Commons:Village pump/Archive/2005/03

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Village Pump archives
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2004 Not available 09 10 11 12
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2006 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
2007 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
2008 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
2009 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
2010 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
2011 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
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2013 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
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2016 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
2017 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12
2018 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12

Image downloads

I'm working on a software project experimenting with automatic dossier creation of Wikipedia content. I'd like to know if there's a way to download images from commons using only the file name associated to an article in database table imagelinks? How does the system of folders, in which the files are located, work i.e. how is the link [[Image:]] associated to the actual file? I'm doing the work in PHP, in case someone has some practical tips! Thanks very much!

- AndyK

If I remember correctly it's something like that :
  $hash = md5($imagename);
  $prefix = "";
  $dir = substr($hash,0,1) . "/" . substr($hash,0,2) . "/";
  $url = $prefix . $dir . $imagename;
example :
FoeNyx 22:21, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Works fine. Thanks for your help!

- Andyk

Image:Margrethe2 10 ubt.jpeg

What is the Commons policy on money - coins and bills? Money in circulation is usually designed from the 1980s and forward and somebody somewhere is spending time and energy on designing them. Coins are everywhere but does that make them public domain? The question is not the risk for counterfeit but the copyright issues. Thuresson 00:22, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Category:Money says it all. Thuresson

Images needing stitching

I have created Template:Stitch and Category:Images needing stitching. It would be great if someone could take care of doing these; I find them to be really annoying. --SPUI 20:17, 6 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Done Paul Sinnett 20:51, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Nice, thanks. --SPUI 05:58, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
No problem. Interesting that although I removed the template from the description page, the last image is still categorised and with an unstitched thumbnail. Is this a bug? Does the last entry in every category get stuck maybe? --Paul Sinnett 21:59, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Never mind. It's gone now! --Paul Sinnett 21:57, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Commons description on the wmf site

Hello, I found today the Commons introduction in Wikimedia:Our projects should be updated as soon as possible. And I would like to expand this brief description rather than update it slightly.

Now we consider to provide each our project a separate page. (Please see drafts for Wikipedia and Wiktionary). I will be happy if you Commons regulars help me. The page would describes its mission, its history, and activities with stats like

  • How many images, sound files now Commons have
  • How many users register
  • How many active users participants
  • language policy (monolingual in general except some Project documents?) and major languages

It is a lough sketch, please feel free to expand it. Also the tendency of its content is good information, I suppose. Would you like to make a draft there?

Cheers, --Aphaia 06:04, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Future image commons:Image:Disambig.png

HAHA! Please don't use my horrible drawing. (en:Image:Disambig fork.png) I am definitely in favor of an image in the disambig template, but that was just a sketch of the idea; nothing more. If you like my green fork idea, please redraw it in a prettier way.  :-) See here: for some people who don't like the idea. - Omegatron 16:08, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Articles or categories?

I'm confused. Why are there both "gallery pages" and categories for the same thing? Shouldn't we just have everything in categories? - Omegatron 16:02, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

See Commons:Images on normal pages or categories:Vote.
James F. (talk) 18:05, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Excellent. - Omegatron 04:58, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

interwiki links

don't seem to work:

[[en:Wikipedia:Village pump]] [[en:User:Omegatron]]

Why doesn't this work? - Omegatron 17:20, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

When using [[en:User:Omegatron]], you add a interwiki link in the language box you probably see on the left-hand side. To embed a link to another language in the text, insert a colon before the language abbreviation: [[:en:User:Omegatron]] will yield en:User:Omegatron \u2014 Richie 23:54, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Aha! That's not consistent between wikis, is it? - Omegatron 20:47, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
What do you mean? [[:en:User:Omegatron]] always links to your English user page, regardless of where you use it. If you don't use the colon before the language, then the link is treated as an interwiki-link which pops up in the language box. They are two different types of links. \u2014 Richie 00:49, 16 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It seems to work differently on wikibooks: wikibooks:User:Omegatron/sandbox - Omegatron 05:01, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Using a colon is "often" refered as "inline link". This method can be used for interlanguage links, categories, images to "disable" the special functions. Best regards Gangleri | Th | T 22:27, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)

See meta:Help:Link#Special effects of links. Thanks Patrick. Regards Gangleri | Th | T 23:59, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)


After the vote on Commons:Stock.xchng images/vote, I've changed the Commons:Stock.xchng images page. Please have a look at it and make any correction, English is not my mother tongue. Thanks, villy 21:12, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Moving Over Other People's Images?

I've found a few images on other language Wikipedias that have a GFDL tag, that I'd like to use on en:. Can I upload these to Commons, or should I only upload my own images to commons? I'd ask the original uploader to do it, but I don't speak all the languages of the Wikipedias I find the images on... --Delirium 01:40, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It's OK, yes, but we'd prefer everyone on the other Wikipedias to contribute here instead. :-)
James F. (talk) 11:49, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)


So far I can see, the English language Wikipedia's footnotes say "All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details)." while the German language Wikipedia says (translated) "All contents ...".
As not every user of open source database software would automatically have to share the contents (this is something different), would it really be an antagonism to declare software and texts of as GNU FDL and some photos as cc-pd-nc for non-commercial and non-derivative for example? -- Simplicius 08:12, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Is there a way to allow CC-ND and CC-NC for pictures in future? -- Simplicius 13:45, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well, the question is: Do we want those? AFAIAA we want to have a free project (free as in freedom). Those licences are not free; do we want to limit our users? --Mormegil 15:24, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Thx. This question refers to pictures only which we could not publish otherwise. They are deleted in Commons. This is a sort of restriction against the users, too. -- Simplicius 14:17, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Comments at Category talk:Copyrighted re muli-licensing images under both the GFDL and CC-NC requested. — Jeandré, 2005-04-03t08:20z

Three in One Multideclaration

Why is there still a "This file has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. This applies worldwide."'? This can be rather anything. I think it would be better to allow this licences splitted up. So one can do a better examination for a proof. -- Simplicius 15:11, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

because forcing users to use tags with minuite detail while great in theory just makes it harder for users to contribute.
also some images may contain a combination of parts that are in the public domain for different reasons.
for example a comparison shot showing how navy life has changed consisting of a 19th centuary photograph (expired) retouched by a wikimedia contributer (released) placed with a modern US navy photo (pd-usgov). -- 15:29, 19 Mar 2005 Plugwash (added)
not at all, a user has to make his mind up about the copyright anyway.
it is just a small step for a user to tell other users exactly how he resumes a photo to be "free".
a 3 photos in 1 example is really no argument against 3 declarations for 1 photo. -- Simplicius 13:42, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
en: has a bunch of "sub-templates" of PD, such as "PD-Old", for just this reason. I think it would be eminently sensible for the commons to introduce something like this. Not a good idea to try to force it on all contributors though - we don't want people not knowledgeable on the fine points of copyright to feel compelled to choose PD subcategories that they don't understand. I'm hoping we'll develop a cadre who specializes in that sort of thing, similar to the group that reviews the tagging of en:'s images. Stan Shebs 00:54, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Hello there. Is there a software running under WindowsXP which I can use to upload a whole bunch of pictures? Using a lot of simultaneous upload-windows is a litte annoying... With such a Software I could start a large upload an do something different than waiting for every singel window to finish. I also asked this on the German Forum page. Thanks in advance. ((o)), Ja, bitte?!? 17:03, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

see Commons:File upload service or take a look at my perlscript below which should run under win32. \u2013Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 16:37, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Is there an easy way to move/copy all my images along with associated description text? What's up with en:Wikipedia:Moving images to the Commons? - Omegatron 18:18, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Thanks but since I´m a complete lamer and I don´t want to bother other Wikipedians, couldn´t you mail me an exe that does the same as your Perl(?)-Script?
See my userpage on how to mail me. I use Spamgourmet so its just a little tricky. Thank you! ((o)), Ja, bitte?!? 06:55, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Upload bot

I've written a small upload bot in Perl which I'd like to bring attention to, it works like:

$ ./platypus --username "Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason" --password "mypassword"

Then to upload it, the above line is only needed initially and logs you in and makes the cookies, which last for one month.

$ ./platypus --description 'whatever [[category...' image.png

Input, but reports, feature requests etc. would be appriciated. \u2014Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 06:21, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)


It's great to have people energetically uploading, but we're getting hundreds that are not categorized or gallerized, so are effectively disappearing into the soup never to be seen again. What can we do to better motivate uploaders to at least make minimal linkage, without just summarily deleting all orphans? 1/2 :-) Stan Shebs 01:28, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

What about a mandatory third text box in the upload form ? Either you put at least one category or you cannot upload. I admit I share your concern. villy 06:33, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Or a category drop-down list or something? - Omegatron 19:14, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Definitly a drop down list. Those categorys are all in english. Do I have to speak english perfectly to play along here?!? I mean when I have a nice photo and have to sit there an guess what category it could fit in and then don´t know the right spelling and the system won´t let you upload it, then I would be so annoyed that I won´t try again - would you? ... ((o)), Ja, bitte?!? 07:03, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Drp down list would be perfect. villy 07:12, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
A dropdown list would be kind of big (thousands of entries), and if you don't know English, the entries aren't going to be very meaningful. We really want category names to be translated into the user's preferred language. Stan Shebs 21:11, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well, a category tree browser with language selection would be the ideal if you ask me. Then you could start at the root category and dig down through the tree until you find something appropriate. Each category could have its interlanguage equivalent added with the same [[es:foò bar]] tags as everything else. - Omegatron 23:24, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Uploading video clip

I've a short video clip in the form of a small .avi file. But whilst Wikimedia Commons front page states :

"The Wikimedia Commons is a project that provides a central repository for free images, music, sound & video clips"

However it will not allow my video clip to be uploaded. Saying .avi is not a recommened format.

I took a look at and it contains Ogg sound files!

What's the problem? :-)

No, it contains Ogg video files.
We only allow Ogg Tarkin video files right now, AIUI.
James F. (talk) 17:39, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Why not Ogg Theora files? \u2014Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason 19:28, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
This is allowed also, I have uploaded two videos created with ffmpeg2theora. MatthiasKabel 14:53, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Image revert bug

Has anyone else noticed a bug with reverting images? See Image:Amoeba Music San Francisco Facade.jpg for an example: I reverted to an image of size 1678288 bytes, but it's now listed as 0 bytes. See Image:Rice 5x7 300dpi 8bit.jpg for another example. Dbenbenn 01:42, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Restrictions on self-made music recordings?

What are the restrictions on posting recordings I've made of music? Does the piece itself have to be in the public domain, or does my recording simply have to be released under a wikimedia-approved license? Specifically, I'm interested in making a recording of w:Syrinx (music); would that be acceptable? Starwiz 03:12, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

All three, the composition, the performance and the recording, must be in the public domain or under a free license. -- Duesentrieb 19:24, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)
How would I go about determining whether the composition is in the public domain? It was made before 1924, but is there a way to tell if the copyright has been extended? Starwiz 21:39, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Since w:Claude Debussy died in 1918 and EU Copyright laws continues 70 Jears after the death of the Author it should be in the public domain. -17:36, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Image not available anymore


two weeks ago, I uploaded three photos of the Pinakothek of Modern Arts in Munich (made by myself). Everything was ok and I linked one of the pictures here: and on other wikipedia sites. After having revisited the sites again, I now had to realize that the pictures are not available anymore. How can they be deleted? Who deleted them? Why?

Thanks for help,


The image was put up for deletion with the following explanation:
The architectural design is copyrighted by the architect of this brand new museum, and the German Panoramafreiheit exception is not applicable since it is an interior view. -- 22:31, 17 Mar 2005 (UTC)
the image was consequently deleted:
04:54, 25 Mar 2005 Roger Zenner deleted "Image:Pinakothek of Modern Arts1 2004.jpg" (Copyrighted)
sorry about that. Architects (in germany) do indeed have a copyright to the building created from their design, and to all pictures mad of those buildings. The only exceptions are pictures taken of the exterior from a publically accessible location (Panoramafreiheit). I personally think that this law is pretty darn crazy, but ther's nothing we can do about it. -- Duesentrieb 01:40, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Again, I learned something...Sad, but thanks - Good to know for future contributions.!


Hi, I found a photo of Sergei Zakariadze, Georgian actor (1909-1971). I uploaded it as Image:Zakariadze.jpg. I think that the photo was made in the 1960s and it is safe to assume that we can use it as a public domain image - the photo was made about 50 years ago! --Webkid 16:15, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Georgian copyright law gives me a headache! It seems to depend very much who the photographer was, and date of death. Georgian? Russian? (If U.S.A., then it's pretty much certain it will be the 70 years rule.) Soviet law was author's death+15 years, until June 1973, when death+25 years, then August 1992 when death+50 years non-retroactive, but in 1993 death+50 years retroactive. Georgia (apparantly) used old Soviet laws until around 1997 (unenforceable now maybe?) and then signed the Berne convention (also gives me a headache). en:Copyright_Expiration_Day explains one must wait 70 years (in most cases) after the author (photographer in this case) has died. See also my understanding of this complex area on my user page. In any case the image page should mention the photographer's name. -Wikibob 18:58, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Yes, that's a very tricky problem. However, the thing is that the author cannot be traced, or at least his name is unknown. What do we do in cases like this one? I think that it won't harm anyone if we include photos made 50 years ago - I don't understand actually why there're these 15/25/50/70 years after the death. After all, photographers make photos, and only the photographers can claim copyrights - so why do we have to wait all these years? Maybe their grandchildren could find us and sue us? :) --Webkid 21:13, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Maybe the copyright tag {{PD-Soviet}} could be used here? I see it states According to the laws of the Soviet Union, all works published before May 27, 1973 were not protected by copyright and were thus in the public domain. and there are several photos of Gargarin in commons, with no source and no photographer credit, so maybe it's ok. I think those 15/25/50/70 years would apply to works in the Soviet Union made by foreigners. Meanwhile I started a stub en:Sergo Zaqariadze after a lot of searching for information and more photos on him. -Wikibob 23:24, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Commons:Category scheme astronomy

Just today I found this scheme for organising the astronomy categories, and also that while Category:Constellations (modern constellation star maps) is in it, Category:Constellation (articles with mix of old and new star maps) was not. So I moved the latter into the scheme. However, is there a better place for it? Constellation inside Constellations or vice et versa? Merge them? I have also made commons links from en:Constellation to them both, so it looks rather strange now. -Wikibob 18:58, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The articles in Category:Constellation should be changed to Category:Constellations, which is properly pluralized. Category:Constellation should be deleted when it is empty. Dbenbenn 00:32, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Ok, I've started uploading some old Hevelius star maps to the relevant Constellation article, and each time I'm changing the category. -Wikibob 03:05, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)


de: Einge Abstimmungen endeten schon vor 7 Tagen, dazu eine Frage: Ab wann ist ein Bild exzellent? Benötigt es eine 2/3 Mehrheit? Einfache Mehrheit? Das erste Bild z.B. hat 10:6 stimmen, "featured" oder nicht? Ich würde mich als neuer Admin ja sehr gerne darum kümmern, aber keiner kann mir sagen, wie das hier geregelt ist? --Roger Zenner -!- 17:32, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

en: Some of the votings ended 7 days ago, therefore a question: What are the criteria for a featured image? 2/3 majority? simple majority? e.g. the first picture: 10:6 votes - featured or not? As new sysop, I'd do the job, but noone can answer my questions - anyone here? --Roger Zenner -!- 17:32, 27 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Well Roger, as far as I'm concerned, a simple majority would do. We need a package of 365 featured pictures at least to feed Commons:Picture of the day in a more appropriate way ... villy 12:56, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

"Paris" or "Paris, France"

Should we use Category:Paris or Category:Paris, France? Note that "Category:Paris, France" had previously been deleted on 21 January in favor of "Category:Paris". User:Schaengel89 recently recategorized things in "Category:Paris" to "Category:Paris, France" and put a {{del}} tag on "Category:Paris". I disagreed with this; our respective opinions and reasons are on User talk:Schaengel89. Feedback, other people's opinions, please? Thanks, -- Infrogmation 10:45, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

And what about the person called "Paris" in ancient history? LoopZilla 10:56, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
In general, commons articles and categories should line up with their WP, Wiktionary, Wikitravel, etc, counterparts, so that linking back and forth works as expected. For instance, in en:, after literally years of debate, we have settled on just "Paris" for the one in France, and disambiguators for every other thing called "Paris". I believe the same is true for other languages. So that seems like a worldwide consensus to use just "Paris". Stan Shebs 19:30, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I favour Paris too, because it's shorter, and matches the current commons article Paris. Same goes for cities in Germany BTW. Anyway I added Category:France to Category:Paris to stop it being an orphan, and added interlinks. To be balanced I did the same to Category:Paris, France (although it was not an orphan). What about Commons:Category scheme France similar to Commons:Category scheme astronomy to show the existing category structure? I see there are a few unintentional redundant categories there. -Wikibob 22:17, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Category:Paris, France

  • Most Cities in Europe exist also in America. Thus it will be confusing in the future, when we use the name of the city only. By the way, we have a Category:Hannover, Germany (2*n). Should it be Category:Hanover, Germany (1*n) due to the english spelling of the city? --Heidas 13:08, 28 Mar 2005 (UTC)
In most cases, the cities that have the same names as the major European cities are unimportant. Seriously, when you see "Paris" in a newspaper, do you wonder whether it's Paris, Texas? David.Monniaux 08:44, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Paris, Texas is the most famous other Paris. In the USA, there are many places names that appear in many different states. See this Ambiguous Place Names In The USA And Canada. This is a very good example of my theory that Categories chosen by all users will be a mess. There needs to be some central control (and voting, perhaps). LoopZilla 08:49, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Yes, but in 99% or such of cases, when somebody writes "Paris", he means Paris, France, not a small town in the US or elsewhere. Principle of least surprise! David.Monniaux 08:47, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
And very few people know the exact differences between United Kingdom and Great Britain LoopZilla 08:56, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
"Most Cities in Europe exist also in America." <tongue in cheek>A clear case over overzealous property developers!</tongue in cheek> Cheers, MartinD 09:02, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I've read the various discussions on Categories and who should create them, and what they should be named, but could not see any policy, yet. Are there agreed policies for each top category? I see LoopZilla's point about the mess, and see a slight mess already, but I also see cannot see why it's so important to change something or create a redirect when there's no confusion yet. It's likely I don't see the whole picture, but in the meantime I'm adding Commons:Category scheme France links to a few top France categories in order to show what the current structure is.

It is linked from Commons:Categories which was out of date. I assume there is no automatic way to generate such a structure? Maybe if anyone adds, deletes or redirects a France-related category could also keep the scheme up to date, in the hope of reducing the mess. -Wikibob 23:38, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Category questions

Hi, can I ask you some questions about categories? One, would "Camping" qualify as a sub-category in Sport? Two, I uploaded a picture of a comping site (Paalkampeerterrein.jpg) and added a "Category:Camping"-tag, thinking that a category page of that name would be automatically created. It is shown in the list of categories, but still in red. Should I add the link to the picture manually? Three, I made a picture of a sports arena cum music hall in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Is there a separate category (and/or page) for this type of buildings? Thanks for your help, MartinD 07:34, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

  • I seem to have fixed the camping / sport issue by clicking on the red "Camping" in the list of categories under the image Image:Paalkampeerterrein.jpg and entering the text [[Category:Sport]] in the newly created category.
  • Rnt20 12:05, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Thank you! MartinD 15:01, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Image needs renaming

Is there any way of renaming an image if it has a misleading name?

For example, Image:La_Palma-Gran_Telescopio_Canarias.jpg shows a photo of the MAGIC telescope on La Palma, and is not a photo of the Gran Telescopio Canarias. I believe that incorrect or misleading information like this is often worse than having no information!

Rnt20 10:51, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

You have to download the image, change the file name on your computer, and re-upload. Make sure to get the 2272x1704 version, by clicking on the image first! Dbenbenn 15:15, 29 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Images with insufficient license infos: Template:Incomplete license

I just created Template:Incomplete license to tag images that have been marked as being under a free license but are missing information requred by the license (or required to verify the license). Please use it instead of Template:Unknown where appropriate. I have linked the template on Commons:Copyright_tags#Unfree_copyrights - if you can think of another place to link to it, please do so! -- Duesentrieb 13:51, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Hey, good work! I was looking for such a template a few days ago --Baikonur 17:21, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
There's a risk that legitimate images get deleted simply because the uploader forgot to add the information that they took the photo, created the drawing, recorded the sound, etc. In my opinion, we should assume good faith, and unless common sense suggests that the uploader is not identical to the creator, a photo tagged with the appropriate license template is acceptable even when that information is not made explicit.
Also, why is the date when the photo was taken important?--Eloquence 17:55, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Copyright expiration clock? Stan Shebs 18:34, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)
While the information is useful for that purpose, I do not see its absence as a valid reason to delete an image.--Eloquence 08:52, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The template does not say that an image will be deleted if there is no date provided, but that a date would be useful ("If available ..."). In addition to the license, author and source are important and concerning public domain images, there should be an explanation why this work is in the public domain if it isn't self-evident. As you can see below, there are people who upload arbitrary images and just place a free license on the description page. Two distinguish between those and really free images there should be a minimum of information provided by the uploader that makes the license stated on the description page a bit more transparent and traceable. --Baikonur 18:55, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)
The template does not say that an image will be deleted if there is no date provided, but that a date would be useful ("If available ..."). That's because I changed it, see the earlier version of the template for the original wording.
Of course it is useful to have a maximum of information about the uploaded files, but it is highly problematic to retroactively change the criteria under which images are considered acceptable. First, there was just a checkbox which needed to be clicked to confirm that you are licensing your uploads under the FDL. (That checkbox is still around for no good reason.) Then images which weren't "tagged" properly were deleted, even if the original uploaders had followed the instructions and, by clicking the checkbox, agreed to put their uploads under the FDL. To apply even more rigid criteria now has the potential to make lots of people angry, especially if their images are deleted without personal notification and a substantial grace period (as in months, not weeks).--Eloquence 14:50, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

First of all, thanks you, Eloquence, for changing the bit about the date. Indeed, that is, strictly speaking, only neccessary for images that are PD by age. Also, I want to encourage anyone placing this tag on an image page (or the well established Template:Unknown) to always notify the user of what s/he should put on the image description page. I have (long ago) created a templates for this: Template:Please tag images. I would like to encourage everyone to use it or a similar text. Also have a look at Template:Please link images, so we don't get so many unsorted pictures.

Please note that I'm not trying to change the rules here - I just made a template that explains to others what I understand to be the rules. For example, using a GFDL image without stating the author and source is a copyright violation. As many images uploaed here are moved from wikipedias, we have no idea if the uploader is also the creator of the image - assuming good faith is fine, but my experience tells me differently. I agree that changing conditions is a problem. But as far as I know, on the commons tagging has always been policy, at least as long as I have been here. Also, the vast majority of images in question have been uploaded at a time when there where detailed instructions on the upload page of what needs to be on the description page.

About PD images: Uploading some image and just claiming it to be PD is simply not good enough, and I belive this is consensus. The description page must always contain information suffiecient to verify the license status, most importantly author and source, and, for images PDed by Age, the date of creation and/or the date of the death of the creator of the image. If the author is not know, the image has to be indee very old to be allowed - 70 years after the death of the author could be well over 100 jears after the creation of the image.

Regards -- Duesentrieb 17:47, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

There are many cases, such as your own upload Image:Blake-Abel.jpg, where anyone can use common sense to verify the information that is not provided on the description page (in this case, when the painter died). Source information is not needed for a photograph of a public domain work and may, in fact, be detrimental to our cause (as our position is that photographing such works is not a creative act). An uploader may reasonably assume that by uploading the file, they do implicitly provide the information that they are the creator. I agree that this information should be made explicit, but I find it of utmost importance that the uploader be notified about this.
I am not categorically opposed to deleting images with slightly incomplete information, I just believe that we should 1) use common sense -- resist the temptation to tag instead of researching whether the license information could be correct, 2) notify and only delete if the response is negative, or there is no response within a long grace period.
Of course, the main thing we need is a better upload form that makes it clear what information is required. Such a form was part of my original project plan, but nobody else has helped with it. I'll see if I can get something done in this department soon.--Eloquence 03:19, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I agree with you almost completely. First of all, the uploader should always first be asked to add any information missing, and should be granted some time to do so - I normally do not delete images with incomplete licenses until one month after the uploader has been notified - I belive that should be enough. For that period of time, I think the image should be tagged as problematic - the unknown-tag is very unspecific, that's why i created the new template. The alternative would be to put time image up for deletion by a normal deletion request - which would give the uploader only on week to reakt, and also "feels" worse to new contributesr, I think.
I do not suggest to slap the incomplete-license template onto everything that is not labeled perfectly - I use if for cases where some license is claimed, but i can't see any way to verify that claim. Especially, I often see random images (especially scans) labeled as PD or GFDL; Also, I often see GFDL-images without an author name, but with something like "from wikipedia", indicating it is not the work of the uploader - which makes it a violation of the terms of the GFDL.
I also do not suggest we should delete images just because they are missing the date of the death of the author, if that date is non-critical to the license status or can easily be researched. Especially for works of well known artists or very old works, the date is not critical. It is critical however for anonymous photographies from the 1930s and the like - many people seem to think black-and-white photos are PD automatically or something. I think the new wording is ok now - dates are helpful, but (usually) not strictly neccessary.
Sorce information is always a good idea, and I can't think of any reason not to give it. It's simply the easiest way to verify the license status, especially in cases when someone elses work is uploaded and claimed to have been released under some free license. But I would not just delete images that do not have that info - asking the uploader first is always best.
I would indeed like to have a better upload form too. The problem is that we need different info depending on what kind of image it is, or if it is an image at all. The details become rather complicated... but a technical solution would be excelent. In the meantime, we should try to make the info shown on the upload form as detailed and clear as possible, and to tell people exactly what should and what must be on the image description. I tried this before with MediaWiki:Fileuploaded, but that text is no longer used. For now, we should try to make MediaWiki:uploadtext as expressive as possible, and to provide translations of the full info in many languages - at the moment I see english, german and french - that's not enough...
I would be happy to help to develop a better system for getting the appropriate infos for each image. The incomplete-licence-template is just one piece in the puzzle.
Thanks again to everyone, and especially to Eloquence for their work on the commons! -- Duesentrieb 12:44, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Addendum: please have a look at Image:Ant logo large.gif to see how/when I think this template should be used -- Duesentrieb 13:10, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
OK, I have created Commons:Incomplete license as a proposed policy page for this template.--Eloquence 17:31, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Great work, thank you very much! So lets take any further discussion to the talk page there: Commons talk:Incomplete license. I've already posted a few questions there. -- Duesentrieb 22:33, 3 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Bomis pictures and other pictures "mistakenly" put under a free license

This afternoon, I deleted a whole slew of pictures that were copied from the Bomis site to commons. Somebody had slapped a GFDL tag on them. However:

  • The Bomis site does not put the images under GFDL. It just grants an usage license to other web sites (provided they give a link). This license does not grant right such as derivative works, CD distributions, printed versions.. thus the images are not free. They are thus unsuitable for commons.
  • I checked the matter with Jimbo Wales. He did not give the authorization to put those pictures under GFDL, except for a single one of them (which I re-uploaded after deleting and checking that this one could be on commons).

Please do not upload photos that you lift from a web site without checking that the license conditions on that web site are free as defined under the commons guidelines. Also, please do not stick arbitrary license tags on images the copyright of which you do not own. Finally, please do not make "stretchy" inferences (such as: if the copyright owner granted a license for one image, he has granted the same license for other images). :-)

David.Monniaux 18:47, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)