Commons:Village pump/Copyright

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Welcome to the Village pump copyright section

This Wikimedia Commons page is used for general discussions relating to copyright and license issues, and for discussions relating to specific files' copyright issues. Discussions relating to specific copyright policies should take place on the talk page of the policy, but may be advertised here. Recent sections with no replies for 7 days and sections tagged with {{section resolved|1=~~~~}} may be archived; for old discussions, see the archives.

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Consistency in copyright cases[edit]

Hi, There are several copyright related DRs open with close issues (mainly involving COM:DM and COM:DW). It strikes me that the same user argues for a keep in one case, and for a delete in another. It would be best if arguments are consistent across requests, instead of being given according some dubious interests... See Commons:Deletion requests/File:Les peluches font du géocaching - Toulouse.jpg and Commons:Deletion requests/File:All Nippon Airways Pokemon Jet JA8956.jpg. If plushes are a copyright violation, I don't see why Pokemons, even painted on an airplane, wouldn't be. Other similar cases below. Regards, Yann (talk) 12:45, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

Those are different types of derivative works... for the planes, the characters are on the plane by permission, and the question is at that point is it a copyright violation to sell pictures of the planes. Undoubtedly Getty has many such images; I'm not sure a copyright case has been ruled on that situation. We have had similar difficulties with characters as balloons in parades, etc. -- undoubtedly there are many commercial photographs of the parade; I'm not sure that such photos are legally derivative -- the photographer was taking photos of the parade without really having control over the participants in the parade, and such uses may be "incidental", such as the label on a bottle in the Ets-Hokins decision -- the photo was of the entire bottle. At some point courts have to balance the rights of photographers. They are in a gray area for sure, but keeps are defensible. The photo is of the entire plane, and not focusing on the artwork on part of the plane. On the other photo, someone lined up some toys and took a photograph of them. There was no partial permission involved in that case, they are not incidental, and we do have several cases of photos focused on particular toys being ruled derivative works. Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:11, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Actually, using examples from the rest of the Internet is quite meaningless. Most of the world, including France, ignores in practice that there is no FoP, at least for social medias, and all non-commercial uses. I am yet to see a court case about something published on the Internet. AFAIK, all court cases are about about images published on paper. So the law is not applied as it is written. In practice, it is as if there were an exception for Internet publication, which doesn't help much to define a policy here.
My issue here is that it seems that we have different standards according to what support the work is on, what is the subject of the images, and who is closing the DRs. Regards, Yann (talk) 18:22, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Those uses would fall under "fair use" in the U.S. -- so yes, many times particular uses are OK. I'm talking about commercial uses, as those are most likely to be copyright violations and those are the ones where people file lawsuits. I'm not sure we have run across a case which called photos of a plane like that a copyright violation, even though news agencies are directly selling them. There are also a U.S. court cases (Ets Hokins and one other) which basically say that taking a picture of a utilitarian object is not derivative of artwork or labels which happen to be on that object, unless the photo is focusing on those elements. The plane is a bit more extreme example, but it may not be over the line -- in that case, the court ruled that just the primary focus could qualify as the "underlying work" and any other elements which happen to be there are not derivative -- even for commercial uses. The line will always be hard to quantify, but it's still defensible that such photos are "free", as there is some legal backing to that theory, more than just "some people on the internet do it". On the other hand, the photos of the toys seem different -- and there are cases where photos directly of that type of product were deemed derivative works, legally. We are trying to divine the lines that copyright law would allow in basically all situations -- if there is a court decision which better define things in France, that would be helpful. France did have a "theory of the accessory" ruling which was very similar to the "incidental" U.S. ruling -- but the main subject of this photo would seem to be of the toys, so it'd be hard to argue that. I am generally loathe to delete stuff where there is no legal precedent for being a copyright violation, but photos of sculptural toys is not one of those. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:21, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
Carl's summary is reasonable. There are a few prior deletions/keeps out of alignment with current policy, and I encourage active contributors to push for better casebooks for DM and TOO definitions, including "simple plushies", just as I have done, if they do not find policy and guidelines clear enough. -- (talk) 13:51, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

@Yann: This thread is a direct complaint about me even though my account name is "hidden", please raise future direct complaints like this on AN/U and notify me using the standard process. I do not appreciate your hounding of me in covert ways, it is a form of sniping. If you are serious about finding a way to have my account sanctioned or blocked, then present a case with evidence that I can respond to, expect to independently reviewed and have the opportunity to present the timeline of your very long pattern of inappropriate battleground behaviour. You appear unable to distinguish me from Russavia, and your cyber-bullying and hounding is not healthy for me or this project.

Please take this request seriously. Leave me alone to make my contributions in peace. This includes using your administrator powers against my account, my upload projects, or closing deletion requests I have raised. Your pattern of behaviour, such as the personal attack made in recently closing one of the above deletion requests, shows a personal interest and emotional hostility that makes your use of any sysop rights against me in any form completely inappropriate. Thanks -- (talk) 13:51, 19 April 2016 (UTC)

Info for others, it's a valid question: 1, 2. –Be..anyone 💩 23:28, 19 April 2016 (UTC)
@Yann: Hello, "plushies" and "many Pokémon in an airplane" are different. Also, to correct you, the plural of Pokémon is Pokémon. Thanks, Poké95 04:30, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
Even those two might be reasonable -- if the toys were set up by someone else and the photographer was just documenting what was there on the table, the presence of the toys might well be considered "incidental". However, I don't think that is the same thing as de minimis, so it would be a bad example for that term. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:58, 20 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment For info, I just deleted several photos of aircrafts with drawings on its (exemple). The designs on these planes were frescoes, each times, composed and arranged voluntary and artisticly. Every figurines were of course protected, but the final result, the assembly of figurines, is also a work of art full and then also is protected. A photo focused on such airplane is the same thing of a photo focused on the drawing which is, by its design, impossible to dissociate from the airplane. Then a photo focused on an artwork not free is de facto not free until a permission from the copyright owner. Christian Ferrer (talk) 17:46, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
    • Do we have a copyright case we can point to as an example? Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:36, 22 April 2016 (UTC)
  • @Christian Ferrer: please can you add some explanatory text to your reclosures of those aircraft image deletion discussions - it looks like you are just directly contradicting the conclusion of another administrator implying that if one wants an image deleted you just need to shop around admins until you find one who agrees with you, regardless of the community consensus. I only found this discussion (which sort of explains things, but not completely) by looking at what links here. Thryduulf (talk) 11:31, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
  • No I did not discuss with the previous closing adminstrators, indeed. This is one of the deleted image, I'm wonder what legal exception can make this image ok for commercial reuse. The artwork is not a single Pokemon, I don't care about trademarks here, it's the whole artwork wich is in full frame. With birds instead of pokemons, it would have been the same for me.
    It is a fact, and in our policies, that all the works are not free until there is an explicite evidence or exception for why they are free (publication under a free license, FoP, PD old work enough, permission via OTRS...) , not the opposite. If someone is interested by the opinion(s) of the previous closing administrator(s), feel free to ping and to ask them. Me I did not, because I don't see how I can be convinced there is "no valid reason for deletion". A full frame image on an airplane completely covered with a piece of art is a full frame image of a piece of art, it's all. And it is called a DW of this piece of art. Christian Ferrer (talk) 14:22, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Firstly see COM:UA, and after that you can play to search the "pictorial feature" in the image linked above. Christian Ferrer (talk) 16:23, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm not complaining about the outcome of the deletion request. I'm complaining about one admin overturning another admin's close with no explanation on that page about why it is being overturned. The explanation you give is a correct explanation for the outcome of a deletion request, but does not address why another admin previously closed the same request differently. Without that it looks like admin shopping is acceptable - I know it isn't and I'm not accusing anyone of doing that, but that is what it looks like. Thryduulf (talk) 21:13, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Because some of this stuff is very difficult. Christian Ferrer takes an arguable stance -- but on the other hand, I'm not sure there is a court case to back that stance up for a situation like this, so it's also reasonable to take a different stance. When we go around deleting people's hard work and contributions to the project, I generally prefer to be able to point to actual court cases which show the actual danger. Photos of statues, check. Photos of toys, check. Obviously, there is going to have to be some extrapolation for specific files where there is no perfect example case. But... photographs like this have been taken for a long long time, and if we can't point to a court case for this type of photo, it is very possible, even likely, that the reason is that copyright does not extend that far -- I'm not so sure that the artist of the plane artwork can reasonably claim derivative work rights over all photos of the plane. The closest case I've seen -- the Ets-Hokin decision on labels on the bottle -- in fact goes towards that such photos are not derivative works. This is closer to the line, but I'm not sure it's over it. The point of the photo is to show the unique plane, not necessarily inspired by the specific expression of the artist -- if a different artist had done the plane with different artwork, the plane photographer would likely be just as interested. It's more the trademark which makes it of interest. The photos do not seem to be focusing on any of the individual bits of artwork, but the whole plane... that might be enough of a difference. Deleting images in cases like this might also have the effect of extending the scope of copyright beyond what the courts actually say, which is also something I think we should fight against. But, no matter what lines we draw, there are bound to be situations where reasonable people (and judges for that matter) can disagree -- which means you are going to get inconsistent decisions (this happens in courts too). There is probably no easy answer for it, though as always, further discussion (or discovery of court cases) may yield something of a compromise. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:32, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
"The praetor does not concern himself with trifles". If you made clothing printed with the photo above, even if no cropped or no edited, and obtains a substantial gain by selling those clothing, how can you claim in a court of justice that the characteristic that made you earn money is the airplane and not the fresco. I guess in such a case there will be likely a few judges to say "bah..this this comic fresco is just trifle".;....but I not bet my arm on it. Then if no commercial reuse are allowed, the image have not to be here, it's place is on Wikipedia for fair use if relevant. Christian Ferrer (talk) 06:28, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
I also disagree with Carl about "trademarks", an artwork is an artwork when it is above TOO, no matter if this is a Pokemon or a bird paint by an unknow, not anonymous, artist. Regarding "De Minimis", look at this utilitarian object, currently free. If we add drawings, trademark or not, on the side of this cooking pot in the exact same proportions than on the airplane image. Then the utilitarian object become subjectile : COM:UA "the design of a useful article [...] shall be considered a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work only if, and only to the extent that, such design incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be identified separately from, and are capable of existing independ­ently of, the utilitarian aspects of the article.". Is is exactly the same thing for a vehicule. This is that, a derivative work, if no why we have not more full frame photos of utilitarian objects, cooking pots, plates.... with drawings?
I tend also to disagree with Carl about another thing, keeping images in cases like this might also have the effect of reducting the scope of copyright bellow what the courts and our policies actually say....and if I don't disagree, at least this opposite sentence is also valid IMO. Christian Ferrer (talk) 09:10, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
These cases are not biased for me and even if they were, then our policies are clear and precautionary principle should apply. And it is expected of an administrator to follow the policies even if it is against some consensus. Christian Ferrer (talk) 09:33, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm not arguing de minimis, or saying the artwork on the plane is not copyrightable. It is. It is a question whether a photograph of the plane is a derivative work -- and that is not nearly always so simple as just saying the photo contains another copyrighted work above a de minimis level. Given another example, the patterns on clothing are often copyrighted, but we don't delete pictures of people wearing those clothes. They can prevent other people using that pattern directly, but once it becomes indirect -- a photo of someone else happening to own those clothes -- the situation would seem to change. Selling a picture of the plane is more likely to be a trademark violation than a copyright violation. It's possible, but without a court case to back that up, we are just guessing. And maybe guessing wrong. This could rise to a COM:PRP level, true. I don't think I'd try to undelete anything deleted like this. But if you argue that every time there is a borderline case, it tends to move the border, and something which was fine before is now borderline. Administrators can simply disagree, and end up keeping -- that is still following policy. There will be some files which don't have 100% agreement and there is little we can do about that. It's much better to find an example copyright case to back up such assertions. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:11, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
No the plane is not a derivative work. I did not delete photos of planes, I deleted photos showing drawings, in a way they can't be considered De Minimis. And again, derivative works are not a trademark issue, look this plate, the plate itself is an utilitarian object, the issue is the drawing, even if there is not a trademark registration for this drawing. Christian Ferrer (talk) 16:36, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
And my main point is that de minimis is not the only way to avoid being a derivative work. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:04, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
We certainly found the disagreement, I don't think we can "avoid" being a derivative work. If an artwork is visible on an image, then to be allowed here, it must be De Minimis or it must be free for another reason. Christian Ferrer (talk) 17:17, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
The U.S. court cases (photo of a bottle with a label, photo of a motorcycle with artwork on it) called it "incidental". The French court case (about a photo of a street with a large, copyrighted building in the middle) called it the "theory of the accessory" or something like that. In all those cases, the photo was not a derivative work despite the copyrighted elements being a substantial part of the photo. They were certainly not de minimis cases yet were ruled not derivative anyways. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:21, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
Oh ok, said in this way I understand much more your point. So, specific examples of those court cases, with relevant links leading to sample images should be added to the relevant policies here, and maybe the policies to be changed accordingly. Christian Ferrer (talk) 17:32, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
Otherwise it will be hard to ask someone to apply such exceptions until they are not specified in our policies. If they are currently written then I missed something. Pending these changes I keep my right to apply the policies as they are written in the extend of my understanding of course. This applies to future nominations that I will close, maybe included the ones below. Christian Ferrer (talk) 18:16, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
My wider point is that there can be other administrators who do have knowledge of these, and may interpret the decisions and the law a bit differently -- that does not make them wrong or going against policy. There is no policy that says planes of this type must be deleted -- there is just a policy that requires a license for derivative works. What constitutes a derivative work can be a very complicated topic. As a counterexample, there was a U.S. case where a fashion photographer put a pair of fancy glasses (which turned out to be copyrighted) on the model even though the main subject was the clothing. Since that was an explicit act by the photographer though, it was ruled derivative and the photographer lost. When taking photos of something in its natural setting though, when the primary focus (the plane itself) is not copyrighted, things get cloudier. That goes especially when we can't find a court case of a similar photo in fact being ruled derivative -- we do have rulings where it was not. Carl Lindberg (talk) 18:51, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks you for the links! I just read Latimer vs Roaring Toyz, I find it very interesting, and as an amateur photographer I also appreciate this small immersion in the professional world. That's said, I disagree on the fact this case can be an exception regarding our DW policy. Firstly the complainant is the photographer, and the DW argument was a poor defense made the defendant-appellees. The result regarding the DW argument is quite logical. The creator of the drawing did not complain about anything and it was proved that he created the work knowingly with an implied license and have been paid for that. And the owners of the customized motos can't complaim about copyright infrengment because it's them who requested the photos! This case is more regarding abuse of license or abuse of lack of explicit license. The derivative work has been discussed since it was selected as a defense line, but as showed by the district court DW is not the main subject here. It's the only conclusion I see here, and I agree with. I don't see how this can be considered as an exception. Christian Ferrer (talk) 21:58, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes, the judge was able to rule primarily based on a contract issue, but he left the plain direction he would go with the derivative work claim: Further weakening defendant-appellees argument is the fact that the ZX-14 motorcycles were the subject matter and primary focus of Latimer's photographs. Latimer's photographs can best be described as being “based upon” the ZX-14 motorcycles, useful articles not subject to copyright protection. The fact that Hathaway's artwork appears in the photographs is merely incidental. So, they would not have been derivative. The court was sort of overturning an overbroad lower court ruling two years prior (see here) which basically said that virtually all photographs of items cannot be derivative works, based on certain wording in U.S. law and similar to another case called SHL Imaging, but in the paragraph previous to my quoted one, this court more or less said that was too far. But they still distinguished this case from some others in the quoted part above, which in turn is basically directly in line with the Ets Hokin decision, which also ruled that a photo was not a derivative work of a label on a bottle, unless focused on the label itself. Just the primary object can be considered the "underlying work", in those cases. We should ignore SHL Imaging, as multiple courts have ruled the other way, but the quoted situation does seem to be about where courts are landing, unless there are other cases I'm unaware of. Schrock vs Learning Curve has a long discussion on the subject, although that case "assumed without ruling" that photos of toys were derivative works -- so even photos directly of copyrightable works have been a difficult subject for U.S. courts, although more recently there were affirmative rulings that photos of statues were derivative works. But when you add another level of indirection -- a photo of an object which itself contains a copyrighted work -- I'm not sure we have such a ruling. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:08, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
Then if we transpose the roles of the case, in a big poor summary, we have
The Pokemon Company
The artist commissioned, by the The Pokemon Company, to design the pokemon drawings
The photographer commissioned, once again by the The Pokemon Company, to take photos of the airplane with drawings
The photographer send, by mail, the edited files to The Pokemon Company in a purpose of publication in a Powerpoint presentation
Some month later the photographer find here the photo under the license we know and the photo have been uplaoded by The Pokemon Company
The photographer complain the publication here is not legal
The poor defense of The Pokemon Company is "the photographer can't complain because the only and first owner is the artist designer of the drawing, and the photographer lose de facto his rights"
1/The artist designer can't complain because he was knowingly commissioned to make drawing
2/The photographer was commissioned by The Pokemon Company to take this precise airplane, this plane with the drawing, not an other, then the subject can not be depicted in an other way.
3/The photographer is not the uploader and made no copyright infrengment
Then the DW argument that the photographer lose his right because there was previously an infrengment of the copyright of the designer was left out in one way or another by the district court. And that's logical. Not far from the exact opposite of the file deleted here. Christian Ferrer (talk) 05:07, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
@Christian Ferrer: The contract stuff in that case is mainly irrelevant -- the relevant question for this discussion is if the photo was a derivative work, which was definitively ruled as not being derivative by the district court, whereas on the appeal the circuit court had to tone down the scope of the lower court's ruling (but still indicated the photo of the motorcycle was not derivative). The actual ruling on the case ended up being a contractual thing, yes, but the item of interest to us was whether it was a derivative work (notwithstanding the perverse way the derivative rights were being claimed). Carl Lindberg (talk) 13:50, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
Never the copyright owner have complain and claim his rights. If there is a copyright infrengment then it comes first from Kawasaky as it is them who published first the photos, and if they have the permission form the designer that's mean the photograph have too this permission as he was indirectly commissioned by Kawasaky via the customiser, but in all cases the photographer never published himself the photo, it's even him who complain about the publication, it's a very special case. A precise case law can apply only in similar conditions or at least close. I think, we don't have to face this kind of case, and even if we had, administrators have no way to have so much evidences. And without evidences precaution must be applied. Never laws or case laws are applied without a complete and accurate establishment of the circumstances and without evidences of these circumstances. Asking people to apply a rule following a simple presumption, is the opposite of what this practice in justice and what is asked by our policies.
What are the commonalities between this case and the file with the airplanes? just vehicules with drawings. If you are interested in judicial decisions you should know that this is just a little small as a benchmark, never a decision can not be taken with so little. The presumption that there is a chance that a picture is free is at the opposite of the Commons:Project scope/Precautionary principle. Christian Ferrer (talk) 17:41, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

Hi, I nominated a few more files. Please comment. There might be more in Commons:Deletion requests/Pokemon Jet. Thanks, Yann (talk) 09:23, 24 April 2016 (UTC)


File is licensed under "Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5", but the sourced website states "All Content and Material ©2013 Jonathan Baldwin". I tagged to file with {{No permission since}} and tried to notify the uploader as instructed, but the uploader has been indefinitely banned from Commons. Not sure who to notify in such cases. -- Marchjuly (talk) 02:52, 25 April 2016 (UTC)

Originally uploaded on en-wiki on May 14, 2006 by a user "Hungrygeneration". That may have predated OTRS and be grandfathered. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:39, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the info Clindberg. Hungrygeneration hasn't edited since 2009 and they do not have a Commons account, so no way to post the notice on their user talk. As for COM:GOF, I was not aware of that since it was way before my time. Do you suggest removing the "no permission since" tag? I believe I found the actual source for the photo here. The username "hungrygeneration" is the same as the url address, so there is a good chance they are connected. The Wikipedia article en:International House of Prayer was created in 2004, and the photo was added in May 2006. Does it matter that the photo was not added to Commons until June 2008 (well after OTRS was set up)? Does it matter that the photo was added to Commons by a user who has been globally indef'd by the WMF? -- Marchjuly (talk) 04:46, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
The move to Commons in 2008 does not matter -- that was just a simple file transfer of a licensed file. It does look like OTRS was being set up and separate permission was starting to be requested by the time it was originally uploaded. The file definitely existed on the internet before being uploaded, but it's likely it was self-promotion in writing the article, so most likely uploaded by someone involved. I don't think there is anyone to notify, unless you want to contact someone at the website. I don't think it's an obvious copyvio -- I think I'd probably send it to a regular DR at the very least. Good chance it's OK but by current rules would warrant a DR, but I can't remember if we instituted the "previously existed on the internet" rule at the time (OTRS was initially for situations where it was obvious we needed external permission, though the internet thing didn't take long). Up to you. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:14, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
@Clindberg: I removed the "No permission" yesterday after reading your reply and cited this VP thread in my edit sum. Maybe sopmeone who jumps to the same conclusions that I did will see it in the edit history and look for this in the VP archives for reference. Thanks again for all the info. -- Marchjuly (talk) 21:02, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
I want to note that a statement like "All Content and Material ©2013 Jonathan Baldwin" does not imply that the file is not under a free license. This statement only means that the copyright belongs to Jonathan Baldwin, who as the copyright owner can license it as he sees fit. In fact, the existence of a copyright is a necessary condition for any file to be licensed as public domain works can not be. I find it really strange that as soon as people see @ symbol they automatically think that something is wrong with the file, which, is of course, not true. Ruslik (talk) 20:05, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
@Ruslik0: Thanks for info. See my reply to Clindberg above for more specifics. -- Marchjuly (talk) 21:04, 25 April 2016 (UTC)
Checkmark This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. Poké95 10:25, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Copyright status of File:Wôkami - Carl Hubert de Villeneuve.png[edit]

This image was drawn between 1826-1830 by an artist who died in 1846. It was never published until 2015 when it appeared in Funk, H. (2015), "A re-examination of C. J. Temminck's sources for his descriptions of the extinct Japanese wolf", Archives of Natural History, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp. 51-65, ISSN 0260-9541, published by the Edinburgh University Press. The copyright has expired, but does its 2015 publisher enjoy a publication right for 25 years following its first publication? --Rrburke (talk) 16:43, 26 April 2016 (UTC)

#16 + #19 on this page by Holger Funke suggest a prior publication, please check. –Be..anyone 💩 19:29, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
@Be..anyone: I had a look at the article and the footnotes but couldn't find any reference to the drawing. --Rrburke (talk) 10:23, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
For the U.S., no copyright. For the UK... possibly, though how did the authors come into possession of the drawings? If they have changed hands before, publication might have occurred long ago. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:41, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) In the United Kingdom, the copyright to many kinds of works expires 50 years after the death of the author or 50 years after publication, whichever is later. I suspect that this is one of the kind of works which gets a copyright term of 50 years from publication - and 50 years from publication is a lot longer than 70 years from the death of the author as the first publication was 159 years after the death of the author. In that case, the original copyright term hasn't expired yet (it expires in 1940 when the 50 years from publication rule will be abolished in British copyright legislation).
Alternatively, if this isn't one of those kinds of works which get a copyright term of 50 years from publication, then the work became re-copyrighted in the United Kingdom upon publication for a period of 25 years under EU rules. Incidentally, this would result in the same copyright expiration year.
If there was a prior publication (I haven't checked), then the copyright has probably expired long ago. --Stefan2 (talk) 20:45, 26 April 2016 (UTC)
You are thinking of literary, dramatic, or musical works, plus engravings, where publication mattered (also for photographs a little bit). There is a chart here. This one should be a straight 70pma, other than the potential publication right. Carl Lindberg (talk) 01:35, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
Who holds the publication right, if there is one: the Edinburgh University Press or the author of the article? And, bottom line, does this image need to be deleted? --Rrburke (talk) 10:23, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
Not sure on either count. Tentative guess the author of the article was more the one who made it available to the public. But where had the drawings been all these years? Held privately by a family, or in a library archive somewhere? Also, unsure what the Berne Convention would say about country of origin based purely on the publication right (which has nothing to do with Berne). It does seem as though the drawing was done in Japan by a Dutch artist, from the descriptions here, though possibly as a work for hire of one researcher, and then sent to another researcher. The fact that the author and researchers were European might lead towards the publication right existing. Technically though, if there was a public display of the drawings in Japan in the 1800s, that would mean the publication right would not exist since that act would have already occurred (as the "publication right" section in UK law has a different definition of "publication" than the rest of their law). Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:10, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
According to the Swedish 'international copyright decree', international copyright treaties (such as the Berne Convention) do not extend to the publication right. It seems that Swedish law says that this provision only applies if
  1. the author was an EEA citizen, or
  2. a resident of Sweden, or
  3. if, within 25 years from the initial publication, the work is published in Sweden with permission from the original author's heirs, and the work never has been published with consent from these heirs before. In this case, protection seems to begin when it was published with permission from the heirs and run for 25 years from the first time the work was published. For example, if published in any country in 2005 without permission and then in Sweden in 2010 with permission, then the protection seems to be created in 2010 and run for 25 years from 2005.
Not sure if all countries are required to use the same implementation or if Britain may have chosen to use a different implementation.
The copyright holder is supposed to be the original publisher. Not sure if this is the person who creates the book/article/other publication or the publishing house which assists this person in the publication of the material. --Stefan2 (talk) 23:25, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

File:TVAM Regents Canal .jpg[edit]

File:TVAM Regents Canal .jpg, File:TVAM Photographed by Richard Bryant.jpg and File:TVAM Photographed by Richard Bryant 02.jpg were all uploaded by Melanie Watkins as "own work" and licensed under a "Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International". The names of two of the files seem to suggest they were taken by somebody other than the uploader. The files are being used in the article en:TV-am and were attributed to a "Richard Bryant" [1] by the same uploader. The metadata for two of the photos ("File:TVAM Photographed by Richard Bryant 02.jpg" and "File:TVAM Photographed by Richard Bryant.jpg") give quite explicit information regarding copyright, but again this seems to imply that the uploader and photographer are not the same. The metadata for "File:TVAM Regents Canal .jpg" seems different from the other two, so perhaps this is the uploader's own work. Do any of these photos require OTRS verification?

Finally, there seems to be an space that was accidentally added to the file name "File:TVAM Regents Canal .jpg". Not sure if this needs to be removed or not. -- Marchjuly (talk) 21:32, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

I tagged all files as "no permission". Thanks for reporting. Also, for the file rename, we filemovers won't rename it until OTRS permission is received and verified. Thanks, Poké95 04:11, 30 April 2016 (UTC)


{{PD-old-100}} wants an US template, and I found no {{PD US dunno and don't care}}. How about a default {{PD-1923}} based on 1916<1923 — obviously this must be wrong, but I need a clue and more coffee. –Be..anyone 💩 04:48, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

{{PD-old-100-1923}} if before 1923? Josve05a (talk) 06:56, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, fixed on File:FMB last.jpg, so now my refined question is why we don't redirect PD-old-100 to PD-old-100-1923.:-)Be..anyone 💩 11:47, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
Since some works may be published posthumous (after death). An artist may have been dead for more that 100 ~years, but a work might not have been published before 1923. (I think) Josve05a (talk) 13:29, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
If that just so happened to be first published in, say, 1997, it would still be under U.S. copyright. Any tags based on date of death usually won't have relevance for U.S. copyright status, unless created after 1978 or first published after 2002. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:59, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

Invisible trademarks[edit]

In a follow upp of the discussion in What is the legal consequence of invisible trademarks placed by tools such as in try-out versions. I suppose if such images is used commercialy without paying the licence fee for the tool the uploader can theory be procecuted. Does this have any consequence for the Wikimedia foundation? I suppose only the uploader is responsible, as it is imposible for the foundation to detect the invisibe trademark.Smiley.toerist (talk) 09:58, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

I don't see an invisible watermark in the test upload, meta-data checked with exiftool. Watermarks are evil beyond repair. –Be..anyone 💩 11:00, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

Facebook images (exif/metadata)[edit]

Hi! Commons is constantly flooded by social media images, especially grabbed from Facebook, and they are hard to detect. We have some indications like typical resolutions like 720, 960, 2048 etc., often accompanied with an " * " in the metadata. But I am wondering also about the "Special Instruction" + string beginning with "FBMD" in the exif of Facebook images. See e.g. File:Natanaelrochaoficial.jpeg or here ( is currently down, see alternatively here). See also, "which are apparently automatically added during the upload process" [to Facebook]. Is FBMD the abbreviation for FaceBook MultimeDia? Is the string "FBMD" an indicator, that the photo was already published on Facebook, before it was uploaded to Commons? Gunnex (talk) 11:12, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

In my experience, yes, that is an indication that it's a file grabbed from Facebook. On a related note, if anyone knows if it's possible to deduce the original URL from the FBMD string, that would be really interesting to know about. I know you can find the original page a file appears on from the second numerical part of the Facebook filename, e.g. 12961420_1090409764351401_5330608405736875822_o.jpg =, but I don't know if it's possible to find either of those based on "FBMD01000ab803000035200000f243000014440000604400005f630000a1930000889d0000e29d00006b9e00008ef30000". LX (talk, contribs) 16:48, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
@LX: "I know you can find the original page a file appears on from the second numerical part of the Facebook filename (...)" --> that's correct, but only works if the photo was shared as "public" (visible for everyone) on Facebook. For FB photos shared only with friends/private/etc. and/or in closed groups, Facebook emits "Sorry, this content isn't available right now: the link you followed may have expired, or the page may only be visible to an audience you're not in." Gunnex (talk) 20:37, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
Using Quarry = only in the last 5 days 862 living uploads with "FBMD" in the metadata...
Example: File:AngelDelaCruz.jpg (uploaded 27.04.2016, "FBMD01000a920d0000903200006663000088630000d4630000e78b0000bff200006ffd000091fd0000c9fd0000abbc0100") --> grabbed from (25.04.2016, "FBMD01000a920d0000903200006663000088630000d4630000e78b0000bff200006ffd000091fd0000c9fd0000abbc0100" = identical).
And now? 365 days : 5 days = 73 5-day-periods x 862 images each 5 days = 62.926 images yearly grabbed (still living) from Facebook...? Gunnex (talk) 18:03, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
New Quarry --> 3519 living uploads from 03.2016 with "FBMD"... (3519 : 31 = 113,52 x 5 = 568 [567,58] uploads each 5-days...) Gunnex (talk) 18:45, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
  • The "Special instructions" field in the metadata as the "Instructions" field is a simple text field. There is certainly no common ground between this field and the original URL at least not one we can find, maybe they are even created randomly. But likely Facebook have associate this kind of string to each image in order to trace the source from a database also containing original URL. Sadly without this database...Christian Ferrer (talk) 19:21, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting comment.svg Comment If there is no doubt that the images containing that character string passed through Facebook, that's mean they were previously published, that's mean we need permissions, that's mean the ones without permissions should maybe be deleted even if we don't find additional evidences that the presence of this specific string....Christian Ferrer (talk) 20:27, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
  • I'd have to guess it is "Facebook Metadata". The value is hexadecimal data. There are too many zeroes in there for it to contain a long ID string directly, but it's not clear what the values are (a quick search didn't turn up anything). I think that is a very clear indicator the image was copied from Facebook though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 20:30, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
@Clindberg: FBMD = "Facebook Metadata" --> indeed, makes more sense than "Facebook Multimedia" (per above). Also mentioned via (example) ("Hm, looks like hex but it's something else... Not binary..."). There, the cited FBMD code was also used for a comparism query via See also this post and this FBMD string analyzer (whatever this means...)
14.081 affected uploads since 01.01.2016 (to 27.04.2016), including also Flickr reviewed files like File:-Porto (24601390960).jpg ("FBMD23000968010000394b0000d6610000b3720000216301004cc701001c38020037a7020016050300259b0300"). I am rather at a loss what to do now... Gunnex (talk) 22:34, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
I would DR, and delete if no more info is provided, any file with FBMD in metadata. (I deleted File:AngelDelaCruz.jpg, most probably a copyvio.) In the case of File:-Porto (24601390960).jpg, the issue is whether the Flickr account is the photographer or not. Regards, Yann (talk) 07:25, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
If there is this string in the metadata this means the file was previously published on Facebook before on Flickr, and the version on Flick have been uploaded from Facebook from a way or an other. The oldest is to be considered by default as the owner. Christian Ferrer (talk) 11:02, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
Indeed, we already had a few related deletion requests (@Josve05a: per Special:diff/181552721). Gunnex (talk) 12:03, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

File:M.2 and mSATA SSDs comparison.jpg Licensing Incorrect[edit]

Hi, the image File:M.2 and mSATA SSDs comparison.jpg is incorrectly licensed. It was placed under CC BY-SA by someone who wasn't the owner and doesn't have the authority to do. As the owner of the image I am happy to release it under CC BY, but I do not know the process for getting this changed here on Wikimedia to reflect the proper source and license.

The current version of the image in the commons is taken from However they are not the owner of the image; they took the file from my site, and did not properly cite us in the process. Ergo they cannot release it under CC BY-SA.

The original photo can be found on my site, .

As the owner of the image I am happy to release it under CC BY. I'm merely looking for correct attribution and I don't want to screw up pages that already use this image. Could someone please direct me through the process here to get this taken care of? RyanSmith AT (talk) 21:59, 28 April 2016 (UTC)

Thanks, the licensing here is obviously invalid, and the file is a low resolution version. Would you be able to send permission using the form at COM:OTRS? (or --ghouston (talk) 22:59, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. Form sent. RyanSmith AT (talk) 23:18, 28 April 2016 (UTC)
✓ Permission confirmed. --Amitie 10g (talk) 04:22, 29 April 2016 (UTC)
Checkmark This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. Poké95 10:23, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

Publication date of paintings and sculptures[edit]

Could the legal successor of a 17th-century Greek icon painter show up in the US and claim there is a copyright violation about the publication of this image?

Hello. In the past, for old artworks (like centuries old), I used the template {{PD-old-100}}, which stated that the artwork is the public domain in the US and in countries where the copyright term is the author's life plus 100 years or less. Now this template only states the latter and asks for a United States public domain tag. Therefore, I often use instead {{PD-old-100-1923}}. However, for paintings or sculptures, it seems that "publication before 1923" would mean that, before 1923, reproductions of the artwork (so not the artwork itself) should be "publicly distributed or offered to a group for further distribution or public display". For famous artworks, it is often the case, because we can find books published before 1923 with reproductions of Mona Lisa or The Ambassadors. However, it is possible (and sometimes likely) that more obscure artworks were not "published" before 1923. This means that even paintings from the Middle Age might not be in the public domain in the US and that the hypothetical legal successors of medieval painters might claim there is a copyright violation.

So, should we consider that an artwork is not in the public domaine in the US unless there is an evidence that there exist reproductions of it published before 1923 (and consequently should we delete all these reproductions of old paintings and sculptures)? Or should we consider that it is unlikely that the legal successors of these artists will show up? In the later case, should not we set a threshold date and create an appropriate template? Thank you for your ideas and comments. BrightRaven (talk) 09:52, 30 April 2016 (UTC)