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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Could someone look at images uploaded by User:BPSkantze, some are marked "own work" and they are not, but could some of them still be free?

can we add this pic to Babes at Sea?[edit][[1]] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Igormulpas (talk • contribs) 20:43, 09 January 2016 (UTC)

change author[edit] JP MISS is the only author for this image. Thank you for your understanding. Original link:

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk • contribs) 23:40, 14 January 2016‎ (UTC)

We need a clear end to this[edit]

Public Domain Mark. The stupid tag that Flickr adopted as it's public domain tag for old and already in public domain images. However users has used it on their own images, and per {{Flickr-public domain mark}} we have deleted almost all those images from our collection of images here on Commons. Hoever there are still some that remains. THose images listed on Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:James Horner for instance. I know this is bordering on canvassing, but all I'm asking is for broader inpput, since these are amongst the only images left with such "license" tag from Flickr. And almost all others has been deleted. We need uniformity. Please add your comments and thoughts there and make this madness end. Either delete these, or undelte the other hundreds deleted... Josve05a (talk) 00:10, 24 January 2016 (UTC)

To me, if it's clear that it the Flickr user's own work, I would just tag them as {{PD-author}}. Yes, CC0 is by far the more recommended tag to use, but humans will probably understand what "public domain mark" means more naturally than "creative commons zero" and will often just use that instead. No way should we auto-import them though. Carl Lindberg (talk) 00:16, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, but then we still has to ask ourself, has the user agreed to what is actually said in the template we put on the images. We need to have a good faith belief when we put such an action, and there is no way I could support us, or do a license review, claiming that a user has agreed to any such terms ("grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.") without actually being able to see that they have done so. It might be their intention, but we can't act on intention. I might intend to do something criminally, but I can't be convicted of that crime unless I do it (I may be convicted for intending to do it, but that's a different charge). We need to have something concrete to be able to say that they actually has agreed to it. Otherwise we are license laundering. Josve05a (talk) 00:27, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
We use PD-author for whenever someone says "I place this in the public domain" or whatever equivalent there is to that. It's not a word-for-word license; it's a bit more generic than that. I highly doubt we got an explicit agreement to that specific wording from basically any author where that tag is used -- if we did, we'd be better off asking for agreement to CC0 in the first place. We need something when people say "this is public domain", or equivalent statements, and PD-author is generally it -- that situation does come up. It's pretty silly to not accept statements like that on non-Wiki sites, when it's clear the statement comes from the author (and they have a good enough idea of what the concept means). The author's intent is generally clear. Carl Lindberg (talk) 06:21, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
But nowhere has the users said that "I place this in the public domain", they have said (by chosing the license) "I intend to put this in the public domain". There's a legal difference of doing and intending to do. Josve05a (talk) 14:05, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
They have said "This work has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission."[2] That says nothing about their future intentions; it says the work is PD.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:47, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
Agreed. The only way the tag is possible is if the work has been placed in the public domain (past tense) by the author. Thus, the PD-author tag makes the most sense to me. Or if not, then we need another valid tag to use. Carl Lindberg (talk) 23:58, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
Well, the fishy part about the licence is this: "Unless expressly stated otherwise, the person who identified the work makes no warranties about the work,... When using or citing the work, you should not imply endorsement by the author or the person who identified the work." This means we can't be sure that the author actually agreed to such a waiver of copyright. It just means that someone else has identified the work as PD without providing any warranties. And what is most important imo: without a statement from the author this licence cannot be verified. De728631 (talk) 01:54, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
If an author is tagging their own work, i.e. they are the same person as the "identifier", then yes should assume that. I mean, Commons' own general disclaimer says much the same thing. So we just pass that possibility through -- we just note the author identified their own work as public domain (i.e. lack of copyright protection), when they are the ultimate authority on said copyright protection, and we think that's enough -- but any re-user should make their own determination. The intent is clear to me. If an author took the time to look at the fine hairs of the wording like that, they'd figure out what CC0 was. This is more about users thinking they found the correct tag for what they want, and not picking the best one, but one which is close enough. Carl Lindberg (talk) 03:51, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
The author is not the ultimate authority on copyright protection. Copyright laws state that copyright protection is mandatory and the author can't have any influence on that, other than by licensing the material.
The Creative Commons page says This work has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights. This typically means that the user who identified the material as such has discovered that the file satisfies the conditions in the {{PD-old-80-1923}} template. The Creative Commons page says nothing about the material being licensed under any licence whatsoever, so if the file doesn't satisfy the conditions in the {{PD-old-80-1923}} template, then the statement on Flickr seems to be bogus and should be ignored. --Stefan2 (talk) 14:57, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
The copyright owner is pretty much the ultimate authority on their own copyright. If they say there are no known copyright restrictions, then the restrictions which they have the right to impose have been given up. Yes, CC0 is more formal and better practice, but there are many forms of "I place this work in the public domain" that exist out there and we use PD-author for those. It's not a license, no, but an indication of abandonment of their copyright (or economic right). I really don't see a reason for Commons to disallow such works, and an author putting that tag on their own work basically amounts to the same thing. Carl Lindberg (talk) 15:23, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
Let's say that the copyright owner states that there are no known copyright restrictions at one point, but then sues someone for copyright violation and states that copyright restrictions since have become known. The sued person will have to prove that there are no copyright restrictions on the material, while the copyright owner probably only has to prove that the is the copyright owner. The court might question why the copyright owner at one point stated that there were no known copyright restrictions, but if he responds that I thought that copyright protection didn't extend to photographs but learnt that I was wrong when I spoke to a lawyer, then the court would probably accept that the picture is unfree and that all rights are reserved. If the photographer is lying to the court, it would basically be up to the user of the photograph to prove that the photographer is lying. --Stefan2 (talk) 15:36, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
The copyright owner would have to explain why he put the public domain mark on the work and why it would not apply. His own copyright does not suddenly become "known" later on -- it existed when he put the mark on. It would be a form of en:abandonment. You are basically saying we cannot trust anyone who says they put the work into the public domain in any circumstance without a very formal license statement. While those might be preferable, but we should deal with other situations too and not get overly legalistic about it. Carl Lindberg (talk) 19:37, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
Adding the 'public domain mark' is only a statement that you think that the material is not copyrighted but not a statement that you have abandoned any rights. If the copyright holder states that he added the mark because he intended to abandon his rights, then fine, a court would probably say that the copyright to the work has been abandoned and can't be enforced (although the rights may become un-abandoned in some countries upon the death of the author). On the other hand, if the copyright holder states that he added the tag because he misunderstood how copyright protection works and replaced the tag with "all rights reserved" when he learnt about his mistake, a court would probably not say that he has abandoned any rights. Also, if he added the tag for some reason A, but states that he instead added the tag for some reason B, then the person who was sued will typically have to provide evidence that the tag was added for reason A if reason A is more beneficial to the sued person than reason B. --Stefan2 (talk) 15:49, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
"Upon the death of the author" is its own bugbear; in the US, a copyright renewal can give heirs the right to revoke any "perpetual" license.
A person who labeled their own work as public domain despite every right to leave it unlicensed is not going to be in an easy position in court. It will differ from country to country, region to region, and probably judge to judge, but people who make statements adverse to their own interests and then sue those who rely on them tend to get looked on poorly by courts.
Lastly, there's nothing special about Flickr here. Anyone who uploads to Commons, under a PD license, material they scanned or photographed could sue on the same grounds. They might actually have a better claim, since we (unlike Flickr) lead them (correctly or not) to ignore any rights they may have in the reproduction of PD works.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:12, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
I agree with Carl Lindberg here for "own works" by the Flickr users. I had notified this matter to Diane long ago and didn't heard back anything so far. It seems a Flickr-CC initiative; so they must responded if there is a serious issue. Anyway, those Flickr users can't sue any as they themselves made those statement; so reusers seem safe. Jee 03:05, 28 January 2016 (UTC)
I would (and I was, actually, AFAIK the one that raised this issue, or made it a 'big deal') agree that, in the specific case where the owner of the Flickr album was unambiguously the actual author of the image, that the PD Mark (a statement that the image is PD) and a CC-0 license (that I, as the author, am affirmatively licensing the image under terms equivalent to it being PD) are functionally equivalent. It seems unlikely that a court would uphold a claim of copyright infringement on the grounds of what would essentially be an argument that the author was acting in bad faith when declaring that their own work was PD..... in countries that have a legal tradition based on British common law. My argument was more along the lines of that we were in many cases claiming that authors had not just stated that the image was PD, but claiming that they had agreed to a specific legally binding license statement (the CC-0) when they had not actually done so. The CC-0 does not place an image in the public domain, and it does not even claim to do so, it "dedicates the work to the public domain" (which has no legal effect other than as a statement of intent) and "waives all rights to the work under copyright law to the extent legally allowable" (paraphrased), which is in and of itself a legal statement based upon that the person who licenses the work under the CC-0 owns the copyright.. they cannot waive their rights without actually asserting that they own them. It's not "this is PD", it's that "I make a legally binding promise to not enforce any rights I might have". I have no complaint about us stating that the author claimed that their own work is PD (and thus effectively gave up their rights), I have a complaint about us stating that they explicitly agreed to a specific license statement (even if it is functionally equivalent) when they did not. The difference is the exact reason why the CC-0 includes text stating "to the extent allowed by law", and why PD-author says "In some countries this may not be legally possible". Some countries (in the Spanish legal tradition) do not allow a person to give up legal rights that belong to their heirs.. that is the entire reason for the 'in some countries' statement. The "PD Mark" statement has no lasting effect in such a jurisdiction... it is not a 'contract', it's just effectively a statement of ignorance (I don't mean the person choosing it is ignorant, I mean they are 'ignorant of any restrictions'). If such restrictions exist that they are unaware of, or that they do not have the legal right to give up (the legal rights of their heirs) then it's effectively meaningless once those rights no longer belong to them (i.e., they died). Revent (talk) 09:19, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
Agree with Carl Lindberg, and Jee, and Revent. Let me link to two specific discussions:
where Josve05a has nominated two photographs of the Governor of South Carolina by the Office of the Governor of the State of South Carolina for deletion on these grounds that the Office of the Governor didn't actually mean it when they said they were public domain. If a few people would weigh in there, that would be appreciated. --GRuban (talk) 21:59, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
✓ DoneThank you User:Yann! --GRuban (talk) 22:15, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
Aaaand it's reopened. :-( The main discussion seems to be at Commons:Deletion requests/File:J. Yancey McGill and Nikki Haley.jpg. --GRuban (talk) 03:05, 3 February 2016 (UTC)


We've so many similar templates, including approved by me in my OTRS time. But while looking back to them, I see an imperfection. It claims "This permission only extends to photos taken by xyz at this link". But we are not reviewing whether those files exist in that link in a particular date. Chances that those sites disappear. Chances that authors delete their works from there. Then we've no evidence for those files had published there. So I think every file under such permission need to be reviewed by COM:LR or a similar mechanism. Jee 03:14, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

Now,Template:Vitaly Druchenok. Odder could you comment on how logical this template is? I don't know which OTRS volunteer approved it. Jee 11:11, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
@Jkadavoor: Not being an OTRS agent, either, I don't know who approved it, but I recall @Base confirm that it was a genuine release by the photographer, Vitaly Druchenok, who agreed that all the files he uploads to that site will be released under CC BY-SA 4.0. Perhaps Base can comment on this once again. odder (talk) 11:46, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. We usually can recognize the volunteer through the user parameter which is missing here. That's not my main issue. I feel the wording is not logically safe enough to assure those files are from that pool. Let us wait for Base's comment. Jee 11:52, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
@Jkadavoor: Right; I'm not sure it was Base who accepted the permission, I know he confirmed it to be genuine at one point, but it might have been someone else who dealt with the ticket. As for the source, I think it all comes to the assumption that Vitaly Druchenok owns the "Vitaly" account on that website, but I do agree it's better that we wait for Base (or any other OTRS agent, for that matter) to confirm that the ticket is indeed valid. odder (talk) 12:18, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Ahonc is who responded to the ticket. Storkk (talk) 12:56, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
FWIW, the language used in the license release can't really be regarded as confidential in this case. It is: "I am the copyright holder of photographs found at and I agree to licence these photographs under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license." In this case, I believe it is not problematic that it was forwarded, because there is a note on the ticket stating that it was confirmed "via feedback form on site.". This doesn't address the inherent problems with "on site xyz at date DDD", which I agree is potentially problematic. Storkk (talk) 13:03, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Storkk for looking into it. Yes, the problem is not with the permission; but with the logic applied in the template. We can't verify each file this way. So pinging odder and Ahonc again. Jee 17:01, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
@Jkadavoor: I agree wholeheartedly with your suggestion that each file should be reviewed in a matter similar to Flickr and other external sources (by a license reviewer), noting the date when the file was confirmed to exist at, as is the procedure with Flickr and others. odder (talk) 20:00, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
I think we should no longer accept this wording. For general releases I think we have two safe options:
  1. The photographer releases all his work
  2. The photographer releases a part of his work, but this is specified in a way that can be reconstructed. E.g. a release of all his pictures of planes, or all pictures listed on a provided list
In the end a permission is only reliable if we have registered what files are included in the permission. Jcb (talk) 19:08, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks odder and Jcb. It is very late from my side to find this logical loophole. I don't know what to do with existing uploads under several similar templates. (I think I approved a few earlier.) May be a code expert like Zhuyifei1999 can run a script to mark them existing in those sites? Jee 01:31, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Commons:Deletion requests/Files in Category:Screenshots of Google Chrome[edit]

I need to start this discussion again, because the last DR of the Google Chrome screenshots process was very vicious.

  • There is a previous DR resolved as Kept with broad concensus
  • The arguments presented by me was not enough (considering in special the Threshold of originality)
  • There are some screenshots of Microsoft Edge and even Internet Explorer, where have DRs resolved as Kept


  • Are the Chromium (and by extension Google Chrome) graphic assests actually above the TOO? namely
  • Should be the Microsoft IE and Edge screenshots deleted, invoking to the non-free software statement and ignoring the TOO?
  • What happening in Commons? Is Ellin beltz (who resolved the DR as kept) the best admin to deal with complex copyvio cases?

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Amitie 10g (talk • contribs)

Hi Amitie: Please remember to sign your correspondence with four "tilde" characters so that the system knows who wrote what. I have no idea if I'm the best admin to deal with closing Deletion Nominations or not, but I considered all the arguments in this lengthy situation. I then closed it as best as I could based on the discussion in that specific nomination and that is all I can do based on what I was given and working within COM:AGF. The fact that "other stuff exists" is not usually used in Deletion Nomination discussions - either pro or con for retention or deletion. I would point your attention to "If the screenshot shows any work that is not a direct result of the program code itself, such as a text or graphics that are not part of the program, the license for that work must be indicated separately. For example {{Free screenshot|{{Apache|The Android Open Source Project}}." Cheers! Ellin Beltz (talk) 18:48, 31 January 2016 (UTC)
First, the main discussion here is the Threshold of originality.
As you mentioned "If the screenshot shows any work that is not a direct result of the program code itself, such as a text or graphics that are not part of the program, the license for that work must be indicated separately", the graphic assests are part of the program because them are part of the Chromium source code, licensed under the BSD, but clearly bellow the Threshold of originality in the US (that is part of the US Copyright Law); so, you may just answer if these shapes are above or bellow the TOO in the US.
And, I mentioned Is Ellin beltz (who resolved the DR as kept) the best admin to deal with complex copyvio cases? because I thing another admin could closed the DR as kept, like the previous one (considering, again, the TOO). Deleting a file based in a Copyright notice rather what the US Copyright Law actually says a huge problem, and IMHO, a Deletion policy violation. --Amitie 10g (talk) 19:28, 31 January 2016 (UTC)
@Amitie 10g: First, and a bit emphatically, the VPC is not an appropriate place to make complaints about the behavior of another editor. If you want to question the correctness of her close of the particular case here, fine. If you want to talk about her competence to close DRs in general, you know where to go, and it's certainly not here.
Secondly, the discussion itself... you ending up arguing as to why the PRP 'should not be applied' to the particular case. That argument is a complete nonstarter, the PRP is a site-wide content policy, and it would be completely out of line for an admin to choose to disregard it in a particular case, even if there was a 'local consensus' among some small group to do so. Even if you think her close was 'factually wrong', it would have been wrong for any closing admin to have ignored the PRP in this case, or indeed in any deletion discussion, even if it had not been mentioned.
Third, your citation of 'viral licenses' as part of your argument (i.e, that such viral licenses override the Google TOS) is completely wrong. Really, it is. If a creator includes material under a supposedly 'viral license' in their own derivative work, that does not 'forcibly' apply the terms of the viral license to their own contributions, it would at most mean that they violated the license of the 'viral' material, and thus committed copyright infringement. Even if they have committed copyright infringement, that in no way affects their ownership of their own parts of the derivative work, and using the derivative work under the 'viral license' in such a case would itself be a blatant copyright violation. Revent (talk) 01:48, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
So, I assume trat you read and understanded the whole Google Chrome TOS when you mentioned your citation of 'viral licenses' as part of your argument (i.e, that such viral licenses override the Google TOS) is completely wrong, because the TOS mentions explicitely that the separate agreements override the TOS (namely, the third party libraries licensed under the GPL, LGPL and the MPL/GPL/LGPL Tri-license) included in Chromium (don't forget that Google Chrome is based on the Chromium source code). Therefore, neither The Chromium Projects nor Google commited copyvio when Google released Chrome under the TOS (that, again, explicitely mentions the licenses as separated agreements). If Google actually commited copyvio, the dozens of developers that contributed to Chromium (including The Chromium Projects) just instructed to Google to release Google Chrome under the same conditions of the Chromium (the BSD license), but it never ocurred in the several yeaqrs of the existence of Google Chrome.
But, Google need to distribute Google Chrome with some propietary elements, that should be released as closed source. Then, there is the TOS, to release its code as closed source without affecting code under licenses that explicitely forbid it.
So, Who of you wrere taken the time to read carefuly the whole Google Chrome TOS, the GPL, Apache, and even the BSD license? At least me.
And finally, the question is simple, are or not the graphics assests above or bellow the TOO? Neither of the user that participated here even mentioned it.--Amitie 10g (talk) 02:15, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I have read the Google TOS, which essentially (without quoting them verbatim) states that Google does not claim that that their terms apply to material that they don't own, but are themselves using under an open source license. You completely missed my point, as it applied to the argument you made at the DR, and to the actual effect of a supposedly 'viral' license.
More to the point, the original DR was toxic because you made it so, and refused to listen to people telling you were wrong. When Ellin closed it, you came here to spend as much time questioning her competence as you did mentioning your actual copyright issue (while not actually giving enough detail that someone could understand the argument without re-reading the whole DR). When I expressed... not even a third opinion, but at least a fifth or sixth... that you were wrong, you questioned my good faith and competence, by trying to imply that I had not bothered to read.
The question here is becoming... at what point will you actually admit that you are even 'possibly' incorrect, and not claim (or imply) that the opinions of anyone that disagrees with you are somehow invalid?
The 'real' situation... Google Chrome (and Chromium) both use both open source code, and code written by (and copyrighted by) Google. Google designed the UI, using individual graphical elements some of which are themselves, individually, under the TOO. The overall 'design and arrangement' of the UI is, however, not a matter for the threshold of originality... unless actually copying prior art, essentially any arrangement of PD elements that is not in some way 'obvious' is going to be copyrightable, as 'any' specifically identifiable point of originality is all that it takes under US law for the work as a whole to be copyrighted.
That being said, Google has every right to release the exact same code, authored by them, under multiple licenses. A screenshot of Chromium is freely licensed, because it was produced by freely licensed software. The code written by Google is undoubtably copyrighted, it's just freely licensed as Chromium. A screenshot of Chrome, even if the actual image is identical, and the actual lines of code executed to produce the displayed pixels were identical, is not, because it was not produced by software distributed under a free license. Both are copyrighted, but one is freely licensed and the other is not. It is vaguely within the realm of possibility that a court might disagree (and that seems to be the argument you were making, that we should keep it unless Google sues). The argument you made, that we should ignore the PRP, is quite simply doomed to fail. The mission of Commons is to host content that we know is either PD or freely licensed, not to host 'as much as we can get away with that people aren't going to sue us over'. Even if we think that the issue I just stated, that identical images generated by both free and non-free code are not both free, is open to valid debate, the PRP (i.e., longstanding community consensus that a discussion between a dozen people at a particular DR is not going to overrule) says that we can't keep material where there is a significant doubt.
The question of if an image of an individual graphic design element was below the TOO isn't being addressed because you linked a number of such images that are not only obviously not above the TOO, but were not deleted. Arrangements of such elements into a UI are a completely separate issue, as is the code that actually generates such an arrangement. It you want to object to Elin's judgement, take it to ANU. If you want to object to the PRP itself, open an RFC. If you want to contest the deletion of a specific file as being itself incorrect, take it to COM:DRV. If you simply want to claim that you are right, and everyone else is wrong? Have fun with that. Revent (talk) 07:57, 1 February 2016 (UTC)
Than, Why other admins decided to resolve as Kept the DRs related to Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer?
And, how can determine if the copyright holder of the UI assests is Google or The Chromium Projects, without seeing the source code? --Amitie 10g (talk) 10:49, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
@Amitie 10g: I can't really comment on the other DRs you're referring to without actually seeing them, and I certainly can't speak for those admins, but many many browser screenshots have been deleted, and many have had the UI cropped out. This particular DR was discussed ad nauseum, the consensus indeed seemed to be for deletion.
As far as your second question... Google created Chrome, and then licensed most of it as Chromium. Since Chrome existed first (literally) you rather have to assume that Google created the UI, and they thus own it. If you can't provide evidence that the Chrome UI is freely licensed, then you can't upload screenshots of it. It really doesn't matter if someone else can't prove that it isn't freely licensed. The burden of proof is on the person who wants to upload a particular image. Revent (talk) 19:40, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Images of Sega Genesis/Mega Drive region lock error screens--above the threshold of originality?[edit]

Would this screenshot or this other screenshot be below the threshold of originality for the purposes of Commons? (In particular, would {{PD-text}} apply to either screenshot?) As far as the country of origin, the first screenshot is from the video game Mickey Mania: The Timeless Adventures of Mickey Mouse but the origin of the second screenshot was not specified. --Gazebo (talk) 07:48, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

  • The first one is probably not original enough for the US. In the second, I am not sure about these fonts.Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 08:43, 31 January 2016 (UTC)
    • "Typeface as typeface" is not copyrightable in the U.S., so yes I think those are fine. Carl Lindberg (talk) 09:34, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

Help in determining right's use[edit]

Greetings, I would appreciate your help in determining the rights to use the images in this database .

It belongs and is curated by the University of Puerto Rico, a state institution, part of the United States's government. So, I suppose the rule of the US government employee is relevant here. From what I gather from the page, the images were scanned from a defunct newspaper, "El Mundo." The university received all the rights to copies and it is opening them now to the public. The only information section I find that directly relates to usage right is in the front page at it says, first in Spanish (original) and then in English (my translation)"

Spanish: "Estos recursos están disponibles libremente para los estudiosos, investigadores, estudiantes y otras personas interesadas en la historia, la política, la economía, los asuntos sociales y culturales de Puerto Rico desde el siglo XIX hasta el presente."
English: "These resources are freely available for students, researchers and scholars, and any other person interested in the history, politics, economy, social matters and cultures of Puerto Rico from the 19th century to the present."

Please, let me know your thoughts about its possible use in WP.


--Caballero//Historiador 08:50, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

It lacks a clear statement about commercial re-use. Per the Precautionary principle better no use, as long as no PD-US-GOV rule could be applied or you've got a clarification forwarded to the OTRS-Permissions. Regards, Grand-Duc (talk) 22:23, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
PD-USGov is just the federal government, not state or organized territory governments (and Puerto Rico is an organized territory). The rights they are giving is only for students, researchers, and scholars (use which would probably be fair use anyways), and is far from everyone, let alone commercial use or derivative works. So, that license statement is not free. Puerto Rico would follow the U.S. copyright act though, so if any of PD-US-no_notice or PD-US-not_renewed apply, that could work (but sounds unlikely). Carl Lindberg (talk) 22:49, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your help. It seems that it is becoming increasingly difficult to get historical images that are not older than 1921. --Caballero//Historiador 14:54, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
If they are older than 1923, they are fine. If they are older than 1964 and they were not renewed (and I don't see the newspaper listed here) they are also probably fine, as long as the photos came from newspaper staff. Carl Lindberg (talk) 21:00, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Carl Lindberg What do you mean by renewed? Thanks. --Caballero//Historiador 16:28, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
U.S. Copyright law used to give a term of 28 years from publication, and then if a work was "renewed" (i.e. filed a formal renewal with the U.S. Copyright Office) during the last year of that term (i.e. 27 years after it was published), it got an additional term (which is now an additional 67 years, for a total of 95 years from publication. Such renewals can be a pain to search, as only records from 1978 and later are currently searchable at (which would correspond to works first published in 1951 or later). However, there are scans of the renewal records volumes online, which can be searched. Someone did a listing for periodical renewals at the link I gave earlier -- so if the newspaper is not listed there, then renewals were likely not filed. Photographs can be difficult, as they could in theory have been renewed individually in the artwork sections, or been part of a book published the same year which itself got renewed, and that sort of thing. But, if there is no listing on that upenn page for the paper, it's likely that pre-1964 issues became public domain. If that is the case, then the tag {{PD-US-not renewed}} can be used. The requirement to renew was abolished in 1992 (which means that works published 1964 or later did not need to file, and automatically get the full 95 years, and are still under copyright). Carl Lindberg (talk) 11:05, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Carl Lindberg This is very useful indeed. Thanks. Cheers, --Caballero//Historiador 07:50, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

I was wondering if I could have some feedback about the pictures I have uploaded from the site we have talked about here, namely, this one: The images are in my contribution/upload list here: They are about 23. They are all images produced before 1923, but for some, the date is not specified. However, I dated them considering the context. This means, issues like the artist, the names used, and the images themselves. I would appreiate your feedback in order to make sure I am following the best practice. Thanks in advance. --Caballero//Historiador 18:09, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

The license[edit]

May I upload this image [3]? --Maksimilian karlovich (talk) 10:26, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

@Maksimilian karlovich: The original woodcut (from 1876) has been in the public domain for a very long time now, so it's fine. A 'faithful reproduction' of an old two-dimensional PD work of art is still PD. Revent (talk) 10:39, 2 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. --Maksimilian karlovich (talk) 05:42, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Excel's screenshots[edit]

Hello, can u help me? I want to upload some images from another project, can u check this page. Images from the page are ok for commons or not? May I use PD-trivial for them? Iniquity (talk) 17:39, 2 February 2016 (UTC)

I do not think that these screenshots are so trivial. So, you may not transfer them to Commons. Ruslik (talk) 19:48, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Thx. Iniquity (talk) 14:28, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Two images of sculptures by Eugene Daub[edit]

The following two photos are of sculptures by Eugene Daub, who is still alive. In short, it is not clear that the sculptures are out of copyright or freely licensed.

From its description, the Harvey Milk memorial sculpture was unveiled in 2008, and the description for the Rosa Parks sculpture implies that the sculpture may have been unveiled around 2013. The descriptions do not say when either sculpture was created. (Harvey Milk died in 1978, so it seems unlikely that the memorial sculpture about him was created before that year.) In addition, the descriptions imply that the sculptures are located in the US, which means that freedom of panorama is unlikely to apply. Thoughts? --Gazebo (talk) 08:17, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

You almost answered your own questions – the images should be deleted. Ruslik (talk) 19:50, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

File:Cesare Battisti by Adolfo Wildt.jpg[edit]

There is a personal template with a legal clause incompatible with the creative commons license. What to do. Delete the template or the image?--Pierpao.lo (listening) 09:49, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

@Pierpao: are you referring to User:Moroder/Template:Credits? What do you believe is incompatible? I see a polite request for notification (not a legal clause), another request to not overwrite, and a note that posting on social media likely breaks the license, depending on the T&Cs of the social media site... @Moroder: pinging owner of template. Storkk (talk) 10:25, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. Yes you are right. I had misunderstood. Sorry--Pierpao.lo (listening) 13:19, 3 February 2016 (UTC)


Hello. I'm working on an article in which I'd like the USPS logo to be used. However I couldn't find any here. The only one I see is at enwiki under fair use (w:File:United States Postal Service Logo.svg. Looking at and I see that only fair use is allowed, but I wonder if {{PD-USGov}} would apply to it. Thanks in advance for your help. Regards, —MarcoAurelio 16:10, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

  • As far as I know, PD-USGov does explicitly not apply to the US Postal Service - see this bit of the Compendium of the US Copyright Office.Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 16:36, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
  • From what one understands, and from what is mentioned at Stamps of the United States, US stamps that were issued by the USPS before 1978 are not copyrighted in the US; stamps that were issued in or after 1978 are copyrightable. At the same time, I do not know if these rules also apply to other USPS works (such as logos.) --Gazebo (talk) 06:47, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Copyright issues?[edit]

Hi! I'm writing about the image File:Areni Sign Ceremony.jpg. It's claimed as the uploader's own work, but I do see it used here and here. The image is associated with an article on Wikipedia that was likely written by the subject's wife, so there's a chance that they might own the rights to the image but I'm not entirely sure. Posting here for comment. Tokyogirl79 (talk) 05:24, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

For this file the necessary permission should be provided through the OTRS. If the permission is not provided the file should be deleted. Ruslik (talk) 20:25, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Is this OK?[edit]

Is it OK to have images with a copyright at the bottom? Recently the user Astrowimp uploaded File:M13 (Hercules globular cluster).jpg, which has "copyright astrowimp 2015" at the bottom of the image. I'm not overly familiar with copyright with images, but I don't think that you can upload an image to WC and still exercise copyright over it in this manner. Tokyogirl79 (talk) 09:33, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

  • The terms here seem to suggest that putting copyright/watermarks in the image go against the way it was uploaded. Tokyogirl79 (talk) 09:35, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
This was just discussed in another noticeboard (was it the village pump?). Please see {{Watermark}} or wait for another user to respond here. It is ok, but discurraged. However, it may be a lie, it might be a NASA-image instead. Josve05a (talk) 09:49, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
@Tokyogirl79: The owner of the copyright in a work may clearly watermark that work, in any way they wish... it is completely compatible with the CC licenses (or any others) for them to do so. The real question is if it's allowable for us to then digitally remove or crop out that watermark, and the answer is that there is no definitive answer. It depends on exactly how you interpret both the CC licenses themselves and how you interpret the provisions of the DMCA that prohibit removing 'copyright management information'. Wikilegal gives a detailed analysis at meta:Wikilegal/Removal of watermarks from Commons images, but notes that not even their analysis is definitive since the actual question has never been answered by a court. Essentially, the answer is that Commons policy discourages the use of visible watermarks, but does not prohibit it, that Commons policy 'allows' the removal of watermarks but does not recommend it, and that it is strongly suggested that editors ensure they are aware of the possible legal ramifications of doing so before they do it. Sorry, not really a good answer (other than saying yes, such watermarks are allowed on Commons). Revent (talk) 18:27, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Parade Floats Copyrighted?[edit]

Are parade floats copyrighted? The images in question can be seen here, where a parade float, created by Disney, is based on a copyrighted character of Disney. The float is a steampunk float of the Maleficent dragon. There are no depictions of the character as steampunk anywhere but the parade, and the float is never featured elsewhere. Is the float copyrighted or not? I am personally inclined to believe it is not, but I'm biased since I took most of the pictures and uploaded all of them. Elisfkc (talk) 16:38, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Sadly, they may be subject to copyright. I'll take a closer look at the examples and comment in the DR. -- (talk) 16:41, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks Elisfkc (talk) 16:45, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Uploads "for Ashley Renee Jones"[edit]

AFAIcan see all uploads of DanWOrr (talk · contributions · deleted user contributions · recent activity · logs · block log · global contribs · SULinfo) are missing proper licensing and it doesn't look like they were by the same creator, so I rarely see a chance of them recieving OTRS clearance soon, or at all. Do I judge too hard? Or do you agree, then could some logged in Wikipedian request deletion for them? Please see also en:User talk:DanWOrr. Thanks. -- 19:07, 5 February 2016 (UTC) Understanding Copyrighted Material is always a little ambiguous but having read the aforementioned common criteria, that criteria was met such that "The subject's consent is usually needed for publishing a photograph of an identifiable individual taken in a private place, and Commons expects this even if local laws do not require it. In many countries (especially English-speaking ones) the subject's consent is not usually needed for publishing a straightforward photograph of an identifiable individual taken in a public place."

Therefor a picture taken of a performance in a public place of a identifiable person and not used for commercial purposes doesn't even need the subject's permission but I went and got it anyway. The idea of creator ownership is also flawed since giving a photograph away indicates public distribution and does not prevent non-commercial redistribution. The request to remove from the commons is unfounded since copyright is not infringed upon but overly and abundantly protected. DanWOrr (talk)DanWOrr 05 February 2016

Dear Dan, could you please tell us the names of the photographers who took the pictures and the name of the audio engingeer and all musicians who recorded the sound file? -- 19:32, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

File:US_Army_53138_United_States_Army_Africa_-_official_website_and_social_media_center.jpg and non-free Web browser UI elements[edit]

File:US_Army_53138_United_States_Army_Africa_-_official_website_and_social_media_center.jpg was uploaded by a third party. The first question is whether the user interface elements of the non-free Web browser, Microsoft Internet Explorer, can be included in the screenshot (it seems doubtful that they can, given that there is more of IE shown than just a title bar, for instance.) The second question is whether the depicted Web site as rendered by the IE software (or perhaps an underlying Microsoft HTML renderer) can be treated as a case of {{PD-USGov-Military-Army}} or whether the site content has to be treated as a derivative work of non-free HTML rendering code. A third issue is whether all of the depicted content on the site consists of US government works, because from what one understands, US government sites can include third-party copyrighted works. --Gazebo (talk) 08:23, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

Hi, At the very least the browser interface should be cropped. Regards, Yann (talk) 10:34, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
US Government websites can, indeed (and often do) include copyrighted material. This image is, essentially, like a 'collage'... we need to independently show the copyright status of all the included parts. In this particular case, the screenshot image 'itself' is taken from the US Army website, but the source page itself does not attribute the screenshot as a US government work, so the licensing given here is really guessing, unfortunately. Revent (talk) 18:44, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Request OK for Eva Bartok press photo[edit]

Can someone review this 1959 press photo of Eva Bartok as PD? Thanks. --Light show (talk) 18:30, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

If you have evidence that it was published at that time without a copyright notice then it will be in public domain now. Ruslik (talk) 19:33, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Besides the un-noticed original photo, with publication dates and proof of publication on the back, what other evidence is needed? --Light show (talk) 20:47, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
If it is a US work, it might be OK. But she was born in Hungary and died in London, so... Yann (talk) 11:18, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
The description on the reverse states it was a photo for MGM in her "American film debut." --Light show (talk) 17:08, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
OK, fine then. {{PD-US no notice}} might be OK. Yann (talk) 17:32, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm really dubious, based on 'just' what we see here, about assuming that this is a US-source work, even though it was used to promote an 'American' film. The 'blurb' starts out with the word "Hungary", and she was in movies for years before this... there is no evidence, without looking further, to indicate that it had not been used to promote other movies previously... there is no or indication of authorship on the photo itself. I'll look further, but I don't think there is enough here to say more than what Yann did... 'might be OK'. Revent (talk) 18:59, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Hunting around a little, I found that Rex Images has a copy of this for sale (and they say it's a 1957 photo, not 1959... the movie was also released in 1957, so the Ebay seller is in error) but they don't attribute any further than the "Everett Collection", which tells us nothing. What is useful is a copy I found elsewhere, with what was apparently a handwritten note across the bottom front of the negative... "Eva Bartok Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" with no copyright notice... the copy you have appears to be a reproduction of it, with the words mostly blacked out (you can still see traces of the writing, and the word Mayer). Since this was apparently her first MGM movie, I think that's a pretty good indication that it wasn't an older photo, and it does appear to have been 'distributed for the purpose of further distribution' (which was publication) without a copyright notice. So, I think we're okay, though (not to be rude) I'd rather you did a little more searching yourself. Revent (talk) 19:23, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Photo of original oil painting I own[edit]

Can I load a photograph I have taken, of an original oil painting I own, but did not paint ? Ânes-pur-sàng (talk) 11:34, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

  • Generally speaking, no, unless you also own the copyright to the painting (e.g by being the heir of the painter) or the painting itself is in the public domain or freely licensed.Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 11:52, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Does the adaptation of someone else's original work published in commons for free use make it "your own" work?[edit]

Hello, I made a small correction of the flag of the United Kingdom of Portugal and Brazil originally made by the wikimedia user Tonyjeff, whereas the 'round' coat-of-arms was replaced by a historically accurate square arms. However, at the time of uploading, I'm unsure if this correction made by me makes it "my work" or someone else's since all the elements I used were made by the original author, published for free use. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Crenelator (talk • contribs) 17:05, 07 February 2016 (UTC)

Your will own a copyright on your original contributions provided that they are above the threshold of originality. (talk) 17:51, 7 February 2016 (UTC)
Alright... Thank you. -Crenelator (talk) 19:01, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Madeline Kahn, press photo[edit]

Requesting review of Madeline Kahn photo from 1974, from Keystone Press Agency. FWIW, her lead image is currently using a poor non-free, so something better is hoped for.--Light show (talk) 19:48, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

@Light show: I'm not seeing there, or finding elsewhere, any evidence that this image was published at the time, or ever actually distributed for publication. It appears to simply be a photo taken at a public appearance by a third party. Do you have any evidence that this was ever published? Revent (talk) 05:55, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Talent agency photos[edit]

I'm also wondering what the policy is for obvious talent agency promotional photos not showing the reverse. For example, this one, another, or this one (2nd), from the William Morris Agency printed on the front. Is it conceivable that a PR agency would require permission, via a copyright, to print a photo of their client?--Light show (talk) 20:10, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

@Light show: It does not matter, not at all, if it is 'conceivable' that they would or would not do so. You need to show reasonable evidence that the particular, individual work was itself actually published, by the copyright owner, in a way that did not meet the statutory requirements. This has been mentioned to you before, repeatedly. Revent (talk) 07:06, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

new copyright law in Slovakia[edit]

Begining January 1, 2016 there is a new copyright law in Slovakia. I have changed the {{FoP-Slovakia/sk}} and {{PD-SlovakGov/sk}}. I am not able to provide a correct translation to other languages. In my opinion there are no big changes regarding FoP and PD. Cann somebody help with the translation or give me an advice how to change the templates in other languages. Thanks. --LacoR (talk) 21:03, 7 February 2016 (UTC)


Hi. Can someone more experienced help review images in this work? Some of the images are the authors, and before the work can be redacted it needs a definitive list of what to remove. ShakespeareFan00 (talk) 21:06, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Commons to Flickr and CC to PD[edit]

Flick user wagon16 is copying images from Commons (his photostream has 5800 images), but putting them under Public domain licence. For example: [4] from File:Bribir Vinodolska 040109.jpg. --Sporti (talk) 15:09, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

1847 speech text[edit]

I'd assume that a digital version of an 1847 speech by U.S. Senator Corwin, transcribed from the 1847 Congressional Globe (whose agate type made OCR useless), would be uploadable to Wikimedia Commons without copyright considerations. Am I right? WREverdell (talk) 16:32, 8 February 2016 (UTC)WM Everdell

  • Digitization creates no copyright; only creativity does that. So if by "a digital version" you just mean a text, you are correct, the speech remains public domain. If you mean video or audio, though, then the creator of that would have an implicit copyright. - Jmabel ! talk 19:39, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

A site offering pics with no reference at all to copyrights?[edit]

There is this wonderful site offering pics from various photographers with no charge or reference to copyrights. It invites photographers to join the project, which is to spread images of Puerto Rico.

Here is the link:

Text in Spanish: Boriken365 nace de la necesidad de exponer ante el mundo las bellezas de nuestra Isla desde otro punto de vista. La fotografía. La fotografía, es por excelencia, un lenguaje universal. No necesita explicaciones ni traducciones, por medio de una imagen podemos acortar las distancias y hacer que otros disfruten lo que hoy tenemos. Este espacio es para todos, aficionados, profesionales y cualquier persona que entienda que por medio de una foto en algún lugar en Puerto Rico capturó una imagen que merece ser vista por muchos. Esperamos que por medio de este portal podamos generar una red solida de amantes de la Isla que a través del lente expresen que valoran, atesoran y sobretodo preservan los encantos de Boriken los 365 días del año. Que lo Disfruten.

Text in English (my translation): Boriken365 arises from the need to expose the beauties of our island to the world from a different point of view. The photography. The photography is by excellency the universal language. It does not need explanations nor translations; through an image we can cut distances and help others to enjoy what we have. This space is for everyone, fans, professionals, and any person that realizes that through a picture taken from any place in Puerto Rico they have captured an image that everyone deserves to see. We hope that through this portal we can generate a solid network of people who love the island (Puerto Rico), which through their lenses can express how much they value, treasure and above all, preserve the enchantments of Boriken (PR) all 365 days of the year. Enjoy

This site appears too good to be true. Please, share your thoughts and let me know if this is what it seems to be.

Cheers, --Caballero//Historiador 14:09, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Well, the whole site seems to be "© 2014 Derechos Reservados Boriken365." = example (see also "Todas nuestras imágenes tienen derechos reservados. Las mismas no podrán ser utilizadas en cualquier medio digital o impreso sin autorización previa.") which does not fit with "(...) with no charge or reference to copyrights"... Gunnex (talk) 14:24, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Gunnex Thanks for pointing this out. In hindsight, it was placed where contributors and not users would see it. Perhaps not the best place if they do not want people to use it. Anyhow, thanks! --Caballero//Historiador 19:47, 9 February 2016 (UTC)