official signs (flags, armorial bearings, decorations, monetary signs, etc.)" as Works Not Protected by Copyright; therefore images of stamps are deemed to be in the public domain.


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Copyrighted Mozambique copyright law instituted in 2001 states that copyright subsists for 70 years following completion for "works of applied art" which appears to cover stamps.


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Copyrighted Under S.18 of the Copyright Act of 1911 (promulgated 1914 and sometimes known as the 1914 Act), Government works of Myanmar are copyright for 50 years from first publication (before 1 January 1968).[8]


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Copyrighted According to the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights Protection Act 6 of 1994, copyright of government-produced work is held by the state, and lasts for a period of 50 years after publication [6/1994 Section 6(5)]. The Namibian post was originally a department of the government's Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication, and became Namibia Post Ltd, or NamPost, in 1992. Before its independence in 12 June 1968 {{PD-SAGov}} may apply.

The Netherlands[edit]

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See article in Dutch on
Prior to 1 January 1989, the government-owned corporation PTT considered Dutch stamps as being created by the PTT company and as such was considered their author. In The Netherlands copyright expires 70 years after the death of the author. With stamps issued prior to 1989, copyright expires 70 years after publication.

From 1 January 1989 onwards, the PTT became the private company TNT Post. The rules are sometimes different compared to the period before 01-01-1989; for example, when there is more than one author of a stamp.

Public domain In short: anno 2018 Dutch stamps created in the period 1852-1947 are considered to be Public Domain.

New Zealand[edit]

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New Zealand#Stamps


In New Zealand, the Crown Copyright is defined by Sections 2(1), 26 et 27 of the 1994 Copyright Act. It lasts 100 years, with exceptions. It protects the work created by a person employed or engaged by the Crown, Ministers of the Crown, offices of Parliament and government departments. See the article on the Wikipedia in English.

According to this law, images of New Zealand stamps are in the public domain :

  • 50 years after issue for stamps issued before 31 December 1944 (Template:PD-NZ-50-years on the Wikipedia in English). Use {{PD-NZ-50-years}}. All stamps from 1944 and before are thus in the Public Domain.
  • 100 years after issue for stamps issued between 1 January 1945 and the 31 March 1987 by the New Zealand Post Office as a Department of the Government. No stamps from 1945 onward will therefore become public domain before 1 January 2045.


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Pursuant to the Article 16. Chapter III of the Law No. 312 about Copyright, the files, items, records, text and every document issued by the government of Nicaragua after these have been officially published are not copyrighted. I think in this case the author of the stamps are the state so The Buenos Aires Convention say that the author have the rights to pretect or not his works, and the state say that this kind of item are in the public domian. I'm right?

North Korea[edit]

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North Korea#Stamps


According to NK copyright law, "the property rights to a copyrighted work or a copyrighted visual art work whose author is an institution, enterprise or organization shall be protected for up to 50 years from the moment of its publication." If published before 1 January 1968) use {{PD-DPRKOld}}

Ottoman Empire[edit]

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Ottoman Empire#Stamps

Public domain use {{PD-Ottoman}}.

For stamps issued by the Republic of Turkey after 1923, see Commons:Copyright rules by territory/Turkey#Stamps.


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Public domain use {{PD-Pakistan-stamp}}.

Pakistani stamps are 1) in public domain unless (and until) the Government of Pakistan registers for copyright protection for Pakistani stamps with the Registrar of Copyright office, 2) Pakistani stamps can be used on Wikimedia on a "fair dealing" condition.

According to the American embassy in Pakistan[9], the following is "Not copyright infringement in Pakistan":

A fair dealing with a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work for the purpose of reporting current events:

  • - in a newspaper, magazine or similar periodical; or
  • - by broadcast or in a cinematograph film or by means of photographs
    — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jalal0 (talk • contribs) 19:56, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

While Pakistan has a copyright protection law which can apply for its postal stamp, copyright laws however do not apply on postal stamps, because all copyright claims need to be registered with the Registrar of Copyright office according to Chapter 8 of Pakistan's Copyright Ordinance, 1962[10]. The government of Pakistan is the author of all Pakistani postal stamp, and no claim of copyright ownership is known to have been made by the Pakistani government on postal stamp with the Registrar of Copyright office so far. Pakistan Post website also makes no claim on the copyright policy on Pakistani stamp.[11]

— Preceding unsigned comment added by ALE! (talk • contribs) 11:09, 27 January 2011 (UTC)

According to Pakistan's Copyright Ordinance, 1962, Chapter 1, stamp can be classified as artistic:

  • (c) "artistic" work' means:-
    • (i) a painting, a sculpture, a drawing (including a diagram, map, chart or plan), an engraving or a photograph, whether or not any such work possess artistic quality;

Copyright ownership of stamps is maintained by the Government of Pakistan, as stamps in Pakistan is issued by Pakistan Post, which works under the Government of Pakistan. Chapter 1 of the Act states:

  • (m) "Government work" means a work which is made or published by or under the direction or control of:-
    • (i) the Government or any department of the Government;
  • 39. Registration of copyrights, --(1) The author or publisher of, or the owner of or other person interested in the copyright in, any work may make an application in the prescribed form accompanied by the prescribed fee to the Registrar for entering particulars of the work in the Register of Copyrights.
    — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jalal0 (talk • contribs) 19:56, 25 January 2011 (UTC)


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Under Law 15 of 1994, copyright for works lasts for 50 years from the creator's (or last co-creator's) death, and 50 years from publication (published before 1 January 1968) for anonymous works.[12], if applicable use {{PD-Panama}}.


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Public domain use {{PD-Paraguay-stamp}}

The basic copyright law of Paraguay is Law N° 1328/98 on Copyright and Related Rights, as entered into force on October 20, 1998. Postage stamps are all in the public domain, as confirmed in an email message dated 15 January 2007 from Graciela Mármol, Head of Philatelic Advisory, Government of Paraguay. For text, see discussion. Jack Child 13:38, 15 January 2007 (UTC)


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The basic law on copyright in Peru is contained in Legislative Decree No. 822 of April 23, 1996.[13] Article 52 provides that copyright lasts for 70 years from death, calculated from the 1 January following the year of death.

Article 53 provides that "The term of protection of anonymous and pseudonymous works shall be 70 years from the year of disclosure, except where the author reveals his identity before that term expires, in which case the provisions of the foregoing Article [Art. 52] shall apply."

There is no PD template for Peru so use Template:PD-old where applicable.


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Public domain use {{PD-PhilippineGov}}

Works by the government of the Philippines are not protected by copyright. A prior approval of the government is necessary for exploitation of such works for profit. However, the clause for prior approval is determined to be a non-copyright restriction and can be safely ignored for the purposes of Wikimedia Commons by policy (see discussion).


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According to Article 4, case 2 of the Polish Copyright Law Act of February 4, 1994 (Dz. U. z 2006 r. Nr 90 poz. 631 with later changes) "normative acts and drafts thereof as well as official documents, materials, signs and symbols are not subject to copyrights". Such materials should use {{PD-Polishsymbol}}. Unfortunately it is unclear if Polish stamps and banknotes are considered official materials, signs or symbols by Polish law. In 2009 about 900 files with Polish stamps were deleted (see here for discussion).


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Public domain use {{PD-RO-exempt}}.

According to the Romanian Law on Copyright and Neighboring Rights Law no. 8/1996 of 14 March 1996 with further amendments Chapter 3 Article 9 "means of payment" shall not benefit from the legal protection accorded to copyright; therefore images of stamps are deemed to be in the public domain.


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Public domain use {{PD-RU-exempt|stamps}}

Pursuant to Article 1259.6 of Part IV of the Civil Code (No. 230-FZ) of the Russian Federation dated 8 December 2006, "official symbols and signs (flags, emblems, orders, banknotes, and the like), as well as symbols and signs of municipal formations" are not copyrighted. Pursuant to Article 2 of Federal Law No. 176-FZ of the Russian Federation On Postal Service dated July 17, 1999, official signs of postage include "postage stamps and other signs put on mail and evidencing that postage has been paid".

Article 1.1 of Official Postage Signs and Special Postmarks Regulations (Положение о знаках почтовой оплаты и специальных почтовых штемпелях, put into force 26 May 1994 with Order of Ministry of Communication of Russian Federation No 115) defines the official postage signs concretely and labels postage stamps, souvenir and miniature sheets, stamped envelopes, and postal stationery cards as the postage signs. Even works still under copyright can be used by the Russian post, without altering the copyright status of the work used. A copyrighted painting can be used on an envelope or such and {{PD-RU-exempt}} will apply, without turning the painting into a Public Domain work. Prerequisite is that the Russian post acquired permission from the copyright-holder. We can safely assume that the Russian post has come to an agreement with the copyright-holder of such work.


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Before June 1976

Public domain use {{PD-UKGov}} Seychelles was a British colony until June 1976; its stamps of the colonial era are covered by the "Crown Copyright", which expires after 50 years and puts the stamps in the public domain (see en:Crown copyright and {{PD-UKGov}}).

Before 1993

Public domain use {{PD-Seychelles}}.

After 1993

Copyrighted Postage stamps first published 25 years ago or earlier are not in the public domain, and should not be uploaded.


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All stamps are under the copyright of the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). No stamps may be reproduced without paying royalties to the IDA, if requested. The Singapore Philatelic Museum has been appointed to administer approval for reproduction. and According to Singapore's copyright law, stamps become public domain 70 years after the death of the engraver or 70 years after their issuance, if governmental work. Use {{PD-SG-artisticwork}}.

South Africa[edit]

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South Africa#Stamps

Copyrighted South African stamps older than 50 years (published before 1 January 1968) are in the public domain, use {{PD-SAGov}}

South Korea[edit]

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South Korea#Stamps


According to Articles 39 to 44 of the Copyright Act of the Republic of Korea, copyrighted works enter the public domain 70 years after publication when made public in the name of an organization. Use {{PD-South Korea}} if published before 1 January 1963.


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Communication with Spain's Philatelic Bureau suggests no public domain. Permission to scan images of Spanish stamps requires a specific request to José Luis Fernandez Reyero, Director de Filatelia, Sociedad Estatal de Correos y Telégrafos, S.A., Vía Dublin, 7, 28070 Madrid, Spain. For text, see discussion. Jack Child 23:50, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

According to en:Spanish copyright law, while most official works are not protected by copyright, standalone images are specifically exempted, and the author retains copyright. So it is safe to assume that Spanish stamps are copyright their designers, in which case the 70 pma standard applies (after 1987; before that date, 80 pma applies). If the designer is unknown, then the stamp falls into the public domain 70 years after it was issued (80 years if issued before 1987).

Sri Lanka[edit]

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Sri Lanka#Stamps


Copyright law of Sri Lanka (Intellectual Property Act No 36 of 2003) is silent on stamps, so assume copyrighted until general term of protection expires. It seems that stamps would be public domain if published before 1 January 1948, use {{PD-Sri Lanka}}.


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Swedish stamps do not seem to have a copyright exception in Sweden, so stamps are in PD 70 years after the death of the engraver. See also: Category talk:Stamps of Sweden.


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According to the Art. 5 of Federal Act on Copyright and Related Rights, Copyright does not protect .. means of payment. However, stamps are not considered means of payment and do not fall under any other exemption clause, therefore enjoying copyright protection.[14]


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Public domain use {{PD-TJ-exempt}}.


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The copyright of postage stamps is held by Thailand Post and lasts 50 years. See full text of Copyright Act B.E. 2537 (1994). (Section 14, 19, 32) Public domain for stamps published before 1 January 1968.


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Unclear The legislation is quite unclear. There was no Copyright law until 2004 and the Post Office Act (1933, 1977) doesn't mention copyright. The Copy Right Acts 2002 states that "In the case of a collective work [= including works produced by a public entity], other than a work of applied art, (...) the economic and moral rights shall be protected for fifty years from the date on which the work was either made, first made available to the public, or first published, whichever date is the latest.". In case of a Work of applied art (=artistic creation with utilitarian functions or incorporated in a useful article, whether made by hand or produced on an industrial scale), the economic and moral rights shall be protected for twenty five years [after] the making of the work. Tonga Post Limited is a public entreprise since 2008. The Copyright Act is retrooactive: The provisions of this Act shall apply also to works, performances, phonograms and broadcasts dating back to before the coming into force of this Act (IV 35).

Thus, any stamp published more than 50 years ago (before 1 January 1968) should be in the public domain.


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The current copyright law of Turkey provides that copyright owned by a legal entity lasts for 70 years from first publication, and that copyright owned by an individual lasts for 70 years from death. See Law No. 5846 (12 May, 1951, as amended), Art. 27. That law provides that the creator of a work owns the copyright, except where the creator is employed by someone else, including an entity, in which case the employer or entity owns the copyright. Id., Art. 8. The copyright for stamps designed by employees of the Turkish government therefore should belong to the Turkish government and should last 70 years from publication.

Thus, any stamp issued 70 or more years ago (published before 1 January 1948) is public domain.


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Public domain According to Article 1061 of the Civil Code of Turkmenistan of July 17, 1998, state symbols and signs (flag, coat of arms, anthem, awards, banknotes and other signs) are not copyrightable; therefore the postage stamps of Turkmenistan are in public domain. Use the Template:PD-TK-exempt tag to each image.


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Russia#Tuva stamps

Public domain use the {{PD-RU-exempt}}.

From 1921 to 1944, Tuva constituted a sovereign, independent nation under the name of Tannu Tuva, officially, the Tuvan People's Republic, or the People's Republic of Tannu Tuva. The independence of Tannu Tuva, however, was recognized only by its neighbors: the Soviet Union and Mongolia.[15] Since 1944 Tuva has been part of the Russian Federation.


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Public domain use {{PD-UA-exempt}}.

According to the Article 10 of the Law of Ukraine on Copyright and Related rights, all Ukrainian stamps are in the public domain. They are defined as "state signs" in the Law of Ukraine On Postal Service (4 October 2001) :

in Ukrainian : Закон України. Про поштовий зв'язок
поштова марка - державний знак, виготовлений у встановленому законодавством порядку із зазначенням його номінальної вартості та держави, який є засобом оплати послуг поштового зв'язку, що надаються національним оператором.
translated into English The Law of Ukraine. On Postal Service (October 4, 2001; N 2759-III)
postage stamp means a state sign manufactured according to the procedure set forth by legislation, with specified face value and state, serving as the tool of payment for postal services provided by the national operator.

United Arab Emirates[edit]

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United Arab Emirates#Stamps


The 2002 UAE law states that such works as stamps are protected for 50 years starting from 1 January of the publication year. Yet the 1992 law gave a 25 years copyright protection (starting from the publication date). This means that all UAE postage stamps printed before 1977 are in public domain. Stamps issued after that year should wait 50 years.

One may tag Template:PD-United Arab Emirates stamp to any such image.

United Kingdom[edit]

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United Kingdom#Stamps


Many British stamps are "Crown Copyright", that expires after 50 years and puts the stamps in the public domain. (See en:Crown copyright.) This also applies to the stamps of the various territories of the British Empire prior to their independence.

Following the privitisation of Royal Mail as a separate legal entity in 2012 the copyright of new British stamps has been held by Royal Mail in its own right, so in general no stamp may be uploaded.

United Nations[edit]

United States[edit]

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United States#Stamps
Before 1978

Public domain use {{PD-USGov}}

Title 17 of the United States Code (source : en:United States Postal Service) :

  • public domain if issued before 31 December 1977
1978 onward


Copyrighted by the United States Postal Service after 1 January 1978 (the date on which the Copyright Act of 1976 went into effect).[16] Written permission is needed[17].

Universal Postal Union/ WADP/ WNS[edit]


The Universal Postal Union, in conjunction with the World Association for the Development of Philately (WADP), has developed the WADP Numbering System (WNS), launched on 1 January 2002. The web site ( has entries for some 160 countries and emitting postal entities, with over 25,000 registered stamps since 2002. Many of them have images, which generally remain copyrighted by the issuing country, but which the UPU and WADP permit to be downloaded. See discussion.


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Soviet Union#Stamps

Public domain use {{PD-RU-exempt|stamps}}

Since, according to intergovernmental and international treaties, Russian Federation is a legal successor to the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the tag PD-RU-exempt (please see "Russia" above) also applies to images of postage stamps, stamped covers and stamped post cards (postal stationery) of the RSFSR and USSR.


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Public domain use {{PD-UZ-exempt}}.


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The basic law on copyright in Venezuela is contained in Law on Copyright 1993.[18] Article 25 provides that copyright lasts for 60 years from death, calculated from the 1 January following the year of death.

Article 27 provides that "The copyright in anonymous or pseudonymous works shall expire after 60 years counted from January 1 of the year following that of the first publication thereof. The date of first publication shall be established by any form of proof, including especially the legal deposit of the work.."

Use template Template:PD-Venezuela where applicable.


  1. Argentina WIPO, 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
  2. Copyright law in English
  3. Postage Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 258-З of December 15, 2003 русский
  4. [1]
  5. Cherpillod in Müller/Oertli, Urheberrechtsgesetz, 2nd ed. 2012, Art. 5 para. 3; Barrelet/Egloff, Das neue Urheberrecht, 3rd ed. 2008, Art. 5 para. 5; von Büren/Meer in von Büren/David, SIWR II/1, 3rd ed. 2014, para. 379; Hilty, Urheberrecht, 2011, para. 130; Dessemontet, Le droit d'auteur, 1999, para. 413; Gilliéron in Werra/Gilliéron, Propriété intellectuelle, 2013, Art. 5 LDA para. 9; von Büren, Urheberrecht und verwandte Schutzrechte, ZSR 1993, 193-222, 200; disagreeing: Rehbinder/Viganò, URG, 3rd ed. 2008, Art. 5 para. 3 [included by analogy]
  6. Malawi:Copyright Act, 1989. WIPO, 2001. Retrieved 21 May 2014.
  7. Rossiter, Stuart & John Flower. The Stamp Atlas. London: Macdonald, 1986, p.292. ISBN 0-356-10862-7
  8. Myanmar. WIPO, 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2013.
  10. Pakistan COPYRIGHT ORDINANCE, 1962
  11. Pakistan Post Office Department
  12. The Economic Contribution of Copyright-Based Industries in Panama, WIPO
  13. Peru. WIPO, 2013. Retrieved 4 August 2013.
  14. Denis Barrelet; Willi Egloff () (in German) Das neue Urheberrecht (3rd ed.), Bern: Stämpfli, p. 33 ISBN: 978-3-7272-9563-8. “Hingegen geniessen Briefmarken Urheberrechtsschutz, da sie keine Zahlungsmittel sind und auch sonst unter keine Ausnahmebestimmung fallen”
  15. Alatalu, Toomas (January 1, 1992). "Tuva. A State Reawakens". Soviet Studies 44 (5): 881–95. DOI:10.2307/152275.
  17. USPS site
  18. Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of). WIPO, 2013. Retrieved 3 October 2013.