Commons:Village pump/Copyright

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Welcome to the Village pump copyright section

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copyrightability of faithful reproductions of individual solely biological forms[edit]

relating to Arlo James Barnes 00:44, 9 October 2020 (UTC)

@Arlo Barnes: What exactly is your question? Are you talking about 3D models like this? --Animalparty (talk) 02:20, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
That page refuses to load for me, but assuming it is one of the ones linked from the page I linked, then yes. My question is about the copyright (and non-copyright restriction) suitability of such models for Commons as part of the COM:3D effort. Arlo James Barnes 02:47, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
It comes down to if there is any copyrightable expression possible. In other words, are there different ways something can be modeled in that way, or is there really only one way, or very few ways, to do it? For some examples, I think a vectorization of some county land maps was ruled copyrightable, even if the original map was PD, since there is wide variation in which exact control points etc. could be chosen, even if the visual result was the same or similar. On the other hand, there was also a case about a 3-D model made of a car, which was taken from laser measurements -- since there was little or no human involvement, that was ruled to be uncopyrightable. If there is really only a couple of ways to express the underling facts, probably not. But if there are many many ways the raw information could be expressed in the 3-D files, and it's a human making those decisions on their own (not following any algorithm or something), then they could be copyrightable.
These are just general principles; I really am not familiar with that project or that file type at all, so it's hard to answer any more specifically. Could you describe the underlying data, and how it's made into the 3D form? Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:06, 12 October 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. All I knew before was that it was micro-CT via xradiation of the specimens, but in trying to find out what post-processing happened I found, so at least part of the dataset is CC0 (per Arlo James Barnes 14:09, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

Copyright status of NATO crests/logos[edit]

Are works created by those working for NATO as part of their official duties considered to be PD in the same way the works created by members of the US Military would be considered to be PD? In some cases, US military personnel/employees may be for whatever reason assigned to NATO as part of their official duties. Of course, not all NATO personnel/employees are working for the US government, but may be representing their own governments in a similar way.
I'm asking about this because of images such as File:Coat of arms of Headquarters, Allied Forces Southern Europe.svg, File:Coat of arms of Allied Joint Force Command Naples.svg, Category:Coats of arms of Allied Air Command and Category:Coats of arms of Allied Command Transformation (there are quite a few others as well). All of these are licensed as {{PD-USGov}}, {{PD-USGov-Military-Army}} or something similar which might not be the case. There might be other reasons that this are PD and only the license needs to be fixed, but the argument being made for their current licensing of such files seems to be that NATO is the same as the US government, which is not the case at all. There is also a discussion at en:Wikipedia:Files for discussion/2020 October 6#File:Joint Force Command Norfolk badge.png about a similar file which could further be clarified as well based pon how Commons should treat these files.
Finally, one possibility might be that these are svg versons created by an employee of the US government of the original crests/logos, but it seems unlikely that such a thing would be part of that person's official duties and it seems that would be either a case of COM:DR or COM:2D copying of a work created by someone else. -- Marchjuly (talk) 22:56, 9 October 2020 (UTC)
I find the statement that "not all NATO personnel/employees are working for the US government" strange. By definition any employee is working for their employer, which in case of NASA staff is USA government. Ruslik0 (talk) 15:04, 10 October 2020 (UTC)
@Ruslik: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, while mainly funded and staffed by the US and US personnel, is not exclusively so.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 16:40, 10 October 2020 (UTC)
Confusion here! NASA is a US agency. NATO is an alliance of nations in North America and Europe plus Turkey, so NATO personell include Brits, Canadians, Greeks etc. Kognos (talk) 20:24, 10 October 2020 (UTC)
Indeed, NATO isn't a part of US Federal Government department, hence @Ruslik0, Jeff G., Kognos: NATO staff photographed images may be copyrightable e.g. in UK and France, or even in the headquarter country Belgium. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 05:32, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

Two German files: can they be transfered to Commons?[edit]

Today I created Category:Ludwig Nick (German artist, 1873-1936) and I try now to collect some of his works in that category. German Wikipedia has an article, de:Schmied von Essen, on one of Nick's works that was destroyed in WWII. The article has two pictures, [1] & [2], and I wonder if they can be transferred to Commons. Does anybody here have sufficient knowledge on German copyright to tell whether they can be transferred? Thanks, Eissink (talk) 20:40, 11 October 2020 (UTC).

In Germany, they are presumed PD (this is not a legal rule, but a Wikipedia policy), because there is no known author and the images are more than 100 years old. The US copyright status depends on publication, which has been 1977 (release of that book) or earlier. PD in this case is 95 years from publication, which may or may not be the case. In summary, they are probably, but not certainly PD in Germany and they are probably not PD in the US. That's why they carry the notice that they should not be uploaded to Commons. Incidentally, where FOP does not apply, Nick's later works (after 1925) might not be PD US either. See COM:HIRTLE for the relevant US rules. --rimshottalk 22:27, 11 October 2020 (UTC)
Thank you, rimshot. The book that is used as a source, consists of images from old postcards ("Ansichten"): couldn't it be said that the postcards likely, most likely have been published in 1915 (the year the work was erected, and also the date given in the description), and wouldn't that change the matter? As far as I can tell from HIRTLE the works would then certainly be PD-US-expired. Eissink (talk) 22:42, 11 October 2020 (UTC).
If they were published before 1925, they are fine for the U.S. If they were truly anonymous (i.e. the book would have mentioned any authors credited on the original postcards), they should be fine for German law as well ({{PD-anon-70-EU}}). If the author is simply unknown, it's more of a gray area. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:07, 12 October 2020 (UTC)
Thank you, Carl Lindberg. I feel comfortable enough to transfer the images, and I will do so now. Eissink (talk) 14:17, 12 October 2020 (UTC).
P.S. I found the photographer: Anton Meinholz (1875-1949). Eissink (talk) 17:45, 12 October 2020 (UTC).
Ah great, that removes all doubt then. The best tag then would be {{PD-old-auto-expired|deathyear=1949}}. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:55, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
Just saw the ping, and I agree with this assessment. If these really are postcards, they've most likely been published at the time. I saw them more as private snapshots, that's why I didn't find a very early publication probable. --rimshottalk 22:32, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

Himawari but {{PD-USGov-NOAA}}[edit]

Calling also @Hurricaneboy23: as the uploader. Is it correct to use the license for this image? Himawari imagery doesn't come from NOAA but from the Japanese Meteorological Agency. If they are in a special agreement with NOAA for the content on RAMMB (the source), the license may be appropriate. If not, it looks like JMA's term is about the same with CC BY 4.0 link 1, link 2.

"The Terms of Use are compatible with the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (hereinafter referred to as the CC License). This means that Content based on the Terms of Use may be used under the CC License in lieu of the Terms of Use."

There is already a template for images created by the JMA, but I don't know if we have one already for something derived from JMA's content. Should we create one? RXerself (talk) 23:08, 11 October 2020 (UTC)
RXerself, which image are you referring to? It wasn't linked. To know which license to apply you have to know which satellite it comes from. For File:Delta 2020 rapid intensification.gif, as an example, it's GOES-16. GOES satellites are operated by NOAA, so use {{PD-USGov-NOAA}}. If it is a Himawari satellite, use {{JMA}}. If it is a Meteosat satellite, well, don't upload those. EUMETSAT does not release satellite data under a compatible license. (So, an image like File:SS Alpha making landfall in Portugal on September 18.gif can't be uploaded here.) It doesn't matter which website an image comes from if it is "raw" satellite data. Huntster (t @ c) 02:48, 12 October 2020 (UTC)
Oh sorry, I was typing this on the file discussion page but thought about posting this here. The file has been linked above. {{JMA}} is for files created by JMA though, not derived from their works. Is it okay to just use it? I was thinking about either making another template like {{Attribution-Copernicus}} for derived works or modifying the current {{JMA}} so it covers both images created by JMA and derived works. RXerself (talk) 06:47, 12 October 2020 (UTC)
RXerself, unless there's some evidence that the derivative files have been licensed differently from the originals, there's no need to create a new template or modify {{JMA}}. Generally the derivative file will inherit the parent's license unless specifically changed for some reason. Since the modifying agency is a division of NOAA/NESDIS, and since a public domain agency cannot change an attribution license into anything else, logically the existing CC-BY license can remain. Huntster (t @ c) 13:04, 12 October 2020 (UTC)
@Huntster: The file is apparently created using the RAMMB site and users can customize their settings to generate an image. I don't know whether it meets threshold of originality to be called a derivative work. And also, say, I am making an image derived from Himawari data and I have to attribute them on file summary, {{JMA}} won't be appropriate will it? I found another file with such case and using {{JMA}} on the permission field looks incorrect as it says "This image was produced by the [JMA]" instead of derived from JMA data/imagery (the author says it's her work on its source). RXerself (talk) 19:33, 12 October 2020 (UTC)
RXerself: I would not consider merely cropping an existing image as meeting the ToO, it's too simplistic by U.S. standards. Regarding issue 2, using the {{JMA}} template for the derivative file is're simply releasing your modification under the same license as JMA did. Regarding the Yasi cyclone image, this is really odd. I cannot identify which data product it is derived from, or even that it *is* from Himawari-8. No details about the source of the data are provided by the Flickr user other than what is embedded on the file itself. While it seems likely that JMA is the original source, I'm not really comfortable declaring that. All we have is a random Flickr user's word that the image is properly licensed as CC-by-sa without really knowing its background. Huntster (t @ c) 21:57, 12 October 2020 (UTC)
@Huntster: I don't think it's only cropping as there is a symbol classification involved but yeah I think it's still from the tools unless the uploader says otherwise. And I agree about that Yasi image which is rather unclear. I have searched for a good example in the category of images by JMA but couldn't find anything good. But in case if there was a file where it meets the ToO to be called a derivative work of JMA data, still I wouldn't feel comfortable using a template that says "This image was produced by the JMA". This is also because there are similar permission templates like {{Attribution-Copernicus}}, {{PD-USGov-NASA-SRTM}} and {{ODbL OpenStreetMap}} which can be used for attribution of source of some contents in the described file. It would also make it less confusing when the derivative file is licensed in another license other than CC BY 4.0 JMA is using as you would have two license templates in the file summary and license. RXerself (talk) 22:33, 12 October 2020 (UTC)
RXerself: sorry for not responding for a few days, I've had some access difficulties. I do understand where you're coming from regarding the attribution template, and I certainly wouldn't want you stopped from creating a custom solution (after all, it's your prerogative, not mine). I just don't think it's necessary here. After all, the CC-by-4.0 license requires only that a work using such a licensed file simply provide attribution, a link to the license, and note whether the new usage modifies the original work. A new image adapted from that original work would be the same way...the new work can be licensed in any way the creator wishes (so long as it is not less restrictive than the original license) as long as those original CC-by requirements are adhered to. That's why using the original template ({{JMA}}) in addition to whatever new template is the easiest route to take. One existing solution would be something like:
{{copyright information |item1=derivative |item1-license={{insert license here}} |item2=original image |item2-license={{JMA}} }}
But again, you're free to create whatever you feel is necessary, and I'm happy to help if you need assistance.
I should mention that the SRTM template is totally redundant to the main NASA does nothing special, unlike say {{PD-USGov-NASA-AP}} which is also redundant but at least provides special linking functionality. Huntster (t @ c) 15:29, 17 October 2020 (UTC)

Copyright for Vietnamese propaganda posters[edit]

I see cropped Vietnamese propaganda posters on Commons.

I think copyright there is dubious. I think you cannot take picture of propaganda poster, crop just the poster and then claim yourself as "author".


Propaganda banner in HCMC (cropped).jpg Ho Chi Minh (7166037769) (cropped) (cropped).jpg Ho Chi Minh (7166037769) (cropped).jpg Happy people (7360943944).jpg Ho Chi Minh Signs.JPG

Another discussion is copyright status of the posters themselves; I am not an expert on Vietnamese copyright law, but I highly doubt they are free to use or US-style "public domain". The copyright might be owned by Vietnamese government, or the Party (which are basically synonymous in Vietnam).

Anyway. I am not sure, who has the copyright, but it should not be the author of the photo at Flickr and it should not be released under CC.

What do you think?

--Running (talk) 14:09, 12 October 2020 (UTC)

I now saw this

According to article 25.1(h) of the Vietnamese copyright law, it is allowed to use (i.e. take and publish pictures, or televise) published works of the fine or applied arts or photographs, if the works have already been publicly displayed for "introduction purposes", without obtaining permission from and without paying royalties or other remuneration to the copyright owner.

(the link to the copyright law doesn't actually work)

This makes it kind-of-OK, I guess? I am not completely sure.

--Running (talk) 14:14, 12 October 2020 (UTC)

Now reading through the actual law

Article 25.- Cases of use of published works where permission and payment of royalties and/or remunerations are not required 1. Cases of use of published works where permission or payment of royalties and/or remunerations is not required include:

a/ Duplication of works by authors for scientific research or teaching purpose;

b/ Reasonable recitation of works without misrepresenting the authors’ views for commentary or illustrative purpose;

c/ Recitation of works without misrepresenting the authors’ views in articles published in newspapers or periodicals, in radio or television broadcasts, or documentaries;

d/ Recitation of works in schools for lecturing purpose without misrepresenting the authors’ views and not for commercial purpose;

e/ Reprographic reproduction of works by libraries for archival and research purpose;

f/ Performance of dramatic works or other performing-art works in mass cultural, communication or mobilization activities without collecting any charges in any form;

g/ Audiovisual recording of performances for purpose of reporting current events or for teaching purpose;

h/ Photographing or televising of plastic art, architectural, photographic, applied-art works displayed at public places for purpose of presenting images of such works;

i/ Transcription of works into Braille or characters of other languages for the blind;

j/ Importation of copies of others’ works for personal use.

I don't think this gives anyone the right to make a photo of a poster, crop just the poster and slap a CC license on it.

--Running (talk) 14:31, 12 October 2020 (UTC)

Yes, I think you are correct. Article 25(1)(h) that you posted above is a pretty wide-ranging FoP clause. However the relevant bit of the law is clause 2 of section 25, where it says that works may neither affect the normal utilization of these works nor prejudice the rights of the authors or copyright holders. Virtually every copyright law says the same thing, as that part is specified by the Berne Convention. That does mean that a photo of another 2-D work, cropped to just that work, is effectively a "copy" that could compete with the original, and would absolutely violate that part -- I think that situation is exactly what the Berne Convention clause is guarding against. So, works using the FoP provision really need to depict the work in its public context -- if you strip away the public context, it becomes a problem. So the first three above I think are absolutely problems, the fourth fairly dubious, and the fifth one I think is OK. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:10, 12 October 2020 (UTC)
Thanks. I put that to deletion discussion. --Running (talk) 14:52, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
I think there may be some related discussions here over whether File:Mao Zedong portrait.jpg can make such exact copies. Personally, I doubt we could get away with this sort of freedom of panorama-meets-faithful reproduction of 2D art loophole. File:Asterix.jpg pushes this line, too, but there's enough of a background, angle, damage, and external content to make me less concerned about that one... possibly. -BRAINULATOR9 (TALK) 16:38, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
Note that despite outwardly same ruling ideology of Marxism and despite geographic closeness, laws of China and Vietnam are very different. Chinese FoP and Vietnamese FoP are different. Also, personally, I think even Mao's portrait is pushing FoP too far, as image is not a panorama :) but that is beside this discussion. --Running (talk) 17:18, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

Question about Australian Greens licenses[edit]

The website of the Australian Greens says "This website, excluding trademarked logos and images or content noted otherwise, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Australia Licence. Some rights reserved." Template:GreensAU says pretty much the same. People seem to be interpreting that statement as meaning images are included in the share alike license, when the statement explicitly excludes them. I think the problem is that some people may read it as "excluding trademarked logos and (trademarked) images" instead of "excluding images and trademarked logos". As far as I know, images photographs can't be trademarked, only copyrighted, so the first interpretation is invalid. Am I wrong about this? Mo Billings (talk) 03:30, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

In the US, images certainly can be trademarked. Pinging @Neegzistuoja, Jon Kolbert, Canley as author and editors of that template.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 03:41, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I worded that poorly. As far as I know, photographs can't be trademarked. Mo Billings (talk) 04:01, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
@Jeff G.: I changed a link to the Creative Commons website from http to https using a script, I have nothing to do with this template 😂😂😂 Jon Kolbert (talk) 18:35, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
I would read it as trademarked logos are excluded, as well as any images or content noted otherwise (i.e. marked with an overriding license). In other words, trademarked logos, images noted otherwise, and content noted otherwise are excluded. That is what would make the most sense to me, reading it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 04:49, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
This was my first reading as well. – BMacZero (🗩) 18:57, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
Well, you're suggesting a rather unlikely interpretation for a start. The interpretation that photos are included in the Greens' CC-BY-SA licence is not conflation with the trademark statement, i.e. "excluding trademarked logos and images" [then assuming "non-trademarked images" are OK]—the interpretation is that "content noted otherwise", whether is is text, video or photos, is excluded from the CC-BY-SA licence if it is noted otherwise, because the default licence of the website is CC-BY-SA. The wording is poor and ambiguous, and it is certainly not at all clear that photos are explicitly included, or explicitly excluded, from the licence. However, if they are excluded, and this statement was a list of excluded content, then why isn't a comma used instead of an 'and' (e.g. "excluding [trademarked] logos, images, and content noted otherwise")? Because trademarked logos are one thing that is excluded, and the other is "images or content noted otherwise". As the CC licence is default on the website (unless stated otherwise), it is quite reasonable to assume that photos taken or commissioned by the Greens are CC-BY-SA (such as photos of Greens MPs), but if they use a stock image that they licence, or show an extract from a newspaper, or screen grab from a news bulletin where they don't hold the rights to the image, this image would be noted with a copyright or other licensing statement which excludes it from the default licence for the website. --Canley (talk) 07:48, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
Yes, I understand the wording now. Photos are covered by the CC license unless noted otherwise. The reason I brought it up is because of File:Huong Truong profile.jpg which comes from the Greens site but the EXIF data identifies the copyright holder as "Julian Meehan Photography". Mo Billings (talk) 17:09, 14 October 2020 (UTC)
I uploaded that image and it did indeed get tagged for deletion in 2018 over the ambiguous wording: discussion is here. Julian Meehan is a photographer for the Greens, and releases his photos as CC-BY on his Flickr account—the EXIF data still contains his copyright statement though (example). He still holds the copyright in his photos as shown in the EXIF data, but as there is no statement otherwise on the Greens website, almost all photos on the Greens website are by him, and he widely releases images as CC-BY I think it's reasonable to consider the Huong Truong is was released to the Greens to include on their website under a CC licence. --Canley (talk) 00:39, 15 October 2020 (UTC)
@Canley: I can't find that photo of Huong Truong on Julian Meehan's Flickr account. Your assumption that Meehan licensed them as CC-BY might be right, but shouldn't we confirm that? Mo Billings (talk) 21:39, 15 October 2020 (UTC)
Quite likely that one is not on the Flickr account, my point is that almost all photos on the Greens website have that copyright statement in the EXIF data. My assumption is that as a photo on the Greens website it is covered under the CC-BY licence, because Meehan is their official photographer so as the Greens party has commissioned the photos (of Truong and other MPs), their website licence applies. The question is whether the EXIF data should be considered as a "note otherwise" that the licence does not apply—the reason I mentioned Meehan's Flickr account is that he has a variety of rights on his photos (some all rights reserved, some CC-BY-NC, and many just CC-BY) and all have the same EXIF copyright data, and he will always retain copyright of the photo regardless if it is released under a licence other than public domain. I'm sure I did this a few years ago, but I might write to the Greens and ask for clarification on this matter as it is a source of confusion which arises every so often. If I get a response, I will forward it to OTRS and include that in the template. --Canley (talk) 01:00, 16 October 2020 (UTC)
I have emailed the Australian Greens to clarify the status of the photos on their website. If I hear back I will forward to OTRS and mention here. --Canley (talk) 01:23, 16 October 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for doing that. Mo Billings (talk) 15:52, 16 October 2020 (UTC)

File:Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin bin Ali.jpg[edit]

I recently tag the image with speedy deletion tag as it is a blatant copyright violation, since government of Malaysia's work is always copyrighted. However, the uploader remove the tag and change the license to public domain, which is false. I don't know how to proceed here since the uploader will just remove the speedy tag if I just tag it again. Lulusword (talk) 10:47, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

I am not an expert. What should work - click in "Nominate for deletion" on the left panel. This will not be "speedy deletion" but go through the normal process. --Running (talk) 15:25, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
...and it seems it was already done, so, that's it :D --Running (talk) 15:26, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
@Lulusword, Running: ... and it's gone.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 15:31, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

Is this "Liberalism - the right way" poster public domain in the UK?[edit]

I'm trying to determine if this UK Liberal Party poster is in the public domain in the United Kingdom. It's PD in the US since it was published in 1924, but the UK apparently doesn't have a rule akin to America's "published before 1925" rule, so only the life + 70 rule applies in the UK. The author is Frederick Garnell; does anyone know when he died? Qzekrom (talk) 17:22, 13 October 2020 (UTC)

Using there is a Frederick George Garnell, born in 1896 (Essex), married in 1919 and died aged 61 in 1957 (Romford). Do you know your Frederick Garnell's middle name? - Aa77zz (talk) 21:44, 13 October 2020 (UTC)
I don't. It looks like that's the only possible person who it could be.
I thought I found a loophole. From 1911 to 1995, the copyright term in the UK was life + 50 years. Then, it was extended to life + 70 in 1995. If this Frederick Garnell is the one who died in 1957 (I can't find any biographical information on him), then his works would have still been copyrighted in 1995 (the expiration date would have been 2007) and thus extended by the 1995 act. This means that the UK copyright will expire in 2027. Qzekrom (talk) 06:18, 14 October 2020 (UTC)
  • He is probably the Frederick Garnell who made engravings of Manchester Grammar School,[3][4] but I haven't found any biographical information. The name may be insufficiently unusual to be confident that you have identified the correct man. There may be more evidence when the 1921 UK census data is released in 2022, as the census included occupation information. Verbcatcher (talk) 11:22, 14 October 2020 (UTC)
    • Yeah, I thought so too. I wonder if that art gallery knows more about him - perhaps we can email them? Qzekrom (talk) 10:25, 15 October 2020 (UTC)

Not allowed to upload an old image[edit]

I tried to upload scanned photos of my ancestors Geoarge Richard Mackarness and Charles Coleridge Mackarness, but this was blocked.

The photos are around 150 years old. I do not know the photographer. The only other place the images appear, to my knowledge, is on my own family history website.

I ran into a similar problem in 2014, and gave up as everything seemed too complicated. I'm now trying again, but with no success. In 2014 an advisor (or fellow contributor, I'm not sure which) suggested using {{PD-UK-unknown}}. I have just tried this with Upload Wizard, and I think succeeded in creating this file,

George Richard Mackarness 1823-1883, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles

But I can't see how to insert the file into the page. I keep being brought back to the copyright/licence page.

It's a pity, as both pages currently lack portraits of their subjects. Frustrating for me, and a loss to this community. I hope someone can advise, as I am ready to give up again.


  • @PatienceMackarness: I have added the picture to the Wikipedia article w:en:George Mackarness. We also need a US copyright declaration, but the one to use depends on when it was published. Do you know if this photograph was ever published, e.g. in a book or a newspaper? {{PD-US-unpublished}}, {{PD-1996}} and {{PD-US-expired}} look possible US copyright templates. Verbcatcher (talk) 11:51, 14 October 2020 (UTC)
  • If nothing at all is known about the author (whether they were ever named or not, etc.) we do now have a 120 year from creation rule -- {{PD-old-assumed}}. 150 years is getting to the point where just putting PD-old on it is also fine though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 16:17, 14 October 2020 (UTC)

CC-BY 4.0[edit]

In this academic article, I have found figures of 14 traditional houses in Sabzevar, which I would like to use in a fawiki article. The copyright status of the work is confusing to me. The copyright notice at the end of the PDF file reads "Copyrights for this article are retained by the author(s) with publishing rights granted to the SAUES Journal. The content of this article is distributed under SAUES open access policy and the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) License. For more information, please visit", where it says "Authors transfer copyright to the journal after signing the copyright agreement, but they retain the rights to: Share their article for personal use, institutional use and self-archive their article for non-commercial scholarly purposes with the assigned DOI link to the article on our website with a compatible creative commons license".

Isn't this contradictory to CC-BY 4.0 terms and condition? First of all, who owns the copyright? At the end of the PDF file, it says "Copyrights for this article are retained by the author(s)", but at the website, it says that "Authors transfer copyright to the journal". Secondly, if the content is published under the CC-BY 4.0 license, why are the original authors permitted to use their own writings "for non-commercial scholarly purposes" only?

Considering these contradiction, do you think I can transfer the figures to Commons? Please ping me when responding. Thank you 4nn1l2 (talk) 23:37, 14 October 2020 (UTC)

@4nn1l2: In the event of conflicting licenses, I would take the terms posted directly in the article as more correct, authoritative, and enforceable, since (while it might be confusing) the journal might choose to publish particular articles under specific terms different from their usual.
The About page even contradicts itself, saying first that authors merely "grant publisher rights to the journal" and second that "authors transfer copyright to the journal", so I don't know what to make of that. But the limited rights granted back to authors might be intended for articles that are not published under such a permissive license. They guarantee the authors those rights regardless even if the journal gives the article much more restrictive terms for the general public. – BMacZero (🗩) 15:37, 16 October 2020 (UTC)

Can I upload this Italian picture to Commons?[edit]

I would like to download this image, then upload it to Commons. I'm pretty sure the picture was taken in Pisa, Italy, in 1899. Is the operation acceptable? If so, what would be the correct copyright tag for this? Thank you so much. --Jeran Renz (talk) 20:04, 16 October 2020 (UTC)

Taken by Raffaello Donnini, from Pisa. Could not find life dates. I think I found some of his stuff dated back to 1870. 1899 would be just beyond the 120 year line for {{PD-old-assumed}} though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 05:27, 17 October 2020 (UTC)

Stamps of Ecuador[edit]

Per Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Stamps of Ecuador, 2015 all the stamps of Ecuador since Category:Stamps of Ecuador, 1957 until Category:Stamps of Ecuador, 2017. The mistake was of Materialscientist and Cekli829 (don't worry, and human mistake) but there a lot of files to delete, so I'll use the of pywikipedia to do the task. I'll wait 24 hours so if anyone has a concern about it. Regards --Ezarateesteban 20:34, 16 October 2020 (UTC)

Fair use on WP vs Wikiwand[edit]

Among all the careful efforts to avoid any hint that Wikipedia is violating the copyright of anyone else, I see nothing about what to do when it appears that the violation is going the other way. I viewed a page on Wikiwand for the first time only this week. I did not know that the CC license under which I have been contributing to WP all these years allowed for commercial re-use of the content. My question here is regarding fair use of copyrighted text and images. It is not unusual for sources to be quoted directly when paraphrasing does not convey the meaning of that source. Quotes are allowed under fair use if they are short and are used for non-profit educational (comment or critique) purposes, which is true on WP but is not true when copied to Wikiwand?

A more obvious issue is the use of non-free images. There is one, of a painting by Lucien Freud "Benefits Supervisor Sleeping.jpg" which is used in three WP articles; for the artist, the painting itself, and the genre Nude (art). I am the major contributor to the last one, and added the fair use rationale to the image page here. Wikiwand avoids direct copyright issues by hotlinking to the Wikimedia image. It also has a link to the fair use rationale, but the wrong one; the painting not the genre. I would think that any non-free image appearing on Wikiwand would be questionable, but when there is an error in the licensing, it is clearly a copyright violation. --WriterArtistDC (talk) 06:33, 17 October 2020 (UTC)

Fair use doesn't require an explicit justification; that is purely for our purposes. The only time a fair use justification would be needed is in court. Whether or not something is fair use is a complex decision--commercial use is not alone a disqualifier--and an issue between the copyright holder and the user, not us.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:37, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
@WriterArtistDC: Are you aware that Commons doesn't accept any fair use (i.e. non-free) content at all per COM:FAIR? The file's you referring to above aren't "Commons files", but rather local files uploaded to English Wikipedia under that particular project's application of the Exemption Doctrine Policy. In other words, non-free content files don't have pages on Commons; so, I think you're mixing things up a bit when you say added the fair use rationale to the image page here. Moreover, on English Wikipedia a distinction is made between fair use and non-free content, with English Wikipedia's policy being much more restrictive. This might not answer your question about Wikiwand per se when it comes to non-free files (I think that perhaps only the WMF can answer that for sure), but any files uploaded to Commons would need to meet COM:L and Commons doesn't accept licenses that place restrictions on commercial use. -- Marchjuly (talk) 08:38, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
@Marchjuly:Thanks, I did not notice that among all to images in that article, only one resides on en:WP not Commons, so I went to the wrong forum to ask my question. Yes, I am aware that infringement is between the owner and the user, but the user is ultimately the Wikimedia Foundation, so I made not distinction. English Wikipedia takes this seriously, policing both too close paraphrasing of sources and non-free images, a policy I agree with as a creator. That is the reason I am surprised to find that content mirrored on a commercial website, and find it problematical. If the NFC guideline asserts a goal of having the entire content of en:WP be truly free of copyright issues, then it should not allow commercial re-use until that goal is achieved.--WriterArtistDC (talk) 12:56, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
Fair use is the limit of what you can do without getting permission. In the U.S., there are four major factors that judges weigh against each other, to determine if a use was "fair use". There are a couple of countries which use the U.S. definition, but most countries have their own flavor of it (sometimes called "fair dealing"), usually not as wide-ranging. Since Commons is an international project, used in many countries, we really don't accept files under that rationale at all -- we need the content licensed far beyond what fair use allows. That is what makes content "free", in that re-users can do pretty much anything they want with it, provided they follow the terms of the license -- which is usually attributing the author and license, and (for share-alike type licenses) further licensing any derivative works under the same license. And yes, "anything they want" does include commercial use. So, Wikiwand and others are not limited by fair use or any NFC type rules, so long as they conform to the copyright licenses given on Wikipedia. If they ignore the license requirements, only then would they be limited to fair use. If Wikiwand is copying the article, then they are likely using any non-free images in the same context as Wikipedia is, meaning if it qualifies for fair use on Wikipedia, it probably qualifies on Wikiwand too (though the fair use calculus could be different). In the end, if they are sued, they would have to justify "fair use" on their own -- whether or not a justification is "wrong" by Wikipedia rules is irrelevant. Wikipedia's policies try to stay well inside the "fair use" area, and avoid coming close to the edge -- but it's entirely possible someone else is willing to push the boundaries further, which is fine but would be their responsibility to justify. Some Wikipedias disallow non-free works altogether, but Wikipedia does allow limited use of them, in the interests of having a better encyclopedia where free images are difficult or impossible to come by. If anyone copies the content, it's up to them to follow the law in their own context when it comes to those non-free works. Carl Lindberg (talk) 17:35, 17 October 2020 (UTC)

Copyright law and illegal organizations[edit]

The section heading I choose might seem a bit odd, but basically my question has to do with whether copyright laws, in general, cover organizations which are considered illegal for some reason or another; for example, terrorist groups, organized crime groups, drug cartels and the like. Do such organizations have any legal standing when it comes to copyright law? Is content created members of such organizations eligible for copyright question?
I'm asking about this because of a discussion at en:Wikipedia:Media copyright questions#Organizations' logos that asks about two particular logos (en:File:Ordine Nero 1974 logo.png and en:File:Terzaposizione.png), but also touches on the broader issue of copyright law and terrorist organizations. There have been some previous discussion about this at Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2016/08#Files allegedly authored by rebel/terrorist groups and Commons:Village pump/Copyright/Archive/2014/01#«Terrorist organisations» have no Copyright?, but not sure what if anything was resolved by them.
How does Commons currently treat such content? Does it simply treat such content the same way it would treat a corporate logo by assessing whether logo is below the TOO for both the US and the country of origin? Does it take into account some sort of moral rights? Would Commons be OK in accepting such content if the "creator" made it available under a license that meets COM:L? It would be interesting to hear what others think about this type of thing, particularly as to whether there've been any actual court rulings on this subject anywhere in the world. -- Marchjuly (talk) 08:54, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Free to use; not eligible for copyright. This is about images of the symbols & logos of organizations that have been universally and officially determined to be terrorist ones. This is not about organizations that belong to the file "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." This much has been rather irrevocably established. Even former members of these organizations, people who have repented and regretted their participation in them, acknowledge that theirs were terrorist organizations.[1]
    We're also not talking about the rights of people who were in the past associated in any way with these organizations and have written their memoirs about that, composed a song, written a play, etc. Such copyrights are, of course, unassailable. What the law forbids, and in the United States this has been explicitly established by the 2010 Wikipedia:Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project Supreme Court case, is to provide “material support” of any kind, including money, of course, to foreign terrorist organizations. This means that even if a terrorist organization could ever lay claim to something as it being its intellectual property, e.g. its logo, that claim could never be enforced in a court of law, since accepting it as valid would imply that the organization is allowed to profit from it in a material way.
    The images of these organizations' logos & symbols essentially denote ideology, exactly as the swastika, symbol & logo of the Nazi ideology, or the hammer & sickle, symbol & logo of the communist ideology, do. To assign copyright or any kind of property rights on them, when rendered generically (and not as some kind of personal interpretation, e.g. within an art project), would be absurd. -The Gnome (talk) 10:33, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
  • I would argue that the copyright belongs not to the organization but to the one or more graphic artist(s) who designed the logo (unless the artist(s) formally transferred copyright to the organization). —teb728 t c 12:44, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
We're talking about a criminal organization. Someone claiming copyright over a symbol of such an organization would be akin to claiming copyright for a Mafia symbol. There have never been artists who claimed or acknowledged having designed any of these logos and symbols. Plus, there is no copyright where there is no intellectual property. Possessing a property means being able to make money out of it, if one wishes to. But criminal organizations and their members are, by law, not permited to profit from their terrorist activities. -The Gnome (talk) 19:12, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
As I understand it the Wikimedia Foundation respects copyrights because they exist, irrespective of whether they could be enforced. —teb728 t c 21:46, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
That is correct but only provided there is some kind of copyright issue! Here, we're discussing whether we can have images of, for example, the swastika or a 'Ndrangheta symbol without first getting authorization from someone. Even entertaining such a notion is sheer absurdity. In any case, if we were to decide that copyright exists for all symbols and logos of ideology or affiliation to an organization, we would have to follow this decision with a mass deletion of all such symbols and logos from all articles on ideologies, parties, organizations, etc. Methinks the erroneous initial entry of those images in Wikicommons is leading us onto a false path. -The Gnome (talk) 12:03, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
  • I'd say don't put it here. By The Gnome's logic, even so much as giving these files a place to live would count as promoting the work of terrorists. Besides, wouldn't the "PD in source" policy apply to these files? -BRAINULATOR9 (TALK) 19:40, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
Wikipedia presents information about all political ideologies. The articles about extreme ideologies, including terrrorism, offer detailed information about these belief systems. However, Wikipedia cannot be accused of "promoting" such ideologies in any sense of the term. Not as long as the typical rules about article content are applied, especially WP:NPOV, in such cases. We cannot seriously claim that by having in an article the logo or the symbol of an ideology or a terrorist organization Wikipedia "promotes" them. -The Gnome (talk) 20:40, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
I agree. It just seems different when they're put on a website saying "do whatever you want with these files". -BRAINULATOR9 (TALK) 21:47, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
But that is exactly what they are! Who owns the copyright of the swastika image? Of the hammer & sickle? Or of the many symbols used by mobsters? To use an American example, would it ever be possible to attribute copyright to symbols, logos, terms, gestures, etc, used by gangs like the Bloods or the Crips? We resolve this, we resolve this issue. But it is actually a non-issue. Sources prove this every minute of the day by freely depicting all the above, and simply naming a photographer or an artist form image attribution. -The Gnome (talk) 12:10, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
  • An image's association with a criminal organization has no bearing on its copyright status according to U.S. law (regardless of whether the creator belongs to the organization or not). Even convicted terrorists are legally allowed to own property and copyrights. Whether or not the creator of such an image could enforce such a copyright is another question entirely, and cannot be answered without knowing the specifics of the situation. It should be noted however, that images promoting terrorism may be covered under various national anti-terrorism laws, but that isn't what was asked about. Kaldari (talk) 21:03, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for the input, Kaldari. Let me just say that the ownership of the logos and symbols has been, historically and explicitly, the organization itself in every case - and this a applies to terrorist or criminal organizations of both the right and the left, in Italy and elsewhere. I do not recall, having studied the issue of terrorism at some length, a specific person, member of said organization or not, ever claiming at any time the creation of or having any kind of intellectual property over a symbol/logo used by a terrorist organization. No fee has ever been paid to such a person either. Media around the world routinely use symbols of terrorist ideology or affiliation (the Red Brigades' flag, the Ordine Nero symbol, the NSDAP's swastika, etc) all the time, without attribution to any copyright - ever! (The only copyright attribution might be to certain artist's depiction of a aymbol. E.g. Andy Warhol's "Hammer and sickle" painting from 1976 is copyright protected.) The issue we're debating here has been resolved decades ago in all sources. There would not have been an issue to discuss if the original files had entered Wikicommons accompanied with the correct description. -The Gnome (talk) 11:55, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
If we're talking about U.S. law here, the owner is the creator of the logo, not the organization. Please stop saying that they are owned by the organization unless you have some evidence for that (i.e. a copyright registration or contract), as it only confuses the conversation. Also, I don't understand why you are claiming that these logos are for organizations that "are universally and officially determined to be terrorist ones". Neither Ordine Nero nor Terza Posizione are legally designated as terrorist organizations by the United States or the United Nations, and Terza Posizione doesn't even exist any more. Both of these logos are copyrighted in the United States (thanks to the URAA) and the creators could easily enforce their copyrights in the United States. Thus they can't be hosted on Commons. Kaldari (talk) 15:51, 19 October 2020 (UTC)
  • A related concept might be graffiti, where the work itself is possibly illegal and potentially anonymous, but we still treat it as protectable content. ({{Non-free graffiti}}) DMacks (talk) 21:13, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
Graffiti work has often been acknowledged as art and sometimes declared to be illegal - but the legality concerns the place where graffiti is placed; it is not about the work itself, about what any speficic graffiti depicts. What we have here are symbols and works of institutionally, universally acknowledged to be terrorist organizations. No issue of copyright has ever emerged in the realm of terrorist or criminal organizations. (As a matter of fact, this discussion here about copyright ownership of symbols of extremist, criminal organizations is the first I ever encountered. Possibly the first one ever!) -The Gnome (talk) 11:55, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
The objective of the above mentioned law (the "International Emergency Economic Powers Act, 1977) is to stop any organization that poses "any unusual and extraordinary threat to the United States which has its source in whole or substantial part outside the United States" from benefitting economically in any way from works related or not to it, i.e. the organization. As far as the issue we are discussing is concerned, the law forbids an organization such as Isis/Daesh (or the Red Brigades, Ordine Nero, etc) from benefitting from an image on which copyright would be otherwise attributed to them. The legal term "blocked property" simply yet explicitly means that there is no copyright protection of terrorist & criminal organizations' work of any kind - and that, in the highly unrealistic scenario whereby copyright fees were ever to be claimed, such fees would be claimed by the United States government itself. Which is why we see in the media all the time photos or depictions of the flags & symbols of Isis/Daesh, Hezbollah, etc. They are materially free to use. -The Gnome (talk) 11:55, 18 October 2020 (UTC)
  • I don't think the works are inherently "free", unless licensed. An illegal organization obviously would not be recognized (copyright law is limited to "legal entities"), so they could not hold a copyright. The individuals who created it would own the copyright, I would think. From a practical perspective, there would be no way to enforce the copyright, though that rationale for keeping here flies in the face of COM:PRP. It's theoretically possible that in a few decades, the individuals behind an "illegal organization" become known (perhaps once the organization has ceased to exist and is more part of history), and they might be able to enforce copyright at that point. Until then, they are essentially published anonymously. Per a couple posts above, en-wiki declares them non-free, but uses their fair use abilities to hold them there, as they are presumably being used in context in articles about the illegal organizations. Before 1989, this was not an issue in the U.S. -- such works would not have had copyright notices, and would have lost their copyright immediately. Since 1989, under Berne rules, it's murkier. They are easily "fair use" so widespread media use is to be expected, but less sure they are entirely "free". If a logo is below the normal threshold of originality, obviously there is no problem. If they are from a country the U.S. does not have copyright relations with, there would be no current protection in the U.S., though that also could change in the future (and the URAA would go into effect if that date ever comes). The UK and US both (to different degrees) extinguished enemy copyrights during World War II, though they both later restored non-government copyrights. If an organization or country is under sanctions, then they probably can't currently file suit at all, but that may also not be a permanent situation. I think our previous practice has been to apply COM:PRP and remove them. Carl Lindberg (talk) 14:12, 18 October 2020 (UTC)


Cc-by-3.0-pl on[edit]

The website of the Polish government has a footer that says Wszystkie treści publikowane w serwisie są udostępniane na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie Autorstwa 3.0 Polska, o ile nie jest to stwierdzone inaczej. Google translates this as: All content published on the website is made available under the Creative Commons Uznanie Autorstwa 3.0 Poland license, unless it is stated otherwise. So, we can use images of under CC-BY 3.0 Poland unless stated otherwise. I wonder, wouldn't it maybe be an useful thing to create a specific tag for sourced images (transcluding CC-BY 3.0 PL) to make this clear, or should we simply use {{Cc-by-3.0-pl}}? There are older Poland-specific templates, some of them deprecated, in Category:License tags of Poland, but none so far for, as far as I can see (I also don't know when the Polish Government started licensing their website under CC-BY). Gestumblindi (talk) 17:44, 18 October 2020 (UTC)

Kept despite no FOP in South Africa[edit]

JWilz12345 (Talk|Contrib's.) 03:46, 19 October 2020 (UTC)

@JWilz12345: I have renominated both.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 03:59, 19 October 2020 (UTC)

Files on Vice President of the United States[edit]

Is the files come from the Vice President of the United States in the Public Domain? If yes, which license tags should be applied? —Preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 10:40, 19 October 2020‎ (UTC)

Hi, and welcome. Yes, see {{PD-USGov-POTUS}}.   — Jeff G. please ping or talk to me 12:39, 19 October 2020 (UTC)