Commons:Stamps/Public domain

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Other languages:
Deutsch • ‎English • ‎español • ‎français • ‎português • ‎русский

The goal of this project page is to clarify the copyright situation of postage stamps for each country.

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.
Text transcluded from
COM: Abkhazia


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

See also Category:Stamps of Abkhazia

Text transcluded from
COM: Afghanistan


Copyright expires 50 years after first put in circulation.[2008 Article 16.1.6] Use {{PD-Afghanistan}}.

See also Category:Stamps of Afghanistan

Text transcluded from
COM: Albania


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

See also Category:Stamps of Albania

Text transcluded from
COM: Algeria


No information available

See also Category:Stamps of Algeria

Text transcluded from
COM: Angola


No information available

See also Category:Stamps of Angola

Text transcluded from
COM: Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

Copyrighted Public domain for the stamps published before 1 January 1969 (older than 50 years) if the work is anonymous. See {{PD-Antigua and Barbuda}}.

See also Category:Stamps of Antigua and Barbuda

Text transcluded from
COM: Argentina


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). 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.

See also Category:Stamps of Argentina

Text transcluded from
COM: Armenia


Public domain use {{PD-AM-exempt}}. Stamps appear to qualify as "state symbols and signs", which are not subject to copyright under the 2013 version of the copyright law [2013 Article 4.1(d)].

See also Category:Stamps of Armenia

Text transcluded from
COM: Austria


Copyrighted 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.

See also Category:Stamps of Austria

Text transcluded from
COM: Azerbaijan


Public domain use {{PD-AZ-exempt}} An exception is File:1995 John Lennon..jpg.

See also Category:Stamps of Azerbaijan

Text transcluded from
COM: Bahrain


No information available

See also Category:Stamps of Bahrain

Text transcluded from
COM: Bangladesh


Red copyright.svg. No Bangladeshi stamps might be uploaded before 2032 because the first stamps were issued on 29 July 1971 and the copyright term is 60 years from the author's death. The 1971 stamps might be uploaded by 2032.

See also Category:Stamps of Bangladesh

Text transcluded from
COM: Barbados


No information available

See also Category:Stamps of Barbados

Text transcluded from
COM: Belarus


Public domain use {{PD-BY-exempt}} According to the Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 262-Z of May 17, 2011, "state symbols and signs (flag, coat of arms, anthem, awards, banknotes and other signs)" are not copyrightable.[262-Z/2011 Art.7(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."[1]

See also Category:Stamps of Belarus

Text transcluded from
COM: Belgium


Red copyright.svg In Belgium an 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 works of the following artists are in public domain because the artist died before 31 December 1945.

The work of the following artists will be in public domain on 1 January following 70 years after their death

Text transcluded from
COM: Belize


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 also Category:Stamps of Belize

Text transcluded from
COM: Benin


No information available

See also Category:Stamps of Benin

Text transcluded from
COM: Bolivia


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]

Use {{PD-Bolivia}} for stamps published more than 50 years ago.

See also Category:Stamps of Bolivia

Text transcluded from
COM: Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

No information available

See also Category:Stamps of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Text transcluded from
COM: Botswana


No information available

See also Category:Stamps of Botswana

Text transcluded from
COM: Brazil


Before 1983

Public domain use {{PD-BrazilGov}}

After 1983


See also Category:Stamps of Brazil

Text transcluded from
COM: Brunei


No information available

See also Category:Stamps of Brunei

Text transcluded from
COM: Bulgaria


No information available

See also Category:Stamps of Bulgaria

Text transcluded from
COM: Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso

No information available

See also Category:Stamps of Burkina Faso

Text transcluded from
COM: Burundi


X mark.svg Not OK - Stamps are not included among the types of work for which copyright does not apply.[Act 1/021 2005 Article 7]

If the author is known, a stamp would be protected for life + 50 years.[Act 1/021 2005 Article 58]

Otherwise, as an anonymous or collective work it would be protected for publication + 50 years.[Act 1/021 2005 Article 60–61]

See also Category:Stamps of Burundi

Text transcluded from
COM: Canada


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.

See also Category:Stamps of Canada

Text transcluded from
COM: Chile


No information available

See also Category:Stamps of Chile

Text transcluded from
COM: Colombia


Copyrighted Stamps appear to be out of copyright after 70 years. If stamp is published before 1 January 1949 please use {{PD-Colombia}}.

See also Category:Stamps of Colombia

Text transcluded from
COM: Costa Rica

Costa Rica

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.

See also Category:Stamps of Costa Rica

Text transcluded from
COM: Cuba


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.

See also Category:Stamps of Cuba

Text transcluded from
COM: Czech Republic

Czech Republic

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.

Text transcluded from
COM: Czechoslovakia


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)

See also Category:Stamps of Czechoslovakia

Text transcluded from
COM: Ecuador


Copyrighted Under the Intellectual Property Law (Codification No. 2006­-13) there is no exception for stamps, which would be protected for 70 years from publication.

  • Protected works shall include, inter alia, the following: ... works of painting, drawing, engraving and lithography ....[2006­-13 Art.8(f)]
  • The employer or commissioner owns copyright in works by made employees or commissioned.[2006­-13 Art.16]
  • Where the holder of rights in a work from the time of creation of the work is a legal person, the period of protection shall be 70 years from the making, disclosure or publication of the work, whichever is the later.[2006­-13 Art.81]

    See also Category:Stamps of Ecuador

Text transcluded from
COM: El Salvador

El Salvador

Copyrighted According to the 2017 revision, works owned by legal entities are protected for 70 years counted from 1 January of the year following that of first publication.[2017 Article 86(c)] 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.

See also Category:Stamps of El Salvador

Text transcluded from
COM: Ethiopia


Red copyright.svg. 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."

See also Category:Stamps of Ethiopia

Text transcluded from
COM: Faroe Islands

Faroe Islands

Public domain use {{PD-Faroe stamps}}

Text transcluded from
COM: Finland


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.[404/1961–2015 Sec.9]

Issued 1990 onwards

Copyrighted. 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.

See also Category:Stamps of Finland

Text transcluded from
COM: France


Red copyright.svg According to La Poste, 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.[2]

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.[3]

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 of artists whose works are in public domain because they died before 31 December 1948 is non-exhaustive:

Works by the following artists will be in public domain on 1 January following 70 years after their death:

  • Cortot, Henri (1892-1950)[4] @2022
  • Ouvré, Achille (1872-1951) @2022
  • Hourriez, Georges (1878-c1952)[5] @c2023
  • 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 (1932-1982) @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
  • Guillame, Cécile (1933-2004) @2075
  • Folon, Jean-Michel (1934-2005) @2076
  • Forget, Pierre (1923-2005) @2076
  • Lacaque, Eugène (1914-2005) @2076
  • Slania, Czeslaw (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 (190-2013) @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

The status is unknown for:

  • Feltesse, Émile Henri - born 1881? - unknown death date - likely copyright until at least 2040 or later.

    See also Category:Stamps of France

Text transcluded from
COM: Georgia


PD-icon.svg use {{PD-GE-exempt}}.

See also Category:Stamps of Georgia

Text transcluded from
COM: Germany


Red copyright.svg

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[edit]

See Commons:WikiProject Public Domain/German stamps review.

Text transcluded from
COM: Greece


Copyrighted Stamps by artists deceased more than 70 years ago (or pseudonymously designed more than 70 years ago, before 1 January 1949) 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.

See also Category:Stamps of Greece

Text transcluded from
COM: Haiti


Red copyright.svg. Stamps by artists deceased more than 60 years ago (or pseudonymously designed more than 60 years ago, before 1 January 1959) are free.[2005 Article 20–23]

See also Category:Stamps of Haiti

Text transcluded from
COM: Hungary


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

See also Category:Stamps of Hungary

Text transcluded from
COM: Iceland


No information available

See also Category:Stamps of Iceland

Text transcluded from
COM: India


PD-icon.svg: Stamps are now covered under {{GODL-India}}. In addition, all Indian stamps 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}}.

See also Category:Stamps of India

Text transcluded from
COM: Indonesia


Public domain use {{PD-IDGov}}.

See also Category:Stamps of Indonesia

Text transcluded from
COM: Iran


Red copyright.svg: All stamps published before 22 March 1989 are in the public domain because according to the Law for the Protection of Authors, Composers and Artist Rights, Iran stamps designed before 22 March 1989 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." Iranian stamps are copyrighted and their copyright belong to which is a "legal personality".

See also Category:Stamps of Iran

Text transcluded from
COM: Iraq


Red copyright.svg: All stamps published in Iraq before 1 January 1969 are in the public domain. Use {{PD-Iraq}} to tag them.

See also Category:Stamps of Iraq

Text transcluded from
COM: Ireland


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 1969). Use {{PD-IrishGov}} to tag them. Since 1 January 1984, when An Post was established Irish stamps are copyright to the company.

See also Category:Stamps of Ireland

Text transcluded from
COM: Israel


Copyrighted Paragraph 51 of Israeli Postal Services Statute 1986, in its 2004 revised version 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.

See also Category:Stamps of Israel

Text transcluded from
COM: Italy


Copyrighted 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 on or before 31 December 1948.
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
Constantini, Giovanni 1872 1947 public domain
Chiappelli, Francesco it 1890 1947 public domain
...and any artist dead on or before 31 December 1948.
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
Mancioli, Corrado 1904 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) [1] [2] (book 1951) [3]
  • Gustavo Petronio (active c1920s-1950s) [4]
  • Alberto Repettati (engraver of stamp designs c1896-1940s)
  • Dino Tofani (1895-? (stamp designs 1930)
  • C. Vincenti (stamp designs 1930s)

    See also Category:Stamps of Italy

Text transcluded from
COM: Japan


Copyrighted Stamps more than 50 years old are in the public domain (published before 1 January 1969), per {{PD-Japan}}.

See also Category:Stamps of Japan

Text transcluded from
COM: Kazakhstan


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.[419/2015 Article 8]

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."

See also Category:Stamps of Kazakhstan

Text transcluded from
COM: Kenya


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 1969 use {{PD-Kenya|1}}. Public domain (if prior to December 1965) per {{PD-UKGov}}

See also Category:Stamps of Kenya

Text transcluded from
COM: Laos


Copyrighted. Law No. 38/NA of November 15, 2017, on Intellectual Property does not mention stamps, and nothing that could be interpreted as stamps is included in the list of unprotected works.[38/NA/2017 Article 94]

See also Category:Stamps of Laos

Text transcluded from
COM: Latvia


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.

See also Category:Stamps of Latvia

Text transcluded from
COM: Liechtenstein


Public domain? According to the Law of May 19, 1999, on Copyright and Neighboring Rights, "Copyright protection shall not subsist in ... means of payment".[1999-2006 Art.5]

However, Liechtenstein generally emulates Swiss law, and Liechtenstein's Copyright Act is based on the Swiss text. The majority of Swiss copyright law commentaries does not consider stamps "means of payment".[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13] It is therefore likely that Liechtenstein stamps are protected by copyright as well.

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

See also Category:Stamps of Liechtenstein

Text transcluded from
COM: Lithuania


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

See also Category:Stamps of Lithuania

Text transcluded from
COM: Malawi


Copyrighted Under Malawi's Copyright Act, 2016, 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.[26/2016 Section 35(1a),(1e)] Since the first stamps of Malawi were issued on 6 July 1964, 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).

See also Category:Stamps of Malawi

Text transcluded from
COM: Malaysia


Red copyright.svg 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 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 (life plus 50 years), unless as a corporate work the term of publish plus 50 years applies.

See also Category:Stamps of Malaysia

Text transcluded from
COM: Manchukuo


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.

China limits corporate copyright to 50 years since publication, and it is no longer known who designed the stamps.

See also Category:Stamps of Manchukuo

Text transcluded from
COM: Mexico


No information available

See also Category:Stamps of Mexico

Text transcluded from
COM: Moldova


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.

See also Category:Stamps of Moldova

Text transcluded from
COM: Mozambique


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.

See also Category:Stamps of Mozambique

Text transcluded from
COM: Myanmar


Red copyright.svg 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 1969).

See also Category:Stamps of Myanmar

Text transcluded from
COM: Namibia


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.

See also Category:Stamps of Namibia

Text transcluded from
COM: Netherlands


Copyrighted 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 2019 Dutch stamps created in the period 1852-1948 are considered to be Public Domain.

Text transcluded from
COM: New Zealand

New Zealand


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.

    See also Category:Stamps of New Zealand

Text transcluded from
COM: Nicaragua


Red copyright.svg Stamps are not mentioned among the works not subject to copyright.[312/1999 Article 16]

See also Category:Stamps of Nicaragua

Text transcluded from
COM: North Korea

North Korea

Copyrighted. According to North Korean copyright law as of 2006, "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."[1532/2006 Article 24] If published before 1 January 1969 use {{PD-DPRKOld}}

See also Category:Stamps of North Korea

Text transcluded from
COM: Ottoman Empire

Ottoman Empire

Public domain use {{PD-Ottoman}}.

Text transcluded from
COM: Pakistan


X mark.svg Not OK. Use {{PD-Pakistan-stamp}} for stamps whose copyright has expired

Copyright ownership of stamps is maintained by the Government of Pakistan, as stamps in Pakistan are issued by Pakistan Post, which works under the Government of Pakistan. According to Pakistan's Copyright Ordinance, 1962, stamps can be classified as artistic:

  • "artistic" work' means: ... 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.[XXXIV/2000 Section 2(c.i)]
  • "Government work" means a work which is made or published by or under the direction or control of ... the Government or any department of the Government.[XXXIV/2000 Section 2(m)]
  • in the case of a Government work, Government shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright therein.[XXXIV/2000 Section 139(d)]
  • Copyright in a Government work shall, where Government is the first owner of the copyright therein, subsist until 50 years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the work is first published.[XXXIV/2000 Section 22(1)]

    See also Category:Stamps of Pakistan

Text transcluded from
COM: Panama


Copyrighted Under the Law No. 64 of October 10, 2012, stamps are not excluded from protection (e.g. as official texts).[64/2012 Article 13]

Copyright lasts for 70 years after death of the author or coauthor, or 70 years from publication if the work is anonymous or pseudonymous [64/2012 Article 59–60]. However, the economic rights for works created by authors who died before Law 15 of 8 August 1994 came into force will have the duration of 80 years as provided for in the Administrative Code of 1917.[64/2012 Article 194] In effect, works by authors who died after 1938 are still protected.

For older stamps, if applicable, use {{PD-Panama}}.

See also Category:Stamps of Panama

Text transcluded from
COM: Paraguay


Copyrighted: Stamps are not mentioned in Law No. 1328/98 on Copyright and Related Rights, and are not included in the categories that are not protected.[1328/1998 Article 8]

See also Category:Stamps of Paraguay

Text transcluded from
COM: Peru


Red copyright.svg The basic law on copyright in Peru is contained in Legislative Decree No. 822 of April 23, 1996.

There is no special mention of stamps in this law.[822/1996 Art.9] Copyright lasts for 70 years from death, calculated from the 1 January following the year of death, or for 70 years from the year of disclosure for anonymous and pseudonymous works.[822/1996 Art.52–53]

There is no PD template for Peru so use {{PD-old-auto}} where applicable.

See also Category:Stamps of Peru

Text transcluded from
COM: Philippines


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).

Text transcluded from
COM: Poland


Unclear 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).

See also Category:Stamps of Poland

Text transcluded from
COM: Romania


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.

See also Category:Stamps of Romania

Text transcluded from
COM: Russia


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 that give evidence that postage has been paid".

Article 1.1 of Official Postage Signs and Special Postmarks Regulations, put into force on 26 May 1994 by Order 115 of the Ministry of Communication of the Russian Federation, 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.[14]

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.

Tuva stamps[edit]

Public domain use {{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.

See also Category:Stamps of Russia

Text transcluded from
COM: Seychelles


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 1994

Public domain use {{PD-Seychelles}}.

After 1994

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

See also Category:Stamps of Seychelles

Text transcluded from
COM: Singapore


Red copyright.svg 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.

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}}.

The Singapore Philatelic Museum has been appointed to administer approval for reproduction.[16]

See also Category:Stamps of Singapore

Text transcluded from
COM: South Africa

South Africa

Copyrighted South African stamps older than 50 years (published before 1 January 1969) are in the public domain, use {{PD-SAGov}}

See also Category:Stamps of South Africa

Text transcluded from
COM: South Korea

South Korea

Copyrighted 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.

See also Category:Stamps of South Korea

Text transcluded from
COM: Soviet Union

Soviet Union

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.

Text transcluded from
COM: Spain


Copyrighted. 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).

See also Category:Stamps of Spain

Text transcluded from
COM: Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Copyrighted. The 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 1949, use {{PD-Sri Lanka}}.

See also Category:Stamps of Sri Lanka

Text transcluded from
COM: Sweden


Copyrighted 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.

See also Category:Stamps of Sweden

Text transcluded from
COM: Switzerland


Copyrighted 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.[17]

See also Category:Stamps of Switzerland

Text transcluded from
COM: Tajikistan


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

See also Category:Stamps of Tajikistan

Text transcluded from
COM: Thailand


Copyrighted The copyright of postage stamps is held by Thailand Post and lasts 50 years. Public domain for stamps published before 1 January 1969.[2537/1994 Sec.23]

See also Category:Stamps of Thailand

Text transcluded from
COM: Tonga


PDmaybe-icon.svg The copyright situation is unclear.

The Post Office Act (1933, 1977) does not mention copyright.[18]The Copyright Acts 2002 states that,

  • For a collective work other than a work of applied art ... the economic and moral rights are 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.[2002 Sec.18]
  • A "work of applied art" is an artistic creation with utilitarian functions or incorporated in a useful article, whether made by hand or produced on an industrial scale.[2002 Sec.2] The economic and moral rights are protected for twenty five years the making of the work.[2002 Sec.18]

Thus, any stamp published more than 50 years ago should be in the public domain.

See also Category:Stamps of Tonga

Text transcluded from
COM: Turkey


Red copyright.svg Under Law No. 5846 of December 5, 1951 (as amended up to Law No. 6552 of September 10, 2014),

  • The rights in works created by civil servants, employees and workers during the execution of their duties shall be exercised by the persons who employ or appoint them; provided that the contrary may not be deduced from a special contract between such persons or from the nature of the work.[6552/2014 Article 8]
  • If the first author is a legal person, the term of protection shall be 70 years from the date on which the work was made public.[6552/2014 Article 27]

The copyright for stamps therefore belongs to the Turkish government and lasts 70 years from publication.

Thus, any stamp issued 70 or more years ago (published before 1 January 1949) is public domain.

See also Category:Stamps of Turkey

Text transcluded from
COM: Turkmenistan


Public domain According to Law No. 257-IV of January 10, 2012, Article 7, 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.

See also Category:Stamps of Turkmenistan

Text transcluded from
COM: Ukraine


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) :

  • 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.[19]

    See also Category:Stamps of Ukraine

Text transcluded from
COM: United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

Copyrighted 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.

Text transcluded from
COM: United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Copyrighted. 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.

Text transcluded from
COM: United States

United States of America

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).[20] Written permission is needed[21].

Text transcluded from
COM: Uzbekistan


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

See also Category:Stamps of Uzbekistan

Text transcluded from
COM: Venezuela


Red copyright.svg Stamps are not mentioned in the Law on Copyright 1993, and do not qualify as an excluded category.[1993 Article 4]

Copyright lasts for 60 years from death, calculated from the 1 January following the year of death [1993 Article 25]. 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.[1993 Article 27]

Use template Template:PD-Venezuela where applicable.

See also Category:Stamps of Venezuela

Universal Postal Union/ WADP/ WNS[edit]

Copyrighted 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.


  1. 15 декабря 2003 г. № 258-З О почтовой связи – Postage Law of the Republic of Belarus No. 258-З of December 15, 2003 (in Russian). Retrieved on 2019-02-05.
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named LaPosteRepro
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Phil-Ouest
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named CatawikiCortot
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Hourriez
  6. Cherpillod in Müller/Oertli, Urheberrechtsgesetz, 2nd ed. 2012, Art. 5 para. 3
  7. Barrelet/Egloff, Das neue Urheberrecht, 3rd ed. 2008, Art. 5 para. 5
  8. von Büren/Meer in von Büren/David, SIWR II/1, 3rd ed. 2014, para. 379
  9. Hilty, Urheberrecht, 2011, para. 130
  10. Dessemontet, Le droit d'auteur, 1999, para. 413
  11. Gilliéron in Werra/Gilliéron, Propriété intellectuelle, 2013, Art. 5 LDA para. 9
  12. von Büren, Urheberrecht und verwandte Schutzrechte, ZSR 1993, 193-222, 200
  13. disagreeing: Rehbinder/Viganò, URG, 3rd ed. 2008, Art. 5 para. 3 [included by analogy]
  14. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named RF115
  15. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Tuva1992
  16. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named SingPhil
  17. 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”
  18. Tonga Consolidated Legislation: Post Office Act Acts 12 of 1933 and 29 of 1977. Pacific Islands Legal Information Institute. Retrieved on 2019-03-16.
  19. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ZakonPost
  21. USPS site