Commons:Village pump/Archive/2009/07

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July 1

Flickr cc-by-sa

User werkunz1 has uploaded many cc-by-sa images that are all of very high quality and would be a wonderful addition to commons. Do we already have a bot that grabs descriptions and author names (by batch) off Flickr? His photostream: . --Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 10:16, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Categories "by country" vs. "by continent"

There occurs a problem about relation between "by country" and "by continent" categories. Foroa and Ingolfson promote that category "by country" should be primary and that category "by continent" can be tolerated as an additional overcategorization only. E. g. Ingolfson created and filled the category "Floods by country" although the category "by continent" with sorted categories by country had be existing.

I think category "by continent" is more useful alternative of mixed-category "by country" and that ther is a overcategorization to keep the mixed category "by country" when category "by continent" exists, because category "by country" is full functionally replaced by a category "by continent".

Moved from User_talk:Foroa#Models_from_Asia:

Greetings. I was wondering why you deleted this category. You stated "incorrectly named", but it doesn't look like you recreated it under a better name. What name do you think would be better? All the best, Quadell (talk) 16:15, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Well, on Commons, all major worldwide topics are created in the first place on a per country level. The categorisation per continent is some side categorisation which happens occasionally later on some topics (and which is some form of overcategorisation) and which I would certainly not encourage as it pushes some people of emptying the per country category. As you started creating Models of Asia, so on the continent level, I know that some people would follow the example and fill up the continent category without filling up the country level as you did. I have to admit that the "incorrectly named" deletion reason was not very clear but I was hoping that my other corrections on your models of Pakistan would make it clear. We have around 2000 per country categories and adding an intermediate per continent category would make the structure much more complex and require the addition of more than 14000 categories. --Foroa (talk) 16:35, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Moved from User talk:ŠJů#by continent categories:

Hi. As far as I know, so far the by country category is the most important categorisation as explained in User_talk:Foroa#Models_from_Asia. Because the by continent category is an overcategorisation, the first by continent category I encounter that has not a proper by country categorisation, I will botmove them all into the proper by country categtory. --Foroa (talk) 13:37, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi. As I see, User_talk:Foroa#Models_from_Asia represented that two wikipedians has two different opinions (and that you has acted incorrect when you deleted some category as "incorrectly named", but you don't recreated it under a better name). You didn't state some reference to any discussion which evidences that your opinion has consensus of the community (as I see, only Ingolfson made some similar edits). I'm sure, sorted content is more useful than unsorted content. Sorted countries are more useful than unsorted mixture of countries. Harldy there exists some theme which wouldn't be better to be worldwide-unsorted than be sorted by continent. Overcategorisation is to keep the mixed category "by country" when category "by continent" exists. Category "by country" is full functionally replaced by a category "by continent". For example, in the case of floods is absurd to give priority to mixed-category "by country" against coutries grouped "by continent". Same goes for all themes. --ŠJů (talk) 14:01, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

I think the image should be in the category of the person's name, the person-category should be in the country category, and the country category should be in the continent category. Quadell (talk) 14:34, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

As an additional remark. The most important aspect of a worldwide categorisation system is that it is simple and uniform. So far, 98 % or more of the worldwide categories (between 2600 and 2800) are "on a per country" basis, a couple of percents "on a per continent basis" (80 to 90). While I see no interest in complicating matters by inserting and maintaining an additional 15.000 or so intermediate categories, I agree that for some topics, such as floods, mountain ranges, rivers, additional per continent categorisation scheme can be interesting.
Nevertheless, I find it important that the current simple de facto standard, on "a per country basis" is maintained in a systematic way as to simplify creation and maintenance. It is possible that one day, the Commons community decides to swith to a per continent system, but in the mean time, I suggest that the current de facto standard "per country" is maintained as a minimum baseline.
In the mean time, considering the many variations in the continent lists, it would be useful to agree upon a complete list of the used continents (For example, separate South and Nord America) and to decide what to do with countries that are in more than one continent. --Foroa (talk) 14:43, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
See en:Template:Continents of the world for all "continents" used in the English-speaking word.. Rocket000 (talk) 07:59, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
When there exist only some few categories of particular countries about any theme, then suffices olny one mixed category "by country". As soon as the country-categories are tens or more of any theme, it is time to found suitable subcategories. This is one of most essential and well-known principles of categorization. Categorization by continent is absolute naturally following development stage, no any anomaly. Nearly every country belongs to some specific continent, so that it is obvious choice. Continental connections relate not only to rivers and mountains, but as well to architecture, people, culture, politics etc. Core of the matter is a system of the umbrella categories: every category "XXX by continent" should be considered to be category "XXX by country by continent", i. e. it is category of countries, which are within it sorted by continent into the bargain. Such categories should not create some duplicite and paralel structure, but they are more structured realisation of the category "XXX by country". --ŠJů (talk) 18:50, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
To clarify my point (which in much part matches Foroa's) is
  • a) the "by country" is the de facto standard. That was my basis for populating / repopulating some "by country" cats where there were "by continent" systems already set up. Note that I did not delete or call for deletion of the "by continent" system. However, "by continent" is NOT de facto standard, so "by country" should stay directly under the appropriate category and be populated with all country cats available until / unless we decide otherwise.
  • b) I agree that a categorisation "by continent" makes sense. However, there are also many situations where a list of ALL country categories is useful, and the intervening "by continent" cat only makes for a barrier. We should therefore find a way to have both coexist in a way that is logical. 06:54, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Sometimes "by region" is the best (which can include countries, continents, states, geographically defined areas, etc.). For example, when talking about species distributions, you can't go by just countries or continents. The boundaries aren't as useful there and it doesn't limit you if you want to add a state or something else. Countries vary greatly in size and make unbalanced category divisions (unless it's of something political). "By Region" is also less problematic when you get arguments over what is "official". Rocket000 (talk) 07:10, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

If you can categorise by country, you can categorise by continent - very few countries are in two continents, the only one I can think of offhand is Russia. So put continents as a parent category to the country ones. -mattbuck (Talk) 11:03, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Turkey. --Eusebius (talk) 11:20, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Obviously an underestimated problem. See w:List of countries spanning more than one continent and how to deal with the many countries (claiming) a part of Antarctica ? (w:Antarctic Treaty System). One might have a look to w:List of historical countries and empires spanning more than one continent to allow for a coherent classification. --Foroa (talk) 22:16, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Mattbuck, your suggestion does not adress part of the problem - "by country" includes ALL countries by definition. If you have by continent above, you cannot have a "by country below" - you would need a "by country in africa" type cat (which would be redundant, unless the "africa" category had subcategories like "subsaharan" and "mediterranean" cats.
I really feel there is no urgent need for action here. For the time being, the two "by continent" and "by country" can coexist, with "by country" the defacto. Where an editor feels he can spare the time, he can create a parallel (NOT a replacement) structure "by continent".
In the long run (i.e. in a few years, or whenever the software development gets around to it), bots will be able to automatically sort all "by country" subcategories in the appropriate "by continent" categories. All the bot needs to be told at that stage is that all "Turkey" categories go into both Europe and Asia for example. Ingolfson (talk) 22:37, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

July 2


Is there any way to verify everything on the description for File:Couplesg.jpg? The original version has no categories, so all the categories seem to be assumptions (reasonable assumptions, but still assumptions). Are we assuming that the scene is a school (hence student/school uniform)? Is it OK to publish pictures within a school? Regarding licensing, the page implies that the uploader is the newsreader, and that they don't need STOMP's permission to publish the image. Do we trust that?

I have not been able to find this image, or any reference to it, anywhere else (except at User talk:The Toad#File:Couplesg.jpg, where I recently asked the user to fill in the rest of the {{Information}} template). Brian Jason Drake 11:20, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

For presumably copyrighted images which exist elsewhere, we need an email sent to COM:OTRS by the copyright owner, verifying the copyright status (or a pointer to a web page controlled by the copyright owner, which makes the status explicit). The description seems to imply the photographer is someone other than the uploader, so it would seem to be copyrighted unless the paper requires such submitted photos to be placed in the public domain (in which case we would need documentation to that effect). The privacy concerns are likely eliminated by the blurring of faces (no idea what the law is there though to be honest), but the license seems highly dubious at best. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:37, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
According to the caption, this shows "the teen scene in Singapore to its extremities". To my mind -but I live quite close to Amsterdam- it looks fairly innocent, to the extent that I don't really see what the purpose of this picture would be. MartinD (talk) 10:01, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
To illustrate teen culture in Singapore and the erosion of the touch taboo and the public showing of affection prevalent in older generations?KTo288 (talk) 08:43, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
This is a low quality out-of-scope image. I nominated it for deletion. --Jarekt (talk) 02:21, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
For convenience, here is a link to the deletion discussion. Brian Jason Drake 07:16, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Is there anyone still here? The nomination has been open for a little over 6 days and no one has commented. Brian Jason Drake 05:49, 10 July 2009 (UTC)


Most of these appear to be copyright images from

Noted and nuked. -mattbuck (Talk) 21:52, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

July 3

Merging accounts

I have the account User:AeronPrometheus here and on I changed my username on en to AeronPeryton and turned it into a global acocunt. However it did not merge my account here into the global account, it simply created a new one. Can the user history and contribs of User:AeronPrometheus be merged into User:AeronPeryton here? AeronPeryton (talk) 04:54, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

You need a bureaucrat to do that, not just an admin. OhanaUnitedTalk page 05:26, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Are you a bureaucrat? :3 AeronPeryton (talk) 09:05, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
For a list of our crats see: Commons:Bureaucrats. --Túrelio (talk) 09:12, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

GLAM -Challenge

On August 6 & 7 Wikimedia Australia is hosting GLAM-Wiki at the supported by the

In lead up to the event some of the GLAM institutions(Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums) have donated items to be given away, Wikimedia Australia has organised the GLAM Challenge which will run from 13th July until 23:59UTC on the 19th July. This is open to all registered editors in any Wikimedia project, you dont need to be in Australia to win as prizes will be posted to anywhere in the world. Nominate yourself by the 13th July, see GLAM Challenge for more details. Gnangarra 12:01, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Le voyage dans la lune (1902)

Can someone from the States upload this movie to the commons (ogg on I don't know how the Dutch copyright laws work exactly. It's a short film in the public domain, and it would make the articles about it better. It's only 49 MB. The author information is on the english wiki. Richardprins (talk) 13:26, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

I am made the upload of this film, but now i am in doubt if the audio part needs to be stripped as it may be copyrighted. Tm (talk) 16:13, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't know about the audio, but the version i linked, ogg on, has better image quality and an english voiceover.

Commons:Upload revamp!

I think it's time the Commons:Upload page gets revamped. The current one has too many options which confuses the uploader and makes him hostile towards commons. We should have a much simpler upload page. There are mainly in the world of commons two options: "Own work" "From somewhere else". These two should be displayed very big maybe as two images next to each other, one with an image of a photographer and the other of the web. Clicking on these gives more options which we can think about later. The current main issue is, who thinks the Commons:Upload needs a revamp??

We just had a major revamp less than six months ago. Unfortunately, many people seem to think that if they happen to possess a copy of a recent book or magazine, then that gives them the right to label scans from that source as their "own work"... AnonMoos (talk) 01:56, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps on the upload page we should add the wording: “The legal onus is on YOU the uploader not to claim false copyright.” AND We know where YOU live ;-) newbies could well imagine that it is WC who has the legal responsibility on this issue --P.g.champion (talk) 11:13, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
One thing it should allow is the uploading of Multiple files if not in the same page then a separate batch uploader is needed. --JIrate (talk) 11:20, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Commons:Tools/Commonist is one option for batch uploads. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:42, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I, for one, have found Commonist unusable. - Jmabel ! talk 15:55, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

I think the upload form is better the way it is now. In fact, it has been simple some time ago (there was only the options to select and name the file, and a pre-designed informatio template to fill), and that option wasn't good either: novice uploaders usually had no idea as to what to fill in each file. Now at least they have brief explanations for each point, and the template is designed by software with the provided information.

By the way, hostile interfaces or procedures with new users should be reduced or removed whenever possible, but there is a limit for that: we can't, we mustn't, keep around copyright violations or images without clear authorship information and licence status just because the uploader may be turned down if we delete them. Of course that this means that only a small fraction of the images a user may want to upload would be acceptable, but that's something we have to live with. Belgrano (talk) 15:55, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

The user interface reflects the underlying complexity of the upload problem: there are many conditional branches in the procedure. One's own work? The work of someone else? Who owns the copyright of the image itself, and of the object(s) in the image? Where was it published? Was it published? When? Is the creator still alive? Etc. Read through the links under COM:EIC#Copyright and try to imagine a way to make all that stuff simple. Many first-time Commons users have never heard of "free content" and all the licensing stuff. Instead they exist in a Web full of mostly un-free images but which the users tend to see as free - they can download any copyrighted image they want, violate copyright law with it in all sorts of ways, and the Internet police usually do not kick the door down. Most new users have never really thought in terms of what is actually legal. If the new user manages to get through the copyright labyrinth, the next hurdle is figuring out our categories, with the first question being "What is a category?". The only way I can imagine simplifying the process for the full range of users and all their different combinations of image types and copyright gotchas is to hire human experts to evaluate the images and determine how to handle them. Simplifying our image upload process might be like simplifying the tax code - something everybody wants, but which nobody can quite do because of all the underlying complexity, and the only real way to simplify it is to hire an accountant or tax attorney. (Maybe someday when we have artificially intelligent computers, we can put real expertise into the software.) --Teratornis (talk) 23:17, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
It might help to have screencasts which walk through complete examples of different kinds of uploads. We could also make videos or find existing videos that explain basic concepts such as free content and what is suitable for Commons. It can be distressing for a new user to try a procedure for the first time without having seen a walk-through yet. The user can get halfway in and get stuck on some unfamiliar concept, or realize he or she doesn't have all the necessary puzzle pieces. It's nice to have some confidence going in that the process won't hit a snag in the middle. --Teratornis (talk) 23:17, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Those things are explained at the welcome section, and in the welcome template each new user gets in his/her talk page after registering; but we're open to hear new ideas of how to provide this information in a way easy to find and understand, or to reformulate the existing things to be more user-friendly while keeping all the important technical information.
As for the upload form, both interfaces are available, the complex one and the simple one. However, the simple one is really useful for advanced users, when we want to work with the template itself directly (for example, if there's a complex set of explanations, authorship information and licence combos that apply for a number of closely related images, it may be easier to copy the whole template and it with the minor modifications needed, rather than rewrite everything again). Novice users need a tutorial, a step-by-step guide, and the current upload form is more like that. Once they get used to the way Commons work, they may switch to the basic upload form if desired. Belgrano (talk) 01:20, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

writing article for a corporation

I am writing an article for a corporation and they want me to put several pictures of their product in the article. All the pictures are from their website and covered by their copyright. What is the easiest (for both of us) way, and most efficient way, to get their articles properly here? I had sent them a consent form for the first two pics they wanted, then they wanted a couple more.... There must be an easier way than to have them sign forms for each and every picture. Suggestions welcome. Hbmallin (talk) 00:12, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

They must release the pictures under a free license, like Creative Commons CC-BY. They can either put a note that they are free on their web site or they can follow the procedure in Commons:OTRS and Commons:Email templates. Sv1xv (talk) 05:01, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
You are talking about an article for Wikipedia, right? --Túrelio (talk) 08:03, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Obviously, but the images should be uploaded on Commons. I don't think uploading images on en-wiki under fair use is appropriate when he is in contact with that corporation. Except perhaps for their logo. Sv1xv (talk) 16:02, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Hi Hbmallin,
If you wont to save effort, you may benefit from becoming acquainted with Wikipedia policies:
I guesstimate the the article User:Hbmallin/Example/Draft of article as it stands now, may only last 15-20 minutes once posted, before it gets speedily deleted under clause 11: Unambiguous advertising or promotion. See Speedy Delete. It may require a complete rewrite to avoid getting labelled as spam under Advertisements masquerading as articles. Many editors support Wikipedia out of their own pockets; they don’t always take kindly to finding out that their contributions are being abused by commercial companies using WP as a free advertising hoarding or billboard.--P.g.champion (talk) 09:14, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it would qualify for speedy delete. It has many references and is well written. We shouldn't discourage users from creating valuable articles. Plus this is commons please address such issues on his talk page on Wikipedia.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 09:33, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I wasn’t discouraging him, I was forewarning him, so that he can avoid wasting his time by writing inappropriate copy. Just letting his article get deleted would have been a discouragement. It just ain't encyclopaedic as it stands. And why should we run around, following uploaders and end-users, on to whatever other site they’re using the image on, just in order to comment; be it WP, Flickr, Вікіпедії, Facebook, personal blogs, etc., etc.? What did your last slave die of – exhaustion? ;-) --P.g.champion (talk) 11:53, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I think the article is pretty well put-together, and if I were King of Wikipedia I would not delete it, but some deletionists tend to get excited by a sentence such as "I am writing an article for a corporation". The original poster should read w:WP:BFAQ carefully, along with w:WP:COI and w:WP:OWN. In particular, be sure the corporation one is writing for understands that nobody will own the resulting article, so the corporation cannot control what the article might evolve into. The article will exist to benefit Wikipedia, not the subject of the article. I agree that article authors have to write defensively, by learning to think like a deletionist and making sure not to leave any red flags for them. Warning people about the risks of deletion can never be as harsh as what the deletionists may do to them. I have seen a tendency for some Wikipedia users (and Wikipedia itself, through its user interface) to be somewhat overly-encouraging to new users. Be bold! What's the worst that can happen? Well, the worst is that you can sink in hours and hours of your time and it ends up on Deletionpedia. Actually it can be worse than that, as Deletionpedia does not republish all of Wikipedia's deleted articles. I think it is instructive to browse through the tens of thousands of deleted articles on Deletionpedia and see what optimism did for all those users. --Teratornis (talk) 23:39, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
To correct any misunderstanding. I was not doubting Hbmallin’s ability to right good ‘copy’, but pointing out that a ‘good article’ is not the same thing as an 'encyclopaedic' article. So for that reason I was guiding him to WP ‘house style’ info so that Hbmallin could discover how to adapt his copy accordingly. Being a professional writer, Hbmallin grasped this immediately it was pointed out to him. Also, one can not justly accuse the general editors of all being deletionists if they simply remove ‘editorial articles’ that have no place on WP. Spamming by commercial concerns is a big problem on WP and it would be swamped if PR companies were allowed to upload what editorial material they wished without constant challenges by editors that would rather be doing something else. As for “get excited by a sentence such as "I am writing an article for a corporation" I’d like to bring peoples attention to:

Statement by Jimbo Wales

"Some things are not policy simply because it's never been necessary to make it policy. It is not ok with me that anyone ever set up a service selling their services
as a Wikipedia editor, administrator, bureaucrat, etc. I will personally block any cases that I am shown. There are of course some possibly interesting alternatives,
not particularly relevant here, but the idea that we should ever accept paid advocates directly editing Wikipedia is not ever going to be ok.
Consider this to be policy as of right now.[1]"

--P.g.champion (talk) 10:56, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

That's interesting. (I put the quote into a {{Quote}} template, I hope you don't mind.) I wonder what Jimbo thinks of:
Both pages, as far as I can see, exist to facilitate the selling of Wikipedia editorial services. And what about the m:Philip Greenspun illustration project and the m:Wikipedia Usability Initiative? In both cases outside donors contributed money to the Wikimedia Foundation to pay for specific services. I can understand Jimbo's slippery slope argument, but if we tried to eliminate all editing by people who have strong interests in what they edit, how much of an encyclopedia would remain? For example, should no one who actually believes in a particular religion write about that religion? (Religious devotion can be considerably more intense than an employee's devotion to a company - would anyone commit suicide for their employer?) I think we should avoid the Genetic fallacy and judge individual edits on their merits. It doesn't matter whether a writer is personally neutral about something, it only matters if he or she manages to write neutrally in a particular edit. Just my opinion. As I wrote, I am not King of Wikipedia - that would be Jimbo. And yes, there are deletionists who will cite conflict of interest as a pretext to delete, without regard to the actual merit of an article. --Teratornis (talk) 19:42, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
En has been arguing about this for weeks. Let's not spread this here. The use of images owned by your employer is, as far as Commons is concerned, a simple matter of supplying permission through OTRS. If this exercise proves futile, that is no concern of ours. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:04, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Writing this has been an eye-opening experience in so many ways. Having used Wikipedia related sites for years, so much of the creation part of it is invisible. I hope to write/edit other articles in the years to come. Also, thank you to the folks who complimented the writing. As far as getting paid for writing, it was definitely an afterthought in the whole transaction between the company and me. As I said over on my user page (and on a COI comment on the article's talk page, I emailed the company and noted the outdated info on the various pages. They contacted me with the suggestion to write, which I started to do. What I didn't mention in the COI disclosure is the timing: I started writing prior to the company's suggestion (because of the time involved in research and writing), that I be compensated for my time. I accepted but clarified that the article would be neutral. If parts must be deleted or edited for whatever reason, I understand and expect that. I hope that most of it is allowed to remain. I did not write it for the purpose of advertising or marketing. I wrote it because this company and its products are newsworthy. Please check the references and I think you would be inclined to agree. Thank you for the comments. Hbmallin (talk) 11:13, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

July 4


What happened with this tool? :( After the request it says:

Notice: Undefined index: 29 in /home/daniel/MediaWiki-live/phase3/includes/HistoryBlob.php on line 346
Database Error: Unknown database 'u_multichill_commons_categories_p' (sql) on sql/u_multichill_commons_categories_p
Fatal error: Call to a member function addQuotes() on a non-object in /home/daniel/public_html/WikiSense-live/common/FilterCats.php on line 48

Does anybody know what happened and when will it be repaired ? Spectorman (talk) 15:22, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Miscommunication. Some db's got moved around. I'll generate a new copy of the database to get this tool working again. Multichill (talk) 23:44, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Should be fixed now, I hope... -- Duesentrieb 12:37, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Ancient Greek and Roman sculpture recatagorization help

I am an art history professor who teaches introductory courses. I am new to commons. As I have tried to upload images of Greek and Roman statues that I have taken, I have found that the commons sub-categories have problems. For example, under Athena, Commons has a request that all Athena uploads be post-classical, but of course the site is still full of sub-categories with Ancient Greek and Roman statues. It is the way non-art-history majors think. I checked and there is no Athena in Ancient Greek and Roman Statues, nor would a non-specialist think this way. I am hesitant to create new sub-categories myself. But since Wikipedia Commons thinks it should be set up for readers convenience, I think there should be a category Athena, with links to sub-categories, Athena in Ancient Greek and Roman art (I need to set this up) and one for Post-Classical Athena.

I don't want to mess anything up. I need a more experienced Commons user to work with me, so that it works with the system and minimizes the changes. Do you have anyone who can do that?

Thanks Zoe Morgan — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zmorgan (talk • contribs) 16:57, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi Zoe,
You flatter us un-deservingly, when you suggest we organize categories for the convenience of readers. Categories tend to get created piecemeal; as and when a parent category gets over crowded and usually by those of us, who don’t have the foggiest idea of what we are pointing and shooting our cameras at. Therefore, looking at it just from a purely taxonomical point of view, I would say that whilst these goddesses may posses the same natures, and other similarities, they are not the same individuals. So, the categories obviously have a problem - now that they have grown to have a plenty of images of both. How does this sound to you: The statues/images are categorised from now, under their respective names. The confusing text in the two existing cats ( Athena & Minerva) are corrected to suit the new arrangement.
Then you may find that there are enough sub categories in the parent cats of:
Category:Ancient Roman art
Category:Ancient Greek art
Category:Art of Greece
Category:Art of Italy
If not, then perhaps this is where a new sub-cat ought to be created. Does this help? Have a click through and see what is available. This will leave some images in the wrong cats and some sub cats in the wrong parent cat but they can be sorted out latter. Does the overall suggestion seem to make sense to you?
By the way: If you click on the little blue square button on top of the edit window, 3rd from the right. It will add some tildy symbols (- - ~ ~ ~ ~). This is a code which will automatically insert you name and the date/time stamp. Do it ‘after’ you have finished entering the text.--P.g.champion (talk) 18:51, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
After quickly looking though, it does seem sensible to separate the two goddess and create Category:Athena in Ancient Greek and Roman art and Category:Post-Classical Athena or perhaps Category:Athena in the art of the post-classical period. What about the respective cats of Category:Minerva in Ancient Greek and Roman art? I am not happy yet with the names.--P.g.champion (talk) 20:02, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Categories do not have to be strictly tree-structured; the MediaWiki software that powers Commons allows for multiple independent categorization schemes. Therefore in principle, you could create an academically valid categorization scheme and add categories to images alongside the categories created by non-specialists. However, that could get ugly fast. If you have never used a wiki like Commons before, you will probably find categories to be one of the most confusing features at first. I suggest reading w:Help:Category several times over several days, then read the links under COM:EIC#Cat.
For perhaps a better way to start, we have gallery pages which allow for arbitrary organization and annotation. The logical name for a gallery page would be Athena which already exists as a redirect page to Category:Athena but that is easy to fix (and Commons:Galleries#Redirects says we should not have that redirect anyway).
It would probably be easier to start by creating a user subpage by clicking this: Zmorgan/Athena, and you can make your own gallery page for the Athena images and group them any way you like. Once you have a presentable gallery page, we can move it to the article (gallery) space. Once the structure you want is tangible, other users can more easily make sense of how the corresponding categories might need to change.
Some people focus more on galleries for organizing files, and some people focus more on categories. Galleries are less abstract for someone new to Commons, since you can see the structure directly in the page wikitext markup. Categories are harder to grasp, because the category page itself does not contain the category tags - those are distributed among the individual files that are in the category, and among the category pages that are subcategories (whee!).
To see the difference between categories and galleries, compare some corresponding examples, for example:
--Teratornis (talk) 22:54, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
It occurs to me that if Athena is any sort of goddess at all, she ought to be able to fix her own categories. --Teratornis (talk) 22:56, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Tut tut tut, is that really the way to talk of the grey-eyed lady, if the wiki-projects were to adopt a Greek god as a patron I guess it would be her.KTo288 (talk) 08:30, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
If Athena is any sort of goddess at all, then I suppose she'll just have to strike me ... KABOOM! All seriousness aside, isn't it rather odd that transcendent beings allegedly crave adoration as much as humans do? --Teratornis (talk) 19:23, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Wow. First, on sub-categories the word Athena should definitely come first. (Athena in the art of the post-classical period.) This will enable users without a lot of experience to find the the site. The same thing applies to Under the sub-category "sculpture by title," where the Lemina Athena and Parthenon Athena sub-categories should be Athena Lemina and Athena Parthenose because most users won't know the titles off the top of their heads. Aphrodite is listed twice: in the section above that and then again under titles...but only two of them. Those should be moved to be with the other Aphrodites.

Do I just keep telling you this stuff? I know what to change and how to change it. Zmorgan (talk) 04:05, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I just re-read your reply and have some more advice. I would put Athena/Minerva rather than separate the two. The Greeks called her Athena and (very) basically the Romans just changed the name to make it more acceptable. So the Romans would call a Greek statue of Athena, Minerva. Usually if it is a Roman copy of a Greek, the museums seem to refer to the statue by the Greek name (Athena rather than Minerva.) Even Venus de Milo is now being called Aphrodite de Milos. But I would not expect readers to know that.

A little more explanation. Most of the God statues in museums (not the portrait busts and emperor statues) are actually a Roman copy of a Greek statue (almost all those marble Greek statues you see are actually Roman copies ...the original Greek statues were usually in bronze.) Museums seem to put the Roman copies in the Greek room and provide the legend on the statue like "Roman statue of 1st century AD from Rome after a Greek original from the 4th century BC from Athens." Then the museums have a separate room for original Roman works. Since museums do not normally label these rooms (Louvre, Hermitage & British Museums don' least not clearly), the normal reader is confused. Is the statue Greek or Roman? And of course there are the portrait busts and the emperor statues, and a few others, which really are Roman. I would like some input on the easiest way to arrange this without getting into too much trouble. If we split into Greek and Roman statues before the gods, then we have problems, unless we want to cross link everything. Who are our expert people in this area for Wikipedia and how do I get in touch with them? Zmorgan (talk) 04:29, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Taking your last question first. You might try these three projects:
Keep in mind that many editors may currently be on vacation and so a quick response may not be forth coming. For the very same reason, you might as well get on with some of the less contentious improvements, rather than wait for any wide spread agreement here. Maybe you could also work with User talk:Shakko who added the text stating that request that all Athena uploads be post-classical.--P.g.champion (talk) 12:42, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Let us have a look at a few examples images.
There might not be any perfect solution to this Athena/Miniver problem; so don’t fret if perfection stubbornly remains elusive.However, when you say:”If we split into Greek and Roman statues before the gods, then we have problems,..” then I wonder if you’re looking at it too hard and still see just a single TREE type category system. Do you also recognise this operating here Category diagram.
Just as the Greek philosopher taught their pupils not to argue from different premises, so we must not mix taxonomies ― and we don’t have to.
Statues start off and continue to remain in the ‘class’ of physical objects. A Roman sculptor may take his inspiration from a Greek bronze statue but it is still a ‘physical representation’ of a ‘non-physical’ mental construct. Ie., still Roman, still Athena. That part is simple: The sculpture may have (say) ‘three’ or more categories. Category:Roman copies after Greek originals in Italy, Category:Ancient Roman sculptures in Italy and Category:Statues of Greek mythology, Category:Athena, Category:Marble sculptures in Italy. Plus, add a explanation on the image page to make the clear the context (as the uploader should always do).
Let us now consider the less simple examples:
If I understand the problem correctly ( in its practical sense) then: just as a photographer, who did not take note of whom the statue depicted when he shot it, he will have an impossible job later, when trying to decide between the two names based on looking at the shape, form and apparel. So too the museum curator, who finds that for some of his exhibits there was insufficient contextual information recorded when they were found, for him to unequivocally attribute them to either goddess nor nationality.
I don’t see this above problem as a reason to lump the two major categories of Athena and Miniver together. And it is just asking for someone to come along later and do the obvious thing of separating them again. The ‘class’ linking the metamorphosis from the original goddess into Athena and then Miniver is one of cultural history and so we should not, in my opinion reflect this here on WC. However, if this ‘uncertainty’ is only going to apply to some images of statues, then it might be pragmatic to create a Category:Uncertain representation of either Athena or Miniver ( hate the name) and have this appear as a sub-cat in both the major Athena and the Miniver cats.
Their origin (Category:Ancient Roman sculptures in Italy, Category:Uncertain representation of either Athena or Miniver or wherever) can then be added to the image page. If they are of statues only, then they could be sub-cats of the appropriate major Statue cat as well. Off the top of my head, I can’t see this calls for a lot of cross linking.
So, lets have some examples to look at.--P.g.champion (talk) 16:58, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

One good place to discuss these problems and how to solve them is the project Museum. Even if it isn't our primary goal, the contributors are probably the most active in the Greek and Roman art domain, so we should have some ideas. Bibi Saint-Pol (sprechen) 19:54, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

P.g.champion - thanks. Bibi St Pol hooked me up with the project Museum, which had a well-thought the way to sort the Museum statues and that will create cross links with this project well. Also, he came up with a good division plan that answers my questions above. (See Jastrow's page.) It was nice of you to take the time to walk back through the cataloging system. I do understand category systems from my job, but my work experience may be creating problems for me in Wiki. I do want to do it right the first time!

What's our position on the URAA law?

The title says it. I have images published in Egypt which are in the public domain but only published 25 years prior to 2002 (When a new copyright law was created). Does the URAA law take effect or not?--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 17:01, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

If they first published in Egypt, and were still copyrighted there on January 1, 1996, then their U.S. copyright was restored by the URAA. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:24, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
URAA restoration is pretty shaky at this point. I don't think we need to enforce a law which was deemed unconstitutional by the court. Yann (talk) 10:50, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Please see Template talk:Not-PD-US-URAA. Golan v. Holder is unlikely to change anything for us since (a) the case isn't over yet, and (b) we're not "reliance parties". Lupo 11:04, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, unfortunately we must continue to observe the URAA until such time as it is struck down in its entirety. There are still a lot of images with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} tags, though, which seems to reflect a disagreement at Commons about what to do with them. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:23, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

July 6

MIME type statistics

Logarithmic plot by number of files
Logarithmic plot by total size in bytes

I've been collecting statistics about the number of files on Commons with different MIME types at Commons:MIME type statistics since last November. When I started, I was asked if I could make some plots of the data, and I figured that I should now have enough data collected to do so. So, here they are. I would've really liked to make some area plots, but it turns out that all you can see from an area plot is that we have a lot of JPEG files, a few PNG, SVG, Vorbis and GIF files, and so little of anything else that it's barely visible. So I went with a logarithmic line plot instead, allowing the rarer types to be visible too.

I've also included the raw numbers on the description pages, as well as a link to the really raw data on the toolserver, in case anyone else would like to do something with it.

Some notable features visible on the graphs include the enabling of TIFF uploads in March, the gradual decrease in the "other" column (which I suspect I can take some credit for, as I've been going over the list of files with odd types regularly, trying to fix as many of the misformatted files as I can), and a strange (to me, anyway; I'm sure there's an explanation) spike in PDF uploads in early December which caused the number of PDF files on Commons to double during that month. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 00:40, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

This is lovely - thank you for making these graphs. :-) I'd love to see that video line grow a bit more quickly over the coming months ...--Eloquence (talk) 08:04, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Ilmari! Interesting graphs. What are those 100 zip files? (One of them is File:WikEd, which is fine, I guess.) Special:MIMESearch returns nothing for "application/zip". Lupo 08:26, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
According to this list they seem to be mostly OpenOffice documents, which use a zip-based format. Uploading them is currently disabled due to security concerns, but we still have a bunch from back when they were allowed (and we might allow them again eventually, if the security issues can be resolved). —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 08:33, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Does your statistics include deleted images? Does total size in bytes include older versions of a single reloaded file? --Jarekt (talk) 14:15, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Deleted files and old revisions are not included. (You can tell from the fact that some of the lines go down sometimes. :) The toolserver, which my bot runs on, doesn't have access to deleted content anyway. I did run some queries on old file revisions when I was writing the bot, and found that they only amount to a fairly small fraction of the total bytes used, even when counting reverts and duplicates as separate files. (See this old thread for details.) It turns out that, in fact, the overwhelming majority of files on Commons have only one revision. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 19:08, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Rename request from the Swiss Berne to Bern

Please note that in [[2]], a rename request has been issued from Bern to Berne. --Foroa (talk) 14:35, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

  • I believe that's backward. The next posting, from the same user, seems to clarify. - Jmabel ! talk 16:35, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Please note that in Commons:Categories_for_discussion/Current_requests/2009/07/Category:Berne, a rename request has been issued from the Swiss Berne to Bern. Reactions are welcome. --Foroa (talk) 14:36, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

July 7

Is Original Research permitted for files on Commons?

Commons:Deletion requests/File:Beerpong shots.png - Am I confused about OR for files? Obviously OR is not permitted for articles, I would assume that the images used in articles must also be verifiable. Is the fact the an image is free and used in an article the only criteria, even if it is BS? ▫ JohnnyMrNinja (talk / en) 00:59, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

The Commons is not Wikipedia, and does not have an explicit prohibition on original research, see COM:NPOV. While you may have a good argument for not including the image in the English Wikipedia article, I don't see any reason to delete the image from the Commons off hand.-Andrew c (talk) 01:03, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Images don't even have to be used in articles - most aren't. Such an image should only be deleted if it's out of scope. As the project scope page explains, NOR and NPOV do not apply here. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:06, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Which I guess makes sense, it just seems like a breakdown in the system. Obviously there is no OR on WP, but it would be too much to try and police this here. These images are automagically usable for WP. But when OR is made into file and uploaded specifically to use in an article, that is a problem. At the least, it appears to be WP's problem. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja (talk / en) 01:29, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I guess the idea is the project scope of the Commons is larger than just Wikipedia. This image may be usable in another Wikimedia project, such as Wiktionary, Wikiversity, or Wikibooks. Or it may serve some sort of usable purpose to someone, still within the project scope of the Commons, even if it isn't good for Wikipedia.-Andrew c (talk) 03:28, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, and for images that require sources, those sources should be referenced in the Wikipedia article (or wherever it's used). An image by itself is just an image. Including it in some context which presents it as unbiased and correct is where you need citations. (Of course it helps other projects when the creator includes that info on the Commons page itself but that's not a requirement). Rocket000 (talk) 03:49, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Closed DR: Kept Sv1xv (talk) 03:52, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Without some relaxation of "OR" policies, it would actually be extremely difficult to use any diagrams, graphs, charts, or customized maps at all in a large number of Wikipedia articles -- since the relevant previously-existing graphics are generally copyrighted, while making new graphics from scratch necessarily involves some degree of "original synthesis"... AnonMoos (talk) 06:25, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

spam filter

I am wondering why is blacklisted. It is info about Nazi capms. Are they really spamming? Altenmann (talk) 03:47, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

That's not coming off the blacklist for a long time. Heavily abused over a long period by numerous accounts and IPs.  — Mike.lifeguard 03:48, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
meta:Spam blacklist/Recurring Rocket000 (talk) 04:10, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

William James Mildenhall

At Template talk:Mildenhall, someone started a project to import some his photographs to commons. I think it would be worth reviewing it, and, if possible, import more of them. -- User:Docu at 10:18, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Asmahan (singer) PD songs

Asmahan, a singer in Egypt, died in 1947. Egyptian copyright law states that any type of work whose author died 50 years ago is PD. There is however the {{PD-Egypt-1996}} template which states that it should have been prior to 1946 due to the "legally binding" URAA law. Should I also consider the author of the songs? The question in general is can I upload those songs?--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 11:49, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

We didn't refuse this kind of files upto now. Why should we change that now when the URAA is even more shaky than before? Yann (talk) 14:27, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Because we didn't notice the problem until now, that's why. We've been through this before, we respect the URAA. If they were already uploaded, I would say to mark them with {{Not-PD-US-URAA}}, since they are PD in Egypt but not in the United States, and we would decide what we want to do with them later. As it stands... you can either upload them or not, but be sure to include the {{Not-PD-US-URAA}} tag if you do. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:22, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

User:SieBot review?

Could someone (not me) look into how bot User:SieBot operates here on Commons and whether it needs improving? I'm sure it does useful work, but I just noticed that it has moved files from Category:Tarantula Nebula to Category:NGC 2070 (example diff) , but has thereby left several wikiprojects linking to a now-blank category. Shouldn't the bot first add something like a seecat template to the source category? Shouldn't the bot also update each sister project's Commons link? Finally, shouldn't the bot's edit summary include a link to where the move was requested? As I said I'm sure most of the moves are correct, but if I had seen a request for this particular set of moves I would have opposed but as it is now a fait accompli, at least the broken incoming links should be fixed. 84user (talk) 16:18, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

It's a move done by User:Tryphon through User:CommonsDelinker/commands, check with him/her. -- User:Docu at 16:38, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I initiated the move, simply because Tarantula Nebula is NGC 2070, so there is really no sense having two different categories duplicating the same content. I sincerely thought this wouldn't be controversial, and I wasn't aware that it could break things on sister projects. I added the {{Seecat}} template; as for the now outdated inter-wiki links, I don't know if there is a bot around to take care of it. –Tryphon 16:45, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
The problem don't consist in rename request of one category but in imperfect and ill-conceived system of category renaming. This problem is long-continuing and was many times criticised, but it seems to be too little desire to solution. It will be difficult to repair all thousands of disrupted links. --ŠJů (talk) 21:04, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
A start could be that the person renameing a category manually changed commonscat at en-wiki. Then the bots would fix the link next time the run at a wiki. --MGA73 (talk) 21:14, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Using commonscat to link many different category systems (>300) that each evolve their own way, own speed and own structure, is asking for troubles. See discussion on Commons:Administrators'_noticeboard#Cross-namespace_redirections. Multichill plans to extend his bot to pickup the category deletion summaries and adapt the interwiki and commonscat links accordingly. If the commons category would have a backlink to the referencing wikipedia articles, it should be not impossible for the moving bot to adapt the references to commons. --Foroa (talk) 06:21, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
I know that Multichill has some very interesting plans but until they come true we have to maintain commonscat the old way. Normally a category on a wiki will only point to one category on Commons. --MGA73 (talk) 17:52, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
This exact problem was discussed before, the problem is lack of tools to detect who might be linking to just about to be deleted categories something like check usage for categories or What links here that works across different wikis. One of the time this come up it was suggested to write bug report or request for code change, which I did about 2 years ago. But I do not think anything happen to it. --Jarekt (talk) 13:15, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
An alternative is to use {{Category redirect}} at the incorrect or outdated category. The media is somewhere else, but the user that appears there can know what has happened and where to go. And editor that followed an inter-project link and ended there, knows it's a mistake that should be corrected, pointing the link into the modern location of the category. Belgrano (talk) 14:45, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Commons:Category redirects suck --Foroa (talk) 14:58, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Commons Sumitup

Commons Sumitup is a great tool that should be used on every category page we have. It automatically adds descriptions and interwiki links to the specified Category. The problem is that I didn't know at all about this tool until I saw on one of the images (Descriptions added through Commons Sumitup). There are some bugs in the tool that I posted on Magnus Manske talk page. Anyway I wanted to suggest using this tool more and letting people know about it. So how about we create a template for Categories that don't have any descriptions or interwiki language links, that says "Please add a description to this Category to help Users understand what its about. You can also use Commons Sumitup which automatically adds descriptions from the lead of Wikipedia articles. This would automatically add the name of the page to the Commons Sumitup page which would be processed and a new description suggested. I think this would help everyone who goes to google and desperately searches google to find the appropriate article in any available language.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 09:50, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Actually, I do not like to have to browse past long translation tables to every conceivable language before getting to the images. Sometimes it is usefull, but generally this is just in the way. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 10:55, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
This would be another issue that should be solved with an auto translate function. We have this on templates with autolang, I think there is already a way to change the description according to users preferred settings. I saw it before where one could specify on the right of the description the language, don't remember where I saw this. Anyway, Commons is multilingual and should have descriptions in as many languages as possible. The issue with scrolling is already available in main Categories like Category:Germany.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 11:44, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Ford Foundation Awards $300K Grant for Wikimedia Commons

As you must all know by now, just a couple of days ago, the Ford Foundation graciously awarded WMF a grant to develop a less ‘geeky’ upload method. [3]

Page 14 of the Ford Foundation Multimedia Participation Project Proposal, explains the scope, how improvements can be developed, overseen and implemented etc.
6. Project Proposal
6.1. Scope
The objective of this project is to increase participation in and contributions to Wikimedia Commons by implementing a 13month software development, usability testing and documentation project to improve the interface for uploading multimedia files to Wikimedia Commons.

For those that want to join, then reading the proposal through might be a good place to start.

Some of us, have already been thinking about how to make the image page more newbie friendly [5] It may not look as neat, to have very wordy field names but it might help new users to understand the pages and what is expected of them. And of course, it is always easier if there are examples to follow. The main priority we have agreed upon, is the need to provide the Credit Line for the benefit of people wishing to use WC images. However, the overriding goal for this new project is that the improvements embrace all the Wikimedia Foundation Projects.--P.g.champion (talk) 15:19, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

With $300K, I hope we'll hire usability experts and pursue serious usability testing. This isn't something to be left to volunteers unless lack of resources compels it. Dcoetzee (talk) 04:00, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

I think many of the problems are already known and a usability testing could be advanced without an actual survey. The survey is said to take one month and take over 33,000 $. I find this rather avoidable or at least decreasable. We could create a project Commons:Usability where we can list all the already known problems and Usability killers. There are enough known problems to be fixed without the need for such an expensive and avoidable survey. IMHO. --Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 11:18, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

July 5

IJA maps posted online

Tohoku University has posted about 6,000 old Imperial Japanese Army topographic maps of east and south Asia on line here. I thought that pre-WWII images in Japan were public domain, but the site states that the University retains the copyrights. The university says, however, that the maps may be used for educational purposes. I'm not sure if these are of interest, but wanted to bring it to the project's attention just in case. Cla68 (talk) 08:37, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Hmm copyfraud? ViperSnake151 (talk) 23:55, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
These aren't really 6,000 years old - based on the date on the map most of them date back to about 1923. Unfortunately, these works were probably restored by the URAA. That doesn't mean the University is the copyright holder (they probably aren't) but somebody is. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:51, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
The word "year" did not appear between 6000 and old in his message SFriendly.gif -- AnonMoos (talk) 06:35, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I see what he meant now. :-) Dcoetzee (talk) 11:37, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Corporate works are protected for 50 years from creation/publication in Japan... if they really are from the 1920s, then copyright had probably long expired by the URAA date and thus they would not have been restored. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:09, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
These are Dutch maps, not Japanese. They were drawn in the 1920s by the Topografische Dienst, and the copyright on the map is 70 years from creation, not 50 (IIRC).
The maps were republished in Japanese, probably in the 1940s during the Japanese occupation of the Dutch Indies, (a copyright violation), and Japanese copyright law applies only to the legend and the other Japanese text. I think. -- Eugene van der Pijll (talk) 13:53, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Ah OK. It might be interesting if the country of origin is considered to be Indonesia (which has similar 50-year terms) instead of the Netherlands. Even if the Netherlands, they may have been PD there by the URAA date if they were created/published before 1926. The U.S. URAA rules for determining the "source country" may also come into play... if it gets to "country which has the most significant contacts with the work" then Dutch East Indies/Indonesia could still be considered the "source country" for URAA purposes. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:41, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Topographical maps of Indonesia can also be found at the Dutch Royal Tropical Institute. Not the exact series that was used by the Japanese army, but similar maps from the 1910s and 1940s. Those may be worth looking at as well. -- Eugene van der Pijll (talk) 15:27, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

July 6

Images of toys are derivative work copyvio?

After the discussion about costumes I started to think toys are'nt copyvio either. That images like that would fell under non-copyright restrictions, so I brought this image from Wiki-en. The image were maked do DR and the discussion goens on. Still having doubts I sent an email to Mike Godwin about this.

"Hi Mike. Sorry for bothering you, but there are somethings on the Commons that let me intrigated. It's about fan arts and pictures from toys. I know these works are derivative, but I fail to understand there any copyright infringiment doing that.I believe that the copyright holders from toys are aware people are going to take photos from their children and use as they want. Of course if they claim the character/toy copyriht for themselves is a differente thing. The same for fan-art, is so easy to find original fan-arts being selled, and the author only holding the photo concert not the character/thing. I think these kind of work sometimes can be Non copyright restrictions . I'f you can, I'd like you let a reply on this Deletion Request.

Thanks for the attention and best Regards

— Mizunoryu
"Dear Mizunoryu,

I believe very strongly that there is no copyright problem with taking a picture of child in a Spider-Man costume, for example.

The copyright companies tend to be more upset about original artwork. I'm not sure why this is a problem for them, but copyright law tends to be more protective in areas like fan art (Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, etc.) than in other areas.

I can't explain this in a way that makes any logical sense.

— Mike Godwin
"Thanks for the quick reply and attention. Boy... is easier to do or ask someone to do a fan art than too get some reply from the original owners. That's ok. I already how hard is to explain these things.

And what do you think about toys like Tickle Me Almo and other products like Brasso. A self taken pic of this kind of product would be a copyright infringiment?

— Mizunoryu
"I don't see any copyright problems with freely licensed photographs of toys.

— Mike Godwin

I sent the emails to OTRS. What do you guys think we start thinkingabout chang this policy? Mizunoryu 大熊猫❤小熊猫 (talk) 17:35, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

They're works of art. ViperSnake151 (talk) 23:12, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Mike Godwin has traditionally taken a very permissive stance regarding copyright - pretty much if it's not likely to cause a copyright problem for the Wikimedia Foundation in the near future, it's none of his concern, even if it's technically infringement or couldn't be used in a commercial context, as is likely the case with photos of toys. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:19, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes they are. We didn't say they aren't. I thi it is because his the attorny here not us. He's the interested part and the professional here. If would have some problems he will say as he did with not original fan arts as you can see above. he wouldn't put the project in troubles , don't you think? I fail to see why we should not list him. Mizunoryu 大熊猫❤小熊猫 (talk) 01:59, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Because he's talking about their use here on Wikimedia projects, not their potential use anywhere in any context. Rocket000 (talk) 04:35, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
People who want to teach Mike Godwin lessons on copyright are really a laughing lot... It would be much better for Commons and all Wikimedia projects, if self-made copyright gurus would not try to enforce their opinion against a famous lawyer specialized in copyright issues. A more rationale stand on copyright ought to be used here, but that seems only a wishful thinking... :'( Yann (talk) 10:04, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I'd be also for a policy change. Commons is a free media repository (as in the images are free to the maximum extent possible), not a church for free software fans. ;) I know what I'm talking about, the French Wikipedia doesn't allow fair use simply because a majority don't like it. I'm not saying we should allow any derivative work in Commons, but I'm for a little brainstorming. Diti the penguin 11:07, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Speaking of which, if we want Commons' files to be “100% free” with almost no exception, then it's totally wrong: a lot of files here are not free to use because of personality rights, not in public domain outside their source country, etc. Diti the penguin 11:10, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Why don't you just go create your own repository for non-free files? Commons should stay a repository of free files, please. Nillerdk (talk) 11:27, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm not dumb enough to do that, sorry. :) I prefer discussion, and I know I'm not talking about copyright but other restrictions. I just overreacted a little bit. Diti the penguin 16:22, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
This is completely beside the point. Yann (talk) 14:37, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, but in such cases it's copyrights restrictions. Just in case what we'll do if Mike Godwin will write that photos of CD/DVD covers will not harm copyrights holders. Will such images still be Commons:Derivative works? --EugeneZelenko (talk) 14:46, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Don't be ironic. Mike would never say this. He's responsible. If you read the emials you'll see that I ask about Fan Art and he said that we would have a problem to upload such kind of files here. He wasn't hired to be a joker or to lie. The person would have to do deal with the trial would be him. He is not dumb to lure us. Who would be screwed up is he. Mizunoryu 大熊猫❤小熊猫 (talk) 15:28, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Mike Godwin does his job very well, but trying to base policy around his word has always been a frustrating exercise. On several occasions he's offered specific legal opinions that are simply impossible to reconcile with any kind of generally applicable principle, like with the de minimis thing and the cosplay thing, and he will never offer an explanation - he says as little as possible. Unless we plan to go running back to him with every new image we encounter, we need to form a set of rules, and his vague guidance isn't really helpful with that. To be completely honest with you, I would much rather a lawyer write our policies and take accountability for them, but no one is about to do that. Dcoetzee (talk) 11:34, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, I have always said that a more formal approval of our copyright policies need to be reviewed by a professional lawyer. There was not enough funds at the start of the project to pay a professional for that, but that's not the case anymore. For a start, we should get an estimate to know much that could cost, then we can discuss if that is worth the price. Or there might be lawyers who are willing to offer a bit of their time as a support to the project. Yann (talk) 14:37, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually I think this is a great idea - I would support a review of our policies by an intellectual property lawyer. Many lawyers will give free consultations and quotes, maybe this would be a place to start? Dcoetzee (talk) 01:20, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Hey guys, let's calm down. I thnk we are all here to improve the project and gre up together. First of all for the jokers I'm not Elmo's fan. I'm already 24 an Sesame Street is not broadcasted in Brazil. And I didn't make contact with Mike to prove a POV. I had this doubt a long time ago and nobody here could help me solve it. I just use the opportunity to ask him something and I don't want to convert Commons to a repository for all kinf of media files. Commons is a repository o free media files and will alway be. Fair use is a problem of the other projects, so let´s forget it here. I don't upload copyvios here and I myself mark my own images to be deleted when I make a mistake. Im just trying to discuss the freedom of such files. I think toys or other products like brasso, Toothpaste and the like, fall under Commons:Non-copyright restrictions following the reasoning that is expected the consumers use this product however they like and they have the rights to do so after they bought them. But still they are trademarked and would have some problems using them in some ways. Like Personality Rights. I may take a photo of Beyoncé, sell it, put it in a magazine and sell it. But I'd have some problems if I made a product and sell the photo in it as a Beyncé product. If I put a comic balloon saying nasty things I'l get another problem. The same Thing if I use L'oreal's logo to sell something and use would be another problem. So, what you guys think? And I must agree with Dcoetzee. Mike's too vague and we have a bad time trying to undertsnad the laws and creating policies. Would be nce if we have someone to guides us. Until there... Mizunoryu 大熊猫❤小熊猫 (talk) 14:29, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately the argument you present - that "consumers use this product however they like and they have the rights to do so after they bought them" - is inconsistent with the law. A great example of this is CDs. You don't really "buy" music - the record company licenses you a recording for personal use, and you would be in trouble if you played it at a public event or on your college radio station, or sold copies to your friends. Likewise, if you buy a painting, that does not automatically make you the copyright holder, and you could not (say) sell copies of it without permission. The essential question is whether the product's appearance is primarily subservient to its function (as in the vodka bottle case), or whether it incorporates significant original elements not dictated by its function. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:14, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm just curious, when you say toys are subject to non-copyright restrictions, what laws are we talking about here? Rocket000 (talk) 01:32, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for my poor explanation. I'm really bad to exprss myself in another language. I meant that the consumers owns some rights when they bought a product. Theses rights are minimum, just to llustrate something or give an idea of what it is. I found this on United Staes paten Office page

904.04 Material Not Appropriate as Specimens for Trademarks 904.04(a) Drawing or “Picture” of the Mark

A photocopy of the drawing required by 37 C.F.R. §2.51 is not a proper specimen. 37 C.F.R. §2.56(c). Similarly, the specimen may not be a “picture” of the mark, such as an artist’s drawing or a printer’s proof that merely illustrates what the mark looks like and is not actually used on or in connection with the goods in commerce. 904.04(b) Advertising Material

Advertising material is generally not acceptable as a specimen for goods. Any material whose function is merely to tell the prospective purchaser about the goods, or to promote the sale of the goods, is unacceptable to support trademark use. Similarly, informational inserts are generally not acceptable to show trademark use. In re MediaShare Corp., 43 USPQ2d 1304 (TTAB 1997); In re Schiapparelli Searle, 26 USPQ2d 1520 (TTAB 1993); In re Drilco Industrial Inc., 15 USPQ2d 1671 (TTAB 1990); In re ITT Rayonier Inc., 208 USPQ 86 (TTAB 1980); In re Bright of America, Inc., 205 USPQ 63 (TTAB 1979). However, an instruction sheet may be an acceptable specimen. In re Ultraflight Inc., 221 USPQ 903 (TTAB 1984). See TMEP §904.03(j) regarding manuals and TMEP §904.04(c) regarding package inserts.

The following types of items are generally considered advertising, and unless they comprise point-of-sale material, are not acceptable as specimens of use on goods: advertising circulars and brochures; price lists; announcements; publicity releases; listings in trade directories; and business cards. Moreover, material used by the applicant to conduct its internal business is unacceptable as a specimen of use on goods. These materials include all papers whose sole function is to carry out the applicant’s business dealings, such as invoices, bill heads, waybills, warranties and business stationery. See In re Chicago Rawhide Mfg. Co., 455 F.2d 563, 173 USPQ 8 (C.C.P.A. 1972); In re Bright of America, supra; Varian Associates v. IMAC Corp., 160 USPQ 283 (N.D. Ill. 1968); Upco Co. v. Speed Crete of La., Inc., 154 USPQ 555 (TTAB 1967); Dynacolor Corp. v. Beckman & Whitley, Inc., 134 USPQ 410 (TTAB 1962); Pendleton Woolen Mills v. Eloesser-Heynemann Co., 133 USPQ 211 (TTAB 1962); Boss Co. v. Homemaker Rugs, Inc., 117 USPQ 255 (N.D. Ill. 1958).

As to display of trademarks on company uniforms, see In re McDonald’s Corp., 199 USPQ 702 (TTAB 1978); Toro Manufacturing Corp. v. John B. Stetson Co., 161 USPQ 749 (TTAB 1969).

Bags and other packaging materials bearing the name of a retail store and used by the store merely for packaging items of sold merchandise are not acceptable to show trademark use of the store name for the products sold by the store (e.g., bags at cash register). When used in this manner, the name merely identifies the store. See In re The Pennsylvania Fashion Factory, Inc., 198 USPQ 568 (TTAB 1978), aff’d, 588 F.2d 1343, 200 USPQ 140 (C.C.P.A. 1978). 904.04(c) Package Inserts

If material inserted in a package with the goods is merely advertising material, then it is not acceptable as a specimen of use on or in connection with the goods. Material that is only advertising does not necessarily cease to be advertising because it is placed inside a package.

Package inserts such as invoices, announcements, order forms, bills of lading, leaflets, brochures, printed advertising material, circulars, publicity releases, and the like are not acceptable specimens to show use on goods. See In re Bright of America, Inc., 205 USPQ 63 (TTAB 1979).

I'll keep looking for more informations. I'm not in a good mood now Mizunoryu 大熊猫❤小熊猫 (talk) 18:10, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

There have been several cases which have determined that toys are copyrightable as sculpture and photographs are derivative works of them (and a few court cases which seem to rule in other directions). I'm sure fair use in these cases would make it OK for a wide range of uses of such photographs, but declaring them "free" is unfortunately pretty unlikely. On the other hand I would agree with Mike Godwin on the photographs of costumes thing -- other than masks, costumes are usually not copyrightable, and I've never found (online) any case which claims that photographs of costumes are derivative works of the costume design. I really can't see any good reason to delete that type of thing. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:19, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
“I'm sure fair use in these cases would make it OK for a wide range of uses of such photographs, but declaring them "free" is unfortunately pretty unlikely.” → How do you know? Wikipedia (and even more, I think all the projects as well) accept small citations for text, it means that we can take a small part of a big text, include it on-wiki, and the licensing terms do not change, the page is still under GFDL. Same for images here, per Commons:De minimis or other rules. Diti the penguin 13:21, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
For the U.S. anyways... it is somewhat cloudy. But there have been many court cases which have determined that toys were usually copyrightable works of art. The question is if photographs are derivative works... to the best of my knowledge, there are several contradictory court cases, but there is enough reason to believe they are. Using them on Wikipedia is almost certainly fair use, but declaring them "free" (and thus usable in all circumstances, including commercial) I sort of doubt. I can't find the reference now, but there was one court case that ruled that photos of figurines used in a collector's price catalog were fair use, but selling the photographs directly would not be. Mattel Inc. v. Walking Mountain Productions declared particular photos of Barbie dolls as non-infringing because they were a parody, which would be a complete defense (and OK here), but that still implies they are derivative works and therefore straight-up non-parody photographs would not get the same protection. s:Ets-Hokin v. Skyy Spirits Inc. was a 9th Circuit case which strongly implied that such photographs would be derivative works, though SHL Imaging, Inc. v. Artisan House, Inc. (a New York district court decision the same year) went completely the other way. See here. More recently, Schrock v. Learning Curve Intern., Inc. in 2008, which was about photographs of toys, followed the Ets-Hokin v. Skyy Spirits reasoning -- the photographer had permission to take the photos even, but the court ruled that since permission to copyright the photos had not been explicitly given by the copyright owner of the toys, the photographer's copyright registration was invalid. That ruling was criticized (see here (and I think is under appeal). Just a month later, there was a Latimer v. Roaring Toyz, Inc. decision which explicitly rejected the reasoning in Ets-Hokin v. Skyy and Schrock. William Patry covered those cases here. He believes that such photographs are not derivative works (on grounds of the technical definition that derivative works must transform the work in some way) but that they would still be subject to the reproductive right of the photographed work, which amounts to the same thing. Obviously it is confusing rulings like these which give rise to heated discussions here, as there is tons of gray area, but I still don't see how photos of toys can be considered fully copyrightable by the photographer (unless de minimis, or parody, or some other case where fair use would be a complete defense). Costumes on the other hand are generally not copyrightable (they are more a trademark issue) and I don't think photographs of costumes should be deleted. I've never found a court case concerning that. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:09, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

July 8

Adding dates from files metadata

I just finished writing a script which fills "Date" field in {{Information}} from file's metadata. I think it worked well and I suggest running it on all, say, Self-published work (as many of them are either not in a standard form or empty) if they have taken date info in their metadata, otherwise it'll skip. The script has been tested, and AFAIK it doesn't have any bugs right now. I want simply to know community thoughts about such bot before proposing a bot flag.--OsamaK 10:34, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Sounds nice. I'd suggest not overriding existing data information (as you did here), though, except in cases where the existing "date" is clearly either autogenerated or not an actual date at all (e.g. "see EXIF"). I suspect it might be safe to assume that anything with no numbers in it is probably not a date (but remember to check for all Unicode numerals (\p{N} in PCRE), not just 0–9). Also, including the date you're adding (and what, if anything, you're replacing with it) in the edit summary would make reviewing the edits easier. Also, you may want to check for {{PD-old}} and related tags — I'm sure there are a few files tagged with both {{PD-old}} and {{Self}}, e.g. because they're self-made photos of old artworks. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 23:30, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
The problem is the metadata data may be set by a camera, regardless of whether the camera operator actually set the date/time. Many people don't think about the date/time setting, or forget to reset it when necessary. So, you would be importing dates, that appear plausible, but are not correct. It would be neat if we could let users run such a tool on their own images, when they know the metadata is correct. But, running it on another person's images, is a bad idea. --Rob (talk) 05:04, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I think it is OK provided that no existing dates are modified (date format can be normalized, see User:Slobot/date) and "(according to EXIF data)" is added after the date. --Apalsola tc 09:31, 9 July 2009 (UTC) -- (typofix) Apalsola tc 09:37, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Your bot sounds like a very useful addition. I second Ilmari Karonen suggestion to not overwrite dates specified by users, since it is not unusual for cameras to have wrong dates. I think you should work closely with Slomox the operator of Slobot in Template_talk:ISOdate#Ymd template he was explaining yesterday how his bot works and he has a problem with ambiguous dates (e.g. date=4/7/2009 - which could mean 4 July or 7 April), where he was hoping to use EXIF data to resolve them. Here are cases where your bot would be very useful:
  1. No dates or see exif data dates
  2. pages where date is (original upload date) filled by transfer bot (ex. File:Picture 131a.jpg).
  3. Above mentioned ambiguous dates
I think your dates should be marked with (according to EXIF data). --Jarekt (talk) 13:00, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
If you wanted to be really fancy, you could create a custom template that used {{Date}} to format the date and {{LangSwitch}} to autotranslate the "according to EXIF data" part. Also, BTW, one more possible sanity check would be to ignore dates that are unlikely to be valid, such as those before October 1995 (publication of the EXIF 1.0 standard) or after the last upload date of the file. Unfortunately, I believe most digital cameras default to a date somewhere around the time the camera model was released, unlike most computers which tend to conveniently fall back to 1970 or so. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 19:44, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

July 9

Proprietary rendering programs

If web pages rendered using proprietary layout engines such as Trident or Presto can not be used on commons, what happens with web pages that are shot in browsers using Gecko or Webkit/KHTML, but include elements handled by proprietary pulgins such as Adobe Flash, Windows Media Player or Quicktime? Samuell (talk) 15:45, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure the premise of your question is correct -- certainly screenshots of Wikipedia pages as rendered in MSIE etc. have traditionally been allowed, as long as the interface elements (i.e. title bar, menu bar, etc.) are excluded, and only the rendering of the freely-licensed web-page content is shown... AnonMoos (talk) 18:33, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. I believe the generally agreed-upon principle is that the output of a computer program will not automatically be a derivative work of the program unless it incorporates recognizable pieces (e.g. icons, background images, boilerplate text, 3D character design) of the program and unless these pieces are distinctive enough to pass the threshold of originality. Also, even if a work does contain pieces derived from non-free software, such as icons in a screenshot, which do pass the threshold of originality, they might still be de minimis in the context of the entire work if their inclusion in the work is clearly minimal and incidental. It's worth noting here that the occasionally quoted hard and fast rule to "never include non-free icons in screenshots uploaded to Commons" (as one might summarize the rules listed at Commons:Screenshots) dates from a time before Commons:De minimis became policy. Of course, it still remains a good goal to strive for, whenever possible. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 19:24, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Fully agree with Ilmari on this one. The rough analogy is, if I follow the instructions in a copyrighted cookbook and then take a picture of the cake, is that copyright infringement? Not even remotely. Dcoetzee (talk) 22:20, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Interlanguage order in templates

I was told here that in Commons interlanguage links are ordered alphabetically after language codes. So I wonder, it's perehaps a bit odd compared to native name alpabetical order in Wikipedia where it's so important to have interviki links in right order? Wikipedia's way makes it probably easier to find your language without knowing language codes. Though it's usually not hard to find certain language here as most of templates aren't in too many languages (yet) and easier to order after codes, I'd still prefer to see interlanguage links ordered after native names. 19:24, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Those are links to different translations of a template, not "inter-language links" in the usual sense. However, the common practice for actual interwiki links (at the bottom of a category or gallery/article page) is the same both here and at en.wikipedia, as far as I'm aware -- by default, they're sorted by ISO-639 code. On Hebrew wikipedia, there's a practice of placing the link to English Wikipedia first, and then the other interwikis sorted alphabetically by ISO-639 code... AnonMoos (talk) 05:44, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
On the English Wikipedia they aren't sorted by language code (not all are ISO-639). They are sorted by language name. On Commons, we use both since we never really addressed it. Rocket000 (talk) 08:13, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Indefinite blocks

Sometimes, when a user uploads several copyright violations, or several images under the same rationale and many of them are found to be copyright violations, the whole lot of images are deleted for precaution. Sometimes it's a case of misunderstandings of what is or isn't acceptable, sometimes it's a case of intencional lies, but in any case, if images are not free are deleted. Those are called mass deletions.

But what happens when a user is indefinitely blocked for reasons other than copyright violations, such as vandalism, attacks, sock-pupettry or other such things? Is a mass deletion of his contributions justified, or not? Belgrano (talk) 20:41, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Not necessarily. Of course, any situation severe enough to justify an indefinite block probably also merits at least a glance at the user's contributions, but if the block was for reasons not directly related to the user's uploads, there may be no particular reason to even consider deleting them. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 21:25, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Cross-wiki blocks

Are there circumstances where a user can be blocked on commons because of actions done at other wikimedia projects? Belgrano (talk) 20:47, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

My gut reaction is that a blockable offence on one WMF project is an offence against the whole WMF shebang. However, the editor under fire may have run into some wayward admins (and I have doubts about several). Therefore, I would say take each case on its (their) merit. ‘Law’ has found there is an advantage in the adage of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.--P.g.champion (talk) 21:23, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
The usual tradition seems to be that we won't pre-emptively block users on Commons for their actions elsewhere, unless they've actually misbehaved here too. Indeed, it has been observed that quite a few users who may have ended up blocked on other projects for things like interpersonal conflicts or tendentious editing may still manage to contribute productively to Commons, simply because the users or issues that push their "hot buttons" are not present here. That said, I would also say that a user's history on other projects is certainly a valid aspect to consider when deciding how to respond to problematic behavior here on Commons. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 21:34, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
In at least one case I've seen a user who was blocked on En continue to contribute productively here. On the other hand, some users, such as persistent vandals, will try to play the same game on every wiki they visit anew. Once they've made their wiki-jumping habits clear there's no point in wasting every wiki's time independently. Dcoetzee (talk) 22:17, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

July 10

"Author Flickr" template

I created a "Author Flickr" template to use in the Author line of the {{Information}} template on files like File:Two little girls.jpg (the discussion at File talk:Two little girls.jpg#Author was what motivated this idea). What do you think of it? Feel free to move it to template space and use it if you like it. (Also, could someone more familiar with Commons templates do some documentation and error handling, and a protection request/protection if you think it appropriate?) Brian Jason Drake 05:39, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

It seems the same as Template:Flickr author. If it is different than I would work with authors of existing template to fix it instead of starting a new one. I also fixed File:Two little girls.jpg author line. --Jarekt (talk) 13:03, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Is it enough ?

The page [6] has the notice "Content from these pages can be used without a prior consent by the author under the condition that the source of information is quoted." Is it enough for uploading some of its images in Commons ? Tieum512 (talk) 11:23, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Sounde like {{Attribution}} to me, but I'd be a bit leery of it as it doesn't state for any purpose, including commercial and derivatives. -mattbuck (Talk) 12:22, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, per Commons:Copyright tags#Other free tags it would be the best if someone with good wording and knowledge asks the press office of the kroatian government. --Martin H. (talk) 14:05, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Tunisian copyright update

I need some help in order to implement a legal change in Tunisia. As you will see here, the Tunisian parliament has voted a change to the law about the copyright. Now, pictures are protected for 50 years after they have been taken (25 years before the change). Thus, the pictures taken after January 1, 1959 with the license {{PD-Tunisia}} should be removed. Is there any way to have a bot listing all the concerned picture, taking the appropriate information from the "Date" field of the pictures? Thanks in advance pour your help! Moumou82 (talk) 17:10, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Does this new law apply retroactively? Sv1xv (talk) 17:15, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't know but after this discussion, I will need to wait until the complete text of the new law (not the one amended) is published online. Then we will know if this applies retroactively or not. If this is the case, I will put my above request again. Thanks Moumou82 (talk) 18:23, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Aligning rtl langugaes in Preferences

There is currently a problem with the aligning of the Preference boxes in the User preferences for the Arabic language. Change your language setting to Arabic and you'll find left alignment instead of right in the different boxes for the preference. This needs to change to be like on the Arabic Wikipedia. Could this be fixed?--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 10:25, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

The links in the "toolbox" in the sidebar are missing their bullets, too (aligned too far right, I presume?). For the other sidebar boxes, alignment is inconsistent (in the "participate" box, the indent is greater than in the "navigation" box). And the user links at the top of the page (talk/prefs/watchlist/contribs/log out) also appear ltr. These are general problems, not just on the preferences page. Also, looking at my own user page, I notice that the page title (firstHeading) is right-aligned, but all the rest isn't. Is that intentional? Corrections would probably need to go in MediaWiki:Rtl.css, but don't ask me how exactly this could be fixed. Rtl languages confuse me. Lupo 11:06, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
BTW, since you speak Arabic, could you please help out here and here? Lupo 11:14, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
The Preferences system was rewritten in June by Andrew Garrett. I asked him, whether he can tell us, where we need to change the CSS to make it work correctly. --Slomox (talk) 00:18, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

American or British English?

Just a question, but which language version of English is preferred here on Commons? American or British English? --The Evil IP address (talk) 10:31, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

I can't imagine somebody being criticized for using either. If the subject is specific to UK or US, choose accordingly, otherwise, I think both are equally acceptable. --Eusebius (talk) 10:50, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Whichever you prefer really. For pages like COM:L it should be consistent, but otherwise anything goes. -mattbuck (Talk) 10:51, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I think the tradition is to use whatever an existing article already uses. For new pages, whichever you like. If you want to make an existing article consistent, you could probably either use what the article started with, or if a rather long history, whichever is predominant (but don't edit war about it :-). --Tony Wills (talk) 11:04, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Australian English. You'll get banned for anything else. Rocket000 (talk) 13:10, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Australian is English? I've always used tlh_AU... --Eusebius (talk) 13:15, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
That or use tlhIngan Hol. -mattbuck (Talk) 13:57, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Alright, thanks for your help. --The Evil IP address (talk) 11:28, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Help needed on a template

I have created Template:ZooKeys-License (by copying and pasting the codes from another template). However, the language bar still points to the template that I copied from. Can someone fix it for me? OhanaUnitedTalk page 00:14, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

This is because the language bar is a template itself (in your case {{Fotothek-License/lang}}). It has been removed now. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 01:22, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
(ec) I removed the language bar. Was it intended to have translations in future? Then you need some subpages. According to the template you copied from: Special:PrefixIndex/Template:Fotothek-License/ - you need a /lang subpage and translation subpages /en, ... --Martin H. (talk) 01:28, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you guys. Appreciated your help. If there's translation, then that's great because we want scientists around the world to contribute towards uploading their collections onto Commons. OhanaUnitedTalk page 05:46, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Did so and added a german translation and documentation for other translators. see Zelotibia_major_(female).jpg in german. --Martin H. (talk) 16:29, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

False image license

This image claims to be under a free license. It is blatantly not. Thanks. TreasuryTag (talk) 13:20, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Speedily deleted and uploader notified. ++Lar: t/c 18:09, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Subway/bus maps

Hello all, How can I get a list of all subway and bus maps on Wikimedia? Would it be a good idea to create two new categories for them? Thanks a lot! Cheers Nicolas1981 (talk) 09:22, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

See Category:Rail transport maps and Category:Public transport maps. Sv1xv (talk) 09:32, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Message of the Day

Files relating to Biota (i.e.: photographs of a lifeform, parts of a lifeform, or groups of lifeforms) should always be classified by species whenever possible, to maximize their usefulness.

That means in both the description/labeling AND the categorization.

This includes human beings (homo sapiens sapiens).

Top-level category names need to avoid confusion about this, and species-specific category names need to be labeled clearly for species. An "eye" is not, by default a human eye!

Lx 121 (talk) 09:43, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps adding a few words on this matter on Commons:First_steps/Upload_form#4._Set_an_appropriate_file_name could be useful. Teofilo (talk) 10:03, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Are you saying that every single photo of a human should include the words homo sapiens sapiens? Seems excessive. Or are you just saying this about photos whose purpose is, for example, a body part, not an individual? - Jmabel ! talk 23:42, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Nope, of course not. It is meant as a top level categorization. Lycaon (talk) 23:47, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Deletion request for NPG images protected by URAA

See Commons:Deletion requests/NPG images protected by the URAA. I'm nominating a handful of NPG images for deletion that are probably copyrighted in the US due to the URAA. Although many of us disagree with the URAA, I believe it would be unwise to fight a battle on two fronts. Dcoetzee (talk) 12:19, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Note those have already been deleted.  — Mike.lifeguard 19:29, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Can you remove my name from the Megadata of an image ?

I know it is stupid, but I would not have contributed images if I knew that your system would scour my computer for personal information about me, like my real name, and place it on the page with the image, which furthermore makes it searchable on the web. There should be some warning. It isn't as though I have uploaded anything scandalous, it is just that what is the point of having a user name if you are going to expose my real name anyway ? Lame. Saudade7 (talk) 14:39, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Which image is that? Sv1xv (talk) 14:54, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
What are you talking about? You have uploaded zero (0) images to Commons[7]. --Túrelio (talk) 14:55, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
(ec) The metadata is embedded in the image file itself (usually in EXIF fields). Your name wouldn't be in there unless you added it (or instructed your camera or image editing software to add it). Nothing in Wikimedia software adds it. If you upload a new version of the image without that field in the metadata, then it will no longer be shown on the image page. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:56, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Also, having reuploaded the files, you can ask an administrator to delete the old versions. For more information on how to remove metadata from images, see Commons:Manipulating meta data. Or, indeed, if you'll e-mail me a list of the affected files, I can remove the metadata, reupload the files and delete the old versions for you. (But you'll still want to learn how to view and edit the metadata yourself, just so that this won't happen again with any images you upload later.) —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 03:34, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi Everyone: So far I only know about this one: Catalepsy all I can think is that because I manipulated it in Photoshop, and because my Photoshop is registered to me it puts that info on the file. I am super unhappy that this is happening, if someone also knows how to keep my Photoshop from hiding secret info about me in the file that would be great. I don't think it is coming from my camera, because I really try not to tell machines anything about me. :( Thanks everybody. Saudade7 (talk) 09:47, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

It would be very easy to remove the metadata from en:File:Catalepsie catalepsy hypnosis 1941.jpg using an appropriate tool such as jpegtran, but I don't feel inclined to do it myself right now, since the copyright status of that image (if dated 1941) seems rather dubious... AnonMoos (talk) 12:17, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

The file is hosted on en and, aside the (c) status,

 exiftool Catalepsie_catalepsy_hypnosis_1941.jpg  -Artist= -By-line= -Creator= 

would do the job anyway. With an en admin deleting the old version. Esby (talk) 12:43, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I've reuploaded the image without the identifying metadata fields and deleted the original. Wikimedia does have a tradition of taking editors' right to privacy (and, in particular, pseudonymity) seriously, and while it can be difficult or impossible to put the genie back into the bottle once your identity has been disclosed, we do try to do our best to fix accidental disclosures whenever this might still be possible. This includes deleting personally identifying information ASAP, not maybe in two weeks once the PUI nomination is closed. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 13:00, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I guess ASAP means "as soon as possible", but what does PUI stand for ? Teofilo (talk) 13:06, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
"possibly unfree images". Lupo 13:11, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. Teofilo (talk) 15:31, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Photoshop normally has a "File Info" menu option, under the "File" menu, where this stuff is edited. You can save "metadata templates", but I didn't think it would automatically apply that stuff to an image. Maybe Photoshop Elements is different. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:17, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Correct English description

The English description of File:Anime Girl.svg needs to be corrected. "Drawing of a revealing figure Sythatia" is not ideal English and is somewhat ambiguous. Is Sythatia a specific type of stock character/body type/model in manga or is it merely the name given to the model by the artist? Someone please clarify this.

Peter Isotalo 10:49, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Merge two stereoscopes to generate higher res

United States Mint, N. York, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views.jpg

  • Is it possible to merge the two images to generate one high res image?

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Diaa abdelmoneim (talk • contribs) 09:06, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

    • No, they are taken at slightly different angles. Kaldari (talk) 23:19, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
  • The short answer is no, not using existing technology. The long answer is that doing cleaning and/or superresolution on stereogram images might be an exciting direction for future research, and is something I've considered working on. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:52, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
      • Is it possible to create a 3D image by merging them, cut the two halves and put say a red tint on one and a green on the other before the merge, would that work with the traditional 3d glasses on a computer?KTo288 (talk) 10:16, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
        • In these images, there is hardly any stereo effect - except for the position of the lantarn post in the foreground. But if you want to use such 3D glasses, you can just put a green transparent candy wrapper on the left one, and a red one on the right image. Or you can use polarisers, or just stare at them. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 10:36, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
        • Yes, there is existing technology to convert left-right image pairs into red-blue images, or indeed any other of the numerous formats for viewing 3D images. For these images, the main challenge would be automatically extracting the two images, which wouldn't be too big of a deal. One obstacle is that many of the stereograms are old and dirty, which really screws with the effect. Dcoetzee (talk) 19:01, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
          • They're also bastards to clean up, because, of course, you're trying to clean up a stereograph without the ability to look through a stereographic viewer and make sure your restoration isn't causing new, interesting stereographic effects. Adam Cuerden (talk) 19:05, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Given how little difference there was between the frames, I decided to try and see if I could align them in hugin. As it turns out, they match pretty well. I've uploaded the result in GIMP .xcf format here. (I couldn't save a layered TIFF file, and I don't think Commons accepts any other layered formats than TIFF and XCF.) I've set the upper layer to 50% transparency, to show that just averaging the frames gives a noticeable improvement, but of course what it really needs is for someone to go over the image in detail and tweak the transparency to combine the best parts of each frame. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 10:42, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
    • For future reference, what I did was crop out the two frames, load them in hugin, add lots of control points to various parts of the building, optimize positions, view and x shift, repeat until the match looked reasonably good, optimize exposure (but not vignetting or camera response) and stitch into separate remapped images with a rectilinear projection. I then loaded these into GIMP and realigned them there (using the "grain extract" mode to detect alignment), since the version of hugin I use can't stitch directly into layers. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 10:48, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
      • I'm honestly amazed that this worked, considering that panorama stitchers generally assume that all images are taken from the same point. I guess they're close enough together. There are far too many of these to clean them all up by hand, but it would be intriguing to automate this process. Dcoetzee (talk) 23:54, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
        • I was interested in viewing it but my GIMP wouldn't open it. Said "failed: GIMP XCF image plug-In could not open image". - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 01:47, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
          • Which version of GIMP are you using? Mine is 2.6.6. I just downloaded the file back and it opened just fine, so a version incompatibility is the only explanation I can immediately think of. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 02:22, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
            • I'm also using 2.6.6. - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 03:01, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
              • Oh well. Dunno what the problem is, then. Anyway, I uploaded the two frames in PNG format here and here (as I probably should've done in the first place). —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 23:16, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
NOTE: speaking from an archivist's perspective, it is desirable & useful for WMC to have hi-res scans of the complete & original stereoscope as-is (in original, unrestored, unretouched condition), as well as any modified versions you care to create & submit. as a historical object/document tho, it's the original card that is the most important; everything else is derived from it. it also makes it possible for others to work from the original material (& the original upload file version should not be overwritten by any subsequent editor!). also; a high-quality scan of the reverse side of the card, appropriately labeled to "match-up", would always be of use & interest. Lx 121 (talk) 09:10, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
You should ask mathematicians (image processing specialists) about this. I suppose making a Fourier transform of the double image, eliminate the frequency corresponding to the duplication, and make a reverse Fourier transform would provide... something, but I am unsure if this would reveal new details until then unseen on the original picture. Perhaps you should ask this question to the people on en:Wikipedia:WikiProject_Mathematics. Teofilo (talk) 18:10, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

July 4

Issue raised at Wikisource about image tagging

[Wikisource admin here] The following conversation was raised at WikiSource (full detail) and it is about images used at WikiSource that are slowly showing up on a list for deletion. That Commons is starting to tag long-held images used at other Wikimedia sites in such a manner is going to problematic, especially when the encouragement has always been, where possible, to load files at a central site, rather than at individual wikis. There needs to be a better methodology for tagging files at Commons that are considered in need of further information, especially where the files are in use in other wikis. The current schema does not allow for an extended grace period, or reasonable latitude to get more detailed information fitted. Suggestions most welcome. -- billinghurst (talk) 10:55, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

There real problem is this: When an image, which was transferred to Commons from another project, is tagged for deletion, the original uploaders or other editors using it are not notified. Sv1xv (talk) 11:05, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
What we need is some bot like Commonsdelinker to provide messages on wikipiediae when commons images are nsded or the like. I wouldn't have thought it would be overly difficult. -mattbuck (Talk) 11:07, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
It is my understanding that the images have been loaded directly to Commons. At this point in time, I use CommonsHelper to move media from either WS or WP to here with as full a description as possible. billinghurst (talk) 11:58, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
There are two options in Special:Preferences for "E-mail me when a page on my watchlist is changed" and "E-mail me when my user talk page is changed". In general, uploaders are notified on their talk page when an image is tagged, so if they enable these options, they should get a notification and can act on it. If a bot can be written to mirror such notifications also on the uploader's talk pages at other projects (Which ones? All SUL accounts that have contribs? Or only on the home wiki?), fine. But if they had enabled these options there, too, they might get a whole slew of e-mails for a single notification. Lupo 11:14, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Very frequently an image is transferred to Commons not by the original uploader but by some other user (or a bot) and then it is deleted locally. Sv1xv (talk) 11:21, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Then make the transferrers notify the original uploaders at the other wiki. Happens at en-WP, I got several notifications about images I had uploaded there locally having been transferred to the Commons. And if the original uploaders place the images they upload locally on their local watchlist, they'll even notice their local deletion if there is no such notification. Lupo 11:27, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I think what Mattbuck is suggesting (or if he doesn't, I do) is putting a notification to the talk pages of the articles where the image is reused, so that reusers, who would be concerned about image deletion, could be warned and maybe do something about it. --Eusebius (talk) 11:58, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Billinghurst, could you provide us with some examples? Are we talking about images uploaded directly here or transfered from Wikisource to Commons by a bot? Multichill (talk) 11:29, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
I have asked the user who raised the issue with me to bring forward some examples. billinghurst (talk) 11:58, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
How about that user participating in this discussion himself? He is active here at the Commons, too... Lupo 19:29, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Files identified

-- billinghurst (talk) 02:06, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I believe the problem is that images tagged here can get deleted without anyone on other projects knowing about it, even if they're in use. An expanded role for User:CommonsDelinker would seem appropriate. -mattbuck (Talk) 10:36, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
It would also help if the project has fair use criteria, if a bot would create a local version so that that project will not be disrupted.KTo288 (talk) 12:46, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I don't see that it is the issue at all. There is a collective decision that media files should be here at Commons. Now some people at Commons are saying that a file that has been resident for a period of time, and is used at other projects will be deleted as it has insufficient information. Hello, that sounds like Commons acting in isolation, against the greater good, and with a level of expectation of nirvana, and little application of reality. Creating local versions is a retrograde step, and not what I would be encouraging.
Taking a liberty here are some recommendations.
  1. Existing files that are good files need to stay, and if lacking in detail, then date labelled as requiring more detail, with an expected timeframe to improve (continual improvement)
  2. Existing wikis are contacted globally to be reminded of the need for good description data, and contain a direct link to the page Commons:First steps/Quality and description. (Important messages are worth repeating, and repeating regularly)
  3. That there may need to be a Commons Warning bot that touches and comments upon pages on other projects that may be affected by possible deletions. (fair warning)
  4. New files can have the more rigorous criteria applied (less need to grandfather).
billinghurst (talk) 03:27, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry I wasn't being very clear, what I meant was that if it is decided that a file can't be kept on Commons and needs to be deleted, to prevent disruption, and if the local rules allow it to create a local version. 07:55, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
The first three files were uploaded a week ago, why didn't the uploader just include the source link? Multichill (talk) 04:21, 14 July 2009 (UTC)


Some time ago I proposed here on the village pump to make Mediawiki:Searchresulttext collapsable, like this, but since a few days ago I have seen that it has disappeared all together from Special:Search :

  • Is it the result of some settings on my computer or user preferences I might be unaware of ?
  • Is it a general and unintentional bug ?
  • Is it intentional ?

In that last case I say thank you to the people who boldly removed Mediawiki:Searchresulttext, because Special:Search is now much more convenient to use, with a large text input box at the top of the page. However, it might be possible to reintroduce Mediawiki:Searchresulttext as a new tab, either on the right side after "advanced", or below. This new (collapsable ?) tab could be called "other options", or "other searching and browsing options". Teofilo (talk) 09:33, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I can't really answer your questions, but I think it's a good idea to include the collapsable version you made on the search result page.
MediaWiki:searchmenu-exists and MediaWiki:searchmenu-new could probably be used for this. This has the additional advantage that $1 can be used for the search term in the other tools.
BTW google search should probably include as well. -- User:Docu at 14:09, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Please have a look at my requests on MediaWiki talk:Searchmenu-new, MediaWiki talk:Searchmenu-exists, and MediaWiki talk:Searchresulttext. Teofilo (talk) 14:48, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Search doesn't work in File namespace by default

Just discovered this (I'm using Monobook). It's definitely bad for file repository. Could somebody who knows JavaScript and out customizations take a look? Or may be we should file request in bugzilla:? --EugeneZelenko (talk) 14:44, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Works for me. Which gadgets do you use?--Kwj2772 (msg) 14:47, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Sorry for plain text, just don't have time to find out names :-) Change the "+comment" tab text to "+"., Add a "*" tab to the top of the page which lets you purge the cache of the page., Quick Preview, Thumbnail Purger, Quick Delete, User Messages, Tineye, Cat-a-lot, Hot Cat, ShortLink, DelReqHandler. --EugeneZelenko (talk) 14:51, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
The defaults are (in
'wgNamespacesToBeSearchedDefault' => array(
    'commonswiki' => array( -1 => 0, 0 => 1, 1 => 0,  2 => 0, 3 => 0, 4 => 0, 5 => 0, 6 => 1, 7 => 0, 8 => 0, 9 => 0, 10 => 0, 11 => 0, 12 => 1, 13 => 0, 14 => 1 ),
Which means namespace 0 (galleries), namespace 6 (files), namespace 12 (help pages) and namespace 14 (categories) are searched. Maybe you have changed your preferences for which namespaces to search? If you have not changed your preferences it is possible that the defaults were changed after you registered your account. And changes of the defaults will only affect anonymous users and new accounts, old accounts will have the old defaults. /Ö 16:27, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for help and sorry for troubles. I should look into preferences more often :-) --EugeneZelenko (talk) 14:55, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Spanish commentary

moved to: Commons:Café (Spanish)

I uploaded a lot of pictures in the Category:FEVE rail in Generalitat Valencia. This are scanned slides taken in the 1980's of a local railwaynetwork wich has totaly changed. I have commented the pics in English and Dutch. However a Spanish translation would be nice, preferably with someone having some local railway history knowledge.

Smiley.toerist (talk) 20:00, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

July 14

OTRS categories

Just looking at Category:OTRS pending, I noticed that there are over 25 empty categories. Do we have any good reason to keep categories such as Category:OTRS pending as of 24 January 2009, which have been depopulated and will never be populated again? I use Commons primarily as an image host for en:wp, so I'm not that familiar with procedures here: since Commons:Deletion policy notes that categories are generally redirected rather than deleted, I don't know what to do. Is there so way to request the deletion of these categories? {{Delete}} doesn't sound like it's usable for categories, and I can't quite imagine asking for deletion of categories at Commons:deletion requests. Nyttend (talk) 04:25, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

You are correct about that we redirect categories instead of deleting, but the will only count for reall categories.
The categories you pointed out are used in the maintiance and are normally only used once, so you could tag {{Speedy}} on it the next time you see it.
I cleaned out all the empty categories, thanks for the notice.
Huib talk 07:20, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Oy! Where are the editing templates gone?

Where are they suddenly? You used to have a list of, for better use of a term "templates" sitting at the bottom of the editing window. Like [[Category:]] or "|". Now I have to type them out by hand (ugh!) or hunt around on my keyboard for the special signs like that "|". Why remove such a useful feature??? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ingolfson (talk • contribs) 05:28, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

No idea. The servers don't send MediaWiki:Edittools anymore. But at the English Wikipedia, they're still sent. A configuration issue? Lupo 07:31, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
They're back. Lupo 08:33, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you so much :-)). Lycaon (talk) 08:37, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Not my doing. Dunno why they were gone, and dunno why they came back. Lupo 09:02, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Orphan works

Does Commons have a policy on orphan works and given the vested interests in the US which will push for a rehash of Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 or something akin to it should we formulate one.KTo288 (talk) 07:40, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Generally speaking, Commons does not permit the upload of orphaned works, since the possibility always exists that the copyright holder could appear out of thin air and sue us or our content reusers. It is very much in our interests - and the people's interest - that an Orphan Works Act is passed however, and I would encourage all American users to express their support to their support to their congresspeople. Dcoetzee (talk) 07:54, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Its good to hear that Commons does not allow the upload of orphan works, my worry is that if such a law is enacted in the US that Commons might become tempted to do so,with the rationale that it is legal in the United States and WMF and the servers are in the United States. I don't know if they'll try and pass the bill again in its present form but the opinion of creators outside of the US (and of many within the US) is that the bill is a thieves charter designed to enrich US corporations (both those who would use images and those with whom creators would in future have to register their works). Berne insists that copyright is created with the act of creating a new work and does not have to be expicitly registered, whilst the US bills both the House and Senate ones would turn this on its head and effectively orphan all works which have not been registered at the designated US based registery houses.KTo288 (talk) 08:55, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
If this bill is enacted, and given our current policies, it would only concern US works on Commons. It would make things much clearer regarding the legal status of these works. Yann (talk) 09:00, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Even if this bill were enacted, we couldn't rely on it. It doesn't make orphan works free, it just limits the remedies in case a copyright owner surfaces and makes an infringement claim, provided the alleged infringer has made and can document a diligent research and attempts to locate and contact such a rights owner when he started using the work. It's utterly useless for the Commons. Defining "diligent reasearch" is left to regulations of the U.S. Copyright Office. This report from an EU commission may give an idea what a "diligent research" might entail. Lupo 09:16, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually the bill goes into some detail about the nature of the diligent research required. It is true that this law would make no immediate difference on Commons, since it does not free any works, only diminishes penalties for infringement, but considering that every past attempt to push through orphaned work legislation has fallen flat, I think a gradual approach is the way to go and will eventually lead to better laws. Dcoetzee (talk) 09:45, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Just remembered this photograph from 2006, a case of a copyright surely existing but of which the author would probably do their very best to avoid being identified as such. Despite the PD-because tag, can we be sure that it is PD.KTo288 (talk) 17:09, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
it would only concern US works on Commons ? Only if Commons issues a policy saying that. If a work's copyright owner remains unknown after some dilligent research, it is also probable that the author's nationality or the country where the work was first published remain unknown too. If a US publisher first publishes an "orphaned" foreign work, would it be considered a US work as a consequence of being first published in the US ? Teofilo (talk) 08:47, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
One of the reasons I raised this issue is so that we can draft a policy (if we didn't already have one) so that when and if such laws are passed, we won't be caught hopping and have to come up with an ad hoc one, by begining the process early we can have a reasoned and reasonably based debate of the issues. My initial thoughts were along the lines of "Don't upload so called orphaned images to Commons. That an image or file is considered to be an orphan does not make it free, and Commons only accepts free images." However over the course of this debate I remembered the CIRA picture above, which although PD is claimed is more probably an orphan, is the fact that a copyright is unlikely to be claimed enough to make a file PD. I must admit that my suspicions are that the US version of the bill is designed to enrich US reusers and registery housesm however there are images which I believe should be seen, reproduced and used and over which the authors wish for now to hide their identity e.g. recent images coming out of Iran and those trying to oppose and document tyranny everywhere.KTo288 (talk) 13:11, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
As already noted, this law would not allow free use of any orphaned work, only reduce penalties for infringement, so our policies would remain as they are today. If and when a more permissive orphaned works bill is proposed this discussion may become more appropriate. Dcoetzee (talk) 13:36, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Policy is "free (or public domain) in the country of origin and the U.S." If an image was first published in the U.S., then yes that would be the country of origin regardless of the nationality of the author. Disallowing orphan works is not a policy change. We can mention any such law if it ever gets passed -- and really, we can't say anything until the final details of such a law are known. For all we know, it could unexpectedly create a particular circumstance where some of those works could be "free". Doesn't seem likely, but I don't see the need to change anything until a law is passed (or is about to be passed). Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:16, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Considering WP and WC is now almost ubiquitous on the world wide web. Could not the WMF suggest it’s own amendment to the Bill. It could suggest that the WMF could create a separate depository for such orphaned works that a panel ( of say six experienced WP/WC editors) consider worthy of digital preservation for the benefit of future generations. The data base could be considered as an editorial work as it is informing people about great photographs who have mislaid their owners, so like a news paper etc., it need not take notice of copyright when used in this way.
Further: that after a set period of time (say two years and a day) that any image has been on the depository for viewing (at low resolution) without having any claim to ownership submitted, then the penalty for infringement could be quashed on the bases that the work has been abandoned (there is already much precedence for this, such as in marine salvage were goods left unclaimed go to the finder and so on and so forth). Of course, some thought would have to be given as to how to reduce administration of claims to the minimum. This would be important, since I expect most of the initial claims regarding orphaned works would be frivolous. Also, some images, once they are widely available to view might be recognised to be potentially worth a considerable amount in monetary terms. Therefore, it would need a third party to be apointed to consider the evidence and legally re-award ownership to discourage fraud.
The only problem I see, is how to easily assist people who have good title to an image but one which they wish to be withheld from publication after the set time period has expired, can without cost to themselves, submit the necessary evidence. Even claimed images would need to stay on the data base to allow for multiple claims to be submitted.
Some work would have to be done on this idea so that the WMF can protect its non-profit status whilst generating enough donations from the thankful owners and descendants of the original copyright holders to keep the project going. I don’t think royalty collection agencies (or Google, Microsoft etc.,) can ever be trusted to do such an important job of preserving a record of world culture though images. See also: Copyfraud: Poisoning the public domain: How web giants are stealing the future of knowledge By Charles Eicher.--P.g.champion (talk) 15:59, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
If an image was first published in the U.S. while infringing someone's copyright, I think its country of origin remains the author's national country, regardless of what unlawfully happened in the United States. The country of origin of a published work is the country where the first lawful publication occured. What the Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008 is proposing is that full remedy for the infringement cannot be sought, but the unlawful nature of the publication remains (this act calls the infringer an infringer!). A policy on Wikimedia Commons on this matter should decide if an orphaned work is considered here as unlawful until proved otherwise, or the other way round : lawful until proved otherwise. But in any case, if a foreign author comes out and says after publication has begun : "Oh this is my work : I don't allow this", it becomes clear that the work was not a US work, but a foreign one. Not being able to seek full remedy is not the same as allowing. Teofilo (talk) 10:12, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Well sure, if it was an unauthorized publication. It is usually pretty hard (though I'm sure not impossible) for the *first* publication to be unlawful though -- the person publishing it has to get it from somewhere. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:12, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Well theres this case that we have on Commons. I can imagine the case of someone buying a joblot from a house clearance and coming across a trunk of old pictures which have become historically significant with the passage of time.KTo288 (talk) 18:33, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
That would appear to be authorized, which is different. The latter situation, given laws about requiring a signed, explicit copyright transfer, would make the latter more interesting. Although often the simple act of a sale, or even offer to sell, constitutes publishing in the U.S., and would be authorized. The copyright would not necessarily transfer though, meaning further publication by the purchaser may not be legal. Fun situations you can have these days ;-) Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:41, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Downloading all images in a category

Hi. I was wondering if there were a tool with one could easily download all images in a spesific category. Lets say for example Category:Vanessa cardui. Do I need to download all 136 files manually or is there any automatical tool for that job? -- 07:46, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Commons:Tools/Commonist --Foroa (talk) 08:27, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Isn't that an upload rather than download tool? Lycaon (talk) 08:30, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Oeps, being too quick. Thinking too much Commons centric. --Foroa (talk) 11:01, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Why do you want to do that? More specifically, how are you going to make sure that the license informations are kept intact? Remember that the photos here are "free" to use, but only as long as you conform to the terms of the license (proper attribution of authors, ...) Nillerdk (talk) 10:20, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I think it's a pretty good idea to have a tool that fetches static versions of HTML pages and image files for all the images in a (small) category. This would be handy for redistribution. Dcoetzee (talk) 11:02, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Have you consideret at Wget-based tool like Httrack? It works well and is highly configurable. Nillerdk (talk) 11:29, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
In an ideal world where the license information would be reliably inserted into each pitures' metadata, there would be no need to download the html pages. Teofilo (talk) 17:28, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I also think such a tool would be very useful, in the past I could use one like that when removing watermarks from images (like all the images from Category:SPOT satellite images). And I did not had to worry about keeping license information intact. It seems that unless you need the images for redistribution you do not need to worry about licenses. One workaround I found was to:
  1. Use CatScan to get a list of images of interest
  2. Use text editor's global search and replace to write wikicode which showed all images in full resolution
  3. Place wikicode in some temporary space in your userspace and display it
  4. Save resulting page to your PC using save page as
  5. your images should be in the pagename_files directory created while saving html.
If someone has better approach please share --Jarekt (talk) 18:07, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
If you're talking about personal use, then there's no reason to worry about all that license stuff. I'm sure with the right browser extension (DownThemAll for Firefox?) you can do it straight from your browser. wget is more powerful but has a slight learning curve if you're not familiar with the command line tool. But if you're talking about redistributing the images, then you'll need the license/author info as well. Rocket000 (talk) 05:23, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
For redistribution, one idea could be to go to wikibooks, create a book on wikibooks with the selected pictures, and use their "download the whole book as pdf" facility. I am not sure if that tool keeps good records of picture licenses though. But it should. Teofilo (talk) 09:17, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Available picture sizes

Presently our picture description pages provide only two picture sizes :

  • a 600 px (wide or high) preview
  • the original size

Should we not provide the user or reader with intermediate sizes, in cases when the pictures are extra large.

For example, in order to read what is written on File:ETH_Zurich_HIT_Mensa_WoKa.jpg, I need a larger size than the 450*600 px preview. But the 1,536 × 2,048 pixels original size is not needed, and I am afraid to freeze my computer if I open it in a web browser rather than a specific image viewing tool. A 900*1200 preview would be perfect for my need.

Of course I know that I can use [[:File:ETH_Zurich_HIT_Mensa_WoKa.jpg|900px]] on the discussion page and click on the "preview" button. But computer-not-well-litterate people or beginners probably don't know that they can do this.

If you approve this idea, how do you think these links should be provided on the image description page ?

  1. Should it be hard coded in the mediawiki software (thus requiring to report it as a bug on bugzilla)?
  2. Could or Should we ask the mediawiki developers to provide a {{#MAGIC WORD:size in px}} to provide a flexible way to make such links ?
  3. What is the purpose of "/0/09" in this thumb URL ? Is it subject to change ? Will it be /0/10 next year in 2010 ?
  4. Can or should it be implemented by using a template (but adding a template with a bot on every page seems to be not a very good solution)
  5. Can or should it be included in the {{Information}} template ?
  6. Can or should it be included in the javascript ? As an optional gadget ?
  7. Can or should it be included in one of the mediawiki messages which show up on the description page ?
  8. Can or should this be done in a such a way that the links are made accessible directly from Wikipedia ?

You can see all the sizes made available to its users/readers by Flickr on this example. Teofilo (talk) 12:40, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

  • There is already the ChooseResolution gadget. It doesn't seem to work right, though. (Shows me only a link to the full resolution on File:Chicago.jpg.) It might be possible to fix, though. Might also be possible to add an input box where a user could enter the desired width. Lupo 12:53, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
The best Solution would be a Zoom function that is hard coded or an extension of the mediawiki. There would be buttons to save, zoom out/in, original size and a list of zooms like 25%, 50%, 100% and so on. This is certainly one of the Usability problems on Commons. This deserves a bugzilla request or at least a mentioning in something like Commons:Usability or something.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 14:04, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
For yourself you can change the default preview size in My preferences → appearance → Image size limit. Lycaon (talk) 14:22, 14 July 2009 (UTC)^
A reasonably smooth and fast zoom can be done only with server support. There would need a way to tell the server to send only that part of an image in higher resolution that the user actually can see at any given moment. Similar to what Zoomify does. Otherwise, loading at large zoom ratios would be too slow, since we'd need to load the full image. Once such support was in place, it wouldn't be too difficult to do some Javascript zooming. Given the recent problems I doubt we'll get something like that in the near future, but it may be worth putting on the backburner.
Even ChooseResolution would probably be better done on the server side, since it would need to be localizeable. At the very least it'd need some footer that the server included on all image pages, into which we could, via a MediaWiki-message, inject the hidden localized interface texts for the Gadget such that the Gadget could get these texts without having to make an extra call on each image page to the server. (Such a footer was already added to the upload form a while ago for the upload form script, which uses exactly this mechanism.) Lupo 14:43, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Another, probably simpler, compromise would be that, if you click on the picture, that you receive instead of the full size picture, a picture that fits within the resolution of your screen. The traditional zoom would then allow to load the full picture in a second time or automatically in background. This could potentially accelerate the whole reviewing process. --Foroa (talk) 15:10, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
The purpose of ChooseResolution, with text like "Get HTML to include this image on your own website" seems to be providing webmasters some html code (in a popup window ? but it does not pop up on my computer) to enable hard linking of images on outside websites. Perhaps some ideas might be borrowed from that gadget, though. Adding other sizes alongside that full resolution link would be what I was thinking about. Teofilo (talk) 15:21, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Exactly that's what this Gadget should do. But it doesn't. Lupo 15:31, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Could someone who knows what needs doing file a bug/feature request on Bugzilla, just as a backlog or sth. so it's there.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 15:44, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
For reference, the /0/09 part in the thumb URL (also appears in image URLs) has nothing to do with the year 2009. It refers to the first two characters of the MD5 hash of the filename, which will not change ever, unless the filename itself changes (in which case the filename part of the URL changes as well); the characters that can appear in this hash are 0-9 and a-f. --Catrope (talk) 16:02, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
  • For starters, I've rewritten that ChooseResolution gadget to make it work. Lupo 14:53, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
The gadget works much better now, however I was wondering if it could be made to expand on the File page? Like doubling the size of the image on the description page. Something like setting the thumbnail bigger.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 15:09, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Please, no. Dynamically changing the preview size would completely break the soon-to-be-released ImageAnnotator. If you want larger previews in general, change the size in your preferences. Lupo 15:30, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Didn't something like this show up with SVG files recently? For a while, there were a few links under the image giving you the ability to look at different sizes. I presume that was a Wikimedia software change; maybe that could be done with large bitmap files too. Of course it seems that has been turned off (along with thumbnails of old versions in the history), I'm guessing to ease the load on servers at the moment. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:07, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
    It's still there for me on SVG images. See e.g. File:Blason ville si Ljubljana (Slovénie).svg. Lupo 15:38, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
    It is showing for me again as well. I checked 2-3 SVGs before I posted but did not see it; now it is showing up on the same SVGs I checked before. Heh. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:22, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

want to delete file i uploaded in 2006

hello admins, i would like to delete a file i uploaded in 06. i dont remember the account details i signed up with when i uploaded it. my email is in the pdf: (removed). how can i get this file deleted please? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs)

A quick famous word search engine query for your email address (now removed), brings up Wikibooks:File:Document15.pdf, which was released into the public domain. First off, this is on Wikibooks, so you'll have to go to Wikibooks:Wikibooks:Reading room/Assistance for help. However, as it was released into the public domain, it's not really your file anymore. Maybe they'll delete it, I don't know. -mattbuck (Talk) 23:49, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
We've already offered to help. We need a version of the file without the email. I'm not sure how to edit PDF files, so if you do, please consider helping out with this. Thanks.  — Mike.lifeguard 02:07, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
I can edit it, but have no upload rights on Wikibooks. (Nor have I logged in until just now.) Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:00, 15 July 2009 (UTC) ¦ Reisio (talk) 05:04, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

July 15

Bell gables and Church towers

Hello, I have difficulties in classifying photos into the following categories, and vocabulary: Category:Bell gables and Category:Church towers and Category:Bell towers. What are the differences ? Is there any redondancy in those names ? If these 3 categories are necessary, which one should be included in the other one ? Thanks, Jack ma (talk) 12:17, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

It would be great to get that clarified! It might be worth to have a look here as well: Category:Wooden bell towers by country. Nillerdk (talk) 12:38, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
As a layman, I feel that while bell towers are often church towers, it is not always the case, and certainly not all church towers are bell towers. No idea about bell gables. -mattbuck (Talk) 13:13, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
AFAIK bell gables are on normal houses, not churches. -- Cecil (talk) 13:33, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
It's a en:Gable with a place for a bell. So it simply is not a tower at all, but probably could also be added to a church. -- Cecil (talk) 13:36, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Can't upload files (sort-of)

This morning, I've been trying to upload some pictures to Commons, but almost without fail I get an error message — for example:

(perhaps aRequest: POST, from via (squid/2.7.STABLE6) to (

Error: ERR_READ_TIMEOUT, errno [No Error] at Wed, 15 Jul 2009 13:47:13 GMT

I've been able to upload File:Bickham Covered Bridge three-quarters.jpg, File:Bickham Covered Bridge interior northward.jpg, and File:Perry Township building in East Liberty.jpg, but none of them have displayed properly. Moreover, I've never gotten anything except error messages when I attempt to upload the bridge pictures (including four that haven't uploaded yet), so I can't figure out how either of them is on here at all. Should I just wait and let the servers figure out what they're doing? Nyttend (talk) 14:01, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Likely the same problem as detailed here and as in the announcement box at the head of this page. Go out, enjoy the sun, if available ;-) --Túrelio (talk) 14:11, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

templated calls for help

As {{Help}} and {{Helpme}} are a feature of en:wp we have a regular, but very small, stream of users calling for help via these templates (Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Help, Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Helpme). It only seems polite to give some response rather than just ignoring these calls for help. It is not a hugh number so a simple mechanism to catch these calls would seem appropriate. If there is a bunch of people willing to monitor a category then it is trivial to throw these requests into a category that people can monitor, presumably the responder can remove the entries once addressed. Otherwise we could just have these templates direct people to the helpdesk, which might suffice, but I see quite a few requests just left on an image to request someone fix something so probably they wouldn't follow up at helpdesk. Thoughts? --Tony Wills (talk) 10:24, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

The {{Help}} template has some drawbacks relative to the Help desk:
  • It's harder for helpers to see the new help requests.
  • It's harder for helpers to check the work of other helpers, learn from each other, and (if necessary) correct errors. Some problems are difficult (e.g., copyright law) and benefit from collaboration of several helpers.
  • The resulting help does not accumulate into a searchable archive.
  • Depending on where the help template appears, the helper may not have a convenient way to explain his or her actions.
Maybe help templates work better on the English Wikipedia because the community of helpers is large enough to produce some volunteers who are willing to do the extra work to provide help this way. If Commons does not have enough volunteers like that, then users who need help will have to ask on the Help desk. Maybe someone could program a bot to leave a message on the talk page of a user whose template help request has gone unanswered for a day, directing that user to ask on the Help desk. --Teratornis (talk) 20:30, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
I might add that we're lucky the Help desk is reasonably well-attended now. When I first started looking at it late last year, I noticed a number of questions languished for days with no answers, and so I tried to answer them, even though I didn't know what I was doing. The Help desk might have been in a temporary lull at the time. Commons may be a bit thin on helpers generally, so I wouldn't hold strong hopes that we will have a pool of volunteers who would go farther out of their way to provide help. The Help desk is about as easy for the helpers as any help tool we have. --Teratornis (talk) 20:37, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
I am not advocating the use of those templates, so whether they are a good idea or not doesn't matter. But it is unreasonable to ignore them when they are used. My preference would be to have the templates copy the message automatically to the helpdesk, but that is not easy as the request is not within the template but following it (a few other wikis seem to have a variation where the message is actually within the template). --Tony Wills (talk) 22:01, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't know of a way for a template itself to edit another page, but a bot program could find all the outstanding help templates and (maybe) copy text from them to the Help desk. I'm not sure how coherent the resulting messages would be for people who are only reading the Help desk, since the user who tried to use the template was probably thinking in terms of the page he or she could see at the time, and might not have described the problem in a very stand-alone way. As far as what is reasonable, Commons is a volunteer project, so it is reasonable to expect other Commons users to do whatever they feel like doing. If someone wants to hunt down instances of help request templates and provide help, that's great. If nobody wants to do that, then it might be nice to at least warn the hapless help-seeker that using such a template (or attempting to use a non-existing one) has a low probability of eliciting useful help. The simplest stopgap would be to add text to {{Help}} (and {{Helpme}}, which doesn't actually exist here, but some users are still trying to use it) which advises the user to try asking on the Help desk. --Teratornis (talk) 21:03, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
I normally respond to a few {{Helpme}} templates on enwiki every week. There are many people who watch the category that this template fills, w:Category:Wikipedians looking for help, and there is a bot on the #wikipedia-en-help IRC channel that alerts users that people are looking for help. I just wanted to explain how those templates work. That being said, I don't know how well that would work here, just because the amount of active editors on this project isn't anywhere near enwiki. Well, I guess what you define "active" as, is debatable, but you get my point. Killiondude (talk) 08:02, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Identified problems on Commons

We have many bugs and feature requests that are pending work by dedicated programmers. I hope the 300,000$ Ford Grant Usability would address the already known issues such as renaming, multiple files uploading, direct URL uploading, Subcategories numbers, Tiff preview, 3D upload, Multilingual search...--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 00:39, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

One vital issue I don't think we've worked out effectively is a technical way of naming files that is compatible with our multilingual mission. Imagine the usability frustration that a Russian user, with no knowledge of English, goes through whenever they encounter images from Commons in articles (which is almost all of them) - they cannot determine the content from the name, forcing them to conceptually align the rendered content with the wikitext. Ideally, the way I imagine this working is that each file should be able to bear a list of names, and all are shown on its image description page, with primacy given to the language setting of the user viewing it. Any of these names would work on any wiki, which allows (for example) the English name to be used as a stand-in until a speaker of the language gets around to translating it. Dcoetzee (talk) 01:24, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Having File redirects work would solve this problem. Pruneautalk 16:49, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't think so, to be honest. With file redirects, only one title is presented on the image page itself, which makes translated titles difficult to discover, among other difficulties. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:33, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Let us ask the NPG to Back Off

It may be unclear what the the legal status of the legal threats by the NPG against Wikipedia and the user who uploaded the images, but we can all ask the NPG to reconsider its policy in this and future cases and make our voice heard. I have created a page with some articles on the issue, and a form letter that might be used in contacting them:

NPG vs Wikipedia

I have also been tweeting about this issue with the hashtag: #npgvswikipedia

K. M. Lawson

I think it is a bit too early to do anything like this, even if that is the thing to do, which is quite far to be proven. Yann (talk) 15:32, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Just popping in from Wikipedia; I've been following the NPG issue, and I think bombarding them with messages to back off may be counter-productive, as even amongst heads of a respected organization human nature kicks in many times when faced with threats to back off by responding with a greater determination to carry on. I do not believe the time has come for members of the community to post forceful messages to the NPG, as developments of this case are still in their infancy and I believe a settlement is still possible, whilst bringing the situation to a new level by sending lots of complaints could make the chance for an amicable agreement much smaller. Just my thoughts. Otumba (talk) 00:01, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Spam filter

I ran foul of the spam filter when nominating File:JinSha.jpg for speedy, as being from here http// as it was I was able to provide another source for the copyvio, but if I hadn't how was I supposed to show the source of the image.KTo288 (talk) 09:11, 16 July 2009 (UTC)And its just happened again, can't I even mention the site without tripping the spam filter.

Obviously you can mention the domain, as you just did. What you can't do is link to it. That site has been widely spammed and is generally unsuitable for linking. You can always use nowiki or leave off http:// so it's not a link.  — Mike.lifeguard 17:08, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Impossible to modify

Hello, Please could you have a look at File:Via Podiensis, église lozérienne.jpg : impossible to modify it (changing category Category:Campenards in France to Category:Bell gables in France). I get a "Reading error, connection reset by peer". Thanks, Jack ma (talk) 15:24, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

✓ Done (w/o hotcat though). -- User:Docu at 15:31, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks ! (too quick ;-) Jack ma (talk) 15:33, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Uploads temporarily disabled while we fix server

Uploading is temporarily disabled while we apply patches to the file server which should help resolve our ongoing performance problems... (on tech blog) --brion (talk) 19:46, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

And we're done! --brion (talk) 21:22, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
29 of the 48 thumbnails on this 13 July Special:Newfiles page (60%) are still not displaying on my computer (I use Firefox and pressed Ctrl+shift+R to reload the cache, though). Teofilo (talk) 06:58, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
In exchange, Toolserver is down today. --Túrelio (talk) 08:08, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Upload is still not working correctly: interface has changed and uploads are very slow and faulty prone; what's up guys? When we can have back our old commons? --Fpiraneo (talk) 16:19, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Toolserver is back and running. --Túrelio (talk) 20:48, 16 July 2009 (UTC)


a wheelhouse, using 181 px

It seems the server problems are fixed, right? I am still having problems with a picture I uploaded, which seems to have a corrupt thumbnail. Purging did not help. The thumbnail is here, used at de:Kilpheder. Thanks for any help. -- Momotaro (talk) 13:55, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

I have seen similar problems, talked about it here, and not seen much improvement since 13 July 2009. Teofilo (talk) 14:40, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
In your case, only the 180px size seems to be broken down. So you can solve the problem by using 181px, for example. Teofilo (talk) 21:00, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Definitely not all fixed yet. - Jmabel ! talk 02:25, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Teofilo, for fixing the thumbnail on de-wp. Fixed picture sizes usually do not have a long life there, but as I read somewhere on this page, thumbnails “should work again in a few days”. -- Momotaro (talk) 10:18, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Image without preview

Hi all; this afternoon I uploaded the file "File:Dogana CH Oria Valsolda - Gandria (Versante CH).jpg" but for a technical problem on server (the upload seem to be aborted) the previews was not correctly created leading to show a file without 800 pixel wide image; how can I fix this? I have do upload the file again?--Fpiraneo (talk) 19:41, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

In the past, uploading a file again with the same name and reverting a number of times between the two uploads could do miracles. It could be a good idea to have a try. Teofilo (talk) 20:53, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Scaling servers are currently a bit unstable. Thumbnails might be a bit screwed up. Just wait a few days and check again. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 21:07, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi-Res photo of moth filed under Birds

The Hummingbird Hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum), an insect, is listed in "Commons:Quality images/Subject/Animals/Birds". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 03:22, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

That's ok. --High Contrast (talk) 07:11, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
That's of course not OK but now ✓ fixed. Lycaon (talk) 09:31, 17 July 2009 (UTC)


Based on an earlier discussion at the administrators' noticeboard, I'd like to return {{Cc-by-sa-all}} (which is currently a redirect to {{Cc-by-sa-3.0,2.5,2.0,1.0}}) back to something like its original state, which said that files tagged with it could also be used under "all future versions [of CC-BY-SA] issued by the Creative Commons". However, as doing so would unfortunately require a rather massive bot run in order to first retag all the 124,000 or so files currently using the template, I'd like to ask if anyone has any objections before starting such a project.

I've started a centralized discussion at Commons talk:Copyright tags#Template:Cc-by-sa-all. Please comment there. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 12:53, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Google Image Search now allows searching for freely licensed images

According to The Google Blog, Google Image Search now has provisions for searching specifically for freely licensed content, such as images licensed with Creative Commons and GFDL licenses. It appears to correctly pick up Commons license tags. =) Powers (talk) 23:38, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

When I tried to use this a few months ago, all the pictures I found were either from... Commons, or from Flickr, so that I thought it was more convenient to search for pictures directly on Flickr. But I would be interested to know if we can find free pictures on the Picasa photo albums. Teofilo (talk) 09:00, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Their page on it implies it should, as it shows a picasaweb image as an example, but I was not able to make it work on * when I tried yesterday. Pretty much just Flickr and Wikimedia results. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:47, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I think I found the solution, by using "" : for example here are all free white tigers on Picasa. One can also make a search on all websites except Wikimedia Commons, using " ", like this. Now what we need is a Picasa check bot, similar to the Flickr check bot, to keep some sort of reliable record that the file was licensed under the specified license at the time of the upload on Commons, in case the Picasa uploader would delete his picture or change the license in a more restrictive way in the future. Teofilo (talk) 07:27, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Some basic sanity checking won't hurt either. Several of those supposedly CC-BY-3.0 white tiger images in the search linked above above turns out to have been snagged from a royalty free, but all rights reserved image site... --Sherool (talk) 11:52, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

July 11

Update on National Portrait Gallery representation

Hi all, just wanted to inform you that as noted at User:Dcoetzee/NPG_legal_threat, I have secured representation for my legal conflict with the National Portrait Gallery. I will be represented pro bono by Fred von Lohmann, a senior intellectual property attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation. This eliminates the threat that I may be unable to defend myself due to a lack of resources, and I am very grateful for EFF's assistance. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:19, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

That is a good news. --Jarekt (talk) 04:14, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
How are the WMF helping you out? -- Matt
They helped me to get in touch with the EFF, and issued a supportive public statement. Other than that, they seem to be staying out of the way. Dcoetzee (talk) 15:08, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm surprised that WMF is so passive. After all, you have just been following policy in using {{PD-Art}}, right? I think it is bad that they don't back you up following policy or back you up and consider policy change.
I'm sure we have the same "problem" in Denmark - here, reproductions are protected as photographic pictures for 50 years no matter how little originality was involved, but I have committed the same "crime" as you in several cases - however according to WMF policy. Nillerdk (talk) 15:44, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
WMF is acting quite irresponsibly in encouraging DCoetzee to take a fight with the NPG. A private person can not afford to loose such a lawsuit. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 20:10, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
It may be that all this is a well-thought legal strategy on behalf of WMF. So, may be we should hold our feelings and shouldn't criticize WMF too much for the moment. Of course, if Dcoetzee is drawn into court and looses, then WMF will have a very big problem from within (from us) and PD-Art will be 100% dead. --Túrelio (talk) 20:53, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I have to say, I can't think of a well thought out legal strategy which would depend on not publicly standing with DCoetzee. I don't agree with the uploading of the images, but I really thought that WMF would have come fully behind DCoetzee by now. As it is, there's not even a statement on the press area: -- Matt.
If DCoetzee looses (or wins most but not all), it will be DCoetzee who has the greatest problem. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 22:52, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Dcoetzee you are famous, see BBC News --Jarekt (talk) 16:12, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
For a while there the BBC called me David Coetzee (the mutant offspring of David Gerard and me?) but I believe they've fixed it. :-) Dcoetzee (talk) 15:06, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Improve moves to Commons?

Hi everyone, do you think importing the history of a file when you transfer a file from Wikipedia to Commons improves the result?

  1. Bot imports history from Wikipedia to Commons
  2. Bot uploads the actual file (only latest version)
  3. Bot uses Commonshelper to generate the new contents of the page.

First example at File:Kenley Station.JPG. Multichill (talk) 21:19, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

I think we certainly need to retain the history, but I'm not sure of the implications of importing the history to commons - it now looks as though the image was uploaded to commons in 2007 by a commons user called Nse1986 (It is in Nse1986's upload history here). So we now have a very misleading upload history which is rather more difficult to untangle if anything goes wrong or questions arise later.
I don't think the benefits of having a tidy history here outweigh the potential complications of muddying the history. I think it is quite sufficient, and more appropriate, to just copy that information to the image page in a suitable history table. I think that it would also be an improvement if the bot could upload at least the original revision of a file as well as the current revision (uploading all revisions would be nice, but probably excessive). --Tony Wills (talk) 21:48, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Creating bogus user names on Commons is a problem. But it could be solved if instead of crediting a version to "user:Nse1986" we credited it to "user:en.wikipedia.user.Nse1986". Teofilo (talk) 21:58, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Hm, that is interesting. I'm also queasy about creating fakish history entries for users who never actually contributed to Commons -- and what happens if there are username collisions who aren't the same user? However it is very helpful to be able to see what the Wikipedia edits actually were, and there is often information in the edit comments which doesn't get mentioned in the actual page content. It is a big step up from seeing "transferred from Wikipedia" as a source, and not seeing what the original source information actually was. So... I share the username concerns but otherwise I like it. It would also be helpful if the talk page contents (or even history) was imported as well, especially if the history could be made obvious that is from en-wiki (or whatever project) the image came from. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:52, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Carl Lindberg that this is great improvement over current state, despite possible confusion due to usernames. May be we can mark the wikipedia text somehow - put a box around it or use different color for letters? I never liked history tables - they are ugly, add clutter and I get yelled at each time my bot do changes to history section (usually adding localization templates). --Jarekt (talk) 13:30, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Fix the bot ;-) --Tony Wills (talk) 23:38, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

July 17

Image upload issues

I am aware that the Commons is experiencing some problems, but I am in need of some clarification. Many of the images I uploaded yesterday (using Commonist) have still not shown up yet. Some images have turned up, but they do not have a description page. Anyway, when I add the description page to these files, and then upload a new (cropped) version of that particular file, the original seems to be permanently overwritten (i.e. no file history). For an example of what I mean, please see: File:2000-2001_Holden_VX_Berlina_sedan_03.jpg. OSX (talkcontributions) 06:51, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

The ongoing server problems and especially the near-to-zero communication from the "server guys" to the community, especially to Commons, is a real mess and needs to be improved thoroughly. Neither users nor admins are proactively informed about the problems, except in 1 instance on wednesday. This has led to frustration and a huge amount of lost productivity, for users who repeatedly try to uploads files (because thumbs are not showing up, thereby suggesting an ill-gone upload) as well as or for admins who can't clear the dupe-backlog because the Toolserver is not running (but you only know it after waiting for minutes for a reply, because there is no information about) or for answering question a user bewildered about the problems[8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13]. --Túrelio (talk) 07:16, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for your reply! I would like to ask a favour though. Could the following images please be deleted, so they can be re-uploaded? I am only asking because they have not turned out the way I would like (they will definitely be re-uploaded):

Cheers. OSX (talkcontributions) 09:25, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Files that haven't turned out can be overwritten later. I'm checking for corrupt files and only deleting those (first one e.g.). Rgards. Lycaon (talk) 09:36, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that would spare you writing again the image descriptions, if you haven't saved them on you computer. --Túrelio (talk) 09:50, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
It does not bother me that I have to re-write description pages. I would rather start fresh that is all. OSX (talkcontributions) 01:55, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Never mind. OSX (talkcontributions) 17:32, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Requesting review of User:Mizunoryu's uploads

I'm familiar with Commons:Image_casebook#Trademarks and accept that typographic logos have been ruled too simple to copyright. But I've just come across File:Sonic Team logo.png, which I have tagged with speedy, which depicts w:Sonic the Hedgehog. There's no way in hell his image constitutes a typographic logo, and I believe other images this user has uploaded are not simple enough to fall under the simplicity exemption. For example, File:Sony Computer Entertainment logo.png, File:Nintendo Gamecube logo 2.png and File:Super Nintendo logo.png. - 16:35, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

I've gone back to late june and nominated a load for deletion. A lot are fine, some are borderline, some clear violations. -mattbuck (Talk) 17:11, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

So you should read other laws pages. Not only typograpic logos are accpetd but the simple shaped ones. That's why we have {{PD-shape}}. You said right! Thare'sno way in the hell File:Sonic Team logo.png constitutes a typographic logo because it consists of a shape too. It's just a sphere with some parts deleted asesmbling Sonic's face. Many other of them I even put what font I used sou you can prove like File:Resident evil series logo.png and File:Silent Hill series logo.png. Some of them I agree with the deletion like File:Sega Saturn logo.png, File:Korea Media Rating Board logo.png that I wouldt put to speedy delete as I already made with some of them. But other are way too simple and I think is raher ridiculous a DR for them like File:Ignition entertainment logo.png and File:Zeebo sphere logo.png. What are you just trying to do? Harras me off here? Mizunoryu 大熊猫❤小熊猫 (talk) 19:11, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

BTW, I'd like to know why Jean-Frédéric needed to post this unlogged. Mizunoryu 大熊猫❤小熊猫 (talk) 03:24, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Do some due diligence, not everyone is out to get you, but when you upload an image of Sonic the Hedgehog and try to claim he doesn't meet the standard of originality for copyright protection, I doubt Jean Frederic is the only one to disagree. - 12:11, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Copyright paranoia

Some discussions today finally prompted me to write a few lines about my thoughts on this term, which has been bugging me for quite some time. I suspect some Commons participants might have an opinion on the matter. LX (talk, contribs) 22:45, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

July 18

Village pump archive pages

Do we really need the archiving pages to be that long ? Whenever I want to read something on a page like Commons:Village_pump/Archive/2009May, my computer nearly freezes during 2 or 3 minutes before I can start to actually read anything, because the page is too big and too difficult to load.

"2009May" is not a very good naming, because most people would not know that they need to use this sort of keyword when they make a search with a search engine.

So what I suggest is to create daily archiving pages :


and to generate bigger pages for the people who like big pages by transcluding them :



and the people who want to read the whole monthy archive could go to


But basically, when people make a google search with some keywords, they would be able to load only the daily archive containing the topic they are looking for, without needing to load the whole month.

Teofilo (talk) 09:39, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Not even a hickup when I open the archives here. Must be your computer. Please keep the current simple system. Multichill (talk) 16:16, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for this very constructive answer. Teofilo (talk) 18:13, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Subdivision of Man made structures in QI


I made some suggestions one and half month ago here: Commons talk:Quality images#Subdivision of Man made structures. Could you add your input? Thanks, Yann (talk) 10:37, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Error message

Why can't I upload any files? All I get are error messages, though clearly the system isn't down, I'm able to post here. V85 (talk) 16:21, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

It seems like Wikimedia experiences some problems. And to vent my anger: Commons is terrible slow the last weeks! It almost takes minutes to have Special:NewFiles shown up completly. All other imagepages are also extremly slow with thumbnailing and pages - even without images - are extremly slow with saving edits. At the moment it needs persistence to work here. --Martin H. (talk) 16:34, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm having problems with images I recently uploaded:
just don't appear (either here or in Wikipedia). -- Aldaron (talk) 16:48, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Same problem here with File:20061223-AgAnargyroi-Kirow-KRC800.jpg, image does not show up. Sv1xv (talk) 16:49, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
It should be back to normal now. I believe the cache system wasn't working properly because I got a system error message and prompt me to contact "nobody", lol. OhanaUnitedTalk page 19:59, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Possibly related to this? Lupo 22:55, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

There are similar problems with deleting files. Bad time for admin work now. --Túrelio (talk) 23:00, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Could it possibly be related that I cannot upload images through the Move-to-Commons assistant? I keep getting Errors saying my TUSC password was wrong, when I'm 100% sure it is correct and worked just a few days ago. --PaterMcFly (talk) 11:03, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Wellit could be my connection, but of late working with large categories those with 200 per page such as images needing categories, the thumbnails have been painfully slow to load.KTo288 (talk) 12:40, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm also seeing a problem today. I don't know if it is the same problem as being discussed here, but it seems likely that it may be related. I've uploaded six images today. Four of them are fine, but these two do not display the image in their respective "File:" pages:- File:Benkid77 Duke Street Bridge 120709.JPG File:Benkid77 West Float dock 1 120709.JPG. The "full resolution" versions show up fine and the thumbnails in the Categories also show up fine. The metadata is also fine. So I know they have uploaded OK. They just won't show up on the actual image pages for me at the moment, no matter which browser I try. I'm just getting a long delay, followed by a broken image icon. Will check again tomorrow. Benkid77 (talk) 20:04, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

OK, at least the first image of the two I mentioned has now appeared on its page. The second one is still no-show. But it appears the issue may be intermittent. Benkid77 (talk) 20:22, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Some images I uploaded yesterday still remain unrenderable. I got the error of "Unable to forward this request at this time. " OhanaUnitedTalk page 23:45, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Upload is still not possible or only very rarely succesful. As alwys, the whole thing started while I was uploading a bunch of images by Commonist... :-( It's new, however, that obviously no solution has been found after two days, and the error messages are still not useful. This is totally user-unfriendly. Shouldn't we at least give some information in the site notice? --AndreasPraefcke (talk) 08:36, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

At least my problem has magically dissappeared. The Move-to-Commons Assistant seems to work again. --PaterMcFly (talk) 19:10, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
The second file I mentioned above still isn't showing up on its image page and a day has now elapsed since uploading. All of my other images seem OK now. At some point, I'll simply re-upload the broken file under a different name and then slap a "bad name" tag on the original so it gets deleted. Although, I don't understand why the image didn't show up on the "File:" page because the "full resolution" version shows up fine when clicked on and also the category thumbnail shows up fine too. Benkid77 (talk) 22:00, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
No need for me to replace any uploaded files now. All the ones I uploaded are now showing up as they should. So, whatever the problem was (in my case at least) it is apparently fixed now. Benkid77 (talk) 17:05, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Problems have been little yesterday and are pretty tough right now (according to my own upload experience). However, since there's now the site notice with the link to the tech blog, all users can at least see why. Thanks for that! --AndreasPraefcke (talk) 19:25, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

I uploaded a picture a few days ago, during these server problems, and it's still not showing up as a thumbnail anywhere. The full resolution version works just fine, and the description is there as well, but the thumbnail is just a blank box. Can anyone fix this for me? Or will it start working automatically sometime? The file in question is this one: File:Karolinermonumentet.jpg. Thanks in advance. Petey21 (talk) 12:42, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

July 12

New special userright


I have been thinking about things how we can make Commons a better place and make it more easy for all of us. One thing a lot of people are complaining about is that we have a lot of backlogs, this idea could make some backlogs go away.

I think it should be a good idea to be able to give users are right to edits protected pages, this could be a permanent or a temp right. The right could be given to users on the same way as we handle rollback, and could be revoked when it isn't used like the rules say.

I think this right could only be used for maintenance, and should not be used in edits that could lead to a discussion. I have a few reasons why I think it could help us.

  • We have a bot running for admin, and another is already admin so the can edit protected pages. Bot's could get this userright permanent and the would not need to run a rfa.
  • There are a lot of language here on Commons, and we need a lot of translations on templates, translations can be done without the need to edit a protected page, but placing it in the /lang page does need a admin now. People translating a lot can have this right so we need to skip the the extra work that needs to be done because a translator doesn't need a admin anymore.
  • Trusted users could help the admins with adding people to checkpages like the page for the mediamovebot (pretty backlogged most of the time) or for the auto wikibrowser check page.
  • Users that are active with categories could use siebot to move categories.

I believe RFA is a big step for a lot of users while the don't really need all the adminbuttons, and this will make the work more easy for admins because the can focus on the other backlogs.

I would like to hear some opinions, and with enough support we can develop a policy and file a bug. Huib talk 13:28, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I think will be good idea just to grant this right to trusted users. Otherwise we'll end up with too much rights and groups. --EugeneZelenko (talk) 14:47, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
And trusted bots :-) --Eusebius (talk) 14:57, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I prefer to give it as a grant it permanent to users that want to have it, just like we do with Rollback. But temporary use could be for less trusted users cleaning cats orso, If the only need it for a few days it could be revoked very easy. Huib talk 15:59, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
No, trusted users should simply request adminship. We need more admins anyways; no need to graduate the permissions on the way to adminship unnecessarily. I don't see that there's a need for this which having the same group of people request adminship instead wouldn't solve.  — Mike.lifeguard 15:58, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
"Simply requesting adminship" is not so easy if other admins do not vote (one way or another) for the nominees, like in my case Commons:Requests and votes/Jarekt. So I like Huib proposal. --Jarekt (talk) 18:15, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Input on RFAs isn't limited to current admins, and ambivalence is a valid response to an RFA. Is there a rash of RFAs that haven't passed simply due to low turnout?  — Mike.lifeguard 18:31, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Usually RFAs received some 12+ votes, not as many as RFAs on en-wiki perhaps, but enough to be accepted. Sv1xv (talk) 03:53, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
I am surprised to see that an RfA failed simply because not enough people went to !vote OhanaUnitedTalk page 05:19, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
It's very very rare to see a RfA of an active and established user (like Jarekt) get so little attention (I'm surprised myself; this is the first time I even saw it). Usually, when that happens it's obvious that the candidate has no chance of passing and saying nothing is a little nicer than piling on the opposes. Rocket000 (talk) 09:32, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Reply to Mike, mostly: I think that many trusted users could benefit from that (because they need to update templates, or to issue commands to bots), and it seems really independent from their possible will to become admins. Making them admins, if they don't really want to do admin tasks, will only artificially increase the number of admins (which is already too high if compared to actual admin activity, I think) and possibly make them lose their new rights after a while if they only edit protected pages (which is not logged as an admin action). I really think it would be sensible to allow trusted user to edit protected pages. --Eusebius (talk) 09:18, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

This feature would benefit many like me who are very limited in what they can do because of the protected pages like translating pages or moving categories via commons delinker which adds again and again an unnecessary step of getting approved by an admin. This would help in the Fotothek categorization and many other such mass categorizations like of the NYPL upload. This could also help in the future renaming tool.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 18:37, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I Symbol keep vote.svg agree. Most of minor tasks need administrators' attention. It can be very tedious.--Kwj2772 (msg) 03:54, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Long texts on category pages

I've found out people are placing long Wikipedia-style texts on category pages. This is a bad thing to do. Why:

  • The categories are polluted by non-multimedia content. A category is about the category content. There are interwiki links to related Wikipedia articles, that will almost always be more up to date.
  • When people arrive from Wikipedia (or any other Wikimedia project) on a category page, people have to scroll to far down the page to see the actual category. Most of the time people want to see more images of a subject. Even without the long, so called "descriptions" they first have to scroll down to see them most of the times (because of the sub-categories).
  • You can put English, German or French, but who are we to deny people putting a bunch of other languages in there - making the problem even worse.

So please don't put descriptions over there or only one short line as a maximum. Thanks in advance, --.....jeroencommons..... 00:36, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree with you that long descriptions are worthless but short ones (~1 line per language) are very useful to give people a clue what the category is about. --Apalsola tc 08:45, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps you would be interested in reading Commons:Village pump/Archive/2009May#Automated additions to files. about some ship categories. Teofilo (talk) 09:03, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
    • Actually a link to multiple languages on the top op the page to the related Wikipedia article should be enough. Commons is not Wikipedia. Anyhow, thanks for the #mw-subcategories tip. I will implement this on the Dutch Wikipedia. --.....jeroencommons..... 13:38, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
    • I tried to use #mw-subcategories, but this unusable for two reasons:
      1. If there are no subcategories it doesn't work. I can link to #mw-category-media, but that gives of course problems when there "are" subcategories. OK it's better than nothing, but...
      2. On non-English Wikipedia's we use e.g. ?uselang=nl. Somehow this doesn't work when you put #mw-subcategories or #mw-category-media between the category name and ?uselang=nl. #mw-subcategories or #mw-category-media will be ignored, making it unusable.
    • The only option I can think off is to make sure that after an description there is an ID (e.g. #category-content), but that is hard to implement. So still it would be better to keep the description as short as possible or completely remove it. --.....jeroencommons..... 14:44, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
      • For point 2 you have to make sure your template puts #mw-category-media after uselang=nl. See for example sv:Template:Commons, which can be used like {{commons|Category:Sweden#mw-category-media}} (although that is not what the template is intended for, it is intended to make it possible to link to subheadings of gallery pages). I agree that category descriptions should be kept as short as possible, and links to Wikipedias can be used for more complete descriptions of the category subject. /Ö 15:06, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
        • Yes, I tried to put the uselang=nl also, but the second time it didn't work. I tried it again in another browser profile and it works. So that is solved. --.....jeroencommons..... 20:24, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Some categories (which have lots of translations) are unavoidably going to have a lot of text. The thing to avoid is long article-length text, but short descriptions are good. I think you can link to #mw-category-media... works for me, at least in Safari. Maybe that anchor could be used in the commons-link templates from the various projects. Does the TOC keyword work on categories to produce a link to the media or subcategories? If not, maybe we could create one, similar to {{Skip to talk}}, for use at the top of category pages which may have a lot of text. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:10, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
    • Well, sometime you need #mw-category-media and sometimes #mw-subcategories. I guess categories with descriptions will also have sub-categories most of the time, so I'm going to use #mw-subcategories, although I rather prefer a real working solution. The 'Skip to talk' like solution is a good idea, but it only works if every category with a description will use this. --.....jeroencommons..... 20:24, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I am not in favour of this adding to the templates. The top-section of a categorypage is to make clear which subject it is about, including the title. This is al missed by the users by adding this. So far I see no supoort/source for your claim "Most of the time people want to see more images of a subject." Romaine (talk) 21:58, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
    • When people come from Wikipedia, they already know about the subject, because they come from the relevant Wikipedia article. It is saying: "More images related to this subject can be found in the category .... of Wikimedia Commons" So people expect images (or multimedia), not summaries in other languages or other for the reader not useful stuff. Other people will visit the page from Commons and will see the top-section. --.....jeroencommons..... 22:23, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
  • It is a pity that the parent categories are written at the bottom of the page, because very often, parent categories convey information on the meaning of a given category. For example, many people probably ignore what a haplogroup is, but if you look at the parent categories of Category:Haplogroups, you'll know that it has something to do with human genes. Also it is a pity that although we have a tool to go quickly down from the trunk to the leaves of the category tree, we have nothing comparable to climb up. To explore the grand-parent categories of a given subcategory, you have to load the parent category (although you can find the grand-children of a category quite easily by using the [+] link near the subcategory names). Teofilo (talk) 22:38, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
    • It would be useful indeed to have parent categories on top of the category display as this is determinating for understanding of the context. A [-] on categories should be useful to go higher up.
    • Commons is serving about 200 languages and still growing, so each category documentation technique must take that into account including loading time.
    • For 30 % of the categories, the links to the wikipedias are not sufficient, but needs a further explanation, such as the (wrong) category:streams or category:Rectories. --Foroa (talk) 22:52, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
      • Moving the parent category links further up would be very useful, also for image pages. "Cologne Blue" lists the parent categories on the top right corner, but I'm not sure if it's still kept up to date otherwise. The script it uses is probably too small as well, at least when using "HotCat". -- User:Docu at 07:25, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Deletion of Italian CoA - follow up

There was an old deletion request for +2.000 images and the result was "delete" but only a few was deleted. So I reopened the request to get a final desicion. I left a note here because the deletion request goes for 2,605 images. See Commons:Deletion requests/Italian CoA and leave a vote or a comment. --MGA73 (talk) 10:04, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

I think the should be deleted because the closure result was delete, I can start with it when I get home.. But we could keep it open for 24 hours or so that people can respond. Huib talk 10:37, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
No please don't rush this. I'll tag the images with a deletion template. Could you guys please inform some local wiki's of the deletion request? Deletion of these files is going to have a big impact. Multichill (talk) 10:49, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
I've just allerted de: de:WP:FzW#Demnächst wieder Wappen-Löschungen auf commons. --Hk kng (talk) 18:10, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that. We are now aware of the deletion request, and plan on transferring the images in question over to the deWP. Please give us a few days for that.... --Guandalug (talk) 21:32, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Nice that we are at least informed this time... Chaddy (talk) 21:51, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Some proposals

i) Deletion requests currently, have two options - Keep or delete. Given that some images may be transfers from local projects. I would like to propose a third option 'Bounce', this option means that an image that isn't OK on Commons get's reinstated at the original 'local' project, with a notification to the original uploaders, so that it can be re-assessed under a 'local' projects policy rather than Commons.

ii) Amend the information template (and Commons Helper) so that the 'transfer' information for bot moves (i.e who moved it to commons) is in a separate field that can be suppressed (in display terms) once the image passes a review.

iii) Better back communication to local projects and original uploaders when an image that was moved to Commons runs into difficulty. I've created two templates over on enwiki to assist with the reviewing I am doing of mine own transfers. If interested I'll link people to them.

I've heard comments from people on enwiki that an image can get moved, and once it's on Commons they don't get feedback about it anymore.

iv) Amend Deletion Request process so requests are 'screened', so that unfounded/frivolous claims don't get entered.

Sfan00 IMG (talk) 11:17, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

(v) Re-work script for reporting copyright violations, and deletion nomination, so they also inform the original uploaders

at local projects if known. Sfan00 IMG (talk) 11:20, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

(i) already exists. We often enough close deletion requests with the resolution "move back to en-WP under tag so-and-so and delete here". Please note that our deletion requests are not votes but discussions. (ii) would be an idea, but would require amending all the various ways to transfer images. (iii) is a question to be handled at the local projects. At en-WP, I got several notifications that images I had uploaded there locally had been moved to the Commons. (iv) is, IMO, needless red tape; the screening takes place during the discussion. Otherwise, who'd decide what an "unfounded" request was? Sometimes apparently "unfounded" deletion nominations turn out to be very well founded after all. (v) They could also notify the original uploaders here at the commons. Currently, the scripts notify the last uploader. The script cannot notify the original uploaders at other wikis (in the case of image transfers). Lupo 14:31, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
In realtion ii) and v) are partly related, If the transfer tools gave the information, the back link could be done,

possibly also informing the person making the transfer.. Commons Helper ALREADY records the Original Uploader name for some transfers...

Is there a technical reason why cross wiki scripts aren't possible? Sfan00 IMG (talk) 18:50, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Yes. It's called the "single origin policy". In some cases you can work around it, but mainly for getting information, not for posting. (And even if you managed to work around it for posting, you'd run afoul of various XSS-detectors and -blockers.) Lupo 15:11, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Template:Date and auto-formatting

I noticed bots going around normalising dates in {{Information}} to syntax like 2009-07-18, which renders accordingly to user settings. I adopted this syntax for every file I edit. Then, isn't {{Date}} deprecated and should be avoided (at least in this case) ? Jean-Fred (talk) 13:27, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Do what you like. You can use {{Date}} directly or use the ISO syntax which is passed to {{Date}} again by {{Information}}. Multichill (talk) 16:14, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. Jean-Fred (talk) 12:42, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

July 19

Share-alike clause optional ?

It seems like the BBC does not think much of the share-alike clause of CC licenses. They however do follow the attribution part of the licensing requirement here using image File:PantalaFlavescensTalakaveri.jpg The terms of use at the bottom of the page makes no special mention either. Shyamal (talk) 05:43, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

It's not about share-alike (which concerns derivative works only), but about a requirement of all Creative Commons licenses: you have to distribute the file with the same license, and include a link to the actual license:
You may Distribute or Publicly Perform the Work only under the terms of this License. You must include a copy of, or the Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) for, this License with every copy of the Work You Distribute or Publicly Perform. You may not offer or impose any terms on the Work that restrict the terms of this License or the ability of the recipient of the Work to exercise the rights granted to that recipient under the terms of the License.
They didn't do it, so no one knows under which terms they can use the image. It's also recommended (although not mandatory) to link back to the Commons image page; that would at least let people know where the image comes from, and they would be then be able to see the license terms. It's really not that hard to comply (the BBC surely has to deal with much more complicated license terms), but somehow people seem to think that free content means you can do whatever you want. –Tryphon 09:57, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Election notice: please distribute widely

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you may be aware, there is concern that the sitenotices regarding submission of candidacy for the Board of Trustees election were not seen anywhere but Meta after the 11th of this month. Because of the potentially massive consequence of this, and to encourage a full and active election, the election committee has determined that:

- Candidacies will be accepted through July 27th at 23:59 (UTC)

- The period for questioning candidates begins immediately. Candidates that are "late to the party" will, no doubt, be scrutinized by the community. The Committee hopes that the community will work to actively ensure that all candidates receive equivalent questioning.

- The dates of election will not change. The election will begin on 28 July and end on 10 August.

Please know that we recognize the radical nature of altering the schedule in the midst of the election and would not do it if we did not absolutely believe that there was a possibility that others may be interested and qualified and may not have known about the key dates.

For the committee, Philippe (talk) 09:12, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

how to combine a newly uploaded picture with an existing wikipedia article

I just uploaded a picture of an actor that needs to be put on his article page, but I can't figure out how. Please help! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gryfsh (talk • contribs) 09:48, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi Gryfsh, thanks for your upload of File:Paul Winston.jpg. First you should get in touch with Commons:Permission, to assure that you are the copyright holder of your upload and eligible to license it under the selected license I ask you to forward a formal release to OTRS (permissions-commons[at]wikimedia[dot]org). The information you forward to OTRS is handled confidentially, you should follow the wording of our standard email template.
Placing an image to the Wikipedia article is simple, it is described in w:Wikipedia:Images. Just use the following text and place it at the top of the article: [[File:Paul Winston.jpg|thumb|Paul Winston in June 2009]]. The parameter "thumb" makes the image appearing in the size the reader prefers.
In case you have any questions you should visit Commons:Help desk to ask them :) Regards, --Martin H. (talk) 12:06, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I would suggest going first to Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous) for help and advice.
Ask them if they will consider an AfD for the student actor Paul Winston and his student film Shattered Allegiance. Citing Wikipedia:Notability (people)#Entertainers as the reason. There is more supporting biographical info on him Paul Winston. They will also be able to direct you to the “Howto insert an image” instuctions at the same time -or even do it for you. --P.g.champion (talk) 12:56, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Site Backups

Commons is an amazing site and I'm sure we all appreciate the effort that goes into keeping it up and making it better. Of course the dev/ops people are always working on a lot of stuff (as can be seen on the technical blog) and can't do everything that's nice to get done. Since this is a community-run project I think it's more than alright for people to contribute to what tasks should get priority and to have an update on their status.

So I'd like to point out something that I think we should emphasise more - backups. Although a lot of work has already been done over a long time, the documentation (like [14]) needs updating and I don't have a lot of confidence in the current status (as it's documented), especially with regards to images. If you share this view, you can vote for the tracking "bug" I created in the BugZilla: 18255 Backup systems (tracking). Eug (talk) 10:01, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Unidentified ships

In the process of adding IMO numbers to more than 2,000 seagoing ships, I found a lot of ships I couldn't identify. So I added these ships to the category:Unidentified ships. Can shiplovers and/or specialists help to identify these ships? By name or IMO number. --Stunteltje (talk) 11:03, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

You should also invite local projects about ships or transportation on the wikipedia projects, e.g. w:de:Wikipedia:WikiProjekt Schifffahrt and other language projects. Maybe thats more fruitful because they are specialists :) --Martin H. (talk) 11:54, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
That's what I already did on the English project. You are right, they are the specialists. --Stunteltje (talk) 12:23, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I already left a note at the de.wp, sadly the project seems not very active at the moment. --Martin H. (talk) 12:35, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I added this as an item on the "to do list" at fr:Modèle:Maritime à faire and left a message on fr:Projet:Maritime/Bistro du port. Teofilo (talk) 13:09, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you very much indeed for your help. -- 13:12, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Bundesarchiv categories

Do we REALLY need to have removed all categories from Category:Images from the German Federal Archive by year and Category:Images from the German Federal Archive by location? They were very useful, especially categories by year. The point is, that if one knew a year of some event connected with Germany, he could easily make sure searching in a year category, if there is something on the topic, even loosely connected. Now we have to rely on specific categories, which may in many cases be wrong or simply not covering all the photos that should go into this category. It was especially useful for World War II period photos, that should often go to many categories. If a photo with several subjects (for example city buildings and car) was placed in one category only, the other subject on the photo may never be categorized. Moreover, there are lots of pictures like this File:Bundesarchiv Bild 183-19000-496, Berlin, Kinder bauen einen Schneemann..jpg with a single category, like Category:History of Berlin, which is absurd in this case (and this category has 1,365 files - how many are actually adequate for "history" category?). Categories, like "..location Berlin" were good for subjects, like worker in a factory in Berlin, etc, where Berlin itself isn't seen. By removing categories by year and topic, we are lessening a chance, that somebody will find the picture he's looking for, and that it will be properly categorized. For example I, from time to time, used to browse years and spot and categorize interesting subjects. Now I just won't browse 82,000 files in Category:Images from the German Federal Archive. All in all, I believe, that restoring these categories by year (and maybe by location) may only bring us good (even I could categorize properly another several hundreds) - while is there any reason to keep them deleted?... Pibwl (talk) 20:10, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

See also: Commons:Forum#BArch-Kategorien. --Túrelio (talk) 20:13, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Seems, I've had independently similar thoughts on Category:History of Berlin. To me, year is most important. Pibwl (talk) 20:24, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree for the Year categories because the date is not yet transfered to the categorization in many cases it worth to categorize them, e.g. photos of political events or party conventions, exhibitions or shows. I agree for the "by batch" categories as a batch not represent only a technical date of upload on Commons but an archival collection - although most images are from the collection. The topic and location categories should go sooner or later, maybe enforcing their removal within 1/2 year was a bit to fast and only disatract editors, portals and projects from de.wp to help with a more elaborated categorization then the bot added categories. However, the categories are not lost, Category:History of Berlin only needs diffusion and improvement see my userpage User:Martin H./Berlin, the filenames are already very usefull to categorize by subject ;) . --Martin H. (talk) 20:34, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree the by year and by location structure was great. One could use tools like CatScan to intersect them and than you could actually get some useful information. I was working (and probably will be for quite a while) at categorizing and adding descriptions to WWII images from Poland (especially Warsaw) and the first step was to fill city by year categories. If other people did not go through similar process for other cities/countries they are now out of luck. Does anybody know why was this category structure dismantled? --Jarekt (talk) 02:29, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

I never recatogrized such files by year because these handy categories already existed. If you want to hide them, go ahead if you must. But why delete them? I don't see any reason. --AndreasPraefcke (talk) 08:38, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

The Category:Images from the German Federal Archive... categories were created as a temporary category structure to get categorization started. All the images should be placed in proper topic categories and this was just an intermediate step to get images there. The categories were added by a hack in one of the BArch templates. These kind of hacks should be avoided or, like in this case, only be of a temporary nature. Users can't change these categories and you'll end up with a lot of nonsense categories. It would be better to have this meta data in a database at the toolserver which users can query or can get a copy of to play around with. This way you can easily find images which you can add to the proper topic category. Multichill (talk) 20:16, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

But I still don't understand, what's wrong in keeping these categories? Do they disturb anything? As I've said, they could cause only good results - ease of searching and improving categories. Pibwl (talk) 23:01, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
It's a bit strange that we are asked to search for the information while it's still present in the templates, e.g. at Template talk:BArch-License. -- User:Docu at 08:52, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

It is a great shame that the 'temporary category' "by year" has been deleted as this was extremely useful for historians when researching images. It is not possible to know in advance what one might find when searching an archive of this size- for example one might not know what pictures are available for the German invasion of Poland but it is possible to work out that they will be in the year 1939. However under the classification system you have adopted only a small number of the pictures that do exist from the German Federal Archive for the occupation Poland have actually been categorised as such. Many have to be found under the individual German army units. This action seriously undermines the credibility of Wikipedia as a serious repository of images and and makes it less likely that other large institutions will donate their images to Wikipedia in the future ( if people can't find the images what's the point?). Until the categorisation problem, and there seriously is one, can be solved then can we have the "by year" category restored, as it was the one most people intuitively understood, and the most efficient for the purposes of the type of search I have described? -- 21:28, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

German occupation of Poland is a bad example all Bundesarchiv images were fully integrated into Category:Poland during World War II. --Jarekt (talk) 14:14, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I restored these two: one more category is not a problem, if people find it useful, why not... Yann (talk) 21:45, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
The categories were populated through Template:BArch-License/layout. It would need to be changed as well.
Personally, I was briefly looking into Template talk:BArch-License#Tibet. Given that all images using location=Tibetexpedition should be in Category:Deutsche Tibet-Expedition Ernst Schäfer anyways, I don't see why the template shouldn't be doing that. -- User:Docu at 08:20, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
Templates should *never* add images to topic categories. This makes it impossible for users to change the categories the normal way and is a source of a lot of categorization problems here at Commons. If you want to have some images added to that category go to Commons:Bots/Work requests. I did some example edits, see Special:Contributions/MultichillAWB. I should probably get this bot flagged to add everything. Multichill (talk) 10:35, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
It's not really a topical category, it's a collection. -- User:Docu at 14:24, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree that templates should not add categories. It makes it impossible to change categories. So the debate should be if new cats should be created. If new categories are needed it should be possible to cat images with a bot. --MGA73 (talk) 08:54, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Multichill seems to disagree with you as he added Category:Images from the German Federal Archive to the template. -- User:Docu at 09:07, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
I think the by location and by year system of hidden categories (created by template) should be reinstated and kept hidden, so users can keep on using them as a framework while working on categorizing the images into our main non-hidden category schema. I also think that Bundesarchiv sub-categories should be read-only (protected) to discourage of merging them into main category schema. I agree with Multichill that templates should not automagically add images to topic categories, but I see no harm in maintaining (probably forever since we will never be all done) a hidden category structure. --Jarekt (talk) 14:08, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

July 13

thumbnails display problem

can you see this 120px thumbnail ?

Many files uploaded today seem to have problems displaying 120px thumbnails, making the reviewing of recent uploads on Special:NewFiles very uneasy. Nearly half of the thumbnails on this Newfiles page (48 files uploaded 06:53, 13 July 2009 and before) do not show up on my computer.

Teofilo (talk) 15:04, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

This is likely related to the problems reported here and here. --Túrelio (talk) 15:07, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
File:Tsalenjikha5.jpg 's 120px thumbnail seem to be OK now as a display here on the village pump or on the Special:Newfiles page. However I can't see any of the two versions in the "File history" section of the description page. Other thumbnails on the mentioned Special:Newfiles page are still not showing. Teofilo (talk) 15:06, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
File:Cotedazur3.jpg uploaded on 9 July 2009 has a 120px thumbnail but no 800px preview. Teofilo (talk) 19:11, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Timetravel / suggestion for featured pictures for historic subjects.

One of the weaknesses of our commons collection, is that it is very shallow in the fourth dimension (time travel). Most pictures uploaded are taken in the digital age. But there are a lot of interesting pictures showing subject and situations wich have disapeared or changed beyond recognition. Examples: Category:FEVE rail in Generalitat Valencia, Category:NMVB/SNCV Coastline. These kind of pictures are very usefull for articles about historic subjects. There are a lot of pictures taken at the time but they remain mainly in private collections or are put on restricted licence on internet. Unfortunately good historical pictures have monetary value and editors want exclusive copyrigth. It is also a lot of work to scan the slides and to edit them. (Time unfortunately distorts the colours on a lot of slides)

To encourage wikipedians to upload these historic pictures I suggest to start a competition for the best historic pictures. The following rules apply:

  • non-digital in origin
  • picture taken at least 10 years ago (Keep it simple: past century)
  • judged on historical value and technical quality
  • Picture could not be taken today. (Has to have historical elements in the picture, a museum or heritage line is faking it)

I am feeling lonely, as I am one of the few people uploading these kind of images.


Smiley.toerist (talk) 20:11, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

I think this is a great idea! For many places there is a giant free picture gap between ca. 1940 (public domain things) and ca. 2000 (freely licenced images). Getting more people to dig through old photo albums, sometimes from older relatives, would be a good thing. Haukurth (talk) 22:38, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
A very good point. If we set up a contest, we might want two "divisions", probably pre-1923 and 1923-1999. - Jmabel ! talk 05:39, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
And a variant idea (that would definitely yield up a very interesting page or pages): "Now" and "then" photos: pairs of photos at least 50 years apart of more or less exactly the same view, showing either change or lack of change. - Jmabel ! talk 06:47, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
This brings another problem : what kind of evidence do we require uploaders to bring when they are not the authors of the pictures they bring. In many cases people can bring "pictures taken by my father" "by my mother" "by my grand-father" and so on.
1)Should we require them to send E-mails from other family members in order to be sure that all the heirs of the author have given their agreement ?
2)How do we make sure that the grand-father took the picture himself, rather than collected it or received it as a gift ? Teofilo (talk) 09:34, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it would be nice to have some sort of standard procedure for this. When the relative is deceased this can be quite a challenge. My great-grandfather took some interesting photographs in the 1920s. He died some 40 years ago and at that point I assume the copyright passed to his son (my grandfather) and his two daughters (my great aunts). My grandfather died a few years ago and I assume that at that point his share in the copyright passed to his wife (my grandmother) and his children (my mother, my uncle and my aunt). Now, if I want to release any of my great-grandfather's photographs through Wikimedia I presume I would technically need the assent of my mother, my uncle, my aunt, my grandmother and my two great aunts. Can someone who knows more than I do about copyright tell me if this would be correct? But the matter may be more complicated still - before my grandfather died he donated my great-grandfather's photographs to a photograph museum. The museum has published them online (in low resolution with, *sigh*, a watermark). Let me show you an example. My great-grandfather took this photograph of a city scene in Copenhagen sometime between 1919 and 1928: [15] The photograph had never been published before the museum made it available online. Would any monopolies attach to the museum in that case (I don't think so but my grandfather might have signed something over when he donated the photographs). Haukurth (talk) 12:03, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
You are right: it is not always easy. There is some more info at Template:PD-heirs, and if you look at Category:PD-heirs, you can browse 300 examples of works by the uploaders' antecedents. An OTRS mail would be preferred, but it is the uploader's responsibility to verify rights. I think Commons users rarely insist on confirmation for works by amateurs. --InfantGorilla (talk) 19:56, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
We have this case example: File:General Fan Hanjie.jpg and Commons:Deletion requests/Image:General Fan Hanjie.jpg... Jappalang (talk) 05:35, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
I think a recent court case has clouded the waters, but in the U.S., if there are co-copyright owners, any one of them had full rights to license works as they wish. The other owners had a right to their share of whatever revenue was brought in, but not the ability to prevent other co-owners to license works. I don't think that was ever tested in respect to something like a free license, and there was a recent court case which went against that idea, but otherwise for decades that was the general assumption (as it appears to be codified that way in U.S. law). I think permission of all owners was needed for exclusive licenses and (obviously) copyright transfers, but non-exclusive licenses were always OK as long as one of the owners agreed to it. See here. Now... *worldwide* licenses may be more difficult, as I think some countries always require all co-owners to agree to a license. Definitely not clear-cut, but in general I don't think we need to start requiring permission from all possible descendants in usual cases (especially U.S. ones). Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:01, 17 July 2009 (UTC)
Note: here is an article on that recent court case. It sounds like it more concerned transfer of a co-owner's copyright interest, not licenses. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:04, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

It remains the reponsability of the uploader to have the correct licence rigths and we should accept on good faith. The selected pictures wil get a lot more scrutiny, than the normal uploaded picture anyway. Most private persons only started taking pictures after the second world war, when cameras became cheap and more practical. Before the war only professional photographers or some gifted amateurs took pictures. Most pictures from before the war end up in collections and are wel protected. There very few very old "undiscovered" pictures. Most have been added to collections or given to museums. The practice for most old pictures, where the photographer died or is unknown, is that possession of the original, allows you to publish it. Old postcards (most with unknown author) are frequently used in books. The editor has the original and the pic is of course copyrighted in the book. Within the family fotos of general interest, are only passed on to persons having an interest in it. Frequently the whole collection gets thrown away. Most family members would certainly have no interest in thousands of railways pictures! Family pictures of weddings and other family happenings, are much more sensitive, but are of limited use for wikipedia. To conclude:

Most pictures will be fairly "recent" (after the war). I would not use arbitary dates as 1923, but accept all pics from the past century and beyond. The copyrigth rules are different depending on the country. Guidelines for copyrigths wil be usefull, but I suspect that no lawyer, wil absoluutly garantee, that there wil be no legal challenges. Its like looking for absolute safety: It doesnt exist! Consider that for a picture more than 70 years old, wil have been taken by somebody who is now at least more than 90 years old and in the family no one will remember the travel pictures taken 90 years ago. (except the person possessing the pictures)

Smiley.toerist (talk) 22:37, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

A family picture problem is being discussed at Commons:Deletion_requests/File:JimmyDoolittleAutographed.jpg. Teofilo (talk) 08:17, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Trial category

I have added a Category:Non-digital historic pictures to show wat kind pictures could be shown. The pictures wil not be limited to railway subjects. I have uploaded more similar pictures on the commons, but most have technical problems. A lot of slides turn to strange colours wich are impossible to correct. Smiley.toerist (talk) 19:54, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Note the difference between File:Schaarbeek station forecourt old.JPG and File:Gare du Nord Bloktrein 2.jpg. The last one is unedited but dirty and the other one has a clean but has an unnatural sky. How far can you correct the picture? Smiley.toerist (talk) 20:17, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I added a few images in this category. Yann (talk) 22:38, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, such a trial run is usefull and reveals some problems. There wil need to be a concensus and discussion of what is a "historic" picture. Most viewers have no local knowledge and need a good relevant description to decide if the picture is historic. Examples:

  • Does the building stil exist or has it been extensively modified?
  • Is the river crossing by raft stil in use today or has it been replaced by a bridge?
  • Can the dances stil be seen in the villages if I go there today?
  • Is the medicineman stil working today?
  • Does the railway/tram track stil exist? Has this type of train stil in use?

My definition of "historic" is that I cannot take a similar picture today if I go to the same place, because things have changed or no longer exist. It has to have some broad significance. If I take a picture of playing children, these have a 'historic' significance for the families, but not for the general public. If the picture was taken in an old playing ground wich has been build over, then it is another story. Another type of "historic" picture is one where the basic buildings and street have not changed, but everything else has: old car types, advertising, clothing, streetlamps, crowds, streetvendors, etc.

I would like to add one extra condition: A good description, wich explains why the picture is historic. More attention for good descriptions should be taken anyway. Many pictures have little or no descriptions.

It would be best if there is an before and after image (if applicable). How can we link them so that they remain together in the selection proces?

Smiley.toerist (talk) 07:21, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

All pictures I added are about events or places which cannot be taken today. Yann (talk) 09:43, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Translating a template

Hi Commonadians! I need your help to translate {{Taken on}}.
{{LangSwitch |af= |an= |ar=اتخذت في |ast= |be-tarask= |bg= |bs= |ca= |cs= |da= |de=Aufgenommen am |el= |eo= |es= |et= |fa= |fi= |fr=pris le |gl= |he= |hr= |hu= |id= |it= |ja=撮影年月日 |km= |ko= |la= |lt= |mk= |nds= |nds-nl= |nl= |no= |oc= |pdt= |pl= |pt= |ro= |ru= |si= |sk= |sl= |sv= |th= |tl= |tgl= |tr= |uk= |vi= |zh-hans= |zh-hant= |en=Taken on }}
If you one language please add it!
Thank you --D-Kuru (talk) 21:57, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

In order to provide a translation as accurate as possible, I would like to understand the context (I need to see the words used before and after "taken on"). Could you please use this template on an actual picture description page so that we can see what it looks like when inserted in a page ? whatlinkshere link is empty (shows only the documentation page and the village pump). Teofilo (talk) 06:44, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
It appears just to be for specifying what the "Date" field in the {{Information}} template means. In this case it means than the date specifies when the photo was taken (rather than the date uploaded, or date first published or many of the other alternative uses for this field). So an expected result would be something like:
|date=Taken on 16-July-2009
--Tony Wills (talk) 09:02, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
This might be quite confusing in case of old paintings when we are interested in the date the painting was painted not the date the photo of the painting was taken. Similarly with drawings, maps, etc. But assuming this will be only used for photographs, than in some languages, like Polish the phrase should be equivalent to Photograph taken on. May be we can change English version as well. --Jarekt (talk) 12:56, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
For a panting I would rather use {{Painting}} and {{Taken on}} if we know when the image of the painting was taken.
From the beginning I included a {{ISOdate}} option, but I thought about modifying the template so that 2001-02 turns into "Taken in February 2001" instead of "Taken on February 2001". If ISOdate is used not in the same template it won't work automatically so you need an extra parameter. If the date is included in taken on it would be nice if the template would switch automatically.
As Tony Wills wrote: This template would be used in {tl|Information}} in the date parameter. It would be a shortcut of "This image was taken on 2001-02-03"
--D-Kuru (talk) 13:53, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
If it is after "date=" does that mean that only the File page editor or the file uploader will read it, and the final Wikipedia reader won't be concerned ? Teofilo (talk) 14:34, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
It will work like {{Own}} just the translated "taken on" intead of the translated "own work".
--D-Kuru (talk) 18:46, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
I can't translate "taken on" into French without knowing the gender of the noun which is concerned. If it is "une photographie", its gender is female and "taken on" translates as "prise le". If it is "un cliché" or "un fichier", its gender is male and translates as "pris le". Teofilo (talk) 14:34, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
The file was taken on does that help you?
--D-Kuru (talk) 18:46, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
So it must be "pris le". Anyway we can change it later if we find a better translation. Teofilo (talk) 21:11, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

It is time to think about a more sophisticated dating system. If we ask uploaders for the "taken on" date only, we will have troubles with paintings, sculptures and book scans. So I propose to provide more than one date field, leaving the uploader to choose which field is relevant for his file :

|date of photograph=
|date of painting=
|date of sculpture=
|date of print=
|date of design=
|other date=

Teofilo (talk) 21:46, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

I do not like this "taken on" template since it works only for photographs. I guess it would work as something people could add to their images but it should not be part of {{Information}} template. May be instead of field called Date we should call it Date of Creation? And following Teofilo suggestion we could other date fields like Date of Upload , to be displayed only if other date is missing. --Jarekt (talk) 04:05, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

Until we change to system enabling to write down more than one date, "created on" would be more flexible than "taken on". Teofilo (talk) 09:52, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that it is a good idea to have that muchoptions. Even it is a good idea I challange that such option will be used by the ordinary user. In my opinion {{Information}} is to describe the image as such. For paintings I would rather use {{Painting}} and create {{Sculpture}} for sculptures. The template could also be moved but it should may be discussed. Redirects can be created as well
--D-Kuru (talk) 23:31, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

July 16

Reviewing old transfers

Prompted by recent events I started to review some old moves from English Wikipedia I had made. Unfortunately, some problems started to 'come out of the woodwork' :(

Are there some users that are prepared to do help look over these to ensure they are acceptable for commons, and possibly nominate for deletion if they are not?


I appreciate this is an unusual request, but recent events have made people including myself a bit jumpy. Sfan00 IMG (talk) 00:14, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Alternatively the following links :

can provide thumbnail previews. Teofilo (talk) 22:53, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Hidden Category indication on the template

I think that most of the current templates categorize images automatically via a hidden category. This is fine, however the problem is that when someone views an image he wants to know where the image is categorized or to which collection it belongs to. For example, {{LOC-image}} should have in the text an indication that it categorizes into Category:Images from the Library of Congress. Otherwise a user has to type "Template:LOC-image" into search, wait for it to load, look for a categorization indication if available or otherwise editing the template to know where it categorizes. Wouldn't it be best if this was already indicated on the template for every image that uses it?--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 22:46, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

The category description of Category:Images from the Library of Congress should probably mention that {{LOC-image}} categorizes images in there (currently it does).
Listing hidden categories in the description of each image would somewhat defeat the idea that the category is hidden. Maybe a simple icon on a template could indicate that this template categorizes images into a hidden category and that one might want to check the template description page (currently {{LOC-image}} mentions that it places images into Category:Images from the Library of Congress).
BTW there is a list of templates at the bottom of the edit screen, that allows to navigate to the templates. -- User:Docu at 13:40, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
{{LOC-image}} is already too long I would not be adding anything to it and if there is a reason for user to see a category than it should not be hidden. Adding link to Category:Images from the Library of Congress to a template itself would create another place where users would have to look for categories and I like them in one place - on the bottom. Most categories automatically assigned by templates are used mostly for maintenance and should be hidden. Also templates should avoid adding subject categories - unfortunately creator templates (see for example Creator:Abel Grimmer) and probably many others do it. May be {{LOC-image}} should not auto-categorized images but used explicit link to Category:Images from the Library of Congress? --Jarekt (talk) 13:42, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
BTW, it's images from LOC not images of the library. These just group together a collection, they aren't really topical category. Some collections may share one or several topics, others don't and even include sub-collections. -- User:Docu at 13:54, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
It could be useful to have several rows of categories, e.g.:
  • 1. by topic
  • 2. by file and/or image type
  • 3. by collection
  • 4. by creator
  • 5. and maintenance categories.
Ideally 2-5 could be automatic or template based and only some would be generally displayed. -- User:Docu at 13:54, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Well how about a view and edit button like on Wikipedia templates? This would solve the issue with looking for the actual template name, then typing it in the search box.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 14:17, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

July 20

{{Image source}}

This is one of our most frequently used message templates, and it's often directed at some of our newest users, so it ought to be one of our most informational. I don't think it is, so I've drafted a rewrite. Please see the proposal and discuss it on the talk page of the English version of the template. LX (talk, contribs) 18:57, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

July 21

Mayflower search

The Version 2.01 which is currently used states: "Index last updated October 24 2007". That is really bad, see also talk page. We should find someone who takes take about it, this is not the way to run a search engine for content which is dynamical (added media, deleted media, renames). -- 08:38, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

I think we should disable Mayflower search in favor of default supported MediaWiki one. --EugeneZelenko (talk) 15:58, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
We don't seem to have a link to Mayflower from the search page anymore so what's to disable? Mayflower provides many useful search options all it needs is a database update. With all due respect the MediaWiki one has a few annoying bugs/unwanted features. --Tony Wills (talk) 10:06, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Mayflower search depends on database dumps ( In the past, these weren't available frequently.
Personally I liked using Mayflower search. It can be used to categorize images based on existing descriptions. As part of the database is still updated live, I think we should provide a link to the tool on the search results page.
I would offer to update the search index if the sources were available and if I had access to the toolserver, but as I don't have either, unfortunately I can't do it. If some of its features could be worked into the internally search engine, this would be even better. -- User:Docu at 11:05, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Update: Following the discussion at Commons:Village_pump#Mediawiki:Searchresulttext, a link to Mayflower is now available again on the search result page. -- User:Docu at 15:11, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
So, is someone updating the Mayflower index? --Dschwen (talk) 16:14, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Not yet. Category links on older images are up to date. -- User:Docu at 15:00, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Problem with previously uploaded image

I uploaded a picture a few days ago, when the server suffered from uploading problems, and it's still not showing up as a thumbnail anywhere. The full resolution version works just fine, and the description is there as well, but the thumbnail is just a blank box. Can anyone with adequate powers and/or knowledge fix this for me? Will I have to do something about it myself? Or will it start working automatically sometime? The file in question is this one: File:Karolinermonumentet.jpg. Thanks in advance. Petey21 (talk) 11:25, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

I purged the page and all seems fine. Pruneautalk 11:40, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
How did you fix it? Many corrupt thumbnails have been reported here (most discussions are archived by now), so it would be nice to know how to do it oneself. For example, File:Iron age wheelhouse at Kilpheder.jpeg is still not displayed, unless one uses a hack and displays it at 181px. Thanks, Momotaro (talk) 12:46, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I think the problem is different. With File:Karolinermonumentet.jpg, clicking on the "purge" tab solved the display issue. But the issue was not only with thumbnails: the image wasn't displayed either on the description page. Purging doesn't seem to solve the problem in the case you mentioned. Pruneautalk 13:46, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. I knew ?action=purge, but somehow I never noticed there is a purge tab ... :-) I now reuploaded my file to fix it. -- Momotaro (talk) 20:39, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Censorship of File:Wiki-mam-intcs.png

I proposed the above image as a featured picture and found the proposal to have been simply removed on the grounds that such proposals must be "family friendly". I have been unable to find such a "family friendly" policy, quite the opposite:- "Good photographs are not limited to evoking pleasant sensations…". I wish to promote sex educational images as featured, quality and valued images and would welcome a consensus on this. Would users (whatever their point of view) please comment not here but on the featured picture candidates discussion page. --Simonxag (talk) 15:24, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Petition (for UK citizens)

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to review the rights of the public to re-use any photograph of a public domain work of art.

What does everyone think? (That's not my name, by the way, just a friend who agreed to be a proxy.) I thought it might be an idea, given recent events, to at least petition for a review - a decision, one way or the other.

The "More details" reads as follows (intentionally vague):

We would like the Prime Minster to hold a review of the copyright status of 2D works which are merely exact reproductions of existing 2D works in the public domain.

This issue was raised under Bridgeman v. Corel in the US; we would like a similar freedom to be established in the UK. This would contribute towards the use of the internet as a learning facility; the broadening of cultural horizons and end the growing uncertainty about the situation currently.

Signing the petition requires some personal details, but nothing other than a full name is published and it would be difficult to correlate these to usernames. If people should find it appropriate, and do sign, then I shall add my own name into the crowd.

Personally, I feel like this would be a worthwhile undertaking: little effort is required by anyone in particular, and I think it highlights the best of the wiki format. I do, however, recognise that not everyone will agree with the sentiments expressed. Also, it is important that this is not specifically related to recent events, else we risk ruining much hard work. I am happy to take relevant comments here, of course. Though I cannot now edit the petition with ease, I may be able to get it deleted if it were to have a negative effect.

But enough of what I think! Jarry1250 (talk) 16:31, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

It has just occured to me that a number of othergood reasons have emerged from the for camp since the petition was sent for approval. As the specific intent is to a force a review rather than a particular decision (that could come later) I think we're alright, thankfully. Jarry1250 (talk) 16:37, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Oh yes, and note that the "any" in the tag-line is qualified in the details section. Jarry1250 (talk) 16:40, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Category:Sculptures in Oslo and Commons:Freedom_of_panorama#Norway

I think there needs to be a sweep of images to check whether they comply with Freedom of Panorama copyright rules. I'm no lawyer, but many of the images in Category:Sculptures in Oslo are of copyrighted artworks, and according to Commons:Freedom_of_panorama#Norway, they cannot be freely reused. I've not checked any other categories, but I believe there will be similar infringements. - 18:25, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

July 22

Legal threat from National Portrait Gallery

FYI, see User:Dcoetzee/NPG_legal_threat. I haven't determined what action will be taken yet. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:51, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

This sounds rather serious. If the WMF doesn't give you full legal protection (and thereby stands to her own PD-Art decision), all these images should be removed for now, to move you out of the line of fire. --Túrelio (talk) 21:11, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
No sudden reactions please. Multichill (talk) 21:17, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Sudden? They contacted WMF in April. --Túrelio (talk) 21:17, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
This is a letter to scare him. They couldn't get to the WMF so now they're trying to single out a user. You're talking about removing the images for now, that's quite a sudden reaction. Multichill (talk) 21:30, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
"A letter to scare him" - hmm, the scare may be well founded in UK law. We all know that the WMF's decision wasn't without controversy. It's up to the WMF to take the fire from a Commons-user who did rely on WMF's PD-Art policy. Anyway, finally it won't be me who decides about such a deletion. Good night. --Túrelio (talk) 21:43, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Its been discussed multiple times here and elsewhere, but local laws always apply and it was always presumptious of the WMF to claim that US laws should apply internationally, this was always going to be on the cards, and reading through PD-Art tag/Straw Poll user Haros has been proved right in his prediction that individual uploaders would attract the flak. Since it is in following WMF's assertion that ...the images are public domain regardless of any regional laws and the wish of some users that this should go to court (in the expectation that WMF's position would be proven) the onus should be on the WMF to support Dcoetzee through this (and if it doesn't I'll turn my back on this and all WMF projects). One suggestion at the poll is for the uploader to begin the process of asking for the images to be removed (start 3000 odd deletion reviews) to show goodwill and that he/she is attempting to comply with the instructions, any subsequent failure to remove the images or removal and reupload of the images can then be seen in the context of the uploaders inability to comply despite his/her best efforts and the case would then be of one between the NPG and WMF. Then again Dcoetzee could be up to being a martyr in which case good luck.KTo288 (talk) 22:58, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
If the WMF does not support him, I will be very disappointed. In the meantime, I shall contact the head of the UK division about arranging a protest. Adam Cuerden (talk) 22:17, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

This is the standard patent copyright troll tactic: WMF wouldn't cowtow to their attempted perversion of the public domain, and has the ability to back it up, so they attack an individual who likely can't mount a defense thereby crushing opposition by mere virtue of involving the law. I'd suggest Dcoetzee contact Mike Godwin, who can either help you figure out what to do or point you towards someone who can (EFF?). UK users in particular can and should shame NPG into stopping this nonsense. It's entirely contrary to their mission as a public institution, and I doubt their benefactors would appreciate this course of action.  — Mike.lifeguard 22:24, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Actually as a citizen of the UK, while supporting Dcoetzee, I would be disappointed if the NPG didn't have the guts to assert their rights under UK law and for UK courts to kowtow to precedents established in the United States. As a UK citizen I will support the primacy of UK law in the UK and over UK matters. As I've argued previously here, that an image itself is PD does not make reproductions of the image PD, that it takes time, skill and the use of limited resources to create the high quality images of artworks and that this expenditure of time, resources and effort should be justly rewarded, or otherwise institutions would just give up on making the effort. And as a public institution I think the NPG is fulfilling its mission admirably in making its collection free for all to see in the flesh and online, if the NPG loses I can see the day when no public gallery would make its collection available online lest it be stolen. As I see it since Dcoetzee discomfort is because of WMF's wrong headedness in claiming for US courts extra territorality over a UK collection, it should be a point of honour and responsibilty for the WMF to transfer this fight to one between itself and the NPG.KTo288 (talk) 23:30, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
KTo288, you write: if the NPG loses I can see the day when no public gallery would make its collection available online lest it be stolen. -- well, an enormous example to the contrary consists of the museums run by the U.S. government (particularly the various Smithsonian museums, but also the U.S. National Portrait Gallery). All U.S.-owned work is without copyright, allowing anyone in the world to enjoy them, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. That policy may be right or wrong, but its an enormous example that publicly supported institutions can exist without trying to limit images of their holdings. They even sell reproductions in the museum shops, despite the lack of copyright. This is important if this case were to become a public controversy way beyond Wikipedia. Please also keep in mind that if the NPG's claim were upheld, it wouldn't just be taxpayer-financed, nonprofit, public institutions that would be asserting their claims to images, but quite a few private individuals who happen to own an old Van Gogh, or even for-profit companies looking to make an extra buck. Would you really want some Oil-rich sultan in Dubai (or Dallas) to be able to assert ownership of images kept behind closed doors? Despite its public nature, the NPG is essentially asserting a private property right, and any precedents would be used by private owners of old artwork, foiling the purposes of copyright law and removing the public's access, even to the images. Ultimately, this would not be in the best interests of British taxpayers, and even if it were, it would never be in the interests of the non-British public around the world, something that should be a much greater concern to the WMF. Sixty million or so Brits vs. 6 billion of the rest of us is something to think about. WMF's wrong headedness in claiming for US courts extra territorality over a UK collection, -- no, this is standard practice when the servers of the website and the individual involved are located in a particular national (or even U.S. state) jurisdiction, that jurisdiction's rules are followed. Nothing wrong-headed about WMF's claim, unless you want to object to the standard practice. Also (getting away from the legal point you were making) keep in mind that it's a "UK collection" because of chance and financial power. Under the same principles that the NPG is asserting, the Yale Center for British Art could restrict access to an important slice of British heritage. I don't think the NPG would look very good, ultimately, in a PR battle over this. it should be a point of honour and responsibilty for the WMF to transfer this fight to one between itself and the NPG. Yes, of course. It looks like that's happening. -- Noroton (talk) 20:24, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
The UK collections as they are have been built up in the past by bequests, government commissions, by canny acquistions and in some museums basically through looting, however the strength and depth of these collections hides the fact that there has been very little money for new acquistions, with our government insisting on free access to all museums and galleries without a proper rise in grants. Every time some wealthy aristocrat wants to sell a painting there is a desperate scramble to try and find the money to stop pictures leaving the country. For the day to day looking after of the collection, insurance, climate control etc let alone trying to put some money aside for new acquisitions, funding has to come increasingly from corporate activities the cafes and restraunts, the use of galleries for fashion shows and private cocktail parties etc (not the best of environmentsfor collections) and of course the gallery bookshop and the books, prints, postcards, aprons and tea towels therein, it is I guess to protect the income from this and from licencing agreements for greeting cards and cookie tins that the NPG is taking this action. A figure of £400,000 is quoted elsewhere here as the profit that the NPG makes annualy and although this seems to be a large sum, it is miniscule in the context of new acquisitions and the continued mission of the NPG to document the great and good of the nation. This is of course meaningless to those who insist on asserting public domain rights over images, those so used to looking at electronic versions or a reproductions of a painting that they forget that behind it all there is a real physical object that must be protected from heat, humidity, light, thieves with craft knives and kids with crayons, that there are staff and electricity bills to be paid and that despite all this, the NPG and of our other galleries and public museums are free for all to enjoy, that there are no entrance fees to pay, by citizens or visitors alike, that hours are not restricted. All this is lost on the zealots so let me try and remind you of the reason of why the NPG and Dcoetzee finds themselves in this position. The reason is because the NPG made available high resolution images of its collection for all to see online. Compare Category:National Portrait Gallery (United States) with 17 files and Category:National Portrait Gallery, London with over 3000, compare the 48,222 byteFile:Washington (3).jpg with the 1.41 MB File:Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington by Benjamin Robert Haydon.jpg. Maybe I wasn't looking in the right place United States National Portrait Gallery online collection but despite your boast that US tax payer funded institutions "...(allow) anyone in the world to enjoy them" I found the US institution to be only a fraction of the free world wide access available at the United Kingdom National Portrait Gallery online collection (12,000 as opposed to 120,000). As others will tell you I can get carried awy with rhetoric, sometimes to the detriment of my arguements, rather then the image of the NPG barring its doors and turning away visitors I seem to have painted, my prediction is of an NPG afraid to make its high resolution images free to see on its website. Legally if I was to enter into a contract with an entity in the United States by mail or via the internet then I assume that the appropriate Federal and local state laws would apply. e.g. if I was to attempt to buy a camera from an online retailer in the US, the fact that I was in the UK would not mean that I could ask that UK consumer law be applied to the purchase rather then US ones. The NPG is based in the UK its servers are in the UK, and therefore in accepting the terms and conditions of the NPG, even though he is the United States Dcoetzee freely entered into a contract under UK law and therefore UK law should apply. And despite all this, and despite the fact I disagree with his implementation of WMF policies I wish for no harm to fall upon Dcoetzee. The WMF should either put all its resources into supporting Dcoetzee, or failing that to let Dcoetzee know as soon as possible that it intends to abandon him.KTo288 (talk) 00:37, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually, it looks like I piped up a bit too soon on the Smithsonian. They assert restrictions on certain images, regardless of the policy of the rest of the U.S. federal government. [16] I strongly suspect they can't (legally) assert copyright on images of two-dimensional artwork after the copyright expired under U.S. law, although they seem to do so. The entire group of museums has 2.5 million images, according to the Web page, but "at this time" only a portion is available online. (The federal government's museums, by the way, are free, open almost all the time, and visitors can take pictures of items in permanent exhibits.) For paintings and drawings, more detailed images are likely much more useful for serious students of art, so there's a definite loss to the public if those images aren't available online.
You make an excellent point about the unintended consequences of moving those thousands of images onto Wikipedia: We may make other museums (and even the NPG) reluctant to make more images available to the public. Traditionally (if we can call it a "tradition"), the answer to competition from free, online sources of information is for established institutions to offer enhanced services, playing to their strengths (their expertise). Overall, you've made a good argument (although I doubt you intended to) that it's in the best interests of Wikipedia and the museums to come to arrangements where each side can get most of what it wants: a continued revenue stream for one, access to suitable images for the other. In this case, with Wikipedia in possession of the images (but with even more images out there), it's in the Wikimedia Foundation's best long-term interests to try to work with the NPG to get, perhaps, somewhat lower-grade pictures that are suitable for an online-encyclopedia article. Any outcome that leaves either side without some satisfaction will result in further restrictions to the material (a total Wikipedia win would discourage other museums from putting more images online and probably wouldn't do the museums much good; a total NPG win would deny broader distribution of the images on Wikipedia and elsewhere, and encourage other museums to deny broader distribution).
For true works of art, there will never be a substitute for actual human eyes observing the things themselves, and any museum should want to encourage more visitors by enticing the public with many images. Educating the public about a museum's art holdings will also increase revenues, and that's where Wikipedia's interests and the museums' are identical. The revenue figures at the NPG, from what I've seen, appear piddling, comparable to an advertising budget -- which would cost money to encourage the public's interest even as restricting the images would discourage the public's interest. A really smart museum would pray that Wikipedia grabbed some images and then make sure Wikipedia linked to the museum's own web page on that work of art, which would have more detail (in the image, in the prose description and perhaps in taped lectures and anything else that would enhance a visitor's experience).
For a museum, a Mona Lisa or Guernica or Whistler's Mother is a priceless magnet for drawing in visitors and donors. And you only get those kinds of iconic works of art when outsiders are reproducing the image (and if satirists are spoofing it, you've really hit the jackpot). Look at the long list of different languages at the w:Mona Lisa article. No museum will ever create web pages in that many languages, but Wikipedia will. By restricting images too much, the NPG is squelching the opportunities for some work of art in its holdings to become a famous draw. -- Noroton (talk) 04:50, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually the approach that I have previously advocated was to use a low res image for wiki articles and to create an external link to the NPG site, a similar approach to the "A co-operative approach" outlined in the thread below. We don't know what was in the correspondence that has been previously exchanged between the NPG and the WMF, but I would be surprised if such a compromise had not been offered somewhere along the line. I apologise for thinking the worse of people but I guess the WMF rebuffed the NPG with the attitude you can't touch us here in the US leading to this confrontation. The NPG suffers from being next door to the more famous national Gallery, and from being basically founded so that we commoners could look upon the visages of our rulers, it has a bit of a reputation for being slightly crusty with one critic saying that the best thing about it is the view from its top floor restaurant, the one really big draw I guess is the portrait of Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire, but that's really only famous (if I remember rightly) for the salacious life style of the subject, the fact that the husband refused to pay for it for being made a cuckold, and the fact that when it was unveiled an unlooker fell so in love with it that he carried it off. Then again it seems a shame to me that one single work of art should have to be hyped up into a killer draw to attract visitors, rather then the experience, the riffs, synergies and contexts that can be gained by seeing pictures together as part of a collection.KTo288 (talk) 09:39, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I am disappointed by this legal threat, and wish Dcoetzee the best of luck with his case. However, I must also agree that it is irresponsible of the WMF to have allowed the policy to begin with. I would be most disappointed should the WMF stand back and let its contributors burn. -mattbuck (Talk) 00:28, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
We've never suggested that there's no legal risk to individual uploaders (or even to WMF) from uploading files that others claim some kind of copyright interest in. That said, as Mike Godwin has pointed out on foundation-l, we're in direct dialog with Derrick and looking into the best ways to support him.--Eloquence (talk) 01:13, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Fortunately, international law doesn't recognize the primacy of UK law over "UK matters". If it were, there are many of these paintings that are French paintings; should France have the right to unilaterally restrict the NPG from reproducing said many-century-old paintings? Is a British photograph of an American painting a "US matter" or a "UK matter"? US courts have jurisdiction over the United States, including when it is or is not a civil or criminal matter to reproduce a photograph. That's the way the law works world-wide.--Prosfilaes (talk) 02:44, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Again there is a failure to differentiate between actual paintings which is PD, and the reproduction of the painting which in UK law is not. NPG created a derivative work when it spent time and effort (sweat of the brow) to create the derivative works which it made available online, and it is these derivative works which it is asserting its moral right over as the creator.US courts have jurisdiction over the United States, including when it is or is not a civil or criminal matter to reproduce a photograph. likewise UK courts have jurisdiction over the United Kingdom, including when it is or is not a civil or criminal matter to reproduce a photograph. or in this case on the reproduction of a reproduction.KTo288 (talk) 06:23, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
The original paintings are PD where? And if their home country changes their mind about that--like Egypt did about reproductions of the Pyramids--then what? UK courts have jurisdiction over the UK, and US courts have jurisdiction over the US, and whether or not "sweat of the brow" copyrights exist is up in their relative jurisdictions is purely a matter of legislation and judicial interpretations of that legislation and in the US, the Constitution. There is no inherent jurisdiction over these pictures, and whether we think there should or should not be "sweat of the brow" copyrights is irrelevant.--Prosfilaes (talk) 12:32, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Just a quick note that I've seen this and will discuss internally. Derek, feel free to get in touch with me at (erik at wikimedia dot org).--Eloquence (talk) 22:30, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
We need to make sure the WMF provides legal help. Adam Cuerden (talk) 22:58, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
The WMF needs to act quick; NPG gave Dcoetzee a 10-day deadline. It would be a travesty of morality and justice to let Dcoetzee suffer a lawsuit simply for following policies that the Foundation has expressly endorsed. The projects are based on volunteers and the foundation should help those who follow its rules in contributing to the projects. If those 3000 high-resolution images need to be deleted, so then be it. Better to lose them (possibly in exchange for lower-resolution images) than to lose a tireless and valuable contributor. Jappalang (talk) 05:24, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
So far the Foundation has been very supportive, and seems to realise the urgency of the 10-day period. This should allow sufficient time for me to consult representation and decide on an appropriate course of action with full understanding of the consequences. Dcoetzee (talk) 05:35, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree that the Foundation should undertake to provide comprehensive legal assistance in this case, if it is indeed their position (which I hope is correct) that these images are not copyright infringements under whatever the applicable law may be. If it does not, I would not fault Dcoetzee for deleting the images. As unpaid volunteers, it's not our job to conduct litigation on WMF's behalf. Sandstein (talk) 06:19, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

For the sake of lowering the fire on Dcoetzee and of our responsibility towards re-users, shouldn't we tag all the images in question at least with the {{Disputed}}-tag? This is a lowest level problem tag we have; it does not take any legal position and does not initiate any action, but would slightly warn re-users that there might be a problem. --Túrelio (talk) 07:21, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Somebody already has done so. Lupo 07:29, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, that looks fine, it'll just take a little bit for the cache to flush so that they're all updated. Dcoetzee (talk) 08:51, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Some comments on this situation, which is perhaps an inevitable confrontation. The key to understanding the National Portrait Gallery's position is that, according to its most recent annual report, it had gross annual income of £400,000 (net profits over £130,000) to its subsidiary trading company from licensing reproductions of its portraits. This is not, by any means, a negligible sum. There is an obvious financial incentive to the Gallery in adopting an interpretation of copyright law which regards their reproductions as subject to copyright, and within the UK they have an arguable case albeit one which might interest copyright lawyers in fighting as a test. Note also that there is a Museums Copyright Group in the UK which is explicitly set up to help museums and galleries defend their position in terms of copyright on reproductions of items in their collections. The current chair of the group is the Head of Rights and Reproductions at the National Portrait Gallery.
What the NPG cannot afford to do is ignore the fact that images from which it can reasonably expect an income are available without charge. I would advise everyone concerned that there is every likelihood that they will seek to pursue this copyright claim. Sam Blacketer (talk) 10:44, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually I read your report and might suggest a different conclusion. NPG had a gross income of £16M last year, and 2/3rds of that was grants and donations, which is far larger than the 2% of their income coming for licensing. Yes, they have the funds to fight this, and yes they have a financial incentive to do so. However, I doubt they would have the stomach for a sustained negative public relations campaign. If people are writing to their donors and sponsors to complain, at some point they would stands to lose more than the licensing is worth to them. Unfortunately that's a long-term issue though, and is unlikely to stop them from initiating a law suit. A confrontation does seem likely. Dragons flight (talk) 12:10, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I became aware of this issue when someone told me about the discussion on foundation-l. Someone should try and follow both that discussion and the discussion here. I also saw the recent discussion on en-Wikipedia on the administrators' noticeboard there (where an account was indefinitely blocked for legal threats) - note that that link may soon not work when the discussion is archived. This reminded me of previous discussions I had seen, so I did a search of the AN archives and found an en-Wikipedia AN report from way back in November 2006 - see here. There may have been other incidents as well, so it might be worth trying to see how far back this goes (both here and on Commons), to get the context. Note Brad Patrick's response at the time (he was the WMF lawyer back then), though obviously things may be different now, and it is current WMF opinions and actions that matter. If someone here who is participating in the foundation-l discussion could point out the incident from November 2006 (that I mentioned above), I'd be grateful. Carcharoth (talk) 12:31, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

As well as the above incident from November 2006, I also found a comment from April 2008 (again, on en-Wikipedia). The diff is here. Part of what that user says there is the following:

"A case in point is the National Portrait Gallery of the United Kingdom. Sometimes ago I was negotiating with them for getting one of their photographs transferred to Wikipedia. What they told me was that although they are a national institution, since (and this is the most relevant aspect) they had to earn part of their running costs from leasing photographs to the rest of the world, they were not in a position to permit use of their photographs on Wikipedia (although they wrote me that they were in serious negotiations with Wikipedia for arriving at a mutually acceptable agreement, since they were regularly receiving similar requests as mine). This shows that if National Portrait Gallery were fully financed by the state, the photographs in their collection belonged to the public."

I've told that user that I've quoted them here, and pointed them towards this discussion, asking whether they can tell us more. Although the comment was made in April 2008, the actual discussion referred to may have taken place long before then. Carcharoth (talk) 12:56, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I read the report on ANI from 2006. I then followed the link to the contributions from that IP which is still registered as belonging to the NPG. Interestingly, I found 2 instances of very recent racist vandalism on a BLP on EnWiki[17][18]. Somehow I don't think they're in any position to be throwing rocks here. Vyvyan Ade Basterd (talk) 13:29, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Having read the email I would suggest that it is a fairly considerate legal threat. It offers discussion and makes no mention of costs. I think it would benefit everyone if the foundation were to accept that they uploading breached UK law and enter into discussion with NPG to obtain legitimate copies and to establish an ongoing relationship where NPG provided Wikipedia with images. This is a situation which can be simply and easily resolved with no loss of face and benefits for all. The solicitors seem to think the the foundations response was not reasonable can anyone show me where copies of it response are? It looks like the foundation have dropped the user right in it and that we should also be looking at censuring them.--JIrate (talk) 13:03, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Am I the only one who looks forward to Dcoetzee and the foundation being sued off their asses? A full and deep exploration of the legal issues behind this would go a long way to sorting out the muddy mess that is Wikipedia's access to images for so-called 'fair use'. Short of that, the people in this thread need to decide which is more important to them - Dcoetzee's freedom, or having the image. This thread is full of people who want both - a free thief and the thief's booty. I recommend that if everyone doesn't want to see a big lawsuit, we delete the images, thus protecting Dcoetzee. If you want the big lawsuit, then we de-tag the images, showing that (most) Wikipedians don't believe UK law can touch Wikipedia, but we also make a nice big e-card wishing DCoetzee luck in prison, or in finding a nice dry alley of his own. I see people above showing that the financial state of the company somehow prove they can or cannot afford it, and that this is just about the money, not about laws, principles, or anything else. I see them drawing conclusions on their own about what the company should change in it's operating system to allow us to poach their Intellectual Property. Stop being armchair laywers, and focus on what we can actually do. We can delete, or not. Both have consequences. If we delete, Wikipedia is conceding that Intellectual Property exists. If we don't, we publicly show that Wikipedia doesn't recognize Intellectual Property. It's really that simple. Choose, but either way, be prepared for the consequences. ThuranX at 15:23, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

What does fair use in Wikipedia have to do with this specific legal dispute? And yes, Wikimedia Foundation does not recognize claims of copyright in a very specific situation: photographic reproductions of 2D works in the public domain (it's called Copyfraud). What's wrong with this? Sv1xv (talk) 16:13, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
ThuranX, your comment is ridiculous and shows a complete lack of understanding of what makes this anything but a simple legal situation. It also shows a complete lack of understanding of how the WMF licensing of content from contributors impacts the situation. This has absolutely nothing to do with if 'intellectual property exists'. Obviously it does exist, and obviously the WMF recognizes that by the fact that the content of the WMF sites is licensed. If Dcoetzee believes it is worth pursuing his stance, that the images are PD, and thus usable, I congratulate him for standing up for his belief. If he doesn't believe it is worth the time and money it may take for just a few images, he can have them be deleted. That's not to say someone else won't hold that the images are worth fighting for. And no one goes to prison for a civil case... Prodego talk 16:09, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Ummm, doesn't seem like anyone has said this, but it seems important: Is Dcoetzee even in the UK or otherwise under its jurisdiction? Does the NPG have any actual ability to sue him? Does (or even _can_, under w:Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp.) the USA recognize copyright over such things that the NFS is claiming copyright? IANAL, and perhaps such things are not appropriate to be talked about here, but such issues seems fairly primitive.Scientus (talk) 16:27, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Dcoetzee is American. Establishing the jurisdiction of UK courts would be an important aspect of any law suit. In the event of a judgment against Dcoetzee, they would presumably ask US courts for enforcement (unless Dcoetzee actually has assests in the UK for some reason), and Dcoetzee would have an additional opportunity to fight the judgment via the US legal system at that time. Getting a foreign judgment set aside would not necessarily be a trivial act though. I don't plan to speculate about what strategy Dcoetzee might take in response to these jurisdictional issues. Dragons flight (talk) 18:58, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I think this goes beyond Dcoetzee and beyond UK law. The position of the WMF is that even if you say a work is "public domain," it's not public domain in practice if you keep the work behind a closed door and no one gets to see it without your permission and no one gets to reproduce it (since you forbid photographs) and you assert ownership of the reproductions you've made that you give out. Claiming that the photographs are somehow of a different character than the original works is a bad-faith attempt to assert private control over a public good. - Chardish (talk) 17:12, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't know if things can be arranged in time or if WMF or Dcoetzee qualify financially (the UK chapter probably would) but LawWorks can help find lawyers in the UK willing to work on a pro bono basis.KTo288 (talk) 17:25, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Legal threats come from all over the world. These images may violate the UK law, and other images may violate other national laws. Can the UK courts reach Dcoetzee or the WMF? Does the UK law represent real threat to Dcoetzee or to the WMF? The UK law, the French law, the Russian law or the Iranian law may persecute Wikipedia volunteers. There are more than 200 countries around the world, each one has different laws, and any local court may condemn a Wikipedia volunteer in accordance with its local law. The WMF cannot (and must not) fulfil all legislation on Earth. Moreover, if a Wikipedia volunteer cannot be reached by a local court (a Japanese volunteer condemned by a Turkish court, for instance), we should not be worried. Otherwise, considering the growth of the Wikimedia projects, the legal threats around the world would paralyse our work.
Joaquim Mariano (talk) 23:00, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

  • Some factual points. Farrer claim that there are Wikipedia servers in the UK; is this correct? I always thought they were in the US, GHermany etc but not in the Uk. They also claim that he has stolen their database compilation rights, but is this true? The large groups of NPG files from him that I have seen I thought were unsorted, but maybe not. On the wider issue, the images uploaded to the NPG website are of massively lower resolution & file-size than the ones they sell to publishers. 04:03, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
    • Farrer is noting that NPG's servers are in the UK (no surprise). The WMF has servers in Florida, the Netherlands, and South Korea. The WMF has no significant assets in the UK. Dragons flight (talk) 04:18, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
(c) In the letter the lawyers claim that Dcoetzee "circumvented the technical measures that our client put in place on its website to prevent those high resolution images from being copied;" This may actually put him in breech of the computer misuse act section 1 para 1.--JIrate (talk) 15:31, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Except that Zoomify is certainly not an "effective technological measure to protect a copyright work". It's a program that splits up an image in individual side-by-side rectangular areas (tiles) and then only loads those tiles that are visible at a certain resolution. That speeds up loading images at high resolutions (because Zoomify only has to load a few tiles instead of the whole image), but all tiles are accessible and can be downloaded and assembled easily. Zoomify is not a copy protection. Lupo 16:03, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
TO Lupo section 1 says

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if—

(a) he causes a computer to perform any function with intent to secure access to any program or data held in any computer;

(b) the access he intends to secure is unauthorised; and

(c) he knows at the time when he causes the computer to perform the function that that is the case. " --JIrate (talk) 16:17, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

What's your point? Lupo 07:08, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
That the user did know "the access he intends to secure is unauthorised", and that that potential makes it a criminal rather than civil matter, for which he can be extradited and given the current Gary McKinnon, it would be unwise to push it.--JIrate (talk) 11:40, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
Where's the "unauthorized" in a simple HTTP access? Is clicking these four links "unauthorized access"? I don't think so. (The links goes to four single Zoomify tiles at the MOMA. They're normal links like any other link on the web.) The tiles Zoomify uses are accessible by anyone using no special means whatsoever. There's no need to spread FUD about "unauthorized access" in this context. Oh, and also see [19]. Lupo 11:52, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
As I said earlier "In the letter the lawyers claim that Dcoetzee "circumvented the technical measures that our client put in place on its website to prevent those high resolution images from being copied;"" That would mean unathorised. I am commenting on farrers statments, given their wording it would constitute a breach. Pushed to far they make take it to the police and this could get a whole lot nastier.--JIrate (talk) 12:05, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
The police? Most copyright litigation is civil in nature (as it is here), not criminal. It's the copyright-holders (or the ones that think they are) and their lawyers that go after you, not the state. Also, just because they said something doesn't mean it's correct. I believe that part of the law refers to circumventing DRM (like the DMCA does). The content is freely accessible without restriction (no encryption, not even a password needed). There's nothing there to circumvent even if you wanted to. There's no authorization needed or requested to access it. The fact that it's inconveniently stored is irrelevant. Rocket000 (talk) 03:19, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
The Computer Misused act requires only that the access is unauthorised and that the user knew that they where unauthorised.--JIrate (talk) 21:11, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
It does not seem to me that there was any unauthorized access. Anyone can view the pieces of the high-resolution images through the provided interface. The issue is what was done later (presumably re-combining the tiles and uploading them). That would not be an issue of access, but just copyright (if it exists). The law also says that it only applies to a measure "which is designed, in the normal course of its operation, to protect a copyright work other than a computer program". Zoomify is not designed to do that; it is designed to make high-resolution images available while minimizing bandwidth use. It makes copying more difficult, but as Lupo notes above, their own FAQ says "we provide Zoomify as a viewing solution and not an image security system". It is also moot if the underlying image is deemed to not be copyrighted. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:05, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Farrers email implies that they do. All they would have to do is pursuade Police/CPS that there is a case to answer and a criminal trial becomes a possibility. It is something the user shold keep in mind and make sure he doesn't give them evidence by mistake.--JIrate (talk) 18:41, 16 July 2009 (UTC)
Unforunately the law can be is extremely vague about what constitutes "unauthorized access". Aparently posting "naughty" stuff from your work computer (without bypassing any kind of security systems) can be sufficient to get you convicted of "felony hacking"[20]. Bogles the mind, but just goes to show that law and common sense doesn't always mesh to well... --Sherool (talk) 22:57, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Australian copyright summation re Ice TV

A recent Australian High Court decision about copyright has been setting new precedent about compilations. While not directly related, it is akin. There was coverage at ABC Radio National Law Report from early May. -- billinghurst (talk) 00:47, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

You mean this one? Hm, reading the transcript it seems to confirm the merger doctrine is valid in Australia as well (if there is only one way to express an idea, the expression and the idea have merged, and is uncopyrightable). Compilation copyrights usually often some originality as to the choices, and there may have been none with a simple listing of *all* TV programs. Still, that is somewhat interesting given that Australia has a UK-type legal background, which sometimes interprets "original" differently in respect to copyright, meaning if it has not been seen before (which would be true of any particular TV schedule), and not necessarily involving any creativity. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:20, 12 July 2009 (UTC)


I don't see any harm in those UK citizens or residents who want to support the use of such images at least making their voices heard. Number 10 has a helpful online petition creator; would anyone object to the creation of a petition on this issue per se? Can it hurt? Jarry1250 (talk) 10:38, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

A cooperative approach

Am interested in interfacing with other volunteers (particularly WMF UK) to see whether a cooperative solution is possible. Would gladly donate restoration services toward that. Durova (talk) 15:37, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I agree that cooperative approach is best solution in such situation. Confrontation is bad for both sides (PR/legal expenses/time/etc.).
However in future it'll be good idea to investigate potential issues with museums before doing mass uploads (especially, files created by museums themselves, not Commons users).
EugeneZelenko (talk) 16:17, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
We previously, not too long ago, had a similar case, the museum asked nicely, and offered intermediate resolution images as an incentive to remove the very high resolution ones. That was resolved amicably, although there were some here saying that removing the very high resolution ones (out of courtesy) was the wrong, er, resolution of the issue ++Lar: t/c 18:05, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Define "cooperative approach." I see ceding to the demands of the NPG, in whole or in part, as legitimizing their claims of ownership over these works. - Chardish (talk) 18:07, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

One needn't cede to demands in order to move forward cooperatively. The key is to come to an understanding of the other party's needs and concerns, earn their trust, and create synergistic solutions. Here's an example of a potential synergy:

Most museums and archives rely on reproduction sales for part of their operating income. This is true even for those that receive subsidies. It costs overhead to maintain secure storage, temperature controls, etc. that preserve the physical collection. As a general rule the curators who take care of that physical material are not very savvy about free culture, and free culture enthusiasts are not very savvy about historic art preservation. They are used to one way of balancing the museum budget, and their default reaction is to look for ways to preserve the existing income streams. From the free culture side that looks like greed; from the perspective of these institutions it can be a question of reducing operating hours.

Fortunately this doesn't have to be a zero sum game. These organizations have a mission to serve the public, so if we show them a way that they can release more material without harming their budgets they talk to us. If we earn their trust they cooperate with us. Basically, these legal claims are a defensive brick wall. We don't validate the brick wall by walking around it instead of assaulting it, if the end result is that they dismantle the wall themselves.

With the images above, the unrestored version has no resale value but the restored image is suitable for posters, mouse pads, etc. Am offering this labor for free because it can motivate institutions to loosen their grip on the material we want, by showing them that we understand their needs and are willing to prioritize solutions that make openness workable for them. There are several ways of accomplishing that goal; this is the advantage I bring to the table. In the end it serves both WMF and NPG better to spend a few hours restoring a portrait etching than locking horns. Durova (talk) 20:01, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

  • First, I advise reading Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp.. At least one party in the U.K. is eagerly awaiting a test case for exact photographic reproductions, so you'll have to fight that source of pressure.

    Second, I suggest that you read about Schiffer Publishing vs. Chronicle Books, Sawkins v Hyperion Records, Eisenman v Qimron, and other cases. Restoration of a (still) copyrighted work involves additional copyright considerations, and you might find people unwilling to permit you to engage in such endeavours given the copyright situation that ensues.

    Uncle G (talk) 07:27, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

    • With respect, what makes you suppose I haven't read those? Been volunteering intensively with this area a long time. Durova (talk) 19:16, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I agree with Durova that if the organisation who created the images wants to reach an agreement, providing them with restored images would help. However we can't know at this stage what the NPG is willing to accept. I have seen organisations with much less a firm stand not willing to accept any compromise. Yann (talk) 09:42, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

To reply to a point made a while back, the NPG's income from its picture library in TY2007–08 was £378,000 page 46 here: that's not small change by anyone's measure, but is less than the cost of mounting a defended High Court action while being represented by the Queen's solicitors. I can't seriously believe that they wouldn't prefer a negotiated solution. Physchim62 (talk) 22:01, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

It's worth mentioning that the NPG has a large collection of in-copyright works and even budget for the commissioning of new works, the accounts document reflects the enormous popularity of the these modern collections, but the licensing income is not broken out. Interestingly the NPG has published rates for the creation of new photographic masters and digitization—The fee is £43[21].--Gmaxwell (talk) 03:14, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
I've tried to put this number into perspective here. In short, it amounted to 2.3% of the NPG's overall income, and it is much less than the combined income from catering and venue hire (i.e. selling food and allowing parties in the Gallery's buildings). Regagrds, High on a tree (talk) 15:48, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Dcoetzee adminship

It's not technically relevant but worth mentioning: Dcoetzee is a commons admin. Commons admins can't actually permanently delete images, but it looks like they can to outsiders. As a result it looks like the legal threat is demanding that he violate our rules and trust or face stiffer consequences. I think this is an unconscionable conflict which is unfair to all parties. Accordingly after many hours of consideration and consultation I have made a request that Dcoetzee's admin access be temporarily revoked and provided this notice:

Dcoetzee, it is with great regret that I have requested that your commons adminship be temporarily revoked.

Although commons admins do not have the technically ability to permanently delete images or the authority to make such changes against community consensus I believe that nevertheless the spurious legal attack on you has created a potential for conflict between your own interests and those of the Wikimedia Foundation, the community of contributors on this project, and the general public. While this conflict is more likely to be a perceived conflict than an actual one— the resulting confusion will detrimental to all. This negative situation can most easily be avoided by a temporary reduction in your access.

No one should consider this temporary deadminship as an insult towards the great service you've provided here, or as any indication of wrong-doing on your part. I trust that after this matter is resolved you will be able to resume contributing in the same admirable manner that you have done in the past with the full trust and support of the community. I look forward to this less conflicted future. Cheers. --Gmaxwell (talk) 00:08, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Please keep in mind that the removal is not a negative reflection on Dcoetzee. I personally support Dcoetzee. I'm taking this move because I believe it is in everyones best interest. Please consider the implications carefully. --Gmaxwell (talk) 00:21, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

In accordance with the above request and my own judgment that there is a potential conflict of interest justifying such a move, and acting in my capacity as a steward, I have removed Dcoetzee's adminship temporarily pending a resolution to this matter of a conflict of interest. ++Lar: t/c 00:25, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I completely endorse the above decision. That's a necessary move given the current situation. Removing Dcoetze the ability to do what he wouldn't be able to anyway, make things more simple. Platonides (talk) 01:00, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
As I stated on my user page, no insult is taken and I understand the need for the project to take this action under the circumstances. Dcoetzee (talk) 06:17, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Why do you call the letter a "spurious legal attack"? The honourable thing for the Foundation to do would have been to let Dcoetzee delete his uploads so that he could comply. Then the Foundation could have undeleted by an office action, if they thought they would win the case. "Many hours of consultation" - but no discussion here... /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 07:41, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Peter if this de-admin was designed to protect Dcoetzee, it would have been better for Dcoetzee to delete these images to show compliance with the legal threats against him, spurious or not, and then to remove his adminship (for breach of not following procedure if need be) and then if WMF really believes it to have a case for WMF to restore the files so that the copyright issue becomes an issue betwwen WMF and the NPG. However this still wouldn't protect Dcoetzee from the charges of breach of contract or for circumventing NPG's copy protection.KTo288 (talk) 13:19, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I used the words "spurious legal attack" because the claims simply have no merit.
Yes they do - the photographs should be taken down. The claims are completely valid. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 13. Juli 2009, 18:23 Uhr (UTC)
There is nothing anyone can do to move even the copyright violation claim to another party. Just because the image's uploader names were switched to someone else wouldn't change what happened previously. As things stand the NPG can attempt to sue the WMF (keep in mind that if the WMF doesn't comply with a properly formed DMCA takedown notice* it loses safe harbor for the works in question) and they can attempt to sue Dcoetzee. The choice is entirely the NPG's and the statement "with no option" really means "so we thought you might be easier to intimidate". The only thing that anyone could do to change the situation is that the WMF could take the images down during the notice period and keep them down thus completely eliminating their culpability but that wouldn't change Dcoetzee's exposure at all. You might argue that Dcoetzee could take some action to make him a less attractive target, but he is already an incredibly unattractive target in all save one regard: as a private individual he might lack the resources to adequately defend himself.
(*Although, as far as I can tell their correspondence to the WMF has not included an actual DMCA notice. This may because sending one could be a felony because the NPG is aware the works in question are clearly not copyrightable under US law.)--Gmaxwell (talk) 18:39, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
The DMCA safe harbor provisions are only relevant to US law and similarly a take down notice would only be relevant if the were also prepared to sue in US courts. Since it is fairly unambiguous that they would lose a US case (and everyone knows it), that line of action would be pointless. Dragons flight (talk) 19:30, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. Which doesn't at all disagree with the point that nothing has diminished NPG's ability to try to go after the WMF instead of or in addition to others. --Gmaxwell (talk) 20:18, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Could someone (possibly Gmaxwell) please explain what is the course of action to take if a non-admin like me (or now Dcoetzee) is under some legal threat, and after receiving advice from his lawyer decides that it is better to delete the pictures. Would not a regular request for deletion be too slow (considering the 10 day deadline) ? Teofilo (talk) 09:50, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Once you've uploaded a file it's out of your hands. You have to do a deletion request. You're at the mercy of the community. Multichill (talk) 11:12, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Just to make that completely clear: no admin actually has the ability to comply with a demand to "permanently remove". The "delete" function available to administrators is not an actual delete button. It's a "hide from the general public until further notice" button. Things are commonly 'undeleted', and once 'undeleted' they look like they were never deleted, since they weren't. But many people (particularly non-administrators) confuse it for an actual delete function. We see examples of that confusion here above at 'wouldnt it be better'. --Gmaxwell (talk) 18:39, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Lar, doesn't "your capacity as a steward" also obligate you to not take such action on your home wiki? This isn't the first time you've used steward permissions on Commons, but that doesn't make it OK.  — Mike.lifeguard 19:01, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

I considered that factor, as well as many others, in weighing what to do, yes. But remember that our practice is not an absolute prohibition on taking action on wikis we frequent, it is a reminder to use our judgment. This action is not irreversible. ++Lar: t/c 04:13, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
So it comes down to the assertion that you're right? If that's the bottom line, then that's what I'm looking for and also why I asked you in public. Thanks for your answer.  — Mike.lifeguard 15:59, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
That's a rather snarky phrasing, and rather disappointing, Mike. I was presented with information prefatory to a request, and made a judgment call, both about whether the information should be publicized and about how to handle the request itself. If you had contacted me privately and I had a high comfort level with your discretion and sound judgment I would have gladly given you more information but again, being a steward includes knowing when not to discuss things publicly. Or should. As you have been reminded. The action is not irreversible. ++Lar: t/c 19:45, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Community service

As a community service, I have expanded w:Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp.. This should help to educate anyone who mistakenly believes that its judgement in any way incorporated the notion that "copyright cannot subsist in a photograph of a painting", and to inform them of what its somewhat different judgement actually was. Uncle G (talk) 08:01, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, Uncle G. It will help the public to understand the issues to have detailed information about this related case. Dcoetzee (talk) 09:09, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikimedia UK's copyright consultation response

The United Kingdom government's Intellectual Property Office published an "Issues Paper" in December 2008, and requested outside comments on copyright in the UK. Wikimedia UK's response, can be read here - I recommend everyone read it. It is highly relevant, the response focuses purely on 2D reproductions of public domain artwork.

Commons will only accept images which are free in the US and the country of origin. In this case it is obviously not as clear cut as some blogs "laughingly" suggest. - Hahnchen (talk) 16:52, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Actually, that "free in the US and the country of origin" thing only applies to the original work in question, not copies. See our policy on the matter. If the painting itself is free in both countries, then faithful 2D copies are allowed. Of course, you can't upload the actual painting itself so everything here is a copy. Furthermore, that's a self-imposed rule and has nothing to do with the actual law. Rocket000 (talk) 01:44, 15 July 2009 (UTC)


Seems to me that this is all copyfraud. As I understand it, the situation in the UK is this:-

An artist makes a painting. Unless he was specifically commissioned to produce that painting, the copyright to it is his (and his estate's for 70 years after his death), otherwise the copyright belongs to the commissioner (and his estate's for 70 years after his death). Once copyright expires, it cannot be resurrected. If an artist sells a painting to which he owns the copyright to another person, the copyright remains with the artist unless the artist also agrees to sell such copyright in the painting too. If that person dies and leaves the painting to a museum, the copyright still remains with the artist who created the painting. If the museum reproduces images of a painting still under copyright, then they are in breach of such copyright themselves.

So, either the NPG has purchased the copyright from the artist (or estate thereof) of any painting that is in copyright (a separate act to purchasing the actual painting), or their paintings are all older than "life + 70 years" and thus in the public domain. Question is, which is it? Mjroots (talk) 07:31, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

There is no dispute over whether the paintings are in the public domain. The question is whether the reproductions are or not. The traditional interpretation of the law in the UK (as argued by the NPG, for instance) has been that copyright may subsist in a photograph of a work of art whether or not the subject of the photo is in the public domain or not. By the NPG's argument, it doesn't matter whether the subject of the photo is 2D or 3D: copyright can subsist in a photographic reproduction of a public domain statue or painting - whether it does or not, crudely speaking, boils down to the "sweat of the brow" argument. The NPG clearly have an arguable case, based on precedent. We will see whether WMF can succeed in overturning the precedent. (One might argue that UK law in this instance is unreasonably restrictive, but, swings and roundabouts, it is by comparison highly liberal on freedom of panorama). Man vyi (talk) 08:17, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Hmmm, but what about the "copyright cannot be resurrected" rule? Claiming copyright of a photograph of a public domain painting is resurrecting copyright, is it not? Mjroots (talk) 08:21, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
From w:Copyright - Copyright gives the author of an original work exclusive right for a certain time period in relation to that work, including its publication, distribution and adaptation, after which time the work is said to enter the public domain. and Once the term of a copyright has expired, the formerly copyrighted work enters the public domain and may be freely used or exploited by anyone. Basically, copyright is the "right to copy". Once that right expires, anyone can publish, distribute and adapt a work. Mjroots (talk) 08:36, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
I think I can alleviate the confusion here. Say you take a photo of a public domain statue. Since the work is public domain, you don't need the sculptor's permission to publish that photo. However, that doesn't give you any right over depictions of the statue in general; only your own original contribution to the work can be the subject of a new copyright. Bridgeman v. Corel held that the photographer creating a slavish reproduction of a painting did not enjoy any new copyright because their own original contribution is so small (virtually any authentic photographic reproduction would look like any other). Dcoetzee (talk) 08:48, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's the principle in question. Even if a statue is public domain, taking a photograph of it will create a new and separate copyright which subsists in the photograph - and with freedom of panorama, a photograph including a depiction of a non-public-domain statue will attract a new and separate copyright. I believe, just to muddy the waters again, that it has also been held under UK law that a new and separate copyright will subsist even in an unauthorised reproduction or derivative of a work still in copyright. Man vyi (talk) 09:23, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
That is true, but when you photograph the statue you put a certain creative input into making the photograph, by choosing the scene around, whether or not there are people as part of the motive, what time of day you take it, lighting and shadows, and so on. In the NPG's case, the purpose of the photographs is to create an exact reproduction of the paintings with no new creative input going into the photograph. You can compare this with making a colour photocopy of a public domain photograph - the photocopy would not be a copyrighted work. In the US, this principle has been upheld in the "Bridgeman vs. Corel" case, but in the UK, law is unclear on this point and there are no previous judgements on this principle. The legal questions that apply to this case are 1) whether the NPG's claim of copyright on the photos is valid at all per UK law; 2) whether the copying that was done by Dcoetzee in order to upload these photos to Commons was done in the UK at all, or if it was done in the US where it is legal and outside the jurisdiction of the UK. Velphery (talk) 12:54, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

In the news

The story has reached the newspapers in the UK Mjroots (talk) 09:02, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

Its also in The Guardian and wikinewsKTo288 (talk) 09:22, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
Now also the BBC, quote "The NPG said while it would be "happy" for the website to use low-resolution images..."KTo288 (talk) 13:49, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
These are low-resolution images; a 2000 pixel side at 1200 DPI (a minimum for high-quality printing) is less than 2 inches long.--Prosfilaes (talk) 15:43, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
And they didn't release them under a free license, they offered a Wikipedia-only permission. Yann (talk) 15:49, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

There's been a response from the Wikimedia Foundation Mjroots (talk) 05:20, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Quote:-"It is hard to see a plausible argument that excluding public domain content from a free, non-profit encyclopaedia serves any public interest whatsoever" Erik Moeller is being disingenuous, that's basically what the NPG was offering with a Wikipedia only permission. Its the WMF's insistence with GDFL which will any user (ie including those who wish to commercially exploit these images) not just Wikipedia to use the images which is at the hub of this dispute.KTo288 (talk) 09:20, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

National Portrait Gallery snubs 235 years old Anglo- American statute

It might be worth reminding the general public WHY the legal status of ‘public domain’ was created by Act of Parliament in 1774. Its aim was to once and for all, end the practice of Anglo- American book publishing world from using common law to enforce perpetual copyright over the reproduction of the original manuscripts in their possession. Crushing of this perpetual copyright enabled the rapid spread of knowledge that this modern world is founded upon. [22]

Two hundred and thirty five years on, and the National Portrait Gallery, like the monopolistic book publishers of old, now openly claim what amounts to perpetual copyright over the whole collection entrusted to their guardianship by the selective use and interpretation of common law. This policy of total control over both the copying and commercial and non-commercial exploitation also puts the art out of reach of researchers who want (say) to explore new diagnostic imaging techniques which could aid the understanding of the methods and techniques use by various artists; with the freedom to publish them in such CC journals as the Public Library of Science. Even visiting tourist are not allowed to take snaps. See: Warhol is turning in his grave: An exhibition of pop art at London's National Portrait Gallery unwittingly celebrates a golden age before copyright was king

It may be that some managers within the NPG have been beguiled by silver tongued software salesmen into purchasing expensive rights management systems which came with a promise to skim off a share of all those zillions pouring into the ever swelling coffers of Corbis and Getty, but without regard to some the limitations imposed on this business model by the status of public domain existing in much of the collection and the underling foundations of its raison d'être. Instead, they try to pick and mix the law to smooth the passage of their personal careers. This attempt at copyfraud by stealth, if left unchallenged, is a threat to all the other public domain works held in public owned depositories of the UK. [23]copyfraud This is the bigger danger, that might go unnoticed by the general public if we don’t make them aware of the under laying history of copyright, in such a way they can see for themselves that the 1988 Act did not intend PD (and their publicly owned art collections) to be abused in this way. --P.g.champion (talk) 18:49, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

This was not an 'Act of Parliament'. This was a judicial precedent created by the House of Lords acting as the highest court of the UK. Ruslik (talk) 19:13, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Just in case anyone thinks that the NPG's position is patently out of step with UK government policy or any evident legislative intent of the 1988 Act, it's worth noting that the Government Art Collection also claims ownership of copyright in reproductions of out-of-copyright works owned by the government (
"Whilst the GAC owns the copyright in the photographs/transparencies to be supplied, it does not normally own the copyright in the underlying work of art which is the subject matter of the photograph/transparency. In those cases where a work is still in copyright, then, in order to make reproductions from the photograph/transparency, you will need not only the GAC’s permission (which is contained in the Reproduction Agreement) but also the permission of the artist of the original work (or, if different, the artist’s successor in title)." (from
The GAC further requires that all licensed reproductions of works in the collection be accompanied by a copyright notice: © Crown copyright: UK Government Art Collection. None of which may stand up in court when tested, of course. And the UK government could change its policy if it wanted to at any time. Man vyi (talk) 14:15, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

NPG digitization budget

Thanks to a Wikipedia user for these links from March and April this year. I hope they are useful.

--InfantGorilla (talk) 14:13, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Church/bell towers in France

Category:Church towers in France and Category:Church towers in France by department need rearrangments. Who knows how to do this properly? --Havang(nl) (talk) 11:15, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

What's the problem? Any discussion anywhere? Lupo 11:49, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Category:Church towers outlines the general structure. "Bell towers" categories should only be included with {{Cat see also}}. -- User:Docu at 14:57, 2009 July 21
Thanks. Looking at Category:Church towers, it is evident that the whole category needs improving category assignments, not just the french part. Who is in for it? --Havang(nl) (talk) 16:51, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Sure, how shall we go about it? IMHO, ideally images would be categorized by style (1) and into locality categories or categories for specific churches (2). Just sorting them by country (3) isn't too much fun and as I'm not too confident about doing (1), maybe we could add another set of categories by form (4) (e.g. as twisted towers). BTW the other day Jack ma worked on bell gables, maybe he wants to participate. -- User:Docu at 18:11, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Neither am I good in style, but I can do some locality cats. Anyhow, it has got some attention now. Thanks. --Havang(nl) (talk) 16:32, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I came across Commons:Category scheme towers - a bit old, but it has some categories by material and shape. -- User:Docu at 17:01, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

OGG Format

As I understand it, Commons uses the ogg format because it's supposed to be the most compatible across different operating systems. I'm curious, does anybody else have all sorts of problems playing the videos? I'm sure I'll be told to upgrade java or download some extra program, but if I have to do that, doesn't that make the format rather restrictive? That kinda defeats the purpose of using the format in the first place.

Have we considered using flv? I'm sure the argument has been, well such and such doesn't support flv. I think it can be easily established that flv would work best for the vast majority of people who are looking for media. That makes a lot more sense than using a format that doesn't work well for anybody. Or am I the only person that has problems? Love, Calibas (talk) 01:59, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

It is used because it is the only viable "free" format; FLV is not (or at least the required codecs have patents on them). See Commons:File types#Video. So, we live with the aggravations which come with that. Videos for the most part play OK for me, but you may want to look at the actual size of the video you are trying to view. The MediaWiki software currently does not scale the videos to the size they seem to be on the page; rather the entire video is downloaded and your browser has to scale it. For large videos, the bandwidth requirements may be too much, or your computer can't quite handle scaling that much video in realtime. I have seen very aggravating issues when that happens. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:25, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Install Firefox 3.5.1, and you don't need to worry about Java anymore. --QWerk (talk) 13:31, 22 July 2009 (UTC)


Can anybody figure out what happened here? There are no entries in the deletion log, but the deleted history contains one revision. Perhaps I'm missing something, but it seems rather odd. Thanks, –Juliancolton | Talk 02:35, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

In any case, the sculptor (Albert Roze) died in 1952 and there is no freedom of panorama in France. What's remaining of the file as well as the other file in that category should probably deleted as well. --rimshottalk 06:27, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Tunisian copyright update

I am making a follow-up on this discussion regarding a legal change in Tunisia. To resume, the Tunisian parliament has voted several amendments to the law about copyright. Now, pictures are protected for 50 years after they have been taken (25 years before the change).

There was a pending question: should the pictures taken after January 1, 1959 with the license {{PD-Tunisia}} be removed? Now, the complete text of the new law (not the one amended) has been published online (June 30th edition at pages 4-13). It is mentioned the former article 19 is replaced with the new one but there is no mention of whether or not it applies retroactively. What is your opinion? Moumou82 (talk) 18:35, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

The link seems broken: all I get is "Le contexte auquel cette requête fait référence (-2) est inconnu. Le serveur a peut-être été redémarré depuis votre dernière requête. (0054, ERR_BAD_CONTEXT_INVALID)". —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 14:32, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Their server seems to be misconfigured. But I verified Moumou82's statement above already on July 13. See Template talk:PD-Tunisia. Lupo 14:50, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
There are changes on Freedom of Panorama too. But I need help. See CT:FOP#Tunisia. Teofilo (talk) 21:59, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Images moved improperly from Wikipedia to Commons

The following images have been transferred from the English Wikipedia to the Commons:

Since the file names begin with 750 or 800px, I do not believe that these are the full resolution versions. I was hoping that an admin here who also has admin status on the English Wikipedia could check to see if these are the full-size images, and upload higher resolution versions if this is not the case. OSX (talkcontributions) 16:06, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Some of these particular files have indeed been incorrectly transferred. A bigger problem, however, is that they were deleted from the English Wikipedia due to missing source and/or license information. I've filed a mass deletion request for them at Commons:Deletion requests/Files by en:User:Koenigsegg. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 18:16, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Known problem.
People not downloading the image but saving a thumbnail, many derivative works of maps e.g. are not created from the original size but a 800px thumbnail. Sollutions:
1) Request undeletion on the local project and repeat the transfer or
2) Request undeletion, upload the original size to Commons if not already done by the local administrator, {{Rename}} the file on Commons to a name without the 800px.
Thats a tedious work, I dont know why people dont recognize that something is wrong if the filename suddenly contains a 800px. --Martin H. (talk) 16:22, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Occasionally, images with names that begin with "NNNpx-" are perfectly legitimate uploads (though rather unfortunately named), since someone edited a thumbnail image to produce a different image, yet kept the name prefix. Cases of this include File:120px-Fairness Doctrine.png, File:569px-Againstsquare compasses.svg.png, File:594px-Estonian alternative flag proposal.svg2.png, etc. AnonMoos (talk) 17:23, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Anyway, it would be trivial to disallow such file names using the title blacklist, if we want to. Something like "File:\d+px-.* <reupload>" would do it, while still allowing reuploads over existing files with such names. We could even write a nice custom error message for it. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 19:01, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Missing image data self-repairing?

On 16 July 2009 I uploaded File:Interstate 5 Seattle02 2008-02-22.jpg and now all day I do not get this image displayed, neither full image nor thumbnails. For instance I see instead:

Error creating thumbnail: convert: missing an image filename 

Will this glitch repair itself after some time, or should I upload this file again?--Klaus with K (talk) 16:09, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

If you can reupload it, I'd recommend doing so. It's possible that someone with shell access might be able to recover it, but it seems more likely that the file never got properly uploaded at all. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 17:15, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I can upload it again, and I just did so. Regarding the initial upload, wich was the day after that transient file upload switch-off, the file displayed ok for a day or two. I thought I tell as it might not be this file only but perhaps a larger issue. -- Klaus with K (talk) 17:44, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

July 23

Deletion request of all templates in Category:Information museum templates

Well, all the info templates found in Category:Information museum templates should imho be replaced with normal information templates or if not adequate a general museums information template. This could be done with a simple bot script that I can easily do. I wanted first to see if someone would be against it. The main advantage of these is probably that they categorize into a maintenance category. However this could be replaced with another location template that gives the Geo location of the museum and has the hidden maintenance category. The thing with special rows like "Accession number" and "Dimension" should be in the description of the information template. --Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 12:18, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Just looked at a sample, and it seems that they are all the same as {{Meta information museum}}, only with colour variations. Why do you dislike this system? Pruneautalk 12:46, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Main issue is consistency. It would be best if all museums had the same information template, with only a location template there. Something like {{LOC-image}} but instead of being a source template it would be a location template with the logo or an image of the Museum on the left or right handside. Our information templates are blue and when viewing a Museume info template it gets unicolor. --Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 13:02, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

A year backlog

The total number of uncategorized files seems to decrease slowly, but some files are uncategorized for more than a year. See Category:Media needing categories. Multichill (talk) 06:37, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

It would be good to have stats on Category:Unidentified subjects and its subcategories too. We cannot consider that those files are fully categorized. Teofilo (talk) 11:59, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Is "unidentified subjects" for not identified "subjects" or for "subjects" not identifiable by specialists?
Generally, I hesitate if I should place images in "subjects" or "unidentified subjects" when I'm not sure which "identified subject" it is about. "identified subject" is generally a category with a name in Latin, "subject" a more general one. -- User:Docu at 16:12, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Cleaning up some templates...

{{Query place}} was recently extended to allow for diffusion by continent.

I note that, I had also created some other templates to flag up images that might need the help of individuals with specialist knowledge.

I'd appreciate a review of these templates, and standardisation. - I've included notes.

parameter allowing for the image to be moved to an appropriate if partial taxonomic category.

  • {{Query breed}}} - Should probably be merged to query species, but created to deal with individual 'breeds' of animal as opposed to species.
  • {{Query chemical}} - Possibly needs the default categorisation changing to be consistent
  • {{Query experts}} - Intended to mark images that could be categorised in relation to some feature or process they show,

(I think the ones I tagged where earth science)

  • {{Genparams}} - Was created to tag things like scientific graphs or mathematically generated images (fractals) where a brief explanation or citation of the methods or math used, would help understanding and use of the image, and where such information is

not currently present.

  • {{Whose stats}} - was created to tag images which are based on scientific or statistical data, where a citation for the data

source used would be advantageous.

I'd appreciate opinions on these, their wording, and intended use. Sfan00 IMG (talk) 10:49, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Please participate.

A discussion about sending email to OTRS and users privacy is taking place in Wikipedia Village pump (miscellaneous), Please participate. --Mpics (talk) 15:59, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

The correct deep-link would be that. --Túrelio (talk) 16:07, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, I missed a "w:" --Mpics (talk) 16:20, 25 July 2009 (UTC)


Please participate in the discussion of a proposal at Commons talk:Geocoding#"Geocoding_todo" and User pages. -- User:Docu at 16:11, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Could you summarise what is being asked for? Thanks. ++Lar: t/c 18:44, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
✓ Done at Commons talk:Geocoding#"Geocoding_todo" and User pages. -- User:Docu at 18:50, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Images displaying unusually in categories

Today, all images in Commons categories are displaying on my computer in rows of five: for example, Category:Post offices in Ohio displays with three rows of five images. This is a change: as far as I can remember, this computer has always displayed them in rows of six images rather than five. Meanwhile, at the English Wikipedia, images are now displaying in rows of four; I cannot remember whether this is the way it's been before or not. Is this the result of a MediaWiki change, or has something on my computer changed despite my not doing anything? Nyttend (talk) 17:20, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Images are in six at full screen, in five or less at not full screen. You may check if you have full screen.--Havang(nl) (talk) 17:12, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
A day or more after posting this question, I discovered that my browser had been running at 105% of normal size, so I guess I wasn't exactly running at "full screen". Nyttend (talk) 14:27, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
As far as I know, the MW Software (on Commons) will show as many pics as possible on your screenwith, for categories as well as for galleries, for me with a 1920 px widescreen it shows up to 9 pics in a row. The en / de and other wikis normaly are fixed to a set of 4 in a row, except you (teh editor of the aricle) use a tag to fix it to an other number example <gallery perrow="3">. NobbiP 14:49, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Free license?

The Daily Worker was a publication of the U.S. Communist Party. Over the years it had changed its name a few times and is now the People's Weekly World. On the PWW website is this statement:

  • Permission: Articles may be freely resposted and reprinted, provided the author and the People's Weekly World are duly credited. Please include our web address, [24]

There are some photos from back issues of the Daily Worker that I'd like to upload. Is the permission granted by PWW sufficient, and if so which license should I use? (I've written to the PWW, but they haven't responded.)Will Beback (talk) 22:17, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

  • The fact that you can't determine which license to use is telling -- it's because they haven't specified a license. As a practical matter, we're probably in the clear to use their content, but that simple statement is far from unambiguous if it were to come down to a matter of legality. Powers (talk) 01:12, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
The Wikimedia Commons template which most closely corresponds to this situation is Template:Copyrighted free use provided that -- but before you upload here using that template, you should be reasonably certain that the people at didn't have more in mind the general idea of "Licenses for Works of Opinion and Judgment" (which are not compatible with Wikimedia Commons). Note also that the sentence you quoted says "articles", not "images"... AnonMoos (talk) 05:55, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
The statement also does not say anything about derivative works... just the right to copy in whole. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:00, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the informative replies. I've sent another email and hopefully can get someone to grant a licensed use. If not, it sounds like this permission is close to what we need, but not quite close enough. Will Beback (talk) 07:44, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it sounds like it might be {{Attribution}}, but do check. Infrogmation (talk) 06:55, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

July 25

What do we do when someone watermarks a document that is in the public domain?

What do we do when someone watermarks a document that is in the public domain?

I just uploaded three pages of a complaint from an officer in the US Navy:

I'd appreciate opinions on whether I am correct that this document would remain in the public domain, without regard to whether it has subsequently been watermarked?

Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 04:48, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

If the watermark itself is copyrightable (such as some kind of graphic image), then there can technically be an issue. Otherwise, such as in this case, they would remain PD. If the letters were personal ones (i.e. not connected with the person's official duties), it may not be considered a work of the U.S. government and therefore not PD in the first place... I don't know enough about the situation to say. It seems as though it was sent in the capacity of a U.S. Navy official, though I don't see any official U.S. government letterhead. These images are somewhat close to out-of-scope textual material (may be better on wikisource if PD), though I guess it is interesting if the actual (lightly censored) document came from the US Government, and it may be OK to have those source images. Obviously they would be preferable without the watermark, so if you can remove it (or find other versions), please do. Still not certain if this would be considered a personal communication or not though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:40, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
Wikimedia Commons is here to serve Wikimedia projects, so the original scans of anything that's in scope on Wikisource is in scope on Commons.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:33, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Image renames

Currently BetaCommmandbot re-uploads images under new names instead of renaming them. At en.wp, administrator can move images to avoid deleting and re-uploading them. Wouldn't it be preferable to do this here too? -- User:Docu at 16:11, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

We want to use it but this function is deactivated for Commons, see bugzilla:15842. --Martin H. (talk) 17:12, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
It seems to work, but not everyone would want the redirects? Is this correct? If yes, it could be activated without the redirects. -- User:Docu at 02:55, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Heading #11.7

How to handle kids which like to 'arrange' worldwide renowned artwork according THEIR PERSONAL TASTE???


Best, -- [w.] 17:54, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

First off, Angr is a commons administrator, and from the look of his picture is not a kid. Secondly... have you considered talking to him? -mattbuck (Talk) 20:08, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
Hi, I edited the header and removed the image. -- User:Docu at 02:55, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
!? Why? --Tony Wills (talk) 06:12, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
<br> isn't an element to use in headers. Besides, it was inflammatory. -- User:Docu at 07:01, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Inflammatory? But you've just moved the exact same text (sans unwanted <br>) down a bit and added a meaningless heading? NB the image was added by Mattbuck when addessing the question, quite well handled I thought :-) --Tony Wills (talk) 10:55, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Galleries without content

Hi all. I've been doing NewPage patrol lately, and each time it seems like there's a Gallery page that has little to no content. I mean, no pictures at all, just a few words and maybe some categories. In light of that, I wanted to create a template to let users know I tagged the page they created for speedy deletion, so I came up with this. Now, I modeled it off of the copvionote template, but this is my first time messing with multilanguage templates (I have template experience on enwiki, but we only have English stuff on there of course). I'd like community input on the template I've created. Any comments, questions, etc. are welcomed. I'd like to move this into the template space if possible. :-) Killiondude (talk) 21:10, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

At MediaWiki talk:Newarticletext, I made a suggestion on how to improve the new page text (for galleries and categories). One suggestion I hadn't thought of then would be to offer a link to pre-load a new gallery page with some useful elements (<gallery></gallery>, interwiki, title). If you frequently follow new gallery pages, you might have additional suggestions.
Personally I mainly come across really old ones (generally by a single contributor who added a few of his images years ago - possibly the first ones on commons - while in the meantime a large category offers much more). For these the options are generally: expand the gallery or redirect the page to the category. -- User:Docu at 02:55, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

July 26

Some Feedback from a Free Culture Activist

I posted an essay about my first day as a Wiki user on my blog. Some of these issues won't be new to anyone here, but all are still relevant. Nina Paley (talk) 15:52, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Had you announced what your up to 'here' instead of leaving it to Cory Doctorow to put it on BoingBoing, then we might have been aware of what your about. syndicated-cartoon-s
Just suddenly uploading a lot onto a site your not familiar with and complaining when things don't run smoothly is almost like you are wanting to bait people. Thus I am not going to answer your issues point by point.
If it makes you feel better, go and plaster a few of these {{speedydelete|Reason}} tags on any image you find objectionable and you can be an 'insider' and a 'gatekeeper' too (but do please read up on the correct use of this tag first).--P.g.champion (talk) 17:54, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Oh! I nearly forgot: Welcome to Wikimedia Commons :-)--P.g.champion (talk) 17:58, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Heh. Welcome to ME! Nina Paley (talk) 19:19, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't support the original deletions with the given deletion summary - it doesn't make sense to delete an image just because it appears promotional, and this is not a criterion for speedy deletion. At the very least there should have been a deletion discussion. That said, even if your images are out of scope, I very much support your effort to make your images free and encourage you to upload them elsewhere if they're not considered in scope here. Dcoetzee (talk) 20:38, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry we got off on the wrong foot and I hope things will work out more smoothly in the future. I for one really appreciate your efforts to make your works freely available, Nina. Haukurth (talk) 12:29, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks to you both. I've cooled down and have some ideas about copyright and content policy - should I post them here at the Pump? They're friendly. Nina Paley (talk) 16:09, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Feel free to post them here. Haukurth (talk) 17:31, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Watermarked Images

Are there any establish Commons guidelines regarding watermarks? The best I can find is Commons:Watermarks and that's in proposed status, and hasn't been touched since 2007. The talk page is dead too. If there isn't, then I think there should be. - 15:25, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

{{Watermark}} Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:25, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
See Commons:Manipulating_meta_data#Purpose_for_using_EXIF_at_Commons. I realise this is a counterintuitive place for it. Dcoetzee (talk) 00:31, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Allow bureaucrats to revoke user rights

Hi all, this is a proposal I have previously posted to the Administrator's noticeboard and given the support voiced over there, I am now putting this on the Village Pump to get more input. Please comment and let me know what you think about it. Thanks, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 13:54, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Link to discussion (for reference). Rocket000 (talk) 19:05, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi everyone, current events (desysop of Dcoetzee by Lar) made me rethink something I had wanted to propose for a long time: Bureaucrats should be allowed to remove user rights, like they are able to grant them. I understand (and fully support) that user rights changes should normally only be done by community consensus following a vote or similar, but there are cases where immediate rights changes are neccessary. However, the only people with the ability to remove user rights are stewards and those should normally not be active on the wiki where they change the rights, making it very hard for a non-involved steward to correctly and fully understand the situation and its implications (which is why they usually require a link to community consensus before changing user rights). The call should be made by people who have been trusted with such power by the community of the wiki they are working on and I think the bureaucrats user group would be the ideal group of people to do this job. Please don't misunderstand: This is not to be a heavily used feature to allow bureaucrats to desysop randomly, but is only to be used in emergencies where immediate action is required. All other user rights changes should be backed up by community consensus, just like they are now. Best regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 05:13, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment: Wikinews has an article about events that prompted, in part, this proposal.[25] Walter Siegmund (talk) 15:36, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose - We have bureaucrats but they aren't really active and we have stewards that are all active... The normal way is to go to Meta and ask for a desysop is just fine and a safe way, lets not forgot that there wasn't a vote or a clear consensus when Lar desysoped Dcoetzee just one maybe two people thinking that it was a good idea.. To prevent bureaucrats for taking actions when they think its needed I would say the current way (ask a steward) works just fine. Huib talk 04:44, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
    You describe exactly what I am trying to resolve: No, there was no consensus to remove Dcoetzee's adminship and thus the action should probably not have been performed by a steward, let alone a steward active on this project. This was IMHO not done in accordance with steward policies. This is exactly why we need local people to make such decisions. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 08:04, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
    No, the communety decides when somebody is admin or not, the communety can start a (temp) desysop and can ask a steward to push the button. I still don't see why Dcoetzee should be desysoped for now, we trust him so he has the buttons.. When ther was a legal reason a staff member can push the button. Untill I see good reasons for the emergency desysop I still see it as a illegal steward action, and with opposing I prevent it from happening again. Bureaucrat is no rank.. Its all about the communety. Huib talk 08:53, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
    While I disagree with the way the desysop was performed, I think it was the right way to go. We basically help Dcoetzee by desysopping him. Now he is technically unable to comply with the NPG request and does not have to justify himself to them for not removing the images. If the NPG wants the images removed, they will have to go to the WMF. This is definitely a conflict of interest on Dcoetzee's part as he couldn't delete them without breaching Wikimedia policy and he couldn't ask to have his admin rights revoked without openly acting against the will of the NPG. Such COI situations should be handled by local bureaucrats, not by global stewards. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 11:43, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Messages translation

How can I translate messages like "check usage", "find categories", "purge" and other ones that are visible on every file page, into Maltese? —Chrisportelli (talk) 12:06, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Those strings are defined on MediaWiki:Extra-tabs.js and its subpages. Maltese translations, for example, would belong on MediaWiki:Extra-tabs.js/mt. Only admins can edit those pages directly, but you can place an {{Editprotected}} request with your translations on the talk page. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 12:59, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

French Copyright on Designed Items

A bunch of deletion requests for objects designed by en:Philippe Starck at first looked like copyright paranoia. They were furniture, motorcycles and kitchen implements. However a user has come up with an apparently authoritative source to say that these and similar items designed in France are fully protected by copyright. If true this could end up with all modern French designed/made items being treated like French architecture. Would any users with any knowledge of French copyright please participate in Commons:Deletion requests/File:StarckJuicer.jpg. --Simonxag (talk) 11:09, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

calling the wikimedia foundation's intellectual property rights attorney(s)...

There are nations that are said not to be signatories to international copyright agreements.

Who do we need to ask to get the wikimedia foundation's intellectual property rights attorney(s) to offer an opinion on the copyright status of images acquired in those countries?

As I noted here and here some wire services and freelance photographers have treated images taken in these nations like gold mines -- where the first person to publish them in a country which is a signatory to international copyright agreements gets to claim all the rights -- even if they have zero real connection to the image.

This is a legal issue that keeps coming up, every couple of month or so. I really think we need the opinions of real intellectual property rights attorney(s).

Cheers! Geo Swan (talk) 23:29, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm suspicious of the claim that "the first person to publish them in a country which is a signatory to international copyright agreements gets to claim all the rights" - this sounds something like publication rights, but some countries such as the US don't have these, and such rights exclude moral rights and last only for a short duration. While I continue to agree that we need a good IP lawyer to review our policies (this isn't Mike Godwin's job, and he's the only WMF attorney), the initial acceptance of images from nations that are not signatories would be a matter of policy. Such a policy may be accepted by the community, or may be rejected on moral grounds (the belief that an author is entitled to the rights provided by their own nation's legal framework even if other nations are not bound to respect them). Dcoetzee (talk) 00:46, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
The WMF's lawyer isn't an intellectual property lawyer? Maybe he can recommend one? Geo Swan (talk) 04:41, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
It's one of his specialties (see wmf:User:Mikegodwin), but he's the general (and only) lawyer for WMF. His job is protecting the Foundation from legal troubles, which doesn't really help us since that's not our concern. Most stuff is legally fine for us to host but not for "any possible reuse". Rocket000 (talk) 14:14, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
Works from such countries are not protected by copyright in other countries. So, while others cannot claim copyright on them (though I'm sure they do), they may not be protectable (though if they become copyrightable, the copyright owner would still be the original author). If they were first published (with permission) in a Berne country, then that becomes the "country of origin", and the copyright term is per that country's laws, but again the copyright owner is still the original author. Commons policy is to respect a country's own copyright law even if they are not Berne signatories, but if a country has no copyright law whatsoever, then I think we allow them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:37, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
The longstanding policy at the English Wikipedia, dating back to before the formation of Commons, is to treat such countries as if they were signatories: copyrights in those countries are treated as globally valid. --Carnildo (talk) 20:32, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

July 29

Bollywood Wikipe-tan

I'm requesting the creation of a Wikipe-tan in bollywood clothing to help aid a WikiProject on Bollywood. (If this isn't the place to request the picture, please send this message to the appropiate place and let me know where it was moved to). Respond on my talkpage. Secret Saturdays (talk) 03:31, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Theoretically, anyone could make such an image, but User_talk:Kasuga seems to be the main individual involved... AnonMoos (talk) 00:42, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Are pix from the website for The Library of Congress in the public domain?

The question arises with regard an image of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. -- Justmeherenow (talk) 12:51, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

There is no website that you can blindly say that pictures for that website are PD. In that case, I rather suspect the picture is a publicity picture provided to the Library from a non-governmental source, and thus not PD.--Prosfilaes (talk) 13:40, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Oops. After I wrote the above query I happened to check the file on en-Wikipedia -- and since it had been tagged for interwiki transfer to Commons, I just did so, before checking back here! (See File:Henry Louis Gates.jpg.) O well.... Anyone else want to chime in? Thanks. -- Justmeherenow (talk) 13:43, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Agree with Prosfilaes. No indication that this was PD. They most certainly don't say "No known restrictions on publication." Delete. Lupo 13:55, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
The Library of Congress has a huge assortment of images, many of which are public domain, and many of which are not. Being on the LOC website is no indication of status one way or another. Infrogmation (talk) 01:00, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia Loves Art - Filename Review Contest

Wikipedia Loves Art is looking for volunteers to participate in its Filename Review Contest. Sign up now! Kaldari (talk) 22:03, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

July 30

Is the Wikipedia Commons 'category' system fit for purpose?

As an occasional user of Wikipedia Commons I thought the people actually running it might like some feedback on the user experience. I am equally sure that some people will not want any feedback, as they are absolutely confident that they "know best". My comments are based on my experience of looking for a particular class of image resources, but they have equal application to the whole structure, and possibly even the ethos, of Wikipedia Commons.

Like a lot of people with an interest in the history of the 20th century, and World War II in particular, the Bundesarchiv donation of thousands of images has suddenly made Wikipedia Commons a lot more interesting. That puts me in a category that includes almost all teenage school children in the UK, who will be studying this period of history, (just as an example) alongside many more people around the world. Not that there wasn't a lot of valuable stuff on the site before. But the acquisition of so much primary source historical material, including much that hasn't been seen before and has never been so accessible before, suddenly puts Wikipedia Commons in a new league. It is now not just about illustrating some encyclopedia entries and providing separate access to the images themselves. It’s about being "the" main repository and public access point for some very important historical documents.

Of course this presented a considerable challenge to the people working on the Commons and I am genuinely grateful for all the hard work people have put in to meet it. One of the greatest conceptual challenges was to determine how the mass of new material was to be "sorted". There had to be some way of organizing it so that it became easier for people coming to the site to find what they wanted. The alternative was simply to dump all the images on a part of the Commons and allow people to perform searches for them, using whatever "metadata" that was attached to the images as inherited from the Bundesarchiv. By organizing the images Wikipedia Commons would "add value" to them by making them more accessible. As I understand it, a debate took place on these pages and the decision was made to put all images into "categories", although some could also go into galleries by way of illustrating a theme. Some large temporary categories were created while the process of categorization got under way, such as all images from a particular year.

So how does the categorization system work in practice for someone looking for an image? Imagine you are a teenager and your homework is to find "a few images of the first months of WW2" and talk about them. Wikipedia Commons is apparently a good place to look.

Starting on the front page of Commons you go (logically?) to Society and Culture>History>By topic>Military history>Military history by year>1939 in military history>Conflict in 1939> where you will find the ONE subcategory "Westerplatte" with 5 contemporary images out of 24.

Having another go (after finding "Society and Culture>Places" is a blind alley), you try Location>Earth>Countries>Countries of Europe>Germany> History of Germany>History of Germany By Decade>Germany in the 1930s>1939 in Germany> where you will find one picture.

It's a pretty tiresome process and it's not productive. So by a direct search you may find World War II Categories (I have no idea how you find this page except by search) and discover an eclectic range of possibilities. Unfortunately World War II by Year> reveals that there are no subcategories for 1939 or 1945!

I doubt very much that many people will persist with searching through categories after this experience. The only way to do it is to do a basic search and rely on the metadata inherited from Bundesarchiv. Where there are hundreds of contemporary images of the "first months of WW2", if you experiment with criteria of search. (Of course while we were still permitted the "temporary" category of "Bundesarchiv images by year", it was easier to narrow down such searches, but now someone has decided that users don't need this.)

So what was the point of all those hard working people trying to categorize these images?

The problem is that it is conceptually impossible to say with any certainty what any image is "about" or even "principally about" and hence it is impossible to categorize them definitively. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. For a historian a picture from World War II might be equally important for the people in it being seen together, for the place they are in, the equipment they are using, and for when they are doing it. These things can't be separated out.

And an image can change in the importance of what it is "about" that we perceive in it over time. A picture of the Viennese crowds celebrating the outbreak of World War I in 1914 is interesting. Even if you had identified Adolph Hitler in amongst the crowds when it was taken, it still didn't make the image particularly noteworthy until he himself became rather more significant years later. Just possibly, pictures of soldiers fighting in the snow in World War II have more significance to climate change scientists studying the progress of global warming than they do to military historians.

There are some things about images that can be categorized with certainty. These relate to the provenance of an image. Who took it? Where it was taken? And When? Who collected and collated them? Historians will want to look at images by such criteria, without any filter between them and the raw collections. The beauty of the Internet is that it has become practicable to look through masses of images, in a way that has never before been possible. Who can tell what experts might find, whose face we might find in a crowd? More importantly who can tell what an enthusiastic amateur might find, at last given the opportunity to have a look? Surely this is what Wikipedia is all about. Some of us don't know what we are looking for; we want to see what we can find. For these purposes categories where someone had predetermined what pictures are "about" are of no value. We just want to wade through a lot of images.

However many people will be looking for a more refined way of sorting through the images. The trouble is categories provide a reductionist approach to sorting. In order to put something into one category you have exclude it from another. One image cannot be in dozens of different categories simultaneously - then there would be no point in having categories. Or would there? Is there a problem because Wikipedia Commons wants to put all images "into" categories? Rather than finding all the possible categories that an image might belong to, and then finding a more efficient way of sorting through those categories?

Describing what a picture is "about" relies on two things. Any notes attached to the image (particularly for historical material) and what we can see for ourselves in the image. Simply describing all these features produces a long list. "One picture is worth a thousand words."

A man on a bicycle = bicycling,bike,casualness,color, colour,cycle, cyclist,daylight,daytime,easygoing,entertainment, exercising,fellow,fitness,forties,fun, gentleman,getaway,guy,human,informal, laughter,male,one,outdoor,outside, pastime,person,relaxing,riding,rucksack, side-view,sport,thirties,thirty, transit,transport,vacationing,vehicle, velocipede,western european,white, ... and so forth

Commercial picture agencies worked this out years ago. You cannot categorize images. You can work out their attributes and let these become the guiding point by which people search for images. Images are tagged by a list of key words and then sorted by however many attributes people wish to search for.

Funnily enough Wikipedia is ideally suited to this type of approach. This is exactly the environment where the wisdom of crowds can be used to add value to the description of any image. Images could be presented with the option to check boxes of predetermined basic key word attributes, and the option to introduce new attributes if necessary. Everyone could easily contribute. Many people would do so, if they were given the option. I wouldn't waste my time on the futile business of categorization. I would want to help with something of lasting value, continually capable of improvement and refinement. Something that added value to an image rather than reducing it to one or two categories.

Any arguments about category hierarchies, or the "rightness" of where images "should" belong would simply disappear. Perhaps some people might miss that. I have no doubt that it represents a bit of a technical challenge to change things at this stage, but nothing of the order that Wikipedia users haven't overcome before. Its been achieved elsewhere - just have a look at Alamy. And it doesn't mean that current work has been wasted, provided that existing categories can be converted into some of the attributes.

And if such a radical rethink is just too much to contemplate and people want to persist with categories? Then it would be extremely helpful if a few people with technical knowledge of the database structures and the existing metadata attached to images, could write some user-friendly guides as to how searches can be best be conducted. Examples of what it is possible to find, and suggestions for alternative approaches would so helpful those of us who just don't "get" categories. We may be dummies to you but we still want to find stuff (and I hope you still want us to find it). And for these purposes can we retain and preserve the essential "provenance" data attached to images, especially when institutions like the Bundesarchiv have taken so much care to sort their images by these criteria.

Wikipedia Commons could be a backwater of the Internet where media is organized eccentrically and erratically, where there are real gems to be found, if only you know where to look. Or it could be the place to look for stuff. Wikipedia Commons could be a world class educational and research resource that outdoes every other media resource on the net because it's got so many more people behind it. People from all ranges of experience and expertise who are prepared to add value to media by providing with them with comprehensive lists of key word attributes. People who do that because it’s easy to do and it helps others. I thought this was what computers, databases and people meeting on the Internet was all about. When we relied on shoeboxes to sort pictures we put labels on the boxes and called them categories. Now that we have the capability to do so much more, we should.

Sorry its so long, thanks for reading anyway--Historyguy (talk) 13:37, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

The problem of not categorizing and using tags instead, is "undertagging" ie. not giving enough categories. We can't quite handle images that are not categorized, how could we handle people who tag just ones, say "bicycle" or "man". Such an image is most likely lost forever. To put it more bluntly, we rely on clueless volunteers, and that is what we need to consider.
Now, I agree with the fact that we have a problem. However, I think that our problem is with our search engine. It should be so much more versatile:
  • search for in a categories, plus subcategories up to a depth, but not in category etc.
  • search for text with AND, NOT, OR, NOR, XOR, NEAR; only from or excluding a language of description
  • search by date taken/uploaded/last modified
  • search by camera
  • search by license
  • search by file size (physical and bytes) and file type
  • combining all of the above as one pleases
Samulili (talk) 13:58, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Samulili. Our categorization principles are well-thought and very efficient (but relies on much undone work ...). The search engine is miserable and Google does a much better job for Commons photos. If something like Samulili's suggestions would be implemented in our search engine, making structured search queries possible, we could do much better than a general unstructured Google search. Nillerdk (talk) 14:21, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
(Edit Conflict) A couple of notes.
  1. The World War II category can be reached by browsing categories: Topics > Society > Politics > War > Wars > World War II. More importantly, a simple search for "World War II" brings up the topic page automatically, with a number of the most relevant images, and a link to the category at the bottom.
  2. You state "In order to put something into one category you have exclude it from another." I cannot fathom the context in which you mean this. It's not true from a technical standpoint. From a philosophical standpoint (e.g., "If this is categorized as 'red' then it cannot be categorized as 'not red'"), it might be true but I see no difference between that and your tagging paradigm.
Certainly, as Samulili points out, there is much work to be done. Perhaps a simpler tagging mechanism can be part of it -- yet categories still have their place. Not everyone wants to search for "colour" (one of your tags for a picture of a man on a bicycle) and be presented with 50% of the images on the site. Some people just want to see images that illustrate a concept related to the topic of color, and our categories do that fairly well. Of course, it relies on the diligence of users, uploaders particularly, but I think that's a separate topic to some extent.
-- Powers (talk) 14:24, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Historyguy that a lot of our images is not categorized as well as it should be. That is because categorization is a manual process that some volunteer has to do and it takes time. Sometimes it is done by the uploader but a lot of them are not very familiar with out category system. Simplifying our categorization system to use tags (like '1939' and 'Poland' instead of or in addition to category:1939 in Poland) is something discussed for years but not implemented yet. Other searches, mentioned by Samulili, like by date, author, camera, license, language etc. are not well supported by our database since all those are stored as a single unstructured text description instead of as separate easy to search database fields. Images on commons should be categorized into many orthogonal categories, for example File:Bundesarchiv Bild 146-2005-0016, Polen, Warschau, zerstörter Hauptbahnhof.jpg is categorized by time, place, author, subject and source categories. Unfortunately our collection is growing faster than our ability to fully organize it. Historyguy, we could use some help here. --Jarekt (talk) 16:26, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Odd that someone could think that, for example, Category:Cleopatra's Needle (whose place in the cat tree needs further adjustment), must be excluded from Category:Central Park if it is included in Category:Obelisks in the United States. Yes, many parts of the system are too sparse or too dense or otherwise confusing, thus a search will often be more successful than cat-climbing if one has decided to use only one method or the other. Which of course raises the question, why only one of them? Search for a picture, find something peripherally relevant, and look into the parent and child cats. At least, that's my usual method. And when I find something inadequately catagorized (often landing from a jump from Wikipedia) I put my cat wrangling skills into it. Not that everyone should work as much at catagorizing old pictures as I do, but more should, especially those who know more about a topic than I do which is, umm, almost everyone. Jim.henderson (talk) 17:36, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
One small remark: Catclimbing can be done by making a catscan, which symplifies the search. See f.i. at Category:Via Podiensis where catscanlinks are given in the pagecomments. Acces to catscan is on the menu of any category page. But catscan runs badly if there is too much crosscategorisation. --Havang(nl) (talk) 17:53, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Samulili's remarks: our primary limitation is that the search engine cannot take advantage of metadata structure, despite the fact that most images do have highly structured metadata (particularly those using special templates like the painting template). What we fundamentally need is an extensible search engine that can take into account any number of attribute-value pairs we assign to each object, and we need to standardise the format of those pairs. In addition, as content-based image retrieval comes into its fruition, it should be deployed here as well - software support is the long-term solution to the fact that we cannot afford to generate a comprehensive cloud of tag keywords for each image. Dcoetzee (talk) 18:03, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
I think our geographical categorization is better than our historical one. We probably still need a tool which could make a significant use of the photography dates (the same might become true in the future for geography too when an increasing number of cameras provide geolocation data) . You said "Commercial picture agencies worked this out years ago" : could you provide a weblink to a search engine of a picture agency with a search example showing the superiority of their tool ? You provided a link to but searching "first months of WW2" there provides "Sorry, no images were found for 'first months of WW2'". Do you want a tool to do the teenagers's homework ? If such a tool is technically feasible, it is probably a good business, but poor education. Teachers give pupils homework so that they use their brains, so perhaps it is better if they can't find directly the answer to the question. Teofilo (talk) 13:11, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps the English Main Page should include a big search engine box like the French version Accueil. If you search 1939 WWII here, the 20the picture on the bottom of the search results page is File:WLMK cabinet broadcasting address after British WWII declaration.jpg : does that fit your homework ? Teofilo (talk) 13:37, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Let me try to be a little more succinct about this:

The category system does not work for many people. When, as is the case, Wikipedia Commons has hundreds of images relating to the start of World War 2 ( rather than a picture agency where these images don't exist) then it should be possible to find them under the existing category systems. Yet only a few can be found by looking under Society and Culture>History>By topic>Military history>Military history by year>1939 and NONE can be found under Topics > Society > Politics > War > Wars > World War II>1939. This failure applies to many other classes of images, this is just an example.

If the category system were 'fit for purpose' then it should be able to find large classes of images such as these quickly and easily. This should be so even if a user does not have a good knowledge of the subject area. Finding images on Wikipedia Commons should be easily within the capability of people whose first language is not English. What about the child with $100 laptop at school in the depths of Africa? User friendliness should be designed with people like this in mind.

Searching is a more efficient way of finding images. I welcome the comments made by Samulil, I am sure many people would agree with him. I cannot contribute much to a technical debate but I do see that Wikipedia could do much more to design its systems to facilitate this. As I understand it improvements to the organization of metadata attached to each image would boost searching:

A.Metadata should clearly distinguish between the provenance of the document and the descriptive content of the image: 1.Document data is : Where taken, When taken, Who took, Type of image, How taken, How acquired, Collection belonging to. This data that is fundamental to the care of historical documents. 2.Descriptive data is what people think the image is about, possibly based on on information gleaned from document data but not necessarily so. Descriptive data should be as inclusive and wide ranging as possible. It may be useless for some people but important to others. This distinction is crucial and Wikipedia Commons is guilty of sloppy thinking if it ignores this, especially in the care of historically important collections.

B.It should be easy for any user, even when just browsing, to attach descriptive data to any image by the use of keyword tags. This would take advantage of the wisdom of crowds. Even Clueless Users could contribute if this were designed in a user friendly manner.

C.The front page of Commons should promote Searching as an equally valid method of looking for images as drilling down into categories. Perhaps the French have got there first. Do they have any data on which method people prefer when looking for images?

Browsing through large collections is the third possible way of searching through images. Wikipedia should facilitate browsing through large collections. It should be possible to do this by assembling 'viewing groups' that take advantage of by Document data as well Descriptive data. --Historyguy (talk) 10:59, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Let me give you my take on this: The Commons Categorization scheme is utterly useless junk! The obsessiveness with keeping categories small (supposedly to make them browsable) is a cul de sac. It leads to almost comical overspecialization of categories. I say screw that! Make categories behave as tags, make them sufficiently atomic, and category intersection working. That is how all major image databases do it. This topic pops up on the mailinglists every few months and somebody claims to have an almost working cat intersection to appease the crowds, and then nothing ever happens. There is no pressure/motivation to implement efficient cat intersection if the categorization system is not atomic (walking the category subtrees is way to expensive, search the list for technical explanations), and there is no way the commons community would change the system without being presented a viable working alternative. This is the single most disappointing fact about commons to me. We are wasting a huge potential here by making it overly hard to find our media. --Dschwen (talk) 14:44, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
There are searches like : World war II 1939: resulting in : [26]and there is also the possibility of a combined catscan : [27] --Havang(nl) (talk) 16:34, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Yet an exemple:combined search word war II Poland 1939 results in [28] --Havang(nl) (talk) 16:45, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

July 24 media categorization and template

Well, we use many images, books, videos and sound files from the Internet Archive. So how about creating a template that's added to all media of it that categorizes into a maintenance category and improves the pages visual style? Something like {{Loc-image}}.--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 18:11, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Sure, if you want to, but... the thing with the Internet Archive is that they work with a lot of other sites. For example, I uploaded a some scans from an old book I found on the Biodiversity Heritage Library. Before uploading, I wanted to find some details on the digitization of it. It turns out the Internet Archive was behind it and they even had the book (in various formats of course) on its own site. I ended up giving both sources since they offered different formats (BHL providing the individual jp2 files I used), but normally I wouldn't have looked into it and only gave BHL link. It works with a lot of other (on and offline) libraries like that. Unlike the LOC, Internet Archive is, well, an archive of the Internet, so a lot of its stuff is available elsewhere on the web. Either because they did the scanning for some organization or because someone uploaded the work they got from somewhere else online. Keep in mind, anyone can upload there. It's like Commons in that sense. Also, does everything there have some kind of unique identifier? ark:? Rocket000 (talk) 05:29, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Link table problem of {{LangSwitch}}

In Commons, {{LangSwitch}} uses {{int:Lang}} to auto-convert contents between languages. But This approach tends to lead a bad effect on link table - links of every languages not always could be shown at "What Links Here". I suggest to use LanguageConverter (it won't break the link table) to solve the problem: We can add a new global variable called "$wgMultiLanguage" or whatever. Then set system language as "Main Language" when set "$wgMultiLanguage" to true. And if "$wgMultiLanguage" was setted to true, make sure the LanguageConverter has been used. Here is a example of LanguageConverter's syntax:

de:Das ist ein deutscher Text.;
en:This is an English text.;

And don't be worried about the markup ":" and ";", LanguageConverter was able to distinguish between markups and non-markups. --PhiLiP (talk) 12:06, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

That sounds like an interesting idea. You might want to file a feature request about it at bugzilla, or at least mention it in a comment to bug 14404 — that way, it's more likely to be seen by any MediaWiki developers willing and able to work on it. I'll have to take a closer look at the language variant system myself and see what it would take to kluge it to work like this. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 12:49, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I am a MediaWiki developer. I have suggested same solutions at bugzilla:8287. I report the problem here because I need to know if some wikis (like Commons) do need this function. If the answer is positive, I am willing to help. --PhiLiP (talk) 12:56, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
If it works, yes, that would be great. Do you have (or could you set up) a test wiki to demonstrate it? In particular, I'd be interested in seeing how it copes with template transclusions (and/or parser functions) nested inside the variants, to accommodate things like the {{Autotranslate}} setup. And could it be made to handle language fallback in a better way than the current {{Fallback}} kluge? —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 13:05, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
It could use the $fallback settings from MessagesXX.php. And LanguageConverter is able to handle fallback situations. Isn't PHP-code more efficient than MediaWiki's ParserFunctions? --PhiLiP (talk) 13:22, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
(ec) Yes. Hmm, perhaps I expressed myself a little too obliquely there. What I meant was that, while I'm sure we could make some use of the feature you outline above even if it didn't do such things,
  1. fully replacing the {{int:lang}} hack on Commons would pretty much require some way of implementing {{Autotranslate}} without it,
  2. it would be really nice to get {{Fallback}} replaced with proper built-in fallback handling that didn't involve template hacks, and I'd really appreciate it if you could try including such a feature in your implementation, and
  3. from a fellow MW developer's viewpoint, it would be ideal if you could do all those things cleanly, i.e. without bolting a horribly ugly and fragile kluge onto the side of LanguageConverter.
(Not having worked on that area of MW myself, I'm not sure how easy or difficult that last part might be.) As I may also be somewhat confused about what the status or your proposed system actually is, and what you're really asking for here, I'd like to ask for some clarification on that point. Specifically, do you:
  1. have at least a proof-of-concept implementation ready, or feel that you could produce one easily enough, and want to know if we'd be willing to use it,
  2. have a reasonably detailed plan for developing such an implementation, and some free time to spend, and want to know if you should take the time and effort to do so,
  3. have a reasonably detailed plan, but not enough time or interest to implement it all by yourself, or
  4. have no plan, except a vague idea that LanguageConverter might perhaps be used for this?
In the first case, I'd suggest setting up a public test wiki to demonstrate how the system works and how it can be used to implement the features that Commons currently relies on the {{int:lang}} hack for (e.g. {{Autotranslate}} and {{LangSwitch}}). In the second, I'd say that, yes, if it works any better than the current kluge then we do want it, and I'd suggest just going for it and then setting up the test wiki (or, if you'd prefer, describing the features you're proposing in more detail and asking for more comments first). In the third case, I'd definitely suggest describing your plans in detail, preferably on some forum read by more devs than here (e.g. bugzilla or wikitech-l). In the fourth, you can either just start doing the planning and coding yourself, or try to float the idea in front of as many other devs as possible and hope that someone else picks it up. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 14:53, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
I am a little lost here, but quite interested in the topic. PhiLiP, is your example code above suppose to have similar functionality as current
|en=text string
I assume that the main advantage of LanguageConverter approach would be that it is faster than current MediaWiki's ParserFunctions. I do not understand the current problem with "What Links Here". Possibly a case that I do not know what I am missing. And $wgMultiLanguage=true you mentioned would be a switch to run the whole Wiki in multi-language format instead of single language? If so I would also suggest to add capability in $wgMultiLanguage=true mode to easily switch between languages (other than typing ?uselang=xx on the end of pages). --Jarekt (talk) 14:37, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
The "What Links Here" problem is that, currently, if you use something like:
|en=This is a link to [[Foo]].
|fr=Ceci est un lien à [[Bar]].
then only one of the links will get recorded by MediaWiki in the "pagelinks" table and thus shown in "What Links Here". Worse yet, I seem to recall that which link gets recorded depends (or used to depend?) on the language settings of the user saving the page. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 15:05, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Isn't there even a bot going 'round replacing section headers on file description pages by {{int:filedesc}} and {{int:license}}? (While we may not care about link table problems in this case, can it cause other problems because it uses the dodgy {{int:}} feature?) Lupo 07:13, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I do not know about other bots but my user:JarektBot is replacing a lot of polish Opis, Licencja and praca wlasna with localized versions {{int:filedesc}}, {{int:license}} and {{Own}}. It also seems like Emijrpbot will concentrate on that task. Can you explain the issues with {{int:}} based headers? --Jarekt (talk) 12:50, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
I think there is discussion on bug 14404 and some of the other bugs mentioned there. One unrelated issue is that the int: headers can no longer be used as anchor names in URLs. I really don't know if using it would cause further performance issues... does usage of int: prevent some page caching in MediaWiki? Carl Lindberg (talk) 07:32, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Insufficient memory

On 22 July i uploaded File:Guillaume Delisle North West Africa 1707.jpg, full image is working but there is a following error with all thumbnails:

Error creating thumbnail: convert: Insufficient memory (case 4) `/mnt/upload5/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/Guillaume_Delisle_North_West_Africa_1707.jpg'.
convert: missing an image filename `/mnt/upload5/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f7/Guillaume_Delisle_North_West_Africa_1707.jpg/2048px-Guillaume_Delisle_North_West_Africa_1707.jpg'.

Where is a problem? --Jklamo (talk) 15:55, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

If it's progressive (interlaced), changing format from progressive to non-progressive might help... AnonMoos (talk) 23:11, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
It helped (i also decrease compression level). Thanks for clue. --Jklamo (talk) 18:19, 31 July 2009 (UTC)


This page is now linked from the main Licensing page, as well as from w:Wikipedia:Contact us/Photo submission. As such, it's a high visibility (and it should be, as it addresses some FAQ that were not answered before). Any ideas how to further improve it are welcomed. Are any convincing arguments missing? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 17:31, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Isn't this is whole purpose of Even upload form refer to this site. --EugeneZelenko (talk) 14:54, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

July 31

Easier Flickr uploads with F2ComButton

User Odie5533 has created a greasemonkey script for easier uploading from Flickr 2 commons. Here is his project page: User:Odie5533/F2ComButton. Check it out...--Diaa abdelmoneim (talk) 10:51, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

That is nice, but I do not understand why this is not integrated in the upload form for Flickr images. Just let contributors enter the url for the Flickr image. An upload-bot could then do all the rest, and also verify that the license was good enough. Same for images from other wikipedias, from the government, etcetera. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 20:35, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
Please see:
MediaWiki talk:Uploadtext/fromflickr#Easier Flickr uploads with F2ComButton --Timeshifter (talk) 21:07, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

How long before picture is found with search?

I uploaded a photo today "Anjodi Lock 7 Beziers.JPG". How long before I will be able to find it using the search function? e.g. If I search for Anjodi, should I expect to find the photo? thanks --Gloverepp (talk) 19:48, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

A few hours, typically. It varies. Dcoetzee (talk) 19:52, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Also make sure that you're searching the File namespace. Regards, -- ChrisiPK (Talk|Contribs) 20:55, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Not rendering an .svg?

File:Map of south-west England shown within England (Met Office region).svg is not being rendered into a bitamp by Commons for some unknown reason. If you click on the image and downlad it, you can see it fine in Inkscape. The .png that I exported from Inkscape works fine. Thoughts? Jolly Janner (talk) 22:42, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Maybe 2,400 × 2,736 is too large. Try scaling down, it should not make a difference in appearance, but rendering may be possible then. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 22:45, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
No, that's not it. Try actually looking at the broken thumbnail:
Error generating thumbnail
Error creating thumbnail: 
librsvg-ERROR **: _rsvg_acquire_xlink_href_resource called for external resource: c:\Users\Andy\Pictures\pastedpic_07312009_034441.png base: (null)

All the info is right there. That is why I proposed MediaWiki_talk:Common.js#Show_error_messages_instead_of_broken_thumbnails. This same question keeps popping upon the various village pumps on commons. --Dschwen (talk) 22:49, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
I did a search in my hard drive for "pastedpic_07312009_034441.png" and it comes up with the same image as File:CornwallScilly.png, which I copy and pasted into my Inkscape map when editing it. I pressume that this is causing the error? Jolly Janner (talk) 22:55, 31 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, yeah. The problem is that the file is only referred to in the SVG, it is not actually embedded. And the thumbnailing servers in the Wikimedia hosting center can (un)fortunately not access you harddrive back at your home to retrieve it. I'd say tht this is an unjustified use of a bitmap in any case. Why don't you just try and vactorize that part (this isles i presume) and leave the bitmap out? --Dschwen (talk) 23:13, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Best practices documentation team

Best practice in public outreach is a collection of articles describing experiences in winning new volunteers, partner, contents and audiences. Given that several chapters already developed successful projects to engage new target groups or deepen relationships to newly Wikimedians, the Best practices in public outreach page is a forum for those who want to share their knowledge and for those who want to spread the word.

We are looking for contributors to be involved. If you would like to be involved in public outreach, please list your name on that page, and participate in the discussions. If you think someone you know would be good for this, please point them to this page. --Cary Bass (talk) 22:58, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

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